Sunday, October 31, 2021

Last Quilt on Thomas the Longarm

The quilt
At the beginning of October, I had a quilting session on Thomas the Longarm. I selected a quilt that had been hanging around for awhile. . .turns out it was large. . .60 inches by 80 inches. This was the ninth charity quilt that I quilted. Alvera said that the charity quilting volunteers often chose to quilt smaller quilts. I wanted to practice grouping quilting passes so I chose it. It takes time to load the quilt. Quilting a larger quilt means I quilt one instead of two in a day.

The quilting pattern
When I opened it up, the lime green reminded me of my friend Joanne. Turns out she constructed the top! I quilted the project in lime green thread because lime green is her favorite color!

A print in the fabric inspired the quilting pattern. With each project that I finish, I feel a little more comfortable with the process. It amazes me at how fast one can quilt a project on a longarm!

This was the last project I quilted on Thomas because the board received an offer from a member to purchase him. The president opened the purchase to the membership. No other bids were presented so the board accepted the member's bid.

View of the prints in the top
Perhaps, there will be other quilting opportunities with Alvera's machine. If not, I'm thankful for the experience I had. I enjoyed stretching the skills in my quilting "toolbox!"

If only there was space in my home for a longarm. . . .big SIGH!!

I'm linking to Cynthia and Oh Scrap because my friend made this project out of leftovers from previous projects. 

I'm also linking to Angela and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge because lime green was the color of the month.

If you missed the blog post that Gertie, my inner squirrel, wrote on Friday, you can read it here. Gertie had a fun party. It was her first time to participate in a blog hop. She has enjoyed replying to all the comments to her post.
Finished view
Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 247M cases; 5M deaths

United States: 45.9M cases; 745K deaths

Oregon: 365K cases; 4,372 deaths

This week Phizer doses were approved for children 5-11 years. It has been reported that vaccinations could be available in about two weeks.

The hospital said that Moderna doses would be available to staff beginning last week. I attend a fire safety meeting early next week so I'll check in to the process of receiving my booster. I likely will choose to get it when I have a few days of unscheduled activity in case that I feel at least as awful as I did with the previous doses.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

By Gertie: Squirrel Party . . . It's a Blog Hop!!!!!!

Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your inner voice--Steve Jobs

Hi, I'm Gertie, Terry's inner squirrel. Today, we are celebrating the improvement in our relationship with a squirrel party and blog hop. I've taken over Terry's blog to pen this post which is also part of a blog hop. We are linking up with Sally, Darlene of Creative Lattitude's squirrel. Sally is the one who helped Terry to finally listen to my voice. I will always be grateful to her. Sally is the one behind this blog hop. She has prizes and the more blogs you visit, the more opportunities you have to win. 

Regarding the other blogs, please visit, Samantha, Carol of Quilt Schmitt For The Love Of Fabric's squirrel, Winnie, Wendy of Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life's squirrel and Stormy, Linda of Texas Quilt Girl's squirrel. Have some cake, some nuts and play with us! 

I began this post with that quote from Steve Jobs because Terry used to let other people drown out my voice. When speaking nicely didn't work, I would go into "excited" mode. I jumped up and down. I flipped my tail. I screamed to get her attention. She would cover her ears and ignore

Some of Gertie's in town buddies attending
Over the years of our relationship, I've not always supported Terry's efforts. She fusses way too much and it takes her f o r e v e r to finish a project. I love to start new projects, to play with new tools, to learn new techniques and to cut into luscious fabrics. I can load charges on Terry's credit card faster than you can say "charge it!" While I could start at least one new project every day and I've been known to start more than one in a day, I have agreed to temper myself. . . somewhat. Terry has agreed to listen when I speak and to work on becoming less fussy. She is a work in progress on those two fronts; but, at least she is acknowledging my presence!

When she began quilting, she would only purchase fabrics for a specific project. I couldn't work with that approach because there are too many fabrics available for purchase to not bring more into the stash. Over time, I convinced her to buy fabrics because the price was right or because it was an interesting color or print. For a few years, she added many fabrics to her stash. Those purchases made me happy. I remember those shopping excursions fondly.

