February OMG Complete!

I have completed all three of the quilt along tops that I had in progress--the Meadowland and two Sunshowers.  The Meadowland is my February OMG, and I am so happy I got the top sewn in time!  

I messed around with block placement for over a week on the Meadowland.  I took loads of pictures in black and white, trying to get the values as balanced as possible.  Eventually I got a layout I was somewhat okay with and just started sewing.  Then I decided I'd like it better if there were small borders in order to give the blocks more of a floating appearance.  I couldn't remember which white fabric I used, but I found a long scrap piece that was close and the dimensions were almost perfect.  I figured that was a sign.

I woke up super early Saturday morning and couldn't get back to sleep, so finally around 6 AM I decided to go downstairs and cut and sew the borders.  Everyone else was still asleep, and we have a nightlight in the stairway, so I didn't turn on the overhead light.  No sooner had I thought, "Wow, that nightlight really makes it easy to see," than I found myself flying through the air and landing on my knees.  I missed one or two of the last steps.  Oops.  My back is still a bit sore.  I guess I twisted awkwardly as I fell. Anyway, I sewed on my borders and my top is complete.  It was super windy when we took the pictures!
I was surprised by how green the colors look in the photos.  I thought they would read as more blue.  Also, the top is upside down in the next picture, not that it really matters.  Though I did work hard to make the directional prints all go the same direction.
I also finished both of my Sunshowers tops. I changed things up a bit from my original  plan, which was to make a twelve-block throw.  I switched out one of the fabrics and moved them around a bit.  I figured I could then make a smaller throw, a baby quilt, and a mini from what I had left.  I decided I didn't really need a mini, but a bit larger throw would be good.  Since I changed that, I was short on the blue fabric to make the side borders on the baby quilt.  We were in Indianapolis this weekend, so I stopped by Crimson Tate to purchase more of the blue.  That way I had a much better chance of making sure I had the same dye lot. Here are my two Sunshowers tops.

I need to go shopping for lots of backing yardage now.  I do still need to work on my friend's custom quilting job before I quilt any of mine.  I have a plan for it, so I just need to mark and quilt. My three will all be edge-to-edge jobs.  After that I will probably finish piecing the Frolic mystery quilt and also the hippo one that I started before the QALs.  I will also be working on a custom quilting plan for another of my friend's tops.  That one is all Tula Pink fabrics and will be in a show, so I want to make sure I have something really special for it.  Some year I will custom quilt my own eight or nine tops I have waiting! 😜

Oh, I also finished quilting and binding the donation quilt I had received.  This photo was pre-binding, obviously.  Unknown maker on this one.
And finally, here is my little pineapple this week.
Linking with For the love of geese and My Quilt Infatuation.
Linking with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal -February Finish Link-up

Getting Closer

This month has just flown by.  I feel like I'm having a hard time keeping track of time.  Last week I was a day ahead the whole week and this week I'm a day behind.  Mostly because everyone was home on Monday, so today feels like Tuesday instead of Wednesday.  Whatever.  Anyway, I've been plugging away at the quilt alongs.

I have one of the Sunshowers rainbow tops completed.  This one is 60 x 78.  I have a tentative quilting plan worked out for this one. I usually choose a thread based on the background color.  In this case, that would be the blue, but I really don't like how the blue thread would look going over the rainbows.  I'm not a fan of dark thread on light fabric. I tried a bunch of grays, pastels, and even a 100-wt white, but none of them appealed.  I do have a heavier rainbow variegated thread left from a previous project, so I think I'm going to go a bit away from my norm and make the thread really stand out on this one.  Hopefully it works out!
I have the second one partially completed, but I ran out of the blue fabric, so I need to get more so that I can put the sides on the quilt.  Just in case you wondered, my original fabric pull was different than this and I also had intended to make 12 blocks.  So the yardage I originally bought didn't quite go as far as I had planned.  Honestly, I'm not sure I could have made it through all 12 rainbows.  Curved piecing isn't really my thing.  Tiny block piecing is my love.
I think I'm finally at a point where I'm ready to sew the Meadowland blocks together.  I have been shuffling them around for days and nothing felt quite right.  Getting this top completed is my One Monthly Goal for February, so I have about a week left to get it sewn.  I think I'm going to add white borders around the outside once I'm done.  However, I'm not sure which white I used--was it Kona white or Moda Bella white? Sorry for the lousy picture.  My design wall is behind my longarm and it's right behind the bank of lighting over the machine.  You can see it the colors more accurately in the next picture.
Once I get the tops sewn, I need to get backing fabrics for everything and binding fabric for the Meadowland. I'm hoping that happens this week.

