12 December 2022

Tuesday To:Do #40: Catching Up and ARMY WINS!

The big day is getting close--just 12 days
until Christmas.  Who has all their shopping
 done?  All the gifts wrapped? Everything else?
I'm getting close but I still need my lists to
keep me in line so it's time again to join the

Let's review last week because hey, it was a doozy!
You might want to grab a coffee for this one.

Last Week's Goals
1) The Big Bucket List Item
If you saw my IG posts, you figured it out:
We went to the Army/Navy game in Philadelphia
this past weekend!  And what a game to see!


We visited Philly's historical center several years
ago (see post here) so this time hubs and I spent
some time visiting Valley Forge.


Washington's Valley Forge headquarters.


The cadet drove down from WP on Friday afternoon
and stayed with us through Sunday.
(We had a good time with this waitress.  She felt bad
that she walked right into our selfie but I thought
it was funny and I had to show it to her!)


Saturday arrived!


Game day!

March-On (two hours before kick-off!)

Tickets are not easy to obtain, and unless you are
a major donor and/or alumni, your seats are chosen 
randomly for you.  So our seats weren't great--so high
 up there! yikes!--and we froze but we were there!


The cadet was actually in the very front row of the
Corps of Cadets section so he had a fantastic time!
Not only did he end up on the jumbotron multiple times,
he also showed up on the broadcast.  The in-laws
snapped this for us back home.

The rivalry between these two teams is huge--perhaps
the biggest in the country.  For them, it's practically
the Super Bowl.
We were a little worried when Army wasn't playing well
but in a crazy double overtime, they pulled it off and
it ended with a fantastic Army victory! 
The Army fans went WILD!


The cadets stormed the field and enjoyed the
much sought-after right to "sing second"!
What a thrill to be there!
These West Point experiences just keep coming!

I haven't had a chance to share that the Firsties
"branched" a couple weeks ago and our cadet
received his first choice--Infantry--so he is happy! 
 (He hopes to be a Ranger eventually.)
He also took first place in the first track meet
of the season and has been assigned Platoon
Leader for next semester.  Lots going on!


And Firstie/Senior pics also arrived.  These are
the only ones with the sword and the hat.
So, so cool right?!?

2) Finish/top off pre-holiday cleaning
All I accomplished here was cleaning out the
fridge but that's a big chore around here.

3) Start a gift for in-laws?
Hubs found something else so there won't need
to be any last-minute mad-quilt-making.
Whew!
But I need to get on this for next year because
I'd like to make them a quilt for their lake house.

4) Wedding gift quilt
Keep thinking on/looking for fabrics
No progress here.

On those pillows I mentioned last week...
I did get all of them done!  Yay!


These are for our basement family room.
.

...and these are for our bed.


I rushed them but I was able to get all of these
done before we headed out of town.


That pretty much wraps up my great week.

The cadet will be home in just a few days, and our
other son will be here soon after.  We all know
how nice it is to have everything done before the
guests arrive so that is my focus in the week to come.

1) Make cookies with the grandkids

2) Finish Christmas shopping & wrapping

3) Finish house cleaning

4) Work on that wedding quilt

Happy quilting!

05 December 2022

2022 Tuesday To Do #39: Last Finish of the Year? And Oh, btw Go Army! Beat Navy!

Cue Andy Williams:
I have always loved traditional and older Christmas
music.   It just has the real vibe of the holidays for me.  
I've been kind of off / on with the holiday feels so far.
In our society (esp in retail!) it's sometimes easy to
forget that it's only early December and we have
plenty of time ahead of us to prepare.  And the actual
celebrating doesn't even start until Jesus comes.  So if
anyone out there is feeling a bit panicky, I'm sending
a gentle reminder to relax. You have time.

Now, let's all make our lists and just have some fun.
I invite you to join the rest of the do'ers on the

Last Week's Goals

1) Finish Midnight Pines
DONE! 


This is a big finish.  It's funny how I forget just how much
more work a full queen quilt is.   It's like it's 1.5 times
as big as my usual but somehow 2.5 times more work.


The finished top ended up about 89x108.
Hubs and I prefer a good-sized quilt on our bed so I was
using it for sizing--until I learned my daughter didn't really
 want a pillow tuck so the whole thing was just too long.


