Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tidying Up Loose Ends

Today we are taking care of some unfinished business. Loose ends like this must be dealt with so we can move on to new ventures!!

Last Monday when Sharon and I met for sewing, I missed my opportunity to take a picture of her newly finished "race" quilt. I was back at her house today for sewing (Memorial Day festivities interrupted our usual Monday get-together), and we brought it back out for its photo-op. 

Without further ado, let me show you Sharon's latest finish!!

We  laid the quilt top out on the grass in the side yard. There was a good breeze going, so forgive the "lumpy" look. The fabric is French General's Rouenneries Deux - a jelly roll plus some yardage for the border. And, she has enough of that border fabric to do the back. Won't it be scrumptious?

Here's a closer look.

The next time you end up with a jelly roll that you don't know what to do with, consider this! I have several jelly rolls (big surprise, right?) and I definitely plan to do at least one of these. No pattern, just lots of sewing of long seams.

Short post here today, folks! Tomorrow is June - already!! Time sure flies, don't cha' know!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shout Out!

This goes out to all those participants and faithful followers of the Lone Star Quilt Along. Saturday is our next check-in day, and I hope you all have been busy making great progress on your Lone Star Quilts.

My cyber friend Sue over at Quilt Times will be checking in on our progress too, as she and I trade off hostessing duties each month. Sue, can you believe we are almost into June already??

The pattern I am using is from a 1989 book from Better Homes and Gardens. I started mine in the early 1990s; it's been hiding in a bin for 20 years, until a post from Sue last fall prompted me to dig it out!

Yesterday afternoon, I did a bit of work on my Bursting Star - a variation of the Lone Star - and it was so exciting to see it coming together. I will definitely be ready to 'show off' a bit on Saturday!

So, participants, prepare for some show and tell!! Cheering squad, do your best to encourage us!! We'll see you all on Saturday!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Journal Cover

Since before Christmas I have been thinking about making journal covers. I've seen some gorgeous ones on Pinterest, and have collected several patterns (all free) off the internet. The patterns I have, however, seemed so complicated and the illustrations didn't illustrate very well, in my opinion.

Yesterday, I just decided I'd make up my own pattern. I mean really, how hard could this be? A simple rectangular-shaped bookcover is not an overly challenging project. Here is my first attempt. Not the prettiest journal cover ever constructed, but I know how I am going to improve upon this model in my next attempt.

Its flaws are obvious. Next time, instead of applying the striped embellishment to the cover, I will sew the cover in three pieces--the top 2 inches, the 1-inch stripe, and the lower 5 or 6 inches. Then I probably will avoid all the crookedness that resulted in this attempt.

I used this type of journal. It measures 9.75" by 7.5".

To provide a bit of stability and strength, I lined it with flannel.

This shows the amount of inside pocket I used. Actually, this was a given, as I used a fat quarter and was limited to the width. This made measuring a non-issue.

The only thing I have left to do on this is to whipstitch the tops and bottoms of each pocket. I did it my machine but had to rip it out as the pocket was too snug to fit over the journal. I will have to make some adjustments on my next one to allow for the small amount of bulk that this will create.

Well, there you go. My feeble attempt at a journal cover. Feel free to make suggestions. I have 11 more of these theme books to cover, so I should be able to come up with an acceptable cover in 12 tries!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Long-Forgotten UFO

In recent days, I have been slowly tackling the precariously heaped mountains of messiness in my sewing room. I have an idea of completely changing the layout of the furniture, so everything has to be cleaned up and moved out.

Well, in the midst of the mess, I came across this.

It doesn't look like much, but I assure you, it represents the beginnings of a monumental undertaking for me. (even bigger than cleaning out my sewing room!!) An ages-old UFO.

In the mid-1980s, I acquired this book. I spent hours perusing its pages, longing for some of the gorgeous quilts pictured there. It was in the mid-80s, when we were beginning our family, we were new homeowners, and new teachers, that I realized I could never afford to buy the quilts I wanted, so I would have to learn to make them. And this would not have been a stretch for me as I'd grown up around a grandmother who was forever working on one quilt or another.  (I've made frequent references to Grandma on this blog.) So, anyway, here is the one quilt that most often captured my fancy.

