Friday, September 30, 2016

What a Joy to Ship Out

There are other quilting projects to ship out and a few to finish up for the season, yet, today, the last finish of the FB14 went out. It was small enough to fit into one of the larger plastic shipping bags so went at half the price it takes to box it.

I was pleased with this one. That Log Cabin pattern is quite versatile. And again, it is a scrappy quilt made by shopping from my closet. The picture shows another pattern of a shadowy light part that is not seen by the eye.

The backside was also done in 2.5" scrappy strips. It makes the quilt reversible for a brighter view. Again, this is a pattern for the scraps but they lay out however they work. It made me smile to see fabrics that had no purpose and some I really didn't even like work out so well. I heard somewhere that the more colors and fabrics in a piece, the less any of them had to coordinate. This is true with this piece. Two very different looks!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The last of the FB14

I am working on binding for the last of the FB14. Its a lovely quilt for a friend I met only a few times when I lived in Los Angeles. Most of us are care-worn walking our paths and often our encounters show us how to release illusions or expectations. I am not sure any more what happened in the brief encounters we had back then. Now we are Facebook friends and I don't even know what that means.

What I do know is that I put out a vague question if anyone was open to receive some quilting project of mine. She responded that she was open to receive. In truth I was surprised at how many folks replied (14 in all), and after swallowing hard and wondering how I would make them something, I got at it. This is the last one, even though there are several finished projects that are yet to mail. 

Its hard for people to say what they really want even when given the option. I might have made quilts for folks who got wallhangings if they said that they wanted a quilt. It wasn't that I thought the wallhangings were less than the quilt, but know that you cannot wrap up in one. Ah well, on with it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Back in Gear Again

When I laid out the MN WILD quilt, somehow, in spite of my calculations, I put the directional print for the borders on the wrong way. It was devastating. AND the quilt was so much larger than I have ever worked on that I was getting more and more upset with myself.

This morning, however, when it got laid out only half its width across my Queen size bed, the solution was there. Each side border is 6" wide, so it could get cut 3" and the center, which is shown closer here without a border could be ripped, both cut borders sewn to each the top and bottom. WHICH, BY THE WAY, makes the top & bottom to the quilt. That means ripping the quilt down the center, cutting the side borders to 3" each and adding those two borders to the center seams. BOOM!

All that stress. As is shown in the pic, there are two swirls across and three swirls down. Its really quilt lovely. I haven't measured it yet, nor have I made an appointment to baste it. I feel so very happy with this 'soulution'. 

I don't think there is enough of the border fabric left to make the binding, however, it will be measured, so maybe.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Insert Explitve Here

Two quilts got basted this morning. Then I came home and put the borders on the MN WILD quilt, except that I didn't do them the way I wanted. Guess there is always tomorrow to figure it out. Someone once said that you can always rip before it gets basted!

The first one basted was the Log Cabin. Yes, that is my Flat Partner for a Swapbot exchange. The quilt is in fall colors, all from my closet, as the last of the FB14 projects I took on this year. Interestingly, two of them were received today.

The second quilt basted is a smaller baby quilt with a fleece batting. Both quilts were batted using leftovers. The one above needed to be joined, but this one was the perfect size with less than an inch around. It made it.

I might have taken on too much today because I got out into the gardens too and laid stepping stones. I raked the trough first, and then raked in front of the shed for the pavers that were ordered. I really had the MN WILD quilt planned so I am not sure what the heck happened, but sure as anything the directional print is on it in a way that I didn't want. Dang.

Monday, September 26, 2016


One needs white thread for white fabrics. Seems that the projects at hand need much more white thread than usual. The MN WILD quilt will be quilted in white so I need to purchase enough to get started.

Also the Grinch Advent Calendars need white. This is the backside showing white muslin. It is an echo stitch around the various images on the panel. Both panels were completed with the echo stitching and they are not done. One spool of white got used up.

Then the day pockets, the Grinch marker and the Wreath with the number 25 on it were done for both panels. All with white. I plan to use a red thread to top stitch the pocket sides and bottoms. The panel kit turned out to be well worth the investment and will make great gifts for two families for the holidays. 

