OMG Fail!

First things first, I completely failed at this month's OMG, which was to sew the string pieced units for my Bonnie Hunter Grassy Creek quilt. I never even got started. Maybe I can try again next month.

I did get all this month's flying geese units finished for the Melodic Mystery quilt.

I've started working on the quilt I'm testing, but no photos allowed on that.

And I finally, finally, finally finished binding my Flower Patch SAL quilt! It was really windy last night, but we got an almost okay picture. 

And lots of bloopers. πŸ˜ƒ

I'm really close on finishing this year's quilting for others.

I quilted Rosemary on Abby's very first quilt. She did a great job!

We went with Threaded on Christi's quilt and it is so cute. I may have quilted this on Thanksgiving. 😏

Persephone 3 was the choice on Trish's quilt. This is such a beautiful quilt!

Connie chose Triangle Meander for her quilt. I am binding this one as well. I struggle to find more "masculine" pantographs. I think Triangle Meander is a good one to add in that category.

And finally, something a little different. I had quilted Legene's quilt a while back and it ended up being too small to fit her bed, so she added borders to the sides and gave it back to me. I knew that it would be quite difficult to match up the pattern and that we needed to do something different. In the end we decided to just stitch lines down some of the gold stripes in her fabric, kind of like piano keys, but spaced about 1.25" apart. The thread matched really well and barely shows. I wasn't sure how loading and quilting a previously finished quilt was going to go. It was fine. It's important to have enough extra fabric to be able to attach it to the leaders; that's probably the biggest thing.

Moving to more personal things, I canned some pineapple last week. We used extra light syrup. I find that home canned pineapple is less acidic (or at least less acid reflux inducing) than regular fresh or canned pineapple. I didn't start any new pineapple plants this time.

We had an uneventful, semi homemade Thanksgiving dinner. It looks very midwestern and rather unhealthy to me. πŸ˜† We had to serve everyone's favorites though. We had marinated turkey breast cooked on the grill; homemade, healthier mashed potatoes; stuffing from a box; a green bean casserole made with sour cream and cheddar instead of cream soup; crescent rolls from a tube; and homemade pecan and apple pies. I made the pecan and my husband made the apple. We finished the evening by catching up on Andor episodes.

No pictures of the chickens. We probably need to re-home at least one of the roosters. The white one is limping, but we don't see signs of illness or obvious injury. We thought maybe he jumped and landed funny, like a twisted ankle. 

Stop by next week for my December goals!

Linking with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Meadow Mist Designs.

Is That All I Did?

Looking at my pictures for the last week, all I have to say is that I thought I did a lot more than I did.

I did have two days that were devoted to the guild's market sale, so maybe that's it.

I also had a board meeting for the other guild I belong to and already completed typing the minutes, only one day after the meeting. It may be a record!!

The quilts I completed this week are:

Two for Sonja, each quilted with Frost. It's fun seeing fabrics I recognize from her past projects show up in current projects.

One for Amber, quilted with Ginger Heart.

And one for Trish, quilted with Soho. It's hard to tell here, but the thread is mint green.

I've lost track of how many more I have to do. I think six, but maybe there are more. Sometimes there are surprises. Soon it will be my turn in the queue.

I thought I'd get a lot more personal sewing done, but I didn't. I cut out a quilt. This one has a deadline. Also, I really dislike layer cakes. That is all.

I started working on the flying geese units that are this month's clue for the Melodic Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs.

I have not started working on this month's OMG, which is to make all the string pieced border units for my Grassy Creek mystery. I have a week left. Will it happen? Who even knows at this point! πŸ˜† I am having some difficulties focusing, but I feel pretty relaxed. I really need to clean up my sewing room. There is stuff everywhere, which is not my usual.

My AeroGarden herbs are ready to harvest. The Thai basil is the huge one this go around. It did not sprout in the first one. Chives are not the thing to grow here. I think you'd have to plant a big clump to have enough to harvest. I put three seeds in each pod this time and there is like one or two strands growing in each. 