I actually have a quilting queue right now!  I have this giant 90 x 90 top (unknown maker) that I am quilting as part of the Community Quilts program at one of the guilds I belong to.  It is headed for someone receiving a home through the local Habitat for Humanity program.  As you can see, it's loaded up and ready to go.  I had to order in some king sized batting for it, and the batting came Monday.  This one needs to be quilted and bound within the next two weeks.
I have two custom quilts in my lineup as well.  I have the quilting planned out on the first one, so I need to mark it and then get stitching.
Joining concurrent quilt alongs probably wasn't my best idea.  However, since I'm participating in Longarm League discounts for them, I wanted to have experience with both tops.

In other news, my daughter has finally finished the 50 hours of practice driving the state requires before you can get a license.  A little more practice with the various types of parking and she should be ready to take the test.  That means we are also looking at needing to buy an additional car since my husband has been driving the Prius that we bought for her.  Car payments and increased insurance premiums are in my near future.  But also relief once she actually gets the license.

She's also back in math class.  The first trimester of Pre-calc was rough on both of us and we'd been enjoying the 12 week reprieve where she didn't have math.  My undergraduate degree is in math.  I had years and years of calculus in college.  I taught math, though it was mostly at a remedial level, so I never really went beyond Algebra with my students.  I cannot remember the majority of what my daughter is studying in math class.  They do not have a textbook, though that may not have been much help anyway based on the lousy ones she had for her lower classes.  Her high school only offers honors or dual enrollment level classes for the fourth year of math.  For the life of me I cannot figure out why.  Not every kid is a whiz in math, but most every college bound kid needs the fourth year.  Why can't there be a normally paced class that actually uses a book?  And doesn't use a really aggressive, insane amount of work for the teacher, grading system.

Why, oh why, have I forgotten almost every bit of math I ever learned in college?  If you don't use it, you lose it, for sure.

Let's end this with something happier.  Here's how my baby pineapple looks this week.
Linking with For the love of geese and My Quilt Infatuation.

My First Finish of the Year

I've been sewing like a crazy person.  Not really.  Just sewing a lot more than I normally do.  I'm not one who can sit and sew for hours and hours.  I'm more likely to sew for a few hours and then go do something else for a while.  Or for the rest of the day.

Anyway, as a result of all this sewing, I have all 20 Meadowland blocks constructed.  We have an arrangement that seems fairly balanced when photographed in black and white.  Now I need to assemble them into a top. I think this week for the quilt along you are supposed to construct five blocks, so I'm in really good shape on this one.
I also need to make more Sunshowers blocks.  I think we're on week four on this one.  I am making a total of eight blocks, so my sewing schedule is a bit different and I've lost track.  Sewing curves is not my favorite thing, so I've been dragging my feet.  I timed myself yesterday and it took me around an hour and 20 minutes to finish one block. For comparison, the Meadowland blocks took me 20-25 minutes each. I can say that Megan's blog posts to accompany the pattern have been really outstanding.  You can check out her website to see for yourself.  I do now have four of my blocks complete--hey, I'm halfway!
As a result of me dragging my feet, while shopping for a ton of yardage for a backing on a charity quilt I received, I bought a whole bunch of fun yardage at JoAnn to make more Quilts for Kids quilts.  And I cut, sewed, quilted, and bound an entire quilt in under a day and a half.  So now I have my first finish of the year.  Took me long enough to actually finish something.  At least it's cute and for a good cause.  I'm getting quite a stack of these accumulated.  I need to actually ship them off at some point.
I took the finished pictures last night, so they're a bit dreary.  
Are you familiar with the children's book Go Dog, Go?  This fabric reminded me of the book.  My son loved that book when he was little.  My aunt gave us a version that had parts that moved.  That was fun.  We also had the regular book and the matching stuffed animal from my mom. Anyway, I hope some kid finds this fabric as fun as I did.

