Saturday, October 31, 2015

October’s End

The last day of October…yikes! For those of you who celebrate Halloween, Happy Halloween! We don’t really do much for Halloween here; Halloween just always reminds me that the year is almost over and the holiday season is right upon us.

I’ve been spending all my sewing time lately quilting the first flannel 9-Patch quilt. I (finally!) finished quilting it on Thursday, so yesterday I was able to work on a variety of things that I have wanted to get to this month.

First, I made the binding for the flannel 9-Patch and got that stitched on the quilt. I now can get it hand stitched down and it will be nearly ready to give away. The binding is just the same fabric as the light fabrics used in the 9-Patches…

And someone decided she needed to help me with it…

I will probably try to get the binding stitched down before we take off for camping next week.

I also spent some time Friday morning finishing off the embroidery on the blocks for the Vintage Kitchen wall hanging…

The block on the left is one I drew out myself and is not part of Jenny’s patterns. I decided I wanted something to replace the “title” block…

I think I will probably put this on the back, but the coffee pot will be one of the 9 blocks on the front of the wall hanging. I will probably not get to putting the wall hanging together until sometime in 2016. I am hoping we’ll be able to re-do the kitchen sometime next year, so I will work on getting this done so it’s ready when the kitchen is.

I also got “caught up” with the Sawtooth Star Sampler blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I know, I know, there is no “behind” with RSC, but I now have done all the Sampler blocks that have been posted. Yesterday I finished the second brown block for October…

I really like the brown-gold star points in this block. I’ve had that fabric FOREVER, and I’m happy every time I get to use it. My point-matching wasn't great on this block for some reason, so when I go to put the top together, I may decide to take it apart and fix it.

I also finished the second and third orange blocks for September…

I love orange, so I really liked working on these blocks. So those are done! Yay! I will be linking up with Angela at RSC for October. I’m now ready for the last two blocks in November. I believe the color is lime-y green, and I have lots of that color fabric, so I’m looking forward to using some of that up in the Sampler blocks.

Finally, yesterday I started on my holiday cards! I decided to make them this year, so we’ll see how it goes. I think getting the cards made up this early will help me to actually get them out this year!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend…we’ll be watching a bit of college football today – rooting for Auburn (War Eagle!) and University of Tennessee (Go Vols!). Yeah, I know, neither are having a great year, but we’re still rooting for them!

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes – October Finish

I’m happy to say that I completed my goal for October for ALYOF, and here it is:

I was #1 at the goal setting party and you can see my post about it right here. I must say that I listed this as my goal so I would actually do it! If I hadn’t, it would probably still be in the quilting stage. However, I was able to finish it up in the middle of the month, and now that the weather has gotten colder, we can use it while watching monster movies this week!

I will be linking up at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs for the October Finishes Party for A Lovely Year of Finishes. Head over to see what everyone is finishing up this month.

Stitchery Link Up

It’s time for another Vintage Embroidery Stitchery Party at Super Mom – No Cape. It’s been a while since I worked on any hand stitching, so it was nice to be able to spend some time with my embroidery this past weekend.

On Saturday I attended our guild’s final New Member Luncheon/Saturday Bee for the year. There were only a few of us in attendance, and we were all able to sit around a table doing hand work. Everyone else was quilting, but I brought the last three blocks I need to finish for the Vintage Kitchen wall hanging. I was able to finish this one of flowers…

And I started on the milk and cookies block…

I hope to take some time this week to finish this one off. Then there is just one more to complete and I’ll be ready to piece the top, but I will probably not piece it until 2016.

I’m still quilting the first flannel 9-Patch, and maybe I can get it done before the weekend. I don’t have too much to do outside the house this week, so I should take some time to finish it up. That should be my top priority in the sewing room.

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday and great week ahead!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Keeping Busy

It’s been a busy week so far, and I haven’t really had a chance to hang out in the sewing room. Monday was the “Day of Many Errands” including the dentist. At least everything there was fine J. I also finally made it to the library and the pet store so I’m set with that for a few weeks. The rest of the day was spent pulling off wall paper from the dining room walls. Not fun. We are expecting a new back door any day, so while we’re at it, we decided it would be a good time to go ahead and re-do the dining room (it’s been 16+ years since we did it when we moved in here). So, the chair rail is coming down and the paper is coming off (and paint is going on). I still have to empty out the china cabinet so we can move it out of the way and get to the paper behind it. Once all the paper is off, and the drywall around the new door space is fixed, we’ll get the painting done. It’s a small room, so we should be able to get it done in a day…I hope!

Yesterday I went to an introduction to essential oils class given by a friend. I’ve been using a couple of essential oils for a long time now, mostly in cleaning products that I make. Over the past year I have been reading more and more on essential oils for health, so when my friend notified me she was teaching this intro class I decided it would be a great time to learn some more. I did end up buying a few things, and we’ll see how they work for me before I make a bigger commitment.

And yesterday I also made a new friend…

This little guy was perched on a leaf of one of our jalapeno plants. He is only about ¾ of an inch long…my hubby couldn’t believe how tiny he was! He had a friend who was a little bigger on another leaf of the same plant, but he was hiding a bit and I couldn’t take a photo of him.

So that’s it so far this week. I think I get to stay home the rest of this week. I need to get the quilt guild newsletter out late Friday, and I will be super busy this weekend with a quilt guild bee on Saturday and a Ronald McDonald House Quilt sew-in on Sunday afternoon. I think today I will get some hand work together to work on for Saturday. I would also like to get more done on the flannel 9-Patch quilting. I’m ready to move it in the frame, so I should go get to it.

I hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

It has been about a month since I’ve linked up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. Wow! I know I’ve done some hand stitching of bindings in the past month, but I guess I just didn’t link up. But today is a different story!

I have finished two of my three objectives for October already – I completed the Halloween quilt and I finished my crochet scarf. Finally! I still want to finish quilting the Sampler Quilt that is on the long arm, but I’m waiting for my hubby to finish the block he was working on (hopefully this afternoon) so I can roll it to the next section and continue. In the meantime, I’m moving ahead with another “focus” card.

This morning I got the first flannel 9-Patch quilt on to my Q-Snap frame.

This will be my Slow Sunday Stitching project for today (and this week!). I’m using Essential cotton thread from Connecting Threads. I’ve had a few spools of this for quite some time (meaning years!) and I think this project will be great for it. If you can see the quilting I started in the black square below the cat needle nanny, I’m using a large quilting stitch for a more casual look on this quilt. I think it will suit it well…plus it should be quick! I considered putting this on the long arm, but the flannels are so stretchy and it was driving me crazy, so I think using the Q-Snap frame will work better. I can use some hand quilting time anyway!

I will be (finally!) linking up at Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching. Head over for some lovely projects.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ready for Halloween

I finished my Halloween quilt yesterday. Yay!

This was my goal for October for A Lovely Year of Finishes, so it’s nice that I got it done halfway through the month. I had some major problems with tension on some of the blocks, but it turned out pretty colorful J and overall I’m pleased with it. I used a black flannel backing (108” so it didn’t have to be pieced), so it’s pretty snuggly too. Here is the backing…

I can count this project done and move it off my To-Do List. My only other To-Dos for the month are finishing a crochet scarf and finishing the quilting on a sampler quilt. Neither one of those has a deadline, so I will probably also work on something that needs to be done for Christmas. I will probably also start working on some holiday cards this month (I’m planning on making them this year).

I ran out to run some errands this morning, so I hit the grocery store, Joann’s (for some fusible web), and I stopped by Tuesday Morning. I had hoped to hit the library, but they were doing construction in front of it and the road was blocked off. My books aren’t due until next week, so maybe we’ll run by this weekend and drop them off. This afternoon will be paperwork – filing, shredding, clearing out. What fun (not!) Maybe I’ll sneak in some crafty stuff later this afternoon. Dinner will be a new one for us…Chicken and Rice with Black Beans from Southern Cast Iron magazine. I think it will probably turn out pretty good.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Design Wall

It has been forever since I linked up with Judy at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday. But I finally made it back today!

This is my design wall right now. I have all of my blocks from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge up there. I am so excited to get the rest of these blocks done and get the top put together. I think it will turn out great.

I’ve been sticking with my “focus” cards and I actually made some progress on my projects over the weekend. My husband has been helping with the long arm quilting, so we got some more done on that (he actually wanted to learn to use it and try his hand at quilting…he’s moving right along!) I also got several more inches done on my crochet scarf. And…I finished the quilting on the Halloween quilt! Yay!

This is one block of quilting on the Halloween quilt. I just tried different FMQ patterns in each block (56 of them). I was having quite a few tension problems while FMQ on my H-V Opal, so I don’t know if it is the machine or me (the machine is new to me). It got a bit frustrating, so when I had about 15 black and white strippy blocks remaining, I stuck the walking foot on and just did some straight line quilting and I used some of the curvy decorative stitches too for quilting. So now, I’m hand stitching down the binding. Here is what the binding looks like on the quilt…

I like it! You can see some of the swirly quilting I did on the border. I used purple top thread and swirled in and out of those swirls of black bats. It was pretty fun and I like how it turned out. The backing is flannel and is SOOOO soft. I will be so happy to get this one done.

I’ve been out all morning getting the tires replaced and an oil change on the car, so once lunch is over I’ll get back to the binding. Maybe I can get it done today!

I will be linking up at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday. Head over for some lovely projects!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Rainbow Scrap Challenge for October

I have been spending so much time lately working on other projects that I haven’t gotten much done on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for quite some time. It has been about a month since I have worked on something other than a Halloween project or charity quilts, or even pieced anything on the sewing machine. It’s been all cross stitch and quilting! So, this week I decided to take a break from that and make some of the Sampler blocks for RSC.

On Thursday I was able to get the first October (brown) block done…

I wrote about it here. I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Then I started in on the September orange Sawtooth Sampler blocks. I hadn’t worked on them at all. So I started by (finally) deciding on the fabrics and cutting them out. I was so pleased I was able to at least get this far.

Then I decided to go ahead and start putting them together. I finished one orange block…

…and was able to start on the second one. I’m sure I’ll be able to find some time in the next week or so to finish it up and to complete the third one.

In the meantime, I placed all my completed Sawtooth Sampler blocks on my design wall…

I have two panels up for my design wall, so I was able to put them all the way across the wall.  The small blocks to the bottom left will be my alternate blocks. I’m going in a different direction with that than Angela is. It is so exciting to see them all together!

So that’s it for RSC for me for this week. I will be linking up with Angela at So Scrappy for the October Rainbow Scrap Challenge. Head over for some fun projects.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Working on Rainbows

I’ve spent most of my sewing time the past week or so quilting the new Halloween quilt, and I don’t think I’ve pieced a single seam. It seems like it’s been all quilting all the time in the sewing room for quite a while. I still have 20 of the black and white string blocks to quilt on the Halloween quilt, then I can get the binding on and it will be done. But this morning, I decided to do a little work on the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I haven’t done anything on the RSC since August, and then I only made the Sawtooth Sampler blocks. I still have my other RSC projects to work on for August and September (and October). I also need to put together the September Sampler blocks…but at least I have the fabric picked out for those now!

This morning I got to work on the first Sawtooth Sampler for October. The color for October is brown, and I had some misgivings about it, but I think my block turned out pretty nice. First though, I ran to Joann’s on Tuesday (with my 50% off coupon in hand!) and picked up the Tri-Recs Rulers to make part of this block…

I don’t usually buy specialty rulers, but I really like my Easy Angle Ruler and the Companion Ruler, and since I’ve made blocks in the past that called for using the Tri Recs Rulers (though I paper pieced them), I decided that I might like to have the Tri Recs as well. And the 50% off didn’t hurt either!

So, I picked out my brown fabrics and got to cutting…

Things were going along great until I had to put the little Tri Recs unit together. Here’s the little bugger all done correctly…

What you don’t see is the picture of it when I first sewed the brown triangle upside down on the white piece (on all 4 units!) Then after taking them apart with the seam ripper, I tried again. And sewed the brown piece across the bottom of the white triangle! At least I only did the one and checked it! So finally, I got my act together and got everything put together properly into one brown and white Sawtooth Sampler block…

It turned out fine considering the trouble I started with!

This afternoon I think I’ll have more time to head downstairs to sew and I’ll probably try to get the Sampler blocks for September cut. The color for September is orange, and there are three Sampler blocks to do. I’ll see what I feel like doing once I get the fabric cut out, but I do think I will go back to the Halloween quilt and attempt to quilt a few more blocks this afternoon.

