30 March 2021

April Monthly Goal

It's goal time again!
 My goal for April is to make MSQC's
General Store fabric line.


The hour glass blocks are already gathering
on my design wall and the 9-patches will
be right behind them so this should be a 
quick one.  Technically my goal is to complete
the top but I'm thinking that, even with all the
gardening I'll be doing, I should still be able
to have a completed quilt before May.
A full progress post with pics will be posted
next Tuesday so stay tuned!

Happy quilting!
Linking up to Elm Street Quilts

Tuesday To-Do #12: Finishing Up in March

There is a big up-side of working
on three quilts at once:
the satisfaction of finishing all three at once!
They've been hanging out in my to-do lists way
too long but I'm finally checking them all off.
Thank goodness because I'm pretty sure
you're all tired of seeing them, too.
(I'll try not to do that again!)

Snowflakes
Label and bind / completely finish.
Done.


Christmas Flurries (71x71)



Charity Baby Quilts
Label and bind both; submit.
Done!


With the addition of the top and bottom
borders in the required theme fabric,
Pinwheel Circus finished up at 36x43.





Written In the Stars also had a size requirement
issue but, after some panic, it finished up at 38x42.


Originally, I had another quilt planned for this theme
fabric and, while I switched over to this one, the
 measurements of the other quilt stayed in my head...
till I pulled this off the frame and measured it.
Ooops.


Luckily I hadn't trimmed the top and bottom yet and
there was enough batting and backing to allow me
to add in a strip of the background fabric to both the
top and bottom using the "quilt as you go method".
It worked in perfectly, as if part of the plan, and
I think it actually adds a nice touch of modern so
let's just say it was part of the plan all along.


Both were turned in last Friday--early.  Winning the
contest would be nice but my goal with these two
quilts was to work toward a major quilting objective
for the year:  lots of donations.  I have no idea what
 "lots" really is but it's already one more than 2020!

HSTs
Maybe?
No progress.

Gardening


We got a lot more rain but it's starting to dry up now
so maybe I can get back to work out there soon.
The onions are coming up and I expect to see the
potatoes poking through any day.  And asparagus!

Fabric Tracking
Time to fess up and admit that I've been buying fabric again.


After my initial buying frenzy, I've been (sort of) working
on restraintGetting 3 quilts and lots of small projects
made, I was down to a +9 on my purchase v. usage
and was feeling good about the direction I was going.
Well that lasted about a day.  And worse (in my mind),
the latest frenzy is mostly precuts.  But, whatever.
(You should see the deals I got!)


The good news is (besides new fabric--duh!):
I've already started using it so my report doesn't
look quite as bad as all that.  It's still not great
but, no worries!  The year is young!

Some fabric tracking housekeeping:
My weeks coincide with these Tuesday to-do lists.
I've added dates in parenthesis because that kind
of week is super-confusing; descriptions are helping
me keep straight what I've logged and when.  This
whole thing is a work in progress.  My goal is
 just end the year in the negative.

Looking ahead
Holy Week is the most important time of the year
for us, especially the Triduum so I hesitate to
make a to-do list that might just be a distraction.

Windham's "General Store"

Outside of all that takes place this special week,
I think I'll still get a little done on my new project
using the layer cake I just bought.  The poor thing
didn't even get to sit on the shelf to be admired.
I was just so ready for easy, mindless-sewing.
A pre-cut to the rescue!  I complain about them
but there's really more love than hate there.
More on that emerging project next Tuesday.
(I'll be skipping my Thursday post this week.)

Have a very blessed Holy Week and
may joy fill your hearts this Easter!
Happy quilting!

Linking up to:

27 March 2021

March Monthly Goal: Charity Baby Quilt Finishes

March has been a great month for finishes!
Having multiple projects going at once is
not my preferred method to be sure but
finishing up multiple projects at once can be
really fun and certainly rewarding.

I'm linking up to Elm Street Quilts
One Monthly Goal today to share two of
my three March finishes.  My goal was to get
two baby quilts made and turned into a local
charity by their March 31 deadline.

Written In the Stars (38x42)

To participate in this charity drive (and contest),
quilters were required to purchase a fat quarter
of a specific fabric to be featured in the quilt.


With two options to choose from, the decision
was obvious right? I bought both and made
a quilt from each!


The pattern for the above quilt can be found here.


The second quilt is Pinwheel Circus (36x43).


The pattern for this quilt can be found here.
I did make a small change to the center to 
allow for more focus on theme fabric.


Happily, I was able to get them both turned in early
which, in turn, allowed me to finish up another quilt.
 That finish, along with these two, will be all highlighted
in my Tuesday To-Do post next week.

