Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sharon's Bursting Star

Oh, my, once I get back into the classroom, I just cannot make or find the time to blog. But no one grades me on this, so I will post when I can. Only one class this quarter, Tuesdays and Thursdays; a nice group of students for Freshman Comp. I hope we can all learn some things together.

On Monday, I did keep my weekly date with Sharon for some sewing at her house. If you recall, she was beginning a Bursting Star from a golden-oldie book.

She is using triangle papers to speed up the process and insure accuracy. I believe I said she had made 2 of these already - years ago. In hindsight, Sharon reports that she's made 3! One, in fact was on the wall right behind where we were sewing!

So here is a bit of the progress she made on the 4th Bursting Star. I am loving the toille, as I knew I would.

Won't it be gorgeous? Can't wait to see it come together. Another great thing about this particular pattern is that this block is huge - like maybe 12 or 15"! So only 12 blocks are needed, and so the top comes together fast. I will continue to post updates as Sharon pulls this together over the coming days/weeks.

I worked on a stash-busting project with leftover 2.5" strips of batiks. Stay tuned for pics - hopefully tomorrow!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Quick Show and Tell

Not much time this morning for wordiness. Not a problem, either, since most of us look at blogs for the pictures, right??

These are all projects that Terry has recently finished. Some were UFOs, if I remember correctly, others were old kits that she wanted to get done. She's been right productive, hasn't she?

Looking forward to getting a few things off my to-do list, this week. Tomorrow I begin Spring Quarter at OU-C; consequently, some of my sewing time will be taking a hit.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quilt Labels

Thanks to those who offered explanations and suggestions for my brief photo crisis! I was not expecting any troubles, and this completely caught me by surprise. Problem solved; I went with a $5 option. Not too painful.

Today's topic: labels. I confess that I am lazy about labeling the quilts I have made. Nearly all have gone without labels. And I read the admonitions and scoldings from quilt historians, and know the importance of labeling, but still I don't do it.

Until now, perhaps.

You see, the flannel quilt Sharon and I made for our former student with cancer is going to have a label. For some reason I just felt this was a must! And, it was my good fortune to have seen recently on Pinterest the directions for making labels. You will not believe how simple and easy this is.

Materials needed: waxed freezer paper, muslin, iron, computer and printer.

Follow these easy steps:
1. Cut a strip of freezer paper slightly larger than an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper.
2. Cut muslin the same way.
3. Layer the two and cut to exact size.
4. Iron the muslin to the waxy side of the freezer paper.
5. Figure out which way the paper goes through your printer. Mine needs to have the fabric side down.
6. In any program you use, type up a label. I use Microsoft Word. I decided I wanted two labels for the page, so the first was personalized for Alexis. The second one is generic and will be filled in with Pigma Pens when used.

I will trim these down, sew a 1-inch border onto them and then stitch to the back of the intended quilts. For future labels I make, I think I will try to make 4 per page, if I'm making the generic labels. If I make personalized labels, I can do the one personalized, and the other 3 generic. I will also be trying to figure out how to add decorative borders and other artwork. Should be fun! And I have quite a few quilts needing labels, you know?

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Early Daffodils

On several different posts this winter, I've alluded to the unusually warm weather we've had. This week, for example, the last week of winter and the first week of spring, I have the a/c turned on, as the outside temperature is over 80 degrees! Unheard of! In a normal spring, I try to wait until late May or early June to switch on the a/c. The unseasonable temps have had the wonderful bonus of early blooms!

Every time I see daffodils in great masses like this, I am reminded of the Wordsworth poem, "Daffodils."
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.      

We visited William Wordsworth's home in Grasmere in The Lake District in July of 2006,  well past the daffodil season. How I would love to go when they are in bloom!

Emma is home from college this week on Spring Break. Many of her classmates are in Florida, but we are having weather just as pleasant here in O-HI-O!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ok, I Need Advice

This blog has been 100% free to me until now. I just tried to create a post with pictures, and a message popped up saying I have used up my allottment of space for pictures. It will cost me to add any more photographs. Here's the message:

Whoops! You're out of space. Purchase more storage.
Photos are stored in your Picasa Web Albums account and are included in your 1 GB free quota for photos. Additional storage you purchase is shared between several Google products and is in addition to your free quota. Learn more

So, how do I proceed? I'd rather not put any money into this. I don't (to my knowlege) have a Picasa album or account. My hope is to continue for free.

FYI: I have one more coming that was typed and scheduled a couple of days ago.

Input/advice/explanations welcome.

The Twins are 4

I've not posted anything about my adorable twin nieces in quite awhile, so let's remedy that, shall we?

Mary Jean
Anna Rose
They are so much fun! We painted rocks, played Twister, rode bikes, played on the iPads, and a whole bunch of other stuff during the afternoon we spent there on Sunday. Busy, busy, busy - curious about everything, stubborn at times, sweet and precious, always. I sure wish it weren't so long in between visits!

