I’ve joined the “Drop and Give Me Twenty” challenge for February and pledge to quilt for at least 20 minutes every day this month.
I’ll be working mostly on the turtles quilt for camp. I’ve had this community project in my hands for quite some time now and it’s time to finish it up. Thanks to everyone who sent tree blocks I’m adding the final borders now. Soon it’ll be time to sandwich and quilt. Yay! I hope to get it completed this month.
Edited to add: Blocks due January 20th, 2016. After that I’ll make do with what I have and get this project finished. Thanks!
I’ve got three more #getyourquiltywishesgranted envelopes ready to mail and four that are waiting for me to buy stamps. In light of all the giving going on I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask for more help finishing a quilt.
What I’d love to have is more tree blocks for the final border of the turtles’ quilt. I still need 75 more to make it all the way. Will you help? There’s a block tutorial here for the easy 8″ x 11.5″ pieced blocks. If you’re sending some my way please email me for the address mrs.megan.null at gmail dot com.
Help wanted! If you’re making trees please send them my way by January 20th, 2016. Thanks guys.
Here’s a little tutorial for the treeline border blocks my friends and I are making for the turtles quilt. This quilt has been a collaboration from the start so it makes sense for this last bit to be made by many artists as well. If you want to help out and make one, I’d love that! As you can see from the last photograph I’ll need a lot of them to make it all the way around.
You’ll need some medium/dark greens and light blues for this 8 x 11.5″ block. This can be as scrappy or not as you’d like it to be. Use one green and one blue or a bunch of ’em.
Four 4″ green squares
Four 4″ blue squares
One to four strips of blue 1.5″ wide which add up to 40″ in total length
Time to make some half-square triangles. Mark the diagonal line on each of the blue pieces. Sew them, right sides together, to the blue pieces on either side of the marked line. So, you’re going to get two half-square triangles out of each one. I like to chain-piece these, sewing 1/4 inch to the left of the marked line and then flip ’em to sew 1/4 inch to the right of it.
Cut right down that marked line. Press ’em to the dark side and now you have 8 half-square triangles. Sew them into sets. You’re making a larger triangle shape with each one now. Press.
Decide which piece will be the top of your pine tree. Set that one aside. Cut the other three by measuring 2.75″ from the bottom. Chop the tops off at that point and discard.
Stack the pieces together and sew ’em up. Hello little tree! Border on all sides with the blue strips you cut and then trim the whole block down to 8 x 11.5 inches. This block is my own design. No need to worry about super-precise piecing on this one.
Sometimes I need a bit of quiet. Do you ever get that way? Life’s just so go-go-go noisy and it’s good to take a break to breathe. So that’s what I’m doing today on my 31st birthday. Hubby and I went grocery shopping and that’s really the only thing I’ve checked off my to-do list…. which is totally okay. We’ll cook together tonight and watch a RedBox movie. I’ll quilt a bit and fold a load of laundry. Maybe have a nice long soak in the tub. I’ll return those phone calls and emails later.
I’m getting real quiet and listening and learning about myself and my business. I’ve noticed that I don’t have a real clear direction and want to remedy that. One thing I have planned is to participate in a group read and discussion of The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano, a business book that many people have recommended to me.
This week’s Project Quilting Challenge is to finish a UFO (unfinished object) so I’ve been working on the Turtles Quilt for my childhood summer camp. I’m up to the final border on the top. I’ll post some updated photos of that in a few days. It almost definitely won’t be finished by Sunday so I may work on a smaller project to submit. There are some great prizes that are randomly drawn this year and it always feels good to have a finish. If I don’t this week, well, I’m not going to stress about it.
We’ve been doing some gardening this past week. Living in Southern California does have benefits! We loved the potatoes so much last year that we’re planting three times as many. So far we’ve weeded, pulled up some stumps, laid a brick path, transplanted the bird of paradise plants, painted some pots, and planted seeds that’ll be flowers.
It’s almost New Year Resolutions Time. I quilt for myself, for pay, and for charity. In order to get more organized I’m joining Jetgirl and a few others in making 15 quilting-related resolutions for 2015.
Get organized. Keep detailed financial records for my business. Rearrange my fabric stash so I can tell quickly what I have and don’t.
Market my business. Do what I know and learn what I don’t. Make it a priority to really learn some new tricks. Try them out and see what works for me.
