31 May 2019

A Lot of Quilty Thinking

Alright, it's time to give attention to all
the things I've set aside for months.

After first getting my sewing room back in order,
I reviewed 2019's plans and came away
all ready to start a 9-patch...

 Anne Elizabeth & Percy Parker   
which then led to me thinking about Irish chains...
which then found me thinking I should make one for a good
"coffee buddy" who happens to be straight out of Ireland.

If you remember, I enjoyed that little bit of Dresden I used
for the "epaulet" corners of DS's USMA quilt Funny how a
design can hold no great appeal till you find yourself
working with it and suddenly your tastes have changed.
(I do this a lot!)
So then I came across this beauty.
What a way to kill two birds blocks with one stone design.

But when I dug into the stash, I couldn't quite
find a selection of fabrics more suited than this:

But I'm supposed to use up some of my older stash.
This? I just won it a few months ago!  So, I dug in again
and came up with an entire array of fabric for...

an entirely different quilt.

Carried Away Quilting "Crossroads"

There are so many Irish chain variations to ogle but I like
the colors of the above quilt--springy/summery--so I'm
using this as an example for now.  I think I'll hit the EQ8 for
different ideas for the alternating blocks but I did
already piece up one of the chain blocks--
it was all kinds of fun so this is a go and I'm excited
to see what I can get done in the next few days.

My take-away from all this thinking?
I'm really drawn to the idea of having blocks
between Irish chain rather than just "unused" space.
My other take-away?  Make them both!
(Those yearly quilt plans are really more like guidelines, right?)
More rain and cool temps are predicted for at least
another week so why not?  The garden is being watered
and the quilting room windows are open!

Random side-note:
The CatchIt KS video  of my son's 16' vault
has been viewed over 41,000 times
on Twitter to date.  How nuts is that?

What's going on in your quilting room?

Happy quilting!

28 May 2019

A Second State Title & New PR

photo credit:  ks.milesplit.com

As expected, it has been a crazy busy time.
I don't have any quilty updates other than
to say that coach loved his quilt!

Coach talking with hubs and DS

I was helping to show the quilt so I didn't get a pic of coach
with it but remembered later to grab one just as he insisted
that it was only "a little awesome leaking" out of his eyes.

Now for a little background to understand
the excitement we had this past Saturday:
DS had struggled at a recent meet or two--still placing,
but not walking away with first place and still not hitting
his goal of 16'.  He did take first in City but then
got second at Regionals.  This was
leaving him nervous and unsure about State.

USMA award speech and presentation at graduation

He's been busy with finals, USMA paperwork (always!), 
taking 2nd in the Project Graduation talent show, graduation
and grad parties.  Part of him is trying to grab every moment 
to say goodbye but another part has been very ready to move
on.  And that chance to hit that 16' goal seemed to be fading.

State had an amazing crowd this year, despite the rain
(and rain delays!).  This is a pano looking across from our side
which was almost as full.  I think I've mentioned it's the biggest
track meet in the country--no idea why.  Just is, I guess.

My son and his teammate (and friend) found themselves
in a tie for first so it came down to a jump-off--which can be
darned exciting for everyone because it's "sudden death".
Starting at 15' 6" they both cleared in increments of 3" till
DS alone cleared his coveted 16' and earned his second
state title.   His reaction (and the crowd's!) is priceless
so I had to share one of the media videos.
The first jump is his teammate making 15'9" and
the second is DS making 16'.  The third and final
jump shows his teammate missing 16'
to give DS the win.

(Make sure the volume is on!)
Video link:  Catch It Kansas

You can also see our video here on youtube but you can
only hear all of us yelling and that's not near as fun as a
crowd of thousands.  The below pic was online and in the
newspaper.  We were so busy getting ready that night 
for the grad party the next day that we totally forgot to
watch the evening news.  Others have told us they enjoyed
seeing him multiple times on all the local channels though.

This duo has captured the sports media's attention for
a while now.  They did not disappoint!  (DS to the left)

It is always a little difficult when the guy to beat is
a teammate but I think this friend has shown the most
exceptional sportsmanship and we wish him the best.
We know he'll hit much greater heights in his senior year! 

Unfortunately, the rain delays pushed the meet over into Sunday
and right into the time of our party.  DS was able to leave the meet
early to at least catch the end of his party and see almost all of the
the adults but with everyone else still at the meet only a few
of his friends made it before everyone moved on to the next
scheduled party.  (Lots had their parties that day) . We had put a
lot of work into it so the delay was kind of stressful; there was
also a lot of food leftover but in the end, it all just pales
considering the incredibly exciting event of the day before
so...no harm really done.  And hey, I do get time off of
cooking for awhile!

So now I suddenly find myself of with...woah!
What is this?  Nothing much going on???
What a weird feeling!
I think I need to start a new quilt!

24 May 2019

An American Finish!

Still getting lots of rain here.
But hey, America rolled off the frame
last week and is now done.
I'm not giving it an official name--just continuing
to refer to it as the America quilt.

I have to admit, I'm kinda thinking such a quilt
would look pretty neat on our front porch swing
for the July 4th holiday so there may be another one
being made up in the future.  This one is all wrapped
and ready to surprise coach. 

Also off the frame is my sister's quilt.

