Sunday, January 31, 2021

Started Projects in January--Eight!

1. Thread Lace Workshop; 2. Embroidery Embellishment
Workshop; 3. Making Fabric from Selvages Workshop
Just how many projects can one start in four weeks? If I'm the person responding, I'd report eight! I started a temperature quilt. I've been keeping up making the blocks. I haven't started embellishing the blocks for the days we've had precipitation; but, I have a plan. I have thoughts about setting the blocks; but, I haven't confirmed the layout.

Lone Star quilt beginnings
Attending the Clark County Quilters guild virtual Saturday Workshops every Saturday this month helped me start most of the projects. I attended eight workshops and taught one. I started: a Mile a Minute quilt; two Happy Hearts table runners, a selvage string bag, an embroidery embellishment project and a Lone Star Quilt. The More Than Binding workshop as well as the Thread Lace workshop were more of a lecture/technique class. I taught a string piecing class. 

I also decided to jump on board the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC). I plan to string piece eight to 12 blocks each month in the color listed. I will begin sharing about the Saturday Workshop projects in upcoming posts. 

I did meet my One Monthly January goal which was to quilt Martha's quilt in the ditch. I finished the cross stitched Santa ornaments. I pieced a few more Frolic blocks. I worked on the hand embroidery for one of my languishing projects! I spent one Sunday in the month on embroidery software lessons. It was a good month!

I'm linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. The fabrics in the log cabin block, the selvage project, the happy hearts table runner, the RSC  and the string project came from my scraps.

During the month, I helped 32 participants receive their American Heart BLS CPR certificate.

Hand embroidery embellishment in process

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 103M cases; 2.22M deaths United States: 26.1M cases; 439K deaths Oregon: 142K cases; 1,972 deaths

In the UK, my daughter, living in London, let me know that 1 in 66 people have contracted the virus. She reports that they continue to live under the restrictions that come with residing in a level five area.

Representatives of the vaccine companies claim the vaccine will be somewhat effective against the UK and African variant strains of the virus. Officials continue to support getting the vaccine when it is available as well as continuing to social distance while wearing a mask.

Quilting design for block centers
In the U.S., West Virginia has distributed nearly 90% of the vaccine that it has received. Many other states have issues with the supply chain, logistics of distributing the vaccine as well as determining which groups of people are eligible.

In Oregon, teachers are receiving the vaccine. My daughter, who is a special education teacher, received her first dose of Pfizer vaccine last Thursday. She hasn't reported any lingering after effects. Front line workers, employed in private clinics, had registered on line for the vaccine. Unfortunately, that website crashed. The data was lost and these workers had to re-register for the vaccine on a new website. Because registration is on a first come first served basis, these workers are now listed behind the teachers. 

Last week the Governor relaxed the rules for gyms and movie theaters so that they could open. If you have a 500 square foot gym, you can only offer personal training sessions for one person. The square footage/person ratio of my husband's fitness center worked out to six people at a time. Movie theaters figured they could show a film to five to eight people. The business owners will likely remain closed as the costs to open greatly surpass the income received during those circumstances. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

One Monthly Goal For January--MET!

Stitching in the ditch

I'm doing the happy dance! I met a goal! I completed the ditch quilting in my friend's Martha's quilt top. This was my One Monthly Goal for January!

I wish I knew the name of this pattern. I know she saw the pattern in one of her quilting magazines around 2016. A block contains 1 1/2 inch strips that finish to an inch. I think Martha stitched a square of strips. Next, she slashed it in half before stitching it to another half square. This made one fourth of a block unit. 

She added eight 1 1/2 inch squares to each group of four units. This addition makes the block resemble a flower. The total block size of eight half units finished measure 10 inches. This would be a great pattern to make with strings.

Ruler template and foot spacer
Because I've stitched in the ditch, the blocks have enough quilting. I used a smoke monofilament thread in the needle and I used a pink thread in the bobbin to stitch in the ditch.  The pink thread coordinated well with the fabrics that I pieced for the back. I may quilt a design in the blocks. . .let's see. . . .I'll think about that option while I quilt the sashings.

