About Time for This UFO

I’m glad today is Friday. I’m glad I have a four day weekend coming up. I’m glad the weather is lovely. I wish my knee didn’t hurt. So do my boys. Another day with no walk to let it recover a little.

I had a wonderful lunch with a former co-worker today. We talked for three hours! It was really fun to catch up. I had a couple quick meetings when I got back, then chunked through some email, then I was done for the day and the weekend.

After dinner tonight I had a nice phone conversation with a friend as I sat on the patio on a gorgeous evening. Then I decided to dig into the closet in my sewing room and pull out a quilt that’s been sitting unfinished for way too long. It’s a Japanese X and + quilt that I’m making for my guest room. I’m pretty sure I started this at least five years ago and I’m pretty sure I haven’t touched it during the pandemic.

This is made from all Kaffe Fassett Collective Fabrics. I was thinking I still needed to make four or five blocks, but in counting the blocks I found that I have 42 done. The blocks will finish at around 12.5 inches. I think that’s going to be plenty big for the double bed in my guest room. I was planning on adding substantial borders to get it up to size. I have lots of fabric for borders, backing and eventually pillow cases.

So now I’m motivated to finish sewing the Wensleydale blocks together so I can get that off my design wall and get this one up and decide if I have enough blocks.

Here’s the pattern I’ve used for the Japanese X & + quilt.

I did manage to sew two rows of the Wensleydale top together tonight. Since there’s only six blocks in each row It will go pretty quickly.

I’m taking the time to pin carefully so my points line up nicely from block to block. I don’t want to do all that work and have this last step look messy.

It’s worth the time.

I also decided to press the seams between blocks open because there’s bit of bulk where the points come together. I do not enjoy pressing seams open.

I stopped at two rows sewn together and decided to sit down and do some hand sewing on the binding for my NY Beauty wall hanging while I watched some TV and wound down for the evening.

I actually sat down first and watched a couple videos on how to hand sew bindings and they were really helpful. I got nearly three sides of this little quilt done and it was easy and pretty quick.

Of course, the KFC fabrics are really silky and soft so the needle goes through them nicely.

I’m supposed to go play pickleball tomorrow morning but I’ll play it by ear and see how my knee feels.

Sunday I’m heading up to Olympia, WA, for a sheep herding trial with Rico. The start time is 7:00 am, which means I’m going to have to be on the road at 4:30 am!!! I can’t believe I just typed that!

One of my boys is very farty tonight. I’m not sure which one but there’s a definite prolonged pungent pong around here.

Wrapping Up Another UFO

I met a consultant I know through work for lunch today at a restaurant we love in Lake Oswego, OR, for some yummy tacos, chips and guacamole, and spicy Margaritas. We used to go to lunch at this restaurant every couple months before the pandemic hit. I saw her for the first time since the pandemic hit a few weeks ago when we had a lunch meeting with a vendor we both work with. It was so much fun to see her so we agreed to meet for lunch today. The food was so good. The margaritas were soooo delicious, and the company was wonderful.

After having a couple of cocktails with lunch, I wasn’t worth much the rest of the afternoon. So I spent a few hours catching up on emails and my to do list.

I’ve had a sore knee this week so decided to not walk today to give it a break. My boys don’t like this at all, but they got several play sessions in the back yard so that helped.

After feeding my boys dinner I hit my sewing room to make the binding for my NY Beauty wall hanging. You know how much I like making bindings!

It didn’t take very long because the quilt is only about 36 inches square. So before long I was wrestling it all through my machine.

Sewing this binding to this small quilt makes me really glad that I don’t have to sew binding to a big quilt!

Once I got it sewn on I had to find a video to remind myself how to join the two ends of the binding together. I do it so rarely that I always forget how to do it.

It’s really simple to do. I once purchased a special ruler to join bindings and this method is so much easier!

Once I got it joined I pressed and sewed that final section.

Then I pressed the binding and got it all clipped in place. I’ll hand sew it later.

I really like that pop of orange for the binding. It’s such a wonderful color with the blue border. It’s also in the quilt.

I’m not putting a sleeve or other hanging devices in this piece. I’m going to hang a small curtain rod on the wall above my sewing machine and will hang this using curtain rings with clips. That will make it easy to switch out different pieces when I need a change.

I didn’t walk today but noticed some lovelies on our walk last night.

More and more roses are blooming.

The peonies are starting to open up. Look at this gorgeous monster!!! It must have been more than six inches across!

I think this might be some kind of Lupine.

And the threes are showing all kinds of new growth…. so soft and so green.

