Sunday, May 30, 2021

Wool Doodle Pincushion--One Monthly Goal Finish and Fifth Finish for 2nd Quarter 2021

Wool pincushion project upper right
After the March retreat in which I began this project, I spent a couple evenings stitching around the circles. At that point, I had stitched: colonial knots, chain stitch, Palestrina stitch, lattice work, tiny cross stitch, fly stitch, and ribbed spider web.

All the threads but the green and copper sparkling threads are from my grandmother's stash. She would have crocheted something with the threads; but, she would also have approved of how I used them in this project.

Embroidery finished
I chose these threads because they were a variety of weights and would contrast with the wool applique pieces and wool background. 

I didn't work on the project in April. I decided to make it my One Monthly Goal for May so that it didn't become a UFO! (Unfinished Object) I placed the project bag where I would see it every day and for the first twenty days of May, seeing the project was all that I did!

First side of strip sewn
Then over five evenings, I reviewed more stitches through Mary Corbett's Needle and Thread video tutorials. I stitched the rope stitch, the scroll stitch and the lazy daisy stitch. It was fun to stitch the circles with decorative threads and stitches. I liked how easy it was to pull thread through the wool fibers. Once I had finished embellishing the circles, it was time to actually make the pincushion.

I selected a couple scraps of batik fabrics from my small chunks drawer. I cut a circle out of the lighter batik and a strip from the darker batik fabric. I used the batik circle as my pattern to cut a circle from my wool applique.

Stitching the back to the pincushion
I used a lot of pins and pinned the dark batik strip to the wool circle. Once I had the strip pinned then I cut the strip to the correct length and seamed the ends to form a circle. I stitched the two pieces together and repeated the process with the other batik circle. Except, I left a two inch opening in the seam to allow me to turn the project inside out!

I had a quart size bag of small bits of batting scraps and a bag of fiber fill. I slowly stuffed the pincushion about 2/3 full with a mixture of batting scraps and fiber fill. I hand stitched the opening closed. My May monthly goal that I had posted about earlier this month was met!

Had this not been my one monthly goal, I doubt that I would have put one stitch into this project. It felt great to have a finish. I am going to enjoy using this pincushion. When I use it, I will have the pleasant memory of how the project began. It felt great to return the threads to storage and to empty a project bag!

View of thread and of side of pincushion
This was goal number 15 on my 2nd Quarter goal list. This was goal number six on my May goal list. I used about a fat eighth of fabric for the project which brings my stash usage for the year to 3 and 3/8 yards. I'm linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting is More Fun Than Housework and to Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - May Finish Link-up.

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 170M cases; 3.53M deaths

United States: 33.3M cases; 594K deaths

Oregon: 201K cases; 2,681 deaths

Worldwide, cases fell 14%. India still has the highest rate of new cases; but, those were 23% less than last week. There is still a problem getting vaccines to all countries.

View of pincushion top
In the United States, 50.7% of the population has had at
least one dose of the vaccine. 40.7% of the population is fully vaccinated.

In Oregon, 54.5% of the population has had at least one dose of the vaccine. 44.6% of the population is fully vaccinated. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Granddaughter's Dress--Fourth Finish 2nd Quarter 2021

In my head, I could see the knit fabric stitched into a simple empire waist dress with short sleeves and a fuller skirt with an asymmetrical hemline. I drew a sketch of what I was considering. I looked through my pattern stash. I found a T-Shirt pattern that featured an empire waistline. I looked at patterns on line. I considered going to Joann Craft and Fabric Store to purchase a pattern. Pattern prices ranged from $10 to $20. Since I didn't see THE pattern, I decided to save money and draft my own pattern.

I taped together pieces of newsprint until I had a piece that was large enough to draw the skirt. Using the T-Shirt pattern as a starting point, I extended the lines until I had drawn a skirt that would be the correct length. Next, I slashed the pattern at the waistline as if I included darts. Then, I slashed the pattern from the bottom of the pattern to the almost the dart slashes. 

View of the back and front at the side seam
Making the slashes in this manner, allowed me to gently pull the pieces apart to add more circumference to the skirt. The slashes at the top, allow the pieces to fit under each other so the pattern will like flat to allow me to cut out the pieces. I could have drawn another pattern that included the fullness; but, I chose to cut the fabric after I had added the circumference. I added an additional ten inches to the dress. At this point, I decided against the asymmetrical hemline.

