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A Quilted Coat in the Grand Canyon

A southwesternish coat in the southwest.

The quilted coat is done. Well, it is almost done. I still have to finish the inside, but you don’t see it when I am wearing it. I took it on vacation with us to the Grand Canyon. It only seemed appropriate. I am glad I did too. At 8,000 feet above sea level it was much cooler than I had planned, so this coat kept me warm each morning.

I learned a lot about making this coat. The first thing I learned is that making clothes is more difficult for me than making quilts. But I enjoyed the challenge. As mentioned in my previous post, the second thing I learned is that my Little Brother Sewing Machine (Bubba) has a limit and 4 layers of fabric, and two layers of batting almost exceed that limit. Hence the need to purchase a larger and more powerful machine. The third thing I learned is to really read pattern directions multiple times and don’t just rely on the you-tube tutorials. Luckily I had enough fabric when I boo-booed that I could keep going.

I made this jacket part of the #FreeSpiritCoatStory challenge sponsored by FreeSpirit Fabrics. Quilted coats are trending in the fashion world and the world of quilting. Although it seems to be coming back in style instead of being a new concept from what I have heard from quilters who are a little older than myself.

I chose to participate because I wanted to challenge myself. I know how to make patchwork quilts of various designs. I have made pillowcases, table runners, baby quilts, wall hangings, and bed quilts. I wanted to try something new that would challenge my skills, and it certainly did.

I chose the fabrics on a whim, really. As part of the challenge, you had to use Free Spirit Fabrics from current lines. I chose Tula Pink fabrics. I used an ombre print from her Daydreamer Line. I just loved the sun, moon, and birds on it. It reminded me of beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I then used some Tula Pink solids for the Lonestar. I chose a turquoise color for the lining because every good southwestern style piece of clothing needs some turquoise. You also had to use QuiltSmart interfacing made for jackets. Quiltsmart interfacing helps you sew together more complicated patterns with ease. I chose the Little Lonestar coat interfacing. Coming from a farm and loving horses, it felt more like me. You also had to use the Tamarack Jacket Pattern by Grainline Studios. I chose the option to add a hood because I love hooded jackets. It gave the coat a more modern look.

I chose to applique the lone stars on the quilted jacket pieces because I wanted them in specific places. Luckily I am a fluffier human, so I could get a full Lonestar on the back without having to modify the pattern or cutting off the points. Fluffiness for the win!!!

The front perplexed me. I tried out doing different layouts to see which worked the best. I ended up on half stars on top and bottom of the front.

The hardest thing about putting the jacket together was the bulk. It was hard to get all the layers through my machine. My husband thought I was getting on to the kids and the cats several times as I was sewing because I kept saying things like, “Behave yourself and stop that.” I tried to get the jacket to behave while going through the machine. I also might have said a few curse words in the process too, but we will keep this blog rated G for the most part.

In the end, though, I really enjoyed making this jacket. It is not perfect by any means, but neither am I. It was a labor of love and creativity that reflects my nature-loving spirit.

Happy New Year!!!

Wow, I have been blogging for one year! Although it has been quarterly for the latter part of the year due to the craziness that is life.

Christmas was a blast, and I celebrated a milestone birthday in the same week. I made my nieces and nephews reading pillows over the past few months. They are 18 inch pillows with a pocket on the pillowcase and handles. They can hold books or electronics and make a comfy addition to traveling. Here is a photo:

I also made this cute Penquin pillow for my kids’ bus driver. I used a multicolor thread for quilting it. The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman. I just love all her animal patterns.

I also made some other teacher gifts. I made these cute little mug rugs that look like coffee/cocoa cups. The block was a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop. I bagged them with a disposable coffee cup, some coffee and hot cocoa for a special treat.

As you can see Cinnimon the mini chonk cat approves.

I took two weeks off a Christmas from quilting to clean and organize my sewing supplies and just enjoy my family. I am ashamed to say that I was this years old when I discovered the Container Store online website. I found some very decorative storage bins to store my fabric without looking to messy. They also look great on my shelves as opposed to clear plastic containers. Here are a few shots of my sewing area aka my bedroom while it was clean. Since Christmas it has gotten only slightly messy. I plan to do a bi weekly tidy to put away fabric scraps and keep things organized.

I got a great Christmas gift. I actually bought it in October on sale and saved it for Christmas. It is a quilting frame that I can use with my own machine and kind of turn it into a long arm. It is called a Grace Cutie. I tried it out yesterday and it is awesome. I can use pantographs just like a pro long warmer. I just need to practice to get my speed and technique to make the designs cleaner on the quilts. I practiced on a quilt my daughter made for her dolls.

