22 February 2022

February Goal Completed Early

As February draws to a close, it's time to link up
with Elm Street Quilts and share the completion
of my goal for the month.

Goal:  Finish "Christmas Grace" top


Going into February, I had the majority of the
blocks made and my setting triangles ready to go
 so I was well on my way to finishing this one.

I pieced up a backing (including an orphan block) and
I placed it all on the growing pile that is awaiting
the arrival of Lucey next month. 
Eight quilt tops completed in 2022 already!

For reference, the pattern is "Grace"
from the book County Seat Quilts.

See you all in March.
Happy Quilting!

2022 Tuesday To-Do #7: The Mad Quilter That I Am

Tuesday To-Do has blown in once again.

You know what's crazy?  This was what I was driving
through last Thursday.   Snow blowing everywhere.
 Yesterday it hit 71º; this morning the windchill is -10
That's a big swing!

Enough with the up and down thing!  Just stay cold and
snowy for the next few weeks and then, bam, spring!

Snow-sew days are always so productive so I vote
for many more to finish out the winter.  I'm on a roll
and want to stay hibernated a bit longer please.

Okay, moving on to link up to The Texas Quilt Gal
and all the to-do'ers.  Let's hit it!

Last week's plans and how they played out:

1) Continue on with Dresden--try to finish top
Heh heh heh.  "Try."  <Snort>  

With Dresdens, it's all about getting through the
cutting.  Things get really fun after that so while the
snow was blowing, the fuzz, thread and trimmings
were really flying in the sewing room.

Spring Dresden 74x74

With this being my SEVENTH finished top of 2022
already, you can imagine how my house has been
looking.  Threads and fabric bits everywhere!
I vacuum my sewing room daily but they stick to
me and I drag them all over the house.  I've started
vacuuming the whole house daily but they're still
everywhere!  I need that entry mat that warns guests:
A Quilter Lives Here.

That outer border caused me some angst but in
the end, I figured if the designer could go busy,
(see pic below)
then so can I.  And I did.   What do you think?
The softer floral look wasn't necessarily what I
was after but as I often say, the Stash makes
the calls around here so I let it.

The pattern is "Icicles" by Jessica Dayon and can be
found in the book Season To Taste by Lissa Alexander,
who by the way, "liked" my finished top photo on IG.
Certainly made my Monday, I have to tell you!

I chose this B&C fabric that I had on a bolt for
the backing (after it passed a dye test).
This can be found in the patchwork and Dresdens on
the front of the quilt and will also be the binding.
It's a lot of red I know, but it's a cheery red!

2) Think about next project

A little birdie surprised me with Edyta Sitar's book of
beautiful blue quilts and I cannot wait to get started!
Has anyone else had a chance to look through it?
So much to get excited about!
This is for sure the next book for me to work through,
and these will have me upping my game!  
They'll also have me upping my stash of blues.
I gotta say, I'm seeing red as well so who knows
where this will all end up?

3) Continue taking steps with inventory
Not really but because I have been sewing through
fabric like the mad quilter that I am and the fact
that I bought a little more,  I should include
another check-in with my fabric tracking stats:

Last week
2022 Purchased:  61.5 yds
2022 Used:  80.33 yds
2022 Net: -18.83 yds

This week
2022 Purchased:  72.5 yds
2022 Used:  86 yds
2022 Net: -18.83 yds

Before I move on to my goals for next week, I have
a bonus.  I finished two tops this week!
Old Glory was set aside until a border could be found
but it was nagging me to give it one more go
 before I start on a new project.  Good choice.

This one doesn't picture well in my sewing room so above
is to show what it really looks like before I show the finish.

This one wasn't doing a lot for me but I think the
alteration I made to the border (from the original)
really gave it something.   And I didn't have to hit the
LQS afterall!  It ended up finishing around 65X65.

Next week's plans:

1) Start on new project 
I have a clean room and clean machine,
and even a clean slate!  Time to start #9!
What will it be???

I really need to work on mid-week posting.  Waiting till
next Tuesday to share is a little difficult, and yet how
else could I be popping out these quilt tops so fast?

