Friday, December 31, 2021

New word for 2022


I have MUCH to be grateful for, and it's time to keep that attitude front and center! 

So here's to a New Year!!  

Welcome 2022!!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021 in Review

 Reflecting on the projects I've worked on during 2021 is turning out to be a real eye opener for me.  My project spreadsheet had 102 projects listed that I actually worked on during the year.  Some were full sized quilts and some were really small things like mug rugs.  The spreadsheet automatically totals up my projects by category - and yes, I'm a spreadsheet nerd. 

Almost half of my finishes were pillowcases, which did surprise me.  But there were 13 completed quilts, so that made me very happy.  A few of the finished quilts are in the collage below. 

My spreadsheet also lists 9 more quilt tops made during the year, so those are going onto my UFO list for 2022 with plenty of optimism that they will get quilted and bound. 

I'm again joining in on the annual All People Quilt UFO Challenge.  I modified the UFO list to give myself 3 choices each month.  This is basically how I've handled it each of the past couple of years.  And in 2021 I finished 20 of the 36 projects I had listed for this challenge. It really did help me finish up some old lingering projects as well as newer ones. 

I think the January number will be drawn for this UFO Challenge sometime today. Yay!!  And the big asterisk each month marks the priority project that I have identified for that month.  Those priority projects make up my PHD list for the local quilt shop.  (I'm hoping they continue with the Projects Half Done challenge for 2022.)

The "Pick a PIG" listed for most months give me the option of choosing to work on a project that is still lingering in "kit" form or in the bag it came home in.  

I also tracked individual blocks this year.  Most were for specific projects such as these UFOs, and a LOT of them were part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colors each month.  Almost 200 of them were made for various Quilts of Valor projects.  And a whole bunch were sent off to various block drives for charity projects elsewhere.  So, how many total blocks were made this year?  

Drumroll please . . . I sewed over 1,000 separate blocks (1,076) made in 2021.  That really surprised me and made me happy.  I'm hoping for just as many in 2022.   

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Catching up with Farmers Wife Sampler

 After not making last week's Farmers Wife Sampler blocks, yesterday I made 4 - last week's and this week's blocks.  

Peaceful Hours (brown and red) was not cooperating for me.  I just couldn't get the points matching up appropriately.  But hopefully those missed points will get lost in the quilt.  Periwinkle looked like it was going to be tricky, but turned out to be an easy one - once I got those background pieces turned the right way.  That was the only tricky part. 

This week's blocks were Waste Not, and Wild Goose Chase.  While I'm being critical I'll point out that the pink and green geese didn't have enough contrast. And the center strip was too light colored.  However, I'm leaving them as is.  

With 88 of the 111 blocks finished, I am refocusing on getting these blocks sashed on 2 sides.  That will make it a much quicker process to lay them out once all are made.  I'm using a dark brown for the sashes and a buttery cream for the cornerstones.  These blocks are going to be set on point.  

Fifty blocks are sashed, and 20 more have the pieces cut and laid out with blocks to sew.  Maybe I'll get those 20 blocks done today.  I must admit that I'm getting very excited to see this challenge project coming together and nearly done.  

If you've been following me this year, you probably know that I'm doing this quilt with a friend in Ohio.  She chooses 2 blocks from the book each week and posts them on Facebook for me.  Then we both share our completed blocks each week.  Ironically we both fell behind the same week but are both working to catch up this week.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Grandkids surrounding us

 We are really very fortunate that both of our daughters and families live within 90 miles of us now.  That hasn't always been the case.  

Everyone was here on Christmas Day, along with my husband's sister and her husband.  We had an awesome holiday.  The biggest challenge was getting all 5 kids smiling at once.  Mostly the 2 bigger boys on the left kept making goofy faces as 8 and 10 year old love to do.  And the second challenge was keeping the 2 on the right from wrestling.  I'm constantly amazed at how quickly they are growing up. 

This older Christmas picture popped up in my Facebook memories yesterday morning.  And we had to laugh because that 2015 Christmas photo was pretty similar, with most of the kids even sitting in the same spots.  Six years went by way too quickly!