Love you, Sweet Girls!!
Aunt Jayne

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Table Runners and Bursting Stars

Sharon and Kay came over yesterday for sewing. What a whirling dervish we have when Kay is involved! She gets more accomplished in a day than I do in a week, easily. She was on a tight budget, time-wise, as she was scheduled for 2 additional (or was it 3?) stops before the afternoon ended. Her plan for the few hours she had in the morning was to make a table runner, one of those made with the 60-degree angles. She had a kit, and since I'd made several a couple of years ago, I was "helping." Now, Kay is a veteran quilt maker and seamstress, so she needs no help. I offered some tips with the 60-degree ruler, she did the rest.

She wasn't able to have it completely finished, but she did get the top made. I had some extra flannel for her to use as a batting, her kit came with backing and binding fabric. She will be good to go for next Christmas!

Sharon has resurrected an old favorite.

Sharon has made two quilts from this book. Bursting Stars. One is an exact replica of this one, on the right.

She has decided to make yet another one, this time using toille. It is going to be a stunner!!

To get all these triangles done, Sharon is using a product designed for speed and accuracy.

Triangle Papers. I've never used them, but they sure seem to work miracles on the accuracy of triangles! And they go together fast, as advertised. Sharon did a bunch of them while she was here.

In other news and activities, I put the finishing touches on the binding of the flannel quilt for Alexis. It will be a comfy, cuddly source of comfort to her, I hope. I am going to get a label put on it and then arrange a time to deliver it. Alexis is having daily radiation treatments, now. Such an ordeal for her and her family. We are praying for her complete recovery.

Kay brought along another project, just in case she had time to work on it. Basically, she had time to press and fondle the fabric. :-)

The history on this bundle of beauty is about 2 years old. Kay bought the kit at a shop in Michigan, near where her daughter lives. The kit contains 10 gorgeous light blue batiks. Endless Summer - could it be any more aptly named??

And finally, this day wouldn't be complete without a show and tell. Kay used a lot of leftover pieces to make this lap quilt.

A year or two ago, Kay made a purple batik quilt for her granddaughter. This lap quilt came from all the scraps! She said it went together really fast, and isn't it a great quilt?! Really pretty.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What to Celebrate First??

Top o' the mornin' to ye!!

We have a conflict of interests today. Most folks are celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Since I've got a fair amount of Irish in my lineage, I am happy to join the festivities.

However, it's also National Quilting Day, and that has me conflicted. I feel compelled to honor both events equally! Here's an image I found that brings the 2 celebrations into one.

Pretty, wouldn't you agree?

Since the quilters at Terry's retreat are probably all working on the mystery quilt, I figured I'd go ahead and share the picture of my sample. I doubt at this point I'll be ruining the mystery.

This mystery quilt is called Seams Like Yesterday by Debbie Caffrey, from a pattern she issued in 1998. The resulting star is called Bradford Star, and I really like it. My picture doesn't show the  difference (much) between my light and medium fabrics. I will rerun a picture of the fabrics.

All three are from Westminster Fibers, but I can't recall exactly which designer. Martha Negly? Phillip Jacobs? Kaffe Fassett? I looked when I was cutting, but the scraps are gone now, so it's anyone's guess at ths point.

The family is all a-buzz over March Madness. With all 4 of our Ohio teams doing well, we have lots of basketball games to watch! Ohio State, Ohio University, Xavier and Univ. of Cincinnati have all advanced to the top 32 teams. Lots of fun, and easy to quilt by hand when games are on. I am binding a quilt currently, and when I finish that, I have a couple of other hand-work options I can move on to.

The work in cleaning the sewing room has not taken off too well because of all the basketball. I still have hopes of making at least a minor dint in it this weekend.

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Happy National Quilting Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cute Dogs

I'll just let you know up front that this post is going to have little to do with quilting. It will, however, have a lot to do with dogs. It seems many of my quilting friends have dogs for pets. Very special pets. Almost-like-family pets. As it should be, right? Let's meet some of them. I've got pics of a few, and once this gets posted, I am sure to get pics of the rest. *remind me!*

Here's our very own fur-person, Steve. He is our son's dog, and named for the distance runner from the early 70's, Steve Prefontaine. (FYI, DH and DS are both distance runners.) Steve likes living out here in the country where he can chase rabbits, squirrels and birds to his heart's content. He is also very happy to chase any toys that might be thrown his way, too.

Meet Little Buddy, the latest addition to Kay's family. She went to an Amish farm market for veggies or something, and came home with Little Buddy. Isn't he adorable? This was his puppy stage, last summer. Kay and Chuck are dog people. They've had many over the years. Scamper, Levi, Panda, and now Chelsea - these all preceded Little Buddy's arrival. There were many others before I came on the scene.

Here is Sharon P's puppy, Rose, whom you've met before. I introduced her on a  post from late last summer, I believe. This is the same pic; I need to get a more up-to-date shot of her. I've not seen Rose for a month or more, so I know she has changed a good bit.

These 2 lovable furry creatures are Terry's dogs, Lillie and Maddie. Maddie, on the right, is a long-time pet, grande dame of the house. Lillie, on the other hand, is brand-spanking new. Just 8 or 9 weeks, now, and has just very recently come to join Maddie.

