Monday, September 25, 2023

Hand Quilting A Keepsake

A keepsake? I am hoping this growth chart will be a keepsake, at least. DDErin asked me about a month ago to quilt the inch-lines on Cate's growth chart, and you know I agreed to do it. 

Makes for quite a special project. I've tried to be very careful to stitch as straight across the fabric as possible, and to keep my rows exactly at 1-inch intervals. The quilting does, however, pull a bit out of shape, so "in the ballpark" measurements will have to do.

I started at the top end - 6 feet - and I'm working my way down. Those little number are  the ones that will count most. Surely Cate won't grow that tall (although height is in the genes!). If she does, she will be too old by then to have her parents mark her height on a growth chart.

I really like the way the stitching makes the little shadows. It is really difficult to see that there are actually two colors being used here in the quilting. A darker color is used for the foot marks, and a lighter one for all the inch marks. The two colors don't have that much contrast to begin with, and in the shadows of the piece, the distinction is lost.

I am nearing the end of a good audio book, so I plan to sit on the porch and finish the quilting today with my earbuds in place. 

Next will be trimming and binding. This ought to be ready to return Cate and her parents by week's end. Below is the backing - soft, subtle pink.

It's gonna be sweet seeing this growth chart being used as Cate grows up. She is so, so very close to standing alone. I mustn't dally! Gotta' getter' done!

I am linking up today with the hand quilters and stitchers attending the party at Kathy's Quilts and her weekly Slow Sunday Stitching event. It's been a weekly event for nine (9) years! That's definitely a milestone achievement! 

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Autumn Is Here!

It's been feeling like fall around these parts for several days, and now we can officially welcome AUTUMN this morning.

I have finished the interior portion of my Autumn Leaves quilt. I do plan to add a narrow inner border and a wide outer border.

I made a big ol' pot of vegetable soup which seems like the most fall-like meal we could have this weekend. Look at how much! I will freeze some of this.

Short and sweet today, friends, as I have places to go and people to see!

Welcome Fall!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, September 22, 2023

A Jelly Roll Finish

 It goes without saying that I tend to drag out projects way longer than necessary, and that is why I am particularly thrilled to show off the Jelly Roll finish I accomplished this week.

I attempted one of those quilt twists I see some quilters do on Instagram, and all I could think was that I made a jelly roll out of a Jelly Roll.

This time last week, I didn't even have the idea of making this quilt. From kernel of an idea to finish was less than a week. Gracious! I guess these precuts DO have their advantages!

This quilt is called Jelly Filled and the pattern details are contained in this post.  I've been spelling the fabric line wrong, so let me just correct that - it's Susanna's Scraps by Betsy Chutchian. 

I didn't think I would have enough fabric to do the outer border, but I did, so I guess it is ready for the longarm. It measures 66"x72" so will be a cozy couch quilt.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Variety Pack

Gimme all the projects! I don't mind! I will dabble on all of them! 

Yes, that's me, over here flitting from one fun thing to the next. I'm an equal opportunity quilter, I suppose. Either that, or I have a serious "squirrel" affliction.

Progress is being made on several fronts: Autumn Leaves, Jelly Roll quilt, and Growth Chart. 

First, my Autumn Leaves. I love how this is coming together. The rich colors of fall really meld together in this quilt and truly evoke a fall-like feel. I've found a suitable border fabric from my stash which will enhance the entire look. It's a good bit of yardage of an old Kansas Troubles line. I will check the selvage to see what it's called and get back to you.

I don't generally invite just anyone to step into my quilting room, but here you are standing on the threshold. Yikes!

I share this view primarily because it shows off that Autumn Leaves quilt so nicely. About three rows are sewn together with the sashing. The others are just pinned in place. I will sew these all together and then I need to cut more sashing strips and cornerstone blocks.

The jelly roll strip sets have been pressed and cut into 10.5-inch blocks. The next step is to cut the sashing strips. The fabric for sashing is from the stash, pictured below.

I ended the day yesterday with some hand quilting on the growth chart Erin asked me to finish for Cate.

The numerals were embroidered by Erin, and I am quilting at 1-inch intervals for the entire 6-foot length of it. I will then trim it off, and then bind it. I intend to finish this off pretty quickly - and I need to! Cate will soon be able stand alone without falling down.

Today, in addition to quilting, I must spend some time in the kitchen - making more zucchini bread and some quiches for us and my mom. I  also have some leftovers that ought to be made into soup. 

It's a gorgeous Tuesday here in Ohio! Make the most of it!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Jelly Roll Day

Even though I was recently sorta' complaining about not getting anything done (re: this post), I need to confess that I am 100% at fault. I just love starting projects. And, yes, on top of all those "irons in the fire" mentioned in that post, I have started something else.

Yestderday was Moda's commemoration of the Jelly Roll, and each September they have "Sew a Jelly Roll" day. I always have some Jelly Rolls around here, so I thought why not dig one out, and stitch up a fast, simple and fun quilt. Yes, why not?

