Sunday, April 5, 2020

A finish and a start

I am blessed to have a job that I can do from home, but I'll be honest, this past week was HARD.  On Thursday morning, I woke up weepy and despondent, feeling like everything was pointless.  I was in virtual meetings all day, every day last week, and my eyes and back and head were all aching as a result.  My husband's uncle, a reverend who officiated at our wedding twenty years ago and whom I just visited less than a month ago, is in the hospital on a ventilator and dialysis from COVID-19.  My twin sister's husband was laid off; my brother is likely to be laid off soon.  My other sister's husband is an ER doctor, putting himself at risk of infection and bringing it home to his family, including my mother, every day.  I keep having to put things into perspective to keep from being overwhelmed by the uncertainty.  I know there are many out there who are affected much worse than I am by all of this.

So, in my spare moments, I sew.  I finished piecing my Floral Purge top, which I am hoping to make into a patchwork duvet cover.  Of course, the wide muslin that I ordered to finish it off has been delayed in delivery - hopefully it will arrive this week.  And it rained almost every day this week, so it was a struggle to get a photo with decent lighting.  I don't have any floor space big enough to lay this 92" x 92" top down so I commandeered my sons into being quilt holders.

To reward myself for persevering and finishing up a UFO, I started a new project, Bonnie Hunter's Unity Sew-in-Place Quilt Along.  Of course, I changed up the colors...

And I read two cozy mysteries this week, Arlene Sachitano's The Quilt Before the Storm and Sally Goldenbaum's Murder Wears Mittens.

Finally, in advance of today's trip to the grocery store (hopefully I won't have to go again for another two weeks), I made myself a face mask, and then made seven more for my boys and husband, as well as my twin sister and her family since they live so close.
My son donned a mask, hoping to go to the store with me.  He was pretty disappointed when I made him stay home.
I'm dreading the return to Zoom meetings in the morning, but the forecast is calling for 60 degree temperatures and some sunshine, so I will be sure to spend my lunch hour outside.

We're going to get through this, right?

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Progress...and setbacks

I've been plugging away at my Floral Purge quilt top.  I was feeling pretty good about having three borders done as well as two thirds of the center.  With the dorms closed I don't have access to large common room floors, and with all the rain we are having, I couldn't lay everything out on the grass outside, so I had to make do with the living room floor.  Truly, I don't have any floor space large enough to lay out a quilt of this size (90x90) and my design wall isn't large enough either. 

But, of course, when I laid it out, just like my photo in my last post, I saw my mistakes (I fixed the muddy spot, by the way.  I figured, I have the time, so why not?).  Anyway, I see that the bottom corners of the two side borders are wrong, so now I'll fix those.  I'm glad I'm not on a deadline, because this one is taking much longer than I anticipated.  It continues to grow on me, though.  Maybe I don't dislike florals as much as I thought.

Work was manageable last week, but I can already tell that the increased screen time is going to be hard for me, both hard on the eyes and hard for my focus.  Thank goodness that the days are warming up so I can go out for daily walks.  And thank goodness that I live somewhere remote enough that social distancing is a breeze.  I try to limit the time I spend reading up on what is happening out in the world - I could make myself crazy worrying about it all.

Be well, everyone. 

I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap and Monday Making.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Floral Purge

Nine years ago, Bonnie Hunter came to my quilt guild and led a workshop on her Scrappy Mountains Majesty pattern.  I had already made a quilt using that pattern, so while I attended, I played around with my blocks, hoping to make something different.  I pulled that UFO out again last week, and started playing around with it again.  I realized that I had the capacity to make a flimsy that is about 90" square with the blocks I had cut out, which is exactly the size I've been looking for to make a duvet cover, so this quickly became my top priority project.

While I started the project as a way to purge my stash of old-fashioned florals, the more I work with this, the more they are growing on me.  The individual fabrics themselves still don't really appeal to me, but I'm liking the way they are coming together. 
Ugh!  See that muddy patch in the bottom right?  Why do I only notice these things in photographs - AFTER it has been sewn together???

I went back to work today...but since we are working from home these days, it means I was still in my sewing room/home office, but I spent it on the computer instead of sewing.  When I emerged from a day of virtual meetings and phone calls, it was to this winter wonderland...except my calendar now says spring!  I'm not excited about this turn of events!

But, once I was done with work for the day, I was able to turn my attention back to sewing - no dorm duty to worry about since the kids are all at home.  And I was smart enough to put dinner in the crockpot this morning before my first meeting even began, so I was FREE to play for the rest of the day!

And if you played along with the quilty adoption, please know that I have emailed Joyce, Joy, Sharon, Becky, Maggie and Mari to send me their addresses so I can send out their tiny adoptees.  I'll pop them in the mail as soon as I hear from you.

Be well, everyone!

I'm linking up with Oh Scrap and Monday Making.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Yours for the taking - Quilty Adoption Event

I've been participating in this event for years now.  What a great feeling to free up some of my creative space while giving someone else a head start on a new project!  Thanks, Cynthia, for hosting!

My offerings this time around are pretty small - plentiful, but small.  As in, if you don't like tiny piecing, these probably won't appeal to you.  And while they won't free up a whole lot of physical space for me, I will feel so much better if they get put to use somewhere.  The only restriction on who can win is that I will only ship to the US and Canada (sorry, friends across the pond and elsewhere!).  Leave a comment letting me know which entry(ies) you want and I will pull the names of winners on Sunday, March 22 with a random number generator if more than one person is interested in any given offering.

