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...

Friday, October 9, 2015

Finished Place Mats

Quilting these place mats is taking longer than I had expected. My intent was to do all 16 yesterday, but I actually only managed to get 4 done. Now, perhaps it's just a matter of my not being focused rather than my being slow. I did have company coming to visit the sewing room, so instead of sewing, I felt compelled to finish the last of the cleaning that I'd been meaning to do. Dividing my attention between place mats and cleaning resulted in less productivity on said place mats.

That's a long explanation, and frankly, you probably don't care. So let's see those place mats.

I used the walking foot on my machine to sew the top to the back and batting. Left space open for turning. Pressed as neatly as possible, then stitched close to the edge all the way around.

 Then I quilted in the ditch of the few seams vertically and horizontally. That was all. Press again, and finished. I like how this set of 4 turned out. I'm hoping I have an equally good result with the remaining 3 sets.

We are off to my father-in-law's house for a day or so. Gotta' go fix up a hand-stitching project to take along.
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Making Place Mats

At Ohio One Stop last Friday, I was inspired by a project I saw. I didn't study it closely, or anything, but for whatever reason I found myself thinking about it as I began this week.

Place mats.

Wasn't on my radar - at all - but I have had 4 fat quarters of some really pretty panels for a very long time, and place mats are the perfect use for them.

Here's my interpretation of what they'll look like. First, take a look at the selvage - Hampon (?) Garden by The Alexander Henry Collection. What you can't see is the date - 1994. Good grief. Yes, I have had these panels that long. And, my, haven't selvages changed in the last 20 years?

This is a more complete look at this particular panel.

I pulled several fabrics from the fat quarter drawers (freshly organized in the recent sewing room cleaning). Auditions.

I cut the fat quarter panels in fourths, and built up the sides and top and bottom as shown in this photo.

Instead of going ahead with finishing this set of 4, I went on with the other three panels. At this point, all 16 place mats are at this stage. My job today is to finish them off. I will be sure to bring you pics.

Why am I doing so many place mats? I agreed to set up a vending table at a Christmas Bazaar next month in Greenfield. I'm getting some things ready for shoppers!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Learning to Envision - Hexie Style

I mentioned in a recent post that I still feel like quite the beginner at this hexie business. I don't seem to be able to get a vision in my head of how a design will look when duplicated in 4s or 8s. Take a look at what I mean.

These two pictures are the same 4 pieces just places two different ways. When I cut them out, I was thinking about the top picture being the one I would want. That design seemed to offer the most interest. After putting them side-by-side in both directions, however, I find that I prefer the bottom picture, as it creates a much more interesting design with the darker browns. Isn't that surprising? It is this ability to "envision" how these units will look when sewn together that I lack at this stage of my learning. Perhaps this will become easier to see as time goes along. I sure hope so.

Do any of you hexie girls have any encouragement for me??

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ohio One Stop

I mentioned last week that I would be attending Ohio One Stop being held at Dayton's Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State. It was a fun day with the Frankfort girls.

And you all did your part by holding the spending fairies at bay. I did make a couple of small-ish purchases, but for the most part, I exercised considerable restraint, thankfully.

I didn't have a shopping list.  But through all the perusing, I found some things that I knew I could use. So I went back to get what you see above.

The Soft and Stable will be used in the Mondo Bag I am soon to be teaching to a woman here locally. I will let you know how I like it afterwards. I have been doing a pretty good job lately of making labels for my quilts, so I bought a fresh perma-pen with a fine point. My old one was worn out. And, sigh, I bought a Jelly Roll of the newest Minick and Simpson line called Polka Dots and Paisleys. I have been so enamored with this line, and I'm seeing it on a lot of blogs. I'd heard that our LQS, Old Town Fabrics, carried the entire line, so I bought this jelly roll from their booth. (How nice of them to meet me in Dayton for a fabric sale!) The beauty is, if I find that I need yardage of any of this, I can just zip over to Chillicothe to get it. I am very glad to finally get my hands on some of this fabric.