I’m meeting a former coworker for lunch tomorrow. He retired at the end of last summer and I haven’t seen him since. I’m looking forward to it. But there will be no Margaritas tomorrow!

I have Monday off for the Memorial Day holiday, then I’m taking Tuesday off. Some friends and I are planning a get together here at my place on Monday.

Wensleydale on the Design Wall and a Corgi Puppy

After dinner tonight I walked to a friend’s house to see their new corgi puppy and to take her a toy I whipped up for her.

Meet Bella. She’s just 11 weeks old.

It seems like it’s been a long time since I got to hang out with a little puppy. And I have to say, there is no puppy cuter than a corgi puppy!

She really liked the toy I made her!

And of course, I had to take a little video.

GAH! So cute! It’s nice to get a puppy fix.

After our evening walk I hit my sewing room and stacked all my value sorted Wensleydale blocks in preparation of getting them up on the design wall.

I like sorting by value or color, combining into a stack as it makes getting blocks arranged on the design wall easier. I feel like this first attempt is pretty good.

It always helps to make the photo black and white to just look at value.

I can see a couple areas here that I’ll want to adjust. But I’m really glad I made the last ten blocks really light and really dark. This quilt top needed those stark blocks.

Here’s an area that feels flat and too gray.

The entire column on the left side feels very gray and flat to me as well. It’s entirely possible that it’s just the lighting and photo. It very well may look completely different in real life. But this shows me areas to take a good look at.

I’ll leave these blocks on the design wall for a few days while I noodle over it and make some changes. But I’m not going to agonize over it. I feel pretty happy with this as it is.

And you shouldn’t be surprised that I put block #59 in the center of the quilt!

It’s likely I’ll have this sewn together this weekend. I’d like to check this off my list.

I think my next project will be a quick and easy one. I want to get the binding on this lovely that will hang above my sewing table.

That’s an easy evening’s project and it will feel good to finally finish this. I think I started this at least six years ago!

I’ve been thinking a lot today about this Magnificent Beast, Forrest. He was born 20 years ago today.

Most people I know have that one dog that was THE dog of a lifetime and mine was Forrest. He’s been gone for 5.5 years now and I smile about him often. It’s Forrest’s paw print that I had tattooed on my left arm a year ago.

One of my favorite photos of Forrest…

This photo was taken by my friend Heather during a hike in May. It was rainy and cool and I was going to leave Forrest at home because he was 14 at the time. He would have none of it… he wouldn’t let me leave the house without him. So I grabbed his little coat and took him along… knowing that I’d have to carry him for a god portion of the hike. I’m so glad I took him along. He had such a wonderful time… and so did I.

Forrest on the far left with Bender next to him. Rico is on the far right. He was only about six months old in this photo. His left ear hadn’t yet decided to stand at attention!

After the recent heat we’ve had, I had to break down and turn on my furnace this morning! I’m glad the heat is gone, but I’m not feeling positive that we’re going to have any delicious Oregon strawberries this spring.

Wensleydale Blocks are All Done!!

I had just enough juice left tonight after work, two hours of pickleball and a 2 mile walk with my boys to finish up the final two Wensleydale blocks.

Here’s #60 under my needle.

And the final block finished and trimmed.

And I showed you the final block because I’m saving the best for last. I really think that block #59 just might be my favorite of all the blocks.

Many of the blocks I’ve made for this quilt are my favorite at the time I make them, but I think this might be the best of all of them! Maybe because it was almost the last.

Here’s the final two blocks together.

And a look at the final 10 blocks. . . look at all the lovely contrast!

Makes me think that when I make this pattern again I’ll plan more carefully to have that strong contrast between blocks. It gives a really cool effect and I’m guessing a lot of secondary patterns would emerge.

Once I got these two blocks done tonight I peeled the paper off the last ten blocks while I watched the last couple episodes of Ted Lasso on Apple TV.

I’ve got all the blocks sorted into piles by value of the outer fabric: dark, medium dark, medium light and light.

I still need to put the most recent blocks into their piles than if I have time I’ll toss them all up on my design wall tomorrow night.

I’m going to visit a friend tomorrow night who has a new corgi puppy. I’ve been looking forward to meeting here. There’s really nothing cuter than a corgi puppy.

Now it’s time to figure out what I’m going to make next.

Where Did Sunday Go?

I have no idea what I did today that took up all those hours! I slept in a little. Got up and had a leisurely breakfast. Then I sewed a few blocks for my sunburst quarter log cabin blocks.

I need 17 more of these for the main body of this quilt top and got 15 of them made today. Then I’ll need to make a few more larger ones that will be cut in half for the setting triangles.

