Here we are, at the end of August, and suddenly I’m wondering where 2020 has gone. How can this be? School is back in session where I live, and all of a sudden I’m in my car again as the days whiz by. Honestly, I was NOT ready for this. I kind of liked having life slow down. My 20 in 20 August report is a little different because of it.
Am I still sewing? Yes. Mostly in the car, which means hand sewing. I love hand sewing, but most of the things I SHOULD be working on require a machine. So I’m falling behind on deadlines as I stitch in my car in various parking lots. I suppose that’s the way life goes, and I know everything will work out.
I haven’t sewn the half rectangle triangle blocks to add to my quilt. They require a machine. But I am keeping a record of my sewing in my planner so I can make the right colored blocks as soon as I have time. Hopefully I’ll find time to embroider a few important dates on them like I’ve done for the last few months. The first day of school definitely needs to be on there, don’t you think?
I’m reminding myself that the purpose of my 20 in 20 goal was simply to keep sewing. To see, at the end of the year, how it adds up. So I’ll keep stitching!
The essence of my 20 in 20 August report is simply this: I’m still doing it! And that is enough.
I have so many new quilts I hope to make, but I’m also trying valiantly to finish old projects this year. My Log Cabin Swap Quilt is one that has waited a couple of years for quilting.
Ultimately I decided to finish it with simple straight line quilting. It seems to be my go-to preference for finishing quilts. When I first finish the quilt tops I’m really attached to them, and I worry I’ll ruin them when quilting. My piecing skills are much better than my quilting skills, though I am improving and want to keep getting better. After the quilt top has hung around for a while, I don’t feel intimidated anymore and it’s easier to finish them. I need to work on shortening the wait time, though.
Every once in a while I back a quilt in flannel because my kids love it. I hope my kids will snuggle with and love this one as the seasons change and it begins to cool down. The log cabin swap quilts were the final swap I participated in for a modern quilting group that disbanded a while ago. I’m excited to see this one in use. It reminds me of the amazing women I met there.
None of us know what’s ahead right now. I keep thinking that I want home to be a cozy, safe place, no matter what happens in the world. Hopefully this log cabin swap quilt will contribute!
As I type this, I know that many are fleeing homes because of storms and fires. Wherever you are, and wherever home is, I hope you are safe and feeling hope. We had a conversation at the dinner table a few days ago, and asked our kids what they’ve learned in the past six months. Their answer: gratitude. I hope we all find something to be grateful for today, and every day. It’s a great way to cope with hard times.
A few months ago I noticed an Instagram post about a sew along for the Jen Kingwell Halo Quilt. I started one – back in 2016 at a quilt retreat! After a little digging, I pulled out my blocks… all two of them. I thought one or two blocks a week would give me a finished Halo quilt top.
I turns out that the chaos of so many scraps was a little too much for me. Sometimes I can handle messes in my sewing room, but this one made me tense. So I plowed ahead and finished the blocks in a month. The only rules I had for myself were a fussy cut center square and attention to value. Beyond that, I simply pulled fabric, cut and sewed.
I have a word of advice if you’re thinking about making this quilt. Buy the acrylic templates. Jen Kingwell is the designer of the pattern, and the templates do two things: improve accuracy, and speed up the cutting process. I didn’t have the templates, so I made my own from plastic and hand cut every piece of fabric in this quilt. After I’d finished about half of my blocks, I was really regretting my decision. But here we are, in 2020, and I had no idea how long it would take to get templates shipped so I kept going. It all worked out.
Most of the time I love the process of making really scrappy quilts, like my January quilt. Though I did not enjoy the process of making this quilt top as much, I realize it had a lot to do with the pandemic and instability of life at the time. Still, it was good to keep sewing even though it felt complicated. And now I have a finished halo quilt top to show for my efforts, rather than a box of pieces and a couple of blocks.
Next comes the quilting. It’s tempting to hand quilt this like so many others have done, but I am so slow with hand quilting. I also have a long list of hand sewing projects in various stages. I’m leaning toward machine quilting this one just so it doesn’t take forever to finish.
Either way, I have a finished Halo quilt top! Hooray!