An aerial view of the festivities
Looking back, I should have had conversations with her about what she could make with the fabrics.  I should have had conversations about which fabrics would play nicely with one another. Instead, I was intent on "storing" more fabric. After all, I am a squirrel and stockpiling is one of my best traits! For years, the fabric sat in tubs which suited me fine; but, it bothered Terry. 

Seeing that all that stash was still waiting for "some day," I decided to encourage Terry to cut into those fabrics. To my surprise, she resisted. Terry didn't want to use a fabric in case it would be the perfect addition to a project down the road. Or, the fabric wasn't quite the right one for a project she was considering. Or, there wasn't enough yardage of the fabric.

I thought if Terry joined a creative group and if Terry made some smaller projects, she'd begin using her stash. I even encouraged her to take classes that were organized through her guild. In the fall of 2006, she joined a quilting book book club. Terry has finished a number of projects that relate to the books she and her group have read. She signed up for lots of classes through her guild.

The prizes
Unfortunately, she didn't check her stash before heading out to the local quilt shop to procure supplies for her projects. Fortunately for me, she started many projects. Unfortunately for her, she finished few. Unfortunately for us, our relationship took a header because her stash grew faster than her finishes did.

This year, we had a break through. In the past when Terry was stuck on a project, I'd "help" her to start a new project to let the previous project marinate. The problem happened when she didn't come up with a solution or she'd get to a stuck spot in the new project. You likely can guess what happened. I'd get her to start another project. I am a squirrel. After all, starting projects is another one of my traits!

The cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar
The turn around point in our relationship happened when she named me. I like being Gertie. I feel important, honored and respected. I suggested that we brainstorm when she encountered a stuck spot in a project. She agreed to listen. I agreed to listen to her ideas. We both agreed to provide positive feed back to each other. Since we've come to this truce, we haven't raised our voices to each other. Together, we've made good decisions and finished more projects in a year than ever before in her quilting career!

She's been using fabric from her stash for backings, backgrounds and in the tops when the fabric is "right." If there are leftovers, those may become another project. If there isn't enough, she finds fabrics to add so it will work. When we shop to fill in colors that we need, she walks around the shop the first time letting me look and pet all the fabrics. I love taking this walk! On her second walk, we choose the fabrics that will fit best into the stash or project. We generally purchase small amounts like a half yard. 

Terry also has been tracking how much fabric comes in to the stash as well as how much goes out of the stash. With every project finish, she lists a note regarding the stash. This year, we have used more than last year; but, we've also purchased more fabric than last year so our net usage is less. However, it is less!

Our first project to truly take advantage of our improved relationship is the "Tea" quilt. Terry posted about making the top last Sunday. We finished the quilting and are working on attaching the facing, sleeve and label. We also made four kitchen hanging towels that she posted about last Wednesday. 

My favorite way of eating the cake

It was my idea to gift these to four readers of this post who leave a comment on this post about how you interact with your inner squirrel or your inner voice. You have until 8AM PST on Monday, November 1 to leave your comment. You also need to be a reply blogger so Terry can notify the winners. Winners have 24 hours to reply to Terry's e-mail with their postal address information. The packages will be on their way to the winners as soon as possible. Anyone with a mailing address is eligible to enter in the hanging towel giveaway.

Terry did bake the chocolate cake with no frosting that I asked her to make. It is a sourdough chocolate cake recipe that came from her husband's mom. She got it from the mom of a friend of her daughter's. Terry has been baking this cake for 41 years. Terry's sourdough starter originated from her grandmother Hazel. Terry has kept it going for more than forty years! I twisted her arm until she agreed to share her recipe. I like this cake with a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top at serving, or with ice cream, or on its own with nuts on the side! 

Sourdough Chocolate Cake
Mix together and let set in a warm place for two to three hours until it starts to smell "yeasty:"
1/2 Cup thick starter, 1 1/2 Cup flour, 1 Cup warm water, 1/4 Cup dried milk*
Cream together:
1 Cup sugar, 1/2 Cup shortening, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla
Add two eggs beating well after each addition.
Add sourdough mix.
Stir in 3 ounces melted baking chocolate**. Beat with mixer one minute more. Pour into a 9"x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Test doneness with a toothpick. A little left on is better.

* Terry leaves out the dried milk. Dairy is not her friend! **Instead of 3 ounces of baking chocolate, you can use 3 ounces of cocoa and add 1 Cup chocolate chips.

