23 November 2021

2021 TTD #39: Thanksgiving Edition

As busy as things have been, I thought I'd miss most
of the fall around here but it is almost December and
the colors are just now starting to dull and blow away.
I'm convinced this has been the prettiest and the most
drawn-out fall we've had in a long time.  And at the risk
of being a wee bit mushy, I know that when we're all
sitting around that Thanksgiving dinner table here in
a couple days, the blessings I'll be thinking of will be as
colorful and numerous as all the leaves we've enjoyed
these last months.  Many of them have kept us hopping
but I wouldn't change a thing.

I have some basic holiday cleaning done and a simple
but classic menu planned.  I haven't done anything
special in the table decor department--yet?  Right now,
it doesn't seem to matter much.  A cozy and welcoming
home with everyone in it is enough.
Anything else is just a bonus.
(Does anyone else out there need to hear this?)

Before I check out for the rest of the week to enjoy
this holiday, I'm joining the others over at the
to share just one bit of progress:

Hudson Valley Palisades top is finally completed.
It's loaded and ready to be quilted (and it'll probably
stay that way till after the holiday) but I think it
measures something like 71x71?

As for the rest of my list...well, clearly I'm in a
no-pressure kind of mood so it's all showing
up again on next week's list.

*Choose J's quilt fabrics--visit LQS
*Bind and label G's quilt
*Quilt Hudson Valley Palisades

In other news, one son will be home late this evening
and the cadet will be home tomorrow night.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family
and happy thankful, colorful quilting!

08 November 2021

2021 TTD #38: Holiday Feels Are Creeping Up!

How is everyone's fall sewing going?
Chipping away at that Christmas list?
I don't have much left to make for Christmas but I
do have plenty I want to get done before Christmas
--actually, before Thanksgiving--
so let's check in on last week's to-do's and get
things rolling...

Last week's to-do's
Finish G's quilt
The puzzle has been solved:  the shaft in the base of
my longarm had slid slightly out of place. 
It is back home and up and running.

I don't have an updated pic but this is finally quilted.
Because of the issues, there are a few rows of
not-so-great tension on the back but we'll just keep
an eye on it and if anything goes amuk while in use,
Grandma is always available for fixes.

Choose J's fabrics
After a quick look in the stash, I think I need to make
a run to the LQS, which seems like a horrible idea due
to the fact that I'm so far up/positive [45 yds!] on my
fabric tracking for the year but it is what it is.   

Finish "Set Aside" top
I pulled this back out so that temporary name is
gone; it is now officially Hudson Valley Palisades.

The drive from Newark Airport to West Point puts
us on the Palisade Parkway.  In the fall, this drive,
thickly-lined with trees. comes alive in all the beautiful
fall colors.  For me personally, it's a great building up of
excitement for the entire trip:  seeing our cadet, West Point,
football, all the fall scenery awaiting in the valley, etc.
The highway was named after the Hudson Valley Palisades
that line the west side of the river.  The off-set patches in the
quilt could be these cliffs spotted with vibrant fall trees.
The black sashing could indicate the highway.  I realize
a highway isn't very poetic but to me it will always have
happy feelings and memories.   It also kind of reminds
me of the railway that follows the Hudson on both sides.
(The east side seems to be a passenger line and it is 
kind of on my bucket list to ride this once.  Silly?
Well, I think it would be fun in the fall!)
The churns also carry the leaf colors but they also
remind me of the Bear Mountain Bridge Circle,
the large roundabout where we turn off toward
Highland Falls/West Point.

Along with finally naming it, I also pieced the
strips of the remaining border (more palisades).
Not much longer now!

I sold another quilt this week so again I am lamenting
my lack of time to get more made.  However, the holidays
always fly by and soon enough I'll find myself in 2 months
of nothing else to do BUT quilt.  For now I am going to
shoot for getting Hudson Valley Palisades listed
before Thanksgiving.  Lofty goals, especially when I'm
sneaking off to play golf later today.  Just how many
more nice days can there be?  A girl needs her
outdoor fall time!

What a girl doesn't need is more fabric when she already
has too much but sometimes she just buys it anyway,
especially when some of it is Pam Buda (top right)
and all of it was only $5/yd.

With 2 yds of each, ten yards have now been
added to the fabric tracking system.  Sigh.
What a girl needs is a blizzard that lasts all of
January to keep her shut up in the sewing room!