The print seemed to be chaotic enough that trying to match the design didn't seem important. Although I did try to match the pink and green strip that was in the fabric. I stitched the seam lines and then serged the seams. The knit fabric won't ravel. I serged to clean finish the seams. I used the bulky overlock threads that I have a lot of in the stash.

It was a simple dress to sew. It pulls over the head so there was no need for a zipper. I tried changing the differential feed on the serger so that the seams would lie flatter. I tried gently stretching the seam as I stitched it on
Finished Dress

my sewing machine; but, I wasn't able to stitch a seam without it puckering. I also thought that the fullness that I added would drape away from the center back and center front seams. It didn't. Perhaps, had I stitched darts in the skirt it would have draped the way I had envisioned.

I topstitched the empire waistline seam. I added a fabric binding to finish the next edge. I stitched a blind hem on the machine at the hemline. I topstitched the sleeve hem. It is a finished dress. My granddaughter's birthday is tomorrow and I image that she will like it.

I used about one and one quarter yards of fabric for the dress. But, I've purchased six and a quarter yards of fabric this month so my over all stash usage this years is three and one quarter yards. 

This is fabric from my friend Marla's sister. There is at least an additional two yards of fabric remaining. I don't know what else I will make out of the fabric. This was goal number eight on my May list. I didn't list it on my 2nd Quarter list! 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Frolic Blocks--More Sewn (Post 7)

Stitching sashing to the blocks
My goal in April regarding "Frolic" was to sew enough blocks to get the top 16 inches larger. I cut a little and sewed a little. I searched my "precuts" for additional fabrics and repeated until I had completed more blocks. 

It was hard to get back into the block making part of the project again because in March I was sure that I was ready to attach a border. I had put away the parts for stitching blocks. Getting out all the supplies again was not fun.

After I stitched the first block, the rest were not as difficult as I settled into a routine. There is less variety in these blocks because I have more than doubled the original number of blocks listed in the pattern. I am amazed at how much fabric I've used in this project! I stitched ten full blocks and two half blocks. Between the time that I wrote my April post and the first of May, I thought that I could add one row instead of two rows. I thought ten blocks would be the perfect fit. 

Adding a row
Ripping the top apart to add the blocks was harder to do! I had maintained most of the points and met many of the intersections. I had no idea how much ripping the row of stitching would affect my psyche! I forced myself to rip it.

Once I had the top back to two pieces, I laid out my blocks. I couldn't make the fit. I thought that I could add one row and that would get the top the 16 inches larger that I needed. Was I ever wrong!!! I learned that with diagonal rows, you need an odd number of rows so I needed to sew another row of blocks together. 

Problem identified
This top,  which was about 92 inches square, is too large for my design wall. It is too large to lay out on the bed! I can sort of make it fit on the floor. I needed space to be able to see where to place the blocks. Mother's Day, I laid the blocks in between the two halves of the top. This was when I realized adding one row of blocks wasn't going to work.

Do you see the problem? With one row of blocks, there is a space at the end of the row; but, if it were filled, then the row won't fit the other end of blocks! I learned that I needed to make yet another row because when setting these blocks, there needs to be an odd number of rows. 

More scraps selected
No way did I want to stitch even more blocks! I needed to cut out at least nine more full blocks and two half blocks. I didn't have enough of a variety of fabrics remaining so it was back to my scrounging my scraps. I pulled a little more red and a little more blue 2 1/2 inch strips. My revamped goal was to sew at least nine blocks in May. 

I thought about buying some dark blue fabric; but, my goal for this project was to use what I have. Originally, I did buy the aqua fabrics, a little yardage of blue and some yards of neutrals because I didn't have near enough to begin the project. In the end, I talked myself into using my stash! I stretched the value range of the colors. I hope that I made good choices. I hope I will have enough variety that I won't have similar fabrics in blocks grouped together. Time will tell.

Blocks kitted and ready for stitching
I cut and kitted block sets. I sewed more blocks. I felt like the block sewing process was endless. I am reminiscent of Bill Murray in the movie "Ground Hog Day." I kept sewing and eventually I finished those blocks. 

I did beat myself up about not figuring out the row issue sooner--I spent many hours on the issue. I took a deep breath and told myself, "C'est la vie!" Then, I told myself, "Get on with it! Start stitching. In the end, you are going to be happy you didn't settle with a quilt that didn't quite fit the bed."

After making the "kits" for the remaining blocks, I realized I didn't have enough blue fabric to piece the HST border I have in mind. I purchased three navy fat quarters and three yards of neutral fabrics. 

