Sunday, February 27, 2022

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 9


2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 9

I spent my week working on the Olympics Twist quilt. The quilting for the body of the quilt is pretty much done. I just have to do the half snowball blocks. I will just be stitching in the ditch like I did the full snowball blocks.

I pressed and cut the fabric for the new inner border, and have started to sew it down, raw edge. Instead of straight stitch, I am using a different stitch my machine can make. This is a little scary because I broke a machine while using an applique stitch to quilt, but this is a better machine and I have a flat bed so hopefully all will be well.

This is taking some time, because I have to clean off the lint first. The black really shows the lint from the batting.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 58 out of 58 days
Success rate  = 100%

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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Problem Solving the Olympics Quilt


Now that I have been working on quilting this quilt, I like it better now. I want to apologize to it. I think the sandwiched quilt is the ugliest stage, and I left this quilt in its ugliest stage for 20 years. I can see beyond the ugly stage now and see its potential.
I have a conundrum about the border for my Olympics quilt. When I pieced the quilt, I added borders to make it big enough for a twin bed. To do that, I pieced a border, but didn't have enough fabric to go around the quilt so I added the pieced border on one side, and on the all the sides, I added a large blue border and the same size black border.

My problem is that the borders do not look correctly proportional. Having the inner and the outer border be the same size just looks wrong to me. The blue border looks like it is too wide for the quilt too. I no longer care about the size of the quilt.
My plan was to finish quilting it and trimming the blue border. I am thinking of leaving a five inch border, but I may think more carefully about the size if I go this route.  This plan, let's call it Option #1, means that I will be cutting off the pieced border. This is not a big problem, because I do have a spare parts box and I could easily add it to my orphan block quilt when I get around to making it. This is the easiest fix although the border looks pretty boring

Do you see from this picture how cutting off the blue border doesn't really allow for keeping the pieced border? 
Option #2 is to keep it as is, even though the border looks disproportional.
Option #3 is to get out the seam ripper. Don't even think about it. 

Option #4 is to leave the top blue border the size it is and trimming some blue off the other three sides. Some of the pieced border will be cut off, but not very much.

Option #5 is to keep the blue border and  narrowing the black border. I am used to seeing the inner border more narrow than the outer border.

Option #6 is to applique a narrow black border inside the blue. There will be three borders then but since the background is black the rings will float more. This will make blue look narrower than the black and I can keep the quilt the size it is. If I do this, I think raw edge applique will be fine for this quilt.

Option #7 is some other idea or combination I haven't thought of.

What do you think?

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 8

I spent my week quilting the Olympics Twist quilt. My plan was to try to finish it by 2-20-22 or 2-22-22. The deadline helped add the motivation to get this quilt moving. I don't think either will work since I am working now and I need to think about and implement the border decision. My new plan is to keep working on it, giving it the amount of time it needs.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 51 out of 51 days
Success rate  = 100%

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15 Minutes to Stitch



If you are interested in seeing how this twist block looks in more scrappy colorway, head over to Quay Quilter. Seeing her quilt is what motivated me to dig out mine and work on it. It is the second of the three projects she shows on that post. The third quilt she shows is also on my mental list of quilts to make.


Saturday, February 19, 2022

Olympics Quilt


This is the quilt that has been hoarding my safety pins for DECADES. Which isn't a big deal since the new safety pins I bought were curved and I like those much better.

In my last post, I told you the quilt was started in 2007, but I looked on my old blog, and it told the story of the quilt. Here's what I said at the time.

Olympics Quilt Story

I always mean to tell the story of a quilt when I finish it, but I generally tell it earlier, while I am procrastinating finishing it. So let me tell you about the Olympics quilt. I started it in 2002. Even though I made my first quilt in 1994, and started the denim circles one then, the quilting police succeeded in making me give up quilting (that and a baby to raise and a career to advance). I took up quilting again in 2002, by taking some quilt classes. So this quilt was a learning quilt for me.

