09 October 2016

Monday Check-In

It's always good to get a quilt finished,
and even better to gift it away to its new owner.

And bonus:  that lovely feeling of accomplishment that pretty much
says you've earned the right to move on to making more quilts!

While most of the modern styles aren't my favorite, I do
really like this quilt.  I didn't get to see her actually open it
but my niece, who turned 16 last week, seems to be
really be happy with it, too.

On to outside of the sewing room...
My husband smoked up 3 Boston pork butts today for carnitas
(trays are beneath) so I fixed up these red jalapeƱos to
be "smoked" into chipotles.  The timing is perfect as we have
very little left from last year.  I grind them up
(pestle and mortar--I'm old school)
just before I toss some into chili and any
other mexican or southwest dishes I fix up.

Our older son (varsity) pictured by our local paper.

Football continues to go well for both of my boys.
This past week our older boy was inducted into the
National Honors Society.  I was a little sad to see he is the only
football player in it; football does take up an incredible amount
of time so it's understandable...and yet, I think it's almost
a double-honor that he is able successfully pull both off so well.

It wasn't exactly the hurricane that hit the east coast but we had
the strongest winds I ever remember feeling hit the house.
My husband had to take the day off just to clean up our
3 acres of "war zone".  Quite a few very large limbs and the
above tree that was completely uprooted were among the
worst of the damage outside.  Inside we now have some water
damage on our ceilings; our roof was completely replaced
just a few years ago so we're thinking--hoping--it was just
from such high winds.  We'll see when the roof gets inspected.

Looking to the week ahead:


I'm not sure how much time there will be for sewing this week
but I'm still hopeful I will finish the blocks of my current project
and can finally post a picture of it all laid out.   I've been so
focused on using my time wisely that I haven't taken the time yet.
I'm happily working on the very last 6 log cabin blocks and then
it will be ready to go together.

I'm moving into my third week of fighting illness.
The coughing, especially at night, has been so disruptive,
and now I have a sinus infection.  A friend told me that sometimes
when we're healing from something major, everything else can just get
really strained.  I'm not sure if that's what's going on but I'm pretty
done with it, and would be very happy to just get back to the
healthy me...one of these days.
A good night's rest would be a great first step.
And a vacation wouldn't hurt--at least that one is a definite!

I hope the week brings lots of time for sewing,
or whatever your joy is!

05 October 2016

Joining In [Late] On A QAL

Cheryl from Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting has talked me into joining
in on the Sew Fresh Quilts Bear Paw QAL.

When I found this layer cake on the shop hop, I knew
I wanted to work with these colors on my next big project.
Especially the blues.
Traditional/reproduction fabrics always call to me.

I probably won't use these exact fabrics but, for now,
this is my inspiration...and I can't believe I might actually head
back to the quilt shop so soon after shop hop!
My plan is:  bear paws in a blue/brown print and the bear in brown.
I'd prefer to use all one fabric for the paws but we'll see what I
have on hand or what I can dig up on clearance racks...

I must be crazy thinking ahead when I have so many projects
open and when I'm in the middle of such a busy month
but I'm going to give this all my best shot and see if I can
at least get a start just as soon as I get two of my current
projects quilted and finished.

03 October 2016

Shop Hop Pictures and Haul

I had a great time and found everything I was after but,
as usual, I made it about half-way through the shop-hop
before I remembered to take pictures.

   I guess was so focused on finding the fabrics I needed to finish
my current projects that I forgot to even look at the
quilts hanging around in the shops.  If you've ever done one,
you know that shop hops can be very overwhelming--
especially if you squeeze them all in one day like we did.
It's a huge sensory-overload issue and by the end,
you're drained.  We've decided next year that we will have
to have our husbands meet us for a drink at the end
to unwind and decompress!

So, it may not be the most practical way to go about it
but I think from now on I need to limit my project
"searches" to maybe just two?  Or just backings?
Backing seems to be the simplest to find anyway.

I like the above quilt for it's great use of scraps.

We also realized that most of these shops are under an hour
away so it's not like I have to wait till the shop hop to hit
their clearance racks.

This one seemed a little bland to me but I like the pattern.
And muted colors are easier to match to a room so
there is certainly a place for this look.

More random quilts because
I finally remembered to take pictures, basically.
The previous quilt pattern (to the right) in brighter colors.

I know that I just alluded that I prefer more color in a quilt
but someday I do hope to make a black and ivory with
all the shades in between.

The style of this quilt was too contemporary for me but
the colors are great and look at the quilting!

It was designed and quilted by a man.
So pretty and uniform.

This is why, someday, I will have a huge long-arm
with all the computer attachments!
Not that I wouldn't also do free-hand...

Here is my official haul.
More reds for my current project, sashings and backings that should
finish off my other few projects and a few random fabrics for fun.
(yes, there are bolts up there--$5/yd!)
One thing I noticed when touring the shops is that I am back at
loving the deep, rich shades again, and, in general, more traditional
and reproduction.  Maybe it's time to do that Civil War quilt soon?
I also "won" a spool of thread and a bundle of random strips.

