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...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

An Early Retirement . . .

. . . Quilt, that is.

You no doubt recall the circle of close friends and former co-workers I frequently reference here on the blog lovingly as the Frienzies. Well, as each of us has retired, we've surprised that Frienzie with a retirement quilt. So far, six of the eight of us are retired, and those two who remain full-time in the classroom have several more years before they reach that magic retirement date.

We who are retired got to thinking, though. What would it hurt to go ahead and get a jump start on those last two quilts? At least the one for Susan, who is up next in the retirement queue. We already had the fabric and since we use the same pattern for all these quilts, we decided to go for it.

And with that bit of background, let me introduce you to Frienzie Susan's retirement quilt, which we presented to her in late September.

The fabric is an older line by Joel Dewberry. We had a road trip maybe 4-5 years ago that included a trip to a fabric store where Susan selected these fabrics. I admit to having some misgivings as to the way this would come together, but by gosh, it looks awesome!

The back looks awesome, too. We didn't want to have leftover focus fabric, and we always put a signed block on the back, so we came up with this. That extra block has significance, too. The front of the quilt has 30 stars, and most of us retired at the 30-year mark. Susan will retire with 32 years of service, so the two extra stars on the back will represent all 32 years of service.

And here's our signature block. Susan's projected retirement is June 2017, if all goes as planned.

Now I will link to a previous post about retirement quilts, just because I think you might be interested. There will be some "throwback" pictures, as well. *wink*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, October 17, 2014

My Very First Give-Away

About a month ago I wrote a post about some really awesome aspects of blogging. The top item on that list is the subject of today's post. Click here to go back and check it out.

As a result of my even earlier posts (July) about the contents of my grandma's quilt closet, I received an email from Marianne Jones, the author of a sweet children's book called Great-Grandma's Gifts. Marianne said that she'd seen my posts about Grandma and all her quilts and sewing supplies, and she thought I'd be interested in her book about her own dear grandmother.

 Great-Grandma's Gifts tells the story of Arlene, the narrator's great-grandmother. The twist, though, is readers are told about Arlene as a little girl who loves her doll Maggie. Arlene's mother makes her dresses with pretty fabrics and then Arlene uses the scraps to make clothes and quilts for Maggie.

Arlene grows up and becomes a busy mother, but she still has a love for sewing. Now she sews clothes for her children. The story continues and Arlene becomes a grandmother and a great-grandmother. She makes clothes, toys and quilts for her family. The book is just as darling as can be, with lots of sensory details and color-recognition activities.

It's been in the works for quite awhile, and now all details have been coordinated; I can finally invite you to join in for a book give-away. Marianne will provide a signed copy of Great-Grandma's Gifts to one lucky reader here! Click below to enter. The winner will be randomly selected on November 1.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wishes Quilt Along - Block 9

It has been a super-long time since I've done anything on the Wishes Quilt Along which I started in January. A block is offered each month and folks participating are asked to make a donation to Make A Wish Foundation since all block patterns are free, as are the finishing instructions. Here is a link to the website, which is on the Jolly Jabber blog from Fat Quarter Shop.

I sat down last night and made block 9 - the September block - called Dove In the Window. I'm using a very, very old line from Fig Tree Fabrics called A Day In the Country.  I have done eight blocks; I think I must have skipped last month. I need to see which one I'm missing. The setting instructions have also been posted, so I could be getting ahead on some of that. I might actually have this quilt top finished by year's end. That would surely be something.

If you'd like to see my previous blocks, click below.

April and May
June and July

I now know the blocks I still need to make - August and October. I must get on it!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Having A Little Fun

Do you spend way too much time on Pinterest? I'm afraid I do. It's just so darned inspiring, though. I get so many quilting ideas and crafting ideas and well, you know...

I actually made something I saw on Pinterest last night. Well, let me clarify. I saw it several nights ago; I made it last night. If you click this link you will see the block that inspired me. It originated at this site.

Here are the fabrics I pulled.

Twelve HSTs and four squares later, I had my block! Easy peasy, and so good looking!

Fun and fast. And a nice diversion from other stuff. I have not worked on the quilt I wrote about yesterday. Maybe tomorrow for that. I just wanted a little change of pace. This was just the ticket.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Own Worst Enemy

I don't think I have very many enemies. And who needs enemies, when I can foil my own efforts better than any foe could.

I had time this weekend to work on sewing a quilt top together. I'd worked at finishing the setting triangles through the week and had everything set for laying out the quilt and stitching it all together.

