Valentine’s Pillowcase

Valentine's College Pillowcase
Valentine’s College Pillowcase

I just had to go with the Valentine’s Day theme for February. I know I made a Pokemon pillowcase*, but I saw the Valentine’s Day fabric at The Granary and couldn’t resist.

I know the fabric is probably a little embarrassing for a boy, but he can give it to one of his girl friends, if he doesn’t like it. I have an idea to buy some of those heart shaped candies and some grammar school cartoon themed Valentine’s as well as a heart shaped box of candy for his February care package. It is kind of fun to create and send off care packages. I wonder how many bags of pretzels has hoarded under his bed?







* Nota bene: From the previous college Pillowcase Tally Post, you will see that I intended the Pokemon pillowcase for January and had Angry Birds fabric in mind for February. In my mind, I switched Pokemon to February. I decided not to send him a care package in January since he would still be home for the beginning of it. I might change my mind.

Color Selection on the Carpenter’s Wheels

The Carpenter’s Wheel blocks were off visiting Kathleen in Reno when I started laying out the 5th version. Yes, I had another idea for a variation and decided to try it out. I was challenged by the center square. I got it in my head to use orange (forgetting that I had already made one with an orange center), thus had some fun trying out different oranges.

Carpenter's Wheel with orange
Carpenter’s Wheel with orange

I really thought that the tone-on-tone orange would be the perfect center for the 5th block. Somehow it didn’t work for me. I think the bold patterning of the other fabrics made the tone-on-tone look flat.

Carpenter's Wheel with batik orange
Carpenter’s Wheel with batik orange

I didn’t want a fabric that screamed because it is such a large piece compared to the other patches, so I tried this great orange batik. I thought it was probably the best of the lot, but there was something about it that didn’t quite work.

Carpenter's Wheel with tone-on-tone orange
Carpenter’s Wheel with salmon-y orange

I picked out a more salmon-y orange, thinking more pink might work better. The pattern was better, but the pattern wasn’t bold enough to compete with all that was going on in the block and didn’t work.

Carpenter's Wheel with stripey pink-orange fabric
Carpenter’s Wheel with stripey pink-orange fabric

I did think more pink was good, though, so I looked through my ‘oranges tending towards pink’ fabric to see if I could find anything. This was better. I almost went with it, but though it was a little light. You can see the block evolving as I move some of the other pieces or change them out as well.

Carpenter's Wheel with pink stitch
Carpenter’s Wheel with pink stitch

I finally decided on a pink stitch design. I think it competes well with the other fabrics, but doesn’t overwhelm them.

I am working on stitching it down. As you might recall, these blocks have a lot of pieces, so it takes time. I also laid out another block and will need to pick out another center. Stay tuned.


CVZ / Paris Journal Cover

Karen issued a challenge to use a piece of Carol Van Zandt fabric a few months ago. She gave out the FQs at a meeting and there were so many that almost everyone got one, even those of us who had no intention of doing the challenge. Fortunately, I received a color that I liked. As the weeks wore on, I decided that the least I could do was make a journal cover. I needed a new one anyway. I wanted to explore the low volume concept some more so I decided to use low volume fabrics with the CVZ fabric to make a journal cover. I did it as part of the sewing frenzy over New Year’s weekend.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover

I like the journal cover, but am not as happy with it as I am with the Carpenter’s Wheel effort in low volume. Somehow I got derailed and the journal cover looks like I am trying too hard. Or something. I think I should have stayed with black and white rather than straying into grey and colors.

I used some of the leftover strips from the Paris One Hour Baskets, most markedly to fill in the space at the bottom. What do you think of the addition?

Still, I am resolved to make a lot of work and just have a few good pieces come out. This will function quite well.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover - front cover
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover – front cover

I tried adding in some other purple, but should have stuck to the Carol Van Zandt fabric to highlight it. Fortunately, it is bold enough that it does stand out.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover - back cover
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover – back cover

I tried to add interest here by turning one of the strips sets sideways.

