28 November 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #38: The Season of Advent Begins

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!
Along with the perfect feast on the big day,
one of our sons treated everyone to jambalaya
one night and smoked brisket the next.
We had a game night with all the kids and the grandkids.
Hubs and the boys spent some quality guy-time hitting the
gun range and getting the Christmas lights up on the house.
(I have most of the decor up but I'm kinda slow-rolling it.)
We spent most of Saturday just relaxing and watching
football in front of a toasty fire.   Then Sunday came
and we were saying our goodbyes.  We'll see the cadet
in less than two weeks and both boys will be back for
Christmas of course but it's still a little emotional
to enjoy so much fun and then *poof* it's over;
everyone's gone.

So what did hubs and I do?  Hit the golf course!
In a lovely windchill of 30.  Forty degrees is kind of
my cut-off for golf but after all that eating, I had to
do something.  Besides, we're barely fitting in one
round a week these days. 

You thought I was going to say 
"...barely fitting in my clothes" didn't you?
Well that's true too.  Ugh!

I was darned happy with the 94 I shot because after
a recent lesson I've been really working on correcting
some things so the scores haven't been too great. 
I'll ignore that it was the easiest course in town.
I'm still new enough at this gig and I need confidence.

Well hey, let's get to the meat of this post.

Oh. My. Gracious. We are on the homestretch of 2022!
Advent has begun and Christmas is just weeks away.
That usually means a lot of hustle and bustle but
I'm doing my best to stay focused and just be
present for my presents (kidding!) for all the right things.
Oh, I have plenty to do but I think it's all about starting
 early, pacing myself and making those lists so
today I'm joining the rest of the do'ers on the
to help keep me on a good schedule.

I didn't get done as much as I wanted to but with all
the family fun of Thanksgiving week, I did well enough.
I wasn't about to make sewing a priority so you'll
find no regrets with this mom.
Most importantly, I wanted to get that one last quilt
into the shop--and I did so it was a good week.

Last week's to-do's:

1) Finish Christmas Geese top, quilt, pic and list

Christmas Geese - 63X79

With the addition of borders, it's now a nice size.  As I
mentioned last week, matching those diagonal seams
was rough, and I ripped more times than I ever have.
Usually if I rip and redo, I call it quits at that.  It's a rare
day that I go at something twice.  Now on this quilt,
there was one "intersection" that I fixed and re-fixed
for a grand total of six tries.  SIX!
But by golly, I got that one!
They're not all perfect but at least when I look at it,
especially after quilting, nothing jumps out at me.

I quilted 'er up with holly and berries...and ran into
another snafu.   Quilters, if you are one of those who
takes her quilts to a longarmer, THIS right here is why
you have to watch those bulky seams.  TWICE thick
seams (and I still don't think they are that thick??)
altered the needle enough to cause tension issues
 on the top.  Of course it went unnoticed for an entire
half row the first time.  Ugh.
So yeah, the ripper and I are pretty tight after this quilt.
I'm telling you, we are *like this*.  Practically best buds!

Psst, between you and me, I still can't stand that
thing but let's keep that between us since I'm sure
we'll be working together again in the near future!

I rushed the picture-taking part but I think what 
was able to snag pretty quickly will have to work.

2) Finish Midnight Pines
Progress, but not done.

With all that time spent with the ripper was I
really going to get another finish in?!? 

Well this is where I'm at with Midnight Pines. 
You might be able to see that the top two rows
are sewn.  I'm even a little farther than that now
and it's going fairly quickly so I remain hopeful
I'll see a finish before the weekend hits.  And so...

Next Week's Goals

1) Finish Midnight Pines

2) Plan quilt for wedding gift, maybe even start pulling.
Or shopping.  As big as my stash is, I don't think it will
support the requested color scheme.  Sigh.

And I wanna drumroll for this next one...

Frankly, I can't remember the last time I did this
and I need some good ol' quilt therapy.

Other than those, I need to have my booty busy finishing
up the Christmas shopping and decorating because
we are travelling again--and oh I'm excited for this one!
I'll keep y'all in suspense until next week though.

Happy quilting!

27 November 2022

November Goal Completed

Well here we are at the end of November
already so it's time to link up to 

My November objective was to turn this pile of strips
 and tiny stars into a 100% fully finished quilt.

