Archive for the ‘15 minute challenge’ Category


37.2 Silent March-A-Long almost finished

March 30, 2015

So, how did you do in the 15 minute a day sewing challenge for the month of March?

Did you let the stress of every day get to you, or did you challenge yourself to do a little bit of sewing each day?

It is hard to “see” the results of my sewing, a lot of my 15 minutes were closer to 5 or 10 minutes hand stitching applique that has been glued for a while.

hot air balloon glued down stitch line

So I have gotten past about half of the hand stitching on this section of the quilt.

This applique will migrate to another project from my original plans I think.

Geesh, I noticing that I have a lot of projects I started back in 2011 (the date for this quilt’s start).

Anyway, I did the weave quilt early in the month.

Circular ends

I have made appointments with two long arm quilters during the month. For the first time ever.

I have been trolling around Quilter’s Cache lately. I made the cutest Galaxy Star from that site.

galaxy star pattern via quilters cache

I hand stitched some batting that wasn’t quite big enough for a smaller project, I basted with spray baste, and am now starting to ditch quilt the borders on my domestic machine.

I also made a few small items for the guild’s boutique for the quilt show.


A few pincushions. This uses 5 squares of each fabric type. I found the tutorial online. I skipped the adding the paper step, but I had to hand stitch the middle closed on the pieces because there are several seams that stop at the quarter inch corner.

And I made 60 degree coasters from another pintrest link. These were easy, but I added batting just below the piece at the bottom of the coaster.


That is the finished project. Without top stitching anyway.

Here’s how they start. Pretty easy.


I bought my 3 day ticket for the quilt festival in June, and I signed up with a class/lecture by a quilter I was impressed with that is in a nearby guild, with one of the twilters, Carole!

Since changing my computer around, I never reinstalled photoshop (over 10 years old), so I have been using PicMonkey website to edit my photos. Very similar to Picnic that I reviewed a long time ago. Not bad, gives you plenty of free editing options.

Anyway, that’s me checking in with you! How have you been? March-A-Long! Good work getting those projects done!



36.9 Weave On took over March-A-Long

March 10, 2015

I am not certain how or why, but possibly when I was doing the ceramics last week on my day off, I woke up the following day with a solution to a 4 year old problem. Well probably a 2 year old quilting problem.

weave border top completed with weaved borders

Four years ago, I, on a whim, made a quilt with 3 main colors, blue, red & yellow. I improvised a pattern that I saw online, but I couldn’t have told you who or what then, all I know is I made what I called a Weave quilt.

Then I came up with a variation on borders that I have seen several places that involved paper piecing & bias tape. I made lots of these border blocks using 3 fabrics for the borders that I also bought on a whim.

It turned out that I didn’t plan ahead on borders, I was originally when I bought the fabric, thinking I would do inner, middle & outer border in plain sizes.

This often happens, I was starting to run out of red fabric in the borders, but I wasn’t all the way around the whole quilt.

So then I decided to well, stop making the weave borders that I had planned & already started. And then I needed to come up with a clever end to this pattern, this quilt.

That was 2 years ago. I am certain I talked of this quilt before on this blog before at least once or twice.

Any event, the ephiphany happened and now I suddenly gotten taken over by this quilt, a desire to finish it before guild (tonight) pushed aside plans on both Sunday and today (my day off this week instead of Saturday).

It still took a good chunk of time on Sunday, and I did some unsewing of blocks once I figured on size, and measuring, and drawing what to do both on paper & EQ7.

weaved ends close up borders

I had figured out the two corner blocks a while ago, but hadn’t made them.

connected corner on border

The ends are little applique circles of the fabric I had stored with this quilt.

Circular ends

The biggest compromise I had to make with myself is not floating the border in blue fabric. I still wish I could have done it that way, but I completely didn’t have enough of the same blue, and I do like that the red just trounces off the edge of the quilt while the yellow stays connected.

Wow it feels great to get this done. My March-A-Long which I was only going to work for 15 minutes turned out to be another full weekend of mostly quilting. That is both good and bad.

I could feel an urge to get this done before the guild, to finish it off before my mind was tired of working on it. It really only needed the bordered finished and then attached.

More borders, who would have thought? I wonder if any more quilts only need borders on them? I could get a lot of these UFO’s to the next stages.


36.8 Translating quilting pattern to Ceramic

March 7, 2015


I have started to look at EQ7 again with my March-A-Long goals. Later today is the day I meet with the quilter for the Royal Red King’s Puzzle quilt.

So I have been doing some quiet quilting, even a little applique at the car oil change place!

Yesterday I had a unique art experience I had to share at Sunfire Ceramics.

There is this cute little shop in Lawrence KS just downtown off to the side a little bit. And they have all these unglazed pots, bowls, cups, teapots, figurines, etc.

And they have these little tables and whole bunches of glaze that people can come & paint onto their ceramics of their choice.

I have had a coupon (groupon) for like ‘ever’, even bought a 2nd one before using my first.

