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A Challenging Checklist

January. February. March. Those months just flew by as we were busy celebrating family birthdays and a baptism as well as attending Husker baseball and women’s basketball games. But now that we have made memories during the first three months of the year it is time to also revisit my 2023 to-do list to see what progress has been made on my projects. Of the eleven that I started the year with I finished three, made progress on two, and added one. Sounds like I did pretty well, however, the three projects that I finished were fairly small and not very labor intensive. Still it feels good to check something off of the list.

In January I finished the bargello quilt which was designated as the Panama Quilt Guild’s challenge for the year. I spent a Saturday afternoon at the Panama Presbyterian Church learning how to do the bargello pattern from another guild member. Since my project only measured 29” x 34” I was then able to finish the wall hanging on my own at home in no time at all. Even the custom quilting that I stitched did not take much time. And even though I had to purchase a couple of fabrics for this project it was nice to use up fabric from my stash. Now that I have had some experience with the bargello technique I am ready to tackle a larger project. Maybe that will show up on a future to-do list!

Another project that I checked off of the list in January was the X’s & O’s wool candle mat. Since this was a hand-stitching project I worked on it a couple of evenings while I was watching television. This project was packaged as a kit that I purchased at an estate sale last summer in Lincoln. There were at least 30 wool candle mat kits to choose from priced at $5 each which made it so tempting to buy several since I like to use them with candles in my sewing room. But I resisted and just chose one to add to my collection of Valentine’s Day decor.

The third project that was checked off of the list is the quilt for the nursery of our newest grandchild who will be arriving in July. Lindsay chose an outer space theme for Baby D’s room so we searched the Internet for wall hanging ideas. She ultimately picked one that features a panel with spaceships and planets. I purchased a kit from Cottontops Quilt Shop on Etsy that came with the panel as well as fabric for a border, the backing, and the binding. I opted to use some of the backing fabric for a second border to make the quilt larger. This was by far the easiest quilt that I have made for a grandchild’s nursery but it was the one that appealed to Lindsay as it didn’t have aliens on it! I had a lot of fun adding some custom quilting to make it special. A full picture of this adorable quilt will be revealed after Lindsay sees it at her baby shower at the end of April. And I can’t wait to hang it in Baby D’s room.

One of the projects that I have made progress on is Baby D’s cross-stitch Christmas stocking. Now I have previously made eight cross-stitch Christmas stockings for our family members over the years but this one has been the most challenging. And it doesn’t seem like it should be when you look at the picture on the front of the kit. There are no half-stitches, quarter-stitches, or beads. Just normal cross stitches with some outlining. But for some reason I have taken out more stitches than I have put in - or at least it seems that way. For one thing the pattern is very tiny and my old eyes apparently don’t see like they used to. Even after enlarging the pattern I have still had trouble! After discovering some errors I thought I could just make do but soon discovered that was not going to work. And from previous experience I know that. Always fix the errors! Let me repeat - always fix the errors!! Anyway - I hope to have this project done by Christmas but that remains to be seen.

The second project that I made progress on is a scrap quilt that I have had cut out for several years. I finally stitched together 24 sixteen-patches, 16 eight-patches, and 37 four-patches. I intend to donate this quilt to our Panama Quilt Guild charity project but that most likely won’t happen until next year. Since my Mom made three twin-sized quilts and gave them to me to donate I will count that as my contribution this year.

The quilt that I added to the list is a surprise! Suffice it to say that I have 28 of the 32 blocks finished and I’m excited to finish the last four and get it all put together. The quilt measures 42” x 57” so it shouldn’t take long. Stay tuned for pictures of the finished product.

In addition to these projects from my to-do list I stitched 17 customer quilts and nine Quilts of Valor. Two of the customer quilts were made from start-to-finish and two were custom quilted. One of the custom-quilted projects was a queen-size quilt and one was a wall hanging that featured a panel. As you can see - never a dull moment in the sewing room!!

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