Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Retail Therapy

Oh, how good it feels to make a few fabric purchases! Once upon a time, I bought fabric with wild abandon. Now, I am much more deliberate in my purchases, having realized that I'd best be attacking the stash as opposed to increasing it.

I mentioned in the last post that I got to do a bit of shopping in Cincinnati and Waynesville last week. Let me show you what I bought.

I collaged the pictures; I guess I am getting lazy! This is just so much faster! Anyway, the top left is a stack of yardage all from the Lario line. This line has been on my radar since Sharon P. showed it to me a couple of months ago. I have absolutely no ideas about what this yardage will be used for,  so I will just stare at it for awhile.

The top right is from Sentiments, a line by 3 Sisters. In the back of my mind I have a red and white quilt formulating, and this just looked too luscious to pass up.

The 2 charm packs in the bottom left are by American Jane. I already have some yardage , not from this line, but from previous lines, and they will all work together. There are some wonderfully bright reds and blues in this line.

The two fat quarters in the bottom right photo are gray pieces from the Morris Apprentice line by Barbara Brackman. I have that whole line stashed away for that wonderful quilt - Tapestry - that Kelly had on display at Old Town Fabric Shop in Chillicothe. I figured a couple extra pieces might come in handy; and if I don't use it in that quilt, I could set these aside to use in the gray and yellow quilt I am planning to start soon.

The display at Old Town Fabrics.

My pattern and fabric, waiting and ready to start.
Better be getting busy, hadn't I?? Always so many projects, and yet I spend so much time dithering about what to start next. Gracious!

I think I will try to be productive today; how about you??

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Whole Lot of Stitching

Thanks to the Frankfort girls, especially Terry, we spent parts of three days - big parts - sewing and shopping.

Last Wednesday and Thursday, Terry invited several of us to join her on a trip to Lavender Street quilt shop in Cincinnati, followed by lunch at the Montgomery Inn, which is just across the street. It was a wonderful trip, but it wasn't over! On our way back home we drove up to Waynesville to shop at Fabric Shack. It has been ages since I've been there, and it made me miss the days when Grandma and I would go there together.

Topping off the week, on Friday, the regularly scheduled Frankfort girls were meeting, you guessed it, at Terry's. Lots of sewing, I tell you, lots of sewing.

I want to show you the variety of projects we worked on. I had so many pictures I put them into collages to speed up the posting process.

Above are several finishes that various members of our group shared. Isn't it inspiring to see such great finishes?! It keeps me so motivated to get wonderful projects like these done, myself. The top two are Terry's and the two on the bottom are Sheryll's.

The first quilt is by Sheryll, and the rest above are by Terry. She made the two Ohio State bags while we sewed on Thursday.

In the above collage, the first quilt is JoAnn's. She made it for a recently married friend from the blouses of her beloved grandmother. It is now quilted and ready for binding. The pink and brown quilt is Sheryll's, the Easter chicken is part of a table runner by Sharon O., and the quilt in the lower right picture is Sheryll's Carson's Courtyard. I am working on my own Carson's Courtyard, so this was nice to see. I will be showing my progress on it in an upcoming post.

Above we have pieces of work from Laura. She loves reproduction fabrics and she loves quilts with teeny-tiny pieces.

 Sheryll continued working on appliqueing panels of the quilt she has been working on - A Little Porch Time.

Susan, another quilter who joined us at Terry's, worked on this fun juvenile quilt, shown in the last three pictures. The first picture is a pinwheel project Terry worked on. She finished it while I was away for a bit, so I didn't get a picture of the finish.

The first picture is one of the blocks Susan was using in her juvenile dinosaur quilt. She kept laying out parts of it on the couch, and both of Terry's dogs were quick to jump right on up to "test" them out! The top photo is of Maddie, and Millie is below.

The third picture in the collage is one of several blocks that JoAnn worked on. She had cut them out earlier, and seemed surprised that they turned out so well. The blue and brown with neutral background looks really appealing!

I mentioned above that we did some shopping on Wednesday. Well, I made a few purchases at both Lavender Street and Fabric Shack. I am still trying to keep my fabric buying to a minimum. That stash isn't getting all that much smaller, even after all the sewing I've done since retiring. Adding more to the stash seems counter-productive; I still think I need to get a few new pieces, though!

Well, come on back tomorrow! I will show you either my shopping buys or my progress on Carson's Courtyard. Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Lonely Sight

This is a sad, sad story.

It features this sewing machine which hasn't been used in simply months. It's been so long, in fact, that our cat Gracie has taken to having her afternoon nap in this chair.

Sharon P., the owner of this machine, has been otherwise occupied these last 3 or so months. Her services as Grandma and babysitter have taken priority in her life at present, and thus, the sewing machine sits silent.

