31 May 2022

Tuesday To-Do #17

It's Tuesday again and time join all the do'ers

It was an okay week for me.  The rain finally stopped and
I made up for lost time on the golf course (see my IG).
completely wore myself out in the insane winds we've
been having but I still managed to reduce my pile of
quilt tops by one!
1) Make backing for Flags, load and quilt

Today I just need to come up with a name,
make a label and bind 'er up.

One down, eight more to go! 
The rain is back and I'm motivated to make the
pile of tops turn into a pile of finishes, especially
after this one went so smoothly and quickly.

2) Finish HST's for Waves of Blue

Now that I have one impressive pile of 1280 HST's,
I need to work on making an impressive pile of blocks.

3) Complete Cadet's mending

4) Load up another quilt
Not done.
See #6

5) Play with fabric
Sadly, no:  see #6

6) More golf
(The culprit!)

Five rounds in five days.

For you golfers out there, I settled on some irons and
have them on order.  If I'm lucky, it'll only be 2 weeks but,
ugh, it already feels like the 8 weeks I originally thought!
Now I'm working on choosing a driver and then I'm 
thinking I need to settle in with all the newbies
for a few months before I move on to the rest.

Other things
There hasn't been much time for gardening so I'll
be needing to catch up there this week.

We saw Top Gun: Maverick in a packed theater.
I wasn't won over right away but by the end
I had decided:  Yep, pretty darned good!

The week ahead

1) Finish quilting and bind flag quilt;
photo shoot if weather permits

2) Load next quilt

3) Make 5-10 "Waves" blocks

4) A little less golf and more gardening, maybe
even some house cleaning--so neglected!

And that's it for me.
Time to see what everyone else is up to!

Happy quilting!

24 May 2022

Tuesday To-Do #16: Toys!

Hello on this very wet and cold rainy morning
and welcome to another edition of

Last week's goals

1) Finish guild charity quilt #2

Quilt top made by guild.

By the way, this looks like it's just one big log cabin
block made with jelly roll strips.  Filing that idea away.
Would be a great quick project.

More pantograph quilting.

2) Quilt guild charity quilt #3

Quilt top made by guild; sorry, not a great pic.

On this one, I tried out some of my new toys and FMQ.
No practice, just jumped right in--because it
always looks so easy in the videos, right?

Well, not quite.
More on that under #3

3) Practice with rulers and FMQ

Like I said, it's just not as easy as it looks--yet.
I finally put a quilting glove on which helped a tiny bit.
I'm just assuming I'll get used to it but I have plans to
watch some tutorials...whenever I find the time.

I also discovered that with the ruler base on the longarm,
ruler quilting on the outer side borders is next to
impossible unless you leave yet another 5" on top of the
usual extra fabric down the sides.   Or you take the clamps
off, but that didn't work either.  I gave up with the ruler
and free-handed the sides.  I surprised myself there.

Though I was pretty frustrated and just flew through it,
the result wasn't all that bad.  I think if I slow down and
put more care into it, I could get those down pretty well.

Other than when trying out my first longarm, I haven't
really done FMQ for almost 5 years.   I really enjoyed it on
my regular sewing machine but once I moved to a long arm,
I couldn't get enough of what pantographs had to offer.  

Attending a couple classes and buying new toys and books
(and Lucey!) has renewed my interest in FMQ.   I decided to
play around with a few of Julia Quiltoff's designs in these
rows.  Note to self:  use visible thread when FMQ!  I feel like
I could've done a pretty decent job if I could only have seen
where I'd been!  LOL.  Ah well.  I'm happy enough with it.

**Side-note: Julia highly recommended to us these
disappearing ink marking pens after she shared her horror
story about Pilot Frixion pens.  Because I've heard other
stories, I only use the Frixions for marking cutting lines 
and anything else that won't show.  Btw, I don't get
anything for sharing; I'm just passing along good info.
At $10/12 pens, I've already ordered a pack, knowing that
when I do start marking for FMQ, I can be confident
my marks will not come back to haunt me.

4) Finish all HST's for Waves; continue piecing blocks
Not quite done.

Gracious, this is going slow!  I'm doing such a small amount
here and there but I am making progress on it all the time.
This bin is packed full of them and because I'm almost done,
I'm thinking this must be around 1,000?  (I need 1280.)

5) 3 QOV blocks (for guild)
Done! (Only two pictured)

6) Pick up cadet at the airport!
Done!  As evidenced by the presence of the
MMMP in the sewing room.

Military Mom Mending Pile
(I can play the acronym game as well as the army!)

He is home and enjoying some R&R, home-cooking
and especially seeing his Jeep that he purchased here
while he was up at school.   Hubs and I handled getting
 it home from the dealer so it was the cadet's first time
 behind the wheel--he is so happy with it!

Other things going on:

Fabric Tracking

I dropped off of posting weekly on this.
Probably something to do with guilt!  LOL
Regardless of how much I buy, I'm supposed to be
using more...but everything is just all off.  I've been so
busy learning new things instead of sewing quilts but
apparently I'm not that busy because I still find time
to peruse fabric sales.  I'll just come out with it:

Yards purchased this year:  150
Yards used this year:  115

Now, no need for words of comfort and consolation.
I can still get on top of this situation, especially
in the fall.  I just need to put my head down and go.
(And stop looking at sales!)
I have so much to work with!  So much to be inspired by!

