Moving Forward

Things are moving along here, mostly slowly, but still forward motion. I completed my Melodic Mystery top over the weekend. In case you didn't see my OMG Link Up post Monday, here is my quilt top. I have a vague plan to custom quilt it at some point. I shared it on the Meadow Mist Facebook page and am feeling really flattered by all the positive attention/feedback it's getting. πŸ₯Ή

I finished ripping out the stitching on my Loves Me, Loves Me Not top over the weekend and re-quilted it yesterday with my original pick, which I should have done in the first place. Here it is in progress. I quilted it with the African Foliage design. 

I'm planning a flanged binding on this one and will hopefully complete it within the week and do the full reveal after.

I'm also working on a secret project. I'm slowly making progress on it, but it doesn't make for decent blog content. 😏

I will soon have most of my personal quilt commitments completed and I am pondering what I might like to work on next. I picked up a recent copy of Quiltmaker magazine over the weekend and I really want to make this quilt. I don't think I actually have enough of the correct colors in my stash to do it, but it is sooooo tempting!

I would like to reduce my UFO list, so I probably need to look there first. I'm okay with having a ton of things in the to-be-quilted pile since my longarm time is at a premium, but I'm not okay with my quantity of half-done quilt tops. I think I will start assembling my long-neglected Women's Voices blocks. I liked the idea of this project when I started it around 2000, but the fabrics are not to my taste and times change and this pattern was written in a way that I found somewhat incomprehensible and I'm ready to be done with it.  {Side note: a good amount of people have contacted me over the years, asking me to provide copies of the pattern to them. This pattern is still available for purchase from the designer and I respect designers and their copyrights. Also--sketch out the block yourself; it will probably be easier to understand than what was provided.}

Unfortunately, past me didn't leave very good notes with the assembly instructions on what still needed to be done--maybe some sashing and definitely outer borders. Past me also didn't do the best job on piecing some of the blocks. We'll just say it adds to its historical charm. 

I've quilted just a few things over the last week. I hope I don't sound like a constant advertisement when I share these. That isn't my ever my intention. It's just what I did in my sewing room during the week and hopefully you like seeing a bit of what other people are working on. Kind of like a show and tell. 

This first one belongs to Sara. We decided on Grandmother's Bubbles for the pattern and she stepped out of her gray thread comfort zone to go with Glide Sprout. (I did use gray thread on the back though. πŸ˜„) It looks so good! 

Next I worked on Amber's Confetti Star. I love that Amber loves color. I picked Toss Up for her design and she wanted neutral thread. She hasn't seen it yet. I hope she loves it!

I also quilted Amber's baby quilt. I decided on Stipple for this one since there are a lot of seams and baby quilts get washed a lot.

Keetah wanted the Play Baseball design on her quilt. This is one I don't offer (not listed on my website) unless someone asks for it specifically because I don't love how the lacing part of the design stitches out. I'd love to find a better baseball design that isn't too fussy and that doesn't snap the thread on the lacing.

Out in the garden, things are slow. The weird weather is not helping things. We did clear out all the flower beds over the weekend, minus the 🀬 spearmint. I pulled out some of that, but there is always more and more. My irises are very stubby, but they are budding. I noticed a few in the neighborhood that are already blooming. It's way early for irises. Then again, the daffodils started very early this year too. The redbuds are about halfway through and the dogwoods are full force, as are my allergies.

My upper front garden needs a big re-do, but I'm not in a rush because sooner than later we need to remove the front porch and columns (ugh!) to fix what an incompetent subcontractor did--didn't insert the provided rebar, so the porch is sinking and pulling away from the house. Super UGH! We have this evergreen standard out there and I had noticed cardinals and robins going in and out. I cannot believe it, but they both have nests in there, with eggs, about 6" apart. 

We haven't seen any hummingbirds yet, but the orioles have returned. Edited to add: first hummingbird was spotted in the afternoon, after I posted this.

We are nearing the end of the school year. I volunteered for something in the community that I thought would be a quick thing. It's not. It requires a lot of time and effort and has a very quick, very firm completion date. So I'll be trying to meet my commitment while keeping up with everything else. No good deed goes unpunished, right? These next few weeks will be a bit stressful for me.

Let's leave with something more positive, shall we? You know how I've mentioned that people seem to drive into buildings a lot in this town? We went into town the other day and noticed this. Sure looks like someone drove into it. Okay, so maybe that's not really positive, but I find it amusing because I am just astounded at how many people drive into or through things here. 

