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I'm a long-time fundraiser for public media. I'm a news hound. I think politics is fascinating and horrifying at the same time. I love my dogs more than I can tell you. I love the challenge of learning and making new things. My favorite part of a new project is the planning and learning! I'm not afraid to fail! I LOVE color!
It poured here all evening so that gave me more time to get a start on my new quilting project. The dogs are not happy that we didn’t get our regular walk tonight. Luckily, we did get a two mile walk in this afternoon. But that’s not enough for any of us. We have a week or so of cloudy but dry weather coming up.
After dinner I gave the dogs chewies to keep them occupied and hunkered down in my sewing room. I finished the first three blocks for this quilt.
I wanted to finish four blocks, but I was tired and made mistakes that I had to pick out on the third block. So I decided it was time to wind down with a little TV instead.
I have to say… I’m really happy with where this is going. I always have some difficulty in picturing what a quilt is going to look like once I’ve selected my fabrics. I was thinking these blocks were going to read darker. And I’m really happy with the red as the diagonal center in each block. I think I’ll see some interesting color blocks appear once I get more blocks done and up on the design wall.
I made four full strip sets tonight. That’s the most time consuming part of making these blocks. I really like to be careful and make sure my seams are accurate and that I press them nice and straight. That means that my blocks will go together nice and easy.
Here’s the first strip set on my ironing board. Holy cow! Look at all that gorgeousness!
See that big old metal ruler on my ironing board? I use that to make sure my strip sets are straight as I press them. Using a ruler has really helped make my strip sets more accurate and much nicer to work with.
I actually sewed the first block together wrong… and that was after taking a photo of it laid out and admiring it for a while. Why didn’t I see it at this point?
The good thing about making a mistake early on is that it was a great learning experience and now I have a really good system for deciding which seam to pick out in each section.
And speaking of unpicking… I read something recently that said that seam rippers do wear out. They get dull after use and you need to replace them. The seam ripper I’ve been using is a green plastic one that I got after I graduated from college in 1983. I started using it tonight and it was pulling the thread rather than cutting it. So I grabbed a new one that my brother gave me several years ago. It’s a beautiful one a friend of his made out of Myrtle wood. It has a seam ripper on one end and a stiletto on the other end. Instead of a cap, you just pull out the sharp end, turn it around and push it into the handle part.
The sharp ripper really made a big difference! So I can confidently recommend that you occasionally purchase a new seam ripper!
I’ve already selected all the strips for the sets that I need to make. So now I just need to grab a set of six strips and start sewing.
I’ve cut and selected enough strips to make about 46 blocks. That way I’ll have a few extra in case I end up with some that I don’t like.
These blocks will finish at 12 inches square. I’m planning on making this quilt 6 blocks by 7 blocks, which means I’ll need 42 blocks. It will end up about 72 x 84 inches. That’s a nice throw size quilt.
I think this quilt will be a lot of fun to make because each block will be unique. That will keep it interesting.
I will have about 12 inches or so left over in each strip set — not enough to make another block. So I’ll have to come up with a project to use that all up.
I’m itching to get moving on my next quilt. I almost felt panicked Friday when I thought I hadn’t decided what to make next.
I’ve been busy cutting 2.5 inch strips from all Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. Here are 133 2.5 inch strips. 133 unique fabrics.
I’ve wanted to make a quilt with a bunch of different fabrics for awhile. I’m excited to see how this will turn out.
It took a long time to cut all these strips. And now I’m wishing I had cut multiple strips of each while I was at it. Oh well. Live and learn. Look at this huge pile of slivers that I cut to even up the edges before cutting my strips.
All of these 2.5 inch strips will be made into a scrappy trip around the world quilt following Bonnie Hunter’s tutorial. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. I’ll start sewing strip sets tomorrow night.
I decided that my scrappy batik 16-patch needed one more row. I like a throw quilt to be nice and generous in length… I don’t want to have to choose between having my shoulders OR my feet covered. I want enough quilt to cover them both. So I dug through my scraps again and made a few extra blocks for the additional row and moved some other blocks around a little.
I’m pretty happy with how this looks now, but will take a few days before I start sewing the rows together so I can tweak a little.
Here’s the black and white version.
I can see some things in this photo that are bothering me. But overall, I really like this quilt.
Rico had his sheep herding trial debut today up near Olympia, Washington. He was such a good boy. It was a great experience for the first time out. Here’s a video of one of his runs.