The photographers favorite way of eating the cake
I look forward to many more collaborative projects, journeys and finishes with Terry. I appreciate that she was a good assistant for this party. Today, she is at a retreat so I will be a good squirrel and manage the clean up on my own. I also appreciate the photography skills of Miss J and Miss K who provided the coverage of this event.

Life is good! I'm closing with a quote from Bonnie Hunter. Then, I'm off to have my cake sprinkled with powdered sugar topped with ice cream and NUTS on the side. We might even break into the wine once we finish our sparkling tea.

Remember to visit our squirrel party blog hop host Sally as well as Winnie Samatha and Stormy to be eligible for even more prizes. This is the best squirrel party EVER! 

Have the courage and the heart to follow your intuition today and every day--Bonnie Hunter

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Kitchen Towels--A Finished Project

The kitchen towels
These towels have been in my stash for several years. I planned to make decorative hanging towels for the kitchen. This week, I decided to move these two towels from "planned" to finish.

I looked through my fabric chunks and Gertie, my inner squirrel, found a couple pieces that would work for the handle. I cut the towels in half. Since the towels were directional, one half would be upside down if I chose to add the handle to the cut end of the towel.

To remedy the directional issue, I decided to rip the hem out of the towel that had the print upside down. The previous hem end of the towel now became the top of the towel instead of the bottom. This change meant the carrots and radishes were in the direction that made sense to me. I added a two inch strip of fabric to the original cut edge which became the new decorative hem. I liked how this worked.
The second towel cut into two sections

Unfortunately, I couldn't locate the pattern that I used several years ago when I made a bunch of hanging towels. I checked out the Craft Warehouse website and downloaded another pattern. The pattern seemed different so I looked at a previous towel and yes. . .this pattern had a smaller handle. 

After stitching the four towels, Gertie liked this size better. I picked out buttons from my grandmother's button box. I stitched the buttonholes. I stitched the buttons on to the towels. I had four finishes!
Finished towels

 I used a quarter yard of fabric from my stash. This past week, I also purchased five and a half yards of fabric so the total fabric used from my stash this year stands at 15 1/2 yards. This was goal number 13 on my Fourth Quarter list. It was goal number one on my October list.

My plan was to gift these to a couple of my friends. Gertie, however, wanted to gift these to four people who read and comment on her blog post on Friday, October 29. She reminded me that I have other towels to make into more hanging towels. Gertie had a point. Of course, she joyfully jumped up and down when I said yes to gifting the towels. 

Speaking of a party, not only has Gertie been working on her special post; but she also has been sending invitations to her party. So far, I've only been asked to bake a chocolate cake with no frosting for the event. Gertie, however, has been squirreling away party supplies. 

Yesterday, I came across a scrap of paper which included her to do list and a set up diagram. I noticed she has assigned me set up, serving and clean up duties. Gertie wants you to know that you are invited to come too. She is promising to tell you a little bit about my story from her viewpoint. Plus, Gertie is participating in a virtual blog hop. She is so adventurous to be a first time blogger as well as a destination in a blog hop!

In addition to our blog hop host Sally, Winnie and Samatha are writing special posts and partying too. Between the four of us, it will be a fun blog hop. Please hop with us on Friday!


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Tea Quilt Is A Top--One Monthly Goal MET!!

Auditioning elements
The book, "For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History" by Sarah Rose, is about how Robert Fortune, a man of Scottish descent, stole the tea plants and turned the tea market from Chinese to English. It was interesting to read how Fortune did the stealing as well as how long it took him to do it!

Using the sliding glass door as a light box
To begin, I thought that I would draw a tea plant. I made some sketches; but, Gertie, my inner squirrel, encouraged me to come up with a design that I could finish sooner. For several weeks, I thought about all the miles the man walked, the ships he traveled as well as the ships the tea traveled. On a whim, I googled the Chinese translation for tea. I thought that the shapes were interesting. I enlarged the translation to fill an 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of copy paper. I printed the design. I had a start!

Refining possibilities
Next, I searched my stash for a background fabric. Thanks to Gertie, it was a short search. She whispered in my ear about this blue fabric. I bought it at a stash bazaar sale at least seven years ago because of the woven Chinese shapes in the pattern, because it was blue and because it was a linen/cotton blend. I hadn't quilted with a linen/cotton blend. I placed my printed copy of the design on the fabric.