I have been thinking I was going to paint a teapot. But I like mugs.

And a few months ago, I was planning on going on a monday day off, but they’re closed Mon & Tues. So I decided to take a quilting pattern, one I quilted on the Dancing Ribbons quilt with corners to put on either the teapot/mug.

When I got there, I looked at the shapes of the items, and I decided to make 2 objects, neither of them a teapot.

Finished photo first, after several hours of listening to their music, chilling out at the studio.

Dahlia in ceramics painted

The dahlia is one I quilted in the background on the Dancing Ribbons quilt:

quilting corner tricord colors

Which almost shows up in the picture above, but not exactly.

Anyway, the dahlia had 10 points, so I wasn’t able to divide it into 3 colors to match the tricord colors.

So I put the blue in as a 4th color & alternated rows & colors. Then decided dark teal for the lines & the outside instead of the dark blue.

How did I follow the pattern?

Pencil marks. You take the pattern, trace it over with pencil.

dahlia drawing from pinterest

Then I flipped it over pencil (drawing side) down on top of the plate. I originally tried rubbing with eraser, and that was leaving a little bit of a mark, but not a full mark.

Then I decided to trace the back with pencil, thinking that the pencil on the front would rub off with more pressure on the back. And it worked. The lines on the ceramic were thinly there, but they were there enough to go back & retrace again on the ceramic itself with pencil.

dahlia pencil marks on ceramics

And then after that point I didn’t get any more pictures until the end except for my inspirational art deco pictures I found in a book that was at the shop.

art deco border inspiration

And the setup of the whole table picture.

scene at the ceramics place before painting

The glazes are in the size of the little paints bought at michaels, walmart, etc, and the pallet & paintbrush are there to hold them. It was like going back 20 years to my ceramics class in college.

I also painted a mug as well, with 2 sides. This one also with the same color family to “match”.

painted mug with flower stamp

This side was from a stamp. I had to help enhance the stamp a bit & I  sorta like it, I wonder how it will look when finished.

painted mug with borders

The other side I was using some swoops and dots to make borders. I am a right handed person, so this will be the side I will see the most.

I think I am less happy with the mug because I didn’t have a plan of attack on it, I just wanted to do something nice with borders. I had forgotten to bring my drawing borders book that I own for further inspiration. I never found a book at the library before coming that was perfect inspiration either.

Anyway, next time (I have to come back sometime & do a bargello style mug, I have decided) I will do something different, maybe I will make a red & black one to match my red & black quilt too. I imagine for the bargello mug I will use a stencil or ruler to draw straight lines with.

I wish I would have planned the mug a day ago, I have a picture in my mind to match the red & black quilt, I think that would be nice on a mug!

I used a dark teal as the base of these items, I hope it’s a good enough color combo. We’ll see in a week when the thing gets fired. They put a top coat glaze over the top that is shiny to make the ceramics able to eat off off.

Anyway that’s my non-quilting/quilting adventures for Friday. A lovely day off!


36.7 It’s March, Is There a 2015 March-A-Long?

March 1, 2015

March-A-Long Swirl 15 minutes


In March, I have traditionally “hosted” a March-A-Long”. It’s my way of encouraging people to sew/quilt for 15 minutes a day during the month of March.

I picked March because International Quilting Day falls in March, and it happens to be my birthday month. And because we’re just starting to fall off of New Year’s resolutions by this time of year. And because we need something to motivate us to keep it together before spring hits.

This year, I don’t know where my marching ant file is, I have no space to set up a quick video like last year. I am not even certain I can post once a week, given my recent track record. I am not even sure I actually gave away anything last year for participation. And I really think maybe I needed a break from all the “hard quilting” (aka pushing myself pretty hard to get deadlines done) that I have done since the fall.

So I’ve been thinking I will scrap March-A-Long, and just move on.


There is a quiet power to lots of little steps. I have learned many times that lots of little steps towards a goal gets you right up to that goal, even if it takes a while.

I may not cheerlead, nor podcast, nor video, nor inlinkz, nor even post, BUT, I may just do my own little 15 minutes toward quilting every day for the month anyway.

I may or may not check back every week, or even the end of the month, but I think I will “March-A-Long you little quilters. Drop & give me 20 … stitches.”

Feel free to join in the quiet power of doing lots of small steps to gain traction for a big goal!



34.9 March A Long 2014 – My progress and video

April 1, 2014

March A Long 2014

I had to cut my last post short due to video problems with the camera battery. After recording 3 times Sunda, I gave up trying on Sunday.

I also recorded this 3 times today due to video length. :) Here it is, my report & video.

What am I up to??

I cut the very last of my charm squares, I have them all baggied up.

Some of my cubbies have been reorganized while I watch episodes of mythbusters on netflix.

I participated in a few conversations on facebook about Modern Quilting (the aesthetic) vs modern (or contemporary) quilting (the movement).

