January OMG Complete

At last, I have finished something on time! {I was unable to complete my goal in November and December.} My goal this month was to make a donation quilt from start to finish. It was not entirely without bumps. I assembled the interior of the quilt and when I laid it out for a photograph I realized something wasn't quite right.

Something is wrong here.

A little seam ripping and re-sewing, and now it looks better!

I'm so pleased I was able to finish my quilt. This is also my first finish of the year. I quilted it with In the Swirls and did a zig-zag stitch over the binding since this one will be donated to Quilts for Kids. The zig-zag helps make sure there isn't anything to catch on wires or IVs.

I spent a couple days fiddling with the layout for my Board & Batten quilt. I think I'm going with this. I'm sure it could be arranged better, but it's one of those things where you move one thing and then have to move a bunch more and it just never ends.

I had posted my progress on social media and someone contacted me about an issue with one of my fabrics. Joanna told me about her experience--her fabric ran when she washed her finished quilt and she couldn't remove the excess dye. I had pre-washed my fabric and hadn't noticed any bleeding at the time, but since she'd had such a bad experience and was kind enough to warn me, I figured I'd better double-check. This is after an hour or so in the water. 😳  It looked like intense Easter egg dye.

As soon as the edge of my fabric hit the water, I could see dye running out into the water, but I left the sample in there for a day just to see. This is what the fabric looks like when it's dry. It's actually a brand name batik--Hoffman Indah batik Snippy in St. Paddy Gold. It's beautiful, but I can't recommend it.

Anyway, I had to order some dark green fabric to replace the running fabric since I didn't have anything suitable in my stash. Once that arrives (Ruby Star this time), I will need to replace those HST and squares and assemble my quilt. I am planning to assemble what I can in the meantime and just kind of work around it since this week's task is to assemble half of the blocks.

I've quilted lots this week. I'm kinda buried in quilts at the moment. That's a good problem to have, but it also makes me feel like I have to work a bunch to compensate. 

The first one I did was Katie's quilt, quilted with Champagne Bubbles. This is the one that I pattern-matched the backing on last week. The quilt pattern itself is called Blowing Up Bunnies by Art East.

Then I quilted Carol's t-shirt quilt with Diagonal Plaid. If you're a frequent visitor here, you know I love Diagonal Plaid on t-shirt quilts. 

I finally got the binding on Pat's quilt. 

Next up was JoEllen's quilt, quilted with 60s Mod Butterfly.

Then one of Cindy's, quilted with Flirtatious.

My little quilt, quilted with In the Swirls.

And then another of Cindy's, quilted with Starry. 

Besides all the quilting, it snowed over the weekend. 

IKEA got in a few more of the parts we needed for our closet makeover and we were able to pay in advance for part of it to guarantee it would still be there by the time one of us, my husband this time, made the drive Sunday to pick them up. I had a partially successful trip the week before. Eight more pieces--four drawers and four shelves--to go. We started buying pieces last April.

Meanwhile, pears were, well, I don't know if I'd call it on sale, but they were in stock. My husband brought me 10 pounds (18 pears) and I spent quite a while Sunday afternoon peeling, chopping, and canning 10 pints. He did help me peel some of them because it takes forever. Canned pears are one of my most favorite foods. They are very labor intensive, so we make them last. If I had tons of money, I'd love a chef who continually canned pears for me. :) Oddly, I don't really care for fresh pears. Eh, we all have our quirks.

The chickens are still laying eggs and we still don't know which ones. One lays in the corner, one lays in front of the door to the ramp, and a lot of times the rooster Henry ends up sitting on them. No one uses the nesting boxes. My daughter made herself an omelet with five of the eggs. We used two in a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix and the muffins were less grainy than normal and rose like popovers. Strange. 

Henry is still pretty gimpy. He does venture down into their yard occasionally. We found out that he hobbles out the door and then kind of leaps and flaps his wings and has a hard landing. He can't really go down the ramp and he for sure can't get back up, so he has to be put back in the coop at night when he does come out. The other day my daughter was feeding him outside the coop and the chickens were so jealous! Agatha is staring at Henry from the corner of the coop.

Two of the girls, Beaker and Peanut, always try to escape if any of the doors are open. They all come running if they hear us outside because they think they are getting food! Here they are staring at my husband--Peanut on the left, then Smoky, Agatha, and Peanut from top to bottom.

