Monday, February 11, 2019

Frankfort Girls

It's been a long while since I last brought you any news from my sweet quilting group The Frankfort Girls.

We met at Terry's on Friday morning and were welcomed to a table laden with delicious muffins and coffee cake. I'm sure you're noticing that cute table topper, too. Fits perfectly with Terry's country farmhouse décor.

Jan shared a "honeybee" finish but I was in no position to get a picture of it. (sorry Jan!) Sheryll had two flimsies which I could easily photograph. They are beauties!



Aren't these gorgeous?! I believe Sheryll said that the oak leaf applique is a very old UFO. The two-color stars are, too, if memory serves, and gosh I love that one! I have a definite soft spot for blue and white quilts, and this is absolutely spectacular. Lovely.

In recent weeks/months I have taken pictures of finishes that have gone unshared, and while I don't begin to try to share everything these girls make, I do try to highlight a few. If you don't mind, I will backtrack a bit and play catch-up with just a few more pictures.

This beautiful creation is by Becky and will hang (or maybe it already has) in a LQS as a sample.

Helen made this table runner which is perfect for the wintery weather we are having.

This quilt by Terry is from several months back (I can tell because of the shirt sleeves). She called this the Doug Leko quilt; he's a quilt designer and author, so those familiar with him will likely recognize it.

Today, I am hoping to finish off the unplanned 9-patch quilt I shared in the last post. I got as far as chain piecing the top together in one direction; today I will tackle the other direction. It is already pinned, so shouldn't take long. Then I will think about borders. Hmmmm...

Have a great Monday!
Happy Quilting, Friends!


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Unplanned Quiltmaking

A week ago I was finishing up the 40 9-patch blocks I needed for the little block exchange my quilting group is doing in March. Well, in typical Jayne fashion, I didn't clean up the leftovers from those blocks - and there were considerable leftovers. I cut way more 2.5" strips than I needed, and I just knew that if I put them away, I wouldn't think about them again for possibly years.

My spur-of-the-moment decision, then, was to just make more 9-patches.

Hey, my goal for this year is to make lots of quilts using easy designs and big pieces. What is simpler and easier than a 6.5-inch 9-patch block? Not much. I love making them and (so far) have not grown tired of them. So I am feeling totally justified!

I sorta' had a notion that my setting blocks should be either from my brown bin or my red bin - largely this was because I could most easily access these two bins. I'd have had to do some really deep-stash-diving to get to some of the others.

These six became my frontrunners. In order to audition each one, I opened each fabric onto the bed and laid a few blocks out on top.

The two photos above are the darkest of the three browns - a closeup and a distance shot.

These two are the middle brown.

These two are the lightest brown (even though that one looks black). None of the browns excited me too much, so I moved on to auditioning the reds.

This deep burgundy was my initial favorite as I pulled the fabrics. But the look on the bed was less than thrilling.

This could easily have been stored in the brown bin, but because of the tiny red flowers, I suppose, it was in the red bin. I pretty much pulled it as an afterthought.

I had high hopes for this rosy pink, as well. Ehhh, I'm not so sure about it now.

A closer look at the three browns.
And a closer look at the three reds.

So, how does one decide? Well, here's my thought process. When I study my pictures of the two darkest browns and the one dark red, I only see the 4 light squares in the 9-patch blocks. Those lights "pop" to my eye, and I don't really want that. I want the 5 dark squares in each 9-patch to shine as they form that great chain-like look across the quilt. So I am eliminating the 3 dark fabrics.

That leaves the one light brown and two light reds for my consideration.


I believe I will select the lightest of all  - the beige background with red flowers. It is a Robyn Pandolph fabric from Moda. To my eye, it allows the chains to be most dominant. My second choice is the lightest of the browns.

My brain has worked pretty hard today making this decision. (What does that tell you about my brain??) I think I will go cut a bunch of 6.5" squares and get on with this!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Reading

Prior to retirement, I read far more books than I do now. How can that possibly be? My time is more open so it would make sense that I could read even more than ever. 

Well, I quilted and sewed very little prior to retirement, and that has drastically increased in these past 10 years. It's like I am catching up from all those years that I didn't make as many quilts as I wanted because of work.

I still love reading, though, and I miss not having a book going all the time. Enter the wonderful world of audio books. I can listen to a book while stitching or walking or driving. 

I CAN HAVE IT ALL!!

The first book I listened to this year was The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley. I enjoyed this mystery quite a lot, and even though I thought I had the ending figured out, I was completely surprised by a couple of twists. It was narrated by a very pleasant voice, which makes for an enjoyable read (listen?) and I am already looking forward to reading something else by Riley.


