31 August 2016

The Geese Are Flying

Doing a quick check-in this evening
after another day of sewing.

It's been a wonderful week for quilting so far.

I got all of my geese cut out

and immediately went to work sewing them together.

The method for flying geese used in the book I'm referring to
(Thimbleberries Quilting for Harvest)
does waste a little fabric but we're scrap busting
here so that's...er...immaterial, if you'll pardon the pun,
but there is another method * out there with no waste
if you're needing to be conservative.

(*Note:  The link to the page is showing a 404 error; however, this page WILL
come up when going to her blog "home" so I'm putting it on here for now.
I'm sure that won't be the issue after a few days but perhaps just looking for her 
August 31 post "Fast Flying Geese + Sawtooth Star Tutorial" will get you there?)

Soon I had all 160 geese turned into 80 sets of two.

Tomorrow's goal is to turn them into blocks...and
maybe even start on the sashing?
Flying right along, aren't I?

Originally, these didn't really appeal to me but I needed to use up
scraps and I wanted to surprise my husband with a quilt for his birthday.
It seemed like a manly enough pattern and besides, I kinda liked the name. 
Below is a from my quilt scrap book that I used to keep.
(Why I ever stopped doing that I don't know because looking back
through it is so fun!  Maybe some day I'll catch back up on it but
I don't know that I still have pictures of all of my quilts!)

I had laid it out on our bed only to take that picture but 
not long after, since we both loved that quilt so much,
I made a bigger one that did fit!
The geese were growing on me.

We kept this for a few years but I eventually passed it on
to my sister, who quilts also, and still has it today.
It was, and still is, the biggest quilt I've ever made.

Hearing Canadian geese flying over has always cheered and
comforted me; it's a sign that fall and cold weather is on it's way.
So I see it as only fitting that my first fall quilt be
made of "flying geese".

If I keep at this pace, I should easily have this done
before the first geese fly over.

30 August 2016

Enough Zigging & Zagging, It's Scrappy Fall Time!

I zigged and I zagged for hours and I have
the knots in my shoulders to prove it!
Above is an unofficial finish picture as its joining the ranks
of the "still needs binding hand-sewn on the back,"
now with three members!

So many stops and pivots!

I thought this looked so neat I'm currently
using it as wallpaper on my phone.

Alright, one last step back to admire the work...

and now it's time to get started on my next project!

Even though a few normally hot days have still sneaked in,
it's mostly been lots of rain and even cool evenings here.
For me, that's enough to let my fall fever to set in.

I already have most of my fall decor out
and I am not ashamed to admit it! 

Excuse the cat tail to the left there.

I also couldn't wait to work with those warm fall
colors in the sewing room. 
It's been great, you fun and cheery fabrics,

working together all spring and summer but, let's face it.
You'll always be second.

Bring on those beautiful colors of autumn!
Though my stash completely runneth over with fall fabrics,
I thought it best to hit the scrap bin where I was able to
find more than half of what I needed.
Feeling pretty good about that.

I was also very happy to find I had a workable off-white
fabric I needed on hand.  That's rare for me.

If I can give one word of advice to new but very avid quilters
out there, it is to stock up on white and off-white fabrics for
backgrounds!  I mean by the bolt!  This past spring I was so
fortunate to get a couple bolts of white on whites very cheaply
and I've already gone through well over half of it; I'm kicking myself
for not buying more.  And I'm kicking myself for not getting any
off-whites then or at the recent closing of my favorite quilt shop.
It's extremely rare (like never!) to find them on the clearance rack
because everyone needs them.  I'm not sure about other
quilters but, for me, having a stash of them is...well...
it's kinda like having a chest of gold!
No worrying about that retirement fund!

Ok, enough advice.  Here's my view.
Who doesn't love to be sitting here???
Take a look at that pile of 320 squares back there
and the closer pile of 160 soon-to-be geese.
So you can see, I'm going to be sitting here for some time!

After enjoying some music, a cooking show and some
educational talks on cd...

I'm already around half-way there, maybe more,
so I've decided stop for the day.
Once these are pieced, I think it should go pretty quickly
but I have some appointments coming up and
our first football game but there's no hurry.

Fall lasts three glorious months and it's not even here yet!

23 August 2016

Zig Zag Quilting

I decided simple, straight quilting on the 
zig zags would best fit this quilt's style.
It's requiring a lot of stopping, pivoting and
re-adjusting the entire quilt so it "simple" may
not be the best word for it.

My last two projects were crib quilts and didn't 
seem to add much to my back pain as I quilted.
This one on the other hand...well, let's just say
I'm taking lots of breaks.

Today's breaks included making blackberry jelly
and 18 breakfast sandwiches for school mornings.
(though not gourmet, they do survive the freezer well enough)
I also threw in twenty laps in the pool, though
sometimes I wonder if this is really helping my back.
I simply have to do some sort of exercise and it's
too hot to walk so it's really my only option.
Maybe I should write about my surgery one of these
days since I keep referring to it, and it was a little
outside the norm as far as back surgeries go.

But for now, it's quilting.
Tomorrow when I'm taking breaks, 
I'll be basting yet another quilt.
This is not normal for me.

Two quilts waiting for binding
to be sewn on, one currently being quilted and
another waiting to be basted.  Who does this??

Some of the issue is that I prefer to sew binding
on by hand and generally I save hand-sewing for
in front of the tv...but I hardly ever watch it.
However, I still really hope to have all of these done
within a week or so, especially since I'm pretty
excited to start my next quilt which
will be in fall colors!