Sorry for all the yelling. It’s very exciting and stressful when you’re out there and are sheer dog and sheep flying all over the place!
Here we are waiting our turn. I feel like we look relaxed, but my heart was pounding out of my chest! I’m pretty sure I don’t deserve this dog.
I took advantage of all my screen time today and pinned the final two rows of my blue KFC 16-patch blocks together. I sewed it all together this evening.
I’m happy to be able to put this one in the finished pile. My plan is to use the dark blue millefiore wide backing that’s coming out next month. This quilt will probably be a holiday gift for a friend who absolutely loves blue.
It was really fun to work with a color way that I don’t typically use. And the wonderful thing about Kaffe fabrics is that even though these are all blue, there’s a lot of other color in there. I just love looking more closely at each block to see how the fabrics and colors play together.
Since I had this quilt off the design wall I went ahead and threw the batik 16-patch blocks up so I could get an idea of how they all look together.
I’m really happy with this collection of blocks, but there are some that I really don’t like. So I’m thinking I will dive into my batiks and find some fabrics to make at least four different blocks. I will look at this for a couple days before I decide to do that. But it’s pretty likely to happen.
Here’s a shot of these blocks in black and white. There are definitely a few things I want to change. I’ll give it a couple of days to ferment.
I have been in video meetings from 9 am to 5 pm for two days and have one more day to go. Yesterday I got very stir crazy. So I decided that today I wanted to have some hand work next to my desk to keep my hands occupied while my brain was working. So I looked around my sewing room last night and pulled out the green batik blocks that I made a few weeks ago. They had been stacked and labeled in rows.
I pinned all of these rows together during the meeting this morning and felt more at peace during a stressful and draining day.
And I got them all sewn together tonight, so this quilt top is done! This is the second quilt top I’ve finished in January
The blocks are tall so there are only five rows here. It went together quickly.
It’s funny, but I like this quilt better on this bed than I did on the design wall. There are some really pretty spots in this quilt top.
As I was pressing a section of this as I was putting the rows together I noticed how nice the back looks. I do like it when the back of a quilt looks almost as nice as the front. Even though it will never be seen, it gives me satisfaction to know that something looks nice.
I’m going to pin together the final two rows of blue 16-patch blocks tomorrow morning and hope to finish that top up tomorrow night. Then I can move the 72 scrappy batik 16-patch blocks to the bigger design wall.
The blue 16-patch and scrappy batik 16-patch quilt tops will be #14 and #15 that I’ve finished since we started isolation back in March.
It rained all day today. A constant soaking rain. So I was in the house all day.
I didn’t feel well last night and decided I needed some extra hours of sleep. I’ve developed some really bad habits during the pandemic and working from home. I’ve always been a night owl, but it’s gotten worse over the last few months. I’ve been staying up until 2:00 am every night. My body said “enough!” last night. So I took some Advil PM at around 8:00, fell asleep on the couch before 10 pm, and woke up around 1:00. I put myself to bed and set my alarm for 8 am. I didn’t hear the alarm at all and woke up at 10 am.
And I feel much better today. I needed those extra hours of sleep.
After breakfast I put on a big pot of chili. I’ve only got one container of chili left in my freezer and have been wanting to make a big batch.
It was wonderful to smell it simmering away on the stove for a few hours.
Knowing it was going to be rainy I planned to get a lot of sewing done today. I finished the remaining 34 scrappy batik 16-patch blocks. This photo shows half of the 72 blocks for this top. The duplicates of these are sitting on my cutting table.
Then I finished a small project I’ve been intending to do for a few weeks. A couple of years ago I made a bunch of “corn bags” for holiday gifts. These are flannel bags filled with feed corn that you heat in the microwave and use as a heating pad. The one that I use the most got a small tear in it a few weeks ago and has been leaking corn. So I have been wanting to make a new bag and reuse the corn from the torn one.
This is basically the width of a piece of flannel and is about 7.5 inches wide. I’ve sewn five sections and each is filled with corn. This is great to heat and drape over a shoulder or around an ankle. They’re also really nice to warm your hands or feet when you’re cold.
I filled each of the five sections with corn and then put in pins to hold the corn away from the top opening. Then I stitched the opening closed.
A lot of these bags are made with rice, but I prefer whole feed corn. It holds the heat longer than rice does. I buy 50 lb bags of it at the farm store.
