Saturday, March 7, 2020

Hotter than I thought- 2019 Temperature Quilt

I took this picture on New Years Eve.  A pretty gorgeous day for a classic photo shoot on the front porch and I happened to have available two grown ups with long arms to hold it.  The beast is 91"x98" and if you're wondering why I didn't have to wait until the January to call the top done - it's because the final block for 12/31 will be the label on the back. 

In April I shared HERE the status so far.  Little did I know that later in the year we'd have a record breaking heatwave.  Historical Average High of 77 turned out to be 103. Triple digits are unheard of and yet it happened and more than once. 

The project came with me to a Retreat in March and again in September.  You can see the "holes" where I worked ahead leaving the TBD gaps.  I worked in three sections (approx 4 month chunks) so that I wouldn't have to drag the entire top with me and hog the design wall. 

Lesson Learned 

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen the progress step by step and may have read today's post in response to IGQuiltFest prompt: "Lesson Learned" 

"Best laid plans are subject to change- Embrace that as part of the journey. Make decisions along the way and keep going.  

When I embarked on the making of my #temperaturequilt2019 I determined the fabric color brackets with TBD above 81 degrees because we (typically) have mild weather. This way I could get going with months of progress before facing that hurdle.  I don’t regret the approach because all of the “what if“ and “should I“ scenarios were paralyzing my confidence to commit to a year long project and I could have otherwise stopped me in my tracks and done nothing. 

We can only forecast the future based on what we know and we should expect to wrong a good part of the time. That’s okay. 

How we choose to deal with it when our plans get derailed is also part of the experience.  Would I have made different brackets if I’d predicted the heatwave? Probably. Does it matter? Absolutely not. The quilt chronicles my creative choices along the way which hold a higher value than a statistically accurate representation. 

Memories of my 6 year old granddaughter reading the day’s temperature, writing the numbers, finding the corresponding color on the chart and selecting which two fabrics to sew - that’s what I’ll remember. Hopefully she will too.  The finished top is ready for quilting."

I think my hubby and pup are glad to have the project off the design wall in our living room.  It was a semi-perminant fixture all year long.  Unlike some makers, I didn't make a block a day but more often a week strip at a time.  There are a lot of parts left since I cut the rectangles ahead without calculating what I might need.  Considering that I missed the bracket mark by six - I'm pretty sure if I had attempted to guess how many of each color was needed I'd have as many parts as I do anyway.

Worth Repeating

Monthly Markers on IG include an image of something I've sewn the previous month.  My temperature quilt made an appearance twice - a little self-imposed rule bending. 

Did you see the recently announced Modern Quilt Guild plans for a 2022 QuiltCon Special Exhibit of Temperature Quilts made by their members?  Very exciting news.

Happy Stitching.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

BeeSewcial 2019 Blocks

2019 Blocks
I've compiled the entire year into one post this time.  Yes, every single one of the BeeSewcial blocks deserves to be featured (and some have) but it just feels like making this happen now - before more time goes by - is the best  and most realistic approach to documenting them.

Energy for Leanne
17”x21” “Energy “ for @shecanquilt Dark blue background with a palette that I’ve grown to identify with.  I was able to hand deliver the block to Leanne in person at QuiltCon last week.

Enthusiasm and excitement is infectious and when we surround ourselves with good vibes, great people and positive energy, it’s pretty awesome.  For me, Creative energy is also a balancing act that has an ebb and flow, requiring a recharge to avoid burnout. 

Style of Sonia Delaunay for Ken
For @thekingslacker.  It measures 13”x27” with three sides trimmed and one left for him to puzzle. Fantastic time expressing myself in the style of Sonia Delaunay, an artist who I was not familiar with but certainly can relate to and appreciate. The colors are so "me".   Like many of the bee blocks that i make and mail off, this is one that I would like to supersize and make into a larger quilt.  Not an exact replicate but in the spirit of. 

