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COVID-19 and the Stay Home Order

So how is this mess going for you? I have to say that it started out pretty strange, having to “stay at home”. We are enjoying the farm and can’t imagine being in town close to friends and neighbors and having to just stay home!!! It got a little rough… but got better when I made some changes and choices! At first, like so many others, I was at a loss for what to do. Not like I didn’t have anything to do, but the deadlines and commitments all faded away. That, along with the onset of angst about trying to have a normal life, creativity seemed to also have some difficulty.

Thankfully, I had a little job to take care of and the Stay Home Order made it much easier to tackle.

The fabrics

fabric choices
Chose these two fabrics

Of course, with retail closed due to the order to stay home, I had to shop online for the fabrics. Color and print do not show up nearly as well on the computer as in person. Not sure how you handle a fabric that is not true to color when ordering online…. but it sure is nerve-wracking to buy on faith!!!

Settled on a design.

Block Line Drawing
Friendship Star

Made a test block.

The Mock Up block
Checking the color value and placement of the block and the plan. (these are not the fabrics in the quilt)

I modified the block by adding a half square triangle in the corners. The modification makes a secondary pattern of a ribbon weaving between the blocks

Started cutting.

Preparing to sew the CR Quilt
Block Components cut

And then…

along the way… the taste test got in the way.

Ooops
Where did all those empty bags come from?

This is a joke Block … as in taste test getting out of hand… if it was Makers Mark bourbon instead of Crown Royal, it could have happened!!! (and maybe it did…)

Or was it just a joke?

How are we coping
Oops! We did it again!

This is a legit error. It hung on the wall for several days before I noticed it!!!

Top Done

Crown Royal Top Done
A completed top

But I made changes and easier to stay home and have a nearly perfect top.

How the choices were made

This is not my quilt design. I suggested that the owner of the bags look online for some quilts he liked. This is the one he chose. I suggested some options, but this one suited his aesthetic. The quilt is a throw size and is for a Man Cave as a sofa throw. It will look spectacular once it is all quilted. Next up, find a backing for it online, (wide because I just don’t want to seam fabric)! I may need that Makers Mark after all!!!

Tools I used

I put my money where my mouth is so to speak and the tools I used to create this quilt are items I carry in the I Have A Notion store. I used the Quilters Select Rulers for cutting, the Wool Pressing Mat, a Misting Spray Bottle, Clover pins, and the Titanium Needle (Top Stitch). Not make money, (although it would be a nice benefit), but really it is to help those that sew make the BEST CHOICE for their dollar. As we get back on our feet from the stay home order or actual quarantine, making better choices may become even more important in the next coming months.

How are you surviving this unprecidented time?

More Later… (we have new residents)- Beth

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Time Flies

Tasks -whether they are mundane, ordinary or exciting hide how fast the Time Flies!

It is hard to believe we have been here for nearly 6 weeks. All the rush of packing is over… and now the unpacking takes place. As a result, of all the deadline-based activity time flies?

About July

The month of July was hot and steamy and the pasture was alive with butterflies. Of course, I had to drop everything several days and record with the camera as many as I could. I saw many of the Kentucky butterflies in one field and it is in my backyard! The Swallowtails, Monarchs, Cabbage Whites, Clouded Yellow, Admirals, Sprites, and Skippers feeding on the wildflowers in the field.

Black Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
A Black Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Red Clover

Rain

In Kentucky, we are technically in a drought and surface plants are struggling without rain. See time flies even for plants. In addition, the rain has been sporadic and uneven, so the ground has not had a good soaking. As a result, we cut the field short.

Yellow Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Yellow Tiger Swallowtail on Red Clover

August

The middle of August found me in Chicagoland for a week. It was planned more than a year ago, well before the idea to move. I shared some of my quilts with the Pride of the Prairie Quilt Guild of Plainfield, IL and the ‘Threadpainting’ process that I use the following day. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures… because I never remember to get the camera out. I try to focus (pun intended) on assisting and coaching others through the “Threadpainting” process. Once again, times flies!

Gifted a beautiful little pincushion!

