Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Garden's Bounty

Earlier this month I was the lucky recipient of a basket full of garden-grown tomatoes. My friend Vickie and her DH were about to leave for vacation and needed to dispose of a lovely assortment of grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, etc.

Happily, I took them. I ended up only using about half of them, though, as I passed some on to our mutual friend Sharon P. And half a basket was more than enough. I made the biggest bowl of bruschetta I've ever made!

I hope these pictures make your mouth water. This is one of the most refreshing summertime treats we have around our house. I make a meal of it some lunchtimes. It's best when first made, but also gets really rich after marinating in the balsamic vinegar dressing, and that's good, too.

Brown some crusty bread drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Rub some garlic on when it's just out of the oven, and top with a heaping spoonful of bruschetta! Molto bene!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More Stuff from Grandma

About a week ago, I spent an afternoon with Grandma during which time we tackled the desk in her sewing room. Again, I came home with some treasures.

This is Grandma's sewing kit. My mother has one similar to it, but I think it is in worse shape than this. We kids were pretty rough on Mom's, I'm afraid.


I will highlight some of the particularly sweet finds in these trays of Grandma goodness in upcoming posts. Let me just show you this for now.

This is a pair of 70-something-year-old scissors. Grandma said these scissors were what she used when she made little dresses for my mother and aunt when they were babies. They are quite dull now (the scissors, not Mom and Aunt Nancy), and a bit rusty and loose, but I think I can clean them up and make them usable. If not, I will frame them in a shadow box with some of the other goodies from Grandma's stuff.

There are needles galore, rick-rack, thread, tape measures, and pins - both straight pins and safety pins - in incredible amounts. In true young-wife-of-the-Depression fashion, she never threw anything away, that's for sure.

In addition to the scissors, another amazing find - a silver thimble with the initials GS engraved on it. GS, we think, must be Grace Shipman, my  maternal great grandmother. Grandma's mother-in-law. It is worn and no longer round; rather, it is flattened out to an oval-like shape. It must have seen a lot of use! I remember Granny - that's how she's always been known (in my lifetime, anyway). She was aged and somewhat senile (I mean that in a nice way). She sat a lot, and needed assisitance. My memories are very foggy, but that's the sort of thing that I do remember about her.

Well, I've digressed...I will get pics of some of these individual items and post them in some future episodes.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Monday, September 24, 2012

SWF - Sewing With Friends

I play a lot of WWF - Words With Friends on my iPad.

 I also do a lot of SWF. It is a much more satisfying endeavor, too, as there is something to show for my time. WWF keeps my brain active, but my posterior... well, let's not go there.

Here are some of the great things my friends have been making at a few of my recent sew-togethers.

A few of us sewed at Terry's house a week ago, and Sheryll was working on this. Impressive, isn't it? Well, it's even more impressive when you consider the size. Those little HSTs are about 1/2-inch each.

Here is a standard credit card pictured on it, to give you some perspective on the size. Unbelievable. This was a class that Mary offered at her barn up in Grove City a couple of weeks ago. The HSTs are made with paper foundation called Thangles, so that takes some of the scare-factor out of things. The finished block has a border made of those same HSTs, and it looks fabulous. Take a look.

I left before the border went on, so JoAnn sent this pic. Finished block: 12 inches. Incredible! And I love it! Sheryll said she would use it either as a little wall hanging or as a table topper. It will be pretty wherever she uses it!
Speaking of JoAnn, she made this wall hanging awhile back and proceeded to do some quilting on it. I really like this - both the pattern and the fabric/colors!
Monica worked on a rather intricate star block. The pieces were tiny, which always gives me reason for balking at making such patterns. Monica was undaunted, though, and had made good progress.
Terry worked on yet another blue and white quilt. I should have done a better job of recording the pattern - sadly, I have forgotten what it is called. The upside is that I imagine I will get to take a picture of the finished quilt top, so I can report later. She has all her blocks organized here, and made her way through the making of many, many star block units. (I think!)
A few days after I sewed at Terry's, I went to Sharon's and sewed with her. It was quite a satisfying day, one in which we got lots done!
This handsome fellow is about to be a big brother! Reilly, Sharon's grandson, is posing with the quilt he made at Quilt Camp. Read about Rye at Quilt Camp by clicking here. With help from his grandmother, he has backed it with fleece, tied it with floss, and added a bolster pillow. The new brother is due any day now, and this quilt will be waiting on the baby's bed.
Sharon, too, has been busy with baby preparations. She was putting the finishing touches on this quilt she's calling Birds on a Wire. She'd just finished machine quilting it, and we made a trip to buy binding. (I will speak more about this in a future post.)