This is my latest order:

Buttermilk Homestead by Stacy West/Riley Blake

Just look at that beauty!!
I canNOT wait to do something with that FQ set!

I also picked up a couple yards of this (above) one...

because it matches this orange that I already have.
This "vintage Halloween" look is a fave with me.

Truly, I could shop my own stash for a long time
and be really happy with it!  And so, I will try.

In the garden

A sample of the "before"

I spent a lot of time weeding the asparagus patch (it's big)
and it now has a thick layer of straw that will hopefully
keep out most of those weeds.  I didn't get an after pic
and since it has been pouring rain for about 14 hours,
I'll wait till next week for that one!

I've already picked a gallon of strawberries (in one day)
and they're calling to me now to pick more.
I'm slowly giving the remaining lettuces and spinach to the
chickens.  We've had so much salad already and it's about
this time of year that it starts to get a little buggy, or bitter,
or both and I'm done with cleaning it anyway.
I've pruned the peppers and the tomatoes (2nd time);
we have tomatoes setting on already!
I've also been pruning the fruit trees in the orchard--this
is definitely going to be a great year for fruit!
After the last 2 years of freezes, we're excited!

On the golf course
After a couple weeks of trying out two specific clubs, I think
I've settled on the irons I'll be getting.  Like everything these
days, they will take weeks (months?) to arrive.  UGH.
I'll also need a new bag to go with those new toys clubs
so I've been doing a little searching there.  

I got my first birdie last week which was a great feeling.
My tee shot put me right here on this par 3.
No pressure, just putted it right in.
I've only been playing since last fall but from what
I have been told by several including the pro I'm working
with, I'm already doing better than 99% of new golfers.
I really don't know about all that;
I'm just excited to get better as fast as I can.

Golf v. Quilting--and v. the Computer!
It is, as I've said, my exercise and because we have a 
membership, I try to go as often as I can.  But working
that in with quilting (along with everything else in life!)
has been a real struggle.  I recently tracked an entire week's
activities between the hours of 8 and 5 and, not surprisingly,
I have a lot of work to do to gain more control of my time.
Golf takes a chunk but with the longer days, I can get on
very early in the day and be home by about 10:30.
I feel it boosts my energy for the rest of the day, too.
The biggest culprit?  Again, no surprise--the computer.
But I do feel like getting it all down on paper was a very
productive first step.  Now to make some changes.

Enough chatter.  Moving on to next week's goals:

1) Load up one of my own quilts--finally--and quilt it.

It's time I attack that pile of finished tops that I started
building back in January.  First up is my American flag
quilt--timely with the holiday weekend coming up.

Incidentally, it's the only top I didn't make a backing for
already so that will be a nice step toward evening out
those fabric tracking numbers.

2) Finish HST's for Waves of Blue

3) Complete Cadet's mending

4) Load up another quilt

5) Play with fabric

6) More golf

In summary, I've been making use of all of my new toys!
Except maybe the fabric--if you can call that "toys".
But a goal of "play with fabric"?  I'm pretty sure
I can make that happen too.  Especially with all this
rain.  Great for the garden and trees but I'm cold.
And it's muddying up the golf courses!
(Kidding--I'll never complain about rain!)

Happy quilting!

17 May 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #15

Happy Tuesday once again!

Texas Quilt Gal hosts this link-up every Tuesday,
basically to keep us all on our toes!
What would we do without her?
Not nearly as much, that's for sure!

Cutting right to the chase, here's how my week went:

1) QOV Blocks
Picked up 3 more but have not started on them.

2) Charity/Guild quilting
Two quilts (1 small, 1 med) picked up.

One loaded; quilting begun.

3) Quilt sister's quilt

4) Continue sewing HST's for Blue Waves
Some progress.

5) Load up one of my own quilts?

It just wasn't a very impressive week.
might as well fess up: 
I've been golfing A LOT!
I look at it as exercise as well as sort-of-PT for my frozen
shoulder so going 3 to 4 times a week is likely going
to be normal-for at least awhile.  I'm not sure how to
make my schedule work with all that but I'm trying!

Last Tuesday was our guild meeting.  During show-and-tell,
I was super-impressed with one member's "Alaska" quilt.
I recognized it as one of Edyta Sitar's designs and, unless I'm
just way off, it seems to me this one was JUST released!
Somebody is quick!

My super awesome news is that I finally ordered the ruler
base for Lucey and I cannot wait to put it to use!

Above are the rulers I previously purchased at a class
given by Julia Quiltoff--I'm equipped and ready to go!
Now for some extra hours in the day!?

Other things keeping me out of the sewing room:
An outdoor concert
Garden work
Landscape work
Golf club fitting session
Opened our pool!
Etc etc etc!

