Did you know that most snowflakes are hexagonal. I do LOVE snowflakes. These hexies could be in star formation, I guess.
I have been working on these for a while. I have another new star to add, then this row will be complete. I think the next row is going to be an extra large flower or a diamond.
The filler blocks all have a minion!
I do love the minions. They misbehave, but everyone still loves them.
I do have the accuquilt cutter to cut the fabric and paper shapes for this hexagon project. Hexagons finish at 1″ at the outside edges. I recently bought the box set for other shapes, too. I haven’t made any blocks from those smaller pieces yet.
Making quilt tops…piecing..is my favorite part of the quilt-makeing process. Several years ago, my husband bought me a Juki sewing machine on a Mini Pinni quilt frame from the Gracie company. My friend, Diane, has quilted more tops on it than I have. My goal this year is to change that statistic. I have lots of tops to work with.
This is my project for January. I found this top buried in my quilting room while I was organizing. I think I can finish it by the 31st, especially if we get more snow.
The quilting always looks better after a good washing. It puckers up and looks comfortable and old. My goal with this section was to make the background look like wooden boards. It will look better when washed.
I haven’t quilted on the machine for a while. I had forgotten that practice makes any skill better. By the bottom edge, I was feeling much more relaxed and confident. I tend to tighten my hands on the handles and hunch my shoulders tightly. I took more breaks and found the process much more relaxing.
I will share more pictures after this is completed, bound, and laundered.
I love turning scraps that would be destined for the trash into a beautiful block. I have 8 of these dresden plate blocks already made. I only need 12 for the quilt I have planned. This is the first red block. I am using red scraps because of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge color for January.
I use scrap paper cut to a size that is 1/4″ larger than the finished cut out size on the Accuquilt Dresden die. I foundation piece the scraps onto the paper. That way I can use smaller scraps to crumb piece my Dresden blades.
In the early morning on weekends, when I cannot sleep in, I get up and turn on You Tube to watch quilting videos on the big tv in the living room. My husband bought it so he could watch sports on the big screen. Quilting shows look pretty good on the big screen, too.
Recently, You Tube has been suggesting studio tour and make over videos. Ugh! Sometimes life is like a train wreck and you can’t turn your eyes away!
Some of these ladies are not quilters, but clothes makers. That is how I started sewing at the age of 6…making clothes for dolls and my Grandmother’s Dog. Some have many hobbies, like cross-stitch, embroidery, or using a cricut.
I did not make my first quilt until I was in my mid-twenties. My grandmother got me interested in quilting, but she was not really into quilting and piecing. All of her quilts were heavy, tied, practical creations.
My first sewing area was a sewing machine table in our laundry room. When we moved, I graduated to a desk with a hutch top in the corner of our bedroom. After my son moved out, I graduated to the entire room and we moved into his bedroom. I now have the largest room in the house as a sewing room. (My husband really likes to watch football in peace! And I am his queen!)
That leads me to my title for this post. Recently, the ceiling fan/light in my room died. I have lots of task lights around the room, because the ceiling fan light has never been spectacular. Now I have a new light fixture with one of those bladed shop lights in it. WOW! My room is now brighter than the sun…and I can clearly see all of the mess. Time to organize. Yuck!
Here are a few before pictures:
Here are some after pictures:
I don’t hide things in cabinets, so my space will never be as cute and organized as some of the ones in the videos. I like to see my stuff…right out in the open!
I can only stand to work on this a little at a time, so as with everything in my life, it is a work in progress.
Once a year, I go to “Quilt Camp”. It is organized by a wonderful retired teacher who is on the board of the local 4H camp. We meet in the dining hall to sew, socialize, and sew some more. Some of us stay in the dormitory…aka the “bunk house”. We have a challenge every year. A few times in the last couple of years, I said I would participate and then totally crapped out. This year, however, we are using a challenge that was posted a few years back by another on-line group, Raincross Quilt Guild. This challenge was used by them in 2015-2016. I am having a great time amping up the blocks they made!
My most recent hand sewing has been on these cut dresden plate flowers. In my quilt these are corner blocks for the next round.
I still have several more blocks to make. This quilt just keeps growing!
Even when I am not making resolutions, I try to participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Every year, soscrappy.com hosts this wonderful challenge. I make it through the first couple of months…and then life gets in my way. Some years, the author of soscrappy designs a quilt. Sometimes she suggests a block to be made in many colors. Sometimes it is just the color, like this year.
