Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Project Quilting Season 11 Wrap-up

I absolutely LOVED taking part in Project Quilting with Kim for the first time, finally! Every year I see it, but I'm usually too caught up in an Island Batik or magazine project or something, so I haven't done it. I didn't really have time to do it this year either, but I threw caution to the winds and jumped in. I completed all six challenges, four by the deadline, two within minutes of it, waah, but all six are done, useable, and I love each one. 11.6 was Vibrant & Vivacious.
On Saturday afternoon, yup, 24 hours before the deadline I thought of making a bag, a grocery bag to be exact. So I dug into my pink, orange and yellow scraps, and came up with this wild thing.
Now before I walk you through what led to this zany bag, be sure you check out my previous post, which has a giveaway, as well as a link to the fantastic Benartex Fabrics giveaways. I will wait for you...

Like I said on my Instagram post, I have never sewn with this much devil-may-care, use-whatever, go-with-your-gut improv quilting.
Anyone notice a sewing/quilting room dog in progress?

It makes for uh, a bit of a mess. But the entire time, I was so darn happy! And relaxed, despite once in awhile this:
Unsure me: I dunno....
Encouraging me: Whatever! It's a GROCERY BAG.
Two sides, more or less the same size

Unsure me: Oops those first few feathers aren't very elegant...
Encouraging me: Who cares? They're sideways anyhow, you'll get it, keep going.

Unsure me: There are some eyelash thingies going on on the back side...
Encouraging me: And?
Unsure me: Okay, yeah, I guess they'll be inside the bag, hidden by the lining.
Unsure me: I don't know, this is a RILEY BLAKE fabric. Should I cut into it for just a grocery bag lining?
Encouraging me: It has sat in your stash for how long???
Unsure me: Um, well, maybe two, three years?
Encouraging me: It has a brown background. You don't really like brown. Will this work in a quilt do you really think?
Unsure me: Probably not, no, though I love all the colourful flowers...they're so pretty. Okay yes, done, I'm cutting into it.

And I did. And it was good.

The handles, however, were not. At least on the first attempt. I'd seen some weird kind of hemming tape? in one of my drawers of stuff. No clue what it was, but I found it while moving some of the ancient IKEA dresser drawers stuff up to the new sewing room. Well, it popped into my head as a fast way to make handles and maybe make that deadline yet...20 minutes to go. Now, could I put my hands on exactly where I'd seen it??
I used this Aurifil 50 wt variegated to quilt the bag. Found the chicken block in the scraps tub, an orphan made by a guild member from a swap many years ago.

I eventually did. So I used them, finished off the bag, and it was 1:10 EST, 10 minutes past the 12 noon CST deadline. Ah well. I did NOT like those handles. At all.
I signed my entire name across the Kaffe flowers along the bottom. I had some fun with throwing caution to the winds and FMQ-ing a variety of designs in the stripes.

When pulling oranges and pinks, I'd come across a 2.5" strip of Kona Carrot that I thought immediately might make good handles. Reverse-sewed the yucky handles. Made new ones... Posted the new handles pic on Instagram Sunday afternoon.

It made the Sunday Showcase on auribuzz.com!!😁 It is quite a cool shot if I do say so myself.
Ah, those handles, that colour on the wall, that darling little machine. 😁

I had used that same orange and yellow variegated thread for the quilting, and let me just say that I had a riot with the quilting. Should've just done a meander and finished it in half the time, but meh, prizes-schmizes, my prize is my utter joy all the while I made this, and having a useable item!
The striped centre square is actually two strips sets cut into triangles which are left over from a bag I made for Craftsy a few years back. I added a couple of strips to get a square.
The Kaffe wild flowers on purple around the diagonal strips is from the backing of my mum's 80th birthday quilt, the long pieces trimmed off the sides and top/bottom. There is a yellow apples (à propos) Island Batik on two sides and a hot pink strip from backing of a quilt I made for Brianne about 15 years ago! The entire weekend and the bag itself just make me have a bubble sort of giggle every time I think about or look at it.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original improv design
Size: 17.5" x 18.25"
Fabric: scraps
Backing: scraps
Batting: Fairfield 80/20 cotton/polyester scrap
Quilted: on Avril my Avanté;  34 778 stitches
Threads: pieced with Mettler on Billie my 1947 Featherweight; quilted with Aurifil 50 wt, The Bottom Line in the bobbin.

This weekend I learned a valuable lesson through seeing myself. I'd been living in a state of anxiety during the days, dreaming it all nights, but waking up with a few seconds of clarity, clear-mindedness, and calm (all great c words, huh?) before the worry and anxiety would hit me. I did not want to collapse, (see what I did?) and so I started distancing myself from the news, the hourly newscasts on CBC Radio 2, reading just one article on CBC's site, and skimming anything related to anxiety-invoking items in my email, if not just deleting them without reading. Then I watched three important videos sent to me by a very dear friend. And this reinforced a bazillion times over and made me even more committed to the importance of being

Monday morning when I did my Ashtanga yoga practice, this clear thought came to me:
I am the creator of my day

I am. I truly am. And I'd already successfully started the best day yet:

I read the Aurifil email and saw my photo. 😁 
I had a half cup of coffee, knowing I'd do my practice in a little while. 😁 
I went upstairs to my sewing room and cut out a few more pieces for the squirrel I started chasing last night. 😁 
I sewed two of the blocks. 😁 
I did my yoga practice, telling myself I'd just do a bit, but I was just flowing, on all levels of my being, and I did the entire Half Primary. 😁

I felt peaceful. Amazing. Awesome. Calm. Happy. Content.
I was feeling positive vibrations.