There were signs on the doors asking attendees to refrain from taking pictures, so I did try to honor that request. I have above, then, just general shots of the aisles and the crowds. Through my visiting and perusing - and limited buying - I did speak with a couple of vendors. The gals at Valley Quilts out of Trenton, Ohio, were very nice and super helpful. I believe that is where I bought the Soft and Stable and the perma-pen. They gave me a couple of hints on using the batting/stiffener and pointed out one or two of their display bags that were made using it.

Back Door Quilts had two things going for it - they had the first booth as guests entered the facility. And they had a Tuffet on display, which appeared to be the talk of the show. People were flocking to see their demo and to ask questions about it. You can see their booth in the picture just above. Jan and JoAnn of our Frankfort group have both made Tuffets (see post here), and Jan is even teaching a class this week to several women from the Circleville guild. Back Door Quilts is located in Greenwood, IN. They had a full booth - both in merchandise and in shoppers.

Finally, I will plug our local shop, Old Town Fabric Shop. Cindy and Kelly do such a fantastic job of staying current with their merchandise. They are just the sweetest mother-daughter duo you'd ever want to meet. I highly recommend a trip to Chillicothe to see all that they have to offer. And if you can't make the trip, they do a huge mail-order business, so check out their on-line shop. They are Bernina dealers, so they really are a full-service shop with lots and lots of fabrics.

It was a fun day - I bought just enough to keep me satisfied and I filled a couple of needs. Spending time with Terry, Sheryll, JoAnn and Jan always makes for a lot of sharing and, yes, silliness. Quilt shows give us a chance to re-energize and re-focus on the projects awaiting us back home.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Welcoming Autumn

Most years, I welcome the change of seasons; as a 'glass-half-full' kind of gal, I enjoy what all the seasons have to offer. But this year I have been a bit melancholy at the prospect of the end of summer. It was rainier than usual this year and I didn't get many pool days, so that may have prompted my mood. Getting out some of my fall things has helped; I'm ready to embrace the new season, and wave a fond farewell to long, lazy days.

A couple of years ago I made this little table topper. It fits the center of the kitchen table perfectly, and looks nice with my candle centerpiece. I had it out for the card club on Thursday night and it got several compliments. I have several small pumpkins and gourds, along with Indian corn and popcorn displayed around the house. I don't go all out for Halloween decorating, but a few fall things here or there suit me fine.

Table toppers and table runners are an easy way to change out the seasonal decorations. JoAnn recently finished two UFOs at a sewing day we had at Terry's.

I just love seeing the variety we always seem to have. The Maple Leaf quilt was a kit; I think she will be quite glad to have these two projects finished so that she can use them immediately.

Today is my mother's birthday; a little later we will be meeting her and several of my siblings at a restaurant for a celebration. Tomorrow is my husband's birthday, so we might double-up on the celebrating! *wink*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I am not a neat-freak.

This recent bout of "let's clean the sewing room" is entirely uncharacteristic of me, but I have to admit, I really like the tidier workspace.

I promised to show some pictures of my efforts, so without further ado, let's take a peek.

Fat quarters (and a few other things) are neatly folded and stored in this chest of drawers.

This illustrates what I see when I open a drawer. Ideally, I will sort these by color, but I don't want to get too OCD about things.

I consolidated quite a few things and ended up emptying all these tubs. That just shows you how disorganized this space had become.

To cut down on the amount of time I spend opening tubs in search of whatever, I labeled most UFOs and other projects so that I could more readily identify without having to dig through a tub to unravel a mystery. This will be a true time-saver.

I am demonstrating hand-quilting today at Greenfield's History Day festivities. It's gonna be cold, blustery and rainy - I suspect that attendance will be off as a result.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Too Busy To Blog

Retirement is just not supposed to keep me this busy. Honestly, though, the calendar has been full these past few days. I have just enough time to post a picture of the quilt I am going to demonstrate hand quilting on at the annual History Day festivities tomorrow.

Pretty, isn't it? I came across it in my recent sewing room clean-out of the previous week. I will provide more complete details about it soon. Today I am off to the Nutter Center in Dayton for Ohio One Stop - a quilt show. Yes, I plan to take pics. Please pray that the spending bug stays away!

Happy Quilting, Friends!