Thursday, July 7, 2022

Jaunty July!

 We've made it to the midpoint of the year! I've finished 6 UFO quilts and 2 new projects this year. I also have 5 new quilts in progress alongside the remaining 17 UFOs that I identified at the start of the year.

I've learned a few things this year - how to construct a block with partial seams, how not to construct a block with partial seams, new quilting motifs, how to efficiently remove quilting motifs. I made my first on point quilt with side setting triangles. I tried improvisational piecing. Lots of accomplishments so far this year.

One Monthly Goal & PHD in 2022

My goal this month is bindings - I want to bind the Sandy Breeze - started back in 2013 and quilted over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. This is the first larger quilt where I've done an allover motif versus custom quilting. And it went much faster than I expected. I agonized for a long time how to quilt this and had various custom motifs in my mind. In fact, about 1/3 of the way in, I worked my way over to one side and found a quilted sun that I must have done soon after I bought Molly. Based on evidence on the stitches, I must have done it using golden threads paper - and very slowly. The stitches were long and came out easily.  I McTavished the quilt using a light olive So Fine thread. In the red inner border I used ribbon candy and back to McTavishing in the outer border. I've prepared a deep red binding to finish this. When I get out of my own way, I can be productive!

The second quilt waiting for binding to be stitched is Garnet Branches. The pattern is Winter Branches and is printed on a postcard. I picked it up on a whim at a quilt show recently because it looked like fun. I used a multitude of garnet scraps to make the branches. It went together fairly easily. I stitched wishbones on the branches using a deep red Wonderfil thread and the swirls are stitched with gold silk thread.

I'll be on the road for three weeks, away from my sewing machine, so I did let some bindings stack up (as well as some quilt labels as one of these is a gift).

Corgi News

As you know, we added a third dog to the family in February and are continually learning about their likes and dislikes. For instance, Abby the cattle dog doesn't like cottage cheese in her kongs. She will enthusiastically eat about anything else.

There is no such thing as a no-spill water dish when you have a puppy. Puppy either picks up the dish and turns it over or dismantles the dish and thankfully brings me the pieces - depending on the design. Either way, there are still puddles. And no dish can stand up to a puppy who drools. Out of doors, he makes it his mission to empty ALL the water buckets and play in them. We set up a kiddie pool for the puppies. Savvy avoided it until one late night potty break where I found him wading in it at 1:30 a.m. 

Sera is still not sure that having two puppies in the house is a good idea. She will enthusiastically play with Savvy. She has little use for Abby. Savvy loves to hang out with Abby and Sera - so he gets the most outside time as he gets to be out with both of the ladies. Abby WANTS to be a good dog and just can't figure out how to calm down. She really wants to play with Sera, but her idea of play involves hugs. Both Sera and Savvy can walk under Abby. Savvy is now 33 pounds and turned 7 months on Monday. He is nearly full grown and is larger than Sera in every dimension.

In Rally news, Sera has completed her Advanced title and I'm trying to figure out how to teach the next set of signs without frustrating both of us. Savvy has his first Novice leg and will be roadtripping to Florida with me later this month, so he will get a chance to finish his Novice title in Daytona Beach or Lawrenceville, GA on the way home. He is an enthusiastic learner and comes to me as a clean slate - so it is on me to not screw him up. His next conformation shows will be in mid August.

Linking to:

One Monthly Goal July Link up

Thursday, June 30, 2022

June Wrap-Up


I have a finish! 

My One Monthly Goal was to quilt this runner. This is also one of my PHD in 2022 finishes.

The Country Lanes Table Runner is a project from Quilter's Academy Freshman Year that I started in December 2010. This one taught me about creating the angled border and then binding angles that are not a perfect 45 degrees. I still have some work to do on that. Once I decided to do an allover meander in the body of the runner, the quilting went quickly.  There are feathers in the border.

This thing is huge. Photo for scale - I'm almost 5'6". Once I added borders it became more huge. It drapes nicely over each side of our table, and I predict it will still drape nicely even when the table is fully extended. It could also serve as a nice bed runner.  Batting is frankenbattinged from offcuts of other projects and the backing came out of my stash and was chosen by virtue of being long enough that I didn't have to piece it.

