Bits & Pieces of Life

Hope you all had a pleasant Thanksgiving. We started the day with a skunk in the live trap. It had A LOT of white hair (fur? it really looked like long hair). We were trying to get a groundhog. Instead we've had two different opossums and the skunk. My husband relocated the skunk to a different part of the yard. He got a good video of it leaving the cage, but so far he hasn't been able to transfer the video from his phone. Thankfully there was no spraying involved. And I made the executive decision to remove the trap for a while since there's been no sign of the groundhog since we put the trap out. 

I spent a lot of Thanksgiving afternoon finishing up the Log Cabin Star blocks. I posted my blocks on Friday since they were my OMG for November. I did say that they were hard to photo since the design wall is behind the longarm. Here's what it looks like. My quilt has seven rows. You can see four and a little here.

While I was sewing, I put the jungle baby quilt on the longarm. I quilted it with the Jungle Party design and I used Key Lime green thread on the top. Since I don't have a hand sewing project going at the minute (well, except for a partially finished cross stitch), I decided to hand bind this one. The binding is on, but it is not tacked down.

My husband finally cut out the vinyl and applied it to a shirt for my daughter. She's been waiting a few months for it. 

Over the weekend we took pictures for our holiday card. This photo did not make the card, but I am quite proud of how the photo turned out. This is Smoky, one of our roosters.

And here are all five of them. Photo courtesy of my daughter. Henry the rooster in the back, then Smoky. The girls are Beaker, Peanut, and Agatha (L-R).

We bought a lot of stuff over the weekend. We did a bit of Christmas shopping. I bought things for my business and I bought myself some fabric, including this quilt kit. Who knows when I'll get to it, but I just love it. 

We also bought a 2008 Hyundai Accent for my son. It only has 37,000 miles on it! He can't drive yet, but we have the car. He was not impressed at first, but it's starting to grow on him.

The sleep shorts my son selected finally arrived. I thought it was a Prime item, but it wasn't, so it took a while to arrive from China. I laugh every time I see them. 

I finished attaching the binding on Pat's quilts that I shared last week. I also quilted a few more quilts. The first one belongs to Sara. She made this from her scraps. She's been on a roll with the scrap quilts lately! I need to be more like her and do something with my scraps. She picked the Fluffy Clouds quilting design. I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but her backing fabric has clouds on it.

Next is one of Cindy's quilts, quilted with Starry. 

She used the same panel as Vicki did on the quilt I custom-quilted during the summer. I refer to this panel as the Nick Jonas polar bear panel--I think the one polar bear resembles the singer Nick Jonas. 😏 Screen shot borrowed from the internet.

I also quilted Cindy's t-shirt quilt with Diagonal Plaid. 

Meanwhile, I've been slowly assembling a test quilt. I can't show you yet, but here is some of the fabric I'm using.

It has generated a bunch of the triangle trimmings. I used these for leader/enders, but so far I've not done anything with most of the HST I create from the trimmings. It's amazing how much waste you generate if you don't reuse them.

Speaking of trimmings, I thought about quilting this little piece that I made from the trimmings from a project last year. I'm not sure how I want to quilt it yet.

I haven't managed to get any more of the outdoor garden clean up done that I had planned. It has been rainy and/or very cold. It may need to wait until spring. I did manage to plant some lettuce in one of my Aerogardens. I used a lettuce seed mix and some are growing fast and some slow. One had to be replanted because the seeds didn't sprout. I think I see a hint of a sprout in that pod now.

I'll be back Friday with the December OMG link up. Can you guess what my project for December will be?

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

November One Monthly Goal Finish

How are you doing? Did you complete your goal this month?

My goal was to finish the remaining blocks of my Log Cabin Stars quilt. Thanks to a guild sewing day and my husband working on most of Thanksgiving dinner, I was able to complete them. Sorry for the rather lousy pictures. The blocks are all up on my design wall behind the longarm.

The next task for this quilt is to get it sewn into rows (after moving all the blocks around to balance the colors). I mentioned at the start of the month that I didn't have any backing for this quilt. I ordered a few potential backings from Hancock's of Paducah's markdown section. Hopefully one will work.

After lots of work, I managed to get an OMG image with HTML in the sidebar in case you want to add the logo to your blog. I may switch up the logo for next year if I get time in December--I realized that maybe we should have something that has forward motion instead. I was originally thinking of Beyonce when I made the flying geese. 🀷🏻‍♀️ We'll see how my December goes. 

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

This link up will remain open until November 30 at 11:55 pm EST.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Malted Mystery Progress

I got a few sewing days in this week and it felt so good! 

The first thing I did is sew this month's Malted Mystery clues. Here are the pieces for this month.

These are all of my pieces so far. 

Saturday I attended the big guild's sew day and got six more Log Cabin Star blocks finished. I have started on the last six blocks. I got all the flying geese made, though I still need to trim them. Once I get the six stars made, adding the log cabin strips goes really fast. Stop back Friday, when the November OMG finish link up opens, and see if I managed to get them done. I'll probably be sewing on Thanksgiving to finish them up.

