Saturday, July 31, 2021

Saturday Morning Update

I did okay with shirts this week. Not quite two layers in this bin, but almost. My hands started hurting from ripping the seams and I had to stop. I put a couple in a pile that don’t really appeal to me. I will re-donate those and any others that I don’t feel like messing with. I will still have more than enough.

My plan for this morning, once I get some cleaning and laundry done, is to work on the UFO that I bought the brown for. I got the fabric I ordered from eBay for the outer border so I can hopefully get it knocked out. I’ll post pictures later. 

We are going to a fundraiser at 2pm for the SPCA and we plan to go to the Mosquito Festival tonight, and I don’t know how much time that will leave me for sewing. Nothing planned for tomorrow afternoon though so I can probably get it finished.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Crocheted Dishcloths

 I like to have a little something to work on in the evenings if I decide to watch TV. The dishcloths are fun and easy, and it doesn't take long to get one finished.

I have made several patterns, but these are my favorite as far as being fast and easy to do. The stitch pattern leaves a little bit of a bumpy texture which works well for dishcloths.

I use the Crafter's Secret Yarn from Hobby Lobby or the Sugar n'Cream from Joann's and a G/6 hook. Chain 22 plus one chain to turn. SC in the 22nd chain, DC in the next and repeat to the end. Chain 1 and turn. Repeat the SC,DC pattern across the row and Chain 1 to turn. Each row should start with a SC and end with a DC which makes the bumpy texture.

For this one, I used a variegated yarn. I really like the effect the variegated yarns give the work without having to change colors.

You can see the cloth is about 6-1/2" inches wide. I keep going until the height measures the same as the width.
At the end of the row, work 3 SC in the corner and then SC down the side.

When working down the sides, I try to space the SC's evenly and try to pick up two yarns with my hook when I make the stitch.
It makes a firmer edge than if you just pick up one or go into a loose space. When I reach the end of the row, I do 3 SC in the corner to turn (if it looks to bulky, I work 2 SC instead of 3).
Continue until all four sides are done and slipstitch into the first SC to fasten off.

Here's two I made from this skein.

Once the last row is done, they measure about 7". You could make them bigger by adding more to the beginning chain, but I like this size as I can get two dishcloths from a skein of yarn. If you try it, send me a picture and let me know how it turned out!

Two of these with a plate of cookies makes a great gift if you have a new neighbor moving in. They are also good stocking stuffers and Christmas time.

Thursday, July 29, 2021


 Of course, there's not a lot of free time when you work ten-hour days, but yesterday the power was out for a few hours, and I couldn't work. There was enough light to do work on some shirts though. So that's what I did.

It's amazing to me how much I can get done when I put my mind to it, of course, it's also amazing how little I can get done when I'm not focused. The lack of internet didn't hurt any either. I'm not sure these bins are the correct storage solution, but it's what I have, and I really don't want to buy more storage. I mean, the point is to get the stuff used up, not stored. 
I should be able to get another layer in this one, and I should be able to fill another (or maybe more). I still have this left to do.
The hamper is full. Too full for all of them to fit. I need to use them or they will have to go. 

I did my five things in the sewing room. I didn't really feel like doing it, but I did it. Once I got in there, I actually lost count and did seven or eight things, so even better. I'm starting to see some progress, but I haven't done any sewing at all. I hope I will feel like it this weekend. If not, it's okay.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Just 5 Things

It's no surprise, at least not to me, that I stalled out on my sewing room clean-up. I really want it cleaned, reorganized, and completely functional. I want to know where everything is without having to dig through stacks and bags and boxes, usually making a bigger mess in the process. Unfortunately, I don't have the energy or the motivation or the executive decision making abilities to get it done in a short amount of time, so it becomes a long-term project. One that is not really all that appealing. I find UFO's that I had forgotten about, and I work on those instead of the stacks. Over and over again. I'm really good at procrastinating on the unappealing stuff. But, I'm really good at setting goals and working on them. 