Next week's list:

1) Finish guild charity quilt #2

2) Quilt quilt charity quilt #3

3) Practice with rulers and FMQ

4) Finish all HST's for Waves; continue piecing blocks

5) QOV blocks

6) Pick up cadet at the airport!
That's right!  He'll be home for a few weeks before
heading out to Fort Hood in Texas for leadership
development training.

Today is my first mostly-free to quilt day in
quite some time so off I go!  Good luck to
all you to-do'ers out there and
happy quilting!

10 May 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #14: Perspective

Welcome to another round of to-do's!
I'm joining our host Linda/Texas Quilt Gal and
the others at the Tuesday To-Do Link Up.
One of my biggest goals that I haven't even mentioned
is to get a second post in per week but so far, this
link-up has been IT for me for a very long time!

Thank goodness for it!
Would I even post once a week without it??

Mother's Day flowers from the kiddos

Looking back at last week
I failed to mention the brand of stabilizer I was using:

"Terial Magic."
(I really wish I could remember which popular quilter
recommended it but *poof*--it's gone!
However, my point wasn't so much the brand 
(this is the first I've tried)
but that I really like how you can take the liquid and
water it down to your own preference.  I ordered up a
large bottle of it and then made my own solution in a
a small spray bottle to keep on my cutting table.
I hear Best Press is a great brand too, just fyi.

1) Quilt the guild charity quilt

Not perfect but I'm definitely getting closer!

Today is the next guild meeting so I'll be dropping it off
and likely picking up one more--if I can contain myself.
I would love to take on five but I do have another one of
my sister's and nine of my own waiting.  It's time I get
those completed and listed on my site.

2) Continue on with Blue Waves

Got LOTS of HST's made last week!
I'm using the 4-at-a-time method and have almost
all of my squares sewn together.  Just need to cut
them apart, press and trim the ears.

3) Load my sister's second quilt
Almost done--waiting on batting to air out.

Other fun things that occurred this week:

I only got two rounds of golf in due to the weather.
We've gotten so much rain and I'm so grateful.
I'll give up a little golf for that anytime!
(A little!)

Deadlifting 535lbs

On Friday we ran up to Leigh, NE to watch our
oldest son compete for Nebraska's Strongest Man.

Log Lift (235lbs)--How many times over a minute (I think?)
He took first here.

Some of you caught the pics on Instagram already
but I wanted to post a few here.

Atlas (various-weights, solid concrete;
place up on stands; timed)

The final atlas ball (305lb) goes over the bar.

Two years ago, at aged 20, our son took 1st in the
novice division.   This year, his first in the regular
 competition, he took 5th in the mid-weight division!

Tractor pull (approx 7100lbs + driver weight).  Timed.

Considering a man's strength peaks in his 30's,
our son is off to a great start in competing!

Farmer's Lift (500lbs--timed)

Looking around, I guessed he was likely one of the youngest
(if not the youngest) competing so I think he has a real
shot at making the top three over the next few years and
likely winning as he gets older and continues to train.
(The cadet/pole-vaulter son is super-proud of his brother!)

It's a shame this mom can't show the strength of her son
when it comes to restraining herself at fabric sales.
But I gotta say, these were not to be passed up.
Most especially $5.50yd Andover Fabrics 10yd-bolts in
solid white, black and ivory. I was running low on white
and ivory so, yeah, got 'em.  I really wanted that black one
too but I did so some restraint there.  (It's still calling to me!)

Edyta grab-bags--10 pieces, ea approx 8x21.
Too perfect for that book of hers that
I'm working through on so I got two.

And btw, should the day come that I get a little tired of
working with all these blues?  I came across a pic on IG
 of a blue, white and red HST quilt also made of HST's
and I got the greatest idea.
If--IF--that day comes, all a girl's gotta do is add
in another color!  Like red or yellow and
A whole new look and interest is renewed!

Garden Update
Rain = weeds!
Most of the garden now has weed block in place but
you can't do this in places like the asparagus patch.
And oy, that place is a weed free-for-all.

In general, I'm feeling the pressure of summer coming.
A great thing to be sure but I want to get all the things
 done (a major house clean, landscape and garden work,
coop cleaning, etc) before summer hits so that I can enjoy it.
And these quilts!  They aren't going to quilt themselves!
And soon it'll be too hot for golf so I gotta play, play, play!
And....well, you get my inner-feels, right?
With all this going on in my head, I'm just trying to take
it one day at a time.  How grateful I am to have such a
wonderful list of to-do's--yes, even the weeding!
Why?  Because I have a garden!
Because I can golf and because I can quilt!
Keepin' that perspective!

And so, looking at the week ahead:

As mentioned, today is guild. Assuming I keep myself from
too much trouble, the charity work should be minimal.

1) QOV Blocks

2) Charity/Guild quilting

3) Quilt sister's quilt

4) Continue sewing HST's for Blue Waves

5) Load up one of my own quilts?

I also have 4 rounds of golf planned, depending on the
weather.  With so much quilting, I wouldn't mind one
rain-out--or dare I say it, even two?

Well, the best way to get it all done is to get started
right now so off I go--and you too!  Hop to it!
(A little bossy, aren't I?)
It's going to be a great week for us all, right?

Happy quilting!
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