Looking at the combination, especially, considering the shapes as black fabric filled me with anticipation. Still, I needed something else; but, I didn't know what. A month went by, then another, I was stuck. Either I wasn't hearing Gertie's ideas or she was stuck too. I thought again about what Fortune would have seen in China. 

I took a trip to China about ten years ago. I thought about the landscape, the food and the marketplace. I remembered the silk brocade fabrics I brought home with me. For an earlier project, I had pieced some crazy blocks using those silks as well as some other silks in my stash. I pulled those blocks and arranged them around the blue background. 

Assembling the borders
Gertie liked one row of blocks as a border. I did too. Once we determined the one row border, I knew how large to cut the blue background. 

While I liked the arrangement, I needed the character to be larger. Using my embroidery software, I enlarged the character to a size I thought would allow for background quilting and for a border. I used freezer paper and traced the applique shapes. I fused the freezer paper to the wrong side of black fabric. For this project, I finger pressed the seam allowance for the applique using the freezer paper as a guide. Then I hand stitched a running stitch next to the edge of the freezer paper so that when I needle turned the applique pieces, the pieces would retain their shape and size.

To ensure that I had placed the applique pieces in the right place, I used my sliding glass door as a light box. I placed the paper template on the glass and added my fabric. To keep the applique pieces from shifting, I applied tiny dots of Elmer's school glue to the back of the pieces. It worked; but, the glue dried white which was visible on the black

Finished top
applique pieces! After I needle turned the pieces, I sprayed the applique with water and the glue disappeared.

Once the applique was finished, I assembled the borders and attached them. I did stabilize the silk before I cut out the pieces; but, it was still slippery! A finished top is wonderful! Even better, I finished my one monthly goal! (OMG) I am linking to Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - October Finish Link-up

The reveal of projects for the book is Tuesday which is two days away. I've pieced a back, layered and pin basted the project. I've begun quilting; but, likely I won't be finished by the reveal which is okay. Our group has few rules and sharing a finished project isn't one of the rules! I'll share whatever the state that it is in!

I'm linking to Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

Unity with its ribbons
Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 243M cases; 4.94M deaths

United States: 45.4M cases; 736K deaths

Oregon: 358K cases; 4,284 deaths

The big news in the U.S. is that the FDA cleared Moderna as a booster and stated that one can mix vaccines. If you had Johnson and Johnson, you could get a Phizer or Moderna booster. I'll be going with whatever the hospital determines. 

Thursday, I attended my first big event---the Clark County Quilters Northwest Quiltfest quilt show-- since the pandemic. I arrived just as the show opened. I walked through the presentation of 350 quilts and 30 vendors quickly. There were beautiful and amazing quilts. 

Ribbon acknowledgement
I was shocked to find that my Tailings quilt won a third place ribbon. I was gob smacked that my Unity quilt won a first place ribbon, a best traditional quilt award and the president's choice award. I would have loved to have spent more time at the show. Once the aisles started filling with people, however, I felt uncomfortable so I left. I saw 350 quilts and 20 vendors in about an hour and 15 minutes.

Yesterday, my husband and I attended a Memorial Service for a dear friend of my father-in-law as well as a friend of my dad's. Jack did not die of COVID. His 97 year old heart wore out. Of the forty people crowded under a covered area at a state park that was a four hour drive from our home, five people wore masks. I was thankful the event was outside and that the service was short. I wore a mask. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Frolic back pieced --Post 11

The backing fabrics are number four
Years ago, like twenty, my mom gifted me the raspberry print fabric in the photo. There was almost six yards in the piece. Perhaps, she purchased it to make a square dance outfit. 

At least ten years ago, I purchased the snowflake print fabric on my way to a quilting retreat. I remember that trip fondly as I traveled with three of my quilting buddies. We shop hopped on the way to the retreat which was a lot of fun. There was almost five yards of fabric in that piece.

I thought that would be enough to make the back for Frolic. Of course, I was incorrect. My eye happened on the setting squares and setting triangle fabric that I used for my
Pieced back

lone star. That blue compliments these two fabrics so I used it. I had to piece the bits together to make enough fabric to finish the back.