I do have one picture. A wonderful little pincushion, with a matching teeny tiny 9 Patch Quilt (which is signed and dated by the maker) Cheryl Parker, was a gift. Cheryl also created a fabulous blog post about the Threadpainting class, and you can see it here. This little pincushion will join the other treasures gifted by friends and family, in the Creative Space. However, setting up the Creative Space up is a very slow process. There is one certainty, many things need to be done… at the same time, and I am having difficulty prioritizing. Again, time flies!

Next week

2019 Online Quilters Meet and Greet
There will be prizes!!!

I hope I have filled you in… a bit… and forgive me for the lapses in posting. …. I am here even if I am quiet, (which anyone that knows me will say is a feat that does not happen often {enough, maybe?}).

More Later!!! Beth

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Squaring UP: using Quilters Select Ruler

Now that all the blocks have been sewn, cut and pressed open, it was time to start squaring up and trimming the blocks. I used the 5 inch Quilter Select Ruler, the same one I used in the blog post about Using the Tools, when the squares were originally subcut from the fabric strips.

3 reasons to use Quilters Select Ruler for squaring up

Reason 1- picking it up

The 5″ square Quilters Select ruler is just the right size; since the blocks are to be squared at 4 1/2” and it is easily picked up and moved about with just one hand. As I get older I find that my hands do not want to work any harder than they have to.

Picking up with one hand
Using the ruler with one hand

Reason 2- non-slip

The Quilters Select non-slip coating makes accurate cut easier. One of the things that often takes the joy out of creating is when my ruler slips. It makes me feel frustrated and inadequate, especially, when I have ruined a piece of fabric or a block because the ruler slipped. I have found that the coating on these rulers really helps them stay in place, especially when squaring up a block.

The 5" Square Quilters Select tint
The non-slip coating is yellow and lends a frosted look to the ruler

Reason 3- squaring up made simple

One of the most helpful aspects of the Quilters Select Rulers is the angle guidelines (30°, 45°, and 60°) and most of the rulers have 2 sets of the angle guidelines. You can see (in the photo below), the first set of angle lines, where the blue meets the white and the second set at the bottom of the block in the white.

showing the 2 sets of angle lines on 5 inch Quilters Select ruler
The 2 sets of Angle Lines on the Quilters Select ruler

Once, all the blocks were pressed, next came squaring up the half-square triangle blocks. To square up, I lined the 45°line up on the diagonal seam line, very close to the top edge of the square, and trimmed the first two sides, (the right side and the top). I then took ruler off; turned the block and trimmed the other two sides, by again lining up the 45° line on the diagonal seam and the 4 1/2 inch dashed lines on the 2 previously trimmed sides. There were 8 colors, plus the white and a bit of black, and each combination had 32 squares for a total of 256 half triangle blocks!

Stack of trimmed and squared half-square triangle blocks
Pressed, trimmed and stacked half-square triangle blocks

A note about “The Trick”

I discovered while squaring up these blocks, that the ability to turn the ruler and the fabric together (the trick)only happens on the Quilters Select Mat. If using any other brand of mat that is not as smooth as the Quilters Select mat, (like the Olfa and Fiskars mats that seem to have a slightly rougher texture), “The Trick” doesn’t work.  But I like the non-slip aspect of the ruler, more than the ability to turn the block or squaring up!!!

Designing the Quilt Top

After squaring up all the half-square triangle blocks, I took them to the design wall… Originally what little plan I had when I began this project, has almost come together. I chose the colors after going to QuiltCon 2019. I blogged here and here about the what I saw at Quiltcon. However, I was not happy with any of the experimental designs I played with on the design wall.

I played

Four Block Ideas
4 possible ideas

and played a bit more

Three Alternative Block Ideas
3 More possible ideas

But I finally landed on a design. I discovered, on Facebook, a subtle hourglass quilt created by a friend, (Betty Elliott), and thought “That’s IT!” An hourglass quilt. Isn’t it beautiful?

Inspirational Hour Glass Quilt
The inspiration quilt B Elliotts Hourglass Quilt

Next up the question of the borders. Do you plan everything before you start a project, or do you just start with a thought and grow from there? I think you can guess how I start… most of my projects… How do you start yours?

Beth