Monday, June 18, 2018

And Now, The Back

Back of quilts that I make can be either another quilt made of scraps, which I am working hard to do, or it can be one piece made of 108" wide material, or like this one which is the look of a solid.

This pattern looks like chicken wire. It was selected for the quilt because the family raises chickens, though I think they let them have free range. It didn't really require any matching because of the pattern. Sometimes, the need is to match the repeats so that things line up. Personally, I like the back of the quilts against my body so that the top of the quilt can be top up and shows off the work. 

The back of the quilt is very important to finish things off. Earlier in my work, I tried some of the suggestions for backs using larger blocks and arranging them horizontally and vertically. While it worked to serve as a back, it didn't appeal to me as much. So now, I like joining smaller scraps into simple 9-patch blocks or just random rows.

Anyway, this back is done and both top & bottom are ready to sandwich and baste at the clubhouse. I need to finish the fabric bin and boxes, and get on with the BOMs.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Cutting Scraps

Once a quilt is pieced and ready to sandwich for basting, it is time to cut scraps into usable squares or strips. Its another one of my practices to stay organized. 
First of all, I just have one room for my studio & use the closet to store bins. Then, its all about retrieving pre-cuts to use them for backs or in some cases, creating a top. It is fun for me to see change that comes from adding new squares. I try to keep it simple on the back and just do random layouts.

I love how this top turned out. The gray I bought is the same color value as the other ones and makes a great third border. Of course photos never do the quilt justice. It is always more attractive in person. This quilt measures 73" square now & will take almost 5 yards for the back & 2/3 of a yard for binding.

It took me some time to get back into the passion of this fabric art after almost 5 weeks of not quilting. I am trying to do the work with Essential Tremors.  Being steady-handed is a huge challenge, so I AM working at a slower pace. Slowing down is meant to be less stressful. However, it is hard for me. 

I used smaller, narrow shavings to fill two cat blankets. Cats seem to like sitting on their own fleece blankets, so it becomes a nice gift. Usually shavings go in the trash, so this is one way to quilt green. These fleece pillows can be washed, & tossed after comforting little kitties.

This new method of pacing myself means doing more dedicated quilting. My to-do list is always at the side bar on this blog, with months, to help remind me of projects. I am still behind on the BOM's and hope to tackle them next. From now on, when I finish a quilt, I will offer it as is, rather than to make another and stress myself out.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

First Two Borders

The first two borders are some of the lighter gray prints, both of which I had. The last border is fabric bought yesterday in the big city. While the 'old' me would have continued until this top was completed, I am content to get this far and relax. In fact, after shopping again, and plans to attend a play at the local theatre, I am done for the day. 

Usually I would fret about the top yet have learned, over the years, if the fabrics coordinate before being cut, they will coordinate on the quilt. The fabric almost has a chicken wire look to it, and so I did find a black with white for the back that looks more like chicken wire. It will be a nice balance. I also bought a dark gray thread to quilt with and think its going to be a lovely quilt when it is done. 

The lesson for this all is just to trust the process and that things have a way of working out.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Blue Not Gray

Sometimes when I select colors for a quilt, the quilt doesn't come out the way I planned. This one is still under construction, so the final look is yet to be determined. It looks blue and I really want it to look gray.

It is a 16-block Log Cabin. So the last couple of days have been spent constructing the blocks and piecing them. It measures 55.5" square before the light gray border. That border will only look like half an inch when the next one is attached, which will be the same fabric as the first light on the blocks. Then I have enough of other gray fabrics to make a second and perhaps another small third before adding the focus fabric for the last border and binding.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Little Boxes

With another fabric box done, it seems like I got on my way to quilting again!

This one is made 'traditionally' as I knew how with two 11" squares & batting, stitched, quilted, then corners sewn & hand stitched, finishing with buttons on all 4 sides.

