Missus Miller

I worked on fixing the Mrs. Miller’s Apprentice quilt top this weekend.  Last week I ripped out most of the stitching that connected the columns together, I was able to leave the webbing connections in most of the rows.  So I wasn’t really taking the whole thing apart.  I spread it out on a spare bed, that way I could clearly see all the mis-placed blocks.  I then stuck bright yellow headed pins in each block that needed to be switched out.  You may recall from a previous post that I made a mistake of not using the correct blue and tan squares because they were made from really similar fabric prints.  Bending over the bed to un-pick the blocks wasn’t the best thing for my back, but I think it was easier to see the top as a whole than having it on my design wall where I can only see about 2/3rds of it at one time.  I would pick a block, un-stitch it and put it where it should go, un-stitch the block that was in that spot and pin the correct one in.  I checked the layout four times to make sure every block was in it’s spot.  Then I sewed the row parts and columns back together.  Big sigh.

Okay, now onto the four borders.  Two plain narrow ones, one pieced and one wide outer border.  Since this is a BOM, I had limited fabric, I think it’s still available, but not widely.  The pieced border first, as I wanted to make sure I had enough to do all 88 split cats cradle blocks, ugh.  I wish I had been able to make these throughout the whole preceding year.  Instead, each month, I was instructed to cut four blue squares and put them aside.  This pattern uses the “sew two diagonal seams a square and cut in between on the diagonal” method to make half square triangles.  Not the way I like to make HSTs, I’ll use my EZ-angle thank you.E7AA7A51-1319-43E9-9504-5F50ED23CA1C

I made the 88 HSTs and got them sewn to rectangles, then put two together.  Next I sewed them to contrasting rectangles, then cut them apart.  Pam Buda, the pattern designer came up with this technique.  She doesn’t have a web tutorial, but sells it as part of one of her books.  I googled it, and found that Creative grids makes a Cats cradle  specialty ruler for the blocks. The ruler uses this same technique as I used, but it’s a bit more accurate.  I might want to get one.3D8C6504-EE49-4459-B09B-8B32E4039C1D

 

I spent a few hours yesterday assembling the top. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the quilt blocks are 6 inches finished and the Cats Cradle blocks are 3 inches finished.  I left the final border for today, it’s a simple 6 inch wide one, I think some swirling feathers might be called for on it.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.

 

 

Tops

I did some mindless sewing this week.  Putting together the Live Simply top and the last baby quilt tops.  Looking at the picture I realize that it is a whole row shorter than the last two.  Looks like there will be some ripping and resewing in the next few days.69B5C60D-7338-4878-87A7-DABA5A940D44

I finished the eighth clue for Frolic.  Which wasn’t very easy/fun.  I got a bit over zealous sewing clue seven, and sewed the all HST’s together.  I discovered this when I needed them to attach to my QST’s for the flying geese.  So instead of all matchy- matchy 16 of my sets are sort of matchy,  Nine sets are perfect 👌.  I wasn’t going to unpick all those HST blocks. 4C7EB2CE-DB1B-4CBC-A9AE-92E2E3DE7D5D

I’m making head way on quilting the Feathered Star, it’s not as intimidating to me as the Fire Island Hosta was.  I saw a finished one on Instagram and I am getting “inspiration” from it.  Doing a bit of texture quilting and a lot of ruler work.  This quilt is a bit smaller than the Hosta one, with no curved lines, which also makes it a bit easier.

I found some cute (?) or rather appropriate backing fabric for the Halloween quilt I made a few months ago. It was in the clearance pile at Joann’s, 2.50 a yard, couldn’t resist.  I want to get the backing together this week and add it to the TBQ queue. Next up is Live Simply and the Christmas tree quilt then the halloween quilt or I have been thinking of doing Berties Year.  I really need a new quilt to hang in the main room of my house.  I switch them out every month or so. 9B51AE00-FA45-4682-B513-35117C64D9EB

Also this week I’d like to use up some of these scraps of minky for backings or small quilts.  I have seen kits that use six inch wide strips to make a striped quilt.  I don’t want to buy a pattern,  some internet research is needed.  I’m thinking its sort of a quilt as you go type of project.  That was easy I found just what I was looking for Row By Row Minky and this one looks easy too Self binding baby blanket .  The self binding one is the easiest, I especially want to try the one with double gauze on the top and minky on the bottom.

