Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Second Border in Place on Temperature Quilt

2022-2023 Temperature quilt progress
 I took a photo after I had appliquéd the other side of the border to my 2022-2023 temperature quilt. On this side, I pinned the triangles in place rather than using glue to tack them in place. 

Pinning made it easier to stitch the points. Taking them into place was great because I had no pins for my threads to catch. In the end, I'd report either way was a good method.

Next month, my plan is to cut, mark and place at least one border in place. Since there are no points involved, I may stitch that side faster than I stitched the other two borders. Two more borders and I will have a finished top!

This was goal number one on my May list. I'm linking up to To-Do Tuesday with Gail who blogs at Quilt Schmilt and Alycia Finished or Not Friday.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Work, Play, Rest

Background auditions
Goal number seven on my May list was to figure out a plan for the current book club quilt. Not only did I meet the goal; but I exceeded it because I finished the project!!

Maybe shirting plaids as a background
We are reading "The Year of Less" by Cait Flanders. The author details how/why she stopped shopping, reduced the amount of belongings in her home and along the way discovered a more meaningful life for herself. 

For the last several years, I've tried to work from my stash; but, I still managed to bring in almost as much fabric as I sewed into projects. So this year and influenced by the book, I made my own shopping ban. 

My essentials list: toiletries, groceries, gifts, eating out, gas, quilting group memberships, subscriptions to online groups/online and printed magazines, gas, pool/gym membership, dental/medical/eye massage/PT appointments. 

While some may think eating out shouldn't be on the essentials list, we don't eat out all
that often. If a friend invites me for a coffee or a lunch, the visit is worth more than money I will spend on the drink or the food! My quilting group memberships and online subscriptions help keep me connected to the quilting world. 

Not Allowed: impulse fabric, thread, notions, pattern purchases, unless there is a purpose that the item will be used in 30 days.

Approved list: Replacements, travel, long arm, home remodel, hair cut, manicures and pedicures. 

Dark background audition
Replacements cover clothing, shoes, as well as fabric and notions. When I've worn out that pair of pants or shirt, I need to be able to purchase another one, If I use up all a particular size needle in my stash, I will need to replace it. If I decide to enroll in a class, I want to be able to do it. . .guilt free!

I plan to spend a year with the shopping ban. Next February, I'll evaluate how well I've done. Of course, I'm planning the experience will be successful. Not only will I have less fabric in my studio; but I'll also have more finished projects! 

I read the book in February. While I did buy some solid fabrics in January, I have managed to stick to the shopping ban. I have been tempted multiple times; but, I didn't purchase! Many times, I put items in a cart one day and the next day deleted the items when I decided I didn't really "need" them. This week, I did order fabric to replace some that I used up so I'm still on track! 

Maybe red or purple as a background
A lot of thought went into coming up with a plan for a book club project. I've challenged myself with the book club projects to use from my stash and to purchase nothing! If I choose to finish a project I've begun in a workshop is a goal too. One of the online Saturday workshops that I participated in was a shirt folding class. 

It was fun to fold the shirts, They are about four inches long and about four and half inches tall. A couple years ago, I went through my closet and purged a bunch of clothing that I no longer wore. Since then, I've done okay with purging an item when a new item comes into the wardrobe. 

I can remember my grandmother talking about clothing in her childhood. She had a school dress, a play dress and a Sunday dress. She said she wore a pinafore to keep her school dress clean and she wore an apron to keep her play dress clean. 

Auditioning shirt layouts
This memory got me to thinking about the three shirts that I had folded. I could use the theme of Work, Play and Rest to make a project. Thank you Nancy T for helping me come up with "Rest!"

Finished front
Nancy also helped me as I struggled with choosing a background. She said why choose one color? Choose three fabrics. Cut the fabrics into triangle like shapes. I tried it and I liked the mock up. So I pieced the fabrics into a background. The green fabric was a small scrap. I cut a diagonal line and added the red and brown sections. It is a small piece eight by 11 inches.

Top quilted and ready for facing.
I spent some time auditioning layouts of the shirts. I took photos along the way. I did layer and baste the project. I quilted it with a walking foot and cotton thread that was the color of the background.

It took me about 35 minutes to quilt the background. My knee was not happy quilting. Quilting isn't a task I can do just yet. I even took a break after I quilted each color! I miss quilting; but, I'm thankful that I can piece.

Back of project and the leftovers
The backing is a scrap left from a previous project. Once I had trimmed the edge of the piece, I serged the edge. I wanted to know if serging would make the edge more

stable so I'd have less distortion when adding the facing. I think I did so I will try that process on a larger project.

