January/February Goals

Happy February, friends!

Since it is the first of February and the month of love, I will not beat myself up too much for the fact that every box is not checked off on my short list of January goals.

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That said, I will mention that I have made something for the MQG Swap…actually I have made two! I just didn’t feel warm and fuzzy about them and so I will be starting a new one today. Does that really count as a fail??

I felt rather silly when I went and looked again at my partner’s IG feed only to find that she did post a mosaic in November. I have looked several times and don’t know how I missed it, but now I have a clear goal! Not sure what will happen with the other items I made, but such is the life of a quilter…not everything works out, but most things find a home sooner or later. These are what I have made and won’t be swapping at QuiltCon…

So, I moved the MQG Swap to February!

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February is an exciting month! My main excitement is about the 2018 QuiltCon…I am going! It is my sew mate’s, Jude Made It, birthday month and appropriate that we are going together. It is our first time to go and we are participating in as much as we can! More will come about that on the blog as it happens!

In prep for the big event, there was some making in January that I didn’t blog about.

Buttons and cards to swap, a lanyard for displaying the buttons, and a bag for stashing things. I am carrying the bag I made a while back as a tester for Yvonne Campbell, @quiltydream. I like that the bag and lanyard include the color of the year…Ultra Violet…or at least, some shades of it! Will YOU be at QuiltCon?

Once again, my February goal sheet is a little on the sparse side. This time is it because we will be traveling, in addition to QC. Though it has not been terrible winter weather here, we will be going to the Bahamas for some fun and sun and friends. I feel lucky and hope to get some great turquoise quilting inspiration! It will be great to spend time with our great friends on their boat, Terridup, too! She keeps a blog here, if you are interested in checking it out.

Well, that about rounds up what I can think of today. Happy February, “make love – not war”, and happy quilting!

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Basic Blocks Often Mess With My Mind!

Ok! I am just going to admit it! Some of the most basic things about quilting really mess with my mind!

This image might just give you an idea why…

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This was an attempt at an improv log cabin square…and I call it a fail! My strips are not in order for that log look and more! To me, it looks more like a messed up courthouse steps block.

So, today I am moved to work with that old, familiar, very basic log cabin square. I am doing it for the sake of:

1) practice in improv (Can I really just grab a strip and sew it in place without thinking about it?) and

2) understanding this basic square so I can learn to make it modern.

I am using the pattern from Suzy Quilts. I am using solids to keep it even more simple…I think. This pattern creates nice even strip sizes, but something bugs me about the center.

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I think I don’t like the two same-size squares next to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I found another tutorial from Marzi on her blog, Made by Marzipan. I like that this one has a different way to add the second piece in the center, but I can’t figure out the math to do it with 2.5″ strips, which I have a lot of! However, this block has a look that is not as uniform. Maybe that is why I like it? Off I went to cut some 3.5″ strips from scraps! Drat…I have cut the 3.5″ strips and guess what? They really turn out to be 2″ strips for most of the pattern! This is where that old addage, “measure twice, cut once,” comes into play only a bit different, “read twice, cut once.” Or better yet…”read and think about what you are doing!” I hate to rush and making mistakes is a sign of just that! Oh well, more for the scrap bins! Here is the block I made…

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I am wondering if the log cabin block is just not for me! However, I do like the bright colors in the first set of blocks. And (for the most part) I did grab and go! I also figured out that the 2″ strip width in the directions from Marzi should work with any width. I’ll have to give that a try. And maybe I will try the wonky look…that for another blog!

What do you think of the log cabin block pattern? Do you have a favorite way to produce this block? Do you have tips and tricks you can share?

This is part of my commitment to the process pledge! It IS all a process…good, bad, or ugly!

Happy Quilting!

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Blog Sharing

If you are a quilter, you must know of Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl! Today she shared some really great tips on creativity. If you have not read them, check it out. And be sure to read the comments too, as many of her followers have posted some good ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

In a similar vein, Jacquelynne, at The Art of Home, shared some thoughts on finding time for creativity in an email to subscribers. There were lots of good ideas presented, but one thing that really rang true for me was this…”In order to say Yes to your priorities, you have to say No to something else.” I am not suggesting that we should all be neglecting other things in our lives, but it is so true…we can always find something else calling to us that creates guilt over spending time doing what we are passionate about.

