Best of 2023

It's that time of year again...reviewing my posts for 2023 to pick what I consider the best of most meaningful ones. I am linking up with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs for her eighth annual "Best of" link up.

Here are my picks for the year:

1. The post with the most clicks is one from July. I have no idea why this post was so popular; I felt it was a pretty ordinary one.

2. One of my personal favorites is this post from March.

3. The continuing tale of Gina the pigeon, posted in August.
 4. From October, a post about my first printed pattern, Starfall.
5. This post from January holds good memories as well. It was the first time our chickens laid eggs, I talked about my daughter's trip to Washington, D. C., and I was working on piecing a couple of Cheryl's quilts. 

It was fun taking a trip down memory lane. 2023 had some pretty great moments. Here's to a great 2024.

December One Monthly Goal Finish

Happy Christmas! Were you able to finish your goal in this busy month?

My goal for this month was to piece all the remaining border units for my Grassy Creek quilt.

I am so happy that I finally, finally, finally have all the units pieced, squared up, and have the papers removed, too. I managed to get them finished a few days before this link up post needed to be published, so that's pretty good as well. Something I hadn't considered about hosting OMG is that I have to get things done much more quickly than I did when I was just linking up.

Now all I have to do is sew them together and attach them to the rest of my quilt. 

And then piece my backing fabric, decide on a quilting design, and hope I have enough of one of the fabrics from my quilt left to create a binding. It was getting to be pretty slim pickings with the gray fabrics near the end of piecing the strings.

Now it's your turn to share your progress. Link up your project and then visit others, make new friends, and gain inspiration.

This link up will remain open until December 31 at 11:55 pm EST.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Trimmings Mini Quilt

This month has really gotten away from me. Here we are, a few days from Christmas, and I'm not even ready for that, let alone accomplishing the many things I had planned for the month.

Over the past week I finished the last two quilts of the year. This first one belongs to Jeanne and she selected the Cakewalk design for the quilting.
The second one belongs to Toni and she requested Chicken Wire for it.

I quilted and bound a tiny mini--it finishes at 5.5" x 14.5". I mostly did stitch in the ditch using Bottom Line thread. I added a few lines through the borders to make it easier to attach the binding. 

It is made from trimmings from a table runner I made last year. This runner was made using the Farmhouse Christmas pattern by Amanda Niederhauser and I donated to my guild fundraiser.

I've been working on endlessly rearranging all the blocks of my Log Cabin Stars quilt. I haven't hit on the right combination yet. This is the last picture I had in my phone. I think I have shuffled it a bit more since then. I should have made a better color plan than "winging it" when I paired the fabrics.

I've also been hustling to try to get my OMG done. The finish link up will open on Christmas. Will I be done in time? Stay tuned. 

Other things that have been keeping me busy are cleaning, trying to solve our 2 Million Dollar puzzle (it is the hardest puzzle EVER and it has a fast-approaching timeline to claim a prize), and our first robotics competition of the season. 

I'm most of the way through the deep-cleaning of the upstairs. I have part of the office and the master suite remaining. I'll do the basement after Christmas. I got slowed down a little when I dropped(?) a deep dish 9x13 Pyrex full of 12 cups of stuffing. What a giant mess! I found glass over eight feet away both to the left and the right.

I mysteriously got signed up as a volunteer for the robotics competition--like, I didn't sign up, but got an email thanking me for signing up and they also knew my shirt size. So weird. I left my house about 6:15 am Saturday and returned home at 7:30 pm. I had over 11,500 steps just from doing my job of lead queuer. I didn't feel like I'd recovered until Tuesday! Thankfully I had a bunch of teenage boys to do most of the running. I was able to sort of view the rounds our team was in thanks to the kindness of the other adult working the queue line. 

Our boys led the robot scores most of the day, getting knocked down to fourth place in the last couple of rounds. They were chosen by the number two team to join their alliance. We made it to the finals, but did not win. Our team was awarded a second place Control award and a third place Think award as well as being presented the second place alliance trophy, but we did not qualify for the state tournament. We have two more chance to qualify in February, and, as of right now, are ranked third in the state. 

The OMG finish link up will open on Monday. Have a nice holiday and I'll see you next week. 

Quilts for Kids

I've been a bit off-task again...imagine that! I did fully complete the test quilt I was working on, Starlight. I made the baby size using dinosaur fabrics. 

I have finished all four Quilts for Kids quilts I was working on. The first one I shared last week. I quilted it with the Coquina design.

Then I made one with a fishing theme and quilted it with Tread Lightly.

My daughter and I put together this one in under an hour. Well, the top anyway. I quilted it using variegated thread and the Whoop-De-Doo design.

Finally, I was able to sort of get the frog pantograph I drew to stitch out. It needs work, but it was okay to get this Grogu quilt done. The backing fabric has Grogu and frogs on it.

I had four more I had completed over the last few years. The space themed quilt, quilted with Driftwood back in June.

The butterfly quilt, quilted with In the Swirls, completed in January.

The unicorn panel quilt, quilted with a star and circle pattern, July 2021.

And this weird baby circus quilt, quilted with Unwind, May 2021.

I'll be shipping all eight to Quilts for Kids today.

I quilted two t-shirt quilts for Toni as well, both with the Malachite pattern. 

I've begun the epic deep-clean of the house, watched a few Intelliquilter classes from the Machine Quilting Academy, and helped with robotics--the first tournament of the season is on Saturday.

I found out that presser feet can indeed go bad. This is the bottom of my 37 foot (1/4" foot for Bernina) 😳. All those gold places are deep grooves worn in. I bought a new one since they were on sale this month.

