I started these six inch blocks last summer. It takes a little while to make 256 blocks…just a little while. They are made from scraps, scraps, and more scraps. Each block has 17 pieces. That is a lot of little scraps. You can do the math.
Here is the heap of completed blocks, just waiting to be assembled:
I was inspired by several blocks in this book: Sampler Spree by Susan Ache. You will see more blocks in the future. (I retired from 32 years as an elementary teacher. I will have lots of time to sew…finally!) Directions are well written and easy to follow. Sometimes simple sewing is just what is needed. All the blocks in this book finish at 6 inches. I made 256 Coxey’s Camp blocks out of scraps to make a 96″ square quilt, if I don’t add any borders.
Here is a sample of a completed block:
As I worked, I stored my finished blocks in a large storage bag from the Dollar Tree. The bags come in various sizes. (L…3 to a box, XL…2 to a box, and XXL…1 to a box…it is the size of a pillow). They are heavy ply. They also have a convenient handle. They are a bargain at $1.25.
I usually assembled 20 or so blocks at a time to maintain my own sanity. I parially assemble them and press them. Small steps that can be completed in about an hour are my best work sessions. Sometimes I get called away and let all the pieces on the ironing board. (The sections for an individual block are attached so there will be no problems picking up right where I left off.)
I am taking this block set to Quilt Camp to assemble the top in September. I have lots of other projects to work on in my retirement. What will be next?
What big project have you been working on…even if it is taking a year or so? Leave a comment.
My wonderful mother-in-law gifted me this 1901 Singer sewing machine several years ago. I think it was in 2016. (That was the date on the receipt for the new belt.) At the time, I couldn’t get it to stitch. I gave up. My husband said that he has not seen this machine being used since before we were married…over 37 years ago.
It has the original treadle. Everything moves freely…squeaky, but moving. Did you know that the treadle gets oiled, too?
Someone painted the machine a lovely copper color and added new decals. They did add a layer of clear coat over the decals to protect them.
This weekend I bought a book to help me get my iron lady stitching. The timing for the bobbin was WAY off. It only took two hours or so to figure that out.
Now she is stitching like a dream!
The bobbin winder is still being a little difficult. It turns and spins, but the bobbin doesn’t…hmm. I added a small scrap of cloth under the spinning end. Voila…temporary success.
Last evening, I used temporary 1/4″ marking tape on the throat plate to mark the seam allowance. Now I am ready to sew.
I meant to post this yesterday, but my motivation got lost along the way. Oh, well, it gave me something to do today!
This is block 11 of 12 for my dresden crumb block quilt.
I pieced this block last week. It was not a total success, but it was not an epic failure either! I thought I could piece this using shapes cut with an accuquilt die. You will notice that it is no quite square. I wish I could blame it on something…drunk quilting, maybe…but I can’t.
This is what I have learned about basting. Sometimes the prep work is well worth the time it takes to get it done. Thread basting is much less painful than pinning with applique pins. It is also quicker and easier than glue basting…no glue to wash out later.
Remember, I said that I was not the only maker. My DH made this for one of my sister’s co-workers, who just lost her 30 something son unexpectedly. Tragic. He graphed out a poem that she had written and added butterflies from another pattern. He is amazing.
How are your resolutions shaping up this month? or for the year so far?
2/22/22 was a great Twosday. I won’t remember the twin theme at school. I won’t remember the two minutes of crazy dancing we did at 2:22 in the afternoon. What will I remember? It was our first day in school in almost two years with no mask covering our faces.
I realize that masks were used to keep us healthy, but I think they were more to keep us silent and take away our identity. There has been no science to prove that masks work, but there is science to prove that they don’t. Enough ranting for now.
Let me say that even though I now possess roughly a mile of 1/4″ white and the same amount of black elastic, I hope to NEVER have to make another mask.
They were not difficult to construct. I used two rectangles of fabric and two pieces of elastic. I pleated the sides twice to make it fit over the face better, but not too tight. Everyone needs to be able to breathe and communicate. Do you know how hard it is to read aloud or give directions to a 10 year old with your face covered and your voice muffled all day? I did not want it sealed tightly to my face. (I did buy a microphone that picks up sound and could be worn on top of a mask. Add in reading glasses and feedback from the speaker and you have a whole new nightmare of existence!)
The state that I live in did away with mask mandates in public places a long time ago. The only places that were mandated were schools and some medical facilities. I had 1/6 of my students wearing their masks yesterday. One that constantly had his on his chin when it was mandated wore it more yesterday than he did in the last week! My husband is a high school teacher. His unofficial tally of mask wearers was about 1/3. Some, he said, were wearing them on their chin. Maybe for comfort and personal security reasons? Some of our colleagues wore masks also. Only a few.
It was great to see the smiling faces of the children and our co-workers. Let’s hope the masks never come back. I hope to never construct another one!
How many masks did you make for family and friends?
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.
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.
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!
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!