We have a very large, low clump of dill growing in one of the outside tanks. We thought it was a weed at first because it didn't smell like dill, but it does now. The chickens love it. They also like finely diced broccoli stems. We caught the white rooster mounting one of the hens last night. 😟 They are approximately four months old right now. The rooster(s) are crowing pretty much every morning. I can't tell if it's one or both of them. Most of the time it's not super loud and it lasts up to five minutes. At least it's around 7:30 and not the crack of dawn. The white one is establishing himself as the leader, but he's also kind of a bully now. We will have to continue to monitor these situations, not that I have any idea at all of what to do.

My younger child got his learner's permit yesterday. 

I hope you have a nice holiday.

In a Bind

Another week has slipped past and it seems like I haven't been very productive. Though I actually have, just not on my own projects.

My sole accomplishment for the week outside of working on others' quilts is creating a table runner for one of the guilds I belong to. I wanted to serge the edges and I haven't touched my sergers in ages. I had to clean a pretty thick layer of dust off the dust cover. Then I ran out of thread and had to think about how to properly rethread the machine. You do have to use the proper threading order if you want it to actually form stitches. Why? Who knows? But I reminded myself of why when it didn't work when I did it out of order. 

I used a big chunk of what I think is muslin from my stash. I couldn't get the wrinkles out with my regular iron. We used the Cricut Easy Press since my husband had cut vinyl letters for me. The Easy Press has a pretty short cord, so I had it plugged into my extension cord. It kept way overheating--like 150+ degrees too hot--and shutting off. I'm wondering if the cord had anything to do with it. It is a normal extension cord, not a lightweight household one. Anyway, the super hot temperature worked wonders with the intensely wrinkled fabric. This picture is prior to ironing.

The big sale is this weekend. I'm hosting a pre-sale booth trial set up party this afternoon and then I'm on official set up duty Friday morning and working my shift Friday late afternoon. I hope people aren't scared off by the pricing on the quilts. People who don't quilt are pretty clueless about the amount of time, effort, and money that go into it. $50 is not going to cut it. You want a $50 bedspread, go to a big box or Amazon. You want art, you pay for art.

Meanwhile, I have still been hard at work getting everyone's quilts done. I had a big chunk that needed to be bound in addition, so that's what I've been doing. Speaking of binding, I lost the needle I'd been using to hand bind one of my own quilts. Oops! Magnets were not successful in locating it. It will turn up eventually. 

Back to the quilts. I finished up the binding on Pat's two quilts from last week.

Then I quilted Sandy's checked baby quilt with Ginger Heart. I bound this one as well.

Next up is Linda's half-square triangle quilt, quilted with Stipple.

Then Elizabeth's quilt, made for her by Kayle, quilted with Rumble. Binding is in process.

A memory quilt made by Annie, quilted with Tamarack Wood Grain. Still need to finish the binding on this one, to be completed by Friday.

Another of Linda's quilts, quilted with Starlets.

Then one for Sonja, quilted with Christmas. 

I think I have 10 more to go. These things seem to be a bit fluid. πŸ˜„

We got our first snowfall of the season Friday night. They estimated a dusting up to one inch, but it ended up being more like three or four inches. It was pretty and oddly raised my spirits. I don't really care for snow, but the white is better than all the dead grass. The chickens were not amused by the snow! It melted really quickly even though we haven't gotten much above 35 degrees. I'm thankful for the moisture.

See you next week!

Making Plans

The next few weeks are going to be really busy for me as I finish off this year's client quilts. I also have the market show/sale next week that will eat up a few of my days.  To help me keep calm and focused, I've been planning out all the things I might like to do during my time off.

I want to get at least several of my own quilts quilted. These include:

  • apple quilt (circa 2000!), custom and for a Christmas gift
  • blue/white Chalk quilt
  • SCQG BOM 2021
  • #Trending
  • Grassy Creek, providing I sew those borders. I haven't even started yet.

I have eight other quilts on my personal to-be-quilted list, but those five are my priorities.

I've been debating for a couple years now, but I'm going to rip out the quilting I did on my Under the Sea quilt because I just don't like it. 

I could create new balls of selvedge yarn and knit a rug for us. My selvedge bag is overflowing.

