June Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but once a month I indulge my sewing side. You can find all my quilting/sewing updates here.

The Digger Quilt
I finished my first quilt! I still can’t believe I designed and made it myself.Finished digger quiltLast month I set myself the goal of finishing the digger quilt for my son. I had been putting it off for far too long. I did it! The quilt is labelled, bound, and beautiful. He snuggles with it pretty much whenever he watches TV. quilt binding and backingWhen I gave it to him I got a lovely song about how “Mommy is the best”, so I’m confident he likes it.

I didn’t have anything specific picked out for the backing, so I took my son with me to the fabric store. He found the Star Wars fabric and couldn’t be torn away. In the end we picked a 100% cotton flannel Star Wars print. I  like it a lot more than I thought I would. With a simple repeated pattern it was easy to seam (the seam is almost invisible), and it quilted beautifully. I didn’t manage to snag the back at all. My husband’s quilt is only half quilted and it already has two small snags on the back. I do wish I’d made the binding strips smaller. I went with a 2 1/4 inch width, but would have been fine with 2 inches.

The ShooGree shoo fly quilt Fly Quilt
I haven’t done any sewing on this one this month, but I’ve made progress.

This quilt will have 21 blocks, each made from a different fabric. Last week I decided on the final layout of the blocks. You can see the layout (and fabrics) in the blurry picture to the right. I always take a picture, so I have a reference when I start the final piecing of the top.

I also found time over the weekend to cut the spacing strips. They are in the white fabric and will go in all those places you can see the floor.

Star Quilt
My goal for June is to get two nights of quilting in on my husband’s star quilt. At my best guess it will take me 2-3 nights to finish the quilting. I would love to be onto the binding before the end of the month, but I haven’t even done the first night of quilting yet.

What have you been working on this month? Do you already have your next project planned out (I do!)?

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June Goals

My goals for May were:

  1. Write 8 times. – Not even close
  2. Continue to use my spreadsheet. – DONE!
  3. Read at least one book. – nope
  4. Finish (100%, REALLY finish) the digger quilt. – DONE!

The writing I did get done was on a new short story, but I didn’t hit even half of my writing goal. I think it’s safe to say May was a bit of a failure. I did manage to finish the quilt. It was done and ready to be snuggled on May 25th. I guess it was a bit optimistic to finish the quilt and get anything else done. This month I will try and set goals that are a bit more achievable.

My goals for June are:

  1. Write 6 times.
  2. Continue to use my spreadsheet.
  3. Read at least one book.
  4. Spend two nights quilting the star quilt.

I really want to get to the point where I’m writing two nights a week again. This month I’m going to create a schedule, but I’ve worked in two free passes in case I’m just not feeling it. Two nights work on the star quilt should finish the quilting, but I don’t want to set a goal of finishing the quilting in case my estimate is off. I want to acknowledge time spent so I can enjoy that time instead of stressing over whether I got far enough.

Did you finish everything you wanted in May? Do you have any big plans for June?

Clearing the Way

For the last two weeks I haven’t had much time to write. I promised my son I would finish his digger quilt this month, and I’ve made amazing progress on it, but that has meant sacrificing my writing time. If I don’t start writing more I’m not going to make my goal of writing eight times this month.

Writing more sounds great, but I also have the small problem of where to write. Currently I write on the couch, or the dinning room table. That can mean a lot of distractions from what I should be working on. I recently ordered a new Skarsta desk from Ikea to use in the room that used to be our ‘study’. Since my son was born, the ‘study’ has turned into a ‘I don’t know what to do with this thing’ storage space. It’s cluttered and full of stuff that doesn’t need to be there. Stuff that may not need to be in the house at all. Not idea for a space that needs to function as a sewing space, writing space, and relaxing space. A tall order!

Now that my desk has arrived I need to clear enough space to set it up. Nothing like a deadline to force you along a path. I plan to have the new desk set up before the end of the weekend. That means getting enough stuff out of the study to have enough room not only for the desk, but for me to be able to use the desk. I both look forward to and dread the amount of work that will be involved in such a simple task. Luckily my husband made some good progress on the room about a month ago before bringing company into the house.

Do you have a dedicated writing space? How do you make space for your hobbies? Does your writing space double as space for anything else?

May Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but I’ve decided that once a month I’m going to indulge my sewing side. In the middle of each month I’ll post an update on how my quilting/sewing is going. You can find the April Update here.

I’ve worked on three sewing projects this month. Below is an update on each.

Curtains
I hemmed my living room curtains! This is big news. We put the curtains up in 2006. I pinned them to the proper height, so they wouldn’t be all over the rad. This month I FINALLY hemmed them. It took me all of thirty minutes, I wish I had done it years ago.

Shoo Fly Quilt
My Shoo fly quilt now has all 21 blocks completed. My hope is that next month I’ll have a picture of the final layout to share with you. I always take a picture so I can use it as reference as I piece together a top.

The Digger Quilt
I set a goal of finishing this quilt (100%, nothing left to do) by the end of the month. At the beginning of the month I had a finished top, but that was it. I have since pinned it together, and, over two nights, I’ve quilted almost three quarters of it. You can see my progress in the, slightly fuzzy, picture below.
IMG_0245I am very happy with how it is turning out so far. I have only machine quilted half a quilt before this, so the skill is very new and still developing. My son, when he saw the first third of quilting, was very pleased. Once I have the quilting done, it will be time to buy the binding fabric and bind my first quilt.