Advent calendars are meant to help kids know how many days are left before the big gift-opening holiday comes. Some families let their kids open to ease their whining. Some kids grow up not having any sense of waiting or anticipation. Personally I love Advent Calendars and have an old one that I forget to check every day. Kids.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Advent Calendars

Today was spent making the calendar form for the Grinch Advent Calendar. Its the part that has batting and is quilted. The day slots come next. I got one form done and prefer not to photograph the steps of it today. I will do that tomorrow. The hesitation comes from dealing with this new computer set up. Its so laborious compared to the Mac. Yes, this is a whine. I also measured for borders on the MN WILD quilt,and need to cut and piece them. 

A day of doing little things. 

I measured for borders on the MN WILD quilt, and need to cut and piece them. I watched NFL games. The Vikings lost; the Raiders won. I KNOW that it is vital to do these little things, and if the camera/computer setup was easier, I would post progressive photos. It is not. It feels like progress to keep moving on them even if there are not photographs to mark the experiences. 

I must say that I fight the side effects of some of the meds I am taking right now. They make me groggy and its hard to push through when I should be resting. Yes, the need for them is realized, but dang, I still fight resting.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

What Day is it Anyway?

The homemade gift I am planning for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap is a set of 6 stacking boxes. My partner says she likes pastel fabric that reads solid, or otherwise known as tone-on-tone. So I spent a LONG time going through my stash to find 12 pieces that coordinate as pairs to make these fabric boxes. I don't do pastel and don't have a lot of tone-on-tones. Then there was the size of the squares. I have five pairs and suddenly realized that I should start over and have the boxes fit inside each other and coordinate with fabrics I do have. I have already pleased her with the few things I bought the other day. Long ago, I learned that I do not enjoy making things that I do not enjoy working on.

I also pulled out a costume box for the Disneyland Halloween Night. I stitched together a bag that I will carry as a gypsy pouch or purse. Random from the fabric in the box. Last year, I was over dressed so this year my costume is one layer only. Its further south and so even the nights there are hot and steamy.

These two issues have a lot in common because they are me trying to please someone else. I am the giver of this box, and will do the best I can in many ways to please my partner. I am the participant at the Halloween party and while I want to wear a costume, I also want to be comfortable and enjoy the time spent there.

I got outside and worked in the gardens. I planted a fern in a wooden planter, adding the proper container soil. I added soil to two other planters, one for the turtle to walk around in and eat whatever she wants and the other was for strawberries. I placed the plants but didn't put them in the soil. Just that had me so tired for the rest of the day. And that is ok to stop and watch videos.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Ocean Was Great

This beach had very interesting waves coming onto shore from two directions. There were a lot bigger rocks on shore and a beached /dead seal. When I went into the surf, it surprised me to have some bowling ball sized rocks hit my ankles. A very rough surf. But wonderful to feel it, as I wrote, coming in from two directions.

My project was for a SwapBot Hallows swap.  It is a pincushion and I love how it turned out! I might make it just a little differently next time, if I make another, but it is so CUTE. Now as long as the recipient doesn't name it and actually use it...

I spent time shopping for the 12 Days of Christmas swap. My partner used one or two words to answer the questions for her profile and hasn't been replying to the group questions. So I started with what I have. She likes pastels and likes fabric that shows solid (tone on tone). I bought two half yard pieces in purple, and got the one gift she said she would really like (Stiletto). 

I also bought some good muslin and will use it to line the Grinch Advent Calendars. I have the basic pieces cut and now can cut the muslin for backing. I have not looked at the MN WILD quilt yet to see if it is fine or needs some tweeking. Little at a time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Be The Love You Seek


When I decided to make the FB14 quilt projects, I asked on Facebook if anyone was open to receive a quilted project from me as I shopped from my closet for fabrics and ideas. If they were, I asked them to include their favorite colors, favorite season and if they had a quilted size or project such as a table top, runner, a wallhanging, mug rug or quilt. Fourteen people replied. All of them gave me colors and seasons and NONE of them commented with what they might like as a finish. None.

Some have gotten wallhangings and table toppers. Some have gotten quilts. I did my best to find colors and seasons or holidays. For instance, this one goes to a former student. She rescues and fosters kittens until they get their fur-ever homes. I've made a few table toppers for her in the past, so this quilt seemed to be the next step.

The back is a back with blocks of fabric that do coordinate with the front. But its a quilt back and I have clearly shopped from my closet. The binding comes from a rather large chunk of material that is odd. Yet, because of its color, really fits well with this quilt.

As I look at my list of UFO's, most of them are really close to being done, so it will seem like easy-breezy work. One thing that has happened to me over the years is that I am much more gentle with myself about the projects. Its not that quality is suffering, but that in being gentle with self, I understand that there are errant seams, that the sewing machine itself, looses tension and sews backwards or just doesn't do what I want it to do.

The last of the FB14 projects is ready for basting on Tuesday and should go out in the next weeks. Others, made for Winter Solstice are completed and simply waiting for the season to begin. Its not that I am finished for this year because the MN WILD quilt and the GRINCH ADVENT CALENDARS need to go out too.

I feel the season changing and plan to get to the Pacific for September Equinox. There are many things out in my gardens that need work, and the house needs more than the house cleaner who comes in once a month. While I don't have the energy of a 20-year-old, or even someone 50, I do keep going with what I have. And that is enough. 

Why Am I Surprised?

After adding the projects (UFO's every one of them) to my sidebar list, it seemed smart to add a number in front of them so I could actually notice my progress. When I complete a project, I delete it from the list. If I work on it but do not finish it, I will drop it down so it doesn't block me from the others. 

Listmaking is something I have done all my adult life for college, for work, for home, and for every project. When I forget my lists or notes-to-self, I get into trouble. If a project has been left too long without being on a list, it becomes a UFO!!! Then it takes longer to recover, remember and start up again. These 13 projects on my sidebar are in various stages of being done. I might remember why I stopped and put them away, or my loss of memory might be a convenience so that when it gets started again, there is not any past grief to deal with. Its a fresh start!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Finding UFO's

I didn't think I had UFO's (unfinished objects) in my closet. Or I wasn't treating them as such. I thought there was only one project I just could not finish because I just could not get the points on the triangles right. Well. Surprise, surprise.

There are a number of 12" plastic storage units (made more for scrap booking pages) that have UFO's in them. Eight, at my last count. Only 7 are mine. And then there is a spring table runner near the South door on a quilting loom. I've added what I found to the sidebar list. If it is in sight there, it has a chance to get finished. I also ordered 6 yards of a Halloween fabric so that I could finish that Twisted 4-patch. 

I want to keep going with the labels. That means looking through each container and inventorying contents. I added two labels to finished quilts. This is probably how any quilter deals with her UFO's: Sort, label, evaluate the fabrics in the 'kit'. Is there enough fabric or do I need to buy some to finish the project? What stage is it in? Can I finish it or just take it to the next step? 

I only went through three more of the larger bins and found four more UFO's, along with two of the FB14 quilts I want to label, along with finished quilts without a designated recipient. One went off to a boy expected at the end of the year.

When I looked online to see what other quilters do, I realize that no matter how many opinions I get, the bottom line is how I will turn my UFO's into treasure. Do it, that is how.

Monday, September 19, 2016


It getting more interesting. My stash.

It took me a little while to find the double sided iron-on for the embroidery project I want to do. Once again, I realized the value of those notes-to-self, especially in the form of labels. They need to go on the small containers that are stacked on a top shelf. I need to KNOW what is in each of them. Although they are clear, fabric looks like fabric.

I started writing this on Sunday and here it is just after midnight on Monday. This will be today's blog

Sunday was spent more in thinking about what to do next. I got to Joann's, and bought two seam rippers & a package of 40 curved basting pins. Now I can finish the last of the quilt for this year.

