Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Post of 2009

What a wacky month!

1. I still don't have my own computer, although I am studying laptop options very diligently.

2. I've made 2 trips to Jacksonville, FL, to see my son Adam. The second trip was a solo drive to deliver a pickup truck to him. I've never made such a long trip all by myself, so I consider myself quite the adventurer now! Southern Ohio to Jacksonville was roughly 850 miles. I did 650 miles on the 26th, and the remainder on the 27th.

3. And, alas, I could probably count the number of hours I've spent on sewing and quilting on one hand. It's been bad. However, I knitted a scarf and handstitched a boatload of yo-yos. So some handiwork has resulted from these hands.

My camera is chock-full of great pictures I want to post here on the blog, and my head is formulating post topics. Not many of the pics are of quilts; mostly I've chronicled the many and varied events of the month.

As I look at the year's accomplishments in the quilting realm, I will focus on the positives.

1. I've enjoyed the company of a new group of quilt friends who graciously invited me to join them every other Friday morning, 9-noon, for quilting and companionship. In addition to our regular get-togethers, we've taken a few jaunts to quilt shops, and one of the girls hosted us with our husbands for a dinner party.

2. I've made progress on my first quilt of retirement.

3. I finished several UFOs.

4. I began this blog.

I could probably come up with more, but it's late, and my thinking cap is drowsy!

I resolve, in 2010, to be a better blogger and a more prolific quilter.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas, Blog Friends

The month of December has flown right by, and here we sit on Christmas Eve already! My shopping is finished, all the gifts are wrapped. I might take a quick jaunt out to the grocery later, but everything I plan to accomplish today can be done in the confines of my own cozy  home.

The computer situation is still not corrected, but a new laptop is in my immediate future. The old PC was too far gone to repair. The repair shop did save my personal data from it, so when I select my laptop, I will take it to them to get my stuff back!

So very little has been happening in the sewing room, unfortunately. I made a trip to Jacksonville at the beginning of the month, and it looks like I will be going again right after Christmas. I am glad to be able to see DS again so soon.

The New Year's Resolutions list is being formulated, and topping off that list is to be more diligent about 1) getting more quilting done, and 2) blogging more regularly.

 May the road to Grandma's house be peaceful and warm, whether it be a real trip or the memory lane variety. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Technology Is Letting Me Down!

I am so sad to be all the way to December 12th, and doing my first post of the month!!  My computer caught a virus, and the repair guy is quite at his wits end as to how to fix me! I am posting this evening on my daughter's laptop. And there'll be no pics as a result.

So a lot has been going on in the 3 weeks since I last posted. We had Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for my son, a sailor in the US Navy stationed in Jacksonville, FL, he fell asleep at the wheel while making the trip to his Uncle Eric's near Tampa. He suffered a concussion, and a total loss on his car. Thankfully, no one else was involved, and he's determined to see the accident as positively as possible. How lucky to come out with only slight injuries!!

Because of his circumstances, (and being so far from Mom and Dad!) I flew down to visit him for a few days after the Thanksgiving traffic settled down. We had a great, albeit limited, time together. I last saw him in March! He looked good, and seemed really glad to have good old mom come for a visit.

I like Jacksonville, too! I felt as though I navigated around the city quite well. I rented a Ford Focus which suited me well, and my hotel was close to my son's home. Since his car was wrecked, I got up early to pick him up and take him to work at NAS -- Naval Air Station. It, too, was conveniently located to both my hotel and Adam's house.

While in Jacksonville, I used the free time I had while Adam was at work to scope out some quilt shops. I have some great pictures to share once my computer situation is rectified. I found 3 shops very close to me and one in particular was very, very nice. I dropped quite a sum of money with that fine establishment!

Unfortunately, I came home from JAX with a terrible cold, which laid me up for about 4 days. I've been playing "catch up" ever since, and finally feel like I'm up to speed today. Did some Christmas shopping with DH today, and did a bit of outdoor decorating, too.

So, for my 13 followers, that is a brief update on my life since the end of November.

My progress on the Thimbleberries Patchwork Snowflake Quilt has been so slow. I've finally got all 30 blocks finished. I am cutting out the setting blocks and the side and corner triangles.  Pictures, soon, I promise!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Planning Future Projects

Yes, I know I have a UFO list over there in the sidebar sneering at me, but I just can't help thinking about the next new project I might begin. As I've been cleaning my sewing room, I've uncovered some buried treasures that are getting me excited to have a long stretch of sewing days ahead of me.