Admittedly, the next style I am planning is something I haven't done before, so it is a bit intimidating. However, with two of them completed for the October birthday gift, I could fill them with odds & ends to demonstrate their usefulness, and call it a gift as they are. If I get the other one done, good, and if not, okay. They need to ship out mid-September to get there on time. 

I shifted focus to a Log Cabin quilt planned for an anniversary gift in August. I love the Log Cabin pattern and bought more than enough fabric for 16 blocks. However, I measured what I bought without the pattern to guide the purchase & did not really have enough for borders & the back. Some pieces were just too small and some were more than I needed. Oh well.

There is enough to get started and takes a thoughtful layout. Its going to be an interesting quilt because the blue is on one side and three shades of gray for the other. Two of the grays sort of blend but I am ok with that if they do. Every time I make one of the Log Cabins, they turn out so very different and are always appealing. The colors and layout really change it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What IS Going On?

I cut some of the stiffer lining/batting to use as sides for some fabric boxes.

It is a start. This lining material takes up a lot of space in the batting bin and will serve as a great stiffening agent. I haven't used this kind of batting for the fabric boxes before and will start with the smaller ones first. I laughed at my thought process because if it doesn't work, I will keep whatever I make, which is very unusual for me. Usually I give away everything.

The next thing I need to do is actually start sorting again. It seems like I do this all the time, however, my fabrics have gotten sort of jumbled as I went on searches for things that match. One of the halting moments comes when I think I have fabrics for a block only to discover there is not enough. What I need to do with THOSE pieces is to trim them down and put them in the pre-cut bins.

Maybe doing this behind the scenes work will help me get started quilting again.

Monday, June 11, 2018


I tried catching up to the BOMs without much luck. 

I sent off the mug rug for the swap without taking a photo.

It feels like all my quilt projects are UFOs right now. I could step into a real whine-pitty-pot. 

Every project, be it gardening or scrap booking. Its all the same. Hard to get back to any of them. And why? Am I burned out? Maybe. I think its a matter of just doing one thing and doing the next thing. It is a matter of figuring out what is blocking my progress, my process, my plan. I want to finish these quilting projects. I want to finish the two scrapbooks. I want to write the letters, write the book. I do.

So what am I doing? For one thing, working in my life is I changed the daily cal count to 900 and though that is low for most people, it is what works for me. I can record each meal, each exercise, the water I drink. With this program, I am able to lower my carb count and raise the proteins I eat. I can see other nutrients and am eating so much more than usual even at 900 cals. 

The IPad provides me a place to list out what I want to do and delete what is done. Maybe this is enough for now. It helps. The IPad also helps me nap during the day, getting more sleep, which I need so much. Maybe the food and sleep are a huge start. Also, I am playing games. Me. Games. The games help with memory and with language.

I need to give myself a time frame to get back to the quilting projects. Not so much a deadline. Well, maybe yes. I just don't know and am going with the process.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Mug Rug

I am in a mug rug swap and tried something that didn't quite work for me to send. And, as a practice very new to me, I am keeping it.

I need one for now and this is fine. I like these colors and have it on my desk. Originally, I got 2 blocks from a woman in Italy which were finished too big for the quilt requirements, and so they were set aside. One of the blocks remains and could work as a mug rug later. 

Meanwhile, I need to spend time with the BOMs that are ready to cut. I find that I am becoming more gentle with myself as far as the projects I want to do. I've got them all in a pile and will tackle them one at a time to finish one at a time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

For All Those BOMs

Sorting colors to work with the sampler BOM quilts I am doing takes time. For one thing, each block must be different. I mixed up a couple of them and did two in a similar color way so one needs to go elsewhere and be re-done for the quilt.

It also meant finding colors to do the holiday pillows. I even found a gray 'frost' for the Befana hair figures. The center of the medallion quilt was folded into other fabrics, which made me search through all the bins. Yet, there it was, in the bin labeled for it. Hidden. If I learned anything, again, once more, it is to label and leave notes to self. Clearly, the simple notes work if I keep at the projects, but when I leave them for even 5 weeks, all bets are off.

