Working in Fits & Starts

I seem to have started a bunch of stuff in the last week and made little progress on anything.

I did get the binding attached to the front of the Tula quilt, but haven't started sewing it to the back yet.

I removed (again--third? fourth? time) the quilting from my mini Postcard quilt.  I will need to press it again and try quilting it again now that my sewing machine is working better.
I started a simple cross stitch and found out I didn't have enough of the main color, so had to pause and go buy a skein of floss.  And haven't gotten back to it since.
My son outgrew his favorite pajama pants.  Luckily I had anticipated this and bought more of the same fabric.  I made it up to the hem and stalled out.  I also have had a huge chunk of flannel hanging around for years to make my daughter a nightgown.  It never got made--I think one of the pattern pieces had gotten lost--and I decided to just make her some flannel pants too.  So after the hem, that will be my next project.
I'm planning to quilt my Coral Queen of the Seas quilt next.  It's a pretty big quilt.  I decided to go with a pantograph on it.  I consulted with my daughter on which pattern to use.  We selected one called Outside In.  Before I can begin that, though, I will be quilting our guild's charity quilt.  I think I'm receiving the top Friday, so maybe next week I can start Coral at long last.

I have sent out most of my #GetYourQuiltyWishesGranted4 packages.  The thread I sent has been received and acknowledged, the patterns I sent have been received, the first set of blocks are in transit, and I need to mail the other set of blocks today.  I also volunteered to send someone a good bit of yardage, but they never responded.  😕  

I have received my first two packages in return, selvedges.  I want to knit a selvedge rug as seen at crazy mom quilt's blog.  I've been saving my selvedges forever and they just don't accumulate as fast as you would expect.  So anyway, I got some and one had the sweetest note with it.  Her mom died recently and she'd inherited fabric from her and sent me some of the selvedges her mom had saved.  I'm expecting two more packages in today's mail.  It is so fun to see what people send.
Right now it looks like my sewing room cabinet installation will be the week of Thanksgiving.

We have a week and a half left before our FLL competition.

I read this really interesting article yesterday about the costs of pattern producing and blogging and thought I would share.  There's a lot to think about, whether you are a pattern producer or a pattern consumer.

Also, now that we're definitely in fall, I love throwing something in the crock pot and having it be ready for dinner.  (Actually I always love throwing something in the crock pot.)  Here is one of my current favorite recipes, Rustic Chicken Slow Cooker Stew.  It's really simple and filling and tasty.  I buy a package of chicken tenderloins and it works great.

Funny Things #43

I love when people spell out funny things with room decor at Target.  This one was a few weeks ago.

This one was in July 2014.  I thought this had long ago become part of the Funny Things series, but apparently not.  The funniest part was watching the security guard walk by and do a double take and pause in his step before he decided to move along.
Ah, the joys of living in a college town.

It's Done, It's Finally Done!

I got up unnecessarily early this morning and resumed working on my Astrid quilt.  I had about 20" left and I really was tired of working on it, so I figured I'd start early and knock it out this morning. I used 17 bobbins on this.  Normally I would use 5-8 bobbins on a quilt this size.  It is totally full of mistakes and I forgot from top to bottom how I had quilted some parts, so it has continuity issues. I didn't have the right size rulers for parts, so I had to attempt a smooth line on my own--didn't happen.  I missed my marks or the machine slipped or whatever many times. Plus I had a difficult time staying within the lines and I am now so over quilting clams!  I estimate I have 24 hours into it and it was on the frame for three weeks. But it is done.  It looks good from a distance!  ha ha  

As a reminder, the pattern is called Astrid and is available from Tiny Orchard Quilts.  The fabrics for the top are Tula Pink's Spirit Animal and Kona Snow.  The backing is a Tula wide back, Freefall.  Thread is Superior So Fine #50.

I also finished off my little snowman cross stitch last night.  Now I have to mount and finish it.  It will be an arched ornament.  I have enough left over fabric to make a second.  I'm not sure if I'm going to do that right away or do something else in between.  Plus I now have a giant quilt to bind!
In other news, #getyourquiltywishesgranted4 on Instagram is alive and well for the holiday season. Last year I sent several people things, but did not ask for anything in return.  This year I asked for selvedges or skinny strings because I want to make a knitted rag rug as a gift.  I've been saving mine for over a year and it doesn't really add up very quickly.  I also selfishly asked for some April Showers fabric and a few people are sending me some.

I am sending out this stuff to people so far.  A few people are looking for sewn blocks for charities, so I am hoping to sew a few of those too.
We have three weeks left before FLL competition and are nowhere near ready.  Well, I should say the boys are not ready.  Anything I have to have done for them is done.  It's up to them to finish it. I just have to nag them.  I'm probably pretty good at that.  😏

Oh, and the mirrors we had made for the dressing table are finally done and I had my husband make finishing everything top priority over the weekend, so here is the finished thing....thirteen years after we got it.

So Close and Yet So Far

I haven't been doing a whole lot of interesting sewing.  A little bit of piecing over the weekend, but nothing worth sharing yet.