Inspired by Roberto Burle Max landscapes for Sylvia 
16”x23”  block inspired by the art and landscape architecture of Roberto Burle Marx for @astrangerview .  This one was interesting with a palette so different for me. Working with a 3D subject matter to translate to 2D was also facinating.   I really loved trying to capture shadow and am pleased with the graphic design that i ended up with.  There was quite a lot of cropping and decision making along the way. 
Maxi Scrappy Stripes for M-R

15”x27” August block for @quiltmatters Improv stripes prompt, varied widths, warm with extra orange and a 1/2” edge-to-edge light gray. The end result reminded me of a strip of juicy fruit gum.  There were comments from my local guild mates about how they were inspired by the block and thought " hey, I could do that" which I think is great.  It doesn't have to be complicated to be appealing. 

Modular for Debbie
Composing and constructing the Modular block for @aquilterstable BeeSewcial prompt was the biggest creative challenge in 2019.  I enjoyed the process and the results but haven’t struggled getting to the finish line that much in a while-looks innocent enough which I suppose is a good thing.  Trying to include subtle color variations and sew in the curved pairs tucked around one another just right with the negative spaces visually pleasing was a rough road.  A quilting journey with a happy ending though.  I'm please so report that Debbie has finished the quilt. 

Portraits for Felicity 
Introducing “Nat”, short for Natalie (or short for NATional Quilting Day when  she was born). She’s sporting a new hairdo with a streak of gray as a nod to transitioning to my natural color. #beesewcial March prompt Humanoid number 2.  I gotta say, she’s a sassy fun one and I had a blast creating her for you @felicityquilts 
Portraits for Felicity 
Meet Marley , 15”x17.5” humanoid number one for @felicityquilts He was created while on retreat and has a sort of cat like vibe.  The palette however brings to mind "Don't worry be happy" so that is how he got his name. 

Improv Play for Marci 
#BeeSewcial blocks for @marci_girl 2.5” 3.5” 4.5” Improv play . These were fun to make creating a bite here and there. As you can see I gravitate to a “bigger” canvas to compose on so there’s fewer tiny ones.  Making these "nibbles" was a nice change up from the large ones that are more commonly made. 
Bee Counted for Stephanie
2019 #beesewcial kicks off with a finished 13.5”x25” block for Stephanie @spontaneousthreads “Be (Bee)Counted” tally marks of our choice.  I love that our members are from all over.  It’s pretty much the only time I visit the post office to mail my blocks each month. Mine represent the five digit zip code for Capitola, using spacing for the zeros 95010 and the significance of the red diagonal dash on the five is in honor of our 5th year as a bee.  Freehand rotary and scissor cut for the sections with rulers used to true up. My poor penmanship extends itself to hashtags so they aren’t neat. Intentional irregularity was tricky but fun.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

2020 Finish-A-Long

Hello and welcome to the 2020 Finish-A-Long!
I've added a new tab 2020 FAL on the blog with the following information but wanted to also make a post to point out the changes.  The biggest one of course is that you won't be linking up as you've done in the past - the format has been simplified and participation will be Instagram based instead.  I hope that you'll continue (or start) to join in the FAL fun.  


Rhonda - Founder & Administrator - IG @rhonda.j.laws

Cami - Administrator - IG @camislero


Marci of Marci Girl Designs - IG @marci_girl

Ella of Throw A Wench in the Works - IG @ellathrowawench

Karen of Capitola Quilter - IG @capitolaquilter (that's me)

Sarah of Sarah Goer Quilts - IG @sarahgoerquilts

Sharla of Thistle Thicket Studio - IG @thistlethicketstudio

Lynne of Tinking Along - IG @tinkingalong


Instagram - @finishalong
Facebook - Finish-A-Long
Twitter - @FinishALong1
Email -


From Rhonda the founder and creator of the FAL:
The Finish-A-Long started back in 2012 as a way for me to keep track of all the stuff I wasn’t getting done. I was just starting my blog (my podcast was on the horizon) and wanted to “play” with my other blogging friends. A few of my blogging friends, as well as myself, knew online shop owners who were just getting started and were willing to be sponsors. 

Eight years later, it is this wonderful network of people who all work toward the same goal - to finish a project started prior to the beginning of the current quarter. And the bonus….when you finish a project and follow some simple rules, you are entered in a drawing.


