October OMG Met

My goal for October was to get at least 1/4 of the center of my For the love of geese quilt assembled.  I'm happy to say that I got 5/8 of the center sewn.  It went from this:

To this:

As a reminder, this pattern is by Denise at For the love of geese and you can buy this pattern here. I recommend this pattern because it is not boring to sew, looks amazing, and goes together nicely.

My brain struggles with flipping the diagrams and relating them to the pieces, so it took me a while to get into the rhythm of assembly.  Quality time was spent with the seam ripper.  πŸ˜¬ I was really relieved when I realized that I had inadvertently switched the orientations and that my color layout really would work as planned!  I'm looking forward to getting the last few sewn and then moving on to piecing the borders.

I finished the secret project from last week.  Though it really tried my patience, it came out really cute.  I should be able to share it soon.

I finished binding my larger Water Drop quilt.  It's another gloomy day here in south central Indiana, so I will wait to get a better picture, but here's a teaser for now.

Someone in the house had a birthday last week and I spent literally all day making the foods they requested since due to current conditions we did not have access to some of the things I would normally purchase.  My husband helped me make Chicken Kiev from scratch.  It was good, but it would have been so much easier if we could have gotten the frozen, processed version.  I know, I know.  Sometimes we eat really heavily processed stuff and it is good.  

I made a German chocolate cake from a mix and had to do the frosting from scratch since we couldn't find any anywhere.  We also struggled to find sweetened coconut.  I thought I was going to have to sweeten some myself, but luckily we found some at the last minute.  Side note--I didn't realized that sweetened coconut is very much an American thing.  The homemade version of the frosting is definitely better than the canned stuff and is worth the effort.  I also made a small batch of chocolate buttercream.  Here's my final product.

We brought in and cleaned the hummingbird and oriole feeders since they are gone for the year.  I also saw a Junco, which are only here in the winter months. πŸ˜’  My husband filled the seed and suet feeders and we immediately had tons of birds.  Probably should have gotten to that chore a bit sooner.  I noticed we had a flock of small birds that I wasn't familiar with.  I got out the camera and started taking pictures to help me identify the birds.  I finally determined (and had verified by my dad's bird guru friend) that they were Pine Siskins.  According to my bird book, we are in their winter range, but I don't recall ever seeing them before, and certainly not in a large flock.  So that was cool.  I also took a lot of awkward nature photos!  LOL.  I will share one so you can see what they look like.  There's also a goldfinch on the feeder with them.

I met with one of my clients to pick up some quilts in the JoAnn parking lot yesterday and then went into JoAnn.  I have rarely been shopping since March.  I've been in a few places briefly where, although they have "Masks Required" signs, the employees are not wearing masks or only if they are near a shopper.  I have a massive problem with this and will not return to those places.  The JoAnn in town is nice because the few times I have been there--three times since March--every employee is wearing a mask at all times and 99.9 percent of the shoppers are too.  Plus, there haven't been many shoppers in the store at all--usually under five.  It helps if you go right after they open.

Anyway, I hadn't been shopping for anything besides groceries and household needs for so long and I went a bit crazy with buying completely frivolous things. I got a bunch of Harry Potter fabrics, some Dwight fabric, and this book of beautiful knit projects.  I wish I had the skill to make them.  I can only knit very basic things like rectangles or really beginner-level hats.  Good thing I picked up those quilts, because I think I already spent the profits! 😳  I did a lot of damage in 15 minutes, but I sure had fun.

I've been working on another of Charlene's quilts.  She has sure given me some beauties to work on recently.  Once I get the binding sewn down, this project will be complete and I will be on to the next one:  a custom job on a Fandango quilt.

Just a few more things before I go--my husband harvested my compost tomatoes.  They are about the size of cherry tomatoes.  I don't care for cherry tomatoes, so I know that's not what they grew from.  They don't look like Romas either, so maybe they were the "tomatoes on the vine" that the grocery store sells?

I got a newsletter from one of the guilds I belong to and I was totally surprised that one of my quilts from Show and Tell (via Zoom, you submit pictures ahead of time) was featured right under the header!  My name was attached to the picture, but I couldn't fit it all in the screenshot.
And finally, another sunset picture for you.  My son took this with my phone while we were on our nightly walk.