After looking at the photo of my purchases, the dotted half yard of blue fabric will likely play better in my penguin project. (I haven't posted progress about that project yet!) I needed to "beef" up the cream tones in my neutrals for variety. I've prewashed the fabric and pressed it with a bit of spray starch to give the fabrics some body. 

More fabrics purchased for the top

By the end of the week, I had pieced all the blocks I had kitted. I don't know if I'll get the sashing sewn to the blocks before the end of the month; but, I'm happy to have stitched all the blocks. I anticipate not stitching any more blocks! 

I figure it took me about one hour and 15 minutes to stitch one block. The original plan was to stitch 25 full blocks and 15 half blocks. I have now stitched 62 full blocks and 21 half blocks. I have one extra block which will likely be the label. The project is closer to becoming a top which is great! I am pleased that I stuck with the process and kept stitching!!

Friday morning, I laid the latest blocks on the floor and photographed them. They appeared to play well together.  Then I laid out all the parts to check if the space issue I had encountered earlier was resolved. It was.

The next steps are to create the sashing, sash the blocks and stitch the sashed blocks together. Then, I'll be determining how many more HSTs I need to make for the border! 

Last blocks completed

This was goal number four on my 2nd Quarter goal list. Goal number five on my May list was to get the top to the border stage. Time will tell if I make that goal or not!

 I'm linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework as this project continues to use a lot of scraps! 

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide:166M cases; 3.45M deaths

United States: 33.1M cases; 589K deaths

Oregon: 198K cases; 2,637 deaths

India is still a hot spot for COVID cases and deaths. Our London daughter received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday. Plans for a late July visit are still on track. I'm excited about an in person visit since it was January 2020 when we had returned from visiting her last.

The trial layout. . .the blocks will fit
In the United States, many states have lifted or revised mask restrictions. While some people happily have embraced the update, others are more cautious. Generally, businesses are the ones that are supposed to enforce the "if you show your vaccination proof, you can enter maskless." Businesses report that they don't have the staff nor moneyfor that position nor do they want to be the vaccination police. In a city, one company may require masks while another may not. Eventually, it will all get sorted.

In Oregon, 40 percent of the population is vaccinated and 52 percent of the population has received at least one dose of a vaccine. Last Friday, the governor relaxed restrictions in a number of counties. The vaccination centers have gone to totally accepting walk-ins. The centers are set to close in late June and early July because enough people have taken advantage of the vaccinations. 

The governor also released news that there will be a lottery with the winner collecting one million dollars. To enter, you just have to be vaccinated. Her hope is that the contest will entice more people to get the vaccine. The drawing will be held June 28. There will be other prizes and winners too. Her idea behind offering the prizes is to entice more people to become vaccinated.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Month Five Red--Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Starting materials for 12 string blocks

Red is the color of the month for May in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Red is my favorite color so one would think that I have a lot of reds in my string stash. I learned I didn't hav the variety that I had hoped!

I pulled what I had from the strings. Martha did not have many reds in her string collection. Mine weren't the bright ones that I had envisioned using when I first read Angela's post listing the color.

I began stitching. This time, I had done most of the prep work the previous month. I cut the newsprint and marked the line for placing the black strip. I also cut a bunch of neutral strips. Prepping was smart because once I had sorted the red strings into a pile, I was ready to stitch so much faster than in previous months.

Block ready to be pressed
As per usual, I laid the black strip in the center of the block. Next, I stitched a red strip on one side of the black strip. I chain pieced four blocks in this manner. Then, I stitched a white strip on the other side of the black strip. I pressed the strips. I sewed again on either side of the block. I continued stitching in this manner until I had covered the newsprint in fabric.

As I used a fabric, I placed it in a pile for the next group of blocks. Taking a string out of action forced me to maximize the fabric variety. After I had stitched on both sides of the strip, I pressed the seam allowances so I could stitch the next round of fabrics.

Completed string blocks
Again, in a couple of afternoons, I had stitched all twelve of the blocks. While I was stitching the blocks, I was concerned that the reds were too much the same. I thought that these would be the blocks that didn't add much to the quilt top. I was wrong! I had a few red strings left after piecing the blocks, although there weren't enough to piece another block!

Once I had trimmed the blocks and laid the blocks out for a photo. I loved what I saw. I must remind myself to not judge the blocks until I view them trimmed and in a possible layout. 

I am sure enjoying this process and my mind is already thinking of two other string projects. Martha would be delighted that I am becoming a "string addict!" I've purchased some more neutrals which are pre-washed, starched and ironed. I will need to cut some strips and ready more foundation papers before June arrives!

