PEOPLE THAT QUILTERS NEED TO AVOID

PEOPLE THAT QUILTERS NEED TO AVOID
Source: Bing clip art

Sometimes things need to be said. You have all been there. At the moment, I am really thinking about certain types of people that quilters need to avoid.

And yes, I am mainly telling myself this, but what the heck! You may want a reminder too.

Why??

The simplest way to explain it is to say they either are not good for your mental health, or they waste your time. As quilters, we need good mental health and lots of time to make quilts, right?

Who are the people that quilters need to avoid?

  • Negative Nellies
  • Time Wasting Tillies
  • Depressing Dillies

Negative Nellies

Source: Bing images

Negative Nellies are those people who no matter what always have something to say about your current quilt project or idea that is negative.

They always know which colors go together better. Their seams always match. They have a better pattern for you to use. Negative Nellies always could have made that quilt faster. Blah, blah, blah…

They destroy your self-confidence and get you questioning your own decisions for the quilt that you are currently working on. You might even cry or get angry (or both) because of their negative comments.

Worse, that wonderful quilt may never get finished because you put it away and do not work on it again.

Time Wasting Tillies

Take control of your time
Source: Bing images

Time Wasting Tillies do exactly that. They come up with all kinds of small and large ways to waste your precious quilting time.

It may be as simple as not being ready to go for an agreed on time to meet for fabric shopping. Or it may involve wanting to spend a lot of time on social media quilt sites instead of actually doing anything quilting. And expecting you to sit there while he/she scrolls around these sites.

Or call you and then become offended because your phone is on speaker while you do things while listening to her talk.

My personal favorite (no, not really) are the ones who are offended because I can visit and hand applique at the same time. Or visit and hand quilt at the same time.

In my opinion, Time Wasting Tillies are very easily offended by other quilters who have better time management skills than they do. My time is precious to me, and I am not wasting it by just sitting. Or by having no self control on the internet or phone.

Depressing Dillies

Depressing
Source: Bing images

This type of quilter is all about how bad his/her quilting skills, quilting experience, or quilting feedback is. No matter what, they are sad and depressed about something – quilting or not.

They make no effort to improve their outlook, mental health, or attitude. All they want is someone to sit with them, listen, and agree that their (fill in the blank) is awful.

After two minutes of this you and I are sad. Five minutes later we are depressed. Thirty minutes later we are seriously considering suicide for ourselves, or murder for them. Either way, it would not be as depressing.

Here is my solution:

Rope pulling apart
Source: Bing images

Negative Nellies, Time Wasting Tillies, and Depressing Dillies will not improve your life. They will not improve your quilting skills.

Believe me, it is hard and even heart-breaking, but these types of people can be eliminated from your life. Yes, this is my opinion and there is certainly nothing that says you need to follow my unsolicited advice.

Unfriend them from your social media, block their phone numbers, and just don’t get sucked into conversations with them. Tell them kindly and firmly why you are doing this before doing it.

Yes, they may be family members or even friends. However, if these folks are upsetting you, or making you angry, or depressing you something needs to be done.

What if you are one of these people??

Don’t be surprised when other quilters avoid you.

PEOPLE THAT QUILTERS NEED TO AVOID
Source: Bing clip art

All of us have said or done very thoughtless things that we had to apologize for later. However, when these three types of people are always like this it is not thoughtless or accidental.

Many years ago, I had to break off a relationship with another quilter. I considered her my best friend for years, and was very hurt when I finally woke up and had to stop our friendship. The longer we were “friends” the more negative she became.

She criticized every quilt project I did. Then there was the criticism about the amount of time I spent on projects. And along with this, she was always depressed about something in her life. The point came I could no longer ignore the profound and constant negative impact she had on my life as a whole.

My own attitude became very negative. I got depressed and I was not the mom, wife, or co-worker I should have been. That is a time in my life I am not proud of.

My Point:

Love life, your quilts, your family, and yourself (put in the order that suits you). Have self respect. And give respect to those in your life who have earned it.

Do not allow yourself and your quilting creativity to be sucked out of you by people that quilters need to avoid. Be the encourager to other quilters and people around you.

people that quilters need to avoid
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

OVERWHELMED BY QUILTING UFOs

OVERWHELMED BY QUILTING UFOs
Source: Bing clip art

Can I confess? The last few weeks, I am very much feeling overwhelmed by quilting UFOs.

I left my sewing room in a total disarray when I left for vacation. You know, all that digging around looking for projects to work on, and the perfect fabrics to complete the projects.

But I can’t blame it all on vacation prep. I have been given or purchased a lot of fabric this year. The fabric has been piling up in boxes instead of being put neatly on shelves. Plus months of not really being able to cut due to an injured shoulder and then wrist.

Truly, the thought of anyone seeing this mess is super embarrassing. And yes, you guessed it – a fellow quilter was over this past week to trade some of her great scraps for mine. I wanted to cry over the whole mess. She took it in stride – hey, I have seen her sewing room look this bad too.

OVERWHELMED BY QUILTING UFOs
Source: Bing clip art

So, I took several hours yesterday to put away fabric and supplies. Then I tackled the 2 piles of quilting UFOs. Before neatening those, I grabbed paper and pencil to start a list of what I want to do in this area in the next 4 – 6 months.

OVERWHELMED BY QUILTING UFOs
Source: Bing clip art

Here is a partial list:

  • Really clean and straighten the room
  • Finish the Nine Patch top I started on vacation
  • Put unwanted and/or unneeded books and supplies on ebay or etsy
  • Bind the 2020 Grassy Creek mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter
  • Finish the scrap Flying Geese quilt I started on vacation
  • Complete the scrap Snowball quilt that is in pieces in a plastic bin (um…maybe 5 years now)
  • The Christmas placemats set (started 2 years ago) needs done
  • Complete the hand quilting on the medallion quilt that is in the frame (there is 6″ on one side left)
  • Continue organizing the quilt photos into files on the computer
  • Get back to working on the quilt scrapbook (I am three years behind)

The mess is very distracting and slowing down my speed and productivity in getting quilt and related items done. I am feeling very overwhelmed!!

Then I looked at the calendar. In about five weeks, Bonnie Hunter will have the 2021 mystery quilt directions available every week. According to the last few sentences of this post, the yardage and colors will be out at Halloween. Ugh….this mess has to be better before I take on that project.

Set a goal of 3 finished projects:

Being overwhelmed by quilting UFOs means I need to choose three projects that I can reasonably get done by Black Friday when the mystery quilt directions come out. Drum roll please…..here are the projects I chose to have done by then.

  • Deep clean and straighten the sewing room
  • Continue organizing the quilt photos into files on the computer
  • Complete the Nine Patch top that I started on vacation
  • And a bonus project is to finish the Christmas placemats (they are small and will be useful at Christmas)

Readers, take small steps to become less overwhelmed

For me, making a list helps eliminate feeling overwhelmed. It might be a simple way to help you as well.

So go through a cupboard, closet, or pile of supplies and UFOs. Make a list and be realistic and honest with yourself. Set a goal to complete the list, or an item or two on the list.

Get it done.
Source: Bing clip art

Breathe. The world will not end if each item on the list is not completed. But it is a joyful pat on the back when each project is complete. Mark it off the list. Give yourself a prize for working hard.

Give yourself a prize
Source: Bing clip art

All of us have schedules, jobs, responsibilities, etc. and hobbies tend to get left far behind on the daily “to do” list. However, it is good for us mentally and physically to have a hobby we enjoy. We live in a crazy world, and need to do something fun.

Turn off the depressing and/or stressful news while cleaning and sewing. Instead, put in an audio book, or listen to music or a favorite movie. Keep it fun and lighthearted.

And yes, I am already feeling less overwhelmed by quilting UFOs in my life.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing Clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

QUILTING AND HOMESCHOOLING

QUILTING AND HOMESCHOOLING
Source: Bing clip art

The years have slid by so fast. However, the years of using quilting to teach basic math and life skills to my kids was so worth it. Quilting and homeschooling can go together amazingly well if thought out and planned correctly.

