May OMG Complete

I can't believe I'm done with a week to spare! Especially with how things have been going lately. More on that later. My goal this month was to finish piecing and quilt my Flower Patch quilt from Denise's SAL. Here is it is fully pieced.

Quilting in progress (quilting design is called Wishing):

Finished with the quilting:

A few detail shots with poor late evening lighting.

I hope to find some time to make binding soon.

I've also been working on piecing a test quilt, but cannot share pictures.

I've been working really hard to get lots of quilts knocked out. I had a few challenging ones recently that caused my longarm to skip a tooth on the belt. The needle bar also needed alignment and then we had to retime the machine. It took Tuesday - Friday to address everything. After all that, I thought I'd work on a baby quilt of my own to make sure everything was functioning properly prior to getting back to work. So I was all full of hope Saturday and working along on the quilt. 

You might remember this quilt from past posts. I made it 16 years ago and the quilting was less than ideal, so it got abandoned part way through the quilting process. For your viewing pleasure, here is how it used to look.

I ripped it all out this spring, removed some really odd batting--no idea what it was, but it was weird, and replaced it with a nice piece of Quilter's Dream 80/20 in white (my favorite). I quilted this with a combination of hand guided ruler work and Intelliquilter blocks.

I stopped to research border quilting methods using Intelliquilter and also to take a walk before more rain moved in. Well, we got part way into our walk and it started dumping rain, so we had to run back through the edge of the neighbor's property to get back to our house. Yes, we did check the radar before we went, and according to that, we should have had about an hour. Pretty much as soon as we got back in the house the rain stopped. I was watching a video and reading a tutorial when the power started blipping. And then it was out. A brief but very strong storm moved through and there was no more power for the next 16.5 hours. I am fortunate to live in an area where we rarely lose power, and if we do it is usually not more than an hour or two. So the 16.5 hours really sucked. We were able to get our generator running (for the first time in about nine years) so that we could power the fridge and freezer. Turns out one of our neighbors had a bunch of trees fall on the line. They still had power, but everyone south of them did not. πŸ˜’

Sunday afternoon I was able to get back to quilting. First I finished the pink and green quilt. Here's what I've done since then:

My Flower Patch (see above).

Keetah's baby quilt, quilted with Play Baseball (wouldn't recommend this pantograph).

Two baby quilts for Amber, quilted with loopy meander.

Finally, Keetah's huge, beautiful quilt, quilted with Plumeria (this one took 8+ hours! 🀯).

Moving over to the garden, the veggies are doing so-so. Only one of six cucumber seeds sprouted. The lettuce is very patchy. We couldn't find any beets. The peas are so-so. Zucchini and green beans look good. No chives sprouted. Several of the volunteer dills didn't make it. The strawberries are doing well, but something is eating them despite their being netted. 

Our roses look amazing this year.

My favorite iris, Crater Lake Blue, is blooming in the lower garden. I'm thankful all my landscaping came through the high winds with no damage.

I have an abundance of milkweed everywhere. πŸ˜† Unfortunately, I still have an abundance of spearmint infiltrating this garden as well.

Thanks for stopping by. Come back next week to find out what my June goal will be.

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

Ugh, It's Been a Week

Not much to report here. I either forgot to photo or can't share what I've been working on. Saturday I had a  Sewcial with my small guild so that we could work on assembling a top we are donating to a local organization for their fundraiser. I arrived several hours late since I was getting a hair cut. Once I got there, I was really busy with the sewing. We then had a very heavy rain/thunder/hail storm move through. I didn't even know it was supposed to rain! We all had to wait it out. I neglected to take pictures, but you can see part of the blocks I donated in last week's post.

This is what I can share of my current project. I can say that it will be a baby quilt.

I finished three quilts. First is Sara's, quilted with Circle Drama.

Next is Jo Ellen's, quilted with Knit 1, Purl 2.

Then I worked on Martha's antique quilt--hand guided meander.

It appears to mostly be made from bits of old clothes and was assembled with both hand and machine sewing. The back is also old clothes and some possible feed sacks.

Unbeknownst to me, the timing belt on my Lucey had slipped a bit and the challenge of very thick seams made it slip a tooth. Luckily, APQS has fantastic service. They emailed me video instructions last night while we were at my son's school recognition night (he won an award; we are so proud of him) and my husband was able to get the belt back into place. I do need to double-check things and check in with APQS, but I should be able to get back at it today. 

My yard is looking nice. The clematis in the front garden are in full bloom. 

The unusual clematis in the side garden is starting to blossom. The back one hasn't started yet.

