Tessellations & PHD Report

I went to the guild sew day over the weekend and added to my Tessellations quilt. Another guild member who also took the class had hers almost complete. She went truly scrappy. I can't cede enough control to do that. 😬 I went with mostly coordinated fabrics.  Here's my progress so far.

It's a fun quilt to work on because you don't have to think a ton other than making sure your colors are lined up correctly from block to block. The worst part is spinning the seam intersections. For some reason I always struggle with that, though it is so satisfying when it works out correctly.

I also cut out a quilt for a QAL that my daughter recolored. She helped me pick fabrics to meet her vision. We had everything but background. We bought that fabric since we couldn't agree on any from my stash. 

I will need to make a bunch of HST in the next two weeks. I'm determined to stay on top of this one.

Speaking of staying on top of things, here is my PHD report for March. I completed one more project toward my "degree" this month.

I've been busy quilting Jeri's quilts. The first one is called Algorithm. I think she said it's a GE Designs pattern. She picked Champagne Bubbles for the quilting.

Next is her flying geese quilt, quilted with Good Vibrations.

Finally, her Color Block Postage Stamp quilt, quilted with tiny scale Squatty Squared.

I am fully binding all three of these, so that's what I'll continue working on this week, along with more quilting hopefully. I have a bunch of appointments this week that are making working a challenge.

I've also been working more on cleaning up our house prior to the family invasion this weekend. The bedroom is completed. We have a few more things to move out of the way in the living room and need to hang a towel bar in the bathroom for them. Then it's just doing a regular cleaning of everything and we should be as ready as we can be. 

Take care, and I'll see you Monday for April's OMG linkup and then my regular post on Wednesday.

Linking with Quiltery, My Quilt Infatuation, Alycia Quilts, and Ms P Designs.

March One Monthly Goal Finish

How did you do with your March goal?

My goal was to completely finish my Malted Mystery quilt. I finished it with hours to spare. I quilted it with the Peak Blooms design and hand bound it. 

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

This link up will remain open until March 31 at 11:55 pm EST.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Purple RSC Blocks

I have completed this month's RSC blocks. The color of the month is purple. 

I thought I had a good amount of purple scraps, but what I really had was a lot of scraps of a pretty limited amount of prints. I think the blocks are okay.

I like them mixed with the red and green blocks we've done already. The tutorial is by Sandra at mmmquilts.

I quilted my Malted Mystery quilt. If you voted last week, thanks! I went with Peak Blooms simply because it was the fastest of the three to stitch out and I feel like I'm drowning right now.

I'm working on hand binding now. Why? Who knows. I have until Sunday night to get it finished. 

I forgot to mention last week, but a quilt I donated to Quilts for Kids in December was in the March 7 newsletter! It's the robot quilt on the left.  I was pleased that someone picked it.

Here's the whole quilt. 

Moving over to quilts for others, I quilted the twin to Lauren's quilt from last week. She selected Curly for the design and Glide Sprout for the thread color.

I bound both of her quilts.

Next I quilted Jo's Chilhowie quilt. She picked Exes and we used Glide Peacock, a very pale purple color. This quilt is much more stunning in real life than what my camera recorded.

Next I quilted Annie's Dutch Treat quilt. The quilting is really hard to see, both in the picture and in real life. She picked Saffron Blossoms and I used white thread.

Then I quilted Trish's baby quilt with Pretty Paisley and cream thread.

I've been scrambling to get my basement picked up before my sister and kids come in another week or so. The menfolk have put away all the robotics things. They also moved my collection of shipping boxes out of the spare bedroom and into the living room. I was calling it Mt. Boxmore. I decided to keep only the boxes that I knew a quilt would fit into and took the rest to recycling on Monday. 

We got the bed set up and most of the stuff shoved into the closets. I'm pretty bummed out because I thought our suitcases would fit under the bed for storage. Nope. Okay, maybe the baby bed parts (it was a convertible baby-toddler-full headboard piece and my son uses the headboard) will fit under there. Nope. NOTHING fits under there. LOL figures.

I didn't take before pictures because it was too embarrassing. Here's where we are at now. I need to move the coffee table so that you can actually get in the door.

The whole expanse of living room was filled with multiple tables, robotics field, and lots of parts before this. The Murphy bed is in the middle of the book case on the right in the photo below.

I found one of the spare robotics paper airplane/drones and threw it at my son. It landed like this. 😆 I don't know if I could ever do that again.

Our weather has been pretty garbage the last few days. I figured that was coming because every time the cherry tree starts to blossom the weather turns. 
Come back on Monday to link up your OMG finish.

