15 in ’15 Third Quarter Check-in
Three-fourths of the year is over! Time to report progress on the goals I set at the beginning of the year.
√ 15 fused quilt blocks
I am still making fused blocks of scrappy squares. I bought a bunch of batik charm squares at a local quilt show, and made a reversible table runner. I fused the squares down, and stitched up the grid lines. I put that fused panel onto a piece of batting and added borders, stitching through the top and the batting, with no backing material.
I did another panel the same way, and you can see both in the picture above. Then I turned the two panels, right sides together, batting on the outsides, stitched up the sides to make a tube, and turned it right-side out. I folded in the ends and stitched them together. It came together into a nice puffy table runner that has some body to it.
⇔ 14 fabrics finished up.
I have still only used up 4 of the 14 that I planned.
⇔ 13 technique try-outs
Still at four for the year.
⇓ 12 practice art quiltets
Still only one for the year.
√ 11 quilt video segments watched
This quarter I have watched more than half of a Craftsy quilting class with Cindy Needham. I have learned some really good tips, and I have also found that I don’t find it distracting to sew and have the video on at the same time. I don’t really need to watch the screen if it is just about good practices or tips, and if there is a technique I’m unfamiliar with, I can always go back and watch it again.
⇑ 10 new supplies sampled
Two more new materials this quarter, and the results are promising. I really admire the work of Doreen at Treadlemusic (you can see one of my favorite pieces here), and I decided to try the threads she often recommends. However I got it wrong – she often uses Glide for the top thread, but I bought Fil-tec Clear-Glide pre-wound bobbins.
It was a fortuitous mistake though, because they have made an amazing difference in my free-motion quilting, and even my straight stitching. I have used them with 40 weight and 50 weight cotton, and even 100 weight polyester for the top thread, and everything just flows. Getting the quilt lines where I want them is almost as easy as drawing on paper with a marker.
I have tried so many different kinds of thread, needles, and machine settings, and I just couldn’t get my quilting to go smoothly. I was seriously thinking of getting a new machine. To think that all along, my troubles may have just come from my bobbin! is eye-opening.
I also tried the Pilot Frixion pens for marking, and I like them. In the Cindy Needham class I am watching on Craftsy, she was saying that the old tried-and-true disappearing ink markers seem like their ink is disappearing faster these days – she said that sometimes you mark a quilt and then go back months or even weeks later, and the ink has disappeared. With our Gulf Coast humidity, those markings disappear within minutes! so the Frixion is a welcome alternative.
⇔ 9 new dye plants sampled
No new dye plants this quarter.
√ 8 small quilts
I completed this goal. The four small quilts I wrote about here are all bound and dispersed to new owners. And I have my new table runner to add to this too! Gold star for me!
⇓ 7 layers of surface design on cloth
Still nothing here.
√ 6 sessions of sharing textiles
⇔ 5 fiber field trips
Two more this quarter – two small local quilt shows. I didn’t see anything that really grabbed me in the exhibits, but I did buy new threads to try (including the Glide bobbins), and I also bought lots of fabric from the fund-raising booths that the quilt guilds had, and I plan to use it for free-motion-quilting practice.
With one more field trip, I will be able to check this one off. And I think there is some other little quilt festival coming up in Houston soon.
⇓ 4 warps
Still only one.
√ 3 tops (clothing, not quilts)
I finished three sleeveless tops. They are very very plain, but I love them! Two are batiks and one is made from an old linen scrap that I had. I made the linen one according to the pattern, but tried it on and adjusted the fit several times while making it, and then I used those same adjustments for the other two. It is wonderful to wear something that doesn’t keep twisting and shifting uncomfortably. And in our humidity, anything with polyester or spandex feels like you are wearing a plastic bag, so the crisp cotton and the absorbent linen are great. I may turn all of my old linen tablecloths into tops.
⇔ 2 big quilts
I am still working on Pixilated. I decided it needed to be hand-quilted. For a while I was getting some done on it every night, but lately I have not been getting to it.
× 1 show
I gave up on this one early in the year.
So! Five goals completed, and one written off. I think I will get three more completed, and the other six may just have to wait until next year. Or who knows? This fall I may go into goal-achieving overdrive.
Hi. I love the batik fabrics. I am supposed to be putting on a warp too, but things get in the way. You have done a lot! Jane
It’s bad when there is no warp on the loom, because I come up with too many choices for what to do next! When there is a warp on, all I have to do is weave it off, no decision-making!
What are you going to make next?
Hi. I want to make a table runner using some of the hand-dyed wool I did last year. The winding is my biggest stumbling block because I need to build a knee-wall in a space I have that will be devoted to warp winding. All to say, there is always a series of tasks in any goal. Love your runner and think it would make a great chair runner. Jane
I can see where that would delay your weaving plans a bit! Our whole house is like that – we can’t make one fix until we fix three other things before that! I hope you can find the time and energy!
