Quilting Fun

While I love the satisfaction of finishing a quilt, it isn't the only way to have fun with quilting. Fun also comes from the great outings with girlfriends, shopping expeditions with Grandma, or just sitting in my "thoughtful spot" chair perusing magazines and books. The thrill of the next project waiting just there on the horizon...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Pillows

Both my family room and front room needed some pizzazz. They had become dull and tired looking to me. So I pulled out some fat quarters and made some new pillows.

Fronts. All French General fabrics.

Fronts. The red is French General; the black/cream unknown.
I am so pleased with these that I think I will make more. I've run out of pillow forms, but that can be easily remedied.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Grandma's Split 9-Patch

One real quick post from Grandma's closet today, peeps. I missed yesterday, darn it. I was trying to go for one post each day for the month of July. Oh well...

I think Grandma referred to this block as the Split 9-Patch, but perhaps it's known by other names. She made one quilt using this block and the way they are arranged makes for some very interesting secondary patterns. She really enjoyed making that first one and began a second. I recall that she asked me for some dark scraps to add variety, and I see many bits of fabrics in the photo above that came from my stash.

This is yet another of Grandma's UFOs that I will enjoy finishing.

You know, she acts like she doesn't care a bit about quilting anymore, but I bet if I were to pull this one out and work on it, she'd be thrilled to see the progress. I might just schedule an afternoon to visit her, and take this as handwork to do while we chat - that would really tickle her. *wink*

I just might do it.

Oh, and another thing, if you click that tab under my header where it says Grandma's Quilts, you can take a little tour of some of her many creations.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grandma's Blocks

On Friday I shared the first of several posts I will be doing on the contents of Grandma's quilting closet. Those two completed quilt tops were real surprises to me, for sure.

Today I will show you a few of the various completed blocks nestled away in these boxes and tubs. It was typical for Grandma to make a practice block when beginning a quilt - especially if the design was one she had never made before. I uncovered a lot of single blocks amongst all this stuff, and I expect that at some point I will be putting them together as a sampler quilt. Perhaps two, depending on how many I find and how large the blocks are. She quilted for 60-70 years, so there are many, many of these test blocks.

 I haven't photographed every single block, but I think you can tell that there are several underneath this pretty red and blue star.Grandma loved making patriotic quilts, so I have to imagine that this was what she had in mind when she made this particular block.

Grandma's favorite color is blue, so many of her quilts reflect that love of anything blue. Here is another star, with a somewhat different method of construction (HSTs for the star points as opposed to flying geese units). And that Monkey Wrench block is typical of what she was making just before she stopped quilting altogether.

This Maple Leaf block is from a quilt I remember her finishing. She used all fall colors and it turned out so pretty. I imagine that someone in the family has this quilt, as I've not seen it at her house, and she frequently gave her finished quilts to her children and grandchildren.

 Ahh, the Lemoyne Star - it was Grandma's standard block. If we searched the family, I bet we could easily find over 20 quilts made with this star. I got mine when I went to college. You can see from this picture that the box holds several more blocks and underneath there are baggies of blocks parts. I can't even begin to guess at how far back these go.

Another of Grandma's favorite blocks were the Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill. Here is a completed Sue, and a whole pile of overalls cut out. Always planning ahead for the next baby to be born! Lots of the great-grandchildren have pillows or wall hangings of these.

In all the years Grandma and I shared our quilting hobby, I never saw her make a Drunkard's Path, yet here in this box are all the parts necessary for just that. Several blocks are finished; I just don't have a photo of them.

I probably bought these fabrics for her. As her interest in quilting diminished, and she was less and less likely to agree to join me on a trip to a fabric store, I often would pick up a few fat quarters in colors I knew she would find appealing and take them to her at random intervals.I wanted to keep her interested in quilting for as long as possible. It worked for awhile. She cut into these fat quarters and made several quilts - often stars. This box represents some of that work. On the bottom are 6 or 8 finished blocks, with the makings of more on top. Do you see what is peeking at me from the top? Her scissors and thimble are tucked in with the project.

And, the pattern she was using is here, too. Such an organized lady! She still is, too! Many a time I have been over there to help her do little things, and by gosh, it better be done by her specifications! She is a stickler for detail! And everything has its place, to be sure. I wish some of her fastidiousness had been a trait I inherited!

This box is chocked full of 9-patch blocks. Maybe my affinity for the 9-patch is what I inherited!

 I removed the completed 9-patches and found the above "ingredients" for making more. Have you noticed that Grandma never used a rotary cutter and mat? All the quilts she made were cut out with templates and hand pieced. No strip piecing for her! She is of another generation.

I just had to know how many of these blocks she'd completed, and why they were stacked just so. Well, one stack  has 55 completed blocks, and the other has 50. She was well on her way to making more than one quilt, wouldn't you agree?

This picture and the two that follow are of another box containing a nearly-finished quilt. At least most of the blocks are finished, anyway. We are looking in particular at that red and blue pinwheel with a creamy background.

 Isn't this a pretty block? I remember Grandma working on this quilt. She was rather excited to see how nicely it was coming together. I wonder what made her stop? Probably a combination of things: eyesight, unsteadiness in her hands, inability to sit still. In her 90s, lots of little aches and pains probably add up to a lot of frustration.
There are a few sub-units ready to be sewn into a full blocks. And the leftover fabric is here, too, for finishing up borders. What great stuff.

