Miscellaneous…

I missed posting last week because I was traveling. I flew to MD to visit with family and celebrate my great-niece’s 4th birthday. I was a little anxious about flying with everything going on in the world these days but my flight up was very uneventful, except for a little bit of a bumpy ride. I stayed with my niece and her family which allowed me to help with getting ready for the party. The weather was very nice the whole time which worked out great because the party was outside.

To my dismay, I did not take one single picture the whole time I was gone 😮 I met up with a dear friend for dinner Friday, hung out with family Saturday & Sunday then flew back home Monday. I used Southwest for this trip and you may recall that weekend they cancelled thousands of flights – eeek! I was worried my flight home was going to be affected but when I got to the airport to check in they assured me my flight was right on time – yay!!

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My poor Sammie has another flare up of Hot Spot, an allergic reaction that causes a severe rash on the skin. I have no idea what’s causing it but the vet did tell me the first time it happened that it could reappear…ugh! This one is not as large as the first time and luckily I have all the meds still on hand to treat it – including Gabapentin for pain.

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I haven’t been spending a whole lot of time in my ‘happy place’ this past week but I did finish another quilt from the box my friend sent me of her mother’s UFOs. She had finished the top so I pulled this colorful elephant fabric from my stash then used a loopy meander for quilting. I struggled to find something for binding then found this lovely yellow dotted fabric in my stash that matched perfectly!

There are two more completed tops that need backing & quilting along with a half assembled double oven mitt…hopefully I can get those done quickly!

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In other news, I think I’ve finally found a general practitioner that I like. Hubby has gone to see him a couple of times and remarked how much he liked him so I figured I’d give him a shot. My first visit went very well! He spent plenty of time just talking to me, listening to my general concerns and answering my questions – finally! someone who actually listens!

My overall cholesterol number has been inching up the last few years and I really do not want to start taking prescription pills if it’s not absolutely necessary. He offered a few suggestions that I’m going to try and we’ll check my numbers again in Feb. Of course the most obvious suggestion was to lose weight and get some exercise… I already knew that but I’m the kind of person that needs to hear a professional say it for it to sink in!! Silly but true 😉

I bought more fruits and veggies this week and actually cut & prepped them for easy access. Yesterday we went to dinner at a restaurant in Conway on the Riverwalk and took a little stroll after dinner, the setting was so relaxing 🙂 Hard to see it in this picture but the river is just barely visible on the left side!

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I received the Wahl clippers from Amazon (affiliate link) before my trip and I’ve used them a couple of times to trim some small sections on Sammie. I’m still learning and taking it a little at a time but she’s so good about letting me do it!!

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

Gemstones completed!

Just a heads up…since I buy so much from Amazon I figured it was about time I became an affiliate. So from now on, any Amazon link in my blog will be an affiliate link. It won’t cost you extra in any way if you decide to make a purchase but I’ll get a little spiff in return.

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Last week I posted about basting the Gemstones quilt and I ‘thought about’ quilting it all week but I finally got it done yesterday!! Yay!! I struggled with how to quilt it for the whole week and finally landed on an all-over loopy meander. I haven’t done that design in quite a long time so I worried it wouldn’t look good but I fell into a rhythm very quickly and got it done in no time. I also went into my thread stash and pulled out a lovely shade of purple (Aurifil 1243) to use on the top. It blends well will all the colors. I used a basic tan shade in the bobbin to match the backing fabric.

I auditioned several fabrics for the binding and chose a solid purple – I must have been in a purple mood yesterday LOL. I finished it up late last night so no outdoor pictures.

I’ve been working on a different project on & off. I stumbled across an older video from MSQ a few weeks ago for a quilt-as-you-go project and wanted to give it a shot. Their video was for hexagons which required a template but after searching for the original pattern I found they had a tutorial for squares, so I pulled some fabrics and got started. It’s relatively easy but can be a little fiddly so I’m only making a few blocks at a time. It’s basically like making a bunch of 5″ quilts, once I have them all done I’ll zigzag stitch them together and voila’!

I received my fabric order from 5bucksayard.com, I think the floral I chose for my Gather Ye Rosebuds top looks great with it! Now let’s see how long it takes to get it basted 😉

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In other news, Sammie had a few issues the last time I took her to get groomed so I figured it was about time I try to groom her myself! I bought a trimmer (not made for pets) and it did just ok, of course! It’s not made for pets so I returned it. I decided I should invest in a set that are made for pets so I ordered these Wahl clippers from Amazon.

