Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Wiggles Quilt

 Monday is my granddaughter's 3rd Birthday.  She loves Emma and the Wiggles.  When I saw that fabric had been released for the Wiggles, I knew I had to make her a quilt.  The fabric was really hard to find.  I prefer yardage, but I managed to find a panel and lots of fat quarters.  This is what I came up with.  The photo looks drab (bad lighting) but it is a bright quilt.

Since I had so many extra fat quarters, I decided to use them in the backing.

I used the 2 extra pinwheel blocks for the center of the back of the quilt.

I decided to have fun with the quilting. I only do straight line quilting, and this is the pattern I came up with (yes, I use scrap paper to to take notes on and to try out ideas).

practice quilting pattern

I quilted it using a variegated thread (King Tut's Cleopatra).  I've used this thread many times.  I'm almost out, so I had to order more for the next quilt. 

I finished up by making a faux piping binding.  Since I didn't have yardage, I used 2 fat quarters for the binding, alternating the blue and red.

faux piping binding

The quilt is washed and ready to be shipped to Alaska.  I know, it probably won't arrive in time, but that's ok. She'll get to celebrate her birthday again when it arrives. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Snow Day!

I got a snow day today!  Yipee!  I really needed to work on my granddaughter's 3rd Birthday quilt.  Gwendolynn really loves Emma of the Wiggles (a preschool show).  I found a panel and some fabric late last fall, but hadn't had time to do anything.  Well, her birthday is March 1st.  Yes, I'm running late on this one.  

Using Triangluations, I made the half square triangles as leaders & enders while paper piecing.  Today, I finally got started sewing the HST's together.  I wanted to make pinwheels, since Emma is known for dancing.  

I pulled out Betty Sue, my trusty Featherweight.  I hadn't sewn with Betty Sue since last year.  

Betty Sue

The sewing machine cabinet I use has a large enough opening for most of my vintage machines, but Betty Sue is much smaller than my other machines.  There is a large gap behind the machine.  When I sew, all my blocks fall into that gap.  Not good.  I used some template plastic and some blue tape to fix that problem.

cheap fix for the gap

Hey, whatever works!  

Well, I turned all those HST's into a quilt top.
Wiggles quilt top

up close of some of the pinwheels

I still need to make a backing for this.  I have several more fat quarters of these fabrics.  I had to purchase fat quarters since it was so hard to find any yardage.  I do have a piece of yardage, too, thank goodness.  

Since I don't free motion quilt, only straight line quilt, I'm thinking of using a cross hatch for the quilting.  

I am thankful that we have power.  Several of our relatives in Texas don't have power.  Some don't have water now, either.  Water mains are breaking due to the cold.  Most of Texas doesn't have snow plows, so everyone is stuck at home until the snow/ice melts.  I know I'm not the only one who is ready for winter to end.  

Monday, February 15, 2021

An Oops! and Some Finishes

 I finished up 4 sets of Harry Potter blocks for our soon to be grandbaby on Saturday, but as I was stitching the parts together for the 5th set of blocks.......Oops!  For some unknown reason, I just kept sewing the owl fabric where the background fabric was supposed to go.

Oops!  Too much owl, not enough background

I did mark my patterns to show the background fabric (where the orange highlighter is).

orange marks are supposed to be background fabric

I messed up on 2 different parts of the patterns.  One part was just 2 pieces, and I could fix those, but the part 'A' (shown above) had too many pieces wrong to fix.  I sew these on my 1927 Singer 15 hand crank, and I have the stitches set to tiny.  Tiny stitches are really hard to take out, especially on paper piecing.  Taking out stitches that small also tends to make the paper come apart.

showing tiny stitches

I had to re-print part 'A' for both blocks and re-make them.  When I finished yesterday afternoon, the Oops! blocks looked like this.
Hedwig block

both blocks

Yes, I'm making two of each block.  My grandkids live in Alaska, and I'd really like to show off their quilts in my guild's quilt show (if we can ever have quilt shows again).  I've made 2 of each paper pieced quilt for the first two grandkids, so I have to continue making 2 of each paper pieced quilt for the rest of the grandkids that come along.  The grandkids will eventually get the 2nd quilt, too.

Here are the 4 other sets of blocks that I finished for these quilts.  The photos don't show the true colors, sorry. 
Crystal Ball

both blocks

Potion bottle

both bottles

Harry's glasses

both blocks

Stoppered Vial

both blocks

One good thing came out of the Oops!  I got further along with my RSC blocks for February.  I'm using my RSC blocks as leaders and enders while I paper piece (they are also paper pieced blocks).  

