Heart Strings

The Heart Strings top and back are made! I switched things up a little bit on the heart blocks, initially I was going do both sides of the heart very scrappy but with the fabrics I chose I just didn’t like that look…it was too busy for my eyes. I matched up the strips so the fabrics aligned within each heart and I’m much happier!

I took this picture before I pieced them all together – no sashing. Then I went about making the back. I had several strips sets leftover once I changed the design so I put them in the back and I found a coordinating mint colored fabric in my stash to fill in the rest.

It will finish 48″ square. I plan to get this basted and quilted before I head out of town on Thursday – fingers crossed!!

I haven’t made any more Swoon Sixteen blocks yet but that will definitely be on my list when I get home.

I received all the fabrics I need for Elephant Abstractions and I’ll start on that when the Swoon quilt is done. I was going to join Devoted Quilter for her 60 day WIP challenge because I have quite a few tops that need to be finished into quilts…but… that Elephant pattern is calling to me! :-p

I got confirmation that our clubhouse is available the 2nd Monday of each month for a Sewing Club so our first meeting will be Oct 10! Squeeeeeee, I’m excited and nervous!

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In other news, I FINALLY got around to hanging the lights on our screened porch yesterday – actually I hired the neighborhood handyman to do it! Ha! I turned them on last night and I love them! They are the perfect amount of light for sitting on the porch at night to enjoy the fall weather!!

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Roger Federer played his last professional match Friday night and afterward it was a very emotional celebration. He was so moved by all the out-pouring of love and admiration…not a dry eye in the house!!

That’s all for now…have a great rest of your weekend!

Finishes and New projects

I’m happy to report I finished the enlarged Tall Tales quilt and it’s ready to go with me to Maryland at the end of the month. I decided to quilt an all over swirling loop design to soften all the edges of the books.

I just have to say, quilting on my new sewing cabinet with my machine dropped into table is a HUGE game changer. I have so much more quilting area and I don’t have to deal with the quilt slipping over the edge of the table as I move it around. Another bonus is my shoulders didn’t get tired from being all bunched up around my ears! The only issue I had is when I opened the drawer on the left to hold the extension I couldn’t sit exactly where I like in relation to the needle on my machine. Over the years I’ve found I like to sit just a smidge left of my needle but the arm on my chair kept hitting the drawer, so today I’ll be removing the arms on my chair and see if that helps because I’d really like to leave that extension on full-time but I’m not about to buy a new chair!!!

I no sooner finished the Tall Tales quilt when I decided I just *had to* make a Swoon Sixteen block. I was going to buy the pattern but I figured I could do it on my own watching her tutorial on YouTube. Of course it wasn’t as easy as it looked but after a few stops & starts I got it down. I now have four blocks!!

As if that wasn’t enough, I joined in the National Sew a Jelly Roll day yesterday and started the Heart Strings blocks I mentioned a few weeks ago. Now that I’ve got the pieces all cut, I’m not sure I love my fabric selection but there’s no going back! This is not a complete picture of all the blocks and I still need to sew all the corner pieces to make the hearts… my design wall is very busy right now!

As for my bucket list project – Elephant Abstractions – I received the bundle of fabric yesterday from Hancock’s of Paducah and unfortunately they were out of the background fabric Kona Curry đŸ˜Ļ I went online and found the next closest shade, Kona Duckling, and ordered it. I’m not going to start on this project until I get back from Maryland so there’s no rush 😉

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I don’t recall if I mentioned it here but I went WAY outside my comfort zone a few weeks ago and sent a note out to all the residents of our neighborhood to see if anyone would be interested in a monthly Sewing Day at our clubhouse. I got responses from 3 ladies, two of which are new to quilting…I was not looking to start a class but it might turn out that way for the short-term. Anyway, we decided we’d meetup the second week of each month on Monday or Thursday (waiting on confirmation the clubhouse will be available) from 10a – 2p.

One of the newbies doesn’t even have a machine yet! She asked for recommendations which is like asking about your favorite child – LOL! She lives one street over from me so I invited her to come look at my two machines, Pfaff and Singer, to get some perspective. One of the other ladies said she had a Janome for sale for $450, so hopefully she’ll have a machine by our first sewing day!

