Friday, February 28, 2014

A Bride Gets Her Quilt

It has been a crazy, busy week, and I have not blogged in ages! How can I keep up??

Well, I will just share a couple of pictures from the bridal shower we went to last Saturday for my DD Erin. We had a lovely afternoon, and Erin got many wonderful gifts. Of course, I mentioned in an earlier post that I was planning to give her the Kaffe Fassett Broken Dishes quilt. She was, I think, thrilled to receive it!

Isn't this a great picture? My sister took it and I just can't get over how nice Erin and her red pants look standing in front of the quilt! I am so happy that she wanted this quilt. It's nice when a quilt goes to a home where it's truly wanted.

The Frienzies, several of whom were in attendance, decided to give Erin the quilt top of the blue KF quilt that she requested. She is quite thrilled with it, too, and will be given the finished quilt in May nearer the wedding date.

I will be sure to provide a full picture of it in May.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beautiful Blue Bags

Is there anything more wonderful than really awesome bags? Well, yes, probably a lot of things are more wonderful, but in accessory universe, awesome bags rank right up there. *grin*

I received the following pictures via text message Friday morning from my friend Kay.

Isn't it fantastic? My love of KF blues is well documented here on this blog, so you know this caught my attention! The bag was for the bridal quilt we Frienzies made for my DD Erin. 

 The bag is called Tabitha Jane, and Kay assures me that it is the easiest bag ever to make! I can't wait to get my hands on the pattern to see for myself! 

As if these two pictures weren't enough, she then sent two more! OMG! She made a KF blue Mondo Bag!!

The lining is even awesome!

The Mondo bag I made last year is one of my favorites, and I would so love to make another one. I used it as a beach bag on vacation at Myrtle Beach, and I often use it to carry "stuff" back and forth to various sewing days. It's a BIG bag and carries a lot of necessities.

The story gets better. Get this: Kay made a trip to Waynesville's Fabric Shack before coming to the bridal shower in Wilmington, and, unbelievably, she found refill patterns for the Mondo bag! She bought 3 - one for herself, one for me, and one for another friend. I might just make my own blue KF Mondo bag.

I will be sharing pics of the bridal shower soon!

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Terry's Terrific Finish

Every now and then a finish just needs to have a big celebration. I can't say that this post is all that big, but I can share Terry's celebration with you.

Her Farmer's Wife quilt is finally together! Yeah! Isn't it great?!! It was definitely an effort at perseverance. For those of you who know the quilt, and all the little blocks it contains, this is truly a reason to celebrate. Terry probably began it soon after the book came out. I remember she enrolled in a class at a now-defunct quilt shop in the Columbus area. I think there were a couple of blocks each month to complete. Anyway, off and on since about 2009, she has worked on it. Her 2014 resolve to finish off UFOs spurred her on to this magnificence.

Wouldn't you just love to have this quilt on your bed? I have a start on mine; maybe 25-30 blocks completed. I ought to make myself get back to work on it. I checked on the publication date when I went to grab the picture of the book - 2009. So a 5-year UFO finished. Great job, Terry!

Here are some sweet girls who helped us celebrate. The lovely Maddie, and her kid 'sister', Millie, did their best to pose for me. What good doggies they are.

Have you noticed how many UFOs we are finishing? Terry is certainly winning the contest, but whenever a quilter finishes a UFO she's a winner, if you think about it. Are you motivated to finish some UFOs this year?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tell It To the Stars - February Block

Just like yesterday's featured block, today's is for a quilt along. It's called Tell It To The Stars and it's sponsored by Judy at Patchwork Times. After I finished off the APQ quilt along called Tone It Down in which I made the Burgoyne Surrounded quilt top, I at last had some time to get these other blocks finished.

What do you think? I was so uncertain as I selected the fabrics, even though I had DD2, Emma, helping me. After completing four blocks for two months, I think I can breathe a sigh of relief. It's going to be fine. I will explain that the background fabric is more uniform that the picture is showing. There must be some shadows on the left side of the picture. There is not that variation in the background at all.

In this quilt along, we make two blocks each month, so here they are. How nice. I like it!

We had freezing rain last night and an awful mess in our lane. One car stuck, the other car blocked by it, unable to get through. We had to have a neighbor come over with his truck this morning to pull out the stuck car. Then a different neighbor came this afternoon with his tractor and blade to give the lane a good plowing-out. The snow is finally melting, but the slush left behind freezes at night, leaving a very dangerous mess to drive on. I think our lane could be an alternate site for some of the winter Olympics events. If you want to come visit, come in May. Right now would be a bad time, unless you want to bring your bags and just stay for week or two!! Ha!

It's not so bad for us, but I sure hate to ask friends to navigate our lane.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February Wishes Block

It took me two weeks to get to it, but I finally have the February block put together for the Wishes Quilt Along, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop/Jolly Jabber. I didn't dare let myself put aside the Burgoyne Surrounded quilt, for fear that I'd not go back to it!

