Saturday, February 27, 2021

Getting Ready for Quilting :)

clean and ready to try to straighten the leaders

It has been quite some time since I have actually used my long arm and it has been an even longer time since it has received any tender loving care. There really is no excuse because my long arm is within easy access in the basement. I hadn't been near it in such a long time that it was dusty, cobwebby, very lonely and in dire need of a really good cleaning!

I spent some time giving my long arm some love and attention and I thoroughly cleaned the machine, oiled it and then cleaned the rails. I had been watching some Jamie Wallen YouTube videos and he showed a product that he uses on his long arm rails to keep his machine moving smoothly so I thought I would try it. I don't know if it will work but I could definitely use all the help I can get with my quilting. If it does help my machine move around the rails with smoother movements I want it! I would have liked to order it from his site but I am always leery of the import fees and other charges from the US so I ended up ordering some from Amazon Canada - no extra charge surprises.

I do have quite a few quilt tops finished so I just need to choose one and get the backing prepared and loaded but first....I am going to try to straighten my leaders. 😓

Friday, February 26, 2021

A Small Thing but Frustrating!

I just want to work on my blocks and get them done and have a beautiful quilt. I really don't want any aggravation but it seems to want me! I'm feeling some frustration on the current one - can you tell? I took a photo of my progress and it is quite pitiful. 😖

The block is supposed to be 5.5" unfinished but at this point it is heading to be much larger than that. It is all bubbling up in the center where I have added the outer pieces and that just won't do. I thought I traced the templates accurately but my pencil lines must have been too thick and my templates may have ended up too large....grrrr.

I 've set it aside for now but eventually I will unpick it, check the sizing, mark sewing lines on each piece and then hand piece the whole thing instead of machine stitching it. I need to keep moving forward!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

More Blocks Completed

12" blocks

Happily, I have made more progress on my Cheddarback blocks. I got these first two done before that sweet pup Odin returned to visit with us and my focus was redirected. No complaining here...he is the sweetest but very playful and energetic pup. Even Peanut was sort of starting to warm up to him a bit but sadly there are no more visits planned. I know that I am going to miss him!

Now that Odin is back home I can spend more time in my sewing room and I have dug back into my Cheddarback blocks. I got two more blocks completed last night. 

I will be spending some quality time in my sewing room later today digging through my scraps for the next batch of blocks and I am really looking forward to that.

I had a little later start to my day today because I slept in until just about 7:30. Let me tell you it felt so darn good!!! Since October I have been trying to focus on my health and wellness and sleeping well is always an issue for me.

I've been trying to get on my treadmill every morning but with my slow start I was a bit delayed doing that but I did get that done. I am trying to make it a habit/routine but I really have to work at it!

I am hoping the weather cooperates today so that I can get Peanut out for a walk. The latest freezing cold snap that we had been experiencing seemed to go on forever and then lots of snow on top of that makes it really challenging for Peanut to go out for walks. I know she is missing them!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Digging Into My Scraps

fabric selections for now
I had a bit of a surprise and a little rough start when I jumped back into my Cheddarback quilt. There was a stack of patterns printed out ready and waiting for me to work on and based on that I thought I was more than half finished all of the quilt blocks. I soon discovered that not all of the patterns were there!

I looked on my computer to see if I had downloaded the missing patterns into my Cheddarback file folder and they were not there either. It took me a while but I finally figured out where they were stored on my computer and I was able to print them out. Whew!

I would have been disappointed if I hadn't made a point of getting them as they were released. I can't tell you how many quilt patterns I have done that with. I always start out great - downloading the patterns as they are released and then something happens and I forget and I only end up with half of the quilt patterns required to make the quilt.😞

I spent some time in the morning yesterday digging through my reproduction fabric scraps and selecting the fabrics that I want to use for several blocks. This is one of the most fun things to do. Most of these scraps are not scraps from my fabric stash so they are almost always new to me. Someone else's scraps are always so much more interesting than our own...don't you agree?

I actually purchased quite a few reproduction scrap bags several years ago so that I would have a lot of variety to add to my stash and it has worked out great. Having this luxury also means that I have to really work at making sure I have enough of each chosen fabric piece to complete a block requirement and that requires lots of digging. With that comes lots of ooohs and aaahs as I discover wonderful bits and pieces of beautiful fabrics. 😄

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Back to the Cheddarback Quilt


finished blocks to date

After writing my post yesterday about finishing up the string and hourglass flimsy I headed back into my sewing room to work on my next quilt. I was so tempted to start something new but I know that I really need to get a lot of in-progress quilts to the finish line.

My sewing room is overflowing with bins and stacks of various already made blocks and then the piles of fabric that have been set aside for quilt finishing. Not to mention all of the mess that comes with ongoing string piecing! Not that I am complaining...I feel very fortunate to have such an abundance but I need to get some control over it and, of course, the ultimate goal really is to make quilts! 😀

It can be a bit overwhelming so, I sat down for a minute to just gather my thoughts on what to work on and I spied the bin for the Cheddarback quilt that has sat abandoned for quite some time. Perfect - I'll work on that one.

As a side note - the Cheddarback quilt was a free block of the month from Sentimental Stitches as it was being released but now there is a fee for the patterns.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

A Finished Flimsy?

Is it a finished flimsy?
Sweet Odin has kept me pretty occupied over the past couple weeks but he went home last night for a few days and I feel that I have absolutely earned some uninterrupted sewing time. 😀

This morning I started right in working on this quilt top but I didn't get to start with sewing. 😖 In my last post I said I needed to add another row to the top of the quilt but that was sooo wrong. What I really needed to do was to remove the last row on the bottom of the quilt so that the border would work out properly.

Anyway, I got that done and finished sewing the border pieces together and then added them around the quilt. Once I did that I noticed that some of the string blocks were starting to split their seams from tugging on it while pushing it through the machine so I immediately stay stitched around the whole quilt.

I really like this quilt as is but I'm not sure if it is calling for another border of some sort or not. I have to think about it for a while. It is going to join a whole bunch of finished flimsies in my to-be-quilted pile so it has time to age and I have time to decide. It is currently 60" x 76" which is big enough for a couch quilt so we will see.

I saw this quilt on Bonnie Hunter's blog here and I loved it at first sight. I have mentioned this previously but she has stated that she does not have a pattern for it and does not plan to create one.

Happily, I have coerced my husband into making dinner tonight and maybe even the next couple nights so that I can really take advantage of the free time I'm going to have over the next couple days before Odin returns. 

He really is a very good and lovable puppy - its just that he is so very high energy and I honestly can't get over how smart he is. He has been housebroken since he was 8 weeks old and he knows how to ask to go out. He has not had any accidents....unbelievable!

Friday, February 12, 2021

Busy Days

Things have been very busy around here lately! I did manage to get a bit of sewing done on the quilt I have been working on but not as much as I thought I would. I've got most of the top together but it still needs one row added across the top and then the borders all round. It also needs a really good pressing as well. 😀 

I do have a good start on the borders but there is still work to do before I have them ready. I honestly thought I would have had it to the ready-to-quilt stage long before now but something else has taken priority. 

This little stinker has been staying with me and he is a very, very busy little guy. He's about 5.5 months old now and he is just too smart for everyone's good!

Odin pleading with Peanut to play with him.

Peanut wants to know why she has to put up with his nonsense!

Odin is an adorable but squirmy little guy
He is tons of trouble but oh so stinkin' cute!!!! I am hoping to get another puppy this summer so having him here is good practice. 😀