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!

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 🤞🏻 As an added bonus, whoever wins the match will be the new World #1 😯 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!!

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! 🥳

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 🤦‍♀️

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 ❤️

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

Summer Book Club QAL

I’m still plugging away putting together the Tall Tales blocks for the book quilt. I’ve got 24 books made with only 12 more to go.

36 blocks will make a 45″ square quilt, perfect for donating 😏

I haven’t started cutting for the Positivity 2022 QAL but this is only the first week and those blocks should come together more quickly than the book blocks!

I haven’t made any progress on my Rainbow Postage quilt for the APQUFO challenge…ugh, time is just slipping away 🫤

Same goes for the Pink Houses quilt…it’s still hanging over my ironing board all basted, waiting to be quilted.

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I’ve started exploring Mediterranean style eating to try to help with weight loss. 5 times this week I’ve made myself this delicious salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, bell peppers, chickpeas, kalamata olives, banana peppers and feta cheese. I even made my own olive oil & red wine dressing. It was so yummy!! Where has this been all my life?

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

A Day Late…

I was so captivated with the French Open Men’s Final yesterday, I completely forgot about posting to my blog! Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t heard who won yet…don’t read any further!

Rafael Nadal won his record breaking 14th French Open title yesterday… he broke his own record! Congrats Rafa!! 😀

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I’m starting a couple of new quilt projects, I’m hoping that will help me get back into the routine of spending at least a little time every day in my sewing room. I’ve joined a couple of QAL’s:

Summer Book Club QAL from Kate Basti is the first one, it started this week. I didn’t participate last year but I happened upon the notice this year and thought it would help me get back on track. Plus, those Tall Tales Blocks are just so cute!!

Here’s my fabric pull, right now I’m planning to make two book covers from each of these fabrics then I’ll see how big I want the quilt and decide if I need to make more

Here are the first two books, one still in progress. I’m using Kona White for the background.

The second QAL “Positivity 2022” gets kicked off next week but this week is about fabric selection. I’ve decided to use two layer cakes I’ve had sitting around for far too long!

And lastly, I got the Pink Houses quilt basted…now I just need to get to quilting on it! I think I’m going to do organic wavy vertical lines…but I’m not 100% sold on the idea.

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That’s about all for now, take care!!