28 March 2022

Tuesday To Do #10: Studio Prep & Lucey Arrival Part 1

"Oooh Lucey, you're hoooome!" 

Lucey is finally here.
And I've been doing so much to make the perfect studio
for spending all of our time together that I chose to skip
last week's to-do.  But hopefully that's enough of that
behavior and from here on out, I'll be back to being a
dedicated, regular participator on Texas Quilt Gal's
Tuesday To-Do starting with today's Link Up!

With so much activity, it's hard to squeeze all of this
into one post so even though I can't wait to show you
my amazing new space, I'm doing this in two parts.

I guess I should start with some To-Do's since that's
what we're all here for today.  How about:

1) Buy a long arm--Done.
2) Build a studio--Done.

What a list, right?  And did I think I'd end up
with my dream studio?  Not at all.
I never got passed:  "Will it all fit okay?" but things just
kind of kept falling into place--with a lot of work!

Let's go back to the beginning.  If you recall, I needed
to move the cadet's things over into his brother's room.
(Other son is in the process of buying a home.)
Both rooms are upstairs, each off to opposite sides of
our open stairway so fortunately, this wasn't as difficult
as it could have been.  Now, you wanna something cool?
This room was actually mine when we built this home
back when I was in high school. Who'd have thought,
back in that day, that I'd be right back in it turning it
into a quilting studio!

Getting ready to paint, incl mudding holes in wall, etc.

So next was to paint.  It doesn't quite show in the above
pic, but that really was the prettiest blue.  But I'm sure you
can see how it had to go.  I needed neutral and bright.

Due to my own mistake, I ended up painting three times.
First, a wrong color, and then two more of the prettiest paint
quilter could ever have.  I have always loved to paint but
I do believe this girl's painting days are done.  Sheesh.
It can be pretty darned rough on an older body!

Tint of Honey, btw.

Oh the brightness! I do wish you could see it in person.
Just gorgeous.  If my painting days are over, I'm
happy to be going out on this color!

Both upstairs rooms are large, each with a dormer,
two walk-in closets and their own vanity cabinet (with sink)
 off to the side with a bathroom shared between.  
The vanities in both rooms are pretty dated so we're
working on that but first things first, okay?
I had hubs help me draw up a layout of the room so
you could understand a little better here.   

My sketching isn't perfectly to scale but hopefully you
get the idea.  And yes, I am fully aware I have the worst
handwriting in existence.  I have finally come to terms
with this--and no longer care.  (How freeing!)

 So now you see I have a T-shape to try to figure out
where Lucey will fit best so what did I do?

I grabbed up an old roll of butcher paper and made out
the exact footprint of Lucey to move around the room
until I found the best place for her.

And done.  It took longer to make the footprint than it
did to get it all figured out!  A good thing because the next
day, I was set to be down at Red Barn Quilting at 9 am
so Brenda could show me how to take care of my new LA.

Road trip!
And I just realized that if you zoom, you might make out how
 fast I was driving.  Since I seem to be fessing up to things today,
you might as well know that I'm a little speedy on the highways.
 (Learning all about me today, aren't we?)

Random house being built up the road from Red Barn Quilts.
I just think it's pretty so I'm sharing.

The shop is to the far right here on their ranch.

After learning the low-down on everything, including
maintenance and plenty of other tidbits that I never knew
(like how humidity can affect your tension), I headed over
to meet hubs who had ridden down with his parents and
we spent the night at their little lake house. 
(Grateful for the time and gas this saved!)

The next day we set about loading her up.  Hubs is 
pretty savvy and in taking this thing down with Brenda's
help, he pretty much had it memorized for setting it back
up but we did take some pictures for help.

APQS makes some amazingly solid machines, and they
don't break down into shorter pieces like my old one.
On this cold and rainy day, we needed at least 12' of
covered space (cold & rainy!) to get her home.
So, a U-haul to the 

I put complete trust in hubs and my FIL when it came
to loading her up.  They have skillz, and also understood
how just sensitive everything is.  (I did get the deluxe table
with that Bliss Track system and it has to be handled
with the utmost care!)   Again, grateful!

Lucey herself, of course, rode up with hubs and I.
Several hours later we were finally home and unpacked.
I was in no hurry; we were tired and had a weekend
 ahead of us still so after some initial set-up, we decided
to finish the next day.  

I was moving things up from my sewing room and it was
 taking an insane amount of thought and planning.
How did this happen?!?
I'd insisted on keeping my sewing room downstairs!
I didn't want to be tucked upstairs away from the activity.
Wait....what activity?
I guess sometimes I forget I'm an empty-nester!  Ha!
The great lighting, the open space and the idea of having
it all together was starting to sound very attractive.
Plus, the great hubs who helped make all this happen
really wanted my old room for his office.

The trick was how to organize it all.  After trying a couple
layouts I slept on it...and then tried more the next day. 

I have to sew in front of a window but this just
didn't feel right.  I felt like I was kind of down a tunnel.
And where did that leave space for my cutting table?