I'm linking to Angela and So Scrappy/Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I'm also linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. Do take some time to peruse these link ups. I enjoy reviewing what other people are doing and hope you will also!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Grand Kid Visit--Farm Quilt post 1

The lunch chefs
In April, I was able to surprise my husband with a visit from the grand kids. Their parents were able to surprise their daughters with the visit to our home. My son in law had a dentist appointment. He told the girls that they might be able to go into the office to wait or they might wait in the car. Instead, he drove an alternate route to our house that they didn't know. He had them duck while he backed down the drive way. 

After he stopped the car, he told the girls that they had arrived and that they could get out; but, to put their masks on. The look on their faces was priceless and the look on my husband's face was priceless too! Aside from a drive by visit and a swimming

Art project--an exercise in mark making
afternoon in the kiddie pool, they haven't been here much since the pandemic began.

It had been so long since they spent time here that they forgot about finding the mailbox. I hide a small mailbox somewhere in the living room/kitchen area. Inside is a letter about the activities for the day and a treat. . .like Oreo cookies or gummy bears or something one shouldn't be eating early in the day! Once they located the mailbox and had their day mapped out, we started making lunch.

Miss J approved block arrangement
They were delighted to learn that we would be having breakfast for lunch and that breakfast would be pancakes, a favorite of Miss K and bacon with runny eggs, a favorite of Miss J. 

It has been months since we cooked together. Miss K's cooking skills have progressed. She can make pancakes from start to finish now. She was so proud of being able to flip the pancakes so they landed on griddle and not somewhere else! We discussed that it is easier to flip pancakes when the top is fairly set. She said that was such good information to know! 

Miss J fried an abundant amount of bacon. She can turn it and remove it from the pan when it is "done." She can also eat a lot of bacon that she dips into the yolks of her egg.

Pinning tags on the blocks to keep them in order
We completed an art project. I had been working through the online Sketchbook Revival workshops. There was a session on mark making that I thought they would like to try. The presenter would give a prompt and then we would mark lines with that prompt in mind. I had a variety of mark making items available so there was plenty of choices. The only rule was that you had to fill the page before you started another page. Miss J completed three pages, Miss K started a second and I completed one! We all had fun with the exercise.

After the art project, we moved on to quilting. Miss K picked out a few beads that might work into her mermaid project. She also decided that she wanted to embroider the fish's eyes rather than sew beads. 

Miss K and the pink leggings
Miss J decided to sew the churn dash blocks I won at the spring retreat into a quilt. She arranged the blocks in an order that was pleasing to her eye. It was a hoot listening to her determine which blocks could be next to each other! 

We auditioned fabrics for the sashing and cornerstones. She didn't know what I meant by those terms so she looked at a quilt on her auntie's bed as an example. She chose a yellow fabric for the sashing and a landscape print of stones for the cornerstones. The yellow fabric represents sunshine on the farm and the stones could be gravel or fences. The outer border fabric is Christmas trees because there are Christmas tree farms in our area! Then they used my row tags to pin on the blocks to keep the blocks in order.

Too soon the visit was over. At the end of June, we've arranged a time for a sleepover. By then her parents and the two of us will be fully vaccinated. We will be todo more activities together. I am most looking forward to not wearing a mask when we are together! I've pre-washed the sashing and cornerstone fabric and cut the pieces needed for the blocks. I'm waiting for the quilters to return for more stitching fun!

Miss J and the pink leggings
On Mother's Day, they girls came for a short visit. They wanted to see how many more Frolic blocks I had made. They humored me and tried on the pair of leggings I made at the beginning of April. I now have an idea of how to make alternations so the leggings fit closer to their bodies. 

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide:163M cases; 3.37M deaths

United States: 33M cases; 585K deaths

Oregon: 195K cases; 2,600 deaths

In Oregon, last Tuesday the governor released a statement that when 70% of the population has received at least one vaccination, she will list most of the restrictions. She stated she was confident meeting the 70% goal in June.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

President's Block--finished

Friendship star
Each year in the Clark County Quilters guild, the outgoing president receives quilt blocks from the members. The previous guild president determines the pattern, color way and collects the blocks. The president may know the blocks are coming; but, they don't know any of the particulars. Making the block is totally voluntary. When I was president, I totally forgot about the blocks so I was surprised to receive mine! 