They’re supposed to arrive later today, I’ll keep you posted on how well they work 😉

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

Autumn distraction

I did get my May color blocks top basted but I have not started quilting on it yet. Here are the pictures of how I glue baste. I use Elmer’s washable glue sticks – they’re purple when they go on but dry clear and wash right out after the quilt is finished.

In the top four pics I show how I center the sandwich on my ironing surface, fold up one side of the top fabric to expose the batting then apply dots of the glue to the back side of the fabric. I cover enough of the fabric the same size as my ironing surface. I roll the fabric back down, smooth it out with my hands and then go over that area with a dry iron. I reposition the sandwich so the next area is on the ironing surface, fold up the top fabric to expose the batting and apply dots of glue to the back side. I roll that fabric down, smooth & iron. I keep repeating this until I get to the end, then pull the sandwich back over the ironing surface until the other side is on top. I repeat that same process before flipping the whole thing over and doing the same thing on the backing fabric (hopefully all that made sense!!)

After top & back are done, I give the whole thing a good pressing again on both sides. Now it’s ready to quilt 😀

Then I had a little autumn distraction when I received my order of Crumb Quilts by Emily Bailey. One of the patterns includes crumb applique leaves and it was calling to me… so of course I answered! This was so quick and satisfying ❤

I had a little fabric shopping spree this week, first I bought some fabric from 5bucksayard.com. I saw the prettiest floral fabric that I think will be the perfect backing for my Rosebuds top.

While I was online I picked up a couple of other fabrics for my stash

Then, after I finished my autumn leaves pillow cover, I had an itch for more Fall fabrics so I went to my LQS Quilting at the Beach and picked up 5 half yard cuts. I have no plan for them at this time but for some reason I just HAD to have them 😉

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

Rosebuds

As mentioned in my last post I jumped right on the September Color Blocks pattern “Gather Ye Rosebuds” as soon as Debby released it and yesterday I put the final stitches in the top!! Woohoo!

I used a white-on-white print for the background and I love it 😀 I’m not sure what I’ll do for the back or quilting yet. Debby is usually a month ahead of us and I look to her finished project for inspiration but she just finished her top last week so I’m going to wait to see how she quilts hers before I go any further.

While I’m waiting, I decided to pull out the May Color Block quilt top and get it basted. I made the back from a sheet set I got on clearance and I ‘franken-batted’ some large batting scraps. I’ve got it all draped over my ironing board waiting to be glue basted. I’ll try to remember to take some pictures as I go!

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Nothing to update regarding my retirement date… I’m still focusing on June of next year. There was a restructuring announcement at my company last week but it’s in a different division so I don’t think I have any hope of being impacted – yet, LOL.

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I’m starting to lose ground on my WW journey. Admittedly I have not been focusing on it for the last few months so it’s no wonder 😦 I’m still drinking a good amount of water every day but even that has slipped. I just don’t “feel like” making it a priority… grrrrrr! I’m going to be so mad at myself in the future!

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I made travel plans for the beginning of October and I’m a little anxious. My niece is having a birthday party for my great-niece and I thought it would be nice to attend. They live in Maryland and I can get a direct flight from Myrtle Beach so it’s pretty easy, except I haven’t flown since the pandemic started. I know tons of people are flying every day and there haven’t been any reports of covid spread so as long as I wear my mask and distance as much as possible (outside of the plane), that’s all I can do 🙂 They flew down here in July and they were fine so I just need to focus on that!!

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

More Color Blocks

I’m happy to say I finished the August Color Blocks quilt! After posting last week I got focused and not only finished the quilting but got the binding on as well! I decided to go with a simple meander – I haven’t done that in quite a while and it felt good 🙂

I auditioned a few different fabrics for binding but the top is so calming I went with a matching solid mint color. You can’t even see the binding in these outdoor shots, lol

I had already started on the September pattern last week so I jumped right back to it and cut the squares I needed from my black/gray scrap bin. I also decided to use a white on white print from my stash for the background.

I’ve got those blocks all pieced and trimmed, next I need to snowball two corners to make the ‘leaves’

I’m pretty darn happy with my progress this week, of course I was on PTO so I had plenty of time to work on it. Also we had one whole day of rain, and what’s better than spending a rainy day in my happy place!

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I also got to watch all the US Open matches I wanted last week. Did you catch the Ladies Final yesterday?? Leylah Fernandez 19 (Canada) & Emma Raducanu 18 (Great Britain) are the youngest finalists since 1999 and they were smashing the ball! WOW, what a match – I’m so happy for Emma!!! Later today Coco Gauff & Caty McNally go for the doubles title then Djokovic & Medvedev battle it out for the Men. It’s going to be another good day 😀

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

Squirrel!