New Starts

I finished the blocks for the Summer Blooms Mystery Table Runner. Layouts were revealed today and they don't thrill me. However, I love the layout for the lap quilt - so I'm currently cutting fabric to move from 8 to 25 blocks. No pictures until next week when the mystery is finished.

I also started and nearly finished a cute little table runner with some improvisational piecing.

Linking to:

One Monthly Goal - June Finishes

PHD in 2022 June Report

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Summer Blooms Mystery


Annette Ornelas is hosting a mystery! Summer Blooms started on June 7 and is set to run through June 28. After a very slow start for me - much of it involving not being able to choose fabric from my stash, I finally set out to work on it.  The first four clues have been revealed.

I decided on the Table Runner versus committing myself to another lap quilt. Especially as I have the Penguin Parade in progress. First step was to cut/subcut the strips for each clue.

Last night, with the fourth clue in hand, I pressed the folded strips and triangles while on a zoom call with family. This will hopefully mean that I can fly through and finish the piecing for the first four clues with ease today!

I also need to clear Molly's table so that I can start quilting a few of the sandwiched projects and check them off my list.

Nothing blue today - but I am set to enjoy sewing after a morning spent defying puppies. Abby the Blue Heeler decided to find a new way to get from the yard to the screen porch (so perhaps a nod to blue). Eventually this will be allowable - but as she has proven - 20-30 year old screen is weak - so we need to rescreen before letting her have the run of the porch.

This dog is a perpetual motion machine - so a rare period of lap time when she was actually still for a few moments.

Savvy is hopefully entered in three Rally trials this summer while I'm in Florida. Sera is staying home with Mike, so she gets a break and will start trialing again in September/October. Savvy, at 6.5 months, is still growing! He is about 30 pounds now and finally looks like he is catching up with his feet. He is about as long as Abby and can more than hold his own when they wrestle.

Linking to:

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Jumping through June


I opened the month with my penguin blocks for Penguins on Parade by Annette Ornelas. I'm still having lots of fun putting these together. I now have six of the nine small ones done. I'm to a point where I need to decide on the colors for the three big penguins.

I like doing these two at a time, and pulling saturated colors with good contrast with the midnight blue background.  

I made blue blocks for the 100 modern quilt blocks last year, so I probably won't do a full six this month. Four of the chapters have 15 blocks, two have 20. I will likely pull a few from the 2 twenty block chapters as my current plan has 15 sets of six (one from each chapter) and then there will be 10 left over to fill in at some point - or I could now start doing 7 blocks/month.

Corgi Update

Yesterday Mike and I took Sera and Savvy to the Winston Salem Dog Training Club to participate in Rally Trials sponsored by the Tarheel Golden Retriever Club. As you can see, Savvy is completely relaxed. I took this after his class while we waited for Sera's second run. Both dogs were total rockstars.

Serendipity is now CH Triple H A Perfect Jewell RA - she completed her Rally Advanced title in style with a score of 96. I am finally getting out of her way and helping her earn the types of scores she is capable of earning. Her second run was late in the day and she was bored by then and likely irritated by the puppy. I didn't communicate as well with her so she scored a 91 in the bonus leg as we stayed in Rally Advanced rather than moving up to Excellent. We are still working on refining Stand and Stay. As an aside, I appear to have broken my show dog - in conformation most handlers do not want the dog to sit - Miss Sera now offers sit and down before standing. We will spend the summer refining some of the signs/commands and tightening up her heeling.

Savvy was a little rockstar. In his first trial at 6 months and 6 days he scored 99 points out of 100, earning his first Rally Novice leg. I lost a point for keeping a tight lead on the Down - Walk Around (dog stays in a down while the handler walks around the dog). Up until Wednesday, Savvy interpreted this sign as Down Follow Mom Around - which would have been a 10 point deduction.  There were 2 dogs who scored 100, so we placed third in the class. I checked times (the tie breaker) and we still would have been 3rd based on time. I have been taking things slowly and stopping to reinforce good stays when both Corgis have done so. In time, we should be able to cut a few seconds off our times.

I'm very proud of both Corgis.

Linking to:

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

June's Goals

 Summer is upon us. As Gus is no longer in school, it doesn't have quite the ring it used to.  Now we have more flexibility to travel - though we do have to work around Mike's teaching schedule.