I've been making a block for the president since 2008. I did miss one year because I totally forgot to do it. Now, the week the directions are released, I make the block. Stitching a block is a small way to thank the outgoing president for their service. It is an opportunity to play with a pattern, a color or a technique. It is also a way to practice producing the most perfect block that is possible.

Checking the size
The pattern this year is  a finished nine inch friendship star block. You can make more than one if you would like. We were to use a white or white on white background with either turquoise or a blue purple fabric that read as a solid. The outgoing president's favorite colors are purple, blue and turquoise.

I purchased the turquoise fabric. I had one in my stash that may have worked; but, I decided that it might not read as a solid well enough. I do like this color. It is a Laurel Burch fabric. I cut the white background squares from a 3 1/2 strip
of fabric. I cut the half square triangles (HSTs) also from the strips using Bonnie Hunters Essential Triangle ruler. It didn't take me long to stitch the HSTs together. I did square up each HST. Although, they were close to being on the money.

Back of block
After I had sewn the block together, I laid a ruler on top of the block to check how close I came to the block being 9 1/2 inches square. It was on the money! When I am making blocks that I am going to exchange, I often measure the section after sewing each seam. It is easier to unstitch and resew one seam rather than get to the end and find the block is really out of whack!

When I'm constructing a block, I press each seam. Then I weight the seam with ruler and let the fabric cool. I find the seam allowances stay put using this method. We weren't given directions on how to press the seams. I know the outgoing president will longarm quilt her blocks so pressing seams open and making the intersections as flat as possible is important. 

When I finished stitching the block and I was sure that the size was on the money, I gave the block one more press. This time, I used a press cloth. If you were/are a garment sewer, you may have used one often to prevent a sheen on your fabric or to prevent the seam allowances from showing through to the right side of your garment. 

Finished block
I laid the cloth on the wrong side of my block. I lightly spritzed the cloth with water from my spray bottle. Then I pressed the block one more time. Yes, I weighted the block and let it totally cool before I moved it. The block is flatter than a pancake.

As per the block instructions, I wrote my name on a piece of blue painter's tape and taped the information to the back of the block. I folded a piece of paper around the block and inserted it into an addressed business envelope to mail to the guild president from last year. I hope she will take photos of  the various blocks because it is fun to see all the colors and prints that people use. She will reveal the blocks to the outgoing president at the virtual June meeting.

If you want to see what I did with my president's blocks, click here. This was goal number six in my 2nd quarter list and goal number nine on my May list. It's mid month and I have completed three of the nine goals that I listed for myself. I've made progress on four other goals.  

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Leggings. . Third Finish 2nd Quarter 2021

Layout of the first pair
Happy Mothers Day to all Moms! I hope your day is extra special!!

It took me another week to finish those leggings. I'm okay with that. I actually "feel" better about my sewing now that I've completed four pairs of "wearable" leggings for myself. I'll get back to the ones for the granddaughters when they can try on the pair I've stitched. I'll make adjustments and they can leave with a new pair of leggings that fits well! 

My pattern for the leggings came from a pair that I liked and had worn out. I cut the worn-out leggings apart. I laid the pieces on the fabric. I did add a seam allowance around the outer edge of the pieces. The 3/4 yard left over fabric was almost the perfect size for this project! I made the leggings a bit shorter because there wasn't enough length available in the piece of fabric!

Vintage zipper packaging
What I liked about the worn-out leggings was the small pocket in the middle of the back for a key. In this pair, I replicated the pocket and even reused the zipper! It took me  some time to stitch that zipper pocket. I used zippers from my grandmother's stash. Two were priced at 45 cents each and one was $1.10. I priced zippers at Joann Craft and Fabric store. The zippers were listed at $3.99 each!

I hand stitched the first line of stitching of the pocket to the zipper because hand stitching gave me the best accuracy and it was faster than stitching on the machine! I found topstitching the zipper with the lighter weight swimwear fabric that I used for the other three pairs of leggings, was challenging because the fabric wanted to stretch. I did use stretch needles in both the sewing machine and serger. 

First pair of leggings
In the other pairs, I enlarged the pocket. A credit card or ID card as well as money can fit easily in that space. I did not add a pocket for my cell phone. I thought about it; but, decided I didn't really want my heavy phone in my leggings!

It took me some time to figure out how to add the yoke because the pocket piece didn't have a center back seam so I couldn't stitch it to the legging back. My solution was to stitch a couple partial seams. I had planned to flatlock the seams because I liked the decorative look to that technique. After playing with tension settings for three hours one day, I threw in the towel and went with a four thread serged seam with bulky overlock thread in the lower loopers. 

