Friday, April 3, 2020

15 minute march recap

so here we are, at the end of the week and checking in for the results of 15 minutes a day in march.
granted, 15 minutes a day may sounds much better, and who knows... we might bring it back next month if april doesn't prove to create any quilty results.
so to recap:
the goal was to sew at minimum 15 minutes a day in march.
this plan was put in place before i was scheduled to work from home and then ultimately put on unemployment on march 27.
so the majority of the month was also spent sewing around a daily work schedule.
number of days in march: 31, despite what april ludgate thinks
number of days sewn: 28 (+2 for days that were quilty related, but spent figuring out zoom for meetings)
i'd say that is quite a success rate, wouldn't you?
now, i know you're here for visuals... so i'll show you the FOUR quilt tops completed during this time frame.  okay, maybe not the entire quilt top, just a little sneaky peek and the pattern so you can see what is going to be coming your way in the future when i'm allowed to go out in the world again.
juniper berry - throw sized
i'm stoked with the result of this quilt, and ended up using the metallic grunge in the inner border of this quilt.  i thought i was going to love the glitter grunge more, but the tones in the metallic were just perfect.
katie's quilt - picnic size
this was one of two quilt tops that mid last year i was on a chopping spree and cut out an entire quilt top set so that it was ready to go.
i really REALLY like how this one turned out, and will probably make it again in a larger size regardless of whether i keep it for myself or give it away as a gift (or a donation, like this one will be)
fast lane - throw size
this one was the second quilt top i chopped up last year, and i was certain it was going to be a hot mess.  EVERYTHING was from my stash, and i can tell you exactly what each piece came from.  this will be another donation quilt when this quarantine is over.
village - one size
this is the sew along that i started late on, changed my mind 3 times and then finished early... oh well!
it is made completely from kona cottons leftover from various paper pieced projects and solid white kona i bought from joann's.  i guess it is a little too fitting that during this "stay home" time of life that i made a house quilt.  and i have a whole set of other colors that didn't quite go well with this bunch... so there may be more houses.
i have already decided who this quilt is going to go home to... but i can't say anything because i may just have to finish it and mail it to them if this quarantine goes on any longer!

what's next?
well, i've got a few things underway already that i've ordered some things for and will be waiting for them to arrive.  yep.  week 3 of quarantine means that i've hit the online shopping phase.
just a few things coming my way...
baby boy quilt (sewbrainy parallel paths)
baby girl quilt
festive fir quilt (another sewbrainy pattern - was march's WIP challenge quilt, but fell to the wayside with shops being closed.)
wonky stars quilt (april's WIP challenge)

ok... maybe a few is an understatement.
BUT i got 4 tops done last month with having to work at the same time.  no work means more time to sew, right??

Monday, March 30, 2020

and so it begins

for the record, if you're new here...
also, this was initially planned as an "everything" kind of blog, but quilting and crafting easily remained in the forefront.  so this post is going to be a bit of a life update as well.  and there might be more of those along the way.
but stick around!  my post 15 minutes a day march productivity post will be a great one!
so here we go...

today, march 30, officially marks my first day of "unemployment"
which is bizarre, because i have held a job since 2005.  the same job i still work at today.
because of covid-19, my main source of income and my secondary source of income have both been shut down.  the first being a non profit means if there is no tuition coming in, the staff can't be paid.  we've been shut down since march 13, so the last two weeks was all work from home.
now that the tuition for april won't exist, no more working from home.
currently, we're out of the schools until may 1st, but that will likely be reevaluated at some point along the way.
my dance class job is on hold solely based on the shelter in place/social isolation orders.  all my classes are held at community centers, which are closed and even our studio has been closed due to these orders.  so this is where we're at.
welcome to my lunch table.
the good news is, i have a ton of projects i can be sewing and things i can be cleaning.
i'm going to try my hardest to still get up at a regular time
right now, my alarm is set for 9:30 M-F and might transition to half an hour earlier next week... we'll see.  and i know what you're thinking... yes, i'm writing this post while i'm asleep ;)
my goal is to sew through a lot of my stash, in hopes that it will free up space and keep me from spending money.  the fact that i can't go to a quilt shop in person is also a key factor in my stash sewing versus new sewing.  even though i've got a handful of projects i need to shop for bits and pieces for!
this is a weird time of life we're all in...
at least there is virtual bingo with sacmqg peeps.
yes, that bigger card is my personal "do this stuff" bingo card.
if i get 2 bingos, i might get to shop for more fabric so i can make myself a quilt with the fat quarter bundle i bought at quiltcon.
and zoom.  2020 is sponsored by zoom.
in the meantime, let's stay inside, wash your hands and hope that this passes sooner than later.
i miss being able to do things without feeling like i'm breaking some laws and i just want to be back in my classroom doing what i do best.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