Quilty Goals

My One Monthly Goal for June is to quilt the Country Lanes Table Runner. This is one of the pieces that I applied borders to in May. I found a length of fabric long enough that I didn't have to sew anything together to make a backing - though I did have to frankenbatting the batting. This is a long runner, made longer by the triangular ends which I added a bit of the border fabric to in order to avoid chopping up the horse blocks.  It is sandwiched and ready to go - I just need to decide on a quilting plan.  If I can get the momentum going, Sandy Breeze and Coastal Pearls are also sandwiched and ready to quilt!

Corgi Goals

Earlier this month, Savvy and I went to his first conformation show in Concord. I entered him in the 4 to Under 6 months class to give the two of us ring experience with no pressure. He did all that I could ask of him and was completely chill, even splooting next to the ring while we waited our turn.

Later this week, we have a Rally trial where Sera and I are hoping to finish her RA (Rally Advanced) title and Savvy will enter his first RN (Rally Novice) trial. Then we will spend the rest of the summer perfecting so tasks so that Sera can move on to Rally Excellent and later Rally Masters. I joke that I broke my show dog - she prefers not to STAND. Actually she doesn't see much use in changing position - Sit to Stand to Sit to Down to Stand...  Courses that are primarily heeling are much more fun for her.

Linking to:

Monday, May 30, 2022

May Wrap-Up

 Each month I plan to spread blog posts across the month, and more and more I find myself blogging at the start and end of the month. My quilting theme for May was borders. I am happy to say that I met my goals.

One Monthly Goal

My One Monthly Goal was to add the borders to Gus's Camo Quilt (Pecking Order - Missouri Quilt Company). As I create this blog, I see a pair of blocks turned, so it looks like I'll be doing a bit of surgery in the next month to repair that.

My quilt bee gathered in person for a sewing retreat earlier this month and I spent the day adding the borders to my Seminole Mountain (Smith Mountain Morning - Bonnie Hunter). As I was getting ready to apply one of the inner borders, I found a turned block while describing a potential quilting plan. Fortunately it was along the edge, so I got my steps in moving between the pressing table and my sewing machine. One the way home, I figured out why my border points were in danger of being cut off when binding is applied.

When I piece the border, I was careful to have the tips meet at the top, with a small seam allowance, forgetting that I needed to leave space for the binding.  So I spent an evening removing the outer border and another afternoon resewing the points. 

The adjusted borders are now on the quilt, and this one is moving into the queue for quilting later this summer.

 The Country Lanes Table Runner finally has borders in place. I ended up taking off the three rows on each end and adding squares of the background fabric. This was instead of having to cut across the horses that I so carefully placed along the edges. After watching videos on mitered borders several more times, I took the plunge and started sewing them on. Once on, there was an overhang where the triangles met the main length of the runner.  I centered the ruler at the tip and trimmed a slight angle of each side. Visually it looks as though the the borders are even all the way around.  I've got extra width, so I may eventually trim them a little more narrowly.

Table Scraps & PHD in 2022

Nothing to report this month as I don't have any finishes, just progress towards finishes in future months.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

The color for May was Green - Forest & Sage. I chose the fabrics early in the month and then got distracted, so finally cut them last week and sewed the blocks together on Sunday.

I didn't create a penguin this month as I like doing two at a time, so I'll return to the penguins next month.

Corgi Report

We had a lot of rain in May, which resulted in lots of mud and not a lot of time at classes. 

In June we have a busy month planned.  Savvy will enter his first show on June 3rd in the 4 to under 6 month class. This is a class for experience (for he and I) with less pressure as there are no championship points on the line.  We have been attending handling classes so that he could interact with new people and be near other dogs. When we started this, he was convince the table was a giant pool of lava - in just three weeks he has become more relaxed and less suspicious.  I, however, am suspicious that he may be crossed with kangaroo - given how excitedly he hops when he sees new people.

Sera was extremely jealous each time I took Savvy out without her. We did attend two Rally Obedience classes. Sera continues to improve and had a lot of fun. Savvy is a goofball, but also improving. He is hitting his terrible teens, so I have to work harder to keep his attention.

It is getting hot in North Carolina, so I set up a pool for the puppies this weekend. So far Abby is having a grand time bouncing in and out. Savvy tends to be most curious about it in the evenings - oh so convenient to have a wet puppy right before bedtime. He is much less graceful entering and exiting.  Savvy is a veritable Houdini.  He led Sera out of the yard on a few adventures earlier this spring - happily moving immediately to the front porch.  We blocked that hole (or so we thought) and then he and Abby pulled down the aging lattice on the edge of the steps on Tuesday. By Saturday, he discovered that the wire we installed previously had a gap and so he expanded that gap and led Abby on a merry trip to the porch. On Sunday they upped their game and vanished twice - opening new points in the wire after each time I thought I had it blocked.  We've now nailed a piece of roofing tin to cover that gap. Apparently his entire litter are escape artists.

Linking to:

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Motivated May - Goals for the Merry Month of May

 Last night, as I happily pressed borders on the Camo quilt, I felt a tug. Sure enough, world's cutest puppy had the corner of the quilt in the crate with him. A little fraying on one block, which is now a part of the seam allowance against the border, so no harm done. A good reminder to me that quilting with a Corgi puppy in the house means one has to maintain constant vigilance. He has become quite the expert at moving his crate out from under the table.

I shoved his crate back under the table (again) and swiffered the floor in front of his crate, then for good measure brought my saddle stool over to hold the bulk of the quilt while I measured, pressed, and pinned on the borders. Dash and Monkey were well past the puppy stage when I started quilting, so the worst I had to worry about was someone rolling on fabric. This little guy is still in the midst of teething. Plus, as I now work from home, he has a setup in my office/quilt cave directly under the cutting/pressing table. Sadly, my vision for setting up a pressing station in the corner has gone away as it appears my home office is home to stay.

One Monthly Goal for May and Projects Have Done 2022

I really like the progress I've made this year, and setting goals is part of my success. I've picked off the lowest hanging fruit and the hard deadlines, so now I'll continue work on some of the larger projects.

Last month, one of my goals was to finish all the blocks for Gus's Camo Quilt. I am happy to say that I met and surpassed that goal. I finished all the blocks and then some (I still have some leftovers - probably good in case someone grabs the corner of the quilt again). I pieced the center of Gus's bed quilt (Queen size) and also a quiltlet for Abby the Cattle Dog. 

My primary goal for this month is to get the borders onto the Camo Quilt. The inner border is on, so now I have to finish the outer border. Icing on top would be to also get the borders on the quiltlet for Abby as well as piece a denim back for it using old jeans. I have a camo back for the bed quilt. The quiltlet will be for use outside her crate as I have no illusions about her willingness to chew up fabric. The evidence already in place in the form of a few blankets and a favorite t-shirt that Gus left too close to her crate.

The theme for May is borders!  

After auditioning a few fabrics, I've decided to go with a simple black border on the Country Lanes Table Runner (Quilter's Academy Volume 1 project). I'm going to bind using the green paisley that is used in the rail fence and four patch blocks. Likely a simple solid backing. Would be great if I could finish this off. May is looking like a quiet month travel wise, so I should have plenty of weekend time.

My bee has a sew day coming up next weekend. An excellent time to finish the pieced border for Seminole Mountain and attach that to the quilt top. If all goes well, I will at least knock off tasks for three of my PhD projects.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge & Table Scraps

The color for the month is Forest & Sage Green. Last year I used a lot of really bright greens, so I've pulled several fabrics to work on my Modern Quilt Blocks again this month. Plus, I'll pull the fabrics to make a penguin or 2. Joy added the theme of Squares to Table Scraps, and these work wonderfully with the Country Lanes Runner (above) so more incentive to actually finish the runner and not just stop at adding the borders.

Corgi/Canine Goals

I've entered Sera and Savvy in a Rally trial in early June. Sera will have two opportunities to pick up her final Advanced leg. Savvy will make his debut and get some ring experience in Novice. He starts Rally class in two weeks. Abby is taking a session off as I'm getting overwhelmed. I'll continue with some in-house training for her to keep working on her reactivity to strange dogs.

Savvy and I are going to Pinehurst this weekend to cheer on his sister, Papaya, at her debut in conformation.

Linking to:

One Monthly Goal May  - Hosted by Elm Street Quilts