I thought that I had taken photos as I had laid out the strips, but I didn't. The back is too big to lay out flat in my house; but, I did capture a photo of a portion of it. The color isn't representative. It took me a day to piece the back and to piece the wool batting. What a job!

Close up of the fabrics
Yesterday, I took the back, the top and the batting to my friend, Christie who will quilt it for me. I picked out a lime green thread and a curved sort of vine pattern for the quilting. I'm excited. This is the first quilt that I will have pieced that I didn't also quilt!

I don't have a deadline for completing this project so Christie can take all the time she needs to quilt this project. I imagine that I will be able to finish this project before the end of the year which is also exciting!

This was goal number four on my October list.

Now for a sneak peak about an upcoming special blog post. Gertie, my inner squirrel, has been conversing with Sally, Darlene's inner squirrel about having a squirrel party on October 29. You can find Darlene at Creative Latitudes. Through Sally, Gertie has also been introduced to two other inner squirrels--Winnie and Samantha who are also planning to join the party on October 29th.

Gertie has kept her plan for the party under wraps; but has tasked me with baking a chocolate cake with no frosting as my part of the festivities. There will be prizes from Darlene and Gertie has ideas for prizes too. Gertie ALWAYS has an abundance of ideas . . .especially when the adjectives new and shiny can be used! Stay tuned for that special post!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Santa Tree Skirt

Beard quilted

I free motion quilted all of the quilting in this project. Using monofilament thread, I quilted in the ditch. Then I quilted the Santa beard in each of the blocks. I used a white 50 weight Aurafil thread and a paisley sort of free motion filler. I like the definition the quilting gave the mustache. The wool batting added a nice amount of "puff" to the project.

After completing the beards, I began quilting the Santa suits. I used a red 50 weight Aurafil thread and stitched diagonal straight lines that were a 1/4 inch apart. I used a ruler to help me stitch "straighter" lines. I quilted this design to give the tree skirt a bit of a modern flair. I also quilted the red portion of the hat in diagonal quarter inch lines.
Santa suit quilted

The third section that I quilted was the belt, boots and eyes. In these areas, I stitched with black 50 weight Aurafil thread. For the belt, I stitched eighth inch vertical lines. I didn't use a ruler as I wanted the belt to take on a more organic look.

For the boots, I stitched two opposing 45 degree angles to give them the appearance of being "quilted." I outlined the eyes. To make the eyes stand out more, I stitched about four times around each one. I liked the look.
Quilted block and background

Next, I quilted an organic continuous curve variation in the green sleeves. I used a 50 weight green thread made by Superior. For the snowflake background fabric that is on the inside of the tree skirt, I quilted loops using black thread. In the holly print background fabric, I used the circle template and quilted circles. I used a 50 weight tan Superior thread.

I liked the texture that the quilting provides to the piece. I've photographed the quilting in low light to show how the quilting will likely show up when it is being used as a tree skirt. The wool batting does enhance the quilting motifs.
Thread assortment

This was an enjoyable project in spite of my error when sewing the layers together. I'm on the look out for a suitable background fabric as I have used all of the holly on the tan background. Perhaps another time, I'll make all the Santas
using different red and green fabrics. Hm m m Gertie is having a "think" on that prospect!

I estimate that I spent about 123 hours completing this project. I used seven yards of fabric which brings my total stash use of the year to 20 3/4 yards. This was goal number three on my Fourth Quarter 2021 list. It was goal number six on my October list

It is also my third finish in the hundred day WIPs Be Gone challenge. It is my twelfth quilt finish for the year. Wow! 
Am I ever over the moon to have finished so many projects since 2021 began! Gertie, my inner squirrel, is whispering in my year that there is still time to finish more. She is asking me if I can finish to more quilts before the end of the year. I guess time will tell!

It will be a bridal shower gift for my daughter when she marries. If you missed earlier posts about this project you can read them in the links below.

Since this project contains leftovers from the Santa tree
skirt I made for my niece for her weeding last year, I'm linking to Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting is More Fun
Back of tree skirt

Than Housework

Regarding COVID:
Worldwide: 241M cases; 4.91M deaths
United States: 44.9M cases; 724K deaths
Oregon: 349K cases; 4,161 deaths

At the hospital where I work, 93% of the staff are vaccinated. By October 18, management estimates that 98% of the staff will be vaccinated.  I think that is awesome.