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That’s about all for now…have a great rest of your weekend!

Tall Tales episode 2

I’ve finished piecing all the book blocks and the top is complete – Yay! The first book quilt I made did not have a border and finished at 43×55. Although I enlarged the pattern this one was only 48×58 and I wanted it to be a generous lap quilt so I decided to add borders. I cut 6.5″ strips of a soft teal fabric I had in my stash that I think goes well with the ‘vibe’ of the book covers. I’m not sure if I’ll keep them that large after quilting…

Next up I needed to make the back. I auditioned a few fabrics before deciding to use up the remnant piece left from cutting the borders. It wasn’t big enough so I pulled more yardage from my stash to make up the difference.

Now I need to get it basted and decide how I want to quilt it… ugh, that’s always where I get stalled! I did a simple cross-hatch on the other book quilt and it looked nice but it didn’t have borders. I don’t know why I feel I need to do something special when a quilt has borders…???

In other sewing room news: the custom acrylic insert arrived for my sewing table and it fits perfectly!!! It installed with just a few easy adjustments to the height of the drop shelf and voila’

I used it right away to piece the 6.5″ border strips but I found the acrylic was not slick enough for the fabric to glide over it without sticking. I had to put a quilting glove on my left hand to help the fabric to the left of the needle move along as I stitched 😕 I thought there might be some residue left over from shipping so I washed it with warm soapy water, that made it better… but not great. I went online to see if anyone else had this issue but I didn’t find much. I contacted Arrow Customer Service and asked them about it, they said they sell a polish that helps keep the surface slick so I added another $10 to my investment!!

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how did you address it?

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I haven’t started any other projects yet, I really want to finish this book quilt to take with my when I go to Maryland at the end of the month so I need to FOCUS! Ha! But of course, next Saturday (9/17) is National Sew a Jelly Roll day and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing to make the Heart quilt I mentioned last week…so we’ll see if I can get the Books quilt done by then!!

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The US Open is almost over 🙁 The Ladies final was yesterday, unfortunately my favorite did not win…but she didn’t play well either! So Congratulations to Iga!

The Men’s final is later today and should be a great match. The two young guys are playing well right now so 🤞đŸģ As an added bonus, whoever wins the match will be the new World #1 đŸ˜¯ All that on top of $2.6M prize money…wowza!

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That’s all for now, have a great rest of your weekend!!

New projects

I’ve been in my sewing room almost every day since I got my new sewing cabinet. I’m still trying to get in rhythm with the new setup and the only way to do that is to use it A LOT!

I’ve started making blocks for the enlarged Tall Tales books. I had a half layer cake bundle of Elizabeth Hartman fabrics I got in a Sew Sampler box a few years ago, I think it’s called Paintbox Winter. I had initially enlarged the pattern to 130% but once I chose this fabric I needed to change to 125% to get two books from each layer cake. There are a few prints in the bundle I chose not to use so for now I’ll make 24 ‘books’ then I’ll decide on sashing and layout. I just love these muted prints, they’ll make the perfect quilt to snuggle under while reading 😉

Next up I saw this adorable heart quilt online and of course I just HAVE to make it, LOL!! The pattern is available on etsy although I haven’t purchased it. I’m pretty sure I can figure this one out without a pattern — fingers crossed!! 🤞đŸģI haven’t selected fabric yet but I have a few jelly rolls I think will work very nicely.

And lastly (for now) I’ve FINALLY taken the steps to make a quilt on my bucket list: Elephant Abstractions!

I went online last night and ordered all the fabrics I’ll need from Hancock’s of Paducah – SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! This one’s gonna take a while but hey, I’ve got time! 😂

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In other news, I’m trying out a new brand of press on nails – Glamermaid. These nails come with glue tabs you apply to your nails then apply the press on nails. So far I’m liking these and bonus they can be reused!! 😲

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And I’ll leave you with this adorable picture: My great-niece started Pre-K this week! Be still my heart 💖

One last word, you know I’ve been watching the US Open this week. It was so great to see Serena back in action and she looked really good in all her matches!! Too bad she was not able to come out on top of her 3rd match. One more week to go until Champions are crowned!!