Joyful Junipers (72 x 84)

Objective completed!

I chose simple swirls for quilting.

I'm already looking forward to December!
Happy quilting!

21 November 2022

'22 Tuesday To-Do #37: Thanksgiving Edition

Welcome to another round of to-do's on the
Thanksgiving is upon us so this one is short
and sweet, even after skipping a week.
I focused on getting my current projects finished
so I'm starting to think about switching gears.
First, let's see what all I got done:

1) Photograph Festive Firs and list in shop


Again, most of the pics have a blue/gray-ish tint so I
need to get some better ones when I get more time.

2) Finish Joyful Junipers top and quilt if time


And photographed.

And listed.  Bam!

3) Make daughter's quilt top

Lots of progress here but I set it aside to finish
one final holiday quilt for my shop.  I'm not sure
42 blocks are enough (queen size) but it's a very
good start.  (I'm thinking only one small
border in just the white background.)

4) Consider next quilt for shop
I made great progress here, too.  In fact, the top is
almost done!  Joyful Junipers was going to be my
last quilt for the shop before Thanksgiving I decided
I might have time slip one more in.  Besides, I wanted
to take advantage of the best time of the year to
play with Christmas fabric.

"Don's Goose" (56 X 72) from

For this, I chose my Farmhouse Christmas FQ set,
the same line I used in Joyful Junipers.  They look so
pretty in that quilt that I wanted to keep working with
them.  But...I'm not sure they were the best choice for
this one.  It wasn't the look I was after but it does have
a home-y holiday feel and that works too.  I do love
the pattern for sure.  It's just a good mix of all that I
enjoy in piecing, including geese which have long
been a favorite of mine for any scrappy look.
I'd like to make another very soon.  I'm seeing it in
fall colors so maybe I should think about wintery,
or Valentine's Day or even spring?

Notes on this one
*Lots of triangles so sizing is a must.
*I really think controlled scrappy is necessary, esp in
keeping to only part of the color wheel, and small prints.
*I envision this being bigger so I think I'd add more
blocks.  How pretty, and cozy, would it be on a bed?

Now that I've started  putting the blocks in to rows,
 and the rows together (as pictured above), I'm having
second thoughts about making this one again.

Three words:  diagonal seam matching.
Actually, 8 seams in one.  Not a walk in the park.

So I'm not sure I want to repeat the struggle so soon.
For now, I've had to relax my rules a bit on this one.
I'm pinning and doing the best I can (keeping
it to minimal ripping/re-doing) and hoping the
quilting detracts from any not-so-perfect points.  

The week ahead
The kids will all be home and there will be all the
usual feasting, games, decorating, and all that jazz.
If time allows, I'll be working on these two items:

1) Finish Christmas Geese top, quilt, pic and list

2) Finish Midnight Pines

And with that, I hope to move into a bit of a break from
working on shop inventory.   I feel like I've been really
pushing it and I'm missing some good ol' quilt therapy.
Next week I hope to have a list of FUN to share!
Maybe some Christmas projects for decor around the
house, a gift or two?  I might actually go to coffee next
week and do some planning.  It seems months since I've
indulged in the "luxury" of taking a morning off.  I call
it a luxury but it's becoming pretty obvious that I need
that every couple weeks to keep myself organized.
And in turn, I end up more productive, and sane!
(Anyone sensing a New Year's goal there??)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,
and happy quilting!

07 November 2022

Tuesday To-Do #35: The Skunk Whisperer

Welcome to another round of to-do's on the

Let's talk about last week's goals...

1) Photograph Festive Firs and list in shop
Not done.  

The short story is, I just didn't get to it.
The longer one:
Wind, rain and even the position of the sun have
kept me from getting this done.   I'll keep trying but
my frustration in this area is high.  My house is not
bright enough so it has to be outside.  And here we
are coming up on winter so it's going to be even
more frustrating.  I've been looking all over the Internet
for ideas but I haven't found anything that works for me
My next idea is to walk around Lowe's because I just
know I can figure something out there.

2) Finish Joyful Junipers
Sort of.

The main portion of this one is done but I'm at a
standstill until a border fabric arrives in the mail.