Turkey Tetrazzini for dinner tonight! The best thing about it is that it’s the second batch from a couple of weeks ago when I made it, and put it in the freezer for a later meal. Tonight’s that later meal! It will be nice to just stick it in a pan to bake and not have to work very hard at a yummy meal!

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday True Confessions

It’s a gloomy, rainy, and cool (60 degrees at 4 PM) day here in East TN…and I love it. I spent about an hour this morning chopping veggies and putting fixings into the crock pot for vegetable soup for dinner tonight. It smells pretty good! Other than that, I got some exercise in this morning and I have done almost all of the laundry. I still have some sheets, blankets and quilts to get to…but there is always this weekend.

I also did a really geeky thing this afternoon. I went down to the sewing room with every intention of working on the Halloween quilt when I got an urge to do a little bit of organizing. Sort of. I got a piece of paper and wrote down EVERY project I have going on in my sewing room…quilting, embroidery, cross stitch, crochet/knitting, etc. This was made a bit easier than my attempts in the past since I recently organized my sewing room, so my projects were in project boxes and easier to find. Then I saw that I have some colored index cards, so…I wrote each project on its own index card (color coded, of course: yellow for quilting, blue for embroidery…I told you it was geeky). On the back (lined) side of the card, I will write down what steps still need to be done, for example, I have some quilt tops completed, so I will write “quilt, bind, label.” On the front of some of them I have also written the date I would like to complete them or work on them. For example, I have a Challenge Quilt to work on which is due next February, so I wrote 2/16 on the front. I also included projects that I want to start, but haven't yet; kits and patterns that I have set aside to start...sometime...

True Confession Time: I have 66 cards! Yikes! And a couple of them say things like “Misc. Cross Stitch Projects” so they refer to more than one item! Some of these projects date back to the 1990s. Ugh! Well, at least I know where I stand now. So I have three of the cards pulled out for now because I want them done in October…the 2015 Halloween quilt, the Sampler Quilt that is currently on my long arm (I want to finish it so I can put another on), and a crochet scarf that I really want to get done. I have a huge problem with focusing on projects (OBVIOUSLY!), so maybe this will help. Time will tell.

After I did that, I was able to sit down and bury threads from quilting the border of the Halloween quilt.

This is the border and I’m quilting swirls on it. As I was going through the borders, I didn’t complete some of the half-swirls that are on the edges of the border fabric. That is what I had hoped to work on yesterday and today, but it didn’t happen. I think I will have time tomorrow to do some work in the sewing room, so maybe I can get those half-swirls done. Fingers crossed!

That’s about it. More rain expected during this weekend and the cool temperatures should stick around for a few more days. I love fall weather! I got my flu shot on Wednesday, and usually about 5 days later I have some reaction to it…low fever, achy, feeling poorly…and that day will be Monday. I hope I don’t get that reaction, but if I do, at least I don’t have plans for Monday. We’ll have to see what happens.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Already

Wow…time is flying this year. And it’s time for another goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I have a project that is foremost in my mind for this month…finishing my Halloween quilt.

This is a photo before I had it sandwiched and started quilting it. I used a walking foot to quilt between all the blocks and around the borders, and I now have about four blocks quilted, plus most of the border. Today I will try to finish up the border quilting, then get to work on the remaining blocks. Once that’s done then I’ll get to the binding. I have this great fabric for the binding…

So, that’s my October goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. Hopefully by October 31 when we sit down to watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” we’ll be wrapped up in this quilt. I’ll be linking up with the Goal Setting Party at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs.

Other than that, there are a few other things I would like to accomplish this month…

First, I want to finish up with the sampler quilt that has been on my long arm frame all summer. It’s not that it’s tough…I just haven’t worked on it. So, that is something I want to finish, because….

I want to quilt the first flannel 9-patch quilt. I would like to put it on the long arm, so I need to get the sampler quilt done first. I also would like to finish the top for the second flannel 9-patch quilt, then hopefully quilt it in November. Those will then be ready to go out for Christmas.

If I have some time here and there, I will try to work on some of my projects for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. It’s been a while since I worked on anything for RSC…I don’t believe I did anything for it in September. So I have some blue, orange, and brown blocks to make.

For now, unfortunately, I need to put some of my other projects aside. At least I need to not focus on them. :)  We’ll have to see what the month brings.

So what are your plans for this month?