Martha loved the color purple. I decided that I would quilt the sashing with purple polyester Floriani thread in honor of her. I wanted to use the circle template that I have. I chose a circle motif because she liked circular designs. She said that with circles, she couldn't cut off points!

Using the template on the sashing was much easier than using it on the blocks in the Unity project that I finished in December. There are almost no seams for the foot to stitch over or around. I plan to putter along a little each day to make progress on "bubbling" the sashing.

View of the block with circle quilted sashings
So far, I like my quilting choices. I'm excited that I made great progress on this project this month! Maybe, I'll even make more progress toward a finish before the month ends! In the meantime, I'm linking this post with the January finishes with One Monthly Goal.


Sunday, January 24, 2021

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Leftover pinks and background options
I did it. . . .I started yet ANOTHER project! Can you say. . .SQUIRREL??? Squirrel describes me since I'm easily attracted to a new and interesting project. Actually. . .I started THREE projects. For at least the last three years, I've watched people posting their blocks to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC.) Each month, they make a set of blocks or sets of blocks using a specific color. At the end of the year, people turn their blocks into projects. Some people make projects each month after creating the blocks.

Cynthia Bunz at Oh Scrap, Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, also has been encouraging me to join. I enjoy each of her posts but my favorite day to read is Sunday when she hosts an Oh Scrap Linky party for scrap projects. I'll be linking this post to her party!

Every year, I've talked myself out of joining the challenge. This year, I saw so many interesting blocks that I again considered jumping on board. The color for January was released. . .it was pink! 

Stitching strings
Since, I have so little pink in my stash, I decided not to join. Then, someone in the group posted some pink string blocks. Those string blocks caused me to reconsider. When I received the supply list for the class I took last Saturday, I decided that I would be a RSC participant after all. The class, that I had registered for without knowing the project, was HEARTS!  I haven't made a Valentine themed project so I was happy that I had registered! 

A number of years ago, I participated in a strip exchange of pink and red fabrics that could be used for Valentine themed projects. I selected that package of strips. I also pulled the pink and pinkish strings from my friend Martha's scraps. I started sewing strings into fabric. The pattern for the class was from Cluck Cluck Sew. It was the Making Hearts in different sizes pattern.

When I saw the pattern, I started thinking table runner. I needed a background fabric. In my mind, I saw a light neutral printed with hearts. I went to the local quilt shop. The owner told me that her order of heart themed fabrics had been delayed. She was sad because she feared her order would arrive about June! 

Auditioning corners
The owner showed me the heart fabrics available in her shop. While the fabrics were wonderful, none that she showed me would work in this project. The fabric was predominately red or the fabric contained large scale prints. I'll admit there was a fabric that I personally loved; but, I managed to leave it on the shelf. I located a gray dotted fabric and two fabrics that had tiny white hearts. One was a navy and the other was a blue. I'm sure the owner had some thoughts about my choices since I had asked for hearts on a neutral background!  

I started stitching. I paper pieced enough string fabric to make four nine inch hearts. I used three chunks of pink scraps and the pink strips from a pink and red strip from that exchange I referenced earlier. The strips added immensely to the piecing.

After I had completed stitching the strings into fabric. I pulled a couple of strips to make into eight four inch hearts. It was at that point I had to choose my background fabric. I chose the grey dotted fabric. I stitched two large hearts and four small hearts. 

Piecing the hearts took me some time because I used the folded corners ruler to trim the corners of the heart fabrics. I used the essential triangle tool to cut the grey dotted fabric into triangles to piece what I trimmed away on the heart fabrics. It was some trial and error. Of course, I made some errors. None of the errors, however, was bad enough to cause me to toss the block and start over! 

When "close" is enough
I veered from the pattern directions because I didn't want to cut squares, draw a line sew next to the line and trim the excess. This process creates waste triangles. I didn't want to create waste triangles. I took photos along the way.When I stitch the next set of heart blocks, I will refine my process. I might even write a tutorial so that when I want to trim corners again, I have a reference! Had I followed the pattern directions, I likely would have finished the table runner topper faster! With my method though, I have fewer waste triangles left behind!