Some on the Quilting groups too. I spammed the internet this weekend looking for things to do, participate in. People were being a little more quiet than I was hoping.

I uploaded some pictures & managed the guild roster on our guild website (major fun) & verified that changes were made on someone else’s website that referenced our guild (EXCITING FUN I KNOW!)

So much fun I had to dance with this quilt a little bit today.


I cursed at my vintage machine for a while when it kept breaking threads. Simply trying to do straight line quilting, no jerky motions, the machine was having none of it.

I tried:

  • rethreading top
  • rethreading bobbin
  • changing the bobbin thread
  • changing the top thread (brand AND spool)
  • holding onto those loose threads really tightly
  • changing the needle
  • changing the needle type
  • cleaning out the whole bobbin area for spare thread / lint
  • changing from FMQ (darning) foot to walking foot (haven’t used in a long time)
  • adjusting the tension on the top down

The last attempt on my vintage machine, I had seen a flicker in my light switch that related to the same power strip as my vintage machine and I decided there was potentially an electrical threat.

I haven’t had the machine looked at, and sometimes when I have used it, it sounds like it’s taking the motor time with catching up with the fact the foot pedal has been pressed in.

So now the machine has a cover. To keep me from staring at it longingly.


For another troubleshooting idea I decided to baste my little scrapitude quilt. To have something without a pieced back to quilt against and to have enough fabric left over for a test quilt on the side.

And I redecorated sorta. The blue & white quilt on the left top is a quilt I got at a quilt auction 3 years ago.


And this quilt I think our shop is selling the pattern, or was, as this was a quilt I got as an auction quilt made by our featured quilter. Not her usual style of quilts, but I really liked it.


I recap with my sergeant & my marching ants in the video below.

For those of you who like the voice & the ants.

In this video, I share my current book haul.

March-A-Long Post #1 & #2  & #3 & #4 & #5 & #6 for 2014

I am willing to part with these items as a thank you gift for a lucky someone (or three) to be determined by email from who I end up contacting in a couple of weeks.


I love that you have all went through this with me again for another year! All receive pats on the back weather or not we actually sewed every day. I think I missed 3 days total in March, which is EXCELLENT progress! Completely made up for it in other days!

So make sure if you haven’t already, sign up on the inlinkz for this week. Or leave a comment below.


34.8 March A Long 2014 – Report In for YOU

March 30, 2014

March A Long 2014

It’s after the last full week of March, and I wanted everyone to have a chance to check in for their March-A-Long progress.

March-A-Long (#marchalong on twitter) is a commitment & encouragement to sew or make some progress towards a quilting goal for 15 minutes a day during the month of March.

Great job to everyone sew far in getting their quilting goals to build discipline during the entire month of March! It’s all for fun and/or progress and/or skill building!

lake in march

DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES (*cough* camera-batteries *cough*) I am unable to get the video for this week recorded today. I do have off April 1st so I will have time on Tuesday to record & post a video for this blog.

I will wait & describe my fun I had with my FMQ in the blog post I will make on Tuesday. A large portion of it is already written.

But: Feel free to comment here about your week. I know it’s late in the game, but I am considering giving away a few items to one lucky person who has been generous enough to play along & report in their March-A-Long progress. Or maybe one item to 3 different people.

That will be revealed more on Tuesday.

For now, see a picture of my quilt backing for my card trick quilt. I pieced this together with sorta random fabrics from the quilt retreat I went to a month ago.

backing to card trick quilt

Love to hear what you’re all up to. March-A-Long Post #1 & #2  & #3 & #4 & #5 for 2014

Sign up on the inlinkz for this week. Or leave a comment below.


34.7 March A Long 2014 – Week 3 Report in

March 23, 2014

March A Long 2014

It’s after the third full week of March, and I wanted everyone to have a chance to check in for their March-A-Long progress.

March-A-Long (#marchalong on twitter) is a commitment & encouragement to sew or make some progress towards a quilting goal for 15 minutes a day during the month of March.

Great job to everyone sew far in getting their quilting goals to build discipline during the entire month of March. It’s all for fun and/or progress and/or skill building!

Love to hear what you’re all up to. What am I up to??

Monday/Tuesday, I decided borders for this quilt, and then I got the top all sewn together Wednesday!

blue sunshine quilt top complete in sunshine

And then I decided to make a little “internal sunshine” (Kati’s input on the name) on the back.

blue sunshine quilt back pieced

The quilt is basted and ready to be ‘ditch quilted’ (almost said ditched).

I called this: Mandy’s Blue Sunshine on Threadbias.

I also went vintage hat shopping. And some of you saw my hats on twitter.

several hats

Just for fun, I blinged up one of the kinda boring hats.

hat bling

I recap with my sergeant & my marching ants in the video below.

For those of you who like the voice & the ants.

In the video, I share my scrap management system with you all, with many baggies & cubbies.

March-A-Long Post #1 & #2  & #3 & #4 for 2014

Sign up on the inlinkz for this week. Or leave a comment below.


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