Quilting the Circle of Geese

Oh how I have struggled trying to decide how to quilt the Circle of Geese quilt. I even revisited free motion quilting (FMQ), but decided that even though I am better, I cannot FMQ well enough to gift a quilt I have quilted that way yet. However, I am pleased that my stitch length is getting better. Maybe it is the Juki TL2010Q–a fantastic machine.

I have decided to do triangles, which you begin by quilting straight lines. I got the idea from Jacquie Gehring’s Next Steps with your Walking Foot class on Craftsy. I highly recommend the class and Craftsy in general. I have learned a LOT from my Craftsy classes. Craftsy doesn’t know I exist as a blog, so I get nothing from them for saying this. If you have never taken one of their classes, start with a free one. They offer free Block of the Month classes each year and the classes remain on line.

Anyway, below are photos of my progress. It is dark and dreary out, so my photos are not good, but I think you can get the idea.

geese   Diagonal lines prepping for triangles

triangles Triangles in every other row

FMQ my FMQ practice

All my practice FMQ pieces become catpads. This is Kassi, the kitten we brought back from Greece on her new catpad.


Ottlites and Toikka Birds

I bit the bullet and ordered TWO,not one, but 2! Ottlites today from a big box retailer who had them 50% off. I got the 36W floor lamp and the Cone LED desk lamp. That should give me some light!

Ottlite36W OttLiteLEDConeDeskLamp

Truthfully, I would not have done that even though I need more light over my ironing board in the evenings and at the sewing machine, but I am trying to spend money we have left for “replacement” items after a house fire two years ago. I only have a month to spend the money.

I try to support my local quilt shops, but some items I just have to go to the box store to get. Fifty percent off lights, 40% off batting, and 30-50% off Gingher scissors (and I love my Ginghers). I want my local shops to stay in business though, so they get my fabric (and sewing machine) purchases.

Back to the replacement items for the house. We have a number of “decor” items to replace, and you have to replace “like for like”, which is harder than it sounds because the insurance companies don’t really tell you what works until you file your claim.  However, I think I am safe with this item as decor – an iittila Toikka bird from Finland. I have wanted an iittila Toikka bird for years, but have refused to buy one because I think they are ridiculously expensive. Now, we have to spend money within one month, so why not buy something you have always wanted.

To explain why a Toikka bird: I taught English in Finland for a year back in the early 90s. Because I was just starting out in teaching, I wasn’t making a lot of money at the time, and Finland is pricey. I kept looking at the iittila Toikka birds–drooling over is more like it–but could never justify the expense. This evening I bought a Toikka bird! I am so excited! Handblown glass from Finnish designers–this one the 2015 Lakla bird. It’s “story” is below the image.

iittala-toikka-lakla-2015-annual-bird-2 iittala-toikka-lakla-2015-annual-bird-35

“Inspired by a 19th century Finnish folk collection of poetry called the Kanteletar, Lakla (Bean Goose) is an imaginative character who acts as a lawyer for a willow warbler accused of stealing grain from a field. Lakla’s emerald color is an ode to the forests, which hold mysticism and meaning not only in Finnish literature but living, too.” http://www.finnstyle.com/iittala-toikka-lakla-annual-bird.html#

Love the color and the story! I’ll post actual photos once the bird arrives.

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’ll get back to sewing tomorrow evening. I am currently letting quilting pattern ideas percolate through my brain. Quilting is not my best skill, but to improve, I both piece and quilt.

Word for 2016: Experiment

I am joining the line-up of people posting their words for 2106. Mine is experiment. Through experimentation, I will have failures, successes, and mediocre results, as well as frustration and joy. Despite this, experimenting is how we learn–through failure, through repetition, through perseverance. So I am going to experiment!

This blog is an experiment. Can I consistently post 3 times a week for 52 weeks? That is my experiment. Can I find enough of interest to say that people will bother to read my blog or even follow it?

I will experiment with new blocks, like the circle of geese block below from Piece by Number. Paper piecing does not come easy to me, but this was actually fun. I made some mistakes, but got better.


I NEED to experiment with photography. My photos need improvement. I am going to try each month to improve and begin using a better camera, though I have to admit that my husband is not enthused about sharing his camera. Eventually I will buy one of my own. For now, I will share and spend the money on fabric. 🙂

I know there will be other experiments throughout the year, so I am going to relax and enjoy the journey. Here’s to a great 2016!