In years past, I used wooly nylon when I wanted to sew a rolled hem on the serger. This project is the second or third time that I have used the bulky thread in the lower loopers. I like how the thread stretches in the seams so there is less chance of the thread breaking while wearing the garment.

Instead of hemming the leggings, I serged the edge. I like the decorative look it created. The edge of the leggings hasn't rolled so this finished treatment of the edge was a great option. After I had finished the first pair of leggings. I tried them on. The fit was great! Our dog, Bailey made a bee line to me thinking it was time for our "walk" which made me laugh!!!

Next, I drew the pattern on pattern tracing fabric from the leggings that I had cut apart. This pattern tracing fabric has different names depending on the manufacturer. I grew up using Do Sew which was a Stretch and Sew product and Pellon Red Dot

Basting the pocket to the zipper

Back yoke pocket
Now, I use Pellon Easy Pattern tracing cloth because I can purchase it  at Joann Crafts and Fabrics. I wait for a 50 percent off sale. I like using pattern tracing fabric for patterns that I will make many times. The tracing material doesn't stretch or tear so the pattern can easily withstand years of multiple use wear. It also has no grain line so you can lay the pattern pieces any way to get the best use out of the tracing fabric.

Three pairs of leggings
From the piece of swimwear, I was able to cut out three more pairs of leggings. Although on one pair, I had to piece the legs because I didn't quite have enough fabric. The geometric design is such that the piecing looks like it was a styling decision!

Again, it took me some time to stitch the zipper into the pockets. I also lowered the position of the zipper so it was easier to stitch the pocket/yoke to the waistband. Once the zipper was finished, it wasn't long until I had completed three more pairs of leggings.  

These leggings are a bright geometric print. It is a "wild" print. I truly would not be drawn to purchase a pair of leggings like this in a store. Currently, COVID protocols .make trying on clothing in a store impossible. The time and hassle to purchase, try on, return if the fit wasn't right and to repeat the process wasn't worth the effort to me. I'd rather wear the wild print. I'm sure the motorists will spot me a long way away when Bailey and I are out on our daily walk. 

The pieced legs of the wild print
These leggings are light weight and definitely to be worn on warmer days! I'm tickled to use this fabric in this way. Thanks Marla for the fabric. I'll bet your sister, who originally purchased the fabric, wouldn't have used it this way!

I have invested time and machine stretch needles in this project. The materials to make the project all came from stash. I did use three yards of fabric from my stash; but, I also purchased three yards of fabric this week so my total stash used still stands at 8 1/4 yards. This was goal number three on my 2nd Quarter Goal list and goal number one in my May Plan. This is my third finish this quarter. 

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 158M cases; 3.28M deaths

United States: 32.7M cases; 581K deaths

Oregon: 191K cases; 2,542 deaths

India is still the hotspot for the COVID cases. Other countries are sending medical supplies to help with the treatment of the surge of patients who have contracted the virus. In London, my daughter said that because of the blood clotting issues of the AstraZenca vaccine, it was announced that beginning next week that people under the age of 40 would receive the Moderna vaccine.  She thinks that she will be get her first shot next week. In the UK, they say they are going for their "jab!"

In the United States, 32.8 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Forty-five percent of the population has received at least one vaccination. The number of people receiving vaccines has continued to drop. The concern is that we won't reach herd immunity because people are hesitant about the various vaccines and the virus continues to mutate. Now we are hearing that vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough. Vaccine for children age 10 and older may be approved this week.

There was a story in the news this week about a flight from New York to Florida that only carried fully vaccinated passengers. Likely in our new ordinary, fully vaccinated people will be given privileges over those not fully vaccinated.

In Oregon, 31 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Forty-seven percent of the population has received at least one vaccination. Available vaccine has exceeded demand so the mass vaccination sites opened up to walk ins. Mid week, the Governor moved the 15 extreme risk counties back to high risk.  This means that last Friday gyms reopened and restaurants again had indoor dining. As of Wednesday, my husband is fully vaccinated. Yesterday, he drove two hours to the city where his mom lives. He had his first in person visit since December 2019! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

May Plan and One Monthly Goal

Leggings ready to be stitched
I've struggled to make my May plan. I thought about it the last week of April. Interestingly, I haven't been excited about planning for May. Perhaps, not progressing more on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery Frolic of 2019 and not being able to flatlock the leggings has bummed me more than I realized. The time for posting my One Monthly Goal is growing short. Using my 2nd Quarter Goal list as my guide, I selected some projects. My current feeling is maybe I will work on each, maybe I won't work on each and maybe I'll go off the rails and start new projects!!!! 