And I made this Mexican Rice recipe for dinner the other night. It was easy and quite tasty. This one is a positive. πŸ™‚

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

April One Monthly Goal Finish Link Up

 It's time to link up your April finish.


This link up will remain open until April 30 at 11:55 pm EST. Remember, you can link up from either my post or Patty's at Elm Street Quilts and your link will show up in the same link party. 

Want to see everyone's goals? Check out the April goal page

I visited everyone's links at the beginning of the month are there are some wonderful projects in the works. 

My goal for April was to assemble my Melodic Mystery quilt top. I've been struggling to work on my sewing projects lately, but I did finish this over the weekend. 

I'm kind of considering custom quilting this one if I can work it into my schedule.

Now it's your turn to share your finish. Please add a link to this OMG post so that others can follow where you are linking.  Just paste this into your post:

Stories from the Sewing Room One Monthly Goal April Finish Link Up

Take a few minutes to visit others and make new friends!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Board and Batten Finish

My Board and Batten quilt is complete! 

Here's a closer view of the quilting. The quilting design is called Scratch Modern. I used Riley Blake Blossom in Peacock for the backing and binding. The front fabrics were all from my stash, except the white background, which is the Thatched line from Moda. 

I did a bunch of mending last week. First was a pair of jeans that got ripped the very first time they were worn. I put a little piece of cotton fabric behind the hole for stabilization without using a fusible. I used the darning program on my sewing machine, but I'm not sure I used it correctly. I felt like I was just stitching back and forth like regular. I don't know.

Next was a pair of undies whose seam fell out the first time they were worn. I used a stretch stitch on the sewing machine for this one.



And another pair of undies. I used a stretch zigzag stitch. My fix on this is pretty unattractive, but it should make them wearable for a while longer.

I'm thinking about the best way to finish this sweatshirt-into-quilted-jacket project. I originally made it years ago for my mom, but after sewing the fabric to the sweatshirt, it was too small. It fits my daughter quite well, other than the sleeve length. I think I want to use binding if I have enough matching fabric. But I might have to make bias binding to go around the neckline. Thoughts?

I've been slowly working to assemble my Melodic Mystery quilt (this month's OMG). The OMG April finish link up will open up on Monday. Hopefully I'll finish in time. 😬

Saturday I got together with friends. They were working on a group project. I made my blocks ahead so that I could just sit and do selfish sewing for the first time in I don't know how long.

I got this piece made. I am going to use the Itty Bitty Twister ruler on it, but it recommends a 28 mm rotary cutter, which I don't have and which is out of stock locally. Since I have other, more pressing things to complete, this one will just hang out in my closet for a while.

Of course I have more quilting to show as well. 

I did two large baby quilts for Barbara. The first one is quilted with Loop the Loop.

The second one is quilted with Stardust.

I finished the binding on Carolyn's two t-shirt quilts from last week.

Next, I spent two days quilting Sonja's quilt with Interlocked Orange Peel. I've talked about this design recently since it's been selected much more than usual lately. It looks cool, but it's such a pain to stitch out. It is not a beginner, or even an intermediate, design most of the time. The bigger the quilt, the more difficult it gets.  Anyway, here it is on her king-sized quilt. 

Sometimes I think about removing all the really difficult to stitch/align patterns from my offerings. I enjoy a challenge though. Hmm. 

We're right on the edge of being able to plant our spring crops (lettuce, peas). Saturday the weather was gorgeous and I left the sewing day a bit early with the intention of cleaning out the veggie garden. My family had taken care of it by the time I got home. Sunday and Monday the weather was not ideal and I see that the night temperatures over the next week will be a bit chilly. So I'm not sure what to do. It won't hurt to wait a week, I suppose.

I also need to clean out the flower beds, but that's a way bigger job than the veggie garden and I have no time this week. The high winds blew the blossoms off one of the crabapple trees, but this one is holding on and looks awesome this year.

And...I even had a few tulips survive the animal attack. πŸ™‚

I've also agreed that it's time to mow the lawn.

If you are wondering about the "appropriate attire" saga from last week, my son agreed to a collared, button-up shirt. The last time I remember him having a shirt with a collar, he was four. So it's been a while. I bought myself a new dress and then the weather was so cool and windy Monday that I worried I wouldn't be able to wear it. I couldn't fit in my dress pants πŸ˜”, so I did end up wearing the dress and sandals, along with a light winter jacket. Looking around at the other people in the audience, I could have worn jeans. Some of the kids wore suits/pantsuits. Some looked like they'd just rolled out of bed in wrinkly t-shirts and sweats. Clothing varied widely.

