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My Creative Journal

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January 2021


Ohio Star Block for "Uniting States of America"


Pennsilvania block for "Uniting States of America"


Georgia block for "Uniting States of America"


Michigan block for "Uniting States of America"


Gift Wrap for Three Kings Day


Attempted Coup


Flock of Geese for "Uniting States of America"



Wisconsin block for "Uniting States of America"


Unraveling blocks for "Uniting States of America"


Started banner for "Uniting States of America"


Map border for "Uniting States of America"


Layout banner for "Uniting States of America"


Finish quilt top for "Uniting States of America"


Quilt-in-the-ditch for "Uniting States of America"


Continue to quilt-in-the-ditch for "Uniting States of America"


Other quilting details for "Uniting States of America"


Squaring and triming for "Uniting States of America"


Binding for "Uniting States of America"


Paint and Sip Day


Hand sew lower edge for "Uniting States of America"


Photoshoot in Baltimore


Finishing edges for "Uniting States of America"


Applique banner for "Uniting States of America"


Fix banner for "Uniting States of America" enter Connections exhibit


Mid Atlantic Quilt Fest

January 1

block pattern

This block is definately not my style but it is part of the new quilt I am working on. The idea for this quilt came to me after the elections in November when everyone seemed to be hating the other side. Everyone is so divided right now. I have never seen it this bad. I was thinking of another time when we have been this divided and thought of the Civil War. Not that I think it is going to get that bad but thought of making a Civil War themed quilt that appeals to unity. So I am making blocks of that time with old looking fabrics. I may need to go to the shop and buy some because I don't own too many. Went thru my stash and found this dark brown fabric that I inherited after my ex's grandmother passed away. I used every little bit of it I had left. I have had this little scrap of fabric for over 15 years. It has moved with me thru 3 different states. Glad I found a good use for it.

After finishing the block, I was pretty happy about how well it turned out. The points are mostly matching. I feel like when people talk about famous painters and they say "he can paint great realistic traditional landscapes but he chooses to create this chaotic abstract painting instead".

January 2 Return to top

block pattern

Happy Accidents

So at first I was just thinking of making blocks that were used during Civil War times. I researched Civil War quilts and picked some blocks at random without knowing details of the blocks. When I went to add today's block, I looked up the name. Turns out the name of the block is Pennsilvania which is one of the states that has been in the middle of all this election mess. I think I'm going to look up blocks with names of the states that are being contested in the election. Stay tuned...

January 3 Return to top

block pattern

A Cold Civil War

Today I did a Georgia block. Turns out that today a phone call to Georgia's Secretary of State from Trump was leaked where he seemed to be pressuring the SOS to find votes for him to turn the Georgia election. Tuesday there is a Senate election in GA that will decide who has the Senate majority. So Georgia is on everyone's mind. I added a peach fabric to the peach state. After going thru my stash again trying to avoid going fabric shopping, I found the minty green fabric that is also came from my ex's grandmother. Always save your scraps.

Today I heard a phrase in the news that I think is a good description of what we are going thru in the US. A Cold Civil War. Now I wish I had used blues but it is too late for that now.

January 4 Return to top

block pattern


Starting to loose steam. I still have to do a few more blocks but I'm getting bored. I thought I had bought more of the fabric in the background of the map but now i can't find it. I refuse to buy more. After I finsh the quilt, I'm sure i'll find it.

January 5 Return to top

gift wrap

Three Kings Gifts

No time to work on my quilt today. Tomorrow is Three Kings Day and I needed to wrap some gifts for the famaly. The picture was taken while my family was opening presents. As you can see next to the gift I'm holding my phone where Mami was watching the gift opening in Puerto Rico.

January 6 Return to top

Attempted Coup

As crazy as that sounds, that's what happened today in this country. So in addition of celebrating Three Kings Day with my family at night, the day was spent switching channels and reading Twitter to see what was going on in the nations capital. So no, I had no time to do anything creative today.

January 7 Return to top

Flock of Geese

Today I was reading about Civil War quilts I read a little more about how quilt patterns were used as code for the slaves in the Underground Railroad so decided to add a block about it. Just had time to make the half-square triangles. Tomorrow I'll put them together. Read article .

underground railroad

January 8 Return to top

Busy work

goofing around with leftover block pieces

Today I finished putting together the geese block and started the Wisconsin block. I also goofed around with left over HST on different layouts to come up with different layouts. I'm getting bored and my mind is wondering and that is not good when I have a dealine. I have to finish this quilt by the end of the month to enter it in a SAQA exhibit .

January 9 Return to top


all complete blocks done

Today I finished the Wisconsin block and started to make the unraveling blocks that are going to be on the bottom. I found the map background fabric I had lost. It was hiding under something right in front of me. Glad I didn't go to buy some more. Also glad I finished the complete blocks.

January 10 Return to top

Putting it all together

a complete block going unused

Today I put the complete blocks together and started making the unraveling blocks at the bottom. Originally I thought of making some complete and some unraveling for that row but I finished a complete one and it looks out of place. So I have to make them all unravelling.

