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...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Beach Vacation

Oh the perks of being retired!

A September vacation that includes sand!!

Yes, gentle readers, yours truly has bugged out of Ohio (where this a.m. it's 39-degrees F), and have high-tailed it to Hilton Head Island with a few of the Frienzies! Yay!

Kay, Sharon P., Sherrie and Lyn are here with me and the giggles and gabbing have been nonstop. It'll be a fantastic week, even if the forecast is for more clouds than sun.

I brought some stitching, and so did a couple of others, so you might hear from me again before the week is out.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blogging Is So Cool Sometimes

I've been putting my thoughts down for this blog since 2009, with an abbreviated stint even earlier. For the most part, I've remained steady at it. I've had some hiatuses (hiati?) from time to time, but I try to force myself to be reliable in my posting. (Self-discipline - something I've always struggled with.) *grin*

So let me tell you why just now, out of the blue, I think blogging is so cool.

In the last 3 or 4 months, I have had some really cool things happen; things that wouldn't have happened had I not blogged.

Cool thing #1: After the several posts I did about cleaning out Grandma's quilting closet, I received an email from a woman who'd recently published a book on her grandmother and the gifts she makes for her great-grandchildren. We are now in the process of trying to coordinate a give-away of her book through my blog. Isn't that awesome?

Cool thing #2: Again, after the several posts about Grandma when I'd reminded visitors that I had a tab at the top which features some of Grandma's quilts, I had another email. This time the sender inquired about the pattern of one of Grandma's quilts. It is one that his mother (or wife? or m-i-l?) had made and lost the pattern for the last 4 blocks. He wondered if I could locate the pattern or take a picture of the blocks in question to send to him. He expressed that this is a quilt that is something like a 40-year-old UFO because of these lost block patterns. I am still in the process of trying to find what he needs.

Cool thing #3: I was catching up on some reading of blogs that I'd not had time for since starting back to school. One that I enjoy is Material Culture by Barbara Brackman, well-known author, fabric designer and quilt historian. One post that I read featured quilting bees in primitive paintings.You'll have to go to the post to see the picture in question, but Barbara wondered why a quilter would be holding a spool of thread up to her head like a cell phone. The painting was Civil-War era, so it was definitely NOT a cell phone. One reader left a comment explaining what the woman was doing. When I looked, I saw it exactly, and then I noticed something more, so I made a comment, too, explaining my theory. Last night, I revisited that post, and Barbara has updated with my theory! Whoa! Barbara Brackman! That's like having a rock star notice you sitting in the front row of a concert! Yeah, that's cool, for sure!

Cool thing #4: A woman emailed me after she saw my picture of The Dressmaker's Quilt, in my finishes. She had been looking for the pattern and said that it was no longer available. She'd tried every avenue she could think of to find the pattern, and wondered if I would send her mine. I am in the process of finding said pattern to put in the mail to her. (Is it against copyright laws to copy a pattern if the pattern is out of production?)

Cool thing #5: Another blog that I enjoy immensely is Humble Quilts. While catching up, I happened upon a post that she put up for a friend who was searching for that fabric. You know you've been there. Busy cutting and stitching away on a project, and then you realize that you are short on one fabric - and it has to be that fabric. No substituting! Well, I had about a yard of that fabric, so I commented to Lori who in turn put me in touch with her friend. Now I need to get that fabric in an envelop and mail it off to Canada, of all places!

Now you know why I think blogging is so cool. Barbara Brackman talked about the social aspect of the quilting bees that our ancestors enjoyed. Today, quilters have a 21st century method of socializing through quilting. I love it. Blogging has definitely enhanced my quilting experiences.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Another T-Shirt Quilt

I believe I've mentioned recently that I am working on a t-shirt quilt for a friend of my mother. I've had these shirts since May or June, and I'm just now getting things done on it. Tuesday was a nice long day of sewing for me over at Terry's house, and I got the center of the quilt top stitched together. This afternoon I hope to get the borders on.

What do you think of the way I handled those Boy Scout scarves in the center of the top row? Those came together better than I thought they would. The biases weren't where a quilter would have them, if you know what I mean. Graphically speaking, I think they look very nice, and add interest to the quilt.

It's short and sweet today, peeps!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hand Quilting a UFO

Back in early 2011 I made a quilt with Lori at her blog Humble Quilts. She begins each year with a fun little doll quilt tutorial--it's a fun, laid-back sort of project, and I always look forward to them.

It is called Cheddar and Crackers and that little doll quilt has camped out on my design wall for nearly 3 years, unfortunately. Once I finished the flimsy I just left it hanging. Fast forward to 2014. The Frankfort girls decide to devote the year to finishing UFOs with a friendly challenge. Finishing this doll quilt made it onto my list, and I've removed it from the design wall at long last. It is now safely tucked into a quilting frame that I can carry with me to work on when handwork is warranted.

