We made it

We arrived safely in Big Canoe. The drive took us about 10 and a half hours which was better than I expected. Keith drove the truck and I followed in the Subaru. We’ll unload everything tomorrow but most of it will stay in the garage for a few days because I’ve got people coming to install new carpet Tuesday and Wednesday. The less stuff I have sitting around, the less stuff I’ll have to move for the installers!

We’re loaded!

Just have to pack our suitcases and we’ll be all ready to leave in the morning for Big Canoe. We had plenty of room in the truck for more but are only taking a few furniture pieces and lots of bins with books and sewing stuff. Keith has a wall of empty shelves in his office and you know I like to have a lot of different projects to choose from so there are lots of precuts, kits, Adam’s t-shirts, and my May HSTs ready to be pieced!

Since it’s easier to get delivery here and I knew we’d have room on the truck, I ordered some desk chairs, a lamp, a fan and other small items we’ll need there. I’ve also packed about half my personal quilt inventory to use there. Freed up space here and it will be nice to have more of them out of the cabinets and in use!

Cemetery Arrangements

Last August, Mom and I took a road trip to Newport News. It’s where Mom and Dad raised us and it’s where my Dad is buried. Mom lived there until 4 years ago when she moved in with my sister and through the years I was back there frequently – it’s always been home to me (of course, wherever I am with Keith is also home)!

Keith and I have talked over the years about where we’d like to be buried … you know we’ve moved a lot and in the end decided we’d be buried near my parents … or should I say interred since we’ll be cremated? I was thrilled when the cemetery agreed to put a bench near where my Dad is buried, I was afraid we’d have to be in a whole different section of the cemetery. I’m standing near where the bench will be and Mom is standing near Dad’s grave in this photo.

The bench is now in the process of being ordered and they will set it into place so I’ll actually be able to see it on my next visit. When Chris found out what we were doing he said that he wanted to be buried there too. The bench will hold the ashes of 4 people so he and Becky will join us! How great is that? My parents, my brother and SIL, my son and DIL all nearby… I’m trying to convince my sisters that they need to be buried there too and I need to talk to Adam to see if it’s something he’s given any thought to.

I feel so good about having the decision made and the arrangements taken care of. Hard to imagine that I could be so excited about something like this but it makes me very happy.

Closed

My sewing room is closed! I sewed the last stitched in the red Rainbow HeartStrings blocks last night and put them with the others … all I need now are blue and turquoise blocks and I’ll be able to sew some together. Right now I have 82 blocks so plenty for 2 quilts and some to share for group quilts too by the time I get the blues done. My machines are all unplugged and I won’t sew again until next week after we get to Big Canoe.

Today will be spent doing laundry and packing, and then on Friday we’ll have to load the UHaul truck. I’ve got lots of lists so I don’t forget anything (hopefully)!

Finished

My Small Tumbler quilt is finished! It’s #10 of 10 to be bound and 10 were also quilted during this quilting/binding marathon. This is a UFO that I cut and kitted in GA at our Big Canoe condo in 2014. I didn’t assemble the top until 2016 and it sat for another 4 years waiting for quilting. One reason this one waited so long was I wasn’t sure if I would keep it or not but now I think it’s going to be donated. I’ll hang on to it a little while just to be sure I don’t change my mind. And those straight edges don’t bother me at all. I’m glad I decided to trim them even rather than fuss with binding the irregular edges this time.

It was hard staying focused but I’m in a good place with my goals as we head to Big Canoe. I’ve finished 7 UFO’s this year – goal is to finish 12 each year. I’ve started 12 new quilts and finished 15 – goal is to finish at least as many as I start to keep my total UFO number where it is or lower.

I know a lot of you sew for fun and don’t set goals like I do but for me, it keeps me focused on what I want to accomplish and with all the travel I typically do during normal times, and with having a place in Big Canoe again, I need to stay focused or nothing will get finished!

