Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ready to Machine Quilt

Over several hours, I cut, pieced, pressed and found backing & batting scraps to make up five Toilet Lid Mats. My objective for today was to get them to this stage. Done.

Over my lifetime, I found it hard to give myself a break and didn't know where that attitude came from. My Jungian Psych course work helped.


Things are different now that I am a little bit more aware of family traits and personal choices. It is still most difficult for me to leave any project unfinished, and in fact, my plan for 2018 is to take one quilt & finish it before starting something else. I've gone through and tagged the quilts with the name of a month wherein I plan to work in it and get it done.

What I learned to do in the last couple of years was to write notes-to-self, so I set projects aside & not feel driven to getting more than one stage of it done at a time. When I start it up again, I know exactly what the plan was for my next step. This makes projects more WIP (work in progress) rather than UFO (unfinished objects) & lets me have a better attitude about them so I can pick them up & start where I left off.

It also helped to do the BOM quilt-alongs. One step was released each month. My only choice was to make the quilt in a certain number of installments. I couldn't do more than was set out for us each month. It taught me pacing.

TGTs / Day 7:

  1. Daughter-out-law's quilt arrived safely & Son will set it aside for her Oct. 1 bday
  2. Very cool nights, therefore we can open windows!
  3. Veggie Shepherd's Pie is just yum!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Little Small Things

One of the biggest laughs for me in the movie NANNY MC PHEE is when actress Celia Imrie ...an aggressive date (Mrs. Q) for the new widower, calls the children 'little small things'. The children were pretty typical in how they interacted with a mother substitute. Funny tricks. Mean tricks to drive her away.


I am working with a number of little small things trying to figure out how to make toilet lid mats. They are only meant to sit on the top of the toilet back or lid, though I have seen some that wrap around it with elastic. 

Part of the challenge is finding fabrics, and then finding a pattern that works for that size. I'd like to do all that prepping first and then quilt them all at the same time. I will make the lil twister pattern for a couple of them, and spent time finding 6" patterns for the others.

6" blocks are more challenging than one would think. Small doesn't mean easy. And limited colors make a difference too. I've done okay with choosing holiday fabrics, but am getting down in my supplies where it takes creativity in matching little small things.

Three Good Things / Day 6:

  1. Took down non-working fairy lights in the garden & replaced white with red lights that were stored in the shed
  2. Removed dead plant matter from South garden, filling the trash container for the week
  3. Re-organized & sorted patterns into sections

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

My order came from Joanns yesterday, and in it is the orange fabric with black cats I want to use for a border on the scrappy Halloween quilt. Also included were needle threaders, and a brush for cleaning the sewing machine. I started looking for items to include on the 12 Days swap and in the end of it all, bought things I want.

Three Good Things / Day 5:
  1. With all the errands I ran, the car got washed, 3 bags were given to the thrift store, and I bought myself a new hot/cold thermos 
  2. Bought & mailed a Batman Brick Headz to my Grandson for no reason other than I can
  3. On Book #11 of the Dresden Files, which I am thoroughly enjoying
Today is another one of my 'catch-up' days. I need to cut down more of the dead plant material and put it in the trash bind. There is so much of the fabric laying around. It reminds me of the toy room when the kids were little. No one else is going to swoop in and pick it up. While its true that all the planned quilt projects for 2017 are finished, I have already taken on more, like the toilet lid covers. 

It is easier to work on a project if everything else is put away. I want to move things that I have here but its not like I can just get them done and out without some thought, without some work. So onward!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Lil Twister Toilet Top Cover

Its hard to make exact sizes with the lil Twister template. The PR with it says the project will finish 1/3 to 1/4 less that the first piecing. I calculated it to sit on the toilet lid cover rather than go edge to edge. 

It measures 7 x 12.5" finished. I used three 5" charms with a 3" border to get that size. Lids measure 8 x 14.5" so this felt close for the template. This was my sample.

It is like knowing when yesterday ends and today begins. 


A fabric scrap makes a mug rug (shown above the lid cover), so did both projects at the same time, even though they look completely different.


I used whole cloth (uncut & unpieced) for the backs. The wavy stripe is almost gone, and I want to purchase another Halloween themed stripe for the remaining projects. I quilted a small grid on the lid quilt and shadow quilted the mug rug.

Three Good Things / Day 4:

  1. Cool enough for open windows
  2. No smoke from wildfires means open windows
  3. Cool enough to garden

Friday, September 15, 2017

Halloween Potholders

I finished three potholders for my friend in MN. I didn't know if she wanted those hooky things, so they are hook-free. Sometimes, my heart breaks from fear of not getting something correct. But lately, I've taken a different stance and just do what I can. There are things about me that don't work as well as I want, but I can still do the work.


I made 3 potholders that have two pieces of batting & two pieces of heat resistant fabric. I made one quilted side pretty scrappy & wild. And the binding is a wavy stripe.


The other side is made with whole cloth, which means it is all one piece. That also means the potholders are reversible if my friend wants to put them on her table, & also gives them a variety of uses. The binding works for both sides. Her favorite Cat was black and hopefully this reminds her that I loved him too. Gosh I remember him running to the door to greet me every time I visited. I think of him every time I see black cats.

Speaking of black cats. There is a clowder of ferral cats...all black in town where they have access to an empty building on main street during the night. We are too small a town to have a Humane Society or a service for ferral animals, so I am not sure what will happen to them. There are so many now that I am sure there is a lot of in-breeding. Sigh. 

Three Good Things / Day 3:
  1. I have close friends in MN and WI, and some great friends in Cali
  2. Rescue Remedy saves me often
  3. I am harvesting healing herbs from my garden for tea

Thursday, September 14, 2017

12th Day Gift Started

More batting joined. Now there are two quilts ready for basting when I have time, after this year's projects. I measured & marked one of the pieces of batting I put together from two smaller sections, so it will be ready for a fit somewhere down the line. It looks like there are two backs for future partnering as well. And yes, I have been putting simple notes-to-self on everything.


Fabrics are cut for the 12th day hand made gift for that swap. She wanted a new pin cushion and this one has a lot more to it. She likes cats. It takes three coordinating fabrics, & extra pieces of felt and flannel to make it work, plus iron-on batting. Oh and a button for decoration rather than function.


Day 2: Three Good Things
  1. Rico slept better with the door closed to his space & didn't disturb his person through the night. Doing it again
  2. I went to the grocery store late at night and missed the crowds
  3. Filled trash container with dead plant material.
Today continues with essential behind-the-scenes prep work. I am not sure why I am almost in a state of apologizing for this part of quilting. I am my own quilting sous chef. With these steps already done, when I do finish a top, it is quite possible that quilt sandwiches will go easier. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Naming 3 Good Things

One of my friends is sharing her 3 good things each day & I thought it was a great idea, so am listing them here. After a bit of research, I learned that findings thusfar say that when people have things they are grateful for, they draw more good into their lives. Makes sense.
Day 1! My 3 good things for this day are:
  1. I can still thread a needle (eventually after a try or two) in spite of Essential Tremors
  2.  I joined some leftover batting & now am able to baste another quilt
  3. Sweet memories of family members who have passed and still influence my life
Meanwhile, I while my time is spent doing mindless activities, I am making progress on some projects that need prep work, such as getting the batting ready for another quilt. There is more batting to join so that it can be sandwiched and take up less space in bins. I worked on the hot pad thingy for my friend and want to make her a couple of different ones and give this one to the thrift store.