Monday, December 27, 2021

Design Wall Monday - back to work on sampler blocks

 Last week I didn't get my Farmers Wife Sampler blocks done. Peaceful Hours and Periwinkle were the blocks assigned for the week.  And today we'll have 2 new ones, so I'll be making 4 blocks this week. I definitely don't want to fall behind.

Squash Blossom was one of the blocks from the previous week, along with Rosebud (below). 

I won't get any sewing done today because we still have a couple of grandkids here, and we'll be driving them home in the afternoon.  But on Tuesday I can dive back into these blocks.  I also want to add the sashing to 2 sides of a bunch more.  Once these next blocks are done we'll have 88 of the 111 finished, so the finish line is in sight.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday:

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Merry Christmas!

 Merry Christmas!

I'm taking a few days off of blogging while I have family here.  I hope your holiday is everything you want it to be.  See you next week!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Laundry Line is finished

 OK - I surprised myself and managed to get that binding all sewn down.  So I can officially call this a 2021 finish!  Woot woot!!!

Normally I have trouble hand sewing anything black or navy blue unless I have daylight.  But this black print wasn’t too hard on my eyes, so I actually kept stitching and finished.

Laundry Line is a Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots projects from the Club 9 series.  It’s 36” square, so just a nice wall hanging size. I quilted it myself with a simple diagonal.  This was one of those projects that I worried would never be finished.  But it is, and I’m extra thrilled. 

Now my focus is shifting to being ready for family on Christmas Day here.  I have 2 grandkid gifts left to wrap.  And groceries to buy.  And a guest bed to make and some folding chairs to bring up. I think there will be 13 of us for dinner on Saturday.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Gnome is ready for Christmas

The gnome wall hanging is all done and ready to hang up for Christmas.  

The center is from a panel, with a red border, then a pieced checkerboard border, and finally that buffalo plaid border.  He's pretty cute.  Black binding is best done in daylight, so I spent most of yesterday afternoon in my rocking chair, watching Hallmark Christmas movies and hand stitching binding.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.  

Monday, December 20, 2021

Design Wall Monday - finally a flimsy

It only took me all year to get this far!!  But this Kim Diehl project is finally ready to quilt.   

It needs a good pressing, and so does the backing.  I've had this back and piece of batting all ready and waiting for so long!!  One it's pressed I'll get it pin basted so I can quilt it. 

Laundry Line is only about 36" square, and hopefully the quilting won't take me another year to finish.  I really, really want to have this quilted before Christmas and bound before New Years because it's the very last item on my 2021 PHD list.  Note: Projects Half Done.

Linking up with Design Wall Monday:

And with Monday Making:  

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Taking Saturday off

 We spent a fun day on Saturday with all 5 grandkids, and both daughters.  And one of the two sons-in-law.  What can be more fun than 4th grade basketball?

My girls both played basketball from 5th grade through high school. And my husband coached their AAU teams during the off seasons.  We’ve had season tickets for years for college basketball at our alma mater SDSU.  We are definitely a basketball loving family, and now the next generation is beginning.  Mason had 2 games on Saturday - his very first ones ever. And they won both.  Granddaughter Sophia is also in 4th grade and her first games were last week.  We weren’t able to be there, but look forward to seeing some of her games after the holidays. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

More binding

 I might be able to get one more item bound before Christmas - my gnome wall hanging.

I picked it and a baby quilt up from the quilter on Thursday night. Carol did a terrific job as always.  This one has a holiday feel with the swirls and the stars.  I think I'm going to use black for the binding, even though it causes me trouble seeing it while stitching.  But I can work on it the daylight and it will be fine.  I might even have enough of that black with the pin dot left to use.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Laundry Line progress

 There has been some progress on Laundry Line, and I'm feeling a little more optimistic about finishing this before January 1.  

Two rows of framed blocks are now sewn together.  Block #7 is also framed, so that leaves just 2 more blocks to go.  The 1" framing strips are cut and ready for sewing.  

There is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Row Quilt - the oldest UFO

 I mentioned yesterday that I hired the ladies from the local senior center to finish the hand quilting on the Row Quilt that has been neglected for years.  It is now destined to be the first UFO completed in January 2022.  I promise!!