January is the color red this year. I have started by making 10 crazy blocks using the Accuquilt block on board die.
She always shares her work and posts a link so everyone can share.
I also made 10 paper foundation pieced crumb blocks to get me started. I have a small bin of red scraps to work with…enough to keep me busy.
Many of these are strips.
I use pages from old Reader’s Digest magazines. I can cut them to a convenient size square for my foundation. I sew the crumb pieces to the paper…trim…flip…and stitch some more.
They look rough.
Then I use my Accuquilt 4 inch die to trim them to the exact size. It is amazing what trimming and squaring up can do! Now they look like usable blocks. (I love those little monkeys!)
I will remove the paper while I watch TV this week. I have a bin of hundreds of these finished blocks…and I have designed a quilt made from them. More on that later this year. I will also do a red RSC update at the end of the month…maybe I will even find some of the previous RSC blocks!
After thinking about my needs and/or wishes for the new year, I came up with 5 goals…and a plan to keep on track.
Goal 1: Quilt top finishes
My husband says that I am not a quilter. I am a topper. I have created many, many tops. A few years ago, I donated several tops that I decided were never going to be quilted by me to a friend to turn into charity quilts. She was happy to have them…I was glad to share, but I still have a good size pile of tops to finish. Some of them have a backing with them, some don’t. I think I easily have enough to keep busy If I quilt at least one project a month. I have a Gracie frame with a Juki machine on it. It does take up a sizeable amount of real estate in my sewing room. Time to put it to more use.
Goal: Turn a quilt top into a finished product every month.
Goal 2: Blog more
I have not been a very productive author during the pandemic. Last year I only wrote 5 blog articles. This year I am setting the bar a lot higher.
Goal: Publish 2 blog articles a week.
Goal 3: Sew more for my own sanity
I have been reading articles about reducing stress and increasing your self-care. One of the suggestions was increasing the time you spend on activities you enjoy. Sewing entails a long list of activities when you break it down. Here are my qualifiers:
hand sewing (applique, binding, English paper-piecing)
machine sewing (quilting, piecing)
cleaning/ organizing my sewing area…okay…room (I am a spoiled princess…my husband likes to watch football in peace!)
cutting fabric (Accuquilt is a gift that keeps on giving…)
sorting fabric (I am a scrapaholic.)
Goal: Complete a sewing activity from the above list at least 80% of the days in the year…that is 292 days.
Goal 4: Read to self
My mother-in-law loves to read. When she finishes a book, she gives it to me. I have been stashing books in bins in our “library” loft for more than 5 years…getting ready for my own retirement. I love to read, but I sometimes have a problem putting down my tablet to read a book. I also have conditioned myself to fall asleep while reading…not good for reading an entire book in a timely manner.
Goal: Read at least one book a month.
Goal 5: Read Aloud
I admit that I would never have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy on my own…or Winds of War…or War and Rememberance. My husband never would have read Gone with the Wind on his own. We started turning off the tv and reading together when our son was in high school. It drove our son crazy. Now he and his wife do this, too. Mwahahaha! Recently, we are drawn more to the enticing, mind numbing glow of the television after a long day of wearing masks. Time to get back to entertaining ourselves.
Goal: Read to each other at least 2 days a week.
I found this great little blank book to keep me on track. I have set up a section for each goal to keep me going. All I have to do is add titles, dates, etc. Since I invested some time to get this little book set up, I think it will help me keep going.
So what habits do you want to form? What soothes your soul when you are stressed? Share in the comments. I love to hear your thoughts!
Last year was challenging for many reasons…and wonderful for many reasons, too.
We lost some dear friends and family members.
Now on to the wonderful additions to our family! My son bought a beautiful new home and got engaged on the same day…why not have all the big changes in life at one time? He got married on Veteran’s Day to a wonderful woman. We are glad to welcome her to our family…she doesn’t know what she got herself into…I hope she doesn’t figure that part out…
For the record, I am still working on the bibs that I posted about last year. I need to think about some goals for this year…some things to help me get through to retirement…maybe I should learn how to create a go fund me page!
I will think about my list and get back to you shortly…
Until then, what are your goals for 2022? (When I was graduating from high school in 1984, I couldn’t envision 2000…and here we are 22 years after that!)