My original plan was to float the hearts on the grey background. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of the grey print left to get the runner to the 14 inch width that I wanted. I looked through the exchange strips and I chose a red geometric print to create an inner border. I cut the strip in half. I had just enough to make it work. Generally, I like to have a little more wiggle room; but, in the end it worked. The strip adds a lot of energy to the piece so it was serendipity at its best to need to add a strip of fabric to the runner! 

Finished runner top
I have a leftover piece of batting from quilting Unity that will be the perfect size to quilt this piece. I plan to use the pink plaid fabric as backing. I originally stitched a skirt for my oldest granddaughter with that fabric. Since this runner likely will end up at her house, she will notice that fabric right away!

I don't have a plan for the quilting other than beginning with stitching in the ditch to secure the pieces. I often start quilting with no more of an idea than the ditch quilting. I let the process evolve. Most of the time that works for me.

Of the remaining leftover grey print fabric, I don't have enough for a double fold binding. I could purchase more fabric; but, I'm currently planning to make do. Although, I don't know what making do means yet! For future reference, had I purchased three quarters of a yard of the grey print fabric instead of half a yard, I wouldn't be scrambling for binding! Then again, I wouldn't have added that red print inner border either!

The materials for additional strings
I had pink strips left so I started string piecing those. I was inspired to string piece from Allison's New Every Morning blog post. I have limited pink scraps so I decided to piece half of the block with neutral fabrics, half of the block with pink fabrics and in the middle I added a black strip. I stitched eight blocks. I still have pink strips so I'll piece some more string blocks. These blocks will finish at eight inches. 

As the year progresses, I can make more of these string blocks in the color of the monthly scrap challenge. At the end of the year, I will have enough blocks to put together a nice sized quilt. . .well, that is my plan until the "squirrel" in me appears and I get side tracked! My three projects are two table runners and string blocks. Stay tuned for the projects that I started yesterday!

Regarding COVID: 

Worldwide: 96.2M cases; 2.06M deaths

United States: 25M cases; 417K deaths

Oregon: 138K cases; 1,882 deaths

Eight RSC blocks
The UK variant has been reported in Oregon and in Washington. Vaccinations are continuing. The hospital where I work is no longer vaccinating employees with the first dose of Moderna. Any of the remaining doses are being distributed externally to Tier 1A individuals. Tier 1A individuals include health care workers and care center residents. The hospital has been vaccinating employees with the second dose of Moderna. 

In Oregon, most health care workers and care center residents have had their first dosage. Prisoners, teachers and people older than 65 are next on the list. The 27 member advisory panel listed staggered eligibility dates for those individuals. 

The advisory panel hasn't determined which groups will receive the vaccine next.  The logistics of scheduling so many people for the vaccine is an issue. Last week, I helped several pharmacists renew their CPR certification so they could join the injection staff. I hope the process goes well. My husband may be eligible some time in March although I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't happen until June. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Quilting in the ditch

Ditch quilting in progress
This was one of the last quilts my friend, Martha pieced. She had started it before she had serious health issues. She was in the hospital and a recovery center for many months. She still sewed after she returned home; but, she wasn't the same. She lamented that the pattern for this quilt was "off." She said it was not a fast and easy quilt at all. At the time, I thought that she was right. Sometimes, patterns are more challenging than they appear. This pattern appeared in a magazine. I don't know if it was in Quick Quilts; McCalls Quilting or another magazine.

It contains lots of inch and half strips in a variety of fabrics. There are batiks, novelty prints, tone on tones and strips. All the colors are represented too. She always liked to mix fabrics. I think that was her favorite part of the process.

My monthly goal was to quilt this project in the ditch. One of my small groups has also taken up the challenge to make progress on a project that has been hanging about their workspace.  We will check back in the second week in February to celebrate our progresses.

It has been challenging to quilt this piece. I've had to repair some seams that has pulled apart. There are also spots where she stitched tucks into the seams. I'm quilting it as she stitched it. I'm using a monofilament thread in the needle and a dual duty thread in the bobbin. I've had this thread a long time. I can remember making dress for my mom for a special occasion with this thread. It was a good color to match the fabrics in the back of the quilt. Anytime that I can use thread that I've stored for years, I'm happy.