Quarter 1
Q1 Lists by Sunday, 1/19/20                  #2020FALQ1List
Q1 Finishes by Wednesday, 4/8/20     #2020FALQ1Finish

Quarter 2
Q2 Lists by Sunday, 4/19/20                  #2020FALQ2List
Q2 Finishes by Wednesday, 7/8/20     #2020FALQ2Finish

Quarter 3
Q3 Lists by Sunday, 7/19/20                  #2020FALQ3List
Q3 Finishes by Wednesday, 10/7/20   #2020FALQ3Finish

Quarter 4
Q4 Lists by Sunday, 10/18/20                #2020FALQ4List
Q4 Finishes by Friday, 1/8/21                #2020FALQ4Finish


It's the start of a new decade and with this fresh start it was decided that the Finish-A-Long could use a fresh start too!  This year will be a little different to play along but still super easy.  Participants post their lists and finishes (just like last year) but it will be exclusively on Instagram.  Participants must use the hashtags listed above when posting either their one list by the deadline of the quarter or their multiple finishes anytime before the end of the quarter. They need to post finishes individually (just like last year) using the correct Finish Hashtag. 

The main difference from previous years is that there will be no linking up on the hosts blogs but rather everything will be entered via Instagram and the use of the hashtags.  If you don't use the hashtags, you aren't officially playing along.

A participant who wants to play along anytime during this year needs to post on Instagram one list of wips (one post with multiple photos or a collage) with the hastag #2020FALQ1List before January 19, 2020.  You can skip the first quarter and play along for quarter 2 if you so desire, just post your Q2 list anytime between April 8, 2020 - April 19, 2020.

During the quarter anytime a participant finishes a project (whether it is 1 week into the quarter or two months into the quarter) they would then post a finished photo of the project on Instagram with the hashtag #2020FALQ1Finish.  They would continue to do this everytime they finish a project during the quarter.


  1. The finishes and lists must be posted in the current quarter and by the current quarter deadline with the correct hashtag.
  2. All qualifying finishes will be put into a prize draw, and the names/numbers drawn at random for each of the prizes donated by our sponsors for that quarter. An extry will count as per post with the correct hashtag; therefore, check your hashtag and create a new post for each finish. 
  3. In order for your projects to be eligible, they must at least be a tangible project at the start of the quarter.  That means, at the very least, a fabric pull matched to a pattern, a quilt top needing to be quilted, or a half knit jumper. I love seeing your bee blocks, but they won't count unless you happen to be turning them all into a fully completed quilt!
  4. A finish is defined as a completely finished project, eg a quilt, quilted and bound, a bag that's fully lined and functional, or a jumper that one could wear out in public. I'm happy for you if you get a quilt top completed in one quarter, but hold onto it for the next quarter and see if you can get it quilted and bound before entering, please.
  5. You won't be punished if you don't finish your entire list, so feel free to make a big list and roll projects over from one quarter to the next if you need to. However, you must re-post that list. 
  6. Each quarter you will have ONE List post using ONE List hashtag and MULTIPLE Finishes posts using the SAME hashtag. The correct hashtag will always be in the profile @finishalong.
  7. The FAL is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.


Coming Soon!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

FAL Q4 Finishes Link up

We have reached the end of Quarter 4 of the 2019 Finish-A-Long!!  Of course, this means it is now time to link up those finishes from the list you linked up in October. We hope that you have been able to complete a lot of the UFOs from your list and have had an overall successful year.

The 2019 FAL is hosted by a great community of bloggers. This year our hosts are:

Each finish you link up will be in the draw for great prizes, so let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:

Aurifil Logo
Winner's Choice of 1 Large 12 Spool Collection
Sew Sweetness Logo
$80 Gift Certificate

2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

Fat Quarter Shop Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Sew Me a Song Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Happy Quilting Logo
3 PDF Patterns

2 PDF Patterns

Blossom Hearts Quilts Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Make Modern Logo
1 Six Month Subscription
Bonjour Quils Logo
2 PDF Patterns

Hillstitches Logo
$30 Fabric Voucher

2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

The 2019 Quarter 4 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on all host blogs.

Link-up "Rules":

Add one link for each finish.  If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately.  Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws. 

