First Week of February 2021

Stitch your stress away.  ~Author Unknown

My wish this February 2 was that this Ground Hog Day movie existence we are living ends soon. In the meantime, I continue to try to find ways to keep busy.
The bird I chose for my February refrigerator quilt is the sparrow. One of my favorite poems is The Sparrow, by Paul Laurence Dunbar. The sparrow’s song will help “ease our load of earthly ills”, if we take the time to listen.

While emptying a bin, I found some mini fabric charms by Moda. I had purchased them years ago, with the plan to make a quilted purse. These charms have been stored away for long enough, so I started thinking of possible projects. To help in this process, I threw out the charms and started placing them in different patterns. Since I was in a February frame of mind, I started making a heart shape pattern. To help with this process, I charted a heart pattern on some graphing paper. I had enough charms, backing, and background fabric to make a 24″ X24″ heart wall hanging. It is a borderless wall hanging, since I did not have enough coordinating fabric to make a binding. What I liked about this project, was the opportunity to practice quilting. I just quilted with the basic stitch-in-the ditch method, but the experience of making the quilt sandwich and making it square is something I need to practice. The piece is hanging on my bedroom wall and it helps to start my day with a smile.

I found a free pattern for crocheting a basket using Bernat Blanket yarn. When the yarn arrived, I thought it was too soft and pretty for a basket. Instead of a basket, I started to crochet an afghan using the V-stitch pattern. I knew three skeins would not be enough, but I thought that I could order more of the same yarn…WRONG! Apparently, North Sea is a very popular color. I looked at all the online stores and they were all out of this color. Luckily, I could find one of the blue-gray colors that is included in the North Sea yarn. I was able to finish the afghan, with a lesson learned about planning ahead and ordering all the supplies needed for a project. The afghan is so soft and comfy. I prefer working with this large-sized, soft yarn.
The theme for Week 6 in the #52tagshannemade challenge was “Bevy of Buttons”. I just love buttons so this was a fun tag to make. I am looking forward to once again being able to visit thrift stores in search of buttons.

A few years ago, I ran across some tutorials by Liz Kettle. I enjoyed the process of stitch meditation. The 52 Tag challenge is a bit like stitch meditation, but I have not really done any regular stitch meditation as I had in the past. The other day, I was having one of those days that just called out for some stitch meditation. Stitching the stress away resulted in a mini-book of stitches. Stitching certainly turned what started out to be stressful day into a very pleasant and comforting day.
The last time I was visiting with one of my sons, we talked about how the honeybee is becoming endangered. This perked my interest and I have been trying to read more general information about the honeybee. The honeybee was the inspiration for my needle felt project today. With a little more practice, I think I will soon have firmer and better shaped felt animals.

The lovely flowers embarrass me,
They make me regret I am not a bee.

-Emily Dickinson

Tomorrow, I will be picking up the background fabric for the quilt-along that my friend and I will be starting soon. I will be spending time studying the block patterns and planning. We hope to start in March.

Stay safe.
Enjoy the day.

Plan A

If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.
Claire Cooke

There are still a few more small projects I plan to make this month. However, yesterday, my plan was to at least start with my end of the year organization. Plan A was to start small. So, I pulled out my Button Bin, thinking this would be easy-peasy and super quick. Instead, I found myself marveling at my collection of buttons. Then, I ran across a tiny box of Christmas buttons.
Plan A went out the window, as I thought of ways I could use these cute Christmas buttons. Last week, I had already dumped out my Christmas fabric bin, and discovered fat quarters and scraps just waiting to be used. The fat quarters were used to make Scandinavian Star ornaments. Stitch With Rick has a good tutorial for making these fabric ornaments.
The scraps were then used to make the pages for a Christmas mini book for my grandson. I made a mini-book kit containing all the materials and buttons needed for making another mini-book. I think my granddaughter might enjoy making one.
It just so happened that there was a headband in the button bin. I had decorated some headbands for my granddaughter a year ago, and this headband, for some reason, was stuffed in the button bin. This led to searching the internet for headband ideas. There is a tutorial by Anjurisa for making a scrunchie headband. She gives excellent directions for this minimal-sew project. In my stash, there was a half yard of plaid-ish fabric with the colors that my granddaughter likes. It was perfect for the headband. As I was folding the fabric to return to my stash, I thought the fabric would make a cute stuffed animal for my youngest grandson. After spending way too much time looking at Youtube videos, I finally settled on a super simple tutorial by I Think Sew. The pattern calls for using felt, but I used the plaid-ish fabric. In another bin that is stuffed with left-over fabric pieces backed by Steam -A-Seam, I found some cute colors for the muzzle, the eyes, and the bum.
Note to self: This bin with leftover Steam-A-Seam backed fabric pieces is valuable, so do not purge it when organizing.
It might be that I get to Plan Z before I am totally reorganized, but just thinking of all the possible new discoveries and things I can make along the way just makes me smile.

Thank You Section
I would like to thank Kyla from Sleepy Beagle. She introduced me to organizational tutorials by Karen Brown, Just Get It Done Quilts. Wow! I am going through all of her tutorials, and learning something new each time. Her tutorials cover a wide range of topics.
I would like to thank Mary from Zippy Quilts. She posted about the Quilter’s Project Planner. I purchased it, and I can see where it will be very useful. Mary also has a book review post on Love Your Creative Space, by Lilo Bowman.
Also, I cannot remember where I saw this organizing suggestion, but I think it was on Pinterest. Three simple words: Prioritize, Purge, Protect.
I know I will have trouble with the Purge part, but I will give it a try.