Ok, I’m not sure exactly where I’m going with this but I decided at 1:30 am that I needed to make some appliqué hearts. It’s one reason I like to have all the sewing supplies on hand – I never know when I might need something in the middle of the night. Some red and neutral scraps, my GO heart die, fusible web, perle cotton and a chenille needle and now I have 4 little hearts. They will become the centers of log cabin blocks made with my strips and strings so I’m still working on my 365 block challenge with these.
My blanket stitch by hand is a bit rusty but after the first one, it was pretty easy. I thought at first I’d make all the hearts red but now I’m debating whether to make them in different colors. I don’t know what size blocks these will become or how many I will need for a quilt. I’ll have to experiment with them tomorrow or rather later today!
I think the timing of a project with hearts is perfect as we try to focus less on our differences and more on unity and caring and compassion.
I love that Google photos shares photos from years ago … like this one that popped up tonight. Eight years ago I was working on strips and string log cabin blocks too! I miss my sweet Chesty.
When I went looking for the book that my pink Heart quilt was in, I came across the one that inspired this quilt. I was thinking about making a courthouse steps version of my strips and strings log cabin quilt and hadn’t remembered that this quilt was made from different size strips. It was from our first family challenge. We all made a block – actually 5 of the same block and then we all made a quilt including a block made by each of us. This was my quilt and I called it All Roads Lead Home. Mom’s block was the schoolhouse one at the end of the quilt and she got my quilt in our exchange – one day it will come back to me.
In one of our moves, I lost the album I’d kept of my early quilts before blogging and I had forgotten about a couple I’d made from this book – in fact, this book inspired 4 of my early quilts. Including another scrappy Heart quilt that I might make again.
I also made that cover quilt but substituted hearts for the stars. I’m sure I have a photo of this one finished somewhere but here’s the top.
There was a time that I could put my hands on any book with any pattern I’d seen. Tonight I was looking for this quilt … I thought it was from a Sandy Bonsib book. I don’t have the year I made it logged but I can tell from the photo it was taken in Marietta so it had to be between 2002 and 2006. I’m pretty sure Mom made a green version too. Moving so often has turned into kind of a blessing in that I can remember things based on where we were living at a specific time that I otherwise might not be able to pin down.
I have a bunch of pink fabrics pulled and I want to make a heart quilt so I think I’d like to remake this one and I went looking for the book I thought it might be in. No success … but in looking through my books, I found a bunch that I hadn’t looked at in a while that I want to page through ….
I can remake the quilt without the pattern but it would have been nice to have the heart template!
What a day, first I had about 2 hours of cleaning and organizing in the sewing room just to clear up some space to put the final border on this top of Mom’s. I don’t really have the space to lay out something this big but I can spread about half the quilt out on the floor and do one side at a time. Then I got it loaded and ready to quilt. I haven’t decided what pantograph I’m going to use so I’ll think on that some tonight and I’ll be ready to start quilting it tomorrow.
You might remember seeing these blocks when Mom was visiting about a year and a half ago. I decided it was time to try the Hunter Star die and when Mom saw my blocks, she wanted a bedsize quilt but didn’t want to make all the blocks … so I gave her my blocks and we made the other ones before she left. She assembled the top adding all but the last border which I volunteered to do and now I’ll get it quilted for her too.
I should finish up the 2nd set of Strips and Strings log cabin blocks tonight and I’ll keep on making them for now. I’m thinking maybe blocks for 4 quilts before I transition to some HeartStrings blocks. My main task this week will be to put the border on Mom’s Hunter Star quilt and get it loaded and quilted. It’s queen size so it will probably take me a couple days to quilt it once I get started. Also on the list is cutting HSTs for my next scrap quilt. It’s going to be based on this doll quilt I made from some leftover pinwheel blocks.
I’m going to take the HSTs and piece them at Big Canoe but I’ll bring them back home to do the twisting – I want access to all the stash and scraps when I start choosing the framing fabrics. This afternoon I dug in the scrap bins and cut a bunch of rectangles and they’re all ready to be put through the GO. I’m using my 4 inch HST die for this quilt and I’m going to use a single background fabric for the pinwheels.
You see there are two different stacks, fabric should always be fed through the GO on the lengthwise grain because it has less stretch and you get more accurate cuts. Luckily, the die can be sent through either lengthwise or width wise so the fabric is in piles depending on how it will go through the cutter.
