2020 Year in Review

Another year and more projects finished

2020 blog posts: 359

2020 fabric used: 95 yards net

I reached 100 yards used for the first time ever! I actually made it up to 113 by 12/17/2020. I was super excited. Of that 28% was for charity quilts. Of course, then, after writing the post about the Kaffe quilt, I went and bought some fabric, ended up with 95 net fabric used. Oh well! I take comfort in the 152 gross yards used.

Finished 2020 Quilt Projects

Six quilts are now complete for the year. I am thrilled.

Finished 2020 Small and Non-Quilt Projects

This category covers bags, toys, aprons and knitting as well as other non-quilt projects.

I feel like I have made more of these small items, but I can’t find any others.

In Process
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I am continuing to try not to put away projects. I find putting a project away ensures I never work on them, because I just lose steam.

Small Projects to Make or in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • One Hour Basket for organizing my decks of cards – Creative Strength, mindfulness, etc. I may switch to one of the Minikins or a Catch All Caddy projects for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for my stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects or a Catch All Caddy for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for DH’s stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects for this purpose.
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Officer gifts for January 2021 – working on the project and nearing completion
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag – Bag-a-Long for BAM – I have the inside pockets made and am struggling with the front pocket.
  • Westchester shirt – this is a Crafty Gemini pattern. I bought the fabric at PIQF in 2018 and just need to make it. The pattern comes with a video, so there is hope it will be wearable.


I decided that some of my projects are in a different class because they are hand piecing or embroidery or beading. They take longer. Thus I created a new category and have moved some projects here.

Ready for Quilting

FOTY 2019 – ready to take to the longarmer

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

  • Red Scribbles

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class some time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I crawled up in the far reaches of my fabric closet to see if I could find them and they weren’t where I thought. I am sort of mystified as to where they could be. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. 🙁
  2. Lobster – I think I will make this into a tablerunner for our buffet. I think that will be a good and fun use of the piece even if the colors aren’t quite right for the dining room.
  3. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. The last time I worked on it was when Julie and I had a playdate in April 2018. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece shortly thereafter and still have to get it back. Thus, I had to move this to the WIPs area.
  4. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  6. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed.
  7. Who Am I? – This piece is still languishing. Perhaps having a larger design wall will help me regain momentum. The amount of satin stitching I was facing was a problem until I thought of BIAS TAPE. I am going to make the words with bias tape, perhaps different widths, then I won’t have to sew the satin stitching. Red Scribbles and Friend Julie helped me come up with this solution. Now I just have to do it!

2020 All Donation Quilts

“Sometimes the world’s problems are so big we think we can do little to help. On our own we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.” Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

This year I contributed something positive to the world.

Donation Quilts and Tops for 2020

Doing Good

2020 All Donation Blocks

Like last year, I still have in the back of my mind that I would like to make 30 donation blocks per month-360 in a year. This year’s achievement is 124 blocks. I feel like I have made a good effort even if I haven’t quite achieved my goal.

I didn’t take photos of all of the donation blocks I made:

  • 4 blocks- March-16 patches
  • 8 (or so) plaid blocks from the plaid donation top


Gift Post #4: Sheffield Tool Bag

Sheffield Tool Tote - back
Sheffield Tool Tote – back

As I said earlier this month, I finished the Sheffield Tool Bag the week before Christmas.

I am usually pretty pleased with the Sew Sweetness patterns, but I found this one particularly easy to put together. The ease of putting together this bag was in direct contrast to my memory of putting the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote together.

Sheffield Tool Tote - top
Sheffield Tool Tote – top

I found two tricky parts and the zipper was involved with both. First was the zipper panel and the video remedied my confusion. The second was the other/non-zipper tab end of the zipper and I am not sure how to remedied that beyond using a matching thread to the zipper and hoping for the best. I’d like to put a zipper tab on instead of folding over the ends of the zipper on that one end. I’ll think about that for future versions. I’d like to make another one of these bags.

On the bright side, I feel like I finally got the concept of ‘veering the zipper’. I talked more about this during the making of the Pink & Green Cotton Candy pouch. There is something about the way it was presented in the Sheffield Tool Bag video that fixed the concept in my head. Yay!!

It has a different feel than the Quilt Illustrated Tool Tote, though I believe the supplies were similar. I haven’t checked the Quilt Illustrated pattern recently, however, and I know I quilted the outside of the QI Tool Tote, though that is an option for the Sew Sweetness pattern as well.


Sheffield Tool Tote - inside
Sheffield Tool Tote – inside

I am particularly fond of the inside. Despite being canvas and VERY loosely woven, I love the design motifs of the fabric I used for the lining.

