Masking Up

Another week, another load of quilts. Here they are.

This is Sonja's Triangle Jitters quilt, being quilted with Donut Connection. Her quilts are always fabulous.

Kayle's rainbow jelly roll quilt, being quilted with Daytripper. This came out amazing. I used a new shade of Glide thread, Cashmere. It is a great color for blending. I'll definitely buy a larger cone of this color.
Kayle's Tula Pink round robin quilt. This one was really cool too. I found it fascinating how cohesive the whole thing was considering how many people worked on it. She selected Denise's Dragonflies for the quilting. I like it.
Kayle's Twelfth Night quilt, quilted with Slither. Ironic given last week's adventures. I prefer the snakes to be quilted rather than live! 😏
Kayle's Tula banana quilt, quilted with Going Bananas!
Kayle's Tula Pink Christmas quilt, quilted with Garland. This one is actually reversible. You'll have to watch for the reveal on Instagram. I might get around to posting it before Christmas. Maybe.

I have been killing myself over the past couple of months to have a timely turnaround on quilts as my business has taken off. I've been working seven days a week and neglecting pretty much everything else in my life. I recognize that this pressure is largely self-induced. I reached the breaking point this week and have had to acknowledge that I really need to slow down. So maybe I work five days a week like a normal human, or maybe only four days, and people need to wait a few more days to get their quilt back. It will be okay. I guess. I took Monday off and it was a much-needed respite.

Meanwhile, my son has grown and I needed to make him a few more masks for school. I also needed a replacement for one I lost. And while I was at it, I made my husband a new one because I found a fun fabric. Sadly, it took me two days to get these right. I will attribute that to being stressed out.

Things are still ugly virus-wise around here. The pediatrician's office had a 90+ person phone queue Monday. That did not include people who left a message and waited for a callback. Routine appointments are being cancelled and it is nearly impossible to get an appointment for normal illnesses. There are not enough available testing locations locally, so people have had to drive over an hour to get a test for their child. The children's hospital admitted 16 pediatric COVID cases Monday and there are five in ICU. The local hospital has 14 of 16 ICU beds taken as of yesterday. My husband's base is in the do not travel to this location rating due to rocketing case numbers. Some of the schools in my county are doing well and others, not so much. It's a lot. I am tired. 

I have been trying to find bright spots, and slowing down my brutal, self-imposed work rate and taking time for myself and my family is helping.

Besides sewing the masks, which we all know I do not enjoy, I was able to play in my fabric a bit. That always makes me happy. I think I have the beginnings of something fun here in the mess on my closet floor. Stay tuned.

I cut the remaining white fabric for my Grassy Creek blocks, but had to order a ruler due to how I cut things, so I didn't make any further sewing progress. 

I also took time to cut all my fabric for the Meadow Mist Macaron mystery quilt. Cutting is good; I always have found it to be a great stress reliever. This is such a subdued color palette for me. My solid "cream" fabric ended up looking pretty white. Eh. Oh well.

I think the #Trending QAL I bought a kit for unofficially starts today? The official start is next week. I also have a ton of computer work to do for my business, my volunteer work, and some personal things. 

I am not doing great at this month's OMG. My goal was to bind Frolic. I'm about halfway done. If I get it done by the 31st, I'll need to make an additional post so that I can link up. If not, well, I'm slowing down and taking better care of myself.  I do know already what next month's goal will be. 

My gardens, both flower and vegetable, are not doing the best since I've been neglecting them for two months. The flower beds need to be weeded (except for the window-well area--not going anywhere near where that snake might be hiding!) and deadheaded. The vegetable garden, I couldn't even say. I haven't been out there. We've had very little rain, so most of the stuff has burned out. My pears are all gone save one lonely little one near the top of the tree. Something ate them all!

I'll leave you with a couple random things: 

1. This note the school gave my son made me laugh. I choose you, Pikachu!

2. I earned this Fitbit badge last week. Alas, attaining the Kevin badge seems like a far stretch, particularly when I rarely leave my neighborhood.

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

Lots of Big Quilts

I didn't accomplish quite as much this week as last, but it's still forward progress, I guess.

I have all the string units made for my Grassy Creek quilt. I need to cut four squares for each unit to make stitch and flip corners and do the actual stitching and flipping. I'm looking forward to having that step complete, because then I can put it up on the design wall and start assembling!

