Hello Everyone – It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written anything here so it’s high time I chimed in and updated you on what’s been happening in my little corner of the world.
At the end of August I took a break, flew to Florida with my best friend and her sister, and had a lovely vacation visiting her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. We were there to attend a baby shower for my friend’s soon to be born great-grandson. Saying that makes us sound so old! But really, we’re not (please stop giggling) – she’s just a super young Grandma. LOL
Anyway, when we got back I was suddenly up to my eyeballs in deadline quilts. I’m not sure how that happened, especially since I spent two weeks before my trip busting my butt to get as many tops quilted as I could.
So that’s what has been taking up most of the minutes of my days – quilting as fast as I can to meet all the deadlines for my customers. It’s been fun, but also a little stressful, especially when I pull a stupid rookie move like I did today.
“What stupid rookie move did you do today, Beth?“
Well, let me tell you. I loaded a new quilt on my longarm, and when I put the quilt top on the backing, I put it on NINETEEN inches from the top edge of the backing. Geesh! Who does that?? So you know where this is going, right? I got almost the entire top quilted, and when I got to the bottom, I was about 10″ short of backing fabric. I was short on the bottom, because I LOADED THE TOP NINETEEN INCHES BELOW THE TOP OF THE BACKING! Crap-ola!!
So then I had to call the customer and confess to my stupidity. I even, for the tiniest moment, believed the backing wasn’t 108″ wide but was, instead, about 90″. Because that would account for the 19″ I was short. Then reality hit me and I had to admit to myself that the backing was indeed the correct width and I had screwed up. Fortunately, my customer was super understanding, and the quilt is not going to be entered into a show anywhere. She was so sweet about it and I’ll be able to fix it but I still feel like such a dweeb. I know that stuff happens, but I hate when it happens because I’m not paying attention.
Other than that, things have been going well. I’ve been working on some beautiful quilts and fun, whimsical ones. It’s always a joy to walk into my studio and see what’s waiting for me on the machine. Like this fun bird quilt:
I was told to do whatever I wanted with the quilting, so I kept it lighthearted and fun, just like the quilt itself. My favorite part was the border, where I did randomly spaced straight lines and added in ghost pinwheel blocks.
The only difficult part of the quilting on this top was working around the applique. The adhesive from the Steam-A-Seam kept gunking up my needle, shredding the thread and messing with the thread tension. I found I was more successful if I avoided the applique. This meant I was breaking thread more often than I would have liked, but the end result was worth it. I’m just so pleased with the way it looks.
I am going to have to find a way to deal with the stickiness of applique though, as I have an applique/paper-pieced quilt coming to me in January. I’ll be doing a lot of research before then because I want the quilting to go as smoothly as possible. I’m excited about that quilt coming in.
Another new project I tackled has to do with cooking, but not Cooking Up Quilts. Instead, I was Cooking Up Pumpkins. Say what? You read that right. I have always wanted to break down a pumpkin and make a pumpkin pie totally from scratch but just never took the time. Somehow the last quarter of the year just seems to fly by and when I’m ready for pumpkin pie it’s just easier to buy the canned pumpkin But I got an early start this year!
I bought a couple small pie pumpkins, cut them up, removed the seeds from the inside and then roasted them in the oven. This is what that looked like when they were done cooking:
It doesn’t look much different from when it went in the oven! But the inside is fork tender, and that’s just the way you want it. I baked the pumpkin pieces at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Then scooped the inside away from the skin, and processed the pulp in the food processor until smooth.
Look at that! Pumpkin puree, all ready for a pie or muffins or cookies, or whatever! Since I’m not quite ready to make a pumpkin pie, I put the puree into freezer bags and popped them in the freezer.
When I’m ready to make a pumpkin pie, I’ll be all set and ready to go. I’ll have to let you know after I make my pies whether all this was worth it. Because it does take some time and it’s a bit messy. Who knows, it might be just as tasty to buy the pumpkin puree in a can. Have you ever made your own pumpkin puree? Is it something you would do again, or no?
That’s it for me today. I have a recipe for blackberry dump cake I’ll share with you later this week. And of course, many more quilting pictures. For now, it’s time for you to share what you’ve been working on. What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how: