QUILTING and 7 MONTHS OF COVID

Quilting and 7 months of COVID: I read an article this week about how hard COVID has been on people around the world. The “isolation”, the “aloneness”, and the “frustration”. Actually I just shook my head over the article. I get that I am an introvert, but I have looked at these last several months as an opportunity. Back in March I wrote this post about the crisis .

My advice is the same now as in March: “I want to encourage you to take care of yourself including eating properly, getting enough rest, some form of exercise, and of course quilting. If you are not sick, the most important thing is to stay well. If you are already sick, rest and allow yourself to get well.

QUILTING and 7 MONTHS OF COVID
I completed the hand quilting for this customer on 3/24/2020. The size is 70″ x 86″. I put in 172 yds. of quilting.

Yes, there has been a lot of inconveniences and frustrations. Like being a month into isolation and discovering that I had no more (as in not a single piece) Wonder Under and I was in the middle of a machine appliqued quilt block. Guess what, Walmart and JoAnne’s did not have any either. Put that project away for later…

Quarantine quilt top: Scrap Bonanza #1.
Scrap Bonanza #1 – my first “quarantine” top complete. See the post: https://indianaquilter40.com/scrap-bonanza-1/

Up to that point, I had heard the grumblings from other quilters about the lack of supplies in local stores, and for certain products even Amazon was not any help. But I had been in my own little quilting bubble while working remote from home.

It’s an opportunity for quilting

No commute, no overnights in hotels, no constant interruptions. When my work day ended, I turned off the computer and the phone and retreated into my quilt bubble.

I saw then, and still see now, COVID to be a real opportunity to get quilting projects and ideas completed that had been running around in my head and/or sewing room unchaperoned for long enough. I was determined to work out of my own stash, and scrap bins.

Another COVID quarantine quilt top completed.
Another “quarantine” quilt top. Working from my stash and scraps. See here: https://indianaquilter40.com/happy-hibernation-quilt-or-using-those-crumbs-strips-part-2/

I am still very much enjoying the alone time when not at work. Travel is very limited right now for my job. I didn’t even whine much about personal travel plans that had to be canceled – the girl cousin trip to Baltimore, the family reunion over July 4th, the annual trip to Paducah, KY for the AQS show.

So here we are quilting and seven months into COVID…..

I have cleaned the sewing room – twice. The various piles of unwanted but good items have been sold, traded, and given away. That makes room for more fabric. I love having fewer magazines. And fewer scraps. And fewer, well just quilting stuff that is not being used. I hope all that stuff likes the new homes.

When this all started back in March, I tried to follow the news closer. I spent a lot of time reading real medical journals. That lasted about two weeks. After that I dug out fun old movies and music CDs and binged on fun stuff that was in no way related to the current situation. But if nothing else, I rediscovered a world forgotten in the hurry scurry of a time consuming, stressful career.

QUILTING and 7 MONTHS OF COVID
Simply Squares is another quarantine quilt. See here https://indianaquilter40.com/simple-squares-quilt/

Life slowed down and joy returned. I got to:

Work in the garden.

Walk 1 – 2 miles a day outside.

Enjoy the frogs singing their little hearts out that spring had returned.

Sort fabrics and play with colors like I normally do not do.

Read other quilt blogs and watch YouTube quilting videos.

Talk to neighbors I rarely see because we are all working crazy schedules.

Enjoy the laughter of children who were playing outside.

Clean the house, and finish small projects.

Ate quiet meals with my husband, who continued to work his normal 12 hour shifts two days on and two days off.

And I quilted. Some quilts were UFOs that needed completed. Some were brand new quilts. I even got some hand quilting done for other folks.

Hand quilting during COVID.
Hand quilted for PB of Brazil, IN. Size is 60″ x 72″. Has 80 yards of hand quilting.

Be Happy and Quilt

In no way am I criticizing anyone for not getting as much done as me. There is no race. I just have way to many quilting ideas that I want to try. And growing up with a hoarder parent, I cannot do clutter.

Clutter makes me sick to my stomach. It distracts me from what needs done. Clutter cannot live at my home.

I just want to encourage you to not get caught up in things you cannot change (COVID, the rising prices, or the lack of fabric in some stores, etc.) and concentrate on what you can change in your life.

It is super easy to let outside things discourage us. Pretty soon we are laying on the couch eating 5 pound boxes of chocolate thinking that our world is ending.

Instead find something to do. Not for the sake of doing something. But for the sake of having a finished item to make you feel good.

So you aren’t happy with the size of the quilt, or the colors. You now hate that pattern. There are plenty of people out there who would love to have the item if you do not want it. Make your corner of the world a better place.

Another scrap quilt during COVID.
Still working from my own stash and scraps. See story here: https://indianaquilter40.com/scrap-rectangle-party-quilt/

My discovery about quilting and 7 months of COVID

  1. I love my home and my family more each day.
  2. It is ok to slow down and enjoy the world around me.
  3. God is so good, and I need to thank him more for His goodness.
  4. I have no end of quilting ideas.
  5. Saving money is fun.
  6. I need to pay more attention to my own health.
  7. While I hate to cook (always have), I am a good cook.
  8. Giving household items of all sorts to Goodwill is a guilt-free way to clean out unneeded/unwanted clutter.
  9. I hate poison ivy and am completely sure that I can identify it now before I start weeding flower beds.
  10. My neighbors are actually pretty nice people.
  11. I love spending time right here at home, alone or not. This is my happy place.
A finished UFO quilt project during COVID.
https://indianaquilter40.com/log-cabin-in-the-fall-woods-another-log-cabin-quilt/

PLEASE NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

SIMPLY SQUARE FROLIC

I found this drawing on Pintrest and thought it would be an easy way to use up some more of the scraps. There were no measurements with the drawing so I could make up my own. I named the pattern “Simply Square Frolic” because it seemed to fit – at least in my mind.

