Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It Just Occurred to Me...

...that I'd never shared the wall hanging I made at the request of my friend Terry earlier this fall. If you recall, her guild was having a retreat and she was in charge of the "mystery quilt." She'd asked me to make the quilt in some of my colorful, more modern fabrics. And so I did. I gave peeks of it here on the blog, here and here and here. Well, the retreat is long passed, but I completely forgot to share the finished product (top, not quilted) to blog followers.

Terry wanted to have a variety of "looks" to show her mystery quilt participants. Here is Sheryll's Christmas version.

Here is Terry's muted patriotic version.  Correction!!! It may look like muted patriotic, but in reality it is 30's prints! And it was made by Sheryll, not Terry! (I stand corrected in my orthopedic shoes!!) Terry made one that is black and beige, but I didn't get to take a pic of it.

Here is my jazzy version, in which I've use all Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

The pattern is called Razzle Dazzle (I forget who designed it.) It measures roughly 36" square.

I am not overly fond of mine, but it does do a good job of showing how different fabrics change a pattern. I don't know what I will do with it. Suggestions welcome.
Today I am doing a couple of things I really don't care much for. I've already made backs for 2 quilts. Ugh! So much work!! And math!! Double-ugh! Next up, I will be adding borders to a t-shirt quilt. If I can accomplish that, then I have a couple of very small Christmas projects I'd like to finish, and I still have that French General Stars quilt top to finish off.

I feel December calling, and with it all the hustle and bustle that is Christmas. I hope I remember to savor the sweetness of the Christmas season, and not stress about the "stuff" of Christmas. I am also beginning to give serious thought to the projects I want to put on my 2012 Goals List.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Lot of Quilts Live at Sharon's House!

Since so many of us are quilters, we really don't think about how many quilts we have. It should come as no surprise that my good friend Sharon has a plethora of quilts on display at her house. Wanna' take a little tour with me? I thought so. *grin*  Okay, so  here we go!!

Straight into Sharon's front door is a stairwell, with a landing about 10 steps up. That landing offers 3 walls perfect for hanging quilts. Currently, she is diplaying red and white quilts.

This is her retirement quilt that some of you may remember. Looks pretty good!

This is a beautiful toille quilt. I have never made a quilt using toille, but I have some toille fabrics in my stash. This may have to be a new year's goal.

Catch your breath...ok? I know!! Stunning, isn't it? Well, this is an heirloom! Sharon's beloved grandmother made this quilt. It just seems so fitting that Sharon has it, given that she is a red-and-white gal! Serendipity, I do believe!

This Ohio Star quilt hangs over the bannister of one side of the landing. I don't recall how long ago Sharon made this quilt, but my grandmother did the hand-quilting. How's that for a full circle??

The opposite bannister on the landing sports a blue and white quilt. This is the dining room, and is decorated in blue, as seen in the wall-color.

Remember Rose? You met her back in August. She's done quite a bit of growing, but is still 100% puppy. She can survey our sewing activity at the dining room table from this location.

This narrow bargello quilt hangs on the wall near her fireplace. Doesn't it look great on the golden wall? (The paint color is called Cider Toddy.)

This is a Rose quilt...waiting...

It's Rose's quilt! Sharon uses it to cover the cage that Rose sleeps in. Perfectly apropos, wouldn't you agree?

Draped over the armchair in the dining room, Sharon displayed this bowtie quilt, another one that was her grandmother's. I never got to meet Sharon's grandma, but I can tell that she was a very special lady, much like my own grandma. Many times over the years, Sharon has referred to her "Mammaw" with devotion and love.

This festive French country quilt adorns the wall in the half-bath.

This pineapple quilt is also in the halfbath. Yellow and blue are the go-to colors in this small room, and these quilts work perfectly.

Finally, this scrumptiously inviting flannel quilt was folded on the living room sofa; you can be sure that some books have been read under this cozy beauty! It's been loved, for sure!

I can think of one quilt I failed to photograph. In the dining room, the blue room, another toille quilt hangs above a tall chest/buffet. (You can catch just a smidge of it in the earlier photo with Rose on the landing.)

End of tour! Wasn't it great? Sharon and I have tons in common, but she far surpasses me in the home decorating department. I have no imagination when it comes to doing creative things with my abode, but Sharon has taste on top of taste when it comes to decorating her place. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Day for Stitching

Last spring, Sharon and I established a day each week for getting together to sew. It was a wonderful thing to do! We got so much done, and we got to visit and catch up with each other! Sharon taught with me at CHS; I retired in '09, and she retired this past March. In that year and a half difference, we really lost touch with each other! I live in the outer limits of the county and she lives in town; since I didn't have to go to work anymore, there were few reasons for me to even go to Chillicothe many weeks.