That’s all for now… enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

I’m all set up!

The Christa sewing cabinet arrived Wednesday afternoon and I waited to start putting it together until Thursday morning – I needed fresh eyes! It came in 4 boxes (5 if you count all the assembly parts!)

I didn’t take progress pictures but after a looooooong day of turning screws I got it all assembled!!! Isn’t she pretty?!!!!!

Oh my gosh, all that glorious space to spread out! I’ve been using a 4ft folding table for the last six years, this feels like I’ve just moved into a palace 😂 I’ll be dropping my machine into the table when the custom acrylic insert arrives – I knew it would take a few extra weeks.

Once the cabinet was fully assembled, I had to figure out where to put my cutting table. It used to float in the middle of the room but since I intend to leave the this cabinet fully open all the time, the cutting table needed to be repositioned. I thought about moving it to the wall where I have my ironing board but I just didn’t love that idea. I finally decided to make a “U” shape with all my ‘stations’

This setup should be more efficient but it’s going to take some getting used to! Of course I still need to organize all that stuff under the cutting table but I just could not wait to start sewing so first thing Friday morning I started making the backing for the Precious Hearts top (I finished it Wed afternoon before making room for the new sewing cabinet)

I had saved all the cast off HSTs from making the bottom of the hearts and wanted to use those in the back, plus I still had big chunks of the FQs left… so I decided to use it all for the back – no leftovers! I didn’t take any pictures of the back until the quilt was completely finished (‘doh!). I rushed to get it basted so I could start quilting on it. I chose to do a loops & hearts design… Look at all that space to support the quilt!!!!

And here’s the quilt all fininshed – the first picture shows the quilting really well, the next two are outdoor shots that show the colors in natural light.

It finished 44×44 and I’ll be offering it for sale for $80. If there are no takers, it will be put in the donation bin for a future charity drive.

Now that Precious Hearts is complete I need to decide which project to start next: Enlarged Tall Tales or In Stitches or both… or something else! LOL

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I ventured into baking again this week 😲 We had a lot of over ripe bananas and I didn’t want to just throw them out so I looked up recipes and landed on one for Banana bread that sounded easy and delicious – it did not disappoint!!!! It was super easy to mix up and when DH eats TWO pieces you know it’s good!! Ha! The hardest part was waiting 60 minutes for it to bake and another 30 for it to cool LOL

That’s about all for now, have a great rest of your weekend!!

Scary purchase

I made a pretty big purchase this week and it was a long time coming! I’ve been wanting a new sewing table for quite some time… not just any table, I wanted one where my machine could drop down into the table for a flat sewing and quilting surface. I’ve been researching options for at least three years and this week one of my top picks finally went on sale with a enough of a discount that I just had to jump on it!!

I give you the Christa Sewing Cabinet from Arrow

There are many features I really love: 1. the drop down shelf for my machine 2. the folding extensions that I can put up or down depending on whether I’m quilting or piecing 3. the locking casters so I can move it easily to change the extensions 4. the quilt blockers which fasten onto the edge of the table to keep the bulk of the quilt from sliding off while quilting… I can’t tell you how much I struggle with that!!! This will be such a HUGE upgrade from the folding table I use now 😲😍

This cabinet was on sale for $400 less than regular price and the quilt blockers were included (usually $199) I also added the custom acrylic insert that goes around the body of my machine so there are no gaps while sewing. Even with the sale it still cost me close to $1500 😩 Now that I’m retired with no income it was a really hard decision but in the end I took the leap.

It should ship next week so I might be putting this together over the Labor Day holiday – how fitting!! Since I’m going to need lots of room for assembly, I’m going to take that opportunity to move things around in my sewing room and do a little clean up/out.