I decided that I would machine stitch the facing in place before I appliquéd the shirts. I looked through my two and a half inch strips and found a strip that was four inches larger than the piece so that was what I used for the facing fabric. 

Back with the sleeve and label
I spent more time auditioning other layouts until I found an orientation that I liked. I pinned the shirts in place and hand appliquéd them into position. The shirts are 3-D. The point of the collars are tacked into place; but, you could run your finger under the rest of the color edge. The back of the sleeve is appliquéd to the background. The front is also free. At this point, I decided that the piece needed some words.

At first, I thought about using my machine to embroider the words. I made some examples in the . Then I thought about hand embroidering the words. Gertie, my inner squirrel thought hand work was a better fit.

I wrote the words on a piece of Grunge fabric using a fine line Micron Sigma pen. I placed a small piece of lightweight interfacing behind the words to prevent shadowing from the background fabric and/or the embroidery floss. I used two strands of embroidery floss and backstitched the words. I appliquéd the words to the background. I like the interest that the words added.

I completed the label, hand stitched the facing and added the sleeve. I used some of the red fabric I had used in the background. Not much of the back of the project shows! 

It's good to have a finish! I used about a half a yard of fabric for this project. . .all of the pieces were scraps! I've cut the leftovers into useable sizes and placed them in the appropriate storage. 

This is a small project and simple project. Still it took me at least 15 hours to finish it! A finish, no matter how small, is terrific!

I did purchase four yards of fabric to replace what I had used for my temperature quilt. I'm planning to track my fabric purchases since I began the shopping ban in February. Fabric used from stash this year is two and a half yards. Fabric purchased since the shopping ban: four yards.

This is my second finish this year. Linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. Also, l'm linking to Patchwork and Quilts. Thank you again, Frédérique for the invitation to join your Linky party! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Pink Selvages--Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Some of the selvages used
Goal number two on my May list was to glue the selvages for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month which is pink. Pink doesn't frequent my stash; so getting enough selvages was a challenge. I thought about putting out an SOS; but, in the end, I managed!

A few more selvages
This month, I did remember to take close up photos of the selvages. That Eiffel Tower fabric, I made into a skirt for my oldest granddaughter when she was in elementary school. (She's a sixth grader now!)

Squares in process
I did use some selvages twice. I did use more of the solid selvages than I usually use; but, in the end, I was able to make four sets of four selvages squares. 

Finished sets of four

Life is great! Linking up to Angela at SoScrappy/Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2024. I'm also linking up to To Do Tuesday and Finished or Not Friday!

Men's monogram
I also finished the March software embroidery software which was about monograms. I made a baby's monogram, had an introduction to the art canvas tool and made a men's monogram. It was fun! Shelly Fitzgerald, who is the instructor, is easy to follow. I'm enjoying these lessons. I am learning my Bernina 9 embroidery software. Goal number three on my May list was to complete the February, March, April and May software lessons. I've completed wo lessons; I've two lessons remaining!

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Judge's Comments

Goal number eight on my May list was to share the judge's comments on my three guild show entries. Quilters of all levels should share their work. It makes me sad when I hear people say that "I'm not good enough to enter."  My favorite shows to attend are those which exhibit a variety of quilting levels. I come away more inspired from viewing those quilts! There wouldn't have been much of a show if only the extra spectacular quilts were entered. 

Quilting detail of Lone Star Modern Contemporay

Many people don't realize that when their quilt is judged, the judge has two to three minutes maximum to look at the quilt and make comments. If they don't adhere to the time standard, they won't be finished in time for the show to open to the public! I also appreciate receiving feedback regarding my entries. Often, I have an idea what the comments will be although I'm harder on myself than the judge has been!

In this post, I'm sharing the quilt and the comments. A heart felt thank you to Nancy T for being the drop off depot to get my quilts into the show and for delivering my quilts to my home after the show. I had knee surgery the day we were to drop off our quilts. I also appreciated Nancy for photographing my entries as well as many other entries so I could "see" some of the show even though I couldn't attend in person.

Lone Star Modern Contemporary
Lone Star Modern Contemporary:

Judge's Comments: Color and value are well chosen for the classic design. Very good visual movement created through placement of value. Quilting motifs are well designed to fill background areas and utilize negative space well. Upper and lower pieced borders effectively frame the center motif.

I struggle with color and value. I smiled when I read I did well with my choices for this design. I also struggled with quilting motifs so to read my free form filler stitches were well designed and used the negative space well made me smile again!

Seeing the quilt hang in the photo was the first time I had seen it from that perspective. I like it even more than I did when I finished it!

