Aruba here we come!

By this time tomorrow we will be on our way to 10 glorious nights at the Renaissance in Aruba!

We haven’t traveled internationally in over 7 years and haven’t been to Aruba in 10 years so we are both excited and nervous đŸ˜Ŧ I’ve got us all checked in, our bags are 99% packed and I think we’ve covered everything while we’ll be away 🤞 Ugh, so much to remember LOL

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The sewing club day went well again! Yay, it’s so nice to sew with other folks and just chit chat about all kinds of various topics. I not only got my Swoon top basted but also got the APQ UFO project basted đŸ˜¯ I finally looked back at my IG feed and found the name of that BOTM: Honey Pot Bee with Molli Sparkles.

I ended up working on the Honey Pot Bee during the sewing club because I chose to do simple ‘organic wavy lines’ vertically. That made the FMQ easy to do while talking – Ha! I got it trimmed and put the binding on when I got home.

I used the same gray background fabric for binding, I think it gives it a modern feel. This will go in the donation bin and wait for the next charity drive. I didn’t take any photos of the back đŸĢ¤ I used a blue floral from my stash paired with a solid blue. Once we’re back from the trip I plan to take this outside for better pictures and I’ll include the back.

I also finished up the Swoon Sixteen quilt this week! I chose to do an all-over loopy meander, I think it helps soften all the sharp angles.

I bought some black & white stripe fabric specifically for binding so I used it on this project, and this time I did snap the back side! This quilt will also go in the donation pile.

I completed Block 5 in the Sewcialites2QAL yesterday… the yellow background fabric is growing on me!

After we return, I need to start planning the overall layout and get some setting blocks made.

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That’s about all for now! I won’t be posting next week cuz, ya know, Aruba… Have a great rest of your weekend.

Lots of projects

I not only finished the Swoon Sixteen top but I also pulled out a long forgotten project from 2017 and got that to the top stage too!!

First things first, Swoon Sixteen. I finished putting on all the sashing and borders so the next step is to make the backing and get it basted. I have no idea what I’m going to use for backing but if I can figure it out today and get the basting done, I can take it to the sewing club meeting tomorrow and quilt it while I’m there! Fingers crossed!

Once I finished the Swoon top I wanted to work on some more piecing so I looked up the APQ UFO number for November (#10) and it correlated to an old project from 2017. This was a BOTM quilt along and I honestly can’t even remember if I made all the blocks but I’ve had them stashed for far too long! And I really love the fabrics and colors I used – an old Karen Lewis bundle – so I figured now was a good time to finish this up.

The difficulty was the blocks were all different sizes… Some were 12″, 10″, 9″, 8″ and 6″… and I did not have the motivation to find the original layout suggestion so I just started winging it!! 😂 I had enough of the background fabric left to sash the smaller blocks to make them 12″… and I ended up with this

Now let’s see how long it takes me to actually baste & quilt it 😜

I’m also staying caught up with the Sewcialites2 QAL from Fat Quarter Shop. They’ve been releasing the blocks on Thurs afternoons so unless I already have plans, I jump right on it. Here is my Block 4

I just have to share this adorable picture of my great niece. Her parents surprised her with a Disney Cruise coming up in December and gave her this sweet Cinderella outfit to wear on the cruise!!!!!!!!! 😍

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We’re counting down to our first international travel in 6 years and our first time back in Aruba in 10 years!!! đŸĨŗ🏝 This is a picture of our favorite snorkeling spot, Baby Beach

We leave Nov 21 and will return Dec 1, we’re so excited but I’m also nervous hoping all our plans go smoothly 🤞

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

Getting good pictures?

I made a few more Swoon Sixteen blocks this week and they turned out really nice… my only issue is trying to capture the correct fabric colors with my phone…grrrrr! In the picture below the only correct hues are the pinks, reds and purples. The blues are all off! The block on the right is supposed to be a very true teal, not blue! The tip of the block above it is not a royal blue but a deeper darker blue…and on the top left block those diamonds are also teal. WTH??!! I know it’s my phone because as I look through the camera app on my phone before I snap the pic, the color is off 😕I guess I’ll be spending some time on Google trying to find a solution 😤

Anywho… these three blocks turned out really nice!! I’m pressing all seams open which makes these blocks lay much better 😛

I also made Block 2 in the Sewcialites2 QAL. This one had many more small pieces but for some reason I didn’t have as many issues as with the first block, maybe I’m getting used to it LOL I’m still not sold on my choice of background fabric but there’s no going back now! (oh and the teal fabrics look just fine in this picture!! I’m so confused!!)

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Please get out and vote early if you can! We went this week and it was a breeze!

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

Sewing club success!

The first meeting of our neighborhood sewing club was a great success. Not because there were a lot of people but because it was so enjoyable! I got there early and setup tables for folks who would bring sewing machines and a few for cutting and ironing. I brought all the supplies needed: you may recall DH made me an extension for my ironing board that turns out to be quite portable and my iron along with an older cutting mat and my backup rotary cutter.

I had four ladies interested in attending but one didn’t come due to an unexpected visit from friends. The rest of us spent 4 hours talking and sewing, it was really nice!! Three of us are quilters and the other lady is a garment sewer but she’s interested in making quilts. We traded tips and tricks and experiences all day as well as talking about a bunch of other general life topics. The time really flew by 🤗 One of the ladies has had patterns published and a fabric line produced (Jan Douglas Designs) so she had tons of industry information to share 😉

I took my Pumpkin Patch project and I finished piecing all the blocks. I took my Swoon blocks as a backup project but I didn’t need it… speaking of…

The Pumpkin Patch top is complete and I started basting it last night, with the borders it measures 49×59. I pulled a fitted sheet from my stash and cut a piece big enough for the backing. It’s a deep tan color so it goes well with the seasonal theme.

