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.
I also found a few new quilt blogs and thought I will share some with my wonderful readers:
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.
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.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
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.“
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
My discovery about quilting and 7 months of COVID
I love my home and my family more each day.
It is ok to slow down and enjoy the world around me.
God is so good, and I need to thank him more for His goodness.
I have no end of quilting ideas.
Saving money is fun.
I need to pay more attention to my own health.
While I hate to cook (always have), I am a good cook.
Giving household items of all sorts to Goodwill is a guilt-free way to clean out unneeded/unwanted clutter.
I hate poison ivy and am completely sure that I can identify it now before I start weeding flower beds.
My neighbors are actually pretty nice people.
I love spending time right here at home, alone or not. This is my happy place.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
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:
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
The past few days have been interesting to say the least when it comes to the media panic over corona virus and how people around the USA are re-acting. I live in a rural area and am currently working from home instead of traveling for work. Any excuse for taking time to quilt is always good, but quilting during a crisis is productive and helps relieve the stress.
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.
This is great time to drag out those quilting UFOs you have shoved to the back of the closet. Pick one or two to work on and get busy. Busy hands tend to help us have better moods and being able to see progress on a project is always great.
Another important thing to do during this time is check on other people to see how they are doing or if you can help. Obviously the best way to check on people right now is using the phone or other technology. As quilters we tend to be generous and this is a great time to show that.
It looks like I will be working from home at least two weeks. I am understandably happy to not be traveling right now. Here is what I am doing that is quilt related during this quarantine time:
Weeding old quilt magazines
Cutting scraps into standard sizes and putting into plastic containers
Catching up on reading other quilting blogs
Some encouragement about Quilting During A Crisis:
Quotes to Start Your Monday – The first day of the work week can be tough, after all, we would rather be quilting or doing something quilt related than going off to work. But we have to work to pay those bills and support our quilt habit – right?
Today, I just thought I would share a few of my favorite quotes that bring a smile to my face and encourage me as I am at work and wish I was quilting instead. Hopefully these quotes to start your Monday will encourage you as well.
Fellow Quilters, what are some of your favorite quotes?
Getting more time to quilt – in our crazy, busy lives this can pose a real problem. People have emailed me recently asking me how I get so much time to quilt each day. I don’t have any more time than you do. However, I have learned to be a very good time manager and multi-tasker. We must make each minute count. Here are some simple things to help get more time to quilt each day.
compare what you get done or not to anyone else. None of us have the exact same responsibilities, schedules, or lives. Do what you can do. Remember that quilting is supposed to be fun.
get discouraged. Look at Pintrest, quilt shows, Facebook, magazines, books, etc as ideas for yourself. Look at the colors and patterns and enjoy.
keep several projects going simultaneously. I try to have a project in cutting stage, another in sewing stage, another in binding stage. Also, one that can be completely by hand like English paper piecing or applique.
always keep the sewing machine maintained and threaded so it is ready to be used whenever I(or you) have a few minutes. Keep a project that is ready to be sewn beside the machine (right now I have a stack of tumbler blocks ready to go). I keep a container with all the pieces cut (and pinned) there ready to be sewn.
use assembly line sewing if possible.
set a timer for small amounts of time to sew. Even 5, 10, or 15-minute blocks give you a little more done on a quilt.
limit social media and TV time. If you are not good at this, set a timer and be firm with yourself about stopping when the timer goes off.
limit time talking on the phone, especially if you cannot multitask while visiting. I iron and sort fabric while on the phone. I put the phone on speaker while cutting.
keep a small project and supplies in a bag always ready to go along. While waiting on the doctor, picking kids up, at the airport, at breaks between meetings, etc work on a project. Small amounts of time add up quickly to a completed block or project.
Quilting should be fun. Even a few minutes each day brings enjoyment into your life. Have a wonderful day.
Quilting Goals for 2020 – I cannot believe how fast 2019 flew by! It was such a crazy busy year on so many levels: job, personal, and quilting. However, I can honestly say that I completed all my quilting goals for the year. I need to really pat myself on the back!