Let me talk to you a little bit how I am quilting this. I was inspired by that talk at the Laurie Simpson trunk show last month at Old Town Fabric Shop. She explained that she hand quilts many of her creations free-handed. Yes, you read that right - free-handed. I saw some of those quilts with my own eyes and they were lovely. So I decided that a little doll quilt might be just the right quilt to experiment on with my own free-handed quilting.

The object is to make bigger stitches than you might normally think is acceptable, and to not worry about everything being even and symmetrical. The quilt below is one of Laurie's from the trunk show. If you click on the picture and get an enlarged version, I think the stitching will show up more clearly.

Okay. I am giving it a go. Laurie says it is a faster way to get a big project hand-quilted. With just the little bit that I have done, I can concur that it is faster. I think I am going to like it!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Frankfort Girls

We met at Sharon O.'s house on Friday morning and we were busy as always. Sharon was unpiecing a project she was dissatisfied with, and then repiecing it. No pictures to share, but perhaps I will have at some point. Sheryll worked on appliquing the borders on a quilt she'd made of her father's flannel shirts.

Isn't that a great quilt? I love how bright the plaids are, and how she's arranged the colors. Sheryll says that a couple of these shirts were quite threadbare; in my opinion, those would be the ones I'd think she'd remember the best. What a great way to pay tribute to a hard-working father.

Terry worked on binding a quilt that she'd quilted for a customer. It was a Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern made with solids in what we would call 30s colors. Again, no pictures.

We were missing JoAnn who was away on a trip - to Italy!! Oh my gosh how I'd love to go back there! I can't wait to see her and hear about all that she saw.

As far as what I worked on, you will be happy to know that I have a UFO in the portable quilt frame, and I began hand quilting! I am using the method that Laurie Simpson recommended, and I am feeling a bit of trepidation about it! I hope I am satisfied with the results. I will have pictures to show you tomorrow on that.

I had a fantastic weekend with my husband and my mother in Columbus. About 20+ members of our extended family converged on the city to take in the season home opener of our beloved Ohio State Buckeyes. Except for losing the game, the weekend was fantastic. I met cousins I'd not seen in years, and their children and some spouses, too. It was absolutely the best time. In addition to all the family and football stuff, DH and I had a chance to stop by our daughter's offices over in Reynoldsburg, take a stroll through German Village and the ever-popular Book Loft (32 rooms of books!), take a drive up High Street and through campus on game day (mayhem!), take a second drive on High Street the morning after the game (peaceful), and stroll around the Park of Roses in Clintonville. All in all, a very enjoyable weekend.

Above it s picture of the Park of Roses. What a wonderfully serene place in the heart of the city. We really enjoyed our brief walk and could have walked so much further had we not been so anxious to get on the road for home. It was a beautiful spot to be sure.

I'm off the teach some classes! Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Loose Threads

What a lively group! There were close to 40 women at yesterday's meeting, and they are the sweetest bunch of gals! So welcoming, so complimentary, so helpful - it was a pleasurable morning, to be sure.

Just look how industrious everyone is! Aren't all quilters the same, though? We don't waste any time that can be used for hand stitching.

To begin each meeting they have a sharing time. Quilts both finished and in progress are laid out across the backs of the meeting room chairs. Doesn't that make an inviting display?

Here are a few closeups of their work. Wonderful stuff! Certainly inspiring.

I spoke to the ladies about some of my recently completed quilt tops and interspersed that with remarks about blogging and the ever-growing community of friends I am making through blogging. Then, I topped of my presentation with 6 or 7 boxes straight from Grandma's closet - I showed them the contents and we all had comments and questions - it was a very interactive sort of exchange. I really enjoyed the day, and the Loose Threads ladies made me feel quite the special gal!

Afterwards I went out to cousin Marilyn's to visit a bit with Aunt Nina and Uncle John. Just topped off an already wonderful day.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Off For A Morning's Adventure

Shortly I will be heading out for Peebles, Ohio, the home of Loose Threads Quilt Club, for a speaking engagement, of all things! (Can you imagine!?!) They are a group of quilters from all around the Peebles area who get together every couple of weeks to sew and share. I've spoken of them before, on posts here and here. My cousin Marilyn is an active member.

Today, at Marilyn's invitation, I am taking a few quilts, mostly recently made, and a bunch of stuff from Grandma's closet. I think they will be pleased to see some of that stuff first hand. I have written about all the stuff Grandma gave me, but that's no substitute for seeing the real deal.

And I'm off!

Happy Quilting, Friends!