Goals………

A month ago I decided to try to quilt 3 quilts a week.  I was trying to reduce the 53 quilt tops needing finishing down to around 20.  I sold 15 tops and quilted 10 in 30 days, but I started 3 new ones.  Let’s see, that means I have 31 that still need finishing.  I didn’t quite meet my goal of 3 a week but I’m pretty happy with my progress.  I finished the binding on this Kaffe crosses quilt last night. It is 47″ square. 
Yesterday I went to church sewing circle in the afternoon and delivered 12 travel pillow size pillowcases for one of our service projects.  On the way home I had a few stops and at one of them I found the limited edition Lindor truffles.  You have to really read the package because they have a blue package they carry year round but it is a different variety, not nearly as good.  I also discovered this peppermint bark on milk chocolate last year on sale after Christmas.  It was priced the same as last year’s sale price so I had to get some of it too.  I know it freezes well since I tested that last year.
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Basting, quilting………

I hand basted this Kaffe cross quilt because I want to ditch quilt it on my Pfaff using the diagram in Kaffe’s book.
Earlier in the day yesterday I loaded this quilt on my longarm.  I didn’t think I would quilt it last night but with the extra hour in the day (because of the time change) I had plenty of time to do it.  I just wanted a large meander on this one so it would stay nice and soft.  I had forgotten how hard it is to do the large meander.  I want to move the machine too fast and it overrides the stitch regulator and I get longer stitches on the curves.  I really had to concentrate to go slower.  You can see the whole top here and some in progress photos here and here.  It is 73″ x 95″.
 
 More pretty blooms.  I have 4 different colors blooming currently.

A ‘keep busy’ day………..

Yesterday I just needed to keep busy so I wouldn’t think about my appointment today.  I cut batting for this random plank (also known as jelly roll race) quilt top and the backing fabric is at the left.  It isn’t a batik but looks great with the colors in the quilt. 
The crosses quilt is 48″ square so I knew I needed to add a strip to the width for the backing. I had a long strip of the fabric at the left that was a leftover from another quilt and I also had a larger chunk of it to cut the main piece from.  I sewed it together and it is ready to baste.  I will do this one on my Pfaff because I want it ditch quilted and there is a continuous line diagram in one of Kaffe’s books.
I went through 3 boxes of miscellany in the basement too and filled a garbage bag with useless stuff.  It feels good to see some empty boxes.
 

Just one more block…….

I made 4 more 16 patches and 3 more tiny 16 patches and cut one more square of the large print. I could take the easy way out right now and add one more square of the large print.  But then I could make some more tiny 16 patches like I originally planned.  It is an odd size, 40″ x 64″ right now.  I might add borders to make it a little larger.  I’m ready to move on now that I know what it looks like.  You know, the attention span of a 4 year old…..
I finished sewing the sample for my crosses class.  I added 4 more rows on after class to make it square, 18″ square.  It will make a nice table mat.  It might be fun to add a lot of straight line quilting to this one too.

View in the morning…….

As I walked into my studio yesterday morning I saw the beauty of the quilting as the light from the window came across the quilt.
I thought I only had 3 strips left to quilt but as I looked I kept finding more so I started marking them with pins.  There were 5 more in the center too.
The quilting is all done now and this is my view from my chair.  There are 2 or 3 tiny little spots that I chose not to quilt.  Now I have to block it, trim and bind it.
First though I am teaching my crosses quilt class today.  I cut some pieces to play with last night to refresh my memory.  I cut these from 2″ strips so this may become a table runner.

And one more…….

I took a few breaks from moving things to hand sew the binding on this one.  That makes 5 totally finished in 17 days, 1 more quilted but binding not done, and one partially quilted. I need to get a better photo of this one.  The light source is on the right edge of this one and I need to have it evenly lit for it’s final photo.

This is the back.  The large print is one of my favorites and I have it on the back of another quilt too.
I have orange cactus blossoms now.  If I’m lucky all 9 buds will bloom.
This is the plant you can see in the background of the orange flower.  The plants have bloomed in groups, first the deep pink ones, then the white ones and now I have 3 plants with red blossoms.
There is one plant left to bloom.  Maybe it will wait for Christmas.
The repair of my pump on the hot water heating system will take place on Friday.  I have been able to keep the old pump working by oiling it when it complains.  I have always kiddingly said that I have a boiler big enough to heat a grade school and that’s why my gas bills are so high.  Now I found out that I really do have one more than twice the size I need.  I will replace the boiler after heating season is over so maybe next year I’ll have more efficient heating.  The farmers who built this house in 1953 put the best of everything into it but it was overkill to put in a boiler that large.

Borders, sashing, fall leaves……

I thought I liked the 2 partial blue circles meeting on the top left borders but now I wonder if it is distracting.  I could take that strip off and flip it end for end and it might look better.  I’ll look at it again when I get home from the family reunion this afternoon.  A few people tried to convince me to put a narrow border first but I like the way the colors in the crosses meet the circles in the border.  I do like my quilts busy!
The sashing is a little wider than I had it for the audition.  I decided a little more of it might be an even bigger impact without stealing the spotlight from the stars.  I think I will quilt this one with diagonal lines in one direction.
It seems like the redbud leaves turned yellow overnight.  I only noticed a few branches with them a couple days ago.
As soon as they turn color they start dropping.  The squirrels love it because it gives them more coverage when they bury the walnuts.  I hope they remember where they buried them because I’m tired of cutting down little walnut trees.