Finally I got this kit from Bluprint that is made with simple quarter square triangles.  The fabric is really pretty, its called Heritage.  I was impressed with the quality of it, usually the Boundless brand isn’t quite up to A-1.  I used my AccuQuilt cutter and was able to cut the twenty fat quarters into triangles (960!) in about an hour.  There are 240 QSTs to make now.  I love chain piecing – it’s so mindless.C33B1EDE-B612-494C-9B0F-3DD37277557A

 

I am ending this post with this beautiful photo my friend Liz took the other day.  This was taken with an iPhone, out at the coast near Santa Cruz CA. EECEFD51-6D35-401B-86FE-FE9920D2C1D9

Linking up with Denise at For the Love Of Geese for Put your foot down #34 today.

Finish line

I finished the three baby quilts yesterday and got them mailed.  I crossed the finish line at the post office when I handed over the package.  Yay! I was so busy yesterday afternoon doing things unrelated to sewing, it was like a reward for binding those three quilts in the morning.  I thought I was done sewing for the day, but I made myself work on the Frolic pieces.  I sewed “just one more” until I was done with all the cut pieces I had.  Im about 2/3rds done with clue 7.  Hard to believe I have been working on this quilt for seven weeks.  I think I average two weeks for a top finish, a little less for smaller ones a little more for larger.B809CCCB-DD46-44C5-9EDE-C3D9E6E8EB8C_1_201_a

All my block parts/pieces are in this zippered bag, funny how this is a queen sized quilt in a gallon sized bag.

@0@0

Or 2020.  I’ve been busy this past week.  In my spare time I’ve been scrolling blogs and admiring the to-to lists, the UFO lists, the best of lists, the must do lists, and the recaps.  Lists, lists and more lists.  I think I did a list post a week or so ago, 2020 Aspirations  yep.  Then I started sewing the four baby quilts, the Bonnie Hunter Mystery, the Live Simply quilt and Mrs. Millers Apprentice.

I got the baby girl quilts quilted, there were two, as one of the babies turned out to be a boy, and I had already made a “girl colored” top.  I was able to fit two across on the long arm and quilt them together.  Just to make it interesting, I used two different pantos, daisies and hearts & bubbles.  The blue quilts are on the frame, waiting to make/finish one more top.

My Frolic pieces are coming together, the sneaky 1/1/20 clue threw a wrench into my keeping up routine.  I have been trying to make 10 sets a day (40 Geese) which is manageable, but I have not started Clue 7 yet.  There seems to be a lot of sets of 41, so I’m thinking 41 blocks.  But she always has a pieced border, or maybe she’s doing medallion style this year? Usually she does on point settings, although Good Fortune wasn’t, was it?Soon we’ll know.

The Live Simply, the amish inspired/colored quilt is webbed and the borders are pieced.  It’s hanging on the design wall, not too pretty at the moment.  I’m auditioning quilting pattens in my head.  Thinking all over feathers, or feathers to go in the cabins. F1BD198D-81EF-401A-AE3D-2F1499BDF999

Last on the to-do list is Mrs. Miller,  I am upset with myself about this top.  I was so careful in putting it together, it’s an on point setting with HST’s setting squares in a diamond pattern.  I did misplace one, near the center, but otherwise everything was going the right direction and in the right place.  Then I noticed the blue triangles were made from two different fabrics.  They are the same shades, but one has flowers and the other has dingle berries  cherries.  These are not where they are supposed to be, there is an inner diamond of one type and an outer diamond of the other.  There were many expletives uttered when I held up the top for a look.  I webbed this top, so I unstitched all the columns and now I’m going to lay it out and remove/replace any blocks not in their right row/spot.  Needless to say the missus is in timeout for a while.

That wraps up week one of this year, only 51 more to go.

 

Organized Chaos

I walked past my sewing room today and was amazed at the mess of it.  It is a big mess of projects, fabric, bins and boxes of fabric, piles of fabric, rulers, papers/patterns, and…more fabrics.  I am working on three main projects right now, Mrs. Millers Apprentice, Live Simply and Frolic.  All are large and all are in various states of done-ness.  I am at the put-together stage of MMA, all the blocks are done, the setting blocks are done too.  The borders need to be cut, but I can’t do that until the main body is sewn together.  I also need 88 more 3-triangle blocks to do one of the outer borders.  Yesterday I worked on months 10 and 11, today I want to get the center part together.  It’s sort of a mini quilt, using nine, 3 1/2 inch blocks that were made each month.  The background story of this quilt is Mrs. Miller (farmers wife) teaches her neighbor’s daughter to sew.  These little blocks are supposed to represent her work.  I like the blues and tans of this quilt, it is one I am making for me.

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Mrs Miller’s Apprentice

The Frolic pieces are coming together too, although I am a bit low on Aqua colored scraps.  I was forced to buy/order more fabric to alleviate this deficit.  While looking through my current stock of scraps for more aqua, I came across a large bag of mixed solid scraps.  They had fallen behind some other piles and had been quietly multiplying themselves for the past few years.  These scraps are from my Amish with a Twist 2 quilt (circa 2015),  I think if I combine them with the scraps from my Gravity quilt and the Live Simply quilt, I’d have enough for a bed size quilt. The colors are compatible in “real life”, what I have in mind is similar to this leader ender quilt that KatyQuilts is making.  I am hoping all the jewel tones will sparkle and shine, AND there will be three less bags of scraps.

