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.

Flower Patch SAL Fabric & Block 1

As promised, I've been taking it really easy over the past week. My goal this week is to quilt four quilts. I have quilted two quilts so far, both for Annie. 

The first is a t-shirt quilt, quilted with Diagonal Plaid, which is my pattern of choice for t-shirt quilts.

The second is a modified version of Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune. I quilted this with Raindrops on Water.

I'm currently working on ideas for custom quilting a baby quilt that has lots of machine embroidered blocks. It is a challenging one, for sure, as I cannot stitch through the embroideries and they are all different shapes and alignments and stuff.

I'll also be dusting off my embroidery machine to add a monogram to a set of pajamas. This will involve removing the pocket, stitching, and then reattaching the pocket. 

I feel like I've done very little except spend money! I needed some background fabric for a project (below), so I had my husband take me to a shop that I hadn't been to before. They have ALL the Konas! Whoa! I also purchased a backing fabric for that project and a few impulse purchases as well. I then stopped by JoAnn to pick up some 108" wide muslin to make a hanging sleeve for my 365 Challenge. That's this month's OMG, so I really need to get a move on. I'm hoping to finish binding Frolic, add a hanging sleeve, and enter that one in the show as well.

Here's the upcoming project. As part of my spending spree, I ordered lots of new colors of quilting thread, some of which are for this.

You may recall that I wasn't entirely sold on the fabric I had as my dark fabric for Denise's Flower Patch SAL. I found an Island Batik Foundations blue the I liked the look of, so I ordered some from Hancock's of Paducah. I also purchased some backing fabric for a donation quilt and then some other random sale stuff to get up to the free shipping threshold. I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that, right? I'd rather pay for extra fabric than shipping. Anyway, back to my preparations for the SAL. 

Since the Flower Patch SAL is a paper piecing project, I ordered some of the paper that Bonnie Hunter recommends, which is a ream of newsprint from Amazon. It was packaged in a plastic shipping bag, and this is how it looked when I opened the shipping bag. Nice job, Amazon. Not. What a mess. I needed it right away though, so I am using it as is rather than waiting to return it and start again. Plus, it would cost more in time and environmental harm to return it than use it as is.

Okay, so here are my final fabric selections for the SAL. I really like how the IB Foundations navy looks with the other two blues from the IB Starry Night line that I had previously purchased. I'm using Kona White for the background (it's on the bottom of the picture). I had the two red fabrics in my stash already. One is a batik and one is Kona or similar.

Here is part of my first block in progress. If you haven't tried Denise's method of paper piecing using strips, you really should. It is so easy! I found that the newspaper print paper was very easy to stitch through and even easier to remove. The only thing I didn't like is that it is harder to see through than the white copy paper. The ease of removing the foundations makes up for its lack of opacity. Sorry for all the dark and yellowish pictures. It's been dark, gloomy, and rainy. Plus, I sewed this block in the evening while my husband was nice enough to take over the dinner prep so I could sew.

Hmm...something isn't quite right here. Oops! 😬

Here is my completed first block. 

My husband surprised me with a new-to-us computer for my sewing room. I'd been using our original Mac, which is over 10 years old, no longer able to be updated, and getting really slow. Here's my new 2015 model, which is so fast compared to the old one, straight from the IU Surplus Store. We find all sorts of crazy stuff there. I'm digging this screen saver. We did have to buy a new keyboard since my old one had a broken wire. I was also treated to a new mouse (he found an open-box special). I think these together cost almost as much as the computer! 😳 I'm feeling pretty spoiled.

And finally, we have ordered the carpet for the basement. We went with the color I liked two weeks ago when we brought home the first samples. It took another two hour round trip to the carpet store to pick up another color sample for my husband to be convinced that the one I liked the very first day was the correct one. 😏 We have an install date set for the end of October.

The basement has been in progress for, like, seven years. It seems weird to think that the house is now nearly complete. I guess it's time to start refreshing things upstairs? Maybe finish the rest of the landscape? The next big project will be to build a separate garage/workshop on the edge of the new property.

I'm still waiting for the apples I like to be ready for harvest from the orchard. Maybe they'll be ready this weekend?

Have a great week. Wish me luck on the custom quilt.

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

The One Where I'm A Workaholic Again

I was feeling pretty recharged after my forced four day break, so I went a little crazy with the quilting this week.  I completed seven quilts.

The first one belongs to Georgia. Quilted with Soho.

Next is Beth's two-sided quilt. It's the same front and back. I was proud of myself for getting near-perfect alignment of the panels. It can be difficult to do, so I was thrilled with the end result. I also bound this one. Quilted with Swirling.
Next up is Terry's quilt, being quilted with Textures. LOVE this panto.
Terry's second quilt, quilted with Ruby Queen.
Toni's memory quilt, quilted with Tractors.
Toni's next memory quilt, quilted with In the Swirls.
Toni's final memory quilt, also quilted with In the Swirls.
I am taking the rest of the week off and I'll start again next week.

