Monday, June 27, 2016

Change and Transitions

While watching a recorded re-run of Magnum PI the other day, I heard an interesting perspective. The writers created a powerful statement I copied down for further reflection…

Magnum relayed how his Grandfather Sullivan had taught him about change and transitions…

…Probably the only thing you can count on in life is change…that no matter how much you want things to stay the same, they never do.And the change itself wasn’t bad. It’s just that the transitions are sometimes tricky.… don’t be afraid of transitions – they make you strong. Change… it doesn’t always come at a convenient time.
In fact, it usually happens right when you are in the middle of doing something else, and that it’s important to finish up whatever you’re doing, even if it begins to feel like dull routine.
Because it’s how you make the transitions is as important as making them.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Something Shiny

Even for those of us who are unemployed (outside of the home) and with no children to shuffle here and there, or have studies to focus on, effective time management can be an issue. It is for me anyway! It’s the shiny things that cause my distractions!

But, effective is relative.

I can spend days, even weeks, on a special project ~ like sewing, creating a quilt for one of our veterans or someone in need, or maybe a new bag for my mother’s walker. Or, start/work until finished on a much needed organization and renovation project in our home. During this time, basically everything else ~ like housekeeping or yard work ~ goes on the back burner. The kitchen stays manageable to prepare meals, laundry stays caught up, and the bathroom is half-way presentable. But, that’s about it.

Then… you find out company is coming!

When that bell rings, it is then I start seeing all sorts of stuff that I should do to make our home more presentable. It now rather than later, like…

Clear out dust bunnies in all the corners.
Vacuum the pieces of lint and unidentifiable objects off rugs and floors.
Clean windows/glass doors.
Mop floors.
Pack up Works in Progress (WIP) in sewing room (because it’s also the guest bedroom!)

Lists. Daily lists!

I hand write it out, what I need to do, everything! Even if the “need” is right there in my face, I write it down!

I don’t have a fancy phone (no cell service here), so I don’t have an “app” and I don’t want to put one on my laptop because when I get near my computer I find too many distractions, like emails, Facebook, Twitter, or Jigsaw Planet! And, I don’t spend time estimating how long it will take me to do this or that. That’s a waste of time!

To-Do lists are a life saver for me. It keeps me focused, and on task. When I do see something shiny and go off in another direction (something else I needed to do, but it wasn’t on the list), I will eventually come back to the to-do list and find my focus once again.

I love seeing strikethroughs down my list! I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I have to get a new piece of paper! Yes, no fancy “apps” here, I just use scratch paper!

When company comes, I don’t do anything I shouldn’t do anyway. It’s always so nice to have a clean-for-me house three or four times a year!

Once I’m back on my own, because I took the time to organize the current WIP as I worked through the to-do list, I will feel more relaxed, and focused, and ready to finish the work I want to do!

Have you made a to-do list today?

Friday, June 3, 2016

Introducing the Wings Quilt Block!

Have you ever created a quilt block and didn’t like the way it looked? Maybe the color scheme used or the size of individual pieces within the block just didn’t look like the way you envisioned? This happened to me last week!

I started playing around with the ruler, rotary cutter, and swapping pieces around, then stitching back together. The result, the “Wings Quilt Block”!

I’m excited about this block because it is so versatile! The most difficult thing about it is, deciding on which direction you will want to put your blocks together! Just wait! You'll see!

It is when I put together this one single block up on my design board...

I realized the manufacturer printed the red print off kilter. On one side, the design is square to the selvage, but on the other side ~ the design it is off! There is absolutely NO WAY to “fix” this because it happened during the printing of the fabric. I HATE WHEN THIS HAPPENS! Anyway…

The final design is not blah. It is bold. It makes a statement.

Each individual "Wings" block will/should measure 8.5 before stitching together.

For my quilt, I created 24 blocks (four blocks across, six rows down = 24), then added 2 borders to get the width/length I needed.  Without borders, based on 24 blocks, using simple math the quilt measures 32" x 48" which is a nice size for a toddler!

Be gentle! This is my first time to write "formal" instructions! I created a .pdf file with the instructions here for you to download, for easy printing!

Or, you can follow along...

Wings Quilt Block
Designed by Lanetta J. Sprott
of Lanetta’s Creations

I highly recommend: Read through the complete instructions before starting!


Cutting instructions:

White with star print – 6.5” x 3.5”
Blue stripe – 9.5” x 3.5”
Red/white print – 6.5” x 6.5”

Sewing instructions (see TIP):
1)  Stitch (right sides together) the white and red. Press toward the red.
2)  Stitch (right sides together) the blue stripe to the white/red unit (see NOTE). Press toward the stripe.

TIP: When making more than one block, I cut all the white, red, and blue stripe fabric out at once. I quickly stitched the white to the red (it doesn’t matter which side of the white is stitched to the red).

I then made 2 stacks (one of the white/red and the other the blue stripe):

NOTE: Before stitching #1 and #2 together, the white fabric is at the top of the red/white unit and the blue stripe is on the right side of the unit. Be consistent! Each time you make this block, keep the top of the unit the same (in size and color) and the 9.5” piece on the right for Each block! This is critical!

Once you’ve stitched all 3 pieces together, give it one more press with a hot iron (no water/steam at all during the entire block construction). Now is a good thing/time to spritz a bit of spray starch to make it nice and flat, and to help keep down any stretching!

Individual blocks should measure 9.5” square. Trim now if necessary!

And, now on for the second/final part!


Place one basic block at a time on your cutting mat (right side up), white up, and stripe on the right side (see NOTE).

Cut diagonally – both ways – without moving any fabric until both cuts are done!

NOTE: Be consistent in positioning the block each time you put it on the cutting mat!

Swap the top and bottom pieces. Leave the sides alone. It should now look like this:

Pin ~ right sides together ~ matching seams… (see NOTE)
top and left section
bottom and right section

NOTE: As I note in the photo, don’t fret if the edge doesn’t match up. Your only concern (at this point) is that the seams match. Because we pressed in opposite directions, the seams should nestle together nicely.

Stitch units together.

TIP: whenever possible begin stitching at the 90 degree angle rather than the pointy end.

  • Press to set the stitches,
  • then place the unopened triangle back on your cutting mat. 
  • Place your grid ruler along the stitched side (the bottom) and 
  • line up the 6.5” grid mark at the left point. (I just love pictures!)
  • Trim off the right side.

Press seam open.

Repeat this process with the 2nd unopened triangle.

With right sides together, stitch the two sections together. Be careful NOT TO STRETCH the fabric!

The block should now measure 8.5” square! Trim if necessary and cut off the dog-ears!

 Ta Da! You now have created the Wings Quilt Block!

When arranging the 24 blocks on my design wall, I started with the center and worked out until I liked the design within the design! Add border, or more blocks, to create the size you desire!

How will you put yours together?

© Copyright 2016. This pattern is for personal use only. It cannot be used for commercial purposes. It cannot be copied or distributed in any format. It cannot be used with distribution of any product, including kits or made into a pattern for re-sale without the written permission from the designer, Lanetta J. Sprott.

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