Our kids, both male and female, learned housekeeping and life skills. These skills included: sewing, cooking, changing tires and oil, cleaning, laundry, and gardening.

Math was taught by cooking and sewing. The nice thing about homeschooling is that learning can be taught in ways that make sense to the teacher and student(s).

However, since quilting and homeschooling is the topic of this post, below I have some simple suggestions:

For young ones:

Spools of thread are great for teaching colors and counting. They also work well for doing simple addition and subtraction.

Wooden spools of thread
Source: Bing clip art

Fabrics can be used to teach colors.

The various shapes used in quilt blocks can be used to teach shapes: squares, triangles, rectangles, circles, hexagons, etc.

Simple shapes worksheet
Source: Bing clip art

The kids used to lay out fabrics and/or cut pieces on the floor and make their own quilt designs. They were learning critical thinking skills and having fun while doing it.

For Early Elementry Grades:

Following simple written instructions, such as a magazine, book, or website.

QUILTING AND HOMESCHOOLING
Source: Bing clip art

Measuring and fractions are easy when using rulers or measuring tapes. Here in the US, the kids should learn inches, feet, and yards.

Measuring tape
Source: Bing clip art

Multiplication and division using the “how many blocks ___ size do we need to make a quilt ____ size?” question.

Multiplication and division
Source: Bing clip art

Learn to use the Table of Contents or Index of a book to find quilt block photos and directions. The same skill can be used on websites like Quilter’s Cache.

Encourage creativity. Kid’s have a great imagination and come up with some neat projects.

For Junior High Grades

Safe ironing, and cutting skills. If the kids have not learned by now, this is the time to teach using sewing scissors and rotary cutters.

Workmanship by learning to sew even and correct size seams. Accurate cutting also falls into this.

Geometry by making their own basic quilt block patterns.

QUILTING AND HOMESCHOOLING
Source: Bing clip art

Algebra by teaching them to figure out how to change the size of patterns.

Algebra
Source: Bing clip art

Currently as adults:

Homeschooling was hard work for me. Quilting encouraged me and allowed me to create a quiet place within all the chaotic daily grind.

But the legacy of homeschooling and all the hard work that went with it is that my adult kids have good research skills, critical thinking skills, and so many life skills. They can and do have real conversations with others of any age. All have college degrees and hold down jobs they have chosen for themselves.

They know how to think for themselves, and why they believe what they believe. All are productive members of their communities.

And yes, they still sew and quilt.

The real and life skills they learned via basic sewing and quilting is an ingrained part of their lives.

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
3 quilts hanging on a wash line.
Source: Bing clip art

SHOWING OFF QUILTS

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Four quilts on a wooden fence

Quilters love to show off quilts to anyone who will stop long enough to look – we are just like that. Yep, we are show-offs, at least when it comes to our quilts. I thought that starting off this week by showing off quilts would be a great way to deal with Monday.

A sampler quilt
A sampler quilt

All these photos were taken in June 1995 in Montana. A co-worker allowed me to “borrow” the old barn and wooden fence on her family farm for a personal quilt show.

Dresden Plate made from my Grandma's real feed sacking
Dresden Plate made from my Grandma’s real feed sacking

I like doing my own outside personal quilt shows. It is fun to see them hanging outside in natural light. Plus the different surroundings make them look very different from being on a bed or wall.

Hand quilted fabric panel
Hand quilted fabric panel

Supplies to do this are minimal:

  • Permission if private property
  • Some sort of rope or thick string
  • Clothespins
  • Tacks
  • Small hammer
  • Pliers to pull out tacks
  • Dry weather that is partly sunny seems to be the best for lighting
SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Basket quilt

When people tell me they do not have time to quilt, I nod. However, in my head I am saying “really?”. In 1995 when these photos were taken, I had:

  • children under 12
  • was homeschooling said children
  • working 30 hours a week in town
  • being a loving wife and mom
  • raising a large vegie garden
  • getting 4 – 5 hours of sleep nightly
Quilts on the side of an old barn
Quilts on the side of an old barn

Honestly, we make time for what is important to us. And what is important probably changes over time.

