For the Love of Geese Quilt

I started working on my For the love of geese quilt. I always admire paper pieced quilts but dread the thought of actually sewing them.  I have a hard time visualizing what way to cut the fabric so that it covers the space and tend to end up wasting a lot of fabric.  However, when I saw Denise's method using strips, I was very intrigued.

When she shared videos recently demonstrating the method, I was all in.  I ordered some batik fabrics since she said it was the easiest to work with.  Then I spent over a week dithering about which way to arrange the fabrics in the pattern.  I finally made a decision, printed out all the foundations, and started over the weekend.

Here are the fabrics I started with--Island Batik's Petal Party fabric.  I am using Kona white for my background pieces.
I started with the outermost circular ring of flying geese.  My sewing time has been kind of limited lately, but I am still making some progress.  {School only goes one more week, so maybe I will gain some time then?} Anyway, I have had very little waste so far and have only had to rip out three seams to redo.  Sadly, one I ripped out, repositioned, sewed, and discovered I sewed it in the exact wrong place again!  One was a trimming error.  I can't text and sew at the same time!  LOL.
I really like how this is looking so far.  I can't wait to finish this ring and start on the next to see its progression.  My goal for May (One Monthly Goal) is to finish this ring and at least one more.
Based on my experience so far, I would suggest you check out Denise's For the love of geese blog and her patterns as well.  It has really made me look at paper piecing in a more favorable light.  By the way, this is NOT a paid promotion or anything.  I'm just super excited to be sewing such a complex looking pattern with very little effort.

Want a little nature update?  Our rose breasted grosbeaks started arriving this weekend.  We also saw our first Baltimore orioles.  I think I might have seen an orchard oriole last night, but couldn't get close enough to tell for sure.  No hummingbirds yet.  We seem to have solved the issue of the cardinal attacking my sewing room window.  We had a larger window screen that we propped against the outside of the window and so far, so good.

The peas, lettuce, and bok choy are coming along nicely.  The beets are struggling.  Most haven't come up. The three pineapple tops I am attempting to root also look to be struggling.  On the positive side, my baby pineapple looks good.
And finally, we got our first electric bill after a month of solar.  $9.64 was our total for the month.  That is the meter fee and taxes.  Not too bad, right?

Have a great week.  It's time for me to teach math to my kids.

Linking with For the love of geese and My Quilt Infatuation and Finished or Not Friday.
Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal May Link-up

Finished Meadowland

Happy Earth Day!

I'm pleased to share with you my finished Meadowland quilt, my second finish of the year.  My finished quilt is 70" x 85".  I added four inch borders around the outside of the finished top, but other than that, I sewed it exactly as the pattern, by Then Came June, instructed.  It's a pretty easy pattern to sew.  I think it would be fun to make a half-size or smaller version.  I do love working tiny.  :)

I quilted my top with the Wishbone pantograph by Threaded Quilting Studio and used white Pellon cotton batting.  As a member of the Longarm League, I am offering 20% off edge to edge quilting on Meadowland tops through the end of July.  Hop over to my quilting website, Quilting by Anne-Marie, to sign up.  Or send me a message.  I'm pretty easy to work with.

I'll throw this out there too--are you a quilt pattern designer?  I'd love to partner with you for a project or two (or more!).  Message me or leave a comment and let's talk.

I'm still slowly moving along with projects.  Many of my mornings are still spent doing math with the kids. I'm teaching my son Algebra and trying to tutor my daughter in pre-calc/trig.  Although I can't remember much of the trig, we are doing pretty well with it. I think we have two weeks left.  My daughter will be done after that (she's a senior!), but my poor son will be stuck doing Algebra until we finish the book we are working through.  I'm such a mean mom.  Ha. Lest you think I am torturing him, he absorbs math more quickly than just about anyone I've ever worked with. Did you know that I have a degree in math?  I taught math and English before my kids were born.