Wow!!! Is that gorgeous…….AND so very clever of you!!!!!!!!
Additional thought……..I have tried the pre-wound bobbins with great success, also but I don’t have any problems with tension, etc, so thought I would stick with winding them myself. There are ever so many quilters who have switched totally to these!!! I am thrilled that the “error” turned out to be so providential!!!!!!!! Hugs……………
Oh, I am enjoying it so much! It may convert me from a “piecer” to a “quilter”! I would have never tried them if not for you! 🙂
This is a great list, as we’ve discussed before. I’m impressed you’re keeping up with it, if only in keeping your account! How do you feel about the process so far? Will you do a similar listing next year? More or less ambitious?
My “goals” were to read at least 2 books a month (I’m in pretty good shape there, though I haven’t kept count,) and make 4 quilts for donation. I’ve made 2, and I have another made last year I’ll donate. And there is a lot of time left before the end of the year. And another goal I had but tried to not take to heart was to finish about 2 quilts a month. Well, I probably did that through June. (Again, not keeping accounts well.) And since then I’ve made one and worked on another with my sister. And with my motivation level, it’s hard to guess what else will happen.
BUT I’ve done a bunch of other stuff this year, so I’ve not been idle. I think it’s okay…
Yes, you accomplish a huge amount! – teaching classes, writing tutorials, etc. I think you get plenty done without needing a list!
I do like this type of goal-setting, because it keeps me working a little bit, in a lot of areas. I can really get lost in one thing – say, learning to decode the meanings of Greek vase illustrations, or classifying the grasshoppers in my yard – to the exclusion of everything else, and then I don’t improve my skills or produce anything.
I really needed this year to get caught up in a lot of areas. Next year, I think I will be ready to be less structured. I feel like I want to spend a lot of time on just one or two beautiful, hand-stitched quilts.
I am so impressed with all your goals and how you are doing. Can’t wait to see next months update
Thanks! I am glad to be keeping up with you! 🙂 Although I have not managed to stay away from thrift stores like you have.
Since you are a quilter, and many of your readers seem interested in them, too, you might enjoy this post on a program at the Textile Museum here, by Amy Rispin, a local quilt collector, who has a personal relationship with a skilled quilter, in a southern Maryland Amish community. Amy visited, and we documented, an Amish quilt auction:
R. John Howe
Textiles and Text
Oh, thank you! That is phenomenal! I hope we get some rainy days so I can read everything on your blog since I just found it this year.
I would have never imagined that device for lifting the quilts into view. And even though I know the Amish don’t use electricity, it never clicked with me that then they would have to piece their quilts with treadle machines instead of electric ones, until I saw that picture of the interior of the house.
I am starting to read that Carpets book too and it is really good. I like his way of classifying the carpets, and it is so readable. Again, I need more rainy days so I can stay inside and read!
I like your double sided seasonal table runner. Just flip it at the appropriate month. And those pre-wound bobbins, I always thought they were for machine embroidery. Apparently not. And bravo for tracking your goals (and being honest about progress.)
I picked up a few bobbin packages mostly based on color. I did look to be sure I got the right profile for my machine, but didn’t really read the labels otherwise. Looking at them more closely now, I see that one is 50 wt cotton and says it is for machine piecing and quilting. The other is 60 wt polyester and says it is for machine embroidery. But I have tried them both and gotten good results on practice pieces.
It’s entirely possible that if I would be more careful when winding bobbins myself, I would get improved results in my quilting too. But I really think I am sold on these. They are so lightweight and seem a tiny bit slimmer in profile than my regular bobbins, that it just feels to me like they unwind much more smoothly. I think for me it will be one less thing to worry about so that I get right into the quilting groove!
So happy for you that you’re accomplishing many of your goals. You’ve done a remarkable job at tracking yourself. The colors in your table runner is amazing and I too like to make mine reversible. Hope you’re getting rain your ways as we’re not! El Nino please bring rain!
I know! NOAA should not promise us a cold rainy winter if they don’t mean it! My hopes are up! But so far, I have not seen any of the signs like lots of woolly bear caterpillars. My sheep don’t have nice thick coats, and the yaupon berries are not even changing color. I will feel cheated if it is one of those winters were it doesn’t ever cool off.
I’ve seen a couple wooly bear caterpillars but that’s it. It may be November or December before we see some good rain. I keep praying we’d get a tropical storm in Gulf as that’s the breaking power for us. Time will tell….
There was a nice little depression last weekend but it all stayed east of us. It is pretty crispy around here.
Love the colours of both sides and the idea of table cloths to tops is GREAT! Thanks.
I’m thinking I can cut them so the damask flowers are on the shoulders, and the tablecloth borders are at the hem. I think I literally have 30 table cloths so a few could become tops!
It is really not that much. Getting the four small quilts done was nice, but they had huge pieces and not much quilting. I am just glad I am getting a little something done in a lot of different areas. 🙂