Do you sew? Have you made big progress on any projects recently?

May Goals

How is it May already? Time to recap my goals for the last month, and set some for the new month.

My Goals for April were:

  1. Write 18,000 words. (15k on the Steampunk Novel, 3k on whatever I want) DONE! and I tried
  2. Use my NaNo style spreadsheet for any writing or editing I accomplish. DONE!
  3. Find at least two nights to sew. DONE!

I won Camp on the 25th. I had enough time to get another 3k, but I other things kept cropping up. My son’s birthday is tomorrow and things for that had to take precedence over my own writing.

I had forgotten my goal to sew at least two nights. Lucky for me I made a quilting update post in the middle of the month. I am further along on my Shoo Fly quilt which means I must have found at least one night to sew after that, and I know I did some sewing on at least one night before that.

My goals for May are:

  1. Write 8 times.
  2. Continue to use my spreadsheet.
  3. Read at least one book.
  4. Finish (100%, REALLY finish) the digger quilt.

I prefer to have a goal related to number of words rather than number of writing sessions, but I have no idea what I’m working on right now. The book is beause I haven’t been reading much. Time to get back to reading a book before bed instead of playing Sudoku. My son really wants his digger quilt, and this month is his birthday so I think he is right and it’s time to finish that thing.

Did you accomplish everything you wanted to in April? Have you set any big goals for May?

April Quilting Update

I know this is primarily a reading/writing blog, but I’ve decided that once a month I’m going to indulge my sewing side. In the middle of each month I’ll post an update on how my quilting/sewing is going. I hope this will keep me accountable and working on my three four quilting projects. It might even force me to do the little projects like hemming my curtains. Today I have an update on two of my projects: the digger quilt for my son and the shoo fly quilt for me.

Digger Quiltdigger quilt top
I designed the digger quilt myself. I used triangles, squares, and rectangles to make the math simple. The top has been finished for ahem several years. I decided I REALLY need to finish it before my son is too old to want to snuggle with a digger. It is almost time to quilt this one. I bought the thread, bought the fabric, and washed the backing fabric. I should be able to get it quilted in 2-3 evening sessions without much trouble. I’m either doing a stipple or a loop pattern. My son wants me to draw what each look like before making his final decision.

Shoo Fly Quilt
The shoo fly quilt for me is still in early stages. Years ago I made a single nine patch block to go in a quilt for a friend’s baby. I had a lot of leftover green, teal, and aqua fabrics. Just under a fat quarter of 9 fabrics. I also had some stashed green and teal fabrics leftover from other projects. I thought it would be fun to do a green scrappy quilt of some kind. I looked at patterns for a long time. Finally I stumbled upon Two Little Banshees: Quilt for Jane. It’s a nice simple shoo fly block with an offset and I fell in love. For my quilt I’m using 21  (12 inch) shoo fly blocks to make a lap sized quilt. The finished measurements will be around 51 by 72 inches. I had hoped to have a picture of the blocks I’ve finished so far (16!), but yesterday life decided it wasn’t meant to be. Next month I’ll work harder to get a picture.

Do you sew? If you do, what projects do you have on the go right now?

Creativity

green triangles for quiltingWhen I was young I never thought of myself as a creative person. I didn’t excel in art, I can’t play a musical instrument, I can’t sing, and when I started writing in junior high it was fluffy teen romance stuff. I had friends who were creative. Friends who played piano, who could dance, or who could draw.

During university I took up cross stitch. My (at the time future) mother in law was big into it and made some amazing things. She was creative, but my cross stitches were small and simple, so in my mind I was not creative. At the end of university my best friend decided to learn to knit. Since she was learning I figured I would too. I made hats, mittens, scarves, and even my only knitted sweater. I still didn’t think of myself as creative. They were simple projects and I always used a pattern.

Next I took up quilting. I read a fanfic where the main character was a quilter, and my good friend’s Mom was a quilter. I wanted to own quilts like that, so I decided to learn to quilt. I got that quilt top about half finished (it’s still on my bucket list to finish it). For the first time I felt creative. I was picking fabrics and designing patterns. I made a digger quilt top for my son from a pattern I had designed myself.

Shortly after learning to quilt I did my first NaNo. I wrote 50,000 words on a single project in a single month. It was by far the farthest into a writing project I had ever made it. It had a beginning, middle, and end. It was utter crap, and I never let anyone read it, but I was proud of what I had accomplished.

These days I know I’m creative, and if I haven’t created anything in a while I start to get a bit twitchy. Cross stitch, knitting, quilting, and writing are all different ways I choose to be creative. These days I focus my creativity on writing, but sometimes I need something a bit more meditative and I pull out my sewing machine. Last night I chain pieced the triangles you see in the image at the start of this post. They are for my shoo fly quilt. I was supposed to be writing, but my brain needed a break. I might just take another break from writing tonight to get the blocks for this quilt started. I guess it all depends on what kind of creativity I need.

What are your favourite ways to create? Do you creative in different ways depending on how you feel? or is that just me?