20 August 2016

Zig Zag Quilt Top Complete

Football season has begun.
It's crazy, fun and exciting and it takes up
so much of a parent's time!
This first week is dubbed "Hell Week" by our team.
That's exactly what it is for the players, sure,
but also for the parents--especially the moms who
host breakfasts, coordinate drives for gatorade, etc.
A difficult week, yes, but we all have a blast.
With two boys playing, I will be devoting a huge
amount of time to it.  Why wouldn't I?
I only have three years left! <sniff!>
I've already hosted a breakfast at our house,
made 8 batches of cinnamon rolls and 101
breakfast burritos, and helped a friend host
breakfast at her house as well! 

But I still found time to work on my latest quilt!

Remember these fabrics I chose?
My Goddaughter, who loves orange, is turning
sixteen soon so I wanted a yourthful/modern pattern.
This Zig Zag Quilt that I found on Crazy Mom Quilts
looks like it will be right up her alley...
at least, I hope so!

I know I say this a lot but I do prefer traditional quilts.
However, this was really fun to play around with
and I flew through it--that is, when I had time.

I can think of quite a few younger people that
might like it so I may end up making it again
some day.  For now, I'm anxious to get started
on my next quilt which I'm thinking will be
fall themed.

 But first, this one is currently in the basting stage.
Setting a finish goal of "before next Friday" when
I'll be helping with the team dinner that is followed
by individual and team pictures and a
soap scrimmage.

12 August 2016

Surprise to Me!

I had a nice little surprise sitting in my
email box this morning!

The Fat Quarter Shop was giving away one of each
of these Indah Batik Pops on Facebook

and one of each on their Jolly Jabber Blog,
which is where I won.  I chose the one on the left.
Now, what shall I do with them?

Thanks, Fat Quarter Shop--
you definitely cheered me up today!

06 August 2016

Finishing Up Gnome Stars Baby Quilt

I left off yesterday wondering about building
a stash of quilts on hand for gifts.
I guess that means I might finally be
to the point where almost everyone I have
ever wanted to gift one to now has one, or two.
That's kind of a nice place to be.
At least, I think it says I've made a lot of quilts. 
And that I'm getting all "caught up".

Here's a project I'm getting caught up on.
I've added the border and began the quilting.
It always amazes me how much easier it is
to quilt a crib-size quilt!  It was late in the day,
though, so I didn't finish...and didn't get to it
at all today.  
But someone else spent hours on it.

She's adorable there but honestly, I do my
absolute best to keep her off of any quilt that
is a gift, and especially a baby quilt that should
be spotless!  Ugh.

We're having dinner guests tomorrow but Monday
is pegged as my finish date for this one.

I think I've decided that having a couple quilts on
hand is a great idea.  It sure beats rushing through
one to meet a deadline.  But I also know that not
everyone in this world has a hand-made quilt so
maybe I just need to broaden my giving circle, too.
  They're not just for birthdays and Christmas,
weddings and new babies, but maybe just
to brighten someone's day--except that
quilts last so much longer than a day, of course.

Not long ago I wrote about not keeping
our "light" under a basket.  Well, I don't think I
should keep quilts under baskets either.
So, I guess it's just a couple IN the basket,
sending all others out to do what they're created
to do:  warm someone up.

05 August 2016

Charm Pack Quilt Top Finish

I made this quilt top in a week.
Easy stuff.

I'm hopeful that I will have enough backing after my
next project--zig zag quilt (see projects tab)--for
the back of this.  Turns out it would work well on
both of these quilts so I'm patting myself on the
back for buying all that was left on the bolt.
Has any quilter ever said, "Oh darn!  I bought too much fabric!"?

I don't even know what I'm doing with this one
yet...which raises a question:
Do you keep quilts on hand to gift to others
as the occasions come up?  I can't think of anyone
to gift this one to so I'm afraid it'll be stored away
for so long it might lose it's newness and
eventually even go out of style?

Summer/Fall Project Round-Up

I never quilt much during the summer, but having
to keep the garden very low-key this year has 
been pretty frustrating.  I miss cooking.
Let me rephrase that; I can always cook.
What I really miss is being inspired by all the
garden freshness to cook.  Lately, most of the time,
I'm just. not. feeling it.

Well, thank goodness for fabric!
I picked these up at Missouri Star Quilt Co. this
past weekend.  I already have the white that will go
between each color so it's everything I need for a
chevron quilt I'm making for a teen girl who has
loved orange since she has known it to be a color.

Her birthday is in October.
It's only August and it's next up on my list.
Even with football season starting in another
week (practices, etc), I will be able to roll this one
out completely at my leisure.  
That top gray fabric?  The backing!  
On clearance, of course.  So you see, I'm set.

Know what else is around the corner?
Fall.  And I can't wait to get started on this
scrap buster.

With all of this planning, a new page was in order.
Notice the new Summer-Fall '16 tab above.
Not sure what happened to last year?
Was I in that much pain?

I have a lot of projects to finish so I dare not
pick out too many ahead.  But I'm in that mode.
The one where you don't just love quilting;
you live and breathe it.  
You want to make every quilt you see on pinterest!
Your menu is nothing but skillet and crock pot meals!
Oh, it's going to be a great fall!

04 August 2016

Little Red Riding Hood Lap Quilt

When I reached a stand-still with my gnome
quilts, I moved on to these "A Walk In the Woods"
charm packs I picked up several years ago.   

And, of course, I hit Pinterest for ideas.

I really can't decide if I like charm packs.
I guess I prefer the options of bigger fabric.
And more complicated quilt patterns.
But I also know that there are always times
when you just want to make kind of a no-brainer.

This pattern kind of meets in the middle so it may
be my new excuse to buy answer to charm packs.
I'm very likely to make this one again.

Hoping to have "finished top" pics tomorrow!

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