May Goal

My goal for May is to sew together the 25 blocks pictured here.  They are part of my version of Bonnie Hunter's Grassy Creek mystery.  I had stalled out when we got to the part with sewing all the strings.  I am still unsure I want to sew all the strings, so I set this one aside.  I decided a good way to decide what to do is simply start assembling the parts of the blocks I like and go from there.


I'm also working on a project made almost entirely from my scraps.  Here is a literally very small piece of the project.  {The only thing I purchased was backing fabric specific to this project's recipient.}  Bonus points to me for figuring out how to draw up and print my own foundations in EQ8.

Of course I am also quilting.  I returned two quilts to their owners over the past few days and worked on a few others.  

Here's a sneak peek of a guild project.  I forget which charity this will fundraise for. I chose to quilt it with the Curlique pattern.  I always wonder if this one should be pronounced "cur-leek" or "curlicue". 

I also put one of my own on the frame and quilted it yesterday.  My daughter helped me with layout and we wanted it to have beachy vibes.  The quilt pattern itself is called "Under the Sea" by Sue Pfau.  I quilted it with Star Lights. This pattern made me think of star fish and sea shells.

I'm still working on removing all the foundations from my For the Love of Geese quilt top.  It's going a bit faster than I expected; however, I'll still be glad when that step is done.

I am happy to report that I have filled a book box with quilting books, patterns, and other assorted things that I will donate to the Treasure Shop fundraiser for the other guild that I belong to.  There's one box less stuff in my room. Progress!

I am really happy that I was able to spend the weekend buying flowers.  It was really relaxing and rejuvenating and I'm glad I took the time to go outside and do something I mostly enjoy.  Here is my haul from one of the four places I went.  Also, did you know you can buy sugar at Menards?  You'll pay a premium, but it's there.  

I also couldn't pass up these beet plants (bought two, only one pictured).

Part of the process that I don't really enjoy is pulling weeds.  I wouldn't mind it that much other than we have a major spearmint infestation in our lower garden.  We planted one of those little square containers and it went insane.  I do not use chemicals in any of my gardens or my yard, so pulling the spearmint out by hand is the only way to get rid of it.  We all worked on it as time, the weather, and, for two of us, our out of shape, middle-aged bodies, would permit.  We made a good dent, but there is a lot more to go.  We found that using cultivators to loosen up the mulch really helped with getting down to the roots. If you ever feel the urge to plant spearmint, don't!  The only good thing I can say about it is that the deer don't eat it.
If you have really sharp vision, you might see all the milkweed coming up in the photo below.  It makes the garden look a bit sloppy as summer goes on, but we can host monarchs.  Last week I saw a sparrow eating dandelion fluff in my lawn.  That was a new one.

All the irises are starting to bloom.

This one is called Batik.  It looks really good this year.  I'm not seeing many buds on my ultimate favorite, which is Crater Lake Blue.

I saw my first hummingbird Saturday (hence needing to buy sugar at Menards).  We have a few orioles, though not as many as last year.  We have a few grosbeaks as well, again, not as many as usual.  We have found a robin nest up on our back yard flood light; a bluebird nest in the box on the veggie garden, complete with five babies; and several house finch nests.

Over all, it's been a pretty good week.  I'm excited that my teenage son will soon be eligible to get his vaccine.  He's been home this whole school year, but will need to go back to in-person next year, so knowing that he'll have some protection is a relief. Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to get your vaccine.  πŸ™‚

Linking with For the Love of Geese and My Quilt Infatuation.


Thoughts on Stash

I've finished several more quilts.  Here's a sneak peek of one of Charlene's quilts.

And here is Sara's quilt in progress. I'm really pleased with how this came out.  The pattern took a while to line up and stitch out properly.  It was worth the effort.

I'm wrapping up another king size quilt for Amber.

If you have something you need quilted, my wait time is about a week right now--that's the shortest wait I've had this year.  Head over to my long arm quilting business website to sign up. I'd love to work with you.

