Friday, September 30, 2022

September in Review

 September was quite productive in spite of going back to work again part time.  My goals are mostly checked off - if not complete, then with at least forward progress on them.  I think I must have been more realistic with my goal setting this time.  

  • Saturday Sampler 
    • Make block #11 in all 3 colorways DONE
    • frame the remaining bright blocks DONE
  • Rainbow Scrap Challenge - light blue
    • 5 Falling in Love blocks DONE
    • 8 RSC blocks in light blue - Pyramids, elephants, hearts DONE
    • cut the blue sashing/borders for blue/white RBD blocks it's a flimsy, ready to quilt
  • progress on Autumn Garden table runner - quilted & bound - all DONE!
  • Pillowcases
    • 2 pillowcases for Quilt of Valor presentations (already kitted up) not done
    • kit up 3 pillowcases for grandkids not done
  • UFO projects
    • UFO Challenge - #8 was drawn
      • UFO - Halloween Party - binding is attached, ready to hand stitch
      • PIG - Plaid Whales kid quilt - set aside for some other month
    • finish binding Farmers Wife Sampler quilt - DONE
    • bind Tulip Time quilt ready for binding
    • bind Shooting Stars quilt DONE
There were some other projects that were not on my goal list that saw positive progress:
  • Ohio Stars (white star version) is a flimsy
  • Ohio Stars (reversed) have enough blocks for second quilt
  • Boo Buddies (wall hanging) is a flimsy
  • blue & white Riley Blake challenge (quilt) is a flimsy

Thursday, September 29, 2022

This n That

 One of my projects last weekend was the Library Cats pillowcase.  Since my husband found this fabric and suggested I buy it, this pillowcase is going into his Christmas stocking - just like the ones I make for the grandkids each year.  I had just a little bit left after making the pillowcase, and it had this yellow tabby, so I also made a quick little mug rug.  That may become a gift for someone else.  

I escaped my desk briefly yesterday in mid-afternoon, and stopped at the local quilt shop.  I needed some fabric petting time and retail therapy after working so hard the past couple of weeks.  Hopefully I'll be back to my normal work schedule after today.  

While in the quilt shop I picked up this UFO that they quilted for me.  Can you see the orange spiderwebs?  I absolutely LOVE the quilting.  So, this one is ready for binding.

Laying on my cutting table, just waiting for some attention . . . since last Sunday when I cut the parts for more Ohio Star blocks.  And notice the patriotic parts for some Twinkle Star blocks.  These might be a good scrappy Quilt of Valor project in the future.  I'm optimistically hoping to get some of these sewn up today after work.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Boo Buddies is taking shape

 There has been no "lunch break" sewing this week so far - as there has been no lunch breaks. I've eaten at my desk the past 2 days as we work on these project deadlines.  But I did go downstairs after work yesterday and finished the blanket stitching on the applique for Boo Buddies.  And the sashings are all on too so it's ready for embellishments.

I'm so glad that I had that Colorado store order the pattern that included the button embellishments for this project because those buttons are so cute.

The first button - the owl - is attached now.  Maybe after work today I'll get the eyeball buttons attached, and the spider that will hang from the tip of the witches hat.  Then it will be ready to sandwich for quilting and binding.  

I'm attaching these before quilting.  But that's OK because I plan to only do a bit of outline stitching on this one.  It's very stiff with all of the layers of applique, so not very conducive to quilting stitching. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Design Wall Monday - Sept 26

 Another month has flown by!  Just a few more days and it will be time to set some goals for the month of October.  And nearly time to take stock of September accomplishments.

Boo Buddies is taking shape.  This wall hanging is pretty much all applique and I'm not the fastest with that technique.  But it's getting there.  Once I finish up with all the blanket stitch on the edges of the pieces, then it will be ready for the sashing that will make this look like a window view. That's my main goal this week - getting the top ready to sandwich and quilt.

If I keep black thread in my machine until I'm done, then I'm less likely to be tempted to slip in any other project as I don't use black for piecing.  I need to keep my focus on this one because I want it done to use for Halloween THIS year.  

What's on your Design Wall this week?

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Taking inventory

Since I finished the top for the first Ohio Star quilt, I decided it was definitely time to take inventory of the other set of Ohio Star blocks.

I thought I had 25 blocks, but turns out I only have 24 blocks made.  And after laying them out on the floor it became very obvious that when I make the last 6 blocks, I'll need a couple of pink for sure.  Seeing only 1 pink block in the stack was a bit of a surprise. 

And while I was in an inventory frame of mind, out came the box of Twinkle Star blocks.  There are 43 of these blocks so far.

