2022 Tuesday To-Do #3: The First Big Step

Note:  Currently working on blog appearance.
Please be patient with me, and the colors.

Hello and welcome!  It's Tuesday To-Do yet again
but this one promises to be one of my best
posts yet.  I have such exciting news!
First, let's give props to Linda, otherwise known as
the Texas Quilt Gal who handles this shin-dig.
When you're done here, please go check out what
the rest of this crazy group of quilters is up to.

Last week's To-Do's

1) Finish Harvest Pumpkins top and make backing

I wanted to make this bigger but couldn't bring myself to
change the feel with another border.  I like it just as it is.
I had just enough of the background fabric left to piece
up the backing.  Quilt Top #1 of Project Build Inventory
is now complete and awaiting my new long arm.

2) Cut out second version of the same quilt but 
turn the pumpkins into Christmas ornaments.
DONE!  Sort of...

I am careful to keep holiday fabric to a minimum
in my stash so it was pretty time-consuming to get
this planned and cut out.   And then I didn't like it
so I cut more out and tried those.

(Sorry these are night-time pics)
I thought it was a go but the next morning, I walked
into my sewing room and just said, "No."  I think this
might be the first time in my life I truly scrapped a
project.  Well, maybe I haven't technically scrapped it.
Here's my plan:  If I can find more fabric to pull it
together, then it'll be a go once again.  If not, these
will be the makings of a lot of table runners and
toppers for next Christmas so they will not actually
be scrapped. 

So back to the drawing board my current book
of choice, County Seat Quilts (shown here) to choose
a new pattern.  Funnily enough, named Lucy.
But more on that in a bit.

This was the fabric that I wanted to focus on.

And this was my first pull.  As I said, I don't have much by
way of Christmas fabric so, because I haven't purchased
ANY fabric ALL year, I'm going to the LQS tomorrow to
see what damage I can do.

(Sorry, another dark picture.)
Meanwhile, I've gotten this far.  I love the busy background.
It might be much for some but it reminds me of my
Great Aunt Mary who lived to be 103 and always wore
handmade calico dresses.  I might talk about her more
in another post because I feel like I want to name this
one after her, though I don't recall ever spending
Christmas with her?
Anyway, moving on...this is a very, very fun and quick
design and I think I might pull another one today.
Or maybe another five?

3) Attend APQS seminar, take pics and post about it.
If you're a skim-reader, you'll want to slow down here.
This portion is the highlight of my post.  

On Thursday, a text let me know that due to the
forecast almost everyone had cancelled for the
seminar.  (Wow, these Okies are scared of snow!)
Well, no way was I going to let a few flurries keep
me away so I called the dealer to discuss this one.
(Remember--I was already *this* close to buying.)
We decided to do a one-on-one the next day instead
of the possibly-bad-weather-Saturday.  Excellent!
I'd still have the weekend open for sewing.
Maybe even snow-sewing!
I also learned she had a fully-loaded Lucey
demo for sale--and her price wasn't all that bad.
That kind of stopped me.  I'd already priced out a
new one with all the extras and that hefty sum
was taking some warming up to but hey, what
if I didn't have to warm up to quite so much?

Hubs, bless his wonderful heart, had taken that day off to
work in woodshed but guess how he decided to spend it?
Not only did he come along to help me make the decision,
he also drove so I could make notes and work on the
beginnings of a business plan.   He's a keeper!  

We pulled up to Red Barn Quilting at 9 am on the dot.
(I'm a very punctual person but that was especially
 good considering the 2.5 hour drive!)  Brenda's quilt
shop is right on their ranch--I'm a little jealous.

We spent some time getting to know Brenda and learning
about the APQS company but most of our time was focused
on the Lucey--specifically the question of new v used?
I was really open to either but with a savings of more than
$5K and still getting everything that I wanted and more
(note the overhead lights!) I knew what way I was leaning.
The decision really hinged on was the lifetime warranty
worth that higher price tag?   I was leaving this one up
to hubs and we've been married long enough that I
could see we agreed.  Still, I wanted to talk it over a bit
so I let Brenda know we'd text our decision within an
hour and said our goodbyes--after I requested a 
referral for lunch.  Always ask the locals.

So, funny story there:  guess where we ended up?
For me, it took a walk back to the bathrooms and
for hubs seeing the name on the menu before we
both realized where we were.  Never mind that we
missed the logo on the door as we walked in.

I can't say I'm a big follower or anything but I
do know who the Pioneer Woman is and knew she
had all of this down there somewhere.  I had seen
a few of her episodes years ago--funnily enough
those episodes included when they bought this
building and began renovation on it.

After we enjoyed a nice lunch (great steak fries!), we
decided to look around the mercantile section.  The day,
filled with so many things that I enjoy*, had a bit of a
magical feel to it.  I wanted something that would hold
 the memory of The Day That I Bought My Real Longarm.

*Road trip with hubs, small rural towns, quilting, etc.

I settled on this oversized coffee cup.  It's the enamel-
coated metal kind so it won't break, which makes it
perfect for holding pens, pencils and tools right next
to Lucey in my new studio.   

I have two more trips planned in the near future so I'm
sure I'll return to the Mercantile.  The first trip will be for
the class that comes with all longarm purchases.  When
the new Lucey arrives at the dealer's (6 to 8 weeks), I'll
head back down to finally bring mine home!

