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!)
Last spring quilt camp was postponed due to covid. I sat down and had a good cry. I have learned a few things about myself during this pandemic. Most of the time I am fine hiding out in my sewing room, but sometimes, every once in a while, I need to be around other people. Quilt camp always lifts me up. Here are the pictures from our drag and brag.
One time at quilt camp….
There is more inspiration to come! All of the pictures won’t fit in one posting! Enjoy your day! Be inspired to create.
Good morning or day…whatever the case may be. 2020 was a hell of a year. We are coming up on the year anniversary of all of the craziness that we have had to accept as the “new normal”. (I personally HATE that term, and refuse to accept anything! HA!)
Hopefully, we are starting to emerge from our confinements, quarantines, and isolations to a healthy world. There are many new quilters and sewists among us. (I am not using the term “sewer”. That is spelled just like the underground lines where poop goes…so…uh…NO!)
I have a Sunday morning ritual. I get up to have a cup of coffee and watch some quilty things on the big screen TV that my husband bought for himself…to watch sports, of course. I have a long standing argument with a family friend that quilting should be considered a sport, just like Nascar. I say, “You have to push a pedal to make it go.” He says that is not the same. He has obviously never been on a deadline to get a quilt finished for a graduation, wedding or baby arrival. He says, “No, it is hot in the cars.” Well, I don’t have air conditioning, so sometimes it is hot in the sewing room, too. Maybe I just need some sponsor stickers for on the sewing machine and a nifty sponsor outfit! So when I am watching quilty things on the tv, is that the same as watching sports?
Back to this morning’s discovery…I am a big YouTube fan. I am fairly certain that I could google anything and find a video to do it, fix it, etc. I recently did this at the parts store. The person working “wasn’t allowed” to help. I have a word for that…lazy. Thank goodness for free wifi to their parking lot. Fixed it myself! I digress…this morning’s discovery is all about quilty inspiration. It looked wonderful on the big screen, just like a sporting event, but better…because it was quilty and there was no fear of losing! Enjoy my find! Road to California quilt show 2020…filmed by Jolly Molly TV.
Remember…sometimes it is good to take a deep breathe and enjoy life as it comes to you. Have another cup of coffee!
Here is the original quilt layout in McCall’s quilting magazine from March/April of 2018. This version is a little smaller than my version. It contains odd size blocks. I prefer to use pieces that I can cut with my accuquilt cutter. My finished quilt will also contain 9 blocks, but it won’t need sashing because the blocks are much bigger than these in the picture. I’m spending Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday relaxing as our nation prepares for the inauguration of a new president. This project is to take my mind off of all that is in the news that I don’t even want to contemplate.
Here is a picture of my third out of nine blocks. The first two were peach with the same dark green. This one is a lovely teal and purple. The entire quilt is cut from stash and scrap fabric. It took about 2 hours to assemble this large block.
Hopefully as the long, cold winter continues, I will be able to finish the other six blocks to make the quilt top complete. Here’s to keeping busy and out of trouble.