So. I am listening to my Prime Minister's directives. Continuing to stay home. Walking my dog, with my grandson who is 3000 km away. 😁  Waving to neighbours if I see or pass them, saying or calling, Hi! but continuing on. My bubble is my home and my yard and I love my bubble. I created it, filled it with peace and contentment. Well, okay let's be honest, MacGyver has done most of the braun as far as creating the bubble! He and I have had the same thoughts and feelings of news-distance, and finding calm within. He's more a yogi than anyone would ever know...
And let's remember:
Actually in just one day plus a few hours!

Be calm and well, my friends. Here are a few links to Seth Godin's blog posts. The first one on Calm sparked my choosing to be calm and not to feed into the fear.
Calm also has a coefficient
Day-trading emotions
Moods and Actions

You can join me. Positive vibes, calm vibes are contagious as well; you may have to work a little harder to get there but you can get there. You too can create your own day!

Here's a collage of all six of my PQ Season 11 quilts. Every one of them was a squirrel, a DrEAMi! a Drop Everything And Make it! project. They are often the most fun, rewarding makes, and I sure had fun with each one, and I even am chasing yet another squirrel when I have no business doing so... sorry Island Batik but I'm way off topic this month...
Clockwise in order of make from lower right:
11.1. Om - mug rugs
11.2. Cat mats
11.3. Smooches - lap quilt
11.4. Hummer - micro-mini
11.5. Placemats for Meals on Wheels
11.6. Grocery shopping bag

Thanks so much Kim and Trish for hosting this fun, push-your-creativity event!


  1. A chicken, bright handles, lining?? and there it is, beautiful, eye startling, and just the bees' knees to brighten the day. As over 70's, we are all confined to our own bubble, and wonderful friends have already started to help out, dropping goodies in the mail box, doing the pharmacy pick up, and collecting a detailed grocery list. No more popping into the supermarket, the hardware store, the warehouse for at least 4 weeks. Thank goodness I did get a SHORT haircut the other week, thought at the time it was a bit like a hedgehog, but now am very grateful those scissors kept on cutting. Lots of things I can do, finishing curtains for the lounge, my least happiest sewing task, but pushing on, as the colder nights mean something must go up there on the rails!!! And, Hugh does have his workshop where he can work on a model boat, rearrange things, or go out for a solitary drive. Our DR's surgery door is locked now, you tell them what you have an appt, for, and they will either let you in, or make you wait in the car. Flu injections, in 2 weeks, things are hectic, people frantic, and everything non-essential will be in total lockdown at midnight tonight . I have some new batiks, and looking at them is a bright
    moment each day.

  2. Bright, beautiful and totally useful how perfect! I'm glad you found the calm, in these uncertain times. As quilters we can and I do get lost in our sewing rooms and leave the worries at the door. Stay safe and sew on!

  3. Good choice on those handles, and the bag is great! I love the colors (surprised??)! I had hoped to join in on Project Quilting this year, but it just didn't work out for me. We are happily hanging around in our bubble here. Hope you can continue with your calm, and those walks with Brady :-)

  4. Good morning! And it is a fabulous morning here. We are supposed to be warm-ish today. Sue's mom just left - she's been coming over for coffee as her only outing for weeks. We are taking ourselves out for a nice walk this afternoon - hopefully with some sunshine to enjoy. I just ADORE your bag. I need to make one for myself STAT. To leave in my car for those unexpected stops once we get back to being able to stop somewhere. We are going to work on a t-shirt quilt today. It's time to feel and enjoy that calmness you offer and claim it for our own. Done! Thanks for the encouraging words and inspiring bag. Stay healthy and safe inside your bubble. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. Such a colorful and vibrant bag! You will get a lot of comments and requests when you take it shopping next time - at least when we get back to normal and people are not too scared to stop and talk to strangers. Thank you for your lovely words. Stay safe.

  6. Congratulations on completing all six of the projects. They are so bright and colorful. It looks like you really had a lot of fun doing these. And to be highlighted on the Aurifil Sunday Showcase is fantastic. Thank you for continuing to write such great blog posts and including such positive thoughts.

  7. At the risk of offending some of your readers, I have to say, "you've got the joy, joy, joy, joy deep in your heart ." The bag is fabulous, as is the freedom of spirit that led to it's creation. Glad you're embracing the feeling. We all need to.

  8. I love your post. Your bag is terrific, and I loved the honest report of the self-talk.... I can absolutely identify with that dialogue.... Encouraging-you made the best decisions.... now you get to enjoy those fabrics regularly, the brown with flowers is the perfect liner..... lovely but not prone to showing the dirt. And I thoroughly agree with your thoughts on staying positive and sane. I especially like the thought that your home is a bubble that you created and love. I am going to borrow that, even though we are so geographically isolated that life hasn't really altered a lot. Only the thought that we can't leave if we wanted to sometimes creeps in..... which is silly because before we couldn't leave, we didn't want to. And we still don't want to, but it is unsettling to think about f we let the news creep in too much.
    Stay safe and calm and I look forward to what comes out of your bubble in the coming weeks/months (as I always do). xx

  9. Such a fun grocery bag! Love the whimsy and the bright colors. Glad that you've found the trick to managing the anxiety. We've struggled with keeping the anxiety from being overwhelming. Both My Guy and I agreed we limit the amount of news, get in our daily walks, keep up with family and do those things we enjoy when we aren't working from home. Being calm and keeping healthy habits is the best insurance no matter what happens. Be well!


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