Anyway, back to the projects.  I finally finished sewing together the main part of the Frolic quilt.  That feels so, I don't know, epic?  What a lot of work.  This coming from someone who actually completed the 365 quilt in the 365 days.  Now on to the borders.
I have not made any further progress on the Unity quilt, the Fig Tree blocks, or anything else.  I did finally figure out a color layout for the For the love of geese pattern.  I need to print all the foundations for that. (Had my husband buy a case of paper when he went to Sam's last week.)

I did cut, sew, and quilt another Quilts for Kids quilt.  I cut and sewed the majority on Monday afternoon and added the two remaining borders and quilted it yesterday morning.  I used a pattern that came with my software.  I'm calling it "boxes".  We thought it went well with the robot fabric. I used a remnant of Quilters Dream Blend batting. I'll try to bind it this week, and then it will get added to the pile.  I'm looking forward to the day when I can finally ship in all the quilts I've accumulated for them.

I just love when you can work from stash and create something of value.  I will admit that I have a bit of a problem of "saving" special fabrics.  Or most fabrics.  I am working on shopping my stash first.  It's worked out pretty well over the last few months.  It doesn't do anyone any good to just put the fabric in a box and put it in the closet.

I've spent several days this week working on my sister site, Quilting by Anne-Marie.  I'm hoping to debut its snazzier look soon.  Also, I would like to upgrade to a larger long arm machine, so I am selling mine.  If you know anyone who may be in the market for a computerized workhorse, let me know.  It's great for charity quilts with the robotics and it loves doing custom freehand work.

Let's move on.  My couple tulips outside my sewing room window are blooming.  I've noticed a few of the irises are starting to bud.  Many of the seeds we planted in the vegetable garden are sprouting.  One of the crabapple trees we planted last year is covered in blossoms.
We've found a bird nest in one of the clematis. The clems are popular nesting sites in our yard. I believe this one is a cardinal nest.  Speaking of cardinals, we have a male attacking his reflection in pretty much every window on the back of the house.  We have placed stuffed animals in the windows and added lots of window clings in an effort to make him stop.  Ugh.

How about something happier?  Food?  Does anyone else feel like you just sit around and eat constantly during quarantine?  I have gained a few unwanted pounds. We are cooking a lot more, of course.  We've been trying new recipes since we have nothing but time right now. Here are a few recipes we made last week that were really good.

Sesame Ginger Beef--I really liked the green beans cooked like this.  We used a one inch chunk of ginger rather than the three inches it called for.

Sour Cream Chive Bread--This bread machine recipe is so good we've made it twice this week.  Did I mention that we bought some chives from a local farm and got way more than we expected?  I think we had at least two cups chopped. Half a cup went into the loaves of bread.  :)

Do you like to cook?  I have several recipe boards on my Pinterest account.  I haven't made all of the pinned recipes, but I've made many of them.  I'm always happy to weigh in on what we liked or not.  I do delete the ones that we really didn't like.

Linking with For the love of geese, My Quilt InfatuationFrom Bolt to Beauty, and Finished or Not Friday and Meadow Mist Designs.

Little Projects

I have gotten almost nothing done since last week.  I think the cabin fever may be setting in.  

I sewed a bit more of the Frolic quilt together.  Here you can see what I have done versus how much is left. I'm nearing the half way point. It is just a lot of piecing and a lot of seams.

I finished stitching down all of the appliqués for the Julia Quiltoff class project.  The next part of the class is the quilting portion.  I bought the kit from Julia and the appliqué shapes already had the fusible applied and the shapes cut out.  The kit also included batting, backing, interfacing, and binding fabrics.  Really, everything except the thread.  You may wonder why I might need more batting.  Well, I have not worked with wool batting before, nor have I worked with a double layer of batting, and the kit had supplies for both! I am always interested in learning new skills.  You can find the free class on Julia's Facebook page and look for kits in her Etsy store.  Just search her name.
I have been really antsy and couldn't focus this week, so I decided to finish stitching together this group of blocks.  This is an ongoing project using Moda Cupcake Mix papers and a variety of American Jane fabric lines.  With the completion of these, I have two sets done and six or seven more sets to make.  I think each set makes around 80 blocks.  The blocks are 3.5".
I am happy that my fabric order finally came in so that I can start my friend Denise's quilt along, a few weeks late.  Here are my fabrics--Petal Party by Island Batiks.  I just need to decide on how I want them to appear in the pattern.  It seems so hard to make any decisions lately.  You can grab a copy of the pattern here.

