27 June 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #19: The Fung Shui Quilter

It's time for another Tuesday To-Do.
I'm sharing my progress and plans while
linking up with Linda, The Texas Quilt Gal
and all the other quilters out there who need
a little extra motivation and perhaps haven't
quite grown out of show-and-tell <wink>.

Last week's progress:

1) Finish both Christmas quilts

All That's Christmas I is a full finish.
(The lighting made the darker squares really
stand out; they don't so much in real life.)

Both quilts have the same cozy Christmas feel so
should be perfect for "home-y" holiday decorating.

I love that little pieced border!

(back of ATC II)

With less than 2 passes left on the larger version,
I ran out of thread as suspected so everything was
paused until UPS came to the rescue and I was able
to finish up the quilting. The binding and label will
have to be moved to next week's list.

 2) Hope for good picture-taking days.

I've had some great ones...just not when I was
available to take advantage of them.

3) Make post on labels

If you missed it, here it is:
Please let me know your thoughts on how this
turned out.  (I don't do many tutorials.)

Moving on to next week, we're looking at a major holiday,
among other events around here so my to-do is more like
suggestions instead of concrete goals.

1) Bind and finish ATC II

2) Load next quilt?

3) Sew a few more blocks on Waves?

4) Start a new quilt?
I have everything picked out and fabric pulled.
Should I be starting another with so much to finish?
By my rules, absolutely not, but my mojo is waning
and I just know that excitement of a new project
 would fix me right up.  I'll keep working at the pile
of tops till it's gone--likely within weeks.
I need that peace of mind way too much.
I guess you could say I'm a fung shui quilter.

We are finally getting all the kids together for the first
time since last Christmas to celebrate the 4th along with
Mother's/Father's Day and my oldest daughter's
birthday (29!)...and another little surprise that I think I'll
hold off a bit on.  As usual, our whole foodie family
is pitching in with my oldest son taking on the main
main event--Taco Birria--and everyone else following
suit with the Mexican theme.   Taco Birria is similar to
the hub's amazing barbacoa so I'm really looking
forward to this.  (The recipe belongs to a housemate
so I cannot share it but Google has lots of results.)

The next day the Cadet will be heading
 out on the two-day road trip to get his Jeep up to
West Point. (Upperclassmen are allowed vehicles on post.)
His brother will be accompanying him (and flying back)
so I would appreciate prayers for this long journey
from Kansas to NY, and over a holiday weekend to boot.

Have a great week and happy quilting!

How I Label My Quilts (Gasp! A Rare Tutorial)

Hello and welcome to a special edition.
I've had a request for a little more info on
how I make my quilt labels so today I'm
sharing a quick tutorial on what is likely a
slightly different method than most quilters use.

I really enjoy hand-sewing but, at the risk of starting
a "by hand v. by machine" debate, I'm a huge fan of
machine-binding because it saves so much time.
Hours that can be spent on my next quilt!
I've done it for years now and it still amazes me,
all that time saved!  It was a simple step over to sewing
 the label down by machine as well, and then those
binding scraps just begged to be part of the show.

My Method for Quilt Labels

This step fits in after sewing the top of the
 binding on and before sewing down the back.

Lightweight fusible interfacing
Excess binding from quilt

Tip:  To make this even more efficient, keep a stash of
supplies ready.  A pile of 6x6 muslin squares and
interfacing triangles (a scant 6x6" cut diagonally)
sits in my sewing cabinet at all times.   

To make a label, place the interfacing
along one side of the muslin as shown.

Fold the muslin over and press into a triangle,
fusing the interfacing down at the same time.

At this point, use your normal method of writing
your label info.  I use the basic embroidery on my
sewing machine.  First pressing in a vertical center
 line and then marking the horizontal lines with
disappearing ink for an orderly placement.
If you embroider also, it's best to do this on the
side of the interfacing, using it as a stabilizer.

Next grab that excess binding you are left with after
sewing the top part of your binding down.  If, by magic,
you had just enough and nothing left, go for some
other accent fabric in your quilt.

I like to make this strip thinner so when your binding
is still folded in half, trim to 7/8".  Open it up and
press each side in to the center.
(This is like making bias tape.)

Next, press your strip in half again,
making a narrow trim.

