Wednesday, January 31, 2024

My Stats for 2023 and January 2024

At the beginning of every year, I have been posting my stats for the previous year so that I can compare them year to year. I am running late this year because when I ran the 15 Minutes to Quilt challenge on YouTube, I found more quilts that weren't on my list of quilts in progress, and some of my estimated dates on the spreadsheet were incorrect, so I felt like I had to do more auditing to try to be as correct as I can. This means that my charts this year will look a little different than they did last year, but not by much.

I've shown you this chart before, but it will help with the other charts. I started 11 projects in 2023 and finished 12.

Here is how it looks for 2024. The two starts are more thoughts than actual starts but I have chosen the fabric and will start cutting into it soon, so I went ahead and added them. The Autobiography Quilt will be a long term project and I am editing a Youtube video that explains it. The Pink Explosion is for the February blog hop so you will see it finished (hopefully) in February.

Here is how the starts and finishes chart looks year to year. I am going to ignore the 2024 data since it will change dramatically but it does show that I have more starts than finishes overall, but that I am getting better about making up for 2007 and 2019 when I had so many starts. I am happy that I did manage to finish more than I started in 2023 and hope that I can continue that this year.

This chart shows the cumulative starts and finishes over my quilting life. I did get the two lines closer last year and hope to be able to continue to get more finishes. With the Project Quilting challenges and the blog hops, I know I have plans to start (and finish) lots of quilts, which leaves me less time to finish older projects, but I do hope to get to more finishes. I did make a lot of progress in December, and will try to sneak in more 15 minutes for the older projects one at a time so I can get more of them down the finish line.

15 Minutes to Stitch 2024

The final chart is not on a spreadsheet, but I do want to continue to stitch every day in 2024. I haven't been updating this every week since I have been so busy making quilts for the challenges and recording and editing the videos to show them, but I have definitely been working every day.

15 minute days these weeks --28 out of 28 days
15 minute days this year -- 28 out of 28 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Quilt Reveal: Where Horses Dream Under Endless Sky


It's time for another Project Quilting Reveal! This week, the challenge is to:

Take inspiration from the colors of the sky, but exclude or use less than 10% of the usual blue.

I decided to use my Derwent Inktense pencils (affiliate link) to color the sky so I found a relatively plain background. I knew it would need something in the foreground for interest and decided to find a horse pattern to applique on my quilt. I haven't ever used a horse and I am not so sure why I was intimidated by using a horse. Maybe because it is so intricate with skinny legs. 

I used a pattern for the horse but I cut the rest of the pieces free form and fused most of the pieces on to the background. Then I colored the sky, which is scary. I should have done the sky first in case there was a problem, but I think it looks fine. I don't know if it is a sky after a storm, or dusk or dawn, but it is pretty and fits the theme. Big sky with enough to keep it interesting.

 I secured the applique with a free motion quilting, and I added the wavy lines in the sky.  I bound it with the fence fabric. I hope it doesn't feel like a fenced in horse. I put the fence behind the horse so it wouldn't look too contained. There is space for the horse to get to the other side of the fence, and endless space in front where we are standing. I decided to hand stitch the binding.

It looks like a nice calm scene. Here's a quote I found for it.
  • "There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter." - Rachel Carson

My quilt was ready on time, but by the time I uploaded the photos and wrote the blog post, it was too late to submit for the challenge. I got distracted while I was waiting for the upload.

I did film the process and will post the Youtube video here after I have finished editing it. 

Linked with: Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Quilt Reveal: Rabbit's Reverie 🐰


It's my day for the Just Let Me Quilt blog hop challenge. The theme for the week is White Rabbit.

The challenge was: 

Make something with white fabrics, rabbits, or white rabbits. 

It is a perfect theme, because I was just gifted a pair of embroidered white pants.  I had seen a couple of quilts that were animal shapes that were cut out of some embroidered work with batting inside them. I thought about doing just that and having a quilt that was not a rectangle, but I still had house on my mind and wanted to make sure that my rabbit had a home.

I started out with the floral background, but decided to put the rabbit on the green background and add the flowers. It looks like the rabbit is lost in reverie looking at the field of flowers.

I tried machine binding again. I still have yet to master that skill, but I like the shabby chic look to this quilt.

I have made a YouTube video to go with the blog hop. It took a long time to cut down all the footage into a reasonable length video. I still don't know whether it is better to show everything and speed up the footage, show everything in real time and have really long videos, or just chop it up enough so people know what happened and let them imagine the rest. Let me know if you have a preference.

