Quilting While I Follow Stay Home Orders

My sewing area in the basement is not yet organized. (I have more than I will use in 20 years!) But I just couldn't work on organizing in the basement with few windows. I was feeling a bit trapped during this time of a stay-at-home order for the next few weeks.

My husband suggested putting two portable tables in the living room (since we will have no one coming to the house for awhile). I told my daughter over a year ago I would get her quilt done, and this was the project I chose to work on.

So, here are some photos of what I've done in the past 2 days. She is very excited. I am keeping her abreast of the progress. 

I am using my walking foot, working section by section with lines in different direction.

I've quilted 1/4th of the quilt and work until it gets dark outside. I think it will be take 3 more days to finish, with another for the binding. While quilting, I am listening to a book on CD titled: Beating About the Bush (an Agatha Raisin Mystery) by M.C. Beaton. 

I do hope you are able to find a calming craft or activity to work on during a time where isolation has been encouraged, or ordered. Be safe, and I hope you stay healthy. 
Thank you for stopping by.


Making Us Laugh Blog Hop

Today I hope to make you laugh, or giggle, if just for a moment.

First the joke: 
What flower grows when you plant kisses?
(Find the answer below.)

A big thanks to Joan, at Moosestash Quilting, who came up with this blog hop. Also, to the many designers who decided to join in. So far it's been fun to see what they have made. 

For me, this was a challenge to come up with a design. I usually am the last one to understand the joke. I am not quick witted to say something funny (and when I do, my friends are surprised, to say the least.) After Christmas, Joan had an entire post about laughter-the health benefits, the interaction between mind and body, and its contangiousness and asked quilters to join the blog. 

I took the challenge and searched for "children and humor" on the internet. I figured I'd be able to find something in that catagory that made me laugh and would be easy to sew. I found the joke (above); and, the answer is in my quilt! 

I titled it, Butter Flies and Two Lips.

  • I made it with cottons and felt, a few beads and some hand stitching.
  • I sewed the sky and grass together. 
  • I cut out the sticks of butter, lip shapes, tulip stems, and leaves from felt.
  • The butterfly wings were scraps of Island Batik cottons.
  • I sewed the raw edges of the stems and leaves by machine.
  • White fleece was topstitched behind the lips (after a slit for the mouth was cut in the lips).
  • Lips were zigzag stitched onto the stems. 
  • The sticks of butter were pinned in the sky, one wing placed behind the stick and two on the front. All were topstitched (with raw edge stitching).
  • The beads were sewn on by hand and the mouths and antenna were hand stitched.
  • I quilted the layers, working around the appliques.
I had never made a split-binding to match the background. I got it done with a little re-working (ripping stitches) and it lined up well. The back is a fun floral from my stash.
Thank you for stopping. I hope you giggled a little and have had fun at the other blog posts on this hop. This is the last day of the blog. 

Here is the list of all the blogs, in case you missed any. 

Tuesday March 24
Wednesday March 18


Grabbing Opportunities Can Prove Successful to the Designer

In the mail today, I received my order from MyFabricDesign. This is special to me because this is fabric that I designed from start to finish! I ordered a fat quarter during a 25% off sale. (If I didn't like it, I didn't want to spend too much on a full yard or more.) Here is a close-up photo! 
And the entire fat quarter.

I think it is wonderful. (I can say now, I am a fabric designer!) I am so excited to have accomplished this. I will be working on other prints to go with this, while fixing this print a little bit.

Below is my story of how I got to this point, if you wish to read it.

For many years I dreamed of learning to utilize the computer to create printed designs. It didn't have to be on fabric. Paper, wood, ceramics, and such, would work. I just wanted to know how to do it.

I looked for "in-person" classes for a few years after I retired. There were some at a community college more than an hour's drive one-way, at night (not my favorite time to drive). They were college credit classes, not adult education classes, so the cost was great. Some did not meet on a day I was available. So I tried to find lessons on the internet, which were hit and miss in learning the skill building.

In February, 2019, I mentioned to a wise, old friend, about my desire. I told her I found online classes that charged nearly $1000 for a class. She asked me if I had the ability to pay (I had been saving for the possibility over the years), did I truly want to learn? what else would I use that savings on? From the answers I gave she told me to do it; sieze the opportunity to learn what I wanted. 

I thought about it for a few months. Anne LaFollette posted on the Craft Industry Alliance membership page (to which I belong) that she was offering a free, abreviated, introduction class to surface design. It was my chace to find out, for free, if this was what I wanted to learn! 

