Sunday, January 8, 2023

Off and Running

It's amazing to realize we're already into the second week of January! The old adage is certainly true: "The older I get, the faster time flies." 

Since I've been in sort of a sewing funk, I'm not making much progress on quilt projects. 

Rather, I've started the Dropcloth Sampler I bought late last year, when Snuggly Monkey had a 25 percent off sale. (The frugal German in me is always at work!) I've seen so many Dropcloth Samplers that Debbie @aquiltedtable has stitched (see hers here), that I was intrigued to stitch one myself. 

This is "Milky Way." Surprisingly, it's only a six inch piece, though it packs a punch! The fabric comes already colorized, and has many tracings to stitch. I'm using size 8 perle cotton, so stitches will be dense by the time it's complete. 

A few more clamshell rows have been hand-appliqu├ęd to this piece. The further I go, the more out-of-whack each clamshell seems to be, but I'm fudging them into place. This piece will be about 21" square when it's done. Then I'll have to decide what to do with it!

Saturday afternoon I attended most of Sherry Lynn Wood's free virtual Modern Improv Curves workshop. Inspiration didn't strike, probably because last year I did my fair share of curved improv cutting and piecing when making Log Jam. It's one of my most favorite quilt makes ever. If you're attending QuiltCon in Atlanta, in February, you'll see it hanging there.

However, I've found inspiration! When on Instagram I saw a piece @katacostimo made. Now, I've signed up for the Dreamlines 2023 Project series with Brenda Gael Smith of Australia.

January's objective is Fine Line Dashes. I made both sizes offered, and used Painter's Palette Maize (yellow) and Raspberry. 

On the first day of each month, through October, Brenda will offer a different objective and provide an instructional PDF to make a linear shape. Rather than using her precision cutting instructions, I'm improv-cutting mine (no ruler). In any case, this motivated me to be back at the sewing machine!

Something new I'm going to try in 2023 is to track incoming and outgoing fabrics. Once again, I've been influenced by my friend Debbie @aquilterstable. Rather than take the time to inventory how much yardage I have, this year, on a monthly basis, I will monitor fabric that comes in, and fabric that goes out as something. (See Debbie's 2022 yardage use review here.)

Not sure I'm starting out on the right foot though! In November 2021, when I was a member of South Florida MQG, my "Curve Around Challenge" quilt was chosen by Cassandra Beaver as her favorite. For that honor, I received a $50 gift certificate to Feel Good Fibers - an online shop for individuals to sell stashed fabrics, and for us to find something we're looking for. (Lots of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, if you're a fan.) I finally got around to spending my gift certificate, and here's what I got: 
  • a 24" X 29" Sashiko panel
  • three checked prints from Heather Black @quiltachusetts
  • bundle of (mostly) aqua scraps
If you haven't visited Feel Good Fibers, I highly recommend it. Visit fairly regularly if you want to see the newest listings. I am really pleased with what I received, and the service. My pieces came from three different sellers, and each arrived quickly and within two days of each other. 

By the way, this Feel Good Fibers purchase counts as 6.48 incoming yards for 2023. Hubs and I created a Numbers (Excel) Tracker to monitor it. Now to work on outgoing yardage!

Book Recommendations
Continuing to listen to audiobooks in 2023, here are my reviews and scores of two good ones. 
Much of the story of The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson take place on London's 88 bus, where people have chance encounters and sometimes forge relationships. Frank is a young man when he meets "the girl on the bus," an encounter that he never forgets, even decades later. He keeps riding the bus, always hopeful that he'll see her again. The bus is where he meets Libby, a young woman who has just been dumped from a relationship, is jobless, and has moved into her sister's home to take care of her young nephew. Meeting Frank, a man with worsening dementia, gives purpose to Libby's days, and introduces her to new friends - loyal friends who give Libby the support she needs for what lies ahead. 
Linda's score: 4.3/5.0

Continuing my quest to read every Charles Martin book, Long Way Gone is my ninth Martin book. It didn't disappoint. 

Readers are taken on an emotional journey through the life of Cooper O'Connor - "Peg" to his friends - that includes his relationship with Daley Cross. (Don't ya love her name?)

Coop is a musician with a gift for playing the piano and guitar, and singing and song-writing. Raised by his Bible-loving, tent-revival-preaching dad, at the age of 18, Coop takes off to find his own way. After years of struggling in Nashville, he meets Daley, and together they rocket to stardom. Life at the top is fantastic until Coop suffers wounds that take away everything he's ever known. Though he has survived, he's only existing. Decades later, when he reconnects with Daley, memories and the truth must be faced.

Linda's score: 4.5/5.0  

Just a reminder... my list of 2022 books read, along with the scores I gave to 99 book titles is available to view and/or download and/or print. Just hit "All Books Read" in the tab at the top of my blog homepage. Happy reading while quiltmaking and stitching! Linda


  1. What a great start to the year. Glad you are enjoying your first Dropcloth sampler! And good luck with the fabric accounting. Invariably fabric will come in! In fact sometimes it needs to for you to accomplish something particular, or for a variety of reasons. Take it in stride and just keep sewing!

  2. I'm working on getting rid of fabrics, too, but was given a gift certificate for Christmas! Can't help that! And thanks for the info on the Dreamlines project. I signed up, too!

  3. I just finished Long Way Gone. I really enjoyed it. I read Maggie the week before and it was just too depressing for me. I really like all of the Charles Martin books I've read, but I had a hard time finishing that one. I felt like I was continually seeing someone slapped down every time they took a step forward.
    I love the way your clam shell quilt looks. I bought a template to make one, but I don't plan on starting it until the spring. I'll have to keep watching your version to keep me motivated.

  4. I love your embroidery project. I've enjoyed seeing Debbie's projects too. Have you done embroidery before? My daughter and I considering giving it a try but decided now was not the best time. 2023 will see me working on more scrapbook activities but I still have a lot of quilts that are in various stages. Recently I've cut for future projects while cutting for current ones. I use so many different fabrics in a single quilt that it takes a lot of effort to get it all out, pressed and cut. Made sense to cut a little extra. Who knows when any of it will get done. I'm far less driven by productivity than I used to be although I do hope to finish more this year than last. I find funks often lead to new things. Enjoy.

  5. Wow, your embroidery project is beautiful. Loving how your clamshell project is coming along too. Great colours!

  6. I wouldn't be discouraged by incoming fabric obtained with a gift certificate--that doesn't even count as incoming in my book! Well, Linda, your embroidery is absolutely beautiful! Clamshells, lines. Books. You sure look inspired from here!!!

  7. I'm interested in the Dropcloth Sampler for my granddaughter, who is interested in learning embroidery. I'm back to sewing and it feels so good, along with hand quilting in the evening. And lots of reading. :)


I reply to comments! If you are a no-reply commenter, or your profile appears as anonymous, I will reply to you directly on this blog post. Please check back!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin