Hibernation Sewing

Posted on February 16, 2021 by prairiemoonquilts in Quilts, Studio News

It’s been bitter cold and snowy here, and altho we don’t have it near as bad as folks further north, I still don’t like it much! We’re finally gonna have a high temperature above 0 degrees today for the first time in days, even tho as I write this, it’s still only -4 out. But the sun is shining, which always helps my mood.

Here’s how we have to dress to go outside for chores:

I have to admit it’s beautiful, altho deadly, if you think about it. I’ve been so worried about my animals (and the furnace) that I’ve been having trouble sleeping, so I’ve kept my nose to the grindstone sewing away to help keep my mind off it. And I have sewn a LOT! And slept very little.

The goats have been laying pretty low in their barns, coming out only occasionally to snack on a bit of hay and go right back in. When they ARE out, they stand around shivering. Blossom wouldn’t even come out at all one morning, and I had to take her breakfast in bed, and fluff her nest for her. I’ve sure gone through the straw bales this past week, trying to keep them in extra bedding so they can burrow in and keep warm!

They’ve ventured out this morning into the sunshine, tho, and I’ve tried to tell them that better days are finally coming soon. You can see Ranger at the bottom left of the big bale — he’s massively huge and this year even the hair around his neck got all wooly and curly. I’ll have to take a picture of it — it looks so funny and he’s never done that before. He is one of the least affected by the cold, simply because he’s so fat and wooly!

The cold doesn’t bother the sheep at all — I mean, after all, they’re wearing the best possible wool coats, right?

So . . .

Do you wanna see some of what I’ve been working on?

I’m adding the next log to my Temecula Quilt Company Down Home Darling Log Cabin quilt (that’s a mouthful!):

I finished my I Heart You quilt top:

I’ll be quilting it hopefully this weekend, since I have a recipient in mind and want to gift it soon. I have a pantograph with hearts that I will quilt on it. Here’s what I chose for the backing:

I follow Amanda @a.crafty.fox on Instagram, and she’s been posting about her Irish Chain quilt called Limerick, and she’s starting a sew-along for it. As I was cleaning up my gigantic pile that I challenged myself with in my last post, I came across an entire bin of green fabrics that I had pulled for something — something that I no longer have any intention of making.

It hit me that they were perfect for the Limerick quilt, and if I used them up, I wouldn’t have to try to find room for them back in my stash! So I pulled some low-volumes to go with them, purchased the pattern, and I’m ready to go! Cutting starts this Friday, so it’s not too late for you to join in on this one, if you want. Find the info HERE.

What? Doesn’t cleaning make YOU start new projects, too? In my defense, I’ve already finished one quilt top from the pile, and hope to finish a couple more tops from that pile before the month is over. Let’s not talk about how large my to-be-quilted pile is getting.

Amanda’s also having a read-along to go along with the sew-along, and I even bought the Kindle version of the book, and I’m ready to start on that, too!

I’ve been using 9-patches as my leader/ender pieces for most of the sewing I’ve been doing, and I completed an entire set for a comfort quilt I’ll be donating to my guild. I’m playing with the layout and will soon set them together (the lower right section is too dark — I need to do some rearranging):

I also made quite a few more blocks for my  Wild 9-Patch quilt. I need 360, and I don’t think I’m anywhere close to that number yet!

Since it’s only been 60 degrees in our house, with a windchill of 48, (haha — but also true) I’ve been spending a lot of time in my cozy chair with a blankie and hot tea, doing hand sewing, so I dug out my Daredevils blocks again, and hope to finish those up. This is Block 5:

Now, if I can just remember where I stashed Blocks 1-4 before I get done piecing Block 12, I’ll be doing good!

And I’ve still been cleaning and organizing. I try to organize some little something every day.

Last week, I picked up a bag of vintage fabric scraps, planning to just put them away where they belong, and when I started sorting them, I discovered that they were actually cut pieces for blocks! So I quick sewed one together to see how it would work, and this is what I came up with:

There are enough pieces for about 35 blocks, if I add a bit of background fabric, so I think I’m gonna keep going so I can use them up. My background fabric doesn’t match the vintage stuff, but I’m OK with that — I’ll call it “adding some charm”!

And yesterday, I pulled out a tote bag with knitting stuff in it. It contained a half-finished scarf, and the yarn for the border of an afghan I finished the center of years ago.

This afghan, knit way back when I used to knit fancier things, has been languishing for years, needing only the border. I have procrastinated because I don’t care for the knitted border the pattern calls for. So I pulled it out, decided to add a much simpler crocheted border to it, and got it all reorganized so I can finally finish it up. (I ditched the scarf project altogether, and put the yarn in the give-away box.) That sure felt good.

I’m on a serious mission to finish up and use up stuff from this studio, faster and faster than I have been. The more organized I get, the more organized I want to be! I’m taking that as a good thing.

I’m not a bit worried about having started so many new projects this year, because it’s using up stuff I don’t want to put back in my stash, and it helps keep things interesting for me. And, I’m finishing nearly as many things as I start (I’ll show you some of those soon), so hopefully my UFO list won’t grow too much. If I could just find time to quilt a few of my own quilts!

It’s obvious that a few “extra” things have crept back on to my cutting table:

But I’m serious about my new rules for it, so I’m giving myself this week to get it back under control. Some of these things are so close to finished that they will soon be gone, and I can clean up again.

So that’s how I’ve been spending my hibernation. Have you been trapped inside and getting lots of sewing done? I hope your weather is being kinder to you than ours is.

16 responses to “Hibernation Sewing”

  1. Laura says:

    I’m so excited you’re gifting the I Heart You Quilt to me, it is to me right?
    You do so much, you wear me out. It’s beautiful tho.
    I enjoy your newsletter and pictures a lot.
    I’m not too far from you so I know y’all are cold. The sun is shining and melting snow where we’ve shoveled our sidewalk. Sadly more coming overnight.
    Oh I have to tell you, my granddaughter is getting her first two baby girl goats this next week. I’m almost as excited as I am about the ❤️ quilt.

  2. christopher thomas says:

    you keep busy as well….which is a good thing…

    all you are working on looks good……

    now that they have cut our hours at work i will be hitting the sewing machine more this week and in the weeks to come…..

    i have goals that i want to get done and i will get them done

  3. Paula Hedges says:

    You have been busy! I can relate to your worry over the animals in the cold. The horse loves snow and most likely the extra hay in her stall. Chickens are snug in their coop with a heat lamp on, courtesy of my 24 year old who felt sorry for them. The young couple who live above us just got 3 goats who are also laying low during this bitter cold spell. I have been busy getting some UFOs quilted. Today is get the bindings on. I like to bind by machine those quilted items I know will see the inside of the washing machine on a frequent basis, like table runners and tablecloths, baby quilts. That will only leave me with a couple to finish by hand. Love your greens for the Irish Chain. I’ve been wanting to make that pattern, but now is not the time. Besides 3 tee shirt quilts I’m commissioned to make, I have to finish the hem of the chiffon skirt after she tries it on for a final check of length, and yesterday was called to replace a zipper on some coveralls. It is good to be busy!

  4. Randy Menninghaus says:

    wow, it is crazy here.. snowing snow falling goff the roof. dog visiting and barking at the falling snow. Daughter here. made a surprise visit . However she works form home so she has been either in the next room or in the wood stove room. I am waiting for a break so I can use the electric can opener. Still I am so glad to have her here.

  5. Karen E. says:

    I cleared off the cutting table and big board completely, but I must admit most of it is sitting on the landing rather than being put away. So I keep whittling away at the piles. I copied “PUT AWAY ONE ANNOYING PILE” onto a 3×5 card and it’s the only thing on the cutting table when I come to the studio every morning. It’s a good reminder to put a few things away before I start working on that day’s UFO.

  6. Becky Cogan says:

    I enjoyed reading about what all is going on in your life. I forgot about you doing the log cabin sew along. I wish I would have started one. It’s on my “wanna make sometime” list. Have you made all your blocks or are you going to make more?

  7. Cindy W says:

    You have lots on your cold busy plate! I took your advice on piles -cleaned up scrapes of batting. Some skinny ones for my cousin for dog beds. Now have piles of sizes for table runners etc but much neater. Like you, i find new projects when i organize. And the 2 be quilted piles are growing and stash is being used up. I am starting a pile to take to my cousin’s longarm – she lets me use it but she is in OK while i’m in KCMO.