This (above) is a project from American Patchwork and Quilting called "Enduring Elegance." The fabric (most of it) is called Aviary.

This is a grouping of various fat quarter packs I've collected in recent years. What will they become?

Here is a kit I bought from one of the popular magazines (I don't remember which). It's called American Rose. Won't it be gorgeous?

I'm barely scratching the surface of the stash!
I could spend a year just working down the Kaffe Fasset collection I've accumulated! Doesn't that look exciting?

(Blissful sigh.)

I love quilting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two Best Words in the English Language

Every 3rd week of the month, with occasional exceptions around Christmas, the local Ben Franklin store has this sign out front. I've lived here for over 17 years, all the years when my kids were growing up. Whenever we'd pass this sign, I'd point and exclaim, "Ahh, two of the best words in the English language!" (I was brainwashing them.)

Why are there also potatoes on the sign? Interesting thing about our Ben is inside a local grocery. It's quite a unique little set-up. I've only seen it elsewhere in Amish country. But we are not Amish country (although quite a few are relocating here because of the availability of farmland).

But I digress.

The grocery is one of 2 that serves this little town, and this one has been here for generations, from what I've learned. When we first moved  here, a Radio Shack was also housed inside; it has since moved out. The Ben Franklin remains, and is a close-to-home fabric supplier to area quilters who prefer not to drive an hour or more to a larger metropolitan center. The girls who work there are knowlegable and helpful, and learn who their repeat customers are very quickly. One of my favorites retired last year (or has it been 2?), and this store, like most businesses, is reducing workforce to cut costs. The girls sometimes split their time between manning the Ben Franklin and cashiering on the grocery aisles.

Rumors go out every once in a while that the BF corporate office plans to close our little store. So far those have been just that - rumors. I don't buy as much there as I used to, mostly because I have truly reached a saturation point as far as my stash goes. However, I do try to make purchases whenever I can just to help them with customers counts. They carry what they call "flat folds" as very reasonable sale prices, and often one will find some of the top fabric designers on the flat fold table, so it's not inferior quality, at all. They have a very nice variety of homespuns, panels, flannels, Christmas prints, and lots more. For such a tiny part of a big grocery, they are very aware of what the quilters want and/or need.

My plan for today was to clean my sewing room. I did not. (Although the day is not over yet.) I did, however, get 4 more snowflake blocks completed, and I sewed a ton of 4-patch units to finish up the remaining 7 snowflakes yet to be made. Progress is progress, even in fits and starts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Little Victories

Little Victories. That is the name of a book I read about 20 (?) years ago. It was about victories in the classroom. Well, the victories I want to share today involve entirely different subjects.

First I am winning the Squirrel Wars.

Mr. Squirrel is deciding that cayenne pepper is not for him.

We have the fattest, most plump little fellows living in the woods behind our house. They are accustomed to feasting regularly on the delicious sunflower seeds we put out to attract birds to our feeders. They are quite the little pigs, and nearly clean us out in 2 or 3 days! Determined to get them to eat the field corn we bought for them, I set out to learn how to keep them out of the bird feeders. From an internet search, I learned that squirrels don't like ground cayenne pepper! I just sprinkled it in the tray of each feeder and waited on the little devils to show up. Sure enough, one did, as the picture above shows him in all his fat, healthy little furriness.

After checking all the sides of both feeders, he scampered off to tell his friends and family, I hope. He skittered out anyway. I don't know if squirrels tell each other about the lousy food or not.

This tiny 1-oz. jar cost $3.69. Pricey, but if it saves me in the price of birdseed, then worth it. Now that I know it works, I will look for it in bulk to get a better price.

My second little victory is that I got out at 7:00 this morning and walked 2.5 miles! Ever since retiring, I have tried to discipline myself to establish a walking routine. I have walked with my friend Vickie for many years, but we are such wimps, and our schedules don't match up as well as they used to. Really, we don't try all that hard, most of the time. Discipline is something I lack, so I will have to really work on this to make it a habit. But for one day, I am celebrating a victory!