So how did you do on your quilting goals for 2019? It’s alright if you didn’t get them all done – any progress is better than nothing. If you are one of those rare people who actually got more done than what your goals were – yippee for you!!
I am a list maker, and it really does help me get things done in my life. I made myself a new “fancy” list template for quilting projects in 2020. You are welcome to use it too if you like:
I spent yesterday going through UFOs (Unfinished Objects) and deciding which ones I wanted to get done in 2020. Here are my quilting goals for next year:
My 2020 list is hanging in my sewing room where I can easily see it. I didn’t write any “prizes” in yet because I will decide on that as I go.
I don’t necessarily do the UFOs in any order – a lot of how they get done depends on my time and travel. The ones that need a sewing machine I have to do while home, but the ones I can do by hand (like applique, or bindings on small items) can go along on job trips.
The important thing is that I am working on the items all year and staying focused – it is so easy to get distracted and want to move on to another project before one is completed. Yep, that is how I ended up with so many UFOs in the first place….
Hopefully I have encouraged you to get busy on those projects you want to do for 2020, whether they are UFOs or a new item. Set quilting goals for 2020. Remember to have fun with your quilting.
P. S. Another helpful source on writing down goals for 2020:
I was in that difficult 10 – 12 year old stage and was totally stopped in my tracks by an Amish Lone Star quilt that my Aunt Fran had hanging in her antique shop. This quilt is what started my quilting obsession.
Wow!! The colors were so bright and the design was beautiful and I can still see the vivid turquoise colored background of that quilt in my mind. This was not a scrap quilt like the one on my bed or in my surroundings.
I remember telling Aunt Fran that I wished I could make a quilt like that for myself. Her response was that I “could do anything I set my mind to”. That encouragement was the first step. Little did I know then, but I hold that beautiful quilt responsible for starting my quilting obsession.
I learned the basics of sewing from my grandma and one year of Home Ec in school. My grandma had her sewing machine in a corner of the kitchen, and it always seemed there was some project on it. I don’t remember her making quilts, but she made a lot of clothing. Once I expressed an interest in quilting, she would give me her cotton scraps and lots of encouragement to make a quilt (for many years, she was my biggest cheerleader).
Maybe I just absorbed how to hand quilt because I don’t remember learning the actual quilting stitch. Grandma exposed me to quilting bees. I do remember loving the texture of the quilting.
My mom owned 2 sewing machines but hated to sew and avoided it. She was glad to let me use her machines but was no help when it came to mentoring me on the quilt piecing. I think she believed that I would do one quilt and give it up. She saw quilts as “poor” (which we were but she did not want to admit to it).
Money was not readily available for extras in my younger years and so it took awhile of saving scraps from Grandma, and buying fabric or good used clothing (it had to be interesting fabric) at yard sales to have enough to make my first quilt, and that one just fueled my need to quilt.
Keep at it…
The years have taught me that anyone who wants to can learn to quilt. I have heard many people say it requires patience. Yes, I suppose but more than that it simply requires the need to not give up on one self. Quilting has helped me through tough times, happy times, and just day to day life.
I can encourage and inspire you in your quilting journey:
Do not break the piggy bank. Basic sewing supplies are fine – just use the best you can afford.
Check at a local fabric store, the extension office, or the library to find other quilters. You are not alone in this journey.
Start with a simple project. Something small like a table runner or baby quilt is quick to finish and boosts your confidence. If you really want to start out with a bed quilt, the easiest patterns are squares or rectangles.
The best thing is that after all the hours that go into a single quilt I have something wonderful to show for it. Each quilt is an individual object. I also do not have to follow the rules when quilting – other than using good quality supplies and making sure my seams are even. This is a wonderful hobby and stress relief and I fully enjoy it.
And the journey continues…
I have never regretted my journey through quilting. My quilting obsession brings great joy to my life.
I love quilts for my own enjoyment, but they are a wonderful to make as gifts or to reach out within your own community.