Opening it at the fold, slip the top of your triangle label
into the trim, placing it snugly up along that center fold.

Fold your trim back down over the label.

Wonder clip, or pin, into place and topstitch down.

Now we're ready to insert the label into the quilt.

When the top of my binding is sewn onto my quilt, I press
it down from the front, and again on the back as I fold it
into place and clip.  This really helps me keep things straight.

(*Showing a different quilt in the remaining pics)

When I'm pressing and clipping that binding down on
the back, I insert the label in a lower corner and clip well.
Especially at the far points of the label that didn't quite
get into the above pic--this is where it has the greatest
chance of slipping out as you move it to the machine.

The label will add a bit more bulk so grabbing this
section of the binding when sewing it down can be
a little tricky, especially if you like a narrow binding.

I always start sewing my binding down right here so
I remember to give it a little extra attention,
and perhaps a little tight pull if needed.

When I turn the corner, I flip the back over to
make sure things are off to a good start.
(Better to make any adjustments now!)

I forgot to add that when gifting the quilt, you can
tuck a large tag with washing/care instructions
in the little "pocket" created by the label.

I rarely do tutorials so I hope this is clear.
I feel these labels go on so quickly and
have a nice professionally-finished look to them.
I hope you'll give 'em a try.  If you find you love them
as much as I do, please let me know and if they end
up on your blog, please give a link back here.
I would appreciate it!

Happy [faster] quilting!

20 June 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #18: Where's The Slow Lane?

Hello, Do'ers and welcome to another week of doing.
Time to link up with Texas Quilt Gal and show our stuff.
How was everyone's week?

I've just finished writing up this week's post (below).
It has a real "out of breath" feeling to it, and the irony
is that Jimmy Buffet's "Slow Lane" just came up on
my playlist.  So, while you read it, it might be fun
to keep that in mind and have a good laugh.
I even linked it for you if you've never heard it
and/or want to listen in while you read.
You're welcome.

On to my last two weeks...

1) Quilt up Serenity


It's bound and labeled, too, so it's a complete finish!
I just need a good day for a photo shoot.

2) Make 5 wave blocks 
(Holding off on pics till I get a little farther along)

3) Make small items for longarm guild table
at quilt show
Not done.
I received a personal phone call requesting 10 items
(table toppers, etc) to be sold at the guild's table.
I want so badly to help out here, especially as a
new member, but even in the strongest moments
of my people-pleasing nature, I know I just can't.
I. Physically. Can't.
And I'd love to because I have some orphan blocks
that would be put to great use here.
Being one of the smallest words in our language,
it's amazing how hard it can be to say:
There.  I did it.
Wow, I didn't expect this but now that I wrote that,
I feel it is completely the right thing to do.

3) Finish weeding garden paths
and prune tomatoes
Once upon a time, I could spend an entire day in the
garden.  Eventually we get too old for that stuff, right?
Now I set the timer on my phone, and when I'm done
I hop in the pool to cool off.  Let's face it:  weeding is
never really done till winter but I'm managing them.

By the way, I've had a request for a full garden pic.

Asparagus ferns in very front-left, and the pepper bed next.
A couple lost to storm/wind damage--no worries, still
have plenty.  Tomatoes, cabbages, eggplant, beans, onions,
carrots, beets, etc all in the back.  And the "forest".

I usually post lots of these but there are many reasons
I haven't this year, time being the main one.  Because it
has always been a major happy place, I usually keep the
garden in pretty tip-top shape.  This year I've only put a
fraction of my usual time in out there, and I've left three
beds completely empty.  In the far back of the pic you'll
see the result of my brilliant idea to let the volunteer dill
and sunflowers do their thing.  With all the rain, I couldn't
get in there anyway but then things got completely out of
control (and full of mosquitoes) so now now it's a forest.
I'm not touching it till we get a cool spell.  If that's fall
then so be it.  The chickens will enjoy the dill and 
sunflower seeds immensely.

The OCD side of me is shocked  this is going on;
the other side of me could care less.

The beds need re-done badly but because I am still
mulling over the design, there they sit.  I have put in
20 years of work into this space but now it's too big.
I don't want to take care of it all but I can't let go either.
 Maybe God will reveal the next step?  (I have been giving
some thought to growing and making our own whole
own whole-grain mustards but I need to research it.)