As I was finishing the walk, red-faced, hot, and huffing and puffing: a really huge woman drove by. It was startling just how big she was! It made me think that I was glad to have walked. I passed her later driving through the middle of town and she was eating fast food. Again, I was glad I had walked.

Now, I have not been victorious in getting to my sewing machine as much as I would like. I've been distracted by some committee work lately. That will come to an end tonight when we meet to make 165 cheese balls for charity! Whew, I sure will be glad when that is done!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gettin' Stuff Done, But Not Fast Enough!

The list for this day is quite long, and I'm afraid sewing on my Snowflake blocks takes its spot way down on that list. Topping the list is getting my car in for some brake work, finalizing committee work for a group I belong to, and tidying this house for the quilt group who will be here Friday morning.

I did take a little walk out back just a bit ago, however, because I could see one tiny splash of color in the back of the flower bed.

A stubborn coneflower determinedly shows off the last of its colors here in the middle of Ohio.

The flower bed borders the front of a wooded area behind our house. DH has painstakingly groomed the backyard and has begun clearing some of the underbrush in those woods, so it is quite a lovely setting. I hope he continues to go further back into the woods, as it is such an inviting, picturesque part of the yard.

Standing tall against the November leaf cover.

I have begun to gather pictures of the 4 retirement quilts that my GFs have made since 2001. I've already shared a picture of mine, which they presented me at the end of May '09. Here it is again:

My retirement quilt made of Kaffe Fasset fabrics.

Here is Sherrie's quilt.

We always use the same pattern - a star quilt by Thimbleberries. It was featured on the cover of one of her books (North Bay Quilts. The pattern is Christmas Confetti.) 

Someone usually takes the lead in organizing the fabric selection and cutting. The necessary pieces for 2 blocks is then distributed to the rest of the group, and a deadline is established for returning the finished blocks. Usually we get a snow day sometime in January or February for stitching together the top, and then someone sets up the date with the longarm quilter. The retiree is roasted at a luncheon or after-school event (we are all teachers and retired teachers, in case I hadn't mentioned it.) This is all done in secret - secret from the soon-to-be retiree. Of course, we've done it enough times now that we know it's happening, but believe me, the finished quilt is truly a surprise!

I need to take pictures of 2 more - Kay's and Lyn's. I won't forget!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Quilting Tradition

Every year since 2001 or 2002 (we discussed this to death! no one can come up with the definitive year), a group of good friends has met on Veterans' Day (when all of us worked, we had the day off) to quilt. Originally, the event was an overnight quilt, but since this Veterans' Day was mid-week, we went with a full day. Our hostess said she would be ready for quilters as early as 6am, and that breakfast would be served around 8am.

Each of us were to bring our sewing machines, necessary tools, our projects, and a dish for lunching or munching.

Here are a few pics of the day's fun.

This was breakfast.

Continued work on my snowflake blocks.

Kay is binding a quilt for her grandson.

Sharon is pressing some half-square triangle blocks.

Pam scrapbooked.

Sherrie stippled a wall-hanging for her grandson's nursery.

Linda's guilt quilt. (It's a long story.)

We always have such fun on this day. Several of us have loved ones currently or formerly in the military, so we always remember them. Since our first year, several of us have retired, so we don't often have a nice long block of time together like this. Reconnecting is wonderful, and we get so much done, too!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tea With My Book Club

This afternoon, the Bibliomaniacs, a dear little book club I belong to, went on a most awesome outing. We drove over towards Cowan Lake, in Clinton County, to Lucy and Ethel's Country Tea Room for a delightfully indulgent luncheon. The photo above was taken on my cell phone and does not do justice to the beauty of the foods that were prepared. We had 2 flavors of hot tea, and one iced tea. There were at least 4 courses to our meal - but the meal was the tiniest of foods! The spread on the plates pictured here came after the scones and shortbread course, and the soup course. The bottom plate of the tiered server contains desserts. Our hostess had a "bonus" or surprise course even after that which consisted of homemade lemon cream ice cream! It and everything she served was just heavenly.

Instead of reading a book for this month's meeting, we agreed to bring and share a poem over our lunch. Each poem shared was lovely, and absolutely fit the mood of a sunny fall day in a southern Ohio tea room.

As we were leaving Lucy and Ethel's, we realized that we were just over 10 years old as a book club! What a nice way to celebrate. We have had a few changes in members since our inception, but we seven who are currently active have been very steady for most of those 10 years.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stash Building!