Our weekly date to sew and visit was, like I said, wonderful. Too often, she and I tend to put off working on projects as diligently as we should. I know I fight a constant battle with procrastination, and I often allow too many other interests to take precedence over my stitching, unfortunately. This set date each week forces us to remain faithful to our stitching, and I am glad for it. We both are. Sharon has finished several quilt tops, and I did, too. My "Summer of Kaffe" (has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?) came about as a result of these weekly sessions. I finished the long-time UFO, Broken Dishes; made a blue strippy Kaffe called Blue Portugal, and a second blue Kaffe called Economy Blue; my last Kaffe was Pastel Floral Parade. Talk about satisfying!! I have such a mountain-sized stash of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, I am really happy to boast a few finishes.

As Labor Day rolled around, Sharon and I both faced returning to our part-time teaching jobs at OU-C. She taught two classes on Monday and Wednesday; I taught two classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Our schedules just weren't going to allow our continuing through Fall Quarter. Regretfully, we agreed that a hiatus was inevitable.

Here, now, we find ourselves knocking on December's door! Fall quarter is over, and our grades have been submitted. We are reestablished in our weekly sewing get-togethers, and don't seem to have missed a beat.

 This past Monday, Sharon finished this quilt top. The fantastic combination of fall colored darks and great neutrals really makes this quilt appealing to me. The "snowballs" offer ample space to do some nice quilting -- if one should so desire.

The pattern she used is from a 20-plus-year-old book, and is called Wedding Wreath (the pattern, not the book). She began the quilt a year ago at our annual Veterans' Day quilting event; worked on it further at this year's Veterans' Day event, and finished it last week! Finishes are soooo nice!

Tomorrow, we sew at Sharon's house. I have a real treat of a post coming up. Many gorgeous quilts reside at her house; I took pictures of them all two weeks ago. I promise I will share them - in the next post.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Still Catching Up - Veterans' Day Sewing

Seems like I have spent the whole of November trying to catch up with various sewing and quilting activities in which I've participated. Clear back on Veterans' Day, dear Frienzie Sherrie hosted us for about the 10th or 15th year (we never have determined exactly when we began this tradition). Originally, it was an all-night sew-in. We did this for 3 or 4 years; when too many of us were wimping out and going home at midnight or 3 am, Sherrie changed to an all-day event. She puts the coffee pot on at a given time - 6am, 8am or whatever - and we can stay as long as we want. I arrived at 8am and worked until 8pm. A good day of sewing, for sure. It felt good to get back into a project that I really want to finish.

First, I'll say a bit about the food. Susan brought this breakfast casserole, which looks like it went over well, doesn't it? I know I had seconds! Yum-o!

Some of the other goodies: fresh pineapple and mango and a rather addictive bean dip.

Here are some muffins and a plate of cookies. Looks like we have a bottle of Best Press sitting there in the midst of the foodstuffs - NOT on the menu!!

We had several other delicacies to feast on, but I guess I was too focused on sewing and visiting to grab pics of the rest. I remember Sherrie's potato soup and turkey sandwiches; I took a jello dessert, recipe courtesy of Pinterest. We celebrated Kay's birthday, and there was some cake for that, as well.

Enough with the food!! Let's get to the sewing and projects!!

Kay and Sherrie had recently picked up a couple of quilts from the local long-arm quilter. This is Sherrie's  - a king size quilt called Match Stick (I think). It is to be a wedding gift for her nephew and his bride-to-be. Sherrie bought these fabrics last May when the 3 of us (Sherrie, Kay and I) went to Berlin and surrounding Amish country quilt shops for the day. These were purchased at Mrs. Miller's Dry Goods in Berlin.

Two years ago at quilt camp, Kay began this Trip-Around-The-World style quilt with luscious Amy Butler fabrics. She finished the top this past June at quilt camp, and used 2 pink Amy Butler's for her backing. Get a look at this -

The pic doesn't exactly show the coolness of the fabrics, but believe me, the back of this quilt is just as gorgeous as the front! These 2 backing fabrics were also purchased at Mrs. Miller's on the same shopping trip. That's Kay in red on the left, and Sherrie, our hostess, in the center.

You wanna hear a fabulous story?? This is so awesome...