We have a white iron bed that was given to me when I was a girl. I slept on it growing up, and when we got married, it came with me. DH and I slept on it for a number of years before passing it down to our daughters when we got a new bed. It originated in my paternal grandfather's family, I believe. I tell you this because I always thought this quilt would look so spectacular on that white iron bed. I would adjust the size of that center panel to fit right along the edge of the mattress. I still think it would be pretty!

Here are the contents of the bag. I have basted quite a few flowers and leaves. I didn't bother to count them, but you can see I did a lot! And, if you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know how I go on about loving applique quilts, but just not having the patience required for them. I wonder what made me stop? Well, read on; perhaps the answer will become evident.

When I turned to the page with the directions, look at what I found down in the corner - a sticky note with information that I can't believe I had the foresight to record! (I amaze even myself sometimes - lol)

Cut out in 1990; basted in 1992. We were building our current house in '92, and I was preggers for Emma. Now I know why I quit working on it!

In studying this, I see that I have overlooked something. The flowers are not all dark outer petals with light center petals. If you look at the picture of the finished quilt hanging on the line, there are also a number of tulips with the opposite coloration: light outer petals with a dark center petal.

Now, when I get the mindset to get back to work on this, I wonder if I will do it as pictured, or just work with what I have?

How would you proceed?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Vintage Home Economics

A friend of mine recently gave me a vintage home economics text book. *Thanks, Cheryl!*  She said I was the only person she could think of who was interested in sewing. Well, I hope there are more of us out there, but I am glad she thought of me!

1943!! Incredible. Nearly 70 years old! Gracious! Let's take a peek inside, shall we?

This is the first illustration in the book: learning the sewing machine. Things have changed for sewing machines in the last 70 years, haven't they?

Here is another illustration that caught my interest...

Well, the picture AND the caption caught my eye...can you read that caption? My goodness, that sure is cheesy. It amuses me, you know? It's just so amazing that times have changed so drastically in 70 years. My mother would have used a textbook similar to this, perhaps. "Four little maids..."

And then, I found this word that I'd never seen or heard before: armscye.

I had to go looking for the pronunciation on this word, as well as a definition, although from picture and the paragraph below, it becomes rather apparent. The word is pronounced "arm sigh" and it means the opening in a garment where the sleeve is attached. Hmmm. I think armhole, the term I've always known, works pretty well.

Here's the passage explaining how to fit the "armscye."

Well, thanks for joining me in my trip down memory lane...although not my memories. My own memory lane consists of taking a lot of home ec in junior high and high school, and being a long-time member of 4-H. I loved the sewing activities. As a senior in high school, I made a winter coat, complete with bound buttonholes! A midi-coat, remember those from the 1970s? Believe it or not, I actually took a sewing machine to college with me!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Hope your picnics and parades are rain-free! Our weather is supposed to be hot, and hotter. I think homemade ice cream might be in the works for part of our doings! Through all your celebrating, remember...

Found these two images from random folks on facebook.

Let Summer Begin!

Friday, May 25, 2012

DH Retires!

Today I sent DH off for his last day of school. Yep. He's retiring after 35 years. Let the celebrating ensue!!

A tradition for the teachers at his school is a year-end golf outing, so he will be late coming home this evening, but no biggie - we have all summer and beyond to begin our retired life together.

He is a special ed teacher, so he didn't have the file drawers full of stuff that yours truly, an English teacher, had. He's not been bringing much home. But I just had to show you a couple of things he DID bring home.

Now I know why we could never find any umbrellas around the house or in the cars. These FOUR were in his room!

He also brought this very flat, very faded pillow. I don't even remember it, let alone remember making it. He must have had it for an extremely long time. I think he used it for a seat cushion for awhile, then he got a padded desk chair and it's just been haning out in his room ever since. The 3 buttons on the other end are all missing, so I think I will replace those and use it! A well-worn pillow works for us!

