Special Edition: November OMG Finished

My goal this month was to finish piecing all the individual units for Grassy Creek. If you're a frequent visitor, you'll recall that this is how my pieces looked last week.

I put in some sewing time Thursday and Friday and then struggled to decipher the layout image in the instructions on Saturday. Here is the whole thing on my design wall. It barely fits and the first time I turn on my air compressor to clean the longarm, I'm sure pieces will go flying.

And a view straight on.

I'm not sure I love it, but I made it this far, so it will be finished. At this point I am not sure I will add the borders. I don't really want to sew loads more string blocks. I do have a lot of gray fabric left, but not much variety in color. Almost everything else is just scraps, so we'll see how I feel once the top is sewn together.

Stop back Wednesday for my normal post, which will include December's OMG.

Flower Patch SAL Blocks 4 & 5 & Bonnie Hunter Projects

Hello! I hope you are doing fine on this holiday week. Things have been weird and hectic around here. That's starting to be my normal mode. Not sure how I feel about that.

I've finished several more quilts. I had several very large quilts that I needed to either bind or partially bind, so it won't look like I've accomplished much even though I worked every single day this past week/weekend.

Here's Sharon's Irish Chain quilt, quilted with Two Simple.

Next, Amber's Periwinkle Christmas quilt with hand-guided loopy meander.

And Sara's memory quilt, quilted with String of Triangles. Photos blurred to protect privacy. πŸ˜€

I've been sewing late and early to try to catch up on Denise's Flower Patch SAL. Hence all the poorly lit pictures. The link up for blocks 4 and 5 is open today.

Oops. This doesn't look right. Time to selectively seam rip.

Here is my completed block 4. My eyes are telling me this isn't quite right. πŸ€”

Oh, darn it! Now I see what I did wrong. Well, I'm going to link up anyway and then go back and fix it after work today.

I am quite proud of my fabric placement on my cardinal blocks. 

Side note: Denise told me she uses newsprint for paper piecing. I couldn't find any in stock locally. Bonnie Hunter has some linked on her website and I bought her recommendation. (Amazon, despite their many failings, is just so convenient. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't support them, but I like that things just come right to me and I don't have to venture in public or take time out of my day to go track things down. Side note: when making my holiday work schedule for quilting, I neglected to leave myself time to get a haircut. Ugh.) So, the paper is fantastic. It tears away so easily. I was using copy paper prior to purchasing the newsprint. The newsprint is so much better! My only complaint is that you can't see through it for alignment. You could solve this easily enough by working near a window or using an inexpensive light box

Denise said we could sew together row one now, but I may wait. I'm contemplating removing the solid light blue blocks from the cardinals and inserting some more flying geese. I'll wait to see how more of the quilt looks before deciding.

Meanwhile, I haven't made any additional progress on Grassy Creek and Rhododendron Trail starts Friday! Here's the state of my Grassy Creek.

I'm hoping to sneak in some sewing time tomorrow to move this closer to a finish.

Here are my final fabric selections, minus the aqua, for Rhododendron Trail. I'm a little concerned that a couple of my pinks are too close to the "garnet", but I can always leave those out or add more of the darker "garnet" fabric to make up the difference if I remove the lightest one.

Best wishes for a safe, happy Thanksgiving. We're staying home. My daughter and I will be working over the long weekend and 3/4 of us are eligible for booster shots and have appointments scheduled this weekend. This means going back home to celebrate with our families over Christmas is a go. Everyone, including the young ones, will be fully vaccinated by then. We are a very small family. Please do your part to protect your loved ones and others' loved ones. My husband's aunt, though fully vaccinated, died of COVID last week because an unvaccinated "caregiver" (I'm feeling cynical about the care part.) in her nursing home infected her. 

A Tiny Bit of Grassy Creek Progress

Another week, another batch of quilts completed, and another miniscule amount of personal sewing. I've been putting in a ton of hours trying to finish up this year's bookings so that I can take a good amount of December off, or at least very slow. Here's this week's beauties:

Three memory quilts for Toni, quilted with either Tractors or In the Swirls.