Next week's To-Do's:
*Finish Hudson Valley Palisades top and choose backing
*Choose J's quilt fabrics--visit LQS
*Bind and label G's quilt

Happy fall quilting!

02 November 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #37: Back From West Point, Crossing the Finish and Screeching to a Halt

We're back (again!) and this time, we crossed the finish line.
The 2-month wild ride of travel and events is over
and it's time to settle in and stop missing these
Tuesday To-Do posts.

It has been two years since we last visited West Point
so I'm going to share some pics, especially for any
new followers out there.

I hate to write the too-often-used phrase but I just canNOT
say enough about the US Military Academy.  

If you are ever in the area, get a pass and tour the post!
(These are your tax dollars at work you know!)
With over 200 years of history, incredible--and
intimidating!--stone buildings and gorgeous scenery,
after now five visits, I still view it with awe.
Due to covid, we were not granted access past the 
above point.  (Access inside the buildings is rarely
given even in normal circumstances.)
(More pics here and here.)

Someday, I want to schedule into a visit a whole
afternoon just to sit and take it all in. 
(Vacations are always too rushed, right?)

Ranked as one of the best game-day experiences,
taking in a football game is a must--along with timing
the visit in the fall when for some gorgeous leaf views.
We were just a bit early but by the time we left, they
were just starting to peak so we got a taste of it.

The jumps team always puts on a nice show before the game.

If you follow me on IG, you got to see them practicing the day
before out in the center of campus in front of the main hall.
Note no civilians are allowed on that field.  Cadets only!
My father-in-law had so much fun seeing MANY jumps,
all followed by the helicopter picking them back up...
and off they'd go again.  And again and again...

SO that when game time comes, they can hit their mark.
RIGHT in the center of the field.

Oh I do love game day!
One of my favorite moments is just before kick-off
of the game, when the cadets all go through their
pregame hype--it certainly ranks #1 on my
game-day experiences!

We wanted to share this experience with my husband's
parents so this time we gifted them the visit.  How fun
it was to see them gaping out the windows as we
drove through for their first views.  For the record,
I still do this myself--can't get enough of it.

Neither of my in-laws has gotten a chance to visit the
Statue of Liberty so we were happy to help them get
that crossed off the bucket list.

Now, after all of that travelling, did I get anything done?
I had to skip a week posting for sure!  As for my
those, like our return flights (ahem), are not without
a major glitch.  Here we go:

*Finish "Gwynnie's Goldenrod" top--Done

When we got back, I had just 4 days to finish this in order
to gift it to my granddaughter at her birthday party.   My
longarm was tuned and ready for me when we got back
(along with my car and its new windshield--yay!)
so this was doable. 

 I settled in and did some major marathon sewing
(see my Instagram) and had that top completed, 
backing pieced and everything loaded by Friday!
Saturday's quilting session was going well right up
until my machine locked up and I went into panic mode.
With my back, lifting the long arm is not a good idea
but hubs was not home.  To make it more difficult, I had
to keep my quilt loaded but if there is one thing I am,
it is extremely determined (stubborn?) and with a lot
of work, I got that puppy off and back into the shop
where he did his best to get me up and running.

The short story is:  I got it back home, made a row
or two, endured a couple thread-breaks, some
blood-curdling screeching and...yep,
it locked up again.
I waved the white flag, went shopping for other things
for my granddaughter.  (See how close I got?).
I'm off to go pick up my long arm AGAIN here in a bit, THIS
time with the issue fixed.  I hope.  Frankly, I had taken on
too much trying to get both quilts done for birthdays so,
while I'm very disappointed, I am also kind of relieved.
I knew something had to give; I'm so behind on so much!
The last couple months have really started catching
up to me.  I have been joking that I'm likely the only
person who's looking forward to the holidays
because things will actually slow down for me!

As for my other to-do:

*Choose Jonah's pattern and fabrics--partly
I have a pattern in mind.  Still need to choose fabrics.

I also got one quilt officially listed; the other is just
waiting on a good preview before I pull the trigger.

Next week's to-do's:

Finish G's quilt
Choose J's fabrics
Finish "Set Aside" top

In other parts of my world, I've given the chicken coop its
semi-annual thorough cleaning and they're ready for winter.
I've planted garlic and picked a billion peppers that now
need attention.  I have herbs to bring in to enjoy over the
cold months, winter garden prep to complete and holiday
planning & cleaning to get started on not to mention the
window cleaning that needs to happen, etc. etc. 

Deep breath.  It'll all get done--eventually.

