Friday, July 31, 2020

OMG Hoarfrost is a top!

With 4 hours to spare to midnight! I had to do some math calculations after the pieced borders did not fit. Well, first I had to determine if I could chop off a couple bars on each side and be happy... which I considered but then the top and bottom did not fit. The seam ripper came out and undid the borders.... and then I had to measure everything and do some calculations. I was only a teeny bit off on one side and decided it was close enough! My own fault... I tried to change the inner borders into 1 white border but obviously did my math wrong! Oops. 

Finished top ... and it only took me 4 years to get it to this point! The original pattern of Hoarfrost by Canuckquilter called for paper pieced snowflakes.... which I love the look of but really dislike paper piecing. I decided to print out some snowflake coloring pages and did needle turn applique instead for two of them. I guess I had made one back in 2016 so I just added the sides to make it to size. 

Linking up in the nick of time to the July OMG finish link up and the RSC Challenge since it is blue!

Now to decide if I machine stitch it or hand quilt some snowflakes on it.......
I can see a dark blue 'Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow in that white border....

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Prep work and pets

I did some prep work yesterday. I cut out and marked one full block below and the color parts for a second block. I am just grabbing from the scrap bins and trying to not have too many of the same colors in one block. 

Since the chickens were getting so much attention - I snapped a photo of the 3 cats sleeping this morning. Sophie in the chair, Peanut by the window and Ollie is in the cat basket under the frame. 

The chickens were out in the run for a bit this morning and Emily decided to pick one up and she decided to perch on her shoulder. I think this was Emma.

They are getting bigger. They will be 5 weeks tomorrow since we got them.

We had them outside for a few hours this afternoon.... and then it started raining... not too bad so I said they were fine. Then it started pouring... so the kids decided they needed to come in. Emily was carrying 2 in a box... and the bottom got wet and they dropped! I had to run out in the pouring rain and gather one of them while she got the other. I guess the coop needs to get finished up tomorrow so they have a place to go when it rains! Looks like a weather system is heading to Florida this weekend so I want to make sure they can be safe inside their coop when it is raining (and out of the living room!). 
We are inland on the gulf coast side so not worried about this storm. Probably just rain if anything and we get that daily with some good t-storms anyway right now!

Someone wants cookies - so my assistance is needed in the kitchen for some chocolate no bake cookies.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


I have been doing some sewing and have the 'parts' of my Hoarfrost quilt sewn. The next step was to start sewing the parts together into 'blocks'. I started that task last night after finishing making the parts, trimming the extra triangle bits and pressing them.

I was merrily chain stitching away...... when I finally noticed that THE BOBBIN WAS EMPTY! What's a girl to do but turn off the machine, turn off the light and exit the room! Don't mind the clutter under the clear sewing table..... things seem to get tucked under there a lot!

I think the T-storm that kept knocking me off the VPN at work is through so I can try and log on. If it drops again, it is bobbin winding time! The first set of drops became lunch time!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Slow Sunday.....

I had a finish and a start this week. The finish was the Umbrella quilt which I posted about yesterday. Hand applique last year and hand quilted this year.

The start - was a new block I had drafted from a memory and finished hand piecing it mid week here. I am calling mine Endless Diamond since it is similar to an Endless Chain pattern I found.  I plan to dig in the scrap bins and prep some more pieces to make more of these 12 inch blocks.

I also plan to pin this 35x35 inch book club quilt for hand quilting today.

A few stitches will be added to the cat and mouse quilt on the frame which has been sadly neglected to get the umbrella quilt completed.

As I was in between things last night, I pulled the crochet out of the tin can and added a couple of rows..... which had Emily asking when her blanket would be completed! She tried it on for size and it needs to be a little bit bigger. 

I'm sure some time will be spent helping build the chicken coop (maybe - he and Emily did a good job last night for a couple of hours out there). Prep work, stitching and relaxing are on tap for my Sunday. It was an early start as someone was wide awake at 6AM and thought she needed to 'check on me'! every 45 minutes! I put her off until I got out of bed at 8. So much for sleeping in on a Sunday! 

Linking up with the other slow stitchers at Kathy's Quilts. 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

An RSC finish!

I managed to finish the binding on my umbrella quilt despite some 'help' from Peanut who thought I needed the quilt held down! As you can see I had the binding up to the yellow when 'someone' decided to take a nap! Yes, he was tucked on top of the next section I needed. Thank goodness the chickens woke up and made noise and he decided to go check it out.

I trimmed this up on Thursday night and was too lazy to make a binding. There happened to be just the right amount of scrappy binding sitting around and I decided it was meant to be.

This is the completed quilt. Maybe an outside photo later today. Too early this morning and no sun out. 

Linking up with the RSC Challenge

Friday, July 24, 2020

Endless Diamonds update....

This is the completed hand pieced block before pressing... and after Emily sat on it while I was attempting to photograph it! Seemed she wanted my attention and help to make a zucchini cake.
I might take out that seam by the green and fix it up a bit if it doesn't press out. That was the only join I had trouble with. The rest went surprisingly well. I also used a tip that was sent to me by Chris up in Canada. As I hit a join, I am going around and stitching through all the joins so there won't be a gap. Learning and trying new things with every project. Thanks Chris for passing along that video link.

Here is the link to the blog with the tips. So I can find it again and others can check it out. Always good to learn some new tips.

I put this up on a few facebook groups I am in and someone was able to give me some history of it and a couple of names!  Jen Kingwell has templates for the block she called "Drops of Jupiter" 2017.  It is also in a book called Grandmother's Prize - "Great Scrap-bag Quilts" by Jan Halgrimson 1980. I admit... I went searching. I found the templates which are out of stock. I searched for the book and it was not available. Then I checked for used and found 3... and ordered one from California. I can't wait to flip through this book and see all the patterns of quilts.  I did notice my 'chain parts' are thinner than the others but I like mine and will prep another block or three from my scrap bins. Good thing I ordered a bunch of white on while a few weeks ago! I might have been thinking of this project when I ordered =)

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Chicken update....

We have been letting them get outside for 30 minutes a couple of times a day this week. They seem to love it. It is funny watching Emily try to transport them back inside. She is still using the box they came in but as they are bigger and have wings.... they fly out while she is trying to catch the second one. Silly chickens. 

This is what we came up with for the future coop and the run area. We still need to finish securing the fencing to the middle posts and make the door but it is progress. They will start working on the coop area next to close it in and build the nesting boxes.  We still have a few more weeks before we will move them out but progress is being made. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Something New.... Endless Diamonds?

I caved. My computer dropped from work one too many times yesterday so I decided to get scissors and cut out some paper templates to try out a new block. I really need to come up with a name for it. I did a little searching to try and find it and found something similar called the Endless Chain from Barbara Brackman's research.

It has that part but on the one I saw it also had some 'kite' or diamond parts in the middle and sides. 'Endless Diamonds' maybe? My lazy draft.

The parts all cut out and marked on the back for hand stitching. Now to see if they go together!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

BH Leaders and Enders.

In July, Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville picks a block to make as leaders and enders for a year. This year is Easy Breezy. 

It uses 1.5 inch strips. Hmmmm. I have not used that size in a while, why don't I make a few and see how they look! They are kinda cute! Now to cut a few up to place in the basket next to the sewing machine so I have them all set to go in between stitching other things.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Progress on Hoarfrost - UFO for July

I did a little sewing this weekend. I managed to get the inner part all sewn together. Unfortunately.... I seem to have reversed the 2nd from bottom row and after sleeping on it, it decided it really wanted to be fixed. It did not like those 2 light prints together at the bottom. 

So after unpicking the 2 rows on Sunday and sewing them back together it is much happier. 

Then I started cutting the gazillion parts for the pieced border. There is to be a white, then a blue border then the pieced border on this quilt. I really don't have enough of the blue print in the pieced border to do the inner blue border... I'm using the bright silver snowflake pattern on blue for the pieced border.... I think I might just make the 2 inners into 1 white border instead? I have enough of that to do it!
I also made a few more masks to send home with Grandma... so the kids have some at her house if they go out and they don't take their's with them.  The colors are off - the top is a light aqua dot, the middle is a teal aqua dot and the bottom is a avacado green. Technically they are mask covers, but little flaps on the top and bottom come up over the chin and nose.  I wore mine in the blue flowered print for 1.5 hours in the Honda service waiting area before it was diagnosed and my ride picked me up. 

We were to be over at Cocoa Beach today and tomorrow, but then Florida became the COVID-19 hotspot so we cancelled our trip last month. Smart decision as Grandma with sciatic and bursitis, and Greg with his back would not have enjoyed themselves. I was going to just work, but decided to still take today off. The car was shimmying a bit so after delaying some service checks for 6 months, I brought it in today and they are working on about 6 things. I expect a call soon, and hopefully they can send someone to pick me up as I don't think Greg could handle being in the truck for 50 minutes to drive me there and back again. Not too bad considering it is a 2014 CRV with 86,000 miles on it and really has just had the normal oil changes and filters in those 6 years and one gas leak fix. Grandma is returning the children mid afternoon so I better go cut my white parts for the pieced border while I can!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday stitching...

The kids are heading to Grandma's for the day. I hear I get to add fencing to some panels for the chicken coop and finish filling in the dirt underneath. I see some slow stitching with a movie later today!

The middle of the umbrella quilt is finished so it is time to mark and stitch the setting triangles. Who knows, maybe a binding will get made and attached this week as well? This was my freehand attempt. I'll get the ruler out to mark the others.

Linking up with Kathy and the other Slow Stitchers.

I keep telling myself I need to actually finish a few things before starting something new..... like a hand pieced flowering snowball quilt from scraps or finally trying a block I drafted years ago from scraps..... something new might pop up next week, we will see.

Flowering Snowball.

drafted block

Saturday, July 18, 2020

RSC in dark blue

I sewed the stars and nines this week. I have the sweet confetti blocks all cut I just need to go in and sew them up. I should have those for next Saturday. I do love playing with dark blues!

The last snowflake for Hoarfrost is in process of applique. Once this one is done I can trim it and piece the top part up to the borders. I have some white on white fabrics in stock now so I plan to play with that and blue for the icy border later today. The morning will be spent trimming the hedges with Aidan and doing some weeding before it gets too hot while the others are working in the back on the chicken coop. 

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. 

****Added this next part. Keep in mind I am pretty much self taught on this and from what I have learned from books and video's. This is how I decided to do my diamonds in the snowflake.... cause I am way too lazy to actually 'prep' it first! I did make a slice with scissors in that diamond before pinning to the background. When I got to the point of stitching them I used my little scissors to snip right up to the drawn line on the corners. Snowflakes are not perfect after all!
Then I tuck the needle in at one corner and swish the fabric for that side under up to the drawn line and a little more if needed. Hard to see but my thumb is holding the end of the needle that is turning it under.

I stitch that side down and repeat for all the sides. I have 2 of the diamonds done - 4 to go.

Friday, July 17, 2020

A day off...

So what did I do? Good question! Not as much as I wanted but that is always the case I think.

I slept in - oops! That walk at 8:15AM is a lot hotter than the one at 7:15AM! After breakfast and my Noom tasks and some surfing.... It was time to 'sew' the fencing together under the coop area. We used 3 parts of the fence for under it so nothing digs up and I used the wire that kept the fence bound in wrapping to 'stitch' them together. Can't have something digging under and getting those chickens! Much twisting and turning explained why I had trouble moving last night! Breaks in between were necessary with lots of vitamin water to replenish. Those breaks might have involved some hand quilting time. Emily cleaned the chicken cage so I was on chicken watching duty as we put them in the old guinea pig play area out on the grass. A shower felt so good after all that! 

Then lunch and I fed the sourdough starter which had been neglected a bit in the fridge. Some searching for what to make with that leftover starter.... I had about a cup and a half to play with. I found a cracker recipe and the soft pretzel recipe I have made a couple of times. I asked Greg..... Pretzels please! Pretzels it was.... and would you believe I had enough to try the crackers too? I started the pretzel dough and got that rising for an hour while I found the ground wheat and made the cracker dough and put that in the fridge. I found a new audio book somewhere in all this as I finished my last book by Susan Wiggs last night. It was a good one but I can't remember the name and have already returned it. I found the sewing machine and started sewing some of the parts I had cut yesterday for the stars and nines. .... Then the timer went off and it was back to pretzel making! I got them shaped - 4 round pretzel shapes and 7 pretzel rods were the new shape for us. This is a wee bit time consuming but not too bad. You have to bring water to an almost boil and add baking soda then 'cook' the pretzels for about 45 seconds on each side - place onto their baking pans, add the salt or topping and then bake them for about 18-20 minutes. I had my one pretzel with some mustard. I do believe by 9PM all the others were gone! I guess the kids and Greg really liked them.

At that point it was getting closer to dinner but I wanted to bake off the crackers so got those set and baking. Those came out pretty good - I added a Tbsp of my pampered chef rosemary mix to the batter. 

