Thursday, June 30, 2016

Floral Columns - Reverse Side

In keeping with my plan to have a reversible Floral Columns quilt, I stitched up the reverse side yesterday. The first side - Tuesday's effort - features the colors of spring, a light, airy mix of pastels and vivid colors.

The back - side 2, if you will - features the colors of autumn: rich, warm hues of orange, chocolate, green and red.
 As soon as I finished side 2, I pressed it and dashed out to our newly hung clothesline. It was after 6pm and the evening shadows darkened my shots considerably.

 I tried a few different angles so that the shadows might have less impact on the colors. I know, it's like torture to have to look at several pictures of the same quilt. *wink-wink*

I now have the front and back of Floral Columns completed. If I take this to Terry for quilting, I will have to add fabric to one or the other, as they are exactly the same size presently. The longarm machine needs to have the backing larger. I could just add one more column to the back; this could then become part of the quilt back, or I could trim it off, depending on how much is drawn up in the quilting process.

I don't know if all that makes any sense or not, but suffice it to say, I have been considering my options for finishing the quilt.

Another thing I have been considering is how simple and easy this quilt was to piece. The pattern came from a book by Kaffe Fassett, but most of us know that this doesn't really require a pattern at all.
 The width of each column is whatever you decide to make it (I went with 8.5" because that's the width of my ruler), and the number of columns is also optional - make it as big or small as you desire. Even though a pattern isn't absolutely necessary, I am glad KF decided to put this simple quilt in his book, otherwise I would never have come up with this idea on my own. Had I not seen it in print, all my gorgeous fabrics would still be in the bins and tucked away in the sewing room.

We have reached the end of June! The year is half over already, if you can believe that! Gracious! And if you want to know something else special about the end of June, just click here. (The magic number is now 37.)

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Sewing With Friends

The sewing day with Sharon and Kay was a huge success! I doubt it is humanly possible for three women to have more fun playing with gorgeous fabric than we had yesterday.

We began the day with a simple goal in mind - make our own version of the Kaffe Fassett quilt called Floral Columns. The three resulting quilts all look so incredibly different, yet each one is absolutely spectacular.

Sharon's is predominantly soft blue and teal with splashes of color throughout. Two or three of these columns are fabrics donated by Kay or me.

Kay's is dark blue - not surprising since she loves blue quilts and has made many over the years. Kay has a couple of donated columns from Sharon.

Mine does not follow a color scheme - I preferred to use a little bit of everything. I had my columns cut out ahead of time and went with 10 columns, while Sharon has seven and Kay has eight.

I have to give DH kudos for helping me string up a clothesline so that I could photograph my quilt out in the backyard woods. Wouldn't it be pretty to have all three quilts hanging on the line?

While sewing on Tuesdays with Sharon is a regular feature of my week, I am really glad to have included Kay in the day's activites. She is the one who started all of our interest in KF fabrics. Each of us have amassed huge stashes of KF, and from the looks of what we worked on yesterday, we all have different favorites. The one constant, though, is the incredible intensity of color. We just cannot get enough of it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Columns - Celebrating Summer

Back in May (I think) Sharon and I made a plan. We wanted to celebrate Kaffe Fassett and the beginning of summer - so we agreed to dive into our respective KF stashes and make a KF quilt we've long admired called Floral Columns. I introduced the idea here.

Over the weekend, I pulled out a couple of my KF fabric bins and began auditioning fabrics.

This grouping, above, is a spring-inspired combination that I really think will work well.

Sharon suggested that we select a second grouping that would be the back of the quilt, and then we'd have reversible quilts. Great idea and with that goal in mind, I pulled a second set of fabrics.

This combination has a decidedly darker and heavier look - winter tones? However I describe it, I like it and the distinct contrast with the first grouping.

All of them together; I think they will work. I do have a few more fabric bins to search through. I will look at them to see if anything is worth considering for these groupings.

The big sewing day is tomorrow. In addition to Sharon's coming, we have talked our Frienzie Kay, also a KF collector, into joining us. It promises to be a really fun and productive day!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Slow Stitchin'

I snapped this picture yesterday as we were heading out to the screened-in porch to sit for a spell - it's nice to sip a glass of wine while enjoying the cool of the evening. Those are some long shadows cast across my quilt frame which is set up in the bay window overlooking the back yard.

I have been pretty steady about quilting, if I do say so myself. I generally quilt 5-7 needles' worth a day, so it is going at a pretty good pace. I do have some mighty tender fingers at the moment, so I may back off a bit today. I have provided background on this quilt which you can read about here and here.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy some slow stitching; it sure is a great way to pass the time.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tying Up Loose Ends

With the spotty posting I have done lately, many topics have gone untended. Today seems as good a day as any to pull together some of those loose ends that pop into my head at odd moments.

We welcomed summer this week. One thing I love about living in Ohio is that we get to enjoy varying seasons. As much as I love traveling to tropical beaches, I still prefer to live in a place where we have such variety in the weather. Summer skies are gorgeous here and I love seeing long shadows cast across our front yard each morning as I begin my day. Enjoying a cup of coffee on the screened porch while the birds flit about our various feeders and seeing the new blooms on my DH's flowers - all these things make summer a delightful time of year.

(Copied from Facebook/NBA)
 Another great thing about living in Ohio - we have some pretty awesome sports teams. Our Cleveland Cavaliers are NBA Champions! What excitement and pride we have in this championship! That final game on Sunday night was a nail-biter, and when we ended with the victory I was screaming and jumping around, which caused the dog to go into a barking frenzy, and the house was chaos for about 45 minutes after the game was over - at something like 11:00pm. We are sports fans, for sure. It's been electrifying, and I do believe that our Cleveland MLB team, the Indians, are feeding off the Cavs' success - we are currently sitting atop the AL Central and looking quite strong on all fronts - hitting, pitching and fielding.

