Monday, May 14, 2018

Quilting and Coincidences

People who don't know quilters well might be of the belief that we make our quilts in the quiet of our homes, with little interaction from the outside world - a lonely pastime, perhaps.

No way!

This hobby is the most social and open hobby ever. Having Sharon over once each week is just a beginning. We also have a wide circle of friends who enjoy lugging their machines and projects to someone's house for a day of stitching together. Our Frankfort Girls group meets every-other-Friday morning to do just hand-stitching.

And then there are retreats and quilt shows and classes. And I haven't even touched on the community that can be found in cyberspace.

This lengthy introduction is surely going somewhere, and it describes just one instance of how all these various spheres of quilters eventually are bound to intersect.

A week ago, my neighbor and friend Dorothy shoots me an email saying that she and her daughter are taking a mystery class at Creations, a quilt shop in Chillicothe. Across the table from them are Claudia and Denise, my students off and on for the past couple of years! What a small world.

For some history on all these friends, you can check out some backstories, if you like. I first wrote about Dorothy in 2017 when she wanted help making a picnic quilt for her son and daughter-in-law. Claudia and Denise have been the subject of many posts over the past 3-4 years, and here's just one that represents a bit of the kinds of things we have tackled together.

Now, let's get to the pictures of the work Dorothy, Sarah, Claudia and Denise did in the mystery class.

The bottom photo is from Claudia who has her mystery parts laid out at her home. She is in the process of sewing the top together.

The emails I got from Claudia really speak to the nature of "community" -

Denise and I enjoyed meeting two of your friends from Frankfort yesterday at the Mystery Quilt Sewing Day at the Creations store in Chillicothe. There were seven steps. The photo shows Denise with her quilt at step 4 I believe. There would be five of the strips like she is holding next to each other. Her batik fabrics are beautiful. I left a little early as there were farm chores to do at home before evening, but I think Denise finished hers before she left. Just before I left at 5pm the first quilt was completed. It was fun to arrive to well marked piles of fabric and a little sheet (CLUE) to follow. And fun to meet new people with the same interests.
And Claudia is a true "learner" in every sense of the word; she later sent this with the picture above:

Here is my Mystery Quilt down to ten pieces. I had asked for red, white & blue figuring I would get something patriotic with stars, stripes, etc. but with the green in it too it is far from patriotic looking. I now know that I have to be more specific. At step 3 I had a snafu. I tried very consciously to match the two corners but alas my matching (which was with an angle) made the piece off center and I had to take them all apart and redo matching the sides and not a center seam. I just didn’t understand “quilters” language. Ugh!!
 You can be sure Claudia will know this "quilters language" next time - she learns fast!

I hope this post makes sense; I am a bit under the weather with some crazy congestion - maybe allergies? Maybe upper respiratory again? I think I will have a cup of hot tea, and take a nap.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day!

Not much stitchin' going on around here the past few days. Both daughters are coming in today for an easy lunch and later in the day we'll all head to Hillsboro to celebrate my dear momma with our first homemade ice cream of the season! 

Here's a relatively recent picture of Mom; we'd been celebrating an OSU football victory when this was taken.

Hope you have a great day!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Village Update

In all the random block-making, I have not forgotten that Village is my more pressing WIP. Just before we left for Florida I had begun putting rows together. Since I have only 95 blocks to work with (the pattern calls for 132), I need to figure out my setting plan for them. So far I have just sewn then into groups of two or three.

I need to sit down with graph paper and pencil to sketch out a plan. I am not opposed to leaving some wide open space next to a house if need be, nor am I opposed to buying more background fabric, as I think I might run out. The pattern does not call for borders, yet with my smaller version I will consider them.

Neighborhood-building does continue, therefore, just at a bit slower pace. Consultations with the zoning committee and the city engineer are ongoing. *grin*  Here's a click-back to my introduction to Village.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Random Blocks

Since grades have been submitted and I am out of school for the summer, I have been doing a bit of catching up on various projects. Through the winter semester I was totally faithful about printing out patterns for two projects that interested me, both of which are quilt-alongs. One is a block-of-the-week, the other is block-of-the-month. In quilter's lingo those would be referred to as BOW and BOM.

