Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye 2020, Happy New Year 2021

 As 2020 finally comes to an end, I look forward with hope for 2021. A new home for DH and me, vaccines in the not-too-distant future, and opportunities to get out and mingle with people. Although 2020 was a productive year for me, I'll be glad when I don't have to stay at home all the time. 

One of the things I had plenty of time for in 2020 was the pixelated quilt that I made for my grandson for Christmas. He likes it. His dad likes it too. 

And this is why I made it for him. 

I wish all my quilting and blogging friends a very happy, safe and healthy New Year in 2021!

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Annual Goals

I'm joining Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl for the 2021 goal setting link up. But first, let's look back at 2020. The year certainly didn't turn out how I thought it would last year when I set 2020 goals, but then, whose year did?!!

2020 Goals

1. Use (or give away) at least as much fabric as I bring into the stash. Yes, now there is nearly 60 yards less in the stash than there was at the beginning of the year. 

2. Blog at least once a week; continue posting monthly goals and stash reports because they keep me focused and accountable. Yes, most weeks I've blogged a couple of times, some weeks three times, and I've kept up with the monthly reports. 

3. As time permits, continue making donation quilts (see #9). Yes, due to Covid and staying at home there was ample time for sewing. I made 14 donation quilts, mostly for Operation Shower.

Little Birds, for Operation Shower

4. Review list of UFOs and determine whether to keep & finish or get rid of each one. Finish at least two of the projects on the list. Finished one quilt on the list, Have Faith, and sent 9 unquillted tops out. 

Modern Triangles, top sent to CiL

5. Send unquilted donation tops to someone who can/is willing to quilt and donate them. Sent 5 tops to CIL in January and two more in December; also sent two to QBB.  

Keep Positive, top donated to CiL

6. Participate in Hands2Help and 12DCIJ. Yes; participated in H2H but 12DCIJ did not take place. Also participated in Christmas blog hop events with Bernie of Needle and Foot. 

Have Faith, donated to H2H

7. Do something with the STLMQG Color Spoke BOM blocks, perhaps inspired by the Gypsy Wife concept. Yes, Color Spoke is finished to a flimsy and is layered and basted for quilting. 

Color Spoke Challenge flimsy

8. Complete WIGSP Piecing Group project to a flimsy. Yes, not only a flimsy, but it has been quilted by Sandy and is ready to be trimmed and bound. 

the WIGSP top ( now known as How Many
and the Piecing Group members who helped make it

9. Prep for moving to AZ and living in temporary housing for several months. In progress. Although this did not happen in the spring as planned, the move will take place in January 2021 with no need for temporary housing. 

My New House

Not exactly as I expected, after all it was 2020, but certainly not bad. 

In addition, I made three significant quilts that were not donations, Corona Medallion, Warm Strippy Spiral, and Lighten Up LCT. 

Corona Medallion

Corona Medallion is now my sofa quilt; I use it daily. 

Lighten Up LCT, below, was made to brighten a dark hallway prior to putting my house on the market. Little did I know when I hung it last fall that the house would go on the market as soon as November! My SIL has admired this quilt and I don't have a need for it, so I will give it to her before we move. 
Lighten Up LCT

Warm Strippy Spiral

I offered Warm Strippy Spiral to my son when he was here for Christmas, and he accepted, so now this is his sofa quilt. It goes nicely with his home which is decorated in greys and neutrals, so it provides a nice pop of color. 

2021 Goals

1. Move to new home in AZ and get settled in.

2. Join quilt guild at Pebble Creek.

3. Blog on average at least once a week; some weeks will involve travel so there may be stretches without any blog posts. 

4. Bind and finish the WIGSP, now known as How Many.

5. Quilt, bind and finish Color Spoke. If possible, enter it into STLMQG's show in July. 

6. Start a new long-term or complicated project or BOM. 

7. Continue making donation quilts as opportunities with PC Quilters become available.

8. If possible, enter Corona Medallion into CSQ's show in October. If WIGSP is eligible, enter that too.

If all that doesn't keep me busy, I'm sure I can find other projects that will! Linking up with Yvonne's planning party at Quilting Jetgirl. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

For Marilyn...

 ...because I'll miss you!

In 2005 I took a class from Louise Georgia of The Quilted Fox in combining colors and fabrics into a palette for a quilt. After spending a morning pulling fat quarters in her shop and critiquing palettes, I went home and played with my (limited) stash. This is the result. 

Among the points Louise made were to always include a geometric, a print with curves or curvy lines in it, and a deep dark to give the palette depth. 

I would never have thought to combine these prints without Louise's guidance. The stripe was intended for a red-white-and-blue project. The pink trefoil was leftover from something else, The border print was aspirational at the time. But surprisingly, they all work together. My friend Sandy quilted this top when she first got her long arm. The top was pieced in 2005 and quilted in 2006. 