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Enlarged Tall Tales quilt

I had chosen this Quarry Trail fat quarter bundle to use for the books but after making one block I’ve changed my mind. This is Essex Linen and the fabric is just too bulky for paper piecing…in my opinion. So now I’m back to the drawing board 😕

While I figure that out, I’ve started two other projects – ugh! I saw these adorable blocks on IG and just had to try them! The pattern is called “Precious” – Block Six – from the Heartfelt Sew Along and it’s free through Fat Quarter Shop. I pulled another FQ bundle from my stash – Canning Day by Corey Yoder – and have 3 blocks made. I’m planning to make 9 for a baby size quilt.

The other project is a pattern I saw online and just HAD to have it… the problem was it was not for sale anywhere! It came in the August 2021 Sew Sampler box and they only offered it through that subscription!! So I went on a hunt for anyone that posted an ‘unboxing’ video and I emailed them to ask if I could buy the pattern from them… luckily I found someone who was willing and I now have the pattern in my hands!!! Now I just need to choose a fabric bundle from my stash 😉

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That’s about all for now… enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

Visitors

We had company this week so there was not much sewing happening 😕

I did get the Positivity top all pieced before they arrived, but that’s it! I’m not sure if I want to finish it this way or add borders … hmmm 🤔 It’s already 64×80 and I do all my own quilting so adding borders will just make it bigger, LOL! I’ll think on it for a little while.

Our visitors are house shopping to relocate from FL to SC so we spent most days touring houses for sale! I love walking through houses but some of the ones we went to were real ‘stinkers’!! They did find two that they really liked so we’ll see what happens!

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DH is just about fully recovered from his bout of early stage pneumonia so things are getting back to normal. Whew!

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My plan is to dive into making the enlarged Tall Tales blocks this week and see how far I get… October is just around the corner – Ha!

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That’s about all for now… enjoy the rest of your weekend!

A little here… a little there

Little Pink Houses

After ripping out all the straight-line quilting and smoothing out the puckers, I went right back to quilting using an all-over meander. Ahhhh, much more forgiving and no puckers! I auditioned a couple of fabrics for binding and chose a green print (like a wall of hedges around the ‘neighborhood’! Hahaha).

Here’s a close up of the binding and the variegated thread I used to zigzag stitch the binding to the front. I was so worried the blue chalk lines left over from the straight-line debacle weren’t going to come out…and they didn’t all come out in the first washing, but after a second wash with an all purpose cleaner, they’re gone!!!

And one of my friends here in the neighborhood wants to purchase this so, Yay! đŸĨŗ

Positivity QAL 2022

Another neighbor that had expressed interest in this quilt in rainbow order decided she was not going to purchase it so I’m putting it together in the scattered pattern I liked better 😉 I’ve got the top two sections pieced and I should finish the rest by the end of the day. The lighting is horrible in this picture, but you get the idea!

Enlarged Tall Tales

Once I get the Positivity top done, I’ll start making the enlarged Tall Tales blocks. The friend that I want to surprise with this Book quilt has a birthday in October. But if for some reason I miss that deadline (ugh) I can always give it to her for Christmas!! I’ve chosen this FQ bundle I got from FatQuarterShop last year for the book covers. I checked my stash and I only have one FQ with text print so I’ll use that for the ‘pages’ part of the blocks. If it won’t do the 25 blocks I need I’ll use some of the other FQ in the picture to fill in.

That’s about all for now… have a great rest of your weekend!

Reverse quilting

Ugh, I spent 2 hours doing straight-line quilting only to end up with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My instincts told me stop after the first pucker but did I listen? Nope! I told myself “you can ease it in” then “it will blend in when it’s washed” Hahahahaha!!! So I spent several more hours reverse quilting = ripping it out!! LOL

I think the issue is some of the fabrics were cut on the bias so I’ll be doing a nice ‘forgiving’ meander on this instead!! I guess it was meant to be because I really didn’t like this quilting design on this quilt after I stood back and looked at it đŸ¤Ļ‍♀ī¸

In other news, I bought some more fabric…just because it was on sale!! I got these Alison Glass prints from 5bucksayard. They weren’t $5 but they were on sale for $8.25/yard which is still awesome!