Work on one charity project at a time. I have at least 3 charity unfinished projects and find great causes that need quilts or blocks all the time. Thing is, if my emotions are in charge none of these things will get done. One at a time and they’ll get finished and to the people that need them. First up is the turtles quilt for Crystal Lake Camps.
Teach some classes! I already have one class ready to go, teaching crumb piecing. I’ll work on getting that one booked at guilds and shops as well as having more classes to offer.
Try new things. You know, stuff I haven’t done before.
Finish a quilt for my own bed. We have store-bought blankets on there now, along with a gorgeous hand-quilted Amish quilt. Still, it needs one of mine. My husband has been bugging me about this for a while and this year I’ll turn one of the bed-sized tops into our snuggle covers.
Give myself a raise! As a skilled worker, I will charge for my services like, well, a skilled worker. This year it goes up from $16.50 to $18 an hour.
Learn how to better communicate with my customers. For example, I recently discovered that a good question to ask with custom work is if there’s a preference for the backing fabric.
Make another large crumbs quilt. I love my crumbs piecing! I have a LOT of 6″ squares and they’re ready to go into a large quilt. Maybe it’ll end up being a show quilt like this other one I made a few years ago.
Go to at least three quilt shows. Meet the vendors, be inspired by the quilts, refill my creative cup.
Meet some of my online friends. I have some that I know only through blogging and Facebook. I’d love to give them in-person hugs in 2015!
Be silly. Laugh. Allow myself to make things just because it’s fun. Inject beauty into my artistic life.
Say no. No to writer’s block. No to continuing with a project that needs to go into the donation bin. No to going to a guild meeting that’s designed to be exclusive. Trust my intuition and highest sense of self and say no when that’s the right answer for me.
Quilt with friends! I’ve joined the Stash Bee and am looking forward to meeting some new online friends through that monthly activity. I’m also going to make an effort to sew in-person with mini-groups, sew-ins, at retreats, or just when my local friends have a minute to spare.
Stop quilting. Know when to put the needle down. Watch a movie on the couch with my husband without my handwork. Stop the sewing machine when on the phone with a family member who’s letting me hear their secret thoughts. “One more block,” won’t do when I could be running errands before rush hour.
How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?
This week’s blog post will be an update of the various things I’ve been working on while recovering from being sick. (Yay antibiotics!)
I’ve been doing a lot of handwork on the couch with my kitty keeping me company. Her name is Loki. We call her Loki Bear because when she’s really excited that you’ve come in the room she stands up on her hind-legs so you can reach her head easier and give her love… which looks like a circus bear trick. The living room, open first room, hallway, and kitchen aren’t completely cat-safe yet. There are lots of hidey-holes and dangerous things to get into. So the cats, in general, spend all of their time in the master suite. Loki Bear is the exception. She’s learned that she can be out here as long as she stays on the couch. Smart girl.
This week I’ve been doing some hand-embroidery for the turtle quilt. One thing that I admire about Crystal Lake Camps is the emphasis on diversity. Every summer there are international campers and counselors. During the years that I was a camper I befriended people from Mexico, Russia, and Germany. Since then it’s become even more multi-national. In honor of this, I researched how to write the word “turtle” in many languages. These blocks will become part of the turtles clan quilt for the lodge. Here are the completed ones I have so far. Many more to come!
I also sewed the buttons onto these and other card holders that will be added to my etsy shop tonight. Isn’t the baby rattle fabric cute?! They’d be perfect for baby-shower gift cards to help pay for… diapers! Isn’t that what most parents use those gift cards for?
As always, I do custom orders! If you’d like some gift card holders for a special occasion please let me know. Fabrics can be for every occasion. I can make ’em individually and in bulk as well.
The turtles have arrived! And they’re so darned cute I’ve got to share some photos with you all. The first is of the blocks in one layout option. They haven’t been sewn together yet and may not stay in this arrangement, but it’ll give you an idea of what we’ve got. I’ll be adding a few small turtle blocks and a border or two to expand it into the size it needs to be.
There’s a great variety of artists and methods used to create these turtles. Here’s one that’s appliqued and embroidered.
This gorgeous scene is painted onto the fabric.
The last block I’m showing you today is drawn. Look at all the textures the marker lines create!
I’ll post more updates as I go on this quilt as well as the turkeys’ two quilts.