Once I finished the ditch quilting, I am planning to use purple thread and a template to quilt medium to large bubbles in the sashing. I thought the bubbles would compliment the straight lines of the piecing.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

2021 Temperature Quilt--post 1

Hand dyed fabrics
Last October, I read a blog about a temperature quilt. I did a little research on Pinterest. About that time, a group of quilters through the Mt. Hood Quilt guild started talking about this topic. A couple gals took the lead and formed a group. I decided to join and make my version of a 2021 temperature quilt.

For some time, I've wanted to stitch a project with Vicki Welsh's hand dyed fabrics. You can find her at Colorways By Vicki Welsh. I know that I will need to order more of some fabrics as the year progresses; but, for now, this was a good start. I'm using a palette of 20 colors.

When the fabrics arrived. I tested all of them for bleeding. They all bled. Some fabrics bled more than others. All the fabrics received a wash in synthrapol.  I wouldn't want any surprises if I need to wet the quilt at the end of the process! I also wouldn't want surprises when the scraps end up in another project!

I spent time looking at temperature quilts on Pinterest. What a variety of projects people have stitched over the years! I wanted the end project to be small. I wanted a project that included handwork. I also wanted to document all the days in the year that rain falls in addition to the high and the low of the day. 

Prewashing the fabric
In the end, I decided to hand applique a circle which represented the high of the day, to a square which represented the low of the day. I'm using a website, DarkSky, as my resource for the daily temperature. I like the website for two reasons. One, I can look at the history so I don't have to record the temperature every day. Two, I can select my address as the location for the temperature. The temperature in Damascus, Oregon varies a bit from Portland, Oregon. The ability to record the temperatures in Damascus makes the project personal to me. 

I chose circles because I wanted to make better looking circles when I hand applique. After I do the process 365 times, I should be an expert! I'm using Karen Kay Buckley's perfect circles as the template. 
Prepping the circle

I also plan to add hand stitching to some of the units. The units will finish to two inches.

The hand stitching will represent the days it rains. I haven't decided what stitches I'll choose. I do know that I will stitch a variety of stitches since there are many stitches from which to choose. I like to experiment!

Deciding how to set the rows will come later. Currently, I'm focusing on making the units. I am keeping the date/temperature/rainfall documentation on the units until I set them. I've been auditioning different layouts with different fabrics. I've been playing in my grey scraps. I'm considering setting the blocks to resemble a calendar using grey as the neutral. Then again, another color might be a better fit. I've time to determine what design elements I'll use!

I've been preparing four to seven days worth of units and then appliquéing the circles in the evenings or when I have waiting time for appointments.  It's all a process. It is okay that I don't have an answer yet! Because I'm planning to use scraps as filler to the blocks, I'm linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting is More Fun Than
Thread lace leaf

A week ago, Saturday, I took a virtual workshop with one of our Clark County guild members. She taught thread lace, I had fun making the leaf in class. It is three different colors for green thread stitched over water soluble stabilizer and tulle. I might use it in this project. I might make other thread lace items to embellish this project. I could make a snowflake, a pumpkin or I could make leaves in a variety of colors. It was fun creating the thread lace. I plan to create more items using that technique!

Regarding COVID:
Worldwide: 94.5M cases; 2.02M deaths
United States: 23.8M cases; 396K deaths
Oregon: 132K cases; 1800 deaths

Last Tuesday, I became one of the more than a thousand people vaccinated through the hospital where I work. I received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. I will be receiving the second dose sometime between February seventh and February eleventh. I am grateful to have received the first dose.

Possible layout
As the vaccine entered my arm, I felt an intense burning sensation. I thought I'd be one the ones who had a bad reaction; but, that feeling dissipated by the time I was receiving my bandaid. I didn't have any other reactive symptoms. Fifteen minutes after receiving the infection, I drove home.

I did have a sore arm and felt "off" for about four days. I had a headache. I felt nauseous. I felt a little dizzy and I felt fatigued. In short, I felt like I was coming down with the flu.

On the fifth day, I felt much better. Although, on the sixth day, I felt like I was fighting off a bad cold. That headache comes and goes. I'm positive that when tomorrow arrives, I will feel right as rain. (This was a saying that my grandmother use to say!) Massaging the arm that received the shot, icing the vaccination site, taking ibuprofen and taking it easy helped me manage the symptoms.

