Thursday, January 16, 2020

Annual Existential Crisis

How are we halfway into January already? How does time just keep passing like this???  To be honest, one of my greatest fears is to fall into the "adulthood" trap of cyclically going to work, coming home and getting ready for work the next day, not accomplishing anything meaningful and barely noticing time passing. (This scares the bejeesus out of me). 

Completed scrappy village sent in by Mina
But... I do have to earn money to be able to eat and keep the cats in comfort. And sometimes you have to play the work game and climb the ladder if you want to make a bigger impact.

Pretty gardening themed quilt sent in by Barb
At the risk of sounding like a spoiled millennial snowflake, I don't want to lose my greater purpose in pursuit of just getting through the day. It's so tempting to get bogged down in the details, but it's better for me and everyone around me if I keep my focus on why I'm doing this and where I'm heading.  (I was raised Baptist, so the phrase "Be in the world but not of the world" comes to mind.)

January is always hard, though. I think January is hard for a lot of people. Another year older and you really have to look at where you are and what you've accomplished, which inevitably isn't what you hoped. Am I really making progress? Or am I on the typical American treadmill going nowhere and just fooling myself?

Beautiful scrappy top by Nettie, quilted by Kathy.
Anyway, I wanted to say that Covered in Love is the thing that I do to feed my soul and remind me why I go to work and why I'm still pursing whatever I'm heading toward. And I want to say an especially huge thank you to all of you who contribute to keep it going, because I started this when I was in school and if it weren't for all of you I wouldn't be able to keep it going now that I have a full time job.

Hugs, quilts, and cats. -Kat.

So dignified

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 500 so far! The Jan/Feb drive is going on now.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Latest from Louise

A new box of joy arrived from Louise this week, freshly finished quilts made from donated UFOs and orphans for CiL.  She made the one above from a panel I was sent and a jelly roll I bought in 2009.

This flying geese beauty started off as a quilt kit that has passed through at least 5 quilters.  Gail sent it to me and Louise finally let them fly into a finished quilt!

Loads of fun FMQ designs on those geese.

Finally, these purple and yellow and string blocks came from Melinda.  Louise put them together and pieced a backing from lots of orphan coordinating orphan blocks.

Three beautiful and cozy quilts finished for the hospital! Thanks everyone who contributed and Louise especially.

Sunny Sundae

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 500 so far! The Jan/Feb drive is going on now.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved. 

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, January 5, 2020

2020 String Block Drive for Covered in Love

Hello faithful Covered in Love sewers! It's January and time for the 5th annual CiL String Block Drive. The first 3 years we did a traditional string blocks like these, then last year did a quarter log cabin variant.  This year I have another variation on a string block to mix it up a little bit. 

In 2018 we had a bumper crop of quilts!
If you're unfamiliar with the details of how these blocks drives work scroll all the way to the bottom of the post. Or visit this page for the details of Covered in Love's mission.

String blocks all start out the same, by opening your string drawer (mine ALWAYS seems to be over flowing) and cutting a foundation square of scrap fabric about 13.5" square.  You'll trim to final block to 12.5", so after you make one or two you'll figure out how much how much lee way you need to give yourself.

Somewhere in the middle third of the block draw a vertical line on any angle. 

Pick which side, left or right, you're going to start on and start at the wider end of the section. Start placing string to fill the section, making sure that they cover your pencil line completely.  As you put each new strip down, place it right side down and sew through all three layers.

Then unfold the strip and finger press it down in place. 

Continue placing strings down, working your way up the section.

Now, time to change directions.  Take a long string and place it along the same angle as your original pencil line. Make sure you place it so that all the seam allowances will be well covered.

Sew the new strip in place and press it over.

Continue placing strings until you cover then entire foundation piece of fabric.

Trim the block to 12.5". I find this easier to do from the back.

And that's it. Ta-da, one block done!

As usual with these string drives, wonky-ness is allowed and ugly fabrics are encouraged!  By itself one fabric or one block may not look all that impressive, but all together they make beautiful quilts.