No further progress has been made on either the Fig Tree blocks or the Bonnie Hunter Unity.  I did finish my second quilt of the year, my Meadowland quilt.  I haven't gotten any pictures of the finished quilt yet though.

My vegetable garden seeds are starting to sprout.  Of course we had a freeze warning last night, so we had to cover the sprouts and hope for the best.  Last week it was in the 80s and I was wearing shorts.  This week it is a winter coat.

I have a few more flower pictures to share.  Most of the daffodils are done, but there are a few hanging in there.  I'm happy my tulips made it.  We had a pretty strong storm last week and I was worried they'd get broken off in the wind.  There are no surviving tulips at all in the front yard.  While the tulips are gone due to critters, we had a lot of other plants that didn't survive the winter due to unknown reasons.  Could be animals, could be something else.  Not sure if I'll get to replace them this year or not.

I also have this little iris blooming.  The flowers are almost right on the ground.  I'm a bit stumped.  Usually the Siberian iris bloom first, and they are nowhere near bloom stage.  This is a regular iris.

One of my pear trees has blossoms, but not the other.  I am doubtful we will have any pears this year.  We didn't have any last year either, and only three tiny ones that disappeared the first year.

Speaking of pears, I really wanted to can some more. They are quite possibly my most favorite food on earth.  Alas, they were not on sale, but pineapples were.  So this week it was time to can some pineapple. It occurred to me on Monday that I hadn't checked whether I had lids for the jars.  I had just enough for my project. No more canning for me until we can find lids reasonably somewhere. (I found some on Amazon for $12/package.  They usually are $4/package.)    

I also decided to try to root the three pineapple tops from the canned pineapples.  Here they are in the drying out stage before I start the rooting stage.  I am using the Empress of Dirt method this time.  If any of these root, maybe I'll get another home-grown pineapple in five or six more years!

Have you grown any food from kitchen scraps before?

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

Homebound, Week Six Thousand

Or something like that.  Is anyone else losing track of what day it is?

In the last week I have made small progress on a number of things.  We got our vegetable garden planted. Luckily I had bought snap pea seeds a couple months ago.  Everything else we planted was from leftover seeds, so hopefully some of them germinate.  We have planted beets, baby bok choy, snap peas, and lettuce so far.  We have some green bean seeds, but it's too early to plant them.  I'd like to pick up a cucumber plant and my husband would like a jalapeño plant.  We need to replenish our strawberry plants too. Maybe in the next few months we'll be able to go get some plants.  I'd love to go flower shopping.

I've done a lot of math with my kids.  I teach my son a half hour of Algebra four days a week and I help my daughter fill in the holes with her pre-calculus. Other than that, I hover and make sure they are completing all their assignments. We found out yesterday that our school year will now end on May 7, about two weeks earlier than if we'd been having a regular schedule.  Thus my daughter's high school career goes out with a whimper.  Just think how much more interesting this story will be than a standard school story though.

Our solar power generation is going well.  We've had a couple of really nice days and our production is more than our consumption.  It will be interesting to see how our first month's electric bill comes out.

In sewing news, I have completed most of the first week's clue of Bonnie Hunter's Unity mystery quilt.  I haven't added the borders yet.  Maybe I'll sew week 2 and then see what I think should go between.  Also, I ordered several pieces of fabric that I was short on and I am still waiting on one order to come in.  Of course it's the piece I need right away. 😞

I sewed a few more blocks with the Fig Tree fabric.  I'm a third done with the initial block plan.

I started sewing together the Bonnie Hunter Frolic quilt top. I have the upper left corner done. This thing has a lot of seams!  Also, as I was staring at it on the wall, I noticed that I had sewn one of the pieces in the top row in the wrong direction. I'm glad I noticed it and could correct it before the whole thing was sewn.
I am watching Julia Quiltoff's free online appliqué and quilting class on Facebook.  I bought a kit from her and started working on it over the weekend.  I did make a mistake by not exactly following her instructions. I was supposed to stick each individual stem down, then stitch it down, and then build and stitch from there. I made this way harder than it needed to be by sticking down almost all the pieces at once.  Also, my machine appliqué skills are really rusty.

