20 March 2023

Tuesday To-Do Week 12: Starts & Finishes

Hello motivated do'ers and welcome to our weekly
along with Sew & Tell by Melva Loves Scraps!
Gosh the Tuesdays just keep rollin' by!  With time
flying like that, I think I'll just to get right to it!

* * Week 11 Priority! * *
Start on West Point quilt #5
Lots of progress!

I'm needing a larger version of a previously-made
 WP quilt (pictured above).  I keep fabrics in these colors
on hand but bigger quilts = bigger amounts of fabric.
After runs to two LQS's, I'm now set with enough fabric to
 make at least one and perhaps a few more.
Oh, okay, I may have brought home a few other fabrics
as well, but don't get me off-topic!

I'm focused and currently working on making two of them.

2) Design and start challenge quilt for local charity
Still looking through ideas but I picked up some
coordinating fabrics while at the LQS's.

3) Start charity quilts for church sewing group.

Being fairly short on time, I really need all of these charity
quilts to be pretty simple so for this first one I chose
Jenny Doan's (MSQC) Charm Quilt On-Point tutorial.
It's an interesting (and quick!) construction but it left
a couple sets of same-fabric squares right next to 
each other.  I think with most charm packs, though,
there is more variety so that's less likely to happen.
These donated charm packs contained only 21
squares each.  I believe someone said they
thought they were from Big Lots?  They all required
straightening and/or trimming to size but for non-LQS
fabric, I thought the quality was decent enough
and prints were cute.

Most of this is from donated fabric but I added the
border and backing fabrics along with the batting
that I pieced together from a few large scraps.

If I hadn't first worked on something else and gotten an
earlier start on this, I could have actually made it entirely
in one day.  I finished the quilting by late afternoon but
had to put off the binding for the next day.
Still, not too bad at all!

One charity quilt down, several more to go..

4) Quilt MIL's second quilt

This one turned out really well
(I still need to get both quilts back to my MIL though!)

And for those other two side gigs: 

1) Edyta Sitar's QAL
No progress.

2) Second of "two baby quilts from one layer cake"
No progress.

Other things:
Tilled 2 beds in the garden and planted the early crops.
Cleaned asparagus patch and discovered spears shooting
up already!  Our fence is ready to be picked up already so
I've started tearing down the old wooden one.

I continue to deal with tech issues but I learned that
this latest was just a faulty pedal on my new Pfaff.
I just love the machine and it continues to save me
so much time in various ways (outside of two extra
trips to the store for diagnosing!) so I'm relieved that
it was such a simple fix.  However, I'm starting to feel
like simple days of sewing and quilting must only
exist in some sort of fantasy world.

The week ahead should shed a little light on that.
As of right now, most of my week is open for sewing
and quilting with a little garden work and golf thrown in
to get me out of the house so I made an aggressive list:

1) Finish WP quilt #'s 5 and 6

2) Settle on charity challenge quilt design

3) Catch up on Edyta's QAL

4) Piece 2nd layer-cake quilt (chain)

And if the weather just happens to cooperate:

5) Get pics of 3 finished quilts and list

That's a hefty list so I'd better get right on it.
See you all right back here next week.
Happy quilting!

13 March 2023

Tuesday To-Do Week 11: A Week of Three Finishes! Er, Five!

Hello again motivated do'ers.  Welcome to another
Today I'm also linking up with Sew & Tell over

How did everyone do this past week?
I had a pretty stressed one but, after more troubleshooting
with APQS, I think we've solved the problem I was having
with occasional wobbly stitches.  I feel like I wasted yet
another week, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm
really learning my way around the system.   Longarmers aren't
just quilters; they also become their machine's technician.
My regret is that I really didn't help hubs set everything up;
if I had, I would have learned a lot from the get-go.
Ah well, live and learn.  And learn and learn...

Let's move on to more fun things:
I have THREE big finishes today, and
a couple minis for icing on the finish cake!

My first finish to share today was accidentally omitted
from last week's list but I fully intended on completing
it along with the others.  I'll just start with it today.

Cascade (83x94)

Not only is it looking wrinkly while laying on the lawn,
the colors aren't looking right in this lighting.  If I can't
find a way to bring out the truth of this quilt in pics for
my shop, I am not gonna be happy.
(Research into photography is next on my To Learn list.)

Label making and sewing on binding are a
breeze on the new Pfaff!  I think I did all three
of my finishes in about half the usual time!