 Then it occurred to me to put my desk at the front of the
dormer.  From that angle, I could still see out of the arched
window.  This would also be great later when I get my
computer program so I can keep an eye on Lucey doing
 her thing while I sew away.   Hubs was also talking about
getting me a tv to mount on the wall that I could watch
from there.  Not a big tv-watcher but I do love tutorials
so I was definitely in on this plan.

I tried the cutting table several ways and ended up with this.
 It didn't look great at first but it felt good so I was willing
to give it a trial run.  You'll have to trust me on this one.
It starts coming together...

 Meanwhile, in the closet...
A daughter has her things in one closet but each are
plenty spacious.  In the above pic, all of my quilt tops
are piled on the floor but they'll soon be hanging and
the floor free.  Well, even better, they'll soon be quilted!!

While Chloe was rapidly making herself at home in the
new studio, I was rapidly seeing that I wanted a hutch
that coordinated with my fabric cabinet.  This one would
 be for books, precuts, and misc.

So, another road trip--this time to IKEA in Kansas City.
I spent two solid hours walking the show floor, looking
for ideas and thinking through my organizing needs
(and wants).  And if that wasn't enough fun, I stopped
by a quilt shop on the way home.
With that, this is "To be Continued...!"
Next week I'll share the purchases and do a little
tour of the entire studio.

Next week's to-do's
1) Give a tour of new studio
2) Keep practicing on Lucey
3) Make some blocks for the monthly challenge

Happy quilting!

15 March 2022

2022 Tuesday To-do #9: Top #9 Finish, Lucey Prep Winding Down

Texas Quilt Gal invites all to-do'ers to link up
and show what our accomplishments have been
for the past week and hopefully inspire each other
to get all the things done in the week to come.

From last week:
1) Finish Pines

#9 Pine Tree Lane

2) Visit LQS "B"
Done.  Actually "B" and "C".

I still didn't find my neutral but it's okay.  I'm patient
there, especially with other things on my plate. 

We (a friend and I) still both found some goodies
and a little road trip is always good for the soul.
The lighting is a bit off above but these are all going
to my blue collection.  I got 3 yds of the stripe thinking
it would make nice binding for 3? of Edyta's quilts.

The collection isn't big enough yet but I'm having fun
taking my time.  Someday soon it will be a real treat
to finally get started working through that book.
(A Season In Blue by Edyta Sitar)

3) Continue preparing for Lucey
Oh goodness, have I been preparing!
Everything was moved out and the room now has two
coats of paint.  I ran out of time to get it in this post
so I'm hoping to cover it in a separate one, or at least
all next week.

I made no moves toward starting quilt #10 but I did get 
two backings pieced so now 8 of the 9 tops have backs.
I've also been thinking thinking about getting labels
and bindings made up for all of them but hey,
let's not be an overachiever, right?

Both of my ironing boards received new covers.
Last fall when my iron appeared to be unusually hot,
I barely tapped it to the board and it instantly scorched
that ugly brown iron mark that makes you look forgetful.
 (Soooo glad I didn't put it on something important!)
(And yes, I tossed that iron!)
  It only took me about 6 months to get it switched out.
   Because I like them to match, I did my smaller one too.

Next week's To-Do's:
Looking ahead, well gracious!  It's a big week!
I have a class on the ins and outs of Lucey on Thursday
and then Friday is the big day!  I pray she travels well;
I see snow and rain in the forecast.

1)  Finish painting studio
I will check today, once the sun comes up, to see if a
little more trim work (esp along ceiling) is required.

2) Long arm class in OK

3) Back to OK to get Lucey & set her up

4) Pics and post on the process

I'll see you all back here next Tuesday
 with pics of the big day!

Happy quilting!

11 March 2022

A #9 Finish

 They say you should change things up every
now and then; don't be so predictable.
Today I thought I'd really put myself out there
and actually post on a different day of the week!
I know.  Shocking.

All kidding aside, maybe what's really shocking is
that I have completed my 9th quilt top of 2022!
And maybe a little more, this is my 700th post!
How did that happen?

But first let's link up over where my friend Wendy of
Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life is hosting

The pattern is Peppermint Pines from Erica Arndt
of Erica Made Designs and finishes up at 74X86.

(I hope a finished top qualifies as a finish because
I'm currently between long-arms.  The new one arrives
in a week so then the real finishes can begin!)

A close-up reveals the sparkly silvery snow in the
background which I think makes it a little more
festive and fun for the holidays, though I think
this one could hang out all winter.

This is my second go at Peppermint Pines.

My first one, made a year ago, sits on our sofa
through the winter months.  Which means it's 
almost time to put it away...but definitely not yet.
We woke up to a bit of a winter wonderland.
Not yet spring.  Not yet.

Happy quilting!

08 March 2022

2022 TTD #8: Still Pining for a #9 Finish

Hello and welcome to Tuesday To-Do once again.
Time to link up to Texas Quilt Gal and see what's
been going on with me and the other quilters
over the past week.

From last week's list:

1)  Visit LQS "A"
I didn't find what I was after but you know?
 In the interest of making sure the trip wasn't a total bust,
I thought it was a good idea to get something for my
efforts.  I mean, driving all that way and all...