My original plan had been using 42 blocks in a 6 x7 layout.  But I believe I'll add 5 more blocks to make an 8th row.  The Twinkle Star block is such a fun one to make that I don't mind making more.  

This light blue block was actually #43 - because I realized on Saturday that I hadn't made any light blue ones this month.  Since this was an RSC project last year as well, there were a few light blue ones from 2021.  This new one just added one more.  But it appears that more dark blue and some orange ones would be a good way to finish.

Inventory also gave me an opportunity to see where I am in terms of UFO finishes and WIP projects too.  Humble Homes is a fairly large quilt and basically ALL applique.  It's on my UFO list for 2022, and I checked the project box to see if anything was missing.

The background is all there and the pieces for the houses are all cut and ready to applique.  The trees were laser cut and came with the pattern.  I've just been avoiding this one because I know it will be time consuming.  However . . . since I'm currently working on a Halloween applique project it's possible that this can be next in line.  

The WIP (work in progress) that is taking up space on the ironing board right now is the Boo Buddies wall hanging for Halloween.  All of the pieces are ironed on and I made a start on the blanket stitching on the edges.  One of the 4 sections is done.  By the end of the day today it's possible that it will be ready for sashing and borders.  Yay!!

Saturday, September 24, 2022

RSC - end of September

 On the Rainbow Scrap Challenge front the first Ohio Star quilt top is all assembled and ready to quilt.  It's about 56" by 68", which is a decent size so I think it will be fine without any additional borders.

I'll work on the other Ohio Star RSC project next, which has the colors reversed from these.  That one will not have sashing, and will be layed out in 6 rows each 5 blocks wide.  There are currently 25 blocks in the stack so just a few more needed to finish that top too. 

There is also a whole new vertical column of small heart blocks ready to sew onto the first 2.  These little heart blocks have been an on-going RSC project this year too, and this week 5 new ones were sewn up as leaders/enders.  Sewing the vertical row on will most likely be a weekend task.

My light blue blocks this month were more plentiful than I thought.  There are 2 elephants, 5 Falling In Love (open hearts) blocks, 3 pyramids, and 5 or 6 Ohio Stars - not to mention a few small hearts in light blue and other colors.  Rainbow happiness!  

While working at my desk Friday morning I noticed the turkey flock was hanging around our front yard with a little skirmish going on in the bushes.  They come through the yard a couple of times every day - a couple of mamas and 8-9 youngsters.  My husband came upstairs from his office a little while later laughing because they were standing around looking in the egress window at him.  These turkeys have provided a lot of entertainment the past few months as we watched the babies get bigger every week. Those babies are nearly full grown now.  

What rainbow projects are happening elsewhere?

Friday, September 23, 2022

Forward progress is happening

It's feeling good to have some forward progress on a couple of projects this week in spite of my work schedule.  Yes - I'm one of those people who always has more than one project going at any one time.  Each one tends to be a leader/ender for a different one, and eventually both get done.

Progress is happening on cutting out the parts and pieces for Boo Buddies.  Only a few small parts left to cut out, mostly for the 2 panels on the left side.  I've been working on them in front of the TV in the evenings - although last night I was too busy watching the season premier of Survivor and didn't get any cutting done.  Here are the 2 right side panels. Sashing will be added so it looks like you're looking out of a window at the Halloween scene.  Or maybe the witch and pumpkin are peeking in the window at me!  I hope it's ready to begin blanket stitching the edges with black thread by next weekend.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A busy week so far

 It has been a busy week so far - haircut, manicure, pedicure (today), doctor appointment, work, work, work, and an evening concert.  Time flies, right?

Monday was occupied by work with a haircut and manicure in between.  However, my husband left in the late afternoon to go to the grandsons' flag football games and then a client visit next day.  So I was home alone overnight - which meant I played in my sewing room that evening.

I got 2 of the 5 rows of Ohio Star assembled, with some other scrappy blocks happening in between as leaders and enders.  When I made that light blue Ohio Star block above for the quilt, I also cut the rest of that blue fat quarter into pieces for the reverse Ohio Star (white background) in the top photo and for a pyramid block.  There are parts for several more of those white background Ohio Star blocks still laying on a design board, just waiting for their turn to be sewn together.  With some of the small leftover pieces I made another little heart. 

And a couple more little heart parts came out of the box as I still needed some leaders and enders.  Rows 3-5 are ready to assemble, and hopefully I'll get one more done today after work. 

Tuesday morning I had the last follow-up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon.  He says my new hip looks well healed.  It will still take a couple of months for the rest of the swelling to go away.  My next appointment with him is at the end of January to talk about doing the right hip later in the spring.