Lime Sprinkle
Lime Sprinkle:

Judge's Comments: Outstanding design is enhanced by the choice of the color palette. Small additions of gold and green elements provide very good visual interest. Directional changes in quilting lines are very effective. (Second place.)

For my first foray into Improv style quilting, I loved reading "outstanding design is enhanced by the choice of the color palette." I also appreciated the "directional changes in quilting lines are very effective." Quilting this piece in a "modern way" was a challenge for me!

I shared the comments and the second place with Irene Roderick. I began this project in her class via Zoom in January. Irene replied, "Congratulations! Thx for letting me know. . .makes me so proud!"


Judge's Comments: Effective subtle value change in background. Excellent movement created through placement and size of triangles. The gold fabrics seem to glow against the background. Excellent faced edge. (Honorable Mention)

I'm glad the judge could embrace the subtle value change in the background. I wanted to create a feeling of movement and "glow" of the gold fabrics and the judge saw it! I also sweated over that faced edge!

Linking to Cynthia and Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework!

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Thank You Sally!!! AND Software Progress!!!

I was the winner of some scraps this month. I am going to have so much fun playing with these chunks! I especially am taken with the animal print laying on the top of the pile. I actually met Sally who writes "The Objects of Design" blog. We were sitting together at a table taking in quilts for the quilt show. In between drop offs, we chatted. She said she wrote a blog. . .that was a couple years before COVID and I've followed her ever since! 

I laugh at the antics of her quilt supervisors, Molly and Buddy. Her humor and projects using scraps inspire me with each post! This month, she drew my name to be the recipient of some scraps that she was ready to part with. I am feeling so fortunate! Thank you, Sally!!

Scraps, beautiful scraps

Regarding the embroidery software progress:
I thought that while I was in the first stage of my knee recovery I would be spending time catching up with my embroidery software lessons. To recap: at the end of January, I put aside the software lessons to work on my quilt show entries. At that point, I had a few minutes left of the additional January module to finish. 

Unfortunately, the position I needed for my knee didn't allow me to work on the software lessons until this month when I could again sit in my recliner chair. Getting back into the swing of the software program took some time too. Goodness, I forgot a lot in a few months!!! As I was reacquainting myself with that January lesson, I found that I had made an error early in that last lesson. It was easier to start the lesson from the beginning.

Bonus January lesson

It took time; but, repeating the exercise was a good review. Then, I began the February lesson. Shelly, our instructor, had posted a number of videos that were an overview of various keys/tabs in the software. I looked at those first and then launched into the lesson.

February lesson
It was a fun lesson. I like that the modules are around 15 minutes in length. I like being able to stop the video, rewind and replay it again. This is the class that I needed to orient me to my software and I've only completed the first two lessons!

Goal number three of my May list was to complete the February, March, April and May software lessons. I likely won't get caught up this month; but, I am making progress. At some point, I will stitch out the lessons; but, for now, I'll concentrate on learning the information in the lessons.


Sunday, May 12, 2024

January 2024 Temperatures Blocks Complete

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms. . .I include moms of fur babies too! Yesterday was my husband's mom's 90th birthday. He made the two and half hour drive to Eugene which is south of us and had breakfast with her. I'll be calling my mom today to wish her a Happy Mother's Day. She lives about a two and half hour drive east of us. My knee isn't ready for a long drive yet.

Making progress on January days
Goal number five on my May list was to piece the days of January for the 2024 Temperature quilt. The wings signify the low temperature of the day and the goose signifies the hight temperature of the day. I use the weather underground history website to retrieve the temperature data.

Small dots = rain; larger dots = sun
Planning a bit, I found stitching the flying geese blocks leader/ender style worked efficintly. In the beginning, lining up the intersections was bothersome. I restitched the intersections often until I began adding a few drops of glue to the seam allowance in that area. The glue worked so much better than either "feeling" or pinning the intersections. The intersections look great!

January blocks
In a few days, I'll be six weeks post surgery for knee joint replacement. I'm still working on the knee rehab. I'm making progress in tiny increments. I welcome any progress! This is a project that doesn't irritate my knee because I can limit how much I sit. I sit to stitch a seam. I stand to press it and I stand to cut fabrics for the next block. I repeat the process. I was able to create blocks for an hour before I needed to take a break. The better news is that I could complete several sessions before I was too tired.
January and February blocks
In fact, I the process worked so well with the January blocks that I completed the February blocks too! While I've oriented these rows horizontally for this post, I do plan a vertical orientation of the blocks in the quilt. It has felt so good to spend some time in the studio! 