And that's it!
Happy quilting!

Happy quilting!

15 February 2022

Tuesday To-Do #7: Great-Dull-Rotary-Blades!

I never know what to title these posts most of
the time so lately I've taken to just pulling some 
phrase out of the content.   How about making it
a little seek-and-find activity?  "Find the title!"
Okay...maybe not.

Let's get on with it.
Happy Tuesday To-Do, oh quilty ones!
When you're done hanging out here, please do the
little clicky thing and check out what the other
motivated to-do'ers have been up to!

Latest products of my motivation:

1) Finish Winter Woodland top & piece backing

Except for the backing because, as it turns out, I
don't have any so, for now, I'm going to keep my eyes
on the coordinating yardage and snatch some up if
 it hits the clearance rack.

I considered using this background fabric but I have
always been a sucker for plaids and dots and so want
to save it for another background.  It's too fun to hide
away on the back, no?

2)  Choose next quilt and cut out

One place I know I spend too much time is in choosing
my next quilt project.  I can spend hours researching
even when I already have a bucket list, pinterest boards
and plenty of post-its sticking out of the books on
my shelves.  It's debatable if/when that can be a waste
of time or if/when it's part of the creative process but
this time I wasn't feeling up to that process so I tried a
different tactic:
Make a simple quilt while deciding on next project.
I'm a one-quilt-a-time quilter so I don't recommend this
course of action at all it but I think it worked this time,
though I'm not super-stoked about this interim one.

One more time I turned to County Seat Quilts.  I love
their more faded version of this but I just didn't have
the fabrics to support that look.  And wow, they really
 appear brighter in this pic, too:

Hubs suggested washing the whole thing on hot.
<gasp, shudder>
Oh, my-great-dull-rotary-blades, NO!
(That was too easy, wasn't it?)
Can you imagine what that would do with all this red?
For a quilter's hub, he's pretty knowledgeable but that
one?  Nope.  Anyway, it did get me thinking that this
might be one quilt that I do pre-wash before selling, and
I'll include perhaps the entire box of Shout Colorguards!?

Snapped a better pic with it on my bed.

Obviously I still need the border to finish it off but the 
stash isn't helping me out so I had to set it aside until
I get to the LQS, or maybe even a trip to MSQC because
[Side-Thoughts Alert]
I'm kinda feeling like a trip up there would alleviate
some lack-of-winter/snow blues.  Most people get
 winter blues, I get lack-of-winter/snow issues.
Acronym:  LOWS.
(Hmm, that would've made a good post title.)
Anyway, this sure was a quick one, and I think it would
make such a great summer "porch quilt" so maybe
someday if I up my faded-reds game, I'll make another.

"Icicles" by Jessica Dayon in Season To Taste

The 24 hours it took to make that gave me the thinking
time to finally decide on the Dresden.

Next question:  Use my dark blue layer cakes?
Or maybe in the cheery Bonnie & Camille fabrics?

I went with the B&C.  I love 'em but after hoarding
for a time, I'm kinda ready to move them out.

It took me a day to get them cut out (templates! Oi!)
but the 200+ wedges (a few extras for flexibility)
flew together and are now going into "plates".  

Incidentally, I still have plenty of B&C left so
this theme may occur again soon.

3)  Continue taking steps with inventory
Not really.
But this seems like a good spot to slip in my fabric
tracking numbers.  Still buying too much but I'm
doing decently at using more than I buy.

2022 Purchased:  61.5 yds
2022 Used:  80.33 yds
2022 Net: -18.83 yds

And next week:
1) Continue on with Dresden--try to finish top
2) Think about next project
3) Continue taking steps with inventory

Happy quilting!

08 February 2022

Tuesday To-Do #6: Crazy Mad Smokin' Sewing

Happy Tuesday once again!
Join me, and the others over at Texas Quilt Gal's
Tuesday To-Do Link-Up, as we go over our progress
and share our plans for the week to come. 

Gettin' right down to biz:
What did I get done over the last week?

1) Finish Grace/churn-dash top and back.