Hettie, above at her sewing machine, comes regularly to the Veterans' Day event. Hettie, bless her heart, is not generally known for sewing at our get-togethers. She is a visitor!! But this year, she determined that she would actually work on a project with us! As she dug around her house for a project, and came across 2 stacks of flannel 6.5" squares. She offered one of them to anyone who wanted it because she was sure she would be doing well to get one completed. She couldn't fathom a guess as to how long ago she'd bought these squares, but many of us recognized some of the fabrics from the 90s.

Well, just about the same time Hettie was making her offer, Sharon realized that she'd forgotten to bring the project she'd been planning to work on! She'd inadvertently left the bag at home!! She jumped on Hettie's offer, and commenced working on this totally spontaneous flannel quilt.

 Here's the result of Sharon's work:

How about that?? She had a piece of flannel at home that she knew she could use as a border, and actually finished this off just this week at my house. Here's the quilt with the border:

Well, let me correct that statement; 3 of the 4 borders are on; I really did not get that great of a shot of this with the borders showing.

Back to Veterans' Day activities... Kay worked on a new project with lots of triangles.

I wish I could tell you more about her project, but too many days have passed, and I forget...alas, do we all have this problem?

Linda had this vibrant batik quilt going. The curved pieces and the contrasting colors make it a real beauty. Hope to be able to show you the finished quilt top one day soon.

Susan worked on this baby boy quilt for a friend of her daughter's. So soft and cuddly. She was planning to attend a shower in about 2 days, so was hopeful that she could get the entire top finished to wrap for the new mother. I think she made pretty good progress.

Sherrie, our dear hostess, set her embroidery machine on auto pilot and got quite a bit of work done on this year-long project she's doing in conjunction with our local quilt shop. She is going to have an absolutely gorgeous quilt when it's all done, that's for certain. I just love the look of this! And all the other blocks that are already done are just as beautiful, believe me!!

I worked on my French General Stars blocks. I need 30 total. I began the day with only 2 done, but all the pieces and parts were ready for constructing all the rest - or so I thought. I got 23 done and discovered that I had not cut enough pieces for the remaining 7 blocks. To date, I am still trying to finish - I'm think I have about 27 done now...update forthcoming...

Well, that very nearly gets me all caught up with group sewing days. I still have one or two smallish things to share in an upcoming post, and I have a new haul from Grandma's house to tell you about. My sewing room is bursting at the seams.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Many Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends!! So many blessings exist in my life; it's good to take time to give thanks for those blessings.

There's this Pinterest pic that I've seen in several different forms.

Makes one think about the important things we take for granted, doesn't it?

So enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, give thanks for all your blessings, and try to get in a bit of stitching sometime this weekend!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Playing the Name Game

My good blogging friend, Sue over at Quilt Times, made an interesting observation on the last post. She commented on the similarity of the names of the various quilting friends - all the hostess names mentioned in the last post began with "Sh-". Well, I'm forever getting tongue-tied with all these similar-sounding names, and it occurred to me that perhaps a bit of clarifying would be good for readers.

One group of 8 friends, many of whom quilt, are the Frienzies. We all taught together at CHS and  have formed a tight-knit bond over the years. Two of the Frienzies are Sherrie T. and Sharon P.

A second group of quilting friends are the 5 Frankfort Girls; I have been with them for a couple of years now. In this group we have Sheryll H. and Sharon O.

Now, every week I get together with long-time friend and fellow English teacher Sharon P. (of the Frienzies group). We taught across the hall from each other for nearly our entire careers, and we are both adjunct faculty at OUC. We should have been sisters, I think. We finish each other's sentences, know what one means when we really can't think of what to say, read each other's minds, all those types of things. It gets a bit weird to think of how alike we are, in some respects. We have similar tastes in quilts and fabric, have travelled many times to Europe with student tours, read a lot of the same books, and enjoy the same types of movies. Bizarre, right?

Well, that sort of explains all the confusing "Sh" names. I am forever saying the wrong name and I know them! It really must confuse readers who don't know them. I just hope the "Sh" girls understand. Hopefully, this clarifies the Sharon-Sherrie-Sheryll-Sharon confusion!

Ok, on to getting caught up with recent quilting endeavors. Last Tuesday, I spent the day at Sharon P's house. We are re-establishing our weekly sewing dates and I am so glad. It really keeps me working on things when I otherwise would procrastinate or get side-tracked. An added bonus is getting to visit with a dear friend. Quilting lends itself to chatting and catching up, wouldn't you agree?