I've been trying to finish off this cross stitch in the evenings, and I'm really close.  This is my first time cross stitching on printed fabric like this.  Sometimes it's a little hard to get the needle through the paint.  The worst part is that there is a partial dot showing above the lady snowman's head!
We are deep into FLL season now, with only three and a half weeks left until competition.  We have practice twice a week and every weekend now.

And my father-in-law called last night to let us know that my sewing room cabinets are ready.  He's ready to bring them and we can't actually have him come down until after the competition.  NOOOO!😩

Woppet Swap Team #woppet_kiwi Part Two

I received my Woppet swap package from Betsy in Germany last week.  She made me a two-sided bucket lined with the cutest flamingo fabric.  I should mention that I love plastic yard flamingos.  I find them really amusing and I also use them to strategically protect some of my flowers from the deer.
Isn't this a nice swap package?
Anyway, I got a really nice bucket and I love that the sides are stiff so that it stands up.  One side has a pieced block and the other has some flamingo hexies.  She also sent me a much-needed couch caddy for sewing that I've been using all week.  It lives on my arm chair now.

Some new fabric snips, lots of fabric, some bath salts, and some German Lindor candies were in the package too.  I'm so pleased with everything she sent!  I can't wait to try the Lindors to see if they taste the same as the ones sold in the U.S.
I've had some brief bursts of productivity. I started quilting my Astrid quilt.  Does anyone else think of The Office when they hear that name?  LOL.  It took me an hour to get the first four inches quilted.  I haven't had time since to go back and work on it.
I made 12 Halloween napkins last week.  I sent eight to my sister--forgot to take a picture of those before I sent them.  I also made four for us.  
I also started piecing the Fig Tree jelly roll diamond pattern.  (Note:  fabric is by Sandy Gervais, I think.) I had made the strip sets a while back and then left them all piled up on my bigger design boards.  I have a guild Sewcial day this weekend and thought I might like to take a design board or two with me.  So I needed to start sewing to clear some off!    I've accepted some imperfections in some of the seam matchings, so it's not too bad.  I need to make 20 some-odd of these.  Pressing will be fun...

I cut out all the fabric to make another Floral Burst quilt--I call it a cross quilt.  The pattern is from Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 31.  It's on the cover.  I made one for my mom two years ago, I think, and decided to make one for myself in a slightly different color way.  I'm planning to work on this at Sewcial.  

I've been working on some small cross stitch projects in the evenings--so glad to have my new sewing caddy to catch all my thread trimmings and to hold my scissors.
Now that my husband is completely finished with his class, he has been working on getting the window in my sewing room trimmed.  Obviously not painted yet!  Now that the leaves are falling, you can really see my neighbors' house through the woods.
And we still have four and a half weeks before the FLL competition, so tons of time is being spent there. 

Woppet Swap Team #woppet_kiwi

I mailed out my Woppet swap package on Saturday, and the recipient, Amista, received it on Monday.    As I've been mentioning, I really struggled with what to make for this swap.  (Who am I kidding, I struggle with what to make for almost every swap.  It seems like I always get someone with a HUGE social media following and then I feel a ton of pressure.)  Anyway, I finally settled on making a Sew Together bag and a unicorn cross stitch for the extras and went with the plain Tula Woppet bucket.
Woppet bucket made with various Tula Pink fabric lines including Elizabeth, Eden, and Spirit Animal.
I love the elephant print I used for the lining, but I could not get my camera to focus on it at all.
Sew Together bag using various Alison Glass fabrics and linen.
The flying geese pattern I used is from Michael Ann Made.
The inside was pretty bright.  I had a terrible time finding any zippers to coordinate,
hence the crazy green one.

Cross stitch pattern by, available on Etsy.
I changed a few of the colors.  For the white, I used a combo of white and blending filament.
I also added some outline stitching around the unicorn to make it show better.
Here's everything I sent.  The Hot Wheels car was for her son.
The swap requirements were 1. a Woppet bucket, 2. a handmade extra,
3. other extras to total $10, and 4. a fat quarter of your choosing.  Mine is one of Heather Givans's lines.
I think she liked it.  Social media commenting has been pretty positive, so I'll call it a win.  I haven't received my package yet.

We are deep into the FLL season and we are super far behind.  Only six weeks to go.  My husband is finishing up his ninth of ten Masters classes this week.  Then he gets a break until March, so I'm hoping my sewing room will be finished within that time.  Right now we are waiting on my father in law to finish up my cabinets.  I'm also moving toward officially offering my long-arm quilting services to the public.  I just need to decide on a business name, which is turning out to be much more difficult than I anticipated.

Speaking of long-arm quilting, my daughter has decided on a fairly complex custom quilting design for the Astrid test quilt I shared a few weeks back.  It will be a challenge, for sure!  A lot of ruler work and custom free motion filler.  Plus, the blocks are huge, so they don't completely fit in my available quilting space.  I'm anticipating it taking a good week to finish. I'll update as I go along.

I finished up my applesauce canning project last week.  I had a half bushel of apples and got a yield of eight quarts and one pint.  I also had a bit of hot applesauce bubble out of the pot and burn my hand pretty badly.  Luckily it's only a quarter-inch or so size spot.
Until next week, happy sewing!