We both joined in the QAL that Melissa from Happy Quilting
did last fall.  My sis is visiting for the graduation celebrations
and so took this time to get hers all quilted up.
(My quilt is here.)
Excuse my ribbon mess to the lower left there.
I was working on this for the front door:

I'm pretty out of practice as far as other crafts go
so this took me forever but I guess I can chalk this
up to another craft learned.

Isn't this just the perfect military ribbon??

Well it's time for me to tackle my list of to-do's.
Today is the state track meet...and it's currently
thundering.  We may be in for a very late night.

Happy quilting!

14 May 2019

Quilting America--Update

I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day.
Mine included a lot of flowers (the planting kind!),
steak, creme brulee and seeing the Avengers movie.

Just a quick mid-week update here.

Since the windows are completely installed, the  LA is back
in place, up and running.   (No word on those doors yet.)

The American quilt is
loaded and I've started on the quilting.
I'm not real sure what I'll be writing on the label.
"Thanks, Coach!" seems a little understated but still,
it will just be a reminder of our thanks.  I'm sure we'll
write plenty in the card attached to the gift. 
I'm open to ideas here; that seems to be all I've got.

Things actually started drying up a little around here
so the midnight storm we just received wasn't unwanted.
It means less time spent watering the garden, and I'd really
rather not be bothered with that when working on party
preparations and quilting gifts so I'm all for it.
This has been just the greatest spring!
Any year we make it to June before turning on
the A/C is a favorite in my book.

We're already nearing the end of track season.
Last week DS took first in the City League;
Regionals are this Thursday.

There is so much going on over the next 10 days
that I'm excited about:  
Senior Farewell Mass and Award Ceremony
Because of  DS's USMA appointment, the award ceremony 
will include some fun moments for him (and his proud parents).
Regional Track Meet
State Track Meet
Son's graduation/send-off party

Among these, there are lots of other grad parties to attend.
We're trying but it's becoming impossible to hit
them all, especially with relatives visiting.
It all makes for a rather crazy time of it.
Crazy and fun.

If I find free time, I might start planning my next quilt,
though I'm in no hurry there, or putting my feet up,
enjoying my current read.

Happy quilting!

07 May 2019

Year of Banners Complete

We are soaked, and it just keeps raining!
I lost track because I've dumped the rain gauge
three times but I think we're up to like 7 inches.
It's kind of hard to believe it's even May.
This is April stuff here, cool temps and all.

So I made a cheery sunny banner!

Next week the sun should be shining, the flowers
will open again and this May banner 
will feel more appropriate.
But I am enjoying not having to water the garden
and everything is so wonderfully green!
Just maybe the temps will still be pleasant for
my son's graduation party!?

I have really enjoyed these small monthly side-projects.
Someday I may work up a few others for special days like
 birthdays, special Church feast days, etc.
but for now it's nice to have the entire set completed.

For fun, here's a review of all twelve banners:

Do I have a favorite?  Hmmm.
Really not sure but maybe January??
(Go figure!)
Happy quilting!

03 May 2019

Change of Plans

Sometimes God plans things out better than we do.
Oh, alright, He always does.

I've been working hard at getting this quilt
done for a charity event in June.  Picture me as
I stepped back to admire the completed top.
Not so much the workmanship
(I gotta be honest, I don't think it's my best--ie,
some of the star points--but I was cramped for time!) 
No, the pride came from my timely completion of it. 
I still had weeks to deadline and all it needed
was the quilting and binding.  And, I could also begin
working on that next deadlined project!  Whew!

Aaaand then that quickly I learned
that the charity event is actually this weekend. 
Me = deflated.
After my initial reaction of extreme frustration,
it began to dawn on me that I could make some
great lemonade out of these lemons.

🍋Lemon #1 🍋
 I just pushed to finish a quilt for no reason.

🍋Lemon #2 🍋 
The long-arm is off-limits for at least another week or so
adding to the cramps in the schedule.

🍋Lemon #3 🍋 
I really want to make a smaller, matching version of my son's
West Point quilt for his coach.   But, the deadline for the
quilt that's not even started would be just under a month
and there is a full calendar between now and then.

You see where I'm going with this?
I now have an almost-finished quilt that has no 
I also have a recipient with no quilt.

It's not in the school colors but it does have
a theme that could still easily work as a reminder of
the athlete he helped get into USMA.
It's too small but I can add a big border, which,
in this case I think will help with it being so "busy".

My hesitation:
When you choose a quilt for someone, you make every
choice--colors, fabric, design, etc--with that person
and situation in mind.  Maybe I put too much emphasis on
this but I find it a very important (and enjoyable) part
of the process.  It's what makes the gift so personal.
Still, I know well that I really don't have time
and that God has my best interests at heart here.

If there's one recurring theme going on in my head
lately, it is that I refuse to spend these last two
months stressing and working over a "perfect" party and
vacation when I could just be enjoying the moments.
So I've been trusting a lot to God and wouldn't you
know it?  He is just a better planner than I am.
Case in point:  this whole thing.
With only a little more thought into it,
I've come up with this on the program:

Don't you just love what a border can do?!?

The large dark border (7.25" here) and the gold
binding suddenly give it a look that I love.
The gold even gives it a bit of West Point.
Or just the Army in general.
And, it'll about 75x75--a good size for a man.
Bonus?  A project that I haven't even started is
suddenly almost done.
I'm actually so excited about this now!

Now if I can just get to that long arm soon!

Happy quilting!

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