Monday, February 19, 2024

Project Quilting 15.4 Hourglass

I had told myself to make a little less involved of a project this round of Project Quilting at Persimon Dreams. When I saw the final graphic that Trish had posted, the idea to make a placemat, and thus have a rectangular based hourglass was born.

I have tons of green and tons of blue strips so I at first figured I’d do the side triangles in blue strips. It didn’t take long to realize that that would be a whole lot of seams regardless of whether they met or not, and on the bias. Not such a great plan. A little thinking ensued.

So the prompt this week is to make something that showcases the hourglass shape. Here is the graphic that inspired me to make a placemat:

With the stress of this past week, and unsure of what this coming week would hold, I kept my project simple: some sort of placemat to donate. I keep plugging away at reducing my strips, so I wanted to use a bunch of them.

I actually did stop to take some process photos. I’ve made a lot of strips placemats but never won like this and it didn’t take long to realize I couldn’t do it as a quilt as you go project.
I made two templates of the two triangle shapes I needed Using the larger triangle as a guide  to sew my strips together.

I’d already laid out leftover strips of batting across the 12.5” x 18.5” rectangle of backing, and basted them in place.

I looked through my stock of blue stash and was very happy to find this perfect piece, a Susan Winget design for Benartex, which is left over from the backing of …well, what do you know? It’s a quilt I have never blogged about even through all the Throwback Thursday posts, 'Jack in the Box' from 2008. It’s another one of Karla Alexander’s stack and slash quilts, 'Joker’s Wild', from her book, Stack a New Deck.

I used my side triangle template to cut the pieces for the sides, flipped one right sides together onto the strips triangle, stitching through all three layers. In order to have a straight scene on the diagonal, I sewed the second small triangle and the strips, triangle together off the mat, and then joined them together, right sides together as before stitching through all three layers.

Quilting ensued, stitching in the ditch along each of the strips with my walking foot, and for the plaid side triangles, switching to my FMQ foot and free-motion quilting back-and-forth lines, following the green lines in the plaid. That is where I left things Sunday night, though I did cut the strips for the binding, joined and pressed them ready to add Monday morning. The pretty turquoise fabric I found for the binding is part of a piece I bought at the Sarasota quilt show I attended several years ago. It was pretty cool fabric: in a half yard you got four fat eighths, all turquoise, but each one of the four was a different motif. It is not digitally printed. This is the last of them and outside of one 2” x 18” strip it’s all gone now.

I am taking an online online course with Sarah Powers Yin, Meditation and Compassion so by the time I got my morning real life stuff done, including completing the third session of the course, it was close to noon when I got the placemat done. 
Here is the back:

This is one of the 50 fat quarters I won from The Fabric Nook last year. It feels good to use another for a good cause. I’m taking a stack of eight kid-themed ones to Cuba with me when we go in March. 

It felt strange to have my project done within less than 24 hours of reading the prompt being released. I have an idea to make a second placemat, (maybe with the 6” x 18” left of the above fat quarter), because it feels weird to walk into our local community services organization to drop just one placemat off for Meals on Wheels. This week I do have a certain QAL to get my butt in gear on, but if I do get a second mat made by the deadline, I’ll add it to this post!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: my own design
Size: 12" x 18"
Fabric: Stash
Batting: leftover cotton strips 
Backing: Studio e
Quilted: on my Bernina, walking foot and FMQ
Threads: pieced and quilted with Essential cotton by Connecting Threads; quilted on my Bernina

Xena Update
She got her cast off and stitches out from her ACL surgery on Monday, February 12. Between her surgery on January 30 and getting the cast off I had noticed a purple/black lesion suddenly appear. Long story short, they took it (it was suspicious they said) and another fatty lump off her hip when they had her in there to remove her cast. So the poor girl came home with yet more stitches in two different spots, 10 more days of antibiotics, and feeling very groggy from having been knocked out yet again. Thus began a week of hell.

Today Monday, February 19 is the first day she seems a little more like her usual perky self. We took her back in on Wednesday because we were so worried about her breathing. They kept her in for a half day observation, decided to give her an injection of two painkillers, tramadol and Metacam, which made her high as a kite, terrifying. She’d stand, weaving, exhausted, staring at a wall, start to collapse to lie down but would catch herself and stand again, and only would lie down when I gently scooped her poor little legs under her bum to ease her down onto one of her beds. We were in touch with the vet a few times as we really honestly thought we were losing her. Her breathing was very laboured, and she wouldn’t eat, only if we hand fed her small lumps and often not even then. MacGyver bought rotisserie chicken which she’d take, I got a few tubs of Beneful which she’d also eat a bit of but almost no raw food. This from a dog who WOLFED food all food any food down 24/7. Then he had the brainwave to put her back on prednisone that she was on in January when she was first diagnosed with heart disease. It really seemed to help her breathing then. So I called the vet and we got the go-ahead. However, we had to wait more than 48 hours to start her on it because it does not interact well with the Metacam. So that meant the first 1/4 tablet was Saturday morning. 