Happy Retirement, Sweetheart! Hope we don't drive each other crazy!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Signature Quilt

My second signature quilt is completed - well, this is still a quilt top. I will get it to my quilting friend ASAP. (My first signature quilt commemorated my grandmother's 90th birthday back in 2007. I thought I had some pics of it, but I'm coming up empty...I do know how to fix this though! *grin* )

This is from Mom's 75th birthday celebration back in October. I worked on it some in the fall, then two things side-tracked me. First, I realized that I wasn't going to have enough of the fabric I planned to use. Second, Christmas snuck up on me!

I had 3 charm packs of Fig Tree fabrics -- two of one line, one of another. (Mill House Inn was one of them. Not sure I can remember the other.) Well, I did a bad job of estimating how much I would need, and since both lines of fabrics are long out of stock, I spent some time 'stewing' about how to proceed. I ended up using complimenting fabrics from my stash. The result is that I have a very scrappy, cottage-y, floral-y quilt. I think Mom will like it.

This view might make the pattern a bit more visible. I had the folks who attended the party sign a 3.5" square piece of muslin. Then I cut triangles out of the charm squares and created a square in a square block that measured approximately 4.5". The work was pretty easy, but I was inventing it as I went - there was no pattern to follow; only what I was envisioning in my head. (that spells trouble, don't you know!!)

So that is finished. Whew. I had hoped to have it all done by Mother's Day. Oh well.

While at Sharon's Monday, I worked on this and Sharon worked on some home dec projects before returning to her Bursting Stars. No new pics of that, but I will show you a pretty yo-yo topper she had on her china cabinet.

And, it's been nearly a year since you met Rose, Sharon's puppy. She is growing up!

Since sewing on Monday, I have had a different sort of project.  I had to read our book for book club which is later tonight (Thursday). I read this about 6 years ago and loved it, so was very happy when the group agreed to read it. I am enjoying it all over again!

Back to quilting and sewing tomorrow!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Friday Group at My House

It was my turn to play hostess to the Frankfort Girls on Friday morning. I tried a new coffee cake recipe - one that called for sour cream, egg whites and chocolate chips.

The recipe made a huge cake - 9x13" cake pan. No problems with making it; whipping the egg whites was different (for me), but do-able.

With coffee, not too bad. I am not raving about this recipe, however, as I am not a fan of chocolate with my coffee cake! All that chocolate made this incredibly rich. I thought the recipe sounded interesting, and I am glad to have tried it, but it won't be one of my go-to coffee cakes.

So, what did we work on? Lots of things to show today, so let's get started.

Sheryll is so ambitious! She does so many applique projects in all forms - table runners, mats, wall hangings, etc. This is her current project, and we all hinted that she could make one for us, too! Here's the pattern.

I have not ventured into the world of wool which is becoming increasingly popular by the number of patterns and samples I see at quilt shows and in magazines. This is really pretty, don't you think?

This table mat is one that Sheryll recently finished and brought along today to show to us. Sweet! This is made of felted wool, while the previous one uses wool. I don't know the difference, but either way, they look mighty nice.

Moving around the kitchen table, we arrive at Terry's ongoing embroidery project. She exclaims that she is "getting so sick of this project!" Well, push on, Terry, you'll get it finished one of these days.

I believe I have shown different parts of this project in previous posts. It is a block of the month sampler. The blocks are small, and I am sure the progress seems so slow. I feel for ya, Terry!

I was next at the table, but we will skip me and move over to JoAnn. She was quilting a wall-hanging.

JoAnn also had two recent finishes - or semi-finishes - to show us.

This quilt top is a recent pattern purchase she made - I believe at the Cincinnati show we attended last month. She was eager to do a quilt with cheddar yellow in it. Didn't this turn out nicely? So simple, yet so eye-catching.

She is modeling here for us the new slouchy bag she made for her trip to England. (She's there now!) This pattern was also purchased in Cincinnati, if memory serves me, and she intends to use this on day trips while she's touring. I may have to borrow this pattern. I think I want one for myself, and I'm thinking both my girls would like one, too. ;-)

Sharon brought along a cross-stitch project today.