It was apparent that I need to put labels on those containers on that shelf. AND after that, I need to make a project list for 2017. I know. Its still 2016 and there are projects for this year. I have a side-bar priority list including:
  1. MN WILD quilt.
  2. (2) Grinch advent calendars
  3. exchanges for Swap-bot
  4. finish the last two projects from FB14

If I create timing for the various projects, I might be able to move 'kits' along that I started. There are probably more of them than I realize, and the only way to get some order to what might be uncounted projects is with the notes-to-self even if it is slapping a label on the storage box. It is important for me to set quilting goals, to shop from my closet and to get these done.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

To the Church on Time

Yes, the wedding quilt is completed and will ship out on Tuesday when I take mail out.

It was a bit of a challenge in some ways to get the colors coordinated on front and back using two different patterns. However, I like both sides and think they will too. This first pic is the back and will be the pattern I chose for the MN WILD quilt as well. I like how it uses up scraps!

This second pic is actually the front of the wedding quilt. I had fabrics in a blue batik for the outer border and shades of the same blue on white for the middle border. I used white for the first border or frame for the 9-blocks and really love it along with the back. I will spend a little time making sure all the threads are clipped and printing off some care instructions before packing it. Then off it goes.

Now onto the MN WILD. It needs a border for the front, and then more of the RAINBOW BABY for the back. There is more to cut for both and I would imagine it will be completed in another week or two at the very most.

I have a great sense of satisfaction finishing these two off. They are not family quilts, but both go to very important friends of the family.

I hate to blog about my diminishing health, because I don't want anyone to get concerned. Truth is, everyone has that going on. Aging is a part of life, and with it comes less energy, less focus, less desire to do what we did do when we were younger.

For instance, I never thought the grass would leave the back yard. I love it. But after over 4 years in an unrelenting drought, facts are facts. Grass takes too much water. And while there is water here in the valley, it won't be too long when it will not be available. It makes sense to replace the lawn with hardscaping and drought tolerant plants while I have the energy to do the work.

I dug out a hole in the Eastern garden clay that was twice the size of the pot. OMGoodGoddess! It was challenging. Now the non-invasivive Butterfly Bush is in and watered, even pruned after the blossoms did their thing. There was even a Hummingbird sucking nectar from it!

No, I have to make choices about what I can do while I can do them before someone has to step in and take my choices away. Too many times in my life has someone done that for me and it never felt good. 

Aging sucks. And as they say, the alternative is suckier.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

All the Small Steps to Quilting

I made a set of four to give my Swap-bot partner. I am learning I can only do a certain amount in a given time and that it is enough. I plan to fussy cut at least 6 more images and get them made to sent to a few friends.

I will do all the little things in various increments throughout my day and remember to be grateful that I can do what I do.

These were not thought out as much as I first believed. Yet, the person receiving them will more than likely be thrilled. Now that I see them, I plan to use pieces from the fabric that show them off center and either on a side or bottom of the mug rug. And I plan to make them smaller.
Perhaps working without a pattern means you need to wing-it.

I got one more of the FB14 quilts basted and though the last one is ready, I ran out of pins and am ok moving through projects here. I cut the binding for the wedding quilt and that is next to go on by machine so it can be hand stitched. And now I need to cut borders for the MN WILD quilt and take it to the next step. I am still working on the back. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


I joined two larger pieces of batting so I can finish up the last of the FB14 projects. I have an appointment to baste on Thursday & will at least get one of two I am taking done. 

This morning, I cleaned the Eastern windows, doing the floors and moving plants around in front of them. I was reading some essays on what house cleaners typically do, and while this might have been OK to assign mine as a task, it was more efficient that I did it myself. In moving things around, I created a sort of plant setup in the windows that would be open to show my kitchen at night for anyone driving or walking by. I will feel just a little more comfortable being out there and usually I am anyway. This is a gated community and most residents are lights-out by 9 PM.

I also dug a hole and sunk a Butterfly Bush (which I hope will eventually be this lush and attract such beauties) in the Eastern garden, and did a fair amount of garden maintenance while outdoors. 

I wonder why I am tired. 

