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, May 5, 2016

Returning to A Lingering UFO

We quilters do let some UFOs linger for quite a long while, don't we? I recently read a blog in which the quilter referred to "aging" her quilt, as one does with fine wines. I guess there are a number of ways of looking at those UFOs.

Gotta' be quick today, Peeps. I  have cards here tonight, and I still have to get finishing touches ready. You can be satisfied to simply feast your eyes on this, can't you?

Tomorrow we meet at Sheryll's for a Frankfort Girls get-together. Hopefully there will be some fun stuff to share. TTFN!!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sharon's Colorful Progress

We had a sewing day on Tuesday (yesterday) and Sharon continues to work on the colorful quilt using leftover 2.5-inch squares from an earlier project. This is going to be stunning!

All the little squares had been sewn into 36-patch blocks. No two blocks are exactly the same as each fabric strip was gradated in intensity. (There's probably a word for it, but I am not having any luck coming up with it.) Nonetheless, these blocks really pack a punch.

While I wrestled with measuring borders (see last post), Sharon actually made progress! She prepared all the sashing and cornerstones for the blocks, and next week when we sew again, she is ready to put all the parts together.

Tonight the Cavaliers are on TV again, and I am going to take my quilting frame downstairs to quilt while I watch. I stopped quilting my 6-pointed stars some months back, and it's been nagging at me to get it out and finish it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Border Wars

The possibilities for today's title are numerous.

One Inch

Ah-Ha Moment

Measuring Accurately Makes All the Difference

Can't Ignore It

Why Is This So Hard??

Get the Ripper

You may recall that I made my All In A Row quilt at the Canter's Cave retreat early in April. When I got home from retreat, I pinned the quilt top up on my design wall, and basically just admired it all  month long.

Yet as much as I admired, I also knew that something was just not right. I really had to ease those borders on, and the result was that I had a quilt that was waving at me. Yes, those borders were too big for the quilt center. Maybe you can detect it from the photo above. I tried and tried NOT to notice, to no avail. Finally, I broke down; there would be no forcing myself to ignore it. Even if I'd gone ahead and finished it, I would always kick myself for not taking those borders off and making things right.

And so I bit the bullet, and took it downstairs last night to "unsew" while watching the Cavs-Hawks game. Above is the "denuded" quilt center. It deserves this extra attention, I kept telling myself.

 Above are the borders. The black needed to be trimmed down a bit, I thought. In the month since making the quilt, I was pretty sure I hadn't forgotten that I'd had to stretch the center part to fit the borders. Yet when I measured, it appeared that I had it all backwards. I needed to add just an inch to the black outer border. So I "unsewed" one end of each border, cut small bits, shown below, and added them as extensions.

Then I reattached the corner blocks and pinned it all in place. What the ?!?!?!?! It was waaay too big! Aggghh! What on earth was I doing wrong?? Pardon my emotional use of italics and excessive punctuation, but I was becoming perturbed.

I tell you this next part to illustrate that even a seasoned veteran quilter can have issues with measuring. I added, then removed, then added again, and then removed again these extenders before finally having my "ah-ha moment." Talk about frustration! The reason those extenders shown above are so frayed and frazzled is because they'd been in, out, in and out of the border so many times. Geesh. My seam ripper was working overtime today.

The simple explanation is that when I measured, I failed to account for the small inner border. I included it when I measured; I should have excluded it. I measured numerous times and never caught my error. I ended up having to cut away an inch of the black border (instead of adding an inch) and voila! I had a perfect fit! Whew. What a dense brain I have.

