Saturday, August 1, 2020

One Monthly Goal for August, 2020: K.I.S.S.!

Good morning, and happy AUGUST!  Y'all, I'm still riding high on the euphoria from actually FINISHING my July OMG goals by the end of last month, the first time that has ever happened in however many months of linking up.  I even finished with a couple days to spare, giving me time to write and link up at the end of the month.  Is THIS what life feels like to people who don't bite off more than they can chew and then waste their time procrastinating?!!  Despite how eager I am to move Spirit Song from a work in progress to a completely finished quilt, I need to clear off my cutting table first before I can trim the excess batting and backing from Spirit Song and move on to cut my binding fabric.  

The photo above shows my cutting table as it looks this morning, with that 15" block in the foreground almost completely pieced and four more blocks partially cut out.  They were waiting on the Kona Solids "Grellow" fabric that I am swapping out for the Canary Yellow I'd originally planned to use.  Although I was able to traditionally piece the yellow block I'm currently working on, most of the other blocks in this quilt need to be either foundation paper pieced or cut out with templates.  That's because the original Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt uses blocks sizes that are all divisible by 6", but in resizing the quilt to fit a different size bed, I reduced the block sizes so that they are all multiples of 5" instead (making most of them no longer "ruler friendly" for rotary cutting).

So here's my design wall again, with the 7 completed blocks for my MMBB/Beware the Ishmaelites quilt on the design wall.  Block #8 will be finished today.  I should mention that two of those blocks on the wall are not in Moda's pattern (the 25" blue/green/black star block and the 20" cathedral window block with all the Y-seams that I used for my Long Arm Linky button image).  I swapped those out for blocks in the original quilt that didn't tickle my fancy.  The reason this project stalled out in the first place (I started it in 2016) is that the first four blocks were REALLY challenging and overwhelming.  You'd think that working on a smaller than normal scale would be the most difficult, but I found that foundation paper piecing and template piecing are much more difficult on a large scale.  I had to tape multiple sheets of newsprint together for my foundation paper templates and even had to tape multiple sheets of card stock together to make templates for those giant green triangles (remember that they are weird sizes that I couldn't rotary cut with my rulers easily, either).  But I'm finding that, as the blocks get smaller, they are getting easier to cut and piece.  With Spirit Song in its final stages, this sampler quilt is going to be my top priority project.  Here are the two blocks I completed last night:

The green/black block is 15" and the two-tone yellow block is 10".  I am SO glad I changed my mind about the darker yellow shade and waited for Grellow to arrive in the mail!

Well, since it's the first of a fresh, new month, it's time to set fresh, new goals!  I expect August to be a busier month than July was.  My 19-year-old son recently returned from Hilton Head Island, where he'd been working at a grocery store throughout June and July.  Hopefully he didn't bring home any microscopic coronavirus "souvenirs," but we can't know that for certain until two weeks have elapsed and there's nothing to do in the meantime but wait and hope for the best.  My younger son (the one for whom my MMBB/Beware the Ishmaelites quilt is intended) turns 17 on the 13th.  We're going to have to figure out how to celebrate that with everything closed, nowhere to go and nothing to do, no chance of getting together with his friends...  Then, both boys "start school" again on August 17th.  Lars moves back to a dorm at Appalachian State University on the 16th to begin his sophomore year, even though all but two of his classes will be completely online.  The University is mandating masks for all faculty and staff and bringing in food trucks in lieu of cafeteria service to facilitate social distancing.  Anders' senior year of high school, however, will be completely online from home "until further notice."  Since "online learning" was problematic in the Spring, I am thinking about where I might create a separate "school" space for him in the house, just for a change of scenery.  Last Spring, it was like the poor kid was in solitary confinement in his bedroom for three months, sleeping there at night, getting on the computer for online classes in his bedroom, and spending his free time there as well with his guitar, books, and video games.  He only came out for meals and to play with the puppy!  These are strange times we're living in!