I still have more blocks to finish for these quilts.  

If you are interested in making Harry Potter blocks, you can find them on Fandom in Stitches.  
Disney Princess Castle layout

The Disney Princess Castle layout is what I'm planning on using for the Harry Potter blocks.  I'm trying to figure out if I want to make partial blocks for the side windows of the castle.  I've thought of a few things I can make to fit those windows.  If I make them, then I have to resize the blocks to fit (more math, ugh).  

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Progress - Update

 This post isn't about sewing or quilting.  It's more personal, so if you aren't interested then you can stop reading now.

Back when I posted about my word of the year 'Progress' I mentioned that I needed Progress to be made in different areas. One of these areas is my weight/health.  I'd asked my doctor for help, since my weight has stayed the same for over 2 years now.  He referred me to a weight loss doctor.  I couldn't get an appointment until mid-March, but they moved up my appointment to last Thursday (Jan 28th).

The doctor put me on a very strict diet plan with exercise and also an appetite suppressant medication. I'm only allowed to stay on the medication for a few months.

The doctor suggested a Fitness app to use to count calories and to keep track of my exercise.  My Fitness Pal is the app I'm using. You can download it on your phone and also use it on your computer.  I'm not high tech so I find it easier to use on my computer.  This app has been a game changer for me.

Some of the foods I'm eating are already listed in the app, but one's that aren't I can add to their list of foods.  

Hubby is a backpacker and keeps track of the weight of everything that goes in his backpack.  He has a great digital scale he uses and he taught me how to use it.  It really helps.

The doctor gave me a whole packet to read.  One page is a suggested meal plan for the day.  It has really helped.

So far I've met the calorie goals each day.  Drinking the 2-3 liters of water each day is more difficult.  I have to plan around bathroom breaks now.

Counting calories is difficult at first.  I have to include EVERYTHING that I consume.  Making lunch each day takes much longer than it used to since I have to make sure to count all the calories.


Roma - Tomato Slice, 2 Slice1020022
Romaine - Lettuce 1 Leaf, 1 leaf510020
Pepperidge Farm Thin - Thin Sliced 15 Grain Bread, 2 slices14024361404
Oscar Mayer - Chipolte seasoned chicken breast, 2 oz503195400
Helmann's - Low Fat Mayonnaise , 1 tbsp152101300
Fresh Red Seedless Grapes - Red Seedless Grapes, 1/2 cup or approx 15 grapes601401012
Add Food 2804651681418

I count the calories and enter them, and the app lists the total Calories, Carbs, Fat, Protein, Cholesterol, Sodium, Sugars and Fiber (if they have all been listed in their database).  Pretty cool.  

I found a great pork chop recipe online that we tried Tuesday night. Quick Garlic Lime Marinated Pork Chops.  Oh my!  Tender, juicy and full of flavor!  Only 224 calories, too!  (and they were already listed on the app).  We'll be having these again.  I'm looking for more yummy meats that hubby and our son will eat (son is very picky).  I'd like to be able to eat with them as much as possible.  They can eat all the pasta and potatoes sides while I eat veggies.  I even started a new Pinterest page just for diet foods.

Yesterday was my birthday.  I knew after I saw the doctor that all my plans were out the window.  I had planned on ordering from Olive Garden and eating cake for my birthday.  Well, most of the things I want from Olive Garden have as many calories in one meal as I'm supposed to have in a full day.  I really wanted some cake at least.  I went down the baking aisle at the grocery store and started checking the labels on all the cake mix boxes.  TOO many calories until I got to the Angel Food cake.  140 calories per slice (12th of the whole cake).  I could handle that.  I added some fresh strawberries (18 calories) and I was happy!  Happy Birthday to me!

As for the exercise, my client (I'm a home healthcare aid) has a stationary bike.  He and I have been taking turns riding the bike most days (I'm with him 4.5 hours each day).  Win-win for both of us.  I've also bought some resistance bands and started with some of the exercises they recommend.  I need to figure out more things that I can fit into my schedule, but this is a start.  

On a good note, since I started on the diet one week ago, I've made 'Progress' on my weight goals.  My scale this morning told me that I've lost 7 lbs.  Yipee!  I have a long way to go, since my goal is to lose 60-75 lbs.

Getting started on this diet and learning how to count calories, etc, has taken up most of my sewing time, so I don't have any progress there to show you.  

This is just the beginning of my weight loss journey.  Don't worry, I won't be blogging about this very often since this is a quilting blog, not a weight loss blog.