There was a pattern on the internet, affiliated with another quilting newsgroup, and I felt guilty about looking at some other newsgroups stuff, but I did, and I wound up subscribing to that newsgroup. I wound up unsubscribing only because I couldn't handle two very chatty newsgroups at one time. Anyway, the designer made options to make the quilt in two colors or in four (plus the background), and of course I wanted four.

The color selection was probably easy, because I like these bright primary colors, and I like the subtle pattern of the fabric. And I was very very afraid of colors then. I probably asked everyone I knew if those primary colors matched each other!

The pattern was very beginner friendly. It told you in detail how to cut the fabric, and held my hand through each step. I learned how to use squares to make a snowball block. I was afraid of making mistakes, so I did not cut off the excess. No extra HSTs in this quilt! I even learned how to do partial piecing. Oops, I don't remember what that is called. You piece part of a seam, and don't put it down all the way until you have sewn the rest of the pieces in. There was a panic when the designer dropped my hand and said arrange the blocks according to the picture. I was so scared that I didn't even try different layouts.

I was watching the winter Olympics at the time I made the quilt, and when the top was pieced, I realized that my color circles seemed very much like the Olympics rings. I had big ambitions of doing some bluework or quilting of Olympic motifs in the solid black spaces in the snowball blocks. I spent a lot of time at libraries and on the internet copying sports figures.

I needed the quilt to be bigger, so I added a WIDE border. I also made a nice pieced border - another first! - but I didn't have enough fabric to go all the way around, so it is only on one side.

I do like the quilt, but it feels like forced, like a mother who is required to love her own child. I am now debating whether to still put on those sports figures, by free motion quilting on the machine. I don't have enough for every block, but I think I should do it for practice. I keep wavering back and forth between doing something quick just to get it done, and taking my time to make it as good as I can. The second set of squiggly lines look okay, but not good. The first set has already been ripped out, and I'm thinking that I might be able to take them out if I do the motif quilting. For someone who doesn't often take out quilting stitches, I'm being very generous with the seam ripper on this one!

2022 Update

The photos on the blog show that indeed there were a lot of random things added to help make the bed as flat as possible. Now that I have a flatbed, the quilting is much easier, although the thread is breaking from time to time.

The photo above shows the last motif that was left on the quilt, halfway done. I have finished it. I decided to stitch in the ditch around all the big black squares and add some simple quilting in the small black squares. I was originally quilting in the colored rings but that is hard to do on a domestic machine with the bulky seams and it is hard to keep track of what direction I am going when I do that.


I took the photos quickly on my porch. I've already quilted a bunch of the areas which is why some of the safety pins are gone. You can see that there is a big blue border and then a big black border around the whole quilt in addition to the row of chain at the top of the quilt. I don't really like the way the borders look and will probably be cutting most of them off. Right now, I think I will just slice off part of the blue and not add anything else. Having a skinnier blue border would look good., but I don't know what to do about the pieced border.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 7

There are a couple of interesting dates coming up. 2-20-22 and 2-22-22. I am not interested in numerology but I do think it would be nice to finish a quilt on one of those dates. I was hoping to finish Lansing Leaves by one of those dates, but since I am working, I am not sure I will be able to finish piecing the back, sandwich, quilt and bind by either of those dates.

Those new quilts do tend to push in and disrupt plans. I spent more time this week with Jazzy Blues and did not work on Lansing Leaves.


I have a quilt that is closer to completion - not only is the backing done, it is already sandwiched and the quilting has already started. It is a big quilt though so it won't be a quick finish. It is really old so getting it done would be a great relief. So old that there is no mention of it on this blog. My spreadsheet lists it as started in 2007, but there are a few other quilts with the same date and I know that it was before the spreadsheet was started so it is an educated guess.  It gave me trouble in quilting because it has a lot of bulky seams but that might have been before I got a flat bed extension. I have it out and will examine it to plan the next steps. I will simplify the quilting plan.

I call it Olympics Twist so finishing it on the last day of the Olympics, 2-20-22 would add meaning to that date.

It was not a good week for walking. First, Zeus sprained his leg so he couldn't walk much. Then the snow melted and refroze and was very icy and slippery. Even on the grass, he isn't heavy enough to crush through the layer of ice so he just slides on top of it. He is doing better now but we are still skipping a lot of walks. 