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Another scrap triangle quilt with lots of small triangles

I make no claims at being “Super Woman”, but I do like to make my time count. At the end of the day, I need to know that something good was accomplished. I work because I have bills to pay and groceries to buy. But creating is how I feed my soul. Quilting gives me joy.

Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts
Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts

Just Do It

If quilting is what makes me happy and “fulfilled” I will make time in my crazy schedule somehow. Even if some days there is only 15 minutes crammed in before I go to work, I will make it fit.

Flying Geese, and Friendship Star
Flying Geese, and Friendship Star

My totally unsolicited opinion is to please look at your own daily schedule. Make a list, and see where changes can be made so there is more time to quilt.

  • Can daily “chores” be moved around for better time management?
  • What can be gotten rid of completely?
  • Are there items that suck time from your day with no visible benefit?
  • Activities that absolutely have to be done?
  • Can you utilize some time saving gadgets or techniques to gain a few more minutes as you go through the day?
  • Is multi-tasking of “chores” possible?
  • What could or should be done by someone else in the home?
  • How can you stop phone or other interruptions?
SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Dutchman’s Puzzle

I felt guilty, or allowed others to make me feel guilty, because I “selfishly” took time out of my crazy days to do something that I enjoyed. Then my grandma reminded me that if I am happy I will make a happy home.

And I wanted, and want a happy home. Not perfect, but happy.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Dutchman's Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler
Dutchman’s Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler

So embrace your quilting. Let it bring joy into your life. And when you get a chance, show off those quilts.

Just for fun

Here is a real outdoors quilt show in Montana. Lots of beautiful quilts made by wonderful quilters. So inspiring to be able to see all these quilts and the mountains at the same time.

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

PREPPING FOR WINTER QUILTING

PREPPING FOR WINTER QUILTING
Source: Bing clip art

Do you live in an area where the weather turns bad in the winter? You know – snow, ice, or just plain cold. If so, please do your prepping for winter quilting now. Planning now will make you a happier quilter later.

WhY preP for winter quilting?

Prepping for winter is different than just normal day to day quilting. For some quilters, when they run out of some item (say sewing machine needles) they just run to town or the nearest fabric store. But what happens during winter when the roads are icy, or the temps are cold, or the power is out?

Here in central Indiana, some of the leaves are starting to change at the tops of the trees. This is even with 90 degree days. It certainly appears that winter may come sooner than normal.

Fall maple leaf
First autumn leaf on the ground in my yard 08/07/2021

In an average year here there is at least 1 – 2 days each winter that it is recommended we stay home due to the roads. In other words, the ice and/or snow is not cleared off the road. Or the power may be out in various places so traffic lights do not work (usually stores are not open either).

On days like these, in my opinion, I would just rather hibernate at home. Power or no power, I can find a quilting project to work on.

PrepPING for Winter Quilting:

Do a basic inventory of quilting and sewing supplies you have on hand now. Then it will be easy to figure out what you need to get through those winter days you cannot shop, or simply want to hibernate at home.

The list may include these items:

  • Sewing machine needles
  • Sewing machine light bulbs
  • Bobbins
  • Sewing thread in basic or specific colors based on your projects
  • Rotary cutting blades
  • Iron that works properly
  • Batting for hand and/or machine quilting
  • Any needed fabric in order to continue or finish a project
  • Hand needles for said projects
  • Quilting pins
  • Sewing gadgets that are specific to your needs

The first item on my personal prepping list is to make sure my sewing machine is clean, oiled, and in complete working order. In other words, it has had its’ annual “tune-up”.

I usually have my machine “tuned-up” in the summer since that is the time it is used the least due to spending my evenings in my flower beds. My machine was done in early July and is working great.

Pfaff Select 4.0 - PREPPING FOR WINTER QUILTING
My machine all clean and tuned up. It is ready for winter sewing.