Long story short -- I don't know how smoothly all of this will go and I expect those transitions to consume a good chunk of my time and attention this month.  With all of that in mind, my "one monthly goal" for August is going to be a series of small steps toward larger goals.  This month, my mantra is "K.eep I.t S.imple, S.weetie!:"

August Quilting Goals:

  1. Finish cutting out the next four blocks for MMBB & move them off the cutting table.
  2. Trim excess batting and backing from Spirit Song quilt
  3. Make the binding for Spirit Song
  4. Digitize & machine embroider a label for Spirit Song; appliqué to back of quilt
  5. Machine stitch binding to the front of Spirit Song
  6. Hand stitch binding to the back of Spirit Song.  Launder & photograph.
  7. Decide what's getting quilted next and load it onto the long arm frame
  8. Piece one or more of those MMBB blocks that are printed up, cut out, and ready to sew

August Blog Goals:

Have you written up your machine quilting post for the Long Arm Learning linky party that launches in just THREE days here at Cheeky Cognoscenti?  Remember that domestic machine quilters are welcome, too.  You don't even have to write a new post if you don't feel like it -- go ahead and link to an older blog or Instagram post.

I discovered why my button image wasn't showing up in my sidebar yesterday, and I'd like to thank those of you who let me know the image was coming up blank on your end of the Internet. Extra-special thanks go out to my new friend Zenia of A Quilted Passion, who helped me troubleshoot that problem and get it fixed yesterday.  I also spent some time in front of the computer last week decluttering my blog design and making some changes to help the site load faster, and I finally got around to researching, selecting, and figuring out how to use an app to watermark my images as a deterrent to would-be content pirates.  I also added a static page (see the tab at the very top of my blog) with links to my favorite video tutorials for all of the basics I needed help with as a brand-new long arm quilter, everything from loading and threading the machine to setting tension correctly, setting up for a pantograph, and getting started with acrylic ruler templates.  If you know of any other great video tutorials that I should add there, please share a link in the comments.

So my August blog goal is really just to follow through with getting the word out about the new linky party, writing and scheduling the linky posts to publish here each Tuesday morning, making sure the linky widget is working properly, and of course, what I'm most looking forward to is seeing and reading about what all of you link up and share!  Please help me get the word out by sharing this post with your machine quilting friends.  If you tried to add my button widget before and it didn't work for you, try grabbing the new code that is posted at the top of my left sidebar; this one should work correctly.  Thank you!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.  Hope to see you back here on Tuesday!  Meanwhile, I'm linking up today's post with:


·       One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts.

·       UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland


  O    Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


·       Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

·       BOMs Away Katie Mae Quilts  


Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Oh wow, I haven't been visiting since 2 weeks, and a lot of beautiful changes here! Love your new photo ;), new blog's look, and this linky party button is terrific! And of course your blocks are lovely ;)

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I find teenagers rarely leave their rooms as it is - maybe he doesn't mind doing his school work there too? I hope all goes well with on line school and your other one going off to college.

Plumdelice said...

Your list of goals for August seems quite long to me. I hope you can fit it all into your schedule, but any progress is great. You did so well in July and what a fantastic result you have in your Spirit Song.

Chris said...

Okay. that's a pretty ambitious list of goals. But I don't think you would be happy with less. Looking forward to seeing your progress and congratulations on the new linky party!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I love your blocks on the wall, all made in solids! Best of luck figuring out how school will work for your younger son. That can't be easy for anyone right now. I'm a retired teacher, and just thinking so much about my teacher/principal friends and kids and their families!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Your blocks are looking amazing. Thanks for linking up with Oh Scrap!

Ramona said...

There isn't anything more motivating than completing a huge goal and moving onto the next one. I love your brightly colored blocks! They must make you smile each time you look at them in your studio. I am praying for all parents, students and teachers, as you all find ways to educate and learn in these strange times.

Patty said...

Great blocks. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly goal and good luck with your project.