Half the battle for me is getting something into my routine. Every night I think about what I want to accomplish the next day and my fitness goals have been lacking, certainly the last few months given the broken ankle, but I haven’t been truly consistent with my fitness goals in the last couple years. The suppression therapy for my thyroid cancer made me tachycardic and very sensitive to heat limiting me to some degree. We did more biking which was good, some hiking, and I still enjoyed some kayaking but I got out of the habit of walking for exercise on a regular basis. We’ve done a family challenge with the boys before and they usually poop out after a few months so we’ll see how it goes this year. The goal is to walk 2021 miles this year – in teams of two. Luckily, I have Keith on my team because he is the most consistent of all of us and logs the most miles.
Chris for some crazy reason decided to hike the approach trail to the Appalachian Trail this weekend with a friend to log some of his miles. They were going to camp out tonight and then tomorrow night they were going to stay at the Hike Inn. (I’ve been wanting to do that for several years and we have plans to do it together when life returns to normal – when I’ve been vaccinated!) He called me this afternoon with a change in plans … asking could they stay at Big Canoe tonight. They weren’t expecting snow!
They hiked 10 miles today and they’ll head out again tomorrow to hike for the day (it is Georgia, there shouldn’t be much accumulation) and will stay tomorrow night at the Hike Inn as planned. For tonight they’re tucked up at Big Canoe with pizza, beer, and a nice fire! Not to mention beds and hot showers!
As far as my results go, while I haven’t logged any great number of miles, I’m getting out a fair amount – walking 11 days out of the first 16 days of the month and fitting in a walk in my daily activities is starting to feel like a habit again.
HeartStrings is playing with Tumblers this month and I made a top on New Year’s Day but I also intended to make a 2nd one this month. I’d even pulled out two more sets of fat quarters to chose from but the more I work on organizing and sorting, the more I know I need to use these scraps! I was sorting a bin I’d used for this quilt … the top was finished in January 2019 – two years ago and those scraps were still sitting in that bin. Who does that? Leaves leftovers from a project in a bin instead of putting them away for 2 years?
I pulled out greens and neutrals.
I grabbed the bin of green scraps to add to the pile and started cutting. I wasn’t sure this was going to work because I used lots of different shades of green but I’m liking it. I’ve got it all cut but haven’t started sewing it together yet.
Today is binding day – two quilts have been trimmed and the binding is on and ready for hand stitching – I’ll start that tonight. Since I set Grace up for string piecing, I thought I’d do the binding on the Bernina. My feelings so far about the new machine are tepid … I’m definitely not in love but remember I told you it takes me a long time to warm up to a new machine.
I don’t like the 1/4 inch foot and the way it interacts with the feed dogs and the fabric. Toward the end of a narrow seam, it loses its grip and the fabric slides over. It takes a lot of attention to keep the seam from narrowing at the end. I’ve seen people use stilettos to guide the last bit of a piece under the foot but I have never had to do that with any of my machines and I’m hoping I can learn to end pieces in this machine without one. Who wants to pick up a stiletto at the end of every seam in a block?!?!
I’ve also had to make some adjustments in how I cut, lift, and pull a piece out. With the Jane it’s a quick 123 motion, almost without pause. With the Bernina, you have to have a definite pause after hitting the scissor button otherwise the thread will tangle around the hook and you have rotate the flywheel to release it and then turn the machine off to reset it. I’m getting better at this so I’m not having the issue as often but boy is it a pain.
The bobbin is a mixed review. I LOVE the big bobbins. It holds more thread than any machine I’ve ever had. What I don’t like is that it’s not a drop in bobbin and it’s harder to get to it to change a bobbin and to oil. The big bobbins are probably worth the hassle
Today, I machine stitched bindings on and it handled the bulk beautifully, it was easier than either the Grace or the Elna. I did not have a walking foot on but it fed and stitched nicely.
The first set of log cabin blocks are done and already off the design wall and in the bin that goes to Big Canoe. I’ll assemble the top in February. I did a bit of rearranging and the string bins are now on the other side of the room and I’ll use Grace (the babylock) to start another set. I’m going to stick with the log cabin blocks right now because I’m in the rhythm of making them. I’ll make at least one more set of 48 and then decide whether to keep going or do something different. These are going to be a side project. An hour here, an hour there in between quilting and binding and organizing. I’m going to start another Tumbler quilt this week too.
While I was straightening up, I came across the baggie with the leftover stripset pieces from the windmill quilt I finished in December so I went ahead and finished cutting them and assembled the little doll quilt. Because you know I can’t throw them away! This will go to GA too and eventually I’ll either hand or machine quilt it.