Monday, February 20, 2017


No pictures today, just a narrative.

Today I am putting labels on a bunch of quilts. I haven't been too bad about doing this overall, but not great. I'm thinking about half of them have labels. There was probably a time when I knew the year in which I finished the quilts that I had made, but that time is past, so I'm going to have to dredge through blog posts and file folders to figure it out.

Being organized

I should probably post an update on being organized. I was going to make this blog an ongoing narrative of how I organize my time and space, but let's just call that a little fail. On the other hand my time and space are becoming more organized, I'm just not blogging about it.


I have been limiting, planning, and making better use of my crafting time. If I spend entire days doing crafting then other parts of my life suffer. So balance is the key, and planning is the key to balance.

There isn't much magic to it, just occasional restraint, being aware of when my crafting time is so I can focus on it, and prioritizing what I want to do with that time. Some days I make a written plan. Deciding to let go of my "leadership" roles in charity quilts has helped in this respect. I'm not quite sure how much credit I can give myself for making that decision, because it wasn't working out at all anymore.


Getting rid of the charity quilts has made a huge difference. Soon the materials for the Power of the Quilt Project will be stored at the UUAC church in Sherborn, which is where the project is carried out. All of the materials for the Rhododendron Quilt Guild are out of the house. This was a concerted effort of mine during the first two months of the year, and I'm really happy to say that chapter of my life is behind me. It was not something that I was capable of doing. The only thing I can give myself credit for is not second guessing my aversion to doing that job. Guild people were donating materials that were very difficult to sort and use, but the new coordinator doesn't seem to have a problem with that. I've given her three quilts, a giant roll of batting and a bin of kids' fabric that PQP doesn't need.

Other improvements I've made in my space are removing all yarn from the sewing room. Finishing quilts helps too. Unfortunately I'm now starting to accumulate finished quilts. I need to start getting rid of finished quilts somehow.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 UFO Challenge

If you look back at my very few posts for the year 2016, you can read that I started a project of finishing one UFO a month. This lasted about two months. The March project really threw me off because it was so hard, and then I got very busy at the end of May. I eventually did finish all 12 projects in 2016, but many were finished in December.

These pinwheels were made from a bunch of different sized triangles that I had in a box. It wasn't easy to put this together. I quilted it by hand. Not a blanket - a wall hanging.

This little quilt is also a wall hanging. A few years ago, I went through a box of 3 inch strips and squares and made them all into quilts, and this is how I used up the solid 3 inch squares.

Another wall hanging. I finished it at 10:22 on December 31st. It was the hardest one to finish. I started this 25 years ago, and I'm not sure I would have made anything like it now that I have more experience. Too many seams coming together at a point meant that I could not quilt this on a machine. So I took it with me on a family visit and just put my nose to the grindstone. I finished it on Friday December 30th in the hotel in Albuquerque, and when I got home on Saturday evening, I put the binding on so I could say I finished everything in 2016.


Here's another one I finished out of sequence late in the year. I quilted the inside straight lines "in the ditch" meaning along the seams. I quilted the outside separately and then spliced it together. That was hard enough, but free motion quilting with black thread on black fabric was like quilting with my eyes shut. But it's great and I love it so much, my favorite. Also made from leftover 3 inch squares like February's quilt.

This one was actually finished on time, because I learned how to use a longarm (industrial) quilting machine this year. I love it too. It's about big enough for a twin bed. It's also made from scrap bits in a box.

The plan was to tie these two, but since I learned how to use the longarm, I took them to the longarm place and quilted them on the big machine. Like many of the quilts this year, I had picked out backings for them, so I was a little bit ahead of the game. They're charity sized but I'm a little bit too attached to them to give them away just yet. Kids, nieces and nephews are growing up so maybe there will be babies in the family in the years to come. Made from a bunch of squares I had in a box.

I was running a petition drive in July so this one had to wait. Quilted on the longarm. I think I started it about 25 years ago. It was block of the month at the Herring Run Quilters Guild.

For this month the assignment was to make a new quilt from start to finish. But I changed my mind and substituted this one. Also quilted in the ditch along all seams. I think it's only fair, because to make a new quilt from start to finish isn't really finishing a UFO. And it's beautiful, based on a picture of art glass.

This one was quilted out of sequence too because it was just so hard to finish. I am totally overwhelmed that I actually finished it. I got the fabric in 1991 when Peter and I went to Hawaii. I had the idea to make the quilt this way - log cabin squares with same fabrics for the logs. I had it all cut out for years, and for some reason I was going to foundation piece it and not add batting, making it a sort of sheet. But because I learned how to use a longarm machine, I changed my mind and set up a time to use the automatic machine so that I could have a nice allover pattern. I gave it to Carter who loves it.

These are two 1-patch wall hangings that I made after I took a Sylvia Einstein workshop about ten years ago. I made bunches of these and actually finished quite a few, but these were still in the UFO box. Finished now. They need sleeves though if I'm going to ever hang them on the wall.

These are little doll quilts that I made from scraps of another quilt. They were sitting around with pins in them for a few years, and I substituted them for another quilt that I had intended to make from start to finish.

Finally my December project. This is technically still a UFO. My assignment was to finish the top, for which I had to buy new fabric and dig up a bunch of old fabric from my stockpile. The original top was taken apart and most of it was sent to Bastrop, TX (the story is here). All I had was the center five columns of squares, so I added two more columns to each side. It was one of the first things I ever made, also over 25 years old, and I could see I have improved a lot since I started making these things.