Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Wordless Wednesday ~ Scrap Buster Baskets Progress


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Monday, March 27, 2023

The Best Time

How many of you have been quilting long enough to remember life before the rotary cutter and specialty rulers?  Did you save the cereal boxes to use for making templates?  Back in the day this is how I learned to quilt.    Drafting my own quilts and templates with a plain ole 12 inch school ruler and carboard.  

 Here I am today obsessed with finding the quickest way to square up HST's and timing the process with the stopwatch on my phone.  This timing of the process never happened in those early years.  I just did what I could, when I could and put no pressure on the process. 

And I most certainly did not buy any new gadgets to try to speed up the process like I did this weekend.  There's lots of new rulers out there right now for squaring up HST's.  The new slotted trimmers and Bloc Loc are the the two that look the most interesting.  But as usual my thrifty ways won't allow me to purchase either of them.  The next best thing is to make my own as cheaply as possible.   My thinking over the weekend was I need a smaller 4.5" ruler to make my homemade locking ruler.  A locking ruler is faster due to it locks on the seam, then two sides are trimmed.  Slide and twist the ruler  and trim the other two sides.  Very efficient!  With a smaller ruler there's less slide time and should make it quicker.

The smaller ruler saved me a whopping 2 minutes!  Was it worth it?  NO!  But I was excited anyway and thought maybe my technique need to be tweaked.   I'm going to try again today to beat my quickest time because I've lost my mind.  It's whatever keeps me going forward on the HST's.  They have been on the must do list of over 2 years.  

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Saturday, March 25, 2023

More HST's and An Afternoon In The Kitchen

 Hello Quilting Friends!  Did you stitch up something sweet yesterday?  Friday was a busy day for me and very little time was spent in my Studio.  The HST's were my top priority and were finished early in the day.

As I pulled out the next baggie of 100 HST's to be squared I thought "lets time how long it takes to square them up".  

Not just the trimming process, the whole process from the time I open the bag until they are finished and stored.

So I turned on the ID channel and listened to one of the many murder solving programs and turned on the stopwatch on my phone.  I must not have listened very well because for the life of me I can't remember what happened. 

I was competing with the ID Channel program.  Hoping to finish the entire task before the program ended.

But the ID channel won.  So today I'll try again this afternoon to beat this time.  I order a new gadget to help me up my game.  It should be here tomorrow.  I'll let you know how that goes early next week.  I think I'll keep timing myself everyday and putting the results at the end of every blog post instead of making it the focus of the blog post.

After a little playtime in the studio it was time for the not so fun stuff like cooking, laundry and mopping the floors.  I made a huge 3 lb meatloaf for Mr. Podunk and my dad.  This is dads favorite meal.  Mr. Podunk took half and dads half is shown below.  I'll freeze it until I can get to him early next week.  

Once the meatloaf was in the oven I started cooking up the pork belly I sliced earlier in the week.  This will be frozen.  I can pull out what is needed for breakfast and reheat for a quick meal.  Some of you might be wondering, why pork belly?  Well I love bacon but I can't eat cured meat due to allergies.  So I buy big slabs of pork belly from a local butcher, slice it and salt it to taste somewhat like bacon.  

The last thing to do was finish making Mr. Podunk's yogurt.  It was started the day before in the Instant Pot and left to work it's magic overnight.  Then in the morning I started the whey straining process.  That too is a magical process it does all on it's own in the fridge while I do other things around the house.  Once the straining was complete all that is left to do is sweeten it with the honey Mr. Podunk harvest last fall. 

Today I'm playing all day in the Studio! 

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Friday, March 24, 2023

The Goal ~ Pink Gingham Flimsy

Another gingham quilt top  finished.  YAH!  I'm tickled pink!  What do you think is it bubble gum pink or Barbie pink?

She gave me some issues due to the poor quality fabric.  Both of the pinks were purchased at Joann's.  The bolts were labeled as KONA 100% cotton.  I think someone switched the fabric on the bolts because when I ironed the fabrics on the cotton setting they puckered.  This tells me it's not cotton but a polycotton.  GRRR!  I could take them back but I decided to just chalk it up as a lesson learned and use it anyway.   I've never been a fabric snob so there's no reason to start now. On a positive note this is a outside quilt for the porch and poly can withstand the weather better.  The puckering in this quilt bothers me a tad.  So I have to keep reminding myself that it's just a porch quilt.

After finishing the quilt top yesterday I started working on the first batch of HST's.  And I'm happy to report my goal to square up 200 in a day was completed.

That's it, just a short, sweet and to the point post today because I'm dealing with this right now.  Such a big baby.

