Busy Week

Welcome back! In case you missed it, be sure to read my previous post, where I showcased my Sunrise mini quilt made from Kelly's Scrappy Improv Quilting book. I'm really proud of how it turned out.

I've been busy with lots of quilting as I try to keep ahead of the curve. Our basement carpet is scheduled to be installed next week, so I likely won't be able to get into my sewing room while they are working. And one of the guilds I belong to is having our big quilt show. Anyway, I've been working a lot to keep up.

Here's Sara's quilt, quilted with More Square Drama. I believe this one is going in the show.

I got to quilt this cute quilt for Haley. It's being quilted with Triplet.

Next, I snuck in my Highland Cow quilt. As you may recall, this quilt is not only my OMG, but I also entered it into the show prior to starting on it. I was planning to custom quilt it, but had a serious case of design block and a time crunch too, so I went with the Friends of P design instead.

Here it is fully quilted.

I wasn't really sure what fabric I wanted to use for binding. My daughter and I searched through my stash and couldn't find anything suitable. I found an older Moda print at one of the local stores that I think will work. Now I just need to get this thing bound and get a label and hanging sleeve on it. I have a week--no sweat, right? πŸ˜…

Next I quilted Robin's vintage squares quilt.

And another Christmas one for Keetah. 

I was able to get in a bit of sewing over the past week. I finished the second block in Denise's Flower Patch SAL. Here are my first two blocks.

I started in on this month's Macaron Mystery. Sorry so many of my pictures are dark. I've been doing a lot of nighttime sewing and quilting.

Finally, I finished binding my first Bonnie Hunter quilt. Frolic is finished! I put in the last few inches of binding stitches yesterday afternoon and had my daughter take a picture while my son and I held up the quilt. Can you guess which side I was holding? πŸ˜„ Guess I should have stood on my tippy toes! This is another quilt I entered in the show, so I do still need to get the hanging sleeve and label onto this one as well. The sleeve is at least made.

I have several things I need to get done within the next week. As stated above, I need to put hanging sleeves on both Frolic and the Highland Cow. I need to make and attach labels for all three of my quilt entries. I need to make and attach labels to three white pillow cases for the submissions. I need to sew block three of the Flower Patch SAL. I need to deep clean the floors downstairs in preparation for the carpet installation. I need to type up and submit the minutes from the last guild board meeting. And buy some birthday presents for someone in the house.

Those are all firm deadlines. I still have an abundance of quilts to complete for my lovely clients. I need to finish up this month's Macaron clue, though it's not a big deal if I don't. I haven't started this month's #Trending block either, again no big deal if I'm late. I'd like to make a little progress on the Grassy Creek mystery too--it's almost time for the next mystery, so need to get this one at least to flimsy stage! I guess one good thing about being unable to get in my sewing room for several days is that I will have plenty of time for sewing hanging sleeves and labels onto quilts.

I don't know about you, but I never run out of things to do, sewing, housework, garden, or otherwise. 

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Linking with For the Love of Geese, My Quilt Infatuation, Alycia Quilts, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.


Welcome to my stop on Kelly's Scrappy Improv Quilting book release blog hop

When Kelly asked me to participate in her blog hop, I was thrilled to accept. I will admit to being a little apprehensive about the improv part, however. I'm a math major. I don't always do well with winging it and had avoided anything remotely resembling improv piecing prior to this. I had nothing to worry about though, because the instructions and method are so well explained in the book. It's like you have a friend there with you, guiding you along.

Here is my quilt, which I call Sunrise, made using the pattern "Shockwave", which is the last quilt pattern in the book. 

I wasn't sure initially what fabrics to use. I have lots of scraps, but most are teeny, tiny pieces and many of them probably qualify as vintage now. After dithering for quite a while, I started pulling out color groupings. 

I then started making the improv slabs. I enjoyed the process way more than I expected to. One thing I learned is that maybe this isn't the place to use the super tiny pieces. While my slabs looked really cool, when I cut them into the required shapes I lost a lot of the detail or ended up with slivers instead of chunks. These are the first two slabs I made. I am so proud of these things!

Here are my pink pieces in progress.

I ended up changing some of the colors part way through. The colors didn't quite flow as I had hoped. I was originally going to use a low volume print for my background fabric, but it didn't do anything to set off my pieces. I made a blue piece, pictured below, that I didn't end up using.