I understand that people receiving the second dosage report stronger side effects. I'll be ready to face the recovery. I also participated in the CDC health watch program. Daily I check in and list my symptoms. Since there is little data about the vaccines' effect on people, this documentation will provide historical data.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Santa Ornaments--Post 2 and a finish

Four ornaments almost stitched
This has been a great evening project. I don't stitch every night and some nights, I don't stitch but a thread or two. Still, it doesn't take too much time to see progress.

In the first photo, three of the four Santas are finished. The fourth is ready to have the outline stitching added. 

I waited to cut each Santa apart until I had stitched all six ornaments. This is the first time that I have stitched on plastic canvas. I liked stitching on the plastic canvas. The canvas would be a great project for the granddaughters as the canvas is easier to count the stitches than it is on Aida cloth. Thread tension is easier to achieve on the plastic canvas!

I liked that the Santas are different. I also liked that the ornaments are small. Each one is about two inches! I imagine that I will be gifting these to someone who has a tiny Christmas tree during the holiday. These would look great on her tree next year.
Six ornaments stitched

As I stitched, I tried to keep the back neat. I thought about adding a piece of felt to cover the back which would protect the stitches; but, I couldn't come up with a method to attach the felt. I didn't want to add glue. Had I left the outline stitching to the last, I could have outlined stitched adhering the felt to the ornament. It would have been tricky to find the holes in the plastic canvas using that method. In the end, I decided to leave the back exposed.

Finished Santas
It surprised me how much the outline stitching brought out the facial features and details of each ornament. When I put this project on my Finish-A-Long list last August, I thought that I would easily finish it by the end of September. I finished the cross stitching at the beginning of November. Then, all that remained was to cut each ornament out. . . .which I did last night. I attached the hangers this morning and now I have a FINISH!

This is a project that I might do again. I would need to purchase a piece of 14 count plastic canvas about 7 and 1/4 inches wide by 4 and1/2  inches tall. The hanger was a gold string of elastic about 33 inches long that I cut into 5 and 1/2 inch segments.

This was goal number six on my first quarter finish list. It is my first finish of the quarter! If you want to visit post one about this project, click here.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Grassy Creek--Clues 5 & 6 post 4

Scrappy nine patches in the making
Clue number five contained three steps. In the first step, we made a bunch of nine patches. Bonnie's directions were to stitch strips and then sub cut the strips into segments. Next, we stitched the segments together. This is a fast way to stitch nine patches.

In looking through my "pre-cuts," I had more than enough of the orange squares as well as a bunch of the neutral and green squares so I pieced my nine patches after I laid out the squares.  The nine patches are scrappy. Having all the squares different, is my favorite part of Bonnie's patterns. I like that having one square of a fabric is fine to use. When so many different ones are used, finding that one of a kind is almost impossible! I also like how these fabrics bring a sparkle to the quilt top. She truly uses "it" all!

After the nine patches, the second step was to sew geese with neutral wings. I had cut extra wings in the previous step so I had a bunch of these already cut. It wasn't long until I was ready to start the third step which was cutting red segments. Again, my "pre-cuts" supplied a bunch! With days to spare, I was ready for clue number six!

Clue five complete

Clue six was lots of string piecing with the grey fabrics. I started stringing all the bits leftover from the previous steps first. This was a great project to stitch while I Zoomed with my Friday Sit and Sews. I felt like I had sewn all day. At the end of the day, I had pieced almost one sixth of the sections needed. 

The following morning in about an hour and a half, I pieced the same number of sections. I guess I had been talking way more than I had thought! I was concerned that I would run out of grey fabric before I finished!
String piecing the grey fabrics
Most of the grey fabrics, I purchased because this was not a color I had purchased in any quantity. I liked working with them and plan to keep a few in my stash. In the end, I had enough grey fabric.

For the final step of strings, we were to place a pair of neutral triangles on each end of the string strips. I removed the paper from one of the string strips and pieced the triangle. . .it wasn't easy. One the next string strip, I left the paper on and pieced the triangle. Leaving the paper in place made stitching the triangle much easier. 

