Sunday, September 26, 2021

Playing Blogging Catch-up

Seems the calendar marches along way faster than I can keep up anymore! Now that fall is officially here I'm hoping to spend more time in the sewing room once again.  Our trees and the underbrush are just beginning to show signs of color, so we're finding the best color right on our back porch, floppy headed sunflowers and late zinnias.

Lately, I've been feeling the need to finish up some long term projects and "clear the decks" so to speak.  Trying really hard to resist the lure of any new squirrel invasions and fabric purchases, but then Gladi just blogged about a new Julie Paschkis Christmas fabric collection and we all know what's about to happen -sigh!  My granddaughter hasn't had a new quilt in several years, and this would be so perfect for her! And if you've ever perused my finished quilts over the years, you know I can hardly resist Julie Paschkis fabrics.

So, back to my plans for the remainder of this year.  They are to finish four large quilts, two of which are hand quilted!  Here's where we are with each at this point:

We all remember Audrey's Quilty 365 challenge, way back in 2015 (I think?)  This may be the last holdout in the world of completed Quilty 365s!  Adding all that sashing and then outer borders made this monster somewhere in the neighborhood of 114x118 inches!  It's slated to become a to-the-floor bedspread for my bed, if only I can get it finished that is!  Trying to spend at least an hour or two every day on it, and it is progressing, however slowly.  I think it's getting close to being about 75% completed at this point.  I long-since abandoned the idea of hand quilting the outer borders since they will sit near the floor, and they will be simply machine quilted.

Secondly, Lady Sings the Blues - this will be a birthday gift so needs completion by the end of November.  Mostly machine quilted on the Janome, but I'm hand quilting the individual baskets.  I love mixing quilting styles, and trying to add hand quilted touches to many of the quilts slated for machine quilting.  Hoping to have this one finished later this week.

Next up is my Diamond Jubilee quilt, now resting for a few days while the aforementioned baskets occupy my hand quilting hoop.   At this point ten of the thirteen sunflowers are quilted, along with a LOT of the flying geese.  This has been a relaxing evening project, and I'm loving hand quilting through the Hobbs Heirloom wool batting.  

I'm planning to add more quilting in the sunflower background fabrics, as in the green/red block below.  Will need to take this to quilt ministry next week to get the stencils drawn on each block.  So much easier to mark and pin quilts on the tables we raise on bed risers than to break my back trying to do that chore at home.

As I'm hand quilting and looking at my stitches, I recall a blog post some time ago, I think it was from Barbara Brackman on one of her blogs, where she said a quilt looked "as if it was stitched with an aging hand."  Yeah, I can identify with that, and that's what this quilt will be named when I get around to a label "Stitched with an Aging Hand."  Perfect!

And just because I'm itching to do some machine work, this is the fourth quilt slated for a hopefully quick finish.
Shown here as the nearly completed flimsy, it's now under the Janome's needle.  This one I'm planning triple lines of walking foot stitching within each of the triangles, nothing fancy.  This will probably end up with one of the grandkids at some point although I am loving it, so maybe not right away.

Then, there's this project I've been working on at quilt ministry for the past few weeks. Now at home clinging desperately to the design wall as I try to come up with a final arrangement for the blocks.
Those blocks in the left column are taped and pinned in an attempt to see what's happening.  And this is not the final layout.  The off-center layout isn't pleasing to my eye in this instance so I'm planning to move things around to a more symmetrical arrangement.  No hurry with this one, at least until the design wall is needed for something new.  And it always is needed for something new, isn't it?!

My evening companion as I sit in my recliner and hand quilt (or try to, lol!)

Sammy celebrated his first birthday this past week.  Based on his age when he wandered into our barn, he was born around the middle of September last year.  Now he's a big boy at 10.3 pounds, full of mischief and fun, and keeps Gibbs on his toes.  They get along wonderfully most of the time, at least until Sammy has enough roughhousing and wants to go outside to hunt grasshoppers or nap on the porch chairs.

Though I really wasn't out squirrel-hunting, a few weeks ago Nann at With Strings Attached offered up a couple of completed quilt tops she had found at her church's rummage sale.  Thinking ahead to next year's church camp auction, I added my name to the giveaway and she sent these two gorgeous tops. thanks Nann!

This lovely queen size (86x86) top is beautifully sewn with machine embroidered/appliqued flowers, and is the type of traditional style that always sells well at the auction.  
After a lot of searching online I did find a wide backing fabric with suitable soft colors, though more modern appearing, for this top.  Looking forward to quilting this one sometime after the new year.

The second is much smaller, wall hanging size, and equally expertly sewn and machine embroidered. I sure hope I can do justice to both tops.  They will be donated to next year's camp auction.

A closer look at one of the embroidered embellishments:

With all this going on there's no mini quilt made this month, but hopefully when the "big four" are finished I can get back into the routine.  In the meantime, I hope to have some colorful fall photos in my next post.  Fall is progressing in fits and starts it seems.  A couple weeks ago we saw no hummingbirds at the feeder for over a week, thought they had departed on their southward migration, but thankfully left the feeder out for any stragglers.  The past few days we've seen a couple again, though not as frequently as during the summer months.

The Only winter squash we harvested from our garden!  This has been a terrible growing year, and it seems many of the seeds we purchased that did germinate either produced nothing at all, or sent out something totally unrelated to the package label.  Very discouraging, but we're fortunate to have a large farm stand in a rural crossroads hamlet a few miles north of our nearest shopping center that has fabulous prices.  We filled the van a couple weeks ago and plan a return trip tomorrow for more squash and apples and whatever else we can find.  The winter squash sell for 2 for $1, and the spaghetti and butternut squashes are huge, each one yielding at least 6-8 servings.  Thankfully we both love squash!

If you're still with me, thanks for reading!  Happy Stitching!