Friday, October 18, 2019

Good Fortune is over and done

My Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from 2018 is DONE at last.

Picture is from prior to quilting... it's a little big for my design wall for another picture.  Binding is pink, because the intended recipient loves pink... I would have used purple or aqua, but pink is what she likes best.  Hope she likes it. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Some Weekday Sewing

Spent Tuesday night cutting border strips and sewing them together into one long strip.  My plan was to take them with me to class on Weds morning and cut them to size for the quilt.  I packed up everything EXCEPT the border strips and blithely drove to class.  When I got there, I couldn't find the borders, sigh.  I was glad I took a few other things with me to work on, but but all told, it didn't amount to much.  I went home early after spending most of Weds helping others with their projects.

When I got home, I found the border strips sitting right where I left left them.  I measured and cut them to length.  I traced and all the appliques, fused them to fabric, cut out the shapes.  Thursday morning before my doctor's appointment, I fused all the shapes to the border strips, and did all the blanket stitching to secure them to the border strips.  I sewed the border strips to the quilt.  I grabbed the backing fabric, my machine and jumped in the car, rushing to make my doctor appt.

After the doctor, I headed to my Thursday night mini-group sew-in.  I sewed the backing to fit the quilt and got a picture of the finished top...

Here is the fabric I chose for the back:

While there, I trimmed the first of my HP quilts (the one with the mauve background - no pic of the quilted top yet though).   I will start working on the binding of that one soon.  It has to be done for a December birthday, which sounds like a long way off, but binding can go slowly.  

Not sure when I'll get to sew again.  I have a game on Friday midday, company coming on Friday evening, another game possibly on Saturday... maybe I can make the binding at least on Sunday or Monday. 

Seems like the older I get, the less time there seems to be in a day... but winter is coming... (longer days).  Oh if only it made a considerable difference!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Finishing a year-long project...

After working for a year on a project, there should be a celebration at the end...But because this quilt is destined to be a gift for a special person, I can't celebrate... at least not yet.  Besides, it's not finished - it gets borders on both sides... (no borders top or bottom - at least not planned ones).  The borders have yet to be made.

Despite no hoopla over the majority of the work being done, I am thrilled I have gotten it completed to this stage.  Can't wait to finish the borders and get it quilted.  I have a few more months to finish it... but time does fly, so I don't want to let it stall out.

I must say it's been a wild year working on this quilt... It's made me think a lot about the recipient and how much I hope that she takes some hope and heart from the messages in the quilt, and know how much love and caring we feel for her in our lives.  

On a side note, I finished that backing for 'Out of This World' - no picture yet, but it is done.

Not sure why I'm rushing to do all this work... I'm going to two back to back retreats (one retreat is the first 3 weekdays of November - Mon, Tues, Weds) , and the weekend following (Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun is the second retreat)... All this work and what is left to do at retreat?  I suppose I can put off doing the borders on this quilt til then, and make the backing for it as well (I have the fabric, just have to sew the pieces together).  However once I get inspired to do something, it's hard to put it down.  I do have 7 quilts that need bindings, but not sure I want to spend all 7 days doing bindings.   That'd make me crazy.... ok, crazier.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll have to start something new...

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Weekends are for Sewing!

I'm trying to balance my time a bit because sometimes it feels like my whole days are spent running errands, chasing paper trails and shopping.  Despite my involvement this weekend in a small 3-day online convention (gaming-related), I decided I wanted to reserve some time for sewing too. So far, so good... I sewed for about an hour yesterday and an hour so far today (Sunday).

Thursday, I sewed some square-in-a-square blocks for a mystery quilt I started last month.  Last night (Saturday), I trimmed them all and squared them up (a few were off by a bit).  Here's last month's block (the 'house' block on the right) and this month's two blocks (the two different sias blocks):

I liked my fabrics when I picked them, but I'm thinking i"m not so fond of them now... we'll see how it comes out...

Last night I pieced the blocks together to make the top of this mystery quilt-a-long by Pat Sloan.  I cut and sewed the inner border and attached it.  Today, I cut and sewed the outer border and put it on. 

Now, it is time to make a back for it... I have a space-walk panel to use for the back, but it needs to be bigger, so I'll be adding all the left-over fabrics from the top, and when those run out, I'll add anything that coordinates from my stash.

Having said that, I ran out, took the dogs for their rabies shots so they can get licensed this year, and then came home to the quandary of exactly how to make the panel bigger.  I thought about doing a log cabin sort of treatment around it, and decided against that... Since the panel was selvage to selvage, I decided to border the sides with selvage to selvage strips of various colors from leftovers from the quilt (with a couple of deviations from my stash - running low on some fabrics from the top).  Here is a picture of the back in progress...