Pulling the paper from behind that quarter inch seam was more time consuming; but, worth the trade off in how much easier and more consistent I was able to stitch the seam allowance on the triangles.

I also used the folded corners ruler to cut the angle on the ends of the strips. I used the essential triangle ruler to cut the triangles from a variety of neutral fabrics. I liked using the combination of tools. I like learning how to use a ruler in a different ways. 

With this project, I am learning what a valuable ruler that folded corners ruler is! By the end of last Friday, I had pieced all of the triangles to the grey strips. I had pieced a couple extra strips in case that I had a cutting error. . .which I did so I was happy for the extra strips!
Strings with triangles added

Last Friday, Bonnie released clue seven which was the reveal. I had mixed emotions with the reveal. There was the joy of being able to see what the end result looks like and the fun of seeing where all the parts created end up in the design. There was the let down that this was the last clue. I get excited about seeing what the next step is on Friday!

There are a lot of steps in clue seven. Easily, this clue could have been broken into three or even four weeks! It is going to take me some time to move through the steps and that is okay. This is not a race! I like how this quilt has a masculine and modern vibe. I look forward to finishing it.

I'm linking to Oh Scrap and Quilting is More Fun Than Housework.

Regarding COVID:
Worldwide: 89.6M cases; 1.93M deaths
United States: 22.2M cases; 372K deaths
Oregon: 124K cases; 1,607 deaths

The number of cases and deaths continue to rise worldwide. 
In Oregon, the number of vaccinations being delivered is lower than was originally projected. Teachers are in the 1b group (after healthcare workers) to receive the vaccine. A 27 member committee will determine who will be next to receive the vaccine.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2021 1st quarter goals and the January monthly goal

1. Quilt this top
I didn't make much progress on my fourth quarter Finish-A-Long 2020 list. I had two finishes in the quarter. One finish, Unity, was on my list, so the quarter wasn't a total loss! This quarter, I'm changing my strategy. I don't know if there will be a 2021 Finish-A-Long (FAL). The hosts didn't post information about FAL beyond the initial introductory post. When the posting became exclusively through Instagram, I haven't made much of an effort to look at other people's projects. 
2. Flannel top #1 ready for basting

The Instagram platform, while having lots of great photos, doesn't have enough details. I have missed reading the post behind the photo. The FAL has been happening for years and it could be that it was time for a change. I, however, think having a plan helps me so I'll continue posting quarter goals. This year, some goals won't be finishes; but, the goals will help move a project forward.

Because I get sidetracked with other projects and because it can take me a long time to finish projects, I'm also going to include a monthly goal. The monthly goal won't necessarily be a finish; but, it will be something that will help move a project forward. I have a quilting friend who refers to a "closet of abandonment." This is where her projects went when she got stuck, the project lost its allure, etc. I have a stack of project boxes that have hung around for years. The reason I stopped working on the project was because I started a new project. I'm such a squirrel. . .I'm attracted to the next shiny and sparkling project!!!! While I'm not ready to actually know how many projects are in the UFO/abandonment stage, I do pan to set myself up to make better progress this year.

3. Flannel top #2 ready for basting
My monthly goal for January is to quilt in the ditch of quilt number one. If I progress further than that, I will feel terrific. If I get started, I will feel grateful. I'm also linking to Elm Street Quilts to her one monthly goal. January 7 is the last day to link for the month. If you want to link and play, do it soon!

Also, I am planning to schedule time each week to work with my embroidery software. I got stuck with the January lesson last year and I didn't make progress past that point. I know that if I had a better understanding of the software, I would use it.

I have one quilt top ready to quilt and two others that are ready to be layered. I need the pins that are in the top that is ready for quilting before I can layer and baste the other tops! These projects will be goals one through four.  I plan to develop my walking foot quilting skills when quilting the flannel tops. Although, in the larger areas, I may try to slip in a little quilting with rulers! If I can quilt one top a month, I'd be happy!
4. Flannel top #3 ready for basting

#1. Quilt number one is one of the last tops my friend Martha finished before she died. I know of a high school graduate that would like it as a finished quilt. Last August, I pieced a back and pin basted it together. It is ready to be quilted. I'm planning a lot of in the ditch quilting with something fun stitched in the sashing.

