September OMG Complete

I have finished my #Trending quilt top. I was planning a weekend of selfish sewing, finishing the last two blocks. Instead, I did tons of paperwork, weeded the gardens with the family, and did general housekeeping chores. I did not even go downstairs at all. That left me scrambling and pushing hard, despite how I was physically feeling, to finish these. But they are done!

Here is the second to last block, the cheetah. This came out a bit wonky, but you won't notice once it's quilted.

And the final block, a llama. The odd angles in this block were difficult and I just did my best to get it done last evening.

Here is the bulk of the top. I will add the borders today. I have purchased backing fabric, so depending on how I'm feeling, I may assemble that as well. I have a quilting design picked out, so as soon as my machine has a free moment, this will get quilted.

Here are the quilts I worked on over the past week.

Haley's pillow front, quilted with A Fishy Tail (to match I quilt I did earlier this year).

Deb's, quilted with Opal. 

I don't usually crawl under the machine, but maybe I should more often. Doesn't this look cool? You can also see what a fantastic job she does with her piecing.

Annie's Deco quilt, quilted with Behold in a larger scale.

A round robin quilt some of my fellow guild mates made, quilted with Cassava. This one will go to one of the two local organizations whose fundraising we support each year.

And the beginnings of Jeri's quilt, quilted with Capri. This is one intense design. It has tons of backtracking and is really detailed. I am running my machine super slow to help maintain accuracy. Each 5.5" row of pattern takes about half an hour to stitch. I'm hoping I can finish today, but fully expecting it to run into tomorrow.

Moving over to my garden, I replanted my AeroGarden a week and a half ago, and after only five days my lettuce had sprouted! It may have been before that, but that is when I first checked.

I'm not sure who I am--I found another unit on eBay and won that for a very reasonable price (less than half of retail!!), especially since it's new in the box and includes the seed starting tray too. I'm planning to grow herbs for the chickens over the winter and then start some seeds for our outdoor garden when the time comes. Never dreamed I'd be growing plants to feed chickens!!

Here are our not-so-little-anymore chickens this week. Their soft little bird noises are starting to turn into louder clucks. 

We gave them part of a watermelon rind last week for the first time. It took a while for them to not be scared of it. Once one was brave enough to grab a piece of it, they all started chasing her, trying to steal it, instead of getting their own pieces. My husband gave them another chunk each of the next two days. Based on the condition of the coop, I think we need to give it to them a little less frequently. 😳

They are pretty scared of most noises and people, but they always come running when they see my daughter approaching them. This is her shoulder on the bottom right of the photo.

They are also putting themselves to bed each night now. Remember how they pecked foam insulation from inside their coop? They figured out how to reach the foam that was up high in the coop. LOL. All of it has now been replaced or reinstalled with covers. It's been pretty cold at night now, so hopefully they leave the stuff alone so that they can stay warm in there. This continues to be such a learning experience.

Speaking of learning experiences, one of my paperwork tasks was to list out how much my daughter's college tuition costs. She attended one and a half years of community college, until she had exhausted her course options. She will have 2.5 years at a state university. She lives at home to save money since both institutions are in town. I was totally shocked to see that tuition only (no books, living expenses, etc.) will total about $40,000! All but $1000 (thanks to NF Midwest for that award) of that will be paid by our family through either direct payment or student loans. We do not qualify for need-based aid. 

As if that wasn't sobering enough, my husband and I looked up how much each of our colleges cost now. His was around $53,000/year now (don't know what it cost when he went). Mine now costs around $50,000/year. When I attended, it was about $13,000/year, including room and board. My college was known for its teaching program. I cannot even imagine leaving college, owing $200,000, to be a teacher who makes maybe $45,000 a year. How would you ever pay that off? My parents were both teachers and we did not qualify for financial aid back then either. The system is broken.

I truly do not know what we will do when it's my son's turn for school. He's considering a college that is too far away to commute, which means the cost will double. Yep, room and board costs the same as tuition for a state university. So at least $80,000 if he goes away all four years. And the financial aid system says I can pay that and more out of pocket. On what planet do they reside? 

I think I'm gonna go have Tylenol for breakfast. 😬 And then go count my blessings. I'm okay, really. It's just shocking to think of that amount of money. I actually need the Tylenol because I overdid the exercising yesterday and then had to have an MRI that put everything out of whack and gave me a headache due to the awkward position they had me in. I need the headache to dull a little more so I can work today.

I'll be back next week with a list of my projects and my choice for October's OMG. Also--how is it almost October already!!!???  If you read all the way to the end, thanks! You rock!

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation.

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.