If you're going to trim, you might as well make it a
useable trim right?  So I cut 2.5" off the top and counted
 on the quilting to shrink it another 2-3".  Trimming
from the top keeps the shorter border under the pillows
(though I think it looks fine if it shows) and would bring
the quilt up from the bottom so that last row of trees
ends at the edge of the bed instead of hanging off.


In the end, it came out 88x104 so it's likely still
too big but at least by not quite as much.

Sometimes as the maker you get so caught up in
constructing a quilt that the final full finish can
catch you by surprise.  This one has kind of
blown me away--and the pics don't do it justice.

For reference, the pattern is Holiday Forest by Edyta Sitar.
(I increased it in size--about double?)

2) Plan quilt for wedding gift, maybe even start pulling.
DONE, mostly.
The colors are "burgundies, blues and grays" and
style-wise: "minimalistic, doesn't like lace or florals."
However, I still want a slightly traditional quilt feel to it.
The grays are "on the cool side," and I prefer warms.
This might be a struggle so an easy quilt would be helpful.
With that in mind, I think I'm going for this, but with
 a neutral (background fabric?) border:

"Circle of Friends" Jelly Roll Quilts In a Weekend
by Pam Lintott and Nicky Lintott

I'll likely have to add to the color scheme for some pop
and avoiding flowers is next to impossible but I'll see
what I can find.  I don't think I'm trying for an actual
bed quilt here, just a throw.  If anyone knows of any
fabric lines that might fit this, let me know but I'll
likely just make my own jelly roll.
(I really like the colors in the pic!)

3) MAKE SOMETHING FUN JUST FOR OUR HOME!
Very little but I'm still looking for ideas.


I've started on some holiday pillows from panels.
I'm pretty anti-panel but these match our basement
holiday decor to a "T" so I thought "Eh, what the heck?"
On the side of these are smaller panels that I'm not
real sure what I'll be doing with but I'm open to ideas.
I could work them into a throw quilt but again,
I'm anti-panel so not sure about that...


My anti-panel excuse for my other pillow project is
that they match our bed quilt so well and they were
also clearance deals.  As much as I hate dinking with it,
I'll probably add some trim to these if I can find some.

All of these have seen at least one or two seasons
go by so it will feel great getting them done.
And I think some no-brain sewing will be as welcome
as getting these things out of the sewing room.

In other news

To finish Midnight Pines, I took a trip up to my fave LQS
(for one of the borders and the binding) and found a
super-awesome bargain that I have to share.
I just know her $5/yd clearance price is going to go up
(or disappear completely--*gasp!*) one of these days so
I always feel like I need to take advantage of the deals.

(Ivory/black)

You all will totally understand why I grabbed the entire
bolt here.  It was very clear to me nothing had been taken
off of it but because she didn't want to bother with the
hassle of measuring, she only charged me for 13yds 
"just in case"--if that was okay with me?
So, 14 yds of Moda fabric for $65.  (Yeah, buddy!)
Tell me this wouldn't make great backings!
Maybe even backgrounds?
It matches so much of what I work with!
Quilty friends, keep situations like this in mind in a few
weeks when I come out with my final fabric tracking
numbers for the year.  The numbers are exponential,
and sort of embarrassing!  (Sort of....)
So don't judge.

Back to those holiday feels...
I did finish decorating but there have been two major
hurdles to jump before I let myself completely relax
 and do all the fun things like finish my shopping, wrap
gifts, etc.  The first was that ginormous quilt for my
daughter; the second comes at the end of this week.  
It's a bit of a bucket list item so I'm pretty excited!
(It's prob not an easy one but any guesses?)
And after that it'll be full on-Christmas fun!

SO, for next week:

1) The Big Bucket List Item
Woot woot!

2) Finish/top off pre-holiday cleaning

3) Start a gift for in-laws?
Waiting for hubs to find something first.  If not...
My MIL loves quilts but the issues there are 1) they
are more for her than both of them and 2) it would
be more from me than from both hubs and I.
But when people are really hard to buy for....?

4) Wedding gift quilt
Keep thinking on/looking for fabrics

Happy quilting!
Go Army! Beat Navy this week!