I wasn't great about taking pictures this week, but I finished the last seam of my For the Love of Geese quilt.  I am now removing the papers.  I made three more masks for my kids. I sewed another charm pack's worth of my Cupcake Mix project that I don't think I've worked on in close to a year. And by sewed, I don't mean finished, just sewed the background and charms to the paper. It will still require cutting the parts from the paper and then assembling the blocks. It might be another year before I get to that.

Which leads me to talking about stash.  A few weeks ago, I saw a Facebook post that I just can't stop thinking about.  I took a screen shot:

I look around my beautifully organized closet in my sewing room and realize that that FB post could apply to me some day.  I definitely have things I've hoarded or saved for a special project. It's time to use all the stash.  Clearly this will take me some time.  I've been pretty good about buying only what I need to fill in fabric requirements and mostly shopping my stash when sewing during the past year.  But as you can see, I could easily make three quilts and not even make a dent.  I could probably not even dent it with 10 quilts.  My stash brings me joy and it brings me shame.  I see possibility and I see excess and sometimes I see failure. Maybe you can relate?

The right side of my closet is all batting rolls and scraps.  I use these for my business, so it doesn't bother me as much as the rest does.

This past year has been so odd.  I've fallen out of most of my good routines.  There's rarely a sense of urgency to get anything done because most every day is exactly the same.  I know I need to get into better routines, particularly with my eating, exercising, and sewing.  Maybe with cleaning and yard work. Eh. I could definitely manage my time better. Anyway, hopefully I haven't been too much of a downer.  

Turning to something more positive...our Baltimore orioles and rose breasted grosbeaks have arrived.  The orioles stay with us most of the summer.  The grosbeaks are usually here for a few weeks.  We have a bluebird nest in the bird house by the vegetable garden.  It has five eggs in it.  We also found a nest on the floodlight on the back of the house.  We can see the nest from the deck, but it's at the other end of the house, so not sure what's in it.  I'm guessing a robin. It's a pretty big nest.

I bought a series of books for my son--Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger.  He's part way into the first one and enjoying it. I'm into book five and ordered six, seven, and eight today.  πŸ˜Š They're sort of along the lines of Harry Potter, but with a female lead.  I recommend them.

Let's end with some sewing, shall we?  I got out my Grassy Creek mystery and will be working towards finishing it over the next few months (or longer; we'll see). Definitely not the greatest picture, but it's nice to have something on the design wall again.  I had to laugh when I saw that I managed to put them all on an uphill slant.  

Linking with For the Love of Geese and My Quilt Infatuation.

April OMG Complete

As you may recall, my sewing machine was out for a cleaning for the past few weeks. I was using my daughter's machine for the past week and made some pretty good progress on my For the Love of Geese quilt.  I'm only one seam away from completing the top.  I didn't think I'd be able get to this point or else this project would have been my OMG for this month.  Side note: my beloved sewing machine came back home on Monday.

Meanwhile, I have finished my official April OMG ahead of schedule! This is my completed Morewood Mystery quilt.



The quilt pattern is by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. She has awarded the QAL prizes and I will be quilting for someone whose Morewood is their first quilt ever!  Isn't that fun? I can't wait.

Here are the other Morewood quilts I have quilted so far. This first one is Connie's.

This one is Odie's.
This one is Ann's.
And this one is Charlene's.
I love seeing all the different fabric choices.  There's a fun parade of finishes on Cheryl's blog.  Some people got really creative with the layout and that is even more interesting to me.

I will also be sponsoring a prize for
next year's mystery, which starts July 1.  Be sure to sign up (it's totally free).  I bet it's gonna be a good one.

I've also been quilting.  Here's a very small sneak peak of one that I completed.  I used the Sweep design.

It's hard to believe we are snow-covered this morning (see finished quilt pic above).  The tulips in my window well were starting to open up yesterday.

I tried a new recipe last night.  I totally recommend it.  It's chicken bacon vegetable alfredo.  I changed the directions slightly--I used my usual vegetable steaming method rather than the one set out in the directions.  We also decided to cut the chicken into smaller chunks instead of leaving them as fillets. Other tweaks we made were minor. Anyway, it was really easy, tasty, and picky eater (son) approved.