Check out all the really cool bloggers who have been creative!

Monday, January 22, 2024

White Rabbit Blog Hop Challenge

The White Rabbit Blog Hop Challenge starts today. Here is a list of the participants. Enjoy the hop, and come back on Thursday! My quilt is ready and waiting!


Make something with white fabrics, rabbits, or white rabbits. 

There is a tradition for people to say “white rabbit” first thing in the morning (have you 
ever heard of this?) The phrase is supposed to bring good luck for the rest of the month
Even President Roosevelt did this!

I hadn't heard of it, but I had heard that people say Rabbit Rabbit on the first of each month for luck.

Here's who will be "White Rabbit" hopping soon:

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Quilt Reveal: Haven of Harmony

 I made my first quilt of the year for the first Project Quilting challenge. Project Quilting is a challenge that was started years ago by Kim Lapacek of Persimmon Dreams. It is inspired by Project Runway challenges. 

Every other week for the first three months of the year, Kim's friend, Tricia Franklin, posts a theme. Quilters then make quilts based on this theme. The quilt cannot be started before the challenge is posted, and must be finished by the deadline, which is only one week later.

Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

The challenge this week is to make a quilt inspired by a birdhouse.

I did some cursory searches for some birdhouse patterns, but I was attracted by a quilt that someone had made on Facebook based on a quilt pattern by Cheri Payne. It isn't a birdhouse, but it is a house and does have a bird in it so it works in my book. I really liked the fact that it wasn't a rectangular quilt, and decided to make something like that. 

For the rest of the week, I kept finding other birdhouse patterns, and it was hard not to switch plans, but my rule is to go with the first instinct. It keeps me from overthinking things, and in the end, I am so glad I stayed with my plan.

There aren't houses where I live with two chimneys, but there are other architectural features. I am not sure whether this is called a gable, but I will call it that until I learn otherwise.

I made the house, added a door and window. I used a stiffer middle layer instead of batting. I am not sure whether this is Peltex or Timtex, but I am pretty sure I bought it for fabric bowls. Since the quilt wasn't rectangular, I think it needs more support.  I thought about a binding, but decided to take it easy on myself and birthed the quilt.

I encountered a lot of obstacles in making this quilt, but I was having so much fun making this quilt so it didn't faze me. I nicked my thumb with a rotary blade. My bobbin ran out of thread, twice, because I used bobbins that weren't full. I didn't get a good camera angle for the ironing station and wound up being in the way and the camera kept focusing on my sweater. Then both of my cameras ran out of battery even though I had charged them to prepare for this videoing quilt for YouTube. (I use one for talking, watching the ironing station and the sewing machine, and the phone camera for overhead shots).

I have beautiful fabrics on the table because I am collecting them for an autobiography quilt, and they really helped me make this wonderful quilt that feels very Indian. 

Here is a link to the challenge post so you can see what everyone else made. Mine is #198 so there is lots of inspiration to see.

Here is the YouTube video that shows the entire process from start to finish:

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

A Recap of my Quilting Year 2023



Image by GDJ from Pixabay.

In this post, I go over my posts during the year and give you a summary of the quilts I made, and any big events. I make a yearly recap every year. In 2021, I did not have any rules - I could start and finish as many quilts as I wanted without any guilt. The key was just to enjoy the journey. This lead to some fun finishes in 2022, but the number of unfinished quilts grew. Then I created a rule to finish more quilts than I started. I continued the rule to finish more than I started. Let's see how that affected my quilting.


I started January with a strong start, with a Project Quilting challenge, The First One. All Project Quilting challenges require that the quilt be started after the theme is announced and be completed within the week. This week's challenge was to make one of something. I decided to make one tree from a pattern by Irene from Sugaridoo called One Two Tree. I gave it a very creative name, One Tree. It is so much easier to remember the name of a quilt when you give it the name that was your working title.

I had so much fun with the fast finish of One Tree, I finished the I've Got Your Back camel.

I made more blocks for the Jazzy Blues quilt.

I finished this quilt, Sonder, as a Project Quilting challenge which required the color pink. This one was a lot of fun to make. I enjoyed the combination of whimsy and elegance.

Sonder: The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own -- populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness -- that you'll never know existed..



In February, I made Boundaries for another Project Quilting challenge. was to make a quilt inspired by the 54-40 or Fight quilt pattern, but I stretched the rules to use a different pattern to describe a boundary. These challenges really help with my productivity. 


