Quilting Update

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I did a post like this last fall and I have like two more things in process at the moment because that’s just what my life is like. Nothing has been finished just because between my mom and I we have like fifteen projects to go onto the machine and we don’t have any backing. I also realized that I didn’t put anything in that I made for anyone else; the problem with that though is, I made three small lap quilts for my roommates in college and didn’t take any pictures of them because I am an idiot but I did build two quilts for my best friend and I am going to include those here, one that she has and one that she’s eventually going to get. Once I get it finished and she finally texts me back, I am beginning to worry about her to be honest. 

            Right on to the quilts that I have been working on in the last few weeks, there are just two more projects and two that I have to actually build once I can find the fabric I need for them. Neither of them are complete yet, the tops aren’t even fully finished but right now this is the post that I wanted to come out with so here we are, a new quilt update. 

Project one: 

            This I bought as a pre-cut kit years ago in Grand Rapids and I liked it a lot more then but my tastes have changed since I bought this, I am not this loud anymore but it will make for a good thing to have in a guest room when I eventually get a house or something. I am going to frame it in black and then border it with a white on white fabric which is a white fabric with a white pattern on it, I put a picture of it below with the quilt so y’all can get an idea of what I am talking about because there is white on white fabric in the main body of the quilt as well. 

Project two:

            This project was two Moda Nordic Stitches Charm Packs and I am making a lap quilt out of it for the winter for my couch, I did this one mostly over Christmas Break and I have to just add the blue frame and then I am not sure what kind of border and binding I am going to go with. I just haven’t decided yet so that’s totally okay because sometimes that happens, you don’t know what you are going to do with the edge of it after you get the main body done. Ironically while I was working on this my mom was working on a queen sized version of almost the same idea with the rails between each piece but her rails are black and it’s a very busy quilt; too busy for me actually. 

Quilt’s for my Best Friend: 

            My best friend loves Transformers and so I made her a Transformers quilt for her when we were both still in Indiana. I hand cut out all of the logos in the center and appliquéd them on which was fun but I loved working on that quilt. 

            This second one I messed up on the bottom but I am rolling with it because I finished it years ago but that was as far as I got on it, I have a matching panel that I plan on making a quilt for me as well, something probably pretty similar to this one but I really enjoyed making geeky quilts and I will get back into it eventually. 

            I know that this post isn’t going to be long because since my last update I have only managed to make two of my own and I am showing you two that I have made for my best friend so it’s not a long post because it doesn’t need to be. 

            I hope everyone has a good week and I will be back over the weekend with another post!


Things that I did as Hobbies in 2020

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

         I feel like I have been writing a billion blog posts this year but I did try to do my two a week, well it worked about the last four months, I didn’t post anything in February and March. February because I was in a lot of pain because of my back and March because the world fell apart in March but I didn’t really hit my two a week stride until August and I am trying to keep it up. Posting twice a week consistently was one of my goals this year and I’m working on it now, it’s one of my goals for next year too so let’s see if I can actually do it.

         2020 has been a trial y’all it’s been one of those years that I just want to leave behind and look back on it with a grimace but I don’t think that the new year changing over to 2021 will miraculously fix all of our problems but we can hope, right?

         I write a lot of my posts in advance, like it’s the last day of Thanksgiving break and this post doesn’t come out for a week but I wanted to get it done when I had the time to do it so I could still have two a week even when school is back in session. 

         But what did I do this year as hobbies? 

1. I gamed

         I pretty much just played Animal Crossing New Horizons and I’m not playing Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which I have been meaning to play for a while now and I am really bad at it, I die a lot but I am still playing it. 

2. I painted

         I did some random painting this year and I also did an acrylic pour, that one was fun but difficult and I still have yet to hang it up in my apartment. I want to do another one but I have to get more pouring medium so that will probably be a Christmas break project so in like three weeks (from when I’m writing this, two from the post date) so I’ll work on it then.

3. I wrote

         I wanted to get finished with six works in progress, I am done with four which is still a pretty good number. Writing has been a huge creative outlet for me for almost a decade now and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

4. I bullet journaled

         I have several posts about that from this year, update 1, 2, and when it’s published next week you can also read part 3. This was something that kept me sane through the quarantine in the spring and even over the summer because I pretty much have quarantined besides going to the grocery store, work, and essential things since March. 

5. I started working out again

         This was more recent but I have been walking 5K’s for fun, only two have been medaled but I have been walking all sorts of miles. I also have started to do yoga again, I am really bad at it but I am still working on it. 