The backing is pretty creative with an orphan block
in the center and every last bit of that border fabric
 but I'll have to show that once it's quilted because
it is folded and sitting in my Finished Tops pile.

2) Choose and start new quilt

The love-hate relationship with precuts continues!
The short of my latest issue is, I have once again fallen
for some layer cakes and jelly rolls and I'm determined
to use them.  On the "hate" side of that relationship,
I spent hours trying to find a pattern that would work
and finally just went with the same one that I recently
made my grandson for Christmas.  I'm calling it
"Winter Woodland".

  Flying GeeseBear Creek Quilts website

In keeping with my crazy mad smokin' sewing, I have
the top half already completed and by this afternoon
I'll have 30 blocks logged for February already.

This isn't specifically a layer cake pattern but I think it
works amazingly well with them--you've got those
large pieces to showcase the big prints and then the
geese give it that touch of quilty-complication, if you will.
I also think that with its lack of delicate piecing, it works
well for a man's quilt.  I generally prefer more complicated
designs but these days but I also prefer not to have such
a stash of precuts!  Plus, I want to offer variety in my shop.

"Rustic Journey" by Barnatex Fabrics

Notes for using a layer cake on this pattern:
You can get one big piece and five "geese" from 30
10x10's (with very little waste); the remaining geese can
be cut from the others but you'll still have some strays.

3) Start working on getting an inventory
of fabric and other supplies--SOME.
I haven't done a full-on "take stock" but as I pull out
any bolt, I measure and note the amount, and date,
on the end.  Whenever I do set a day aside and do
my official inventory, this should help it go faster.

4) Make sure old LA is ready to go--ALMOST.
I loaded up a scrap "sandwich" and, after some
dialing in of the tension, it seems good to go.  Still
would like to give it a little more action to make sure.

So, what's the plan for next week?  More of the same!

1) Finish Winter Woodland top & piece backing

Once I get the rest of the rows together, a border in this
black will hopefully settle down the busyness a little. 
Guessing this will all happen today because I'm
getting excited to start quilt top #7 already! 

2)  Choose next quilt and cut out
I have a working list of possibilities and it is long!
For fun, I'm sharing a couple front-runners but
really, up until that last minute when I begin
consulting the stash, I just never know!

Season to Taste by Jessica Dayon

A Season In Blue by Edyta Sitar
I've been eyeing this one for awhile but the book isn't
available through my Scribd app.  I try not to collect too
many quilt books but...well...it's sitting in my Amazon
cart at the moment so we'll see.

I made 4 of the last 6 quilts from County Seat Quilts
(a shop hop splurge) and it was fun to work my way
through one book.  Purchases that go unused nag
at me; purchases that get used a lot show me I made
a wise investment.  Well, who doesn't like to feel wise?
I think it would be fun to choose a book to work
through maybe every year and because there are others
in Edyta's book that I'm up for, I'm mulling this one over.

3)  Continue taking steps with inventory
Can I keep up this crazy mad smokin' sewing?
I'm not sure but if I need a break, I'll start counting
things:  thread, pantographs, fabric amounts...
Eh.  Sewing sounds more fun.

Happy quilting!

01 February 2022

February Monthly Goal

 It's been awhile since I participated in the
One Monthly Goal Link-Up over at Elm Street Quilts
but now that things have settled down and I'm
putting almost all of my time into my quilting
business, I'm ready to pick these back up again.

To catch up, my focus for the first part of this year
is to get 10 or more quilt tops made before
the arrival of my new long arm--an APQS Lucey.

I've learned so much from my old King Quilter and
I'm happy to say he will find himself quilt very loved
in a friend's sewing room where I can still visit him!
May they make lots of beautiful quilts together!

If getting a long arm is on your radar, my best piece
of advice would be to find the most inexpensive used
one you can and learn from it!  After four years, I knew
exactly what to look for and the decision to buy Lucey
was almost simple.  Almost.  I did ask a lot of questions
from the dealer and from a few bloggers who have their
own quilting quilting businesses.  They know who they
are!  (Thank you!)

Anyhoo, on to my February Goal!

