Sunday, February 28, 2021

February Recap--One Monthly Goal Met!

First pin basted flannel quilt project
For a short month, I accomplished most of what I had planned. I'm pleased because I generally don't make that much progress! My list was to:

✓1. Finish quilting Martha's top. COMPLETED!!! I named it Little Bits. My husband shipped it to its recipient who lives in Texas at the beginning of the month.

✓2. Layer and baste one of the flannel quilt tops. COMPLETED!!!  I layered and basted not one; but, TWO flannel quilt tops. I was able to get both tops to fit on one width of batting.  These flannel tops are made entirely from scraps so I'm linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. (I always enjoy seeing other people's scrap projects with a cuppa on Sunday morning!)

✓3. Quilt the "Happy Hearts" table runner. COMPLETED!!!  Bonus, I also FINISHED it. 

✓4. Finish the hand embroidery on the small wall hanging. COMPLETED!!! 

Second pin basted flannel quilt project
✓5.Quilt the small wall hanging. COMPLETED! Currently, this project is waiting for the binding, sleeve and label. 

✓6. Keep up making the Temperature Quilt blocks. MET!!!! I decided which thread I wanted to use to represent snow. 

7. Add embroidery stitches to the log cabin block. Nope, I haven't touched this project.

✓8. Make the Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks for February--yellow is the color. COMPLETED!  I made twelve yellow string blocks this month.

 9. Complete a software class with my machine embroidery. Nope. Although, I did spend a few hours on two Sundays reacquainting myself with the materials.

Thread representing snow

✓10. Finish sewing "Frolic" blocks. This was my One Monthly Goal for February. COMPLETED! I did end up sewing 16 more full blocks and four additional half blocks than Bonnie listed in her pattern. I figure that I used at least an additional yard and a half of fabric from my stash which is GREAT! This past week, I've slowly stitched the blocks into rows complete with sashing.

When I started stitching the blocks into rows, I realized I was a half block short. Then I realized I had stitched the corner of one block incorrectly. I repaired the block and made one more half block. Then, I did the happy dance because I had met my monthly goal to make all of the blocks! 

Quilting the small wall hanging
Once I completed the rows, I stitched the rows together. The central section of the quilt is finished. Currently, it measurers 91 1/2 inches by 91 1/2 inches. Next steps for this top is to add borders. In Bonnie's version she added a double row of HSTs. In my version, I want to make it rectangular so that it will fit on our bed. I will ponder what those borders will look like for a few days. I will look at other people's finished quilts and see what they chose because I need inspiration. I plan to add about 15 inches in length and whatever works well to finish the top for the width.

I am linking to the February One Monthly Goal finishes page. I do plan to take some time to browse the internet to see how other people completed this project!

Last half block sewn
For the past three days, I've been participating in an online retreat. This one has about 50 participants. I've enjoyed it. I did have an unstable internet the first day so about all I could do was listen to the activities. Because there are so many people, I've played the games. I've shared at show and tell; but, I've have tried to limit talking to give newbies an opportunity to join in the conversation. 

As part of the charity project, we were encouraged to make lovely bunnies. I finished the two that were kits in my supplies. I mailed them to the person collecting the kits yesterday. I love the deer flannel material. Some hunter family will be happy to have that lovely bunny! These bunnies will go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Peace Health hospital in Vancouver, WA. Parents will hold a bunny next to their skin to leave their "scent." The bunny will be placed next to their infant when the parent can't be there. In this way, their baby will get to know their parent. I learned that smell is one of the first senses a baby develops!

Finished Frolic Center
Since it is the end of the month, I'll note that I helped 36 people earn their American Heart Basic Life Support CPR certificates.

Regarding COVID: 

Worldwide: 114M cases; 2.53M deaths United States: 28.6M cases; 512K deaths Oregon: 155K cases; 2,218 deaths

Worldwide the number of COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are declining. Vaccinations are on the rise in spite of vaccine shortages. The third vaccine produced by Johnson and Johnson received FDA approval so it should be available to the general population soon.

In Oregon, kids are returning to school. Some elementary students have been doing in person learning for months. School districts are choosing their return timetables. All are choosing to stagger the return with kindergarten and grade one students beginning first with other grade levels added in week intervals. 

Two completed Lovely Bunnies

For my teacher daughter, that means she will be "in person" beginning April 1. For now, that is about all that is clear. For the grand daughters, their parents have determined that they will continue with on line learning until they have been vaccinated. Currently, kids aren't in the mix for getting a vaccine because not enough information is known.

Friday, the governor released the plan for when the remaining population will be eligible to receive the vaccine. I hope that in the next few weeks, the process to register and to make an appointment will be more streamlined. My husband will be eligible to receive his vaccine March 29.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Yellow String Blocks-RSC Month 2

Finished yellow string blocks
Yellow is the color this month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC). Yellow is not a color that I have much of in my stash. I raided Martha's strings and my strings to come up with enough of a variety of strings to start piecing. I do have some yellow scrap chunks that I could cut into strings if needed.

Over a couple afternoons, I paper pieced 12 blocks. I thought that I liked the pink blocks best from last month. Now that I have pieced the yellow blocks, I like the yellow blocks best. I wonder, if at the end of March, I will like the March blocks best? Time will tell!

I removed the paper and I considered sewing the blocks together; but, I decided to wait until I finish sewing all the blocks. I might choose to mix the block colors rather than keeping them separate. Depending on my design, I may have blocks leftover for a second project! (Each block will finish at eight inches.) 

The black fabric which resembles sashing when the blocks are set on the diagonal, gives these blocks a modern feel. I also like using a variety of off white/white/cream and light tan neutrals. Those blocks also look interesting. So far, I like piecing a few blocks. I like piecing from my scraps, although I don't see a noticeable reduction in the amount of scraps! I'm having fun participating in the RSC and I'm glad I decided to hop in and play along.

I will need to cut more neutral strings to sew the blocks for next month; but, that won't be difficult! I'm linking to Rainbow Scrap Challenge. If you want to participate, go to this link to access the landing page.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Happy Hearts Table Runner Finished--Third Finish 1st Quarter

Cotton thread sample
When I last posted about this project, I had completed the top. I used a smoke monofilament to quilt in the ditch. It worked okay; but, doing it again, I would use the clear instead on the the lighter fabrics. I had in mind to try quilting the project with a 100 weight polyester thread. 

Circle quilting -- two sizes
That thread was too light in color for the project. I tried a 50 weight cotton thread. The look of the cotton thread on the cotton fabric didn't excite me. It was too dull! I used a 40 weight medium grey Floriani polyester thread to quilt two different sizes of circles. I liked the look of the texture with that color and thread weight. 

I chose circles as the filler because the dots in the background fabric and because the circles reminded me of the pattern in my daughter's china. She also has crystal that has circles accented decoratively on the pieces. This table runner will eventually be gifted to her. I quilted smaller circles next to the pieced hearts and larger circles in the border. The process proceeded without challenges. I used a polyester pink thread in the bobbin. The color of the thread worked best with the backing fabric.

I quilted around the fabric print in the small red and white print. I quilted a few hearts and the word "Love" in the small light pink hearts. 

The backing fabric is a scrap from a skirt that I stitched for my oldest granddaughter a couple years ago. She will quickly recognize her skirt fabric!

This heart pattern is from Cluck Cluck Sew. The pattern is under the free tab and is the multi-sized heart pattern. On the main page is a new free and cute heart pattern called Love Struck. 

I chose to string piece the large hearts. Making the Cluck Cluck Sew hearts was a Saturday Workshop class that Colleen taught. She string pieced some hearts. She pieced her strings vertically. Colleen's sample of string hearts was cute.
Stitching the binding to the quilt front

Her string piecing inspired me to piece my strings diagonally. Colleen said that she was inspired to string piece because of my string piecing Saturday Workshop class. I thought it was cool that my string class inspired her to piece strings for a different project!

I didn't have enough of the background fabric to add a double fold binding so I added a single fold binding instead. I remember adding single fold bindings to placemats and to neck/arm hole openings clothing that I made many years ago. One of the Saturday
Workshops covered bindings. Single fold binding was discussed. I decided I would reacquaint myself with this technique.

I'm glad that I did as I will finish another project with single fold binding. After I stitched the binding to the quilt front, I pressed the binding away from the quilt. Next, I found pressing the fold to the seam was the perfect measurement for the fabric to cover the seam. I wiggled the corners a bit to get the right amount of fold in that area. The corners look great. I hand stitched the binding to the back of the table runner. 