“Quilty” things that can be done ahead of winter:

We live in an area that our power goes off randomly all year round. However, the high winds and ice of winter tend to make it a more common event. So I keep several things in a pile that I can work on while the power is out. This solves the need to work on something quilt related.

Some items that I have ready for the possibility of no power, or necessary hibernation:

  • 2 quilts that are waiting on the binding to be completed. In other words, the binding is machine sewn on, but the hand sewing to finish is not. This is a fairly easy project even in candle light.
  • Applique or hand piecing that is ready. All the pieces are cut and in a container with the directions so they can be pulled out and worked on.
  • Hand quilting.
  • Tying (with yarn) three baby quilts that are to be donated.
  • If you have fabric that is ironed and have good light (such as at a window) cutting can be safely done. I have scraps that were ironed in the spring and put on hangers in the closet. They are ready to be cut when I have time.
  • A box of hexies that are already basted to paper that I can make designs with.

No doubt, you can think of quilt parts or entire projects you can work on if the prep is done while you have power.

A thought on other supplies for DURING POWER OUTAGES:

Everyone will have some non-quilting items that you should have on hand for your specific needs. It may be medications, food, snow boots, pet supplies, etc. Think of entertainment items too such as books, cards, or board games. Little people may be content to color with crayons, or play with toys.

A hand crank radio is a good investment for the minimum of listening to the weather reports.

We have a wood stove that we can (and do) heat with or cook on if necessary. But if this not an option for you, what will you need to stay warm and have warm food? Now is the time to think about this and prep so you are happy and comfortable when needed.

For me, the first thing I think of is lamp oil and/or candles. Believe me, I truly appreciate electric lights, especially when the power goes off in the middle of machine sewing. However, by lighting several candles or oil lamps, I can see well enough to work on a hand project.

Candles for light.
Source: Bing clip art

Another quilter’s fun and not so fun observations of not really being prepared for power outages.

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

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

Currently, I have no need of fabric, threads, or quilting gadgets. But I love books. Would you believe me if I stated that these quilting books followed me home?

Let me tell you about these 3 books I recently added to my personal quilt library.

Happy Trails – Variations on the Classic Drunkard’s Path

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

I bought this classic book by Pepper Cory at the local library sale for $1 !! It has 64 pages of color photos, directions, b/w drawings of lots of ways to set the drunkard’s path blocks.

I have not made one of these in 20 years, but this book is giving me all kinds of ideas. And….there are several that would be a great way to use up some more scraps.

Blackberg Edition – 11 Bloved Quilts that Stand the Test of Time

A book of classic quilt patterns

This is a new quilting book hot off the press ! It has a churn dash pattern that I really like, plus some star patterns. Or maybe it is just the colors of the quilts in the books.

Published by Martingale and has 80 pages of color photos, directions, and is causing several unnecessary project ideas.

Vintage Treasures: Little Quilts for Reproduction Fabrics

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

I like antique quilts, especially ones from the 1780-1860 time frame.

And I am finding myself experimenting more and more with wall hanging or doll quilt size.

This book was published last year by Martingale and has so many fun ideas for small quilts. There are stars, postage stamp, yo-yo’s, pinwheels, baskets, and more. Many of the quilts are in under 36″ wide or long size group. A nice size to display.

My Thoughts to YOu:

Quilting books can be considered “tools of the trade”. Spend some time talking to other quilters about what their favorite ones are and why.

I suggest books that offer several patterns, and good photos and directions. As your skills increase, branch out into other patterns, or something more complicated.

Chances are that you will find certain patterns become your favorites (or not). Books can contain patterns or ideas that challenge you to make a new pattern. Or use a pattern as a starting place, and add to it to make the pattern and final project really your own.

Some day, you too can say, “These quilting books followed me home”. Others might roll their eyes, but new ideas are always welcome to quilters.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the quilting journey.

"Live, Laugh, Love, Quilt"
Source: Quiltville

PLEASE NOTE: 
All photos and content are my own unless otherwise noted. Please DO NOT use or reproduce ANY content from this website without my written permission.

