Meet Gina

Remember the pigeon I told you about last week? My daughter contacted multiple places and ended up getting connected with the owner, who lives in the same county as us. I found myself driving her and the pigeon to a meet-up at JoAnn Fabrics to do the exchange. Thankfully the bird was very quiet and did not escape her temporary cage while I drove the 10 miles. We lead a strange life! I never thought I'd be transporting a pigeon. 

The owner was very nice and I think that helped put my daughter's mind at ease about the pigeon's fate. We learned all about racing pigeons, how the owner cares for his flock of over 200 (hand fed!), some general care of the birds, and that the one she rescued had been on its own for several weeks after getting lost during a practice flight along with 10 - 15 more of its friends. He told us it was a female, had lost about half her weight since being lost, and had a respiratory infection (she had white spots on her beak? or face? that indicated this). We learned how to tell the difference between male and female pigeons, that this one was pure bred from Belgian stock, and that she won't be raced again until after she's back to a healthy weight and has recovered from her infection. My daughter got to name her. 

Meet Gina the racing pigeon. 

My daughter started school this week and found out that in Biology of Birds she will have to dissect.....a pigeon. She'll get to go on several bird-watching field trips. Fun! She also has a class about learning and AI where they discuss humans and animals. It sounds interesting.

In other news, I have done basically zero sewing in the last week. Actually in the last two weeks. Boo. I did finish up Vicki's custom quilt I was working on all of last week. 

Why does this polar bear look like Nick Jonas? 😆

I also quilted Jae's table runner with the Fall Foliage pattern.

And I found myself doing another custom quilt. This one also belongs to Jae (she called it Mexican Flowers) and she didn't want the cathedral window pieces quilted over. I went with a flower/bee type design. I wasn't able to use my ruler base on this, so I did a lot of very careful stitch in the ditch with some assistance from iQ where I could and I also recorded some of my motifs using iQ so that I could replicate and place them consistently. The rest was my freehand. I ended up working all weekend to get caught up. My body is very sore. I had over 12 hours of quilting time in a 34" quilt. It was a good learning experience, but custom is just not profitable for me.

Side note: I once had someone kinda complaining to me about how much Judi Madsen charged someone to quilt a project. It came out to like $30/hour. I thought that was a steal! Judi is amazing and that isn't near enough money for her skill level. 

I got back to my usual happy place late yesterday with Barbara's baby quilt. She selected the Ginger Heart pattern.

I was able to start my little Nessie cross stitch last night. Here's my progress from one evening of stitching. It's hard to stitch on the black fabric.

While I haven't been able to work on my own projects, I have been doing some planning. My small guild is doing a block of the month quilt next year using the pattern Sun & Sand by Lakeview Quilting. I purchased a PDF and printed my own pages, which was an adventure in itself due to my printer and my paper not liking each other. Like 100 pages later, I was realizing that my idea of using my Tula Pink fabrics wasn't the best. These pieces are tiny! Can you see the 1" square test box compared to the pieces? So I'm going with Tula basics and solids and might mix in a few fussy cut scraps here and there.  Month one you have to make 16 curved flying geese units. I think I may need to start early! 

I've been trying to challenge myself to do things outside of my comfort zone lately. I am planning to attend Quilt Con for the first time next February. Have I ever mentioned that I don't like crowds? 😬 I tried to sign up for classes that would challenge me, but I got waitlisted. My husband volunteered to drive me since it was only a bit longer than the time I would have had in flights (and I really dislike flying--see crowds). After two tries, I successfully booked an Airbnb place for us to stay, which will also be a first. 

I also signed up for a new-to-me retreat with a local quilt shop. I am not really a retreat person because I like sleeping in my own bed at night and I'm a creature of habit who is content to sew in my own sewing room with all my things handy. But this one is days-only and it is scheduled for three days in October. So I'm trying it. I only know a few people who are attending--also out of my comfort zone. I'll have my regular little guild retreat later in October. I'm usually a single day attendee at that since it falls around my son's birthday.

I haven't mentioned him much recently. He's doing fine. Robotics practices start Sunday, so that will start consuming more of my time since I'll be back to helping coaching by being the team mom/organizer.

I spent Friday night preserving more of our harvests. I prepped green beans for freezing (blanch, then ice bath, then freeze) and made a batch of freezer pickles. 

I had some tomatoes that were ripe. My neighbor also gave us some. I had my daughter go harvest what was ready Tuesday morning and we used them all to make a batch of spaghetti sauce for dinner. Here's the ones from my garden on Friday. My tomatoes always have weird yellow spots. My neighbor's don't. I wish I knew why.

In other news, we were super surprised that Henry the rooster put himself in the coop four of the last five nights. He couldn't make it up there one of the nights, so my daughter went out and took care of him. Instead of just walking up the ramp, he is basically throwing himself midway up, trying to fly--silkies aren't good fliers--and then hopping up the rest. 

The link up for this month's OMG finishes will open up on Friday.

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


  1. Go, Gina!!! I hope she recovers well. Love the custom quilting!!! It's becoming harder to find, and I know why--that hours to dollars factor! Unless it is one's own quilt.

  2. I loved learning about Gina. I agree with Nancy, your custom quilting is stunning. As for how much people charge for quilting, etc. if you don't do it, you don't get it. Not only are you paying for experience, just as you would for any other field (think cardiac surgeon for example) but you are also paying for overhead.

  3. Oh my gosh - the story of Gina is so cool!! I had no idea about racing pigeons!!!
    Your custom quilting is amazing! and right? I don't know that we estimate the time it will take to do quilting like that....
    Love your garden spoils!! and Quilt Con!! GO you!!!! WE expect to see photos!