Now that I know where all the pieces are going to be used, I would make different fabric choices for future versions. Still, I believe the white fabric makes the inside light enough to see all of the supplies (and stuff) that would go inside.

Sheffield Tool Tote - front
Sheffield Tool Tote – front

I didn’t have enough fabric for the slip pockets to be the same on both sides of the bag, so I used similar colors, but different fabrics. I think they look ok. The ice cream fabric was used so that it goes with the Classmates tote I made last year.


Gift Post #3: Sidewinder Pouches

Finished: Sidewinder Pouches
Finished: Sidewinder Pouches

I finished the four mediaum Sidewinder pouches earlier this month, but didn’t want to show them until the recipients received them.

I wanted to make them all with stripes, but didn’t have any green stripes (that I could find).

I thought the leftover Philip Jacobs fabric from the back of FOTY 2019 was great fabric and the two young women who like green would like that fabric. They can donate their pouch if they don’t like it.

Finished: Sidewinder Pouches open
Finished: Sidewinder Pouches open

The top zipper placket would have looked a little better if I had turned the stripes vertically. I just didn’t think about it. I will know better next time, if I make this pattern again.

Gift Post: Mini Maker Case

Mini Maker Case
Mini Maker Case

I finished the Mini Maker Case in September. I wanted to save the post  for after I gifted it. The recipient, Friend Julie, reads this blog on occasion and I didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

The small Oliso irons didn’t arrive until after her birthday, so this ended up as a Christmas gift. I sent it off with the iron and a couple of other gifts last week. I meant to take a photo of my iron inside the case, but forgot. I hope she will take one after she receives it and has a chance to look through her gifts.

I want to make one for myself. It is kind of a talisman for when Sew Days start up again.

DH Dancers

I may have mentioned that I tore a ligament in my foot in September. It is much better, but still improving. Earlier this week, I went to see my doctor to have it checked out.

One of the things about my doctor is that he is also an artist. He has his paintings hanging in his office. He has a small Artavita profile with a couple of his newest works. The bio he posted on his website mimics how I feel about my quiltmaking, especially where he talks about the flow. I agree with him that my work and my art are better when I do both and also that I get into a Zen-like state when I am sewing.

DH - Dancer Series #11
DH – Dancer Series #11

One of the things I noticed about the dancers in his office is the use of black. It offers an intensity and moodiness that is different than the look of ‘noir’ films, for examples. There isn’t a creepy sense of the psychological thriller in these paintings. I get the sense of the artist trying to show different types of people – dancers in this case.

I can’t stop looking at #11. I really want to know what the dancer is thinking. Is she angry? Is she annoyed that we have invaded during her practice?

Also, I think the juxtaposition of the black and ballet dancers is interesting. When I think of ballet (tutus, after all), I think of pink and baby blue flowing skirts or white stiff tutus. I don’t think of black. Most of the others in the series have black in them, but not all. Despite not all of them having black in the image, there is a consistency of style: straightforward, clear, slightly blocky (??). I get the sense that what you see is what you get, though there is a layer or two underneath the viewer needs to contemplate.

DH-Dancer Series #14
DH-Dancer Series #14

I like the tutu in #14 very much. I also like the pose, especially the hands around the back.  I also want to know what is going on with this dancer. My doctor is not a writer, but I would love to hear the story of all of these dancers.

I am always pleased when I find out someone has a passion to which they are dedicated. I feel like I am getting through this pandemic because I can sew as much as I want or all the time. I feel like quiltmaking is a way to stay on track, not get depressed and makes me a better person. I have to figure out problems, choose fabrics that go together, design projects. While I am doing all of those things, I don’t think about staying home all the time, not seeing family and friends.

By seeing my doctor’s work, I can see how he is a better doctor because of his art. He can talk to me on a level that is professional, but also human and I appreciate that.

Even More Donation Quilting

Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted
Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted

Surprisingly, I have more donation quilting to show. Tim is on a roll and, the other night, sent me a photo of the finished quilting on the Blue Improv quilt.

With the Purple Strip donation quilt, this one makes two this week! I am thrilled for a couple of reasons: 1) I have something to write about and some donation quilts about which to feel good and 2) I haven’t been working on any donation anything so these finishes are a bonus.

Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted - detail
Blue Improv Donation Quilt quilted – detail

Tim quilted swirls into the top. The quilting is hard to see with everything going on with the piecing. He sent me this detail and it looks good, which is no surprise.

I don’t know who he has to bind it.