Two baby quilts for Sandy Y., including full binding. The buffalo check is quilted with Soho and the other is quilted with Ginger Heart.

Next up is one of Ann's. I love the tiny little stars. She selected Curlique for the quilting. I selected Glide Sand for the thread color and it looks amazing. I still need to attach the binding to the front of this one (one of today's tasks).

I then quilted Faster Posies on Jess M.'s quilt. This one still needs a full binding (another task for today).

I worked on another of Ann's next. She requested Sapphire for the quilting and selected Tar Heel blue Glide. This one also had binding attached to the front.

I finished up with Janice's baseball/frog quilt. I stitched Chasing Coral on this one and it looks great! This quilt has a pieced backing too--it could maybe be reversible.

I also did some behind the scenes border work on several projects for clients.

I finally broke down and ordered batting scissors and seriously, why did I wait? These, combined with my laser square, are a game-changer. This is so much faster than my previous method of rotary cutter, mat, and ruler.

Use the laser square to shoot a straight line.
Cut from the loose edges toward the fold where the laser is aligned. Easy peasy.
Great investments!

I'll be testing a quilt in December and I pulled all the fabrics from my stash. Isn't that a great feeling? Though I did order backing fabric, I'm still pretty pleased.

My daughter is transferring from community college to university next semester and we spent a good bit of time this week going through checklists and setting up loads of different apps, filling out forms, FAFSA (ugh), etc. We get to spend a day (plus another several hours the next for her) at orientation in January and we get to pay handsomely for that experience. Yippee! I vaguely remember paying for my first college orientation many, many years ago, but that fee included overnight housing along with multiple meals. As far as I can tell, the only thing we get is a lunch. And based on newspaper reports about the lack of readily available food in the dining halls this semester, that could get interesting. But there are loads of restaurants within a mile radius, so no worries. Good things: she got directly admitted into the CAS, so no need to waste time and money on unnecessary classes (she can start right in on classes for her major), all her completed classes appear to have transferred successfully, and she should be exempt from all the entry testing due to her previous work and grades! Not so great: still gotta figure out the money. How does one secure a loan for tuition these days? πŸ€”

Finally, I am super excited that I made a small amount of progress on my Grassy Creek quilt last night. I'm hoping to get the bulk of the pieces sewn next week--just in time for next Friday's first clue drop for Rhododendron Trail.

And, reinforcing that I seriously need to slow down and take a break (it's coming, I promise), I totally addressed this envelope and then stuck the stamps and return label on the wrong side. 🀦🏻‍♀️ Good thing it's just going to my sister.
Have a marvelous week.

Holidays & RBG

I was feeling like I haven't accomplished much in this past week, then I looked through my photos and saw that I had done a ton of work. I'll share all the quilts I worked on first, then share my sole personal accomplishment for the week.

I quilted and bound Sandy's Haunted Mansion quilt. This is the most fun quilt ever, I think. I tried black batting for the first time and it was perfect for this quilt. Quilted with Malachite.

I quilted three of Amber's holiday quilts. They are all very similar, so just one photo. 

Next I quilted and bound one of Annie's commissioned t-shirt quilts. Her client wanted double batting on this. I had only quilted a mini quilt with double batting before, so this was another new experience. It worked really well, however, I have to say that this quilt was so heavy when complete.

Then I quilted and bound Janice's RBG quilt. This one is going to be a fundraiser. She gave me free reign on the quilting design. I felt that Dissent was the only choice for this.

I started this week by quilting four table toppers for Jae. 

Finally, here is my sole personal accomplishment for the week. I got part of the pieces made for block four of the Flower Patch SAL. Block 5 comes out today, so I'm a bit behind. 

I'm still working on my fabric pull for the next Bonnie Hunter mystery. I'm most of the way done now. I'm waiting until we're further in to choose the aqua and I'm not sure I have enough white yardage, but the rest is done. Annie and I are going to cheer each other on and keep each other on task for this one. 

I am fortunate to have quite a bit of work scheduled for the next few weeks. That being said, I'm really hoping to find time to get caught up on my block of the month programs. This includes two blocks for the #Trending (yup, didn't get to October's block or this month's), the rest of the block for Flower Patch SAL plus today's new one, this month's task for the Macaron mystery (could probably push that into December), and my OMG this month, which is the Grassy Creek pieces. Wish me luck.