As I sewed the binding onto the quilt over my lunch break from work - I started wondering just how old this UFO actually was.  And my binder collection in the bookshelf had the answer.  All of the patterns were organized in the binder, including a couple of extra blocks from one of the rows tucked into one of the page protectors.  I think one of those extra blocks will make an excellent label on the back to tell the story of this quilt.  It has quite a story.

This was a Saturday Sampler begun with Row #1 in November 2004.  Yes - it was from 17 years ago!!!  The final row pattern was provided in September 2005.  And if my memory serves me correctly I added the sashing and side borders right away, and began to hand quilt it myself fairly soon.  I know that somewhere there is a photo of me hand quilting on it in the house we currently live in - which means sometime after March 2006.   And then it was rolled up and stored in a big basket until November 2021.

Those dates explain a lot.  #1 is that my hand quilting stitches were obviously those of a beginner.  But that is OK because it's part of the story of this quilt.  #2 is the polyester batting I used.  But since the quilt was already partially quilted I decided to leave that batting in there.  I would never choose that now but that is what I had available back in 2005 most likely.  

Since we're only a week from Christmas, this quilt will be set aside until after the holidays.  But I am determined to make this my first UFO finish of the new year.  It's well overdue!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Ready to bind

 Over a decade ago I made this 30s reproduction Row Quilt as part of a Saturday Sampler series.  Each month we received a new row pattern. 

I had this crazy idea that I would hand quilt it myself, and actually got a start.  About a quarter of it was done before I set it aside with the realization that I just didn't have the skills at the time. 

I decided to hire the ladies at the senior center to finish the hand quilting so that I can bind the quilt and finally enjoy it.  So binding, and getting rid of the marking lines will be on my task list this week.  I have to work today however, so it might not happen immediately.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The view from the bottom

 It seems like every week these steps get more difficult for me to navigate.

Arthritis is the pits!!  At this point going down isn't too bad but going up - slow and painful some days.  So . . . that is my whine for this week.  I need to suck it up and remember how good I actually have it. 

Monday, December 13, 2021

Design Wall Monday - Dec. 13

Saturday Sampler is one of my favorite quilt-y activities.  I miss the in-person sessions with Show n Tell, but it’s still fun to get the new block or task each month.  I picked my pattern up on Saturday afternoon and just had to spend some time on Sunday making these. 

This year we know what the final project will look like.  It’s a 12 block sampler with an elaborate sashing creating a secondary design.  I’m doing Christmas fabrics for my main project.  So far the only fabric I’ve purchased for it are the dark red and the grey snowflakes.  The rest is coming from my stash.

Because I love star blocks, I’m also doing 2 more sets of blocks, but without that pieced sashing.  One set of blocks has a light grey background with bright colors of batiks.  These just make me happy seeing them together like this.

And the other set has a dark background with ribbons of bright colors running through.  I’m pairing that background with bright prints that will read nearly solid in color. All of these blocks are 12” (finished), so having a set of 12 will make a decent sized quilt.  Choosing layouts will happen much later. 

Linking up with Design Wall Monday: 

And with Monday Making:  

Sunday, December 12, 2021

The vintage linen project

 Now that it's gifted, I can share the final project I made with the vintage linen.

It's a hanger cover.  This turned out to be a quick project.  Choose a hanger, trace half of the hanger and determine how much extra you want hanging down.  I laid the paper pattern on 2 layers of fabric folded in half, then cut.  On this one I stitched down the embroidered pieces to the pink print along the lacy edge for stability.  Then I sewed the 2 halves together leaving a small opening at the top, and hemmed the bottom.  

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Scrappy quilt for 2021 and scrappy blocks for 2022

One final RSC quilt top is completed for 2021.  These Wisdom blocks were made using all scraps and a free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop.  My intention was to make sure every 4-patch center was pointing the same direction. Well . . . it almost happened.  But there are 3 pointing up. Darn it!!  

I may "live" with this one for awhile and determine whether or not to turn those 3 blocks.  The other thing to decide is if I want to add a border to make it slightly larger.  It's about 60" square without borders.  Decisions, decisions.  LOL

Early in the week I spent a lot of time planning for entire projects to work on in 2022, but what about the scraps that just keep accumulating? Scraps are some of my favorite things to play with. 