I got a few more quilts done for people too. I'm so close to being done for the year. I'm still debating whether it will have been worth it to push so hard to get done early. Anyway, the first one belongs to Shirley. She selected the Moon & Stars design.

Next are two similar patriotic quilts by Pat. I used Star Spangled on the bottom one and Star Spangled Banner on the top one.  

Pat always has me fully bind her quilts. I started to work on binding the first one yesterday and managed to screw up the topstitching twice before finally getting it done. On the first try I had the wrong bobbin thread. Luckily I hadn't gotten too far. The second time I got all the way around before I noticed something was wrong with the bobbin and had to remove all of the stitching. At least it went fast since the bobbin thread was in a straight line. Third time was the charm. Hopefully I'll have better luck on the second one.

The next quilt also belongs to Pat. I selected Crazy Daisy for it. Still need to bind this one too.

The last quilt I worked on belongs to Christi. She had seen the Bubble Glitter design online and asked if I could use it on her quilt. It stitches well, but know that there is quite a lot of backtracking.

We had the line installed for power to the barn. The guy from Snedegar (the company that bores in utility lines) came knocking at the door one morning shortly after eight. Thankfully I was already dressed! Anyway, it kind of looks like we had the most giant mole tunnel ever running through the spare lot. LOL. Duke Energy came and installed the power this week, so now I guess we get another monthly power bill even though the power won't be used for a while. 😐

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US who celebrate. Have a wonderful week.

Some Progress is Better Than None, Right?

I'll be honest, I didn't think I was going to have anything at all to share other than work. However, I did manage to get the tiniest amount of sewing done over the past week.

First of all, I wanted to mention these giant-size binding clips. I recently received a few as a sample. At first I didn't think I'd have any use for them (though they do work really well at holding really thick hair back like a hair clip, but that's a story for another day). Then I realized they'd be great for holding together groups of fabric. I found a set in my quilt basting safety pin case too--I think I got these free in a magazine years ago. But I didn't have enough to hold all the blocks, so I ordered some on Amazon that could get here quickly and inexpensively.

I'm currently using them to clip together certain sizes of fabric or units for the Malted Mystery quilt and also keeping individual block pieces sorted for my Log Cabin Stars quilt.

Here is my minimal amount of sewing progress for the week. 

But wait, there's more! I got them all cut apart and pressed. I see lots of trimming in my future. The partially done flying geese on the left are part of this month's OMG. The link up opens on the 24th and I have 12 blocks left to sew.

I also dug through my batiks and found some fabric to bind this sweatshirt jacket. I originally made it for my mom, but adding all the pieces to the sweatshirt shrunk it quite a bit, so I never finished. It fits my petite daughter and she likes it, so I'll have to remember how to make bias binding and get this one bound, hemmed, and out of my sewing room.

I've been working a lot, still trying to get through all the pre-holiday quilts. I got six more done this week. I *think* I have 16 more to go and 11 of those are in the house currently. Four have to be fully bound and one partially.

Here are the quilts I've worked on since last week.

First is the twin to a quilt I shared last week. This belongs to Barb and it is quilted with Gulf Stream.

Next is Sally's quilt, which is completely hand-cut and hand-sewn! It also had a lot of hand-embroidered elements. She requested hand-guided loopy meander for this one. I also bound it fully.

Then I quilted Jess's quilt, again hand-guided. 

Barbara requested the Driftwood panto in a large scale for her batik quilt. 

Cynthia picked the Radiate design for her gingko quilt. The fans of the Radiate pattern mimic the gingko leaves. 

And Sue picked Spring Thing for her Bonnie Hunter Pinwheel Fancy quilt. She wanted her quilt to feel similar to a commercially made comforter she had and we decided to go with Quilters Dream Puff, which I'd never used before. Have you ever used that batting? It's making me think of the little girl with the new stuffed animal in Despicable Me: "It's so fluffy!" LOL. Anyway, it worked well. Every single variety of QD I've ever used has worked wonderfully. I need to put the binding on the front today.

In other news, the new steps and sidewalk repair my husband was helping the neighbors with is done. I think he'll switch back to working on soffit and fascia on the barn now. We're hoping the correct parts, replacement panels, and other garage door will be here soon. If he gets the soffit and fascia in and the other door gets installed, the barn will be completely sealed to outside elements and critters--we've had bats hanging around in there. Speaking of critters, we borrowed a live trap to try to catch the gopher that's been hanging around. No sign of the gopher, but we've caught and released two opossums. 😐 How do I know it's two? Because my daughter was the one who opened the trap and took close-up photos of each while they were sleeping during the day.