This is going to be a stocking for one of Sharon's grandchildren. She's had several (grandchildren) in very quick succession, so I imagine she has a bit of catching up to do - especially if each grandchild is getting one of these stockings!

Now, what was I doing? I mentioned in the 'minutes' of our previous group meeting that I had brought out another Schnibble for hand-quilting. Here is Darcy. I love it. And I love quilting it!

I made this almost exactly 2 years ago. Click here, if you are interested in those details.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thinking Pink

This morning Columbus hosted the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. My ride picked me up at the ungodly hour of 6am, we met the rest of the crew, and off we went. What a great day!

The account I heard was that 50,000 walkers and runners were expected for this event. It is the most incredible thing to see in the middle of a major metropolitan area - that many people filling the streets as far as the eye can see.

I walked on a team called the Buckskin Angels. Buckskin Township, Ross County, Ohio, is where I live; Buckskin Elementary is the small, rural school where my 3 children attended when we moved here in 1992. Two Buckskin teachers have lost their breast cancer battle, while two others are survivors. This is such a tight-knit little school, the rest of the staff, many local residents and others have formed this team to honor those we've lost and those who are survivors.

 This happy gal is our team captain, JoAnn, a survivor. Don't you just love that pink wig?

This is the group of girls I play cards with. Three of them teach at Buckskin, while one is the cafeteria lady for the district, another is just close through friendships, like myself. We look extremely cheery for 7-ish on a Saturday morning, don't we?

Picture a sea of people in the street as far as the eye can see. In this photo, they get lost in the haze off in the distance.

As  many people as there were in front of us, there were just as many behind us! Again, the crowd fades into the horizon, but that is a mass of people all the way to the distance.

At the end of the race, the survivors walk through their own finish line. Here are JoAnn, our captain, and Debbie, a friend from Greenfield. It is so touching to see the survivors getting such support from everyone. I dropped more than a couple tears through this very moving event.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cash and Prizes??

No, just prizes. I never won much of anything before I started reading all these quilting blogs. I don't respond to every giveaway that I see, but some of them seem fun, and the "goodies" are things that I would use or want.

A few weeks back I imagine a lot of you saw the 100 Blocks Blog Tour sponsored by Quiltmaker magazine's blog Quilty Pleasures. To promote their latest edition of 100 Blocks, they were doing lots of giveaways on lots of blogs. I didn't get around to it on all the days, but I browsed a few blogs and entered to win some stuff.

Lo! and behold! My # was drawn! Day 3 was my lucky day!

So, you want me to quit blabbing and show you my stuff, right? The handsome man in the brown truck came this afternoon, and I am so excited to show you!

This little tin box is just as sweet as can be. Inside? Fabric!!

Ooohs and aaahhs!

These are from Jinny Beyer's new Christmas line of fabrics called The Jinny Beyer's Christmas. Very rich colors. Won't they make a nice holiday project? They are quarter-yard cuts, so pillows or table runners, or something of the sort will likely be the go-to project I choose.

And in the bottom of the box, a plethora of patterns!

This looks totally fun. Would love to do this one - maybe soon! I'd do it in red and white, too, just like the picture. Then maybe I'd try it in blue, yellow, black, brown...

This looks fun and fast. I hope it calls for 2.5" strips; then it will be even faster! I guess I could look to see if it due time, in due time...

What a bright, cheerful quilt this is! I can see this made totally scrappy, and Lord know, I've got  scraps!

This pattern relies on 3 of my favorite blocks: 4-patch, 9-patch, and hour-glass. I see another scrappy quilt in this design.

And the magazine that made it all possible - 100 Blocks, The Orange Issue. A lot of the bloggers I follow are featured in this issue, and I know I will enjoy seeing them. I am saving it for relaxing later this evening.

Like I said at the top, I never won much of anything before I began following the quilt blogging world. But thanks to the generosity of these bloggers, I have had my name drawn now 2 or 3 times. Such fun. Giveaways draw a lot of traffic to a blog, so it sounds like a win-win to me.

Happy Quilting, Friends!