First, is letter-writing kit bags. This became my go-to present in 2019. I even created one for myself 🙂 It is super handy to have a little bag in my work bag with all I need to drop a note to someone – including stamps (that seem pretty elusive in the modern world).
I made 26 (TWENTY SIX!!!) letter-writing kit bags. That is a lot. I love them, and now have a backlog of bags for gifts. And I made so many I restocked my zipper inventory.
I also made two goat-related totes for friends. Goat-related totes are cool. I love the little detail of adding a chain purse.
I made 3 carryin’ bags. All of them are noodlehead patterns. I will never work with leather again. Way harder than it should be. I do love the 241 tote though – I made this one for my mom and am thinking I will make one for myself pretty soon.
The beginning of the year! When I am conscientious about moisturizing and blogging. Here goes…
I made a lot in 2018 – lots of baby quilts, of course. And finished up a lot of WIPs. And I also did this magical thing where I abandoned projects I didn’t want to finish. Very scary and liberating. Just deciding not to do something I don’t want to do. Hear me roar!
This is the first of a series of posts recapping my crafty accomplishments… first up, stitchy and embroidery projects. I wanted to do more seasonal decorating in 2019, so a couple projects are related to that…
I made some sweet little felt hearts to celebrate Valentine’s day on my Valentine’s day tree. Pattern from Purl Soho.
And I made some wee felt eggs just in time for Easter. Pattern and materials from Purl Soho. I am feeling less like I want to do seasonal decorating in 2019 – and then I see these little sweeties. I am torn.
I finished several embroidery projects that I am very pleased with… mostly Namaste Embroidery patterns. In fact, all of them except the circles on the pillow and the pink bouquet.
And then there are 3 other random stitchy projects…
An abstraction of my wedding boquet, because I wanted to try fabric painting.
A floaty scarf with tassels. This is another Purl Soho project. I love the scarf. I HATED making all those tassels.
I am hearing the lesson of slowing down, doing less. There are parts of my life that are full – and I can’t change that. But I can put less pressure on myself to move quickly during my down time. In 2019, I am going to do more of I want on a less-agressive pace.
I am going to do some slow projects. I have been knitting again. And there are some quilts I want to finish that will take a while.
I also am just going to play if I want to. I have been doodling and drawing. And watercoloring. I am not putting pressure on myself to become good at drawing. Just going to do it as long as it is fun. So 2019 will be slow and fun. I like that.
My destiny is baby quilts. Which is ok – because I love them. With a baby quilt, you can finish in a weekend, use fun colors, and try out some ideas. Here is a recap of some baby quilts I have made in the last few months…
This is based on an Elizabeth Hartman class from Craftsy. I love this quilt. I love the blue and the grey and the composed, funky vibe. This was made for a friend’s first baby. The only thing I would have done differently is quilt on the diagonal. My straight-line quilting always looks kind of meh.
This quilt was started from around-the-world blocks I had from 2014. I made some turquoise and low-volume blocks to finish out what I needed. I love making these blocks – but they are decptively time consuming. This one will be donated to Project Linus.
This is one of my favorite quilts I have ever made. But it did need one of those labels that says “This took forever!” This was made for a grandbaby of a coworker. I love this quilt – love all of the fabrics that I picked that should have special meaning for them. And I loved how much it was loved. I quilt to make something that will be loved. And this quilt will be loved. I also used some precious backing for this quilt. I love the birds and the roses.
For a few weeks I was on a kick to get all of the quilts done for my 2018 Project Linus goal. This one had been pieced forever. I finally got it basted, quilted, and bound. I just love this quilt. So pink and pretty.
Last, and probably least, is this acid trip. I had all of these orphan blocks I wanted to use up. So I threw them all in one quilt. Included are some abandoned curves, a wonky trip-around-the-world block, and a stopped EPP hexagon project. I know it is a lot. My grandmother used to use the phrase “cheap and cheerful”. I love that phrase. This quilt wasn’t exactly “cheap” when you consider the fabrics used, but it is cheerful and it used lots of scraps. This will be another donation to Project Linus.
Hi – I had a lot of fun making two improv baby quilts.
This goal for the first one was to use about a bunch of 1/2-square triangle blocks. I learned the trick from Jenny to sew an extra seam when making 1/2-square triangle blocks so you have a whole other block, rather than a bunch of triangles that are harder to use.
I have made several quilts using this method, so I had A LOT of 1/2-square triangles. I was able to use them all and added some other improv piecing to make this adorable quilt to donate to Project Linus.
I love the outcome so much. The palette and piecing make me so happy. And I made a boy’s quilt!
When I posted this quilt on instagram, a friend asked me to make a quilt for her niece in purple and grey. I got about 1/2-way through making a giantized swoon block and then decided I hated it. The grey was too muddy for the block to have impact. So I started chopping and adding in some more improv. You can see remnants of the swoon block shape in the quilt. It took 2x longer to make than I expected, but I love the results. Again, I think the restrained (at least restrained for me) color palette makes all the difference.
I loved making these quilts. Improv always takes longer than I think it will though – so it may be a bit before I take on any more of these.
I had lots of goals in April and got taken away by some new projects. I only got 3 things done, but I did reduce my backlog to 22 (from 23 at the end of March).
Here is what I got done:
Blue and purple project Linus quilt completed. I am not completely in love with this one, but it is done.
