Wednesday, July 31, 2013

End of July Update

Wow, July sure raced by, didn't it?  I did get a few things on my July UFO list done.  It's a good thing Carrie is cheering us on!

My Block of the Week blocks from Primitive Gathering are coming along.  I'm not caught up, as we are on Week 9 now, but I'm no further behind than last month, so that's progress in my book!  I'm enjoying working on them, though, so that's the main thing.

I finished two of the quilts from the Grand Old Flag gathering:
This is "Campaign", a little table topper from the Carol Hopkins class - it's quilted and bound and ready to use. 
And this is Sampler Baskets, also quilted and bound and ready to hang.

And these goofy banners are finally done.  It took all of 20 minutes to finish them, once I got around to it.  They only needed the hanging sleeve on the back.  A couple people asked about these - they are a pattern from Lily Anna Stitches, and were a Banner of the Month deal from Primitive Gatherings.  They fit on one of the small wire stands from Ackfeld Manufacturing.  I believe I have 11 of them done, and they were fun to make.

And last but not least, I finished the cross-stitch on this sampler started at the Grand Old Flag in June.  It needs a frame yet, but the stitching is done.  I really enjoyed getting back to cross-stitching, although this sampler was a challenge due to the high stitch count.  I had to use a magnifying glass to stitch on it. 

So, what's next for August? 

1.  Get these blocks trimmed and set together.  My friend Donna posted about this quilt a few days ago, and I got out my blocks to see where I was with this project.  The wools are really pretty, so it's time this one gets out of the cabinet and done!

2.  Keep working on my Block of the Week blocks.  Maybe I can get caught up?

3.  Get this Hocus Pocus Ville quilt quilted, so I can have it done for fall this year. 

That should be enough to keep me out of trouble for August, don't you think?

Earlier this year, I was having trouble with rabbits eating my tomato plants.  I came up with a solution that worked pretty well, so I'll share it in case anyone else has this problem next spring.

I took a clear trash bag and put it over the tomato cage, taped it pretty tightly around the cage at the bottom, and cut the top open and taped it inside the top rung of the cage so it couldn't slip down.  A really determined critter could have chewed through it, but apparently my rabbits are dumb and/or lazy, because they left them alone.  The plants seemed to like the trash bags - I think it made a little greenhouse for them.  I left the trash bags on them until about three weeks ago, because the tomatoes were starting to get ripe.  I know the die-hard gardeners will say that I should have been pruning these tomatoes, etc., but my tomato-growing process is to plant them and leave them alone.  We have six plants for two people, so we'll have plenty of tomatoes regardless.  Neglect seems to work in this case!  The plants that were eaten to the ground by the rabbits came back up inside their cage/bag, and they're nearly as tall as the ones that weren't eaten.  The tomatoes I've been getting have been great - there's nothing like a home-grown tomato.

Have a great August - hope you're getting lots of tomatoes to eat, too!

Friday, July 5, 2013

July UFOs and Ten Things This Summer

Sherri at A Quilting Life has inspired me to think about and list Ten Things I want to do this summer, and Carrie at A Passion for Applique is encouring us to finish UFOs.  Several of the things I want to do are on both lists, so this is a dual-duty post.

For UFO finishes in July, I have four things in mind:

1.  Quilt this table topper pieced at summer camp.  I don't remember its name, but it is cute and I want to get it done and bound so I can enjoy it.

2.  Finish these Banners of the Month from last year.  I think these only need hanging sleeves, so 30 minutes should take care of these projects.  What is my problem and why aren't these done?

3.  Quilt My Favorite Things.  This was the free Block of the Week pattern from Primitive Gatherings last year.

4.  Quilt the Sampler Baskets quilt, also from camp.  This is basted and ready to go.

For the rest of my Summer of Fun, I have these projects in mind:
5.  Put together the Primitive Gatherings Block of the Week from a couple years ago.  Julie at Julie K Quilts inspired me to get this out and take another look at it.  I love these little blocks and they are all finished, so just need to be trimmed and put together.

6.  Catch up on this year's Block of the Week from Primitive Gatherings.  We are on Week 5 already, and you can see I only have two done, along with three of the freebie blocks.  I haven't trimmed anything yet, because I hate that part and save it for last.  I don't know if I'm putting the words on these or not.  I'll wait to see what the quilt looks like finished before I decide.  I really enjoy sitting on the deck in the summer and working on these, but those days haven't been plentiful this year.  Hopefully July and August will be less rainy so I can do that.

7.  Get the Bee in My Bonnet Row Quilt quilted.  Which leads me to...

8.  Start the Quilty Barn Along at Bee In My Bonnet.  I don't have pictures, since I haven't started it, but go to the link and you can see lots of cute blocks.  I love the tractor she did a couple weeks ago!

9.  Quilt HocusPocusVille.  This top has been done for quite awhile, but I've been too intimidated to start quilting it.  I've seen some finished quilts on blogs lately, so I need to dive in.
10.  At Country Sampler's Summer Camp, I was lucky enough to win this wonderful door prize - a fat quarter of Jeanne's entire line of American Spirit.  Each of the teachers also gave us door prizes, and the one from Paula Barnes was a pattern I plan to use with this beautiful line of fabric. 

11. OK, I have more than Ten Things, apparently.   Last but not least, get together with a few quilting friends.  One I will see in August, one in September, and one I could see theoretically anytime as we only live 20 minutes apart, but between jobs, families, outdoor work, etc., we just never seem to get together.  I'm making that a priority in July!

Thanks for the idea, Sherri!  Having a list helps me get things done.