With 2022 looming in the not so distant future I'm trying to decide what blocks I want to make for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge next year.  I really enjoy having lots of different blocks to make when I just want to sew something quick from my scraps, rather than work on a bigger more planned out project. 

The big heart block (8.5 x 9.5) is called Falling In Love, from The Pattern Basket website.  I bought and downloaded the Country Bunnies from that site, along with this heart, and a bird block.  I'm considering doing both the heart and the bird for RSC22, but have only played with the heart so far.  The hourglass block next to it was made from the trimmed corners.  And the little heart block is a free block pattern I found online some years ago.  I'll probably continue to use a scrappy white or light neutral background in these RSC blocks.   

I know that I will continue to make some scrappy blocks from this year until there are enough for a quilt: Ohio Star, Twinkle Star, Nanci's Star, Tulip Time, and Roll On blocks.  Plus I know there will be other blocks that tempt me throughout the year.  I've even been looking at a couple of blocks from the Farm Girl Vintage books again as possible scrappy blocks.  

There are a few string blocks that were leftover from previous quilts.  Those are great scrap busters. And there is a small set of 4.5" bowtie blocks "aging" in a drawer that I could/should add to.  Yikes!  If I spent as much time sewing as I have planning this week, just imagine what I might have accomplished.  

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today:

On a side note - winter has finally arrived.  By 9:00 am yesterday we had at least 4" of fresh white snow.  Up until then our lawn was still green - in South Dakota in December - which is NUTS!  We need the moisture so badly, plus it just makes everything looks appropriately wintery.  My husband decided to go out and blow out the driveway right after breakfast, even though it was supposed to snow most of the day.  By noon there was at least another 4" on top of what we already had. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

It's Friday - another week goes by!

It's that time of year when life seems to pile up and stress us all out.  Everyone I know has something going on to overwhelm them right now, on top of the usual Christmas stresses.  Illness, caring for aging relatives, kids losing things, staffing shortages, money shortages, not enough time . . . and I think we all put so much pressure on ourselves this time of year anyway. 

What is your stress reliever this time of year?  Baking, sewing? 

A bit of progress has been made on the Laundry Line UFO that has been hanging over my head for months.  Two more blocks are framed, and one more has the framing pieces ready to add to the block.  That makes 5 of the 9 blocks framed - over halfway.  Yay!! 

I am positive that my personal stress levels are dropping with each one of these blocks that I manage to finish framing!  

Thursday, December 9, 2021


  Some of the Farmer's Wife Sampler blocks are really easy to piece, and some are real buggers.  This week had one of each.

Square Dance went together just fine with nothing tricky about it. Not all of my points are perfect, and I am not totally pleased with that burgundy fabric choice.  But it's OK.

And then there was Wood Lily.  Oops!!  Those chevron sections were NOT supposed to have the navy "stripe" - just the gold and cream, with the navy on the tips.  I thought about taking it apart, and removing the navy stripes.  But those chevron pieces are 1" wide to begin with so I figured I would end up with a mess if I was picking out stitches. 

So, I just trimmed it to the 6.5" size each of these blocks are, and called it DONE!  No one but me will know it doesn't match the pattern in the book once it's in the quilt with the other 110 blocks.

We now have 82 blocks done, with 29 to go.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

More planning than sewing

 No actual sewing took place yesterday.  I bought groceries, drove a friend to an appointment, sorted some laundry, and did a little paperwork at my desk. But I never ventured into the sewing room. However, my brain was spinning away all day long!

I am a list maker.  And it's that time of year when my list-making turns to plans for the new year.  I have printed the APQ UFO Challenge pages for 2022, and have been writing down possibilities.  PIGS have their own page and really could take up multiple pages - because I have way too many projects still sitting in bags, and some in kit form ready to go.  So I'm trying to prioritize which ones I really, really, really want to work on.  

Same with the UFOs.  In 2021 I finished a lot of quilt tops that are now waiting to be quilted - creating new UFOs.  So those quilt tops hanging in the closet are going on the UFO list.  

And I finished a book I was reading.  I've been a fan of Marie Bostwick's books for several years, beginning with the Cobbled Court series.  Her stories really are about relationships among her characters.  And this one was just as good as expected - The Restoration of Celia Fairchild.  

Well, back to my list making and maybe I'll actually get some sewing done today. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Just a peek . . .