I won Left-Right-Center at the guild holiday party. We each brought $15 in $5s to play and all the money ($245) was donated to a local women's shelter. My consolation prize was a small fat quarter bundle. 

I also drove my son's car to pick him up after a math competition. I felt like I was driving a go cart down the road!

I found out that deer have basically destroyed one of the pine trees we had planted earlier this year and done damage to a second one. 😑

I've taken enough pictures of squirrels on our deck that "squirrel" is now one of my phone's auto-ID categories--apparently having three photos qualifies. LOL.

And I received a jury duty summons. πŸ˜’ I'll be on call for the whole month of February--except I'm gonna be at Quilt Con for part of that and we have two more robotics competitions in February and a quilt retreat. They won't care that I already had plans. Yippee.

I have not yet started my December OMG. I have two quilts left to quilt for others and a few gifts to make. Wish me luck!

Little Machine/Little Quilts

Last week I made the dumbest mistake ever with my longarm. I was cleaning and oiling the machine and managed to get the t-shirt I use to collect oil drips sucked up into the hook while the machine was running. 🀦🏻‍♀️🀦🏻‍♀️🀦🏻‍♀️🀦🏻‍♀️🀦🏻‍♀️ A fuse was blown, which I was able to change, and I also knocked the timing out. Luckily, I guess, my machine has a toothed timing belt that you can adjust prior to having to do a full re-time. Not so luckily, it was a day my husband was at work and I could only move the belt one tooth, which wasn't enough. So no work for me that day. Unbeknownst to me, robotics practice was scheduled at someone else's house for that evening instead of at our house. So I had to wait more. He was able to move the belt two more teeth at nine o'clock that night and also made another minor adjustment to get everything back into place.

Thursday I was back at it, working on Jess's quilt. She gave me a large piece of plaid fleece for the quilt backing. I decided to try to line up the plaid. Not too bad!

I quilted it with loopy meander.

Then I quilted Toni's quilt with Julie's Chicken Wire. I have spent a small fortune on chicken wire-style designs. This one didn't import into my Intelliquilter correctly, but I was able to smooth the design and then use it. It's definitely the best of the chicken wires. I only had to do minimal tweaking to get things lined up correctly.

Next I worked on Margaret's quilt. She selected Freehand Hearts & Loops (a panto) for her quilt. The hearts mimic the hearts in her border fabric, but the quilting is really hard to see in general.

Then I quilted Trish's quilt with Maureen's Oakleaf. It matched her fabric so well! She wanted a gold thread to blend between the colors. I picked Glide Sand and it looks really nice. 

Meanwhile, I've been working on a test quilt, Starlightfor Lindsey at Yellow Umbrella Quilts. She has already released the pattern, so I can now share it. I chose to make the baby-sized version with fabrics from the Eat Your Veggies fabric line that I had in my stash. I quilted it with Rhapsody Dino Tracks and a very pale green (Pale Mist) thread. I will probably fully machine bind this due to time constraints. Sorry for the cruddy pictures. It got dark really early last night. I finished quilting it just before five and it was too dark for photos. 
I pieced the back too. I think this is such a cute fabric line. It seems to be mostly sold out, but you can find some in Etsy shops.
I saw that Quilts for Kids is in need of boy quilts. I have several I've been saving up--I like to ship many at once, but only one of the completed ones is a boy quilt, so I went shopping in my stash to see what I could pull together. I pulled fabrics for two and have one complete minus binding. My son told me that it looks like an old person quilt. I have to say, I kind of agree. LOL. Maybe there's a little kid out there with sophisticated taste. 😏

I quilted it with Coquina.

I haven't started cutting the second one yet, but I'll work on that and the binding of the other today. 

I have one more customer quilt to complete for this year that I'll work on this week as well. I have a few others in the house already, waiting for next year. I may work at a very leisurely pace on a few of those during my "vacation" because I have spent a lot of money in the past two weeks and would like to recoup some of that. Meet my most recent acquisition, a Bernina 350 SE Cotton + Steel edition from 2017.

I bought this from someone my husband works with that I also know through quilting. I did not need another machine, but the 350 weighs a lot less than my travel machine, a Bernina 430, and that made it very appealing. I need to get the 430 serviced and I have no idea how long that will take. I also need to get my regular machine, a 440QE, serviced again. The presser foot pressure isn't functioning correctly, but it's functioning better than the 430, which has a few broken parts and definitely doesn't seem to have been serviced as recently as the seller claimed.

Outdoors, the second garage door and tracks for both doors arrived and the installers came Monday and Tuesday. I looked out briefly Monday afternoon and grabbed a picture. I have no idea if the job is fully completed now, but I'm sure they'll be hounding us for the remainder of the bill shortly. Those things are like gold. I found the total shocking.
Anyway, I have quite a few sewing projects to complete or catch up on. I have my OMG, the Grassy Creek string border pieces, to do. The next Meadow Mist mystery clue comes out tomorrow. I need to bind the sweatshirt jacket for my daughter. Someone requested a doll bed sheet tutorial, so I need to look at that, I suppose. I need to finish up the Quilts for Kids things. I have one project to make for a gift. I want to make my darn dress form, which is a selfish thing just for me. The first robotics competition is a week from Saturday and "we" are entering crisis/panic mode. And all the deep cleaning of the house needs to be done. I need to work on my business website and watch more IQ classes. I have a to-do list that is a mile long. I think I need to accept the fact that I am one person and cannot do it all. But a girl can dream. And clean her house. :)