I finished my two block of the months just before the new year. Toes in the Sand came out beautiful and I cant wait to quilt it later this year.

The A Quilting lIfe block of the month also turned out well. I am not in love with the border fabric. I was looking for a navy floral for the border from the fabric line, but since the fabric is out of print now, I was only able to locate the red. To me it feels too loud but it will be a great picnic quilt.

New Years Dinner!! Hopping John from the Instant pot!

I cook Hopping John every year for new years. Its a Black eye pea “stew” that can be served over rice. I usually cook it on the stove in a cast iron dutch oven, but it takes hours and I really didn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. Here is a quick recipe for it:

Instant Pot Hopping John

1 lb black eyed peas (if dried soaked for 6-8 hours in water then drained)

2 bell papers one green one another color chopped

1 medium onion chopped

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

Salt and pepper

1 quart of chicken broth4

1 smoked ham hock or a few slices of bacon

1 bay leaf

Saute up the onions, and peppers (us can use the saute function on the instant pot). Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Add the peas, ham hock, bay leaf, salt, and chicken stock. If there is not enoiught stock to cover the peas add a few cups of water. Place lid on instant pot and seal valve and select the beans setting with low pressure for 60 minutes.

I hope you all had a magical holiday season. Next week I will show what I will be working on for long-term projects and some new finishes.

Fall breakfast and new finishes.

Greetings yall! I never intended for this blog to be quarterly but it appears it’s running in that direction. Hopefully, life will slow down soon so I can devote some more time to writing about what I love.

So the past 3 months have been crazy to say the least. The good news is the contractors completed the work on my house to repair where the tree had crashed into it. But during that time, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. I have been feeling off for years. Joint pain that seemed to run in cycles along with inflammation of my digestive system. I am relieved to finally have a diagnosis and a treatment plan to move forward.

The company I have been working for the fall is our busy season, and on top of all the normal life chaos, I have been working 50-plus hours a week. This leaves little time to blog and get on top of my ever-growing quilt project list. But, hopefully, things will slow down, and I can return to my loves.

I have had some finishes, though. Here they are:

I made this Poinsettia Churndash wreath quilt top. Once it is quilted next year, it will adorn my bed in December. It was a pattern in a Fall issue of Quilters World Magazine 2 years ago. I fell in love with the pattern was have had the materials to make it for a year. I finally got to it.

I did make a baby quilt. I have a cousin who is expecting a baby boy, and I whipped this out in time for her baby shower. It has Minky on the back to make it extra soft.

I also completed the Summer sew along with Caliope quilts using Art East Patterns. The goats were really fun to make but also very intricate with small pieces. They are very adorable, and I can’t wait to quilt them in the new year. I also made a quilt from Vanessa Goertzen’s Charm School Book. It’s called the Modern Basic. I also used her Smoke and Rust line. It is currently on its way back from the quilters. As you can see, one of my project managers has already claimed it.

Banana muffins at last!

I finally remembered to snap a photo of my banana muffins before the kids devoured them all. This is a staple in my home. We constantly have overipe bananas and this is a quick and easy breakfast.

Here is the recipe:

Banana Muffins

  • 2/3cup milk
  • 1/4cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2cup mashed very ripe banana (1 medium)
  • 1egg
  • 2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3cup sugar
  • 2 1/2teaspoons baking powder

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until just combined.

Place batter in greased muffin tin or use cupcake liners in your muffin tin.

Bake at 400 degrees in oven for 15-20 minutes.

I often sub brown sugar for the white sugar for a deeper flavor.

Add nuts, blueberries, or chocolate chips for even more goodness.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe and my latest finishes. My next post which hopefully will come out later this week will have some quick and easy home made gifts and my favorite fall breakfast.

Adios…until next time.

What a Summer!

Greetings yall!! Its been almost 3 months since my last post. A lot has been going down at my casa that blogging didn’t fit my hectic schedule. But I am back baby! As promised, we will be showing some new finishes and some delicious muffins, and how to process strawberries for freezing and jam.

To begin, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know its been crazy at my house. My husband moved to Maryland before Memorial Day for work. The kids and I are staying here because it just made sense to keep them in a stable, familiar environment. So my home workload has picked up since my sidekick is not here to help me out sometimes. However, the kids are stepping up and helping with age-appropriate tasks.