Fast forward fifteen years. This quilt has been hanging in a closet, untouched. I'm getting ready to move and clearing out stuff that I don't need. I have the perfect recipient in mind for this quilt -  Marilyn. 

Marilyn is a member of the extended family whom we usually only see at parties, but this year has been such a strange one, and we've seen Marilyn as much as possible except for lockdowns. She's well up in her 80s and still has a phenomenal memory. She lives in a senior living apartment and she's popular among the residents. She's friendly with everyone; they all greet her by name and she remembers all their names. She's the life of the party and can be unintentionally funny. In short, she's a delight and I'll miss her. 

Not for Christmas, just because, and just as a friend, I gave her this quilt. It goes nicely with her apartment and the size is nice for a throw for a petite older lady. You would think I gave her the moon, she was so pleased. It's just a quilt, and it was just a learning exercise for me and for Sandy, so it's nothing special. But to Marilyn it is. And to me, Marilyn is very special. 

Marilyn, I know you don't read this, but I hope you get your vaccine next week and I hope to see you again next Thanksgiving when we come back for a visit. Hang in there!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Finished and Ready for Gifting

The pixelated project is finished. As I've explained before, no pics of it on the blog because it's a licensed video game character and I don't own the rights.  But I can certainly show you how it looks ready to be gifted. Here it is, all rolled up fleece side out and tied with a bow. 

Both my grandson, for whom I made it, and my son are avid video game fanatics. I've kept this a secret from my son as well as my grandson, so they'll both be surprised. I'm looking forward to giving it to them next week. 

Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Alycia Quilts

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Holiday Tales Blog Hop

I'm participating in the Holiday Tales Blog Hop hosted by Bernie at Needle and Foot, and I have a story to share. 

My dad was quite the story teller. He used to make up bedtime stories for my brother and me, and later for our younger brother and sister. The stories usually featured interesting characters, such as bumbling George Henry William Francis Gifiltefish and his sidekick Throckmorton P. Braithwaite the Third.

This story is from 1963. Dad always told stories with exaggerated voice and expression that made us giggle as he was telling them. At Christmas time he made up stories about Santa's workshop and the elves. The head elf was Gherkin; Stringfellow was in charge of decorations, and Thumbsy was in charge of... Well, here's the story. 

Thumbsy & the Christmas Balls

As told by Russ Pomeroy to his children in 1963

Now as you know, in Santa’s Workshop the elves work all year in preparation for Christmas, for Santa’s big night delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys.  They have production lines for all kinds of things: bicycles, dolls, games, trains and so forth, and also they make all the Christmas decorations. The elf in charge of Santa’s workshop is Gherkin. He’s the big boss of all the elves. It’s Gherkin’s job to make sure everything gets done right and on time. 

There’s one little elf named Thumbsy who just can’t do anything right. He’s a likeable guy, but he messes up everything he touches.  He bollixed up the bicycles.  He couldn’t make dolls.  He couldn’t assemble toy trains.  Poor ol’ Thumbsy just can’t seem to do anything right!


So Gherkin goes to Stringfellow, the tall, skinny, serious elf who’s in charge of the decorations department. If anyone can straighten out Thumbsy, Stringfellow can.  “Stringfellow,” says Gherkin, “You’ve got to help me out here.  I’m at my wit’s end.  I just don’t know what to do with Thumbsy.  Can you find something he can do right?”


Well, Stringfellow decides to put Thumbsy to work painting Christmas balls. How badly could he mess that up? So he explains the production line for colored glass Christmas balls, and how they get painted. 

There was red paint, green paint, purple paint, blue paint;  gold paint, silver paint, and even pink paint …  but no-o-o orange paint.

Everybody knows orange isn’t a Christmas color!!!


Thumbsy’s assignment is to dip each ball into a pot of color as it comes down the line.

 There were red balls, green balls, purple balls, blue balls;  gold balls, silver balls, and even pink balls… but no-o-o orange balls.


Balls come faster than Thumbsy can keep up.  Poor clumsy Thumbsy tries to work fast enough, but he ends up making a huge mess.  Paint splatters everywhere!  

There were splashes and splatters of red paint, green paint, purple paint, blue paint;  gold paint, silver paint, and even pink paint …  but no-o-o orange paint.


Oh, the chaos in the workshop! And still the balls keep coming down the line. Faster and faster they come.  Thumbsy tries his best to keep up.


There were red balls, green balls, purple balls, blue balls;  gold balls, silver balls, and even pink balls.… They were rolling and flying everywhere.  But no-o-o orange balls.  


Now Thumbsy, for all his clumsiness, is actually a pretty creative little guy.  He gets the bright idea that if he combines all the paints together he can dump all the balls in at the same time and keep up. 


So he pours together all the red paint, green paint, purple paint, blue paint;  gold paint, silver paint, and even pink paint.  But no-o-o orange paint.


Balls keep coming down the line.  Thumbsy dumps them into the paint and pulls them out.  Uh-oh….