I saw something on the internet about "just five things". I think it was about paring all your beauty products down to just five things. The term stuck with me though. What if I applied it to the tasks I don't want to do? What if I go in the sewing room every day and do just five things? Once the five things are done, I can sew or cut all I want. I did it yesterday and I will definitely do it today. If it's more than five that's fine, but it can't be less. 

I also need to deal with the shirts. All the men's shirts I've collected for quilts. It's been a few years since I've made a shirt quilt, but it looks like I've continued to accumulate. There are about three big bins that need to be cut up. I got five done yesterday, and I will do five today.
That still doesn't solve the problem of how much room they take up to store, so I will have to come up with a project (or two, or three) to use them up soon.

The summer heat is here, and it's oppressive. I have to walk the dogs in the morning hours so the sidewalk is not hot on their paw pads. I prefer to walk in the evenings, but it's fine. As long as we're getting some steps in.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Weekend Progress

Mostly I was pretty lazy this weekend, but I did decide I would continue with the star blocks. I had already opened the layer cake and cut up a few for the first block, and it didn't seem like anything would happen with the rest of the layer cake if I didn't continue with the blocks. So....I got all the star points made and and all the 16-patch centers. The absolute worst part is all the trimming required for the hst's when doing the eight at a time triangles with the layer cakes, but it is done now, and I started putting the blocks together.

The pattern doesn't use sashing, but I might like at least a thin sashing to separate the blocks. I don't know, I'll try it both ways and see.

I was able to find some brown for the really old UFO, and I ordered some border fabric from ebay.
The border I ordered is like the green at the top of this picture, but it is the pink color-way. It's so old, I really can't believe I actually found any, and I was only able to get a yard, but it will be enough. It will have to be. I will use the solid brown for an inner border and for the binding, and that will be one more ready for quilting.

I weighed myself this morning and was happy that I've lost a couple of pounds. That gives me the motivation to keep going this week and see what happens when I get on the scale next week. I am trying intermittent fasting which means I don't eat anything from 7 pm to 11 am the next day. Then at 11 am I have a protein shake. A couple of evenings last week, I didn't eat any meat, and the other evenings I tried to limit it to about 4 ounces. Everything else is plant based. I do love salad and really all vegetables, so it's not much of a deprivation so far.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Playing Around With Blocks

When I made the Totally Tulips and the Prairie Flowers quilts, I used this book for the patterns.
It was still out on the ottoman/coffee table, and I was looking through it. I like a lot of the patterns in the book. Which I know I can get the patterns from the youtube tutorials, but it's pretty nice to have several together in one book without having to search through all the tutorials. I really like this one.
I cut some neutral color squares and pulled some squares out of a layer cake so I could play around and see what I got. This is what I made.
I don't know if I'll continue or not, but I like it. It's a 16" block, so really big. If I don't want to keep making blocks, I can probably figure out something to do with this one. 

I am pretty unhappy with the weight right now. I don't know how I let this happen, but I have gained about 10 pounds. When I weighed myself Monday, I weighed more than I have ever weighed in my life. I am trying to get it in check--don't know how long it will take, but it won't be fast. I am doing intermittent fasting and am down a couple of pounds, but I will have to see if I can sustain that through the weekend. I'll weigh myself again on Monday morning and hope for the best. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Another UFO

 I keep working on the sewing room, and I keep finding things that need to be finished. I had forgotten about so many of these, and there haven't been any photos of them in my files so they were completely out of site and out of mind. This is the latest one I uncovered. I believe this was one of the first layer cakes I ever bought, and I remember having no idea how to use it. I finally just started cutting it up and adding narrow sashing. 

I thought at first there wouldn't be enough of the brown to add the extra blocks, but there was just barely enough. I managed to get it done after work. Here it is with the extra row added.

And, this is all of the brown that was left.
I would have liked to had enough to do a nice inner border and maybe even a binding, but that is not going to happen. I will go by the quilt shop on Friday and try to find a solid brown that will work. I thought and thought trying to remember the name of this fabric line. I knew it was Moda, and Chez Moi something. I googled what I knew and came up with the name Boutique. I found a yard of one of the prints on ebay which I ordered. It will hopefully be enough for an outer border and then this one will be ready for the "to be quilted" stack. 