I need to repair my son's favorite pajama pants.

I am going to make my daughter a dress shirt. She's going to need business casual clothes for her D.C. trip and she has basically none.

I want to make myself several shirts. 

I want to make several more donation quilts for Quilts for Kids. Even though I have other things I should be focused on right now, I did pull out a stack of fabrics I'd set aside for one and started prepping them.

I need to finish binding my Flower Patch SAL. I'm about halfway around it now.

I need to watch more of my IntelliQuilter classes.

I want to learn how to use ProStitcher Designer.

I really need to deep clean my house. 

I need to get back on my regular exercise plan and stop eating so much junk (stress eating, ugh). I think my knee is just about ready for the treadmill, but the rest of the exercise may need to wait a few more weeks.

There's so much here that it is verging on chore status. We'll see. My vacation should be relaxing, so if most of it doesn't get done, that's okay. It's good to have goals.

I did fully finish the In and Out mini. I quilted it with Abundant Feathers and did hand binding. It was 14" prior to quilting.

I've made it this far with the trimmings from the holiday runner. The blocks are 4" finished. I'm not sure where I want to go from here. Does it need additional borders? I thought about adding cornerstones and then another border, but I also thought about just adding top and bottom borders and calling it good. What do you think?

I have been working a lot in order to try to extend my break by a few more days. I've completed six more quilts and the queue is under 20!

I quilted this for Brenda. It took me two days as it was a fairly large quilt. Quilted with Basketweave.

Toni's quilt, quilted with Hot Nights. My husband said I needed to turn this quilt to make the flames go sideways to look like Hot Rods (hot rod panel in center of quilt), so I did. This is for someone he and Toni work with, so I figured that was okay. I also bound this one.

Marilyn's Deco quilt, quilted with Ginger Hearts. 

Marilyn's Ginkgo quilt, quilted with Even Flow. This one was also loaded sideways so that the pattern ran top to bottom when complete. I was very pleased with how her quilts came out.

Pat's quilt, quilted with Turbo. I also bound this one.

Pat's other quilt, quilted with Stipple. Another binding job. She wasn't sure this one was worth quilting, but I had a few tricks up my sleeve--pattern choice, scale of pattern, batting choice {Hobbs 80/20 batting will shrink 3 - 5% when washed and dried and should be quilted no further than 4" apart. Most Quilter's Dream battings will shrink 1 - 3% and can be quilted much further apart.}, clothes steamer, and some fabric manipulation when necessary.

Meanwhile, my initial thought that Henrietta chicken is a rooster seems to be true. Henrietta's comb and wattles, while not as big as Smoky's, are significantly more developed than the hens'.


Smoky (with his eyes closed)

Beaker, we think

 And Henrietta and Smoky have taken to crowing every few mornings. So Henrietta is Henry, I guess. My daughter is kind of devastated by this because she's concerned they will be too loud for the neighbors and also that 2/5 of the flock are roosters and these are her pets. I have basically no concern about the neighbors since the chickens crow around 7:30 or 8 am and we are very quiet, considerate neighbors other than this. I'm not sure how it will go with two roosters though. 

Speaking of neighbors, remember last week when I was complaining that the lot behind us chopped down basically every tree on 1+ acres? Well, to add insult to injury, their excavator spent two days burning all the downed trees. We consulted with the fire marshall and the county has no rules about burning other than no trash. πŸ˜’ The burning disturbed the chickens but luckily it didn't smoke too badly. The same can't be said for someone else who lives behind us and burns a fire pit pretty much every. single. night. Monday night it was so bad that the smoke infiltrated our house. There was a cloak of smoke hanging over more than five acres. Yuck. How obnoxious. 

Another neighbor story: we've discovered that one of the neighbors likes to walk around in his driveway in his underwear in the evenings! My next door neighbor growing up did this as well. At least the current guy wears a shirt and not tighty whiteys or a Speedo bikini. And I can't see him from our house. Do you have any unusual neighbors?

We also had this happen last week. Both times it happened we were at the post office instead. No injuries the first time, no real details this time.

If you've made it through, thanks. I think I'm one of the most boring people ever, so I'm always pleasantly surprised when people read my ramblings.