My plan is to do one block at a time and cut those scraps down to add to the pre-cut bin. I need to find simple ways to minimize the confusion. Yes, the fabrics are getting down. What is happening is that I am consolidating sorted bags. Some bags are sorted by colors, some by potential projects. None of those have labels or notes. Gotta take time to do that step. So today, the colors for the blocks are sorted. Good.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Floral BOM

I got this one done correctly and can set it aside with the others. Of course there are more to catch up on, and this is a start. 

The block pattern is called Swing in the Center. What I actually did next was to label the patterns with the group names so I can keep them organized. I thought it belonged to the group called BOM Club. However, it was for a different BOM group with Mystery Designers, which is fine because it did need to be finished.

All these BOMs were meant to be scrappy samplers, so this one just slips into the correct quilt and I go on.

Taking off for so long cost me even with notes to self. Some of the notes are confusing and I have to compare blocks what I have with the printed patterns and get them set for the correct quilts.

I don't want to get ahead of myself by listing what I think needs doing, or start fretting over what isn't done. I joined, maybe, too many BOMs this year. 1. Floral Friendship (need Rosebud and Weathervane blocks); 2. Exclusive BOM Medallian (need rounds 4, 5, & 6); 3. Mystery Designer (need Darting Birds); 4. Secret Solids (hasn't started yet); 5. Stellar Elegance from TQC Mystery (which I bought 3 shades of yellow fabric / four clues have already been given with one of them being corrected many times already). Then I took on an anniversary Log Cabin gift, a Bargello pattern, fabric boxes and some holiday Befana pillows to make for my Grandkids. I might be forgetting something here and want to check and re-check what I am doing.

I went to the BOM sites, printed off the pages of patterns, made a note which group is sponsoring which BOM Mystery, and will just do what I can from that point. Luckily, I kept up with the Daily Blocks for the Mood quilt. Because of it, I feel so accomplished!!!

Continuing my research, because my life is changing so much, I looked up & calculated how many calories are burned for quilting. Now, I have seen quilters who never move from their chairs & set up ironing boards, & cutting mats so they don't have to move. Not me. I am in constant motion. Or at least I was. 

Anyway. It starts with your body at rest or doing no activity. Then add & multiply height, weight & age with the formula. That means sleeping, sitting still. All of that. What then? well, then, calculate motion by light activity, all the way to extra active. At light activity, multiply the formula result by 1.2 or 1.375. Be honest. Why else do this? Each pound of muscle burns 75-100 calories per day. So how much is muscle, how much fat?  Regardless of the numbers, I plan to enter in 98.6 calories burned per hour for quilting. I don't care if it is accurate. It is just a number. They are all just numbers. What I am using this program for is to see how many carbs & proteins I eat per day so I can reduce carbs & increase proteins, as well as record how much water I drink.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Beautiful Downtown Burbank.

That name came from some TV shows long ago. Yet, Burbank got on board, planted trees and made it lovely. Of course there is still freeway construction making it look junky, but the inside town part is nice. 

I stayed near one of the shopping centers so got to Target, Joann's, & Petco to buy items harder to get in my small town. I am not a shopper and am in the phase of life that is more minimizing rather than hunting/gathering.

Some of the research I did over the weekend included getting a better handle on this new phase of life. In the past, I think I operated with the sympathetic system of fight/flight/freeze. Well, my body slipped into the other system, which is called parasympathetic and revolves more around rest and recovery. I have been fighting with that and feeling like I was slacking. The more I read, the more I see that I didn't include that part in my life and so now that is my single solution / soul-ution to health.

The local pool started water aerobics in April that continue through the end of summer. While it is late, it is also a drop in class and after being in the hotel pool, I know I need to do this.

I caught up on the BOD for the Mood quilt back I am making and will finish this current row soon, and can add the rows. I plan to get outside and get another bucket of weeds pulled. The site is working to help me see how many carbs and protein I get. I am making modifications. I can't eat the full day's allotment of calories but do what I can. Changes.