My plan is to:

1. Finish the leggings. At the end of last month, I had stitched a pair for me and a pair for a granddaughter. I also had cut out three pairs for myself.

Penguin project
2. Complete a second software lesson. Perhaps, the lesson I do this month will be a little easier for me to understand and to complete. Maybe, I'll stitch it out. Perhaps, the practice from last month will help my confidence level.

3. Keep up with the Temperature quilt and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC). My fabric for the Temperature quilt should arrive in about a week. Currently, I'm as caught up as I can be. The RSC color is red which is my favorite color. Perhaps, stitching these blocks will get me out of my "funk!"

4. Begin the quilt for our current book club book, "How the Penguins Saved Veronica" by Hazel Prior. The snowflake fabric has been in my stash for at least ten years. I purchased the background fabric on May 1st. I purchased the pattern when I took Nancy Chong's applique workshop in 2010. My oldest daughter is a penguin fan. I bought the pattern with her in mind. Serendipity is calling me to make this project now! 

Set the Frolic blocks into the top

5. Get Frolic to the border stage. AAArrrrggggghhhh I need to sash the blocks I stitched last month and sew them into a strip. Then I need to rip the quilt apart to insert the strip. I am hung up on the ripping step. Isn't that a crazy?

6. Finish the wool pin cushion that I started in the March retreat. I've some hand embroidery to add and haven't gotten around to it. This is going to be my One Monthly Goal. Check out Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal May Link-up for more information and inspiration.

Fabrics/projects for May goals
7. Make pocket wallets. I'm planning to sew a bunch of these for birthday, Christmas, and Mother's Day gifts. On April 28, I cut out fabric to stitch eleven of these. I still need to cut interfacing and select the ribbon ties; but, this is a doable project for the month.

8. Make a dress for my oldest granddaughter. She will celebrate her ninth birthday at the end of the month. I combed the stash for a fabric. She likes pink so I chose this geometric stripe. She also likes dresses that she can twirl and spin so the skirt "floats." 

9. Make the guild president a block. The pattern should be published in the newsletter or sent in an e-mail this month.

Nine projects. . .it is a big list. I hope that I will have more completed items and less holdover items than I did last month!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

April Wrap Follow Up

Completed bunny bags
The month of April flew! It's time to review and reflect on my April plan. I've copied my plan and will bold my follow up to each goal.

My plan was to: 

1. Make two bunny bags for the granddaughters. I cut out the components for the bags on April 1. The components are all scraps. Today is Easter. You will have to check in next Sunday to learn if I made them in time or not! I saw this pattern on the Bernina We Sew blog. Because I used scraps, I'm linking to Oh Scrap/Quilting is More Fun Than Housework. Report:
Completed--The bunny bags were a hit with the granddaughters. 

2. Make leggings. . .I'm thinking two pairs for myself and a pair each for my two granddaughters. I've been reviewing stitching tips for knits. I've selected some fabrics and I have been working up the courage to start. I have been telling myself that I make swimsuits so leggings have to be easier! Report: I cut out a pair for each granddaughter and I stitched one pair for the oldest granddaughter; but, that pair looked too large. Rather than stitch the second pair, I decided to wait until I have some time with the granddaughters. They can bring a pair of leggings that they like and I can take a pattern from those leggings or I can recut the legging fabric I chose for the granddaughters.
3. Make leggings from this fabric

I wanted to flatlock the seam because it is a decorative stitch. Also, the leggings from which I based my pattern were sewn with a coverstitch. I don't have the capability to stitch a coverstitch on my serger. In the past I have flatlocked seams; but it has been a long time! After stitching samples, reviewing my owner's manual for the tension, I was unsuccessful in stitching a whole seam that would flatlock. I could pull most of the seam apart; but, not all of it. 

I was bummed because I had some bulky thread that had sparkles in it that I had planned to use in my granddaughter's pink leggings. She loves pink and sparkle! After patiently stitching samples for three hours, I threw in the towel.

I did make myself one pair of leggings. They fit great. I added a small pocket in the back so I had a place to put a little money or a car key if that was needed. This pocket was in the pair from which I based my pattern. I also cut out four more pairs which I will sew this month.

