Monday, May 28, 2018

Summer-- Finally!

This has been one of the craziest springs I've ever experienced.  We had a huge set of snow storms in mid-April and now it is Memorial Day Weekend and we have record breaking temperatures-- 3 days over 90 degrees!  Wha??!?? Normally we don't hit 90 until July.

Here is the last snowstorm in April:

And now I'm scurrying to get my garden planted.  The beds had a bumper crop of weeds going on. It was rewarding to clean them up and add a new mix of compost/peat moss/vermiculite to top them off.

Saturday I rototilled the area beyond the beds.  This is where I plant corn and sunflowers. Fannie is inspecting the pile of dirt I added.

And new this year-- I'm trying straw bales! We shall see how those turn out!

With all of this gardening, I barely have any time or energy left for quilting. --sad face--

I have just a tiny bit of quilty news to share.

I'm working on my Scrap Happy Sampler and at this month's Late Night Sew Night at Blue Bar Quilts, I got a good start on the applique stitching. Aren't these fun??!??

And lastly-- My On Ringo Lake mystery quilt won a prize at our last Mad City Quilt Guild meeting of the season.  Woot!! We had 'challenge' fabric that we bought in the fall and we showed off completed projects in May. Members voted for our favorites and I got a gift card to a local quilt shop. So cool!!! The fabric was a yellow/orange batik and fit right in with my fruit cocktail of colors! 


Linking up with Judy's Design Wall MondaysLorna's Let's bee Sewcial and Cynthia's  Oh Scrap!!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

On Ringo Lake - Quilted

I made big progress on my On Ringo Lake - Quiltville Mystery Quilt this weekend.  Hooray!  I took it to my parent's house to quilt it and quilt it, I did.  The process was a little bumpy at times.  The longarm can have a mind of it's own and the more you want to finish something, the more it acts up! =(

Here is a picture of part of the top draped over the frame pre-quilting.

I selected a pantograph that is somewhat simple and had a breezy feel that matched the quilt.  Here is a close up of the back and you can see the panto in the background.

And here is a picture of some of my trouble!  Ack!  Apparently the presser foot and its lever have become 'finnicky'.  If the foot isn't completely settled in, the tension goes off.  This happened about 4x while quilting--DOH!!  It was definitely pushing my patience.

We frog stitched way more than I like to-- rip it.  rip it.  =(

BUT IT IS DONE! The weather has been rather frightful lately.  I'm pretty sure I missed summer.  I think it was on a Sunday 2 weeks ago and I was working that day.  Due to wind, rain and cold, I didn't get any nice pictures.  They will have to wait until after the binding is done.


Linking up with Lorna's Let's bee Sewcial and Cynthia's  Oh Scrap!!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Finish! Hekla

I'm happy to report that I finally finished my binding on Hekla.  I tend to bind in spurts and I didn't have enough time to finish this up prior to the end of Q1.  So it became my slam dunk finish of Q2.  Here is the listing of my Q2 Finish-A-Long goals

I started this quilt almost exactly one year ago.  Gudrun Erla came to the Madison area and had a trunk show and workshop (sponsored by the Lodi Valley Quilt Guild).  It was a lot of fun and I was very inspired by her designs.  I bought the book Strip Your Stash, a few patterns and her Stripology Ruler.  The ruler is amazing! It exceeds my expectations and I absolutely love how easy and quick it is to cut strips with it.

Hekla is the name of a volcano in Iceland.  I love the design of the Scandinavian Stars.  This will eventually hang in my house (not sure where) and if accepted, I will show this at Quilt Expo this fall.  My friend, Heather, did the quilting and it really makes this quilt shine.

In other sewing news, I'm piecing a back together for my On Ringo Lake.  It needs to be done by next Friday, when I plan to quilt it at my parent's house.  I have my work cut out for me this week!!


Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Finish-A-Long, Let's bee Sewcial and Oh Scrap!!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Spring Cleaning!

I'm really excited to share my sewing space after my 'Spring Cleaning'!  On Friday, Mary from Sort n' Release came over and helped me get things in order. It was a bunch of work, but so rewarding! 

Here are the after pictures (if you want to see 'before', go here):

The project bins are in the closet (not on the floor), the tops of my fat quarter shelves are tidy!  My cart is so much more logical and I swapped out the quilt on the wall from CatVent to Elephant Parade.  The fabric on my ironing surface is part of my 'homework'.  Since this picture was taken, I've purged a bit from drawers and found a home for (most of) it.

The closet--- Aaaaahhhhh!!!  It is completely transformed! I could hardly step in it before and was just throwing things in and closing the door.  Now each space is assigned a job-- storing completed projects, holding project totes, etc.  I can't believe that it looks this good! But it is more than just looks, it is functional, too.

Here is the view of the design wall side.  I didn't manage to take any pictures of the cutting table and cubbies.  Trust me-- they are looking good!

Here's my pile of sell/donate:
It has a bunch of felt I haven't used for years, some things from cardmaking days, some fabric and notions and storage containers that I didn't 'love'.  Part of the process was-- If I don't like something, why keep it?

Before the big clean, I wanted to finish up my On Ringo Lake.  It needed just a few more inches on either side, so I did a simple border of bricks of the coral/orange/pink/yellow leftovers. The size is much better.

I hope to quilt this in 2 weeks, so I need to think about backing.  I've done a bit of looking and wasn't finding anything, so I placed an order for an assortment of yardage in the colors of the top.