Obviously, I still need to trim the side strips top left and bottom right, and then add some fabric to the top and bottom to center the panel vertically as well as horizontally.  Haven't decided yet how to do that.  Strips selvage to selvage will be too short, so maybe some squares?  or half-square triangles arranged in pinwheels, or perhaps some flying geese?   Suggestions are welcome!

Mixed Media Applique

A question was asked in an online group of which I'm a member regarding mixing cotton and wool appliques on cotton background.  I can't do wool applique (allergic), so I substitute bamboo felt, which comes in many lovely colors and has the thickness and general feel of wool, tho it lacks the marled look that wool can have.  I love working with it, and use it frequently, combining the bamboo and cotton in the same quilt frequently...   

Here are some examples of quilts in which I've combined cotton and bamboo felt.  The first is called 'Pumpkin Hill', a Bunny Hill design... I love squirrels and wanted to do this quilt the minute I saw the design.  THe brighter orange pumpkins are all bamboo felt.

This quilt is another Bunny Hill design (with squirrels of course).  It is called Henrietta Whiskers.  In this quilt, the stars and leaves are bamboo felt. 

So, my answer is, YES, you can combine the different thicknesses, textures and colors of mixed media in applique on cotton.

Monday, September 30, 2019


I made this quilt top over the weekend. 

Fast and easy applique and a little bit of piecing... easy peasy... and now I am stalled on the quilting part.  I made the back last night, and have to cut some batting to fit, pin it and quilt it... not hard, but I am procrastinating... Maybe hoping it will go away?... or quilt itself?... I am surrounding myself with other tasks, other things to do in avoidance of the quilting... why? 

I did see this article in this morning's NYT.  It addresses exactly the issue:

Like any modern office worker, my inbox every so often becomes an unwieldy mess of unanswered emails, half-written messages that need to be sent and more “Sorry I’m so late getting back to you!” notes than I ever thought I’d write. It’s usually fine, we all manage, that’s life.
But every so often, I have that one email I need to write but that I just can’t force myself to take care of. You know the type: It’s something you have anxiety about even after leaving the office, and you know you’re making it worse the longer you put it off. Maybe it’s not even an email. Maybe it’s a memo you have to write, a phone call you have to make, a meeting you have to set up, or whatever else.
I’m taking a wild guess here, but you probably thought of one specific thing on your to-do list while reading that last paragraph, right?
Psychologists call this kind of avoidance self-sabotage: It’s when we put off or ignore a situation or task to our own detriment because doing it would force us to confront our fears or anxieties. This often manifests itself in extreme procrastination (not that I’ve ever had problems with that), and there are many reasons we fall into these patterns.
Self-sabotage is particularly dangerous to our goals because it’s self-reinforcing. By putting off tasks we don’t want to do, we experience temporary relief at the thought of not having to do them, so the cycle continues.
The problem is, there’s really no trick for breaking out of that cycle: One way or another, you’re going to have to confront the thing you’re avoiding. You can, however, ease into it by focusing on self-compassionand going easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for putting it off for this long — that’s already happened and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just act now to set things right.
So today, just take care of it. For me that meant finally writing that email; the emotional burden it lifted was incredible. Start your week on the right foot by closing this article (after you finish reading it, of course) and getting started on that one thing. You’re going to feel so much better after you’ve dealt with it, I promise.
Once you’re done, tweet me the thing you accomplished at @timherrera or email it to me at tim@....
Have a great week!

Not sure I'd actually email him (I don't tweet), but I am inspired to get to work on what is vexing me...  I'm not afraid of quilting, just need to get to it.  I'm usually hesitant about design of the quilting, but once i get started, it all comes pretty easily.  

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Not Changing.... just NOPE.

So my last post, I insisted I wasn't changing this block:

Didn't want to do all that ripping and resewing... however... the more I thought about it, the more I just couldn't let it lie.  I did the ripping... and the resewing - and here is my new block:

OMG, cannot believe the change in it... I am SO glad I made the alteration to it (I won't call it a correction because technically, there was nothing wrong with it - it was all aesthetics).  I am content with it now.

I also finished a quilt... one of two anyway.  I made two of these "You Lucky Dog" quilts designed by Bonnie Sullivan.  I am almost done quilting the second one... the hanging sleeve, label and binding are ready to go on, just waiting for the last stitches of the quilting to be done.  It measures 44x48.  The original quilt called for a very dark green sashing.  I replaced that with the light rust color. 

Good Fortune is over and done

My Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt from 2018 is DONE at last. Picture is from prior to quilting... it's a little big for my design ...