And with that rushed post, I'm off to pick up my longarm.

Happy quilting!

18 October 2021

Tuesday To-Do #36: Ahem

If you can't get excited about quilting this time of year,
maybe you should check your pulse.  Are you alive??

No mojo issues allowed among all the colors of fall!
I should have lots to share on that next week but
today I'm keeping it short (ahem) as I link up to

First, it's time fess up on the fabric tracking issue.
It was not that long ago that I was blissfully in the
negative, getting things used up.
Enter the busy months, a shop hop, store closings...
And just like that I found myself "up" over 46 yards.
Today I'm sitting at a +37.  Sigh.  
And do you want some real brutal honesty?
I've added over 144 yds of fabric this year.
That is just more nuts than a squirrel in fall.
Some gifted and/or won but mostly purchased.
This is no problem if I just use more than I buy
which is the only reason I track fabric
(only what goes in and what goes out).
Oh if time would just allow me to get in that 
sewing room more, the stuff I would be making!
(More on that next week, too.)

Last week my major to-do was to work on
my current [unnamed] fall quilt.  I made it
as far as getting it into one piece and the
adding on the first border.

Aaaand then had to set it aside.  Again.
(Maybe I should name it "Set Aside"?)

When you've been quilting long enough, it's rare that
anyone in your life still needs a quilt but here I am
in the happy position of needing to supply my
grandkids with quilts for their new-to-them beds.

So, "Set Aside" was, ahem, set aside and I'm now
working on the first of two twin-sized quilts.

Moda's "Goldenrod" by One Canoe Two

I've been making great progress but there seems
to have been a little, ahem, misfiguring on my part...
Well, more fabric is on the way.

This was probably not the best time for me to finally
(after 4 years) take my long arm in for a tune-up
but I guess I like to live on the edge.  I've been assured
(ahem) a short 1-2 week turn-around, though, so I'm
going to focus on completing the tops and things
will time nicely.  I'm just sure of it.  (Ahem...)

So my to-do's for next week:
*Finish "Gwynnie's Goldenrod" top
*Choose Jonah's pattern and fabrics
*Set Aside will just stay set aside
(I'm not really naming it that, btw!)

Go show your machine some love!
Happy fall quilting!

12 October 2021

Tuesday To-Do #35: Closings

It's probably bad protocol to start one's post out with
depressing topics but here I go:
 <me falling to my knees and grasping at the air>
Last week I got word that our favorite local restaurant
is closing.  A Wichita icon for 40 years, DeFazio's was the
place for more of our dates than hubs and I can count.
(Owners retiring)
Life will not be the same without their manicotti carbonara.
I ordered it every. single. time. we went.  Forever.
I'm so grateful we met some friends there just weeks
ago.  We sure had no idea that would be the last time.

Another "last time" that's getting me right there
was my last trip out to my quilt shop yesterday.
You'll all know the feels on this one for sure.
That's right:  my quilt shop is CLOSING!
(Owner retiring)
There will be one left in our city of a half-mil.
(not counting all the suburbs).
We used to have 5!

If you are curious, here's what I picked up:

A couple kits for quick little projects:
*Top left, a charm pack with a pattern included.
(I should have taken a pic of the sample quilt they had.)
*A book and the lower right fabrics to make the
little star quilt on the cover (near center).

The sun was shining on these here but they are black.
This is perhaps my favorite color to put in a quilt
because it has a way of adding such a wow-factor.
I'm running very low so 2-yd cuts, please!

I picked up 3 yds of this chicken print (a border?)
and a yard of the stripe.

I have two FQ sets of the line--pictured above--so clearly
 I'll need to get something fun made out of all of this.

I dipped into one FQ set when making my
Positively Fearless quilt but there's still plenty
to work with.

These gold, red and orange 1-yd cuts are for my
fall quilt making which is always my favorite so
I can't go wrong adding to this right?

Did I need these things?  Nope.  If I'd adhere to my fabric
 tracking system (which is in dire need of an update but
if that happens, I'll see just how off-track I am!),
I'd have gotten at least several large quilts popped out
 before I bought any of this.  But you all know how my
fall sewing has been completely thrown off this year.
I just wanted that one last spree through the store; then
I said my goodbyes and walked out with a full bag of fabric.
By the way, I stumbled across a great idea:
If you're gonna say goodbye, do it with a fabric purchase.
It brings a nice positive vibe to the whole thing.