Tuesday afternoon I worked, and then in the evening I enjoyed a great concert with friends.  The Mitchell Area Concert Series brought this group in from Minneapolis.  They advertise that they do "Mozart to Madonna" in their 70s show.  The music was from the 1970s, 1870s, and 1770s - and was fantastic.  Brass and percussion and piano and guitar - and really awesome arrangements. 

I have a lot of tasks on my To Do list today for work but will spend my lunch break getting a much needed pedicure.  And my sewing room will be calling me by the end of the day I think.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Autumn Garden finished

 My dining room table is dressed for fall with a new table runner - Autumn Garden.

This was a kit I purchased - partially because I love the packaging. And partially because I love the colors used in this one.  Notice the adorable box in the photo below.  That was a clever marketing ploy on the part of the manufacturer, right?  I wonder how many people bought this kit because of the box.  And now that it's empty, I'm keeping that box to decorate my bookshelf. 

There actually is one little thing left to finish on this table runner.  The bugs need their antenna embroidered on.  But that can wait for another day.  For now, I'm enjoying this runner on my table just as it is.  This may be one of my favorite fall themed table runners. 

On a side note, I did NOT enjoy the instructions for this particular project.  The pattern had lots of pictures to follow, but way too many numbers written into paragraphs.  It drove me batty trying to keep all of the tiny pieces in the right places, even with things laid out on a design board.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Design Wall Monday - Ohio Star progress

Layout ideas came and went on the first of 2 Ohio Stars projects.  But I've finally decided on a plan.

On Friday after work I had the blocks laid out on-point, and even went to the quilt shop and bought a small print for setting squares between the blocks.  However, once I lay out that print and put some of the blocks on top to see how it looked - NOPE!  It just didn't look how I had imagined it.  

Back to Plan A, which was sashing between straight rows.  I was going to use white sashing since the stars are all white in the blocks.  But I ended up using a cream dotted fabric found in the stash.  

Sunday was pretty much all about working on this quilt.  The final 5 blocks were made - bringing the total to 20.  All the sashing was cut.  This week my goal will be to get rows sewn.  I have to work several days, and have appointments a couple of days as well.  But one row at a time won't take long, and forward progress is all good. 

What is on your design wall today?

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Weekly goals - Saturday Sampler Block #11

 I'm a list maker.  My desk is covered with sticky notes, and lists - a grocery list, an errand list, tasks for work projects, and a sewing goals list.  Actually that goals list moved from my work desk to my sewing table to remind me of what priorities I had set for this past week.  

At the top of the list was the Saturday Sampler blocks for this month.  And I'm happy to say I can check off all of those items as done.

The fancy pieced sashing is attached to Block #11, and I'm really itching to start sewing the rows together.  One more block to go!!  We’ll get that in October.

The bright version with the black background - done, and framed.   This might be one of my favorite block designs in this sampler set so far.  

And the batik version is finished as well.  

I can also check off the bottom item - attaching the binding onto the Autumn Garden table runner.  And hopefully by the end of today the hand stitching will be done too.

More pieces for the Boo Buddies appliqué have been ironed onto the fabrics.  There are so many pieces for this that it may take me all week to cut them out and arrange them onto the background.

Finally - I strayed from the goal list and cut the parts for 5 more Ohio Star blocks and 5 more Pyramid blocks.  The Ohio Star blocks will go onto next week's goal list, with the plan to have enough of both sets to set them together into quilt tops.  They've been an on-going Rainbow Scrap Challenge project all year and it's time to get them done.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

RSC - Ohio Star blocks

The collections of Ohio Star blocks has been growing gradually all year, but since I've decided to divide the blocks into 2 sets I need to take stock of what colors I have in each set and what I might need to add to the sets.  I've begun with the blocks with 

The aqua fat quarter was "rescued" from the spilled bin contents.  The little sheep are so cute and one block of each layout joined the collections.

I also rescued this large dot on a lime green, and an orange Aboriginal print fat quarter.  There were actually 2 fat quarters of this lime print in that bin but 1 stayed in the bin.  Soon there will be a few more Ohio Star blocks.  The remainder of the green already been cut down into the sizes I use often.  

There are only 13 of these blocks so far.  Notice the light blue one - middle row, third from the top. Laying them out on the floor I could see what colors I have and what colors are needed.  There is only 1 red, 1 green, and no orange ones so those will be a good place to start with filling in the gaps.  A couple more blue ones need to happen too.   

A total of 20 blocks (4 x5) will make a decent sized child's quilt because these are 10" blocks.  Or maybe I should turn these on-point with setting squares between them.  Lots of possibilities exist for these blocks, so I'll just have to play with them.