Making any headway on these two projects just didn't happen while I was teaching, and this first week of the break has given me a chance to breathe a little bit and devote some time to them. It feels really good to work on things without the stress of grades and lessons and deadlines.

The BOM project is hosted by the well-known quilt historian Barbara Brackman. I have followed her blog Material Culture for years because she is so knowledgeable about dating quilts and fabrics. She has hosted many quilt-alongs which I have just watched from the sidelines. The current quilt-along, Antebellum Album Quilt BOM, I am going to try keeping up; a new block pattern is released on the last Wednesday of each month, and it started this past January. Here's the link to the first block which includes some of the details about the quilt-along.

My first block, Wandering Lover, was made way back in February. I shared it on Instagram and even got a comment from Barbara Brackman herself approving of my fabric choices! Whoo-hoo!

Above is block #2. It is called Lend and Borrow. My color is off in the upper right corner of this photo; must be a lighting thing. The truer color for the neutral is what you see in the lower left corner.

And I have also made block #4, Quaker Pride. This was super-easy, as you can see. You also might have noticed that I skipped block #3. It was a template-made design, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get that bugger to print at the proper size. So I will hold off until I can get some technical help. (Usually in the form of my kids!)

Now the second quilt-along, a BOW, is hosted by a pair of quilters I have "met" through Instagram, Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland. Both links are to their blogs.In March I made Dovecote, shown below.

I decided to use my leftover scraps called A Day In The Country by Joanna Figueroa and Lisa Quan of Fig Tree Quilts/Moda - ages old stuff. I know I will not have enough to do all the blocks, I may begin searching the interwebs for some bits of this long-lost line.

This week I have made the second block (they've now released 10 or 11 blocks), this one is called Kitty Corner.

If you are trying to figure out where you've seen this fabric before, think back to last year when I was doing my UFO challenge and my July project.

So, one of these days I will get back to houses for my Village quilt, but this week I have just felt like playing around a little bit. It definitely is giving me some steam to get going this summer.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Modern Sewist

In yesterday's post I mentioned a quilt shop located in Siesta Key/Sarasota, FL, where we vacationed last week - The Modern Sewist. A check of its location on the map app showed that it was practically within walking distance of us.

Thankfully, my DH is one who doesn't mind (too much, anyway) hauling me around to find quilt shops. I know he has a limit, though, so I keep 'em short and sweet. He really is supportive.

But I digress...

I enter a "modern" quilt shop with a bit of trepidation; my tastes typically lean to the traditional standard or classic styles. However, I have been salivating over some of the fabrics coming out by some of the new designers - I wanted to see them! And, more importantly, touch them! I hoped this shop would carry those fabrics.

They did!! Yay!

The shop is bright and cheery, decorated quite full-to-brimming with all manner of samples and inspiring projects. I met the incredibly hospitable store manager Jenni who made me feel quite welcome. We talked about fabrics and blogging and Instagramming and all the fun stuff that makes this hobby of quilting increasingly accessible to people of all ages. These are the very things forcing this old traditional gal to break out of her "comfort zone" and experiment with some of these trendier, modern designs.

Jenni was excited to learn that I am a Bernina-owning gal, as she will travel with the shop owner and another employee to Chicago to become Bernina dealers. I am catching their IG posts about all their adventures and learning. Exciting stuff, indeed.

I found lots of fabrics that wanted desperately to come home with me, but just three won out. I had to exercise restraint, for sure. Jenni was so helpful; I quickly chose my two florals, and needed a nice solid-type to accentuate them - she knew just the options to show me. I decided on the perfect dark blue shown in the photo and I can't wait to dream up a terrific project for these sweet fabrics.

My exciting fabric purchase consists of that navy by Rae Ritchie of Dear Stella Design. This is a pretty tame piece by some standards, but to each her own, right? I still have that foot firmly planted in traditional-quilt-land, you know. *wink*

The florals are both by Art Gallery Fabrics - AGF - called Ethereal Fusions, and aptly so, I must say. Have you ever seen such loveliness?? The minute I saw these, I was enamored by them. They are so delicate and dreamy.