I'll be back for a special edition on February 1. Have a wonderful week.

Linking with My Quilt Infatuation, For the Love of Geese, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict



Progress!

I feel like I've made a lot of progress this week. I'm up to date on the Board & Batten quilt along. I had to sew and trim a ton of HST and I got them all done!

I have the rows made for my OMG quilt this month, so I'm still on track to finish on time.

I'm joining Patty from Elm Street Quilts for the Loves Me, Loves Me Not quilt along that runs from now into May. You do have to buy the pattern in order to participate, however, there are prizes available. I just really like the pattern and I pulled fabrics from my stash to make the quilt. 

Another project I moved forward is my art quilt from the class I took with Cathy Geier last spring. I finally put the borders on--I ordered several different batiks and eventually one was the right colors--and I love it! Now I need to make time to quilt it. Cathy suggested using a very minuscule  stipple or meander over the main body to hold all the fabrics in place. I will need to try again to use invisible thread on my longarm. I haven't had great success with that in the past. 

I quilted a bunch of quilts this past week, more than I thought I had.

First is Lauren's. She wanted Two Scoops quilted in a large design scale and we picked black thread. I also bound this one--that was a shoulder workout! I actually overdid it and had to rest my shoulder all weekend. Aging is awesome! 

Next is Carol's, quilted with Ruby Twist. She did such a nice job with all her miters, though they don't really show in this picture. I just love the Ruby Twist design.

Then I quilted Pat's with Swirling. My daughter and I selected Glide thread in Rust to blend. Random aside--this thread is really close to the color of my parents' basement carpet that they have had for more years than I'd like to admit--maybe 40?! I still need to bind this quilt and I am so thankful that Pat is always very patient. 

I also quilted two of Deb's. First is this one, quilted with Spring Thing and Glide Cool Mint thread. This looks so nice in my sewing room; it matches quite well. :)

And then this one with Stipple. Nice and cheerful!

I also prepped a backing for my friend Katie. I decided to try to match the plaid. I loosely followed the tutorial on Suzy Quilts. Do you have one of these Dritz EZY-Hem tools? I have had this for over 20 years. I also purchased one of the newer Clover ones, but I almost always choose my Dritz one. 

Here's how I did. I didn't have time to press the seam after I sewed it last night, but I think it looks pretty good. And really, I don't think Katie will care one way or the other. I just wanted to try it again.

The weather was absolutely beautiful, though a bit windy, yesterday. It felt like spring and I went for two walks, one alone in the middle of the day, and then another in late afternoon with my husband once he got home from work. Anyway, our plants and trees are confused. I noticed some of the daffodils, hostas, and iris in my gardens are starting to grow. I also noticed that some of the trees in the neighborhood are budding and several very large tulip poplars are blossoming! Look at that beautiful blue sky too!

I was looking around my lower garden to see what was starting to grow and noticed all these weird things on our contorted filbert tree. I've never seen them before and I was really hoping it wasn't some strange bug! Google tells us those are catkins, sort of like a flower, only the catkins are the male part. Looking at them in my picture, the male part makes sense! πŸ˜³πŸ˜†

Other happenings over this past week included another robotics competition, where our team was able to hold on to their second place standing. They will move on to the regional competition in a few more weeks.

I also attempted to wash the blankets I had on the guest bed prior to putting them back into the chest for storage. I went to pull one of them out of the washer and it literally disintegrated into chunks! I was left holding a large, white stretchy mesh as the chunks rained down into the tub. What a mess! So instead of putting what was left in the dryer, we put them into a trash bag. 


All in all, it's been a nice week, minus the weird disintegrating blanket thing. 

Washington, Eggs, & Quilts

We've had a rather eventful week here. We enjoyed getting random texts and photos from my daughter while she was in Washington, D.C.  There were 10 participants in the NF Young Adult Leadership program this year, and between them they visited every single member of both the Senate and the House of Reps' offices in two days. 

She witnessed a January 6 protest and much larger counter-protest in front of the Supreme Court. There were officers guarding Congress and the Rotunda and lots of barricades, particularly as the week went on. The kids (all legal adults, but kids in my eyes) were not able to watch any of the votes, but most of the offices had C-Span playing and a common theme amongst the staffers was awe and disbelief and a bit of annoyance. Also lots of worry over whether they'd get paid or even have a job if things didn't get settled. I kept telling her she was witnessing history.