I have a scrappy top made from 2 ½ inch squares, from Wedding Dress Blue called Growing Up Odd.  I thought I had a picture of it, but not on this computer.  Not sure if I want to do something with the sashing strips or just go free range squares.

This is my design wall today, it is the least chaotic area in my room today.

Linking up with Judy at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts for Design Wall Monday.  She has a post about finding calm in December.  I think I need to read it now.

 

2020 Aspirations

End of the year compilations are starting to appear on some of the Quilter’s blogs I follow.  I am impressed with the amount of finishes, but also the numbers of UFO’s (completed and resting).  I’m trying to get a list together of what I want to accomplish next year.  I get stymied though, it’s like an avalanche of images that crashes in my mind.  Too much input.  I’m going to start small, how about January goals:

  1. Frolic
  2. Mrs. Millers Apprentice
  3. Live Simply (log cabin)
  4. 4 Baby quilts – commissions
  5. Finish peppermint poinsettia quilting
  6. Quilt Feathered star

That’s easier.  Goals for the next six months, rather general:

  1. Quilt tops that were completed last year, and before
  2. Keep on top of current BOM, Botanica Park
  3. Start wedding quilt (sept. wedding)
  4. One UFO from Last List 
  5. Construct quilt kits bought in 2019

Number four is the list from last January, I got one of them finished.  There are still three from that list will be included in Number 1.  Looking back on that post there were also some other 2019 goals:

  1. Work on To-Be-Quilted Pile
  2. List/Sell More Quilts in Shops
  3. Design and Make Applique quilt
  4. Use Stash
  5. Make BOM’s
  6. Explore Social Media, Blog

I accomplished All except 3 and 6.  Although I did design quite a few quilts including “Sew She Did”, but the appliqué masterpiece is still just an idea.  Then there’s number 6, I can’t seem to make the leap to social media promotion.  I resist FB postings, although there are a few people that I follow, I just don’t have the enthusiasm nor the follow through to properly use it to my advantage.  Yep, that’s it in a nutshell.  Finally, what about using up stash and quilt kits?  This is going to be a priority this year for me.  I’ll be interested in how this all turns out next year.😁  

 Other Quilty accomplishments from 2019:

  1. PIQF/RD2CA quilt “Sew She Did”
  2. Finished Christmas Fig BOM top
  3. I finished 30+ quilts
  4. I Donated a bunch of quilts
  5. Sold a bunch of quilts

 

That’s all I have for today, I’m going to print this and hang it where I can review it, with regularity.

prefab

On my design wall today are log cabins, these are for the Live Simply quilt.  I spent last week cutting, and cutting all the pieces.  I did it in a very organized way, and separated each color way, size and final destination (block or border).  Four different flat boxes, that can be stacked and relocated easily.  It has been quite helpful in the construction, as I only have to pull out 5 strip sets at a time.  I then sew nine blocks, assembly line style, together.  It takes about 75 minutes to do nine.  I have 56 blocks to make and 27 done so far, I want to get another set done today. Friday another clue for “Frolic” comes out, so I’d like to have room for that to happen.

I have fallen behind on Mrs. Miller, the BOM I am doing for 2019.  The last month should be arriving today or tomorrow. I have two (ten blocks) sets left to make and the last installment is the borders and finishing instructions, I’m not sure if there are more blocks though.  I want to get this top together soon, because I signed up for another BOM that starts 1/15/20.  It’s called Botanica Park, a Wing and a Prayer design, all batiks, medallion style.  You may remember the Forest Floor pattern quilt I made by them.

 

It’s a big (107″ square) quilt too. I’ll be busy with these four projects for the next few months.  Oh yeah, and an order for four more baby quilts.

Linking up with Denise at For the Love of Geese for Put you foot down #31 today.

