Secret Sewing

I have a finish! And I can't share it yet! I can share that I used all my trimmings to make a quilt backing for it. I was also able to use the remaining cutoffs from my Gemstones quilt backing to finish making this backing. And bonus, I had a batting remnant that was the exact size I needed. And I used a bunch of a random binding I found in my scrap bins. {Though I keep wondering what this binding was for. Did I have it set aside for a project? πŸ€” Too late now!} Here is the back. I quilted it with Paradoxical.

I still haven't gotten to start on my blocks for September's OMG. I have nine more days to try to pull it off. Wow, this month has flown by.

By the way, I call this photo quilting in middle age. ha. I'm excited that my flexible magnifier can clamp onto my cutting table.

I have completed plenty of quilts for others. Here they are.

First, I finished Amber's quilt that I had started last week.

Next is Barbara's cute Heather Ross quilt, quilted with Loop the Loop.

Next is Keetah's, quilted with Winterfest.

Then I quilted Carol's quilt with Basic Swirl.

Then Sara's, quilted with Stipple. Stipple has been so popular this year!

And Haley's, quilted with Good Vibrations.

That is a lot of quilts! Way more than I thought. I didn't even work at all on Saturday or Sunday. 

If you need something quilted, my wait time right now is the shortest it's been all year, at just a few weeks.

I'm still trying to get used to the camera on my new phone. My son has shown me a few things, but I'm sure I have plenty more to learn. I also don't have a case yet since the case Amazon sent as my replacement was the wrong case. πŸ™„ I ordered one directly from the company and it is taking forever to arrive. Maybe by the end of the week? It's still in California. Boo.

Oh, something exciting is my husband was able to switch out the slider in the basement. No picture because it isn't that exciting. It still needs to be trimmed on the inside, but that is one of the last major indoor projects we have left. The other is putting custom closet organizers into our master closet using IKEA pieces as a base, but part of what we need has been out of stock since April, when we first started planning this project.

I have not worked in the garden at all, though I did harvest and dry the remaining herbs from the Aerogarden. I then did a deep clean on it and planted my own lettuce seeds. Hopefully they will sprout. This is the first time I've tried growing my own seeds in it; both the other crops were grown using their pre-planted growing pods.

The chickens continue to grow and entertain us.  This shows all five chicks. I think they are eight or nine weeks old now?

This guy is a rooster for sure. Can you see his wattles? The blue spot is his earlobe.
I think I took almost this exact same picture of the white chicken last week. It likes to grab blades of grass my daughter holds through the fencing. This one is the only one that has tufts of feathers on its cheeks.
I never really considered before just how much chickens peck. My husband had put pink foam insulation in the coop walls but hadn't covered it. Well....
They are little peckers for sure! LOL Now there is no insulation in the coop. I've also decided that they are toddlers after watching my daughter trying to catch the last one that needed to go into the coop for the night. After she finally caught it, she opened the hatch door to put it in and the other four almost fell out. They'd all been huddled up against the door. 

I need to get to work. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for stopping by!

Those Flying Geese Again

My last week got a little off track due to multiple appointments that took longer than expected. I ended up having to quilt all weekend to try to make up for it. I'm almost caught up with people's quilts though I haven't made much progress on the things I need to get done for myself. Soon, I hope.

Last week I showed my poor results when trying a different method for flying geese. This week I went back to the normal way of doing things. I did mark all the diagonal lines and tried to really concentrate on sewing scant seams. My units look much better, though a few are not quite perfect. I think they are close enough that I will be able to get a decent result.

I still would rather go slightly oversized and trim to make them exactly perfect though!

I also cut out a test quilt using the fabrics I bought using the gift card I won during the Tall Tales QAL. I found this giant amount of navy quilt binding in my scrap bins. No idea what it might have been destined for, or if I just really overestimated how much binding I needed at some point in time. Anyway, it seems like a decent enough match to use on this project.

Friday night I demonstrated how to bind a quilt using an invisible join at one of the guilds I belong to. I was able to stitch down the binding over the weekend and now I have a finished baby quilt after like 16 years!

You might remember that I ripped out all the original quilting I'd done years ago this past winter. It was so ugly. LOL. I've come a long ways. Enjoy this blast from the past. πŸ˜†

I haven't started my OMG yet. 🫣

I finished a few quilts over the past week. They've all been very large.

First is Connie's, quilted with A Fishy Tail. The center of the star blocks are her granddaughter's artwork. Isn't that so cool?! I also fully bound this one.

Next is Ashley's amazing Halloween quilt. I am mostly indifferent toward Halloween, but this quilt is really great. Quilted with Cobwebs over two days (king size quilt with tricky pattern). I also sewed the binding to one side before sending it back home.

Amber's quilt, quilted with Ginger Hearts. The thread is actually light gold (Glide Sand) though it's showing up almost white here.

A similar one in blue is partially quilted and I'm planning to finish it up later today and hopefully sneak in one more to be back on track. I'm thankful Amber is so patient with me. Again, thread is weird. I'm using Tar Heel Blue, not white!

Over in the home and garden, the chicken coop is finished and the chickens moved outside Friday night. The nesting box will be added to the back eventually.

We moved the coop further out into the yard this week.

The chicks have grown so much. We have discovered that they really love clover. Good thing we have ample clover in our yard. Right now we think we have one rooster and four hens. The rooster is the black one with the very white neck in the foreground of this picture.


I got a new phone over the weekend since my son's phone quit working. He inherited my old one and I got a nice upgrade (that is smarter than me, I think). I'm currently without a case since I ordered what I wanted on Amazon and received a used, damaged, not what I ordered case in the box for what I did order. πŸ˜’ People really stink sometimes. So I'm waiting somewhat patiently for a replacement. At least I have a screen protector and I'm not going anywhere most of the week, but I'll still feel better once I have a case.

Anyway, the point of this is that this phone has a fancy camera that I played with briefly last night. The new phone has a macro mode. The zinnias are the only things that look okayish in our flower gardens right now.




Have a great week!



Flying Geese Hack? Maybe, Maybe Not

I am working on Meadow Mist Design's Melodic Mystery and the first clue after all the cutting is to make four at a time flying geese. This is the method I usually use, but I typically make my units a bit oversized so that I can trim them to be perfect. Cheryl gives mathematically correct measurements for if you are a perfect seamstress, which I am not. 

I guess I should have waited to cut everything until I saw the first clue so that I could adjust for this. 

Monday I happened across a reel (don't love reels, but that is another story) on Instagram from Lo and Behold Stitchery about how to adjust your pieces slightly in order to give you enough room to trim. It looks something like this:

Cut your large square and your two smaller squares. Lay them out with a smidge of the big square showing.

Sew your seams, trim, and press. Add your next square, again leaving a smidge of the big square showing.

Sew seams, trim, and press, and you should have room left to trim and square up your block.

This did not work for me at all. First of all, because I used the wrong size big square to start with. Oops. That giant amount of overhang in the picture above should have been my fist clue something was amiss.

Then I tried again with the correct big square. I had a hair I could trim from the top, but my side was still too small by 1/16 to 1/8 inch as shown by the leftover dog ears after trimming.

Maybe her method will help you. For me, it's back to the drawing board.

Somebody remind me not to cut out next year's mystery ahead of time. 

I thought I wasn't going to work so hard this past week, but I still did five quilts.  I'm not really sure how I feel about that! I was planning to have all three days of the weekend off, but due to some things outside my control, I ended up with only Monday free. 

Here are the quilts I did.

First, an IU baby quilt for Linda, quilted with Stipple.

Next, a fall quilt for Linda, quilted with Fall Foliage (free from Urban Elementz).

Ann's quilt, quilted with JK Celtic. I also attached the binding to the front.

Brenda's quilt, quilted with Van Gogh. This is her first time using a long arm quilter!
And finally, Amber's special memory quilt, quilted with Loopy Meander.

I have some really fun quilts scheduled for the rest of the week, but I have to say that my next week has many appointments and I'm also waiting for a spool of thread to arrive for one of the quilts. Every time I try to plan things out lately, things go really sideways. We'll see, and they are just quilts after all.

I was able to do a thread inventory over the weekend using the Glide thread list from Quilted Joy. It was not completely up to date, but it was close enough for what I needed. I put the list into plastic sleeves and thought I'd use a dry erase marker, but the marker did not stay on the sleeves. So I got out my last remaining Vis a Vis overhead marker from my teaching days. It only made a few marks before it died. It was over 20 years old. Luckily Office Depot had some in stock and since you have to buy a four-pack, I should now have a lifetime supply of Vis a Vis markers! πŸ˜… It was nice to get the thread inventoried and organized so that I can see right away if I have the color I need.