On Friday night, I had my Late Night Sew Night at Blue Bar Quilts.  I would have been perfectly happy to collapse on the couch after such a busy day, but I couldn't.  Sew-cializing needed to happen! I grabbed my log cabin diamonds as a simple, small project to work on.  Now that I have a handful done, I can see how cool this is and I want to devote more time to them.  I'm not sure if I should switch to orange for the next ring?  It might give the quilt a bit more interest...

And lastly, part of my homework was to go through some of my tubs and thin the scrap herd.  They have multiplied into 3 small bins and I know that is not necessary. While sorting, I did a bit of Wild and Goosey with some of the scraps.  After the first few of these blocks, I wasn't too keen on them.  I've now switched to using only really light fabrics for the background and it is making the difference-- I like these better now.

And to finish this long post, I've got a cute picture of Finn to share. He kind of looks like a doll in a box! 


Linking up with Judy's Design Wall MondaysLorna's Let's bee Sewcial and Cynthia's  Oh Scrap!!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Little bits of this and that...

I've been doing a little bit of sewing here and there, but don't have a lot of progress to share. On Tuesday evening, I had my second class of my monthly Scrap Happy Sampler.  We made this 'maze' block.  It was a good opportunity to test out how accurate our 1/4" seams were.  Each log was a chance to validate how well you did! I loved it, because it keeps you honest!! =O

During the day on Tuesday, I attended the Lutherdale Gala Luncheon.  Once again (4th year!), I presented a block to the group.  They will make them and return them for us to assemble this spring.

The speaker for the day was Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams.  I know her from the Mad Mod Quilt Guild.  Everyone LOVED her! She has a contagious energy.

For a few months now, I've been using up scraps to make wonky log cabins as leader/enders.  I decided to throw a few up on the design wall and take a look at them.  There are about 10 in progress right now.  I plan to make each block about 12" square and I've settled on using about 1.5" strips(ish).  The goal is to make this at least twin sized and use a neutral sashing between the blocks.  It is so much fun!

And the last thing I have to share is pretty exciting--- I've hired a professional organizer to help me improve my sewing room.  It sure needs it! I can't wait to have my closet be more functional and to have fewer piles of stuff lying around.  We get started next Friday. Woot! Here are my "before" pictures.


Linking up with Judy's Design Wall MondaysLorna's Let's bee Sewcial and Cynthia's  Oh Scrap!!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Finish-A-Long Q2 2018 - My Goals

I had a little wrinkle in time at the end of Q1-2018.  I had a lot going on and wasn't able to link up my finishes for the Finish-A-Long.  Oops! Overall, it wasn't the best quarter in terms of finishing projects.  Apart from Elephant Parade, I didn't meet any of my goals!! =O

That doesn't mean I wasn't sewing, because I've actually been sewing up a storm.  And now I will have a very ambitious Q2 goal list!

Let me start with projects that were Q1 Goals:

1- Hekla
This was sooooo close to being finished for Q1, but see above statement--> lots going on!  And if you look closely, there is just a weeee bit of binding left to do! =O

2- Midnight Star
I did manage to get the top fully pieced this last quarter.  Now it needs some quilting!

3- On Ringo Lake
I worked soooooooooooooo hard on this quilt all winter and I'm thrilled to have the pattern complete.  I've decided that I'm going to add a border of oranges/corals/pinks to extend it a bit more.  I would LOVE to have this finished up by May, because I've used a challenge fabric in it for the Mad City Quilt Guild.  I'm really hoping to make this happen!

4- Finding Nemo
Not difficult, just need time with a longarm

5- St Nick
I managed to put borders on this at January Retreat

6- Legendary
No progress on this and it's ambitous to think I can finish it this quarter

7- Charity Rail Fence
The quiting doesn't need to be fancy, but everything takes time!

8- Bonus Baby Quilt
Isn't this fun?! I made this up out of leftovers from a baby quilt several years ago.  This will go to Project Linus

9- Grey Plus Baby Quilt
I think this baby is due in May, so it would be fantastic if I had it done by then!

10- Rainbow Plus Baby Quilt
I have a bit more time with this one, but it would be great to finish it along with the grey version.

11- Featherweight Tote Bag - Purple 
Getting there!  Not many steps left...

12- Featherweight Tote Bag - Orange
Still a fair amount of work to do on this one...

Twelve projects!! I know I won't be able to complete all of these things-- but it doesn't hurt to dream! Wish me luck!

If you would like to join the Finish-A-Long fun, head on over to any one of the eight bloggers who host:


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Rainbow Plus Top - Complete!

It is always nice to advance a project to a milestone, even when the top is as simple as this one.

Next up for me-- find some time for quilting. I'm starting to accumulate quite a few tops: this one, the grey plus version, the pink/brown log cabin for Project Linus, my On Ringo Lake, Legendary-- and I'm sure there are more waiting to quilt!  I hope to accomplish some of this in the next few months.

I did some other sewing yesterday-- making progress on the different parts of my two Sew Portable Travel Sets.  I started these at the Super Most Awesome Retreat, but  had gotten stuck with assembling the bags.  The bulk was too much for my Featherweight.  I had to wait and borrow a friend's machine and even then, it was still difficult.  I broke one needle and bent another! =O

Here is the foot pedal bag:

The extension plate cover, with Finn modeling (it was Caturday, after all!)

And I made big progress on the totes.  This one is now looking like a bag!  Sewing those straps was a challenge.  I'm hoping I learned some lessons that can make the next one a bit easier. I quilted the panels on the orange one, but don't have a picture.


Linking up with Judy's Design Wall MondaysLorna's Let's bee Sewcial and Cynthia's  Oh Scrap!!