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!

Linking up to:

23 September 2016

Back to the Geese

Flipping back and forth between quilt projects is kind of new
territory for me.  It's a little unsettling to leave things unfinished,
but for now I'm just trying to go with it.
I'm sure they'll all get finished up soon enough.

After I set the red/ivory quilt aside, I went back to
working on the geese border for this quilt:

All of this fabric has come from either my scrap bin or my stash.
When I decided to add more geese in as a border, it was that
off-white back ground that had me a little nervous.
Now, if I did my math correctly
(the odds of me being wrong at math are pretty good by the way!)
I had JUST enough of that background fabric.
Seriously.  I had 2 little 2.5" squares left over.  

As I was cutting I was trying to think of creative ways to maybe fill in,
say, the corners of the border, or maybe some breaks in the geese here
or there, but then came a huge sigh of relief.
Again, provided my math is correct.

After I got all of my squares and rectangles cut out, I was all set to sew
them up the next day, which was looking wonderfully open....

until I woke up with with fever, chills, full-body aches, couldn't swallow,
migraine, nausea--everything!  I'm not a person to go straight into
the doctor but this was in a category all on its own.
And the shop hop was just a week away!  (Priorities!)
Besides, I certainly didn't want my family to get it.

It turned out that 10 of the other patients before me had the same thing.
 I think I was a child the last time I had strep and only remember a sore throat.
This was something else entirely--maybe because
I'm much older now?  It hit so suddenly and affected all of me that
I spent the day in bed, miserably floating in and out of sleep,
and so, so grateful that I still have back pain meds on hand.
Sadly, not one single goose was sewn yesterday.
What a lousy way to bring in the first day of my favorite season!

I was only at about 60% when I woke up this morning but
one day off is more than enough for me so I pushed myself.
Besides, I could feel the antibiotics working and by noon
I was in the sewing room, working away.
To anyone out there that might find themselves waking up in this
sad state:  just go straight to the doctor.
You'll get back to life much more quickly!

For tonight's game--homecoming--my son was chosen
to lead the team onto the field carrying what we call
The Vengeance Flag, in memory of a previous alum and
coach, Cpt. Chris Norgren.  He, along with 6 other marines,
died in a helicopter crash while saving others after
a major earthquake in Nepal in May of 2015.

A little tired and sweaty from practice

The player is chosen by coaches and teachers from the team
 (about 92 players) for his exemplary leadership so I was
very excited--and yes, this got me out of bed--when my son
brought the flag home last night.
It is a big honor and, sick or not, I'll be there tonight to see it.

But back to last night...
I soon found myself crawling back out of bed for another life event.  

We surprised my other son with his first
set of wheels.  He couldn't be happier.
I guess it was just kind of a busy night around here!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend that
hopefully includes some sewing!

21 September 2016

Mid-Week Check-In

I had this great post written about a wonderful
weekend--a small party with friends to celebrate
our birthdays, some sewing, lots of football,
great weather...
but after two days of technical difficulties,
I finally just gave up.

I'd start over but it's mid-week so
I'm going to make do with just saying that I made
sure a couple quilts made their way to the party.

And here is where I'm at with my current project.
I stepped back to survey...

...and didn't like what I saw.
Granted. the log cabin blocks aren't there yet but I still
think those two yellow-golds have to go, and maybe
two others as well.  And I'm out of rustic reds!
I know when I've been beat so it's just going to
have to wait for the shop hop now.

And so it's back to my fall geese quilt this week.
I have plenty of works-in-progress to finish up for now.

12 September 2016

Monday Check-In

I can't believe it's mid-September and I still don't have
pumpkins and gourds gracing our front porch.

I flipped through some of my past fall porch pics to 
remind myself of what we have on hand.

Apparently I take a lot of these pics but it's one of my favorite
ways to set the mood of the season.  I do my best to avoid buying
anything new, so I work at making it different from year to year
in some way.  Fall is the one season you can get by using any
older decor laying around in the attic, garage or wherever.
In fact, I think it looks better that way.

I could do a whole post on just these but back to this year.
I do have a straw bale out there.  One sad little bale with nothing on it.
For now.  I really need to head out to the weeds garden.
It's likely too early for the pumpkins but I know there are
plenty of gourds ready to give me a good start with the decor.

We got more rain, adding over 6 inches on just Friday night
to what we had already gotten the previous 2 days.
More is predicted and that is music to my ears, or rather, it will soon
be color to our eyes when the leaves turn in about a month!
For now it has been just beautiful; we've had the a/c off for days.

Checking in now with my current project.
While I didn't get any sewing in over the weekend,
I did find some time today.  Unfortunately, my sewing room
gets really warm (even with a window and ceiling fan) when I have
all the lights and the iron on so I've had to call it quits for today.
But not before I added two blocks to my latest project.  