Right before the 4th of July weekend, part of an old giant tree fell on my house, rupturing a gas line in my attic and causing a lot of damage to my roof, master bedroom, and bathroom. Thankfully no one was hurt. We have been battling with the contractors to get the roof fixed and the inside repaired. The roof was finally repaired this past week. So hopefully, they will begin on the inside soon. I am missing my Tempurpedic mattress. My guest bed mattress hurts my hips.

Work at my job has picked up, so I have had to work mandatory overtime a lot over the last few weeks.

Needless to say, my quilting time has been limited to a few minutes during the week and a few hours on the weekends. I have completed a few projects and keep up with my sew-alongs. I am only behind on my A Quilting Life BOM, but I should be able to catch up on that soon.

Here are some May Finishes. I completed the Sweet Dreams Sew A Long And some patriotic dining room decor along with my Toes in the Sand BOM. I hand-quilted the panel and added a frame to make it look like a picture. I made a pinwheel on point table runner using a Charm Pack called Praire Days by Moda.

Here are my July projects. I participated in Boo Crew by Fat Quater shop. I reversed the color of the Cauldron and Cat colors in the kit because I have never seen an orange Cauldron, and I wanted to pay homage to my evil devil kitty, Mr. Smee, who is an orange tabby you have seen in my pics. I made my sister a birthday quilt. She picked out the layer cake I used called Horsing Around by Bentertex. The pattern is Night Sky by Missouri Star Quilt Company. I love the secondary pattern made by the chevrons. I love the pantograph quilting I chose with horseshoes and stars. The quilter chose the purple thread which I think is perfect.

I am also participating in the Quilted Summer Sew Along by Caliope Quilts. Last year the patterns where baby Elizabeth Hartman and I did the Koala Quilt. I am doing Kidding Around (Goats in Pajamas) this year by ArtEast Quilting. The blocks are very intricate but adorable.

I have two more gift quilts I plan on starting and a Christmas Quilt for me. I also have a Halloween panel and table placemats I plan to get together soon.

Now onto some good eats.

May in my part of Georgia is strawberry season. For the past few years the kids and I go to a local u-pick farm and load up of these delicious gems. I freeze some and make jam. I also make delicious strawberry desserts like this strawberry rhubarb crumble.

Here is a simple recipe for preserving your strawberries for the entire year. I love to pull out a bag from my freezer in the dead of winter and top a big ole slice of angel food cake.

Frozen Strawberries:

As many pints of strawberries you have

Sugar

Slice strawberries into a large bowl. Add the desired amount of sugar. I usually do 1 cup of sugar to 3-4 heaping cups of berries. Stir and let sit for 30-60 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Place in Ziploc freezer bags and freeze. Use within a year. I love how the sugar makes the strawberries have their own sauce.

I love rhubarb and was stoked the local strawberry farm had some this year. So I made this recipe with some of my berries and fresh rhubarb.

https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/strawberry-rhubarb-crisp

And to celebrate the strawberry season, I also made this strawberry quilt. I call it Strawberry Patch.

I had planned on writing about my delicious banana muffins but can’t find my pictures of them now. But fear not, I have 4 bananas overripening on my counter for a delicious back-to-school breakfast recipe to come later this week. Have a great week yall!

Spring and Easter Designs and Easter Dinner

Hi Yall! It has been a hot minute since I have had the time to sit down and work on the blog. Kids have been busy with their extracurricular activities. We spend 2-3 evenings at the soccer fields. We have been trying to get our garden going and clean up the front yard which gets strangled by weeds this time of year. I know it is past Easter, but I come to you today with some Easter and Spring Decor I have made over the past two years. I also have some recipes from our Easter dinner.

Here are two of my Easter/Spring quilted items. I made the Bunny table runner last year for Easter. I actually made two of these. I gave one to my mom for Easter. I used the Cottontail pattern by Lella Boutique for the blocks. The original pattern was for a quilt but I modified it for a table runner. The quilt on the wall is a Log Cabin Cross wall hanging made from a pattern by Quiltfox that I found on Etsy. I used all Moda Grunge fabrics. I quilted this on my machine using gold thread. I gave this wall hanging to a family member as a gift last weekend.

More Bunnies!

I also made three Bunny pillowcases. Above two are pillows that I gave my children. They specifically wanted bunnies that sort of matched their own rabbits, Pickles and Gary. My daughter slept with hers for a solid year.

Gary and Pickles best Christmas gifts ever!