Today at supper, she actually was interested in food and licked her bowl clean, though I did have to hand feed her about half of her raw food because she lost interest partway through though she did start at first with gusto. We think part of this appetite loss is because I had to shove pills down her throat with her food for the first half of the week, which traumatized this poor little dog that’s been traumatized and abused so badly. We also think that being restricted into a small area of the living room, or kitchen, and being constantly on a leash took away her sense of autonomy (why are these people being so mean to me all of a sudden?) which added to the depression and loss of appetite. We also have learned that another side effect of congenital heart disease is loss of appetite and laboured breathing. She’s been on prednisone now for three full days so we do hope she’s turning around again. We also got five more yoga mats from Dollarama, and made her a pathway from the living room area to the kitchen area so she can choose which place she wants to lie, my husband’s idea again. It was a beautiful sunny day, not very warm though, +3C, so she also got some outside time on the deck today, supervised, of course, in her snuggly pink fuzzy jacket, courtesy of Dayna. She wears it as a housecoat in the evenings as she seems to be chilly then. She doesn’t have thick fur to begin with, her belly is bare, and now her entire right leg has been shaved, so it’s no wonder poor sweet girl. 

Things come in threes as they say, so hopefully we’re over the three bad things: heart disease diagnosis, ACL tear, and suspicious lesion removed. She gets her stitches out from the lump removal this coming Thursday.


  1. I hope that last number of three is the last. Poor girl, if only they could talk. Butu she has a loving family who care so much, this is the best healing of all. Sunshine, nature's way as well.Your place mat is stunning. I wondered before I saw the photo how you would join those hourglass triangles. Bingo, how come I didn't think of that.

  2. Oh goodness, last week was rough for you and poor Xena indeed. I'm glad to hear that she seems to have turned the corner and started to feel better and eat again. Lovely placemat for the project quilting theme; with very little time to work on something for it this week, I went rather in the opposite direction (quite large: 35" x 45", ha!). Barring any unforeseen emergency today, I should be able to get it finished this morning, though.

  3. It's always fun to see what people are making for PQ with each new prompt! I love those pretty colors and your design, and what a great idea to take placemats like these to kids in Cuba. Poor Xena - hope things turn the corner this week!

  4. I love that memory of yours for fabric - when you used it last and where you got it. Your PQ placemat is really nice. I like the hourglass figure and the progress shots. Poor Xena. And poor Mom and Dad. She has had such a hard road. Drugs are hard on all of us, maybe harder on animals who can't speak. I do hope this is the beginning of the recovery and no more tough setbacks.

  5. Great job on the placemat, and you can always just make a few more, before you donate. You are a champ at this! Poor Ms X. What an ordeal. I hope things are easier for all this week.

  6. congrats, I'm working on mine now
    adding too many details!

  7. Great looking placemat. Those green and blue fabrics are very nice.

  8. Love the placemat. Those colors and fabrics look great together.
    Poor Xena. So much going on and no way to let her know what's going on. Just lots of love and extra attention.

  9. Aw, poor Xena. I hope things have turned a corner for her—and you. She’s definitely in the right family. I like the design of your placemat. And, of course, the colors. Funny thing, I needed to run some errands today and was going to drop off placemats at my LQS for Meals on Wheels. The yearly collection is due in the next few weeks. Then I discovered that I only made 3 in the last year. Embarrassing! So I decided that maybe I should try to make a few more…we’ll see if that can happen before the final collection date. I guess you and I were thinking the same thing.

  10. Sending you hugs! I love your placemat - great fabric choices.

  11. I'm so sorry about all that has been going on for Xena. I'm so glad she is with you two, though, who give her such good love and car. Your placemat is very cool - an hourglass, yes, but also an "X" for sweet Xena.

  12. Love the placemat. Hugs to your pup!

  13. Oh dear Sandra, I am very behind in reading posts, so I don't know how Xena is going now, but I do hope she has improved and life is sort of back to normal. It sounds very stressful. On a brighter note, I love your hourglass placemat - what a clever/inspired idea!