I've been trying to move house projects forward a bit in between the quilting. I think I'm overdoing it based on how I've been feeling, but I have stuff that needs to get done. I quit teaching 21 years ago and I still have all my stuff. We have a local organization that will take donations, so I thought I'd sort through and get rid of it. Unfortunately, they will only accept a tiny bit of what I have because it's too old. I taught math and all my math enrichment books and posters are still valid. I guess I'll try listing them for a very modest fee on Facebook and see if someone can use them. I also need to list my Leader Grips system and some Premo-Soft thread my machine doesn't like too. My Lucey only likes shiny threads. My previous machine only liked matte thread. I maintain that all longarm machines have personalities. My husband thinks I'm crazy to think that, but my longarm friends agree. 🀷🏻‍♀️

I'll leave you this week with something we found amusing. My husband got a new phone case and screen protectors. Here's the packaging.

See you next week. 

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

Buttercups Mini & Off-Task Napkin Project

I finished sewing down the binding on the Buttercups mini quilt the other night. This one was made from a kit from Fig Tree & Company. I quilted it with the Knit 1, Purl 2 design.

Over the weekend, I was looking at all the work I should be doing and decided to just do something totally different. I pulled out some fabric I'd set aside to make napkins and went at it. I had enough fabric to cut them at 18" square. I used my Dritz EZY-Hem tool to press 1/2" to the wrong side all the way around.

I then folded each of those hems under 1/4" to end up with a 1/4" double hem all the way around. 

I hadn't made napkins in a while, so my method changed a bit once I started sewing. I was originally thinking I'd just stitch all the way around, similar to machine binding a quilt. Then I realized I'd end up with a part that wasn't stitched down, so instead, I stitched close to the edge on two sides of the napkin that were opposite each other.

Then I pressed again and sewed down the remaining two sides. 

My family has always used cloth napkins. Many of the ones my mom has were made by my great Aunt Sitty. She was way better with a sewing machine and needle than I am and did teeny-tiny 1/8" hems on the napkins, or sometimes she bound them with contrasting skinny bias. She also made matching tablecloths or placements, but I don't typically use either of those. I used to try to do the 1/8" hems on the napkins, but decided the 1/4" hem held up better in the wash. I always use novelty fabrics for our napkins. Besides seasonal ones, we also have candy (tried the rolled edge hem stitch on the serger years ago--don't like), robots, chickens, crabs, and donuts in the regular rotation.

I have also completed five more blocks for the Log Cabin Stars quilt, which leaves 12 more to sew. I didn't take a picture because most of the blocks on the design wall are behind the longarm now.

I've been trying to keep on top of the holiday rush with the quilts, and have been working extra as a result. My thinking here was that if I can fit multiples per day or work a little on the weekends, I'd have more time for vacation in December, but somehow I keep saying yes to more quilts. 😐 Must. say. no.

I quilted Jeri's Campfire Glow quilt with the Intrigue pattern she selected. The quilting was pretty dense and took me two days to complete. I also fully bound this one.

Moody basement daylight-only lighting.

I used almost an entire mini spool (1000 m) of thread on it. Here is a new spool compared to what was remaining from the one I used on her quilt. I was sweating whether I'd have enough to finish the quilt. My IQ estimates how much I'll need, but I never know if it's going to be correct or not. Things happen. The replacement spool arrived the day after I finished quilting.

Next I quilted Margaret's baby quilt with a Cakewalk variation design.

Then I quilted Sara's quilt with some of her favorites--Soho design and gray thread. She made this from her scraps! My on-the-frame photo didn't really show the quilting, so I am sharing the full quilt here. I don't usually do that because I want the owners to see the full thing before I share it publicly, but I'm making an exception this time. (The full quilt reveal is always shared on my Facebook and Instagram pages, usually about a month after I share it here.)

Next was Toni's t-shirt quilt. She requested the Just Basketballs design.

Then one of Barb's set of two matching quilts. She picked Gulf Stream for both and light gray thread. I'll stitch the second one today.

I had quilt guild last night and have my smaller guild meeting Friday night. I'm getting a much-needed haircut tomorrow and driving around picking up quilts Friday too. I'll probably work a bit more this weekend to stay on track. I need to finish cleaning up the flower gardens, but that is not something I want to tackle on my own. 

My husband has been helping our neighbors build and pour concrete for new porch steps and a section of their sidewalk. They hired someone who never came back to finish the job. Their front door area had been inoperable for almost two months before they fired him. I think they're planning on working on it again this weekend.

We're also still busy with robotics and I've had to drive my daughter to and from campus multiple days over the past week. Because she's a commuter, she's relegated to parking far away at the stadium and she cannot park in her assigned lot any time there is a sporting event. πŸ™„ I think there's only one more day this semester where she'll need a ride. 

The only other thing of note is that my husband and daughter moved the chicken coop (it's a tractor-style) closer to the house for the winter so that we can plug in the heater and such if needed. The chickens decided to make all sorts of noise the first night and the coop is right next to our bedroom and bathroom windows. πŸ˜‘

I'll see you next week. 

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