November OMG

Bonnie Hunter released her color requirements for this year's mystery quilt over the weekend. I have not yet finished last year's Grassy Creek mystery, though I'm fairly close. My goal for November is to have all units sewn. Here's how it currently looks after spending a little time trimming units over the weekend.

                        Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal November Link-up

Trimming all these was rather tedious. 

I used the Antler Quilt Design Mini Simple Folded Corners ruler {affiliate link} method from Bonnie's directions because I could match my piece and the correct line on the ruler to her instruction images. I was hung up on this step forever until I broke down and bought the ruler.

She also recommends this ruler for this year's mystery, along with her Essential triangle tool {affiliate link}. I have a similar ruler that I can work with, but Bonnie's would probably be easier since she tells you which mark to use for each step.

I also discovered that I'd cut all eleventy-billion rectangles a half inch too big, so I trimmed those to the correct size too.

I started working on my fabric pull for this year's mystery. This is my initial attempt, though I have changed a bit it since then. I decided to stick more to her color scheme for this year. I need to order a few more low volume pieces and will wait til later to purchase the aqua, per her recommendation.

Besides messing a bit with the mystery quilts, I worked on a few quilts. This first one is another of Toni's memory quilts. The backing fabric she used had really great colors. Quilted with In the Swirls and Glide Peacock (a pinky-purple) thread.

I completed two of Sonja's as well. First is the heart quilt, quilted with Ginger Heart and Glide Cotton Candy thread (pale pink). Sonja's been sending me Pellon Bamboo batting for her quilts recently. It is a really nice batting. I love how it quilts.

And her teal triangles quilt, quilted with Mike's Swoosh. She did another masterful job of lining up the pattern in the backing fabric.

I also quilted one of mine. I purchased the top several months ago in an Instagram destash with the intent of finishing it and donating it to the Community Quilts program our guild runs. I finally made time in my schedule to quilt it. My client Ann let me have all the trimmings from her king battings and I was able to seam them and use them for this project. I purchased some wide back fabric from Hancock's of Paducah, quilted it with the Calder pattern and bright green Glide Limerick thread, and bound it with what appeared to be trimmings from a quilt back from my stash. I donated it last night. 😊

Last year I had my husband buy me a laser square {similar one at this affil. link}. It is perfect for checking square on your completed quilt tops and also for cutting straight lines in batting by the yard. 
Anyway, I used it on the donation top because I knew I wasn't very square on the bottom edge after quilting. In this case, I was pretty accurate after trimming the excess batting away, but you can see that that bottom edge is not square. 

I'll be honest, I left the edge alone after verifying that it wasn't square because it would have been glaringly obvious in the batik strip if I had squared it properly. It's a quilt that's meant to be used and loved, not a show quilt, so really, who cares if it isn't perfectly square?

Speaking of show quilts, the big quilt show was held over the weekend and it was fantastic! We had record attendance and the Treasure Shop and the raffle baskets were a rousing success. I even won one of the baskets, a whole bunch of different first aid products that my friend Amber had donated. Sorry, didn't get a picture. Here are the three quilts I had hanging. First, my Frolic mystery, finally bound just last month.

Next, my cute little Highland Cow, last month's OMG, completely made, start to finish, in October.

And finally, my 365 Challenge quilt that I made in 2016 and finished in 2019. You can see my guild mate Natalie's amazing rainbow version next to it. She wanted me to enter mine so they could hang together. I actually caught a woman completely manhandling my quilt during the show. Ummm...are you new? We have white glove volunteers for a reason. My husband confronted the woman. And to top that off, I got to hear some women near her completely ripping apart my quilt and my color choices. πŸ™„ 
One Halloween filled with awful middle school boys, a new water heater, one repaired range hood, and one so far unresolved furnace fault code later, here we are. I'm hoping for less calamity and more uninterrupted sewing and quilting time for this week. Check back next week to see if it happens.

PS--goodies from the show: a purchased quilt kit and a few Treasure Shop gems.