Sunday, October 13, 2019

Chasing Squirrels

I have been doing some sewing and have lots to share.

I won a drawing from Pennsylvania Piecemaker!  Such a fun package arrived.  Two charm packs of  Fairy Frost, a cute pinny, a lipstick needle holder with needles, and some pretty floral cards. 

Every year our guild does a challenge.  The challenge this year was to use a fabric and it had to travel some way from right to left.  It could be side to side, or corner to corner.  I had an idea and started working on it in June.  I finished my quilt on Thursday, October 10, at 3:49pm.  The quilt had to be turned in at the guild meeting by 7pm. 

I started with a New York Beauty blocks from Tobacco Shed Quilts.  The blue was a batik ombre' and I enjoyed using it with the different tones.  Next I decided my sky needed something else and I decided some flying geese.  I chose Goose Chase by Jeli Quilts.

Next I needed some mountains.  I chose Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Mountain Majesties using the blue batik ombre, and some purple batiks.  Then I needed some trees.  I found a pattern called Evergreens by Quilt Patterns & More.  I don't know what I was thinking because I calculated I would need to make 4 panels and each panel had 114 pieces.  

I used different colors of light lavender/blue lavender for the sky.  When I finished piecing my trees it was October 5.  I spent that Saturday evening removing all the paper from all of my quilt sections.
I then just created some strata using meadow looking fabric, rock looking fabric, and the challenge fabric, which was blue.  Monday I sandwiched the quilt and was ready to quilt.  But first I had to move the charity quilt off the frame.

I had upgraded my quilter from a HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen sit down machine to a Simply Sixteen on a Little Foot Frame in August.  I had done one pass on the quilt and then shut the machine down.  For some reason I was very reticent about quilting with the machine. I decided to just jump in and go for it, and when I got to quilting on it, I managed to finish the whole quilt with simple interlocking type squares in only 30 minutes.  That included moving the quilt up for 4 more passes.  Currently I have the quilt binding sewn on, and I am working at finishing it by hand. 

I then loaded my challenge quilt.

I outlined the sun and it's rays, with swirls through the rays.  Then I proceeded to make clouds, I outlined the mountains, then outlined the trees.  I quilted scribble grass, then made pebbles in the rocks, wavy swirls in the water, back to pebbles, and more scribble grass.  I finished it up with a dark blue batik, and the ombre blue batik using Pat Broe's and Suzy's Magic Binding methods.  While not prefect it is done, and I was kind of pleased with it even if the quilting is a bit sketchy.

Yes the quilting took me a few days between doing some charity work, just house work, and there was some un- quilting that took place several times.

The next quilt to go on the quilter will be another charity quilt.  Then one of mine that is waiting to be quilted.   I figure that way charity quilts will get completed as well as mine. 

The other quilt that had me scrambling was a quilt for the VFW Raffle for guild.  There seemed to be some confusion about who was making the quilt for 2019.  One lady volunteered, but then someone interfered and told her we already had a quilt, so she thought we were using a different quilt.  I reminded them that we had used that quilt last year and showed them where we presented it to the VFW.  Then someone else said they had a quilt that they had taken from my gurney quilts that they enlarged and turned in.  Why would you turn in a quilt into my charity pile?  More than likely it got turned into the VFW to be sent overseas.  Anyway by that time I decided to just throw a quilt together.  I used this pattern from Missouri Star Quilts and a 2 1/2 inch strip pack and background.

I have the stars made and part of the stripes.  I then had to set it aside.  If you every by a 40 Karat Gem pack, be prepared that it only has 40 strips instead of 42 like in a jelly roll, I was 2 white strips short.  I had to order another Gem pack, and I also decided I wanted to make the quilt a bit bigger so I managed to find fabric on sale.  Finishing up this baby is on my short list.  Oh and the 1st lady that had volunteered she donated a quilt after all the confusion was sorted while I was away.  So this quilt can go for 2020 to the VFW or it can be donated somewhere else.

In January of this year the group that I sew with on Tuesdays decided to do a bag lady exchange.  Each person chooses their fabrics and a quilt block.  You make a block with your fabric, and then each month the bag is passed to a different person, and you make your block from their fabric.  Seven 12 inch blocks don't go far.  But if I made some signature block (which just don't seem to want to work out right no matter what) I would have 14 to make a decent size quilt I decided to make a center medallion.  I found a couple tutorials and started cutting.

You can see my star.  It needs to have a solid band sewn onto it and then to put it together.  Then back to working on the signature blocks.

Butterfly Threads has a QAL going, it is nice and slow and is made up of panels.  So depending on the size of the quilt you want to make determines the number of panels you need.  Here is my fabric pull and part of my blocks cut for the 1st step.

I don't know if you can see far to the right the pretty zinnia fabric and the butterflies! 

I purchased and started cutting on the finishing kit for the Kaleidoscope BOM from the LQS and I made my September and October blocks.

 I have the finishing kit cut and sew on that every now and then.  When the BOM is done maybe I will have the quilt close to finished and just have to put the blocks together. 

These are just some of the things I have been working on.  

Friday I was exhausted after the death march to finish my challenge quilt.  I had invited a girlfriend to go to a quilt show in Dearborn and I had plans to clean up after all of my sewing when I returned home.  When I was squaring up my challenge quilt on Thursday the pile of crap stuff on my cutting table was knocked to the floor.  I have boxes of scraps sitting around that need to be either cut up, or folded and put away. I had been working on it quite a bit lately and have made a small dent, but all the fabric from the challenge quilt has been added to the turmoil. 

Plans change though.  Early Friday morning my sump pump was making a weird noise.  It was not supposed to rain so I figured I could at least unplug it until I got home from the quilt show.  Lord knows this isn't my first rodeo fixing a sump.  On my way home from the quilt show the rain started and we had a deluge for a few hours.  Then the fun began.  I grabbed a small submersible pump that I use to drain the water off of my pool cover, ran a hose to it and out a basement window(you can read all about my basement block window fix here), placed it into the sump and nothing.  The pump would not come on.  I also realize the back up sump pump was not working.  I ran upstairs and started to look for a pump similar to the one for the pool, and also a new back up pump for the sump online.  The only store that had either was in Taylor which is about 20 miles away.  I ordered, and paid for the items so they would be ready when I got there and I would just show my purchase receipt and go.  Headed out and picked up my items and back home I went.

Hooked up the new submersible pump, and it didn't work either!  I tried a different outlet, but nothing.  I really did not want to go back to Taylor so I jumped in the car and headed to Monroe which is just 12 miles away to Lowe's.  I found a submersible pump, and grabbed a hose too. Back home, trip 50 up and down the basement stairs (at least it felt like it),  I undid the hose and the went to put the new hose through the window and it wouldn't fit!  The end to the hose I purchased was heavy duty and too big to go through the hole.  I couldn't locate a little saw.  I tried to drill it, nope that wouldn't work. Then I remembered there was a dremel type tool.  I located it and quickly sanded the hole a bit bigger.  Got the hose out hooked it up to the new submersible pump, and dumped it into the sump.

Once the water was low enough I decided that the pit needed a good clean.  So rubber gloves, plastic grocery bags and my handy dandy sump cleaning tool and I got most of the gunk out.  I also realized the gunk was preventing the float on the pump from moving.  I did a cursory gunk scrape so the float would move plugged the sump in and it worked.  Hallelujah!!!  By now it was 9:30 pm.  I ran outside pulled the hose out of the window and sealed the hole so no varmints could get in, cleaned up and fell into bed.

Saturday morning after fortifying myself with 3 cups of coffee I attacked the sump.  I pulled one, cleaned it, and nothing.  I am going to say that it is most definitely dead.  I pulled the 2nd one and cleaned and washed it put it back together and it is working great now.  Now either I am slow or I spent a lot of time cleaning that pump, but by the time I went upstairs to grab the other pump it was after noon and I needed to eat.  So I cleaned up and decided that I was not going to fight with the new pump today and that I deserved an opportunity to sew.