Some of her comments on the various offices are as follows. Todd Young (one of our Indiana senators) had a Wheaties box with his picture on it in a glass case in his office, but you couldn't take pictures. Ted Cruz's staffers were the rudest (eh, probably no surprise there). Susan Collins (Maine) had very large wooden bobbers all over her office. Bernie's office had lots of syrup and each secretary had a crocheted Bernie in the mittens and mask on their desk. Many of the offices had packages of peanuts. She came home with quite a collection of peanuts and other snacks that she received in each office. 

She took a picture of George Santos' office sign--the kids figured that might soon be a relic. There were apparently always reporters hanging out by his office. She also took a picture of Kevin McCarthy's office sign. LOL. She met Don Davis (NC rep) and said he was very nice. She also met Gwen Moore (WI), Bill Foster (IL), Jake LaTurner (KS), Mike Gallagher (WI, one of the co-sponsors of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP)  bill, pictured below). Side note, Wisconsin is one of the few states that enjoys bipartisan support of the CDMRP bill. She said Gallagher was taking selfies with all of them and then needed to run. Next thing they know, they see him on tv nominating McCarthy. 

My daughter was traveling on the same flights with another girl from Indiana. Their return flight was from Reagan to Charlotte and then back to Indianapolis. They got to the airport and discovered that their flight was already delayed 30 minutes, which was most of their layover time between their two flights. So we had to get them rebooked. We could get both of them into Cincinnati, so they changed their flights, but it was going to be tight. Then we found that they could fly into Evansville instead and that had a longer time between flights and also was an hour and 20 minutes closer than Cincinnati. It's good that we got them switched onto the Evansville flight, because they sat on the runway at Reagan for quite some time and they would have barely made the Cincinnati flight. 

So. The Evansville flight arrived around 10:30 at night. Amazingly my daughter's suitcase made it with her. We were impressed that it was routed correctly after all the flight changes. We got home well after midnight and hosted her new friend for the night. Overall it was a really good experience for them.

The next morning my husband and son were off to another robotics competition. They moved up from fifth to second place in their league, so that was great. 

I spent Monday driving to IKEA and back, trying to get more pieces for our future closet re-do. We've been waiting on some of the parts since last April. They told us to get on the text alert list and come as soon as we get a text. So I did, and they didn't actually have that part in stock after texting me to tell me they did. 😑 Luckily they did have one other part we were missing (also, I never got a text about that part despite signing up for them), so it wasn't a totally wasted trip, but really, it was so annoying and the lady working that counter was so unwilling to help me. She seriously told me that I need to come to the store every single day at 10 am to see if they got anything in. Um, I work and it's a three hour round trip. 😀 The lady in line behind me was way more helpful with tips and such than the actual employee.

Thanks for humoring me with the tales of my daughter's travels and our life stuff. Let's get to the sewing, shall we? I got the January clue for the Melodic Mystery completed. Here are all of my pieces so far. This month's units on top, all the units below. Next month's clue will be the assembly instructions.


Oh, and I finished off a cone of Aurifil. I started using it in January 2021. Definitely a good value.

I also managed to get all the pieces cut for the Board and Batten QAL. I will be making lots of HST at my earliest convenience. Hopefully that is some time this week since that's the task for this week.

I'm also making progress on my OMG. I have all the rail fence blocks made now and just need to assemble them into a a top. And add borders. And quilt and bind. I forgot to take a picture.

I'm trying to take a bit slower pace with the quilting this year in an effort to avoid feeling so stressed and burned out. So far, so good. Here are the quilts I worked on.

Sally's quilt, quilted with Starlet. Sally's moving away soon and I sure will miss her. 

Paula's Alice quilt, quilted with Blood Orange Peel. This particular quilting design takes a good bit of fiddling to get everything to line up correctly, so I took my time and spent two days on it. I am very, very pleased with how it came out. Also, look at those teeny tiny star blocks--each little HST finished at 1/2"!!

Christi's baby quilt, quilted with Toss Up. She really loved how the cover photo on her pattern looked, so I borrowed her pattern and hunted down the quilting design so we could replicate it.