 I got into the baby quilt action, too. As I was trying to decide on what to work on at Sharon's, I grabbed a Jelly Roll of Moda fabrics in baby blues, and did one of those "race quilts" that are so popular. I'd not yet done one of those, but I've been wanting to. Check this off my 2012 Goals list! I just love how it turned out. (That fabric shopping trip I mentioned above, involved my border fabric.)
I learned something while doing this quilt: one Jelly Roll will make 4 baby quilts. Good to know, for future reference. I made 2 and  have the remaining half-jelly roll on standby should I need more baby boy quilts.
I cut the border at 6 inches. I am so pleased to finish this all in one session of sewing, and expectant mother Amanda gave it her stamp of approval, too. Yaa! I will try my hand at machine quilting on this quilt. It is something I have very little experience with, so I will defintiely practice before tackling it.
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another Single Block Experiment

In the previous post, I admitted that I'd been doing a lot of piddling - no big-time projects, but lots of dinky things that a QDD-stricken gal can handle. QDD you ask? Quilting Distraction Disorder. I know most quilters have periods where there are just so many projects we want to work but we can't decide which to start first. The only thing to do is tackle some piddly little thing that will make the most of an hour or two.

And the piddling is fun, actually. I don't have any great big beauties to show you, but I have an ever-expanding stack of blocks that will one day become something. Here's the latest addition to that stack.

I "liked" something on Facebook awhile back, and now I get updates from a site called One recent update featured this star and gave a link to a free pattern. I followed through on that, got my free download and proceeded to make this block.

It's called Inverted Star and the tutorial was very easy to follow. If I make more, I will find a sturdier fabric for my background. You can see from this photo that my white is very thin. For a 'mock-up' block, it worked fine, though. That very bothersome intersection in the bottom left-hand corner is the result of my not following the tutorial's instructions to trim. *I learned my lesson.*

So, if you want this pattern, I believe you have to become a registered member of Craftsy. I have never gotten anything from them before, so I can't vouch for their stuff, but this block does appeal to me, and it was a simple process to download and use. Below is the Craftsy version of Inverted Star.

Photo: This is the block, in case the link in my earlier status wouldn't work.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Some New Great Grannies

I have been piddling lately. I don't have a "big" project on my agenda, but I am piddling on some smaller things. I continue to enjoy making these Great Granny blocks. Quilt Camp friend Anita commented that she really liked my Kaffe GG, so that sent me digging in my Kaffe stash to make some more! Thanks for the prodding, Anita!

In addition to these 2 Kaffe blocks, I used (mostly) the scraps from my Third Thrifty and made another.

Anita also asked about the pattern I am using. I printed it off the blog of Lori Holt called Bee in My Bonnet. If you click on that link, you will find her tutorial; that is what I've been using.

Basically, you need 2.5" squares for the print portion of your block, and background. (1 center; 4 - first round; 8 - second round; 12 - third round). The background requires 2 different sizes: (12) 2.5" x 3.5" for the sides, and (4) 2.5" x 5" for the corners.

To see my first block and other links to this quilt-along, click here.

I am convinced that there is a danger of becoming addicted, so proceed cautiously!!

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Third and Final Thrifty Finished

The experiment has concluded. I started with a picture of a quilt. It was quite simple in its design, so I knew I could make it without a pattern. Next, I found 4 fabrics in my stash with which to make this quilt. I just randomly decided that my pieced block would consist of 3.5" units; the rest would be built on that base size (used in the 4-patches). Here is that quilt, which I dubbed Victorian Roses, because that is the name of the large floral print.

The one thing I did not consider when deciding on color placement was the chain that runs across the quilt. Mine doesn't show up because I used fabric that was too light. I wish I'd used the darker blue instead, but that's water under the bridge now, isn't it? I made this quilt back in May, and I already have a back set aside for it as it awaits a quilting date.