Yeah, I know I've been blogging periodically about reducing the stash, but when this lovely new Moda fabric came out, I just had to place an order.

It's Rouenneries by French General for Moda. I fell in love with it when I first saw it on the web months ago. When Hancock's of Paducah came out with it in their catalog, I promptly put in a hefty order! It has been coming in rather piecemeal, but it's fun that way -- prolongs the anticipation!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Unearthing More UFOs

Oh, my.

How does one do so much work on a project and then put it away to be forgotten? This beauty was hiding in a project tub in my sewing room, waiting for at least 2 years for me to return to it!

These pictures illustrate several of my quilting preferences.

First, I do love handwork - I have always liked hand-quilted quilts, and have done several, so I know the commitment it requires. I love hand-piecing, too. Especially so when I am traveling because it affords me the luxury of being on the road, and still accomplishing a quilt-related task. I also like it when I don't particularly want to be hidden away in the farthest part of the house (my sewing room),  preferring, instead, to be engaged in family activities downstairs.

Second, I like paisley prints. A lot. There are countless varieties in my stash. This red typifies my tastes perfectly.

And last, I like 2-color quilts. The red will be consistent throughout the quilt top, but I have used a variety of 3 neutrals for a scrappy look, which I also like. All from my stash, I might add. Even 6 or 8 years ago, my estimate of when I began this project, I was trying to attack the stash.

It surprises me that I have so much done on this! The blocks measure 8.5 inches; there are 20 star blocks completed, and 23 stepping stone blocks completed. The 3rd picture shows the pieces that are cut out, and a few star 'points' that await completion! I will keep this project out and try to get more done over the course of the winter. It's begging to be finished.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snowflake block construction

It has been my good fortune the last couple of days to have time for working industriously on my Snowflake quilt. I need 30 blocks and have 5 totally done, and several more in progress. That might seem like a slow pace to some, but I am pleased with that progress. For me, it's remarkable, believe me!

Here are the steps of construction. First, each block needs 4 4-patch units.

Next, there are 4 flying geese units.

Finally, these units are sewn together with a 4-1/2 inch center square in 9-patch fashion.

I am trying a technique I've never tried before on those flying geese units. Customarily, I cut away both excess fabrics when a the corner square is sewn diagonally onto the 2-1/2 x4-1/2 inch rectangle. This time, though, I am just cutting away the middle layer. This leaves the full rectangle intact, and really affords me greater precision when it comes to joining the two geese together with a crisp point. I like that. Since this quilt will most likely be machine quilted, I don't think the extra layer of fabric will make much of a difference, but it makes a huge difference in the accuracy with which my blocks are coming together. Here are a few shots of the flying geese units I've just described.

It's a bit hard to see the stitching on the back of the middle photo, but while I am sewing this step, I can see exactly where I need to place the needle to get the point just right.

One of my rules MUST be to use only the fabric in my stash. I prefer using what I have except in dire circumstances. In digging through the closets, bins, tubs and drawers, I found 2 fabrics that I might use for the alternate blocks and the side and corner triangles (blocks are set on point). Here is what I've decided for now. I figure I have time to change my mind, so it's tentative, but likely, I suppose.

The paisley will be the side and corner triangles, while the other will be the alternate blocks. If I change my mind on either, it will be the dot fabric. It is from a Christmas line by Robyn Pandolph by Moda, and while I have no problem with it on it's own, I think I would like to have little navy blue dot clusters as opposed to the green ones.  Also, my neutral in the snowflake block is more gray, and the dot is a bit more beige.
The jury is still out. Opinions welcome.

Fabrics in the snowflake:
Navy paisley: Faye Burgos by Marcus Brothers
Neutral: Peace in the Country by Carole Endres and Benartex

Fabric for side and corner triangles:
Paisley: Butternut and Blue by Brackman and Thompson plus Culpepper Courthouse for Moda (what kind of name is that?) 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Keeping Busy

I finally allowed myself to begin a new project. The work on UFOs had to be done, but I'm much happier when I get to start a new quilt. (Strange how I can start so many, and finish so few!)