I woke up this morning, and the last few mornings, with vertigo. I haven't had a problem with it in a while so it came as an unpleasant surprise. It has gone away once I'm up and moving, and I am grateful for that. I just have to be careful to sit up slowly when I first wake up. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Weekend Update and UFO's

I was in Victoria all weekend--not too much sewing, but I did make a trip by the quilt shop. They had some small batik pieces in a basket priced anywhere from $1.00 to $2.50. I picked up several of those. I have an idea in mind of how to use will be a fast, easy project once I get all the pieces cut. 

I worked on the layout for the Granny Squares we made last year in the Jelly Roll group sew along. I had them laid out at one time on the guest room bed, but the dogs broke into the room and messed everything up. I got it back the way I want it, I think. I was also stalled on whether or not I wanted the colored cornerstones or just plain white sashing. I finally decided to use the colored blocks. I have them already cut and ready to go. Once I decided, I was able to get the first three rows together. I thought it was one of the APQ UFO challenges from the past few months, but I had it down for #6, and that number hasn't been picked yet. I'll be that much ahead once it is picked. I have been looking at my list and the Pineapple quilt was March. I have just a little more to do to get it finished. I should push on and get it done. The quilt for July is the Villa Rosa pattern (Wistful) I was doing with a batik jelly roll. I think it is all cut; I just need to put it together.

I brought my spinning mat back with me so I could start cutting this:

I've had the templates a little while and really wanted to try them but didn't have a layer cake that inspired me. I think it will look good in the 30's prints so I will give it a try.

The rain seems to have stopped--it stayed pretty dry all weekend except for a brief shower. The grass is way out of hand. Bill said to leave it until the weekend and he will do it, but I don't know if I can stand it that long. It's going to be a workout for one of us, that's for sure.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Dog AppliquƩs

 These are fun: 

I found a black standard schnauzer for Rosie, but of course, no company is going to have a Jagdterrier. They just aren’t that common. I did find an Airedale that I think I can modify. What if I change the top of the head and the ears to black, and thin down the whiskers a little?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Opinions Needed

 I got the borders on. All four of the pieced borders. I had forgotten to say before that the pattern is Hanging Gardens from Cozy Quilt Designs. I used a jelly roll of Asian prints, I can't remember the manufacturer. 

I struggled to get a decent picture. The quilt is pretty big, about 88 x 88 so far, and I was working between rain showers. I think the pieced borders are okay. If all the little squares are not exactly centered, I don't think it is noticeable. 

The question I have now is, does it need a solid-type outer border? I have asked two people and gotten two different answers so maybe it is just a matter of opinions but I am open to hearing what others think. 

I was just happy to get this far on it. I also got a dishcloth finished last night and another started. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

All Bordered Out

I thought maybe I could get the borders on the UFO I uncovered, especially since the borders were already made. I actually got three of them on, and then I said "enough". 

I see why this one never got completed....all the bias edges, the lengths don't seem to match, and I could go on and on. I went ahead and starched these pretty heavily. In fact, when I was pinning them on, I could barely get the pins through them. I laid everything out and measured and remeasured and measured some more. I had to cut some spacers for the ends; luckily, I didn't have too much trouble locating the matching Kona fabric. I decided on four patches for the corners since I had all the four patches in the quilt.

It was a little bit of a challenge to get them oriented correctly in the corners. You would think it would be easy enough to line up the center of each border with the center of the quilt and go from there, but I'm not sure it's going to work out that way. I finally decided to sew them on as best I can and hang it up and see if it works out okay. The perfectionist part of me is cringing, but it's been in a stack in the sewing room for about 10 years, and at some point, I just want it done. Perfect or not. 