I'm thinking about seeing if the apples I like are ready for picking and maybe making applesauce this weekend.

I've been working on a few personal projects too. I made another improv unit. I have another one planned that I'm hoping to work on today. I have to phone the school transportation department first. πŸ˜’ I haven't had much success in my prior attempts this week.

Be sure to stop by My Quilt Infatuation to see lots of fun, scrappy improv mini quilts on the blog hop celebrating Kelly's new book. 

I had to laugh at how incredibly wonky this little piece is.  Good thing trimming is an easy fix, particularly since I don't have to hit any certain size. Looks like I need to clean my cutting mat too.

I completed September's clue for the Meadow Mist Macaron Mystery.

I also got September's #Trending block complete. This sloth is now hanging on my woefully bare design wall.

The first clue for Denise's Flower Patch SAL is live. Find the details at For the Love of Geese. Here is my initial fabric pull for this project. All three are from the Starry Night line by Island Batik. I'm not totally sold on how the navy I selected looks with the other two, so I ordered a navy from their foundations line and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. I am using Kona White (not pictured) for the background. 

Meanwhile, the larger quilt guild I belong to is having a quilt show next month. There will be raffle baskets available. I decided to donate a basket and wanted a home products with quilt blocks on them theme, which ended up being way harder to find items for than I expected. I put my talented husband to work and here are my donations. I found the puzzle on Zulily. The notecards on the lower left are from Bluegrass Papercrafts on Etsy. They are really nice. The cocktail napkins are from my IKEA stash.

The tote bag, tumbler, and coasters are from Amazon. I had to buy a giant pack of the cork coasters (30!), so my husband has been making all sorts of custom coasters with his Laser Pecker. We have so much fun making fun of the name of his laser. Junior high jokes abound. πŸ˜„ This top set is mine. The ones on the bottom are the set for the basket. All the rest he made are not pictured. Yup, he's used the whole giant package and ordered a second package already.

He is also the operator of our vinyl cutting machine. I selected some quilt blocks and he cut and applied the vinyl decals to the tote bag and the tumbler to match my vision. I helped with the tote bag since I have the giant Cricut iron in my sewing room. I bought it because I thought it would make ironing large pieces of fabric easier, but we've only used it for vinyl so far.

I think we've selected the carpet we want for the basement, but we haven't agreed on which color yet. The product we selected is Mohawk Air.o. It has a built in felt backing pad and is applied using a double sided tape instead of the nailer strips. It's supposed to be VOC-free, good for placing over in-floor radiant heat (which we have), and is hypoallergenic and recyclable.The man came to measure the day after we visited the store. If we make our color decision, it sounds like the carpet could be installed within two weeks if it's an in-stock color! 

I'll be working on improv units, maybe making some applesauce, and making and attaching a 90" hanging sleeve for my quilt entry this week. And starting the Flower Patch SAL if my fabric comes. Have a nice week!

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

Time Off

Things are moving slowly here.

I took four days off and the world didn't end. πŸ˜… It was only supposed to be one or two days, but when your sewing room door is taped shut, you heed the message!  

All the trim is now painted. We have to clean up from that, swap out a slider once the new one comes in, and figure out carpet. And then this basement is done! So at least a few more months...the carpet will be challenging.

I worked on two of Pat's quilts prior to the taping. I quilted and bound both of these. The first is a Color Swatches quilt, being quilted with Ginger Snap, which is still one of my all-time favorites.

This quilt had the prettiest backing fabric. I believe it was Dear Stella fabric.

The second is a woodsy quilt being quilted with Malachite.

Once I was able to get back into my room, I loaded up Charlene's quilt. She's been making all sorts of quilts from panels and adds pieced borders to make them throw-sized. I love watching her skills grow. She chose Sapphire for the quilting.

I was able to sneak in some more improv/crumb piecing. This time I went with lighter blues.

Here are the pieces I've made so far.

Things I need to do:

  • more improv/crumb piecing
  • finish binding Frolic (August OMG)
  • sew hanging sleeve onto 365 quilt (September OMG)
  • September Macaron Mystery clue
  • September #Trending block
  • update some of my free downloads here since Google says I have to πŸ˜’

plus a million other things. 

Upcoming events:

  • Stop by Denise's blog, For the Love of Geese, to get details on her upcoming Flower Patch Mystery SAL.
  • Visit Kelly's blog, My Quilt Infatuation, for blog hop details for her new book, Scrappy Improv Quilting.

I'll leave you this week with a strange cloud formation we saw last week.