We had to get the top of the 'playhouse' up onto the chicken coop frame as we are repurposing that as the hen house. With Greg's back we were not 100% sure how that would work. I was thinking a pulley system but he was thinking something different. He leaned 3 boards up onto the platform and got the house up against it. The 4 of us pushed the house onto the boards and up and it slid right onto the top! It took less than 2 minutes and no one's back was hurt! Greg and Aidan turned it around so the 'correct' side was facing the house - the run side was set and the back side for cleaning was towards the woods. They can fill in the under part with the dirt today and then building the fencing and door for the coop can begin as well as fixing up the house. Progress.

Since everyone had filled up on pretzels... dinner changed to chicken wings, sweet potato fries and I had gotten some swiss chard and added that to my plate. A game of monopoly and then a little walk with Aidan before the thunder sent us home. The movie The Martian was on so we watched that and that was pretty much my day! Lots of baking, chickens and a little sewing thrown in. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Not much new. I have been spending way too much time watching the numbers in my area go up. Must turn off the computer!  Sigh..... At least Peanut is able to sleep all comfy in his bed on my desk while I am at work. It is rough being a cat you know!

While searching I found a mask pattern over at JoyfulQuilter that I've been wanting to try.  I have 3 masks for me know. So one can stay in the car while the others are washed with one for my purse. The kids insist they only need the one.... but I am thinking they each will get another to have at Grandma's house. This one has a surprise top and bottom that 'open up' and cover the nose and chin. I added a 4.5 inch pipe cleaner... hey, we had extra green clover leafs from Thinking Day so I put one to use in this. It helped keep the nose part in place against my face. We will see how it does through the wash. A tip - I use pipe cleaners to clean out the area below my bobbin each time I wind it. They are good at picking up lint from the machine. They also can get twisted and thrown onto the floor as a cat toy when you need someone to move out of the way of the needle!

I sewed up this little baby after work today and took it for a test drive at a trip to Publix to pick up a prescription and some veggies for 'Emliy's' meal tomorrow night  - roasted veggie and sausage pasta - a Melissa D'arabian recipe. Aidan's pick tonight was burgers on the foreman with coleslaw (I tried a new 'healthier recipe'... lets just say I was the only one that ate that!) and a Kansas cucumber salad. Emily turned up her nose and pulled out some popcorn chicken and popped that in the oven and had it with some honey mustard sauce (a little yellow mustard, a little honey and stir!).  Yesterday I had pulled out some frozen carnitas meat to go with some rice and refried beans.  Seems the kids didn't care for it as much leftover..... I told them there is one more package in the freezer and I got 'the look' from both of them! I thought it was pretty darn good again. I finished thawing it under the broiler and that sauce was great on the white rice. Yum. Seems I am the only one that eats leftovers in my house!

Waiting for the temps to drop a couple degrees into the 80's. (93 and feels like 103 right now at 6:30PM) to take a little walk. Think I'll go prep a snowflake for applique while I wait.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Magic Stars finish

I finished hand stitching the binding on this baby quilt yesterday afternoon. This is the back - 10 inch squares of 'fun' kid prints.

The front - Tiffany's Magic Stars... tutorial from The Joyful Quilters blog. I just did machine walking foot of diagonal lines in the corners.... the decided to outline stitch in those L shapes and in the center blocks. I used warm and natural so a lot of stitching was not needed. It should be all set for lots of washings and use.

Still working on quilting rain onto the umbrella quilt.

My second order from Connecting Threads arrived yesterday (under a week!) so I now have white on white fabric to prep and stitch a couple snowflakes for Hoarfrost and I can start cutting and stitching the boarder for it. 

We are expecting really hot temps again today. I might try and go attach the chicken wire to the bottom of the coop area... but I have a feeling it will be put off for a cooler day.  I don't do well with heat and humidity. I think I'll just stay inside and stitch!

Peanut keeping an eye on the chickens this morning while enjoying the heat lamp. They love the roost dowel Greg installed this week.

Outside while Emily cleaned their cage yesterday.They are about 2 weeks old.

I sent Aidan out to snap some photo's of my flowers yesterday before the rain came.

Feel free to stop reading here. The rest is why not as much stitching got done due to some stressful decisions that needed to get made. Lets see what it was!