Here is my cutting phase:

And, I just couldn't wait to make a block, so here it is:

So, the fabric is from my stash. I had 2 different cuts of the blue, which means I bought it twice. I must have really liked it! And I still do! The pattern is a Thimbleberries one, called Patchwork Snowflake, from the book Cottage Comfort, I believe. I've liked this pattern ever since I bought the book, and I am  happy to be making it, finally! My snowflakes will all be this blue paisley, whereas the pattern shows a variety of fabrics for a scrappier look. I will try very hard to make myself finish this quilt and not get sidetracked onto other stuff. I am notorious for starting things and never finishing them.

I do tend to get sidetracked...for example, I love to read, so if I have a good book going, the rest of the world might as well just wait, because there's no hope of getting much out of me until it's finished. Then, there's the usual mom-and-family stuff that tends to take priority, as it should. I imagine that I am no different from most quilters. The hobby has to be fit in around the obligations.

Walked 2 miles this evening with Vickie and really enjoyed that. We have only this week left before the time change, so we felt sort of pressed to make the most of the lovely evening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Did You Know That I Retired??

Well, I don't like to brag about all this free time I have, but...

Actually, what my retired friends have been telling me is true: it's hard to believe a retired person can be so busy! How did I ever get anything done when I was working?

At the end of May I completed 30 years of teaching high school English at CHS. That being a Friday, my dear GFs had a little shindig at a local eating establishment - one that featured a lovely patio for outdoor dining. We wore tiaras and boas; what a raucous group we were!

The tradition with this group of friends has been that the retiring friend gets a quilt made by the rest of us in ssshhh...s-e-c-r-e-t! After about 4 retirements, though, it was sorta' hard to keep that secret. We have used the same quilt pattern for every retirement quilt, and I suspect that we will continue to use it, as it is fun to see how totally different each retiree's quilt is from the others. We typically select fabrics based on the retiree's interests or color schemes.  One friend loves blue and white quilts, so naturally that was what we used for her quilt. Another decorates with a lot of Americana, so hers was red, white and blue. 

Here's what they made for me:

Once upon a time, I would only consider traditional fabrics and quilts. That all changed when I discovered they eye-popping intensity of Kaffe Fassett designs. I became an extreme fanatic. Isn't this a beauty?

Doing this in secret is quite an accomplishment. One or two will take the lead and cut fabrics for all the stars, then distribute to the rest. Generally,  individuals are assigned 2 stars to make by a given deadline, and then, somehow, the group schedules a secret sewing day for construction of the top. It works pretty well, actually.

The pattern is from Lynette Jensen's Thimbleberries book, North Bay Quilts. It is featured on the cover and is called Christmas Confetti. I ought to get all the other retired girls to bring their quilts on an outing so we can get pictures. The study in contrasts would be interesting.

Here's the label they signed and attached to the back. Isn't the swirly quilting a nice touch for this very lively quilt?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

UFO List is Shrinking!

A shrinking UFO list certainly brightens my day, because that means I have been productive! Last weekend I finished the 2nd baby quilt, and now I am celebrating this weekend with the completion of Erin's Urban Chic quilt top!! Yippity-doo-dah!

After much quilt math, I cut the borders. You know how my brain cramped up with that - I taught English for 30 years. No math for me!!

The fabric, from what I can tell, is all by Joel Dewberry from Westminster. I thought some might be Amy Butler, but in looking at all selvages, I see only JD represented.

What makes a person succumb so dreadfully to procrastination? There is no viable excuse to make up for taking 2 years to complete this quilt. Appalling! I shopped with dear friend Sharon on a beautiful, sunny October afternoon in Columbus back in 2007 and found this fabric. Over the course of the next several weeks, I made the top, and stopped at the point where borders were needed. In order to add borders, I was going to have to buy more fabric. (The usual result of buying fabric with no clear purpose or pattern.) With Erin's input, we selected the pieces she wanted and ordered them online. I wrapped the border fabrics and backing as a Christmas 2007 gift to Erin. My plan was to whip out those borders and give the quilt to her quickly!! And the work thus far was indeed done remarkably fast for me.

Loooonnnnng paaaauuuuse. . .in November 2008, I packed this project off to an overnight quilting party that one of the GFs has each year. It never made it out of my bag. Instead, I worked on a different UFO. When summer 2009 rolled around, with this project so near to being completed, I knew I had to get in gear!! Newly retired, I was determined not to start any more quilts before getting some UFOs taken care of first.

