Category Archives: Quilting and Sewing

Improv Log Cabin Quilt

This Improv Log Cabin Quilt has endured a long, slow journey to completion.  Several years ago I went to a Ralli Quilt exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art with my sister.  To say we were moved and inspired by the exhibit is an understatement.  We decided to each make an improv log cabin quilt, inspired by the work of those amazing women. 

The projects began at Quilt Bliss, a quilting retreat we attended together, where we each made a quilt top.  We shared fabrics and advice with each other as we sewed.  Then, still inspired by the exhibit, I decided to hand quilt mine.  I also wanted to return to the neon matchstick quilting of my Modern Maples Quilt, so I decided to do a mixture of the two.

And the momentum died there.  I did a little matchstick quilting to serve as both basting and as guides for the long rows of straight stitching.  But it was so much work to pull the thread through the length of the quilt!  I made very little, and very slow progress.  Before long it was a project that I picked up for an hour or two, only once every year or two.  It was definitely stalled.

Enter the Alison Glass 2020 Stitch Club.  I decided to join, and the June project was all about the running stitch.  In it, Alison taught how to quilt those long rows with one strand of thread.  It was illuminating and motivating!  I got to work, and in a few weeks time, finished all the quilting I hadn’t done over the past 5 years.  

I’m really happy to have this Improv Log Cabin Quilt finished.  The combination of modern and vintage fabrics still feels fresh to me.  I LOVE the texture and color of the quilting!  This one will live in my bedroom so I can enjoy it every day.  

Also, I’m kind of obsessed with log cabin quilts right now.  I want to finish up some projects and start one or two more with this block.  It’s like comfort food, but sewing, you know?  And comfort is something we can all use this year!

20 in 20: May-July Report

Well, the world has sure changed in the past several months, and my 20 in 20 project has evolved along with it.  When I posted my last report in April, finding time to sew was a struggle.  Who could have predicted all this?  With so much social unrest in the US at the end of May, I decided not to post my monthly report.  (And then I may have accidentally abandoned posting at all for a while!)  Gratefully, however, I’ve kept with my resolution to sew for at least 20 minutes every day in 2020.

My 20 in 20 quilt is now more than half sewn, with rows for almost seven full months attached.  It’s colorful and happy and I’m SO GLAD I decided to make a quilt to track progress.

Sewing has continued to be a wrestle for me; either I can’t settle on what to sew when I have time, or inspiration strikes and I can’t get to my machine.  Family demands have shifted and I’m still adjusting.  Gratefully I can usually do some hand sewing, and frequently it’s an applique project that allows me to get 20 minutes in.

I settled on a solution for marking days.  Writing the event/memory in pencil, then stitching over it with two strands of black embroidery floss is working well.  The highs and lows are now marked for me to remember.  It’s becoming more of a journal, but it feels appropriate.  

It’s been months since we’ve had a reliable schedule at our house.  So many things changing all the time leaves me with little time for sewing.  But as I suspected, 20 minutes does add up.  It also seems to be enough to keep me from dropping the habit entirely.  I’m excited to see how August goes, and what sort of schedule we come up with as school starts again.  It should be interesting!

Keep sewing!


20 in 20 April Report

Well, today is day 46 since everything got cancelled where we live.  I know, because I went back and counted the blocks in my 20 in 20 quilt.  I marked that day with a safety pin, and I’ve added several more since.  I’ll never forget this time, but in the blur of not knowing for sure which day it really is, there are some days that need to be remembered.  And I’m counting on more of them, but I want them to mark happy things.  I’m sooooo ready for things to go right!  I suppose I could mark today, because here I am ON TIME with my 20 in 20 April report!  Surprise, surprise!

Last month I wrote that I was struggling with a desire to sew, and to be honest, that has continued.  Some days I didn’t care much, but on other days sewing felt necessary (like the day I started my Through Tears She Saw More Clearly quilt).  I am continuing to sew each day, at least a little, to keep it all going.

In April I sewed every day but one.  The day I missed was the day of my Aunt Julie’s burial.  I thought about sewing something by hand late that night before bed, but my only reason would have been to not miss a day.  It felt OK to miss a day, so I didn’t worry about it.  Now I’ve missed one day every month so far.  Perhaps next month’s report won’t include a brown rectangle?

I have four complete rows done for my 20 in 20 quilt, and a 5th row half finished.  Sewing these blocks on felt like making hash marks on a wall.  Someday  I’ll be glad I did it.  I’m sewing less with all my kids home but at least I’ve completed a few things!  I also dusted off my Halo quilt blocks to join the sew along (it’s a fun pattern!).  One reason for my goal was to see how twenty minutes a day can add up, to see what I would accomplish.  Right now, I’m seeing that even those few minutes bring progress over time.  There are also 252 days left in 2020 – plenty of time to make it a great year, and to make quilts I’m proud of.  

That’s it for my 20 in 20 April report.  I’m grateful for my daily goal.  It’s helping me show up creatively at a time I probably would have let it drop.  It’s nice to keep it going.  I wonder what May will bring?

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