QUILTING AND INJURY

QUILTING & INJURY
Source: Bing clip art

Quilting and injury are not a fun mix. I have not mentioned my shoulder injury. It has really slowed down my hand quilting, and all areas of the sewing and quilting journey. I am sure other quilters experience shoulder and hand injuries too.

Repetitive motions such as rotary cutting and hand quilting just make my shoulder throb painfully.

I am not even sure what caused the injury in January. However, during a visit to the chiropractor I mentioned the pain in my shoulder. He diagnosed it as “frozen shoulder” and gave me some light exercises to do to help the stiffness and pain.

The exercises were easy to do and as time goes on the issue is diminishing. But I was not mentally prepared to not do any quilting activities for several weeks. That has been the worst part of the injury.

So what am I doing…

Currently I am hand quilting for one hour a day – at this stage I am thrilled with that. Rotary cutting and hand binding are even slower. But there is progress so I am happy.

I have sorted scraps by size and cleaned up the piles of fabrics.

Quilting books have been perused and new ideas marked. Magazines have been looked at and enjoyed. Some have been passed on, and some reorganized.

I enjoy other quilter’s blogs, but there has been time to catch up on reading (that are new to me, mostly) quilt blogs. It is fun to see what other quilters are doing and their projects. I found some really neat projects to possibly make.

Blog clip art
Source: Bing clip art

I also found a few new quilt blogs and thought I will share some with my wonderful readers:

A list of popular quilt blogs for 2021.

A mystery quilt (I like the blue and white version).

Quilts that are refreshingly different.

A different star block.

All kinds of fun ideas.

Make today amazing.
Source: Bing clip art

Enjoy your week readers. If you are a quilter with an injury, please find other quilt related activities to do while you recover.

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

QUILTING TRENDS FOR 2021

Hello 2021 clip art
Source: Bing clip art

As time allowed over the past week, I did some research on quilting trends for 2021. I will probably go my own way for my quilting journey, but maybe I will discover some fabric or design that inspires me.

And this blogs’ readers may find something inspiring as well. I hope quilting in 2021 is much more about fun for all quilters the world over. For many, 2020 was about illness, politics, and isolation.

And the trends are….

According to Gathered (a British publication), the list of quilting trends includes: fabric panels, raw edge applique, curves, eco quilting, the color blue, and hand quilting.

On this blog, I have several posts about quilts that include some of 2021 quilting trends. Maybe I am ahead of my time! Here is fabric panel wall hanging for Christmas, and another that is nautical and blue.

Quilting Trends for 2021 - using fabric panel in a quilt.
Christmas Cardinals

Bernina Sewing Center of Lincoln, Nebraska’s list has three items: the color Horizon blue, simple piecing, and asymmetrical.

Any regular reader knows that I thrive on quick, easy piecing of any size quilts. Here is one of my favorites, and it gets many compliments when I show it off to other quilters. I am not the only quilter who likes blue and yellow together.

Easy 4 patch quilt
Sunny Tuscany 4 Patch

When it comes to home decorating, I like a mix of items both old and new. Wall art is great, but I hate to dust around knick-knacks. I like wooden floors (and if they squeak when walked across that just adds to the feel). Colored walls are my preference because white walls look dingy since we heat with wood. I want organization. And I really want a place for textiles.

I checked on decorating trends for 2021, and found that the look is less clutter, more natural lighting, and mixing old and new items. Wow, what I like is finally popular! Now, if only the featured slideshow had quilts hanging on the walls! But that means opportunity awaits.

I know some of you are missing quilting classes. This quilt shop is doing zoom classes. While I am not familiar with this shop, some of the readers may like to explore this option.

Quilters – Make a quilt that makes you happy

Check out the decorating and quilting trends for 2021. Find an idea that inspires you and go for it. Have fun. Open the door to inspiration, and make a happy quilt for this year.

Live, Laugh, Love....Quilt !
Source: Quiltville.blogspot.com

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

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.