It feels like I should be going crazy having to wait but 
 I have so much work to do on building my quilt inventory
that I know the weeks will fly by.
The one thing I opted out of on my Lucey was that
computer program because that I do want brand new.
And as you might know, those things come with their
own hefty price tags!  Truthfully, if I'd asked, I think my
husband would have agreed to it but it is somehow
very important to me to work toward it by myself.
It's a huge goal but I'm going to see where I'm at in
a year.  If I've done well by then I'll be adding that,
and with it will officially begin the full quilting service.
I hope to get comfortable on her with the pantographs
much sooner and will likely offer that, though I think
most quilters prefer the computerized?
Anyway, the first big step has been made!

Other updates:

Above is the squirrel that likes to see what's going
on in the sewing room.  I'm just certain she's a mother
who wants to learn to make quilts for her babies.
Since it's clear that we're going to be friends (even though
they are the enemies of my garden and nut trees),
I've asked my husband to make her a little picnic
table feeder (the kind that holds an ear of corn)
and I'm open to suggestions for her name.

Fabric Tracking
I have to admit I don't have the up-to-date numbers
here but I've used something like 15 yards so far
and, as mentioned, purchased none.   Yet.
Let's just enjoy this productive and guilt-free
feeling....for the next 24 hours.

The Fam
This past weekend the Cadet was at Virginia Tech along
with such schools as Duke, Virginia, Tennessee,
North Carolina and North Carolina State.  Once again he
 cleared 15m /16' 4.75" (his PR), taking 3rd place among
some pretty strong competition.  Even more
encouraging was how so very close he was to
clearing 16'11". I tell you , it's coming!  He's right there!
(Can you imagine? Practically 17 feet!)
With the number of meets increasing nationwide,
he has dropped in rankings but clearing that next
height will have him back in the mid-teens; he remains
 #1 in the Patriot League (and at West Point all-time).  

My daughters are in their second year of coaching
volleyball--the parochial league in the fall and
club ball in the winter.  My other son now has in his
possession his official diploma from Creighton and
is enjoying working full-time without ever having to
worry about homework again.

So, what's going on in the week to come?

All over Blogland the QAL's are popping up.  Clearly
I have other plans this year so those just aren't an
option...except, I just found the perfect one for me: 
The 350 Blocks Project at Prairie Moon Quilts.
Encouragement to do what I need to do anyway.
So, I'll be giving a monthly count of blocks made.
It's only mid-January and I already have over 80
so yeah. I think I can do this one.
My personal goal for January?  Hmm.
How about 100?

And for my to-do's:

1) Finish the Great Aunt Mary Christmas quilt
and piece backing

2) Choose next quilt and cut out

3) Load up scrap quilt and ensure LA is ready to sell

Simple enough.
Happy quilting!


Deb said…
Wow , what a busy time for you! Thank you for sharing you decision making process on the quilting machine. Congrats!!! I am not sure which challenge I will take on this year. I do the RSC but not any other organized. I'm not sure how to count up my stash for the fabric use tracking but I might do that. I love list making so To do lists are right in my wheel house. Stay safe and sew on !
Bonnie said…
How exciting! You have so much to look forward to. Give me a side note if you are interested in buying some used paper pantographs. I have some left that I haven't sold yet. Brilliant plan to have a good size collection of quilts ready to be quilted when your new-to-you long arm arrives. I'm impressed with not having bought any fabric for the year. (On the other hand it's only 18 days into the year. ;) Hum, name for a squirrel.. no clue.
I love your punpkin star quilt, Cheree! So sorry it didn't work in the Christmas version. We all have that happen sometimes - our vision doesn't match the reality. So exciting about the new long-arm! I enjoy those days out with the husband, too - a drive, some lunch, and quilty acquisitions - priceless!
Home Sewn By Us said…
Hi Cheree! Get the heck out of town. You were having lunch in THE Mercantile?!! Who knew you were so close to Ree country?!! I didn't see that twist coming at all. What a great selection to remember the momentous event and as a helpful tool in your studio. You decided on the demo model except for the computerized function that you'll buy new later? That sounds like a wonderful option to me. I may be the odd one out but I love pantos and an all-over design over custom quilting. The 350 blocks challenge is quite fitting for you and pumping up your to-be-quilted inventory. I can't wait to hear more about Lucey. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne
Kathryn T said…
What a fabulous trip with a big decision at the end of it. Time will fly and it will be with you in no time. I have a sit down mid arm, no computer, sometimes i'd love something that did pantos. Love the pumpkin top.
Sharon Kwilter said…
Oooh, I didn't realize that the 350 blocks projects started up again. I'll have to go sign up. Thanks!
piecefulwendy said…
Well, what a fun post to read! I read it last night, but didn't have the energy to even write a comment. What fun that you were able to hang at the Mercantile and restaurant. I'm so excited for you and your new purchase!
Vicki in MN said…
Congrats on your big decision!! So happy for you:) You had a very eventful trip.
Needled Mom said…
You are going to love your new toy. I know you will be adding that computer in a year, if not sooner. You’ll hit those 100 blocks in no time at all with all the sewing you’ve been doing.
Carol Andrews said…
What a fun packed, happy post with such good news! Congrats. Welcome aboard the 350 block Project. It sure has helped me keep track of things these past few years. I’m sure you’ll be a rock star with your numbers. 😉
Kate said…
What a fun week. A road trip, a final decision and now just a few weeks to wait for your new acquisition to show up. And you even got some stitching stuff in too. That's a good week.