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 7

If you recall, I am sewing along the Aunt Daisy quiltalong but I am calling my quilt Jazzy Blues. I worked this week so I didn't have much time for quilting. Still though, I finished a Postage Stamp block while I sewed the flying geese of the Jazzy Blues quilt.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 44 out of 44 days
Success rate  = 100%

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2022: More Finishes Than Starts

Looks the same as last week.
The Jelly Roll Club has a really cute applique sew along called Gnome of the Month. Besides free patterns, there are free videos that show every step of different methods of applique. It is a versatile pattern and you can customize it as you go.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 6



I told you the Aunt Daisy quilt along in a previous post. It is such a pretty quilt that I decided to join it. I chose these jazzy blue fabrics with off white backgrounds. I have to give the quilt a name so I can add a label to the blog post and have decided to call it Jazzy Blues.

I've cut the first fabric for the flying geese. I decided to use the same fabric for each component since they will be distributed throughout the quilt. I am hoping it will add another layer of design on the quilt.

And like Amalfi, I will have rogue blocks so I don't have to worry about having the right amount of fabric for each component.

2022: 15 Minutes to Stitch Week 6

I didn't have work this week, so I had a lot of time for quilting. 
I've developed a habit of recycling cardboard boxes when I get them to avoid filling them up with junk. This means that when I need one, I either have to wait for the next incoming box or I have to empty one that is already full. I  dumped a cardboard box full of scraps so I would have the box available for charity. I spent a good bit of my 15 minutes a day cutting up these scraps into one and a half inch strips and trying to get my table back.
I pieced more of the backing for Lansing Leaves. I started the Aunt Daisy quiltalong.  So far I have chosen the fabric, cut and marked the pieces for the flying geese.
Not a lot to show even though there has been a lot of progress.

15 minute days this week --7 out of 7
15 minute days this year -- 37 out of 37 days
Success rate  = 100%

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15 Minutes to Stitch



2022: More Finishes Than Starts

Since I started a new quilt before finishing a long-term quilt, this changes my stats to have more starts than finishes. I was hoping to have a finish and just maintain it throughout the year, but that would have been boring for you to watch. I just started a new quilt to keep this story exciting for you. Will she manage to end the year with more finishes than starts? Ah, the sacrifices I make for my blog readers.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Winter Weather



We had a lot of freezing rain, followed by 5 inches of snow. I had a choice between going out to take a photo of Lansing Leaves quilt top or shovel the snow.

I noticed that my blog post has been getting a lot of unexpected views. So funny, I thought Wordle sounded familiar. Sorry, it is the wrong Wordle for people who were looking for the other one.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Quilt Reveal: Orange 2-2-22


The Project Quilting Challenge this week is Kitchen. There were two things pushing me to do the challenge. 

1. Today is February 2, 2022 and I wanted to put that date as a finish date on a quilt and it is taking me too long to finish the back of Lansing Leaves. 

2. I got the idea to make an orange quilt and there are orange scraps on my table.

It is raw edge applique. The orange is a scrap from Lansing Leaves. The blue is from Amalfi. I hope I wasn't saving it for the binding. If I was, I am going to have to make a scrappy binding for it.

The batting was a fusible, which I hadn't realized before I pressed it, so I didn't get a second pass at those corners.

I got the bright idea to make a cut underneath a label to turn the quilt right side out, but it turns out that I put the front layer on top which did not give me access to the cut. Luckily, I figured that out and left an opening along the edge. I was able to make the edge pretty neat, but I ran out of bobbin thread so that kept it from being as neat as it could be.


It was still a fun little quilt and now I have a quilt with 2-2-22 as a finish date. I embroidered it on the front so everyone can see it.

There is a new quiltalong that began yesterday. It is a traditional quilt called Aunt Daisy. It is not a mystery, but the pattern will be released monthly. The pattern is free on the blog and there is a Facebook group if you want to see everyone's progress and fabric choices.

The Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery is showing a tour of the Quilt National 2021 exhibit on their Facebook page. If you can't go in person, this is a great presentation to watch.