Sunday, September 25, 2011

Time is at a Premium

You're not going to believe what I am doing... I will tell you in a minute...first things first.

I knew that once I got back into school my quilting time would take a huge hit; but my class load is exactly half of what it was last fall, so I was expecting to have at least a little more to show for myself. Alas, my time with the sewing machine has been extremely limited this week.

So, if I haven't been at the sewing machine, what HAVE I been doing?

Hand quilting! I know! Sort of hard to believe, isn't it?

This is a Schnibbles I made over a year ago. Go here to read about it. It's been in this little quilting frame for a shamefully long time, so I figured that I needed to rescue it. I have things waiting in the sewing room, but my teaching job just doesn't allow me to focus my attention there at the moment.

I am pleased that it is nearly finished, and my callouses are returning very nicely, thank you. *grin*

Here is the yo-yo table runner I finished a week or so ago. It decorates our kitchen table.

So, I hope you all are getting some fun projects done. Mine are going to be finishing up a bit slower than they were, but I will still get a few things done, God willing!

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's Rather Ugly

Experimenting with fabrics for a mystery quilt has, for me this time, resulted in a quilt that I consider rather unappealing. It will be another couple of weeks before I can show the quilt here, because of the mystery class which is the 2nd weekend of October. I will just sneak a couple of peeks at it for you.

It finishes at roughly 38" square, and I am glad I made it because it took me out of my comfort zone. And maybe once the borders are attached I will have a change of opinion. We shall see...

Happy quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Line-Up

School's back in session, so when I'm not in class (Tuesdays and Thursdays), I need to be grading things or planning things. This takes a serious chunk of time away from working on quilts. However, I do love my little job, and it's only Fall Quarter, so I will get my time back soon enough. If there's one thing we learn as we age, it's that time does indeed fly!

So, when I get a chance to head up to the sewing room, here are my choices. I've shared all of this before, but it seems like I have so many starts going that I need to make a list of them all. Just keeping myself thinking straight, I suppose.

Here's a mystery quilt sample I'm working on for Frankfort friend, Terry. Can't ruin the mystery, so pictures of the quilt can't be shown until after her retreat, so all you get is fabric selection.

 It's an unusual assortment of Westminster Fiber fabrics, which I categorize as Kaffe Fassett fabrics, but I beleive that some of the other WF designers are represented here as well. I've gotten a bit done on it, and believe it or not, I am actually pleased with the colors so far, and the placement decisions I've made. Will work on it a bit today, I hope.

Then, I still need to finish the French General Stars I began mid- to late-August. Oh, I love this fabric and cannot wait to see my quilt top finished!!

The pattern is from Thimbleberries, and it will have a Christmas look to it, I hope. If it does, this one quilt will satisfy 2 of the goals on my list that you see on the right (2011 Goals). Very happy accident!

Then I've got my Ohio State t-shirt quilt to stitch up. Most of the prep work has been done on this, and I could easily have the top together in a day. So I will plan to set aside a day soon for that very purpose. This would satisfy the goals list, too. I am glad to be soon able to cross things off the list!

So, there's plenty to keep me busy. Of course, one additional quilt is on the list:  finish Adam's UFO t-shirt quilt using his high school shirts. (The fact that he turned 29 last month tells you how old this UFO is!) Doing this would also result in being able to cross off one of those 2011 goals.

Now to get "crack-a-lacking!" (Movie reference; my twin nieces watch Madagascar; they say this and it's so cute!)

Recent picture of the twins, now just one month away from their 4th birthday!

Anna Rose and Mary Jean; August 2011

The sweetest, most adorable, smartest little girls in the world - of this I am convinced!! *wink*

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Quilting, But Still Sewing

I regret to report that I have not had a whole lot of time lately to devote to sewing on quilts; however, I have still been busy at the machine.

Emma has gone off to college (2 full weeks now *sniff*), and she needed curtains for her dorm room. Voila! Ask, and ye shall receive!

I'm afraid this pic is the best I can do; she sent it from her cell phone, and it gets too fuzzy if I try to enlarge it. The fabric is called Honey Child by Jennifer Paganelli. 

The minute I saw it at Waynesville (on the day of the tea party about 3 weeks ago), I knew it would coordinate with Emma's bedspread, so I bought 5 yards of it. This pic was snagged from a fabric site, so it too is fuzzy, but Emma is very pleased. Now she says she needs posters. Sorry, that's not my department!!