And now to tidy the sewing room, clean my
sewing machine and decide on April's goal!

Happy quilting!

 Linking up to:

(by Michele's Romantic Tangle)
and 
(by Elm Street Quilts)

25 March 2021

Needle and Thread Thursday #7

 I'm quickly checking in to link up to
how things are going on the charity baby quilts.

First, a finish!



I hit a big glitch on Written in the Stars that set
me back a few hours.  Funnily enough though,
I think it adds to the look.  I'll post more about that
 next Tuesday but for now, note the strips at the
top and bottom--these were added after I quilted
the entire body of it. 


 Don't zoom in too much on that straight-line quilting.
It's easy enough to keep straight but I was frustrated
and just trying to get it done so I rushed it.  Sigh.
Don't do that.


But I do love how the quilting turned out.


This was my first time using this pantograph and it
might now be my favorite.  I enjoyed it so much
that I just used it on both quilts.
(I originally had other ideas.)



Pinwheel Circus is just an hour away from being
a finish as well.   (It looks a little wonky above but
it's not.)   Once I complete this post, I'm getting
the binding on.  It's already trimmed and the
binding and label are both made.

I'll then be packing them up to turn in to the
charity drive/contest.  I'm not concerned about
winning but I do want to turn in quilts that I can
be happy with--aka, not projects that are just
thrown together.  Mission complete!

Happy quilting!


23 March 2021

Tuesday To-Do #11: Baby Quilt Tops Finished


Happy spring!
It's another rainy morning and as I look around
from not-my-usual-table, I'm thinking everyone
here had the same idea:
It's a good morning to hit the coffee shop.
Someone even took "my" table.  The nerve!
(I'm kidding.)
Hmm, maybe that's a little nudge?
It is a new season.  Have I grown a little
too comfortable with anything?
Fabric, colors, styles, quilting....

Well, I did step out of my comfort zone last month
to paper piece all those snowflakes!  No I'm not
going to launch another whine-session about it
but it's a nice segway into today's list.

Snowflakes, aka Christmas Flurries
Finish quilting.
Done.


The Snowflakes are quilted and off the frame.
I think I'll go with Christmas Flurries for the name
unless a better one hits by the time I make the label.
(I'll get better pic upon when it's completely done.)

Charity Baby Quilts
Finish quilt #2 top.
Done.


I already had this into rows so this was easy to
check off.  Next Mount Scrap Batting did a great
job in setting me up nicely for both quilts. 
The backings were then prepped...
Hmm, was that momentum building?


I only planned to get the first one loaded up
yesterday but I guess I was just in my zone.
Suddenly, it was quilted, rolled off and
the second one was on and ready to go.
Wow, baby quilts go so quickly!


So quickly that in no time the second baby
quilt joined the pile.  What a day!
I'm positively giddy to be finished with items
thought I'd be putting on today's list!

HST's


I stitched up trimmings from baby quilt #2 to make
a mere 30 HSTs;  no progress on anything else.

Gardening
It's a lake out there!  I'm thinking it'll be well
into April before anything else gets planted.

Up until yesterday I was feeling like I still had not
come out of my post-holiday slow-mo rut.
I was even going to blame it on the rain.
Yes, the rain that actually set the stage for my
awesome quilty-packed day.  I work well enough
with my own to-do lists but I have never liked
deadlines set by others.  As a consequence I try
to start those things early.  Thankfully, I did that
this time and now with my big jump, certainly
I'll be finished by next Wednesday--or earlier.
Maybe the sew-jo is finally picking up!

Snowflakes
Label and bind / completely finish.

Charity Baby Quilts
Label and bind both; submit.
Top priority!

HSTs
Maybe?

Gardening
Nothing to do but watch the rain.

A last word on comfort zones...it's good to step
out occasionally but that doesn't mean we have
to stay out.  Maybe things were just fine before.


Truthfully I don't like this table, or its view,
(anymore than I like paper piecing!) and I'll be 
fighting for my regular table next time.
Maybe I should just order up a little sign?

Happy quilting!

17 March 2021

Needle and Thread Thursday #6: Update on Baby Quilts

Today I'm linking up to NIT Thursday to share
my progress on the two charity baby quilts.


If you came by on Tuesday, you've already
seen my first finished top.  More on how
that finished up here.

With the second quilt, I struggled a bit with fabric
selection. In my mind some of the colors in the
theme fabric just don't play well together,
especially when singled out.   Yellow and navy
were easy enough but I needed that third color.


Navy, yellow and....what?
Well, hey, nothing like pushing a comfort zone.
I hit a sort-of local quilt shop and brought home
three different fabrics to audition.  Not one was
a perfect fit but someone had to get the part.
I immediately set aside the green but I struggled
with two different blues.  I made trial pieces.
I asked opinions.  And then I slept on it.


