April OMG Complete!

I finally have Grassy Creek off the design wall (and onto the floor?), which was my goal for this month. This is so exciting to me! 

If you're a long-time reader, you may remember that I have debated forever about whether to just sew the blocks together and call it good or do the work to create the string borders. I decided it really needs the borders even though I do not particularly enjoy string piecing. I had just enough green left to cut out the skinny borders. 

I really, really love rotary cutting (and I am being fully serious here, I really love rotary cutting fabric) and cut the number of strips Bonnie said. And while I was cutting, I figured I'd go ahead and sub-cut one of the strips as she instructed. Except I was just a hair short for the last sub-cut, so I had to cut a piece from that weird leftover piece. That should have been my clue that something was wrong. Nope.

I blithely measured, cut, and attached my first two borders. Then I measured the top and cut the third. But...record scratch...I didn't have enough left to get the fourth one! 😩 What to do? I went through my Kona color chips to find what looked close and had a piece of the said color in my stash. Nope. Too far off. Did some searching online, decided maybe it looked like a Tula Pink color, and then remembered what project this green fabric was left over from. Ordered a yard to get one skinny little piece to finish the border. Crisis averted, just waiting for the fabric to be delivered. Here is how the quilt top looks at the moment. I need to cut all my foundation papers to the right size and then hope I have enough gray fabric left to make all the pieces. 

I ordered backing fabric and I guess I won the jackpot? There was about 3/8 yard extra.

I have just a few quilting jobs to share this week. 

First is Sara's memory quilt. She's made a whole series of these for her friends who are having significant birthdays. Quilted with Soho.

Next is Margaret's quilt. I'm calling this an art quilt. I had to think long and hard about how I wanted to do this one. I didn't want to stitch over the bird since it was quite thick and stiff, and an edge-to-edge didn't seem like it would best complement this quilt. I ended up doing a combination of computerized edge-to-edge in two different scales (Apricot Moon's Bird Bath), ruler work, and free motion quilting.  This first picture shows some ruler work, some micro edge-to-edge, and some free motion quilting. I think the birds on the stipple were about 1/2" tall?

I did free motion pebbling around the bird in the yellow and blue fabric.
I did a ruler-work bead board pattern in the outside border.
This picture shows my larger panto on my IntelliQuilter. I learned many tricks on the iQ on this quilt.

The last quilt I was able to complete this week is Penny's Bright Birch quilt. We went with a pretty dense quilting scale for the Together panto and it looks really good. It took about seven hours of stitching plus loading and advancing and basting time and almost two whole mini cones of Glide thread (Salmon on the front, Viking on the back).

The reason I haven't finished any more quilting this week is because it's basement carpet replacement time. The installer came Saturday to rip out the previous carpet and this week he's been working on installing the new stuff, so I can't get to my sewing room without being in the way.  
Negative progress?

I've been doing some much-needed deep cleaning upstairs. I've gotten quite a bit done, but not as much as I'd hoped. Isn't that always the way?

Out in the gardens, we did spearmint removal in the lower garden on Saturday evening. The weather was just gorgeous. I'm trying hard to resist the temptation to go buy plants because we are still getting the occasional freeze warning. I guess one nice thing about the cool nights is that the flowers have lasted a really long time this spring. Here is a nice clump of daffodils. 

My tulips outside the sewing room window are blooming, not that I am spending much time with them. These are the only tulips that have survived in my gardens.  The red blob is my shirt reflection.

These short irises are blooming--can't remember what type they are. 

My peas and lettuce have begun to sprout.

I harvested my indoor lettuce and now it looks like it may finally be done. Didn't get a picture due to the carpet installation.

Our Baltimore orioles arrived Saturday morning. They were hangry! LOL They attacked the windows and squawked like crazy until I put the jelly out. And the biggest surprise is that we saw a hummingbird Monday morning. I need to get the feeders out for them too. Seems like it's probably too cold for them right now? I haven't seen any rose-breasted grosbeaks yet. They usually show up around the same time as the orioles. I'm seeing mixed reviews on whether we should even have bird feeders out right now due to avian bird flu in waterfowl and poultry. It looks like as long as we're vigilant with cleaning the feeders, it should be okay for now.

Stop by next week to find out what next month's goal will be.

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation.

Flower Patch SAL Blocks 14 & 15

We're almost done with this one! The final block pattern releases today. I can't wait to get this project wrapped up. I ordered some fabric online for the backing. I really hope it matches or at least kind of matches. Especially since I ordered like eight yards. 😆 I'm planning to add a few small borders and I should have plenty of fabric left for binding too. This picture shows blocks 13, 14, and 15. You can look back a few posts to see the top three rows.

I've been making progress on other projects too. I ordered two different fabrics as possible borders for my art quilt. One is way, way, way off. Here is the other, along with the dark green I want to use as a skinny border. I think the fabric is beautiful, but maybe not the best choice for the border. There's not enough contrast between the skinny inner border and the outer border and the outer border isn't really the right color.