I finished all the Positivity blocks but now I need to decide on a layout…here are the two choices I’ve landed on for now. I realize the rainbow order one needs some repositioning but you get the idea 😜 One of my neighbors has expressed interest in buying this quilt in the rainbow order, if she’s really serious I’ll make it in that layout… if not, I think I’ll go with the scattered layout!

I finished the enlarged Tall Tales sample block and I really like it! I enlarged the pattern to 130% and with sashing it measures 10×12.5. Now I need to print the pattern on freezer paper and make more!! I’m thinking about changing the fabric I use for the ‘pages’ so there is some contrast… hmmm, we’ll see!

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DH is doing better now but he was not well on Monday so we went to urgent care. They checked him out, did a chest xray and said he had early signs of pneumonia 😲 Darn good thing we didn’t wait any longer!! They gave him 2 different antibiotics to take for seven days and by Wed he was starting to feel better. Each day he improved and he was feeling MUCH better yesterday – now he just needs to build his stamina back up. I continued to wear my mask in the house until Friday and it must’ve worked because I didn’t catch it!! Yay!!!

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I forgot to mention the gift I got from my niece while we were in Maryland. Her wife is very talented and likes to make crafty things. They gave me this canvas print for Sammie and I found a place to hang it in my sewing room so she’s always with me ❤ī¸

That’s about all for now…have a great rest of your weekend!!

Van Gogh Experience!

We no sooner got back from Maryland and I was out the door on Wednesday headed to Charleston. I’ve been wanting to see the Van Gogh Experience for a while now but it wasn’t close to me until last month. I asked Mary if she wanted to go and she said Yes so we bought our tickets and booked the room last month. I would not have normally planned two trips so close together but it’s just how it worked out. Unfortunately DH came down with a bug Monday night and I thought I might have to cancel the trip but I tested him TWICE for covid before I left and both were negative!

The 2 hour drive was easy and we were able to check in early after stopping for lunch at a mexican restaurant. Our tickets for the show were Wed at 6:30 so we had dinner afterward. The pictures below are just a small sampling of the experience. The room where they have this display is very large and there are benches and cushions to sit on because the ‘show’ runs about 40 minutes. Before going into this room, there is a large display of screens to walk through that explain Van Gogh’s life and his history of mental illness.

After the show there is a shop setup to purchase all kinds of Van Gogh items, I picked up a small matted print of my favorite painting “The Starry Night”. It will fit perfectly in an 8×10 frame which I’ll most likely hang in my sewing room.

We spent the next day in downtown Charleston shopping and eating! We found a great roof top bar at the Pavilion Hotel on East Bay Street, right next to the Charleston City Market – a perfect spot for cocktails after a day of shopping!

We capped the day off with an early dinner at Phuong Vietnamese restaurant then went to the movies to see “Where the Crawdads Sing”!! We both had read the book and hoped the movie would be as good… and it was!! If you enjoyed the book, I think you’ll like the movie too!

We got up Friday morning and headed back home. We decided to take the long way (26 to 95 to 38 & 501) because I have a fear of driving over BIG bridges and this route meant we didn’t have to change drivers along the way {we took Highway 17 down and just before we got to all the big bridges I let Mary drive my car 😕}

We stopped at the new Buc-ee’s travel center in Florence just to see what all the hoopla was about and WOW it did not disappoint! That place is huge and it has something for everyone – food, clothing, home decor, etc. We didn’t buy anything but we sure were tempted!

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Back to DH, I talked to him multiple times during the trip and he was feeling pretty crappy. When I got home Friday afternoon I tested him again for covid and again it was negative…so I guess he’s just got some other nasty bug ☚ī¸ {I used the same tests we used when we tested positive back in early May} I’ve been wearing a mask in the house hoping I can avoid getting it too… fingers crossed!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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As for quilting, you can probably imagine I haven’t gotten much done in the last week. I did cut some more fabric for the PositivityQAL blocks but not much piecing has happened. I also enlarged the Tall Tales Book pattern to 130% to make another book quilt for a friend and I started making one book just to make sure it works before I dive all-in. It’s about 80% pieced 😉

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That’s about all for now…have a great rest of your weekend!