I am finishing up a fifth of the Dr. Seuss mug rugs. I have 6 more to make and am learning as I go. I need to find the designated fabric for the binding on the wedding quilt and get that done. It is to go out on Tuesday (my PO / shipping day each week).

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Somedays I wonder there the time goes. It surprises me when I come here to blog that a day or more has passed. I do quilt every day. Some form of it. I think the challenge that I face is that this system, while it works, is still not my Mac. Whine here.

I worked on a set of 4 Dr. Seuss / Grinch mug rugs and have one of the four with binding on it. Fabric for Grinch is brighter than a lot that I have and what I used didn't please me so I think this might have been why I didn't take pics. Whine.

And that is another issue. Getting them from camera to screen and then here is such a long process. Whine.

I finished machine quilting the wedding quilt and just need to check threads and add the binding. I bought a card today and so might have it ready to ship on Tuesday.

Good goddess.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Not a Machine Gal

I love it when my mechanical things work. When they don't, I freak. Today, I examined my quilted stitches on the first half of the wedding quilt to find that the tension on a row would be fine and then suddenly it went all wrong for a couple of inches. Not every row, not all the time. I set the stitch and expected it to hold. It didn't.

I've been learning patience.

This is an example of what happens. I have choices to make and have been working on flowing, not stressing. Playing with perfection and turning on myself to blame and shame is becoming a behavior of my past. Yet, in truth, it is there when this happens. I say, 'Why didn't you examine a row before going forward'? well, what good would that do if the tension held in an erratic way?

The other choice is to go back, pull out the erratic stitches, pin it and restitch. And yes, checking much more closely than I had done is probably a good idea.

There are no photos of the repair. It just needs doing.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Quilt Sizes

When a quilt is one of a kind, the size is variable. I wasn't sure about the changes made on the MN WILD quilt because it finishes at 99 long by 75 wide. I want borders on it yet too.

I went to two different quilt measurement sites to determine my next steps. The first one is Quilter's Paradise, the site I use for all the Calculators.

The second site gave me standard quilt measurements used in the stores by commercial manufacturers for all beds from crib to CaliKings, that include mattress sizes, comforters, coverlets, and bedspreads: standard-quilt-sizes

What I know about people receiving a homemade quilt is that they rarely understand what they got, how to care for it and why it is not 'perfect' the way they could get in a store selling pre-fab quilts made in China for pennies. Even though I am shopping from my closet, I might still need to buy supplemental fabrics (good fabric is $10-15 a yard), thread (ranging from $5-10 a spool), and at least a $25 bag of batting to complete the quilts. And shipping for the average quilt is around $20. And then, what is my time worth? $10 an hour? $20? My iron & sewing machine take electricity. I have a huge investment in tools that do need replacing from time to time. It is an expense!

So in truth, when someone tells me they bought a used quilt for $10 in a thrift store, or found one at Walmart for $50 that matches their color scheme, part of me wants to scream. Yet, I quilt for myself because I love it for every reason a person picks up a piece of fabric. All I can do is hope that the person who receives a quilted project of mine likes it. Loves it maybe.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mystery Fabric Challenge

Someone once told me that yesterday's answer has nothing to do with today's problem. Making connections that are alive and breathing are the only real way to move forward with life.

One of the swaps I joined was hosted by another quilter who sent out 6" squares of random fabric to participants, who then, were to make something using that piece in combination with other fabrics. I got a piece of pink with cupcakes on it. Not my style either way.

I went through my 6" pattern files for ideas to make mug rugs (yes, also for those Dr. Seuss ones I offered), and found this. It let me trim down the square to 5" and add brown and red, which ARE more in my stash as colors. I used a decorated stitch to simulate appliqué quilting and think it is sweet. I think that my assigned partner will enjoy having this and I made a connection to two other quilters in a way that was easy for me to accomplish.

Onto the other quilts now over the weekend. More joining on the MN WILD quilt and machine quilting for the wedding quilt. I've made a basting appointment for Thursday and hope to have the pins free by then to do one of the last FB14 quilts.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Layout on 2nd Half

I appreciate having the larger tables to work on in the clubhouse and got the second half of the MN WILD quilt laid out. 

