Sunday, September 16, 2018

Lake Effect Work Continues

Since it's a Slow Sunday sort of day, and since I actually have been hand-stitching my Lake Effect hexies today, I thought I would share the progress.

Way back at the beginning of 2018, I had an entire project tub full of these individual elongated hexies waiting to be stitched together. Now, the 3 stacks in the photo above are all the individual ones remaining. I have stitched all the rest into larger units. These two January posts contain photographic evidence of my progress: Jan. 7, and Jan. 21.

Most of my stitching in recent weeks has been to sew 6 hexies together. These will then be connected one on top of another to make a long column of hexies.

Don't they look tidy all stacked up like this? After doing so many of these, I have become quite quick at stitching a unit together. Next will be to get back to making the larger units.

When I first began this quilt, I reminded myself not to dwell on the gazillions of little bits needing to be sewn together. Instead, I thought only about getting one little part done at a time. Dwelling on the big stuff is overwhelming. Focusing on a small unit at a time is totally doable.

I invite you to visit Kathy at her Slow Sunday Stitching link-up. A plethora of hand-stitchers are meeting there to share their activities, including me!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Bark Cloth - A New Interest

A month or so ago, I saw the most adorable little zipper pouch on Instagram. I've sorta' been on a bit of a bark cloth "kick" ever since. Below is the pic I saved, and you can click here to make your way to other gorgeous beauties by this designer.

Seeing this fabric sparked a memory in me of fabrics I remember from my childhood - not just in our own home, but at both grandparents' houses, aunts' and uncles' houses, probably many friends of our family, too. Then I remembered a piece of this cloth that I actually own stashed away upstairs in the sewing room.

Why I have saved this fabric, I have no idea. I do not remember where or when I got it, either. The piece is sewn into a case for a smallish pillow, but that does not help me remember my origins with it. (A mind is a terrible thing to waste, you know?) *grin*

Perhaps bark cloth is seeing a resurgence in popularity. I wonder if it's the combination of design and texture that appeals so much? A week ago, DH and I attended the Columbus BIA Parade of Homes, and the very first home on the tour featured a bedroom decorated with bark cloth window treatments, pillow, and chair upholstery.

My piece of bark cloth is in very good condition, so I think I will try copying the inspiration picture and see what kind of a sweet zipper bag I can come up with. Add some embellishments of lace or denim or simply a complimentary fabric, perhaps? Yes, that sounds nice. And don't forget a sweet beaded pull.

One aspect of Instagram that I have come to appreciate is the concept of # (hashtag). If I am interested in something, I can just search that item with the # in front of it. So, for example, when I wanted to see more bark cloth, I entered #barkcloth (don't use spaces in a hashtag search) in the search bar, and WHOA!! What a vast array of beautiful fabrics I found. Then I also searched #vintagebarkcloth, and that elicited even more! I admit to being slow to the game on understanding hashtags, but IG has helped to enlighten me.

This new interest in bark cloth prompted me into a nearby thrift store to see if I could find any items like curtains which were made of bark cloth. Nope. But I think I will remain on the lookout for it. As I have seen the vast array of designs on IG, I find myself more and more drawn to it.

Happy Saturday! I am taking my little stash of Lake Effect hexies on a quick overnight to Columbus. Progress has been steady on those hexies, and I feel a big final push coming on for finishing them off.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Additional Blockheads 2 Update

Over the weekend, I took some time to make a couple more BH2 blocks, just to prove to myself that I was hanging in there with this sew-along. I have a bit of a history of beginning these things, and then not finishing them for a very long time.

In the historic York fabric (my name/I needed a short way to reference it), I have made Fidget Spinner, a very complicated block. I might have gotten this one right. But maybe not. (I know for sure that the one in the other colorway I'm doing is wrong.) Right or wrong, it is staying this way.

In the pastel colorway, the block looks totally different, and I really missed the whole idea of a spinning effect in the block. Oh well; I'm probably not changing it.

While working on these blocks, I had a book queued up on my Overdrive app listening to my third Susan Meissner book, The Shape of Mercy. I am so glad I discovered this author; I love historical fiction and she is a gem. This particular book dealt with the time of the Salem Witch Trials.

So let's have a look at all my completed blocks. First, all 8 of my York blocks.

And now, all 8 of my pastel blocks.

Same blocks, but very different looks. That always fascinates me with quilt blocks. The placement of fabrics makes a world of difference in the look. In the end, though, it nearly always looks good.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Remember Blockheads?

When Blockheads 2 began about 3 months ago, I joined in and remained caught up through the first month. At some point about week 5 or 6 I found myself snagged on a block that required more fabric than my fat-quarters could handle. I could not muster the problem-solving mentality at the time to figure out an alternative, so I put it aside.

Now that at least 15 block patterns have been released, I have scolded myself that I'd better buckle down, or else I may never catch up. With some new resolve, I pulled out the patterns (even though I have not been sewing, I have faithfully printed off each pattern) with the idea that I'd make the easiest one.

Of all the blocks I have waiting to be made, I selected this one called With A Plus. Basic, right? I sure didn't need to invest tons of brain waves to crank this one out. If you recall, I am making two versions of the BH2 blocks, and the second colorway is finished, as well. Low contrast in the one; high contrast in the other. I like them both. No need to choose favorites.

I promise that I sew in straight lines, but both of these blocks look a bit off on at least one side. Maybe I need to press more carefully. Anyhoo, I know they are okay.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Lake Effect Update

After posting late Saturday night about things I thought I might try to accomplish in the new month, I had a comment from Gretchen asking about my progress on Lake Effect. It hadn't even occurred to me to add this to the list of projects for September, as I have steadily worked on it all year long, especially on those Friday get-togethers with the Frankfort Girls.

I am continuing to sew rows of 6 hexies together, and soon I will have to consult the pattern a bit more frequently to see the height and width of the sections I will be needing. I have done a bit of this already (click here to see), but I stopped when I realized that to optimize my random placement of fabrics and colors, I needed units rather than individual hexies. Blending will be easier with bigger pieces to move around - at least that's the hope!

Over this Labor Day weekend, we had a Sunday trip to our niece's in the Columbus area, so I took my little sewing pouch with me to stitch while DH drove. In just that couple of hours on the road, I  stitched 4  6-unit strips together. On Friday morning, we Frankfort Girls met at Sheryll's and I did about 5 strips there, so the last few days have been productive -- and the weekend isn't over yet. *grin*

I know that very soon I will need to print out the pattern pieces for the appliqued panels and begin that process. I admitted in a recent Instagram post that I have an inherent disinclination toward applique, but I am determined to overcome it. This will really test me, but I am ready for the challenge!

Thanks, Gretchen, for thinking to ask about Lake Effect, and for being so faithful to comment frequently. I appreciate you so much! Here's Gretchen's blog, if some of my readers would like to give her some love, click over and take a peek around! In addition to being a quilter, she's a diary farmer! I was raised on a dairy farm, so I know what a special life you live, Gretchen!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Hello September!

And just like that, August is gone and here we are in a brand-spanking new month. Whew. That went fast, didn't it?

My collage for August includes some fun summertime activities couched between my work on the basket quilt. I only had a few of the blocks completed as the month opened, but have steadily progressed due to audio books and diligence.

The basket quilt with the curved handles is from the Circleville Quilt Show made by my friend, Sheryll of Frankfort Girls fame. I made the small pillow with remnant fabric from our family room curtains and a yard sale pillow form. The bigger pillow in the middle row is pieced for an update for our bed. The center photo is from our afternoon ball game to see the Cleveland Indians play the Twins. We spent a Saturday morning walking a 5K to raise money for sweet Michele (last pic, center row), who is fighting cancer. In the bottom row, the Frienzies enjoyed an afternoon at Susan's pool. I tackled a small re-hab project by spray painting a little shelf. And, of course, the basket quilt takes shape.

Those are the highlights worth mentioning and for which I had photographic records. Hubs and I had some fun visits with our daughters in Columbus. We also had visits with other family, both on his side and mine.

So what does September bring?

I will attempt to finish the basket quilt top. I have the border flannel for that baby quilt I worked on earlier in the summer, so I should try to finish it. I have meant to work on holiday bazaar projects all summer, yet have nothing prepared. If I am going to participate, I'd better get to work. I have some books to read. Of course, classes are under way, so I will have real "work" to do, and I don't want to get behind! I must make myself stay on top of it; I hate that drowning feeling one gets if school work is allowed to pile up.

Let's make the most of September, shall we?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Basket Quilt Progress

As promised, I am sharing my progress on the basket quilt, slow as it is. Sharon and I sewed together on Tuesday, and I've not taken one stitch on it since. That's just the way life is for the moment. Getting settled in to a new semester at OUC, adjusting to fall hours as opposed to carefree summer hours - this takes some getting used to.

But I digress. Let's see some quilt pictures, shall we?

I am finally able to use some chain piecing for this part of my construction process. It assures that I am keeping baskets facing the correct direction, and I can manage handling the quilt so much more easily. I am pinning very thoroughly, even though that might be unnecessary. I feel more confident that I'm eliminating mix-ups by pinning.

As I worked, I had to move from the table to the guest bed. The additional rows just became too cumbersome. Plus, I like seeing the progress row by row.

I have made decisions about the vertical sashing strips. I will also use one color per vertical strip just like I am doing one color per horizontal strip. At the intersections, I will use the background as cornerstones. In essence, I will be framing each individual basket, and while that is not the way the pattern shows the finish, I am happy to be using more of my Roman Holiday fabric.

Are you getting ready to celebrate the Labor Day weekend? Our plans are low-key, but we are meeting our daughters and their guys for dinner in Columbus this evening. Then we will bring a particularly adorable kitty home with us to babysit for the weekend, while DD1 and her hubby go out of state. Rocky gets his own vacation at our house.

Besides that, we anxiously await our first college football game tomorrow at noon! Go Buckeyes! We are always excited for football around here.

Here's hoping your weekend is enjoyable!
Happy Quilting, Friends!