Cutting it up

This past weekend I started cutting fabric for a log cabin quilt.  It was a kit purchased from Craftsy Bluprint a while ago.  There are over 1300 pieces, and four shades of seven colors.  Once I get it cut, it should go pretty quickly.  I noticed after the first day of cutting that my upper bicep on my ruler holding hand/arm was tender.  The next day I realized that I was pressing down with way too much pressure on the ruler as I cut.  Sort of an unconscious attempt to keep the ruler straight.  So I consciously released the pressure and had a better time.  The next day of cutting I started to think about lessening the pressure and what was causing it and realized that my rotary blade was dull.  I had to use more strength in my cutting arm to push it through the fabric.  I switched it out and had a better time of it.  New rule: before starting a large cutting project, change out blades and release the urge to press the ruler through the table. 4EC4F210-180C-48C6-8A29-C67F623889C0

I have a Christmas gift that came to me a bit early, and I’m trying to wait to use it until the day of the holiday.  It’s a Standing Desk Converter I found at Amazon, (no affiliation) in a box in my sewing room.  What is so great about it is that the top of it is the same size as my cutting mat.  My cutting mat is on the table that is also my sewing machine table.  I had an office conference table modified to hold my machine.  It’s a good height for me to sit and sew, but really hard on my lower back to stand and cut.  With the flip of a lever I’ll be able to elevate the mat to a more comfortable level to cut at.  Usually what I do is bring my cutting mat to the dining room table and cut there.  So I’m looking forward to the option of not having to lug all that stuff out to, and then fit it all back into my sewing room.

 

Principles

The 7 principles of art and design are balance, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, contrast, unity and movement. Use the elements of art and design – line, shape/form, space, value, color and texture – to create a composition as a whole.

I was recently reading about and seeing blog posts about Quiltcon 2020 acceptances and rejections.  If you look for #quiltconreject on instagram, you’ll see many beautiful and original quilts.  I wondered how many quilts are submitted, and how many jurors there are.  How do they pick the “chosen” and reject the unchosen?  Thats when I started thinking about the seven principle of design.  Of course I couldn’t remember all seven, as I learned them back in the 80’s.  A quick google search brought up the quote above.   Its seems like a lot to coordinate into making one thing.  Some makers are adept and some aren’t. But what about the ones on the edge, like if they did one thing a little bit better, they were a little bit clearer with their composition?  What is the tipping point, where everything falls into place, and you “feel it” “get it” or even like it.  There are artists/makers who intrinsically know, and can judge all the parts/pieces/whole in a few seconds.  Do they have some kind of mental checklist?  Is it a right brained or left brained thing?  In becoming a master artist, does this list get longer or shorter, or just read faster?

This post is sort of a continuation of my  Ruminations  post about a month ago.  I would like to make another show quilt this coming year.  Maybe even for QuiltCon 2021.  Self doubt is part of what holds back those goals.  In an age of self advertisement and promotion how does one stand out?  In the days before Facebook and even before the internet, people had to self promote themselves on merit, and talent, maybe a little luck or knowing the right person.  So how does one break through the fuzzy static of a world filled with selfies, twitter and visual noise?  Seems like one of those secrets that won’t be shared, because then everyone will be doing it.  Hey! Look over here! My quilt is freakin’ Awesome!  I’m more like “excuse me, did you happen to notice this thing over here that I, uh, made?”

Retreat

I had my own retreat these past five days.  My DH was out of town and I got a lot of sewing done.  I can’t really figure out why this happens, why is it easier to get this accomplished when he’s not here?  He does work out of the house, and he’s not particularly demanding of my time.  I can’t really put words to the feelings, his presence (?) distracts me?  It’s not like he hasn’t seen me in my pajamas lounge wear, but maybe not all day.  Then there’s the meal thing, I make dinner, pretty much every night, and weekends I make breakfast and sometimes lunch for him.  So when he’s not here I make things that I like, and eat when I want to.  Breakfast for dinner is not a DH thing, me however, I’ll put an egg on it and be happy.  I listened to three novels in the past few days too.  I use noise canceling head phones, which block out the world and let me concentrate on the words and my handiwork.  Kinda unsociable when someone else is around, but I can loose myself for a few hours that way.  The weather this past week has been rainy and overcast, I want to stay in the warm dry house.  I think what it comes down to is being a care giver, it’s what I do, and have done for about 25 years.  When all my “cares” are gone, I can do what I want, when I want and how I want.  It’s quite intoxicating.

I finished three tops this week, two are baby quilts, and the other is the scraps from the Honey comb quilt.  I still have enough of that fabric line to make another, but the bee themed prints are mostly used up, lots of butterflies left.  I made a lot of progress on the Oak Cardigan sleeves, and I made a hat (xmas present).  I should have finished the Poinsettia quilt, but only got a row finished.  Finished clues 1 and 2 for Frolic, the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt.  I did four loads of laundry, yay!  Finished up all the Christmas wrapping, shopping and mailing, double yay!  My tree is up, though undecorated and my design wall is blank.

I think I’ll catch up on the Mrs. Miller BOM blocks that I have, months 10 and 11.  Then I’ll be ready for the next clue for Frolic on Friday.

I’m linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for ‘Can I get a Whoop Whoop?’ .  She has a pretty quilt finish to show this week.