Two finishes!

I got on a roll this week and finished the two most recent projects: Heart Strings and Pumpkin Patch!!

I had already started quilting the decorative design within each heart, I just needed to finish the ribbon candy variation in the background. I was surprised how quickly that went then had to decide what to use for binding. Some people make these decisions at the very beginning but I like to wait until the quilting is finished and then audition several fabrics for the binding. I went with a mint/teal dot fabric in my stash. This finished 48″ square and is available for purchase $75 plus shpg.

For Pumpkin Patch, I wanted to do an all-over quilting design but I also wanted to do something different in each pumpkin. I landed on meander quilting in the background and echo quilting in the pumpkins. I chose an orange thread for the top and a variegated white/tan/black thread for the back. I used one the same fabrics in the quilt for the binding and I used a decorative scallop stitch to attach it 🤗 This one finished 48×58 and is also available for purchase for $100 plus shpg.

With both of those quilts completed it was time to start something new, right? LOL It just so happens Fat Quarter Shop started a new QAL this past Friday which was perfect timing!! It’s called Sewcialites2 and it runs from Oct 21-Apr 14 and… it’s FREE 😍 Each Friday they will release a new block with directions for three finished sizes: 3″, 6″, 9″; I’m doing the 6″ size. I have a FQ bundle of Boundless Nectar fabric just collecting dust on my shelf so I pulled it down and found a rather bold choice for background that I *think* will look nice.

Whoowee, that yellow is bright! 😎 I’m keeping my fingers crossed it will look good once it’s all done 🤞🏼

I still need to make 5 more Swoon blocks so I think I’ll work on that this week. I also need to take my Elephant Abstractions pattern to OfficeMax to get copies on 11×14 paper. I plan to start that project after our Aruba vacation next month!!

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Speaking of Aruba!! We’re less than a month away from a 10 night vacation in our beloved Aruba!! We haven’t been to there in 10 years 😲 I’m sure a lot has changed but based on the FB pages I’ve been scrolling through it’s still the best ever destination 😉

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We celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary on Friday… wow, where does the time go!?!?! We went to dinner at Ruth’s Chris and had a lovely evening. DH got the petite filet and I got the garlic crusted Sea Bass… omg, soooo good! I tried to take a selfie with us together but I am just so bad at it… got these instead 😂

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I just realized I forgot to mention DH got a new pickup truck!! We sold our Kia Soul (which I loved 😕) to CarMax and he got a 2022 Chevy Colorado Crew Cab. I have to admit it does drive nice and the gas mileage isn’t too bad, 24mpg on the highway.

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I think 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!

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 😦 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!

Finishing mode

Every now and again I get on a kick to finish projects I’ve left untouched and it appears I’m having one of those moments. In my last post I said I was itching to start a new project and I not only started one but I finished it too!!

Several months back I dug into my scrap bins and cut a ton of 5″ squares, since then I’ve made several quilts but I still had many squares left. I pulled them out last week and sorted them into light and dark and laid them out in an offset pattern; within a few days I had the top finished!!

The next day I pulled a beautiful purple print from an old Denyse Schmidt line out of my stash for the back and got it all basted.

I didn’t want to use my standard Dove Gray thread color so I pulled a pink from my stash and used that for the top and in the bobbin. It blends in pretty nicely on the back while giving a little pop to the top. Since I had all those perfect squares to fill, I went with a Heart Strings quilting motif and I love it!

I squared it up and used the same Denyse Schmidt fabric for the binding. This finished at 49″ square and will be going off to Quilty Hugs for the Hands2Help Comfort Quilt Challenge 2020.

Next up, I pulled out this “Trip Around the World” experiment I started last month and got it glue basted with a pale blue print for the back. I plan to start quilting on it later today.

[These photos were taken before it was basted]

That’s about all for today…have a great rest of your weekend 🙂

Sewing therapy

I can’t imagine how I would be handling this pandemic and self isolating if I didn’t have my quilting hobby!! And even with that, I’ve still had a few days of gut-wrenching anxiety about the foreseeable future. I’ve experienced anxiety in the past but it usually was when a loved one was having a health crisis…all this COVID stuff feels like it’s been going on forever and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel – yet. I’m usually a pretty positive person and have always tried to look at things from the ‘bright side’…that’s getting harder each day this drags on. Ok, enough about that, let’s get to the good stuff!!!

Last week I was struggling to figure out how I wanted to quilt the monochromatic Plus top…shortly after posting I landed on a design and got to work. It went pretty quick and I really, really love how it turned out. Here’s the backside, you can see the ‘Heart strings’ quilting better

I decided to use yellow mini bracelets fabric for the binding to pull out the little bit of color in the top, then I took it outside for some photos before running it through the wash.

Once that was done I turned my attention back to the Safelight case sets. I pulled fabrics and supplies for four more and got started.

Here they are assembled except for velcro, those little tissue holders are so simple to make and I love how the trim looks!

I’ve got six sets completed…now I just need to figure out how to get them to Carole! I really don’t want to go into the Post Office but I’m not sure how else I’m going to get the envelope/box and get it mailed…ugh!

After those were done I started playing with all the 5″ squares I still have…I’ve been wanting to try a color wash style quilt like I’ve seen on Exuberant Color’s blog so I separated some of the squares into light, med & dark and put them up on my design wall…not sure it works as well with these larger squares but I’ll keep playing with it.

Like many others I’ve been cooking a lot more often and I decided last week I wanted to bake some cookies. I usually only bake cookies once a year during the holidays but I wanted something sweet so I got to work.

Unfortunately the batter really didn’t turn out, I think I messed up measuring the flour and it was too loose. I went with it anyway!! All was going fine until I pulled one pan out of the oven and thought I was reaching for the next pan to put in (without a pot holder!) – except I picked up the pan I had just pulled out O U C H!!!! My right index finger and left middle finger got it the worst but thankfully nothing that needed medical attention!!!

The weather has been lovely the last few days, low 70’s and no humidity so we’ve been eating dinner on the screened porch. Yesterday I put up a new hummingbird feeder and as we sat there eating we had our first visitor!!! I was not fast enough with my phone to get a picture of him sitting on the feeder but you get the idea here

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

Stay safe and stay sane!!