Quilting Fun

While I love the satisfaction of finishing a quilt, it isn't the only way to have fun with quilting. Fun also comes from the great outings with girlfriends, shopping expeditions with Grandma, or just sitting in my "thoughtful spot" chair perusing magazines and books. The thrill of the next project waiting just there on the horizon...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Binding Awaits

I'm really chomping at the bit to get my 2 t-shirt quilts back and get them finished up for my customers. In order to get straight to work on them, I have prepped the binding so that when I get them from the quilter, I will go-go-go.

Ready and waiting. I am rarely known for having things prepped ahead of time. It's aggravating to know that I am a last-minute sort of gal.

Thinking of binding makes me think about my little overflowing box of leftover bindings. I just can't bear to throw these excesses away, so all are stored in this little box. It's obviously time to find a bigger box, wouldn't you say?

I have tried thinking of a way to use these bits. I suppose I could stitch like-fabrics together to make a scrappy binding. I could open them up and cut squares or rectangles for blocks. So far, I've not been moved to do either, so they sit in their too-little box while I wait on a bright idea.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December Has Arrived

Seems impossible, but the calendar doesn't lie - December is upon us. I have already listened to my fair share of Christmas carols both on the car radio and in my sewing room. I took a little trek out the lane last night to snip some pine boughs for decorating our front porch. Just little things to put one in the Christmas spirit.

Last year at this time I was working feverishly on 8 little quilts like the one above that I finished just in the nick of time to give to my Frienzies. This year, I'm not making anybody anything (almost). I decided that the pressure just wasn't worth it. I am simplifying my gift-giving!

As I look ahead to what is in store this month, I hope to get two quilts back from Terry and get them bound and delivered to the customers who commissioned them. I want to finish quilting Erin's Diamonds. And the OSU baby quilt. DD Erin has put in a request for help on a t-shirt quilt that will be given to her sister-in-law, and I am happy to do that. Claudia wants a class on making a bag, another project I am happy to do. I will be finishing up the semester next week with two finals, and all the grading that Freshman Comp naturally entails. DH continues to make his way around the family room with his trusty paintbrushes. I spend much time here in the sewing room to stay out of his way!

With all of this variety, I am also looking forward to various seasonal activities - gift exchanges, home tours, events here and there with all manner of family and friends. Today, for example, I have book club early, and card club late.

So bring it, December! Let's have a great month!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

O-H . . . I-O! Score!

I suppose most who read this blog know that I am in Ohio and in these parts we root for our Ohio State Buckeyes. For those who are not in the know about Ohio State, one of our favorite things to do is spell out O-H-I-O. Yeah, that's odd, but here's what makes it fun - let's say we are in a crowd on game day. A fan can holler out O-H! and sure enough one or 50 or 200 people around will respond with I-O! Tailgaters at the ball games will hear this for hours from every direction.

I have been on vacation in places far, far away, and if I see a tourist wearing an OSU t-shirt or hat, I can say to him/her "O-H" and I will get an "I-O" right back. Buckeyes have a huge fan base, and they are everywhere.

Well, I did not begin typing this post with the idea that I would be offering up a lesson in Buckeye-fandom. I guess you all need to be educated, though, even if you might root for some other team. *wink*

The reason I am on a Buckeye kick is this fantastic fabric I bought yesterday at JoAnn Fabrics in Chillicothe.

I needed to find a backing for the baby quilt I made earlier this month out of Ohio State fabric. I want to get started quilting it, so a backing had to be located. I wandered around and considered many options, but when I saw this flannel plaid, I knew I'd found the perfect backing for the quilt. A baby quilt with a flannel back is exactly the right way to go with this. And this particular fabric is a very soft flannel, not like some that are quite stiff.

Not only is flannel perfect for a baby quilt, a couple of other factors indicate that my choice is spot on. First, the price was right - and got better at the cash register. The sign said it was $8.99/yard. It ended up being on sale and I got it for $5.39/yard. SCORE!! The second SCORE! was discovering that it is 54" wide, not the typical 42" - more yardage for less money! I was really happy. I took the entire bolt of 5.3 yards and paid a whopping $29. Now that is a big win for this Buckeye!

Here's how nicely it goes with my fabric and the quilt top. Seeing this work out so well makes me very eager to get to stitching.

I have cut the backing for the quilt. Next up is to get into the batting. I will likely piece some bits together. I will straight-line machine quilt it on my little Bernina. I think this yet to-be-born Buckeye is gonna have a pretty awesome quilt.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Erin's Diamonds - The Beginning of the End

As planned, albeit somewhat sooner than expected, I removed Erin's Diamond from the frame and unrolled it from the roller bar. Seeing the back makes me very happy - have a look:

The backing is pieced with three large sections of KF florals, two of which can be seen in these photographs. I am absolutely thrilled with how the diamond shapes show up on these backings. Successes are wonderful, aren't they?!?

