It was a glorious day yesterday! I accomplished a lot, saw a lot, and well - just a great day!!
Often, when I go for a walk, I take my phone. Not because of the social media, which I'm hardly on these days, and I don't miss it a single bit, not because someone might text me or call me - I rarely get messages, unless it's from M who wants to know what's happening with Little Bear. Nope - I take my phone because it has a fantastic camera on it.
I stopped to take a picture of this beautiful flowering bush on my neighbor's driveway. Well, imagine my surprise when the flower I chose to take a picture of had this inside. That doesn't look like a bumblebee, but it doesn't look like a wasp. I'm not sure what it is. But I got this great photo of it.
A visitor in the center of this pink flower
At lunchtime, I went outside to look at the pond. The fish go crazy whenever I come near the edge of the pond, so I was trying to sneak around and WHOA - what's this in the middle of the pond??? A frog. Now I'm not sure what kind of a frog that is (is it a toad?). Anyway, he was sunning himself on the lily pads and quite enjoying himself. I was wondering if there was a frog in the pond as I thought I heard him the other night. Where did he come from?
A front in the pond
And then to top it off, I saw these two critters running away when I went outside. Where the heck did those geckos come from??
The geckos running away
OK -- the geckos are fake. I'll tell you about them in a minute.
I had a phone call to deal with, so I did miss part of the Monday sewing. I've decided that I have enough handwork to do that I'm going to do that during the Monday sewing session - just like when we met in person. I added a few more things to this pile, as I might as well get it all in one place. And it's incredible what you can do in four hours of dedicated sitdown time.
My HUGE basket of handwork
The first thing I did was to sew the sleeve on my Dream Big panel. The darn sleeve was made weeks ago, and it never got stitched in place. The Dream Big panel is pinned to the design wall as part of my film set. Now, if I want to actually hang it up, I can do that.
Then it was off to remove more papers from those string-pieced green 60-degree triangles. I still have a few to go, but I was happy with my progress. Remember that I used the pages from a Yellow Pages book as the foundation, so all that paper has to be taken out. And I found that it's better to remove it BEFORE sewing the units together.
Removing the paper from string pieced blocks
Little Bear thought it would be great fun to help me take the papers out of the garbage once I had put them in. He's a garbage picker and loves to play in the trash.
Little Bear removed some of the papers from the garbage
OK -- back to those geckos. These darn things have been sitting around for MONTHS. One needed to be stuffed (well, it needed to be finished being stuffed), and the other one just needed to sewn shut. I finished stuffing the one during the Monday call.
The geckos that needed to be finished
Then I had to find some matching threads and put the zipper foot on the Designer EPIC 2. It's a bit of a hassle to sew that seam, but with all the space and the piecing power on this sewing machine, it wasn't an issue.
Sewing the geckos closed
And then they were off to play!
The geckos at play near the pond
I think they wanted to jump in and play with the fish, but I held them back!!!
I had to move this box from the bottom of the stairs. That white blob makes me think that Little Bear is sitting in the green box. In fact, that's my knitting bag!! Since those two items at the bottom of the stairs are handwork, they did get moved over to the laundry basket that houses the rest of the handwork.
That is my knitting bag, NOT Little Bear
Oh, here's my handwork basket again before I moved those two things over. Let's just say that there is a LOT of handwork to be done. I'm on a tear - let's get this stuff done. I want to have "new" stuff hanging out in the studio. I'm tired of looking at this old stuff!
The handwork basket
OK -- so then it was time to hit the sewing machine. I got the last two pieces of the border on Easy Street. Yeah!!! That's been hanging around for a LONG, LONG time, but now the top is done.
The Easy Street quilt top is done
I cut TEN strips for the binding, and that's made.
The binding for EAsy Street
Remember, that Easy Street was a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter from several years ago.
Time to make the backing. WAIT A MINUTE! Thankfully, I realized that a corner was cut out of this hunk of fabric before I started to cut the backing. I started from the other end, and this is what I had leftover. Now that labeling system works like a charm!! Did you get all your yardage labeled yesterday? You should - it saves loads of time.
The leftover from the yardage for the backing
Easy Street ready to be quilted
And I'm happy to report that Easy Street is now in the "to be quilted" pile. Yes - one more UFO has been completed!! This is not only a UFO for this month, but it was on the UFO list for 2019. One more bites the dust!!! It's exhilarating to be making progress like this.