I didn't finish my crocheting either, although I did find another skein of yarn. They just keep appearing! Maybe I'll finish one more tonight if there is anything on tv I want to watch. Otherwise I will sew.

Reba got out in the evening. I don't know how or where. I got ready to feed the dogs and she was nowhere to be found. I finally got in the car and started driving down the street. I found her at the end of the block and brought her back. I don't know why she is the "problem child" but she sure is. All the inside doors are child proof to keep her from opening them, so I am guessing she got out of the fence in the backyard. I couldn't find any openings and the gate was closed but she may have jumped the fence. I know the man next door had been mowing grass and that always makes her a little crazy.
Exhausted from her adventures.....

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


I found some motivation to work on the sewing room; I guess because I am kind of between projects, and nothing is calling me to the sewing machine. I need to make it a priority to get the Goodwill shirts deconstructed. They are taking up too much room in their present form, and of course, they are not usable until I get the seams cut out and the buttons and everything removed. I also found some more UFO's.

I had forgotten all about this one. I vaguely remember not wanting to finish it as there was something about it I didn't like. I can't remember what it was, maybe all the white in the background or not knowing how to quilt all the negative space....anyway, I like it now. I found another one that has pieced borders that haven't been put on yet.
The borders are made, just a little wrinkled. I'm pretty sure I know why I didn't finish this one. I really don't like putting borders on. All the measuring it takes to get them put on correctly is not my favorite thing. I need to add a little of the white to make them long enough. I don't know what white I used, I'm guessing either Kona bleached white or Kona snow. Those are two of my standard background colors. I need to get it done and added to the "to be quilted" stack.

I found some small skeins of 100% cotton yarn, and my first thought was "oh, I could just crochet some dishcloths and be done with this." Yes, that is really how my brain works. Before I knew it, I was no longer in the sewing room and was working on this.
Anything can be a distraction for me. I did finish it last night while I was watching TV.
I have another skein to use up tonight and then it's back to the cleanup. Unless I get distracted again. 


Monday, July 12, 2021

I Did It Again!


It rolled off the ironing board and hit the floor. This is not the first time I've broken the tip off. Why I keep laying it on the ironing board I do not know. There is a little cup by the sewing machine that I normally store it in, but not always. šŸ˜¢

I love the pink shaft, but the round design causes it to roll. Last time, I was able to order a replacement tip from a wood working company. I found the web address, and this time I ordered two. In the meantime, I have backups.

I spent most of the afternoon working on some scrap blocks.

I got 12 or 13 done. I have no idea how many I need....probably around 50. I most likely have enough strips to make many, many more than that. A lot of the 2.5" strips were cut off pieces from the scrappy trips quilts. There is also some leftover binding strips, ranging anywhere from 2" to 2.5". I have all of these in a bucket for string quilts, but I don't know when I'll feel like making another string quilt, and I need to make a dent in these in the meantime. It's not they will ever get used up. I'm always generating more.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Weekend Update

What a peaceful weekend. I didn’t do a lot, but I feel like I managed to get done what needed to be done. Laundry done, bathrooms cleaned, floors vacuumed. I missed the recycle truck Friday, and I need to get all of that gone, but it can wait. 

I got up Friday and colored my hair, and then I went and got 2” cut off. I don’t have a hairdresser here in Lake Jackson, so I went to Walmart, and I’m really happy with it. I also made it by Creative Quilting and found some border fabric, for both the Painted Garden charm square top and for the Totally Tulips top.

Bill is still in Salt Lake City for the gymnastics competition. Serenity’s final score was 8 out 52. Best nine-year old from her region, so that is good. I think they are just doing the tourist things today and flying back Monday. I’m glad he went. He always want to go places and see new things, and I am at a point where if I can’t see it in South Texas, I don’t need to see it. It’s also hard to kennel all the dogs or find someone to watch them.