I've some other projects to make progress on this month; but, I look forward to making even more progress next month. I am liking the results. Mother Nature is a good colorist. The pink/purple/dark blue fabrics signify cold weather. There were a few days where the high and the low used the same fabric.I do need to determine what the filler blocks for months with less than 30 days will be. I can make that decision later. I'm linking to Cynthia at Oh Scrap/Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A Banana Bread Taste Test

Betty Crocker recipe on left vegan recipe on right
In this household, banana bread is a favorite of my husband. I'll out myself here and report that we'd been married around twenty years before I learned this about him. I thought he loved zucchini bread so I was often baking him a loaf. 

One day, I had some over ripe bananas and made a loaf of banana bread out of the Betty Crocker cookbook he had when he was in college. (The copyright of the book is 1950.) When he smelled and ate the bread, he gushed and gushed over it. That was when I learned that banana bread was his favorite!

Top: vegan; bottom: Betty Crocker
Ever since at least once a month,  I've baked a loaf of banana bread. . .with nuts! A while ago, our London daughter sent us a link to a vegan banana bread recipe. She often sends vegan links because cow dairy products upset granddaughter Miss J's digestive tract. 

Five bananas were ready to be made into bread which was the perfect number for the two recipes. I decided to make both recipes and see which was the better recipe. Betty's recipe is below:                                                 Mix together thoroughly: 2/3 C sugar, 1/3 C soft shortening, 2 eggs. Stir in: 3 Tablespoons sour milk or buttermilk (I use a non dairy milk), 2 mashed bananas.                     Sift together and stir in: 2C flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend in: 1/2 C chopped nuts. Pour into well greased 9x5x3 loaf pan. Let stand 20 minutes before baking. Bake until it tests done. Serve warm or cold. Temperature 350 degrees F. Bake 50 to 60 minutes.

While the vegan recipe was good, Betty's recipe was the hands down winner. After baking and testing the bread, I took a two hour nap. Later in the afternoon, I took a 30 minute nap. The knee continues to disrupt my sleep. Most nights, I'm sleeping a two hour and a three hour shift with a two hour break in-between. That routine isn't enough! Perhaps tonight will be the beginning of longer sleep periods.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

April Update and May Goals


2024 Temperature quilt
My April goals were:

✔1. Make progress on the 2022-2023 temperature quilt.
✔2. Glue selvage squares in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month.
✖3. Complete the February, March and April embroidery software lessons.
✔4. Begin planning a modern mystery quilt along for next year.
✔5. Catch up with the temperatures for the 2024 temperature quilt.
✔6. Get the Kerr and Ringle mystery to a top.
✔7. Do my PT and follow the recovery plan so that I will heal correctly and be able to have the range of motion to kneel for: CPR training, or quilt blocking or to play with the granddaughter. 

My May goals are:
1. Make Progress on the 2022-2023 temperature quilt,
2. Glue Selvage squares in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color of the month,
3. Complete the February, March, April and May embroidery software lessons,
4, Continue planning a modern mystery quilt along for the next year.
5. Piece the January days for the 2024 temperature quilt.
6. Continue my PT. I have a six week appointment with the surgeon towards the end of the month.
7. Figure out a plan for the latest book club quilt.
8. Share the judge's comments from the three quilts I entered in the Clark County Quilt show.
Linking up with Cynthia at Oh Scrap.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Waiting. . .A Knee Update

It's been about a week and a half since I tore that quadriceps muscle. My knee continues to improve in spite of the muscle rehab process. I am better. Today, we took our daughter out to a birthday lunch. This was the first time that I sat at a table for more than about 15 minutes. At the end of lunch, I was shocked at how weak that leg felt. Also, I was exhausted and took a two hour nap! 

I haven't been able to work on my embroidery software classes because my knee hasn't been comfortable working with the laptop on my lap. Maybe in a couple of weeks, I'll be able to work at a table for short time periods. I plan to start trying ten minute intervals tomorrow.

At PT today, I'm told the muscle is healing and that I'm making progress. I have less knee swelling and am taking an ibuprofen every four to six hours for swelling and pain. I don't have much pain. The pain comes from needing to move or from ROM exercises or from moving for too long a time. Tomorrow. I return the ice machine. It has been so useful. I'm glad I was able to rent it.

Not being able to sit also has affected my ability to work on quilting projects. I need to place the border on the other side of my temperature quilt. Maybe, I'll be able to get it in place sometime this month. As for sewing. . .who knows. 

I'm still not able to drive. I thought for sure I'd be driving by this time. PT tells me that in two weeks, I'll see and feel improvement. My fingers are crossed and of course, I'll continue putting in the work with the exercises!