Mom

Several of you have mentioned Mom recently, I guess you’re missing her as much as I am! I was looking for one of her quilts tonight (I have a bunch of photos of them in a online album we share) because I was using pink strips leftover from a couple pineapple quilts she’d made years ago tonight in my pink HeartStrings blocks. Over the years I’ve done a LOT of cutting for Mom and my reward is usually getting the leftover bits and strips to bring home with me. They may sit for years waiting to be used but they DO get used eventually.

For those of you that don’t know, Mom and I have been quilting together since 2000. I hadn’t even finished my first quilt before I convinced her she had to try it. She had sewn in the past, making clothes for us when we were growing up so she had more sewing experience … I had never even used a sewing machine and I hand pieced my first quilt and then machine quilted it with straight lines. I had read a LOT about quilting by the time I tried my first quilt (and still obsessively read about and look for quilting inspiration) and I’ve shared all that quilting knowledge with Mom through the years.

This is a photo of us together with a quilt I made for her in 2002 so we’d only been quilting for a couple years. She still pulls it out and uses it every Christmas! Both of us have many quilts that we have worked on together … she has done a lot of piecing and appliqué for me in exchange for my quilting for her. But just so you know, this one was all my work … including the appliqué!

Isn’t it funny how little bits of fabric can hold so many precious memories?!

Taking the easy way

I have always left my tumbler quilt edges irregular rather than trimming them even but most of them are the large 6 inch tumblers. My last quilt to bind is 3 inch tumblers and while I have kept the irregular edges on a couple small doll quilts like this one …

I went with the easier straight edge today on the larger quilt that has the 3 inch tumblers … it’s not that it can’t be done but I’m ready to be done and didn’t want to fuss with it. I’m about halfway done hand stitching it down and hope to get it finished tonight.

I also got 5 more quilts washed for donation and they’re ready to ship out to Kathy in Wisconsin. I’m taking another stack of quilts and some afghans with me to Georgia to donate – I don’t know how I got so far behind in donating them. All the sudden I looked around and there was nowhere else to put them.

Cabin Fever

While I can entertain myself easily at home, I’m used to more travel and we enjoy going out to eat too so I found myself with a case of cabin fever today. We didn’t bike yesterday because of the rain and Keith got out early this morning before I was ready to be up and moving around … I really, really wanted to bike to one of our favorite places and have lunch outside but we didn’t. We took a walk, I read some, and I worked a bit in the sewing room. I got 12 pink blocks made for the Maine Rainbow HeartStrings project and I have more pink strips so I’ll make a few more blocks tomorrow before trimming them up and then I’ve got to get that last binding done.

I also got a start on washing some quilts for donation. I got 3 done tonight and will get a couple more washed this week and then ship them off before we leave for GA on Saturday. For now, I’m going to head upstairs and crochet.

Packing

No sewing today for me but we did make progress packing … I mentioned a while back that we were going to pull a uHaul trailer to carry stuff to GA but we decided to get a truck … Keith is challenged when it comes to maneuvering and backing a trailer plus I’m not sure I want to be in the same car when he’s pulling a trailer on winding mountain roads!

Keith said he hates moving … and we’re just moving little stuff this time. Believe it or not, we’re eventually moving into a house with 500 more square feet but we’ll have to downsize! The full move is several years away at the earliest but that doesn’t stop me from worrying where I’m going to put everything!

As we sat reading in the library during happy hour today I told Keith that is one room I’ll really miss!

A new blanket

I’ve been really good about focusing on my binding and I just have one more left to bind but after finishing the hand stitching on one Thursday night, I decided to work on a blanket … yes, I should have pulled out the knit blanket but I wanted something super easy that I didn’t have to keep track of rows or look at a pattern so I started this crochet one. I’ll take both blankets with me to GA to work on so who knows, the knit one might get finished this summer … for sure this one will.

  • Pattern – Blanket Stitch – found free on Ravelry.
  • Yarn – Lion Brand Ice Cream, colorway Strawberry
  • Hook size is H and I chained 150.