I already had a box of 3″ squares cut out and so this is a way to use them. The 3″ scrap squares are sewn into rows of 6 squares (5 rows) with 1.25″ strips between the rows of squares would make a 16″ block. I decided to do mine in red, blue, and beige squares with solid white strips between the rows.

Red 3" squares
3″ red squares
Blue 3" squares
3″ blue squares
White 1.25" strips
1.25″ white strips

The blocks go together easily and it is really nice to find a use for more scraps. I have decided to make a total of 12 blocks (3 rows wide x 4 rows long) which will fit nicely on the wall in my dining room.

3 rows of 3" blocks sewn together  without the white strips.
Three rows sewn together

Here are two completed blocks sewn together. It’s always great when the math works and the blocks fit!

Two completed blocks sewn together - SIMPLY SQUARE FROLIC

For now, this wall hanging top is set aside to complete another project. With all the seams, it will definitely be machine quilted.

I can see this pattern “Simply Square Frolic” working for other color combinations or even just total scrap.

Some other ideas for easy quilts that use squares:

https://indianaquilter40.com/french-country-life

https://indianaquilter40.com/amish-4-patch-doll-quilt/

PLEASE NOTE:  ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

CHRISTMAS ANGELS (or a cheater block quilt)

CHRISTMAS ANGELS (or a cheater block quilt)

CHRISTMAS ANGELS (or a cheater block quilt) is a super quick quilt of pre-printed angel blocks and a pretty poinsettia print. I cut the 8 pre-printed blocks apart and added the poinsettia print cut to the same size as the printed blocks (either 12″ or 14″ – at this point I forgot and my quilting scrapbook does not say either) so that the two prints alternated making a top 3 blocks by 5 blocks.

After sewing the blocks were together, I added a border of green print with metallic dots (I usually do either a 4″ or 6″) around the outside. I only spent an afternoon piecing this top together because the pieces were big.

Tip: Watch for cheater blocks or panels that can be utilized to make quick projects or quilts for people in your life.

Clip art angel with violin

The batting was polyester.

The backing was a flat sheet that I pre-washed before using. I also tend to cut off the hems (rather than take the hems out with a seam ripper).

Finished size was 57″ x 82″.

I pieced it in 1997 and it was machine quilted in January 2002 by RLM. The design was a continuous pine tree. I did the binding in solid green cotton.

CHRISTMAS ANGELS (or a cheater block quilt) was given to a family member for Christmas that year.

Some more ideas for pre-printed blocks or fabric panels:

https://indianaquilter40.com/sailing-ships-of-old-quilt-another-panel-quilt/

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/03/cowboys.html

https://phoebemoon.com/tutorials/panel.htm

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

BASKETWEAVE NINE PATCH

Scrap quilt - Basketweave Nine Patch with back sashing.

Waste not, want not or so we are told. The Basketweave Nine Patch Quilt is a classic example of not wasting those pesky scraps that keep filling up a tub in my sewing room. This is a super easy pattern to do and can be adjusted for any size quilt. If you have not made a quilt from this pattern, let me encourage you to do so. It is easy to make and can be adjusted to any size strips you want to use.

Too many scraps….

I saw this pattern in some quilting magazine back in the mid to late 1980’s while living and working in West Germany. I thought yippee!! A great way to use up some of these scraps.

Here is a pattern for this quilt if you want easy to follow directions: https://www.quilterscache.com/B/BasketWeaveBlock.html

Obviously even then, I had a real problem with scraps!

Various colored fabric scraps in a pile.
Oh those scraps……..

I understand that rotary cutters were available by this time, but I had not seen one yet, so I actually cut all those pieces out by hand with scissors! It made for sore hands. Plus the issue of keeping those sharp scissors out of the little folks reach since I generally sat at on the floor to cut my fabric and they were playing around me.

Bolts of fabric and a pair of scissors.
Source: Bing clip art

So I eventually cut enough rectangles out for four queen size Basketweave Nine Patch Quilts that were completed over several years. It’s ok, you can say and think that this poor woman had a serious problem with fabric addiction. You would be sooooo correct.

Easily adjusted to the size you need

In the first photo, the quilt has blocks made of 9 “Roman Stripe” patches. I don’t remember the exact size but the three strips sewn together were the same length and width. Just alternate them as shown in the clip art below when sewing together.

Clip art - Roman Stripe quilt drawing.

The next step was simply adding solid black sashing between the Basketweave Nine Patch Quilt blocks. The post was a square the same size as the width of the sashing. I believe the sashing was 4″ wide, which would mean the posts were 4″ square – obviously this was a personal choice size wise and could easily be adjusted to fit any size quilt.

The top was finally put together in early 2007 and machine quilted by RLM the same year. It was given to our son M. for Christmas.

The same pattern, but totally different fabric choices and way blocks are put together can be seen here: https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2009/10/roman-stripe-table-runner.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2011/11/roman-stripe-charm-quilt.html

There are some good links on the below post for other ideas to deal with scraps. Have fun.

https://indianaquilter40.com/are-you-drowning-in-scraps-too/

Come on….make a scrap quilt

Scraps can be so much fun to use and the ideas are are numerous as the quilters who have those ideas. Go ahead, bring out all those scraps you have stashed in boxes and bags and give a scrap quilt a whirl. Quilts made with scraps can be addictive – who knows, you may never make a planned quilt again. Have fun.

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.