I did take just a few minutes this morning to replace the muslin on my ironing board. I’ve needed to do this for awhile now and it feels good to have it all clean and nice.

I used a double layer of muslin and attach it to the ironing board with elastic clips. It works really well.

It was supposed to be rainy today but we were able to get out and take a nice four mile walk in the early afternoon and we didn’t get any rain at all. We had the roads and trails pretty much to ourselves. I think everyone was thinking it was going to rain.

Then I lost a couple of hours. I honestly don’t know what I did with all the hours today. So after apparently daydreaming away a couple hours I had an early dinner.

Then I hit the sewing room and continued making sunburst blocks. I wrapped up my sewing by taking a pile of smaller KFC scraps that have been collecting as I sew the sunburst blocks… and sewing them into some crumb pieces. It felt good to get this pile cleaned up and a little more organized.

A friend of mine gave me some daffodils the other day and I tried something I’ve been wanting to try. I put red food coloring in the water. If you do this when the daffodils are just opening up, they will draw up the colored water and the color will appear on the petals.

You can just barely see the touches of red on the edges of the petals. This is after just one day. It will be interesting to see if more color appears over the next few days.

Holy cow… this weekend went by way too fast!

My Scrappy KFC Trip Quilt is Done!

I dug in this afternoon and pinned and sewed the final three horizontal seams for this bright quilt and can now count it among my finished quilt tops in the last year — number 16.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. And I can’t believe I waited so long to make one.

Because of the mistakes I made the last time I worked on this, the final assembly was a little harder… I had a harder time keeping track of how the rows should go together. I had to do a lot of checking and rechecking as I prepared to sew the final seams. But It’s all correct and my previous mistake didn’t cause any terrible issues with the design.

Here’s some eye candy…

And the obligatory close ups because these fabrics are so amazing!

When this was done I decided that I needed to get organized and ready to finish the scrappy KFC starburst half log cabin quilt that’s been on my design wall for months. I’ve decided to gift this quilt to my brother and his wife for their bed and needed to figure out how many more blocks I need to make.

They want the finished quilt to be 84 x 104. I have 88 blocks done and need to make 17 more full size blocks. I’ll also need to make around 15 additional blocks that are a little bigger for the setting triangles. See this blog post to see what I decided to do for setting triangles.

My design wall isn’t big enough to accommodate this entire quilt, so I’m using the Styrofoam extension that I made a few months ago and am laying the quilt out sideways. I plan on putting several borders on this to get it up to the size I need. Unbelievably… I’m almost out of my KFC scrap strips. I’m hoping I have enough to finish the blocks I need.

Once I made the notes I needed to wrap this up, I took all these blocks off the design wall and put them away.

Then, to wrap up my time in my sewing room I took all my Ice Storm blocks and put them up on the design wall.

I’ll look at this for a couple days before I start sewing it together. Tomorrow I plan to work on some of my new Ruffled Feathers blocks and will probably crank out some sunburst blocks.

I’m starting to think about the next quilt I’ll start. I pulled out all my Brandon Mably Jumble fabrics the other day and stacked them all up together. They are so pretty!

I’m thinking of combining these with a bunch of the more whimsical low volume fabrics I’ve purchased recently. Thinking it might be another fun trip quilt.

I did go online and order a few color ways of the jumble that I’m missing. I’ll wait to decide what to do with these until I get that order.

I took the boys for a nice long walk this morning before the rain started. We walked five miles and ventured into a neighborhood we don’t typically walk in. It was nice to have some new surroundings.

That was a busy day!

Almost Finished, but Messed Up Instead

I felt really confident that I would finish this Scrappy KFC trip quilt top this evening. I had a quilt guild Zoom meeting and pinned and sewed the final three rows of blocks while I listened.

I would have completed this tonight except that I sewed two of the rows together wrong, which meant that they wouldn’t work with the rows they were supposed to be next to. Rather than pick them apart I was just able to move the top row to the bottom of the incorrectly sewed two rows and it will all work.

See that single row across the middle? That was supposed to be the top row.

I think it will be fine to sew it together this way. But I will turn that top section of two around the other way to see how it looks before I sew it all together.

I walked into my sewing room at one point in the evening when part of this was sitting on my cutting table and it was just so pretty!

It’s definitely prettier close up when you can see the variation within each fabric.

I decided it was better to put this aside and wait to finish it, rather than plug on and make more mistakes. I should be able to finish this up tomorrow night and then put the Ice Storm blocks up on the design wall.

Here’s my boys from our afternoon walk today. They were very excellent posers… even Rico!

And such a beautiful sky tonight as the sun was going down.