Lots of the spiky purple plants I seem to favor (I have multiple varieties, mostly catmint, Veronica, and salvia, because they do great in my setting) are starting to blossom around the whole yard. Here's one of my favorites.
The irises are putting on a nice display. The purple ones are Caesar's Brother and the white in the back is Immortality. My very most favorite Crater Lake Blue (not pictured) have so far put up one blossom. It's probably time to divide them again.

I didn't have time to check the outdoor veggies or fruit, but here is the final picture of my indoor lettuce. I double-checked and I planted this around January 12. I harvested what was left yesterday (and added it my lunch salad) and cleaned out the machine. I'll be starting herbs next, just because that's the refill I have. Most of them are herbs we don't commonly use, but I will find a way. Maybe they can just get added to my salads.

Flower Patch Quilt Top

I have completed my Flower Patch top! I made block 16 and joined it into the top over the weekend. I'm so thankful that I removed the foundation papers as I went along.

I have been sewing as fast as I can, which is admittedly pretty slow, to get the border done. I finished it around 8:30 last night and luckily we had just enough light left to get a photo.

My next goal is to get the backing made. I will need to press eight yards of fabric and then get it seamed. I shared the backing fabric in last week's post.

My small guild is working on a charity quilt. We are making Crimson Tate's Letters From Home since we all have a copy of the pattern from our last retreat. Here are my contributions. Note that the corner triangles are missing since I haven't received the fabric yet. I tried to make use of fabric from my scrap bins. I swear, no matter how much fabric I use from the scrap bins, they never seem to get any emptier.  I've seen pictures of blocks that several others have made, and they are amazing. Mine are...eclectic?

I've completed another group of quilts. This first one belongs to Elle and I used Terral on it. Salmon Glide thread is the perfect neutral for brightly colored quilts.

Then another of Elle's, quilted with Sugar & Spice. I used Glide Calico thread on this, which seems fitting for a quilt that has quilting-themed fabrics.

Next is another of Elle's, quilted with Stacked Snails.

I quilted Connie's quilt, assembled by Sue, with Triplet.

One more of Elle's, quilted with Knit 1, Purl 2.

If you felt my anguish last week about the horrendous basement carpet and were wondering what happened, they are now planning to order more of the original carpet we selected. They are going to run the seams perpendicular to how they were before, though I'm not sure that's going to make much difference if they still can't make an invisible join. In the meantime, I broke down and vacuumed the entire  carpet because I was tired of us tracking carpet fuzz everywhere. I see why they said the round 2 carpet is defective, because there are really strange lines all over it. One large swath looks like crumpled up fabric--you know that wrinkled look cotton gets after you wash it. The installation is sub-par, but yeah, the carpet isn't right either. So we will see. Not sure what quality installation I'll get for round three, but at least this butt-ugly, horrible carpet from round two will be gone.

We have transitioned into summer here. Just like the last few years, we have gone from pleasant spring weather directly into summer's heat and humidity with no transition. Just spring one day and evil summer the next. The flowers are looking nice. We spent Saturday evening pulling more spearmint. The irises are starting to bloom. This one is called Flying Circus. Photo courtesy of my daughter.

I am always amazed by how different the blooms of Iris Batik look on the same plant. The white one in the back is Immortality.

Columbine and a volunteer iris--we evidently missed a few rhizomes when we pulled them all two years ago. At least this one is pretty.

The strawberry beds are covered in blossoms and fruit. I cannot wait for the strawberries to ripen! There is no comparison between them and store-bought strawberries. 

The peas and lettuce are visible, but not any outstanding growth. We weeded Saturday and you can't even tell. We planted the rest of our crops too--green beans, beets, chives, zucchini, and cucumbers. We tried throwing an overripe tomato in the garden; we'll see if it grows. We have volunteer dill, so we are waiting to see what else comes up before sowing more. We have some thyme my husband planted a few years ago that has somehow survived for several years in the top wooden box pictured below and we actually harvested it and used it in dinner this past week.

I am very excited because my Bartlett pear tree has lots of fruit! And my other pear tree, which has never had any, has a few! We weren't sure what we'd have this year since we sustained so much cicada damage last year and did a very heavy pruning on both (we originally thought we had fire blight before realizing it was cicadas boring in). I wonder if we will be able to harvest any. Last year we had a few pears growing, but they disappeared before they got big enough. Squirrels? Birds? Raccoons? Anyone have growing tips?

First fruit on this tree, though it doesn't look healthy.

Look at all the cute baby pears!