Since the first book of 2019 was so good, I searched around for another and found The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen. I am always a sucker for anything connected to Italy, and I have had Bowen recommended to me. Having never read any of her books, this seemed like a good place to start. It was okay; not as good as The Love Letter, but still I was engaged. I would read another, for sure. This tale was one of those with dual timelines - one in WWII and one in the present (which was the 1970s). There were two readers--a man for the wartime story, a woman for the more current story. That worked well, but the storyline seemed a bit forced at times which was distracting. Still, I am glad I read it.


My current read/listen is a Brad Thor book - The Lions of Lucerne. Thor writes those fast-paced political espionage-type books, so I expect I will soon be on the edge of my seat. I've never read any of Thor's books, but I have read authors he is frequently compared to (Vince Flynn) and I know I will enjoy the thrilling ride.

If you enjoy a good read, let me direct you to Sister's Choice Quilts, a quilt blogger who offers up some great reading posts several times a year. I have discovered many very good books and authors from her extensive reading lists -- Susan Meissner, for one, comes to mind. Actually, I believe The Love Letter was one that she recommended, too. If you go to her site, you can find an easily searchable sidebar to look at some of her book-related posts. I recommend her quilt-related posts, too - her quilts are just my style.

Today here in southern Ohio, we are having rain - and lots of it. Good gosh, it's a gray, wet day! This picture is through a rain-splotched window looking into our backyard. The big puddle in the foreground is a low spot at the end of the sidewalk; the rain has been heavy enough that a stream has formed. Yuck! I think much of my time today will be spent in the sewing room with my Audible app turned up.

Happy Quilting, Friends!





Tuesday, February 5, 2019

9-Patch Group Project - Part 1

The girls I quilt with -you've heard me speak often and fondly of the Frankfort Girls - have come up with a fun little project that will culminate late in March. Structured much like the cookie exchanges many of us know from Christmas time, we are having a 9-patch exchange.

We are all making 40 blocks constructed with 2.5" squares, yielding blocks that are 6.5". Most of mine are two-fabric blocks like the black and neutral one above. I constructed all of these with strip-piecing methods to speed the process. Here are a few more of my particular favorites.





About a third of my 40 blocks are much scrappier like the one below. I hope the girls go for these blocks. It's sort of hard to gauge the unknowns for this exchange. We made very few rules which will make for some interesting blocks.

To keep my blocks counted and orderly, I use wonder clips to keep 10 blocks together. This is a great way to keep track of where I am number-wise, and prevents me from having to count the same blocks over and over.
Part 2 will post after our late-March meeting when we exchange our blocks. It will be here at my house, and I promise to take pictures of the fun.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Slow Stitching

I've added a new slow-stitching project to my arsenal - embroidery!

My best friend Sharon gave me this gift last month for my birthday. I started it about 10 days ago, and find myself strangely drawn to it! This could very easily become a new addiction.



I've enjoyed working on this in the evenings while we watch tv - movies, sports, shows - I can usually multitask. I may have to improve my lighting though! My eyes don't work like they used to, darn it!

The pattern is by Cozy Blue Handmade. I haven't started following them yet, but they have an IG account, so I will probably check them out. I can hardly believe that I am actually thinking about what embroidery project I will work on after I complete this one! gaahh! I have some of Grandma's upstairs in her stuff, and I may go that direction.

I am linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitches, even though it's Monday! Hope I don't miss the deadline!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Denise and Her Tiny Pieces

Last Sunday I popped by Claudia's house to visit as she is recuperating from knee-replacement surgery. It was a well-planned visit, because Denise was also stopping in. In addition to catching up with each other and wishing Claudia a speedy recovery (which she appears to be experiencing), we had a brief show-and-tell. You have seen my quilts, so let me show you Denise's.


Back in December, the last time we checked in with Denise and Claudia, I shared a picture of one of these blocks as this quilt was a WIP (work in progress). Check back to see the tiny sizes. Look at the stunning result! I love it. Here are some close up shots. The last one includes my pointer finger to illustrate the tiny size of those churn dash units. Incredible, truly!




The other quilt Denise shared was this double wedding ring quilt in lovely shades of green and purple. Denise has definitely honed her piecing skills with these curved pieces.


I applaud Denise for her patience, hard work and thriftiness in fabric use and waste reduction. While I love these quilts and all their tiny pieces, I am on a completely different trajectory for the foreseeable future.

Maybe someday, I will feel inclined to piece some intricate designs, but for this year I want to use up some of my stash. In order to do that, I must make simple quilts with large pieces.

Have a great Saturday, everyone! The weather is at last warming up after this awful deep freeze, and I am off to walk with my 'seester!'

Happy Quilting, Friends!