Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Is In the Air

Are you all feeling Christmas in the air? We are making our season festive and fun. On Friday night, the entire family - our immediate family, that is - met at daughter Erin's apartment in Columbus and later went to dinner at a fine German Village establishment known as Lindey's. We all went last year, and it was so enjoyable that we - DH and I - wanted to repeat it this year.

A night-time photo taken under a brightly lit entrance makes picture quality suffer, but the important things are the people. Kevin and I are on the left with our children - son Adam, daughters Emma and Erin along with son-in-law Jeff and Emma's long-time boyfriend Geoffrey.

Also becoming festive are the decorations here around the house. I can't recall if I have shared this yo-yo table topper or not. The pattern is from Thimbleberries, and I made it about 25 years ago. It has held up pretty well, even with an occasional spill of candle wax. I like bringing it out each December. This year, I have it spread across the top of an old trunk and topped it with a trifle dish full of bows and bells.

Hope it's festive where you live!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Cheer

On Thursday morning, we quilters in the affectionately-named 'Frankfort Girls' met at Sharon O's lovely  home for some extra-special fellowship. Our Christmas gathering each year features a gift exchange, breakfast and very little, if any, stitching. This year was no different. While our ranks have changed somewhat over the years, we still have such a grand time together celebrating the season.

The table is spread with gifts while Becky and Jan look on.

More cheery gifts and a "faith" picture held up in the background.

Sharon has every nook and cranny decorated, and we tried to take it all in while doing a reindeer scavenger hunt. Above are just a few highlights of her Christmas decor - a John Deer tree in her husband's office; stockings on the mantle with the names of her four grandchildren, and a Boyd's Bear scene on the bar above her kitchen sink.

The gifts were plentiful, and a few were homemade. The stocking in the background is technically for a bottle of wine, but Jan got into the holiday spirit and used a candy cane theme. She made stockings for each of us and filled them with a wide assortment of peppermint-related items. She also made the little mug mat with peppermint candies. The other mug mat was created by Sheryll who used the popular vintage red truck carrying a tree as her theme. She even found a mug for each of us with this design. Some people go above and beyond, you know. *wink*

Sharon does cross stitch in addition to quilting, and her Christmas cards for us were lovely stitched designs.

While we had no time for stitching, we did have such a grand time with each other. The individual gifts were lovely, and so thoughtfully given. Best of all, however, was the opportunity for us all to be together to celebrate one of the holiest of holidays. These girls are the best. One of my great blessings in this life is that I have such wonderful friends to enrich it.

Here's hoping your life is equally enriched!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Progressing On December UFO

While I have made it quite clear that I long ago lost my excitement over finishing UFOs, I am working pretty hard to get this last one for 2017 finished to the flimsy stage.

When Sharon P. was here on Tuesday, I made some significant progress on the large tumbler UFO from several years ago. When I bought the tumbler acrylic template, I cut tumblers in 2 sizes - 3" and 5".  I came to refer to the little quilts as small tumbler and large tumbler. I made them mostly to see how easy the template was to work with rather than because of a deep desire for a tumbler quilt.

This UFO from earlier this year - the small tumbler was finished early on in this challenge. I love how the small tumbler quilt turned out especially because of the wonderful floral border.

At last I am finishing the large tumbler UFO. I have had to cut more tumblers to increase the variety of fchoices, and I am cleaning up some of my jumbled tubs of Kaffe Fassett fabrics. This flimsy is going together easily.

When a seamstress sits at her sewing machine and looks down at this massive splash of intense color, she can't help but be happy to be working on such stuff, even if it is an ancient UFO. These bright fabrics make even the gloomiest wintry day seem cheery.

By later Tuesday, I had constructed about half of the rows I think I will make. My plan is to be near a finish on this center section by midday tomorrow. Then I will ponder border options for a day or two. I could conceivably have this UFO checked off the list by Christmas! Woo-hoo!

Today, we Frankfort girls are having our Christmas meeting! We normally meet on Fridays, but this week we are meeting on Thursday as one of our mgroup is scheduled to have surgery on Friday. We all have free enough schedules to allow us to make this change to our routine.

I will bring pictures of all the fun at Sharon O's house. Yes, that Sharon of "let's give Jayne a long-arm machine" fame. (What a sweet one she is.) Sharon's DH is fixing breakfast - yum-o! We will exchange gifts and also the blocks for our block exchange project that we began in late spring.

In amongst all the fun of parties and UFO finishes, I am finalizing semester grades for my two OU-C classes. Seems like there's never a dull moment around her, you know?!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Odds and Ends

The jobs in the quilting room have been either secret or small lately. It's that time of year, you know. I have bits of things to share, so I will combine a few in today's post.

First, I helped Claudia for a bit on Friday afternoon (last week) on a t-shirt quilt she is making. It will be a nice-sized quilt, and she is currently in the process of making the last of her blocks. We discussed the size of her sashing strips, the usefulness of cornerstones, the width of the borders, etc.  She has become so knowledgeable in her new-found hobby! I am quite proud of her fantastic progress.

Next, I will give you a sneak-peak at some Santa-sewing I did on Sunday afternoon. I can't wait to share the entire project with you!

