Another Week, Another Year

Well, here we are, another week gone by, another year of my life as well. I feel very aware of my shortcomings, but a kind of resignation as well. I'm pretty set in my ways at this point in my life. I have a happy life as long as I limit my social media and, at times, news consumption. Comparison is certainly the thief of joy.

This month hasn't been as productive as I hoped, but then again, sewing is supposed to be my hobby, not a chore. Though quilting as a job kind of blurs that line at times. ha ha. I thought I'd do all sorts of fun projects. I did almost no sewing at all, though I did a lot of planning and learning about clothes sewing. 

I'm still a bit scared to cut into my shirt fabrics, but I need to get over it and just try one. My serger probably needs a cleaning and oiling prior to starting. It's been long-neglected. I was thinking that I wanted to make either a paper tape or duct tape form. I mentioned it to my husband that I'd like him to take some time away from the barn to help me do it. He seemed somewhat amenable. I went to research a bit more, leaning toward the paper tape, until I found many blog posts about how uncomfortable it is and how long it takes--up to four hours of standing totally still. Many mentioned how snug it got after the first layer and at that point, being highly claustrophobic, I started looking for other options.

I was watching videos of other methods when I found several talking about Bootstrap. It's a service where you enter all your measurements and body type and they send you a PDF with a custom form that you sew. It will cost more, but I won't be a live mummy having a panic attack. I think this is my next project.

Moving on to quilting, one minor accomplishment this week is that I attached binding to front of my Under the Sea quilt. I'm still making very slow progress on the strawberry quilt binding, so I'm not ready for this one yet. That's totally okay.  At least it's basically finished and the stitches are locked in now.

I finished my Betty quilt top, my July OMG, but it took much longer than I anticipated. It was easy sewing; I just didn't seem to find time to work on it. I had hoped to have it quilted and bound this month too--there are still a few days left this month, so maybe? I have to piece a backing.

I did do a little selective seam ripping prior to assembling the top. I felt that one of the fabric combos I'd included was just too dark compared to the others. Do you ever use selective seam ripping?

Sorry for the weird camera angles. I was trying to avoid capturing my shadow. My blocks are square.

I am still waiting on the two pieces of fabric I ordered for my Malted Mystery quilt. I do not recommend I ordered several weeks ago and they have not yet shipped my fabric, which was listed as in stock, ready to ship. I should have researched better prior to ordering, because they have loads of one-star reviews that mention the very slow shipping time and lack of communication. At the time I was just excited to find a store that had both things I wanted in stock. I ordered alternate pieces from an Etsy shop this week. Those shipped within 24 hours and will definitely arrive before the others. 

As a bit of fun, I cut out a mini Buttercups quilts (Fig Tree Quilts) to use as leaders/enders. {I love cutting fabric. I find it relaxing.} I haven't tried a leader/ender project before, other than joining trimmings into HST, not that I've done anything with the millions of HST I've sewn. I don't know if it will stay as a leader/ender or if I will just sew it. 

I've worked on lots of colorful quilts this week. 

This one belongs to SCQG and is destined for a community organization. There wasn't quite enough backing provided, but one of the ladies had added her remaining fabric from the inner border and there was a scrap of one of the other fabrics, so I inserted those in the center of the provided backing to make it big enough. This is quilted with Gulf Stream.

Typically on these, they give me fabric for the binding and I trim the quilt and apply the binding to the front. Someone else then stitches it down. Well--the binding pieces provided were cut at 1.25". Oopsie. There were also some inner border pieces that had been overlooked. Those were 1.5". Hmmm...I think I can just squeeze a flanged binding from those. So I did it.  

Next was Terry's giant quilt. I spent several days on this one. The quilting design is More Square Drama and she wanted the teal thread to try to tone down the green. Each row of stitching took an hour. It was an intense, challenging project.

I quilted Pat's patriotic quilt with Star Spangled. It felt like a fitting choice. I need to bind this one. I may work on that today while I quilt the other top she sent.

Trish's star quilt was the next one. She picked Flirtatious and it looks perfect!

Finally, another of Trish's. I love the fabrics she picked. Robin Pickens is the designer and I admire how she puts colors together. I really love lilies, but so do the deer and rabbits in my neighborhood. Most of the time mine end up as stumps, so I have given up. Anyway, I enjoyed this quilt. We went with Trillium for the quilting. 