Linking with Quiltery, My Quilt Infatuation, and So Scrappy.

Malted Mystery Top

I'm pleased to share my completed Malted Mystery quilt top. 

I truly thought I'd have the top done and quilted by now, but alas. I've been blessed with lots of work and lots of binding jobs lately and we just finished our robotics competition season Saturday. More on that in a minute. Plus, does anyone else find sewing on plain borders to be entirely tedious?

I thought it might be fun to solicit opinions on how I should quilt this. My household is split on which design I should use. I had a definite favorite before making these mock-ups, but now I'm second guessing. I do have to quilt and bind this in the next week or so to finish my OMG before I need to post the finish link up, so time may end up being a deciding factor.

Option 1: Peak Blooms

Option 2: Mallow

Option 3: Orange Dream

I've worked on several quilts for others. I fully machine bound all of Pat's quilts that I shared last week.

I quilted Annie's Indigo Way quilt with the Starry design and Glide thread in the Celery color way. 

I already returned her quilt, so here's one more picture that shows some of the backing as well.

I quilted Lauren's Kaffe quilt with Curly. I have second, matching quilt to do and will also fully machine bind both. The quilting barely shows on the front, but it looks awesome on the back.

My plans for the rest of the week include quilting Lauren's second quilt and binding both, quilting Jo's Chilhowie, and hopefully getting my Malted quilted and bound.

I'm hoping to run to a local quilt shop today to pick up fabrics for a class my small guild is holding next month. I tried to shop my stash first, but I don't buy enough of most fabrics to meet the requirements of the pattern and have something that looks good together. Pfft. 

We had our robotics state championship tournament on Saturday. We knew going in that this would be the end of the line for us. Only two teams advance to the Worlds--the captain of the winning robot alliance (group of three teams) and the Inspire award winner. We ended up ranked 7th at the end of the regular robot runs. Our boys were selected by the number one ranked team as their first alliance partner and we made it all the way to the last match before losing. It was thrilling, yet also heartbreaking, because we lost due to penalty points and we aren't the biggest fans of the team that ended up winning, who were ranked third going in. The other local team (ranked second going into finals, but lost right away due to odd decisions) won the Inspire award. As we tell the kids, the rankings and the judging are both quite subjective. Our boys won the Design award for best robot design. My son was thrilled! The robot design and build is his main responsibility.

I ended up feeling ill and spent most of Sunday sleeping or resting and Monday taking it easy. My kids are both on spring break this week. My daughter mentioned last week that she had to do an exit interview for her student loans--she is graduating in May. I asked her how much she owed and how much money she has. She has enough to fully pay off all of them! I was a bit shocked, but also happy and relieved. I've been pushing her to determine her next steps and apply for local full-time jobs while she decides. I also found an online certificate to masters program in her potential goal field and we've been discussing pros and cons of that. She is not amused by any of it. 

I have done absolutely zero gardening. It's probably good because we've had a few mornings with hard frost. The other days it seems to be raining. I'm still about two months away from our last frost.

We had a surprise announcement last week that the school board and the superintendent have agreed to part ways June 30. The school corporation does have to pay him $228k to buy out the contract. I'm upset that the money could have been spent in much better ways, as could much of the money he handled in the last three years. I'm glad he will be gone. He has caused much harm.

My sister and her kids are coming to stay with us Easter weekend, so we need to clean up all the robotics parts so that we can access the Murphy bed in the living room and clean out the spare bedroom, which is used for storage, so that we can set up a bed in there. The robotics parts are still strewn everywhere in the house, but the menfolk did clean up the OSB sheets we use for a partial robot field, so I can now access the closet in the living room. I was able to put many things away in the closet. Now I have to deal with the giant pile of boxes I save to use for return shipping of quilts that my family moved from the spare room to the living room floor. It's probably time to recycle many of them. 

One last thing, remember the eagle cam I mentioned last week? Sadly, it looks like none of Shadow and Jackie's three eggs were viable. It became really heart-wrenching to watch. On a positive, as of March 12 the Goose Pond barn owls have laid seven eggs .

Linking with Quiltery, My Quilt Infatuation, Alycia Quilts, and From Bolt to Beauty.

Gyleen's Tessellations

The IHQS was last week. As you probably recall, I entered my Grassy Creek quilt. 

It did not receive any ribbons, nor did I expect it to. Here is the feedback from the judges:

1. The pieced border is a visual element that adds movement to your central design. (Ugh, that stupid border. I knew it needed it, but as you know, I did not enjoy its creation.)