February Block
I'm using a vintage fat quarter pack of Fig Tree fabrics called A Day in the Country. And I have to say I really love the look I'm getting with these blocks in this fabric. It's turning out to be a great combination. Yay!

This month's block was decidedly more complex than last month's. Compare just 16 pieces in January's block with 96 pieces in February's! Whoa, Nellie!! They were smart to make the first block so easy; that sucked me right in. Oh well, it's just one block, and it took me just one evening. Not so bad.

January's Block

January and February blocks, side by side
Won't this be a pretty quilt? I've never seen a Fig Tree quilt I haven't liked!! So exciting!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, February 17, 2014

What a Winter

The winter of 2013-14 will go down as one of much snow and record-setting low temperatures. Friday afternoon, Valentine's Day, found us being covered up with the most beautiful snow. While we have had previous pretty snows, this one shrouded our entire property in a stunning veil of large lacy snowflakes.

I'm not one to complain much about the weather. I find I am quite content watching the Olympics, sewing, reading, cooking or baking, and generally just puttering around the house. We have two birdfeeders that provide no end of enjoyment watching the ever-growing flock of birds that frequent them. We counted over a dozen male cardinals yesterday! Twelve! They are beautiful pops of red against the pine trees and snow.

We were housebound this past weekend, as we didn't trust the car to get us out the driveway without getting stuck. I will try getting out later this morning as I must go to OU-C for my Monday classes.The man we called to plow our lane never showed up, so it might be tricky!

I spent much of the weekend sewing. I've caught up on the Wishes quilt along and the Tell It To The Stars quilt along. I will show you these new blocks in coming posts. I have also finished tacking down the binding on Broken Dishes, and it is now ready to gift to DD1 this coming Saturday at the bridal shower. Finally, I made some significant progress on a t-shirt quilt that I've been commissioned to make. My second one! I would like to make quick work of it, and get if off my plate well before the intensity of the wedding begins to take over.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Finished!! Burgoyne Surrounded Top!

Man, oh man, if you had told me I would make this quilt and get the top done in a month's time, I would have certainly thought you were crazy. Yet I have done it, and I couldn't be happier with my finish!

I've gone back to see when I started this madness, and it appears I cut out and sewed the first block on Saturday, January 11. I wrote about it here. That makes one month and two days to the finished quilt top. For me, that is an accomplishment. I tend to get about 3/4ths done on something and then begin something else.

My interest was piqued after I saw several of my favorite bloggers all working on different versions of the same quilt. After just a bit of investigating, I discovered that it was a quilt along sponsored by American Patchwork and Quilting magazine called Tone It Down, in the February 2014 issue. The idea was to make a quilt with gazillions of different fabrics; from a distance it all would look uniform, while up close, the scrappiness would be evident.

The block is called Burgoyne Surrounded, and while I knew that it was a block with some history attached to it, I had to look it up for particulars. John Burgoyne was a British general who led an attack on Saratoga, New York, in the American Revolutionary War. He surrendered to American troops after being surrounded. It is said that this victory for the Americans was the turning point of the war.

When I was planning my version of the quilt, I decided on using a patriotic theme, as the block was historical in nature. I had no idea that it represented such a pivotal battle in the fight for freedom, so that makes me really glad that I did go with red, white and blue.

In my pictures I see more contrast than I want to see in my background fabrics. In real life, it is not nearly as pronounced. This makes me think that I might consider giving it a tea-bath. I think it might look more uniform if the lighter backgrounds had that darker tone. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would be very interested to hear them.

Do you think you would be interested in seeing some of the other quilts? You can search the blogs of the following quilters for an incredibly wide variety of "takes" on the Burgoyne Surrounded quilt. I have to say, these ladies probably worked like the dickens to get their quilts completed. But to anyone reading their blogs, it was like they started one day and were nearing the finish the next! It was intimidating! I think I worked about as steadily as I could, and it took me a month. Maybe those gals have elves that come in at night to work on their quilts, like that old cobbler in the fairy tale. Hmmm, wonder how I get myself an elf?

Here's the list of quilters/bloggers who participated for the magazine:
Amy's Creative Side
Bunny Hill Designs
Thimble Blossoms
Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
Quilt Jane
All People Quilt/Jennifer Keltner
Jolly Jabber at Fat Quarter Shop
Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings
Moda Lissa
A Quilting Life

 If you Instagram, the hashtag is #apqquiltalong.

Hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Bridal Quilt Takes Shape

I spent all day Tuesday at Frienzie Sherrie's house and together we finished the quilt top that will become my daughter's bridal quilt from the Frienzies. This marked the third Tuesday in a row that various Freinzies have met for this project, and to have completed the top already is quite an accomplishment, if I do say so myself. Now, we did select a very easy pattern, and we did have two machines going most of the time, with another person cutting, and another pressing. Having lots of hands did make the job go fast.