Then, with her off to college, her room became free for updating! Take a look:

 I moved her bed from the window wall to the position above, and replaced her curtains. The fabric I used on them is a Joanna Figuroa fabric I had in my stash. The stars on the wall were put there by DD#1, Erin, when she occupied this room. I suspect that when DH retires in another year, painting might be one of the things he does not just in this room, but in a lot of the house.

On the opposite wall, I had to get creative. I ran short of the JF fabric, so had to add a purple JF fabric from the same line to give me (almost) enough length to look decent.

Now, in addition to making window dressing, I had some mending to do. Emma wanted to take 2 clothing items with her to school, but they needed minor mending, so I took care of that and mailed them off to her in a goodie box. Yes, brownies were sent, too.   :-)

Besides this sort of sewing, I've also gone back to school, myself! My adjunct job started up and I'm now 2 weeks into my quarter already! Time flies and sometimes it just seems like a whirlwind.

Off to a meeting - dinner meeting, and DH (bless his heart) was satisfied with 2 grilled cheese sandwiches! Easy night for me!! 

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let's Play Catch

Catch Up, that is. Geesshh! I always seem to be behind. I imagine that everyone feels like they have duties, jobs, whatever, waiting in the wings needing to be done. But, really, don't some people seem like they ALWAYS have it together?

Well, I usually don't worry too much about being behind in things. I have a rather laid-back attitude toward most things these days. Life is just too short to stress about things.

So, last Friday morning (see, I said I was catching up), we had quilting. The day was scheduled to be at Sheryll's house, however one of our group, Sharon, has recently had foot surgery, and she would be unable to attend, so we just took that party to her house-with her permission, of course.

Here's our laid-up friend's leg and foot, tootsies elevated and snugly packed in a protective boot.

Sharon's toes were the problem here. She'd always had very crooked toes, and in recent years they'd become quite painful when wearing shoes and even sandals. It had gotten to the point that corrective measures needed to be taken. She has to be totally off her foot for about 4 weeks, and then will be able to slowly begin putting weight on it again. The other foot has to be done, too, but I don't know how soon she will be up for a repeat of this ordeal. She showed us a picture of her foot with all the bandages off, and oh, my gracious!!! What a simply (pardon me, Sharon) grotesque image!! It was quite an involved surgery, with pins inserted into toes, and incisions and stitches, ouch!! Get well soon, Sharon!!

I've been showing her progress on this project throughout the past couple of months. Sharon's little patriotic table-topper is coming along nicely.

Here's what Sheryll was working on. I tell you, she is so skilled with her handstitching. She does beautiful applique and here she is buttonhole stitching this wintery, wool table-topper.

Terry was stitching down a binding on a small wall-hanging. She'd just gotten this back from a machine-quilter who made the stitches look like hand-quilting (there's a certain brand of quilting machines that does this particular stitch, but I forget what it's called). I just love the yellow and blue reproduction fabrics. Very pretty!

A little later in the morning, Sharon had a good friend and former co-worker coming down. She, too, is a quilter, and brought this bowtie quilt. She made it for a friend who's husband had recently passed away. The bowties are actually fabrics from the man's ties. The bowtie block backgrounds are his shirts.

In the corners of the border, she'd selected meaningful emblems from a variety of sources - one corner even has the patch from the front of a cap. Very nice; it was fun meeting her; she seemed like such a fun person.

I finally put the finishing touches on the yo-yo table-topper I'd been working on. Here it is at Sharon's house. It is now adorning my kitchen table.

Gotta run - I mean walk. It's time to meet Vickie, my walking buddy. We've been pretty pathetic about our walking this summer.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Watching all the tributes and specials on television has been so sad. Within a minute of turning one of them on, I am in tears. I remember this day and all those Americans we lost 10 years ago, but I haven't wanted to be sad all day. Consequently, I've watched a couple of programs and said a couple of extra prayers, but the rest of the day I've spent going about my normal Sunday activities.

God Bless America.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Two-Topic Day

Two topics occupy my agenda today. First, I have been waiting to tell you about some very fun packages I've recently received in the mail. Second, I need suggestions on possible recycling ideas for an item.

It has been way too long since I've gotten any squishy packages in the mail. This is due in large part to my commitment to use from the stash. I've done pretty well with this goal, but I did have to break down and order this fat pack of Moda fabric from Green Fairy Quilts.

Panier de Fleurs by French General was just too beautiful to resist. So I found a great deal online and took the plunge. I really have been exercising restraint when it comes to buying more fabric, so I felt this was okay since it was 30% off. I'd looked at lots of the new lines of fabrics just out or due out, and this is the one I wanted most of all. ~~total bliss~~

Don't you agree that it was truly irresistible?