A wise, older friend would often use
the phrase, "just punt!" when I was struggling
with a decision.  I think she would be amused
to know how often I think that phrase to myself.
After all the deliberation, I heard her once again
saying "Oh, just punt" so in the morning, I did.  
I think it worked.


These rows will go together in no time today.
Then I'll get back to quilting the Snowflake
quilt--this time until it's done so these two
charity quilts can get submitted on time!

Happy quilting!

16 March 2021

Tuesday To Do #10; Sláinte!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


Let's see if I had any luck getting
last week's to-do's completed!

Snowflakes
Work on quilting.
I had a whole day set aside for this but with
the lightning that day, I preferred to keep the
the longarm unplugged.  Priorities.
I did get one pass done over the weekend.
One. (Lame. I know.)

Charity Baby quilts
Finish first and start on second top.
Done.


This quilt was finishing up at 36 X 36 but
I needed it to meet the minimal requirement
of 36 X 40.  I wasn't comfortable with the
low amount of the theme fabric anyway
(also a requirement) so I thought this was an
opportunity to bring it home, so to speak.
Putting the top and bottom on first allowed
me to take a step back and decide if it should
go all around or not.  Easy decision.
Way too busy with it all around.


I wish you could see this one in person
because it really is so much more cheery
 and fun than it shows in the picture.


I moved right on into my second charity quilt.
As usual, I need just that *one* more little bit
of fabric.  One more teensy pop of color.
Like not even a fat quarter.  Like if you lived
close to me, I'd probably come raid your scraps...

HSTs
Any progress.
Yeeeeah....no.

Gardening
Depending on the weather, get onions and
shallots planted and cut up seed potatoes.
Done.

I'm very impatient when it comes to these first
crops.  It is not unusual for KS to have a very wet
spring so if the garden is even close to being ready,
I push it.  In sunny and/or windy conditions, I'll turn
turn over the top lightly with the tiller in an effort to
dry out and warm what is beneath. In doing so, I'm
working (and walking on) the slightly damp soil so
I know you full-on gardeners are cringing at this.  
No it's not recommended...but I do it anyway.


I just counter my poor method with lots of compost.
With chickens and three acres, compost is aplenty!
But anyway, last week was no exception to my
unorthodox gardening shenanigans but it has been 
raining ever since--a lot--so I'm patting myself on
the back once again and kind of wondering why
I didn't toss in some lettuces for good measure.

Here's the part where I digress....
Last week I linked up a few Irish recipes, including 
the Steak and Ale Pie from Global Bakes.  I refer to
her as Tanya-Who-Made-It-To-The-Tent because
she baked in THE tent on the British Baking Show.
To me, this is like the end-all/be-all of foodie things.
And I know that I could never in a million years
do it so I respect anyone that has. 
We have put on a lot of dinners for large groups
which have given me such a respect for chefs.
The research, planning, timing...
just literally having so many plates spinning at once!
I think I would get used to it after a time and maybe
even grow to like it but, as it is, performance cooking
is not my strong point.


Now, after all that digression, I just want to share that
I finally made rough puff pastry.  Pastries seem to
scare me and I'm not sure why--well, aside from the
bajillion calories I take in while just looking at them.
But anyway, hubs made the steak and ale and,
because his baking experience is next-to-nil, I took
on the pastry.  There was plenty of dough left-over
so I cut it up into pieces and tossed them on a baking
sheet with a bit of egg wash.  In retrospect, if I'd
realized they were were going to be the most flakey,
crispy pastry items I've ever made, I would have done
something more creative but, in truth, my confidence
in my pastry skills is about...oh...50%.
Oh me of little faith.
After years of avoiding something I thought was
beyond my patience level, I write to you now feeling
pretty darned accomplished and I'm telling you all
that this one is doable!  My mind is already
reeling with all the appetizer possibilities
(I always need good ones for dinner parties)
among other things but I'll stop there.
I just wanted to follow-up on that one and
share that pastry recipe again.

And now, because this is also a
quilting/gardening/occasional-chicken blog,
I'm going to move back to the matters at hand.

It's not so bad with all of the rain keeping me
out of the garden now because I have plenty
to keep me busy inside.  The week ahead:

Snowflakes
Finish quilting.
This is a must because the baby quilts
have to be quilted asap.

Charity Baby Quilts
Finish top #2.
Even better if I can get a start on their quilting.

HST's
Who knows here?
It's not a priority so we'll see.

Gardening
Likely nothing here.  Too wet.
Even for this gardener.

Happy quilting and happy St. Patrick's Day!

Linking up to:

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