Once I got back home and in the sewing room, I opened these fabrics out a bit and shot a fuller picture of those florals. Aaahhhh! I'm swooning!

After a bit of study, I noticed a hint of gray in both florals which prompted me to recall a gray piece tucked away in my stash - maybe?? Yes! I think the gray (Weave by Moda) will work with these perfectly! Oh my, serendipity is at work here, people!

Now, tell me, what will I make with these???

So that sums up my quilting adventure in Sarasota, FL, and my trip to The Modern Sewist. I highly recommend! I am now following the shop on IG as well as Jenni (her handle is @jenglebelle). She told me about their on-line shop, which I will definitely keep in mind.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, May 7, 2018

I've Been Away

And I hope you hadn't even noticed!

So here's the story. Two weeks ago, while having dinner with my sister and brother-in-law, they tell us about a trip to Siesta Key they are taking and why don't we drop everything and come along, too? Ooooh, great idea! However, we had obligations and just couldn't see how we could swing it. But the more we thought about it, the more we decided to figure out a way to make it work. And we did!

I changed my finals to online finals as opposed to in-class. Submitting online meant that I could begin grading from Florida. (I didn't, but I could have.) Kevin arranged a substitute for his Mennonite school bus route and we hired a young college grad, one of Kevin's former runners at MHS, to house-sit and dog-sit. We canceled a couple of engagements, and then we bought our tickets!

And that's how you do retirement, ladies and gentlemen!!

I had enough time during the week before we left to write a full week's worth of blog posts, scheduling them to appear daily while we were away. I fully expected to get home Saturday and write up something for the weekend, but that required a bit too much brainwork; my brain was still on the beach! Ha!

We had a fantastic week, and I have to recommend vacationing to beach resorts like this before the summer tourist season begins. We had absolutely no crowds to deal with anywhere - airports, highways, restaurants or beach. Conditions were perfect.

Our condo was situated on what is known as Crescent Beach on Siesta Key in the Sarasota area of Florida. Not only did we enjoy gorgeous, uncrowded beaches by day, but the sunsets were magnificent each evening. And - really cool - someone who lives there full time plays taps just as the sun sets each evening. That added such a solemnity to the experience. One never typically thinks deeply as the sun is setting each day, but the playing of taps really makes one pause, reflect and appreciate.

I very rarely take selfies, but I just had to try it with the sunset reflecting on my glasses. Not too bad, if I do say so myself. (A selfie with no pouty lips. Ha!)

As any self-respecting quilter would do on vacation, I looked for quilt shops in the area. I found The Modern Sewist just 2 miles from our condo! It was a wonderful little shop that I will write about soon. Two other shops were in the area, as well, but this was so close we HAD to check it out.

So, Monday morning is here and I am beginning my summer break. I finalized and submitted grades yesterday. Today, I am wondering what all I can accomplish in the months ahead. You can be sure I am list-making and project-planning. And through it all I will keep you all updated along the way.

Have a great Monday, y'all!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Frankfort Girls At Becky's

A week ago, the Frankfort Girls met at Becky's for a morning of sewing and fellowship. What a great group. Most of this group attended the recent Canter's Cave retreat. We squished around the dining table to chat and sew like we hadn't seen each other in ages! Below is a sweet table topper which decorated Becky's table. Tiny thimbles! I love 'em!

Sheryll missed much of retreat due to illness, so she had several finishes to show and tell. I managed to photograph a couple.

I am crazy for this sweet 4-patch quilt. Navy background! Red inner border! I just love it.

I was with Sheryll when the fabrics for this homespun quilt were being purchased. She and Terry went together for they both were going to make it. Terry's is done, I believe, and now so is Sheryll's.

Finally, from Sheryll, she shared her swap quilt. Several of these were shared at retreat, and this was our first chance to see Sheryll's.

Jan shared this t-shirt quilt she made for an upcoming high school grad. She can turn a project around faster than anyone I know.

The rest of us had nothing new since retreat. We look forward to our next get together; there will surely be more pretties to share by then.

Happy Quilting, Friends!