P. S.
I spent hours in a coffee shop writing this post and playing
online.  I haven't done this me-time thing in quite a while;
it's so therapeutic and somehow it really brings order to
my brain! I recommend doing this for pre-holiday sanity.
I might have to engage in a repeat in another week or so!

01 December 2022

December Monthly Goal

Hello and welcome to goal day.  I'm linking
to share my single goal for December.


To take this "center" and turn it into a
completed quilt for my daughter's queen bed.

You'll notice I said "single goal".
Well that's the plan, and anything else
will be all just for fun!

I hope you all have an easy December ahead, too,
with lots of time to spend on preparing for
Christmas and spending time with family!

Happy quilting!

28 November 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #38: The Season of Advent Begins


I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!
Along with the perfect feast on the big day,
one of our sons treated everyone to jambalaya
one night and smoked brisket the next.
We had a game night with all the kids and the grandkids.
Hubs and the boys spent some quality guy-time hitting the
gun range and getting the Christmas lights up on the house.
(I have most of the decor up but I'm kinda slow-rolling it.)
We spent most of Saturday just relaxing and watching
football in front of a toasty fire.   Then Sunday came
and we were saying our goodbyes.  We'll see the cadet
in less than two weeks and both boys will be back for
Christmas of course but it's still a little emotional
to enjoy so much fun and then *poof* it's over;
everyone's gone.

So what did hubs and I do?  Hit the golf course!
In a lovely windchill of 30.  Forty degrees is kind of
my cut-off for golf but after all that eating, I had to
do something.  Besides, we're barely fitting in one
round a week these days. 

You thought I was going to say 
"...barely fitting in my clothes" didn't you?
Well that's true too.  Ugh!

I was darned happy with the 94 I shot because after
a recent lesson I've been really working on correcting
some things so the scores haven't been too great. 
I'll ignore that it was the easiest course in town.
I'm still new enough at this gig and I need confidence.

Well hey, let's get to the meat of this post.

Oh. My. Gracious. We are on the homestretch of 2022!
Advent has begun and Christmas is just weeks away.
That usually means a lot of hustle and bustle but
I'm doing my best to stay focused and just be
present for my presents (kidding!) for all the right things.
Oh, I have plenty to do but I think it's all about starting
 early, pacing myself and making those lists so
today I'm joining the rest of the do'ers on the
to help keep me on a good schedule.

I didn't get done as much as I wanted to but with all
the family fun of Thanksgiving week, I did well enough.
I wasn't about to make sewing a priority so you'll
find no regrets with this mom.
Most importantly, I wanted to get that one last quilt
into the shop--and I did so it was a good week.

Last week's to-do's:

1) Finish Christmas Geese top, quilt, pic and list
DONE.

Christmas Geese - 63X79

With the addition of borders, it's now a nice size.  As I
mentioned last week, matching those diagonal seams
was rough, and I ripped more times than I ever have.
Usually if I rip and redo, I call it quits at that.  It's a rare
day that I go at something twice.  Now on this quilt,
there was one "intersection" that I fixed and re-fixed
for a grand total of six tries.  SIX!
But by golly, I got that one!
They're not all perfect but at least when I look at it,
especially after quilting, nothing jumps out at me.


I quilted 'er up with holly and berries...and ran into
another snafu.   Quilters, if you are one of those who
takes her quilts to a longarmer, THIS right here is why
you have to watch those bulky seams.  TWICE thick
seams (and I still don't think they are that thick??)
altered the needle enough to cause tension issues
 on the top.  Of course it went unnoticed for an entire
half row the first time.  Ugh.
So yeah, the ripper and I are pretty tight after this quilt.
I'm telling you, we are *like this*.  Practically best buds!

Psst, between you and me, I still can't stand that
thing but let's keep that between us since I'm sure
we'll be working together again in the near future!


I rushed the picture-taking part but I think what 
was able to snag pretty quickly will have to work.

2) Finish Midnight Pines
Progress, but not done.

With all that time spent with the ripper was I
really going to get another finish in?!? 


Well this is where I'm at with Midnight Pines. 
You might be able to see that the top two rows
are sewn.  I'm even a little farther than that now
and it's going fairly quickly so I remain hopeful
I'll see a finish before the weekend hits.  And so...