The JR I selected was Susannah's Scraps by Betsy Chutchian. I hadn't been saving it for anything in particular, so I grabbed it out of the drawer and commenced to looking for a background. It sat on Thatched for a bit - that's the background for my Autumn Leaves quilt. It looks good, but I wanted something a bit more rustic looking.

This tan from my stash tub seems to suit me. I prefer not to overthink decisions like this, so after looking at the fabrics from all directions, I deemed it as my background. 

Unrolling a Jelly Roll is rather a thrill - seeing and admiring all the fabrics is a real treat. When I buy these precuts I generally have no idea what I will end up doing with them; I think it boils down to a super- easy and convenient way to have a bit of each fabric from the designer's line.

The pattern I am making is called Jelly Filled, and I found it through a search on Pinterest.  It's free pattern by Material Girls Quilts, and if you search around on that link you should find a video tutorial for all the construction details.

I didn't get a lot of time to sew yesterday, but I did get a start. These blocks are made with five of the JR strips sewn together, and then cut into 10.5-inch squares. Because it will come together so fast, I hope to have an update on a finish to share here soon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, September 15, 2023

Leafy Decisions

I'm in a pondering phase over here. I've laid out my autumn leaves three different ways, and now I must decide the direction I wish to go with these blocks.

A tidy stack of 72 leaf blocks can be made into a surprisingly diverse number of "looks." Here's the first one I auditioned.

I've left a bit of space between the blocks, as I am leaning toward using a white sashing strip around each leaf and a brown cornerstone at each intersection. Try to envision that, if you can.

Option two has all leaves pointing in the same direction, and still has room for sashing/cornerstones.

Option three creates a wildly different look, and a very interesting secondary design. I like the look, but I really lose the leaves, which all along has been my priority - a leafy quilt in fall colors. 

So, while I thought I wanted a quilt with leaves strewn about haphazardly, I do think I am going to go with the second option. I've got plenty of the background fabric from which I will cut the sashing strips. I am sure I've got a suitable brown for cornerstones. I am taking too much time considering all these options; I simply need to get back to stitching if I am to have a finish for this fall.

I had expected to do this sewing yesterday, but a certain darling granddaughter needed a sitter - and you know I didn't say no to that request! DH and I left here about 6:30am, (!) and had the most lovely day with Cate.

I love having the flexibility to drop everything and go on a moment's notice. I have to give a shout-out to Sharon. We'd planned to have a sewing day, but she knows all too well the tug of a grandbaby in need of a granny! I appreciate her flexibility, too!

Hope you are having a great Friday! It is simply gorgeous here today!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Several Irons in the Fire

"The busier I am, the behinder I get." I recall vividly both my mom and grandma making this silly statement at various times, yet my young brain didn't have a clue what they meant. Now, a retiree with seemingly unlimited free time, I am discovering that I do, in fact, know what they were talking about. 

To make matters worse, in my case anyway, I have a strange tendency toward inertia. I simply stop working on all the things because I feel tugged to try to work on them all. Too many projects needing my attention all at once, and I simply shut down. 

Quickly, I will share some of the things currently keeping me occupied.

First, I continue to make autumn leaf blocks. I do love how these look and I cannot wait to sew the quilt top together - which might be on the agenda for tomorrow. I've got all 72 blocks made, and the pretty little stack will now be laid out for some auditioning. I can't decide if I want the leaves going all the same direction, or "tossed" in all manner of directions. I will show you all my experiments when I lay them out.

Another project I started is a little dress for Cate. DDErin handed off a small stack of fabric she'd bought, saying she was never going to have time to make things for her, so would I like to have a go at them? 

Uh, that would be YES.  

Below, see the stack of fabrics  (I'm using the pink/cream first) and the pattern.


And yet another project from Erin has me "itching" to tackle it. She is making a growth chart that will travel with them when they (at some future time) move. Cate is getting very close to standing and will be able to have her height marked on a chart. Erin embroidered numbers on some linen, then handed that off to me for quilting and finishing. I've spent some time on it, and it will be so quick to do, but I need to really direct my focus when I do.

I'm currently in the sandwiching phase. My next step is to cut the pink for the backing, then settle in for some big-stitch quilting. The print shown in the picture will be the binding. This growth chart will hang from a dowel rod making it portable for whenever they make a move. 

And, of course, life does not exist solely in the quilting room. We hosted two gatherings over the weekend, both tons of fun, but took time away from stitching, obviously. Then on Monday, I joined some of the Frienzies to begin working on a wedding quilt. (You'll be hearing more about this.) And now, I need to close this post for a book club outing to Columbus!

I am definitely staying busy, yet when things get a little crazy from time to time,  I let the blog fall to the last thing on the to-do list.

Happy Quilting, Friends!