3) Start on daughter's winter themed quilt.

I've chosen another tree pattern but this
one is a little easier (no teeny tiny stars!).

My daughter wants it in black/white and that has
piqued my interest.  I'll need to hit the LQS to top
off what I have in the stash but I've already started
cutting this one out.

Now, all that quilting aside, I've been working pretty
hard around the house cleaning and scrubbing to
get ready for the holidays.  I also want to remove any
clutter and take care of naggy little things that I've put
off so I can go into the holidays relaxed, you know?  

I finally finished a little pillow project that a friend asked
me to take on.  The deadline is January so I kind of put
it off but now I need the physical (and mental!) space.

I didn't want to just stuff them with poly-fil because the
result isn't always smooth.  Being small and odd-sized,
 I had to just make some pillow forms, and then I came
up with a great idea: to make them with batting.

I zig-zagged around the outside,
leaving an opening for stuffing.

Stuffed it...

...and zig-zag stitched it up.

It has a nice smooth surface and should the stuffing
settle out of the corners a bit, the batting is still there,
thick enough to keep the structure.
I have a mountain of batting scraps so I'll likely never
 buy a pillow form again.  Buying only the stuffing is
so much cheaper and it just takes minutes to make!

In other news...
I made some excellent progress on holiday cleaning
over the weekend--things that haven't been cleaned
in a very long time--like light fixtures.   I am excited
at the huge amount I got done and yet a little down
because I know there is so much more to do.  It's a
grand start though and if I can just keep at it, oh
the relief I would feel!

Things are picking up in my shop which is amazing and 
fun so I want to get as many quilts in as I can by Dec 1.
But I want to finish the cleaning, too.  I'm still committed 
to squeezing in a little golf here and there for exercise--and
there are so few warm days left.  I could go on but I think
you get the idea.  I'm grateful to have so many things to
enjoy--yes, even cleaning my home--but I need more
hours in the day!  LOL

Right now, we'll just look to next week:

1) Photograph Festive Firs and list in shop
This includes a trip to Lowe's.

2) Finish Joyful Junipers top and quilt if time

3) Make daughter's quilt top

4) Consider next quilt for shop

There.  I made a list.
I feel better already!

Lastly, I want to share a bit of, uh, excitement? I had
last week.   We've been setting a live trap just outside
our bedroom window in hopes of catching the latest
opossum we've seen around here.  After a week of no
interest, I first found a squirrel in it.   Not what I was
after but they are out of control here and tearing
things up so, okay.  We set it again and I'd forgotten
about it until two days later when, walking by as
I was doing yard work, I stepped over to see if we'd
caught anything and--Woah Nelly! THAT is REALLY
not what I wanted! I stepped away quickly.

Farm girl here can take care of a lot of critters
but the black and white smelly kind are out of
my area of expertise.  After doing some investigating,
I discovered "Cliff, the Skunk Whisperer" as I call him.

I hadn't even realized how awful it would have been
if it had sprayed our A/C unit, or even our bedroom
window there!  But the whole thing went down
without even a hitch [of a tail!]. 

I kid you not, this guy talks softly to skunks to keep
them calm.  He slowly placed a blanket over our
cage and that was that!   I even walked with him
(and the covered cage) to his truck.  Not a single
whiff of anything the entire time.
(Skunks don't spray in the dark apparently.)

Cliff shared a few stories of walking among families
of skunks, talking softly to them and even picking
them up!   I have just never seen anything like it!
Crazy.  I was almost speechless.  It could've really
gotten messy and I'm definitely grateful.  Wow!  

Happy quilting!

01 November 2022

November Goal

Hello and welcome to Monthly Goal Day!
to share my main objective for November.

Not to state the obvious but the holidays are pretty
much upon us.  With so many other obligations
I'm sticking to one goal this month:

Finish the second Christmas tree quilt:
Joyful Junipers.

This is also from Corey Yoder's pattern Wooded Whimsy
but this time with the Farmhouse Christmas fabric line
and on a fun snow background.  All parts are ready to
go together so it should be an easy goal.
(If interested in this pattern please see my helpful notes.)
Then I can move on to some holiday cleaning and prep!

Happy November and happy quilting!
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