4. Quilt this flannel quilt
3. Keep up with the Rainbow Scrap (RSC) challenge and the Temperature Quilt. The RSC challenge color this month is blue. . .bright and light. I have some of those fabrics! Keeping up with the Temperature quilt could be a challenge because I've used all of one of the fabrics. I've ordered more. It likely will not arrive until the end of April. In the interim, I hope for warmer lows! I plan to have the sashing made and as many blocks possible made so that when my order arrives, I won't have too much catch up to do.
Report: My fabric order arrived; but the fabric that I had run out of was not in the order. I'm the one who goofed and ordered incorrectly. The correct color is on order now! I have made the blocks that I could and I will catch up in May. I did sew the blue blocks for the RSC. Red is the color for this month.

4. Quilt the third flannel quilt. I pieced enough leftover pieces of batting together for this project. I have layered and basted it. This is a project that is inspired by a book that I read. It is also the third flannel quilt that I've made from Martha's flannel scraps. This is my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for April. Please check out Elm Street Quilts and the  OMG link up. There are many inspiring projects to view! Report: Not only did I quilt this project; but, I bound it, added both a sleeve and a label so it is FINISHED! Wahoo! I posted about my finish here.

Blue RSC blocks

5. Make even more Frolic blocks. I couldn't come up with a border option that I felt talked nice with the center and the outer border that I'm planning. I'll be sewing even more blocks, at least 11 full blocks! I'm not excited about sewing more blocks. I was less excited, however, with my border options or leaving it the size it is. Making more blocks is the route I'll be taking. 

My actual goal is sew six to eight blocks this month. Perhaps, after I sew one or two, I'll get into the swing of making them again. (I'm also not excited about ripping apart the middle of the quilt to insert more blocks.) Report: I stitched ten blocks and have at least two more blocks cut out to piece. In May, I may add the sashings, finish the other blocks and add them to the top. 

6. Complete an embroidery software lesson. I've not completed one lesson since about November 2019. This is the month. I'm planning to schedule time in my week specifically for this task. I also concentrate on digitizing lettering like one letter at a time, I'll have some success.

5. Make more Frolic blocks
 Report: I did complete the February 2020 embroidery software lesson. I didn't stitch out the lesson because the end result didn't interest me. The lesson was about working in art work canvas reshaping fonts and converting the files into embroidery. I found that spending 30 to 45 minutes a day on the learning worked well for me. I likely will make it a goal to complete a software lesson each month. 

Screen view of software lesson
It is challenging for me to switch between reviewing the pdf file, working on the actual screen of the lesson  and googling a video about the process which makes for lots of stops, starts and do overs! I didn't try digitizing any letters.

7. Make two "manly" blocks. One of my small groups decided to stitch "manly" blocks. In other words, blocks that would appeal to a male. We are to make two 10 inch blocks that have brown and or green fabrics in them. Report: I made the blocks and the blocks are in the hands of the two ladies making the tops. There were enough blocks made to make two manly tops so that was cool!All in all, it was a good month. I plan to be at least as successful next month!

Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 152M cases; 3.19M deaths

United States: 32.4M cases; 576K deaths

Oregon: 186K cases; 2,514 deaths

India continues to have the most cases and deaths per day in the world. My London daughter's company has not only pledged money to support medical care in India; but, the company has has also solicited and received commitments from companies in other countries to support medical efforts in India. 

In the United States, the number of people getting their second vaccination and getting their first vaccination has slowed. Media campaigns are encouraging people to get the vaccine. Yet, the number of cases and deaths continues to rise. 

#3. Temperature quilt blocks and #7. Manly blocks
In Oregon, last Friday, the governor rolled back 15 of the 36 counties to the extreme risk category. Previously, these counties were in the high risk category. This means gyms and indoor dining is closed. Gyms will be closed for at least three weeks; indoor dining is closed for at least a week. 

The population is not happy with the governor's decision. She said she was rolling back to the extreme risk because of the increase in COVID cases. Friday, there were 990 new cases and four deaths. She stated she was concerned that the hospital resources would be impacted too greatly if she didn't take action. She also said she chose to save lives regarding announcing the  roll back. She claims that the matrix forecasts that in two to four weeks the percentage of vaccinated Oregonians will be high enough that the virus can't continue to spread at such a high rate.

As of Friday, Oregonians are 28 percent fully vaccinated. Forty-four percent of the population has received at least one dose. People want to show their vaccination cards and workout in gyms and dine in restaurants. Forcing vaccinated people to live like they did before they were vaccinated seems to counterproductive to supporting small businesses which continue to struggle.