Bad things always come in threes so I have yet one more:
Last year we discovered the a new Indian restaurant
in Omaha near our son's house and let me tell you,
it rocked.  Hubs, who has been to India, vouched for
its authenticity.   With nothing like it here, we were
really looking forward to this meal but....they had
closed.  In the restaurant world, it is just so hard to
get on your feet but I'm sure the pressures of the
current times didn't help.  We didn't even get a 
chance to make this place a thing.
(I should have taken my advice and made a fabric purchase.)

Change happens.  I get that.  I do see it as a great
reminder to enjoy our moments and the people around
us because you never know when the next last time
is taking place So [segway alert], what enjoyable
moments happened for you last week?

We had a lovely, though quick, trip up to Omaha to visit
our son and treat him to some birthday golf and dining.

Oh, and some apples from an orchard we hit on the way.
Always break for apple orchards!

Hubs and I tried to take in more golf back home but
after 5 holes, the lightning and rain shut us down.

In the quilt room, not a lot happened but I have a
finish so, linking up to Texas Quilt Gal's Tuesday To-Do,
let's move on to that to-do list:

1) Find my lost mojo--sort of

2) Get my WP quilt labeled, bound--done
and listed--almost done

West Point Stars
70 x 55

3) List Positively Fearless--almost done

4) List September Glow--pics taken, still working on it

5) Update Etsy pages--some done

6) Make progress on my fall quilt--nada

Basically, I made some decent progress...
but just not enough.  I'm actually going to be home
this entire week so I'm thinking it should be better!

To-do's for the coming week:

1) Finish the listings

2) Work on current fall quilt.

Enjoy the moments and happy quilting!

05 October 2021

Tuesday To-Do #34: An Epic Novel

Today I'm linking up to Tuesday To-Do hosted
by Texas Quilt Gal.  I was a little hesitant at first
because I don't exactly have quilt accomplishments
to show but I did finally get around to a photo
session with my Positively Fearless quilt and I went
on a shop hop where I took pics and made purchases
so all that counts, right?

Firstly, YES, the West Point Choir BBQ was a huge success!

The goal was to give these cadets a wonderful
home-cooked meal and a place to unwind!

For this to-do:  DONE!!!

The menu included pulled pork, chicken and
hot links, all courtesy of hubs and his smoker.

We also served pasta salad, calico baked beans, chips and
 fresh veggies.  And for dessert, brownies and cookies galore.

With the rain holding off, the weather could not have
been prettier for an evening of outdoor games.

And after the sun was gone, our own soldier lit
a fire in the pit and they continued on!

He was allowed to stay with us but early the next
morning came the quick goodbye, and
just like that, it was all over.

We'll get to see him again in a few weeks,
and again at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
And goodness knows, the weeks are flying by.

Meanwhile, I had to get on the road.

No time for rest--it was Shop Hop day!

Normally, when I recap the Shop Hop on here,
I try to give a lot of details and explanation.

But I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty wiped out so....
hey, here are a bunch of pics from the Shop Hop!
(No blogger awards earned today!)
(Well, maybe for "Longest Post"!)

I do have to show this section every year.

So many fat quarters!

And precuts!

A go-to store for precuts and fat quarters for sure!

I left the snack table in this pic for size-reference
on those quilt pieces.  A cute one!

Sweet jumbo spools of thread, what a playroom!

I spy KS Troubles?

Super cute for a child!  Though I have to admit,
the stickler in me immediately thought:
 Um, prop planes don't create jet streams.
And they're not correct for crop-dusters either.
What can I say?  I grew up around planes (incl my dad's)
and my hubs works for a major aviation company.
Don't mind me, I'm just being picky.
A kid would love it.

Christmas love.

Halloween love.

This store always has a great Halloween section,
though you can't really see all the fabrics here.

Love the fabrics/colors, the chains and 9-patches, too.

Every year I look for one fall project that just calls
to me--this is the one!  I snatched up the book
and I already have fabrics in mind.  I usually just put
stuff like that on my Christmas list so this was a treat!

I love the pillow, too, though I'm not sure about the
info on it.  Btw, if there is anything in these pics that
you might need more info on, I'd be happy to see
what I can find out.

Now, what did I buy?  Normally I prepare for the 
shop hop very well, going through all the future
projects I might want to make and/or taking any
current projects that need fabrics but this year,
as previously stated, I was all in a tizzy about
a bbq so I planned NOTHING for the shop hop.