I didn't get any of that done. Why? Because I couldn't find the blocks. What?!? The blocks were missing? How could I lose a dozen pieced blocks and six setting blocks? And they aren't tiny 6-inch blocks; they are 12.5-inch blocks! Too big to just misplace! Talk about being frustrated!

The quilt I am working on is the Tell It To The Stars quilt along project that I began in January through a blog I follow called Patchwork Times.

Here are my setting triangles. What a lot of pieces! And biases! It was just slightly unnerving to work with so many bias edges.

Corner Triangles

Side Triangles

I made 10 side triangles along with the four corner triangles. All pieced. They will look fantastic in the finished quilt, which I have now seen on the quilt along blog.


I hope Judy, the blog host, doesn't mind that I grabbed her picture. Isn't this going to be a spectacular quilt? I am getting kinda' excited to get mine finished.

And that takes me back to spending an entire weekend trying to figure out where I'd put my blocks. I dug and dug. I rooted through piles and closets. I cleaned off the corner of my sewing desk. I put away some fabrics. I folded things and tidied up - not overly much, but some. I opened drawers and looked in project bags. The more I looked without success the more aggravated I became.

Finally, last evening I decided that I was going to open every tub in the sewing room - no small task. I've got little tubs with individual projects. I've got medium-sized tubs with a myriad of things. They seem to be the catch-all tubs. And I've got large tubs containing fabric. In one of those medium-sized tubs, about the 7th one I opened, I found my blocks. It was around 9pm; too late, in other words, to get very much done on sewing the quilt top together. I sort of remember putting that stuff in the tub - I was just cleaning off a surface and instead of putting things away logically, I just piled a bunch of stuff in an empty tub.

One of 12 star blocks

One of 6 setting blocks

Good grief. Imagine what I could do if I'd just get myself organized!

So now I'm back to a Monday, a busy work week, and a project that I'm dying to finish! Here's a quick peek at what it will look like (minus the setting strips).

See what I mean about being my own worst enemy? I spin my wheels because I can't bring myself to straighten up my sewing room, have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. 

I've always been this way so I don't see myself changing my habits any time soon. Oh well.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Visit To Marilyn's

When I was a child, our family used Sunday afternoons for visiting. We'd visit grandparents or aunts and uncles - which often meant . . . cousins! Occasionally, we'd visit close family friends or take a drive to some scenic locale. I will use this Sunday to take you on a visit to Marilyn's sewing studio. You may recall that Marilyn is my mother's first cousin who is active in the Loose Threads Quilt Club down in Peebles. I visited that lovely group of quilters in September, and took these pictures of Marilyn's quilting projects when I stopped by her place afterwards to say hi to Uncle John and Aunt Nina.

Marilyn is quite accomplished at applique, and this wall hanging shows off her skill. Allow me to take a moment to apologize for the clarity of my photos. I inadvertently had my phone/camera set on video rather than snapshot. It's taken me all this time to figure out how to make a picture out of a video. Finally, DD2 suggested doing a screen capture. I did, and now I have to make the best of what I got. (This is a direct result of my not having my reading glasses handy. I couldn't see the settings on my phone! Oh, the pitfalls of aging!)

But I digress. Just be prepared to enjoy some fuzzy pictures today, that's all.

Marilyn's design wall had these two lovelies adorning it -- more evidence of applique. She says it's her new love.

And even more applique! These panels are prepped for an eventual quilt.

These two pieced quilts are more of the sort of quilting I do. Aren't they fantastic? The colorful basket quilt is full size and is hanging on the wall in the dining area.

This pinwheel quilt is another of Marilyn's pieced quilts. If I remember correctly, it is a small quilt - either a table topper or wall-hanging size. This just might be "talking" to me - getting itself on my to-do list, perhaps. I just love it.

So there's a Sunday visit for you. I sure had a nice visit that September afternoon. Aunt Nina is so proud of Marilyn's quilts. She just beams when she shows them. While I was there, Uncle John came in from a golf game, and he's just as proud. The work quilters do sure makes a lot of people happy, wouldn't you say?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flynn Gets A Quilt

Sharon has been making the most of her newly found free time. This little Thomas the Train quilt made of bright flannels and a Thomas panel is evidence of that. She had this whipped up in no time. Won't this brighten a two-year-old's bedroom?

Sharon machine-quilted this, and plans on giving it to her grandson this week. Actually, she may have done it already!

I have finally gotten back to work on something. I had that lull after finishing the t-shirt quilt, then going to History Day. I pulled out the next step on the Tell It To the Stars Quilt-Along. I am making progress, and will share that soon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!