This was what I wanted! I signed up for her full course that May. What really grabbed me was that I would have access to the class lessons FOREVER! (I know that is a relative term.) This was better than taking a course at a college and once it was over, it was over; and then I would be on my own.

It seemed that things fell into place that led me to find something I really like to do. I have much to learn, but am excited about that path.


Make Us Laugh Blog Hop Begins

Today begins our blog hop
and we hope to make you laugh. 

Joan, who blogs at Moosestash Quilting, put out a call for quilters who wanted to join in this blog hop months before the world had heard of the Coronavirus. Thank you, Joan, for a theme that might lighten our minds (if only for a little while) in the next week. My day to show my quilt is Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

In the meantime, have a laugh on us with the daily designers listed below!

Here is the schedule and 
I look forward to having you stop by soon 
to hop along with us.

Wednesday March 18

Thursday March 19
Friday March 20
Monday March 23
Tuesday March 24


Spring Activities and Diversions While Staying Home

The middle of March 2020 is here. I am limiting my activities to what I can do within our own home. The governor of Michigan (and governors of many other states) has ordered places that people gather to be closed for a time to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. While I hope I do not get sick, I had been helping in the local high school art class for the first 2 weeks of March. I have not heard of anyone in our county, or our local small town becoming sick; and I hope no one gets sick.

I want to keep busy. I have had many things on my To-Do List (for years), but haven't put forth a sustained effort to accomplish all of them. I decided this past week that I was not going to begin any new quilting projects (there are many on my list). Instead, I am going downsize the amount of fabric and other items in my storage area and make my sewing area a pleasant, oraganzied place to work. I realized a few years ago that it is the clutter and disorganization that inhibits my ability to productively create. Creating is a necessity for me; it calms me and brings me happiness.

Since the gyms and fitness clubs are closed in Michigan for a period of time, my husband suggested I get outside for exercise. The weather has been fairly sunny with temps in the 40s and walking is pleasant. Of course, he found a job I could do! And to tell you the truth, I have really enjoyed it.

Stacking wood!

We heat with wood via an outdoor wood boiler. In November, he ordered a dump truck load of split wood, as he would have knee replacement in December. I would become the one filling the boiler and I can't split the large logs. Well, that huge pile was still quite large last week and we needed the area tidied. At the end of my first 2-hour day, I felt tired; but my arms and legs got quite a workout! After a few days of stacking, I am almost done, including the raking up.
This was after the first few hours of stacking.

Nearly finished. My husband kept pushing the wood closer to the stack with his tractor.

I discovered the bulbs and some plants are popping up around the house. Now I will be outside exercising as I clean the flower beds, readying them for what I hope is a marvelous and colorful display of flowers.

What are you doing to keep busy?


Middle of March Quilting Update

It's been a busy 30 days since I last blogged. 

At the beginning of March, two other ladies and I began helping (for the 3rd year) the local high school art teacher with "The Monster Project." We assist each morning of the week. The high school art students interpret the 2nd grade students' monster information and drawings and design a pattern to sew and stuff. 

In this last picture, the student 
(who worked on a project last year)
wanted the pink monster to have a zipper mouth. 
The students get more creative each year!
And this is delightful for the adults to see. 

Each year we become a bit better at organizing and assisting 20+ students in each class. (This year one class has 32.) Presently they share 5 sewing machines, so logistics are a challenge, but the students are patient. 
Also,I was putting together the final aspects of a speaking engagement that I presented last Thursday. The Tall Pine Quilters Guild asked me to present "Integrating Quilting and Technology" at their meeting. I had belonged to the guild for many years and took a break 3 years ago. It was nice to see many old friends, although not all of the members attended because of the Coronavirus. In fact, the guild was the last group meeting at the school until the governor opens schools in April. 

The presentation went well for my first time. I had them answer a questionnaire afterwards. The answers and comments were very helpful. I discovered that about 50% liked the Design aspect of the program and 50% liked the information about what the computer and cell phone could do for organization, photos, and sharing quilting interests. I will be revamping a few parts of the lecture before I present in April at another guild's meeting. 
I've been working on my quilt for the 

Here is the schedule and 
I look forward to having you stop by soon 
to hop along with us.

Wednesday March 18

Thursday March 19
Friday March 20
Monday March 23
Tuesday March 24