I also worked on Bethany's t-shirt quilt.  This is the first time I have quilted a t-shirt quilt and it was much easier than I anticipated.  I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

I managed to finish absolutely zero of my nine proposed quarter 1 finish along projects.  I guess I can repeat those projects for quarter 2 and try again.  I also missed posting an April One Monthly Goal.  Gah.

I have one project that I really want to start and can't, because I am still waiting on the fabric order I mentioned above. I am planning to sew along with my friend Denise's For the Love of Geese quilt.  Paper piecing is always challenging to me, but Denise has started publishing tutorials and videos that really make sense to me and I am itching to give it a try.  If only my fabric would come....   You should go check it out too!  Here is the link to the second week.  It's definitely not too late to join in.

Finally, I looked out my sewing room window yesterday and saw this!

It is a squirrel lying there with a walnut hanging in his mouth.  So weird.  After a while, he sat up and started nibbling the walnut.  I'm hoping that he nibbled the whole thing and didn't plant it.  We find planted walnut trees sprouting in all the wrong locations thanks to our furry critter friends.

I hope anyone reading this is doing well.  Feel free to email me if you need to chat!

Linking with For the love of geese.

Meadowland OMG

Well, we've survived March.  I saw this meme the other day and had a laugh.
How is everyone holding up?  For the most part, we are doing well here.  My husband finally found some flour at the grocery store, so we can bake things now.  The kids have finished a week of e-learning.  It's not so bad.  Truly, other than everyone being home all day, it's not that different than my usual life.  I do miss being able to just run to Target or a quilting store, but I am coping.  I miss going to quilt guild.

I cut it really close on finishing March's OMG, which was to quilt my Meadowland quilt.  
I got it done over the weekend.  And I missed the link-up party, which closed last night. 😞 

Anyway, my quilt is still pretty even if I couldn't enter it in the contest. I used Threaded Quilting's Wishbone pantograph again.  I've used that design so much lately.  I did look for and consider a few other designs, but we felt that this one suited the fabrics the best.  Several of the prints are rain or raindrops and I have kind of a watery theme going on--well, that's how I thought it would look in my mind, at least.

If I can get the quilt bound in the next few days, then I will have finished exactly ONE of my nine proposed Quarter 1 Finish Along projects.  😳  Yeah, that didn't go as planned.  The theme of 2020, no?  I've seen so many people finishing so many projects in the last few weeks.  I am amazed at the productivity. I didn't get that memo!

My daughter helped me lay out my entire Frolic top with all the sashing pieces.  For some reason I thought I could grab some pieces and sew them while the computer was quilting the Meadowland.  I failed to recall that I should not walk behind the machine to access the design wall while the machine was running.  Oops.
My alternate plan: making some 2015 Moda Sampler Shuffle blocks with my Fig Tree fabrics that I had been saving for the past five or six years (since finishing two BOM programs).  It's much better to use something than leave it languishing in storage. Here's my progress so far.  I do not have any real plan for how the finished product will look. 
Then Bonnie Hunter announced her Unity quilt along.  Yep, let's start another new project.  I didn't think I'd be able to come up with anything cohesive from my stash to make this new one.  Ha.  Who was I fooling?  I have fabrics pulled and ordered only a few pieces that I was a bit short on.  Amazingly, I found the ones I was looking for, and I'm sure this stuff was well out of print. This is another instance of me thinking, why am I just hoarding all this fabric?  It's not doing any good just sitting in a bin.  Let's make something!  I'll share my fabric pull next week, but here's a teaser.
I'll leave you with some images from my gardens.

And my baby pineapple.

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

PS--if you don't get the meme at the top...that is Justin Timberlake.  Back in the day, when he was in the band "NSYNC, when he sang "it's gonna be me," it sounded like he said "it's gonna be may."  Ha ha ha.