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Our friends from Florida were supposed to drive up last weekend to look at a beautiful house for sale but unfortunately that plan didn’t work out. They made an offer contingent on them driving up to see it but the sellers didn’t accept, oh well. They’ll keep looking, hopefully something will turn up for them.

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Did anyone else take advantage of Amazon’s second Prime Day deals? I got a new cutting mat and a new iron…whooopie!!! I should’ve looked for a new rotary cutter – ‘doh! I guess that’ll be on my list for cyber Monday 😄 I made other non-quilting purchases like a new, bigger air fryer. DH got a new beside clock that shows the time on three sides because getting up to turn the clock he has was becoming a pain 😂đŸ¤Ŗ At this stage of life it’s all about making things easier!

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

Feeling the season

After seeing so many posts on FB and IG with fall themed projects I finally broke down and started one of my own!! 😛

Debby Brown’s Sept project for the Color Blocks QAL was a pumpkin design, perfect!

I had purchased a few half yard cuts of autumn themed fabrics earlier this year so I had plenty to work with. I chose to change up the pattern a little bit because I wanted my pumpkins to be a little wider. I got to cutting & sewing yesterday and laid it all out on my design wall… squeeeeeeeeee, I love it

I still have lots of piecing to do and then I need to figure out borders if I want it to be bigger than 40×54😕 And what’s even more fun, the fabric I’m using for background is glow in the dark!! I used it a few years back on a halloween quilt, it’s not too bright but just enough to add some fun in the dark.

I haven’t forgotten about the Heart Strings quilt, I finished the decorative quilting within each heart late last week, I just need to put the ribbon candy variation in the white spaces… it’s sitting on my sewing table waiting patiently 😂

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I forgot to mention in my last post, I delivered the Books quilt to my friend in Maryland but unfortunately she was not feeling well so we didn’t get to spend time together (she tested negative for covid but it was only her second day of feeling bad so she didn’t want to risk it). She LOVED the quilt and was so happy to start using it immediately! 💖

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Tomorrow is the first sewing club meeting and I gotta say, I’m a bit anxious! This is so far outside my comfort zone… I’m not a starter, I’m a follower & supporter! But, I’m doing it anyway 😂 I’ve printed off a few check lists of items to take on a sewing retreat in hopes I won’t forget anything critical…but if I do I’m only 2 mins from home. I just need to decide what sewing project I’m going to take to work on! I could take the pumpkins but that’s a lot of pieces. I still need to make 5 more Swoon blocks but I’m not sure that will fill 4 hours. Ugh decisions decisions!

To make things more interesting… our friends from Florida called yesterday. They are still searching for a home in MB and one that they missed out on last month went back on the market. They are planning to drive up TODAY, look at the house tomorrow and go back home Tues. I guess I’ll be tidying up the bonus room today 😉

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We got our Moderna Bivalent booster shots earlier this week and we’re feeling fine. My arm was a little sore for a few days after the shot but nothing bad.

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

Quilting and traveling

I traveled to Maryland last week to visit with family and attend my great niece’s 5th birthday party. It was a quick trip, flew up on Thurs and back home on Sunday. This meant I was not home (in Myrtle Beach) when Hurricane Ian came to visit. DH was home alone and thankfully the worst he experienced was a power outage for 90 minutes – whew!

Even though Maryland was getting rain from the far reaching outer bands of Ian on Saturday, the birthday party was a huge success with 11 kids! They set up the bouncy house in the garage, had a ‘formal’ tea party setup in the playroom and a painting station on the screen porch. And of course a bunch of finger foods and adult beverages for the parents.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures I took

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Before I left I had basted the Heart Strings quilt and started quilting on it. I found a free-motion design in one of the quilting books I’ve had for a while and decided to give it a go. I’m not thrilled with my execution of the design but I’m not going to rip it out either!! I plan to do a variation of ribbon candy in the white spaces between the rows of hearts.

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I’m still eating Mediterranean style and loving it. I’m down 14 lbs since I started back in June and I don’t feel deprived. I am not counting calories, I eat when I’m hungry and with all the fruits, veggies, beans & grains I’m eating I don’t crave sugar anymore 😮 Even at the birthday party this weekend, I did not want to eat any of the cake. We still go out to eat quite a bit and that’s not a problem, most restaurants offer veggies as a side so I just double up on those. I think the biggest shift has been mental – I eat what I’ve ordered and I allow myself to order more IF I’m still hungry… but that’s never happened. If I get hungry later I’ll have some fruit or some nuts. Getting processed foods out of my diet has been amazing 🙂

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The monthly sewing club meets for the first time next Monday and I had a call tonight from another neighborhood resident that wants to join us – yay! She’s a garment sewist and I told her she was more than welcome! I’m not sure yet what project I’m going to take with me but I still have 5 more Swoon blocks to make and I’ve already picked out the rest of the fabrics so that’s a possibility. Or I could baste one of my UFO’s and take that for free-motion quilting… hmmm decisions, decisions!

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That’s about all for now… I’m a day late posting so I’ll sign off by saying Have a great rest of your week!

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!!

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!