Grassy Creek does have an inner border and an outer, also string pieced, border. I'm not sure that I'm going to do that. My gray stash is getting pretty low and I didn't plan any fabric for an inside border. We'll see how I feel about it once I get to that point.

I've made very little progress on binding Frolic. It's now officially 1/4 done and the month is more than half done. I'll really need to kick it into gear to get this one finished.

On the quilting front, I've still been really busy. I quilted four very large quilts and attached binding to the fronts for Ann.

This one is being quilted with Alfalfa.

Leaves in the Wind on this one.
Starlet for the Lone Star Log Cabin.
And Basic Swirl.

I quilted a pretty large quilt for Sonja. This is all sorts of little strings. Isn't this a great way to use scraps and tiny strings? Quilted with a large scale Baptist Fan.

I also quilted a smaller one for Sonja using 60s Mod Butterfly. This is an interesting pattern because you load the quilt sideways in order to get the string of vertical butterflies effect.

Here it is reoriented.

Check out the amazing pattern matching she did for her backing! Have you ever tried this? I haven't.

I met Charlene to pick up a quilt and she gave me homemade Snickerdoodles.  Yum!

My husband harvested a bunch of his coolapenos (jalapeños without the heat, though most of us are wimps and these are still hot to us).  I used three to make a chicken dish and cornbread. No idea what he's expecting me to do with the rest! 

He worked hard and got the basement all painted. Even though this paint is supposed to be very low VOC and such, I seem to be allergic to the smell of it. 😕 Hopefully the fumes will dissipate soon. 

Meanwhile, I had an unwelcome visitor to my sewing room window well which makes me leery of opening the window. Yes, I know this is irrational.  Warning: scary images ahead.

I won't be attending to my little garden anytime soon. Or anytime later. I really don't like snakes! Why did it go into the wall? 😨

Well, Well, Well....

I'm not sure what's gotten into me. I am on a total roll. Remember my list of possible OMGs last week? I've already made a pretty sizable dent in it!

I bound the unicorn quilt. The star and loop pattern is one that came with my IntelliQuilter. This will be a donation to Quilts for Kids.

I started binding my Frolic quilt, which is my official OMG for August. I'm not quite 1/4 done.

For some reason I started working on the Grassy Creek strings. I'm not using the recommended method because I couldn't face tearing all the papers out. I just cut a bunch of little chunks at the correct width and went to town. Probably not the most accurate method, but it's okay. 

I have 32/60 strings made; no corners added yet.

I chased a squirrel with this fabric pull, though I'm not yet sure it will work as I had hoped.

I received my copy of My Quilt Infatuation Kelly's new book. It's a good one! I worked on fabric pulls for a project from the book. I'm excited to give it a whirl.

I'm still quilting up a storm. If you need something quilted, I'm booking September right now. Click the circular Quilting by Anne-Marie logo in the sidebar to go to my business website.

Here's what I've worked on since last week. 

This one is Keetah's. I love the colors on the front. Isn't the backing fun? So unexpected.

Here's a bit from Amber's quilt.

She's so sweet. She brought us a box of designer cookies when she picked up her quilt. 🤤

I worked on a t-shirt quilt from Andrea, including the binding. Diagonal Plaid always looks great on t-shirt quilts.

I finished two of Cindy's quilts. The first one is being quilted with Sierra Blues.

This one is being quilted with Ginger Leaf.

And I quilted Laura's Snail Trail quilt using the Tempest design. It barely shows in this photo though. Do you remember the story behind this quilt? The top was rescued from the Treasure Shop donation bin. The centers of the blocks are all corduroy. It's so fascinating and the colors are really great.

It had such interesting construction.

I played bobbin chicken and won. That is always so satisfying. About three inches of thread was left.

You may notice I only did six this week instead of seven like last week. You know why? I took a day of rest on Friday (trying to be kinder to myself, the unofficial, intangible OMG) and it was glorious. I delivered a quilt, went shopping with my husband, and read for several hours. I will admit that I did a ton of design work for several clients that day, but it was relaxing.

I received my OMG prize from last month, an EPP starter pack from Paper Pieces and Patty at Elm Street Quilts. So generous.