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

HST Progress And Throwback Thursday

They say the way to complete a large overwhelming task is to break it up into small chunks.  Sounds like a good plan.  The task I'll be tackling once again is squaring up over 3,000 half square triangles. 

How many HST's should I tackle in a day? 100? 200?   Yesterday's doable chunk was 139 HST's!  The plan was to do whatever I could until my lower back said it was time to stop.  Today, I think I'll see if sitting on a stool at the cutting table will allow me to get more done at one time.

For the first few minutes it felt like I was playing a preschool matching game as I tried to put like sizes together after trimming.  The post it notes may not be pretty but they are functional and made it much quicker to organize the HST's.  

Then I realized the Quilt In A Day Square up ruler is not as ideal as I once thought.  It's slippery and way to big for these small pieces.

Why was I not using my homemade locking ruler?  It's not as slippery, it's smaller and makes quick work of HST's, that's why I made it!  You know you have to many tools when you forget what you have on hand.  If you would like to know how to make one of these rulers, click here to watch my video tutorial.

So much quicker!  Zip, Zip and it's done.  

After trimming they are organized by size into baggies.  As small as 1" and as large as 3.5".

Looks like I'm going to need more than one baggie for some. 

Or a bigger bag.  There's tons of 1.5".  I've no clue how many.  I should have been keeping track as they were added to the bag. 

And then there's other sizes that only have one.

So while writing this post I decided to go big and ran to the Studio to lay out 200 HST's.  If I can do 139 while standing, I should be able to do 200 while sitting on a stool.  This will give me a break from standing and quilting at the frame.  I'm excited to see how this works out.  I've been trying to get these things squared up for years.  Hopefully this year is the year.  I would really like to use some of these in the OMIGOSH quilt pattern.

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

Let's Throwback Thursday with a little cutie, ME! 
Mom had this doll custom made about 50 yrs ago from a picture of me when I was little.  The picture of me was poor quality and the maker thought my eyes were brown, they are blue. She hangs out with me everyday in my Studio.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Quilting Scrap Buster Basket ~ Wordless Wednesday


Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Spring is in the Air

 Spring is a fickle season, don't you think?  It's cold one day, warm the next.  Sunny in the morning, snowing by nightfall.  I'm not complaining.  I can take springs mood swings because I know it won't be long until the flowers start blooming and everything turns green again. Until then I can make my own bit of sunshine in the Studio.

This weeks weather is looking pretty yukky.  There might be a couple days where I can squeeze in a little veggie garden prep.  The Farmer's Almanac says I should have already planted a few things but I think I'm going to wait for the late spring planting for my above ground veggies like peas.  Maybe this afternoon would be a good time to plant the radishes and beets.  The rest of the week is looking pretty soggy.

I went out on the back porch this morning to get a feel for todays weather.  Sometimes temperatures can feel warmer or colder depending on the wind and humidity.  It was crisp this morning but not freezing.    This mornings sunrise was gorgeous.  Do you take time everyday to watch the sunrise?   It's a nice way to start the day. Letting the eyes see the sunrise every morning helps set our circadian rhythm which is good for our health or so they say.  It can't hurt to try and maybe get to see a beautiful start of the day.  Today was a real beauty.  Lots of reds and purple.  A picture is never as good as the real thing.

Red in the morning, sailors warning.  Maybe it should be...Red at daylight, quilters delight!  

Yes, I'm delighted to be stitching up more gingham porch quilts.  Cutting and piecing the yellow and pink quilts at the same time seemed like a good plan.  I love the two colors together.  So springy!  Assembly line sewing or chain piecing makes quick work of these 2 quilts.

The instructions for this free pattern called for making large width of fabric strip sets.  I found this to be hard to subcut into accurate strip sets afterwards.

Cutting and piecing squares works better for me.  Whatever works right?  Counting the squares was very simple quilt math.

Well, it was working until I forgot that each row starts and ends with the same color.  

So me and Jack had a little quality time.  

If you choose to make one of these gingham quilts using my method of piecing squares.  Make sure you set aside 6 medium squares and 7 dark to be sewn to the end of each row.

It took a little over an hour to sew sets of two, remember that included a little ripping.  The plan for today is to get the rows stitched together for both colors.  

But before working on the gingham quilts I need to get busy quilting the scrap buster baskets quilt.  She needs to be quilted and off the frame so I can quilt the gingham quilts when they are finished.

Before I go I wanted to share with you the song that ran through my mind this morning as I watched the sunrise.  Most of you will know this one.  

Hope you all have a lovely spring day!

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!


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