So now we find ourselves in October 2009, and the sweet "Urban Chic" (my name for it, not the pattern) quilt has finally acquired its borders!

I've made the call to Linda, the local long-arm quilter friend, and she will be able to work it into her increasingly busy schedule the week after next. Erin may just have this quilt on her bed before Christmas!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Here's What I Bought

It's a gray day here in south-central Ohio. Rain is due in later. Perfect day for working on a quilt. I am going to quit procrastinating as soon as I finish off this post. My plan is to get the borders on Erin's quilt - the one I refer to as her Urban Chic quilt. I will get good pics as I get it out and make progress.

In Monday's post, I chronicled the outing to Belpre, OH, with a group of quilting friends. I failed to take any pictures of the day's haul, however, and wanted to share said haul here. Incredibly, I bought only one little charm pack. Isn't she gorgeous? I have a good bit of the Aviary fabric for a quilt I want to make. This pack will go toward a Schnibbles.

Instead of buying fabric, I was inspired by the delightful store displays to begin my Christmas shopping! Don't tell any of the GFs, but here's what's going into their Christmas gift bags. Santa did good, right?

Do you think there's something wrong with me? I mean, going all the way to a Belpre quilt shop, nearly 3 hours one way, and I only buy a charm pack? That might mean I've come down with some dread disease? Or, it could just mean that I know I have enough fabric, already, and I am just being super- selective with my stash-building?  Hmmm...

Time for borders...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby Quilts Finished and a Shopping Trip

Yesterday we celebrated the 2nd birthday of my sweet nieces. I was able to get the second quilt done in time, but barely! I was stitching in the car on the way to their house while DH did the driving. I committed the BIG SIN: I did not put labels on either quilt. I figure that at some point I will get 2 labels prepared, and when I am over there, I can stitch them on.

Today, the fun quilting group I've joined took a field trip to Neff's Country Loft, a shop in Belpre, OH. I'd never, to my knowlege, been over in that area of the state, so this was an adventure for me. In addition to carrying a healthy assortment of reproduction fabrics, Neff's had a lot of country-oriented decorating and gift items. The array was so vast that I began my Christmas shopping!! It was a satisfying excursion. After a delicious soup and salad lunch in Athens, we headed back home. Made a stop at a very unique store in Jackson which sells discount fabrics, both upholstery and quilt varieties, as well as a fair amount of fleece.

We were back home by 3-ish, and I was able to meet my walking friend, Vickie, and get our 2 miles in before dark. For such a wonderful day, it certainly started out with a bit of alarm. My 17-year-old daughter woke up with a fever and achiness. Needlesss to say, she missed school, and I was prepared to miss the outing. Within an hour, though, she was asking for breakfast before going back to bed. So I knew the flu wasn't a concern. She assured me it was fine with her that I take off, so I did. (No bad mother guilt, either!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Such a shame...

This beautiful building is my alma mater, Hillsboro High School, in Hillsboro, OH. She has reigned over the west end of Main Street since 1934. Today, the front page of the local newspaper shows the beginnings of its demolition. The community voted for a new school several years ago, and as a consequence, this lovely building is meeting its demise. With the slow economy, there were no offers made to purchase or rent the structure. The school board could not afford to keep it maintained, so the only alternative was to have it razed.

Three generations of our family are HHS graduates. My mother was a member of the class of 1954, as was 3 of her 4 siblings. I graduated in 1975. My 2 brothers and 2 sisters graduated from there: 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981. All of my sisters- and brothers- in-law are graduates. Six of my nieces and nephews are HHS graduates. It was a big part of our lives, a common thread, if you will.

So, as progress takes beautiful, stately buildings such as this, I accept it, but do so with a fair amount of nostalgia.  Those of us who knew her will miss her sorely.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Under a Week; Right on Target!

A tiny little celebration occurred last night as I took the 2nd baby quilt out of the quilt frame. I now need to machine stitch the binding on, then sit for an evening hand sewing it in place. The twins' birthday is Sunday, and I am lining myself up for the finish with time to spare!

Here is a picture of the sweeties, taken last Wednesday, when I babysat them for an evening. Do you know how difficult it is to get 2 kids this age to sit side by side long enough to snap a picture? And they were being cooperative!! Meet Mary Jean and Anna Rose.