The block versions with the white background may become a larger quilt because there are already 22 blocks in the stack.  We'll see what those turn into. 

What are you working on for RSC this week?

Friday, September 16, 2022

More lunch break sewing

Small periods of time for sewing still allow some forward progress on things.  Yesterday during my lunch break sewing, I began to work on the pieced sashing for the Christmas version of Saturday Sampler Block #11.   Maybe I'll get it finished during my lunch hour today.  

Fabric hasn't even been chosen yet for the other 2 versions of this block.  Now is NOT the time to fall behind, with only 1 month remaining in the program.  Maybe those blocks will happen over the weekend.  I really like this particular block design and they will be quick to make. 

The witch's hat pieces for Boo Buddies were ironed onto fabric and cut out.  The pumpkin pieces and the face pieces are ready to iron on.  

On a side note, I love design boards because I can lay out parts for a project, but then move them over to another surface to get them out of the way in between steps when I want to work on something else.  Boo Buddies is currently laid out on my big design board, the Saturday Sampler block and sashing are on my medium design board, and some "secret" sewing is on my small design board.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Not much sewing

 I did get the background pieces for Boo Buddies cut out and ready to begin laying out the applique pieces.  This will be a slow process apparently because WORK is getting in the way this week.

On Tuesday during my lunch break (from work) I made a quick trip to The Pin Cushion to buy that black dotted background.  I already had a piece of it, but it turned out to be too small to cut all 3 sections needed.  So I bought more, which is OK because it's a great basic to keep in the stash.

On Wednesday during my lunch break (from work) I sewed the hourglass blocks needed for the Ohio Star blocks.  The pieces were already cut and marked diagonally, so it only took about 15 minutes.

But . . . that's as far as I got because I had to get back to my desk to upload some documents needed for the conference calls that would occupy most of the afternoon.  I was sitting at my desk at 12:30 and eating my quick lunch - looking out the window as my husband backed out of the garage and left for an afternoon of golf with his friends.  Thought I was the one that was semi-retired!!  

Yes - work is definitely getting in the way of MY fun this week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Weekend fun

 I should have posted these earlier in the week, but kept getting distracted.

On Saturday we attended my husband's All School Reunion.  He's in the back row in the red shirt. Actually they call it the Alumni Banquet, and it's normally held every 2 years.  But of course due to Covid it had been 4 years since the last one.  This is the Class of '72.  He had 21 in his class, and 11 of them were in attendance. That was a great turnout.  Yes - a very small school district.  The same one I taught at for 18 years.  And the same one my mother-in-law and most of her siblings graduated from (1930s and 40s).  And all 18 of her grandchildren, and now many of her great-grands attend.   

Ten first cousins gathered for a photo that evening.  There were several more missing. LOL  This group all graduated between 1965 and 1977.  Dave's uncle Len was a teacher and then the HS principal for many years, and all of his 6 kids are in the back row with my husband.  Note how tall the 4 brothers are!  And the sisters.  My hubbie is 6' tall, so you can do the math.  In the front row in blue is a cousin living in Maryland, and Dave's older sister and older brother.  A mini family reunion!

All in all it was a really fun event, visiting with so many people - relatives, former neighbors (because we moved away 16 years ago) and friends.  I spent more years (18) in that building than any of the alumni. LOL  Sadly, the school building itself is empty now, as a new school was built several years ago in the middle of the district now that it's consolidated with another town.  

And this photo - I stole this one from my daughter.  On Monday she took their dogs for a walk.  This beautiful bridge is about a block away from their house - on the city bike trail, as it passed through one of the parks.  Such a pretty view.  Wish I had such pretty surroundings for daily walks.  It was a gorgeous day on Monday.  We spent the evening in the same park, watching 2 grandsons play flag football.  The park has 12 football/soccer fields and pickle ball courts. 

No sewing yesterday and maybe not today either, as I'm back working this week.  I thought I only had one half day needed to update monthly budget numbers.  But then Monday afternoon I had a conference call with one of the partners, and now I'm tracking 8 new projects that need huge amounts of documentation submitted for grant applications at the end of the month.  So I'll be working lots more hours until the end of September.  That will dramatically cut into my sewing time.  Bummer!

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

An abundance of fat quarters

I know my priority this week was going to be the Saturday Sampler blocks for this month.  And that will still happen, but I "accidentally" worked on something else on Monday. 

Do you have a weakness for fat quarters?  I definitely do!  I have a tendency to purchase them whenever I go shop hopping.  The patriotic ones, or holiday ones go directly into those drawers and tend to get used in projects.  Same with batik fat quarters.  But I also have a bin FULL of random fat quarters on a shelf in the closet in my sewing room.  And I accidently knocked the bin off that shelf on Monday morning while moving things around.  Oops!!  Fat quarters all over the floor!!