Finally, Janice's quilt, quilted with Flirtatious. Beautiful quilt, and one of my new favorite quilting designs--I used this pattern last week too. Maybe Stipple won't be most popular design this year? πŸ˜†

Over in the chicken coop, my husband found a product called Rooster Booster that they've been feeding to Henry mixed in with some cooked oatmeal. It seems to be helping because Henry has actually come out of the coop down into the pen a few times! He can't get back up the ramp, so someone has to put him away each evening he's out, but it's encouraging. Beaker and Peanut, the partridge colored hens, keep trying to escape any time the doors are open, so we've had to really watch it. 

We now have nine eggs. I think that two of the hens are laying now, and my suspicion is Beaker and Peanut, but I don't know for sure. When my son and I got home yesterday, there was an egg right in the coop opening. Usually they're further inside the coop.

See how tiny it is? That's why I think two hens are laying now. I think the tiny one was the first egg for one of them. And my son found the second egg in one of the usual spots. Another fun chicken moment is that one of them ripped a chunk of contact paper off the wall in the coop. They brought it down into the pen and the hens were chasing each other around to try to capture it. They are so weird.

Have a great week!

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

January OMG

Happy New Year!

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? I do not, and I don't tend to plan out a whole lot of anything either since whenever I do, things tend to go far off track. A lot can happen in a year. Only short-term goals for me.

My One Monthly Goal for this month is to fully complete this quilt, to be donated to Quilts for Kids once I have enough quilts made to make shipping reasonable. {This will be number three. I think four or five total would be a good amount.}

I will continue working on the Melodic Mystery this month. The next clue comes out tomorrow. I think we're getting close to the end. I ordered some backing fabric from Hancock's of Paducah (from the sale section!) and am awaiting its fulfillment and arrival. The rest of this quilt was made from stash. Here are my parts so far.

The Board & Batten QAL starts today. I pulled most of the fabric, including my backing fabric, from stash. I needed a bit more green and yellow (FQ and 1/2 yard due to how I had to buy them). I treated myself to a new background fabric--Moda Thatched, whose pattern does not show in my picture.  I will be making the throw sized quilt for this one.

As time allows, I have three quilts of my own to bind. I will be doing these by hand. I'd like to at least get the bindings attached to the fronts so that they are more portable and stable. Right now all three are stretched out on the living room floor. 

We won't talk about those Grassy Creek borders. I don't think I'll be choosing those as a goal anymore since every time I do, things get way too busy.

My current evening project is removing the quilting from my Under the Sea quilt. I was not happy with it once I finished the quilting. I tried to accept it, though I never put the binding on. I finally gave in and have been slowly picking out the stitching. I'm about a quarter of the way done.

I've also moved all my selvedge strips upstairs with the intent of making more balls of selvedge yarn to knit a small rug. I made one a couple of years ago for my mother in law. For a long time it was just folded over a chair. I noticed she's started using it in her bathroom, but it has grown/stretched out tremendously--like double!  Is this normal?? It was 29" x 37" originally. It seems to have stretched on the 37" side. It was so much bigger that I didn't even recognize it as the one I made until I started looking closely at the fabrics. Advice appreciated.

I spent much of last week getting my daughter's clothes ready for her trip. I had to hem two pairs of pants. 

And I made her a "two-hour" shirt that took me about eight hours! She seemed happy with it though. She has some forest green pants to wear with the shirt on one of the Congressional visit days.


Moving along, I'm back to work. 

I quilted two Christmas quilts for Keetah. She selected Winterfest for the first one. I made a rookie mistake and somehow cropped my panto way too far from the edge! 🀦🏻‍♀️🀷🏻‍♀️ I have no idea how I even did that. LOL. Easy enough to fix, thankfully.


She went with Let It Snow for the second one. I used Glide Wheat thread on both.

And one for Sally, quilted with Flirtatious.

Checking in on the chickens, we were surprised to find an egg in the coop Saturday. We aren't sure which hen it came from. For comparison, on the left is a large egg from the grocery store and on the right is the silkie egg. It is a bit smaller than a Cadbury egg.


We also found an egg Monday morning. My daughter figured we'd get one every other day. I checked in on Henry in the coop Tuesday morning since I was the only one home. Guess what I found?
And now there are three...

Which hen is laying, or is it more than one? Oh, you may also notice that they are eating the contact paper lining the wall near the pink circle above. This sure has been an interesting experience.

Linking with For the Love of Geese/Quiltery.