A paltry amount, to be sure, but I wasn't really
feeling it today, and progress is progress so we'll leave it at that.
This is slow-going, this one.  Scrappy quilts tend to be
that way.  And I'm beginning to wonder if I have enough reds!
I need to make 24 of these blocks and was hoping to have no
more than two of each fabrics.  May have to expand the 
parameter on the "rustic reds".

A good friend recently repainted her living room in a neutral tone and
purchased a new sofa with colorful pillows but I just couldn't remember
the colors.  They are such good friends of our family that I've often
thought about making them a quilt.  I wasn't quite sure about these
colors as I began this one...but I was hopeful! 
Apparently my brain had it in there somewhere because this
past weekend I discovered that these will match perfectly!
And so the fate of this quilt is sealed.

In other quilty news:
the gnomes are ready to be delivered!

And, to the best of my gnowledge, the mom-to-be
hasn't delivered yet so I'm on schedule still!

morning (shade) pic

There are 23 days till the shop hop!
These "un-bounds" need to be completed and I'd like to get the 
tops of the geese and this new project all done before I allow
myself to have a little fabric splurging!
That's pushing it, I know, but a girl can at least try!

08 September 2016

Raining Geese, and I'm Starting Another Quilt

It's almost midnight and I should have been asleep a good
hour or so ago, especially considering I'm already
quite behind on sleep but...
suddenly, just now, out of the blue:  thunder.
Worth it.  I always love a good storm.

I can't believe it but, yep, I'm starting another one.

I love the unique design in the stars on this pattern,
the flip in darks/lights that creates that diagonal.

When piecing the first blocks, I couldn't help but
do a small double-take, along with doing a 
double-check, when putting those star points on.
They just seemed wrong.

They seemed sideways.
(sorry for the bad lighting--it's late!)

But when you know where it's all going, it's all good.
And that is one of the things I love about quilting.
I like trying out new patterns with 
their different arrangements and piecing.

Fall colors, some fall fabrics...will it be a definite "fall" quilt?
Or will it just be full of rich colors that work any time?

My plan for this one is to make it just a little smaller,
(pictured above is 84 x 96)
and I'm really hoping a border will work.
I'm a border person.
I like tidiness.  Framing.  Pulling it all together.
The drop-off of borderless quilts just...well, it's
like they leave me hanging.

Hmm.  Left hanging.  Oh!
What happened to the geese?
I tore through my fabric, very intent on finding the two borders within
my own stash.  I tried so many combinations I couldn't think or see
straight so I'd walk away, come back later and start again.
So, I enlisted the help of a friend--who had a good idea.

Make a border of geese.  All the way around.
Flying in circles just like they do as they circle
a wheat field before landing
(and proceeding to strip off the poor farmer's crop!)
It's a perfect remedy for the disappointment I felt when I
discovered just how small the center of this quilt would be.
No matter how hard I tried to make those two borders
finish this off, I just wasn't "done" with the center, though I'll
admit to already looking ahead mentally to the next quilt.

It's really funny when the right step just won't let you go. 
No matter what you want to work, another fabric
or design just keeps coming back to gnaw at you.
That's when you know it's the right decision
~rain begins to hit the windows~more thunder~
and you stop trying to kid yourself and give in.
~thunder, rain blowing harder on the windows~

Why doesn't it bother me that I'm stopping there and moving on
to my next quilt?  Maybe because I know for a fact I'll back to it?
I'll have time.  And I know I enjoy making geese.
See, right now I have two very open days
that scream for starting a new quilt.  So I did.
~rain suddenly letting up~
~thunder growing a little more distant~

And, yikes!  It's 12:43 am!

05 September 2016

Earth-Shattering Weekend Fun and Flying Geese Quilt

We had a very full holiday weekend here.
A beautiful evening of fine dining and the opera
with wonderful friends, a football game, 2 bbq's, a brunch,
lots of time in the pool and, oh, waking up to a
very long-lasting and record-breaking earthquake.
The epicenter was about 100 miles south of us
where it registered 5.6.  These are not normal
for this area but they've been occurring quite a bit
over the last 5 or 10 years.

But on to quilting...

I did finally finish the center of my flying geese quilt.
I'm a little disappointed at how small it is so I will definitely
be adding as much size as I can in the two borders.  

Though everything else lined up just fine, the sashing was just
not coming out as straight (vertically, from row to row) as I'd like.
As ripping isn't my favorite thing, I grabbed my ruler
and marking pen and gave myself some points to line up.
It's such a simple step that takes no time at all.

I'm struggling with finding two good border fabrics from my stash
so this may have to get put aside till the shop hop,
though I was really wanting to get this one done sooner.

Just yesterday I saw 6 geese flying low over.
Nothing like a full migration but they're coming!
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