Out in the vegetable garden, we've been hit with a bug infestation. I entered the garden enclosure over the weekend, noticed weird bugs and lots of bug poop all over the tomato leaves, got grossed out, and left the garden. I Googled and found out they were blister beetles, so I'm very glad I didn't walk further in. We did apply some Neem oil Monday night, but the damage has already been done. I think I can still eat the tomatoes if they ripen?

Google tells me that blister beetles like plants in the nightshade family--horse nettle, black nightshade, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. They are on my dill as well as my tomatoes. I don't think dill is a nightshade?? And probably on the horse nettle and nightshade weeds in the flower gardens and surrounding wild areas. They are also all over the ground, in the front door frame, etc. Gross.

I'm kind of scared to go outside right now! Things are way overgrown, there are weird bugs and fungi everywhere, and also, we were lazy and didn't drain the water out of this plant saucer after it rained. There was a frog in it and what appears to be tadpoles. It's right in front of the garage service door. 🤦🏻‍♀️  Good thing the weather is unbearable this week. I wasn't planning to walk outside anyway. And somehow I've bruised the bottom of my foot. I don't remember stepping on anything. It's quite tender, so giving it a rest will be good. 

Anyway, back to the garden. My husband braved the bugs and picked this zucchini. This one is number two this year, and it looks like we should get at least one more. I did get a good chuckle out of how it grew on the plant. It's a bit large since I was scared to go pick it. I'll probably make bread with it if I can find some fresh chives--mine are growing, but very small. I like this zucchini, cheddar, and chive bread.

I also really like Cook's Country/America's Test Kitchen skillet chicken, zucchini, and cheesy rice dish. I can't find a free link, so here is the recipe.

The kids and I have watched several series/shows lately that we enjoyed. 

  • Extraordinary Birder with Christian Cooper (National Geographic/Disney+ or Hulu)
  • Wham! (Netflix)
  • Claim to Fame (NBC/Hulu)--we watched last year and were happy to see season two. We're working hard to avoid spoilers on this one and we haven't watched this week's episode yet.
We're still working our way through all the Rick Steves on PBS; we're close to the end. I have a few more series saved on PBS for future viewing and am looking forward to new seasons of Finding Your Roots, Miss Scarlet and the Duke, All Creatures Great & Small, and Vienna Blood.

This time next week, my boy will be back in school. He's finishing up his summer class this week, so he hasn't had much of a break. First few days of August is way too early to go back, in my opinion. My girl has a few more weeks of summer. 


  1. Sewing time can be hard to find in the summer with so many other activities happening. I find that when I start a leader/ender project, I get tired of the slow progress. I just focus on the leader/ender project and finish it! Have a blessed rest of the week, hope your son gets some down time before starting school again. happy stitching!

  2. Love your turq and taupe quilt top, Anne-Marie!!!

  3. Good luck with your garment sewing adventures! I bought a dress form that corresponded to my smallest body measurement and a set of pads for filling out all the "lumps and bumps" to match my shape. I think it was called "Fabulous Fit?" I did enlist my mom to help me pad the dress form and it took a full day to get it just right, but it worked well. What I really liked about this system is that additional pads or batting can be added or subtracted as I gain or lose weight (or as gravity works its evil deeds over the years) instead of having to buy a whole new dress form.

  4. Shew you have been busy!!!
    Love your quilt top for your OMG - maybe you will get it done but if not... now you have something to do next month as I am sure you will be bored ( snark snark!!!) its hard when the quilting blurs the sewing lines .... Yay for zucchini - but the frogs - I like them but they make me scream as they hop out of nowhere!

  5. I'd love to hear how the Bootstrap dress form works for you. I can't get my head quite wrapped around that one. And if you're scared to cut your shirt fabric, try the pattern first with an old sheet you know longer want or some thrift store fabric. You'll learn from making it and can correct what you want on your good fabric.

    1. I can't reply directly to you, Babette. I'm very excited to start working on the dress form. I'll definitely write about it as I get to work on it. And thanks for the practical suggestions on the fabrics. --Anne-Marie