2. Strive for precision in piecing. (Totally fair. There were a lot of mismatched points in this one that I either couldn't get to match or just gave up on caring about. This is a busy quilt and I don't think it shows much unless you're really looking like the judges are.)

3. Quilt design is well chosen and evenly spaced. (Yay, me. I do do this for a living.)

4. Quilting technique is very good. (See #3.)

5. Excellent binding. (I was proud of this one.)

I think that I went in to viewing the show with a bit of an attitude. The IHQS does attract quilts from all over, especially from a few nationally well-known quilters. I understand this is part of their business model for drawing crowds to the show. I guess I have a problem with the same few big names who do not live in or near Indiana swooping in taking the top prize every year. I understand that the prize money is how these quilters make their living, but I also resent that 1. Quilters in the state don't have a shot at winning due to the same few people dominating year after year and 2. these "top" quilters seem to be in a circuit and you end up seeing the same quilts over and over if you go to bigger shows such as AQS. It gets really boring, especially when their new quilts look virtually the same as all their previous quilts, some of which are also in the same show. I saw this on the back of a quilt and felt some rage and disgust. It had already been in at least eight other shows. Like I said, I had an attitude about it. Sorry. 

Here are the only pictures I took. An art quilt I liked and two that I quilted for others.🤷🏻‍♀️

Made by Catherine Carvey

Made by Haley Hatton

Made by Sue Connell

Something I really enjoy about the show is the classes. They are certainly not as inexpensive as they were pre-Covid, but they are close by and generally offer really good teachers. I took the Anything Goes Star Tessellation class with Gyleen X. Fitzgerald on Friday. It was really fun! The day flew by. I brought in around 70 sets of pre-cut fabric (she said up to 100 sets). I got a few sewn--I think 21 fabrics? She gave us a two-hour lunch break and that is when I viewed the show and also shopped. I added four more pieces of Kaffe fabric to my pile of fabrics for this project because I felt I was lacking prints. I also had to buy more sewing machine needles--oops.

This is the tool that was required for class.

Closer view of my blocks.

The whole thing so far. You have to pin your extras on so you don't lose track.

She said she was going to steal and toss our trimmings, but she didn't. LOL. I'm glad, because I use them for leaders and enders. They will be super-cute 1" HST someday. Maybe I should incorporate them into the backing.

Gyleen shared many stories from her early life during class and also told us about her binding technique for show quilts--apparently you get more judging points if you use a fabric that wasn't in your quilt top. Here's a tip that she learned from Diane Gaudynski: to make your show quilts really flat, place them under a mattress. Gyleen is no longer doing show quilts, but is doing a lot of teaching, including lots of virtual. You can take her classes on Facebook.

I was in love with this quilt of Gyleen's:

I wanted to buy the pattern--turns out it was a book. The book said you needed two templates of hers. Of course after I purchased everything, she told me that you need a different template set for the version I liked. I will buy that sometime in the future because I have really blown my budget lately.

What I bought.
The set of templates needed for the smaller version of the quilt.

Thankfully, my workload has really increased over the past few weeks. Pat P. sent me three patriotic quilts. The first one is quilted with Ashley's Star Echo.

I used Star Spangled on the second one.

And Shooting Star on the third. 

These all need to be fully bound, as do many of the quilts in my queue right now.

I also quilted Identity on Carol H.'s two-sided quilt.

I carefully marked everything to get it as close to centered as I could. I was so glad when I advanced the quilt and found the center top and back pins were very close! I always tell people I'll try my best, but I cannot guarantee a perfectly centered backing. It's fabric; sometimes it shifts or shrinks up differently than you expect during the quilting process.

I neglected to share my PHD progress report for February, so here it is:

Sadly, I missed the window for the link up in February. I'm hoping to finish at least one more quilt this month, so I feel like I'm in pretty good shape to to finish the PHD this year.

This month's RSC color is purple. I had my purples and pinks mixed in one basket, so I sorted them out and separated them into two baskets. The more I use my scraps, the more they seem to multiply. Some of my purples are very close to my pinks. I think they could go either way, depending on what else is with them.

Out in the garden, the first of the daffodils bloomed on February 28. Many of them are starting to bloom now, after rain and warmer temperatures. 

I follow our local-ish Goose Pond fish & wildlife area on Facebook and they show a livestream on YouTube of a pair of nesting barn owls. While watching that, I clicked on Big Bear Bald Eagle Live Nest--Cam 1 video from California. I am now obsessed with watching the feed! I even had it pulled up on our TV the other night! Hopefully there will be chicks any day now.

Have a wonderful week.