Pressing the fold into the binding
The label came from my stash. I picked up the label from the guild free table years ago.  It works well on this project! Although I didn't finish this project on/before Valentine's Day, I did finish it two days later. I do plan to gift it to my daughter. Maybe Christmas will be when I give it to her. I do have a second table runner to stitch. (I have another daughter and I wouldn't want her to think that she wasn't the "favorite" daughter!) Truly, both daughters are my "favorites."

I don't know when I'll work on the second table runner. I need to determine and cut the background fabric. I'm considering arranging the hearts so that the layout would work as a small wall hanging as well as a table runner. I've other projects to work on while I consider my options. 

This is my third finish for the quarter. It measures about 14 inches wide by 36 inches long. I used about a yard and a half of stash. This brings my total fabric usage as -2 yards for the year. (I purchased some fabrics for my temperature quilt.) In this project, I used techniques from three Saturday Workshop classes!

I'm linking to Oh Scrap--Quilting Is Better Than Housework since all but the background fabric were scraps from my stash!

Regarding COVID: 
Worldwide: 111M cases; 2.46M deaths
United States: 28.1M cases; 497K deaths
Oregon: 153K cases; 2,159 deaths
View of the front and back

In Oregon, a seven month old tested positive for the virus and died the same day in Umatilla county. Previously, the youngest person in Oregon to die was a nine year old. The media reported that the seven month old had underlying conditions. In spite of the sad news, hospitalizations as well as infections are down in Oregon and across the country.

Getting on the "list" to receive the vaccine is still long, arduous and impossible if you don't have on line capability. Our "teacher" daughter, Amanda, received her second dose of the vaccine Wednesday afternoon. She felt tired and somewhat unwell Thursday and Friday; but, was feeling better the following day.
Finished runner

I worked two days in a row this week. I still have a headache and I still feel fatigue. The ibuprofen doesn't even take the edge off of the headache pain either! Sleeping is about the only way I can get relief. Perhaps, tomorrow will be the day that I feel more like myself! 

Amanda arrived yesterday and helped her dad for four hours clean up branches. Bending over with this headache doesn't work for me so I was doubly grateful for her help.
Together, they cleaned up under four trees. Mother Nature rained, hailed and even provided a little sunshine on them. 

Neighboring communities have yard debris drop offs; but, not our area. I can hear chipping machines and chain saws working during all the daylight hours of the day. It is going to be a long time before we get the debris cleaned up and the repairs made to all that Mother Natured damaged during the storm.

As of Friday, a thousand people were still without power more than a week after our storm. The media aired a story about "WhyWait Construction" company which has been providing free clean up to about 20 people living in Southeast Portland. The brother and sister team that owns the company along with their work crew have cleared more than two ton of debris out of people's yards. Good deeds do happen in times of need!

Other parts of the United States are recovering from storm damage. Texas is especially hard hit. People there have had bursting pipes from the freezing temperatures, no power and no drinkable water. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Destruction of Snow/Ice Storm of 2021

The remains of my favorite maple trees
We have had a mild winter. . .that was until last Thursday when a winter storm blew into our area. We received at least six inches of snow and maybe as much as 10 inches. It is hard to report how much snow fell because wind pushed the snow into drifts. 

A section of fence that can be repaired after limb removal
Bailey, our golden retriever, loved the snow. She'd put her nose in it and make a trail. Soon after, she was rolling and running in it! As beautiful as it was, 250,000 people were without power. Temperatures dropped into the high 20s. Last Friday and Saturday, a couple inches of freezing rain topped the snow. It was so weird to walk on the snow without breaking through. The trees were covered in ice. Bailey also found she couldn't play in the white stuff with all that ice!

Sunday, we had a few tree limbs fall to the ground because the weight of the ice broke them.  The weight of the ice broke the trunks of my favorite maple trees. I purchased these at least ten years ago. They were in a gallon container and they were becoming show stoppers in the fall. All that is left of them is about a twelves inches of a stump. Limbs crashed on several areas of the fence line as well as the gate.

This branch caused no damage to the roof when it fell
We had intermittent power. We were thankful that we had a wood stove to keep us warm. Our West Linn daughter and family were not as fortunate. Their area was hit hard from falling trees. They have been without power the entire time.

They hope to have power by 11PM tonight. Cell service is spotty so we haven't been able to check in to find out how they have fared. We receive one or two text message a day. They do not have a secondary source of heat.