Here's Sharon's project tub. Remember the Roman Holiday fabrics and the Carrie Nelson pattern called Three Coins? It's sitting there by the sewing machine, ready for action when Sharon is available.

A lonely machine is a sad, sad sight, true, but a happy grandbaby in a nurturing environment is far more pressing than a silent sewing machine. We can wait with our projects; we can't put our family on hold. Little Flynn is growing like crazy and is loving having his big brother Rye home for summer break. Who would want to miss that??

So, I guess this isn't such a sad story after all. Actually, it's rather refreshing, if  you think about it. Sharon is devoted to those boys, and no doubt they are thriving in her care.

Don't worry, Sharon! Gracie will keep your seat warm!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

An Ancient UFO

Some quilters are embarrassed by how long they've had UFOs piling up around their sewing rooms. And, too, the number of UFOs cause definite consternation for some. Neither of these problems have been particularly bothersome to me, however. And that is a good thing because I have many and have had for a number of years.

Case in point, these paper-pieced blocks that I began mostly just to "play around" with the technique of paper piecing. I really had no burning desire to have a finished quilt, I just wanted to use some of my wonderful fat quarters and this was a handy excuse.

Once I got tired of it, into a tub it went, and it "aged" for oh, about 15 years. Then it started gnawing at me. Taking up space in a tub and on a shelf - why, if I'd just get that back out, it wouldn't really take all that much time to finish it and have it ready for quilting. I wrote about it here.

It finally made the list of 2013 goals, and I am happy to report that I have finished the quilt top.

 It isn't very big, at just 4x5 blocks, but it was all the effort I wanted to put into it.

I added a couple of borders. It seemed to get some wonkiness, so I might have to go back and address that at some point. I had considered putting an outer border on, but this seemed to suit me just fine, so I am leaving it as it.

It feels pretty darn good to finally have something finished. It has been awhile! I think I lost a bit of my quilting "mojo" for a couple of weeks. I just haven't had much interest for some reason. Weird.

One UFO marked off the list.
One item on the 2013 list completed.
One item on the Ten Things This Summer list completed.

Wow! And it was just this one project! Cool!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lightning Strikes

I am having to use my phone to let you know that I am currently without Internet. Saturday evening lightning struck our antennae. Fortunately, the only loss is the Internet. Our computers, televisions and cable are all okay. I will get a proper post up when I can use my laptop. This smartphone posting is just not fun.

Happy quilting, Friends!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 20, 2013


We have a baby to introduce!

Eleanor Rose "Nora" Schrader arrived on July 13, one day past her due date. She weighed in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. Mom and baby had an uneventful delivery, and everyone is smitten with this sweet babe.

Here is the first picture I received via text message from Gramma Vickie. I would say that Nora is just a day old here.

A few days older - about 6 or 7 days. Still sleeping! I think Vickie will be quite sad at having to come back to Ohio this weekend. Trips to Wisconsin may become much more frequent, wouldn't you say?

I am told that Nora will travel to Ohio with her parents in a few months. While here there will be a baby shower. That is when Nora will get her quilt. I promise to follow up with pictures of Nora snuggling In her Kissing Fishes quilt.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I am discombobulated. Is that a colloquialism or do folks from all over use this term, too? I am using it to describe myself, as I have been quite 'out of it' - to use a more common phrase - to the point that I've even got my days mixed up. This is my Way-Back Wednesday for this week, and I'm a day late. Here's my brief but pathetic story.

Yesterday, when I posted about the progress (or lack thereof) on Carson's Courtyard, I hit the publish button and felt right smug in making something out of nothing. Then almost instantly, I looked at the date, and realized it was Wednesday, and I should have been posting the Way-Back Wednesday installment. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Two and half months ago, there was some concern on my part when I decided to do the weekly feature I've called Way-Back Wednesday. Knowing myself as I do, I knew that nothing is more troublesome for me than giving me a schedule to follow. Consequently, I feel pretty darn proud that I managed to get 8 weeks in a row done without messing up.

Now here we come to the 9th week - the final week, too, by the way - and I missed the date. Good grief, indeed.

For my last Way-Back Quilt, I share this c.1890 Double Nine Patch made with a solid cheddar yellow. I love that it is a 2-color quilt. For some reason, I think that seems like a rarity for those times. The background fabric is a very rough-looking muslin, and it is yellow-tinted, whether from the influence of the yellow patchwork, or just an aging fabric thing; it's hard to say. The backing is even rougher-looking muslin and looks more like a tightly woven cheesecloth than quilting fabric.