Please ensure that the photo (Instagram or Flickr) or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the right quarter, too). On Instagram the best way to do that is to tag your photos with #2019FALQ4yourname (where yourname is unique to you), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your list, which also should have this tag.

Please become part of the FAL community.  Check out the links of others and leave a comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other.  The 2019 FAL Facebook page is HERE and you can follow us on Instagram @finishalong.

Our hosts will also link up their finishes to share in the community but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.

The Q4 Finishes link will stay open from now thru 11 pm, EST, Thursday, January 9, 2020 - as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. You can also see how much time is left below the linked up images on the right.  It is best to link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out.  The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings.  We will post the winners on each host's blog.

2019 Q4 Finishes Link Up:

Sunday, December 29, 2019

2019 Recap and My Best Of

It's that time of year again believe it or not.  Pulling together a recap is always a challenge in itself but I am glad to be participating in the BEST OF 2019 linky party with Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.  

I'm choosing these Best Five for 2019  EYESPortraitsTemperature Quilt, Capitola Coral  and Dedicated to Design    Here's my blog post from last years linky party  Top Five 2018 .

Finished quilts
With lightning speed another twelve months has flown by and since a new decade is upon us it feels even more notable.  The finished mosaic above features   1. QuiltCon Mini swap which I'm assuming was my first of the year made in January and swapped in Nashville in person 2. Surface Stripes, this one I love, love, love and will lead to more exploration for sure.  It is among the many wonderful quilts that are (affectionately) hash tagged #QuiltConRejects  3. "Abstract Whimsy" was beautifully quilted by my sister and unfortunately won't be showing at QuiltCon either.  4.  "Solo Choke" 20x20 challenge mini won a ribbon at local(ish) Artichoke Festival 5. "Eyes" BeeSewcial was juried into the QuiltCon Group/Bee category and will be seen in Austin in February 6. Wedding quilt, started in a workshop with Sujata Shaw and happily finished and gifted. 7. Baby quilt, started in a workshop with Kathy Doughty and happily finished and gifted 8. "Nat's cousin Mini" Curated Quilts applique portrait challenge will be published in their mini gallery - it is a nod to my bee block from earlier and my final finish of the year. 9. " Oppostripes" also juried in to QuiltCon, the challenge category - you guessed it - Stripes!

Finishes (other than quilts)
There was some sewing done that did not involve quilts as shown in the mosaic above.  The eight bags were made for our first ever BeeSewcial Retreat in June and it was fun to make the same thing but different for each person.  I also received a bunch of great handmade gifts.  The skirts were an impromptu make collaborated with my granddaughter who had a sleepover and wanted something new to wear.  She picked all of the fabrics and helped sew.  You can see her here with the pillow case she made for a friend's birthday party.  Lastly, the machine cover/sewing pad that I created for our guilds secret partner swap.
New and Progress made WIPS
Last year I had a ton of new WIPS and I'm happy to say that isn't the case for 2019.  1. The Temperature Quilt is obviously not done and shouldn't be because the year still has a few days left to go!  I am happy to say that I am totally caught up to date and have very high expectations to finish it in 2020.  2. "Pantone color of the year Living Coral" was entered into the Top Only category of the challenge.  It's a favorite make, both the process/experience and the end result.  3.  "Maximalist, BeeSewcial prompt 2018" this one was on my WIPS list from last year but I made enough progress puzzling it all - and leaving it in my sister's capable hands that I anticipate it becoming a 2020 finish.
2019 BeeSewcial Prompt "Triptych" 
As usual, much of what I create has to do with BeeSewcial and that's okay with me.  We are heading into our sixth year and I am still pushing myself creatively as well as technique.  My Triptych blocks are not quite together but the vision is close.
made by me Bee Blocks 2019 
With a little luck, I'll get to blogging about the blocks even if it's after the fact as they should get the attention (and explanation) they deserve.  I would also like to make a post about 2019 Highlights because there truly were many to share.