So, today I say, “get creative”, “get going”, “do something YOU love”. Find your mojo or your juju or whatever you call it. Sew, paint, sing, dance, cook…whatever makes you happy deserves some dedicated time! I hope she won’t mind if I quote (and give her credit for) this…“The dishes can wait a little while, and chances are no one in the house will go naked if you fold the laundry tomorrow instead of today. It’s sooo easy to get caught up in the “should’s”, and the stuff that’s right in front of you, and forego what’s really important.”

 

 

What are you going to be doing?

 

As a side note, I will also throw in here what I bet some of you may be feeling…reading all the blogs I follow, Instagram, Facebook, etc. is eating up my time. Well, I am guilty of that, as well, but I will say that my creativity is also fed by those who inspire me via these sources! I am thankful for them! What’s a person to do?

Happy quilting…or whatever it is!

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Calling Cross-Stitchers!

Hello friends out there in the blogosphere! Looking for some help.

My mom was an avid needleworker! We have the cross-stitched pieces pictured below…

Christmas Cross-Stitch by mom
Christmas Cross-Stitch by mom

…aren’t they adorable? Well, here is the problem. This is it…the poem is imcomplete.

Would any one of you crafters out there just happen to have cross-stitch patterns like these? They are at least 20 years old and I can’t find anything like them.

We would like to make something in mom’s honor. Perhaps a quilt for the upcoming children (no time soon!) who will be her great-great-grandchildren! Of course, that would be only one quilt and it would have to be passed around. Still thinking on that idea and have some other possibilities.

At any rate, I know this is a long shot, but worth asking, as this community is so caring and helpful. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have on a project to incorporate these items too!

Thank you SEW much!

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One of many questions…

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I doubt that any of you have ever had this issue, but for a long time, I have been amazed with the speed at which people complete their “quilts.” I’ve always thought of a quilt as a project that was bed-sized…even if for a baby bed. Yes, I have enjoyed participating in swaps, but actually never thought of those finished pieces as quilts. I have called them “minis”… and not the same, in my opinion.

Keeping track of our finishes is one thing, but finished quilts, another. Well, guess what? I think I will be having a lot more finished QUILTS in 2018 because, since paying more attention, I see that they can be any size!!!! I plan to adopt that thinking.

So, how do you feel about this subject? What do you call a “quilt”?

Here’s to finishing…I’d better run away and work on one! Planning to work on my Caribean Courthouse Steps next…one of my 1Q 2018 FAL items…

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Caribean Courthouse Steps flimsy

 

BTW, what size to you think this one is??? A picture can be very deceiving as to the size of these beauties!

Happy Quilting…and finishing!

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Process Pledge – not my idea, but a great idea!

The Process Pledge came to my attention today via Debbie’s blog, A Quilter’s Table. It really spoke to me because this blog is about my quilting journey, so what could be better than to promise to post about the process?…just what I imagined! As far as I can tell, the idea is from Rossie, at Rossie Crafts. It goes back to 2010 and comments are closed on that post, but I hope it is okay to keep it going here! (I asked her and she said YES!)

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Here’s the process pledge. Take it, shake it, make it yours.

I, Valorie – @facetfully, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.   I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.
The pledge, above, is copied from Rossie’s blog post, so, if you use it, please give her credit!!!!

It is important to keep it real. We all have days when we feel uninspired, when our plans don’t come together like we imagined, and when we just want to throw something in the trash. Maybe our points don’t match, our seam ripper is getting too much use, or our fabric bleeds…who knows what it might be. Hopefully, these days are greatly outnumbered by happily creative days when we want to post about successes, finishes, and all the good stuff too!

As I recently posted, the quilting community, via blogs, Instagram, and more, keep me exceedingly charged up to do and learn more. Let’s keep sharing…all the bits of the process!

Happy Quilting!

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Remembering with Gratitude

The first REAL quilt I ever made was for my daughter. I am reposting this today, as a reminder of how important I think quilts are, how they connect us, and how much they mean…to the quilter and, hopefully, to the receiver. They just might become heirlooms! I won’t go into all the details of that quilt, but you can read about “Starry Nights” here.

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First REAL quilt I ever made

I do want to talk about the growth process that is part of becoming/being a quilter. This first quilt was a big undertaking for me! I was thrilled to make it and I do love it. That could be because I love the one who requested it so much and becuase I love blue. Oh, and then there is the completion of a challenge!