And I completed this embroidery project. Probably the toughest one I have done to date. I am absolutely in love with it. Pattern is by Namaste Embroidery.
And I also finished this embroidery project. The wreath pattern also is by Namaste Embroidery. I took the phrase from The Secret Garden. This one was fast and fun, compared to the succulent embroidery project. I love all of the vines in all of the different greens. I used some silk floss in this project – what a dream to work with. I think it could be very addicting.
This one really is a message I need right now. I need to make myself stronger in so many ways. Work and perseverance and my own two feet.
I started one new project in April… that I should have gotten done in April. Oh well. May needs to be the month of baby quilts – 2 for friends and 2 for Project Linus. I just need to not completely get sucked into my Long Time Gone quilt.
A month ago I turned 44. Never in my life have been worse off in regards to my health or my finances. It’s bad, ya’ll.
But I am happy. I love my job. I have a great family. And I love all of the crafty possibilities.
And I had a great birthday!
I got lots of flowers and treats. And I worked on an embroidery project using the most luscious silk thread from my friend Marsha. All in all it was good. And my finances and health can only get better.
My husband and I took a quick trip to Lincoln, NE a week ago. It was the penultimate weekend before Ken Burns’ quilts were leaving the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.
I am so sorry we waited so long to go, because I am going to gush about this exhibition and now it is too late. BUT! Here is a video of the exhibition that you can watch. It was really moving for me.
Many women in my family have quilted. My great-grandmother, my great aunt, and my grandmother all quilted. I am lucky to own a quilt my great aunt pieced and my great grandmother quilted. All by hand. And for my college graduation, my grandmother made me a gorgeous wall hanging representing the beginning of life.
After college, when I was flailing and sad, my mom taught me to quilt. It was an oasis in chaos – and started me on 20+ of creating as an escape. I went through many different phases, but being back to quilting the last 4 years has been my oasis again.
I love the exhibit – loved seeing the craft I love elevated and lauded.
When I came back home, I craved a project that would echo the work and style of what I saw. Because blue and white are his favorite colors in a quilt, I decided to pull out my blue and cream and white stash and work through it for a sampler quilt.
I am making Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. It will look gorgeous in the blues and creams – and the name is absolutely perfect – evoking the quilts and women who came before me and their gifts to me.
Yesterday, I posted about some crafty sewing progress in March. Today is a very brief look at some other March happenings. Marchenings, if you will.
BLOND! (and it is ok that I wrote “blond” instead of “blonde”, per this.)
Most of my teens and 20s I spent with blond hair. And suddenly one night I wanted it back and I found a stylist to play along. I LOVE it!! And I still am learning how to apply lipstick, obviously.
We no longer have adorable, horrible, evil pedestal sinks in either of our bathrooms. We found this little darling cabinetthat fits the tight space of our upstairs bathroom. AND we got the shower fixed in the downstairs bathroom so we totally have one shower with first-world(ish) water pressure. We have painted since this picture was taken, so imagine a better color of paint.
Exercise train. CHOO CHOO! I exercised a lot more – not enough – but a lot more. And I have been feeling the benefit. There is nothing better than the sore feeling from working out. These bad boy Mary Lou Retton calves still are kickin’ and looking forward to turning 44 in a couple of weeks. Oh, and HAI! one gold toe that really accentuates the Mortonish of it all.
I had a lot of aspiration for March – stuff to get done. LOTS. 12 projects – 3 per week. That may have been a TAD unrealistic.
I did make progress on some things…
I made the first row of my ombre tessellation quilt. Here is Toby really inspecting my work. His tail is a little, um, missing parts. But he isn’t self-conscious about it at all – I don’t think anyone ever told him.
I got the batting cut for 2 of my project linus quilts, along with finding space in my studio to store a GIANT roll of batting. And I am pleased as punch that I saved so much money by buying in BULK!
I got the quilting almost done for another project linus quilt.
I got the big succulent done on this embroidery. In love with it.
And I got four things on my list done done done…
My wool Easter eggs. I made 10 instead of 20. But 10 is enough.
The never-again scarf. I need to mend because one of the tassels has already fallen off. I’ll do that this week so that it still feels like a finish.
And I bound the 2 giantish quilts I needed to bind. This one feels like a HUGE win – it has been on my to-do list every week for many weeks in a row. I am just so happy to have the quilts in use. One of them – pictured below – is a queen size quilt on our bed. Love sleeping under a quilt I made every night. And I don’t at all obsess about what I would have done differently while making it. Not at all. #sane
There were 3 projects that I didn’t even touch that I had planned to finish. BUT, I did finish one thing that I didn’t even plan to start – this adorable doll house quilt for my aunt who makes the most amazing doll house / tiny stuff. Well jeal of her talent, and happy to add to her little amazing universe. Those little pillows are maybe the most happiest thing I have made all year.
And I did pretty darn good about not starting new projects – that is my biggest issue with making progress on my backlog. I started a little English paper piecing (EPP) project that will be the center of a fourth of July / summer wall hanging I am imagining I want to hang in my dining room. I can’t decide if I love or hate EPP. But I think I can stay committed to it long enough to finish this sort-of lone star.
At the end of March, my backlog went from 26 to 23. Uh, woot!!! That is progress in the right direction. I do need to catch up on my scrap blocks for sure, and I need to set my goals for April… and…