29 April 2019

Monday Check-In: American Quilt

Seeing that May is upon us has me thinking I need
to step up my game again.  It is time to get this American
quilt finished and move on to the coach's quilt.

Putting everything together here for a visual.
I want to have a finished top by the end of this week.
Rainy days ahead so definitely doable.

I finished up the blue check squares last week and
moved on to all those red stars that I was kind of avoiding.
Some piecing just goes so sloooow!

Twelve done, 24 to go.

(You'll notice my shade drawn.  I love to sew in front of my
window but the window/door installers were working out there.
Fortunately, not today!)

Something is always going out/in/on at our house!

The windows are in but one will need to be switched
out due to damage in delivery; both deck doors had issues
as well so we're on hold for...not sure how long.  I have a grad
party in a few weeks but c'est la vie.  If it gets done, it gets done.
If it doesn't?  It's all family and friends and they sure don't care
if we have some construction going on on the side.
We will definitely need to have my long arm put back though
because our entire living room is unusable at the moment!

In other news, regardless of the wisdom teeth coming out,
my son did PR again--he's now up to 15'6".

That's just really getting high up there, isn't it?
I'm thinking at least a 16' vault (or higher!) to finish out
the high school years??  Crossing fingers.

It was also prom this weekend so yep, busy times. 
Typical of my son, he had to be a little extra stylish
by going all-white, which made him a hit.
His date was a friend but they made a stunning couple.
(I love seeing a modest dress!)
 We can't wait see him in the various military uniforms.

A few other spring pics to share:

A front porch visitor.
He's not quite open all the way so I think he hits 6".

This one was out in the garden.

I always note how their body is colored
to match as well.

And these from a couple weeks ago:

Again, the matching body.

Nature makes quilts, too.

Happy quilting!

23 April 2019

Time for Some Rainy Day Catch-Up and Quilting

As predicted, I have been spending lots of time outside.
After an early run to the store, I quickly put in the last
few plants just this morning as it was beginning to sprinkle.

With all the spring planting done in the garden, I now just
have to deal with the weeds, especially after this
nice spring rain I'm watching from inside the coffee shop.
I'm taking some time to get caught up on my planning
and scheduling for the next crazy couple of months.

We're getting new windows in our sunroom and new doors
on that deck, which means the long-arm had to be moved
and is therefore temporarily unavailable.  No problem for
now unless I get to sewing like mad on my American quilt.
And, unless the window installers take forever, which might
happen because I understood that this was the week
but I haven't heard a thing.  Of course, it's raining...
(Will have to touch base later today.)

I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter.  We go to the
Easter Vigil which puts us home pretty late on Saturday.
My bread had been started that morning but this stage was
pushed a little--I finished at 1:40am.  They still ended up being
pretty decent sourdough baguettes considering the small amount
of work that goes into them--they just take some time.  I may
have shared this before but if you have starter, this is a
great recipe and comes with a video for a little extra help.

Steve's Kitchen:  How To Make Sourdough Baguettes

Our pole vaulter was on the news again--we missed it
initially but one can always find things online.  His PR
is up to 15' 3 3/4".  Would love to see him finish the
year and high school at 16' or more but we'll see.

We also missed this pic which hit the newspaper.
Again, thank goodness for online because we never
get the paper.  He has a meet this Friday but having his
wisdom teeth removed yesterday (only local anesthesia)
and missing a couple practices might throw that off a bit.
But, he's tough.  This meet is 2+ hours away and,
depending on the window installation, I'm likely to not
be there to video so I'm sure he'll PR again
as that's just the way things seem to go! 
(Fyi--PR="personal record"; he's the current state champ)

There is still so much to do before he leaves, so much
to buy, so much to prep.  Among other things, these
have arrived in the mail.  Kinda makes it all real.
(scribbled out ones have last name on them)

So, not much going on in the sewing room but
I did get most of these blocks put together.
Today they get finished up and then I'll work on the 
last blocks, the center red stars.  

I was really only joking
when I started with the outside border first but I
somehow kept going and I really have done
this entire quilt from the outside in!
The jury is still kind of out on making a quilt for my son's
coach-of-many-years but I'm really leaning toward it,
especially with this America quilt getting done
so quickly.  With both being lap size, the time
involvement is so much less! 

Happy quilting!

12 April 2019

Building America From Scraps

Ok, the heading is a little dramatic but
I'm sure you know where I'm going with it.

Unlike our founding fathers, this is all fun and,
at least so far, I've not had even one threat to my life.

I love our revolutionary history. 
John and Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin...
such great minds, such work and sacrifice.

Peacefield, the Adams family farm
Taken on our trip to the historical sites at Boston, surrounding area.

