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. 😀 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. 😅 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.

August OMG Complete!

At long last, I have completed the top from my 2021 guild BOM. I actually sewed all the blocks in 2020 since I designed the program, but I had to keep all the blocks separate since it was a mystery. I provided instructions for 13 blocks and it was up to guild members to decide how to finish them. I have quilted four and they were all so different. Anyway, here is my top, which was my OMG for August. Sorry for the wobbly picture. I was standing on my tiptoes, leaning over the top of the quilt to get a picture.

I do have a backing for this. I'm not sure if I want to do custom quilting or an edge-to-edge. 

Before I sewed everything together, I changed out the corners on the Wyoming Valley block. I had the poinsettia print there previously and decided I wanted it to be the background fabric instead.

Here is another view of the top that shows the colors more accurately.

I have also been busy quilting.

First up is Kristi's quilt, quilted with Sapphire. You can see that this was a pretty big quilt!

Next is Pat's, quilted with Baptist Fans. I also bound this one.

One for Trish, quilted with Leafy Blooms.

My Gemstones quilt, quilted with Calder. I'm planning to donate this one once I get it bound.

One for Elle, quilted with Tristin. Another really big quilt.

And another for Trish, quilted with Stipple.

I also made and attached the binding to my Flower Patch quilt. Now I just need to make time to hand-stitch it down.

I'm feeling pretty accomplished this week. Taking charge of my schedule by assigning a quilt per workday and giving myself weekends off has recharged me.

The kids cleared out and weeded the vegetable garden and we all worked on weeding the side garden. We still have the front garden and the lower garden to work on, but with everyone either at school or working, it's slow going. And that's okay. We are in sweat bee season, so we can wait a bit more.

I can't remember if I mentioned it before or not, but we are building a detached garage on our spare lot to be my husband's workshop. Sunday evening all of us helped put down some plastic bubble wrap insulation (no idea if that's the right term, but it looks like heavy duty bubble wrap), plastic, and then the metal grids in preparation for the cement crew that came Monday to pour the floor. Yesterday my husband and I spent quite a while marking and making the relief cuts and cleaning up from that. Now we wait for material costs to hopefully come down some prior to the rest of the construction. We currently have a very pricey foundation and lots of fill stone.

Finally, we have become chicken owners. My husband and daughter sprung this on me a few weeks ago. I suggested that we buy Malay chickens because I thought that would be hilarious. However, they are meat chickens, not recommended for beginners, and I guess they can be pretty mean. I thought they would make pretty good guard chickens. LOL. They are like three feet tall and weigh eight pounds!

Images from Google:

We agreed on silkies and found a local farm to purchase from. They went to pick out the chicks last Thursday evening with the agreement that I am not required to do any care or maintenance for them. Meet our five silkies. Hopefully they are not all roosters!! 

Here they are last night. We think they are 4.5 - 5 weeks old. They are molting.

If you have Amazon Prime, I recommend watching the Chicken People documentary. I'm not much of a tv watcher, but this kept my attention the whole time.

Stop by next week to see what I choose for my September goal. I'll probably share another chicken picture too. :)

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation and True Blue Quilts.

Gemstones Quilt

I think I can share this since the pattern, Gemstones, is available for purchase now. I was really hoping to have a completed quilt, but it was not meant to be this week. This was made from a Denyse Schmidt layer cake and some green yardage from my stash.

You know I can't stand wasting triangle cutoffs, so I incorporated them into a panel for the backing. However, I wasn't paying much attention (giddy at finally, finally having some time to just sew something) and promptly created a "design opportunity." LOL. My plan was for all the triangles to be going the same direction, and now they are not. And it's a quilt back, so I'm okay with it. Once I get this finished, it will be donated to the guild's community quilts program.

Well these don't look right. Oops.

I spent four days quilting a little custom quilt last week.

During this, the switch in my brand new, fancy handlebars went haywire and my machine would take off stitching uncontrollably any time I was trying to do needle up/needle down. Options for this are either replacing the rocker switch with a spare (that I didn't have) or one from the rear handlebars, or just a replacement handlebar set from them, I guess. APQS sent me instructions to change it out and a replacement set, so I didn't attempt to do the switch exchange since it was only a few days. My new set should be here today or tomorrow, depending on the PO and it is really easy to change out the whole handlebar assembly.

After completing the custom, I got back into my happy zone and quilted Ikat on Pat's quilt. I will be binding this one too.

Next was Basic Swirl for Trish.

And then Echo Blossoms for Penny.

Now for a great find: years ago (probably 20+), I bought a Marti Michell block of the month program. It was way above my skill level at the time and I quit when I got part of the center medallion done because it was so far off. Not sure how I was that far off considering it used templates. Of course I didn't have any extra fabric and it's long gone from stores. A couple weeks ago I was scrolling through eBay and found kits for three of the months. I won the auction at a whopping $4.95 plus shipping. And now I have some extra fabric to try to fix this thing some day.

Another nice thing from last week is both my prizes from the Tall Tales QAL arrived. I won a $25 gift certificate to Cottoneer and a pin cushion from Storts Market. 

Over in the garden, I decided to make more sweet relish with more of the giant cucumbers. It only took 2.5 cucumbers and I got seven more half-pints. Do we need 15 half-pints of relish? No. But I made that much anyway. I kept a few of the smaller remaining cucumbers to eat (I am the only one who eats raw cukes in my household) and sent the rest in to work with my daughter. Hopefully someone can use them.

We picked a big dish of overgrown green beans and I got massive contact dermatitis from the plants.  One of the two zucchini plants is totally gone and the other looks like it started regrowing. Something already ate all the blossoms off the new growth. Many of the baby cucumbers look diseased and the plants are dying back and I am okay with that.

Our weather has been quite cool compared to normal (only around 80 degrees) lately, so I'm hoping to get the garden cleaned up and weeded this weekend. The flower gardens will have to wait. I can only take so much dermatitis at once. ha.

We had some turkeys visit the other morning. It's nice to see them around the neighborhood again. There's also been a group of three hanging around.

Meanwhile, the month is half over and I haven't even started working on my OMG yet. Hopefully I'll have some progress next week. Stop back and see how I did.

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation and True Blue Quilts.

Not Much, How 'Bout You

I've still been on the struggle bus for getting things done. I'm just sort of in a slump. I've done basically no personal sewing over the past week. I did sew together the rows of a test quilt, but I'm not sure if I can show it yet or not.

Besides that, I have managed to work on a few quilts.

This one is Maria's, quilted with Arabesque. I also made and attached the binding to the front. She selected brown thread to match her backing.

Next is Sally's, quilted with Indigenous Circles. This is fabric she purchased around 20 years ago in Australia, so I found an appropriate design on an Australian designer's site.

I quilted Linda's tractor quilt with loopy meander. She wanted red thread to go with the tractors.

I'm currently working on Elaine's quilt. This one is full custom. I am so slow at custom. I had a ton of stitch in the ditch, which takes forever and doesn't really look like you've done anything. Plus three thread color changes. I'll end up using four thread colors once I'm done with everything.

I guess I've done more than I thought, all things considered. We were able to move things around in our upstairs living room and while it is far from ideal, it is 100 times better than it was before. 

I also have a bunch of cucumbers right now. I've already made freezer pickles. I made eight jars of sweet relish Monday and I have enough to make another eight, but I'm not really sure we need 16 jars of pickle relish. 

If anyone has tips for making edible fresh pack pickles, I'd sure appreciate tips. I've tried the recipes in the Ball canning guide and they do not turn out for me. They are usually overly salty and really mushy. Yuck. I am following the recipes to the letter and using the correct salt. I've also tried the pickle crisp additive Ball sells.

I took a few pictures around the yard the other day while waiting for my husband to be ready for our evening walk. These first couple are of one of my Rose of Sharon bushes. I'm excited this one is blooming because the critters usually eat all the buds. I was lucky enough to capture a bee at work.

This is a weed or a native flower growing in the yard next to the silt fence for the barn.
This one is out in a clump of trees on the side property. There were tons of baby sassafras trees all around.
Speaking of sassafras, the other night our young neighbors asked us if we could identify some trees with really odd berries that were growing in their yard. It turns out they were sassafras but the ones with fruit didn't have the typical leaf forms as shown above. They were almost entirely just elliptical leaves. The berries are really odd and the tips turn yellow before they drop. Don't eat them though; they are not edible! We learned all sorts of interesting things about sassafras. You should Google it if you have a few spare minutes.