Monday, the temperatures began to warm. As the ice melted, Mother Nature completed more pruning. I heard more limbs crash to the ground. I watched the tops of two cedar trees land on the top of our London daughter's car. I will remember the cracking sound those limbs made falling away from the tree and the crunching sound they made hitting the car.

The smashed car
It took my husband the entire day to remove the trees and to tarp the car. Branches went through the front and back windows so tree removal was a delicate operation. The car roof is smashed. With rain imminent, tree removal was the priority of the day.  

We are fortunate that Bob has the skills and the tools to do tree removal. With so many trees down, booking an appointment for tree removal from a licensed company might happen in late March or early April! At one point during the limbing process, Bob located one windshield wiper. Maybe the blade can be reused. The wiper itself is broken.

Early in the afternoon, a friend came and used ropes to steady the trunks from falling onto my husband as he cut away the limbs. By the end of the day, Bob had cleared away all of the limbs. He wrapped a tarp around the car to keep out the rain.

Beginning the limb removal process

Mother Nature sent us some serious rain showers on Tuesday so it was good that he was able to get that far with the clean up! Monday evening, Bob reported that he isn't as young as he used to be. The effort of wielding a chain saw, pulling branches and stacking debris has taken a toll on his body. (He will be 65 mid June.) He says that he can sure tell that he hasn't been working out in the gym for months too!

We have decided that in the summer, he will schedule the removal of a number of trees on the property. We're planning ahead so that should we have another similar bout of weather, tree fallout won't cause as much damage. 

I will miss the shade and the texture three of the trees provided. They are about 80 years old. Perhaps, we will find an alternative tree that is less prone to ice damage to replace the ones that are removed.

Found one windshield wiper
In the end, we are thankful no one was hurt. The car and the fences can be replaced and/or repaired. Limb and brush removal will take months. There is so much debris that likely Bob will be hauling it away rather than burning it. There is at least three inches of green needles all around the car. 

Yesterday, Bob pulled out the generator and got it going because our West Linn daughter said they would like to use it if it worked. We purchased it more than 25 years ago used and have not needed to use it. We were both surprised that it started with a little coaxing. 

Late morning, he delivered it to their house.  He said that the main roads were bare; but the side streets were still icy and "dicy." He set up the generator and left. Our son-in-law was cooking their lunch on the propane grill. I hope our daughter and family will be warmer and that they can do some indoor cooking should they choose.

Tarped and ready for the tow
Today, Bob plans to clear the debris so that the tow truck will be able to access the car to tow it to the repair shop. It could be that the car isn't able to be repaired. The weather forecast is for a drier day than it was yesterday.

What a crazy past twelve months this has been. We began living with COVID restrictions last March. May through August, we watched the country protest about police brutality. Protestors in Portland gathered nightly for more than 100 straight days. They also threw projectiles at police officers, set fires to buildings and created chaos.

We lived through the wildfires in August. Kids continued with online learning in September. We watched the country continue to divide during the November election and divide even more before the January inauguration.  This month, February, we survived the snow/ice storm of 2021.

Surely, we have experienced enough! 

Sunday, February 14, 2021

2021 Temperature Quilt-Post 2

Running stitch applied "organically"
A reminder about this project: The square represents the low for the day; the circle represents the high for the day. Hand stitching represents precipitation. 

Once I had hand appliquéd the circles to the squares, I stitched a running stitch around the circle if it was a rainy day. I purchased that thread when I went to the International Quilt Show in Houston, Texas a number of years ago. I bought it from Laura Wasilowski's booth.  It is a beautiful size eight hand dyed ombre thread. Laura is such a positive person. She has fun patterns and threads for sale on her website. She also has lots of tutorials which are free which include some stitch alongs that you can join at any time! 

Because it is a hand dyed thread, I tested it for color fastness. I don't intend to wash this project; but, if I wet it for blocking, I wanted to know I won't have bleeding issues. I was shocked at how much color came from the thread. I tried setting the color with a vinegar and salt solution. I don't know how successful I was because even with lots of rinsing in cold water, there was a lot of dye in the water. 

Sashing and alternate square selections
I'll be mindful of getting this project wet! With all the dye that was released from the thread at least I know that amount won't be on my fabric!

The thread adds a nice accent to the circles. I like adding my hand to a project. I had thought about using different stitches; but, decided to keep the design the same. On purpose, I am stitching "organically" circular as I like the wonkiness free form stitching creates. 

When the month begins or ends on a day other than Saturday, I decided to use square of a light grey fabric printed with dots. I liked the contrast that fabric provided. 