Because it will not be gifted until nearer to the wedding in May, I will just share a couple of tiny, non-revealing pictures, so you can get an idea of the colors and fabrics.

The pattern, from the Kaffe Fassett book Simple Shapes, is called Yellow Potpourri. Because Erin expressly said she would like a blue KF quilt with pops of red and pink, we changed out the colors and everyone is beyond pleased with the result. An additional change we made was to make it wider and more suitable for a bed quilt. The original pattern was quite narrow, but easy enough to change. Do you see the three vertical sections of the quilt center? Well, we made two of the third section. We then arranged the four inner sections in this order: 3, 1, 2, 3.

Do you follow that??

It’s a good thing we got this one finished quickly, as another Frienzie daughter has gotten engaged. Pam’s daughter Carly has accepted a proposal, and I hear we might be doing a red quilt for her. We Frienzies are churning out bride quilts assembly-line-style these days!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Broken Dishes

There are two reasons why I pulled Broken Dishes out of the closet a couple of weeks ago and asked Terry to quilt it for me.

First and foremost, my DD1, Erin, said she would like to have it as a bridal shower gift. What?? Yes, you read that correctly. We will be attending a bridal shower for Erin later this month, and I wanted something special to give to her. I asked her if she'd like to  have a quilt, and she said she would. (Good answer!) After examining the virtual contents of the "quilt closet" via the tabs at the top of the blog, she selected two KF quilts. She knows it will be either this one or the other one, and unless she reads about it here, it will be a surprise at the shower.

Second, it is the year of finishing UFOs, and this will qualify.  I started the top maybe 8 years ago, finished it in 2010, and it's been hanging in the closet ever since. It will be gratifying to finally label this UFO as a finish.

So, feast your eyes on the great job Terry did in quilting it. I know it was a challenge, what will all those thick intersections. But by gosh, she persevered and I love the result!

I need to get busy on the binding. The shower will be here before I know it!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

UFOs from January

When we met at JoAnn's on Friday, we had quite a number of finishes to show off. We have completed our first month of the UFO Challenge. Also there are additional projects interspersed here. I think you will enjoy the pretties, so sit back and enjoy. (I'm having trouble with what seems to be slow internet service, so I am just posting the pictures, which is what you are most interested in, anyway, right?)

From JoAnn we have these:

From Terry:

From Sheryll:

I have already shown you my Pink Lemonade, which was my January finish.

It is going to be a productive year!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Olympic Quilting

When Olympics coverage takes over our evenings, I bring a quilting frame downstairs and set up a spot for hand quilting.

My fingers get all calloused, my shoulders get tired and I get LOTS quilted. The sad thing is that the Olympics happen only every 2 years, which means I hand quilt so infrequently. I am trying to finish up something that has been in the quilting frame since 2010! 

This brown and pink quilt top was made in March of 2010. I remember how fast it went together. It was quite gratifying how quick it was. I then put it in a quilting frame in October to demonstrate at the Greenfield Historical Society's History Day. Afterwards, in true 'me-fashion,' I tucked it away for an entire year, and took it back to the 2011 History Day. I didn't take a single stitch on it in the entire year!

And then I repeated that scenario through the next year! You know me to be a procrastinator, right?

Well, by the time 2012's History Day rolled around, I figured I'd best put a new quilt in the frame, for surely someone would remember I'd been quilting the same lap quilt for 3 straight years.

I am very close to being finished with it, so that tells me that I must have worked on it at some point other than just those two History Days. I can find no blogged record of it, though.

And here it is--the Sochi Olympics. I have worked on it this evening and have nicely pricked fingers. Not too sore yet, as it's early.

I did sew some of the Burgoyne Surrounded rows together this afternoon. Looking good!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, February 7, 2014

9-Patch Update

Doing 30 9-patches was a walk in the park compared to constructing 20 Burgoyne Surrounded blocks. And if it weren't for my blogging about this project, I would quit right now. Yes, I have reached the point of being tired of this project and I'm ready to start the next. I have always been this way. That's why I have so many starts and so few finishes. But I digress...

These 9-patch blocks, as I said, were easy and fast to finish. I am now taking a deep breath and getting myself ready for putting it all together.

I did the prep work just after breakfast. These stacks are ready to be connected. We have 60 in the top pile and 30 in the bottom pile. Easy-peasy.

After lunch, I headed back upstairs to finish them off, and in an hour I had them constructed, pressed and photographed for your blogging pleasure. *grin*

Looking pretty spiffy, aren't they? I have the sashing strip already cut, so the quilt top will soon be taking shape!

All quilters face housekeeping duties, so this is nothing new to you, but I wanted to show you how much gunk gets into my machine after just a day of sewing. I dust it out about every other day, and just look at all the bits of thread and dirt. Gracious! Quilts like this one with lots of parts sure puts the sewing machine through the works.

Happy Quilting, Friends!