 My vintage linen project is working out just how I imagined.  And I may just have to make more of them at some point.  Not right now, but someday.  

I chose a pink 30s reproduction print to pair with the linen piece that had the pink trim.  Since this is a gift, I'll show the finished project after gifting it next Saturday.  

Monday, December 6, 2021

Design Wall Monday - Dec. 5

 I challenged myself to get at least 1 more Laundry Line block framed before I could work on any other project this weekend.  And I met my challenge.  Block #4 is framed.  Just 5 more to go, and I have all the frame pieces laid out for the next one. 

Once I finished that task, I focused on sewing together the diagonal rows for the Wisdom quilt.  The left half is all assembled.  I like the scrappy look of this one.  The setting triangles are all cut from a white with little turquoise dots.  The backgrounds of these blocks are a big variety of whites and neutrals.  This week I'll work on getting the right half assembled.  

And the small gnome table topper is quilted, and the binding is partially hand stitched.  

The one thing that saw no new progress over the weekend was my vintage linen project, but that should be a quick one to do as it is small.  

Linking up with Design Wall Monday: 

I'm also linking up with Monday Making: 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Adopt a UFO

 With the holidays so close we had a pretty small group at guild yesterday, but we did do our Adopt a UFO exchange.  We each drew a number to see what order we got to choose a UFO from the table. The UFOs were in gift bags so we couldn't see what we were getting, but it was amazing how well we each chose.

Some were UFOs that were started, and abandoned. Others, like the one I chose  and the one I gave away, were purchased and then abandoned.  I couldn't have picked better than this Granny's Stars kit.  It's small, it's stars - my favorite kind of block - and it's 30s fabrics.  It was calling my name obviously!  

This was a fun idea and I'm thinking our guild might try it again at some point.  

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Final RSC project of 2021

 It's fun when a big bunch of scrappy blocks (worked on all year) becomes a quilt top. 

The corner triangles are not cut yet, but now that I have the setting triangles cut, I can pin these into rows and start assembling this top.  As I pin I'm going to make sure those center 4-patches all point the same direction. Right now they are all random. 

Working on sewing some rows together will be one of my weekend projects.  Midnight is ready to sandwich and quilt. This Kim Diehl project is only 20" square so it will use up another decent size scrap of batting, and leftover backing fabric too.

At some point this weekend I also need to make a decision on which piece of vintage linen I'm going to use for my secret project.  I've made a decision on WHAT to make finally. More on that another time.

There is a guild meeting today, and we are doing a fun swap - Adopt a UFO.  Anyone interested in participating can bring a UFO in a bag or box for someone else to adopt and possibly finish. 

I'm linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today:

Friday, December 3, 2021

Next projects

There are always "next" projects to work on around here.  First is a simple little table topper made from a panel section that will be a gift.  I added 2 borders, and it's sandwiched for quilting.  This one shouldn't take long at all to quilt, with either a diagonal grid or maybe narrow vertical pencil stitching.  Can you guess what the panel section looks like?  

Next up is this month's Kim Diehl Simple Whatnots project. And yes - I'm still procrastinating on finishing that Laundry Line one.  This one will only be about 20" square and didn't use very many different fabrics, so it's much easier.  I may need to make this one twice however, with the second one using Christmas fabrics.  The name of this one is Midnight, and it's all stars - my favorite type of block, so it just begs for Christmas fabrics.  

A couple of small projects involving vintage linens are in the planning stage.  I had purchased some inexpensive ones at a local antique shop a while ago, and will use at least one to make "something".  I've been surfing Pinterest this week for ideas, and find myself lost in the black hole.  Narrowing it down to just one idea might be a lot more difficult than actually making the project.  

All of these little projects are not really distracting me from the Wisdom block layout.  I have the blocks on the floor but will need to live with them for a couple of days, occasionally moving a block or two around for better color distribution. In the photo I already see blocks I need to move.  And I need to decide if I'm going to leave it square or move some blocks around to make it longer and narrower.  

Once I'm satisfied with the arrangement I'll pin them into rows.  And I need to cut my setting triangles too.  I'm using this really great cutting reference from All People Quilt to get the right measurements for the setting triangles.  This chart has instructions to use with blocks up to 20" square.