This Easter we had a whole roasted leg of lamb. It was crazy delicious.

Here is the marinade recipe I used:

Marinade

10 cloves of garlic chopped

1 spring of rosemary chopped

1 handful of parsley chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt

Black pepper

Directions: Season lamb all over with salt and pepper. Rub oil, herbs and garlic all over the lamb. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Place lamb in roasting pan on rack and roast at 325 degrees for 5-6 hours until tender and falling off the bone.

Greek Ruffled Milk Pie

We had a very springy dessert for Easter as well. I made a Greek ruffled milk pie. I normally make baklava for Easter but having just got back from vacation I thought I might give my gallbladderless body a reprieve from the buttery deliciousness that is Baklava. Greek ruffled milk pie does have some phyllo dough and butter but not as much. I added lemon and blueberries for a springy touch.

There is a link to a recipe I used to make it here. I would also make this for brunch as it is more eggy than custardy to me but it is awesome to eat anytime. My sous chef is becoming an expert with the phyllo.

Don’t worry most of the berries made it into the pie.

I am still working on my blocks of the month and the Sweet Dreams sew along. I should have the sew along quilt finished by the weekend. My next post is going to have some more delicious recipe ideas including my famous banana muffins and an easy and delicious way to preserve strawberries. See yall later!

Spring Finishes

I finally got these three completed. The Koala quilt is a family favorite. I love the spring chickens. The patriotic one is for my husband. I couldn’t find any army or West Point fabric so I used American Gatherings by Moda. His is the largest I have done to date. It is made for a queen-sized bed. I am working on two pillow shams to go with it.

My husband is moving to Maryland for work. The kids and I are staying here because if we moved with him my son would change high schools up to three times before he graduated. This would not be ideal. Plus we are so close to both sets of grandparents. It is going to be a challenge but we know it is the right thing for our family at this time.

The Koala quilt was a sew-along I did last summer. The challenge was to complete an Elizabeth Hartman pattern of your choice. I already had this pattern at the time so the sew-along prompted me to go ahead and start it. I completed a block (Koala) per week. It was a challenge and there were some mistakes. I left one mistake in the quilt. If you notice some koalas have verticle noses and some have horizontal noses. They were all supposed to have vertical noses. But I mistakenly made one horizontal at the beginning so I decided to leave it as it was and make all the second koalas of the colorway with horizontal noses. No Koala is alike anyway right?

Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns are so cute. I have a Llama one and Penguins in Sweaters patterns too. The patterns have lots of pieces but are not overly difficult. The one takeaway I have from this quilting experience is organization. I literally just cut up all the pieces and put them in a project box for this quilt. I spend longer searching for the correct pieces than actual sewing.

When I started piecing the spring chicken I forced myself to be more organized. I used my best friend Ziploc to help me keep pieces together. It really helped me and things went smoother. I plan on making another chicken quilt later this year because I still have a ton of Spring Chicken fabrics left. I will probably do a block a week to make it seem manageable like the Koala quilt.

I enjoyed making all three of these quilts. I am always happy when I finish one completely but also a little sad when it’s finally over…until I begin the next project.

Catching Up And a New Sewing Machine

Hi yall! I am back with some big news.

I have bit the bullet and invested in a top-of-the-line sewing machine that should really help me to grow as a quilter. It is a Juki Kokochi DX-4000QVP. It has a very wide (almost 13-inch) sewing space. It has a built-in walking foot. It has a dual pedal that has a reverse function. I love that I can backstitch by just shifting my foot. I might actually backstitch more like I should. It has a thread cutting mechanism so fewer threads all over my house, shirt, pets, etc. It has a big tablet screen with the instruction manual and videos built in for help. You can even watch youtube videos on it. It has so many more fun features I can’t possibly list them all. It’s like going from driving a Chevy Cavalier to a Cadillac Deville.

Meet Judy the Juki, the newest member of my sewing team.

Not to hate on my Brother SQ2785. I love that machine and still have it. It’s great for piecing and small projects but I nearly broke “Bubba” making my quilted coat. He just wasn’t made for that kind of work. I still plan on using Bubba for going to quilt classes since Judy the Juki weighs almost 50 lbs and doesn’t fit in a standard case. My daughter has claimed Bubba because he has speed control and a needle threader that her machine does not.

Judy the Juki is going to help me learn to machine quilt so I can send fewer quilts out to be long-armed. I also want to learn to do some machine quilting so I can really customize some of my projects. With the larger throat space, I will be able to get a larger quilt under the needle with ease.

