Sunday, July 31, 2011

Goal Changes

At the beginning of 2011, I made a list of quilts I hoped to make this year. As we finish out the 7th month of this grand year, I feel an urgency to change some of those goals. Already, my 2011 goals are a bit off. I'd only planned on making 1 blue Kaffe, but I've made 2. (Good for me!!)

You see, a few new quilts have come onto my radar, and suddenly they seem really essential.

I've recently rediscovered this book which I've had for ages. Mulberry Lane by Teri Christopherson.

Lavender Fields and Chantilly. Both of these are calling to me. Use up the stash, right??

I mentioned in the last post that I was being tugged very strongly by the Breath of Avignon fabric; I fully expect that I will be working on it in the coming month. I looked through this book today ~

~ and I found this strippy quilt that might work with the ideas I'm having for BofA fabric.

All these pic were taken hurriedly; glare - sorry. This is called Scratch.
Also, in the same book, I'm really taking a long, hard look at this one ~

Plan C

I've not mentioned it here, I don't think, but a few weeks back I cut out the fronts of 12 Ohio State t-shirts. I will make this quilt and give it to DH. (Can you believe I've never made him a quilt???)

Go Buckeyes!! Big fans in our house!

Someone else very near and dear to me indicated that a certain quilt was especially appealing to her. It will be a quickie, but a very nice Christmas surprise, too!! *wink-wink* I may or may not use these Kaffe beauties on it.

So, my currently listed items on the goals for 2011 might get shoved down on the to-do list, while these others take their spots. I still feel like I am getting quite a lot finished this year. Hope I can keep a steady pace. Going into fall, I head back to my adjunct position at OU-C, so I've less time for sewing. Perhaps I need to get several cut out so there will always be something to stitch whenever I find a few minutes or hours to work.

Tomorrow, Sharon will be over for a day of sewing together. We've had several weeks of conflicts in our schedules and haven't sewn together since early July. Last time I spoke with her, she had started her own blue Kaffe. Hope that's what she works on tomorrow so I can take a picture! Another friend, Kay, has also made some blue Kaffe quilts; I will ask permission to show her quilts, too.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finished Top ~ Economy Blue

Well, it's not the most perfect quilt top I've ever made, but I finished it. I hope that when it's quilted, the "waviness" will be subdued and will look acceptable.

The inner section consistes of 36 small square-in-a-square blocks. The same sized blocks also form the border. The remaining blocks are larger square-in-a-square blocks. Well, the big blocks and the little blocks decided not to play nice together. The smaller blocks had to be eased quite extensively to fit the larger blocks. I suppose I could have gone back and made adjustments, but I opted to keep on sewing.

Ten or 12 years ago, I made a quilt with many triangles, and it too was a bit wonky in places. My grandmother hand-quilted it for me, and she managed to "quilt out" the fullness. Today, after a few washings, it looks loved and wonderfully puckery, just like quilts are supposed to look! See for yourself, below. (It's also peeking out in the picture in my header on this blog.)

I hand-pieced this quilt called English Elegance roughly 10 years ago.

I hope that will be the case with Economy Blue.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Know It's Crazy, But...

...I haven't finished the borders on Economy Blue, and all I can think about is the next quilt I want to make! Are all quilters like this??

Economy Blue with top and side border placed, but not sewn.
I have a lovely bin of fabric from a year or two back called A Breath of Avignon by Sandy Clop/American Jane for Moda. It's been behaving itself in its bin all these many months, but here in the last week, it will just not be quiet!!

The roaring bin of A Breath of Avignon; 1-yd. and 1/2-yd. cuts plus 2 charm packs.

It began as a whisper; then when I ignored it, the whispers became a bit louder, and finally, these past couple of days, I'm dealing with a definite ROAR coming from the bin in the sewing room. A French roar, mind you, but a roar, nonetheless.

Wouldn't it be roaring at you, too??

I don't dare start cutting this fabric until I have Economy Blue's borders attached.

These are the remaining blocks with which the other side and bottom borders will be constructed.

And one additional, yet significant factor to consider before cutting, a dilemma: my B of A collection contains very few neutrals, and a number of border prints. I'm feeling the need to be very selective with the patten I choose to use for this fabric. I've been paging through a lot of quilt books and magazines, searching for inspiration. At present, I'm leaning toward a strippy quilt, using the border fabrics to create the columns. Since I'm rather favoring the simple, get-em-done-fast quilts, I like the idea of big blocks, perhaps 4-patch or 9-patch on point. Perhaps an Ohio Star. Or a Churn Dash. Or I could mix it up and have a variety of blocks on point in the pieced strips of a strippy quilt.

Any ideas from readers would surely be appreciated.