After dinner the rain finally let up so I took the boys out for a three mile walk. The first two miles were really nice, but we got a little wet on the last mile. It was really nice to get out and move around a little after being house bound all day.
When we got back I dug in and sewed three rows of blocks on the KFC blue 16-patch quilt together, and sewed them into a section. So I have two sections complete — one with four rows and one with three rows. I have two more rows of blocks to sew together and then will have three horizontal seams to sew and this top will be done.
I had a very productive sewing session this evening!
I sewed two more rows of blocks on my KFC blue 16-patch quilt and sewed together the bottom four rows. So this quilt is 40% done. I should be able to get this completely assembled tomorrow.
Gah! I can’t get enough of these blue fabrics!
Here’s one full row on the ironing board.
I also finished up 38 of the scrappy batik 16-patch blocks and put them up on the design wall. I just wanted to see how they look together. This needs more blocks and some thought to how it’s laid out.
The duplicate of all these blocks are also sewn and ready to go up on the design wall once the rest of the 34 remaining blocks have been sewn.
This is going to be a fun quilt!
My sewing room has been overtaken by 16-patch quilts!
I got a lot done on this scrappy batik 16-patch tonight. I worked until almost 6:30 tonight, which is odd for a Friday night. It’s a pretty busy time. So I didn’t have a lot of time.
But I did get 38 of these blocks half way completed. This is the first 19 blocks and their duplicates. I will pin the center seam on the two block halves tomorrow and get them sewn together.
I had a two hour video call first thing this morning so I grabbed the block strips that I had cut last night and grabbed my pins and got these all pinned as I sat in that meeting.
Tonight I sat down at my Bernina with these stacks and sewed them all with chain piecing. Then I finger pressed each block half open. I’m a big fan of finger pressing these days! It went really fast.
Then I cut the remaining 17 strip sets into pieces. I got really brave and stacked up five sets and cut them all at once. This saves so much time!!! I had to take a picture of this because it was so pretty! This is the set of five strips that I cut at one time.
I think four strips is a good number for me though. At least for now. But I’ll keep pushing to improve.
Here’s the cut up strips. The piles contain duplicate blocks.
Then… I decided to sew the little left over scrap strips together into panels that I can sew into a pouch. I alternated the seams because I just didn’t want to match all those corners, and I wanted these to look casual and easy.
Here’s what one of these panels looks like before trimming it up.
I might combine these in a pouch or bucket with some indigo batik I have on hand.
This weekend I hope to make some good progress on sewing my blue 16 patch quilt top together. It looks like we may actually get some snow on Sunday. Even just an inch of snow can shut Portland down for days. I don’t think this will be one of those storms.
I recently joined a local modern quilt guild and my first meeting was tonight. Of course it was a Zoom meeting. I find it quite difficult to do these meetings on my personal time since I spend so much time on Zoom for work. This meeting was almost 2.5 hours long! There was a presentation by an art quilter and lots and lots of guild business.
I hurried and got a three mile walk in with the dogs after dinner and before the meeting. I didn’t have time to get much sewing done, but I did get some done.
During the meeting I pinned two rows of my blue 16-patch quilt together. I would have done more but I ran out of pins and didn’t want to get up to grab more. I got these two rows sewn together after the meeting.
Then I grabbed my stack of batik strip sets for a new 16-patch and started cutting the slices for the blocks. I was anxious to see these fabrics up on the design wall.
These blocks aren’t sewn together yet. Here’s all the pieces for the duplicate blocks.
I got really brave and tried cutting three sets at a time and it seems to have worked pretty well.
I won’t know for sure until I start sewing them together. It really saves a lot of time to do it this way. I have 15 more strip sets to cut and will get through those pretty quickly tomorrow nigfht.
Since the batiks are typically a little wider than other fabrics, I had a little more left over on the end of each strip set. I trimmed these all so they’re square but in varying widths. I laid them out on my ironing board to see how they looked. I’ll probably sew these together and put them into a zipper pouch.
And this photo reminds me that I recently purchased some muslin so I can get this stained mess off of my ironing board. Look how awful that looks! I have a padded ironing board cover under the muslin. I use elastic clips to hold the muslin on an change it when it gets bad. The muslin is pretty inexpensive and is a good way to preserve the life of the ironing board cover. This will be a project for this weekend.
Had a little bit of fun with Bender yesterday. He’s such a good sport!