I thought I'd sworn off layer cakes but these fabrics all
seem to be fairly small in print and I should have no problems
cutting them up into smaller sizes.  This was on clearance,
of course, and there are also lots of matching by-the-yard 
fabrics on the clearance rack at this shop.  I did pick up
some but it's a local one so I may run back if I figure
out exactly what I'm doing with this soon.

I love a good drive through the Kansas Flint Hills and prairies
but my allergies do not!  So here I am again very under the weather.
Looks like I won't be getting much fall cleaning done but I'm
still hoping for a productive week in the sewing room...
and dreaming of our first hard freeze of winter!

02 October 2016

Monday Check-In

The flying geese top is done.
I picked up another black fabric on the shop-hop when I
realized that nothing would carry another border but black.

Once I got the first border on, however, I began to see that,
even though I had some fabrics that worked well enough for
a second border, nothing made it pop like that black.
Just the black.
So I stopped there.  Besides, I'd rather not
get it so big that it would be a struggle to quilt.

If I'd only known, I sure could've made that outer border
a tiny
 bit thicker but, really, it has become a
beautiful quilt so I really shouldn't regret anything.

(For reference, here it is before the border.)

And now I'm left with the question of what to put on the back.
I picked a plaid fabric up for a song when a local shop closed;
not quite the prettiest fabric but I couldn't resist the price
and I knew it would work for a fall quilt.

I think I've decided on doing something special with this quilt
so I'm not sure how I feel about putting on a so-so fabric
on the back so I'm asking for opinions here.
My husband thinks it looks just fine, as do I.
What do you think?  Honestly, does it look good?

It's late so my lighting isn't the best so I'm not sure it shows
but I do think this other black fabric as a binding would help.
I'd love to use what I have on hand but I don't want
to compromise either.  Thoughts?

Tomorrow sharing pics from the shop-hop!

27 September 2016

The Geese Are Done and Two Days till Shop-Hop!

Exciting things going on around here--so much to post!
First of all, it's fall and the weather is gorgeous!
Having the windows open to the cool air boosts my mood enormously.
It makes me want to clean, cook, read, do laundry and sew all at once.
(The choice, though, is kind of a no-brainer!)
And watching football games wearing a hoodie
instead of dying in the heat is so much more fun!
I do hope the weather has been beautiful for you, too, and that
you've been able to spend time doing things that you love.

Outside, my garden still runs amuck and we've now lost 5 chickens.
Most or all to opossums, perhaps one to a hawk.
I love to let them free-range but it's dangerous this time
of year when the hawks are really on the move.

The coop after we moved it to it's current spot several years ago

Our plan is to build a completely new coop next spring as ours is
not only showing wear (especially the run) but more importantly,
it's too low for me to get into with my back problems.  I will keep up with
the progress on that major project as it evolves early next year.

On to quilting...
The geese went together very quickly--
so much faster than all that cutting out.

As a reminder, here it is "before":

Recall that I just could NOT figure out two more borders;
and, I was unhappy with how small it was.

And let's imagine a nice dark border finishing it off.
(Dark brown?  Green?  Deep red?)
Should I admit that it is pure luck that my outer geese are
circling in the opposite direction as those in the blocks?
I'm so glad it just worked out that way because I honestly
didn't even think about it.
I'm reminded of how the geese circle a field before they
settle in for the night.
(And proceed to eat the poor farmer's entire crop!)
I have to say, I love it.

I also love going on the annual shop hop--it starts this Thursday!
I'm looking forward to sharing lots of pictures of quilts, fabrics, ideas
and maybe a nice haul that I think I've worked hard at earning
by using so much of my stash these last months.

Oh yes--this reminds me.  I did finally gift the gnome quilt!

The brand new mom is the daughter of the teacher of the
theology class that I took at church last year.
She and her husband, who both took the class,
had a baby boy two weeks ago.
I also finished the binding on my orange zig-zag quilt.
Will post pic on that soon.
So many finishes makes a person happy!

And one more thing that I love:  vacation!
We have that coming up in a few weeks, too.
We're taking a quick get-away to a few hidden gems:  a lovely (& quiet!)
B&B, a fantastic restaurant, some site-seeing and one huge outdoor
craft show--all buried in the Ozark hills, just as the leaves are beginning
to turn!  I hesitate to call it a craft show; it's acres and acres of very
talented artisans.  It speaks volumes that my husband actually enjoyed
when we discovered it years ago and is very willing to go back this year.

Pic from our visit several years ago

Months ago, as I was laying in bed recovering from surgery,
I came across the latest addition to a favorite B&B:
a separate little cottage from the main home.
Such cozy furniture, colors and patterns!

In really intense pain at the time, this became something to
look forward to, something in the future on which to focus.
At that time, a getaway sounded absolutely fantastic so my
husband and I booked it for our birthdays and I've been
looking forward to this little vacation so much ever since.
(Can you tell I'm not a "head off to the tropics" kind of person?)
I think I could spend weeks in this little cottage.
With my sewing machine, of course.

October is going to be packed with fun and there will
be so much to share over these next weeks!

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