Seven is Heaven

Yesterday's sunrise was dramatic. It's very pretty, but it was a portent of a stormy weekend ahead.

That was okay by me. It simply meant that nothing was going to stop me from getting my seven quilt tops sandwiched for quilting. And there they are!

Boy am I feeling smug. It's like having money in the bank...or a full gas tank...or like that feeling you get when all the groceries are put away and you can put your feet up...or like when the cat has all his vaccines for another year.

Let's just take a roll call, shall we? I decided to start with the most dreaded quilt top, Wind in the Whiskers. I was dreading it because the quilting for this one will consist of top-stitching the appliques. That is to say that all those teeny tiny pieces are not yet top-stitched down, and so I couldn't run my hands over it too vigorously. Also, I still needed to make a back for it. But there it is, ready to go.

The quilting will only be part of the finish. There are a lot of embellishments to add too. 

Next up was the Quiltmaker's Garden quilt, aka, Quiltmaker's Nemesis. The only thing that kept me going on with this quilt was the hope that I was going to love it in the end...and I do. 

To make things easy on myself, I purchased one of the 108-inch wide fabrics for the backing. It doesn't photograph well, however. It's really a sky blue background with a darker blue vine. The colors are more true in the "sandwich stack" image above. The background blue is pretty close in color to the blue four-patches on the quilt top.

Those were two big quilts, and so I decided to do some smaller ones. Next up was Wheel Estate.

Then, the Little Bunnies table runner. I'll probably take this one along and quilt it on the road when we're traveling next month. It's a small quilt, and Pfelicity should be able to do a good job on it.

This quilt is the most special to me of the bunch...Snips & Snails. I'm really excited to see this one finished. After it's quilted, I'll add the Osh Kosh b'Gosh buttons to the oversalls, and I'll give the snake a hot fix nailhead for an eye.

I stopped for the day when those five were finished. During the day, the fabric from my generous quilting friend Ila arrived, and this was just perfect for the elephant applique. I liked the one I'd purchased, but I like this one even better. And check out the name of the fabric on the selvage edge.

It's as if it were meant to be! When I got up this morning, I got to work finishing this quilt top. It took me about three hours, and when it was all finished, I was pretty happy with it.

I used a blanket stitch around all the applique, and I used the triple stitch on my sewing machine to stitch in the balloon strings.

I worried the print for the baby elephant's balloon might be too busy, but when I looked at the whole, it just seemed more playful to me...kind of denoting the youngster.

The backing fabric just needed to be cut to length, and then it too was ready for sandwiching. I'm hoping to get this one quilted before we leave on our trip.

Last, but not least, Bee Loving.

And phew! Done, done, done, done, done, done, and done.

That's not the only thing I did this weekend though. It was time to feed my two sourdough starters. They're kept in the refrigerator where I can see them each time I open the door. When they start forming "hooch," I discard half and feed them with more flour and water. You can see the hooch in the image below. I have the jar tipped toward the camera, and you can see it there at the bottom.

That gets poured off, and then I stir it up before dividing it and discarding half. I'm ready to bake another loaf of the Whole Wheat Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin bread. I made this a while back, and it was good enough for a repeat performance. So rather than discard the whole wheat starter, I just started a new one using what would ordinarily get thrown away. I put the rubber band there to measure its progress.

Many hours passed with no activity. It had come from refrigeration, and so that wasn't completely surprising. However, enough time passed that I was beginning to wonder if it was dead. Then when I checked it around 8:00 p.m. last night, it was starting to show some signs of life.

When I got up this morning...

IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!

Somewhere I read that you should feed it at least twice before using it, and so I poured off half and fed it again this morning. Again, it started here:

That was at about 7:00 a.m. When I checked it at noon...

Looks ready to me. I might get this mixed up this evening to rise over night, and then it will be ready for baking in the morning.

Also, I went out with Smitty a couple of times yesterday between downpours. The bleeding heart is finally starting to show its petals. This was well into blooming at this time last year. We are far behind from the wet, cold spring we've had. 

The good news is that all 12 sunflowers have germinated now. They should be well ready to be planted in the ground before we leave on our trip.

Also, I've continued to make progress on Mumm's the Word. I'm all the way across the bottom border and getting ready to round the second corner. 