I  have a good bit to look forward to, don't I? Finishing these quilts that Grandma started will be a pleasure for me. I don't know when I will do them, but I most assuredly will.

I've tried to show Grandma this blog, especially some of the posts that have been about her. I don't think she fully grasps this whole internet thing. It's just something that she knows exists, but she's uninterested in trying to understand it. That's okay, too.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Wedding

This afternoon we will head up to Columbus for the wedding of Pam's daughter Carly. You recall, I'm sure, the Frienzie bridal shower we had last month at which time we gave Carly her red and white quilt. You can click here to see it.

Well, I've been remiss in posting pictures of several pillows made to match this quilt. We had a few leftovers of Carly's fabric, so we began stitching. I was there when the top one was made; I'm not sure who all was involved in the remaining ones. Regardless, these will look great on their new quilt.

Happy Wedding Day, Carly and Jimmy!

And Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ohhh My!

On Tuesday, I had an appointment with my grandmother. I've not talked about her much lately, but she's now 97 (and a half!), and still lives in her own home. She gets daily visits from my mother and my uncle, and frequent visits from several other family members, myself included. About a week ago she asked me if I'd schedule a day to come over and clean out the last of the sewing closet. She's told me for years - ever since she stopped quilting - that all of that stuff is mine, and now she'd decided it was time to get that closet emptied out.

Back seat. Back in the day I used to make baskets.

Rear, with batting squished in.

Rear, with batting removed.
Now, you may remember that I brought home a loaded sewing kit about a year ago when she got it in her head that she needed to dispose of some of her quilting and sewing supplies. Here's the link to that post. And an even earlier one is here.

For all of you organized sorts, no, I don't have room for this stuff, and no, I don't know what I will do with it all. I couldn't very well refuse it, though. I didn't want to refuse it! I will "know" a lot of the stuff in these boxes!

Nearly every box is labeled with the contents. Most of the labeling is in Grandma's hand, but my writing is on several, so I know that I have been through this stuff with her at some point, but Lord only knows how long ago that was!

 I took loads upstairs in phases. As I got a load into the room, I sat down and went through each box, photographing the contents. In the picture above, you can see how clearly labeled the boxes are. 

Over several days, I will share the contents of these boxes. When I say there are treasures, I am not kidding. I will show you two right now - complete quilt tops ready for quilting.

 Folded up just as neat as you please; I remember these being among the last of the things she worked on before giving up quilting entirely. Of course, they are scrap quilts. She had long stopped buying any more fabric. The task was to use up as much as she could.

This pinwheel quilt is 5 blocks by 6 blocks with a large sashing.

This star quilt is huge - 9 x 11 blocks.

Check out the piano key border, and the binding is attached, too.

What treasures. It will be fun to share all the goodies with you. Hope you'll check back!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sharon's Progress

Sharon P. and I are getting lots of stuff done by resuming our weekly sewing dates. When I last shared her progress on the Snowbird Charm Square quilt, she was pondering border options. This week she brought the finished quilt top with her to show me her final decision.

Simple, yet so very appealing. When a quilter's head is so full of other stuff and thinking is an effort, then we have the luxury of taking 4 charm packs and making this. What could be simpler?

Have a closer look at the borders - perfection! There are several dotted fabrics in this line, and all are fun. I wonder how hard a decision it was to choose?!

This past Monday, Sharon worked on a quilt for her nearly-two-year-old grandson, Flynn. She is making up a pattern using Very Hungry Caterpillar fabrics. Beware! Bear tracks!! *grin*

These bear tracks through my sewing room are going to become a Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt for a very dear boy. Sharon is making progress: she graduated from a no-thinking quilt (see above) to creating her own pattern! Maybe she just needed to get her groove back!

I wish I could express to you how wonderful our Ohio weather has been these last couple of days! We have temps that are about 20 degrees lower than normal. It's so wonderful to open the windows, turn off the A/C, and enjoy the rustling leaves and chirping birds. I'd like to bottle these days up and save them for January and February!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kay's Lorna Doone

Remember back during quilt camp that Kay was working on a Kaffe Fassett quilt called Lorna Doone? Well, she sent me a picture of the finish and I wanted to share it here.

Obviously, the large flower blocks are all fussy cut. They are surrounded by the wonderful blue dot fabric, and these blocks are set together with a sashing that features more wonderful KF fabric and hour glass blocks. Fantastic. Here is the post from quilt camp, if you want to see her start.

I pulled this picture of the book from Amazon. If you are familiar with Kaffe Fassett's patterns, you know that he is a template user - no strip piecing for him! Kay says she recommends reading his directions carefully, and she reports that she was able to do the quilt without using a template! She also recommends using a 7.5" square ruler for fussy cutting the flower blocks.

Here is a picture from the book of the original Lorna Doone.

All this talk of Kaffe Fassett has me thinking about my own KF quilts to do. I have one that needs to be quilted for DD1, and a request for a purple KF from DD2.Oh! I have another! I started a KF Tumbler Quilt for myself, and I have it on my UFO to finish list. There's much to be done - always.

Happy Quilting, Friends!