Sidebar story of interest: I had a chance to babysit the little darlings today, but (I can't believe this next part!) I declined. Oh, what a decision! First, I'd have had to be out of the house before 6:30 AM!, as they live about 45 min. away from us. That would mean hitting the shower before 6, leaving Kevin and Emma without breakfast (I'd promised them French Toast today). And, as if all that wasn't enough, I collected essays from my 3 classes last Thursday, and I'd set aside today to read and grade them before returning to class tomorrow. (Remember, I took that little job at the branch; 2 days per week; 3 classes; freshman comp; stash enhancement funding.) And finally, the little ones are unable to go to day care because they are feverish with sinus infections. So they wouldn't exactly be pleasant and fun , as they usually are.

Last week I managed a quick trip to Waynesville's Fabric Shack, for a glorious hour of browsing and touching many, many fabrics. Here is what I bought:

I don't have the foggiest clue what I will make with these fabrics, but I had to get something!! :-)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Next Big Finish

I am so very close to taking the second baby quilt out of the quilt frame! I might even get the final stitches into it before turning in for the night. It would be a hugely satisfying accomplishment, let me tell you.

And, the near-completion on this quilt has led me to begin thinking of the next UFO on my list. Here is the fabric:

I believe it is a combination of Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry fabrics from about 3 years ago. In my UFO list on the right, I am referring to this as Erin's Urban Chic quilt, as it is for my older daughter Erin's Columbus apartment. I have it finished up to the borders. The pattern I used was ... maybe Turning Twenty?? I'm thinking it was a different one, but equally fast and simple. Anyway, here it is:

I should be ashamed of myself for taking so long to finish this quilt. Erin  helped me pick out the fabrics she wanted featured in the borders and on the back. It should have been done at least a year ago. Anyway, as soon as the baby quilt is finished, this is the one I am going to finish up next.

About the quality of my photos...I do not have a photo editing program, so what I've used on this blog so far has been straight out of my camera. I anticipate that in the next week or so I am going to have an editing program, so I will work hard to learn how to use it. Eventually, the quality of my photos should show significant improvement.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hi, My Name's Jayne, and I'm a Fabri-holic

There. I said it. I've admitted my addiction. The great thing about this kind of addiction, however, is that I don't have to stop any of my current behaviors. I can continue to hoard, increase the size of the stash, and it's all in the name of planning future projects.

This is a pic of the early stages of my Kaffe Fassett collecting. This picture was taken in May of '08, and pretty much shows all I had of his fabric at the time. Today, we'd have to have a mighty wide lens to see what I've added to this particular stash. I have it all neatly folded and stacked in a gi-normous clear plastic tub. It is so full that I cannot lift this tub, and the lid will not attach, as I've overflowed the top.

I remember a time when I wouldn't even take a second glance at his bright and gawdy creations. For example, in September of '07, on a weekend quilt outing, a quilting girlfriend bought a book and some fabrics of his, and I barely gave it notice. She was all excited to do some particular project, but I wouldn't budge from my firm traditional quilt fabrics. My how I've come around!

I've not forsaken the traditional, however! I still collect reproduction fabrics - to excess! - but I've branched out to romantic florals and batiks, in addition to the Kaffe. This quilt on my design wall is of fat-quarter batiks I collected over the course of a few months. I have since finished this top and it is ready to be taken to a long-arm quilter.

As for the romantic florals, what do you think of the "shabby chic" quilt above? It is a Carrie Nelson pattern called Tag Sale. I had a large pack of fat quarters with no intended purpose, so it went into this quilt. I needed to augment just a bit with eight or 10 additional fabrics from my stash. So this is truly a quilt made entirely from fabrics I had on hand. See, there is a reason to hoard! This quilt came together super-fast. I was so into it! It is definitely a pattern that begs to be made again and again.And I think I will!

Okay, I'm going up to the sewing room to take a picture of the overflowing tub of KF fabrics. It will illustrate to all just how far I've fallen into my fabric-collecting addiction. Will add shortly...promise.

Here it is! The heaviest tub of fabric in my sewing room: the Kaffe Fassett tub. It's sitting in the middle of the floor because 1)  as I said before, I can't lift it, and 2) the closet is full. Of fabric. Yeah, I know. I already admitted to the addiction.