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

Quilt Shares

I am excited to be able to share Kayle's quilt with you today.  I quilted this one in September, but needed to wait until after it was gifted to be able to share.  She's a newer quilter and this was her first experience getting a quilt long-armed.  I was so excited when I saw this quilt.  I loved the fabrics she chose.  I hadn't quilted on linen before, so I was glad to have the opportunity to try something new.  I loved the backing fabric too.  And the pattern itself is cute.  It's called Star Stream and you can buy it from Chasing Tigers on Etsy.  I might have to add it to my pattern collection.  Anyway, back to the quilt--Kayle selected Starry for the pattern and I scaled it down quite a bit.  I'm really pleased with how it came out.

I know this one is blurry, but I wanted to show the iridescence that the linen fabric had.

We quilted my daughter's Water Drop quilt over the weekend.  She initially had chosen a really cute snake quilting design, but once she started sewing it together she decided it looked more like succulents.  I showed her a few different quilting designs that looked cactus-like to me.  She narrowed it down to one called Sprockets, which to me looks like viewing succulents from above.  Everyone besides me in the house thinks it looks like Beyblades.  Anyway, she dithered for a while between the two designs and finally settled on the Beyblades.  She wanted rainbow thread as well.  She's really pleased with how it came out and I am still on the lookout for a quilt that could be enhanced by the snake design.  

I showed her how to trim and square the quilt.  I blurred her face for privacy or you would be able to tell that she's not a fan of the trimming process.  

We talked about various ways to bind and she decided she liked the look of traditional binding better than machine binding.  Here she is working on attaching the binding to the front of the quilt.  She's also not a fan of the binding process!  πŸ˜‚  She has started hand stitching the binding to the back.  We'll see how long it takes before she has a finished quilt.  This photo best represents the colors of her quilt.

I had the opportunity to watch a Bill Kerr & Weeks Ringle class on color theory through one of the guilds I belong to.  After watching the pre-recorded class we were able to participate in a live Zoom Q&A.  It was interesting and gave me things to think about and consider.  I learned a few good tips and was thankful for the opportunity to hear them speak. However, I'm still of the mindset that you should do what makes you happy in your chosen creative medium.  It's your quilt and you get to make the decisions.  

I'm nearing the end of my secret project--it's on the frame and ready to be quilted this afternoon.  Have you ever have a project where everything seems to go wrong?  This is mine. This project has tested my patience in so many ways.  I made so many boneheaded mistakes on it.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and I have enough skill and experience that it should have been really easy.  I just kept attaching things to the wrong sides.  I cut all of my sashing about four inches too short.  I then cut my correct-length borders too short and had to sew the wrong cut back on to have enough. I almost ran out of background fabric even though I purchased extra.  I started to quilt it and realized I had set up the pattern incorrectly, so I spent yesterday afternoon ripping out the one row I had stitched, which was sad because it had stitched out beautifully.  WHY??

Anyway, let's move on from that.  I did finally get to vote last Wednesday afternoon.  The weather was beautiful and the wait was a little under an hour.  

The master bathroom is repainted with a slightly different color than before.  All the walls are the same color again, so I can live with it.  The window trim is partially installed, so I'm looking forward to having a fully trimmed bathroom soon.  I'm really hoping the rest of the rooms go a lot smoother than this one did!  I do not want to repaint every wall in the house.

I'll leave you with some pretty sunset pictures I took the other night.  The real thing was much more glorious than my photos, but these are nice and we can always use more beauty in the world.  

PS--I signed up for a free, year-long photo course at https://ayearwithmycamera.com.  The next class starts in November and I'm going to try it.  One of my friends has been participating and taking really nice photos.  I thought I'd give it a try.

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

A Cautionary Tale

Here in Indiana we are not able to vote by mail unless we meet a narrow set of criteria.  We do, however, have early voting, which starts one month before election day.  We decided to vote early yesterday.  The weather was beautiful and my daughter did not have afternoon classes.  We found a good parking spot, although, wouldn't you know it, it was one of two meters on the block that for some reason did not participate in the parking app.  We got in line at the end of a very long line--nearly two sides of a city block.  People were polite.  Everyone was masked and maintaining social distance, which is very important to me. I admired the leaves and the clear blue skies.

We made it to the front of the line in just under an hour.  I reached into my purse to pull out my wallet and license.  No license is in my wallet.  πŸ˜©  Are you kidding me?? I sent my husband and daughter in to vote without me.