15 minute a day check in

oh man...
what a month this has turned out to be.
i started last week trying to wrangle preschoolers with the time change and as of friday afternoon, i'm officially out of work until april 14th.
in the meantime, i'll be trying to make the best of it with a whole lot of sewing and cleaning in my room (yay for social distancing?) but i've already informed my mom that if this lockdown status gets any worse, i'm loading up my car and rolling everything to their place until things die down.  if i'm going to be shut in long term, i need some derpy cats in my life.
speaking of derpy cats...
ok, back to the point of this check in.
back at the start of march, instagram quilt month began, where i mentioned on my kick off post that i would be imposing the goal to sew for at least 15 minutes a day.  i thought it would be difficult to keep going, but with the number of UFO projects i was already behind on (january not finished, february not started and now it was march...) i could at least be consistent on something hoping to get one of those three done.
well... i'm pleased to say i have done something quilty involved for at least 15 minutes each of those days, most of them being more than an hour.  only one of those days so far has been spent not cutting or sewing, and that's because i was chatting it up with a fellow guild board member about what the heck we are going to do in order to keep our members thriving with everything being cancelled.
in addition to just the act of sewing, i have completed january's quilt top, a second quilt top that wasn't on my UFO list for some reason, got february's to the point of almost finished (it will probably get assembled today at my parent's since they have the floor space to lay out blocks)
now that we're in a strongly encouraged social distancing timeframe, i have a feeling that i'll probably be well caught up at the end of march, let alone by april 14th when i'm supposed to be back in the classroom. i also have some plans to work on a handful of things for our guild, so hopefully a lot of things will get checked off my ever growing "to do" list.
it is all a bit of a blur right now, so until i have a more solid plan for posts as the month goes on, i'll leave you with some pretty fabric i bought at quiltcon (and the glitter grunge came from local quilt shop swifty stitches).  stay tuned for another update post at the end of march!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

musical mashup - crabfeed quilt 2020

here it finally is, my first finish of 2020!
sure, sure... you saw the good place cross stitch first, but that got posted because of the show finale... THIS is the real first finish of 2020!
i started working on this for my annual new years eve sewfest, but then ended up hanging out with friends.  the crabfeed was fast approaching, and i needed a reason to sew through more of my music fabric stash!  i used the same pattern as ben's star wars quilt you saw last week with a few tweaks.  i changed the rotation of the blocks (not that you can really tell much with the scrappy quilt) and i made an alteration to the border.
another godzilla sized lap quilt.
why i didn't do the smaller size after doing the star wars one, i don't know.
for the border, i had this great piano key fabric my mom purchased a lot of, but i wanted the keys to run in the correct direction... AND line up on the top and bottom borders.  so what i did was line them up once the strips were cut, sew them together and then trim the overhang to get it even again.  this did make the border smaller by about an inch, but that was not a problem with this beast of a quilt.  with the fabrics running from all directions, i didn't want the chaos of the side borders touching the bottom borders of piano keys, so i added in the corner stones which helps balance it out perfectly (and also allows the forever used black treble clef fabric in to the mix a little more.
once it was done, i quilted it up with the good ol' loop the loop pantograph and bound it with black treble clefs.  as much as i love doing bold colors, the subtle softness of black, white and tan just makes this feel so cozy.  and the backing was a perfect find at joanns... AND a wide back!  plus, i've got the chunk of it leftover that will now be able to be cut up and pieced in to future music quilts.
now that this is complete, i can now check off 2 of my 50 finishes for 2020.  oh yeah, that's a thing i joined to get stuff sewn/crafted thanks to lettuce craft and american patchwork & quilting's ufo challenge that i fell behind on for january's finish...  oops!
pattern: quick as a wink - scottie dog quilts
quilt count: 129