Covered in Love makes quilts to cover patients who pass away at a Texas hospital and comfort the families.  Anyone can contribute to these drives and make as few blocks or as many as they like. The drive runs January thru February, so blocks should be in the mail by the end of Feb.  Email if you need the address to mail blocks.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Oh My Stars 2019: Round 1

Happy New Year everyone! I know I've been MIA for a couple weeks but I'm still here. Luckily Kathy C. came to the rescue with a stack of 5 freshly assembled and quilted star quilts from this summer's drive.

I traveled and had great visits with family in New Mexico and Mississippi over Christmas but then was laid low by some kind of mega-cold. I had planned to spend the days off work between Christmas and New Year sewing, instead I've been sleeping fitfully and coughing my head off :(

I finally started to improve a few days ago and have been knocking items off the to-do list. 

I hope you all had a very Merry and warm Christmas and a Happy New Year.  2019 was a big year full of changes for me and I am anxious to see what 2020 will bring.

As usual, many, many people worked together to make these star quilts possible.  Kathy C. pieced and quilted them.

Nicki donated the binding which I dyed to in a red-white-blue gradient.  So many of you sent in patriotic and red-white-blue backings that I was able to give every single quilt a thematically appropriate background.

And then of course the dozens of quilters who sent in the blocks to make the quilts. We're looking at a total of about 18 quilts to come from this block drive!

Speaking of block drives, the Jan/Feb block drive post will be up this weekend. It's another variation on a string block ;)  I hoped to have the post up before New Year but life happened.

Fudge and Sundae have had no complaints at all about me spending extra time in bed. They take their duties as professional snuggle buddies very seriously :)

Definitely glad I invested in that double-size hammock

Covered in Love is a 501(c)(3) charity that donates quilts to patients dying in the hospital, over 500 so far! The Nov/Dec drive is going on now.  Check out the main post HERE if you want to get involved.  The post for January will be up this weekend.

Linking to  Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Almost-Tiny House Tour

At long last and as promised, here is a photo tour of my newly remodeled house! This was someone's mother-in-law house that we moved to my parent's land and did some remodeling on. It's 16ft x 32ft, 512 sq ft (technically a "tiny home" is 200 sq ft or less), and all one room except for the bathroom.

So, here we go!

painting by Leonid Afremov

To the right of the door inside is the sofa, which is also the extra bedroom ;)

Across from the sofa is the sewing center. For now I have the same desks I had in my old space, but some custom built-ins are on the agenda.

I really like the LED lamps I found that mount to the wall and can adjust to point wherever I need them.

Also in this corner is the kitties' "space ship" toilet.  This is the Litter Robot and honestly it's some of the best money I have ever spent. I've had it since about April and I just get more and more impressed with it.  Between this and and the off-brand Roomba (it's a Eufy, I would highly recommend that brand) vacuum I run once a day my house stays clean and smelling fresh. I'm not much of a housekeeper so I need all the help I can get.

Next is this shelving unit with my ironing board on top and all my "active" sewing projects stored inside.

Around on the other side of the half wall from the sewing center is the kitties' tower and the washer/dryer.  I found a cat tower that has a spring brace to the ceiling so that the base didn't have to be as big for stability.

Next to laundry and across from the front door is the kitchen.  The open shelving unit came from IKEA. The vinyl stickers I used on the dishwasher and stove to look like tiles came from Etsy.

To make it seem bigger and divide the space a little the ceiling in the kitchen is lofted and covered with the beautiful light wood.

My bed is in the corner to the left of the door when you come in, adjacent to the bathroom.

My carpenter built the bed from sketches I made and as you can see it has a drawers at one end and shelves at the other.  The best part is that the dresser pulls out so I can access storage under the bed.

Bathroom, small but plenty functional.  Didn't do much in here with the remodel other than adding that window and the wainscoting, which were boards leftover from the ceiling.

And, wrapping up the tour back at the front door!