WordPress says this is my 600th post

The question is with which statistics?   Does that include everything converted over from Tblog and Blogger?

Frankly, I’m not sure the tblog stuff ever converted over, I should look into that.  I do know there are issues with some of the blogger pictures but I haven’t been motivated enough to look into it. Frankly motivation has been an issue of late.  Usually I have too many things I’m passionate about and have trouble deciding what to do.  Lately though, the only thing that interests me is hiding from the world by playing games on my iPhone.  It’s a totally unproductive activity and produces nothing.

It doesn’t add to my knowledge base, it doesn’t add to my network connections, it isn’t helping me find a new job, it doesn’t improve my chances of keeping the job I have, it doesn’t do anything to help me on achieving the goals I’m working toward, and it certainly doesn’t contribute to completing any of my hobby projects.  It’s strictly an escape.  I’ve learned one thing in life, if you need an escape, books are better places to do it than video games.  At least you come out of it with a better understanding of characters and life.  Very few of the video games I like teach life lessons.  Portal being the exception.  Maybe I’ll go do some science…

And the end of January 2013…

So the goal for this year is to put in at least 5 hours on every project on the WIP list.  I calculated if I work on at least 3 pieces a month, I’ll be able to touch everything.  So far I’m on track.  I actually touched four pieces in January.

The first piece is an apron that my great-grandmother started for me.  She put stitches in showing me what to do.  My grandmother worked on it too when I forgot how to do the stitches.  I asked my mother to put some stitches in and I don’t remember if she did or not but we’ll just say she did.  My daughter put some stitches in too, doing a full half of the outline on one of the leaves.  That makes five generations who have put in stitches on this apron.  Hopefully it will be viewed as an heirloom by my daughter who will receive this for her hope chest.

Since I had done a great job finishing things with very few new starts last year (in fact only one 2012 start is still on the WIP list). I figured I deserved a new start so I began Sentinel from Fire Wing Designs.  I put about 3 hours in on it and then I needed a travel piece so I grabbed my Blackwork Dragon and I haven’t wanted to put it down.  I’ve put 4 hours in on it and I’m not really in a mood to stop.  So that was my three, right?

Except Sarah asked me about beginner quilts and it hit me that I really should finish the instructions for the 9 patch beginners quilt, so 4 episodes of Supernatural later I have the finished quilt top and the two previous blog posts are the instructions to wrap up the original instructions posted in November 2009 (yep, it took a while to get back to it).

So that’s four projects touched during January, let’s see if I can keep it up during February.

During February, the goals are to make a baby quilt for my cousin, get the border done on Stars for a New Millenium and some more time in on both Blackwork Dragon and Sentinel and with any luck, work on one of my existing quilts.

Making a quilt top from the 9 patch blocks

So I went back and found my project from November of 2009 since the post from earlier this weekend.  It turns out that it may make more than 5 blocks.  Then again, I may have used 2 fat quarters, I’m not sure.

Strips I found when I opened the project box.

Strips I found when I opened the project box.

So for kicks and giggles I finished them up to see how many blocks I really had.

10 finished blocks

10 finished blocks

I have 10 blocks 5 of each color. The next step is to make sure they are all the same size.

Measure to find the smallest block.

Measure to find the smallest block.

So I measure all to find the smallest block and after I evened that one up (making it square to the shortest edge. I cut the other blocks down to that size in this case 6-1/4″

Then because I’ve been told that quilts with even numbered blocks aren’t really aesthetically pleasing (although my favorite quilt has 24 blocks). I added some blocks of solid fabric to place between the pieced blocks.

Cut 10 solid pieces the same size as the pieced blocks.

Cut 5 solid pieces the same size as the pieced blocks.

Then comes the fun part, layout.

Hm, I don't think 5 blocks will be enough.

Hm, I don’t think 5 blocks will be enough.

I cut 5 more of the solid blocks (used 2 fat quarters) for this layout.

27And hmm, we have an even number of blocks – 4 rows of 5 for a total of 20.

The next step is sewing the blocks together.  The nice thing about this layout is there’s no worrying about seams laying right, every seam on the block is going against a blank block.  I sew the blocks to make rows.

two sets of two rows

two sets of two rows

I learned early on that it’s a pain to try to stitch a single row to a section of three rows or more rows. So I usually start on both ends of the quilt and work toward the center.

So this seemed a bit small, great for a crib size or wall hanging though so I added some borders. First I added a 2 inch stop border.

Top with stop border

Top with stop border and mitered corners

Then I added a 6-1/2″ outer border.

Evening things out

Evening things out

After adding the side borders, I evened out the edge before putting on the bottom border.  I like having an even edge to work with.

Finished Quilt.

Finished Quilt.

And we have a finished quilt. If I remember right, it took 4 fat quarters for the 9 patch blocks, 2 fat quarters for the solid blocks, 1 fat quarter for the stop border and 4 fat quarters for the outer border. So at 11 fat quarters which I got on sale for $1.50, that’s not a bad price for a throw quilt.