I'm taking my daughter to get her second vaccination tomorrow.  That will be 3/4 of us protected.  Can't wait til my son is eligible too.  Then we may finally be able to reunite with family.  It's been a long, long time. Keep wearing those pesky masks (I hate them, but I wear them to protect others), and get the shot when you are eligible.  

Finally, if you are a Blogger user, you are probably aware that they are discontinuing the Feedburner follow by email service.  Ugh.  If you get emails to notify you when I have posted, you won't soon (June/July).  I will also miss this as a reader, because I need those email notices to remind me to go visit. 

I am unsure what to offer as an alternative. Bonnie Hunter is going to use Bloglovin'.  I haven't had great experiences with that service as a reader of blogs, so I hesitate to offer it. I've heard of a few other services, but have zero experience with them.  If you know of something that functions like the Feedburner service, please comment or email.  I'm feeling a bit desperate.  Let's help each other stay connected.

Linking with For the Love of GeeseMy Quilt InfatuationTGIFF at mmm quilts, and Alycia Quilts.


What a Week!

This has been a rather eventful week.  We closed on our empty lot.  It's on the corner and is a bit larger than our existing property. It looks almost larger than life in the photos I took last night. A garage and lots of trees are in the plans.  I took the first picture standing at the corner looking back at our house.

This next picture was taken further around the corner near the lot line. I'm so pleased we'll be able to keep this as green space.

Last Friday I got my second COVID shot.  I spent Friday afternoon sleeping and felt a bit tired for a few days.  

You may recall that my sewing machine is out for cleaning.  I made it about a week and then broke out my daughter's Bernette (which is basically a rebranded Janome).  I have a custom cut out in my desk for my regular Bernina.  The Bernette, of course, does not fit.  My husband cut a scrap of wood for me to put under the Bernette and that raised it up enough that I could use her machine.  The arrow is pointing at the extra piece of wood.

I needed to repair a few face masks and it did okay, but struggled through the thicker layers.  I need to make a few more masks but will probably put it off until my Bernina is back. Then I pieced together my flying geese units and the Bernette worked much better for that.  Look at these beautiful rainbow pieces!

I've been busy quilting too.  Here are sneak peeks of a few of the projects I worked on in the last week.

This first one belongs to Pat and I quilted it with Augusta from My Creative Stitches.

The next one belongs to Joyce.  She wanted puppy paw prints on her puppy quilt.  I presented her with all the paw print designs I could find and she chose Paw Prints by Judy Vallely from Intelligent Quilting.  It stitched out effortlessly; recommend.

I'm half way done with my monthly goal, which is to bind my Morewood Mystery quilt. No photo because it's not very exciting yet.

A big surprise is that I managed to sew together all the borders for my For the Love of Geese quilt and attach one to one of the quadrants!  Maybe I'll be able to get the whole top together this month. That would be awesome!


I had a head-scratching moment while prepping my longarm for the next quilt.  I found a piece of thread hanging down in the bobbin area and was having trouble removing it.  I discovered that it was actually wrapped around the shaft behind the bobbin basket.  I have no idea how it got there.  It took a lot of time and effort, but I finally got all of it out.  This piece is about eight inches long and I had broken off several inches prior to removing the whole thing.  Weird.

Now for a few proud mom moments:  my daughter took her first solo car drive to her first in-person college class.  Milestones!  We were more nervous about the driving; she was more nervous about being in-person. She hasn't had an in-person class in more than a year.

And my son competed in his first and virtual Academic Quiz Bowl match and won the math portion.  He's always pretty laid back, but I could tell he was pleased.  They had technical difficulties, so what was supposed to take about two hours ended up closer to four.  He even got to eat dinner in his room.  I guess that was a novel experience.  ha.

We had a lot of rain during the last week, so I went to check the veggie garden on Monday.  The squirrels have attacked.  Hopefully some of the peas and lettuce will survive.

I guess that's about all I have this week.  I hope you have a marvelous week.