For the sashing between the weekdays, I auditioned all sorts of grey fabrics. I considered using no sashing and in the end, I used a fabric print of rocks. This fabric was left over from a long ago project. It was destined to be a in a baby quilt; but, after cutting almost all the pieces, there wasn't enough. All the pieces and parts ended up in a bag about nine years ago. . .but, who is counting???

First week in January complete
The smallest strips were cut at 7/8 of an inch so perhaps it is serendipity that this fabric ended up in this project after all! I don't know if there is enough fabric to sash all the blocks for this project. If I run out before the end of the year, I'll figure out another fabric that will work as well. I do plan to spend some time cutting the strips to size so I have a better idea of how many months of strips I have on hand.

The month of January complete
To sash each week, I did use a grey fabric and I added white corner stones so that matching the squares would be easier. I also wanted to provide the eye with another pattern to view. I slowly stitched the weeks of January together. I have a plan for the key; but, I haven't a plan for inserting the name of the month. I've time to work out that plan.

Because this is a scrappy project and because I'm using those bits housed for years in a plastic bag, I'm linking to Oh Scrap--Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.

I had a pleasant surprise in my mail box twice this week. I received two Valentine post cards! One was from Connie and one was from Gail. I recognize the "girl" as Gail made a quilt for a special someone with that print some time ago. I helped her with the label. My friend, Bonnie Welte wrote the book on making post cards.

Valentine post cards
I agree with Connie that the granddaughters would have a hoot making these. How I miss our play dates! This year I was derelict in sending Valentine cards. I'll try to be better next year. In the meantime, I wish all of you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Speaking of Valentine's Day, my plan is to finish the table runner I started in a Saturday workshop. I have a plan of how to squeeze the leftover background fabric into a binding.

Today, I could have posted about our low temperatures (upper 20s) or the snow that fell--about six inches and the coat of ice--about half an inch. Instead, I'll save those photos for Wednesday when our "normal" temperatures are back in the 40s for this time of year. 

Valentine table runner
In the meantime, we are staying warm feeding the wood stove and staying away from the ice incased tree limbs as a number of those have crashed. Sigh, there is some damage from their fall; but nothing my husband can't repair when the conditions improve.

Regarding COVID:

  • Worldwide: 109M cases; 2.39M deaths 
  • United States: 27.6M cases; 484K deaths 
  • Oregon: 150K cases; 2,137 deaths

In the United States and also in Oregon, the number of new cases has plateaued. Distribution of vaccine continues to be an issue. In Oregon, the process to get on a list to receive the vaccine isn't any better than it was last week. People age 80 were eligible to receive the vaccine this week. 

Many may not have the ability to navigate the technology to schedule their appointment. COVID vaccine angels all across the United States are volunteering to help seniors book online appointments. Also, in Oregon the media reported four vaccinated people have contracted the virus. It wasn't reported what vaccine each had nor was it reported how the infection was contracted nor was it reported how long between the vaccine doses the exposure was. It was reported that the people have had light symptoms of the virus.

Proof of vaccination
Tuesday, I received the second dose of the Moderna vaccine. I arrived five minutes before the schedule start of the vaccination day. I was the third person to be vaccinated that day. The person who vaccinated me was working the day I received my first dose. I thanked her for doing this job. She said that she had worked every day that the vaccinations were distributed. She also said she planned to continue working every day that the vaccinations were offered because she felt so strongly about the value of the vaccinations! 

While my arm has not been as sore as it was with the first dose, the second dose packed a wallop! I experienced chills, fever, nausea for a full three days. I did not vomit. I ran a temperature of 101. The headache, muscle and joint pain have been constant. The dizziness is more profound this time than the last time. Ibuprofen helps the symptoms. About an hour before I can redose the Ibuprofen, all the symptoms I'm experiencing heighten. 

Again, I am thankful to have had the opportunity to access to the vaccine. I am thankful that the symptoms I am experiencing will pass without lingering effects. I am thankful that while the symptoms of the doses have kicked my butt, I am about five days away from my body building the optimum immunity. Exactly what I'll be immune to in terms of the new COVID variants remains to be known. This vaccination, however, is the beginning. I am one person that won't be an easy host for the virus to invade. May there be millions of us in this same position soon.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Frolic--Post 6

Partial layout of the blocks
The last time that I posted about this project was in November. Since then, I've puttered with making a block or a half block here and there. This month, I decided it was time to get serious about making progress on this project. The bits required to make a block take up space! I made finishing the blocks my "One Monthly Goal" for February. When I set the goal, I estimated that I had ten full blocks to make as well as some half blocks. 