There are more and more breakthrough cases. At our Friday Sit-n-Sew, one of the participants said she had listened to the man who had invented one of the vaccines talk about how the vaccine was released too
Finished front of tree skirt

early because the vaccine didn't cover enough of the various antigens. I've tried to find that information and have been unsuccessful.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Lime Green Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Pressing the strips
With the help of my ghost sewer, we've completed 12 lime green string blocks! She and her sister were over for a day because they had no school. We started the day with finding the mail box.  Then we made sourdough pancakes and bacon for breakfast. 

(The mailbox is small, about six inches long and about three inches high. It contains a letter to the girls. The letter is an agenda of the day. I hide it and the girls take great pleasure in finding it. Generally, the mailbox contains a treat too!)

Miss K made the sourdough pancakes and cooked about three griddles of pancakes while Miss J cooked the bacon. They make a great team. They ate while I finished cooking the pancake batter.

Leftovers and trimmed bits
After breakfast, Miss J set the timer for an hour sewing session. I had string blocks prepped for Miss K. I had sashing strips prepped for Miss J. We began sewing. When the timer sounded, Miss J wanted to know what was next. I told her that we needed to take a break and to set the timer for 15 minutes. Miss J wanted to know what I meant by "break." I told her break meant a time to stretch, to get a drink and to let your mind rest. 

Completed lime blocks
Miss J was all over a break. Miss K replied she wasn't tired, she didn't need a bathroom break and she planned to make progress on her blocks. I explained how the change in pace often helps increase productivity. Miss K decided a break was in order! While they had their break, I prepped more blocks and sashing strips.

For other breaks, we walked the dog, baked a chocolate sourdough cake and worked on our watercolor project. We used baking chocolate in the cake. Miss J was in charge of melting it. Both girls wanted to lick the spoon. I let them know that this chocolate had no sugar and it would taste bitter. The look of their faces from the anticipation to the realization that it was awful tasting chocolate was priceless. I remember a similar realization in my younger days!

Rows ready to stitch together
Miss J was quite concerned the cake was ruined and Miss K agreed. They weren't at all on board that the sugar In the batter was going to be enough. They licked the beaters and determined it would be an edible cake after all! To their delight, it was delicious!

At the end of the day, Miss K had finished sewing the lime green blocks. We trimmed them so that she could layout the design. All I did was pin the strips to the blocks. She completed the rest of the process. Her quarter inch seam is much improved. She is so proud of her accomplishment! (I am also proud of what she can do!)

Miss J stitched her sashing together. She stitched her blocks
into rows. She even stitched a few rows together. She told us so many stories about the pins in the pincushions which were aliens or eyes for the turtle. She can sort of sew a quarter inch seam if the seam is about two and half inches. She likes talking about the feed dogs. She would "Woof" "Woof" when she started a seam! We had a great day. She thinks it is cool that the quilt is taller than she is!

They were tired. Gertie, my inner squirrel, and I were exhausted! Although, we can't wait until we can stitch together again!

I'm linking to Angela and Scrap Happy Saturday. Completing the lime green blocks was goal nine on my October list

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Charity Baby Quilt Finished

The top
At the September 30 through October 3 Mt. Hood Quilt guild virtual retreat, I spent two of the four days working on this flannel baby quilt. I finished it. I so appreciated my ghost sewer laying out the blocks. All I had to do was sew the blocks together to complete the top. I left the fabrics that touched one another in a couple places.

Perhaps the child, who gets this quilt, will find these areas. There are lots of minky rectangles to "pet." An elephant and birds to find hidden away in the print of fabrics. Of course if one wanted to play, "I Spy," there are flowers, hearts and circles to find too. I hope that the quilt is used until there is nothing left of it!

Ready to baste
I layered and pin basted it on our kitchen table. The batting was pieced many times with small scraps from previous projects.
Back and label

I used a 100 weight polyester light lavender thread from Wonderfil to quilt in the ditch. I had planned to stitch a clam shell design on top of the blocks; but, it was too difficult for me to hold the template and move the fabric. 

I had saved a box of flannel scraps from nightgowns that I had sewn for my daughters over twenty years ago. I thought that the scraps were small. I was wrong. There is a lot of flannel in the box! 