I saw a pattern called Chi-Chi-Chihuahua by Unicorn Hearts Patterns and it reminded me of Bobbin and so I purchased it some time back. I had seen a cute fabric at Fat Quarter Bingo a couple of weeks ago, and armed with a 15% off coupon I had purchased 2 fat quarters--little did I know it is a line by Basic Gray called Hallo-Harvest.  I also threw in a yummy mustard yellow grunge that has sparkles. A dark chocolate brown, and a teeny tiny piece of Alison Glass Sunprint Bike Path in white from the stash, and for the inside of the ears I will be using Michael Miller Fairy Frost in Creamsicle which was in the charm packs that I won! 

Eye See You!

I got the 3rd section done and realized I needed a background.  I had a fat quarter I had won at Fat Quarter Bingo, so laid it out behind my partial chi.

I wasn't too sure about it.  I went to look for the floral fabric and to see if there were any suggestions as to solids, only to discover that the background fabric is part of the Hallo-Harvest line too.  I guess that is it then!

I recently finished cross sitching the stocking top for my niece Violet.

I am currently working on the top for my grand daughter Karena.

I have been amassing projects.  Pat Broe of Life in the Scrapatch posted that Fat Quarter Shop was having a Pumpkin Patch Pick Your Favorite SAL.  You chose a pattern and made a pumpkin quilt.  The patterns were on sale, and after seeing Jocelyn's beautiful pumpkins knew I would love to make something similar.   The Pumpkins Quilt by Laundry Basket Quilts pattern was on sale, so I purchased it and the accompanying stencil.  Then I chose some layer cakes for background and pumpkins.

I have it all kitted up I still need some browns/greens for stems but it is ready when I need a new project.

Finally I had purchased 2 rolling clothing racks I was going to use then to create a suspension system for my quilter before the upgrade.  I decided instead to organize my panels and quilt tops that need to be quilted.

I have also been amassing fabric for the Bat Quilt which was made by Allison of Cluck, Cluck, Sew.

I need to buckle down and finish some things, and get my scraps under control before I start anything new.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.


  1. Sump pump drama! So proud that you were able to take care of it and get it done Collette! Way to go! Your challenge quilt is magnificent!!! I love it!!! Loving all your projects and you are very welcome for the giveaway gift! Thank you for participating!

  2. W H O A gal--even your fight with sump pumps is epic...
    Your projects are really lovely--your Guild challenge quilt turned out beautifully...despite that mix up! Strange....
    Hope you can relax a bit this weekend...and your sump pump cooperates...hugs, Julierose

  3. I just love your projects! How do you like your Simply Sixteen? I have an Avante which is very similar just on a 12 foot frame. I took a few classes to get used to the longarm. I also had a Sit Down but the techniques are so different!

  4. I'm tired just reading this. You have been very busy.

  5. Congrats on the win! All you projects are so lovely.

  6. I'm exhausted at just imagining what you have accomplished in just a few days! Especially, with the sump pump. Your Challenge quilt is so cool. I love that Pumpkins Quilt by Laundry Baskets, too. Maybe I'll do it next year. Haha. Enjoy your day and hope there's no more surprises.

  7. Your sump pump problems sound like major time eaters. I hope it all gets resolved so you can get back to stitching again. Your landscape quilt is beautiful and that little chi is adorable.

  8. My oh are a busy one! Lots of fun stuff going, I love that you have so many colorways of things going - great for motivating I think...I like to switch it up when it gets monotonous, I am working in an awful lot of grey here - love grey but there is a limit :) That Chihuahua is almost as cute as the real thing too.

  9. Wow, I kept reading and reading...then thought I had somehow read into a second post or third even, but no. Man have you been busy. What an array of wonderful quilting projects from scrappy blocks to quilted row panels that are stunning and a finished cross stitch as well! And the sump pump are amazing. Older daughter has one and she lives in fear of the power going out certain seasons. I smiled at your use of the word amassing...projects and fabrics. Lots still to come to keep you busy. Now you make me want to get in the sewing room and sew. Oh and thanks for the mention...I really loved making those pumpkins.


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