My plan was to finish the Stars quilt I had basted last weekend but wouldn’t you know it I got snagged by a squirrel project!!

Debby Brown released the September project “Gather Ye Rosebuds” early and I just couldn’t wait!! 😮

I immediately pulled out my pink scrap bin and started cutting 2.5″ squares then spent the next few days putting the ‘flower heads’ together

So where is my Stars top? Folded up on the end of my ironing board! I’ve taken PTO all next week so my *new* plan is to start quilting it on my Pfaff and continue working on the September Color blocks on my Singer… I knew a second machine would come in handy!! LOL

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Of course I’ve been watching the US Open and there have been some very dramatic upsets over the last few days!! The young players are definitely making their mark 😉 My favorite on the ladies side, Barty, crashed out last night losing to American Shelby Rogers but my favorite on the men’s side, Djokovic, is still going strong. However, he will face American Jensen Brooksby on Monday and that could prove to be quite a battle!

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On the retirement front, I still haven’t committed to a date yet but I am getting excited about it! I’ve been talking about it quite a bit with friends and family and I’m getting used to the idea of paying the full price tag for medical benefits (I still don’t like it tho!). I think I’m leaning towards June 30, 2022. That will let me celebrate 43 years with my company on June 4…putting a nice bow on the ending!

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Let’s not even talk about WW…. uuuggghhh, I’ve gained back a couple of pounds I lost over the last few months. I really need to get my head together and stop putting junk in my mouth! I know I shouldn’t even buy the crap but I fool myself into thinking ‘oh I won’t eat all of this, it will just be here for a little treat now & then’…. Hahahahahahaha!! I really should know better!

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That’s all for now… have a great rest of your weekend and enjoy the Labor Day holiday 😀

Let’s focus on finishing

I decided I want to finish the Color Blocks tops I have before I start on a new project so I got to basting! I used to pull my ironing board and basting spray outside to work on but I’m just over schlepping all that stuff around so… I’ve changed to glue basting. I started on smaller projects and have gradually moved to larger and larger ones. In fact, I even glue basted that huge Double Wedding Ring quilt I just finished!!

I still use my big ironing board surface but everything stays in my sewing room. First I center the backing face down then layer on the batting and then the top. I fold up half of the top to the center of the batting, smooth it all out and start dotting the glue on the backside of the top. I fold the top back down and iron the section I where I dotted glue. I keep moving the sandwich and repeating this process until I get to one end, then I pull it back and work on the other half. After the top is completed, I flip it over and repeat the whole process on the back. I didn’t think to take pictures of all the steps on this one but I have another top to baste and I’ll try to remember to do it!!

I haven’t decided what design to quilt on this one… hopefully it will come to me soon!

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Nothing new on the retirement date front…my company announced a hiring freeze for new positions through the end of the year which boosted my hope for an exit package 😉 However, one of the folks on my team is applying for a position outside our department so that might hinder the package… hahaha, it’s a weird game!

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The US Open Tennis tournament starts tomorrow… it’s going to be weird with so many big names not playing due to injuries (Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka, Serena, Venus) but this will afford the younger players a chance to shine! Of course Djokovic is still the favorite on the men’s side and I’m pretty sure Barty is the favorite on the women’s side. I’ve taken PTO the rest of the week after the Labor Day holiday so I’ll have plenty of free time to watch all the matches as they near the finals 🙂

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

Back to Color Blocks

Now that the big double wedding ring project is complete I can put my focus back on the Color Block QAL. Last week I finished the nine blocks needed for the August pattern, this week I made all the star blocks and just this morning I finished the center of the top.

The center row of blocks are most true to color

I went with a light gray for sashing to keep the stars as the focus. I plan to use the green dot fabric for the 6″ borders which makes this quilt 68″ square. I don’t usually care for square quilts but this time I like it 😉 I have no clue yet what I’ll use for backing :-/

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In other news, I’m still debating when I’ll actually retire. I plan to do it sometime next year but I haven’t chosen an exact date. I did have a conversation with my boss last week to let him know if any downsizing or restructuring plans arise I’d be ‘willing to take a package’ and save someone else’s position. I’m not sure it will get me anywhere but I put it out into the universe and we’ll just see what happens :-p

I recently started following a new blog Retirement Transitions. Pat’s blog focuses on the emotional side of retirement – what will I do all day, how will I feel like I’m accomplishing something, etc. She recently started a ‘Throwback Thursday’ series where she revisits many of her blog entries that helped her build a plan. I’ve found it very interesting and very helpful.