Charms

Hello!  I hope you are having weather as nice as we've been enjoying these past few days.  I think we have had our two weeks of spring and are moving right into summer temperatures.  This is sort of a joke because for the past several years it seems like we have gone from wearing winter coats to wearing shorts in a two-week time period each spring.

I haven't done any sewing at all because my machine is out for cleaning.  I've quilted two quilts. Here's a sneak peek of one, made by my friend Annie.  Isn't it looking awesome? The panto is Sunrise Skateland from Julie Hirt and the quilt pattern is Bar Charts from Broadcloth Studio.

I decided to splurge and purchase charm packs that include every single Kona cotton color.  It's really hard to tell from the little chips on the color card what the fabrics are going to look like at a larger scale.  I'm trying to figure out a good way to label, organize, and store these.  I feel like I should put each charm square onto a backer of some sort to help with longevity (and maybe cut down on the amount of lint that charm packs give off), but haven't come up with a good solution yet.  Please send suggestions!

Using the RK website, I was able to see which colors are included in each pack.  I started with the new colors 2019 pack and pulled out the color chips for this set.  The colors in the charm pack appear to be in the same order as the list of colors on the website.  If this continues to be true on the 85-piece packs, it will be very helpful.  Some of the colors are so similar.

The kids and I planted the first seeds in our veggie gardens last weekend.  We put in chives, snap peas, and a row of lettuce.  I didn't take a picture because it would just be a picture of dirt!  πŸ˜† We'll add another row of lettuce this weekend.  In a few weeks we will add in green beans, cucumbers, beets, and dill.  Sometime in May I will find a tomato plant I like.  My husband will plant some seed potatoes at some point.  He has put in three permanent strawberry beds outside of our veggie garden enclosure and the plants are looking very healthy.  We will be able to harvest our crop this year.   

The pear trees will likely not produce again.  The Bartlett pear tree has very few blossoms and the Moonglow has none.  I believe we need to amend our soil and if that doesn't help for next year, I'll need to bring in a tree expert.

My area of the world has a lot of limestone (hence needing to amend the soil).  We occasionally find geodes on our property.

I made some rolls last weekend that actually turned out!  The recipe used the bread machine to make the dough and then you form, rise, and bake them.  They looked great.  I felt they were quite dry, but my family liked them. I like the idea of just making the dough and then shaping it into a normal shape.  I'll probably look for and try more recipes that use this process.

Finally, I have been making a small amount of progress on my OMG.  I have one side bound.  This picture shows that I am ready to round the first corner.
I'm getting my second vaccination Friday!  
Have a great week.

Completed March OMG & New April OMG

I didn't think I'd be able to pull this off, but I actually completed my March goal last night.  Here are all the border pieces for my For the Love of Geese quilt.  Woo hoo! Progress!

I need to surrender my sewing machine for an overdue cleaning, and it will likely be gone for several weeks 😰, so my goal for April will be to get the binding sewn down on my Morewood Mystery quilt. I have no reason other than pure laziness for why this isn't done yet.  I've even been using it as-is.  It's time to get it done.

I've still been busy with quilts.  Here is a sneak peak (of the backing, which is so cool) of one of the quilts from this week.  It belongs to Charlene and is going home today.

Other than that, not much is going on around here.  We are getting more rain and a cold snap, which always seems to happen right as our cherry tree blossoms.  We usually only have a few days to enjoy the blossoms before Mother Nature kills them off. We did notice various bees on the blossoms last night and we have a few dandelions in the yard too.  πŸ˜Š The crab apple trees, along with most of the other trees, are starting to leaf out. 

My daffodils are still going strong at this point.  They've handled high winds and heavy rains in the past week.  Hopefully they survive the next bit of weather.


I don't watch a ton of television, maybe an hour or so in the evening, but I have enjoyed the series Superstore, which ended for good last week. I've also been watching as many back episodes as my Passport subscription allows of Finding Your Roots on PBS. The other PBS show I really enjoyed recently is All Creatures Great & Small.  I read the series of books years ago and I loved the show.  I was sad there were so few episodes.  I'll need to find something new to watch soon.  

Anyway, thanks for reading.  Have a great week!