Since I haven't worked on that yet today, I'll probably do a little stitching on it when I finish here.

It's been a productive weekend here, and a good one. I hope you're having a good weekend too. Beginning tomorrow morning, Mike will be in his final week of work.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

quiltzyx said...

Congrats on getting all those sandwiches made! Wow!

The starter really did come back to life didn't it? Huzzah!

Glad you had a fun weekend. And only 5 more work days for Mike - the longest 5 days ever....

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Wow - that's a lot of quilts!! I love them all, no favs here. Congrats on getting that baby quilt done so quickly and that was a 'meant to be' gifted elephant fabric. I had a productive weekend too. Lot's of sewing, sorting, organizing, and even some wonderful outdoor time once the sun came out.

Quilting Babcia said...

A lot of sweet quilts ready for quilting, though I think the first one might do me in (I've thought that right along though, you're much braver than I!).
Love the baby elephant's balloon, it's the perfect fabric for a little fellow. Looks like you have some great sourdough going, will you take it along on your camping trip, and keep it going for sourdough pancakes and biscuits?

WoolenSails said...

I need your gumption, I still have a hard time focusing and getting things done.
Love all of the quilts and they will be beautiful quilted.


Lana Ku said...

Your quilt "sandwiches" are all so "yummy" looking. Such beautiful work you do.

Ray and Jeanne said...

Congrats on all of the sandwiching - I think it's the step in quilting that slows me down the most. Love that fabric for your elephants - it is perfect! ~Jeanne

allthingzsewn said...

I'm soooo jealous of all your sandwiches. Some great looking tops there too. Hope you will show the quilting.

Sandra W said...

Wow. You really got to work this week-end! Seven quilts is a whole lot of quilts.
I know you have a tutorial on using the spray technique--I've watched it a couple of times--but I'm wondering if you have any additional tips? When I've used this method I've found a lot of wrinkles on the side I'm not smoothing and I've had to lift and hand press many, many times on first one side and then the other.
Also, do you worry about those quilts sitting round with spray glue while they are waiting their turn? How do you store them in the meantime.
I love bread and I love watching your bread come to life. How do you resist eating and eating it? I simply can't resist homemade bread and have zero self control.
I bet you are excited about Mike retiring? Is he ready? Or will it be a shock for him? Some people find it very traumatic.

Brown Family said...

You did get a lot done! It will tale time to quilt all 7!

Dana Gaffney said...

So much got done, it's amazing. Sandwiching and binding are the two things I dislike the most. Yesterday I sat and drew quilting designs on a top then realized I hadn't sandwiched it, LOL. All of the chalk lines will be gone.

gpc said...

VERY impressive. And the baby quilt is adorable, love the elephant 'jungle' fabric. It's perfect! You do amazing work. :)

Debbie said...

You inspire me to get pinning! What an impressive stack of fabulous future finishes! One week to go.....it will fly by!

Teresa in Music City said...

Great job! That's a ton of work, but so satisfying to see that stack of promise just sitting there waiting for you :)
I know you are both excited that Mike is finally retiring!!! Can't wait to read about all of your adventures. Don is planning to do the same sometime this summer. The way things are going, he says it could be today LOL!!!

Wendy Tuma said...

Wow, Barbara -- you've done some great work over the weekend! Such a fun peek at your quilts. The Quilt Nemesis is really very pretty, and what satisfaction there will be when it is all done! The elephant quilt is just adorable; I agree about the baby elephant's balloon. It's just right! I am learning from you as you work with your sourdough starters. I never understood what hooch meant. I always thought I had ruined the starter. Now I can get one going and I'll know what it means. Thanks so much! Enjoy your day! Mike's last week of work -- oh boy!

Dar said...

I find it hard to choose which one I like best in your stack of basted quilts. They are all so darn cute and pretty. You need to take a bow for all the hard work you did. The baby quilt is adorable and baby's balloon is perfect. What fun you will have putting your final touches on fishing lad. I know Mike will be pleased with the results too.

Junebug613 said...

I always admire how much you get accomplished. And then I feel like a big lazy lump. Ha ha! The elephants are adorable! I think you picked well.