Chunking Away at UFOs

I had two long Zoom calls on the schedule today that involved a lot of listening and not much talking, so I planned ahead and made sure I had some sewing work ready to go to keep my hands busy while my brain was occupied.

So I pulled out my scrappy batik sixteen patch blocks and got all ten rows pinned together.

It’s funny to me, but I find pinning these blocks sort of meditative. And there’s something very satisfying about feeling those nested seams “click” together! I love it!

After our walk tonight I ran to the grocery store and did my month’s staple shopping. I like to go this time of night because there are so few people in the store. And now I’m set for a while.

When I got home I hit the sewing room and sewed together all those ten rows that I pinned earlier today.

They’re all numbered, stacked up and accordion folded. I’ll save pinning the rows together for my next long Zoom call. I have a few webinars coming up later this week.

Here’s all these batik blocks on the design wall back in January.

It was another nice day today but we didn’t have a ton of sun. “Fake Spring” is almost over. We have a couple more days of nice weather and then we’ll go back to rain for as far out as the forecast goes. The gorgeous weather we’ve had the last few days really has me hankering for real spring!

This time of year can be so beautiful in Portland. My flowering plum is blooming, as are my flowering pear trees. The bright yellow blooms on my forsythia are just opening and will be in their full glory in a few days. The first of my daffodils opened today.

Here’s my boys on our afternoon walk today… posing in front of someone else’s daffodils.

Here Comes the Sun!

My favorite day of the year is the day the time changes in the spring. I just love the long light in the evenings in the summer. This day tells me that time is coming and that winter is on the way out. Unfortunately, it was rainy all day here in Portland so I didn’t get the wonderful sensation of sun at 7 pm. I will get that tomorrow.

I didn’t have a terribly productive weekend as far as sewing goes. I did finish the final eight blocks for my ice storm quilt.

Now I need to finish sewing the scrappy KFC trip quilt blocks together so I can get that off the design wall and get this one up.

After I finished these blocks tonight I wanted some mindless sewing so I whipped up ten more sunburst quarter log cabin blocks.

I really need to measure what I already have done for this quilt and figure out how many more blocks I need before I make more. I should be close to having what I need for the main part of the quilt top. Plus, I’m actually seeing the end to my pile of KFC fabric strips! I thought that would never happen!

You can see more about this quilt here, here and here.

I really enjoy making these blocks. It’s all very free form, nothing is precise, and the way they go together means that no seams have to match. It’s the perfect sewing to do at night when you want to sew but don’t want something complicated and precise.

On Friday after work I sorted through all my KFC fabrics and got them all back in their drawers… including all the new fabric that his been stacked up on my sewing table for months.

A few months ago I had virtually NO blue KFC fabrics. I guess I took care of that problem!

Saturday I had my regular sheep herding lesson up in Battle Ground, Washington, and Rico did an amazing job, as he usually does! He’s so talented. Then we hightailed it down to Mollala, Oregon, for another lesson with a different trainer. And again, Rico was amazing.

While in Molalla we took the opportunity to have a nice run in a big field between our turns on the sheep. When we were all done we took a nice walk on BLM land before we headed home. The dogs had a blast running around and it’s really good for me to spend some time in the forest.

The sun coming through the trees was so beautiful.

Saturday was an absolutely amazing sunny and warm day. I’m so glad that I got to spend almost the entire day outdoors. It was just what I needed after another stressful work week.

Rico was so exhausted from all his activity during the day that he could hardly keep up during our after-dinner walk! He certainly slept well last night!

And Just Like That, the Weekend is Over

It’s Sunday night at 10 o’clock and I’m wondering where the day went. Since I was up for herding lessons yesterday, I had a bit of a sleep in today. Then it rained for a good part of the day so I dug in and did some sewing.

I was itching to make two more Ruffled Feathers blocks because I wanted to see four of them together.

I’ve decided to call this my “Secret Purple” quilt. Before I started sewing these blocks I really thought that this would read as a green quilt. But to me, it’s purple! And I love it!

These blocks are really big. I think they finish at around 16 inches and I’ll need 20 blocks for this quilt. So I’m already 1/5 of the way done!

When I finished these blocks the rain had eased up a little so we headed out for a nice walk. I had planned to walk three miles, and then walk two more around 8 pm. It was really nice out so we kept on walking and ventured into a neighborhood where we don’t typically walk. It ended up being a five mile walk and we got pretty wet at one point.

Not really sure what this sign means. Apparently we weren’t welcome at this particular home.

After dinner I hit the sewing room again and sewed up the final four strip sets for my Ice Storm quilt and got the pieces cut for the final eight blocks.

I’ll try to get these final blocks sewn tomorrow night.