#2. Quilt number two is the first flannel top that I made from Martha's flannel scraps. #3. Quilt number three is the second flannel top that I made from Martha's flannel scraps. #4. Quilt number four is the third flannel top that I made from Martha's flannel scraps. Martha had a lot of scraps!! I have made pieced backs for each of the tops and when the basting pins are free from quilt number one, I'll quilt one of these tops. I'll be happy if I can baste and quilt one of these projects each month!
5. Supplies for a small wallhanging
#5. Project number five is to stitch the hand dyed black fabric into a modern styled wall hanging with the red corduroy applique and other red accents. I've thought about this project for about a year. I don't know why I've kept this project in the project box. 

#6. Project number six is cross stitching six Santa ornaments. I thought it would take me a couple weeks in the evening to complete these. I did complete the stitching. What is left is to cut the ornaments apart and add the hangers. Perhaps, this will be one of my first finishes this quarter!
6.-8. Cross stitch and bag projects

#7. Project number seven is cross stitching another small project. I've a bunch of small projects like this. Most of these came from Martha's sewing room. It is nice to have another medium to play with from time to time! I also completed one of these last year.

#8.  Project number eight is to stitch three camel back carry all bags. Nothing happened with this project last quarter. Perhaps, because I don't have a purpose for them is why I haven't progressed. 

#9. Project number nine is a piece of machine embroidery that I think would make a Spring wall hanging.

    9.-11. Three small wallhanging projects

#10. Project number ten is that little piece of embroidery that I thought wanted to be a pillow. It wanted to be a wall hanging. I decided it needed a word. It looked like Summer to me so I penciled in that word on the piece. I thought that I would get the word embroidered last quarter; but, it didn't happen!

#11. Project number eleven is six curved pieced waste blocks from Martha's scrap bin. I played around with an arrangement of the blocks and came up with a fun design.

#12. Project number twelve is Frolic. Last quarter, I made an additional six blocks with some of the leftovers. I want to make enough more blocks to increase the size a bit as well as use more of the leftover cut pieces. It would be great to finish the top this quarter. 
12. Make more Frolic blocks

#13. Project number thirteen is the butterfly. I'd like to finish gluing the edges of the pieces I used to collage it. 

This month, I'll be taking virtual Saturday workshops through my guild as well as teaching one workshop. That means, I will start about eight new projects! You can read about the first two Saturday workshops here.

I plan to spend part of each Sunday in the month using the embroidery software. I'm currently stitching the Bonnie Hunter Grassy Creek mystery. I'm planning a Temperature quilt. I have a selection of fabrics, a pattern and a rough plan; but, I haven't started the blocks yet.

Last night, I began reading our Thread Tales book for the quarter, "A Single Thread" by Tracy Chevalier. Thread Tales is my book club. We read a book and we may be inspired by the book to stitch a project. After reading a few chapters, I'm thinking project number nine might be the project for the book. I am also thinking about participating in the rainbow scrap challenge. I've watched from the sidelines at the blocks people create; but haven't taken the plunge. Scraphappy sure has some great starts already!
13. Glue the edges of the fabrics

Next month, I am attending a virtual retreat. I've some preparation work to complete before the end of the month. I sure enjoyed the previous two that I attended. I look forward to the shared laughter that this retreat will bring.

Already, I've lined up plenty of projects for the year ahead! Boredom will not inhabit my quilting studio in 2021! Perhaps, I'll even figure out my formula to complete more finishes while I play in my studio!



Sunday, January 3, 2021

New Project--Mile A Minute Quilt

The small scraps
Our Clark County Quilters group is holding virtual Saturday Workshops every Saturday in January. Pre-COVID, attendees would have selected one or two classes from a list of about a dozen offerings. Participants would have driven to the class location to attend the classes. 

Saturday workshops is one of my favorite activities that the guild supports because it is when members teach other members. It looked like COVID would cause this activity to be canceled; but, the workshop chair decided to try holding virtual workshops. Cost for the classes is $5 for a half day and $10 for a full day. (If we were meeting at the church, the fees would have been $10 for a half day and $20 for a full day.)

