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A Productive List

I am a “list” person. I always had a “to do” list when I was teaching and I have done the same thing in my quilting business. At the beginning of the year I made a list of the Unfinished Objects (UFO’s) that I had. Knowing that I planned to report on my progress throughout the year has held me accountable to checking items off that list. And it is such a good feeling to finish projects that have been sitting around for several years.

During this 3rd quarter of the year (July, August, and September) I finished four Quilts of Valor and 15 customer quilts, two of which were done from start to finish. One of those - the Elephant Abstractions quilt - took me the entire month of July to complete. And I was able to make progress on two of my projects and mark four others done!

One of the projects on which I made progress was the wool kit that I purchased at Calico Annie’s Quilt Shop in Fullerton on last year’s Panama Quilt Guild bus trip. I was able to complete all of the construction on the top which involved making 91 half-square triangles to use for the sashing and borders. I followed a new technique indicated in the pattern to make the half-square triangles as I was afraid that I might not have enough fabric if I did it another way. With this technique I put the two fabrics right sides together, cut bias strips, and stitched 1/4” seam on each side. After cutting the strips into triangles, pressing open the half-square triangles, and squaring them up, I had all that I needed to complete the top. Now I am looking forward to putting this quilt on the long arm frame.

I also started a table topper kit that I had purchased a couple of years ago from Connecting Threads called Sparkle Plenty. I was attracted to this quilt because of the free motion quilting possibilities in the star design. The construction was actually quite simple as the design uses half-square triangles made from a charm pack (5” squares) and 4” squares. The only cutting necessary was for the background squares. One afternoon I needed some no-mind stitching and making these half-square triangles was just perfect. After squaring up the blocks, I put them on my design wall to be sure that all of the colors were in the right place. I am hoping to get the entire top constructed in my spare time during the next few weeks.

My finished projects included my 2017 Row By Row quilt which needed sashing and borders. I determined the colors to use by laying out the rows and auditioning fabrics from my stash. I then quilted it with an all-over swirl design and added all of the buttons and beads that came with the various kits - 25 buttons from 1/8” in size to 1” and 27 beads.

I also finished a Christmas wall hanging that I plan to donate to my PEO chapter’s silent auction this month. I purchased the panel and pattern from Creekside Quilting in Clive, Iowa, a stop on this past summer’s Panama Quilt Guild bus trip. I chose fabrics from my stash to complete the border instead of purchasing more fat quarters. Panels are fun to stitch on the long arm because I just make up the designs as I go. Those included wavy lines, pebbles, and micro-stippling.

Another project that I am donating to the PEO auction is a mini wall hanging that I purchased at Sew Blessed in McCook this summer. I loved the fabrics in this kit and enjoyed stitching this quick project. I used Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley to make the berries and hand-stitched them to the top. I machine-appliquéd the other shapes with a blanket stitch. I completed the quilt on my long arm with swirls, wishbones, and continuous curves.

My biggest accomplishment was completing a project that I began four years ago. I started this quilt because I wanted to reduce some of my stash and this scrappy pattern which used a total of 12 yards of fabric was the perfect way to reach that goal. I found the pattern called Bubble Circuits in the September/October 2014 edition of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. Each one of the 182 blocks has an appliquéd circle that were fun but time-consuming to make. In addition there were 15 rows of 13 six-inch blocks to sew together to make the top - quite a tedious and rather boring process. Once I started putting the rows together though I could see the end and was motivated to get it finished.

My next goal is to choose a UFO project for my quilt guild’s challenge - by our last meeting in May we must finish a large quilt that we have had sitting around for awhile. My Bubble Circuits quilt would have been the perfect project for that but it is already finished. I am considering my EPP hexagon quilt but I would really have to be diligent in working on it to get it finished by May. Another option is my 2018 Row By Row although that project has only been sitting around since this summer. Stay tuned to see which project I choose!

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