I have a great start on this churn-dash project but I
want it to quickly become a finished top.  (I'm not sure
my fascination with Christmas quilts all of the sudden
but check my previous posts for two others!)

The pattern is "Grace" from the book County Seat Quilts
so I may just adopt that name and go for something like
Christmas Grace.  If I'm upping my quilt game by 110%
I find I need to be quicker at picking out these names!

This should be done by the end of the week but I'll see
you all back at the link-up at end of February!

Happy quilting!

2022 #5 Tuesday to-Do: Holy Smokes!

Happy February--we're now one month in!
I am fully-caffeinated and fully-inspired, and that
machine is still smokin' over here!  Projects are
popping out, and even more are popping up!
 Join me, and the others over at Texas Quilt Gal's
Tuesday To-Do Link-Up, as we go over our progress
from last week and share what our plans are for
the week to come.

How things sit after last week:

1) Finish All That's Christmas II--DONE
This pattern was so fun the first time around (here)
that I wanted to make a bigger one.  This one
measures around 70x76.

I haven't settled on a backing for this one though so
I'm just letting it simmer until Lucey arrives.  Maybe
I'll find a Christmas clearance goodie that would
trump what I have in the stash?

2) Finish Churn Dash Christmas--ALMOST
Didn't get time for updated pic.

3) Choose a new quilt project...or two--DONE.

I chose, and promptly finished the entire top.
Even the backing is pieced and it's now joining
the others in awaiting the arrival of Lucey.

"Serenity" measures up around 89 X100-ish so it was a
little rough on the ol' shoulder.  I don't look forward to
binding it but we're not going to think about that now.
In the picture above, it's sitting on the backing;
because of its size, this photo isn't great but here
is a close up of most of the fabrics:

As for others, I have a lot bookmarked in my
reading app but there are some definite
front-runners.  I'll let the stash decide from those.

4) Make sure old longarm is good to go--NOT DONE.
(More on this in next week's to-do's)

5) Make spreadsheet for sales, expenses, etc--STARTED
This is going to be an on-going project till I really
learn what it is I need to keep track of etc.

One thing I have found to be VERY helpful is the use of
project worksheets.  Lots of quilters use them but I could
only see them as a waste of time--quilting time.  Now that
my angle has shifted, I have done a complete 180º and
find I can't be without them.  For each quilt, I have a
worksheet on which I note the pattern, source, finish dates
(top and full-finish), yardage (esp if I alter pattern), thread,
and so on.  It's one thing to keep these numbers in your
head when you're working on one quilt at a time, as was
always my norm.  Once I had several quilts going at once
(while I waited on fabric), it quickly became apparent that
I couldn't keep track of anything without those worksheets.
The form I chose is free from Sugaridoo, though I have
made a minor change or two to fit my needs.

6) Get last year's spreadsheet finalized (for taxes)--DONE

Now for some impressive January totals!
Blocks made:  327
(holy smokes!)
Fabric used:  53.15yds
(holy smokes!)
Fabric purchased: 34yds
(er....at least it's less than used!)
Quilt tops completed:  4, soon to be 5
(holy smokes!)

My latest fabric purchases:

I've been hitting it pretty hard in the sewing room so I
should back off this week.  Of course, if the inspiration
hits I'll go with it but some rest would be good.  
However, we finally have a full day of snow predicted
so I'm guessing there will be lots of sewing.

Here are my to-do's for next week:

1) Finish Grace/churn-dash top and back.

2) Choose and start new quilt

3) Start working on getting an inventory
of fabric and other supplies

And the Repeat Offender:
4) Make sure old LA is ready to go.
I just can't seem to get out of the sewing room to get
to this.  Hubs doesn't understand why I don't quilt all of
these tops up on my old longarm since they are ready.
Because, dear hubs, Miss Lucey stitches up so
beautifully it will be worth the wait!
I suppose only a quilter would notice the difference and
I really do not like the pile of UFO's that I'm creating so
if it's doing as well as the tech said it is, I'd like to at
least get my Pumpkin Harvest quilted up.

And so off I go to tackle this first week of February.
Happy quilting and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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