After I finished, "Little Bits," I again pulled out the Frolic bits and blocks. These blocks are set on point. Figuring out what my plan was took me several hours. I made a few more blocks; but, I was spending more time wondering if my math was correct in my plan than I was sewing! 

Turning a half block into a full block
I finally took the blocks off of the design wall and laid them out on the floor. I'm glad that I laid the blocks on the floor. I saw that I had too many light full blocks and not enough light half blocks. I made notes on what needed to occur in the rows; but, I didn't take detailed photos. In retrospect, it would have been helpful to have taken photos row by row!

In moving this project forward, I realized it would take more than making the blocks. . .I was going to have to assemble the blocks into rows. When I picked up the rows, I stacked them in the order I had planned to sew them. I
also decided to start with the longest row first. The pieced skinny sashing took some time to piece since there were a lot of matching opportunities. The process wasn't difficult; but, time consuming. Once I stitch the rows on either side of the longest row, the remaining shorter rows will go together faster. Since I will be making 16 more full blocks and 4 more half blocks, I will also be cutting more pieces for the sashing. 

I pieced a half dark block into a full block. I had it pieced before I realized that the additional light blue fabrics that I cut weren't the same as the ones already in the block. ARG!!!!! How I didn't notice this until I was ready to piece into a row is beyond me!

Updated block
At first, I decided to leave it. BUT because I knew leaving it would bother me, I frogged stitched and added the same fabric. Since I replaced those fabrics, I'm happier with how the finished block looks.

My plan today is to finish piecing the second row that I started yesterday and to cut more sashing pieces. I also want to make some progress on my Temperature quilt.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Martha's Quilt--Second Finish of 1st Quarter 2021

Threads used to quilt the project

My January "one monthly goal" was to ditch quilt this project. I worked on it a little almost every day and by the end of the month I had almost completed the quilting. I decided to add a design to the center and outer edge of the block to stabilize the piecing a bit more and to evenly distribute to the quilting. 

I chose a Wonderfil variegated blue, red, green, purple polyester thread to quilt the designs. I liked how the variegated thread blended with the fabrics. I can see how valuable variegated thread can be! 

Center motif
I used the Westalee Spinning Wheel 36 to create the center design. I added quarter designs to the corners of the blocks. I loved how the design adds texture to the project. At a glance, one might think that this project was quilted on a longarm rather than on a domestic machine. One might also think that an all over pattern was used instead of a couple ruler templates.

I purchased a fabric for the binding. I could have used a plain black binding; but, I thought that a print would be a better companion to the piecing. The bubble print coordinates well with all the fabrics used in this project. 

I did machine stitch the binding. This time, I cut the strips 2 3/8 inches wide. I used the number 34D foot on my Bernina with the edge of the foot lined up with the edge of the fabric. I moved the needle two positions to the right. After I had stitched the binding to the back of the quilt, I carefully pressed the binding away from the quilt. This was a tip that a retreat participant shared last fall. She said that after she pressed the binding, she didn't need to pin it in place.

Auditioning binding options
Using the number 10D foot and moving the needle two positions to the right, I stitched along the edge of the binding. The retreat participant was correct. I pinned the corners; but, nothing else. The binding went on like a dream.

I definitely will use this technique again! For the most part, I found that the stitching line was consistently spaced from the edge. There were a few spots I didn't achieve that; but, it was better than in my previous attempts! I likely took a bit deeper seam allowance in those spots. I can work on improving my technique on the next quilt that I bind!

Next, I added the label. Usually, I stitch the label partially in place when I stitch the binding. This time, I could not decide what I wanted to name the quilt. I also couldn't determine what label I wanted to use!

Detail of the back of the quilt
When I get stuck, I'll often move on to a different project or take a walk. Interestingly to me, while I'm in the zone of that activity, a solution or two pops into my head. As soon as I finished stitching the binding, I thought to myself, well, these little bits of fabric sure look great together. That's when the name hit me. . ."Little Bits!"

Also, I had a label in my stash that had a dog on it. The quilt recipient loves dogs so I used it. Yes, I had to hand sew all four edges; but, that didn't take too much time.

