Posts Tagged ‘fifteen minute challenge’


43.8 More Ruler Work Observations from Beginner – MAL 2019

March 9, 2019

I am staying as true as possible to the quilt for 15 minutes challenge for the month of March – aka March A Long. The only date that might have been missed was Friday. Even on Thursday when I was feeling a little under the weather, I looked through some designs in books that have been sitting on the shelf for years.

I have been staying on my free motion / ruler work for quilting working on my practice project.

Last week I did some cross hatching, this week, I tried out the football curved ruler.

A little bit of practice every day. One day was the outline of two footballs offset on the same row, the next day was the pebbles.

I filled in the corners with this weird gap thing set aside for something and the swirls that I almost see as my default traveling pattern.

I have found that instead of a generic meander, I tend to go with swirls as a “I don’t know what filler to go next with” filler to get from place to place and to speed up.

As you may notice I have a strange red thread design in the center of these white patches.

I did this with the marking pen around the ruler for the center of the design. This was to practice using my marking pen. I am not known to do a ton of marking or registration marks on my quilting. The pen took a while to get used to being used again, but seemed to do decent with the initial design.

This was before tackling any of the “rulers on the machine” work. Then I echoed it. Three times. Uhhh… two echoes, three lines.

Anyway, I am mostly happy with the work I did on the first pass, but my echoing skills leave a lot to be desired.

I am wondering what about this is hard for me to do correctly. Is it that I go too fast, or I can’t see well enough or I just “lose where I am” a little, or am a little careless, or I try to “make up for previous passes” by making a change the next echo and then actually make it worse.

Granted, this would be better if the thread color actually matched the background.

This is a small issue I have to work out on my own. This quilt has both light and dark patches, and for some reason, I have decided to make it all symmetrical. Same shapes in each corner, same threads. Sometimes it means that the thread color contrasts, the other times it blends. More or less.

I am finding myself feeling moments of “rush” with this quilt. It is practice, I did not piece it. I do not see it hanging in my house, or given to someone else. I don’t know if it would be “good enough” to donate to the local hospital or not (for a lap quilt), I am mostly going through the motions on this quilt to really use as practice.

So I am periodically “speeding up” through some of the quilting.

When I first started, I was having lots of shredding thread issues. Because of that, I lowered the tension “way down”. So what did that cause? Eyelashes.

I went through the entire corner blue section with this rushed, low tension top which caused the back to eyelash incredibly badly throughout.

I am finding it hard to make myself stop and figure out what I am doing wrong, just getting through the section of practice without doing as much learning as I “could be.”

Since I was needing more practice echoing, I decided to use the curved rulers to help me out on echoing this.

And then finding a fill that works too. This worked well. I am amazed at how much I get confused or frustrated when turning the quilt around to the the other side of the design. Somehow now doing the same shape, in the same way, on the same kind of quilting background, I feel more frustrated on the 2nd half than the first half. Almost every time.

I am finding myself hitting the ruler on the machine, or getting it stuck behind where the foot gets in the way.

At least I figured out that the more I can do on the machine in one direction, the better off I seem to be. The first few circles/loops, I was turning all the way around instead of working “just the tops,” or “just the bottoms”.

I think if this machine was a higher shank machine with more throat space, this task would seem way easier at the moment.

Which I have to use what I have at the moment. I need to start a fund for getting either a Juki or something bigger like a sit down 16 HQ. But that, being down the road a bit, will have to wait. It’s hard to say, because I do really like piecing a LOT, and designing a LOT, and for those activities I only need the machine I have now.

I hate to come away from this post feeling negative about the whole experience. I am not feeling that way necessarily.

This is fun, I might need to figure out how to move on to my real projects pretty soon though. Keep my tension in check. Watch for my foot slipping off the screw and falling down – something that happened this morning and caused issues trying to get through some of the tough seams on the underside in particular.

This is really nice, and I am glad I am working on this, and I know in a few short weeks I will be piecing again.

This is my stopping point at the moment. I need to get on and do a few other things this weekend. I have a plan for the other four corners in this section, and I have three of them to do still. I really hope this practice quilt doesn’t take the entire month of March to quilt, but as long as I March-A-Long and keep at it, I will eventually be done! And I will have a nice reference too!


24.7 15 Minute Report for Life in Pieces

March 28, 2012




Oh yeah, that.



Sir, yes sir.

Two weeks ago, I —


Last week, I worked on another alternate block.

Then sewing a few more 6 inch blocks for the back of my quilt.


No, sir, the back. I am sewing and designing the back of my quilt.


Sir, I fully expect to see the front and back of this quilt when in use sir, I want to be able to enjoy both, sir.



No si……



I slept sir. One day. Was exhausted sir, I needed to rest sir.


Not true! The other days I worked on fabric acquisition, assimilation and integration sir.


Acquisition – buying fabric

Assimilation – washing fabric

Integration – ironing, folding and sorting fabric.


Yes sir. Sir?


I decided to make a fake quilt sir. I used a Fibonacci print and I cut it out of the fabric. And I put a border around it.


Yes, sir, just up and decided to use the fabric sir.

There were so many stacks. So many stacks of scraps.


I don’t know how this is going to work, sir. The box filled with scraps and blacks and white is full even before adding the sample block and instructions.


Yes I could acquire a better scrap storage system to pass around as a pizza box. Sir, I realized that ‘providing a majority of fabrics’ for a scrap quilt isn’t all that much fun because you have so much to anticipate for others to use together for several months into the future.



Here sir!


Oh yeah, here’s the link to Life in Pieces.






24.6 SQ Episode 039 – March A Long Report March 25

March 26, 2012

Podcast Feed

*editors note, going to post these show notes, but audio has been having issues. Will publish to see if the site works & diagnose any issues in the afternoon. Problems are with the hosting site.*

Reporting in our 15 minute stars of the week!

Also a shorter account of my own week of sewing. Some designing (you saw it already, I’m going to do the last one on that post)

Organizing and buying fabric. Sewing with my friend.

I started on a second quilt top for the back of my exothermic quilt. Yes, that’s way more work, but hey, I had them done already, just had to piece it together.

More to come on this.

And I named her!



Sounds like Darla (sorta) and is a diva in one of my favorite (phantom) stories ever.

And the name is italian origin.

Additional Music

Must be a Word by The Rubinoos


23.4 Fifteen Minute Report March 6 for Life in Pieces

March 6, 2012

Reporting in the 15 minute challenge, sir!


Yes sir, I did get sewing in every day last week, with the exception of last Tuesday sir.


No sir, I did not actually plug in my sewing machine, sir. It’s hand sewing. And prepping, sir. Important tasks for sewing later, sir.


No sir, I haven’t been consistently reporting, sir. Not this year, sir.


Yes sir, I realize that Kate from Life in Pieces would like my project report, sir.


Yes sir, I realize that it could be a little confusing with the dates sir. Tuesdays report to Kate, use the link-up. Then Saturdays in March report here sir.


Here, sir.


For the podcast March A Long Sir.  The special goal to get as many people sewing 15 minutes every day for the entire month of March as possible, sir.


Yes sir:


Most of it is just paper, sir.


Here’s what I want to do as a scrappy quilt, what I was drawing in EQ7 on Saturday. Isn’t it pretty, sir?

I want to make it scrappy, sir.


Scrappy means that all the pieces are different fabrics, but similar color values, sir. And I want to have my guild help me with the Pizza box challenge coming up, sir.


…Dismissed soldier!….