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Surprising Accomplishments

October already? The good news is that means it is time for cooler temperatures and fall decorations. And I have been enjoying both! It also means that it is time to check in with the 2022 to-do list and see what I’ve accomplished in July, August, and September. During those three months I have spent a lot of time working on customer quilts and babysitting grandchildren so I wasn’t sure that I had checked much off of my list. And I certainly don’t complain when the grandchildren need babysitting!! But - never fear - progress is being made!

That progress came in the form of one project being checked off of the original to-do list - the Baby Z (now known as Henry) Christmas stocking. This counted cross-stitch kit was purchased from Herrschner’s and features a penguin. Since this is Melissa’s favorite animal - and she has many of them just to prove that point - it was the obvious design choice for Henry’s stocking. This kit also included many beads to embellish the penguin’s hat, gifts, and ribbons. Now all of our family members will have a counted cross-stitch stocking hanging on the fireplace mantle this Christmas -except for Tom who still has the felt stocking that I made him the first year that we were married.

One project on the to-do list that I finally made some progress on is the English Paper-Piecing (EPP) Trip Around the World quilt that I started last year when I was in the hospital. I had not worked on it since I finished basting all of the hexagons since I was concentrating on the Christmas stockings for Ruby and Henry. All of those are hand stitching projects that I like to do in the evening. Now I have four rows completed with only 16 more to go!

Several small projects that were added to the list as the year went along were also completed this quarter. One of those was a table topper made for Cousins Arn and Kathy Hottovy as a housewarming gift. Kathy wanted a hexagonal-shaped quilt that would fit her round kitchen table so we scoured the Internet to find just the right pattern. The Nova pattern by Jaybird Quilts fit the bill quite nicely. We then raided my fabric stash to determine appropriate colors. Since I did not have quite enough fabric in the right colors to make this pattern - believe it or not - we headed to Quilt Stitches in Beatrice. We were excited to find three coral fat quarters and three teal fat quarters that looked so good together. To those fabrics we added one dark gray, one medium gray, and one light gray. After also purchasing a Sidekick ruler I was ready to begin the construction process which turned out to be easier than it had originally looked. The only change I made in the pattern was to add larger borders as Kathy wanted a 30”x30” quilt instead of 24”x24”. The next step was to load the top on my long arm and begin quilting. I used swirls, dot-to-dot straight lines and feathers to complete this fun table topper.

The second small project that I completed was a kit that I purchased at Betz’s Little Shoppe in Newman Grove when Tom and I were on one of our Nebraska Passport adventures. The focus of this cute little wall hanging is a pumpkin made out of log cabin blocks with an appliquéd face and leaves. It went together fairly quickly and I was once again ready to add some fun quilting to finish off this project. I stitched piano keys in the outside border, loops in the inside border, and a stipple design in the log cabin blocks. I also added veins in the leaves around the pumpkin’s stem. I plan to donate this quilt to my PEO chapter’s fall auction which will be held towards the end of this month.

The third small project was an unexpected find at The Quilted Windmill in Pella, Iowa and it only took about an hour to make. I stopped in this cute little shop when we were visiting Lindsay and Dustin a few weeks ago and found a small pattern for my Quilts of Valor group. Since I made a purchase I was given a little roll of batting tied up with a small bit of fabric. But that was not all!! When I unrolled the batting I found several strips of fabric and a pattern to make a mug rug. It was so quick and easy to do and the fabrics they provided were just gorgeous. I have a feeling that I will be making more of these in the future!

In addition to these fun projects I completed 17 customer quilts and eight Quilts of Valor. It sure is nice to be back to my normal routine in the sewing room since my little hiatus last summer. Only three more months left in the year to make further progress on my to-do list. I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish next!

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