Lillie sleeps so soundly that she rolls right off the edge of the cushion and onto the carpet. She seems oblivious to anything. We were sewing and talking all around her this day, and it didn't seem to matter one bit. What a cutie she is!

Friends, I am gearing up for a BIG JOB - cleaning and reorganizing my sewing room. OMG. It is a total disaster, and all the sewing I've done lately has been done on the kitchen table because there is no workspace remaining in the sewing room! Why even have a sewing room, if I can't keep it clean enough to work in?!? So, after giving myself a stern talking-to, I am prepared to begin this overhaul.

Heaven help me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Single Irish Chain

Here's the result of the sneak peak of blue and white I showed on the previous post. It went together fast, and is so satisfying to be able to post a finish in 3 days. (Actually, I had it done yesterday; I just couldn't find time to get to the computer to blog about it!)

It does not take borders, according to the pattern I used, which came from Quilts and More, Winter 2009. It's the cover quilt called Rhapsody in Blue.

Off to a retirement meeting with DH this morning!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blogging Milestone: 300th Post

It's been quite a weekend! We've had our fill of Big 10 tournament action, even though our beloved Buckeyes couldn't pull out the win for the championship. I've got a new project started. What do you think of this combination of fabrics from my stash?

It seems like a winning combination to me. And here is the super easy, super fast block I'm using.

Yeah, I'm liking it, too!

And, guess what? This is my 300th post! Wow. Pretty cool. It's been lots of fun.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Quilting: A Community Affair

Seems as if 4 out of 5 blog posts I write includes details of my getting together with friends for sewing, or quilt shows and the like. This hobby truly is one that is easy to share with others. Even our ancestors knew this, as they had those quilting bees we've all heard about. I sew on Mondays with Sharon P.; every other Friday with the Frankfort girls; annually at the June quilt camp; also annually at Sherrie's all-night quilting on Veterans' Day/Night. Interspersed throughout those regularly scheduled events, there are impromptu gatherings - wonderful opportunities to share a beloved hobby with other women who also love quilting. I am so blessed to have so many sweet and amazing friends in my little quilt world.

Today, we Frankfort girls met at JoAnn's. As usual, there was the show-and-tell portion of our morning. Take a look at our wonderful treats!

Sharon made this little tote bag to donate to her church's rummage sale. The panel appliqued to the front is cross-stitched, and it is gorgeous! Here's a close-up.

Beautiful workmanship! Someone will get a sure treasure if they buy this at the church sale!

Sharon also showed us a walker pouch she made from a place mat and half a kitchen tea towel. It Velcros around the front bar of a walker, thus enabling the user to carry things.

The ribbon ties secure the sides to the legs to prevent excessive swinging to and fro. The towel at the top folds over the bar of the walker and velcros shut. Inside there are pocket. Nice. For anyone who's ever had to use a walker, this would surely offer a measure of independence, being able to carry things even with hands on the walker.

Here are two halves of one quilt. Terry worked on on half; Sheryll worked on the other. It is now ready to be sewn together. This is the guild quilt that will be raffled at September's quilt show. Many members of the girls' guild (I'm the only one not a member) made blocks. This week Terry and Sheryll got together and made the blocks into the quilt top. (Two more instances of the social nature of quilting!)

One of JoAnn's purchases last week at the Lebanon quilt show was this book and a jelly roll; in typical get-busy-and-get-it-finished JoAnn fashion, she is off and running with a start on this!

Here's her cherkerboard section. Very pretty. I don't think I've ever seen a reproduction fabric I haven't liked, and this set is no exception. It is going to be fabulous!

JoAnn had a couple of patriotic goodies to show us. She is all ready for the Fourth of July - in March, for heaven's sake!!!

This wall hanging is going to be sent to JoAnn's long-time penpal in England. Wouldn't you love to have this coming your way in the mail?

And, in more typical JoAnn fashion, because there were leftover triangles from the first project, she whipped this up from them. What a great wall hanging! I want it!

Terry used 12 barn quilt panels to make this pretty quilt. She had begun quilting it, and look. She spent the morning picking out stitches. Sweet Sharon offered to assist; the job was nearly finished when we closed up at noon.

Her machine's tension was all out of whack, so she "frogged" her quilt - "rippit, rippit!" A little quilting humor to go along with the unpleasant task of taking out stitches. *grin*

JoAnn wasn't finished! She had a pretty pillow case made from leftover fabric used on the back of her pink and green quilt I showed several weeks ago. Isn't this feminine and frilly? Beautiful! Here's another pic of that quilt; I wasn't satisfied with the picture's color, so we are trying again...

This looks better; it's quilted now, and the pillow case fabric is what she has on the back.
And, a close-up:

Sheryll continued to work on her appliqued basket quilt from last time, and I was putting the final stitches into the binding of the OSU t-shirt quilt from several weeks ago! (Procrastination!!) No new pics from us.

So we had a great morning stitching and chatting over coffee and cake, covering many topics from politics, to family, to retirement, to travel. Wonderful morning. Even more wonderful friends.

Happy Quilting!