In other news, our weather has been really crazy lately.  We've had our first significant snow.  We've had loads of rain.  The temperatures have been all over the place.  It feels like we have sun one day and then six or seven days of gloom.  I'm seeing encouraging signs that spring is on its way.  

I first noticed that my tulips outside my sewing room window were emerging.  I thought that was strange because I hadn't seen any daffodils yet.  The next day I noticed loads of emerging daffodils.  Daffodils are my marker of spring.  Once they are up and flowering spring is truly here in my book.  No flowers yet, but at least they're growing.  The irises and some of the other perennials are starting to green up too.

We also saw that our decorative crab apple and weeping cherry trees are starting to get buds.  Our pear trees have a few buds starting and you can see that the bark looks ready for active growth.  Maybe we'll actually get fruit this year?

Speaking of fruit, here's my little pineapple this week.  :)  You can see it's starting to get a stalk.
I hope you have a happy, fruitful week.

Linking with For the love of geese and My Quilt Infatuation.

Knee Deep in Fabric

After a week where I accomplished basically nothing, I really made up for it this week.  I started working on the Sunshowers QAL and have several blocks done.  They take quite a bit of time to do because of the level of pinning that I am doing.  Somehow my first block came out a little better than my second block.  I'm thinking that maybe print fabrics would have been a better choice because they would camouflage the little puckers you can get when piecing curves.

At this point my plan is to make one baby quilt (three blocks), one throw (four blocks), and one mini. I do have the arcs cut out for all eight blocks, but still need to cut four more background fabrics.
The Meadowland QAL started Monday.  Here are my fabric selections.
I spent a few days cutting and pairing the fabrics and I think I am ready to sew.  I'm looking forward to seeing how this will look.  Also, it's really hard to make all the pairs.  My One Monthly Goal is to have a finished Meadowland top.   Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal February Link-up.

I haven't made any further progress on the Frolic quilt, and I haven't started quilting my friend's quilt yet.  I did finish quilting and binding the denim quilt and have returned it to its owner.  In case you missed it last week, I'm offering 20% off edge-to-edge quilting on any Frolic top received for the rest of 2020.
I did add another quilt to my queue.  I was at the larger guild I belong to last night and I brought home a 90 x 90 top to quilt and bind.  The larger guild has a very extensive charity quilt program with lots of different recipients; the one I brought home is for Habitat.  I volunteered to help assemble one and received the top and fabric for the binding.  I can have this one quilting while I am piecing the other things, but really, please stop me before I add any more projects.  I need to get more completed before I take on more.  I am not great at saying no.
In other news, my friend brought my daughter some interfacing printed with directions to make a phone stand.  My daughter worked on it in her sewing class at school and here is her finished project.  I love that she added all the appliqué things to it.  Remember when those were so ubiquitous?  I think the blue fabric she used for her tabs is satin.  
K's phone stand
I tried a new recipe for a small batch of 45-minute rolls.  The hardest part was finding and buying a 6" cake pan.  The rolls really did take 45 minutes.  I'm not sure they tasted all that great.  They were sort of like a Pillsbury biscuit and sort of like a cheap freezer roll and had a very strong olive oil taste.  Last time I bought olive oil I accidentally bought the stronger flavor, so I might try these one more time with the olive oil that I usually use and see if that makes a difference.  We did not make the maple butter to go with them since they were pretty calorie-dense already. Perhaps that would have improved things?  Oh well.
Finally, my most exciting news:  my husband got to go to Pearl Harbor for work in 2015 and I requested that he bring me home a really fresh pineapple as a souvenir.  After we ate it, I rooted the top and we've had it as a houseplant ever since.  For whatever reason I  happened to go look at it the other night and I was so excited because I am growing a fruit!  A little more research told me that I am growing a flower that will make a fruit and it could be up to a year before I have a ripe pineapple.  But still, how exciting!  So after five to six years, my Hawaiian pineapple will have born me one single pineapple.  :)  I'm still really excited!

What are you excited about this week?