Instead, I only did some completely random
and senseless [sort of] buying.  Full-on therapy.
Here are my spoils:

Clearance finds, from left to right:
8 yds green/red fall fabric (for a backing?) $5/yd
3 yds neutral/vine (background?) $5/yd
1 yd brown plaid (binding?) $6.50/yd
2 yds gold plaid (binding?) $6.50/yd

Patriotic FQ--Shop Hop theme fabric
Brown FQ--a door prize

A little something to hang fall minis from.

Complete impulse buy: 12 KS Troubles Fat Eighths
because I can ALWAYS put these to use.

And my book-treat, with many quilts that I'm eyeing
but especially that pumpkin one as pic'd above.

I made it back home before dark and hubs took me
for Mexican food--no, not on my diet but once again,
I was out of energy!

The next night we had family over to help us eat
up leftover bbq food.  The night after we had a great
group of friends over to enjoy the cheese, wine and other
out under the lights in the pergola.  I don't have a pic
but this was like a scene from some wine ad.  Oh my
goodness did we enjoy this!  And I sooo needed it!
The NEXT evening, hubs took me golfing...
and this brings me to now, Monday night when
hubs is at his Men's group and I can't seem to get
my tired boo-tay off this sofa.  Can you blame me?
Pretty sure there is a long soak in the bathtub
calling my name as soon as this post is completed.

But first, let's talk a little gardening to-do's:
Previously, the veg garden had tons of weeds
(especially the pathways!) and everything just had
that overall unkempt thing going on.

Imagine this ratatouille garden looking like one huge,
hairy shrub of a tomato plant, with a side of eggplant.
(Squash previously removed due to squash bugs)
Voila.  Thoroughly pruned and looking loved again.
I really hacked away at them--it's just less to deal
with when the freezing temps set in any week now.
Most of the pumpkins and gourds were pulled too.  

I'm very sad about the paltry amount in my decorating,
but since I had to buy them this year, well...those things
add up.  
It's much more fun when you can just go to
your garden and pick to your little fall-loving-heart's
desire.  But anyway, the garden again looks loved.

I've mentioned getting all of our other gardens
back in shape (I don't even know how many we have!)
so I have to share a little funny.

I don't sleep well--probably 95% of the time.  And with
all we had going on, I was my usual self, taking at least
an hour or so to fall asleep and waking up at 4:30 am
to think and think and think and finally getting up and
doing things like painting the deck in the pale morning
light.  Day after day.  So yes, I was getting very tired,
but also enjoying it--don't get me wrong!  I love getting
caught up on things, and I was enjoying decorating too!

But anyhoo, one particularly tired morning, I went
out to weed another garden.  Setting down my gloves,
my purse and my speaker--wait.  MY PURSE???
I literally took my purse out with me to pull weeds.
Oh, what a hoot.

Here are a few more pics of what I've been doing...

Added mums along the [weeded] paths to the garden.

Random placings of pumpkins...

My welcoming fall scene.

More mums, new mulch and....good grief,
new weeds have set in already!!

More welcoming pumpkins and mums.

Care to sit a spell?

Fall decor everywhere!

From all angles!

Walking around back...

Mums the word!
(Note newly-painted deck & weeded herb garden)

All the touches.
Sunflowers out in the pergola.

On to more quilty things....

Remember this?
I finally got full-finish pics of Positively Fearless.

How long has this taken?!?

I hope to get it listed, along with two other quilts,
over the next couple days.

 I did do one tiny bit of sewing:
I made 5 chicken aprons in just over 30 mins.  That's
kinda code for don't look at the sewing--they're for
chickens for crying out loud and anyway, I didn't really
have time to be doing it.   I'd put it off for months but
now with winter coming, they really need to get
their feathers growing back out asap.  

Firstly, the rooster just kinda pecks at them, ahem,
anyway but when you get too many in one space,
there will always be some who get pecked at
(thus the terms "pecking order" or "hen-pecked").

I ended up receiving 4 extra hens in my last order;
I was already pushing it with 15 in that space!
We really should butcher a few but after having
to do that with our last batch, I just don't want to.
(Some farm-girl I am, huh?)

OK, so looking toward next week!  
(Yes, I'm declaring some to-do's this time!)

1) Find my lost mojo.
2) Get my WP quilt labeled, bound and listed.
3) List Positively Fearless.
4) List September Glow.
5) Update Etsy pages.
6) Make progress on my fall quilt.

Until next week, happy fall quilting!

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