As for my UFO lists for The Task Master, there is one project left on the 2017 list, and it's on my target to get that done later this week. There are still four on the list for 2018. One will become my working UFO for September, and one requires some handwork. It's being prepped so I can work on it during the Monday calls. The other two will likely get rolled over to next year.
There are still 8 on the list for 2019. I'm working on one of the projects, and I hope to have it done for the UFO club meeting in a couple of weeks. I'll grab one or two of the remaining ones and see what I can get done by the end of the year. Some of those will for sure get rolled over to next year.
And there are still 11 on the list for 2020. I'm currently working on two of those and hope to finish one or two more before the end of the year. That's a total of 24 that still need to be completed. Now I could be a total pessimist when I see that number and feel like I'm getting nowhere, but NO - I look at it like this - there were a total of 48 (actually more because of the duplicates of some of the quilts on the 2017 list). That means I'm half done what I started out to do. That's HUGE, as some of these UFOS are very complex. Oh yes - I'm going to get those darn UFOs done! I WILL do it.
After I finished that, it was time to get to work on those community project quilts that need to be bound. I made contact with the Project Linus person who lives very close to me. Yahoo!!! She will take EVERYTHING. So I want to get all the quilts bound so they can all be dropped off and the Quilts of Valour contact is not far either so I'll make one delivery! I need to get busy!!!
I had several bindings to make, so I used the laser guidance system on the Designer EPIC 2 to join those bindings. It worked like a charm—no need to mark and pin like I always did in the past.
Using the laser guidance system
Here's the stack of quilts still be to be bound. It's much smaller than it was!
Quilts to be bound!
I thought I'd share with you where I put those bobbins that I wound so I would know when to change the needle and clean the machine.
Two spools of thread
And here is a great place to store the bobbins. Actually, I should put them under the cone of grey thread!
Storage space for my five bobbins
I've already gone through one bobbin. I told you, I'm on a roll.
Three bobbins to go
I was busy sewing binding all afternoon, and I needed a small ruler and scissors to help with the final join. AHA - I have a drawer in that new Singer Ironing and Crafting station. So I put my ruler and scissors in the drawer, so they were handy!!! What a smart idea.
The drawer in the Singer Ironing and Crafting Station
And I LOVE this iron - a single touch to shut it off, a single touch to wake it up (at the same temperature as it was when it went to sleep), musical tones to get it to the right temperature, and no hassle with the steam buttons. I'm in heaven!!! I didn't realize how much I hated that orange iron I was using. This one is a dream to use.
The Singer SteamLogic Steam Iron
So here's the binding situation - I got the binding sewn to the back of this quilt for Quilts of Valour.
The binding is sewn to the back of the quilt
The binding is sewn to the back of this quilt for Project Linus.
A Project Linus quilt with the binding sewn to the back
I love having all that space to work. It's amazing!!! And great lighting as well.
Sewing on the binding
I had to make the binding for the quilt that I'm working on above. That leaves ONE more binding to make. Three quilts need the binding sewn onto the front and three quilts that I need to sew the binding on both sides. Yes - I'm making progress, and I hope to get them all finished TODAY. I have to start the prep for my new presentation tomorrow night, but it won't be nearly as bad as it was last week since most of the technology is set up. I'm going to add one more tech component each week. No one will notice the difference, but I hope it helps me when switching from camera to camera.
One more binding is made
This was the sky last night! A bit of lightning, and it was MUCH darker than it appears in the photo.
The night sky
And there's the little helper. He just loves to find a bag to plop his little butt in.
Little Bear hiding in a bag
Phew - that was a crazy day, but I'm motivated, and I want some of this stuff cleaned up! It's happening, and I'm thrilled.
I hope you're getting some stuff done. The best advice? Pick ONE thing that's been bugging you and just get it done. For me, it was the geckos! It took less than one hour to get them done. You can do it!!
Don't forget that there's a virtual retreat this weekend. I'll post the link for Saturday on tomorrow's blog. That's Saturday, August 22nd, and Sunday, August 23rd. The retreat starts at 9 AM EST and runs until 8 PM. It's going to be loads of fun, and I've got to get some stuff organized. Stop by and say hi or stay for a while and sew.
Have a super day!!!!
Ciao!!! #StringPiecing #Irons #EasyStreet #QuiltsOfValour #Bear