Sew Together Bag Progress

Gift Sew Together Bag Linings
Gift Sew Together Bag Linings

After a good day of gift sewing on Saturday, I got back to the Sew Together Bags, finally.

As you know, I am making three. I spoke with Gerre on the phone on Saturday.While we talked I was able to get the pincushions stuffed and stitched to one of the panels. It is a good quiet task and I hadn’t spent the time to do it before Saturday.

Once Gerre and I finished getting caught up, I set to work sewing the lining together. As you know the lining is made up of the 4 pieces you see in the photo plus 6 pocket linings as well, which are on the bottom.

I did have to resort to the Quilt Barn Sew-a-long tutorials, which were really helpful. I saved them as PDFs and was able to make some annotations that are helpful.

Embroidery Sew Together Bag Open
Embroidery Sew Together Bag Open

Seeing the way the all white linings look, I think I will add some color next time. I like the red-violet inside of my embroidery Sew Together Bag.

I was also able to make some progress on the third lining. I didn’t quite finish, however.

More Donation Quilting

Purple Strip Donation Quilt - quilted
Purple Strip Donation Quilt – quilted

Tim sent me some photos on Saturday of the purple strip donation quilt I finished back in March of 2019.

I really like the skinny rectangle motif he used for the quilting. I think it echos the strips I used.

Purple Strip donation quilt quilted
Purple Strip donation quilt quilted

It took him awhile to quilt this. I think he was having a hard time getting inspired. I can understand. I blame the pandemic.

He’ll get someone to bind it or maybe I will next time I visit; we’ll see.

Butterfly Cotton Candy Pouch

Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch started
Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch started

We draw names at Christmas, so we can get a nice gift for one person rather than a bunch of small gifts for everyone. I usually purchase something off of my giftee’s wish list, but occasionally I like to make something as well. This year I got one of my SILs and really wanted to make something.

The Cotton Candy pouch is still a favorite, soI started another one on Friday as an additional gift. I used a similar fabric as I used on an apron I made for her a few years ago. I forgot that I used the blue instead of the purple. Oh well. I hope she likes purple.

Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch side view in process
Butterfly Cotton Candy pouch side view in process

I am still struggling a bit with this pattern. This time the side panels were MUCH larger than the main panels. I checked the measurements multiple times, but still can’t figure out why the side panels don’t match. And this time they are WAY off. Regardless, I can still make it work.

On to veering the zipper!

Pink Kaffe Quilt

PWPJ 067 Market Basket fabric
PWPJ 067 Market Basket fabric

Sometime ago I bought a fruit basket and flower piece of fabric. The designation on the selvedge is “PWPJ 067 Market Basket”.  I think of it as a panel, but it really isn’t. I really like this print, so I bought another piece.

After attending the Kaffe lecture in Saratoga and buying the Quilts in the Cotswolds** book, I decided to make the Pink Squares quilt using this piece of fabric as the center.

Pink Squares quilt pattern by Kaffe Fassett
Pink Squares quilt pattern by Kaffe Fassett

The Pink Squares quilt is not exactly rocket science. I don’t have all the exact fabrics, but I plan to use various Philip Jacobs prints I have including the Market (fruit) basket fabric. I plan to fussy cut various prints and make this my own.

I bought some Martha Negley prints recently from Cool Cottons and I want to incorporate the purple carrots into this piece. The example has various colors- not just pink – which is my model. I plan to add more purple to the piece than shows here. I also want to include some of my favorite Philip Jacobs prints. Yes, this is a pattern and very simple, so the challenge will be choosing the fabrics after I figure out the redesign of the center.

Market Basket selection for quilt
Market Basket selection for quilt

I know I will have to adjust the center of the quilt pattern to fit my center. I want to use a certain part of the print.

I went to look at Friend Julie’s version of this quilt. Kaffe tends to use the same patterns over and over, chosing different fabrics. She made one in Blue after seeing his red version in Heritage Quilts**. I like the way she cut a bunch of squares and then chose fabric for the center. Friend Julie chose an Amy Butler print for the sashing. I think I will stick with a pink solid, depending how much I have. Perhaps I will switch out the pinks as I move out from the center.











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A Few More Donation Blocks

I haven’t been working on donation blocks lately, for the most part, but I have made a few.

For the moment, these are earmarked for the quilt I plan to make with a bunch of different colors of strip blocks. I may have mentioned it before, but I don’t remember. I had a few leftover blocks from the other Color Strip projects, so I thought a multi-colored quilt would be a good idea. I am collecting blocks right now as I make the other donation quilts. I have a ways to go before I can put a quilt together. I haven’t done pink or yellow and and I have more green scraps so I can make some green blocks.