Next Week's Goals

1) Finish Midnight Pines

2) Plan quilt for wedding gift, maybe even start pulling.
Or shopping.  As big as my stash is, I don't think it will
support the requested color scheme.  Sigh.

And I wanna drumroll for this next one...

3) MAKE SOMETHING FUN JUST FOR OUR HOME!
Frankly, I can't remember the last time I did this
and I need some good ol' quilt therapy.

Other than those, I need to have my booty busy finishing
up the Christmas shopping and decorating because
we are travelling again--and oh I'm excited for this one!
I'll keep y'all in suspense until next week though.

Happy quilting!

27 November 2022

November Goal Completed

Well here we are at the end of November
already so it's time to link up to 


My November objective was to turn this pile of strips
 and tiny stars into a 100% fully finished quilt.

Joyful Junipers (72 x 84)

Objective completed!


I chose simple swirls for quilting.


I'm already looking forward to December!
Happy quilting!

21 November 2022

'22 Tuesday To-Do #37: Thanksgiving Edition

Welcome to another round of to-do's on the
Thanksgiving is upon us so this one is short
and sweet, even after skipping a week.
I focused on getting my current projects finished
so I'm starting to think about switching gears.
First, let's see what all I got done:

1) Photograph Festive Firs and list in shop


Done.


Again, most of the pics have a blue/gray-ish tint so I
need to get some better ones when I get more time.

2) Finish Joyful Junipers top and quilt if time


Done!


And photographed.


And listed.  Bam!

3) Make daughter's quilt top


Lots of progress here but I set it aside to finish
one final holiday quilt for my shop.  I'm not sure
42 blocks are enough (queen size) but it's a very
good start.  (I'm thinking only one small
border in just the white background.)

4) Consider next quilt for shop
Done!
I made great progress here, too.  In fact, the top is
almost done!  Joyful Junipers was going to be my
last quilt for the shop before Thanksgiving I decided
I might have time slip one more in.  Besides, I wanted
to take advantage of the best time of the year to
play with Christmas fabric.

"Don's Goose" (56 X 72) from

For this, I chose my Farmhouse Christmas FQ set,
the same line I used in Joyful Junipers.  They look so
pretty in that quilt that I wanted to keep working with
them.  But...I'm not sure they were the best choice for
this one.  It wasn't the look I was after but it does have
a home-y holiday feel and that works too.  I do love
the pattern for sure.  It's just a good mix of all that I
enjoy in piecing, including geese which have long
been a favorite of mine for any scrappy look.
I'd like to make another very soon.  I'm seeing it in
fall colors so maybe I should think about wintery,
or Valentine's Day or even spring?

Notes on this one
*Lots of triangles so sizing is a must.
*I really think controlled scrappy is necessary, esp in
keeping to only part of the color wheel, and small prints.
*I envision this being bigger so I think I'd add more
blocks.  How pretty, and cozy, would it be on a bed?


NEW/UPDATED NOTE ON THIS ONE
Now that I've started  putting the blocks in to rows,
 and the rows together (as pictured above), I'm having
second thoughts about making this one again.


Three words:  diagonal seam matching.
Actually, 8 seams in one.  Not a walk in the park.

So I'm not sure I want to repeat the struggle so soon.
For now, I've had to relax my rules a bit on this one.
I'm pinning and doing the best I can (keeping
it to minimal ripping/re-doing) and hoping the
quilting detracts from any not-so-perfect points.  

The week ahead
The kids will all be home and there will be all the
usual feasting, games, decorating, and all that jazz.
If time allows, I'll be working on these two items:

1) Finish Christmas Geese top, quilt, pic and list

2) Finish Midnight Pines

And with that, I hope to move into a bit of a break from
working on shop inventory.   I feel like I've been really
pushing it and I'm missing some good ol' quilt therapy.
Next week I hope to have a list of FUN to share!
Maybe some Christmas projects for decor around the
house, a gift or two?  I might actually go to coffee next
week and do some planning.  It seems months since I've
indulged in the "luxury" of taking a morning off.  I call
it a luxury but it's becoming pretty obvious that I need
that every couple weeks to keep myself organized.
And in turn, I end up more productive, and sane!
(Anyone sensing a New Year's goal there??)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
and happy quilting!
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