My boy was recognized for having a 4.0+ GPA for the first two trimesters. {They are halfway through the third.} He also received an "Academic Excellence in Honors Algebra II" award. I'm not sure what lets you earn the academic excellence designation. Some kids had only the Honor Roll 4.0+, some had the academic excellence in more than one subject area, and some, just the one. Some had the academic excellence designation for a class they've only been in for six weeks. So I really don't know. He was pleased to have been recognized, so that's good.

Well, this has gotten way longer than I planned and I have an appointment and a call at the same time this morning. Time to get a move on. See you Monday for the OMG link up.

Linking with For the Love of Geese, My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, From Bolt to Beauty, and Alycia Quilts.

Too Little Time

I watch a lot of PBS via streaming passport and I always get the ad for Viking River Cruises about how the only thing we really have too little of is time. While we could have a philosophical discussion about that statement, that is not my intent here. There are so many things I'd like to do and learn, both in my sewing life and my personal life, that I just don't have time to do in this season of my life.

Once again I feel like I've been fairly busy but with little tangible evidence. I did press all the Melodic Mystery rows and transfer them all to the design wall. I still have a good ways to go to accomplish my OMG of completing the top. There are also outside borders to add. Sorry for the weird picture. I can't get a full shot of my design wall from the front due to the long arm being there. 

Oh, and speaking of the longarm, I really liked the new lighting system APQS has, but the price is pretty steep. My husband decided to engineer his own version for a fraction of the cost (though he's put in a ton of hours on it). I think he'll be done with it within a few weeks.

Back to sewing, I worked on a secret project this past week as well. Obviously no pictures.

And in keeping with my time issue, I was going to quilt one of my own over the weekend. I had a pattern picked out and then decided that I didn't want to invest as much time in the project as the pattern was going to take to stitch out. So I picked an alternate design that could stitch in half the time. I got two rows in and just could not stand how it looked. So now I will spend more time ripping out those two rows than it would have taken to stitch out my original pick. Ugh. Definitely a lesson learned there.

I hustled on some client quilts over this past week. This is probably where most of my time went.

First up is Deb's tumbler block quilt, quilted with stipple. She hand-sewed this!

Next up is one I did for SCQG. I drew a snowflake pattern in my Intelliquilter for this one. I also made and attached the binding to the front.

Then another of Deb's, a baby quilt also quilted with stipple.

My next project was quilting two t-shirt quilts for Carolyn. You know I always recommend Diagonal Plaid on t-shirt quilts. She provided me with thick fleece for the backing and these quilts are very heavy. I am working on machine binding these quilts this week. My back's been acting up, so I'm taking it really slowly--pulling on a quilt to machine bind is definitely  a strain.


And finally, Trish's quilt. She picked the Rosemary design and I didn't have a great thread color match for her vision. I ordered a bunch of different green threads and the winner was a 60 wt Bottom Line. Bottom Line is often used either as a bobbin thread or as a stitch in the ditch thread, but I like it as a subtle top thread. I've used it on one of my own quilts before.

In house news, our year and a half old dishwasher malfunctioned last week and wouldn't run. Of course they only warranty it for one year. My husband tenaciously pursued a fix and after several days of trying things, it is currently working. We also have a lot of spare parts on the way. In case you were wondering, it's a GE Profile and I have a complicated relationship with it. The bottom rack is one of the dumbest designs I have ever seen. It does not wash well with powdered detergent, only the Cascade pods. It is generally very quiet and does a good job of cleaning most of the time. The racks are just really awful. I bought it sight unseen during the pandemic based mostly on what was in stock that I could get quickly.

Our living room project is now complete. Both cabinets and the coffee table are in place. These are all inexpensive IKEA parts that we customized with either walnut legs or top. Is it what my first choice would have been? Not really. I wanted nice, solid wood pieces and couldn't find any that suited my taste and/or my budget. Does it function to hide all the mess? Yes, so I am satisfied. Do I lack the decorating gene? Yes, absolutely. Have I been buying lots of house plants? Yes! I hope I can keep them alive. Am I trending toward sad beige? Sadly, I think so. πŸ˜‚ If you aren't sure what sad beige is, Google it. I find it amusing, though a bit sad for the children of sad beige parents. Really though, do what you like.

