Saturday, April 20, 2024

Jan’s Reveal

The Frankfort Girls gathered yesterday at Terry’s house. We'd been mostly all together at the quilt retreat the previous week, and we were mostly all together at Terry's. It has been challenging getting 100% attendance lately. 

Anyway, that is neither here nor there . . . what I really want to do is show you a finish from Jan who was both at retreat and at Terry's. I shared in my retreat wrap-up that Jan was truly gnashing her teeth over the fussy piecing suggested for these panels. After about 4 done by the book, she decided to take liberties and simplify things. This made her much happier, and definitely sped up her finish rate.

Just look at all she’s accomplished one week post-retreat! Quilted and bound! It looks fantastic, and we all agreed that her altered blocks look just as good (if not better!) than the by-the-book blocks. If you've followed here long enough, you know Jan is our over-achiever, so it surprised no one that she had moved this project along so quickly. While we were together yesterday, she was stitching binding.

My Paris Flea Market Find quilt top was the only other show-n-tell item for the group. Since you saw all about it yesterday, I'll only re-run a quick photo. *wink*

Here on the homefront, I've not touched the long-arm machine in the 3 weeks we've been back from Florida. That NEEDS to become a priority - SOON. I am behind on about 3 baby quilts, plus several recent quilt tops that I want to finish off.

It is a gorgeous Saturday here in southern Ohio, although a bit on the chilly side. Breezy conditions are keeping temps in the mid-50s. Clear, cloudless skies, though, sure are a welcome sight! The trees are leafing out and flowering trees are bursting forth!

Have a great Saturday!

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Friday, April 19, 2024

Finally - A Reveal!

It sounds pretty pathetic, but I'd like to introduce my first quilt top of 2024. It has taken me until beyond mid-April to finally produce a quilt top. I have never taken so long to share one with y’all! Those three months in Florida really stunted my early-year productivity.

I began working on Paris Flea Market Find (PFMF) at the retreat last week. I made all the 25-patch blocks and all the sashing strips. I hadn't brought the cornerstone fabric or the border fabrics, so the finishing up has been happening this week.

You know what? The long wait for a 2024 flimsy was totally worth it. This is one gorgeous quilt top, I tell you. The fabrics in the 25-patches is from a jelly roll I had called, coincidentally, Paris Flea Market by Moda/3 Sisters. The red star points fabric is from my stash - a 1-yard cut of Paris Flea Market. The light sashing fabric is a Laundry Basket Fabrics neutral which I'd found in a bin at Old Town Fabrics. The floral inner border is Sanctuary by Moda/3 Sisters. That was left over from a quilt I made in 2021. The cornerstones and outer border is Promenade by, you guessed it, Moda/3 Sisters. I just love that these designers keep similar colorways so that various lines can be combined.

As I said, Paris Flea Market, Sanctuary, and Laundry Basket were all fabrics in my stash. I must credit my dear friend and best sewing buddy, Sharon, for coming through with a most amazing Christmas gift - over a half a bolt of Promenade. Not only is this the cornerstone and outer border fabric, there is enough remaining to use as backing! And Sharon even came through with the pattern! Lucky me, right?

And here is Paris Flea Market Find, a completed quilt top - her coming out party. Ahh, I just love how delicate and soft it is. What a cozy quilt this is destined to become!

Hopefully, all my quilts this year will come together as effortlessly as PFMF has. I will be one satisfied quilter if they do.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Local Shopping

When we got to Florida in January, I began my scrap stitching using my newer, smaller Bernina 220. By mid-February, I'd used it so much that it began giving me troubles - you know the typical problems: broken threads, bobbin snafus, poor stitch quality.

Fortunately, because I had anticipated trouble (neither machine had been recently serviced), I had both machines with me. I wrapped up the little one and brought out the trusty old Bernina 1010, finishing out March with this 35-year-old model.

Back now in Ohio, I needed that machine serviced. In nearby Chillicothe we have a sweet, full-service quilt shop that sells and services Bernina. One of my first orders of business was to take my little 220 to Old Town Fabric Shop for a thorough cleaning and servicing. Store manager and co-owner Kelly is a former student of mine (11th grade English!), so we go waaayyy back. Kelly is trained by Bernina to do the mechanical, technical stuff. I love that I have a convenient place to have my machines serviced. The store is a spacious former canal warehouse. Kelly and her mom Cindy have created a quilter's paradise featuring filled-to-the-brim shelves and cubbies packed with scrumptious fabrics for every quilter’s taste.
Because it'd been awhile since I last stopped in, the current store samples were a delight for the eye. I thought I'd give you all a peek at the gorgeous offerings on display. Perhaps you'd be tempted to take a visit yourself?

In the foreground of this bottom picture is an Around The World quilt that caught my eye both when I dropped off my machine and again when I picked it up. Gosh, I would love to make one, but the intimidation factor is way off the chart. What a labor! Those fabrics, though, make it entirely too tempting. If only you could see it in person! The pattern is called Wildflower by Laundry Basket Quilts. Maybe...

Why not consider a little drive to southern Ohio? This shop is a great place to while away a few hours! I did a bit of shopping - not much - but a few little bits to enhance the stash. Some I've already cut and sewn, if you can believe that!

Hope you enjoyed the little shop tour! 

I will share a brand new quilt top in the very near future. Hope you'll come back for the big reveal.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Saturday, April 13, 2024

Retreat Report #2

Retreat sewing. That's what y'all want to see, right? So let's get right into it! 
First up, we'll see what Sharon was stitching. She and I are doing the same pattern; it's by It's Sew Emma called Paris Flea Market Find. Sharon is using Etchings fabric by 3Sisters, augmented with some other 3Sisters lines from her stash.