My friend Martha, would be happy that I finished her quilt. She would be elated knowing that I gave it to a high school graduate. She said when she was making the quilt that it was going to be used for the next "graduate." 

The graduate I have in mind, graduated from high school last June. Tomorrow, I plan to mail the quilt to her--she lives in Texas. She and her mama will understand because it took me seven years to finish her first quilt after I received the announcement that she was here! I'm faster this time!

As I've quilted this project, the pattern has grown on me so much that I decided to make a sample block using strings so that I can make a string quilt in the future. 

Back of the quilt
This was goal number one on my first quarter goal list. I almost finished it last month. I'm doing the happy dance! It is my second finish.

This quilt is 56 inches wide by 76 inches long. I used two yards of fabric from my stash. I did buy 5 1/2 yards of fabric buying earlier this week so I'm at a -3.5 yards of stash used. 

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

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 106M cases; 59M deaths 

United States: 27M cases; 462K deaths 

Oregon: 147K cases; 2,032 deaths

In the UK, one person in 55 has tested positive for the virus. In many other parts of the world, you may be eligible to receive the vaccine; but, you don't have a way to sign up to receive it. In the U.S., the number of positive cases has plateaued. Hospitalizations are still at a high level. 

Front view of finished quilt
In Oregon, prisoners will receive the vaccination next week. Also next week, people age eighty and older are eligible to receive the vaccine. Here is the issue, the 400,000 healthcare workers in phase 1a have not all been vaccinated with the first does yet. The 105,000 teachers in group one of phase 1b that were eligible January 25 to receive the vaccine have not all been vaccinated. Couple those numbers with the 795,000 people age 65 and older who will all be eligible for the vaccine after March 1 and it is obvious there is an issue with logistics! At the rate the vaccinations are distributed, it will be June before this part of the population will be vaccinated. 

In spite of logistics issues, vaccinations are continuing. Slowly people are receiving their second doses. There has been so much written about the COVID symptoms, the COVID variant viruses as well as symptoms of the variant viruses. Even the side effect symptoms of the vaccine has received news time. 

I wish that the media would also report that the virus can mutant only in a host. If we aren't a viable host for the virus because we've had the vaccine, we can slow/stop the spread of the disease. Getting vaccinated is an important step toward becoming a non viable host. If you would have told me a year a go when we were in the two week stay home order that we would still be social distancing, I wouldn't have believed it. Yet, this is exactly where we are.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

February One Monthly Goal and Monthly Plan

Quilting template
Moving into February, I'm not planning to start a new project; but, if there was one that sparked my interest or spoke to my heart, I would! 

Regarding my One Monthly Goal, I had considered finishing Martha's quilt as my goal. Quilting in the ditch on this project was my One Monthly Goal for January. I made great progress on it last month. I even accomplished more than quilting in the ditch! 

While I was quilting the sashing, I decided to quilt a design in each of the blocks. A couple weeks ago, I purchased fabric to bind it. Because I finished quilting this project on Monday and started the binding process yesterday, I will choose another project as my One Monthly Goal. This morning I finished machine stitching the binding and this afternoon, I'll tackle the label. A finish is just around the corner!

This month on the quilting front, I plan to layer and baste one of the flannel quilts I started piecing last March. I plan to quilt the Happy Hearts table runner that I started in a Saturday Workshop last month. I also plan to quilt a small wall hanging that I had thought would be a pillow; but, it wanted to be a wall hanging. That project has been on my finish list a long time!

I plan to continue working on hand embroidery embellishment. I've at least three projects where I'm planning to hand embroider a few stitches. The pillow that wanted to be a wall hanging, the log cabin block and temperature quilt are the projects. I will spend some time working on the embroidery software assignments. Now that the Saturday workshops have been held, perhaps, I will get into Sundays as the day to work on this project! I plan to make a few Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks too!

Make more Frolic blocks

The 2019-2020 Bonnie Hunter Mystery--Frolic--is still on my design wall. I have around a dozen blocks left to make. I decided to stitch additional blocks to use the majority of leftover parts as well as make the project bigger. 

I have already stitched 35 full blocks and 17 half blocks. I suppose it would be a good idea to draw a schematic to see just how many more blocks I really need! 

Finished, this project might end up on our bed! I so want to move this project forward! Therefore, completing the blocks will be my One Monthly Goal for February. Fingers crossed that I will have as much success this month as I did last month!

Linking up to One Monthly Goal.