Gertie, my inner squirrel, thought this discovery was so funny because for years, I've stated I didn't have flannel in my stash! She is telling me that I've more flannel quilts to make in my future. She didn't estimate how many projects. For this, I am thankful because I don't want to know how many potential projects exist in that box!!!

Finished front
There was a piece of flannel that was perfect for the backing and the binding. After machine stitching the binding, I added the label and rolled it up to be delivered to the charity program at the Mt. Hood Quilt guild. This project will be donated to the "Boxes of Love" organization.

Much of the fabrics came from Martha's juvenile scrap bag. I did use a yellow fat quarter and a white polka dot fat quarter in the top from JoJo. I used about 2 1/2 yards of fabric in this project. This brings my net usage of fabric from stash to 13 3/4 yards. Of course, if I would stop purchasing fabric, that would be a higher number! 

Bundled and ready for delivery
This was goal number ten on my Fourth Quarter list. This was also goal number two on my October list. I'm linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting is More Fun than Housework. Please, go visit that link as there are lots of amazing projects that people are creating with their scraps. I posted about the pattern in my first post about this project.

Regarding COVID:
Worldwide: 238M cases; 4.86M deaths
United States: 44.3M cases; 713K deaths
Oregon: 341K cases; 3,982 deaths

According to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID cases declined nine percent last week. The United States, the United Kingdom and Turkey are the three countries with the highest number of new cases.

In Oregon, 67 percent of the population has received at least dose of the vaccine and 61 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated number is the same as last week. Hospitals remain at close to capacity.

I have been following how the disease transfers. I have been particularly interested in the number of break through cases. It appears that the majority of these cases originated from an unvaccinated person and over prolonged exposure, the vaccinated person contracted COVID. Vaccinated people may not be wearing a mask because being vaccinated, they think they are protected. Households which contain combinations of vaccinated/unvaccinated people seem to be where the virus spreads. The unvaccinated passing it to the vaccinated. 

Last weekend, one of the retreat members talked about attending a water aerobics class and how people continued to wear a mask in class. She said a vaccinated person who stood next to her came down with COVID. The retreat member said this woman caught it from her unvaccinated 17 year old. Eventually, the entire family caught it; but, no one at the pool came down with COVID. The retreat member said that this situation was an example of how masking works.


Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fourth Quarter Goals 2021

Last quarter, I made progress on my goal listUnfortunately, there were a lot of projects that I didn't touch. I either finished or made progress on twelve of the 24 projects listed. It always takes me longer to finish a project than I estimate.

Frolic blocks and Butterfly glue basting
This year, I've finished 11 projects and I've three months left to finish more. In 2020, I finished four projects. In 2019, I finished eight projects. In 2018, I finished seven projects. Clearly, I need to continue making a one monthly goal because this is the best year since I've tracked finishes yet! 

The theme for the fourth quarter is FINISH! This quarter, I'm shortening the number of projects on the list. I still find it helpful to make quarter lists because it helps me make the monthly list. I'm even considering writing a weekly list to help me be more successful with finishes. Breaking projects into sections has helped me make progress.

Tea quilt
Below is my plan for the last quarter of the year. 

1. Finish gluing the butterfly pieces.

2. Finish the tea quilt.

3. Finish the tree skirt.

4. Finish Frolic.

5. Finish the heart wall hanging.

6. Help Miss J get her churn dash to a top.

7. Finish the log cabin.

8. Finish a hand embroidery project.

9. Get the string quilt I started last January to the a top.

10. Finish the charity baby quilt. 

11.  Finish the Lone Star.

12. Finish the fourth flannel top from Martha's scraps.

13. Stitch four to six gifts before the year ends.

With Gertie's help, let's see how many more finishes I can complete!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

September ReCap and October Goals

Tree skirt quilting--goal #6 for October
A recap of my September goals follows. I did finish the quilting on my challenge quilt which was goal number one. I totally finished the project which was TERRIFIC. I did begin the quilting on my Santa tree skirt. Hand stitching the back to the project took much longer than I had anticipated. That was goal number two. 

Goal number three was to make a challenge block. I did! Goal number four was to purchase more fabric and piece the last two squares into the lone star top. I purchased the fabric and have pieced the squares into the project. I have a top!

Challenge block
Goal number five was to get the center of my tea quilt into fabric. This didn't happen. 