Those sashing strips left a great pile of cut-away corners, so Sharon saved them for some eventual HSTs and a project yet to be determined. (I saved mine, too!)

Making the 25-patch blocks was lots of fun and so very satisfying as they came together quite speedily. 
Becky had two very different projects - one for machine piecing and one for hand work. Below is the book from which her applique pattern comes. It's hard to discern, but it's called Fresh Picked from Blackbird Designs.

Her other project is one that just boggles my mind in its intricacy. Circa 1880 Nine Patch by Pam Buda contains 6,268 pieces, many of which finish at 1/2 inch. Yowza.

Becky had completed this tubful of tiny uneven 9-patches, and her work at retreat involved attaching the setting triangles and forming the long strip of blocks.

The neat stack on Becky's table shows a significant portion of both her projects - the applique on tip and the strips of uneven 9-patches under them.
 Jan brought one project to this retreat, very unlike her normal mega-productivity at previous retreats. Her efforts were of the Herculean variety as she finished this overly-involved panel quilt.

Each panel required a rather extensive border; after gnashing her teeth on about 4 of these, she began taking short cuts which required fewer seams and fewer fussy bits. We all agreed that the simpler borders were actually better, as they did not deter from the cute panels.
Sheryll had two main focuses - these intricate blocks for a quilt she's had under construction for awhile was one of them. 
Her other focus was making HSTs using Primitive Gathering HST papers. I should have asked how many she ended up making, but gosh, that stack was looking mighty intimidating! I think that Jacob's Ladder (above) is also for a Primitive Gatherings project.

Susan (who you met yesterday with her brand new machine) had lots of variety in her week at retreat. First, she made this owl quilt.

Next, she worked on this Ohio University table runner. I love the way this looks, and since I have an OU grad in the family, I would very much consider making something like this for her.

From the OU project, Susan moved on to this Folk Art/Patriotic house quilt. It was looking mighty fine as we finished out the week.

Susan also shared a 3-yard quilt finish from last summer's retreat. Several of us have made quilts from one of the many 3-Yard Quilt books.

Terry was a busy girl, too, with several finishes to boast. She already had a good start on this Civil War Legacies quilt called Remembrances. It is impressive with all those famous faces highlighted in the center of each block.

She then moved on to this quilt, but I can't tell you anything about its name or pattern. I do know that we discovered an error after this photo was taken, and she did get it all fixed before we left retreat.

Next, Terry moved on to making an OSU quilt for her grand-nephew who attends there. She used a sheet for the center of the OSU blocks, and a variety of theme-related fabrics to build this out. It is quite the impressive flimsy after just a day's hard work.

Our final seamstress is Helen, who worked so hard to get her Alpine quilt cut out. The thinking was that she'd cut here at retreat, then Becky could take the ruler home to cut hers later. Helen got far enough along in the process that she made one block just to be sure that she was on the right track with this project. I think she might have been more than just a little intimidated with these angles. I'm sure she'll get it all squared away.

Another project Helen brought to work on was this kit from Maywood Studio. It is going to look so happy and cheerful, with hints of vintage 30s sprinkled throughout.

And yes, Helen had one more kit - this happy little neighborhood called Farmer's Daughter by Moda. She has quite a bit of this finished!

Here are some final shots of my version of Paris Flea Market Find - I'm using (primarily) Paris Flea Market fabrics along with some stash yardage.

That's it!! A 4-day retreat at Needles and Pines in Nelsonville, Ohio, is all we need to have a fun and productive week. We highly recommend this facility to quilters in the southern Ohio area.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Friday, April 12, 2024

Retreat Report #1

When a quilt retreat begins with a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime event like an eclipse, then it definitely must be recorded for posterity. We really enjoyed observing the eclipse, and while we were not in an area of totality, we did see enough to make it worth our time to watch.

In other non-sewing and non-quilting history-making news, Susan unboxed her brand new sewing machine with us! Her first ever new machine! It's a Babylock Brilliance purchased on sale through Missouri Star Quilts.

And then there was the food. Oh my goodness, what good cooks we are! We  surely ate well. The variety and quality of our meals and snacks was simply outstanding.

We really did get down to the primary business of sewing, though. For three full days and part of a fourth, we stitched and talked and puzzled and cheered each other on. 

Becky and Helen plan to make Alpine, a quilt that Sharon and I made last year. They borrowed our pattern and ruler, and proceeded to work through the cutting instructions together. Just look at this intense collaboration. Helen mostly cut her entire quilt and made one block. Becky plans to cut in the quiet of her own sewing room and read over those instructions a few more times. Yes, it is tricky, but it's entirely doable! Sharon and I encouraged them as much as we could.

Here's a return visit to my Alpine, made to commemorate our 2020 and 2022 trips through the Rocky Mountains. Sharon later made one with a springtime look; and then made a second one for Christmas. I sure hope Helen and Becky will stay with Alpine; it would be easy to get discouraged, but they are totally experienced enough to work it out.

I will share a tiny bit of retreat sewing - mine - a very tiny bit. On Monday, I made all the 25-patch blocks for Paris Flea Market Find. The sashing strips were cut and so were the corner blocks, so I began those, as well. By the end of Tuesday, I had all the sashing strips done. I stopped there, as I hadn't brought the necessary fabrics for the cornerstones and borders. That will be forthcoming.

My sewing on Wednesday and Thursday involved switching projects and beginning the 9-patch blocks for Tag Sale. It was fun to make such large blocks! After those endless tiny 9-patches I made in Florida, these are gargantuan!

Come back in a day or two for the second retreat report. With all the sewing and all the projects, it will be a long post filled with pictures.

Happy Quilting, Friends!