There are NO-o-o red balls, green balls, purple balls, blue balls;  no gold balls, silver balls, or even pink balls. 

All the balls are orange!  There are only ORANGE BALLS!!!!


And orange isn’t a Christmas color.


Poor ol’ Thumbsy has done it again.


Check out these other participants in the Holiday Tales blog hop for more memories and stories:

Monday, December 14, 2020

Quilting the Pixelated Project

 The pixelated project I started last summer is finally coming down the home stretch. I'm in the process of quilting it. 

I have about 1/3 more of the light blue background left to go. 

It's been a bit of a struggle to find opportunities to work on this quilt, especially when the house had to be spiffed up for showings and inspections. I couldn't have my tables fully open and my stuff all spread out making the sewing room seem cramped. 

With any luck I'll get this quilt finished this week so it can be gifted to the recipient when we celebrate Christmas. 

Link ups: 
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Quilt Bloggers Guess Who

Check out Bernie's post at Needle and Foot for a game of Quilters Guess Who, to add a little fun to 2020!   See if you can match the childhood pics to quilt bloggers today. 

And since we're going wa-a-a-a-ay back, I'll show you the very first quilt I blogged about back in 2013. This quilt is not going to Arizona with me, so last week I gave it to my great niece. It's absolutely her taste (her mom's, too) and now that she's 11, she deserves something sophisticated but still girly and big enough for her new queen size bed. 

Mega Medallion, 96 x 98", Pieced in 2013
Quilted by Sandy Etheridge in 2014

Monday, December 7, 2020

Studio Planning

In our new home, the room designated on the floor plan as Bedroom 2 will become my studio. It measures 11 feet by 14 feet. You can see it at the lower right on the floor plan. 

My current sewing space is 10 feet by 12 feet plus the closet. Here's what my current set-up looks like.  (photo from the listing) 

View from the doorway. Those baskets in the closet contain my stash. The other closet contains hanging quilts and some unrelated stuff. The design wall, not shown, is to the right from this photo. 

Here's an old photo showing the view from the closet end of the room looking back toward the door: 

And another view:
Both the sewing table and the cutting table are shown with leaves folded down here. When fully opened, each is the size of a twin bed. 

I've been planning how to lay out my new studio. There's a lot more space; I've been playing with templates the size of the tables fully open. The layout below is looking into the room from the doorway (lower right in diagram) which is the opposite of how the room is shown in the floor plan above, but it makes more sense to lay out the room as I'll see it in use. 

The heavy black line at the far right represents my design wall. We'll have to get foam core panels and install it once we get out there and get settled in a bit. 

I'll usually have the leaf of the cutting table folded down, and there will be a lot of space between the table and the wall. I may push the table closer to the design wall except when I need the table open. The sewing table is shown fully open, what my husband describes as "air craft carrier mode." I like the open width but in my current space I have to keep the end leaves folded down. 

In the layout, the ironing board is shown in front of the window. The window faces west but has thermal glass and plantation shutters so I hope the room doesn't get too warm. The bottom of the window is about two feet off the floor, so the ironing board height will come up partway across the window. 

Currently, my stash lives in the baskets in the closet. I'm concerned about closet space in the new home, so I'm considering some alternatives. One is to get some low shelf units that are deep enough to accommodate the baskets, and put them on either side of the window (where all the small items are now). Another plan is to get a rolling garment rack and put it parallel to the closet, to store hanging quilts. 

We'll see how things come together once we get moved and I see my furnishings and equipment in the new space. I just want to be able to generally tell the movers where to put the bigger pieces so it'll be easier for me to unpack and arrange the small stuff. 

So I guess this gives a different meaning to Design Wall Monday, since I'm designing where the stuff in the sewing room, including the design wall, will go. Linking up with Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Corona Medallion

 Today I'm taking a deep breath and relaxing - just a little bit - from all the craziness going on around here related to the move. Yesterday we closed remotely on the Arizona house, and as I mentioned in Monday's post, the STL house is under contract. Today is a good day to get back to semi-regular programming, at least until the craziness starts up again. 

Back in October my friend and long arm quilter Sandy returned two of my quilts. One of them is Corona Medallion, and you can see Sandy's pics of the quilting here.  I love the quilting design she created for it. I bound it before the craziness hit, but I wasn't able to get photos then. 

Corona Medallion was actually named before the virus came along, named for the shape created by two of the Dresden fan blocks together. But now the name has another meaning, very fitting for 2020.

I made this quilt for myself, and I've been using it as my sofa quilt. I loved the process of searching out and selecting all the fabrics for the palette. A few of the blades were fussy cut to feature the prints. 

I asked Sandy to emphasize the negative space where the blades come together, because it makes an interesting shape, and she did. 

I loved everything about the process of making this quilt and I'm pleased with how it turned out.   

Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Alycia Quilts
Wendy's Quilts and More
My Quilt Infatuation