Random pic of hub's blackberries and grapes.
(And weeds.)
More random:  Fresh green beans have hit the table!

Sorry, not a lot of flow to this post today!  Just
another indicator of being pressed for time, I guess.
And I miss writing.  It calms me.  Someday soon.
With so much going on around here, I had to skip
last week's link-up.  Some of the main highlights
of the last two weeks:
* Cadet flew out for leadership training
*A sister visited
*The last harvest (more in a bit) happened
*Golfing 3-4 times per week, trying out drivers now

*Attended the Wichita Open
(top 25 qualify for the PGA, including the above 2)
*A family reunion
*Orthopedic dr sent me back to PT (more in a bit)
*Hedgehog sitting for my daughter
(They're cute but messy.  And prickly!)
*Quite a bit of quilting

So let's visit a couple of those, starting with the last
harvest.  There's a complicated matter I've been
handling for years that's now coming to an end.

As a result of that, I found myself watching the very
last harvest to take place on the last bit of ground
that's been in our family for over 120 years.

All those years.  And just like that, it was over.
It was a little like saying goodbye to my dad again.
I could've let myself get pretty emotional but...
well, change happens.  And a great pressure will
be lifted so there is a positive side to it at least.

Now for the "bonus" quilting I've been doing.

All That's Christmas is quilted and trimmed,
just awaiting binding.

The larger version, All That's Christmas II,
is about half-way quilted.  I'm praying the
thread I chose sees me through to the end.

It'll take a miracle.

Above, Serenity, All That's Christmas I & II.
Things are getting done!

That subtitle makes it look like I might have actually
cleaned my house, but no--blog housekeeping.

One reader asked to see my book holder, minus the book.
I honestly can't remember where I purchased this but I
think it's more for holding pictures--which is what it was
doing before I stole it from another room in my home.
(Everything is fair game for the sewing room, right?)

It takes up quite a bit of room on a surface that is
too limited anyway but it has taken me quite a few
blocks to get that layout imprinted in my brain.
Thus the book.  

I've also had a request to go over how I do my
quilt labels.  This is something I've meant to do
for a couple years.  I've even taken the pics for it,
but somehow I haven't gotten around to it but
it's now on my to-do's and should be showing
up in a post later this week (hopefully, tomorrow).

Just a little reminder to the few no-reply followers
out there:  I do see you and read your comments.
I know I've said that before but I just like give an
occasional shout-out of appreciation.  I have
considered putting my replies on my blog but I like
 to keep the option of being more personal in my
replies; some things just don't need to be out
there on the Internet, you know?

And next week?
1) Finish both Christmas quilts completely

 2) Hope for good picture-taking days

3) Make post on labels

....and heck I don't know what else!?
Just keep at it!

Happy quilting!

07 June 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #17: It's About Time!

Tuesday has arrived again so it's time to link
 up with Texas Quilt Gal and the other do'ers.

It was really a great week for me all around
but 2 finishes and 4 bonus items?  YAY!
I'm excited to share my list so without further
ado, here is what I have to show for my week:

1) Finish quilting and bind flag quilt

Old Glory

(I haven't had the chance to take full pics outside yet.)

2) Load next quilt

Harvest Pumpkins

Loaded it, quilted it, bound it, labeled it...

Not one but two finishes this week!

3) Make 5-10 "Waves" blocks
Partly done:  made 3

This is some very slow-going--a great time to
finish up some audio books!

4) A little less golf and more gardening, maybe
even some house cleaning--so neglected!
Partly done.
I did play a little less golf, I did lots of weeding
out in the garden and managed to do a little
bit of housecleaning.  I can't seem to get to
the windows though--so dirty!  Ick!


* Unpacked all of my quilt tops hung them up.
* Cut out batting for 5 of the quilts
* Made labels for all 9 quilts
* Loaded another quilt

Serenity, the largest of my 9 tops,
is now loaded up and ready to go.

Next Week's List

1) Quilt Serenity

2) Make 5 wave blocks 

3) Make small items for longarm guild table
at quilt show

3) Finish weeding garden paths
and prune tomatoes

Happy quilting!
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