Tuesday, May 7, 2024

To Do Tuesday: Trip Recap and Plans For the Rest of the Week

It's been a while but I am back again for another:

Hosted by Carol at Quilt Schmilt

My DH and I are back from the trip for the family funeral that I mentioned in my last post.  We wound up staying an extra day so only got back yesterday.  While you hate for a death to be the reason for extended family to get together,  it was a happy opportunity to re-connect with three generations of family and friends we hadn't seen in a long while.  Another plus is that plans were put in motion for a family reunion for next year.  

However, with all the visiting with family, it meant less time than expected to spend quilting with my MIL.  We did get to a few things:  I made up the backing for the "Heartland" 3 Yard Quilt top I had started on our visit to her last Fall.  I had purchased the backing fabric for it during the shop hop we did then and finished the top once I got back home.  

Now having brought it back down with me, I managed to get it loaded on her longarm frame in the hopes of quilting it on this trip.    

The day I did that, I also had the opportunity to show something to the daughter of another of my MIL's sisters.  The last time we were together was eight years ago and I had gifted her mother a quilt while she was in the hospital that I had originally made for myself for Spring decorating.  When her mother passed, the quilt was passed on to the daughter.  Now I have finally used the pretty floral fabric I had leftover from that quilt project to make this new one for myself.  

Once everyone left, I finished picking out an edge to edge design to quilt it with.  The design I wanted to use was kind of dense so I formatted it to be stitched more spread out on the top.  However, that created issues due to the limited experience I have working with the machine and rudimentary knowledge on how to get the design to stitch out.  I spent the rest of the night trying figure out how to get it to work but couldn't.  Knowing we'd be out most of the next day, I ultimately had to pull it back off the frame and initially decided to just bring it back home and quilt it on my DSM instead.  

Because we decided to stay an extra day, we did manage to also load a smaller wall hanging my MIL had pieced.  Once again there was a lot of back and forth and layout changes made to how we thought we could get the design she picked to stitch out.  We ultimately were able to get that one done.  Fortunately that also meant we got to demo the machine in action for her friend, another quilter, who was also staying with her.  It was not perfectly stitched but my MIL was happy with the results.  

The good news is that some of what I learned working on that and from our previous session back in February have given me some insight into how I might take another shot at getting the "Heartland" quilt successfully longarmed.  So I will bring it back again on our next trip down in the Fall.   Like they say, every project is practice for the next one!

Unfortunately, no work done on these two!

I didn't find all the kinds of custom stitch patterns I wanted for the other quilt I brought down (in the Apples bag) that I wanted to longarm so that too didn't get worked on.  Since we were in and out most days, I never got around to doing any piecing on the project I brought for that (in the project bag).  So those two will have to wait as now that I am back home, the machine currently in my table needs a long over do cleaning and oiling session:

And since my 401 is the only zigzag machine in the house, before I take it out of the table I want to work on two projects that need that feature.   

Ever since the pandemic, I've wanted to make a "Jelly Roll Rug" for my kitchen.  I got the pattern and the bulky batting rolls back then and finally caught the jelly rolls I wanted on sale in 2022.  Since I am also trying to Spring clean the quilt space in particular and the house in general, getting this project done will help with both!  

Zigzag Project #2 will be to finally work on Pat Sloan's "Breakfast Club" applique Quilt Along that she hosted from January to March.  

I've had the fabric sitting on my sewing table since then but other projects took priority.  Since this is also planned for the kitchen, getting it done will add to the Spring spruce-up to be done in there.   So I figure those will be the priority quilt projects for this week and possibly the next.  The hope is after that I'll swap my Juki in to the sewing table and try to get in a free-motion quilting groove and work on my "To Be Quilted" backlog until the start of Summer.

On the cross stitch front, the project I took for stitching on the way down has moved forward some:

Pattern by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread

When I left, only the "IT", the "D" and part of the "G" had been done and that last letter had to be re-done because I had started the placement of it wrong.  I had thought this would be an easy stitch since it's so open.  However, I am still getting my sea legs on stitching on Evenweave so didn't get as much done while away as hoped.  I also made some last minute thread changes last night, grabbing two colors from other projects (one finished, one in progress) that had what I was looking for.   So now I'll continue with it this week until I get the stitching done.  Hopefully then I'll get the project bag it is going to be part of done next week.   

That should all be more than enough to keep me busy as I expect we'll also need to sign up for shifts in our community garden now that it's open for the season.  Still hoping May will be a little less frantic than the last few months have been.  It helps too that we are all enjoying more sunshine and warm weather now that Spring has fully sprung!   And when you come back inside, take some time to also check out what everyone else has going on for this week over at Quilt Schmilt!