Monday, February 20, 2017

A Quilt to Bind

A quilt will soon be on its way to Florida, if I can make myself get really busy this week. DH and I had decided to gift a quilt to his brother and sister-in-law. We let them pick from several options and they selected Bradford's Star - a quilt top I made a number of years ago for a mystery project.

I found some remaining fabrics from the top and a great sale piece of coordinating fabric to use for backing. It was delivered to my quilter about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I saw her Friday morning and took delivery of the finish. Looks great!!

Various shots from it's early-morning photo shoot. I wanted to get it before the bright sun created streaks of light across it.

Maybe it will be in Florida by this time next week? Hope so!

I will be linking up with Monday Making over at Love Laugh Quilt. Click on over and have a peek.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How to Beat the February Doldrums

Mid-February in Ohio - while we are having a warmer than normal winter, the skies are quite cloudy and gray. In an effort to brighten that gloominess, I have a quilt and a flower to share with you today.

I continue to stitch on my paper-pieced lap quilt. It seems I've worked on this for ages, but I don't work steadily, so that is why. It is nice to keep my calloused fingers toughened up, though. I do enjoy hand quilting.

We - DH and I - have been eagerly awaiting the blooming of an amaryllis he bought on deep, deep discount just after Christmas. Well, it happened! Look at this glorious color! Sure to brighten any February day!

It sits in front of a west-facing window and has thrived there. What a beauty!

I discovered a new program to watch on Netflix while I quilt - Broadchurch. It is a British murder mystery from a few years ago that is quite compelling.

I will be linking up with  Slow Sunday Stitching - hope you'll have a look around!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Emma's Project

Here's a story of how a daughter's project becomes a mom's project - and, no, I am not complaining. I do have my own stuff to work on, but this is sorta' fun, and I might as well work on it as anything else I might do.

Just because it is visible on the design wall every time I walk into the sewing room, I've been spending a few odd moments here and there working on the baby quilt that Emma and I began last weekend. She wants to gift it to a friend who's baby shower is in April, and since I have offered to quilt it on my machine, I figured I'd just go ahead with the remaining sewing, as well.

Above all the horizontal rows are sewn together. I added two more rows than what we had originally, as I thought the quilt would be rather small, even for a baby quilt.

A closer view of the triangles and the variety of fabrics. A couple of these were in my stash; the rest Emma picked up at the Athens JoAnn Fabrics.

I like the backing she selected. There's definitely a triangle theme going on.

I have 4 of the 11 horizontal rows attached. My plan is to finish them today and get a quilt sandwich made soon so that I can get started quilting it. Some of those triangles are wobbly, and I sure hope that some batting and quilting will make them behave.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Recent Retail Therapy

It comes as no surprise to you regular readers that I rarely shop for fabric anymore. At some point in the last 7 years, I had this epiphany about the stash I have already amassed, and that continuing to add to it was senseless. I will never sew all of this fabric. Couple that realization with the increasing cost of fabric, it just became crystal clear that I needed to curb my buying. 

But I have not stopped entirely. Case in point, in the past month or so, I have splurged on some fat quarters. Wanna' see?

The fabric group above came from Old Town Fabric Shop in Chillicothe. I needed to go in for something - needles, I think. Anyway, I allowed myself to select a handful of pretty stuff based on a picture Emma and I had been looking at back when we were discussing a wall-hanging for her apartment. (I still need to get on that!) Anyway, this grouping struck me as pretty, in addition to being out of the norm for the type of fabric I usually go for. Branching out, you know? 

Last Friday, I met Sharon P. and Dee (you met her last fall) in Columbus for a lovely lunch at Marcella's at Polaris. It is a Cameron Mitchell restaurant which is synonymous for delicious food, in this case Italian. What a fabulous meal to linger over with friends. 

Then we hopped over to Quilt Beginnings on Sawmill Road for shopping. I had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket. Again, I shopped for fabrics that aren't typically 'me.' 

That first group I found appealing based on the colors - intense and saturated. Dee and Sharon suggested that they'd make great-looking zipper bags or a purse, and I agree. I bought an extra fat quarter of 2 fabrics, just for that purpose.

The next group makes me think of the fresh, spring-y quilts from my youth. Those prints look like vintage '60s to me, and the green accents all three. I might do some great granny squares with these. 

So far, I have done a lot of petting and fondling, unfolding and refolding. I sometimes hesitate to cut into pretty fabric, so I hope I can get on these soon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Emma's Making a Quilt!

I felt pretty doggone lucky a couple of years ago when DD1 - Erin - began making baby quilts for various friends who were pregnant. I would guess she's made 3 or 4 total. Having a daughter who had previously shown very little interest in quilting suddenly want to make them herself has been a happy, happy development, one that makes me quite proud!

Modern Baby Quilt  grey aqua white and navy by littlecolleydesign:

How could things get any happier? When the second daughter wants to do the same thing, of course! Yessss!! Emma, DD2, texted about a week ago asking if I would help her make a quilt for one of her former college roommates who is expecting a baby boy later this spring. Navy and gray were going to be the main colors in the nursery, so the quilt would pick up this colorway, as well. After sending an inspiration picture from Pinterest, (above) we began making plans. She scoured my stash, then went shopping for additional fabrics and she selected a backing, too.

I showed her how to cut 3.5" 60-degree triangles. After we had several cut, she went to the design wall and I finished cutting more of whatever fabric she wanted/needed.

I set her up at one machine and I was at the other, and we were off to the races! If we hadn't had a funeral visitation to go to, we would have finished all the rows. As it was, we only got about half of them together. She had to get back to Athens, so I did a bit more on my own and she promises to be back soon to continue.

Both girls had the full 10 years of 4-H sewing projects as they were growing up. And of course, my sewing machine was set up somewhere in the house all the time. They have definitely been exposed to sewing and quilting, but only now that they see them as viable gifts for others are they interested in making them. I think it's awesome. Quilts are wonderful gifts - so much time, thought, love, devotion all poured into the effort. It warms my heart that they show signs of wanting to continue the tradition.

I'm linking in with the quilters over at Quilt Infatuation today. Stay inspired!
I'v also linked with Crazy Mom Quilts and her Finish It Up Friday feature.
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Circular Stuff

Claudia and Denise were here yesterday and the class focus was circular piecing. Denise is actually the one who requested the class. So I went digging. Years and years ago I made a quilt using circular templates most typically known as Drunkard's Path. I still have that quilt top hanging in the closet.

The photo above is an early layout of the blocks. At this point, apparently, I'd only made the 7" blocks. In the photo below you can see that the finished top includes some smaller blocks. I have added 3 borders - light blue inner border, a narrow batik pieced middle border and a navy outer border. It's not a large quilt - probably a short twin.

But I digress. The focus yesterday was teaching these gals how to cut and piece these blocks. I also threw in a quick lesson on making a set-in circle just for variety's sake. I will get to that in a bit.

We started with cutting Drunkard's Path blocks and sewing them. I had several made ahead for them to see in 7" and 3.5" sizes.

After our introduction to this type of piecing, I showed them a nifty method for setting a circle into a piece of fabric. This was a technique I recalled learning back in '07 when a group of us went to a Ricky Tims seminar. I'd never done one myself, but they made it look effortless. A few weeks ago, I dug out my book from that seminar and made my sample.

The last time Claudia and Denise were here I used this sample to practice my free-motion quilting.

After they tried setting in a circle, they both opted to continue with making the Drunkard's Path blocks. I recommended doing a few of the larger 7" blocks to get the feel for making them, then doing a few 3.5" blocks - the smaller size it trickier; it helps to have the practice on the larger ones.

Between the machine quilting we did last time and the circular piecing we did yesterday, I think it's safe to say they want to do a lot of practicing. I can see them growing more and more confident as we move through some of these more difficult parts of quilting. They are willing to give just about any technique a try! Willingness is half the battle.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Claudia's Quilt Saga

You have met Claudia here many times. She came to me through a local art group when I offered a quilting class. Claudia was in every sense of the term a novice. She'd had no previous quilting experience. But one thing she did have was desire. Oh my goodness, to think how she has progressed!

But this post is not about her growth as a quilter. You can search back through old posts to see her progress. No, today's post is about lost quilts and found quilts.

Summer Breeze
Disappearing 9-Patch

After Claudia had made a couple of quilt tops, she was interested in getting them quilted with the intention of giving them as Christmas gifts. Now this all would have happened in early 2016 - maybe April or May - plenty of time for quilts to be done for Christmas. I recommended my go-to quilter, Terry, and gave Terry's number to Claudia. At that point it was for them to arrange.

Throughout the summer, Claudia asked me a couple of times whether or not Terry would have her quilts finished. I knew that Terry had been having terrible mechanical troubles with her machine, so I wasn't surprised that it seemed to take awhile. I was so swamped with commissions of my own, that I really didn't think too much on it. I do remember, however, Terry mentioning that Claudia had called and asked about her quilts. Terry said she didn't have any of Claudia's quilts.

And this was the beginning of a great mystery. Claudia dropped off the quilts as instructed "in a plastic bag on the unlocked screened porch in back," yet Terry didn't have them?? What on earth had happened?

It all became clear in late summer or early autumn. I had a longer conversation with Claudia and when she described where she'd dropped off the quilts, I knew that she'd gone to the wrong address. A large plastic bag containing two finished quilt tops, batting and backings had been dropped off at Terry's neighbor's house. Now to get the neighbor involved and to discover what had become of Claudia's quilts.

The neighbor is away from home a lot - something about frequently visiting children and grandchildren. On several different occasions, all three of us - Claudia, Terry and I - attempted to make contact with her to no avail. Messages were left with no response. Finally, really late in the fall, Terry called me as she was leaving her driveway to tell me that people were home at her neighbor's and that it might me a good time to call right then. Rather than call, I sent a text.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Finally, a response! She knew that a bag of quilts had been left on her porch. She had given them very little thought with her being on the go so much and knowing that the previous owner of her house had been a quilter. It was her assumption that the previous owner would straighten out the confusion, so she just left them alone. She had never considered that someone looking for Terry might have gotten the address wrong. The long and the short of it is that the quilts were recovered. The neighbor took them over to Terry who made contact with Claudia and eventually, the quilts got quilted.  It was much too late to have these done before Christmas, but they are done now, and that is what you see above.

You can imagine Claudia's surprise, relief and excitement at hearing the good news. That was a phone call I was more than happy to make!

I love a story with a happy ending. And we had all gotten to the point that we were likely going to have a terrible ending! Think of all the possibilities!

Now since you have been overloaded with reading, I will show you some more of Claudia's quilts. She really has become quite prolific.

Monkey Wrench Table Topper

Colorful Wall Hanging

Herringbone quilt

Pieced Backing

Summer Breeze Close Up
Tomorrow, Claudia and Denise will be back for 'quilt school.' The lesson will be piecing circular shapes. I have prepped some things for them and will give you all an update soon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!