I have been single parenting most of the month due to my husband having to attend work training so my quilting time has been almost nonexistent during the week. I am committed to binding while watching tv in the morning and waiting for the buses to arrive. I also try to come in on my fifteen-minute breaks from work and get some piecing or pressing of blocks done. I also try to get at least 15 minutes of sewing in on the night that we are not at the soccer field or boy scouts.

I have finished binding the Chicken Quilt. I took some photos but it has been cloudy and nasty here the past week so photographing outdoors has been postponed. Plus its the “pollening” here in Georgia so I am hesitant to take my quilts outdoors and get them full of the yellow stuff as my allergies are already raging.

I also completed a wall hanging. Its the first project I completed on my new machine. It’s a log cabin cross. I also quilted it on my machine but I will have to post pictures later as I am still tearing the quilting paper off of it. I used the quilt paper so I could try out a quilt design with a pencil and erase if needed. I also used it because having worked with grunge fabric in the past my disappearing fabric markers do not disappear quite so easily on them.

Log Cabin Cross made with grunge fabrics.

I also got caught up on Pat Sloan’s Sweet Dreams sew-along. I was two weeks behind. I am loving this retro Halloween vibe of this quilt.

A couple more borders and we are done. Candy Corn and Cats tow of my favs.

I do have my quilted coat done and am working on that post as well. I am also working on some recipe posts if I can ever remember to actually photograph the food before I eat it. I guarantee its coming. We have a great day yall and stay tuned!

A quilted coat, new finishes, and more.

Hi yall! It’s been a while since I posted. I have had some big things happening. I started a new position in the company I work for that aligns with my education in criminal justice. It is full time which has cut into my quilting time a little more than I would like. But it is a good job that piques my interest, and it gives me more money to fund my hobby (more money for fabric!).

Here is what I have been working on the past few weeks:

Toes in the Sand Block of the Month: February

I have finished my blocks for February and I love the Flamingos.

A Quilting Life Block of the Month: February

I also completed more of Pat Sloan’s Sweet DreamsSew-along blocks.

Six Blocks Done so far.

My last sew-along is A Quilting Life’s Block of the Month. I think this will be my summer picnic quilt when it is done.

I am loving the Happy Days Fabrics. These florals are soooo pretty!

Lastly, I have been working on my Free Spirit Coat Story Quilted Coat. I will have a blog post dedicated to the process of making it, information about the contest, and my inspiration for it as well as soon as it is finished which should be in two weeks if all goes as planned. Here is a preview picture of my cut pieces prior to quilting.

First time making clothes!

I have also been baking up some interesting things. I messed up on my Misfit produce order and ordered two 2 lb bags of blood oranges instead of what I thought was going to be 4 oranges. So I had to figure out how to use some up. I found a recipe in Cook’s Country Magazine for an orange upside-down cake. It was easy and so delicious. I highly recommend you check it out.

Yummy!

I have had 3 quilts come back from the quilters this past few weeks and I am working on the binding and getting them photographed. I will include them in my next post. One is this Koala quilt that everyone seems to love. They love it so much that they steal it from me and refuse to give it back, Here is my orange tabby laying his claim to it.

I get to snuggle it on occasion. My daughter wants to put it on her bed. I want to sleep under it a few nights first.

The other two that came back are my chicken quilt and my husband’s starstruck quilt. Photos will be coming soon as they are bound.

Well, that is all I have today. Stay tuned for a special post all about the quilted coat and a photography session of my new finishes. I will also be doing a post about getting kids involved in quilting and easy patterns.

Even more cold weather sewing, spanokopita, and cookies!

Hi all! Last weekend it snowed for the first time in the 4 years we have lived in this part of Georgia. It was under an inch but the kids took full advantage and made tiny snowmen. We are used to seeing more copious amounts from our time in New York. But, I am glad we still haven’t had to use the snow shovels for actual snow since we moved here. They are great for scooping leaves in the fall.

It was another cold weekend this weekend as well so I spent most of the weekend working on sewing projects and cooking up some delicious meals.

I worked on finishing my Chicken Quilt. The original pattern did not have a border. I decided to add one. My background is a very pale gray, and the binding is going to be light colors as well. I felt a border would really add definition to the quilt. I like how borders frame a design like a picture. What do you think?

I also completed my first month of the Toes in the Sand Block of the Month.

The first two blocks for Toes in the Sand.

I also completed week 4 of Pat Sloan’s Sweet Dreams sew along.