A tangent that sorta' relates, but not exactly...I was reading blogs a bit ago and came across Creature Comforts, one that I've just recently begun to follow. Her topic today is Color Crush. I really like the recognition that we go through "crushes" with particular colors becoming our favorite for awhile - be it a week or a month or whatever.

I admit it: I've got a Breath of Avignon Crush going on.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Economy Blue Update

I've been working steadily on my Economy Blue quilt from this book by Kaffe Fassett.

I now have all the blocks constructed; this was very easy, just took a little time. All the blocks are square-in-a-square with some adding on a third square. Take a look.

I needed 48 dark centers surrounded with light. Here's a sampling, above.

I needed 48 light centers surrounded by dark, and here's a sampling of those.

Then there are larger blocks. Above is the light center and light outer block. The outer fabric will be the same on all the larger blocks with light centers. (Following that??) I needed 20 of these blocks.

Then I needed 20 larger blocks with dark centers and dark outer fabric. Again, this dark outer fabric will be the same on all the larger blocks with dark centers.

I loved these dark blocks. I took pics of several of them.

Scrumptious, aren't they?

So, tomorrow, I will begin the construction process of putting the blocks together to form the quilt top.

The top is constructed in units. I really like the look, although I never would have come up with it on  my own. Thankfully there are wonderful designers out there who do the creative parts for me!

Here are the 2 shots from the book of this particular quilt. Breathtaking. I've loved this quilt since the first time I saw it. I am so happy to be making one of my very own after all these years!

So, my "blue period" continues. Just like Pablo Picasso. He had a blue period, too, although his blue period featured paintings of sad, poor, downtrodden human subjects. These quilts are quite the opposite!

Oh, one more blue thing for you to look at:

My good buddy, Cheryl L., invited me over Wednesday afternoon, and I will probably go back later today. It's a great place to cool off in this incredible heat!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Catching Up With the Frankfort Girls

It's been a busy month, and I feel as though I've been relatively productive. At least I've had plenty to blog about. Maybe I've just been "chatty" lately.

Anyhoo, I've neglected to make my bi-weekly report on the Frankfort girls. Four of the 5 of us met at Sharon's on Friday, and we had a guest ~ Sheryll's mother.

Terry had been quite a busy bee in recent days. She had 2 quilt tops for show and tell.

This is a patriotic quilt. I love the fabrics, especially that paisley border.

Pretty, isn't it?

Terry also had this pretty quilt top to share. Again, patriotic. Again, gorgeous fabrics and colors.

Terry worked on the binding of this UFO from several months ago.
 These disks are sewn in rough fashion to the blocks with raw edges exposed. When the quilt is laundered, the raw edges fray softly and give a soft, chenille look.

Sheryll was hand-quilting this primitive log cabin quilt. It is a wall-hanging or table-topper size. Very nice. It will look great in her house, especially at Christmastime.

Sharon, our hostess, is making good progress on her patriotic wall-hanging. Last time we were together, she was just beginning the piecing of this project.

Have you noticed the patriotic theme we seem to have going on here? Totally unplanned!

Here is my project ~  yo-yos being stitched into a table topper.

I really did not have any particular project in mind when I began making these yo-yos, about 6 or more years ago whenever I was traveling. It's an easy way to fill time on planes and buses, or while sitting in airports.

No time for chattiness today!! This concludes the updates of the Frankfort quilt group.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along

I'm sure many of you have seen all the recent interest in the Farmer's Wife Quilt. A couple of bloggers started a quilt-along, and so many bloggers have joined in the fun of making these blocks.

Here's the Flickr Group for the blocks.

As far as I can tell, this is the blog post that introduced the quilt-along.

I haven't made any blocks recently, but over a year ago, I was into them in a big way. I was curious about how far back it was that I was making these blocks. March of 2010. Here's my first post about it.

My interest in this quilt is being renewed because so many of the bloggers are using some really great fabrics - not the traditional fabrics, but many of the more modern fabrics, holiday fabrics, and more. It's so much fun to see the look created by these innovative fabrics!

While I've not made any new blocks in a l-o-n-g time, I thought I would still share some of the blocks I've made. Here are my two favorites:

Block #66 - Periwinkle

Block #2 - Autumn Tints

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blue Portugal Quilt Top Finished!

I am very pleased with my finished quilt top. Blue Portugal. I introduced it here.

I hung it out on the screened porch, so the wind is blowing it a bit, and the sun was shining on the corner.

The only thing I did differently was to miter the border. The border print just seemed to want to lend itself to that.

Here is close up shot, however, I didn't do a very good job of getting the border fully in the shot, did I?

I've been posting for a week or two about my "Kaffe phase," and I thought perhaps I should revisit the terminology. Back a year or so ago, I clarified things here.