Here is one tiny section fixed up in the hoop and ready for final quilting. I question how speedy I can be with such a small space; it will mean moving the hoop fairly often, I imagine.

Well, that's a trifling issue to fuss about, isn't it?

Hope you have a fantastic Tuesday!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, November 28, 2016


Back in June, on the hottest day of the year, my niece Abby got married on her parents' farm. The reception was held in their old and very picturesque barn which is over 100 years old. At some point on that hot, hot evening, some of the cousins hatched the idea of having Thanksgiving in the barn.

And so we did.

What a wonderful day it was, too. My sister and her husband did lots to the barn in preparation for the wedding, so they had just a day or so of work to get it cleaned up for a feast. The cousins who hatched the idea showed up on Wednesday to set the tables, decorate, arrange the lights - all that fixy sort of stuff.

Here are some pictures of our magical Thanksgiving Day feast. Enjoy!

The barn: Ohio, circa 1890.
The food; fantastic; potluck style; yummy stuff!
Special touches - butter molded in shape of a turkey.
Looking up to the loft (haymow).

Looking toward the front door; dessert table and drink table to left.

One of my favorite shots of the interior; lights, table; loft.

Looking down from the loft; left side.

Look down from loft to the right side.

The loft became the living room complete with all the outdoor furniture and area rugs.
We even had a television rigged up for football!

The very best part: the family, plus extended family and friends.

Our 2016 Thanksgiving was certainly a memorable one! I hope you had a special day of thanks, as well.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Major Development

Today I am thrilled to report some major developments on my quilting of Erin's Diamonds.

After quilting all day Friday - and I do mean, I practically DID quilt all day and have the sore fingers to show it - I rolled the quilt to the final section yesterday. And when I did, I discovered that I had way too much backing gapped away from the batting and top. When I put this quilt in the frame (many weeks ago) I was certain I had everything as taut as possible, but apparently the layers shifted a good bit. I couldn't quilt it that way; it would look terrible. It left me puzzled for most of Saturday. Finally last evening, I decided to remove the quilt from the frame and finish the last of the quilting in a lap hoop. The frame needed to be moved out of the way of the painting, so this seemed as good a time as any. (Click back through posts from the past month and follow the great painting saga at our house.)

The unrolled quilt looks pretty darn good, doesn't it?! I am so happy with the results. It gives me the encouragement I need to stay with it and get it finished.

This closer view shows off the diamonds so well. It's a sight to behold! And most of it's DONE!

Today's job will be to get a hoop out and load this in. Right now, the entire quilt is rolled onto one of the frame's roller bars and is laying across the kitchen table. I will get it all in order today, and maybe even take a few stitches.

In this last section that I quilted, I did something different. I left all the tails of the quilting threads loose to pick up and continue with after I had moved to the next section. Below is what the edge looked like before I took down the frame. Sorta' looks like a scraggly, bearded mess. I see that I have a couple of threaded needles there, too, waiting to be stitched. I have been a regular assembly line of productivity with this project, let me tell you!

I left these tails in the hope that I would be optimizing my time. I certainly quilted the last section more quickly by not having to bury the ends every time I reached the edge. For this final section, my threads are ready and just need to be quilted in.

Are you all are having a relaxing end to your Thanksgiving weekend? After our big Ohio State win over Michigan yesterday, today will be much calmer and quieter. Double overtime nearly did me in! I can only imagine the pandemonium in the 'Shoe. I am sure Columbus was celebrating all night!

Moving on, I promised to share pics of our Barnsgiving - which I will do tomorrow. I took a couple of days off from blogging, so my wrap-up of our Thanksgiving feast in the barn will be next.

I am linking to Slow Sunday Stitching. Kathy's post today is about some very old sewing notions that a friend of hers recently purchased in an online auction. It makes me think about all the old stuff in Grandma's sewing kit. I wrote about some of her treasures several years ago.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

From my quilting room to yours, I extend my warmest Thanksgiving greeting to one and all. While several readers reside outside the USA, I am still grateful for your encouragement and loyalty in following this humble little blog.

Feasting today finds me heading out to my sister and brother-in-law's barn. Yes, you read that right. We are having our feast in their refurbished barn. Back in June, their daughter Abby got married on their farm and they held the reception in the barn. And on that scorching hot evening, the idea of returning for Thanksgiving was hatched. I promise to share a few pictures of the event.

Blessings to one and all.