Poor John Adams just wanted to live out life on his farm
but he had to set aside his dream many years for a
greater cause.  Occasionally, though, he was able to
retreat there to sift through his thoughts while he
tended the animals and worked the land.

I've been doing a little sifting myself--through the scraps.
Every time I make a scrappy quilt, a controlled scrappy, I
find myself thinking that I really need to do this more often.
It's just. so. fun. and seeing a noticeable dent in the scrap
bin and/or in the regular stash is pretty fun as well.

Standing and cutting for hours on end isn't something I can do
anymore so I took a break and pieced the striped border blocks.

For the next few breaks, I worked on the star blocks for
the border.  I can honestly say that I have never made a
a quilt from the outside in!

So that is my nice, easy-paced start on the America quilt.
The days ahead should bring fantastic spring weather so I'll
probably spend most of my time outdoors but hopefully
I can still get those stars pieced up here and there.

Happy quilting!

07 April 2019

"West Point Cabin" Quilt Finish

Happy Monday!

It's an especially happy Monday here because I get to
finally show my completely finished West Point Cabin quilt!

West Point Cabin 93"x104"

Once our son was accepted, I began
contemplating what elements I wanted to put into
his quilt.  The school colors were a must.  The log
cabin block was chosen to represent the cabin that
George Washington stayed at when at West Point,
which is still there today.
To signify the US Army, I added the gold stars in the
sashing--they are not the Army's 5-point star, but
how else was I to get them into the sashing?

When working on the borders, I decided I wanted to do
something creative in the corners.  I spent some time racking
my brain for a "military" idea and finally came up with
what I'm calling the Dresden Epaulet Corner.

(blocks above aren't exactly the same as in my quilt)

I have yet to see a West Point uniform with an epaulet
but we're just going for that military effect here.

And so here's the completed quilt:

It's now on his bed to be enjoyed for a
few months before he heads out.
I know he's super excited but for Mom
the time is just dwindling fast.

He won't be needing it at the academy
but it will always be here to come home to.

Happy quilting!

Stone Cottage "You Are the Star" blog hop

Keeping It Simple Crafts

03 April 2019

April Plans and Projects

"Spring is the time of plans and projects."
 --Leo Tolstoy

Happy April!

The garden is now showing spinach, kale, onions, peas,
scallions, radishes and carrots.  Typically I'm fighting
to get everything I can in as early as I can but this year
I'm a little more "chill" about it all.

The chickens have finally decided to ante up and we're back
to 5 or 6 eggs a day.  With 16 chickens, that's still not great
but with warmer weather and longer days, we'll get there.
I'm back to letting them out every afternoon.  This rooster
seems to keep the hens closer to the house and under trees
and shrubs so I don't worry about hawks as much anymore.
I love that they're out there on pest patrol.

In the orchard, our newly planted fruit trees are doing well.
Only the old apricot tree is in bloom--it rarely produces anymore
so the freeze we had this past weekend isn't too much of a worry.
The pears are budding and the peaches are right behind
them.  I pray we are done with freezes; it's been several years
since we had peaches.

We're in our last high school track season with our son.
He started it off well by setting a new personal record 
at the first meet with a 15'2" vault--he took 1st place.
From here on out there's generally a meet every week till
State at the end of May.  Mid-May brings graduation and
a grad party that will also be a Military Send-Off.

So as to the title of this post?
Plans and projects?

First, the April banner!

Another night-time pic; will have to catch a better one tomorrow!

I kinda flew through it but it's done.  And it's only April 2. 
Eleven down, one to go!

Other things on the queue...

I decided to try something on the outer border of the West Point
quilt so that delayed things a bit more.  And of course the quilt was
just a few inches too big for the batting that I have--you know, the
one of which I have 40 whole yards? Add in a trip to the store. 😒

But it's now on the frame and being quilted.  I didn't
squeeze it in as a March finish but no matter.
I'm just happy to be this close.

Timeless Traditions

When I need breaks from the long arm, I'll move back into the
sewing room to work on the charity quilt (modeled after the above)
that I'm now starting. This will be my first scrap/stash buster
of the year with hopefully several more to come.  The stash has been
steadily growing, no matter how many times I've told myself
that there are to be no more purchases till fall.

I came across these on an online quilt shop and couldn't
resist for $4/yd.  My reasoning is that I made such a big dent
in the Halloween fabrics last fall that there is finally ample room
for new.  It's a little hard to see but the top fabric has stars in it.
I thought this would make a great background fabric for
a lot of different things but especially for baby quilts...

And guess who has grandchild #2 on the way?
Due around Halloween so I'd say that makes my purchases
unobjectionable, right?  Ok, I didn't know at the time but we'll
keep that between us...

Happy quilting.

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