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…
I finished this little quilt for my new spacious cubicle. The actual cross stitch took me frickin’ forever. I was afraid to use different colors than what the pattern called for, but I didn’t use the midnight blue aida that the pattern called for. So the finished product is a bit hard to read.
I have had the completed cross stitch poorly framed for a couple years now. I have a lot more wall space now, so I decided to incorporate into a wee mini quilt. Love love love the colors. Love love love the sentiment. Still hard to read.
I hustle plenty at work. Thinking I should bring this one home where a bit more hustle might be a good thing.
This Purl Soho tote pattern. Love, love, love the simplicity and instructions for creating easy to easiest tote. I made the above tote by lining but not boxing.
This tutorial for creating a boxed corner in a bag. I HATE the triangle method where you match seams, sew a line and then cut to the seam allowance. So much neater results for me to cut out a square and then sew shut. I wish I could find a triangle seam length to corner size converter so when a pattern tells me how long to sew the seam, I can know what size box to cut instead. Maybe I can try to figure this out myself. Maybe.
I cannot visit pursoho.com without falling in love. This is the third scarf I have purchased materials for from purl soho because I want to own it, not because I want to make it. The other two are languishing on knitting needles.
Because this scarf was sewn, not knitted, it got finished. I made all of the tassels in one tortured Friday night – adorably complaining the whole time. While my sweet husband kept gently prodding me why I was doing something voluntarily that I hated so much. Such a good question.
My purl soho scissors with sweet little lavender tassels
All 14 of the little bastards made and trapped in plastic because cats.
Getting proficient enough with my rolled hem foot to finish the scarf was a second night of unhappiness. But I love the scarf.
I need to wear the scarf while I have these nails that match it so perfectly. Well except for the scarf is understated purl soho style and these nails are Dolly Parton over the top.
February was not the powerhouse of getting things done that I thought it would be. I just seemed to stall out in a lot of areas of my life. But there were some finishes – 2 totes, 2 baby quilts, a pillow, a door hanger, a wall hanging.
It isn’t nothing, but I wish it were more. My backlog went from 26 to 26. I counteracted every backlog finish with a new start that wasn’t finished. I just can’t stop starting. My mind is full of things I want to do.
So, March. I want to make 31 scrap blocks and finish 12 projects:
easter eggs – I won’t have them done for easter, but I would like them done for when I pack up the easter decorations.
It can be done – my strategy is one thing at a time. One thing at a time. Starting with what I am dreading most – quilt binding. grrr. but then it will be done. And I won’t feel so silly sending off another quilt to be quilted, thus increasing my binding to do list.