I date this beauty based on information gleaned once again from my grandmother, who gave me the quilt. She said she is fairly certain that it came from her mother's side of the family, and that very likely her grandmother made it. Perhaps, she thinks, her mother (my great-grandmother) helped with it as a girl. Think of that! If her hunch is correct, and I have no way whatsoever of proving or disproving it, this has made it's way through 6 generations!

It is in the best shape of any of my antique quilts. It shows very little wear, and is mostly stain- and dirt-free.

The little spot in the lower right is the only stain of note. Can you see the amazing quilting? Back in those days, the battings were much inferior to what we use today, as I am sure you all know. The quilting that went into these quilts is far superior, in my opinion!

I tried to take a picture that would show you some of the quilting. It also looks like the tracing lines still show after all this time.  Here are a couple more to give you a good look.

I think, if antique quilting is something you like to study, you can get a fair assessment from these pictures. I wonder: did the setting block have an ironed-on design that didn't wash out? Or did the quilter use a pencil (or pen!) that has still not faded? You can definitely see the markings in a few places.

The small nine-patch blocks finish out at 2.25-inches. That means the tiny pieces in each of those finish at 3/4-inch! Wow. The large blocks finish at 7-inches. The border is made of the same fabrics, yellow-neutral-yellow, all measuring 1.25-inches.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my old quilts. Even with their flaws and stains, I still treasure them - family heirlooms that I hope many more generations of our family will revere as I do!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Slow To Start

Listless might best describe me lately. Over the weekend, I came down with something, and I've just not been very industrious ever since. A seriously aggravating result of this listlessness is that my work on Carson's Courtyard has been very nearly non-existent.

I began cutting it out while the Frankfort girls were here on Friday morning. When I realized I was not concentrating as I should (too much chit-chat, you know!) I slowed down to avoid making mistakes. It remained spread out on the kitchen counter all weekend.

I finished cutting Monday morning, and took it all back up to the sewing room.  Here is where it still sits today, 24 hours later.

The cutting instructions were not complicated, but it did require an old English teacher, that requires concentration, and with girlfriends in the house, I knew there would be very little of that! *wink*

You can see that the colors are largely fall-themed, and I've used a lot of my older Thimbleberries and Moda fabrics, with a fair amount of select reproductions thrown in, as well.

That's a pile of 6.5" squares on the right. There needed to be 6 cut from each fat quarter. The strips on the right are the pieces that will be used for the binding. (I wonder how long it will be before I get to that point??) In the upper right corner, I have 4-inch squares that are to be used for the border cornerstones. I held off cutting the last two because I wanted to dig for a suitable fabric.

So now I just need to get busy stitching! It looks like an easy pattern, and should be a whiz using chain-piecing methods.

I did myself a little favor when I was finishing off several of those fat quarters. Instead of folding them back up to stick in the drawer, I went ahead and cut them into usable strips - 1.5"-, 2"-, and 2.5"- widths.

Hope you all are getting more accomplished than I am!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Bit of the Backyard Garden

Since most all of the recent pictures I've taken have ended up blurry, I am left with showing off some of DH's pretty flowers in our backyard.

I know, some of these are blurry, too.

Maybe I should get my eyes checked? I am currently satisfied with my dime store readers, but perhaps I should bite the bullet and see a doc? Maybe I just rush too much?

A lone purple coneflower behind a new variety (for us) of lily. We really like it, and wish we could remember how we acquired it.

A lily, deep red with golden centers. We love these colors. Makes a garden look so inviting.

Pampas grass in the rear, with a variety of lilies and coneflowers in front. We have a little garden architecture there, too, on the pedestal. We have had the pampas grass for so long that DH now divides it up and uses it all around the yard and down the lane.

The back of our house. We added on the screened porch in 2003 (10 years?!! Can't believe it's been that long!) See more pampas grass, a different variety, however. Also more lilies, sweet bay magnolia trees and crepe myrtle, which is just about to begin blooming.  We have a fountain there in front of the bay window, which we love (the fountain, that is; well, we love the bay window, too.) *an English teacher ought to be more precise, wouldn't you think??* 

That window above the corner of the porch is my sewing room. When the weather is nice and I open the windows, I get a good cross breeze and I get to hear the fountain. The bay window is our dining area, and we enjoy watching birds at the feeders there. We have a massive squirrel population, a direct result of birdseed, and our dog is hopeless at scaring them away.

So, the Frankfort girls were here on Friday morning. Only three of us were in attendance. It's been ages since all 5 of us have been able to attend at the same time! I will go ahead and show you the blurry pics. There are only two, so I suppose you won't mind too much.

Sheryll was working on binding her newly quilted brown and red log cabin. If you recall, she was putting this together a few months back when we were all sewing at Terry's. Click here to see.