Another day brought another goodie. Awhile back I wrote about my friend and former student Amie who is making a postage stamp quilt - no repeats in fabric. She needs scraps, and lots of them! So a fellow Ohioan, Melissa, sent me a baggie-full of scraps she'd recently amassed. You can visit with Melissa at her blog, if you like.

I promised Melissa that I'd get my own scraps rounded up and have a package ready to send on to Amie early next week. Take a look back to see the story of Amie's ongoing project here and here. I'll gladly take scraps if you are interested in helping Amie. Leave a message and I will follow up.

Now, my second agenda item. I've got an old cutting mat that has warped terribly. Is there any use for them once they get this bad?

I'd love to be able to repurpose this mat, or figure out a re-use. I am betting that quilters have ideas of how this mat can be saved from the trash heap.

It's pretty badly warped, isn't it? I just hate that it's ruined. I really hope there is some alternate use for it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yet Another Project!

Projects just seem to find their way to my door at times. I do welcome them, too. I mean, after all, what was my plan for retirement?? Quilting!

My friend Terry asked me to commit to a project that will help her out. Later this year - maybe late October - she will lead a mystery quilt class for a retreat she will be attending. She wants to have some very different looks made up to show participants. She has someone making the quilt in reproduction fabrics. I believe she has another one promised, too, possibly a floral or a patriotic. My contribution is to make one using my Kaffe Fassett fabrics. One that would be considered "wild."

I've played around with some fabric groupings - it's a 4-fabric quilt - and have come up with 2 possibilities that I like. Tell me what you think.

This option is a pink, purple and blue combination.

This option is an orange/gold, green and purple combination.

Any opinions from the masses??

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Long-Forgotten UFO

Today, as I was doodling around reading blogs, I came to one of my favorites - Quilt Times - and oh, my goodness, did Sue Abrey, the ever-friendly host of Quilt Times, take me back into the depths of UFO-land!!

Sue is wrestling with herself about starting a new project, one that many quilters consider to be one of the trickiest to make because of all the bias edges - Texas Star, sometimes also called Star of Bethlehem. I imagine there are other names, as well.

I trucked myself right upstairs to dig out my ancient UFO - Broken Star. I estimated to Sue that I began this around 1990. The copyright on the book indicates that I am pretty darn close to my estimate.

You see, even though this UFO is over 20 years old, I still knew exactly the book to grab to find the pattern!

So, was it just as easy to locate the project??

Take a look up there on the top shelf. See that bin on the left with the colorful stripes?

Yes, that's the one; almost touching the ceiling, isn't it??

Let's take it down and examine the contents. How far did I get on this thing anyway??

Well, it sure looks neat and tidy. Pressed nicely. What's under this layer?

Hah! Actual diamonds!! I'd gotten further along on this than I remembered! What a pleasant little discovery!

I commented to Sue that I would possibly be compelled to start back to work on this if she commits to beginning the project she is pondering. Hers is a more traditional Texas Star or Star of Bethlehem. Mine is jazzed up a bit. It's called Broken Star.

So, what do you think? Should Sue start the project she is so reluctant to start? Should I stitch along with her and finish up this old UFO?

I had to laugh at her return comment to me; she said, " I need this project like a hole in the head, but I'm going to have to do it I think." We quilters just don't know what's good for us, do we???

C'mon, Sue!! I'm in if you're in!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pretties at the Quilt Show

Good friend Kay and I took a little trip north about 20 miles to Circleville, home of the Circleville Pumpkin Show which is pretty famous in these parts. This weekend it's also famous for the Good Time Quilters Guild annual quilt show. For 18 years this very active guild has hosted this show, which generally has some delightful beauties for guests to enjoy. This year was no exception.

Terry's Dressmaker's Quilt; you might recall that I made one of these, too; this was my inspiration!

I will brag on my quilting friend Terry, one of the Frankfort girls I quilt with every other Friday; she entered her Dressmaker's Quilt and received some recognition!

Take a look at her 2nd place ribbon and the Judge's Choice ribbon! Congratulations, Terry! She couldn't even attend the show this weekend because her son was getting married!

I took a few other pictures. This one is by Sheryll, another of the Frankfort girls.

Hey, why don't you just enjoy the rest of the show? You don't need any commentary from me!

I will finish with the most wonderful surprise hanging in the back room of the quilt show. A brown and cream Dear Jane quilt. Stunning. Isn't it grand??

Happy Quilting, Friends!