I had been at the bank earlier in the day, cashing a check for my son.  In order to receive cash back, you must include your license in the drive-thru tube.  I called home and had my son see if my license was in his envelope of money.  Thankfully it was, so at least it wasn't out in the wild, but again, no voting for me.  I did have a fleeting thought that if I still lived in Maryland, I could have voted without the license.  Not sure if that's true anymore or not, but at the time we lived there it was.

I went back first thing this morning and the line wrapped nearly around the entire block, so still no voting for me--based on yesterday's wait times, I estimated it would have been close to 2.5 hours and there was no available parking nearby.  I will try again this afternoon.  Moral of the story:  make sure you have your license before leaving the house.  

Continuing on with the woe-is-me, you may recall that we had to replace all the windows in our house under warranty since they leaked.  We finished that this summer, but still need to replace all the window trim on the main level of the house.  I asked my husband to start in our master bath.  He had to repair some of the drywall since the paper tore when he removed the trim.  He used a piece of that to color match the paint since we had apparently used all of the original paint. He sent me in to clean after he had replaced the mirrors and lights and removed the tape and plastic sheeting.  Houston, we have a problem.

The color-matched paint did not match at all.  I cannot live with an "accent wall".  This morning I went and bought new paint and we are now repainting the entire bathroom.  This deserves another 😩.  Moral of the story:  save at least the paint can lid with a sample of the paint on it and probably also write down the color mixing codes to keep in a safe place.  

Two cautionary tales for the price of one this week!

Moving on to sewing, I quilted a shy quilt this week.  This quilt lived with me all summer while I waited for the iQ and removed the damage that the Grace QCT inflicted on it. {Don't worry, it wasn't actually damaged.  The QCT malfunctioned and died a few rows in, so I had to rip out everything very carefully. The iQ is so superior in every way.} I used the Ikat 1 design, which I found needed a lot of little tweaks and eyes on the quilt at all times.  I was really pleased with the final result. While I cannot show you the shy quilt, I feel like this picture is generic enough to be okay. I returned the quilt to its owner yesterday.  

I'm still sewing a secret project, so no photos of that either.  This week's post is probably pretty boring to most readers--sorry, but this is my life and it is often quite boring.

I've been working on a guild BOM program for 2021 and pulled out a couple of books for reference. I thought maybe you'd like to see my quilting books.  Do you have a favorite or two that you return to time and again?  I'd love to know what it is.

The one I use most often is 5500 Quilt Block Designs by Maggie Malone. You can see all the paper markers hanging out of it.  The runner up is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  I've had both for ages.  I decided this week that I needed to treat myself and preordered the new version of Brackman's book from EQ.  It should show up in December.

I hope your week is better than mine!  As always, I appreciate you taking the time to read my musings.

Just a Little Quilting

I haven't worked on much over the past week that I can share.

I quilted and bound Charlene's quilt over the weekend. The quilting design is called JK Celtic.

Here are a few more pictures of Cindy's quilt that I shared last week. I'm still marveling over how precise and flat her piecing is.  

I completed this month's clue for the Meadow Mist mystery quilt.  It's definitely not too late to join in.  You get one clue per month, which is very manageable. The first picture is this month's clue and the second picture is last month and this month.

I don't think I've shared my completed Lucky Charm quilt.  Here it is.  I'm quite happy with how it turned out.  This was a kit from Primrose Cottage on Etsy.  It's quilted with Pumpkin Seed.
Switching over to gardening, I think my baby pineapple is dying.  :(  It does not look good. The stem holding it up is dying and the pineapple itself has changed color. I haven't found much information online on growing pineapples in pots, so I'm not sure what we should have done differently.

We had a frost the other night, so we brought in the other two pineapple plants that we started a while ago.  I had what I expect is the last garden harvest of lettuce.  My fall crop has struggled and there was enough for one small salad.  There are still a few green tomatoes out there, so I'll need to bring those in to ripen.  We do have part of our potato crops that can be harvested, and two small onions left.  Oh, and my husband never harvested the majority of his banana peppers. I don't think I ever shared our first onion harvest, so enjoy these lovelies.  :D (Yup, that's a standard paring knife for scale.)

Finally, a monarch update.  About half of the chrysalises we found have hatched and the other half did not make it.  It's more than we've had in the last few years, so we are pleased to have hosted at least a few.

Until next week--thanks for reading!

Linking with For the love of geese and From Bolt to Beauty.