Thursday, March 5, 2020

may the quilt force be with you - a gradu-mas gift

so far, in the spirit of trying new patterns, i've made quilts for my aunt, my mom and my cousin the last few christmases.
it was only a matter of time before i made one of the brothers something, and it just so happened to be that my sister's husband ben was also graduating with his bachelor's degree and teaching credential at christmas time as well.  i had this pattern i wanted to try out before using it as a music quilt (so yes, you'll see version 2 real soon!) and had the idea to do it in a variety of fandoms that ben likes, thinking i could use fabric from my stash.  well, it turned out that ben only likes star wars these days...
on a whim, i wandered joanns and was instantly inspired by the various blue, black and gray star wars prints i found that also appeared to be relatively new.  i snagged a piece of each of them, as well as some coordinating quilting cottons to offset all of the novelty licenced prints.
one section of the quilt requires 4 1/2" squares, which i managed to get 60 out of... which i thought was just enough.  nope... i needed 90.  so since ben was graduating to be a math teacher, i ran out to a local quilt shop to get a chunk of blue math themed fabric to mix in to the front as well as add a piece to the backing to tie it all together.
when i start to layout these overly scrappy quilts, i have to remind myself that no matter how hard i try, one print on two different blocks is bound to touch.  i managed to do rather well with balancing out the star wars prints, which was the main goal of having them look more scattered away from their similar prints and everything.  usually i do everything one piece at a time for each block, but with this one i had to do each block one at a time to make sure i didn't mix anything up and accidentally have some sideways droids or something.
i almost went for a solid/tonal print for the borders, but these droids were too cute to pass up.  yeah, i just called the droids cute, ben.  sorry not sorry.  i pulled this black from my stash to use as the binding, which really helped tie it all together.  the quilting is a pantograph called "malachite" which i used on my garden snails 2.0, and it really helped bring that all over texture to the quilt without being too boxy or loopy.
pew pew
they struggled a bit with folding up the quilt, but to be fair... it said it was a lap quilt, but it definitely fit on both of our queen sized beds.
so now that ben has gotten his own "lap quilt," who will be next?  will markham get something sandwich shop ninja themed?  or will joshua get something... black?  gray?  i don't know about him yet... ha!  brothers can be so difficult.
pattern:  quick as a wink - scottie dog quilts
quilt count: 128