Sharon was making a Santa stocking for one of her grandchildren. You will not believe this, but she had this entire stocking nearly done, (I should have taken a picture of it!) and realized that the sock was going the wrong way. So she is starting over. Now wouldn't you call that a labor of love? This was a complex cross stitch pattern, too! What a great gramma she is!

I have been working on my Carson's Courtyard. I will show you pictures of that tomorrow. I spent the weekend just a tad under the weather. I am feeling better now, but I have a fearsome cough and I sound like I swallowed a frog when I talk. It slowed me down, both here on the blog and on my stitching!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gettin' Things Straight

Wrong. Yep, I was wrong. Hard to believe, but I have been calling this quilt on my 'To Do" list by the wrong name - for a year!

On both my 2013 Goals and my Ten Things This Summer lists I have incorrectly labeled a quilt. Duh.

The quilt I want to make is called Carson's Courtyard (not Carson's Creek). Daggum'it! I dislike messing up stuff like that.

If you are interested in making this quilt, it is from the Summer 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects.

I promise to refer to it by its proper name from this point on. I guarantee, though, that I will have to stop and think before I type it, and that's a fact.

Okay, so on to other business. I have been working (but  not very hard) on the paper-pieced UFO. It is going to end up being a lap-size quilt. Only 20 blocks. I could make more, but I am ready to be done with this and so lap-quilt it shall be!

I will find a suitable gold/yellow in my stash to use for an inner border. Then I will probably add a tiny black border and then a deep red for the outer border.

Later this morning the Frankfort girls are coming for our regularly scheduled 9-noon get-together. I must get the muffins in the oven!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Ten Thing This Summer

I was prepared to examine my 2013 Goals list and make an assessment of how I'm progressing through this year's planned projects. I even have a draft of it saved.

Then along came a post on Sherri's blog, A Quilting Life. She'd come across a blog that explored "Ten Things This Summer" and was inspired to follow suit. Now, I feel compelled to put aside my 2013 Goals (for a time, not forever!) and do my own "Ten Things This Summer" list.

The thing about summer is that it just seems like the time to break away from "the plan," and do some spur-of-the-moment, spontaneous stuff. Now, many of you are thinking, "Jayne, you do that all year long, not just in the summer!" And you would be right. I do that - a lot. I know! But I still think I can make good progress on my 2013 goals and still do some of this extra fun stuff.

The trick is that a couple of the 2013 goals will appear on the Ten Things list. So let's just see what I've come up with, shall we?

1. Make a Swoon Quilt - using the gray and yellow fabrics I've pulled from my stash. I bought the PDF pattern yesterday, so I am already making progress on this one! There is an online quilt-along called Swoon 2013 that I may join, just to keep it fun. Part of this is on the 2013 list - the part about making something with the gray and yellow.

2. Finish the HST quilt -  I started this at quilt camp using my Kaffe Fassett scraps. I like that I've gotten a lot already done on this, and will be happy to continue.

3. Sew with Amie - we are in the process of setting this up, so it is definitely going to happen. This is 'Amie-of-the-Postage-Stamp-Quilt' - mentioned in this post.

4. Make at least one bag - Possibly two or more. I have made two Tulip Bags already, and I have these fabrics pulled for a third.

5. Give a quilt as a wedding gift - the daughter of a friend is getting married in late September. I think I should select one of the dozens of quilt tops from my closet and have it quilted in time to give to her as a wedding gift.

6. Start quilting Erin's Diamonds - I have my grandmother's ancient quilting frame; I want this quilt to be the first thing I do on it; I have the top ready, the batting is purchased; the pearl cotton thread is also purchased; all I need to do is prepare the backing, get the frame set up and load the quilt on. I like to think that something so modern as a Kaffe Fassett quilt will be quilted on an antique frame.

7. Make Carson's Creek Courtyard - this is on the 2013 list; I have the pattern and a plentiful stash; I think it should be a fast quilt to put together.

This is my friend Terry's quilt called Carson's Creek Courtyard. 

8. Make 5-10 more Farmer's Wife blocks - I have around 25 done. I need to keep going.

9. Finish Tumbler Quilt Top - I played around with this a month or so back. It needs to be finished.

10. Work on the applique panel - this goes on the top of the Row-A-Month quilt I began about 15(?) years ago. Geesh. Finishing this quilt top is another item on my 2013 goals.

So, I think I have a diverse list here that will keep me quite entertained. Three of them are on the 2013 goals, so that's good. I won't stray terribly far from that list. There is a nicely balanced mix of UFOs and new stuff, which keeps me happy. *grin*

I am linking my Ten Things to Sherri's Linky Party, so go have a look at the lists that other quilters have created for the summer.

Happy Quilting, Friends!