Check out the other bloggers at the linky party:

Wishing you all a Happy New Year,  Karen

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

2019 Q2 & Q3 FAL Winners

 The time has come to officially announce the winners of Q2 and Q3 of the Finish-A-Long and award some wonderful prizes from our fantastic sponsors.  We had 398 finishes for the second quarter of 2019 and we had 400 finishes for the third quarter which is really brilliant, keep it up!

Without further ado, here are the winners picked by Random Number Generator for Q2 and Q3 of the 2019 Finish-A-Long:

The Q2 winner's choice of One Large 12 Spool Collection from Aurifil goes to Mary who blogs at Quilting is in my Blood.  She finished this beautiful "camping quilt" that they actually use while camping, and isn't this photograph stunning?

The Q3 winner's choice of One Large 12 Spool Collection from Aurifil goes to Amanda on IG @sew.bake.stitch and she finished this lovely Swoon quilt.


The Q2 $80 Gift Certificate from Sew Sweetness goes to Sara who blogs at Sew Little to Say.  She completed this lovely tote bag and it's her own design.

The Q3 $80 Gift Certificate from Sew Sweetness goes to Carina on IG @carinascrafts and she finished this bag that she cut out 10 years ago.  Way to go on getting it done!

The Q2 $50 Gift Certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Karrin and she blogs at Karrin's Crazy World.  She finished these two quilts that will be donated to the Mercyful Quilts charity.  Not only is that lovely but so are these quilts.

The Q3 $50 Gift Certificate from Fat Quarter Shop goes to Kat who blogs at Craftaholic Kat and she finished this lovely quilt that was for her son's seventh birthday.


The Q2 $25 Gift Certificate from Sew Me A Song goes to Kathy who blogs at Kathy's Quilting Blog.  She completed this Crown of Thorns quilt which also will be donated to charity, Jack's Basket.

The Q3 $25 Gift Certificate from Sew Me A Song goes to Kris who blogs at Krissies Kollections and she finished this scrap quilt made from charms she collected throughout the years.  She estimates this 91" x 91" quilt used 19 yards of fabric!


The Q2 3 PDF Patterns from Happy Quilting goes to Carol who blogs at Quilt Schmilt.  She finished this lovely pink quilt that was for a golf club fundraiser.

The Q3 3 PDF Patterns from Happy Quilting goes to Vasudha who blogs at Storied Quilts and she finished this beautiful art quilt inspired by Indian folk art motifs.


The Q2 2 PDF Patterns from Charm About You goes to Karen on IG @thecreativeheifer.  She finished this fun and colorful baby quilt.  Isn't it adorable?

The Q3 2 PDF Patterns from Charm About You goes to Jan on IG @snell.jan and she finished this blue scrappy queen sized quilt.  Another great photo, don't you think?


The Q2 2 PDF Patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts go to Jennifer on IG @crimsonconfection and she finished and framed this lovely little lucky cross-stitch.  Lucky indeed!

The Q3 2 PDF Patterns from Blossom Heart Quilts go to Alison via Flickr and she finished this appliqued cot quilt.


The Q2 6 Month Subscription to Make Modern Magazine goes to Jessica on IG @jessshullquilts_and_more.  She finished this fabulous Swoon quilt using Tula Pink fabrics.

The Q3 6 Month Subscription to Make Modern Magazine goes to Peggy who blogs at Quilts & Adventures and she finished these wooly mug rugs.


The Q2 2 PDF Patterns from Bonjour Quilts go to Mariana on IG @denana1973.  She completed this wonderful Flora Supply Case for a friend.  Lucky friend!

The Q3 2 PDF Patterns from Bonjour Quilts go to Teresa on IG @misdosbichillos and she finished this one hour scrappy basket, isn't it a cute gift?


The Q2 $30 Fabric Voucher from Hillstitches goes to Anne who blogs at Said With Love.  She finished this charming quilted table topper, and isn't the photo just lovely too?

The Q3 $30 Fabric Voucher from Hillstitches goes to Karin who blogs at The Quilt Yarn and she finished this funky bird quilt.  Isn't it is cute?


There you have it folks, quarter two and three of the year are officially wrapped up!  Congratulations to all of our winners and a big thanks to everyone that played along so far this year.

The year is quickly wrapping up, work on those WIPS so you can link them up in the New Year!