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

November OMG

Well, I can't avoid it any more. It's time to make the string pieced borders for my Grassy Creek quilt. My goal this month is to piece all the string units for the border.

I have prepped all the foundations I need, so it's just a matter of cutting and sewing and then removing those foundations. I'm hoping I have enough variety of grays left since I'm trying really hard not to buy anything. I've used most of my darker grays. I do have gray fabrics in my stash still, but grays can be all over the place--green grays, blue grays, pink or purple grays--know what I mean?
This is such a dull picture. 

I don't particularly enjoy string piecing, probably because I way overthink it. 

The colors for Bonnie's newest mystery were released Monday. I'll download the clues, but I'm not planning to make this year's quilt right now. I have Grassy Creek, Unity, and Rhododendron Trail in progress. 

The next clue in Cheryl's Meadow Mist Designs Melodic Mystery comes out tomorrow. Cheryl's QAL are so easy to keep up with. I'm still really pleased that I was able to cut out the entire mystery quilt top from stash. I'm trying to make a big effort to only use what I have and finish all those UFOs. Have you seen my UFO list? πŸ˜³πŸ˜† I'm making decent progress, all things considered.

I did finish my table runner that I shared last week. I quilted it with Sawtooth Offset. It is now ready to go in the guild sale. I do wish I would have switched the border and binding fabrics with each other, but I didn't feel the need to rip off the borders either. I might have quilted it differently too, but at least I got to try out a new pattern.

I did not have quite enough clearance with my backing fabric, so I asked my husband for an idea. He used some composite shims and made a wedge so that my throat plate could clear the leaders. It's not very pretty, but it worked great.

I trimmed all the HST trimmings the runner generated. I did have some waste with this because most, but not all, of the units could be trimmed to 1.75". Since they all couldn't, I ended up at 1.5" since I didn't want to deal with 1.625" units. I think I'm going to make a square in a square unit for the center of the green block. I'll probably end up going with a mini version of the table runner, though with a slightly different center block.

I still need to quilt the reproduction fabric mini I shared last week and make the second one too. The second one is a bonus, so I'll get to it when I get to it. Maybe I'll sew a bit of that and then a bit of the string units and alternate to alleviate boredom.

The quilting is coming along nicely. Here's what I've completed this week.

Heather's quilt, quilted with Sugar and Spice.

Paula's, quilted with 60s Mod Butterfly.

Jan's, quilted with Turbo.

Linda's, quilted with Spring Thing.

Linda's, quilted with Interlocking Rain Lines.

And Paula's, quilted with Othello.

All in all, a lovely and varied group of quilts. 

I'm feeling pleased with my progress. I laid out my schedule and realized that if I work extra hard in November, I can extend my December "vacation" a bit. Not that it will necessarily be a vacation since I have plans to quilt at least five of my own projects. But at least I can choose to work or not on those without risk of disappointing anyone other than myself.

I harvested all my AeroGarden lettuce and had enough for a few salad meals for myself.

We put down a deposit on six, 5 - 6 foot, Norway Spruce to try to regain some of the privacy we had before the lot owners behind us clear-cut their lot. I'm still upset about that. It was needless to remove so much. It really just makes me sick. Anyway, the local nursery is really busy, so we are looking at a month or more before they can install them. 

The kids and I got the updated booster shot Friday. We all fared much better than my husband did when he got his. We were all just kind of lazy and low-energy Saturday and I have my third boob in my armpit again, just like I did after the previous booster. Plus side is that since I'm still taking the heavy doses of Aleve for my injured knee, the swelling goes down most of the day until the med wears off. I'll take the sluggishness and swelling over the actual disease any day, thank you very much.

One daughter got selected to participate in the NF Young Adult Leadership program in January. My baby will be heading back to Washington, D.C., to learn about leadership and advocacy and lobby for continued funding for NF medical research, which is done through the NIH and the DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (the DoD program, mostly performed by Army researchers, has been funded since 1996, though in these recent, divisive times, it's had a hard time passing, hence the urgent need for advocacy). 

See you next week.

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.