One row (2nd from the bottom in this pic) was really odd and almost every block was turned incorrectly. It is ripped and pinned, and the other rows pinned by pairs. Its a bit longer than it is wide, but until it gets put together as a complete top, I am reserving my thoughts about it. The draft I made of it should be proportional. Very much the puzzle, this one. It will be a relatively larger quilt too. 

There was a larger piece of batting left from the wedding quilt and may be enough to join with other scraps and will let me finish the last of the FB 14 quilts. 

I spent most of the day finishing up the Hallows gifts for my Grandchildren and got them packaged for shipping on Friday. The Hallows 'stuff' can get put away til next year and anything that comes from Swap-bot will simply be fresh when it is opened again.

My next project is a half dozen Grinch characters as mug rugs. The fabric I have only shows one Grinch, but included n the piece is the tree, Cindy Lou Who and Max, Cindy and her Parents, and a train, which make 5 different images, all of which I think are pretty cute for the season.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Swap Projects

I shipped off a number of quilts and swaps; some went to the Post Office and some were shipped FEDX depending upon the size and weight of the package. And later in the afternoon, I got a call from the friend I gave the Heart of Music quilt to. It came at a time that her spirits needed lifting and brought the joy of receiving an unexpected package.

The next project I worked on was an apron, again made from scraps. It is a Hallows print on those smaller stripes, easy to construct. I've made several with this simple pattern, with longer ties than is called for so that it will be a fitz-all. The swap is for #12 in the series and is for Cooking/Baking.

The other one I made is for A Pouch of Potions. It was supposed to be a handmade drawstring pouch that is at least 4x6, containing specific things within it, which I have yet to find and include. I didn't have a pattern for it but have seen enough pouches like it to know how to put it together. This one measures 6x6 laid out. It was a scrap I just folded in half for the pouch part and then folded the ends over to create the channels for the ribbon drawstring. It was supposed to be scary, yet I don't really have scary prints and this will have to do.

It makes me laugh to think of all the projects I am making with the fabric in my closet and see how much fabric there is left to use up, as well as how easily what is there fits into something for someone. 

I also made the first of the Dr. Seuss mug rugs. My camera is in the quilting bag that I am taking to the clubhouse so I can use it to work on the MN WILD layout. Pic to follow. I really love the mug rug with the fussy cut Grinch and do plan to make a bunch of them up. If I can get a number of them done, I might make the offer on Facebook if folks are interested. It used up a lot of different scraps including batting and didn't take that long to complete.

This computer setup is not my IMac. I know. Whine. Right? I took a photo of Rex's Crow quilt, but am not sure where it might be on this computer. I've ordered a new keyboard and mouse for it because the one I am using is for the Mac and while I was able to set it up on this one, the mouse doesn't work as a plug-in and sometimes the keyboard will not work. Good goddess, I hate the war between Mac and PCs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

And the Season Shifts

While I am finishing up several quilts that are all ready to be basted, machine quilted and have binding added, I know that I will want to spend time with smaller projects before year end.
I really enjoy Swap-bot because of all the ideas I get to create and share. Last night I made a list of these things and started to pull fabric from bins in my closet. Sometimes, I make these items for family. Its pretty inspirational.

What I have ready to make are first: A Hallows apron. My simple FQ pattern uses up several fabric pieces for the body of the apron, a pocket, a ruffle at the bottom and the waist band and ties. It is an easy apron to make, reminding me that I started aprons for my Granddaughters I have yet to finish.

Secondly, there is another simple swap is for a scary draw-string goodie bag. It has to be at least 4x6. I found a green fabric with witches on it. Not really scary but will do. I only needed help understanding the folding of the top channel for the draw-string, and I found an easy tutorial, complete with various sizes: easy-drawstring-bag/

Then there is Dr. Seuss. I bought two of these kits on an early sale and plan to make them for Nephew's who have small children. The kits each have a yard of fabric meant for the back. A spectacular print like they sent should not be hidden, so I decided to use another holiday fabric for the backs and use this print for other things.