SCRAP BONANZA #1

Scrap Bonanza #1 completed quilt top

Scrap Bonanza #1 (AKA a quarantine quilt) top is done !!! And I managed to go from 4 scrap bins to 3 after completing this top !!!!!! Yippee……

This top started two or three years ago with sewing together scrap Birds in the Air blocks from 3″ squares sewn into HST. A complete block took 16 HST. See https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2017/12/birds-in-air.html

1 Bird in the Air block made of 16 HST

The Bird in the Air quilt that I had given me the idea had lots of blocks all set together in rows with narrow sashing and posts. There is nothing wrong with that, but once I had enough blocks made to start playing with how I would set them together that “look” just did not inspire me. Um….now what?

Finally after some time of playing around with different settings, I came up with this by putting four blocks together:

4 Birds in the Air blocks sewn into one "Scrap Bonanza" block.
The grand daughter likes it too and started laying out her own quilt.

So I made a total of 16 large blocks (each made with 4 of the original Birds in the Air blocks). At this point I did not want to make anymore of these blocks. I sewed the 16 large blocks into four rows of four large blocks. The top of Scrap Bonanza #1 was about 60″ square.

Scrap Bonanza #1 before borders

It is really cheerful and bright and busy at this point. I love it but wow, I need somewhere to rest my eyes. So I will add a solid border – I still have lots of 2.5″ strips. Just FYI, the brown border is linen left over from another project.

I added a thin medium brown border around the blocks.

Now What To Do?

So I have the center done and one border added. Now what?? It is totally the wrong size at this point for anything I wanted to do. It’s too late to go smaller, so that means bigger, right? I get to use more scraps, right? See https://indianaquilter40.com/are-you-drowning-in-scraps-too/

I have two plastic containers of 2.5″ strips for log cabin blocks. What if I made a piano key border to complete this quilt? Can I be honest – I am not a fan of piano key borders. They are time consuming to make and right at this point, I just wanted this quilt top done.

So I looked around at my stash of UFOs – was there other blocks that could be used as a border? Not that I wanted to use for this. How about just a plain old solid border? That would be quick and easy. None of the fabrics I auditioned for an outer border looked right.

Yep, back to my first idea – make a piano key border. So I just started pulling strips out of the container. No rhyme to the colors I just sew the strips end to end into a long, long, long strip.

Cut the strips into 15″ lengths. Sew those lengths together in pairs down the long sides. Make enough to add to sides of top so this border goes all the way around.

First side of piano key border.
Piano key border done on one side of quilt.


Close up of piano key border and the triangle blocks of the Scrap Bonanza #1 quilt top
Close up of section of top.

I added the border to one side, then opposite side. Made a lot more border which I added to the remaining two sides. It was time consuming, but really easy. This quilt top “Scrap Bonanza #1” is done and I am really happy with it.

I also did not stress that all my points were not perfect. The “quilt police” are not coming after this quilt (I would not listen to them anyway). It was fun to make and really made a dent in the scrap problem I am trying to conquer.

Your Mission

Your mission should you decide to accept is to make a dent in your scrap bin. Step out of your comfort zone, do something fun (and maybe a little wild) with all those scraps you have been holding onto because they are just too nice to throw away. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy the quilt journey you are on.

Challenge to myself

When I made up my list of projects to do for 2020, cornovirus was not on the radar. My time is usually limited with my job, and travel for my job so the list was what I knew I could do in a “normal” year. See https://indianaquilter40.com/quilting-goals-for-2020/

Now I am confined to working from home until further notice. It is so much easier to be productive on my quilts when I am right here at home. So I am challenging myself to see how many “quarantine” quilts I can make during this time.

Feel free to join me in this if you want. We can always give the tops or quilts away to friends or family. Or we can donate them to a worthy cause.

Other ideas for scrap quilts:

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2018/10/little-gems.html

https://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogspot.com/2009/10/this-post-is-brought-to-you-byscraps.html

https://dordognequilter.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-there-were-scraps.html

https://cedarfork.blogspot.com/2015/02/scraps-be-gone.html