I worked on a bunch of quarter log cabin blocks with mostly random sized strips. I have a bucket of strips, with a basket on tops of that, and a bag on top of the basket. Lots of leftovers that I wouldn’t mind using up. I doubt that I can even put a dent in it, but I will try. Rena has started laying under the sewing table when I sew. I think she misses Bill. I do too. I went to Luby’s by myself for lunch today, and I would have much rather had him with me. I wanted to take the dogs to the dog bark, but I can’t manage all of them by myself. Mine are pretty well behaved, but his two are wild. Of course they are younger, and should grow out of some of the teenage nonsense. I hope. I took Rosie to the vet Saturday for a follow-up and her paw looks great. She is officially released from wearing the cone. I had only been putting it on her at night for the last week. If she starts chewing up her paw again she will have to go back to wearing it, but last night I didn’t hear any licking or chewing so maybe she will be able to leave it alone.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Not My Day

First of all it rained. All. Day. Long. Which means a headache for me, and Ryder was all over me while I was trying to work. He dislikes the rain more than I do. Reba came in from the backyard with muddy paws and jumped on the bed so now I have to wash the quilt and the blanket. My fault for leaving the bedroom door open.

Then this

How in the heck did this happen? I had hoped to finish tonight, but not happening. I did get the last column ripped off—I had double stitched it, as I often do the sashing—I didn’t feel like sewing it back on. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Totally Tulips and May Flowers

I had bought these fat quarters for this Villa Rosa pattern a couple of months ago. Since I finished two tops over the weekends, I figured I could cut a new project.

 Unfortunately, I mis-cut on one of the fat quarters and will have to find another one. I would like to find the same--the one that's on the top left in the picture above. Not sure if I'll find one or not....

I haven't cut the background yet, but I have it out on the cutting table ready to go. I guess I will use the rest of the green that I used on the Totally Tulips quilt. I don't love it, but I'd like to get it used up.

I started over on the tulip one yesterday evening. Took the blocks apart and rearranged them. I don't think I can avoid having some of the same prints close together, but I got it laid it out as well as I could. I started sewing them together last night and got four of the columns done. That will leave three more plus the borders. I just need to be careful not to get in a hurry like I did last week. That's what messes me up.

I was so pleased with the Canna Lilies in Victoria. I love this coral color. 

I got these last year from the HEB garden center. They don't seem to be as tall as the orange ones; I don't know if they are supposed to be smaller, or if it's just because they aren't full grown yet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Weekend Progress

 It was a fun weekend. I had to work Friday, so I made it to Victoria around 5:00 pm. We had two birthday parties Saturday, which was fun. We got to see family and friends. All in all, a nice weekend. I didn't expect to have time for anything else, but Sunday afternoon was pretty much free. I found two UFO's that were started last year during quarantine, then when I had to go back for the Kiln shutdown in August, they got left behind as I knew I wouldn't have much sewing time. I got this one done first.

I turned the second picture sideways as that is how the quilt should actually be oriented. It is Urban Jungle (I think Jason Yenter), and I used the Missouri Star half hexagon ruler. Really easy to do, and you still get the effect of the cool prints.

So what do you do with 1 charm pack? I buy them, and then I'm stumped if I don't have two or three or more. It hit me that they finish at 4.5" which is the same size as a nine patch made with 2" strips. Okay, I can do that.
The charm pack was called "Painted Garden". I don't remember the designer. I brought it back with me so I can hopefully find some border fabric just to make it a little larger. I will look in my stash first, but it may take a trip to the quilt shop to get enough. It's pouring rain this morning, so I won't be going anywhere until that stops.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Totally Tulips

 I thought I could get finished with my quilt top, or at least pretty closed to finished, by Friday. Nope. I was making good progress, but I may have gotten in too big a hurry and messed up the block order. Now I have blocks with the same fabrics side by side.  Sat it aside to think about it, but the truth is I don’t think I will be happy with it. ☹️

Time to get the seam ripper. I came to Victoria for the weekend and didn’t bring it, so it will be waiting for me when I get back. I’m not looking forward to it, but I do want to get it done. I had some other UFO’s to work on here in Victoria and got two tops done. I’ll post pictures when I get back to the laptop.