Well, next up for me is Economy Blue, another of Kaffe Fassett's patterns. However, it's crunch time for the 4-H project, so Emma has first dibs on the sewing machine.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sometimes the House Wins

On occasion, I have to act like I am a housekeeper. Ugh. Yesterday was one of those occasions. Ugh. Ugh.

A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to switch around a few cabinets in my kitchen to make things more accessible. Here were the problems I needed to solve.

1. Kitchen Aid mixer stored on a high shelf; too heavy to access; burdensome.
2. Foodstuffs in a corner cupboard- couldn't reach the back; long-forgotten items hiding back there.
3. Cookie sheets, trays & cake pans stored inadequately-a jumble of pans to juggle every time I needed something.
4. Many nice cookbooks shelved upstairs rather than in the kitchen.
5. Pantry closet was messy/cluttered.

So, I spent the day taking apart cabinets, moving things around, and throwing things out. A few things will go to a yard sale my DS plans to have.

This is the contents of the cavernous corner cupboard. It was a complete unorganized mess of items I had long forgotten. I threw out about 1/3 of this because of expired use-by dates. The oldest date: March 2002. (gracious!!!)

Above is the cleaned-out corner cabinet.

 This is where the cookie sheets, trays and cake pans were amassed. Also numerous casserole dishes and miscellaneous serving bowls resided here.

Here's the newly cleaned and refunctioned corner cabinet. There is a lot of wasted space here; it'd be nice to add some dividers and I might just do that over time. This will work for now.

This is now where the blender, food processor, and kitchen aid are stored. Also, those casserole dishes are back here, along with the bread pans. The 2 wirey things (bottom left and top right) are serving towers. How the heck are these supposed to be stored efficiently?

This sweet little red cupboard sits at the end of the bar, and used to be a hiding place for miscellaneous stuff. Now look!!

Most of these cookbooks are Italian and have value not just for the great recipes, but also for the fabulous pics and stories of history and customs. I love reading them!

Here's the pantry closet that was a disaster.

Now, below is my tidied up closet, and I will warn some of you neat-freaks, it probably will still look rather messy. But it's a far cry better than it was, believe me. The Kitchen Aid was kept on the top shelf of this closet - I needed help every time I wanted to use it.

Ahhh, finally, it's all done. I hate doing jobs like this (this is why I have expired food with dates of 2002!), but I am so glad to have this to cross off my list! Now I can get back to Blue Portugal which only needs its borders. After that, I may go straight into Economy Blue, which is cut out and waiting in the wings.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 11, 2011

No Self-Control

Instead of working on the finishing touches for this

I have been obsessed with finishing this

I have absolutely no discipline when I get into a good book. I refuse to tell you how late I stayed up last night finishing this page-turner. But I did it, and I now can get back to work on this

I've only got the borders left to do. I am eager to get to it.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

200th Post!

Thow confetti!!

Blow up some balloons!!

Have a piece of cake!!

Make a toast and sip champagne!!

Heck, let's go all out and have some fireworks, too!!

Well, maybe that's just a bit of overkill, but I'm really stoked to realize that this is my 200th blog entry. For a 'chatty cathy' like myself, it was relatively easy. Blathering on about quilting seems to come quite naturally for me. So glad to have all you wonderful readers along for the ride. I've come to be very chummy with a few of you. Several are real life friends, others cyber friends. I appreciate all readers and commenters.

Big doings around here!! DH has left me for a week! I took him to his sister's on Thursday night. Yesterday, Friday, he and Kellie (sister) got on one of these:

And their plane did have a dolphin on it. They ended up here:

In Seattle where they were met by their father, Jim, and their brother, Mike. Jim and Mike had driven cross country on a 2-week long sightseeing tour. The four of them coordinated the trips to meet in Seattle yesterday so that today they could board this today:

Yessiree, they are taking a week-long cruise to Alaska. Won't they have a grand time? At the ship, they are going to meet yet another brother, Eric, and his wife Lisa, her parents Jerry and Marlus, and long-time friends of Jim's, Ed and Liz. So there are 10, total, in their group. I am so glad they are getting a chance to do it.

Since I'm staying here to mind the homefront, I intend to get a number of jobs accomplished in Kevin's absence. I've got plans to clean out and rearrange 2 or 3 of my kitchen cabinets, finish my Blue Portugal quilt top, help DD Emma finish her 4-H project, and straighten up my sewing room. Those are the top priority items. I hope to get a lot of smaller tasks taken care of, too.

So post number 201, hopefully, will be my showing you a finished quilt top of Blue Portugal. Go on with your celebrating. I'm headed out to the grocery, then I'm going to enjoy this absolutely gorgeous summer day!