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

thoughts on quiltcon 2020

so i went to quiltcon.
no, this wasn't my first convention going "rodeo" so to speak, but it was the first one that was hobby based versus work based (aka when i went to wppi in vegas in 2011 & 2012)
so what did i think?
i had a BLAST.
i failed at a few things, but lucked in to a lot at the same time.
my first fail came to hotels.
i totally bombed at booking a room earlier, but as luck would have it, our guild president kathy's husband ended up not coming, so she had a pull out couch bed available.  shoot, i would have slept on the floor even.  but still, i was able to get a room at a (generally) affordable rate... i mean, we're talking downtown austin, so thats relative anyways... BUT the hotel was literally a block away from the convention center.  out the door, cross the crosswalk in two directions and BOOM.  i was there there.  which comes in GREAT when i like to hit my snooze button.  730am texas time = 530 california time... which was not a fun compromise.
one of our vp of events (hey, rhonda!) was on the same flight as me wednesday morning, and also conveniently at the same hotel site, so we flew together (generally speaking... my 2nd fail was checking in to my flight asap.  loading group C.  yuck) lyfted together and then once we were settled in, walked to lunch with her friend mickey and her guild vp jeff.
wednesday night after checking in and getting my badge (2nd fail = not quick enough when i registered to get the swag bag) i went to the awards ceremony and then an instagram meet up.  i met a gal from hull, Massachusetts who was also in my age bracket (yay 30s!) and was happy to see i was at the quiet end of the tables and had a seat available.  we chatted a bit, and i learned she had a quilt that was accepted in to the show.
allison @thetiniestsquid
my next fail was not photographing the tags to all the quilts in the show.  with the charity quilts, i was able to get a general sense by checking the hashtags on instagram to figure out which guild made which quilt, but i am hoping that there will be a way to check in to the other quilts.  our guild member abby (the same one who designed our charity quilt) also had a quilt in the show herself.
with that said, here is a chunk of some of my favorite charity quilts, starting with ours :)
the charity quilts always have a theme and specific color scheme parameters which make it extra interesting to see how each guild interprets it.  the theme this year was text with a specific color scheme of blacks, grays and whites.  it was interesting to see what direction people went, whether inspirational quote, location specific (such as hello world, by the silicon valley mqg) or some other surprise direction.  i seem to only have a video of it, but here's the emoji quilt by the tulsa mqg, as translated by mary fons.

slide by riane.elise because, well... parks and rec.
speaking of mary fons, the lectures were awesome.
since it was my first quiltcon, i decided to just do the lecture pass instead of sorting through to figure out which lectures i wanted to attend.  this way, i also felt like i could skip out on something and go walk around the showroom floor and not feel like i wasn't getting my moneys worth.  the lectures i did go to (which was most of them, to be honest) were fantastic.  i also got to know some "big names" in the modern quilting industry that i didn't know of before and now that i have been home for two weeks have still continued to dive in and watch more of their web based posts.  two of the main ones are mary fons and victoria findlay wolfe.   both were very fabulous presenters on their topics, very engaging and lively about their topics.  victoria findlay wolfe was also the featured artist this year, and her quilts were insane to look at.  and i loved hearing about how she quilted with her grandma.
like... what? yeah, that is really quilted on there.
we had a sacmqg "meeting" friday night where a few members showed what they did in their classes they signed up for.  i might consider talking a class next time... especially if i can get in to a long arm class.  crossing fingers and toes starting now.
so basically, i had a great time.
well, that's a super vague way to say i left pumped and energized and ready to get back to creating.  when leaving wppi, i had that same pumped and energized feeling, but there were a lot more steps to implement than just create and make work happen.  with this, quiltcon wasn't as much of a hyped event on steriods and we were all there to come together, network and learn instead of  finding the newest and latest xyz to make the best of the best.  granted, there was some of that on the show room floor... but it was nowhere near as gigantic as the vegas tradeshow.
two weeks later, and i'm still feeling that hype, and it is a hype that is attainable.  like, i feel like i could totally create something worth entering in a show (and i already have ideas... so stay tuned as i check entry dates for the california state fair this year) and i have a support system far and wide that are all in this same boat with me.  (yay sacmqg and lisa, who i may have convinced to come in 2022)
and yes, i tried to fight it as much as i could, but i gave in and totally impulse bought some fabric.  more on that later, because i feel like it deserves a post of its own it is so adorable.
and now with this rambled recap, i'll leave you with the remainder of photos :)

side note: the 2nd from the left is abby's quilt from our guild, and the 3rd one is titled "bob" and won people's choice

crazy right? that's a MASSIVE quilt by shrutinow

that one on the right was from the youth category.  THE YOUTH.  like 18 and under...  why wasn't i that creative as a kid??? and also, the chiropractor said i brought down the demographic at quiltcon "by a lot"... can you hand me my eyes please? i think i rolled them a little too hard.
i *might* already be planning for quiltcon 2021 in savannah, georgia, especially if i can be more on top of booking hotels and such this time around.  granted, that means more plane time and longer travel days... but at least i know better now of what to expect each day as far as when things are really happening.