I find I tend to play games on my phone (Cookie Jam) when I am stressed. Lets just say lots of games played and not so much stitching this week. Tuesday there was an emergency school board meeting a day after a mandate came down Monday that schools in Florida will be open on time .... for us that is August 10, 2020. Our new cases are averaging 10K the last 2 days and have been averaging 7-8K new a day for the last 2 weeks.... and hospital ICU's are getting full. In my county (Marion County)  we had 409 new cases in the last week as of Friday with 84 in hospital and 10 of those in Covid-19-ICU's in the 3 local hospitals in Ocala.  Edited - 15,300 new cases in Florida in the last 24 hours! 70K added in the last week.
Teams have been working to come up with opening plans before this mandate came down. (Keep in mind most of the state is still not wearing masks). They came up with great solutions.... and then it was up to parents to make the decision. We have until July 15 to decide for each child. The choice was in school every day following the bell or virtual at home with your schools teachers following the bell. The teachers will either have a class of kids in front of them or a class of virtual in front of them, no mixing. After reading the 70+ page document and lots of discussion with hubby without little ears around.... Grandma's sciatic recovered enough that she took the kids Tuesday and silly lady kept them until Thursday night!... We are opting to keep the kids home for schooling. Our cases are still rising and the kids are not comfortable going out in public with so many not social distancing or wearing masks. I only go out for groceries and Greg goes out for work where unfortunately he is in a small space and while he wears a mask, most of the customers do not! We will reevaluate in December for the Jan-May semester. Hopefully our local cases and hospitals will be in a better situation at that point. This also allows us to still see my in-laws who are in the higher risk age group. Greg's back is also not better - no shot Wednesday as insurance denied the request. Let's just say he sneezed and coughed Friday and called off work Saturday in intense pain. No way can he get CoVid-19 right now!  No matter your thoughts on this pandemic, I think we all need to practice kindness as everyone is in a different situation and there is no easy answer. Some have no choice but to send their kids to school as they need to be at work. The teachers and administration of schools are also put in a difficult situation. That is their job/passion and it is potentially risking them and/or their families. No easy solution and no easy answers so please practice kindness. 
Since we have a feeling this will be on-going for the next year or more.... we decided to use that stimulus check to purchase new laptops, wireless mouse and keyboards for each of the kids for school. They each had really old hand me downs (over 10 years old and out of update capability). These should last them well into high school. It also helped as they were so excited when the keyboard and mice arrived Friday.... the computers arrive on Monday.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Saturday in Blue.....

This week I added 2 of the 16 patches and 2 Stash Buster blocks in dark blues.

The chicks are growing and love the roosts that Greg made for them. We added this bigger one yesterday and all 4 of them were sitting on it within an hour! Feathers are coming in and they are looking a little scruffy.

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge Saturday morning.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Progress and an almost finish

I managed to get the baby quilt quilted on Wednesday and now it is just finishing up the binding.

The first snowflake is appliqued down onto block 1. I am waiting for some white fabric to come in so I can finish the other two snowflakes and make the borders for the Hoarfrost quilt.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Summer UFO 2020 Challenge projects.

I decided to join in over at The Joyful Quilters Summer UFO Challenge. The goal is to pick at least 5 projects that you would like to get finished off by the last day of September. It sounds like as long as you finish ONE... you are good! Between the OMG and trying to actually finish some quilts the second half of this year I figured I might as well throw in the hat and give it a shot!

Since technically a UFO - is an UnFinished Object..... I'm throwing in some I actually plan to work on this month... and a bunch of others in case the mood strikes (see, I learned from you Joy!).

1.) Umbrella Quilt - currently being hand quilted. ***Finished July 24,2020***

2.) Hoarfrost - Needs 3 snowflakes, to be pieced together and borders pieced and made. **Top completed July 2020. 

3.) Cat and Mice - loaded on the frame to be quilted.

4) Save the Bees - I ***think I have 2 rectangles done, one in process and I don't know where the pattern for the bee is so I'll need to be creative. I do remember doing the hexagon part and I found the top right flower in process of being appliqued.

5) Midget Applique - blocks are together. I want to add an applique border onto the 5 inch yellow of some kind.

6) VQF quilt is a top

7.) 2018/19? RSC quilt.... yes the bottom right has been fixed. **Completed quilting and bound Aug 23.

8.) Baby boy magic stars/iSpy quilt.  *** Finished July 12 ****

9.) Bittersweet Briar.... I have the kit and the book instructions. Will this be the time that I finally decide to work on it? It appears this one actually needs to be started to be included in the list..... So I'm going to start it by doing the first part - cut and sew the background square that the pretty applique will be added to this afternoon! 

First cut made! It's officially started with the 40.5 inch background cut!

10) Hand Pieced Quilt Along. I think I want to add a  blue border and hand quilt.

11.) Book Club - hand pieced this year.... so it will require hand quilting as well. 

12.) Purple hearts need to become something!

The extremely sad part is I have a whole slew of other UFO's hanging around but we will see if maybe a few of these can get finished off in the next few months.