6. I crafted

         I did a few DIY’s this year mostly for the holidays, which you can check out if you want because I did a cute little one for Halloween an then a second for Halloween and then I did one recently for Christmas

7. I read

         Seriously this was also in my self-care post from Wednesday but roll with me, I have read 35 books this year and lost myself in worlds beyond this one which was kind of nice, a lot of them were cozy mysteries and if you want to know what I have read you can because I am having a linking fest to this post, part 1, 2, and 3. I will probably even link part 4 when it gets published at the end of the month. 

         I feel like I did more things in 2020 but I don’t want to put over eat and cry in here because those aren’t really hobbies, they are cries for help so I think I am going to steer clear of those for now. 

         I wonder what everyone else did for hobbies this year because I feel like this year was a time where we all had to learn new hobbies or get back in touch with hobbies we haven’t picked up in years.

         I will see everyone on Wednesday with another post, which is already written so it will go up Wednesday unless I completely forget, but until then I hope everyone has a great start to the week!


MJ Takes on a Hobby: Painting

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            So a continuation of my hobbies series because why not. I’m still pretty much quarantined and that means that I am crawling up the walls like I am in The Exorcist and I am bored. Now having a hobby doesn’t have to mean you are great at something and guess what we all have different skill level and styles so if you ain’t got nothin nice to say don’t day nothin at all. We all should live by the words of Thumper, seriously the world would be a much nicer place. Back to what this post is about though, I like art I always have and I spent a lot of time in classes doodling in the margins of my notebooks because I was bore listening to someone lecture about a variety of subjects in both high school and college so I would doodle. I like painting, I am not great at it but I like it, I want to acrylic pour because that has become SO popular in the last few years and it’s really cool but like such a waste of paint in my opinion. 

            I love art, art history if I could have done it for a living I would have majored in that in college, I love studying art and looking at what the old masters did. Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are my favorites and Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite painter him and Claude Monet, it’s the brush strokes. 

            I am not going to show all of my paintings, because I am not comfortable with that but I am trying to be more open about my creative endeavors and I don’t see that as a bad thing. 

            So I have a wall of painting above my desk and the older one (top left corner) is called “Garden of Whimsey” and it was done in 2017 when I started painting again after college, I was working on my masters at the time so my life was busy and I needed an outlet. I pulled it off the wall and the command strip stayed which is a pain but it was still sticky so here’s hoping that it doesn’t fall off the wall onto my desk. The next one I did was the bottom center and it’s called, “What of the Sea” also from 2017, I don’t know my motivations for paintings they just kind of happen and for the most part most of them are just a, I pick some colors and go to town with no plan. Like “Enchantments” which is the bottom left I didn’t have a plan. “Chaos” the large one on the right was another painting like that where I just went with a palette and went to town. “Say Amen” which is the top center was just me putting the song “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” by Panic At The Disco on repeat and painting what I felt. That one was in the middle of a depressive episode at the end of March 2018 so my head was not in a good place when I was working on that one.

            My mom has a bunch of my paintings which I am not going to share but I can still tell you what they are, my mom loves owls so I painted four owls from reference pictures, I had a vision of a tree in the fall and that also hangs in her bathroom, all of my paintings are in her bathroom which is a little weird but she loves them so I don’t mind. The other one is a winter scene that I wanted to do with alcohol and sharpie for the backdrop but that didn’t work out so I painted it, in again probably 2017. 

            Two more recent projects are a forest scene I painted last year, I am bad with depth so I don’t do a lot of nature scenes because depth in works of art is just not something I have ever mastered no matter how hard I try, I need to take a painting class; maybe after the rona is gone I can. I worked on this one for at least a week because I drew out my idea first and then attempted, is it perfect, no, but do I love it anyway? Yes. 

            This other one is my latest project and my mom has a larger version of it in her bathroom because I showed it to her and she said, ‘can I have it?’ my answer was no so I painted her one of her own. I love sunsets I always have and there are a lot of Facebook painting videos that inspired me to do this one. 

            I actually forgot about this one that I am going to talk about now, I love Mardi Gras masks, they have always been just so cool to me, I have several and my grad party from high school was Mardi Gras themed, I had 35 pounds of beads it was insanity and no one took them so I was left with 35 pounds of beads! Back to this painting though, I love mixed media but I don’t experiment with it like ever so putting a little bit of mixed media in this was a lot of fun. 

            Last set, I promise. I saw this “watercolor practice” on Pinterest and liked it enough that I did my own set. I’m not great with water colors but again, it was fun and for me that’s what art is. 

            Art is fun, it’s not supposed to be this serious thing that only certain people can do, anyone can make art; art is subjective what you like the next person may hate and that’s totally okay. I like art and there is a lot of art that I don’t like visually, but I can still respect the artistry of the person who created it; the time and effort that go into any piece of art any creation that involves creativity so don’t sit around and make fun of someone’s art because you might be dousing the spark of their creative fire and no one deserves to lose that spark. 

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post, have a good rest of the week!


MJ Takes on a Hobby: Quilting

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            It’s August but let’s be honest with ourselves if you are like me you are still half in quarantine because the world is a crazy place and well, that’s where we are right now. Also this is my blog and I am going to do what I want because that’s what my life is right now. I have a number of hobbies (most of them I am not particularly great at but I try). My mom got me into quilting in probably 2013 so I have been doing it on and off since then, I am going to show some of my finished quilts and some of my current projects. They are pretty basic compared to some of the ones you can see at quilt shows or online that make me sad because I have a feeling I will never be able to recreate a photo in quilt form but guess what; that’s okay. I’m doing something I enjoy and that’s what hobbies are, they don’t have to be perfect you are just having fun. I only have one of my quilts in my apartment, aka I only have one completely completed that I have in my possession, four others went to three of my college roommates and one went to my best friend. She’s got another one showing up eventually (spoilers) but I have to tear out quite a bit of the bottom because on the long arm it went to heck. (I try really hard not to swear here, I do it in real life like all the time but I try not to when I am writing, whether that be blog posts or books.) 

            So quilting projects, this one sits on my bed right now and usually it’s just folded up and that puts creases in it so I have to unfold and refold like all the time because I don’t want those creases to become permanent. This one was my first quilt, half of it is hand sewn and it was a lot of scraps and fat quarters because at the time I was buying a lot of those and not a lot of yardage but I was proud of this when I was done. I call the border on this one “one and a half inch square hell” (that’s about the only time you will see me swear around here) because it was 464 one and a half inch squares that I sewed together and then used it at a border, like it looks cool but I am never and I repeat, never doing that again. 

            This next one I fondly call me “top in one night” quilt and I did it in the fall of 2014, the picture below is how it looked at the end of that night and then I had to change it because it wasn’t actually anywhere close to being even so I had to rip out and add to actually make the top that I have now, it’s still in my parent’s basement and I will finish it eventually but well, I just haven’t yet. I love it though, again scraps and fat quarters made up most of this one as well which at the time as a lot more my style but not so much anymore. 

            Vincent van Gogh is my favorite painter, the whole impressionist/post-impressionist era is my favorite era of art so when they came out with the van Gogh collection I had to have it, this is at the latest 2015 (I think) but it was this and the Iris painting in panel form, I have that one two I just haven’t done anything with it yet. I want to eventually hang this above my couch but here’s the thing, I have to finish it first and that clearly has not happened. 

            Last one that is anywhere close to being a full top, I am working on other projects but I am not going to show those yet (maybe next year or in a decade, who knows with my hobby schedule) but this one is one that I just finished putting this part of the top together last week of the week before, I got this is as a kit and it was just long strips and I cut them up and sewed them back together, it’s a cute little beach batik (ba-tee-k) (in case you don’t know how to pronounce it because I cannot spell it without having to Google it) theme and I had a lot of fun making a nice quick project out of this. Now I am just going to have to find the bordering materials and all that because fabric is still hard to find right now. 

            So I enjoy hobbies and I find something new to try pretty frequently but rarely share it so here’s one, MJ quilts. 

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post, I hope everyone has a great start to the week!


What Do I Do for Fun?

Recently people have been asking me what I do for fun and in many cases I have stumbled over my words wondering which of my various hobbies would be socially acceptable for the situation. Most people look at me like I am crazy when I say I don’t drink because that seems to be a hobby that most people find acceptable, I come from a family where alcoholism is a very real thing and I don’t want to risk another facet of my already addictive personality becoming activated. Granted, I may have one drink once in a while but I don’t go to bars, I don’t enjoy parties where other people are drunk; I don’t even like drunk Snapchats and text messages.
Like I said, normally I just stare at the person and want to start screaming, “I don’t do anything fun I am not really a fun person to be around!” Because I would rather sit in my office, on my laptop, with my headphones on crafting a world out of thin air or getting so lost in watching YouTube videos that I lose hours on end unintentionally. I like spending time to be with just me, I don’t like big social gatherings, I don’t like crowds, and I do not really like interacting with people that I don’t know or don’t know very well. Yes, I do suffer for social anxiety and I know that; some days it takes me hours to even leave the house and then hours after I get home going over every conversation that I had while I was out and overthinking every moment of human contact I had coming up with things that I could have said differently or responses to questions that I could have had instead of staring blankly trying to think of an answer.

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