Feathers would have looked beautiful but I'd
like this quilt to work for a man as well.

It's a little hard to see in the pic above, but I chose
nice neutral design that I feel works really well,
and perhaps brings just a touch of modern to it.
(When I take pics for my shop, I'll get better closeups
and share them here.)

Okay, moving on:

* * My Priority! * *

 Bind, label and finish both Meadow and Rosie.
(Shortened their names)

Rosie (71x71)

I used the remaining red jelly strips for a
scrappy pieced binding on this one.
I always like using everything up!

Meadow (90X102)

This is another one that I just haven't been able to catch
in great lighting so I'll need to really work on this before
I can list it in the shop.  Above is about as close as I've
gotten but obviously it was too big for hubs to hold out
for a full view.

Terrible lighting but here is the full quilt.

A pieced back.

Nope, that light's not gonna do it either
but you can see the quilting at least.

2) Bind, label and finish the 2 minis

These are from a little squirrel session last February ('22).
By adding in a little extra background fabric, I was able
to squeeze two toppers (19x19) out of a kit for one.
This was right before moving everything into my new
studio so the finished tops were set aside until just
last week--a year later--when they were allowed to
 join the ranks of The Finished.  I'm still looking for
a good spot for them around the house though.

3) Make a form to receive quilts for quilting jobs
Made a start.

4) Start on next quilt
Nothing happened here.

Other notable things:

I waited over a month for this to show up and was about
to write it off for lost but over the weekend it finally found
its way into my mailbox.  No idea what happened but it's
here now so my Martingale collection is now complete.

I re-joined our sewing group at church.  Leave it to me to
show up when someone had just donated a ton of fabric.
You all know how much I need to focus on getting my Etsy
shop re-stocked with finishes, but what did I do?

First, I couldn't resist creating fabric pulls, and then once
 I had created them, I couldn't resist making something out
of them so they all came home with me.  And now I have
about 6 or so various projects to make for charity.
Good grief.

(Some hand-pieced blocks were included in the donated fabric)

But, I guess if God has seen fit to bless me with
such a studio, then I should be totally open to doing
any work that might be asked of me with my gifts.

And along that note:

MIL's first quilt (88x112)

My mother-in-law is not a quilter but about 5 or 6 years ago
she tried her hand at it, making a king and a lap quilt top.
I was very happy to get her to bring them over for me to
turn these WIP's into finishes.  Above is the king; the lap
will be quilted today.

It's now well into March so the garden is needing attention.
Hubs and I have been so indecisive on every aspect of our
garden upgrade project that we skipped it entirely last year.
This year, we had a row of ugly cedar trees pulled because
of the shadow they cast on a good portion of the garden
throughout the early spring--when I need the soil dry
and warm.  Plus they were ugly and we were tired of
spraying the bagworms, getting that poison near my
almost-completely organic garden.

Next we're adding a wrought iron fence and hopefully soon
hubs will find time soon to build up at least a few of the
beds so I can get some things planted.
Usually I have onions, potatoes and all kinds of greens
in by now but I haven't even tilled.  That soil is calling
 so I'm really hoping to get at least some onions in
later this week but rain is on the way.

The studio also calls but a person can't stay in there
all day, every day, right?  (Don't answer that!)
Besides, I have a helper now and with that in mind,
here's my list for the week ahead:

* * Week 11 Priority! * *
Start on West Point quilt #5
This is at the request of a customer.

2) Design and start challenge quilt
This is for a local charity.

3) Start on church group charity quilts

4) Quilt MIL's second quilt

Well, it's not like me to have so many quilts going
at once but I have some shopping to do soon and
I'd like to know where I'm at with some of these.

And just to keep a track of a things--because I can't
stand UFO's--I also have these two others started.
They're on semi-hold but I'm still hoping to get to
them here and there.

1) Edyta Sitar's QAL

2) Second of "two baby quilts from one layer cake"

One last fun note:

My collection of 2022's Emptied Spools.
25,821 yards of thread.  Or, 14.67 miles.

Happy quilting!

06 March 2023

2023 Tuesday To Do Post Week 10: I Found An Assistant!

Hello again motivated do'ers.  Welcome to another
How is your month shaping up so far!?

I'd like to kick off by checking in on what I
accomplished since we met last Tuesday:

Week 9

* * My Priority! * *
Finish blog hop quilt top and post

I worked like the dickens to get this quilt top
finished by Sunday afternoon for pictures.  