A. First off, we have the 52 extra 2.5" scrappy yellow and neutral 4 patches left over from my Good Fortune (2018 Bonnie Hunter Mystery) Quilt.  Eight of them have been sewn into 16-patches, but they can be disassembled...

B.  And then there are the 115 1.5" gray and scrappy bonus triangles that I cut off (and sewed) from a baby quilt I made in 2013.

C. You're going to see a theme here...more bonus triangles!  I really hate throwing anything away, and I love tiny piecing!  I just never seem to get around to using my bonus triangles!  Here are 42 1.5" patriotic HST in a blue with white stars and a flag fabric left over from a quilt that I had my students make in a summer camp quilting class sometime between 2013 and 2016 (hmmm...can't find a photo).

D. Surprise!  More bonus triangles!  These 118 scrappy red, white and blue HST trim down to 1.5", and come from a RWB star quilt that I never finished.  (which reminds me, I should pull that out and work on it!  I started it in 2015.)

E. In 2016 I had customers who came into my shop sew blocks for a community quilt, Arkansas Crossroads, which then was raffled off to raise money for a local charity.  These 146 white (Kona) and scrappy 1.5" HST are left over from that project.

F. And finally, some more bonus triangles, but these trim to a whopping 2"!  These 52 white and solids HST are left over from some Block Lotto blocks I made in 2012.  Time to let them go, right?

Won't you please give these little fellas a home?  Maybe there is a mini quilt or a doll quilt in your future.  Or maybe these can make a pieced border for something.  Or perhaps they can make pinwheels to form the center of other blocks.  Lots of possibilities here!

Check out other adoptees at Cynthia's blog.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Revisiting Mill Girls

My family has cabin fever, but I swear, I was made for social distancing!  As long as the food doesn't run out, I could stay home and read and sew and knit indefinitely!  It's scary out there with so many people getting sick; I am happy to keep my own company for a while, and creating keeps my mind off worrying about the future.

Actually, this time has me revisiting lots of UFOs from my past.  One of my favorites is Mill Girls, which I started in February 2016.  When I realized I was out of background material, I kinda stalled out.  Today, I pulled it out and realized I had enough for two more blocks using the background material from the original blocks so I sewed them up.

I now have 9 blocks, enough to make a baby quilt, if I want.

But honestly, I love this pattern so much, I want something bigger that I can use!  I have these other WOW fabrics - are they similar enough to mix them up in there and make more blocks?

I don't know.  Maybe it works since it is a scrap quilt, but maybe I should keep the background constant since there are so many different scraps in there.  What would you do?

I'm linking up with Oh, Scrap and Monday Making.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Hitting the reset button

This winter, life has been crazy hectic!  I've been squeezing some sewing time in while running full speed at work and parenting my teenage boys (who are relentlessly creative about finding ways to get into trouble). But then, a week ago, it all came grinding to a halt.  My heart goes out to all whose health and/or livelihood is affected by this current crisis.  Luckily (knock on wood), my family is healthy and we are on vacation from school anyway, so our lives haven't been that disrupted.  My kids may be bored, but honestly, apart from this being a scary pandemic, this time at home has been a dream come true for me!

I read the entire book club book BEFORE the book club meeting for next month!  That right there is a sign that these are crazy times!  While I read A LOT (I've read or listened to 17 books since January 1), I somehow never seem to find time to read the book club selection!

I've also been sewing up a storm while listening to audiobook after audiobook.

I've pulled out my Grandmother's Flower Garden UFO and have done some hand sewing.

I've pulled out my Carpenter's Wheel UFO and made two more blocks.
Can you see that a couple of my muslin pieces are a different, lighter muslin?  Oh well!
I finished my 2018 Temperature Quilt and now just need to figure out borders.
A pretty mild year!  I have LOTS of blue left over (blue was for cold!)
I made a couple more blocks for my String Shadows UFO.

I sewed a baby quilt top, and am currently it done?  Does it need borders?

I pulled out my leftover border blocks from my Sew Many Strips quilt and made two of the corner blocks so I can use this border treatment for another quilt - who knows what I'll put inside?

I've made a total of 11 Jewel Box Stars blocks so far as Leaders & Enders.

There is so much scrappy goodness that I can hardly choose what to work on at any given time.

In the meantime, I'm keeping calm, sleeping in, talking long, slow walks with the dog, and appreciating this time to hit the reset button.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

This is a first!

These past couple of weeks, I've been sewing up a storm!  Every spare moment, I've been at the machine or the ironing board or cutting table.  For the first time in the three years I've been doing Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilts, I'm completely caught up!  Maybe I'll actually finish one!
Clues 1-7 DONE for Frolic!

Or maybe not - I still haven't finished On Ringo Lake or Good Fortune, but I haven't given up hope yet.
Good Fortune still needs three more borders added - I love the look of pieced borders, but I hate adding them!
On Ringo Lake just needs to be assembled, but I don't love the colors so my motivation is low.
I've been finishing lots of other things lately, though.  I've read half a dozen books in the last couple of weeks, and I finished several knitting projects for gifts this year.
Matching hats for my little boy neighbors who love everything I wear in rainbow colors.

Socks for my mom (at the bottom of her bed is a quilt I made her about 12 years ago - another Bonnie Hunter pattern - and on the bed is a flannel & denim rag quilt I helped her make for herself).
I hope this creative finishing streak continues - I have LOTS of works in progress that I would love to see come to completion!