And last, for today anyway, is this cheesy picture of yours truly just after DH and I finished putting the long-arm machine together. We have both remarked that this was not nearly the intimidating job we feared it would be. Now I just need to find a few free minutes to play around with it!

For now, that's all I've got. I did sew with Sharon yesterday, so I have some progress on my December UFO to share. It is going to be so nice not to have to think about UFOs for awhile! Yes, I do still have more, but I probably won't even think of working on one for several months! This year of UFOs has done me in!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Meet Robert!

This has been the year of the baby quilts, as I have gifted 4 and helped the daughters with at least 3 more. Many blessed events this year!

One of the quilts I recently gifted has popped up in an email photo along with the handsome young man for whom it was made. I'd like you to meet Robert Schrader. He looks pretty darn thrilled with his quilt, don't you think?

Robert's quilt was a jelly roll race quilt made with Neptune fabric. I quilted it when I rented time on the long arm machine at Mendlebrights down in Cynthiana. Grammy Vickie, my close friend, delivered it for me recently, and momma Erin provided the picture. Wouldn't you just love to cuddle on this guy for awhile?? I'm told he has the most unruly hair! Wow!

It's pretty hectic around here lately. I did get the Tin Lizzie all set up, with the valuable help of DH. We plugged it in and it fired right up. Now for some time to test things out. First, though, we have had an electrician in to create more outlets for the basement space where the machine is located.

I have done some secret Santa sewing the past couple of days, and I am slowly working on Christmas decorations. Busy! Should take time to enjoy, right?!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Major Announcement

Few times in one's life does one owe so much to one person, but I am the grateful recipient of the most amazing gift ever. My quilting friend Sharon O. GIFTED her long-unused Tin Lizzie Eighteen to me!

Most of us already know that quilters are among the most generous folks ever, and Sharon's kindness is truly one of the most generous acts of kindness I have ever been privileged to receive!

To say that I am over-the-moon excited about this would be putting it mildly. This news has been brewing in the background of things you've read here for several weeks, and today I have finally taken ownership - DH and I moved it from Sharon's basement to our basement, with the help of Sharon's DH Fred.

This is the machine - and in the background, you can see Sharon and Fred. Sharon bought this Tin Lizzie just after she retired in 2001. Every time she was ready to make some progress at using it and becoming familiar with it, she had a major health situation or surgery to contend with. At this point in time, she says she is just plain out of the mood to try to figure it out.

The pictures above, are from Sharon's - I took many so that I could be certain to put it back together properly. Now, below, you will see our basement. When she made this incredibly generous offer, our mostly-finished basement looked quite junky.

Since the kids have all left home and no one goes down here with friends to watch movies and hang out, the space had become a catch-all for stuff we needed to deal with, but , you know the old phrase - out of sight, out of mind! I suppose most people do this to some degree or another. I fear we are masters at it, unfortunately!

We - and I have to give great credit to Kevin, my dear husband, for he has been my best encourager through all of this - dedicated a couple of weeks to some serious weeding out - keeping, donating and trashing as much as we could, and as of last night, here is where Tin Lizzie will live.

We did pretty good, didn't we? Now don't go thinking that all that stuff has been dealt with. Just off to the right side of this picture is a pool table laden with stacks of things that still must be sorted and stored.

This morning, DH and I went over to Sharon's, dismantled the Tin Lizzie, and brought her to her new home. Below, she is waiting like a puzzle to be put back together. I plan to get right on that this evening.

And when that base is built and leveled, this sewing unit will join it and I will begin experimenting with long-arm quilting!

Isn't this exciting??

Now, however, I am off to Claudia's to help her with a t-shirt quilt, and later tonight, our Mennonite neighbors are coming to sing Christmas carols! What a busy day!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Considering My Options

Not too long ago I shared the little HST table topper or wall hanging that I made with my Roman Holiday scraps. In the tub of remnants, I found a nice stack of squares already marked with the diagonal line for making HSTs, so that is what I did and the result was a very pretty little quilt. Click here for that earlier post.

This has been hanging on the design wall for a week or so, and as I ponder the options for finishing, I decided to see what it would look like if a red border were added.

It hardly looks like the same quilt, does it? The red seems to give it a brighter appearance. This trial border is made with rectangular pieces that were in the remnant tub. I could use these, or I could make a very bold move and use the last remaining bit of THE RED. Any of you who know Roman Holiday fabric know THE RED to which I refer.

THE RED. The picture above is from years ago and this luscious yardage belonged to Sharon P. I don't know if she still has this big piece or not, but I know I loved this fabric enough that I took a picture of it. THE RED was the one fabric from the entire Roman Holiday line that is nearly impossible to find nowadays. Everyone must have loved it and hoarded it.  I sure wish I'd gotten more of it when I had the chance. But I digress...

I still have about a half yard of THE RED and it would be beautiful as the border on my little quilt. I may just do it.

I must be off to class. Today is the last regular class meeting. Next Wednesday is our final. Nearing the finish! Whoo-hoo!

I am linking up with WIP and Let's Bee Social. Go have a look-see!

Happy Quilting, Friends!