I made more Circle 365 blocks. I pressed and trimmed some Jazzy Blues blocks. I started the Boundless quilt for the  Dust Off an Old Quilt Book blog hop.

I made Zou the Elephant as a part of a Project Quilting challenge to make a quilt inspired by a book. I had gotten an AI drawn elephant and had wanted to put that in quilt form so I was able to combine the challenge with something else I wanted to do. Zou means elephant in Japanese so Zou the Elephant is equivalent to saying chai tea.

I also made some other things, like these hearts, and a scrappy ball. I also started the Unallocated quilt and the Spicy Stars quilt. These starts are not helpful to my challenge to finishing more than I start


 In March, I used some scraps from the hearts I made to quickly meet a challenge for Project Quilting, Sew Not a Square. It is the one in the middle called Mended Heart.

I presented my Boundless quilt for the blog hop but I wasn't finished quilting it in time.

I made the final Project Quilting challenge quilt, Fear of the Missed Deadline, using scraps from my Spare Parts box. It was about conquering a fear.


 In April, I was able to show the quilted and finished the Boundless quilt which was made for the Dust Off an Old Quilt Book blog hop.

I made Whose Rights? from the scraps of the Boundless quilt.

I also worked on the Spicy Stars quilt.


Work continued to be busy in May with overtime, so I wasn't able to do much quilting.


June was also a busy time at work, but I did find some time to make progress on my works in progress - the Aunt Daisy blocks, Spicy Stars and Unallocated, as well as making small amounts of progress in my sewing room.


I kept working on the Spicy Stars blocks. I made a lot of portraits for my index card drawings.

On the 29th, I started a Youtube channel, Quilt and Color, and showed my first completed art journal.


In August, I wasn't working, so I made some paintings and focused on learning how to make YouTube videos. It is a steep learning curve to know what supplies I need while trying to limit my investment, learn how to use the equipment, and decide how to make videos without being boring.

I started making the index card portraits quilt based on the index card portraits I was making. It was slow since I was recording a tutorial for it, but it was fun to explain the process without having a scripted speech.


In September, I finished the Portraits quilt, Making Friends, and published a YouTube tutorial for it. I enjoyed that so much, I brought out my Tuxedo Vest quilt to see what I can do  to finish it.


In October, I finished Tuxedo Vest by appliquéing African fabric on top. I made a YouTube video about the process. I renamed the quilt, African Garden.


In November, I published videos that told the story of some of my finished quilts. I didn't get much time this month to work on a quilt, but producing videos about the finished quilts and getting ready to produce a video a day in December where I will work on my quilts for 15 minutes a day made it difficult to count whether I was successful in quilting every day.


In December, I did a lot of quilting. I pulled out a lot of my works in progress and made and published a video every day to show how the 15 minutes to quilt worked for me. I thought it would be more interesting for people to see different projects in different stages. It was a lot of fun to get reacquainted with them, and the ones that seemed scary wound up being perfectly fine. I had made a decision early on that I would show my mistakes and how I dealt with them, so there wasn't a pressure for me to be perfect in my quilting, and since I had to make a video a day, I didn't have time to fret about being perfect with my videos either. 
There were some frustrations with my tripods not working right, and my using the wrong setting on my microphone (it has to be on "off" when using the phone but on "on" when using the camera), and the software deleted my whole video a couple of times, especially when I had used the narrate feature which meant I had to start over with the narration as well as putting the clips together. I found it easier to start over instead of trying to fix some things in editing so many times I worked more than 15 minutes on a project.
I learned a lot about my UFOs and about videos, so it was very successful for me.
I even snuck in some extra time to finish this Scrappy Cat. It uses scraps from the I've Got Your Back camel you saw in January.


So how did I do with my finish more than you start goal? I finished 12 quilts and only started 11 so I am officially successful! I actually made more progress than the numbers show because I made lots of progress on my other quilts a little bit throughout the year, and especially in December. Most of my WIPs at the back of the line were able to officially move up a little bit, not just because a quilt at the front of the line got finished, but also because they themselves were more completed than they started at the beginning of the year. 

I want to thank Wendy for her small quilt of the month challenge. Even though it has been discontinued, I am continueing to enjoy making a small quilt a month. I especially want to thank Kate for her 15 minutes to stitch challenge. I also want to thank Kim for the Project Quilting challenges. All three people have helped motivate me and gave me "permission" to enjoy myself and spend time quilting. I also want to thank all of my blog readers for coming and reading my ramblings. Your support means a lot to me.