The coffee table lifts up to use like a desk. As you can see, the laptop that my son and husband share is usually placed there.
It's hard to tell, but we bought (also from IKEA) what is essentially a giant glass tile to fit on the fish tank cabinet. Good for something that may get wet. 

Can you see the quilt I'm working on in the picture above? I am a little over half way done with binding the Board & Batten quilt.

I have a few more plants to put out. I need some more pots though. The white pots I had before don't quite work with the giant white cabinets, but it's what I had. I could use some height variation with the plants as well. I'd love to add a walnut top (and sides, but I have to get someone on board first πŸ˜‰) to this cabinet. The tv is off-center due to where the wires are in the wall. We had to cut holes in the back of the cabinets for the outlets, so that factored in as well.

My son is getting an award at the academic honors night at school next week. The invitation says that appropriate attire is required. What is appropriate attire? There is only the most rudimentary of dress codes for the school day and it's not even enforced unless there's a drug reference or something similar. He, and many of the other boys I've seen at his school, lives in athletic pants and t-shirts. Does he have to wear dress clothes? Will he even? I kinda doubt it. I'm for sure not buying him dress shoes for one evening. 

I don't even think I have appropriate attire because I am always in jeans and a shirt. I got rid of all but one pair of dress pants and they are ancient and out of style. I have some dresses, but I think I've gained too much weight to fit in all but one. πŸ˜” Another area of my life where I need to spend more time and a lot more effort. 

The temperatures are stabilizing and I think it's almost time to plant my early vegetable crops. We haven't done any spring clean up anywhere in the yard yet since it's best for pollinators to wait as long as possible. I'd also love to do "No Mow May" but my husband doesn't think we can wait that long. Right now the front yard looks like a cute meadow with little flowers blossoming everywhere. The onion grass is pretty tall here and there though. πŸ˜„ Our neighbors probably can't stand our yard. That's okay, I can't stand all the chemicals they poison theirs with.

Lamb's Ear is almost invasive here. I can literally throw a chunk on the ground and it will grow and spread everywhere. All this at the bottom of the picture above have self-sown. I guess the term would be "volunteers". I'd love to turn my whole front yard into a garden, but maybe not with so many Lamb's Ears.
We get violets in the side yard when it isn't mown. Cute!

Well, it's time to get to work this morning. Have a great week.

SCQG BOM 2021 Finish

I have a finish! A really tardy one, but still a finish. I ran a block of the month program for the smaller guild I belong to in 2021. I pieced all the blocks in 2020 because I had to write all the instructions, but since we did it as a mystery, I couldn't sew together any of my blocks. I pieced the top together in 2022 and quilted it in December of 2022. Here's a picture of the completed quilt. 

Same quilt, different lighting. Funny how much it changes. The background fabric is a dark navy print.

Edit: a couple closer pictures with more accurate color.



I also got all the rows assembled for my Melodic Mystery--this month's OMG. I was so surprised that I was able to complete all the rows in just a few hours. Now I need to press the rows and sew them together into a top. And then figure out quilting and binding. Baby steps. 

I'm working on binding the Board & Batten quilt from the QAL earlier this year, so hopefully I'll have another finish in a week or two.

I've done a few quilts this week. First up is Mary Ann's, quilted with Gulf Stream.

Next is Amber's king size, also quilted with Gulf Stream.

Then Melissa's, quilted with Zupas. 

And Deb's, quilted with In the Swirls.

Last night the speaker in the big guild was Carey Champion from the Wylie House (you can do a virtual tour from the info page linked), part of Indiana University. She brought tons of antique quilts to show us. Most have been donated and they use them in the exhibits. I tried to grab a few photos to share because the quilts were stunning. The vast majority of the quilts she showed were from the 1800s.

This next one was absolutely huge and all the hexies were fussy cut.
Look at this quilting!

The tiny HST in this one were about 1" finished! I thought the scalloped edge was unusual.
 

And now for the most fun one...remember Paula's Harry Styles quilt from a few weeks ago? Here is the 1800s version!
This quilt is a newer one in their collection and they think maybe it is William Henry Harrison.
I hope you enjoyed the mini show. See you next week!

Oh, one last thing. Remember when I said my sewing chair broke in half while I was sitting on it? The part ordered from China arrived very quickly and the chair is now repaired.

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