Sharon had pulled out a UFO from about a year ago. I love the fall colors and the scrappy nature of these fabrics. It's a quilt with 2 blocks - the 9 patch and the snowball. Notice that the 9-patch is just random and not the typical 4light/5dark or 4dark/5light combinations. I think it will be wonderfully cozy when it's finished. I can see this being a quilt meant for snowy days, thick novels, fireplace fires, and mugs of coffee or hot cocoa. Mmmm, I love quilts like that.

I worked on my French General star quilt. I need 30 of these star blocks and I have 23 of them done.

With this quilt I am knocking 2 items off the 2011 Goals list over there on the right. I wanted to do something with the wonderful stash of French General fabrics I had accumulated, and I wanted to make a Christmas quilt. I believe this quilt will fulfill both requirements, so give me credit for a double, right?

I got as far as I could go on those blocks when I realized that I didn't have enough hour-glass units cut and sewn to finish. I had a back-up plan! I put the French General away, and got out the OSU t-shirt quilt I began last summer and put the entire top together. I thought I'd taken a picture of it, but I'm not finding it, so maybe I didn't. I will get one ASAP - I really like how it's looking!

Going to Sharon's house is always a delight. Even though we have so many things in common, like I said above, she vastly outdoes me in two areas - decorating and cooking. Her house is full of colorful quilts, large and small. I took pics and will follow up in my next post about them all. You are going to love it. As a cook, Sharon has few to rival her. OMG, I have enjoyed many a meal at her table - she makes feasts look so effortless, yet always done with such flair! Very talented, she is!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

By Gosh, I Made It!

Hey, Everyone! I'm back! I made it through Fall Quarter and I see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel! There shall be more quilting, sewing, creating and blogging! Yaaay!

I have photos of several recent sewing/quilting events to share, actually. On Veterans' Day there was the annual day-long sew-in at Sherrie's house. Then on Tuesday, I went to Sharon's for sewing. We are re-establishing our weekly sewing day now that Fall Quarter has ended. And yesterday, was the regularly scheduled Frankfort Girls sewing - this time at Sheryll's house.

Since there's a lot to cover, I will work backwards - yesterday's sewing in Frankfort...

Like I said, we met at Sheryll's and even that, for me, proved to be a challenge. I drove over to Sharon's house, and when I didn't see any cars in the driveway, I knew I'd gone to the wrong house. There is a regular rotation, and you'd think I would know the routine by now...naahhh, I don't. So I was about 20 minutes late arriving at the shindig, but there was still coffee waiting for me!

Sharon had many finishes to share. Remember she's the one who had the toe-straightening surgery about 3 months ago. She is still wearing the boot, but is getting around really well. Hooray for that!

 The little patriotic wall-hanging she's been steadily working on is now completed. All ready for use next July 4th! Looks great, Sharon!

She has also been cross-stitching. Take a look at these gorgeous stocking she made for two of her grandchildren.

And, she has also been crafting! Take a look at what she made with yo-yos in graduated sizes -

She said she used scraps of Christmas fabric - a great way to eliminate waste! Topped with a red star button, and it looks great! Fun, fun.

JoAnn had some wall-hangings to share. She's been in the grandbaby business lately. One new granddaughter and then (about 2 months early) twin grandsons! She went from one grandchild to 4 in record speed!!

 This one features coffee-related panels.

This one features birds.

Sheryll worked a bit on some applique and then switched over to knitting. The applique project is going to require some very tiny bits; I just don't think she was in the mood for working on it! They are tiny tree ornaments of felt. She had all the pattern pieces cut out and yes, they are small. Minute, actually!

 Terry worked on an embroidery project. I think she might have had this at our last get-together...

That's a lot of embroidery! I love it, but I just don't know if I have the stick-to-it-iveness to work on such a project. It oughtn't to be that much different from the type of work I already do, but for some reason this seems daunting to me!

Terry's son recently got married, and she now has their wedding quilt finished. Take a look at this king-size beauty!!

I took a bit of knitting and also some embroidery. Since both might possibly end up as Christmas gifts, I am not sharing pictures of them just yet. *grin*

I should have taken a picture of the delicious coffee cake Sheryll baked for us! OMG! It was tasty! She gave us all copies of the recipe - it is from a Gooseberry Patch Christmas book. I looked it up, and it's out of stock. The cover picture is the coffee cake she made. Looks pretty good, doesn't it?

Stay tuned. I hope to be returning to my more regular blogging now. There's much to be done this time of year!

Happy Quilting, Friends!