I also learned this week that rabbits eat dandelion stems and dandelion fluff. I had a hard time capturing it with my phone, but I enjoyed watching this one eat. If you look really closely, that stupid walnut is still hanging in the shrub behind the rabbit. 
We still have the grosbeaks, lots of grackles, two hummingbirds, lots of orioles, and all the regular birds. I was excited to see an indigo bunting Saturday while we were weeding the lower garden. I saw one again the other night. They have such amazing color, particularly near sunset when the light hits just right. We used to have lots of buntings, but as we got more houses and development in the neighborhood, we got less buntings. We used to have tons of goldfinches and now there are only a few. I have been seeing meadowlarks around more frequently, so that is nice. The red headed woodpecker population seems to be growing as well, but I'm not seeing as many of the other woodpecker varieties as we used to. At least I always have my flamingoes. 😁

Have a wonderful week.


My goal for May is to finish my Flower Patch SAL top and make time for myself to get it quilted.

I need to make the final block, sew the last row on, and add some borders. I bought backing fabric, so I will need to press it and seam it. 

Speaking of irons, my iron died the other day. This wasn't a surprise; I'd thought it was getting close. I have gone through three of the same iron, the red Shark one, in the past five or six years. The last one lasted about 2.5 years. I was going to run to Target to grab another, but they no longer sell it. I looked at Amazon and found it, but the price had gone up. So I ended up getting this one. It had tons of good reviews, so we'll see how it goes. It weighs more than the Shark model, which I wasn't expecting after reading the listings. It's not as heavy as my back-up iron though, and the cord is long. I'm hoping to try it today.

Last week I'd mentioned that we were getting the new carpet in the basement replaced. I loved our original pick, but the seams were very visible. They couldn't improve on the appearance and the carpet place decided that the carpet wasn't meant to go in such large spaces. πŸ™„ So they offered us a replacement, which they said was of similar quality. Well. It wasn't. The replacement ripples when you walk on it, it's wavy and puckered around all the edges, it's so thin that when you step on the thresholds, the tack strips poke you in the foot. Not pleasant. Additionally, they were not to drill into the floor because we have radiant floor heat tubing. Guess what he did? To say I was upset would be an understatement. The installer knew it was bad too, because he snuck out of here without telling us he was finished and he'd already sent pictures to the owner. I sent pictures and videos. Now they are saying that the replacement carpet was defective πŸ™„πŸ™„ and they want to replace it with the same stuff and have the Mohawk training installer, the owner, and the same darn installer who's already botched two installations put in round three. This is not acceptable to me because I don't want this cruddy carpet that clearly is not of the same value and quality as what we paid for and I don't want the installer back either. My husband is discussing it with the owner today. So I lost three days of working time last week and got πŸ’© carpet in return. Total nightmare.

I was happy to be back quilting Thursday, though I struggled a lot with having to see that carpet continually. I've now moved from utter despair to rage and am moving a bit towards acceptance.

The first quilt I did was one of Elle's, quilted with Tia's Daisies. I'd been looking forward to this one.

Next up was Maria's cute hexie quilt. I added the borders, quilted, and partially bound this one. Quilted with Stipple.

Then I did Charlene's Macaron mystery quilt. She made fancy centers and added borders to hers. Quilted with Sea of Stars.

I also bound this one. I even did that fancy trick where you sew an entire side with no bobbin thread!

The next one I did was Maryellen's Macaron mystery quilt. She won free quilting from me through Cheryl's quilt-along. We went with Windswept. It looks amazing!

Next up is another of Elle's, quilted with Christmas. 

I kept looking at this quilt, wondering why the fabric seemed familiar. I finally realized that I had made a purse years ago with the same fabric! πŸ˜„

And one more of Elle's, quilted with Persephone 3. I love how the thread really pops with the batiks.

We went to the art museum yesterday to see the immersive Van Gogh experience. It was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday. A bit too people-y for me, but I enjoyed the exhibit.


They have beautiful gardens outside.

We also have done two trips to IKEA, one last week without the kids and another yesterday, to pick up parts for our planned upgrade to our master closet. Most of it has been out of stock forever. We now have all of the frames and rods for two walls. No drawers and no shelves yet, and nothing for the stand-alone cabinet on the side, but it's a start. 

Our weather is warming up and we've had a lot of rain. I think my husband has mowed twice in the last week. The peas and lettuce are starting to grow. The rose-breasted grosbeaks have arrived. They usually stay for around two weeks. A pair of bluebirds has decided to attack their reflections all along the back of the house. I'm not sure why they've suddenly decided to do this. We've been here 10 years and it's never happened before. {We have had cardinals attack their reflections plenty.}

Here's to another productive week. Happy quilting, and May the 4th be with you.πŸ˜‰

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