I recall working on it dilligently and all the inspiration from my “sewmate”, @judemadeit. She was a much more advanced quilter than I. I wondered if I would ever get this done and, indeed, it took much longer than I expected. I have seen it on my daughter’s bed by now, and it is very special to me!

All that said, I have come a long way in my quilting journey. Don’t misunderstand, I have a long way to go! Creativity can be a friend or foe. There are UFOs, WIPs, failures, and happy results. I have developed into more of a modern quilter than “Starry Nights” depicts, I have challenged myself with FALs, QALs, swaps, classes, FMQ, home machine quilting, and more. My quilting style is evolving.

A sincere thanks goes out today to all the friends I have made on this journey! Thanks for the blind support through this blog, through Instagram, through your blogs, through your generosity in swapping and teaching. This is, without a doubt, a wonderful community to be even a small part of! I look forward to continued growth AND to meeting some of you in the soon to be, QuiltCon2018 in Pasadena!

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Happy Quilting!

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1Q 2018 Finish-A-Long

Alright already! No one has truly challenged me to this, but I FEEL challenged to post and work on my 1Q Finish-A-Long list. Thanks to many of my IG quilty friends and bloggers I follow who inspire me!

So, here goes! 1Q 2018 FAL goals:

1. I have a flimsy made up of courthouse steps blocks in pretty blues, greens, and aquas. I am calling it “Caribbean Courthouse Steps” for now… original, I know!

Caribbean Courthouse Steps

2. Improv triangles…these were a test, but “waste not, want not”. Plus, I like them. I just need to make more and decide what they might become!

1Q 2018 Finish-A-Long

3. Ditto the improve triangles for the selvedge blocks…I love making them and they could end up being so many things!

Selvedges
Selvedges

That is it…keeping it a little short, just to see if I can actually get to this much! Of course, there will be the regular bees, swaps, etc., in addition! AND I am going to my first QuiltCon in February!!!!

Happy quilting!

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A Perfect Helper in my Sewing Room!

I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful space for my sewing, quilting, and crafting. It brings me joy and I spend as much time there as I can! I was reminded of a handy little extra I use when I read the blog post by Yvonne, @Quilting JetGirl, about her portable design board.

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You know, one of those things that our parents had around back in the day, made of metal with wobbly legs! My DH hates the idea of them…oh, unless it is dinner time and he wants to watch football in the tv room! (Another story!)

Note that I use the up and down motion of moving from chair at machine to ironing board and design wall as exercise, but sometimes it is just too much. Little pieces that need to be pressed with every little seam, etc.! So, I tried using this as an extention of my sewing table. I covered it with a pressing mat that is made for a regular table. (I like the side with the measurements marked, but it also has the shiny ironing side.) For starters, I used a simple placemat to iron on. You can make your own with fun fabrics and some batting. The possibilities are endless.

You can see in the pictures above that it sits right beside me in handy reach. Oh and look what else…another one is holding my scraps, as I work!

One more picture shows yet another tray table in use on the OTHER side of me…

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This one works for quick trimming of the little projects I am working on.

So, I may not get as much exercise, but these are sure convenient! I don’t have to keep them up all the time, as they are very portable, so there is much flexibility.

I am surrounded…and loving every minute of it all!

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Thanks for reading! Do you have any handy tips for us?

Happy Quilting!

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Wonky Stars Swap

I feel pretty good about the accomplishments of this first week of 2018!

I joined the #wonkystars2018 swap for January and have made 21 wonky star blocks. I forced myself to stop so that I could get them sent out and move on to my next project. I love making them though! I posted about this already, so I won’t go into more here than to reinforce that I love those stars and can’t wait to see what I get from my swap mates! Here is my finished design wall with the 21 stars shining:

wonky stars shining

Today is Sunday, so technically a new week, but whatever week it is, I also finished my #stashbeehive5 January block today. It is for Cathleen, @kitchkouture. Her inspiration for the block is inspiring! Here is my block…

Stash Bee Hive 5 January

It will be fun to see what she ends up using for a background on this project! In case you are not familiar, and are interested, each participant is Queen Bee for a month and plans, designs, requests, and posts a block every month. My first time in this bee.

Have a good week everyone and Happy Quilting!

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