I do like this navy piece.

I was struggling to make the mini look like a sunset (my initial idea), but then my daughter showed me a sunrise picture she had taken at the bus stop one morning quite some time ago and that was my a-ha moment. 

I made a replacement slab and went shopping for a background fabric. I also bought a fun
backing fabric. And everything magically came together. πŸ˜„ 

I knew that with the amount of solid fabric that I really wanted to do some custom quilting. I sketched out several plans and finally picked one. I'm rusty on the custom quilting and have done almost none on my current longarm, but I'm still pleased with the end product. {I did order the additional feet available for my APQS Lucey after quilting this! Gotta have the right tools for the job.}

Here are the threads I used, plus a lavender bobbin.

I found a leftover piece of binding in my scrap bin that was the perfect color and almost the perfect size. 

There wasn't enough to make my usual mitered join, but there was enough to get the job done with 3/4" to spare!

I made bonus HST with my trimmings for a future project too. 
This was such a fun learning experience and I will definitely try improv again. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity. If you want to try improv, or just want a really great quilting book, I highly recommend Kelly's book. You can buy your copy here.

Scrappy Improv Quilting Blog Tour Schedule-
10/18- All Dressed UpLinda @ Flourishing Palms
             ShockwaveAnne-Marie @ Stories From the Sewing Room

10/20- Sweet Bee (a bonus thank-you pattern), Finishing, and Wrap-Up (here!) 

Highland Cow Progress

I've been making good progress on my Highland Cow/Cattle Call quilt top. As you might recall, I entered this quilt in the quilt show that will be held at the end of this month. Yup, I entered a quilt I have not yet made. 😬 Here's how it looked last week. Labelling each cut of fabric is a MUST.

Here's a few progress photos.

This quilt goes together very easily. 

Here is my completed top.

And the backing I ordered from Spoonflower. There's quite a good margin around the print, so I will need to work very carefully in order to avoid having unprinted, bright white margins showing on the sides. I believe I have 40" of print from selvedge to selvedge.

I have it in my head that I should custom quilt this (40 x 45) top, but I'm not sure what I'd quilt in the background. Another concern is that this quilt needs to be totally done and have a hanging sleeve attached within the next two weeks. At the moment I'm kind of in "what on earth was I thinking??" mode. I need to finish binding one half of a side of Frolic and attach that hanging sleeve as well as make and attach labels on all three. I'll think on the quilting plan a bit longer while I finish a few more client quilts. 

Speaking of client quilts, I have two of Pat's to show you this week. She chose Starlet for her first quilt.

She picked "The Force" for her Mandalorian/Baby Yoda (Grogu) quilt.

It may seem as though I haven't done much in the past week. That's because I spent some time last week working on a project of my own. Come back Monday to see what I made. It'll be my turn on the Scrappy Improv blog hop and I'm excited to show you my creation.

Linking with For the Love of Geese, My Quilt Infatuation, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

October OMG

I knew just what I wanted to set as my goal for this month. John at Art East Quilting Co. released his fall patterns and I just had to buy the Highland Cow pattern. And, because I'm not busy enough as it is, I decided that I am going to make this and enter it in the guild show this month. I had part of the fabrics and ordered the rest. I also ordered a print from Spoonflower for the backing and just got shipment notification yesterday. 

I have the cutting done and the quilt is only 40" x 45", so I feel somewhat confident that I can complete it in time. The show is at the end of the month, so as long as I get it done in time for that, I will have completed this month's goal. By the way, labels for cut pieces are a necessity when crafting John's patterns. I made these by typing up the required letters and printing them on a shipping label sticker.

I've also entered my Frolic quilt. I am still binding that (that was my failed August goal). I have less than one side left. I then need to attach the hanging sleeve and all three quilts I'm entering will need labels and labeled pillowcases as well.  Any ideas on how you fit a 90" x 90" quilt in a pillowcase?!

I've been busy quilting overtime this past week because I have two personal projects I need to get done this month and I want to custom quilt them both. Here's this week's beauties.

1. Amber's Christmas quilt. I was intrigued that there were so many neutral-colored snowflake fabrics.

2. Valerie's mini, quilted with Sunshine Shells (say that three times fast! 😏).

3. Four Christmas quilts for Keetah.

4. Another memory quilt for Toni, quilted with Tractors.

5. A t-shirt quilt for Toni, quilted with Just Basketballs. I like her arrangement on this and I liked the basketballs way more than I expected to.