So - as I was picking them up off the floor and tucking them back into the bin, I got to thinking that I needed to start using those fat quarters for something instead of just collecting them.  

So I grabbed 3 of them at random, and made 3 new Pyramid blocks.  The two on the right side have also been cut into 5", 3.5", and 2.5" squares and sorted into the appropriate bins.  The one on the right turned out to be a half yard cut, so the remaining is back in with the fat quarters.  I should do this every day or so, and maybe a dent would be made in that overflowing bin. That probably isn't going to happen, but it would be a good idea.  

Another fat quarter was pulled out and cut into parts for 2 Ohio Star blocks, and there is enough left for another Pyramid.  These parts will become one Ohio Star with the white star and another with the white background.  Scrappy quilts are happy quilts, right?

My other task yesterday was to continue working on the Halloween applique piece.  All of the pieces for the bright orange ombre moon have been cut out and fused onto the fabric.  And I traced a few more of the other sections onto the Heat 'n Bond.  There are plenty of pieces left to be traced so I'm aiming for a little progress every day.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Design Wall Monday - small hearts & other things

After finishing a couple of things to the flimsy stage last week, my focus this week will shift - to a couple of new projects, and at the same time stay focused on some of the goals I've set for the month of September. 

Scrappy small hearts were a challenge from this past winter in our Sew Vintage group. Actually, the challenge this year has been to focus on scrappy sewing.  The heart pattern was shared as a possibility because the pattern itself had several sizes including this little 4" (finished) heart.  My little box has some finished hearts, some with the background sewn onto the halves but not trimmed or pressed, and some strips waiting to become hearts.  That way I can just grab parts and pieces whenever I want.

I've been sewing a few hearts here and there since January and they have added up as "leader/ender" as I worked on other projects.  In the past couple of weeks, a layout began to present itself.  Half of the hearts will get 1.5" side sashings, and the other half will get a 2.5" strip on just the right side. When joined into columns with 1.5" strips between them the hearts will dance around just a little bit instead of being in straight rows. 

Top priorities this week?  Saturday Sampler block #11 is my first priority.  I made the Christmas block, and the red/grey pieced sashing is ready to be added.  And then I'll make the block in the other 2 colorways I'm doing.  We're so close to being done which is exciting.

There is a second light blue elephant block ready to sew,  and one Ohio Star - both using leftovers from that border fabric that I love.  

I bought Heat & Bond on Saturday to trace the parts and pieces for the Boo Buddies wall hanging.  Hopefully I'll get those all traced and maybe fused onto fabric this week. 

The binding is ready to attach to the Tulip Time quilt sometime soon.  More small hearts and scrappy Pyramid blocks will probably happen along with more Ohio Stars blocks.  There are also a couple of pillowcases ready to sew and fabric set aside to kit up new pillowcases for my grandkids to tuck into their Christmas stockings.  No lack of things to work on this week for sure. 

What is on YOUR design wall this week?

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Adjusting the course just a bit

It is a good time to take stock of projects and see what progress remains on some of them.  I finished 2 flimsies this week - the little Autumn Garden table runner and the blue & white quilt which only needed borders attached.  With those projects off the cutting table, ironing board, and sewing table I began to consider what I wanted to do next.   

On my September goal list I had identified which PIG I wanted to pull out of it's "grocery sack" - a cute child's quilt made with plaid whales on a dark background.  Well, I have NOT found a background yet that I liked, so I set that aside and chose a different PIG to work on this month.

It's a good time to work on a Halloween project anyway.  This was a pattern I bought when we were in Colorado last spring for our nephew's wedding.  I've gradually been setting aside fabrics for it and I believe I have what I need to get started on this cute little wall hanging.  

Another small course change involves one of my RSC block sets.  I've been making Ohio Star blocks for RSC for a couple of years.  One quilt was completed last year using them, and I currently have 31 blocks collected again, counting the light blue polka dot version I made yesterday.  A few have white stars on colored backgrounds, but most are white backgrounds with colored stars.  My new plan is to sort the blocks into 2 separate sets.  One quilt will have all white backgrounds, and the other will have white stars.  I love making these Ohio Star blocks, so they are a great option for me for RSC sewing - quick, easy, and pretty.  There are 20 with colored stars, and 11 with white stars, so I have a great start towards 2 more quilts. 

I've really been sewing up a storm lately, and my cutting table needs a cleanup before I get too carried away with any new projects.  And maybe the binding needs to be pressed and attached to Tulip Time before anything else is laid on my sewing table.