Moving into the home and garden arena, we were surprised to find a zucchini in the pretty much abandoned vegetable garden. It had been there quite a while! We scraped out the seeds, which were about the size of pumpkin seeds, and it worked just fine as shredded zucchini.
And here are the chickens this week. They are getting pretty big and are outgrowing the tote we have them in. The coop is maybe 75% ready. We think the bigger black one that is most visible in this picture is a rooster. 
My daughter has been working with them to get them used to being handled. She sits under our strawberry garden netting frame and my husband hands them in to her. They usually run around in a clump and then start playing with the dead leaves. They are trying to fly a bit too.

Thanks for stopping by. 



September OMG

For September's OMG I thought I would revisit August's list of possibilities. I've updated the list with the progress I made over the last month.

1. Make a backing for Tall Tales quilt. I'm planning to use my existing fabric and piece a backing. Possibly quilt and bind. --no progress

2. Bind Flower Patch SAL.--currently working on hand stitching it down 

3. Bind the pink and green baby quilt I re-did.--will be doing this as a guild demo in September

4. Assemble the top for my guild BOM.--done, now need to quilt, but haven't decided on E2E or custom {You can see the finished top in last week's post.}

5. Finish piecing Chalk. Possibly quilt.--a few rows assembled

6. Grassy Creek border.--no progress

7. Quilt & bind Gemstone test quilt.--done! {see below}

8. Add border and quilt the art quilt.--no progress {Side note: these are the only things currently on the design wall. It's kinda weird having the rest of it empty.}

9. Finish last two blocks from #Trending quilt.--no progress

While I will keep chipping away at the list this month, I am choosing to make the last two blocks from #Trending and finish assembling the top as this month's official goal. These blocks have so many little pieces and they take quite a while to sew.

Here are the currently finished blocks, in no particular order.

I do not have a backing for this quilt, and the leftovers aren't a good option. So I can maybe do a bit of shopping! I'll probably do an edge to edge on this one. I love the sloth block and am kind of indifferent to the rest, so I don't want to spend a lot of time on finishing it.

One more thing on my to-do list is to continue to work on the Melodic Mystery quilt. August's task was cutting, which I'm almost done with; I just have the background fabric remaining. September's clue should come out tomorrow. The great thing about the Meadow Mist mysteries is that they are really easy to keep up with, or catch up on, whichever suits you. πŸ˜€ If you're new to reading my blog or don't remember, I am making the quilt top entirely from stash/leftovers from previous projects. Always a great thing! 

As noted above, I finished my Gemstones quilt. This was a pattern test I did for Yellow Umbrella Quilts. I am planning to donate this one to our local community quilts program.  Can you tell the leaves are changing? 

I used up the trimmings from the front for the back. It's pretty difficult to perfectly center a pieced backing though I'm usually fairly close. For this one, I wanted the panel to be centered side to side but not top to bottom. Well, I hit one of those goals. I'm not sure how, but I was quite off on the side-to-side bit. πŸ˜… The white fabric is white with orange polka dots.

Here are the quilts I did this week:

Deb's cute, hand pieced (!!!) half-hexie quilt, quilted with Primrose Stipple.

Robin's Adventureland, quilted with Alfalfa. I'm digging the bigger quilting scale. I usually go more for the smaller, more dense, but I really like this.

Robin's Minnesota BOM quilt, quilted with Peas in My Garden.

Amber's baby quilt, quilted with loopy meander.

I had a friend visit while I was quilting this. Unlike the deer, this one is welcome.

Amber's HST quilt, also quilted with loopy meander.

Sara's rainbow nine-patch, quilted with Sunrise Skateland. She made this from her scraps!

Linda's IU quilt, quilted with stipple.

I have apparently been really busy! I'm not planning to be this busy over the next week.

Oh, and the silkie chicken picture this week. They have grown a ton and are really crowded right now. My husband is still working on his chicken coop. They are almost ready to move out into it--we will probably move them as soon as he finishes since they will be over six weeks then and it's plenty warm enough out for them. We know we have two partridge coloration and obviously one white. We aren't sure what the darker two are. We are still wondering if they are hens or roosters. We're worried that two are roosters.

They all have little mohawks right now. And yes, the box is a mess. They shredded all the newspaper yesterday and the one behind the white one was carrying around a big chunk of it. I took this photo right before my daughter cleaned it up. They are pretty fun to watch, but they are starting to smell like chickens, not from the poop, but like a definite chicken smell.

I've been reading the Fresh Eggs Daily blog and book and tried giving them some fresh herbs from the garden like she recommended, but they were not interested. I'll try again soon.