January 11 Return to top

Started banner

banner boo boo

Today I started the banner for the quilt. The banner will say "Only Truth, Love and Respect will keep our nation from unraveling." Initially I was going to say "Only Love and Respect..." but with everything going on I see how important is the truth. One side thinks one set of facts and the other side thinks another set of facts. Someone must have the wrong facts. Until we agree on that, we can't move forward.

I printed the words on the fabric and printing fabric on a printer is always a little tricky. This time I got ink messing up part of the banner so I had to reprint. Tomorrow I'll finish it up.

January 13 Return to top

Laying out the banner

testing layouts

Today I tried out different layouts for the banner. Nothing is final until it is sewn down (maybe not even then) but I think I like the middle layout best.

I wanted to have the end of the banner unravelling but couldn't figure out how to make that happen so then I thought of burning the end. I'm a little afraid of fire in general so I went to the kitchen sink with the tab open. Used a lighter to burn the end and put it under the running water as quickly as I could.

banner detail

January 14 Return to top

Finished Quilt Top and Backing

quilt back

Photo taken after quilting

Today I put all the quilt top pieces together. It measures 36" x 36". I will add the banner once I'm quilting it. Appliquing it and quilting it at the same time. Today I also joined together pieces to have a backing fabric big enough for the back. I could get a piece of fabric big enough but this makes it more interesting :) I put the part of the banner that got messed up on the back.

January 15 Return to top

In the ditch

quilt in the ditch

Today I layered, basted the quilt to get it ready to quilt. Before doing any fancy quilting, I quilt in the ditch of the mayor pieces. This gives stability to the quilt and also accentuates the pieces of each block. It is a lot of work pushing and shoving the quilt in the machine but looks so nice. I quilted the bottom blocks. Tomorrow I'll do the top blocks.

January 17 Return to top

Finish quilting details

quilting details

Today I finish quilting by adding the remaning details. I quilted a diagonal grid to the background of the map. The pattern in the fabric already formed a diagonal grid so there was no need to mark it. Just follow the print. Then I quilted in the ditch between the lines of the flag/map and free motion quilted free-form stars in the blue section of the flag.

While I was quilting the background grid, I realized I had done everything backwards. The correct order of quilting would have been to start in the center and then quilt to the outside edges quilt. That would help to keep the excess bulk pushed out instead when I was quilting the center the quilt there was a lot of extra bulk that I could have avoided. I'll blame it on beign out of practice since I haven't quilted something this size in a while.

January 19 Return to top



I bound the three straight adges of the quilt with the dark brown fabric I used in some of the blocks. It is machine sewn in. It looks better by hand but it is a minor detail and it saves a lot of times when done with the machine. I love this stage of the quilt when everything is almost done and finished. It a good feeling to finish something (eventho there is still a lot to do).

January 20 Return to top

Family Paint & Sip


This week my family is been on a Staycation. Because of Coronavirus we can't travel anywhere. We decided that every day one person would decide what we were going to do. Today my niece Tarina decided we were going to paint and drink. I made a paint for each family member. I'm not a great painter but I'm fast!

January 22 Return to top

Hand sew bottom edge

bottom edge

This was tricky. It does not look as great as it should but it will do. There may be some edges that are not very secure and may unravel some in the future but that may add to the whole idea of the quilt.

January 23 Return to top

Baltimore Family Photo shoot

my family

To end our staycation, I scheduled a photo shoot in Fells Point in Baltimore. It was a really cold day and it was even colder near the water. We got out, took photos and ran back to te car. I scheduled the photographer thru Shoott.com and had a good experience with the service. I'll probably do it again. Eventho the photographer thought I was the grandmother of the family. :(

January 24 Return to top

Finishing edges

my family

Today I finished all the edges that still needed some hand sewing. Now the quilt edges are officially finished! I have a few details to add but it is almost done!

January 28 Return to top

Appliqued Banner

banner boo boo

I have a a lot of actual work from the J.O.B. so I haven't had a lot of time or energy to work on my quilt. Time is running out to enter the exhibit. Today I attached the banner. After looking at it, I don't like how far apart are the two sections of the banner so I am going to unsew one section and applique it closer. Ugh! slow going...

January 30 Return to top

Appliqued Banner

finished quilt

Today I unsewed and resewed the banner. Took pictures. Fixed the pictures and entered the exhibit! SAQA is a very artsy group and I'm afraid that my quilt is too traditional for them. So eventho I think the quilt is good, I'm a little skeptical about getting in the exhibit. Crossing fingers... The front is finished but I still have work to do to the back. I need to attach the bottom of the hanging sleeve, sew a label and sign it. Hopefully I'll get it done tomorrow and start February with a clean slate.

January 31 Return to top

Mid Atlantic QuiltFest and more

Well today wasn't spent like I planned. I realized the deadline to enter the Mid Atlantic Quilt Fest is tomorrow. I had to take additional photos for another quilt I'm entering, "Waiting for Better Times" and for "Uniting States". Now that the shows are only online, the quilts are judged by photos only so you need to send more detailed photos. I entered the competition and met with a group of quilters that meets once a month over Zoom. That took the entire day.

Since I don't feel too optimistic about getting in the Connections exhibit, it is good to have other possibilities going to not get too discouraged with the inevitable rejection letters. The Vermont Quilt Festival entries open tomorrow and I'm planning to enter also. I should look for other opportunities that are not quilt-specific.

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