We harvested the first of our tomatoes. I think these are either Pink Lady or Pink Girl? I can't remember other than it had Pink in the name. We made spaghetti sauce for dinner last night. The tomatoes looked a bit questionable, but the sauce was good.
That's basically my week. Hopefully I can keep up this rate of productivity. See you next week.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun & August OMG

I can finally share last month's project with you. I made a sample of Lindsey of Yellow Umbrella Quilts' newest pattern. The pattern, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, released on Friday. I challenged myself to use only fabrics in my stash for the top. I chose to make the twin size version, which is a generous lap size for me. This pattern uses a Tri-Recs or similar ruler. I've noticed that a lot of newer patterns are returning to templates or specialty rulers that I used 20 years ago. Fun side note: the last time I remember using my Tri-Recs set is on the Millennium quilt circa 1999 that I finished up a few weeks ago. Anyway, I really loved this pattern and it goes together quickly. Every single fabric combination I've seen so far looks really good.

If you stopped by a few weeks ago, you saw not only the finished Millennium quilt, but also two different fabrics I bought as possible backings for the Girls Just Wanna quilt. I went with the limes and used the leftover backing as binding since I didn't have enough of anything else I'd used. I quilted it with Ruby Queen from Tiny Orchard Quilts

Today is my son's first day of school. He just got on the bus. It's his first time in-person since March 2020. It's nerve-wracking, but not as nerve-wracking as the first few times my daughter drove herself to campus, or the first time the kids went somewhere in the car on their own (yesterday). 

So. It's probably been good for my nerves that I have been blessed with an abundance of work. I have been working seven days a week for a few weeks now, with probably three more weeks like this remaining. My house is a wreck and my husband has been pitching in on making dinners while I attempt to catch up. Here's the shipping and receiving area (office). 

And my sewing room staging station. I could probably be a bit more elegant. LOL. Someday when I have more time I'll set up something more attractive.

Quilts since last week:

Julia's Boho Hearts, quilted with Loop the Loop

Cindy's Pumpkins, quilted with Basic Swirls

Sally's Rail Fence, quilted with Twinkling Teardrops

Ann's Mickey Mouse, quilted with Midnight Sparkle

Ann's Baby Girl, quilted with Curlique

Ann's Transportation, quilted with Mod Dotz

Ann's Very Hungry Caterpillar, quilted with Champagne Bubbles

Janice's baby quilt, quilted with Zupas

I had another close call with the thread while quilting Sally's quilt. Here's me looking at the little bit left to quilt and seeing how low that spool is getting. The quilting design we used had a ton of back/over-stitching.

Whew! No sweat! 

I also attached the binding to the front of three of the quilts. I've had very little time to do any personal sewing, so that makes contemplating this month's OMG an interesting exercise. What I'd really like my goal to be is to be kind to myself and accept that I'm doing as best I can as I feel overloaded by my current responsibilities. Since that's basically impossible to measure in any tangible way, I looked around my sewing room for a measurable goal.

Here are my possibilities.

1. Start making the gray string pieces for Grassy Creek. This is what I really should do.

2. Start something completely new--I have this Chalk quilt all cut and ready to sew. This is what I want to do.

3. Do all the cutting for the Macaron Mystery, which will be released tomorrow. This will be mostly done, but I am planning a few switches, which means I may not get it all done until I figure out more of the assembly method.

4. Quilt this top I bought on an IG destash. I'm planning to donate this to the guild's Community Quilts program. I have no backing or binding and probably no chance at getting this quilted this month based on my current workload.

5. Start working on the improv piece. Highest priority. This will probably be a behind the scenes project for a while, so not a great choice for OMG.

6. Machine bind the unicorn quilt. This doesn't really seem like enough of a goal for OMG. I like to push myself a bit. Although I've been fortunate enough to win a prize from OMG twice, the real prize is setting and achieving the goal. I really feel such appreciation for Patty every single month for giving me external motivation.

 7. That leaves binding Frolic. This will be a stretch to get done. It's been waiting for binding for almost a year. I made and attached the binding to the front last week and it's been waiting for me to hand stitch it down. This is my official goal for OMG for August. Finish Frolic.
If you've read through all of this, thanks! I hope you enjoyed seeing all the beauty that's been surrounding me this week.

Here's a look at our now-finished entertainment system piece my husband has been working on all summer. Now we need to get the walls painted, trim attached and painted, and try to find some carpet at some point in the future. Maybe by Christmas? Our house OMG is to get at least a few more of the walls painted. :) That was supposed to be my job, but it's turning in to his job. Details on cabinet: he built and painted the unit in six pieces in our garage. His dad built the doors for us, which we picked up while we were in Michigan. My husband painted them here. All the walnut pieces are cut from countertops we ordered from IKEA. 

Thanks for stopping by. Have a nice week.