Category Archives: Projects

Sewing Therapy and More

I found myself floundering the past week as I was working through emotions on the loss of my sister. She had been sick for a while and although her passing was imminent, it somehow doesn’t seem real when it actually happens. To help clear my mind, I went to my 2 1/2″ strip box and began to sew. Mindless sewing can be so very therapeutic!

A few hours of sewing resulted in this scrappy Hospice quilt. I cut a backing from a pretty printed fleece and hung both in my flimsy closet to be quilted another time. Of course, there’s many more strips to sew together for many more quilts!

Cooking is also therapeutic for me. After sewing, I made a batch of dough for a pizza. We are spoiled with homemade pizza and no longer order out for it. It was yummy and some is in the freezer for a quick fix dinner another night! That is always a win.

In the garden the red spider lilies were popping up in several places – so pretty and such joy!

I’ll be retreating this coming week in Blowing Rock and am so looking forward to it. Those coming are always such a joy. We sew, laugh, share and laugh some more. Lucky me.

Note: The 2021 retreats are full. You may put your name on a wait list.

Gifting a Quilt & Gifting a Fish (?)

Lots and lots of quilts reside in my home. They’re on quilt racks, beds, sofas, a cupboard and a few walls. It’s not wall to wall quilts, but it does seem wasteful to me that they are not giving warmth somewhere. I have gifted many, many quilts and now it’s time to gift more!

A long time neighbor of 30 years is moving to a town north of here. We’re very happy for this new chapter in her life, but she has been an excellent neighbor and friend and will miss her. Yes, I’m going to send her off with a quilt!

It brings me great delight to see a quilt move on to another home, rather than sitting my my quilt cupboard, aging without purpose.

My current project is a big stuffed fish! I made this for my kids when they were little and they wore it out completely. There were three more made as gifts many years ago. Now that I have a great-great niece, it’s time to make another. Glad I saved this pattern, although the poor envelope is quite worn. I’ll be doing this out of bright and pretty home dec fabrics. Let the cutting begin!

I also purchased Poly-fil for the stuffing. Haven’t used this in a lot of years. It will, however, take more than these two bags – I will need about 4 more! Hope to show some progress next week.

Off to Give Comfort

One of my favorite things to do with quilts – take a pic of them hanging on the line together before they get sent off! There are eight quilts this time round, all going to Hospice. All are lap quilts, varying sizes and one is a wheelchair quilt. There are five Hospice flimsies with backings hanging in the closet. Not sure when I’ll get them quilted – just waiting for inspiration to hit!

The list of Works in Progress is still doable for me. I no longer want 20 projects in the wings that are half sewn. There was a time I actually loved that, but my focus has changed. I’ve also been keeping my quilting expenditures down. Let’s see what I can do between now and my next update posting!

Two More Quilt “Kits” to go

Last week I shared the flannel rag quilt kit I prepared for a week long retreat I’ll be attending. Of course one isn’t enough, so I now have two more ready to go!

First up is a string block kit. I pulled from some beloved batik greens and blues and one almost white and cut into varying strip widths. The plan is to sew them onto paper piecing paper doing a diamond design. I love to do string quilts! For me its both fun and therapeutic sewing. Sewing this quilt will also be perfect for a retreat as it doesn’t require much concentration. And again, I planned, made notes, and saved them in the kit box.

The second kit I prepared this week isn’t really planned out. When diving in a bin of blocks and miscellany, I came across these triangles cut from sewn very colorful strips. I barely remember these!

And then there were cuts randomly sewn into blocks. That was it! I’ll bring these to retreat , cut them randomly, sew and put together however the mood strikes at the moment. This will be fun play!

I am really so excited for this get away. I have a retreat checklist that I prepared years ago and having been going through it and putting everything in a guest room ready to pack. Good thing I’m traveling alone – it’s a lot!

CAN – CAN, the Quilt!

Cut, pieced, quilted and bound in five days! Amazing how much I enjoyed making this quilt. No contest when I auditioned border fabric. The bold black and white was a definite winner – perfect for all the bright, pretty and fun strings in the quilt body.

A very simple quilting – diagonal wavy lines – was perfect. I wanted this quilt to be about the fabrics, not the quilting. And I am tickled the way the black and white prints come together in the center of the blocks and where four blocks meet. I finished the binding by hand which quickly reminded me why I rarely do that anymore. My hand cramped and ached so I had to take many breaks along the way.

The backing – oh the backing! I bought this Brandon Mably fabric when I took a workshop from Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably a few years ago. Brandon, who knows my daughter, brought a bolt of the Can Can fabric up to me and thought I had to have it as it reminded him of my feisty daughter! Of course I bought some, but I never did use it in the workshop project. So glad because it is perfect for the back of this quilt, thus the name Can-Can! She’s already living in my living room – bright, cheerful and warm.