CVZ / Paris Journal Cover - open
CVZ / Paris Journal Cover – open

You can see the whole cover. The colorful ribbon fabric really doesn’t go and I wish I hadn’t added it. I have some CVZ fabric left and will try again with that.

2016 (January) To Do List

Here is 2016, bold as brass staring at me and daring me to adjust this list. I am tempted to make a list of bag patterns I own and haven’t yet made. Other than that, I am pretty sure I have everything that I want/need to do on this list. Perhaps I’ll get it done and have no more To Do Lists?

  • Quilt Christmas table runner
  • Wash fabric AKA The Great Unwashed-I washed a load recently and am working on ironing it
  • Finish sewing Anna Maria Horner Multi-tasker tote -this was a gift I intended to give during Holiday 2013- sigh. Missed 2014 Holiday deadline as well. The bucket part of the bag is done and I just have to add the straps.
  • Cut out 3 notepad covers for gifts
  • Finish cutting out Day in the Park backpack variation
  • Sew 3rd Petrillo Bag
  • Sew Bon Appetit apron
  • Sew Art supplies Sew Together Bag
  • Cut out Art supplies pincushion
  • Sew Art supplies pincushion
  • Cut out Purple Sew Together Bag
  • Sew Purple Sew Together Bag
  • Cut out Purple pincushion
  • Sew purple pincushion
  • Cut out Thanksgiving tablerunner #1
  • Cut out Thanksgiving tablerunner #2
  • Cut out Thanksgiving tablerunner #3
  • Cut out Thanksgiving table mat
  • **Quilt Thanksgiving tablerunner #1
  • **Quilt Thanksgiving tablerunner #2
  • **Quilt Thanksgiving tablerunner #3
  • **Quilt Thanksgiving table mat
  • **ATCs for CQFA December meeting

Finished prior to the above list

  • Cut out Anna Maria Horner Multi-tasker tote
  • Cut out Art supplies Sew Together Bag
  • Finish cutting out 3rd Petrillo bag



Thanksgiving Decorations

As I mentioned back in August, I want table runners for Thanksgiving. I don’t have many Thanksgiving decorations and I can’t bring myself to make napkins yet. I want napkins, but I can’t deal with all that brown and years of decorative stitching required right at the moment.

Thanksgiving Panel
Thanksgiving Panel
Thanksgiving Panel
Thanksgiving Panel

I bought two Thanksgiving fabric panels at Forget Me Knots in Bandon, Oregon. Friday, I put the table runners together.

How it happened was that I was going through the fabric on my ironing board, cutting the pieces I needed for various projects and putting yardage away. My goal was to allow DH a brief window to iron. When I got to the table runner panels, I decided putting them away would be silly and I just did what I needed to do to move those projects along.

Small contemporary tablerunner
Small contemporary tablerunner

The small contemporary table runner was easy. It just required cutting apart from the rest of the piece. I didn’t add any piecing to it. Just basted and it is ready to quilt.

Traditional table runner and mat
Traditional table runner and mat

I pieced two sections of the traditional panel together. I think some of the pieces and parts of the panels were supposed to be coasters, but I think these sections (right) are too big to be coasters, but there are too small to be placemats, so I don’t know what their original purpose was. I like the leaves. The green is a little odd.

Thanksgiving Table Mat
Thanksgiving Table Mat

The traditional panel also had a square leaf wreath, which I will use it as a table mat on the coffee table.






Contemporary Thanksgiving Tablerunner
Contemporary Thanksgiving Tablerunner

Finally, my favorite is the one to which I added the most piecing. I am not sure that pumpkin orange fabric was exactly right, but it is close enough and doesn’t match. It will add interest.

I plan to quilt these at the CQFA Retreat.

What About 2016?

I was sitting at the dentist the other day thinking about my quiltmaking. I was actually feeling quite depressed about it. For a couple of different reasons I feel like 2015 was filled with quiltmaking anxiety. I know I got a lot done. The 2015 Year in Review post tells me that. None of it felt significant, though. None of it felt important. A lot of it felt like I was marking time in front of my machine.