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On the WW front… eh, let’s just say I’ve not made any progress over the last several weeks!

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

Double Wedding Ring Completed!

I completely missed posting last week and I had a really nice update on the Double Wedding Ring quilt I was finishing for a friend. As of last Sunday I had finished all the quilting, made the bias binding and machine stitched it the front of the quilt!! Woo hoo!!

The next step was to flip it to the back and machine stitch in the ditch from the front. Well, that was a lot harder than I thought!! I pinned and clipped to ensure I’d catch the edge but after doing about a quarter of one side I looked at the back and there were at least 4 places that were not secured!!! grrrrrr! I needed a plan B.

After debating what to do for several hours: should I keep going and address the missed spots after I was done or should I just hand stitch the binding to the back? I have never hand stitched binding because in my mind it takes too long BUT this quilt was screaming at me to DO IT!! So I listened 🙂 I pulled up a few videos on YouTube to be sure I knew what to do, I put on an audio book and spent time on & off the rest of the day hand sewing the binding.

I started where the machine stitching stopped and when I got all the way around to that section I removed those stitches as I went along. Surprisingly, it didn’t take as long as I thought it would and my hand only cramped a few times – clearly I was holding the needle too tight! LOL

Oh and thank goodness I had these little things stored away to protect my finger tip. I think I got them a few years ago in a Sew Sampler box from Fat Quarter Shop.

After I finished the binding it was time to run the quilt through the rinse cycle to remove the water soluble marker from the flowers. Washing/rinsing a quilt for the first time always makes me nervous, especially so this time because I was not familiar with any of the fabrics used in the top and the backing fabric was a saturated color. I dropped 5 color catchers in with it and I’m happy to report everything came out great 😀

Here’s the big reveal – in the first one I have it draped across my king size bed and in the second one DH is holding it up outside

I mailed it off to it’s owner on Wed and to my shock and amazement she called me the next day to say it had arrived!!!! Wow, maybe USPS is turning a corner? The package didn’t have to leave the state of SC but I still didn’t think it would arrive in one day!

She’s going to let her mother open the quilt since it was her work of art; I’m anxious to hear what she thinks about the finished product 😉

I wasted no time starting a new project! I had said I wanted to make the August Color Block pattern and I knew I had 2 green color blocks left over from a few months earlier so I started to make more. It was really nice to get back to some cutting & piecing after focusing on all that quilting! Here’s the status so far

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In other news, my poor little Sammie has developed another problem this week, something called HotSpot. I had never heard of it before but I’ve learned it’s an allergic flare up on the skin from any number of possibilities… we’ll probably never know what caused it. Hers is located on her back between her hips, I noticed it Wed night before bed, her hair was matted in that section but I couldn’t see anything so I washed the spot and noticed it felt very warm to the touch. In the morning it was all crusty again and this time it was discolored mucus. I called the vet and they got her in that morning. They shaved the area so they could see what was going on and there it was… all red and inflamed…ugh!!! This little girl cannot catch a break!! They gave me cleansing pads, steriod spray, antibacterial ointment along with antibiotic and pain pills. I have to clean and treat the area 2x/day and she is so uncomfortable when I do it… breaks my heart!!!!! I’ll spare you the pictures 😦

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

I’m quilting again!

I finally got frustrated enough to pull the Double Wedding Ring quilt back out into the dining room this past Friday. I figured even if I didn’t work on it I’d have to look at it all day LOL. Thankfully, I jumped right back into quilting on it!!

When I stopped quilting on it several weeks ago I had 8 more circles to outline and 62 flowers to quilt in the center of each circle. As a reminder here’s what each finished circle will look like

I’m happy to report I’ve finished all the circles and only have 28 more flowers to go!! Whoooopie!!

I’ve been thinking about what I’ll use for binding and last night I went into my stash to look for a solid that would match… and I found one!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh, I’m so excited and relieved!

I laid this mint green fabric next to everything and although it’s not a perfect match to the lighter squares, it’s pretty darn close!!! Close enough!! Now I just need to watch a few videos about cutting bias strips for binding 😉

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I really want to get back to making color blocks for Debby Brown’s quilt along…I’ve missed piecing!! I still have my Gemstones top up on my design wall as a reminder.

I’ve saved the patterns she released in June & July but I’d really like to make the one she just released for August.

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

Go USA!!