Goal number six was to decide about making a baby quilt for charity. I went for it and have blocks made. 

Goal number seven was to make progress on the churn dash blocks with the farm theme. Miss J has spent a few sessions stitching sashing. She is spent at the end of the school day, so we will be making sew dates once her soccer season ends. It will be fun to spend a weekend morning or afternoon with her. 
Lone Star

Goal number eight was to finish the Frolic border and attach it to the top which I did. 

Goal nine was to catch up with the temperature quilt and stay on point with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. My fabric for the temperature quilt arrived.  I did make the August and September blocks. I've posted a photo of those two months! My ghost sewer stitched all of the orange strings blocks for September. Goal ten was to finish the handwork on the log cabin block which I did. 

Goal eleven was to quilt a day on Thomas and I actually quilted two days. I've now quilted seven quilts for the charity group. A guild member decided to purchase him so sadly, he will be moving to another location likely by the end of the month. I hope that there will be a send off party for him. 

August and September Temperature quilt
I completed ten of my eleven goals in September. I call that a great month! I also trained 51 participants in the American Heart Association Basic Life Support CPR program. 

To help me focus more on finishing, I joined Darlene at Devoted Quilter for her 100 day WIPs Be Gone challenge. You too can join. Check out: #wipsbegone2021 on instagram. For the first 25 days my plan is finish the challenge quilt, get the baby quilt quilted and at least make a top of the tea quilt. I am finding that actually working on the project makes it easier to get it to the finish! 

My plan for October is to:

1. Turn a couple kitchen towels into gifts. How odd will it be if the carrots are upside down?? I'm planning to cut them in half and add a contrasting fabric to the cut edge that will include a button so the piece can be secured over a towel rack or an oven door. Hmmmm, I might hem the new bottom edge. . . something to consider!

Baby quilt for charity

2. Finish the charity baby quilt. The flannels are mostly scraps. I pulled a backing from my stash and I've cut the binding.

3. Work on another small hand stitching project. 

4. Piece the backing for Frolic, piece the batting and get it to Christie to longarm. Last week, I did purchase the batting. I'm using wool.

RSC September blocks
5. Piece more string blocks from the January Saturday Workshop class that I taught. 

6. Finish the Santa tree skirt. I've begun the quilting and have selected a label.

Some October projects 
7. Piece the top for the "For All the Tea in China" quilt. Gertie's thought was to appliqué the Chinese word for tea on a background. Gertie is my inner squirrel. 

My thought was to use the crazy pieced blocks of silks. I pieced them for a border for another project. That project rejected them. It would be good to use them in this project since I purchased some of the silks in China when I traveled there about 2009. 

Tea quilt--The OMG
This is going to be my one monthly goal. Check out other peoples' goals at  Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal October Link-up I appreciate Patty having this link up as it has helped me make progress on languishing projects!

8. Continue glue basting the Butterfly. I haven't worked on this project in at least a quarter.

9. Keep up with the RSC and Temperature quilt. My ghost sewer has started piecing the lime green blocks which is the color for this month!

10. Begin a new baby quilt.

11. Work on piecing the flannel bear paw quilt. 

12. Begin collecting fabrics for the next Bonnie Hunter mystery.

13. Determine the borders for the lone star quilt. It is square and I'd like it to be rectangular so it could live on a bed!

14. Help Gertie, my inner squirrel, with a party on October 29. Stay tuned. Gertie tells me it is going to be FUN!

Again, I listed a lot of projects which is good for variety. I hope that I can continue forward progress! I'm also linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.

Regarding COVID: 

Worldwide: 219M cases; 4.55M deaths. United States: 43.6M cases; 701K deaths. Oregon: 332K cases; 3,815 deaths

In the United States, deaths have surpassed 700,000. According to a media report, the last 100,000 deaths came at a time when vaccinations were available for people over 12 years old. The majority of the deaths are unvaccinated people. Researchers believe that those vaccinated who contracted COVID were exposed by an unvaccinated person. An epidemiologist said that 90% of the deaths might have been prevented had there not been such a resistance to vaccinations. It is sad that so many families have lost someone close to them. 

In Oregon, the NW Quilt Expo show management reported that about half the number of people attended their show and that they broke even. (The show was last weekend.) Sixty one percent of the population is fully vaccinated and 66 percent of the population is partially vaccinated.