Now all my borders are back on, and I am a very happy seamstress with a satisfied grin on her face. My All In A Row quilt doesn't wave any more; it will make me happy every time I look at it. After some time, maybe all I will remember about this excruciatingly difficult journey is that it was totally worth it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Baby Quilt Flimsey

I did indeed get the borders on the baby quilt, and I am pleased with the results. The quilt will finish at 44"x49" and I will do straight-line machine quilting on it. I have gotten a lot better at this since the first quilt I made for this young mom; I will be glad for the chance to redeem myself! *ha!*

I have borders for another quilt ready to attach, but it has a story to go along with it, so I will save that for tomorrow. Sharon will be over to sew which is always a good thing; we motivate each other. That's just one of the many things friends do!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Hello, May

Springtime in Ohio - after having nearly 2 weeks with no rain, we are in the midst of quite a rainy spell, which means things are growing and greening like crazy around here. Birds are busy with their nests and growing families, chirping ever so beautifully, serenading me as I stitch.

I discovered Sandra Boynton back in the late 1980s when my first two children were preschoolers; I have been a fan ever since. In addition to her charming cartoons and lovable characters, she has several very well done children's books. So I've commandeered one of her drawings to help me celebrate May Day. (Hope that is legal.)

This day will be a day for baby quilt borders. Pictures later!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Wrap-Up

I just love April, and here we are saying our farewells. It went by in a blur, most certainly. I began the month by cutting out several quilts - one erroneously - then off to Canter's Cave Quilt Retreat.

I finished All In a Row at quilt camp.

I finished Abby's bridal quilt top and it is at the quilter's. (No post on this yet; I will share after the wedding in June.)

I prepped Eventide for my May resolution and it is at the quilter's.

I began Molly's baby quilt.

I made pillow cases to match Abby's quilt.

I did quite a bit of mending for DH and DD2.

I had a sewing class day with Claudia in which we made zipper bags.  I also sewed with Sharon and at Terry's, giving me lots of time at the machine.

That pretty much sums up my sewing activity. Other stuff took a bit of priority, too. The courses at OUC kept me with a steady stream of essays and finals to grade. Various events with our kids, family and friends, plus the normal stuff around the house that everyone knows must be done - all combined to keep me B-U-S-Y.

On top of it all, I managed to do more blogs this month than any so far in 2016, beating the January total by 1. I sort of set a goal for myself - attempt to write one every day. I don't often achieve that goal, but it keeps me on task.

Here is a collage of non-sewing things that have popped through my world in the last week.

My twin nieces and their parents took a week to go to Siesta Key in Florida for vacation. The girls drew my name in the sand with a heart around it. They also had quite a sand sculpture going. The crazy cow bird at the window has been pecking at his reflection for a full week now. And DH's iris are so full of color; they are quite the show-offs this spring.

What will May bring? I will definitely get the baby quilt finished. I should get both Abby's quilt and Eventide bound. I'd like to make more blocks for the Best of All quilt - the one I cut erroneously.

And I must try to get as much of another commissioned quilt done as possible - Elisa's king quilt.

I don't think I've mentioned it, but I have a t-shirt quilt waiting in the wings, too.

Staying busy. I like it that way. Off to a bridal shower!!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Baby Quilt Commission

Several months ago, I was asked by a young friend and second-time mom-to-be to make a baby quilt for the little girl she was expecting this summer. She told me the colors in the nursery will be peach and gray. Here is a bit of what I have come up with.

I wrote about prepping the design before retreat and actually bought the fabric while at the retreat; then got super-busy with school responsibilities and finishing other projects that this had to wait its turn. On Tuesday when Terry had us all over for a sewing day, I spent a couple of hours cutting and stitching this. I'm ready for borders, which I hope to do this weekend.

I've become particularly enamored with this specialty print with the baby sayings on it. All I could find was a fat quarter, so I've used it all here in the top, and am thrilled with how well it suits the color requirements.

I spent yesterday finishing the grading for Spring Semester. Then I had to dive into my book for our book club - the meeting is today at 11:45am. I have about a hundred pages to go. The book is The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. I had a hard time getting into it, but where I left off late last night (2am!!), it was getting really good, so I think I can devour those final 100 pages easily enough.


Busy day ahead! Happy Quilting, Friends!