Block 4 was named chocolate chip cookies. This inspired me to help Danielle make some really large chocolate chip cookies with sea salt.

Cookie monster cookies!!! Nomm Nomm Nommmm!

And now it’s recipe time!!! I made my version of spanakopita. Spanokopita is a Greek pastry filled with spinach and cheese. It is divine. I love all greek food and swear there must be some Greek DNA in my body. Feta is my friend.

This recipe combines two of my favorite recipes for spanakopita Michael Symon’s recipe is filled with goat cheese and herbs. Ina Garten’s recipe is made like a strudel so it’s not making small triangles which can be tedious and time-consuming.

Here is the recipe:

Spanokopita

  • 1/2 box frozen phyllo dough thawed.
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 box of frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry or 2 large bunched of fresh spinach
  • 1 package 8 oz cream cheese
  • 6 oz of feta crumbled
  • Garlic salt
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/2 cup pank bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a sheet tray covered in foil.
  3. Cook onions and fresh spinach in olive oil until soft. Drain any excess moisture.
  4. Place spinach/onions in a medium bowl and add softened cream cheese, feta and garlic salt to taste. Mix to combine.
  5. Melt butter in microwave in 30 second increments and let cool slightly.
  6. On a cutting board or piece of foil lay out 1 sheet of phyllo dough and brush with butter. Layer another on top and repeat the brushing with butter. Repeat until you have 10 layers of phyllo dough.
  7. Place 1/2 of the mixture lengthwise down down the middle of the phyllo dough layer. Fold sides together and to make a long rectangle.
  8. Place seam side down on prepared sheet tray and baste with butter.
  9. Repeat with other 10 layers of phyllo dough and other half of the spinach/cheese mixture so that you have 2 rectangles.
  10. Pierce the rectanges in a few places on top with a knife to vent.
  11. Bake until golden brown about 30 minutes.
  12. Slice and serve. This will serve 4 as main dish or 6-8 as a side dish or appetizer

Cold weather sewing. What I am working on for the next few weeks and the year.

This weekend was a cold one the initial forecast was snow and ice, but we were fortunate to get just a lot of cold rain. This meant lots of time to work on sewing projects and cooking yummy things.

I made 16 chicken blocks for a spring chicken quilt while thinking of the upcoming season. It’s a pattern from Cluck Cluck Sew. The fabric is Spring Chicken from Sweetwater by Moda. I have been wanting to do this quilt since I got the fabric last year, and I put it on my must-do list for the year. I grew up on a farm with cows, horses, chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, and pigs. Now I live in a subdivided neighborhood, and I miss my barnyard creatures. The HOA here has a strict no chicken policy so these will be the only chickens I have for a while.

Here are the first nine of my chickens. I had to stop because I was making too many mistakes and having to rip out too many seams.

I also made a table topper for my kitchen table out of farmhouse-themed fabric. I made it as practice for a block of the month I am starting next weekend. It is Jaybird’s Quilts Gazebo pattern. It uses her Hex and More ruler. I have only ever used a standard quilting ruler so I wanted to “train” my brain on how to position the fabric. I also had to train my brain to piece triangle blocks where I have ever made squares and rectangles. It was a lot like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I love puzzles.

Here is a picture of the pre-sewn version. Luckily, my cutting table surfing cats stayed off of it until I was able to sew it together Saturday morning.

I am going to be participating in several sew-alongs, block of the months and a challenge this year. The first is Toes in the Sand Block of the Month by Jaybirds Quilts using Tula Pink Daydreamer Fabrics. It is being held through my local quilt shop and is definitely going to be a challenge for me. I have only ever done quilts with squarish blocks. This one is composed of intricate triangles made of smaller triangles and hexagons. Hence why I was practicing for it using the ruler. Here is a link to the pattern and what the quilt will look like here.

I am also participating in A Quilting Life’s 2022 Block of the Month. I am using her Happy Days Fabric. I am trying to decide if I want to make all the churn dashes one color or two colors.

The January Block for A Quilting Life’s 2022 Block of the Month.

I am also participating in Pat Sloan’s Sweet Dreams Sew Along. It runs from January through May. It is one block per week. I am using Kitty Corn by Urban Chiks for Moda. I love the retro/ cartoony Halloween look. This will be my first Halloween quilt.

I have also decided to complete the Free Spirit Coat challenge with my local quilt shop. I’m excited to try something other than a quilt.

Well, I hope all of yall are staying warm. Stay tuned for more exciting updates.