There are nine workshops scheduled. Two half day workshops are scheduled for for each Saturday except for the last Saturday of the month. On the last Saturday, the class is all day. For the first time, it is possible to take all of the classes. I enrolled in all the classes except the one that I am teaching! 

Yesterday, the morning class was "Mile A Minute Quilt." It is a great project to use a lot of scraps. Ada did a great job describing the steps and demonstrating the technique to the 30 of us who tuned in to Zoom to learn. I originally had pulled a pack of batik strips from a guild exchange long ago and the leftover green batik fabric from the Skittles & Sherbet project as my scraps.

The small pieces
After listening to Ada's introduction and Rizza's question about triangles, I got to thinking about the batik leftovers from "Into the Depths." Rizza was one of the workshop participants. Had I been at the in person workshop, I would not have been able to use those scraps. 

The process reminded me of making a log cabin block. I first pieced parts of some of the larger scraps with a 2 1/2 inch strip from my batik exchange. Then I took apart the smaller scraps and trimmed them to a useable segment. I stitched the segments together. Once I had a length, I stitched it to the batik strip. When I started to add the third round, I used the second batik strip. What I found interesting was how even the edges became because cutting consisted of slicing the pieced sections. 

Pointy parts pieced--parts for section two 
The next step, was to cut the fabric into squares. My goal was to see how large a section I could make from the scraps and two batik strips. I made a piece of fabric about 12 by 16 inches. I'm not sure what size square I will cut or if I will even cut squares. I plan to piece a few more "sections" and listen to the quilt before I make cutting decisions. Stitching 2 1/2 inch strips feels to me like stitching with a quarter yard of fabric. I've been sewing with strings and pieces smaller than 2 1/2 inches for months!

Rizza's question about how to piece around a triangle got me to thinking about the points that I was cutting away. Perhaps, I should piece a couple together to add more variety to the piecing. So I pieced some of the points together. I liked what happened so I plan to piece more of those in the future. 

Leftover blocks may become a border
It was a fun class. Had I started with larger scraps--these are parts of one and a half inch strips, I would have likely made actual blocks like others in the class. I'm happy with my progress.

Included in the scraps were a number of blocks that I didn't use in the original quilt. Perhaps, these will make a border. There are also some larger pieced chunks which I might be able to use. For the time being, I put all the scraps, my progress and the directions back into the project box. I need to work on a couple of other quilts first!

The afternoon class, with an attendance of 17 participants, was a lecture about how to take children's artwork into thread. It was informative. Even though I have taken a couple projects from artwork to quilts, I picked up a few tips. Judy shared fun examples of children's artwork with cats as the subject matter. (She is a cat lover.) Judy was a great speaker. She made the two hours pass like it was 15 minutes! Even better, I got to know a couple members which is another reason why I like the Saturday workshops so much!

If we had been able to meet in person, the maximum class size is about 20 people. A number of the rooms are small so some classes are limited to less than 10 people. It was great not packing up the machine and class supplies. I also like having classes through the month. I hope the program is successful enough to hold virtual workshops after we can meet in person.

Finish at the end of the session
I'm working on my first quarter goals. I'm planning to make monthly and weekly goals. Even though I have goals, I rarely make much progress. It takes me longer than I think for projects. Perhaps, if I divide the the work in achievable segments, I'll make better progress!

I'm linking this post with Oh Scrap at "Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework."

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 84.7M confirmed; 1.84M deaths

United States: 20.5M confirmed; 350Kdeaths

Oregon: 116K confirmed; 1,503 deaths

Parts of the world and parts of the United States continue to be locked down because of increasing number of COVID cases. In Oregon, for the last four days, there have been more than 1000 new reported cases each day. This week, there was a severe allergic reaction to a health care worker who had the Moderna vaccine in Eastern Oregon. The worker had to be hospitalized. I know of some health care workers who have received the vaccine. Some received the Phizer vaccine and some have received the Moderna vaccine. All reported sore arms; but none reported other side effects. Since December 13, 38,698 people have received the vaccine. About 26,000 doses were the Phizer vaccine.