Autumn Color Cascade...or a different name?

Even with my fast 'n furious stitching, I had to pause
before the last border was on to take advantage
of the last bit of daylight outside for a photo.

Here is a good portion of it hanging on the design wall
later but at 81x94, it doesn't fit so still not a great pic.
But it was done, and so I set about finishing my post
to get it out in time...right until our power went out.
  LOL. The obstacles just kept coming up!  See #2 below, too.
(Our transformer by the street went bad).  But let no one say
that I failed to bring my hop post to the table! 
I set a hotspot with my phone and, by candle light, finished
it up late at night, in time for Monday/Day One of the hop.

If you missed my post, please check it out here!

Kudos to the electric company for being here within
an hour and at 12:30am, it popped back on!

2) Work with Quilt Path

I finally started playing with it--yay!--but, and this
is the the short story, after a lot of texting, phone calls,
 emails and Facetimes, we've decided that my
thread [break] detector is defective.
A new one arrived just yesterday but in the meantime,
mine decided to work sporadically, and when it didn't,
 I just over-rode the error message.

Here are the things I've been learning on:

1) Two small mini's
These were my first to play on--and they look it.  LOL
I was more intent on playing than choosing a great design.
Plus, I hadn't found them all at that point.

2) A wall hanging for my sis (no pic)
3) A charity quilt for the guild (no pic)

4) Ring Around the Rosey--72x72

This quilt is a beautiful candidate for some specific block
quilting so it killed me to just do E2E--although I think this
modern design looks just fine.  Soon I'll learn to work with
all the bells and whistles.  I have lots of videos to watch!

5) Ohio Meadow--92x104
Sorry about the sun shining in and if you so the odd,
mismatched fabric along the edges, stay tuned...

 Another quickly chosen design.  I'm really looking forward
perusing the designs, and adding more to my collection.
(I might get out of hand there!)

In the past if I had done all of that in less than a week 
my back and shoulders would be screaming at me. 
But now that I'm-so-behind stress that I've had is
slowly diminishing.  For months I have wished there were
two of me, or if only I could somehow get an assistant.
If I could just get caught up!
But, oh ho!  My Assistant is now here and you should see the
pile of finishes I have looking at me, waiting on binding!

A few other things I have been able to accomplish
while my assistant worked away on my quilts:
Took care of the chickens
Did dishes
Gotten hours (HOURS!) of computer work done
Finished my Cascade quilt top (above)
Ate meals
Headed off to Mass (as she worked the last row!)
Tidied my studio

In short, she is the miracle I have prayed for.

3) Create a new Quilt Worksheet form
This has been a process of trial and error
but I think I'm there.

4) Start on next shop quilts
I won't have time for weeks but I'm just thinking ahead.
I really haven't decided yet but perhaps my next
West Point quilt--if I have all the fabrics.

Okay, now about that odd fabric on the back of Ohio Meadow.
As you know, when you plan to quilt by longarm, your backing
needs to have a good 4-5" of overhang on all edges.  When I
made the backing for this quilt, I was cutting it very short but,
in doing pantographs by hand, I'd always been able to
work carefully with this.  When I went to load Meadow, I
quickly saw there was a problem.  Going digital means you
really can't fudge that space much.  

Now I'm an impatient quilter and I didn't want to mess with
cutting some sort of extension strips out and all that but what
popped into my mind was to use scrap jelly roll strips.  I threw
those together and sewed them on in no time at all.

If you look closely again at my pulling-it-off-the-frame pic
you'll see it did the trick nicely.  And I used scraps that I
have no problem tossing into the trash.  Anyhoo, if you 
 you just need a couple more inches on each side, this
an do the trick nicely and quickly.
That's my helpful tip for the day!

It really has been a most productive week, even if it did
have its share of frustrations.  My happiness and relief with
Ms. Assistant has outshone the bumps along the way.

So what's in store for Week 10?
I'm afraid it's a bit busy with appointments and such
but I'm still hoping to accomplish the following:

* * My Priority! * *

 Bind, label and finish both Meadow and Rosey.  I made
the bindings weeks ago so there's a jump on this task.

2) Bind, label and finish the 2 minis

3) Make a form to receive quilts for quilting jobs
I have a sample already so it shouldn't take long.

4) Start on next quilt

Happy quilting!
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