Links: Oh Scrap! N&TT Whoop Whoop Friday Brag About Your Beauties

Moving on to….?

More sewing? Organization? Purging? Yes on all three! In this new year, I will definitely be sewing, because that’s what I do! Organization is a continuing process with me. Some things in the studio are somewhat difficult to keep tidy and organized, especially when I’m in “creative mode.” Purging? Oh yes. My goal is to reduce my fabric inventory significantly. There are several places on Facebook marketplace where I can sell fabric. I’ve done a fair amount of that this year and plan to continue. And some fabrics will be donated.

Sewing: As of this writing, I haven’t sewn in five days. It’s a good thing as I will no doubt feel more joy when I turn on my machine again. I have two fairly labor intensive projects that I want to actively work on right now. One is a log cabin wall hanging – block above finishes at 5 1/4″. The other a tiny house quilt. The house block finishes at 3″ and will be doing each as a square in a square. Lots of progress on the first, not so much on the second.

Hospice quilts – I have a bin with dedicated blocks, fabric, partial quilt tops that have all been donated. I need to take inventory and make a plan. An empty bin would be quite an accomplishment!

And here is my 2020 rundown:

May your 2021 be filled with joy and success in all you pursue!

Scrappy Finish

Another Scrappy Finish and soon to be another quilt to go to Hospice! I began piecing this quite some time ago and a few blocks sat on the design wall for much too long. In a moment of boredom, a few more blocks were added. Finally, last week, I got a bit annoyed with myself for having let it go for so long, so…I sewed!

I really got into it and by the end of the day all the blocks were together, a pieced border added, and it was a flimsy. was just the sewing therapy I needed. It now hangs with several other to be quilted tops, a few which are also for Hospice.

Just waiting for the urge to quilt to strike!

A Happy Flower

sunflower

There’s been a lot of sunshine here but with that has been intense heat and humidity. Many hours of sewing and quilting was becoming somewhat unjoyful for me so I went down a different path.  I had ordered some large art paper and the first happy thought I had was a sunflower and I drew a very simple drawing

sunflower drawing

 

The center of the flower is strip pieced, cut and sewn again to give the illusion of a woven center.  Beading in the center gave it more dimension and made it look more like a seed center.

center

The leaf is three dimensional.

leaf

Lots of fun was had when choosing bright yellow batiks for the flower.  I sewed narrow strip piecing of yellow batiks, then cut for the petals.  Hubby helped me choose the unconventional green striped batik background. It surely makes the flower pop!

sunflower

Ahhh.  Joyful in the studio once again!

Oh Scrap!   Monday Making

Playful

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My quilting journey began somewhere around 2006 to 2007.  I purchased a magazine, “Quilt It, Two Block Quilts” and immediately loved two of the quilts.  The first is in the back of my quilting closet, partially quilted.  Each time I take it out thinking I’ll finish it, I’m reminded that I don’t care for it very much.  I also remind myself that a fair amount of work went into it, especially as a beginner, and that I should finish it so I can donate it.

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The second pattern was for “Baby Love.”  In 2018 I finally got around to pulling various fun fabrics and copying the paper piecing patterns.  In December of that year I worked on some of the blocks while retreating with a few quilty friends. Can you guess?  The project box just sat on the shelf until earlier this year.  Somehow I was motivated to get it together.  I did, however, simplify and modify the pattern some. I didn’t use all the NY Beauty blocks. They’re in the orphan quilt box waiting for lightening to hit me with a brilliant plan!

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Funny how after sitting for so long, I was super motivated and quickly got the top put together. Some weeks ago I pulled the top from my hangar of “flimsies,” found a batting and used a gray fleece for the backing.

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Oh how I love having another finish.  And where is this quilt headed?  To play with the other baby quilts I have waiting for some unknown future arrival.  Now I call that being prepared!”

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Linking: N&TT    Whoop Whoop 

On the Design Wall

quarter block

Scraps, scraps, scraps. A container full of one and one half inch scrap strips! There is also a bin of polka dots that has been waiting to be used. The blocks are quarter log cabins with the centers made up of four patches of polka dots.

qtr one block

This option for arranging the blocks just didn’t work for me.

I’ve arranged the quarter log cabins several ways and putting four together for one full log cabin block was most pleasing to me.

qtr log cabins

For now, this is my layout choice.

There’s a long way to go. I’m now piecing more four patches. Adding the strips goes fairly quickly and is fun sewing.

scrap box

Lots and lots of strips to choose from!

I’ve been doing a lot of organizing and although I don’t feel as though I’ve been sewing that much, I have really been quite productive. Hmmm. Maybe it’s because I’m not going anywhere during quarantine?!

How about you – how have you been using your time?