6. Sally's quilt, quilted with Diamond Loops. So pleased to finally stitch out that pattern.

That has pretty much been my week. I need to do yard work. One benefit to not keeping up with it is that the turkeys come in when we leave things more unkempt. I scared this herd rafter or flock yesterday morning.

I also saw a murder of crows (yes, having fun looking up names for groups of birds) attacking--murdering?--the neighbors' overflowing trash can yesterday. For some reason I found that absolutely hilarious. 

I need to get out more. Or not. Whatever. Have a safe, healthy, productive week.

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

September OMG Finished!

This was kind of a tough one! My September goal was to make and attach a hanging sleeve on my 365 Challenge quilt. This is a big quilt at 90" square and that is a lot of hand stitching in awkward positions.  I finished it off last night while watching reruns of The Wonder Years. I'd forgotten how there was always the sound of news in the background. I also introduced my kids to The Brady Bunch this week, mostly because there is a house being built in our neighborhood that reminded us of the house in that show. I like listening to shows where I don't have to pay close attention while I am stitching in the evening.

Anyway, after struggling and ultimately failing to take a compelling photo, here is the hanging sleeve. All this quilt needs to be ready for the show is a label. 

Edited to add: to see this quilt in progress, click on the 365 Challenge tab under the stitch category in the menu bar.

I also entered my Frolic quilt, which is not yet complete! 😬 I have the hanging sleeve made. I need to finish binding the quilt, make and attach a label, and stitch on the hanging sleeve. Thankfully it's a bit smaller than the 365.

I've been pretty busy this past week. I bound the t-shirt quilt that I quilted last week.

I spent a few days custom quilting on Odie's baby quilt. I based my block stitching on a design called Radiance by Natalia Bonner. 

You may have seen my thread post on Instagram Friday. I had ordered a whole bunch of neutral colored threads, plus some colors I need for an upcoming project and a few replacements of ones I was low on. I should be good on neutrals for a while and able to match virtually any neutral fabric! πŸ˜‚ Here's the pictures in case you missed it.

Here is the quilt I was hoping to match with the threads that are possibilities.

Narrowed down. I chose the thread at the top/left, which is German Granite.

Quilting Annie's project with the Honeycomb Effect pattern. All those color strips where the needle is are about 1/4" wide! 

I quilted In the Swirls on Lyn's quilt. This design is really popular with my clients.

I quilted Two Simple on Kathy's quilt. It came out great. Can you see my first Flower Patch SAL block on the design wall in the background? The second block releases today and it's time to link up the fabric pull and first block over at For the Love of Geese.

Oh, I also did an embroidery project for my neighbor. She wanted me to monogram some pjs for her friend who was getting married. This involved removing the pocket, doing the embroidery, and reattaching the pocket. I hadn't touched my embroidery machine in probably two years. Eek. It came out pretty well though. You can find these pajamas on Amazon. The photos I took are pretty lousy, but this was a rush job and it's enough to give you an idea of how they looked.

Moving over to the yard, my husband cleaned out our tomato trees from the garden. The plants were so large that I couldn't get past them to get to our other crops. I had asked him to harvest what was left on there and pull out the plants. Here's my little window greenhouse. My kids were kinda stumped by why I put all the tomatoes on the windowsill. I guess they will learn. 🀷🏻‍♀️ 

We were able to pick up apples at the orchard over the weekend--we didn't pick our own this year because it was way too crowded. I got a half bushel of Golden Delicious and two pecks of Jonagold. Yes, those are the same amounts, just packaged differently. 

So, an entire bushel of apples for me to make into applesauce. After a heck of a lot of work spread over several days, I have a total of 16 quarts and a pint. 

Plus a bowl of extra I had in my first batch. As always, I am thankful we are not reliant on food we preserve. It's so much work and I always marvel at what people in the "olden days" went through to survive.

I'm trying out a new hair salon this morning. They advertise their safety procedures and I am feeling hopeful for this being a better fit for me than some previous places I've been. I sooo need a haircut--it's been 10 weeks.  After that, my plans are to finish three more quilts this week and then come up with a plan for my own project that uses some of the pretty threads above.

Stop by next week to see what I'm planning for October's goal. I have an idea, and it will be tight, but I think I can get it done.