 I picked up just a bit of Edyta's fabrics and a clearance
goodie that just might fit in.  Pretty minimal amounts
but it's nice to have a start on the blues.  I felt I should
be more creative than just choosing the same fabrics
as in the book but I think it must be that once you see
her quilts made up in her fabrics, nothing else competes?

2)  Visit LQS "B"
No, but scheduled this week.

3) Continue on Pines
This one has been slow-going compared to
the way things have been around here lately.

All I can say is: lots of interruptions!
But, the center is together and the first border
put on.  Two more to go--likely today--and then
#9 will be done.  I'm not sure my shoulder can take
one more but 10 is my goal before Lucey arrives
in less than two weeks.  We'll see...  
(Ran out of time but next week I'll share more pics, 
especially of the sparkly gray snow background.)

4) Garden Time!
I did some early gardening, getting in all 4 kinds of
onions (red, yellow, white & scallions).  I decided to
put just a small amount of lettuce, spinach, beets
and radishes (white, red) in as well because the 
ground was prepped and rain on the way.
It's pretty cold still but they'll likely survive.

5) Prepare for Lucey
A little done.
(I'm not sure it'll ever all get done!)

Looking ahead...

Next week:
1) Finish Pines
2) Visit LQS "B"
3) Continue preparing for Lucey

Happy quilting!

01 March 2022

2022 TTD#8: A Tale of Two Squirrels

Welcome to another episode of Tuesday To Do,
a link-up hosted by Texas Quilt Gal.
And happy Mardi Gras!

Looking at last week's list:

1) Start on quilt #9

I hit a wall. 
I was all excited with my new book...

...but then discovered that I didn't have any workable
background fabrics.  I decided that as special as the
quilts are in this book, I want to be pretty selective
with my fabrics.  And that will take patience and time. 
Meanwhile, I still needed a #9.

I did have great plans to choose another quilt but on that
 snowy morning, as I reached to turn my music on, I saw
the little kit that had been getting the shuffle all around
the room since last year when I found it on clearance. 
[See, if I put it away, I'll forget about it and that can't happen!]
 At a mere $10, I thought it would be a nice little selection of
fabrics even if I never got around to making it--but the
sample hanging in the quilt shop told me I'd be making it.

With the snow coming down the entire day, it was an
excellent day for squirreling.  And there was so much
 fabric included that, well, voila:  I made two squirrels!
Unless I get impatient--and I might--they'll be
some of my first practice projects on Lucey.

So, back to Quilt #9...
(Below is NOT it!)

"Peppermint Pines" by Erica Arndt

I made the above quilt two years ago and enjoy
seeing it on our sofa throughout the winter.
(Most especially the quilted snowflakes!)

I was hanging out next to it last week, surfing away for
the still-unknown #9 when suddenly I found myself
in the sewing room starting another pine quilt.
And for this one?  Stick to the stash.

I was a little hesitant about the silvery snow background
but I had almost 8 yards of it--that made it hard to resist.
Thankfully I listened to The Stash and I'm now loving it.
Above is just my teaser pic of my new one but I'm pretty
close to another finished top.
( If it weren't for those squirrels...!)

Since we're into March, I need to do some tracking.
First of all, after I lost some of my info, I had to
go back over my quilt worksheets and I still have no
idea what happened but apparently I mis-added my
block count for January.  (I have sent my correction to
I also couldn't quite account for all the fabric used
so I had to lower that number by a few yards.  To keep
it as legit as I can, I gave up and just made the changes.

Fabric Tracking
2022 Purchased:  72.50 yds
2022 Used:  92.9 yds
2022 Net: -18.83 yds

350 Blocks Challenge
January Blocks: 237
February Blocks: 163
Total for 2022 So Far:  400

But back to the Edyta quilts...
I'm going to check out a couple LQS's
(not so local--1 hr drives to ea)
to see what I can come up with.  If that doesn't do it,
I might run up/over to MSQS, which of course, is an
all-day thing.

So that will kick off next week's to-do's:

1)  Visit LQS "A"

2)  Visit LQS "B"

3) Continue on Pines

4) Garden Time!
Later this week it's supposed to be unseasonably
warm so that means I'll likely be putting onions in the
garden and seeing what other outdoor clean up I can
knock off the list.  An early start means a nice, easy
pace and that's what I'm about.

5) Prepare for Lucey
This one won't be a nice, easily-paced project
because I've been putting it off.   Our boys still
have the upstairs bedrooms, though neither boy
really resides with us.  The oldest has graduated
and is working and house-hunting in Omaha
so he'll be taking his things soon--just not yet.
And the Cadet won't be home to visit till late-May.
The timing is all off so this will be tricky but my
mission is to play musical rooms, so to speak.
The Cadet's room is slightly bigger and has much
better lighting so his room will be my studio.
Omaha Son's room will now be the Cadet's room.
My studio will then need prepped and painted,
all before Lucey arrives.
You see why I put this off?  If it were just painting,
(fun!) I'd have done it already but this...Oy.
And now I need to hurry.

Happy quilting!
Also, a good and holy Lent to all who observe!
You got this!
...Or maybe I should say:  He's got ya!
Or whatever.  You know what I mean!
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