I'll save discussing this one until next week, but here is what my design wall looks like right now. ‼️

I've been making some pretty good progress with the quilts too. I've finally neared the end of all the binding, which is a huge relief! That was a pretty intense stretch of binding I had.

Here's my round up of last week's quilts.

First, Elle's t-shirt quilt. One of the most fun things I've done in quite a while. (Read last week's post for more info.) Quilted with one of my all-time favorites, Diagonal Plaid.

Next is a comfort quilt Toni made. She requested ribbons and I found a design in my iQ that fit the bill. 

Next up was another of Ann's quilts, quilted with Circle Drama.

Then Ann's Macaron Mystery, which is amazing. She chose Hooked Up and it was totally worth the seven-hour stitching time.

Ann's Rhododendron Trail, quilted with Echo Blossoms. This inspired me to take another look at my abandoned-after-two-clues version. If I finish my own, I will go with an alternate layout, but it's nice to see a finished one in person.

Lyn's Succulent Garden quilt, quilted with Sugar & Spice.

And another of Lyn's, quilted with Graceful Vine. I'm so lucky to have such lovely quilts to work with all the time. 

I'm feeling pretty good about getting seven quilts done. I think I need to insert a quilt or two of my own into my schedule soon. We're most of the way through my small guild UFO challenge and I've only finished five things. Last time we did a challenge I think I finished 20 or more. Of course, I was not working full time then either.

Our carpet re-do is scheduled for the beginning of next week, so I'll be enjoying some guilt-free time off. 

Maybe I can get some yard work done. We need to weed again. The 🤬 spearmint is sprouting again. I took some photos around my yard yesterday afternoon. First, we have a lot of walnut trees and the squirrels are so great about leaving walnuts everywhere we don't want them, particularly right up against the foundation, where they always grow. Here's one I can see out my sewing room window.

We've found them wedged between tree trunks and the deer guards around the trunks. We found several in old bird nests, including this nest that fell sideways in a storm a year or so ago. It's sort of like going on an Easter egg hunt. You just never know where you'll find one.

We have lots of cute violets growing in the yard. I wish they'd grow in the garden instead. 

The redbuds are just starting to blossom, as are my pear trees (fruit, not Bradford). 

We've had so much rain lately, but the temps have been all over the place. The last two nights we've had freeze warnings. Needless to say, while things are greening up, nothing has come up in the veggie garden yet. I planted peas and lettuce in this tank.

My lettuce indoors is just about ready to harvest again. Amazing!
Until next week--

Photo courtesy of my son.

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

My First Art Quilt

Art quilter Cathy Geier spoke Tuesday night at the large guild I belong to and showed us some of her quilts. 

On Wednesday, I took the workshop she offered. She had everything we needed already cut, which made the process much easier. I am not an artist by any means, but I think my piece mostly turned out. There are definitely a few areas where I could have done better, but I think it will be okay once it's fully finished. I am considering fixing one of my mountain edges, but I'm not sure I can change it at this point. I had to order some border fabric, so this project will be on hold until the fabric arrives and I have time to do anything with it.

Also, I am very thankful all the trees were pre-cut and had fusible already applied. This would be a forever-UFO without that!

I can also share one of my recent finishes with you. Lindsey at Yellow Umbrella Quilts published her new pattern, Churn Dazzle. Here is my version, made almost completely from stash (had to buy background fabric but used up every bit of it). 

I even pieced together some more fabrics for the back!

I quilted it with Twist Tie, which is such a cute pattern that gives good texture.

I am behind in my work life. I've still been doing a ton of binding, but did get a few quilts done.

Oh, and I am glad I went to USPS and not UPS Friday morning to ship quilts, because someone drove through the UPS storefront! I drove by it yesterday on my way to an appointment and the front is all covered with OSB now. 

On to the quilts!

This one is Karla's, quilted with Squatty Squared in a teeny tiny scale. It came out so cute!

Next is Paula's quilt and matching shams, quilted with Alfalfa. These are looking good. I am binding these pieces and hope to finish them today.

Here's another of Toni's memory quilts, quilted with Music Notes, which came preloaded in my iQ, but I believe you can buy at Urban Elements too. I like how she does the window effect with the panels. And now that I'm looking at this picture, you can't see any of the actual memory part of the quilt. 

One of Ann's, quilted with Pansies. Love the colors!
I also dusted off my embroidery machine to stitch out something fun for Elle. I have touched my embroidery machine twice in the past two to three years. It had been so long I couldn't remember how to make it start stitching. Ironically, the program in my small guild last week was all about machine embroidery, though the presenter has a much fancier machine than mine. 

Out in the garden, many of the daffodils are still in bloom and a few more have blossomed. Our weeping cherry tree blossomed just in time for heavy rain, just like every year. The dropped blossoms look like snow.
I was able to get the peas and lettuce planted outdoors over the weekend and my indoor lettuce has shown surprising growth.
That's all I have. Stop by next week to see my progress on the Flower Patch SAL and some more lovely quilts.