  8. Amanda M. says:

    Your house sounds a lot like mine but the wind direction plays a role on the wind chill inside. My goose took a bath in the warm water I put in on his ice in his pan the other day. I watched to make sure he didn’t freeze to the pan. My chickens refuse to come out so I don’t open the door for daylight. The cows are thankfully on break on calving. I’m working on sewing piles of blocks into tops so when it warms up enough to fire up my long arm I’ll have plenty to keep me occupied. I’ve been spending quality time with both my iron and coffee pot this weather!

  9. Katie Z. says:

    I’ll be honest, being in recovery and hampered by the cold, I want to order new fabric!

    We had three sinks freeze and the furnace, but all are currently defrosted. Our worst temperatures were this morning (-13) and all the animals are still alive, so I think we’re going to make it. The chickens even decided to double egg production after we moved them to the shelter of the barn!

  10. Kerry says:

    I would be so worried at those extreme temperatures – more about the extremities, so I don’t blame the goats because I’d do the same. As for the sheep, the farmer here has put the lambs and mums out in the fields and they are so tiny, but seemed to fare perfectly well in the -4 temperature we had (wind chill something else!) but most were snuggled in a white mass near a thick hedge!
    I can’t even begin to imagine the cold you have to bear! Even so I looked like you when venturing out to do the ducks and chickens. The ducks are bonkers – they have shelters but prefer to perch in the open regardless looking forlorn. The chickens are having numerous adventures in the barn – even so their water froze a couple of times. We tend to get rain mostly. And boy, have we had some deluges!
    But summer is coming – don’t know what the groundhog said, but the flowers are coming up now when they should be out in April! Snowdrops, usually out in December/January have held back and are putting in a lovely show at the moment! Crazy weather and seasons!

  11. Suzanne Yerks says:

    You always have so much going on and still work on your own projects. I quilt for others, only have dogs and not a farm and I can never seem to get to my own makes. Then when I do get a spare few days I am tempted by sew alongs, ones that are easy projects and just get halfway before the next round or quilt tops arrive. I think it is the isolation, that I see my friends working on things and miss chatting and seeing them that adds to the “I need to start something” feelings.

  12. Marlene Clausen says:

    Yesterday, my bestie in Liberty, MO emailed me and said temp there was -9. Then, she sent a screen shot from our hometown, Denison, IA showing a -36. I’m in Chattanooga, TN and said, after that, I am NOT going to complain. It’s a chilly 22; but, no snow. Two hours later, yup, snow. However, it was flurries and only lasted a couple hours, no accumulation, and the sun came out. It didn’t warm up much. Am doing very little sewing this month. Have had cataract surgery on both eyes and my depth perception is waaaaay off making needle threading very frustrating. I can see the eye, just no idea which side of the needle the thread is on. Lots of embroidery work to keep busy . . . my embroidery machine auto threads!! I’ve made that vintage block and it makes into a beautiful quilt.

  13. I love the heart quilt! That is beautiful! I severely sprained my wrist and forearm in early Jan, so hoping to get out of my cast and get some projects done!

  14. Ginny says:

    Been busy with helping move snow almost everyday.
    Been concerned for our kids south. One in OK with furnace problems and thankfully landlord had a repairman there and fixed in less than 3 hours and also mixed with power outages. Power outages and shortages of LP giving fits for 2 TX families.
    Sewing room has been busy. Delivered four quilts to the quilter(2 new and 2 finished UFO’s) and 1 more UFO finished and waiting delivery.
    Now on to starting to pack for the midApril planned move to TX just south of Fort Worth a few miles where we have 2 sons and 1 with a family of 6 grandchildren.

  15. Diana S says:

    Finally back on line here. Went without power for 36 hours. Inside the house was down to the low 40’s by the time it came back last evening. Then it was on for 3 hours then to the rolling blackouts. Fortunately we have gas hot water and gas cooktop, not to mention lots of quilts! We managed. Hoping this is the end of a very unusual Texas for our part of the state.

  16. Darlene Y. says:

    Shelly, everything you have been working on is beautiful! That lacy afghan is a lot of hours can’t wait to see what you do w/the border. I have been dealing w/ same issue of starting new projects while cleaning up & finding things. Be safe out there w/ the weather and hoping your animals will all be ok.

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