I had a lot of ‘must dos’ and that was part of it. Also, I felt like no project I did was exceptional* at all. I just felt dissatisfied and somewhat unhappy with my work. The good part is that I kept working and didn’t get discouraged. Any work is better than nothing.

I don’t want 2016 to feel anxious and not worthwhile. Yes, I have projects to finish, but I don’t want 2016 to feel anxiety ridden. For example, I don’t want 2016 to be all about UFOs though I still want to finish some up some things on my list. Finishing things cannot be the whole idea, however. I have to enjoy the process as well. I want my quiltmaking to be joyful. I have to figure out how to do that.

I already started this ‘project’ (or idea) after Christmas. I wanted to make another Sew Together Bag and I needed some downtime after a busy few days of holidays and the prep beforehand. I felt like it was the right time to make it (photos soon!). I put all other projects aside and worked on the second Sew Together Bag. It went a lot more quickly, I guess, since I knew what to expect. Also, I enjoyed the process more because I was doing just want I wanted not what I felt like I had to do.

Yesterday, as a follow-up, I worked through some things on the list and did some cutting of fabric that had been ironed. A couple of the items on the list were the Thanksgiving table runners (look for a post soon) I bought in Oregon. I put them together and prepared them to be quilted. I plan to quilt them myself at the CQFA Retreat in January. I also got back in the groove of working on donation blocks. That feels good and I now have 3 of the 8 (a la Mrs. K) I want to make in order to make a quilt I can finish with the Cutting Corners Ruler. They are nice looking as well. Mostly I am using blues and purples.

I think I need to stay away from making things as gifts in 2016. Not completely, but I mean on the scale of the Christmas Pillowcase project. I think I also need to work on some projects that have been in my head and may take some time. I guess we’ll see how it goes, won’t we?








*I don’t think my projects are generally exceptional and feel that if I come up with an exceptional project it is a gift. I am happy with the work I do and the quality of that work.

Creative Prompt #344: Year

Happy New Year

Year of the Tiger

fiscal year

calendar year

Definition: “A year is the orbital period of the Earth moving in its orbit around the Sun. Due to the Earth’s axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by changes in weather, the hours of daylight, and consequently vegetation and fertility. In temperate and subpolar regions, generally four seasons are recognized: spring, summer, autumn and winter. In seasonal tropical and subtropical regions, the wet (rainy or monsoon) season and the dry season are generally recognised.

A calendar year is an approximation of the Earth’s orbital period in a given calendar. The Gregorian calendar (and Julian calendar) has a calendar year being either a common year of 365 days, or a leap year of 366 days. The average year length across the complete leap cycle of the Gregorian (modern) calendar is 365.2425 days. ISO 80000-3, in an informative (cf. normative) annex, proposes the symbol, a, (for Latin annus) to represent a year of either 365 or 366 days. In English, the abbreviations, y and yr, are used.

In astronomy, the Julian year is a unit of time, defined as exactly 365.25 days each of exactly 86400 SI seconds, totalling 31557600 seconds.[1]

The word, year, is also used of periods loosely associated but not strictly identical with either the astronomical or the calendar year, such as the seasonal year, the fiscal year or the academic year, etc. By extension, the term, year, can mean the orbital period of any planet: for example, a Martian year or Venusian year is the time in which Mars or, respectively, Venus completes its own orbit. The term is also applied more broadly to any long period or cycle, such as the Great Year.[2]” (Wikipedia)

Putting Idealism to Work – City Year, an AmeriCorps program, is a national service organization which unites young adults, ages 17 to 24.

Year in Review

Year of the Rat

Person of the Year

year dot

Pantone Color of the Year

Year of the Sheep

multi-year low

year in photos

gap year

10 year forecast

Year of the Monkey

years of service

4 year degree

Teacher of the Year

Year of the Goat

10,000 Year Clock

Year of the Dragon

Year-end tax strategies

One year later

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #CPP