The swap I joined was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the death of Dr. Seuss. I am going to cut off one of the images and make it into a mug rug for the swap, and then if it turns out ok, will make some for small gifts for friends. The images are crazy-cute. I have a lot of small batting pieces and can use other scraps to create them.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Blocks into Rows

They believed they could and they did. I believe I can too. 

The small blocks for the MN WILD quilt are joined into 16 rows. Now, the challenge comes to ensure that they form the quilt swirl pattern. I don't have enough space on either my floor or queen size bed to do a full layout that makes sense to me.

I don't have the eye for puzzles. It will take me longer to figure out the rest of the layout than it might another person who does puzzles and knows the strategy. This first half is completed, and so next, the remaining 8 rows, starting with #9 to match what is finished have to go on row by row. It might be easier to do it differently, however, I would rather not rip and re-do. Patience. Right? Yah, right.

My morning was spent packaging this week's worth of boxes for shipping out that include quilts and Swap-bot exchanges. I am working on the Hallows gifts for the Grandkids, walking project station to project station. Lots of little small things.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Two FB14 Quilts Remain

Both of the quilts are Fall-themed and actually both have tops and backs finished. They wait for batting/basting/binding and then will be out the door as soon as they are finished. Sometimes it seems that quilting allows me to keep moving. Intellectually, visually, physically, creatively. All sorts of things have become possible for me.

Yet, in the course of my work, I have come to see how energy wanes in any given day. Luckily, with this fabric art, there are parts of it that allow me to sit in the comfy loves eat and hand stitch. I have come to the place of delegating tasks to myself and finding new and better ways to do things, such as going into the clubhouse to work on 2 lunchroom tables rather than on my floor.

Today, like some earlier ones, is a day that I have nothing to show in photos. Just because there are no pics doesn't mean it didn't happen. Quilting is also teaching me to be gentle with myself. I am sure I have a lot of internal conversations about what I could have done better or what wasn't good enough, but I remember a local horsewoman/quilter said to hang your quilt over a fence, and ride a fast horse past it to see how it looks. 

They are supposed to wrinkle more with each washing and comfort those will love who cuddle under them. They do.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Part of the Plan, Part of the Quilt

OK, so that is a paraphrase from the Pirates movie that was really the quote, 'part of the ship, part of the crew', yet it works here too. I loved those movies and remember how this phrase was meant to say that there is a completion to being 'part of' anything. It is that sense of belonging that we have as members of our groups, families, culture, country. Each part, each person matters.

I laid out half the rows for the MN WILD quilt and the columns for the RAINBOW BABY back for the wedding quilt. The pattern did not have the size for the pieces that fit here. It shows them in the picture on page one of the instructions. Laying out was the only way to see there was something missing. Then I noticed a top and bottom edging in the photo that was also not in the pattern. This one was easy.

The swirl layout is more complex. I did 8 rows which make the quilt top half way done. This swirled ribbon effect is hard for me to see with my naked eye, but the photo revealed an arm of the swirl (in the middle of this pic) that got turned, also easy to fix. This is also half way pieced. The errant seams are ripped and ready to re-pin and re-piece for the next step on both quilts.

I have to say that this step of laying out and checking was part of the plan. I am not good doing puzzles and need to check my work before going too far. I am happy with what I found and how few re-dos there actually are. Getting there.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Sraight-Line Piecing

This is not a glamorous part of quilting. It is not really behind the scenes as much as it is within the seams. The two quilts I am working on are in finishing stages, yet, those finishes are possibly weeks out. I've taken all those 'piles of fabric' photos and they are simply not worth looking at from anyone's standpoint.

My next steps with them is doing the layout and starting to join rows. Both are getting closer. 

I am also doing the hand sewing for the binding on one that will go out this coming week. It saddens me to notice my physical skills waning, yet they are. I must have gone over both sides of this quilt to clip loose threads at least two times each and still found more. Luckily they are long threads, so easier to see.

My lesson through all this is to keep doing what I can while I can and not get stressed if things are less than perfectly done. If I am not gentle with myself, who will be?