While making this quilt, I had the brainchild to do another one with a base unit of 3" blocks for the 4-patches. I was just curious as to how much difference there'd be by reducing the size of the base unit. So, I scrounged around in the stash to see what I had available. In the mean time, I was searching around to see if I could locate a more proper name for this design in some of my quilt books. That's how I found "Thrifty," the name that was used in an old book of quilt patterns I have.

Here is a portion of version #2, Thrifty, using the 3"base unit. I worked on it at Quilt Camp back in mid-to late-June.

The burgundy floral is Butterfly Garden by Kansas Troubles from several years ago. I did get the darker fabric in the chaining spot this time, so the finished quilt does have that blue trailing down through the blocks.

I still wanted to do one more, this time using units of 2.5" for the 4-patches. So again, I went digging through the stash to see what I could come up with. That is what I've been working on at various times throughout this month.

I showed you the fabric a while back, and then again a few days ago. I'll show you again....

That dramatic leafy/paisley is a Windham fabric by Nancy Gere, which I think I bought in 2010. Washington's Legency, I believe is its name. I just got the borders on it last night, and here she is!

It's a pretty, sun-filled day here in Ohio, so the color is toned down a bit by the bright rays. I am quite happy with the red chain, and I am least happy with that blue-ish teal in the pieced blocks. It doesn't work as well as I'd anticipated. That said, however, now that I have the dark red and dark leafy borders attached, I find it more appealing than before.

That's my experiment, then. Three quilts all using the same pattern, but gradually reducing the size of the smallest unit each time. I think I like the 2.5" pattern the best.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Third Thrifty Almost Done

I have made some progress on a quilt, despite my MIA status here in bloggy land. You may recall this combination of fabrics that I shared a month or so ago.

I recently found the neutral on serious mark-down at my LQS, but the remaining 3 have been in my stash for awhile. I decided to make the 3rd Thrifty quilt with this fabric set, and have that experiment finished. So let's see how this all worked out.

I decided that I wanted the red fabric to form the chain across the quilt. I like how it looks.

I am putting on the borders today, so stay tuned for the finish, hopefully in the next post. I will also recap all 3 of the Thrifty quilts I made, and how that all transpired. It's not a gripping story or anything, but it does explain my thought process (scary!)

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's Been Awhile!

Geesh! The lazy days of summer sure do take a turn when September rolls around. Every day seems to be filled with stuff to do, and unfortunately for me, that hasn't always included sewing and quilting.

I am behind in reporting 2 sewing days - one with the Frankfort girls and one with Sharon P.

The Frankfort ladies met at the other Sharon's a couple of weeks ago. We 5 have not all been together in some time, as summer travels and family obligations have taken precedence. So it was nice to see everyone all back together again.

No one had any show and tell projects to share, but I do have some WIP (works in progress) pics.

Sharon O., our hostess, continued work on her counted cross stitch Christmas stocking for one of her grandchildren. Such detail!! It will be so pretty when finished and hanging on the mantel!

Sheryll continued working on appliqueing the border and letters onto this project. I am not sure if it will become a wall hanging or pillow. I'm betting on wall hanging. I do admire that workmanship, though!

JoAnn continued to work on quilting her wall hanging. She has traveled so much this summer; but this will be finished soon!

Terry worked on this patriotic project. Again, I am unsure, but I'll bet it's a wall-hanging. Love the choice of fabrics she's using in this!

I continued to work on hand-quilting my Darcy Schnibbles. I've been working on that for quite awhile, but like the others, often these projects are set aside for just this one day every two weeks when we get together. If we have no urgency about the finish, then we have a ready project to grap and go.

A few days after my day with these girls, I went to Sharon P's house for a day of sewing. She had been industrious since our last day together! Take a look!

This pretty fall-ready quilt was a kit! She said it went together fast. Looks great, doesn't it? I was completely surprised to see it, as I assumed if anything were to be finished, it would be Tag Sale. Well, guess what? It's finished, too!

I think the flash altered the colors a bit, here. But I've shown other shots in previous posts about this Robin Pandolph version of Tag Sale. So glad to see two finishes!!

Well, that's what all my quilting buds have been working on. I will be back soon to show you what I have been doing. Yes, even though I've not done a lot, I have accomplished a couple of things....stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Friends!