The week prior, I hosted the Frienzies for our monthly get-together. Gosh, I love these ladies! As co-workers at CHS, we became good lunch-time buddies; and we have made a concerted effort to remain tight as one-by-one we retired.
I suppose you can guess which two are yet to be retired?? Yeah. Hettie and Susan are still teaching, although Susan has just one more year.

Lately, our get-togethers have been potluck style, which have been lots of fun. We are trying new recipes and enjoying all the variety.

Watermelon, feta and mint salad; edamame cole slaw; bread varieties, bellinis.
Chicken Parmesan, pineapple casserole, cauliflower casserole; corn casserole.
And also a week ago, there was quilting with the Frankfort Girls at Sharon O's house. I did not take pictures of any of our projects, but I did grab a pic of Sharon's pretty centerpiece.

This week, I have had to get some reading done for book club. The selection for this month was short stories by Willa Cather, and since she wrote so many, they have been compiled in many different collections. So I found a free download in the public domain, which I managed to work on steadily as the week wore on. I love Cather's novels My Antonia and O Pioneers and have read them both multiple times. She can describe a scene better than just about anyone, in my opinion. I always come away from reading her work with notions of how I wish I could write.

Another book I started is Blessings by Anna Quindlen, our author from last month. I have had to put it aside, but definitely plan to get back to it this week.

Thanks for letting me collect myself today. Perhaps I can be a bit more regular about posting quilt-related stuff for awhile. That is my plan, at least!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Quilt For Abby and Stephen

At last I can reveal the quilt I made for my niece and her new husband Stephen. It was delivered into their hands last evening at their house, with Mom and my sister and brother-in-law, Sandy and Tim, also in attendance for the great reveal.

 The three pictures above are all taken here in my spare bedroom. I finished the binding Wednesday evening, but waited until daylight yesterday to get pics. I love that is so simple and non-fussy. That describes the couple to a T. Neither of them care for fussy or fancy.

 Abby holding and unfolding the quilt.

 "Show us the back!" Amazingly, their sheets are black and white toile, so this - quite by accident - fits in with their existing bedding.

 Stephen gets in on the action and takes a look.

We hold it open to inspect more closely.

It was a fun quilt to make, and we had a fun visit with the newlyweds and family. Abby had a gazillion pictures on her phone of their honeymoon trip to Colorado and Wyoming, so we 'oohed and aahed' over those.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ohio Amish Country

I have been a bit sporadic in my posting lately, friends, and I do apologize. It seems like I just stay so busy with other stuff that posting falls lower and lower on my to-do list. I do remember how to quilt and operate a sewing machine and use a computer, so eventually I might get back to more reliable posting.

Here's an example of a day that took me away from home - and the computer. On Monday we drove to Coshocton to visit my FIL. Since Sunday had been Father's Day and we were at home enjoying visits from our daughters, we took Monday to go see Kevin's dad, Jim. He is in his late 80s and sees 2 of his remaining 4 children regularly. We live about 2-2.5 hours away, so our visits are less frequent. The remaining sibling lives in Florida, so we are lucky to see them once a year.

Anyway, off to Coshocton we went, and once we got there Jim suggested we take a ride. He enjoys looking at the countryside in Amish Country - we do, too! - so off we went. Before long, I was making a cheese purchase at Pearl Valley; they have the most delicious cheeses in as many varieties as you can imagine. Afterwards, we were just sight-seeing when lo and behold! We found ourselves coming into the little town of Charm.

Charm is the home of a fabulous quilt shop, you know. Miller's Dry Goods. It is a destination for many a quilter here in Ohio, as well as from out-of-staters, too. After my purchase, I selected a rocking chair on the front porch and visited with a woman from Savannah, Georgia, who was vacationing with her daughter.

My purchase?? Yes, let's get to that.

I love picking up one or two of their business cards -  shaped for English Paper Piecing!

This was what I needed to get. I'd been searching for a new thimble and had not found this one in any of my local shops. In trying to finish off the 6-pointed star quilt I have in the frame, I find that I am wearing out my old thimble.

In a bin of 1-yard cuts I made a wonderful discovery! A yard of this Lorraine fabric!! Too scrumptious to pass up! I will use this in my pre-cut project. Inner border? Yes, I think that would be fine, or maybe a middle border of 3, if I have the fabric on hand to do it. Wait and see; I will keep you posted.

And to prove the tremendous powers of restraint I possess of late, those two items were the extent of my spending. My determination to limit additional fabric purchases has taken firm hold of me; I rarely succumb to "the urge" to amass more. Working through the stash has been rewarding, so I think I will stay at it for awhile longer.

Last evening, I finished the binding on Abby's wedding quilt. We plan to go to Hillsboro this evening, so I will make arrangements today to meet up with them for a special delivery.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Wedding Pictures

A week ago Saturday, we celebrated the marriage of my niece Abby and her love, Stephen. The setting was the beautiful farm of the bride's parents - my sister Sandy and her husband Tim. The wedding ceremony took place by the pond and the reception was held inside their barn, a 140-year-old majestic beauty.

 The sweet couple, Stephen and Abby Baker.

Brother of the bride Will escorts his mother down the aisle.

 Parents of the bride, my sister and brother-in-law, Sandy and Tim.

 The rest of us - me with my other sister, Carol, with our brothers, Alan and Mark.

A great night-time shot of the newlyweds.

And that fabulous barn at dusk. Tim and Sandy really did a lot of work to get things ready; everyone marveled at the setting.

The bridal quilt has been quilted and I must finish the binding. I plan to have it in the hands of the newlyweds later this week if we can work out the logistics. Then we shall at last have pictures!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sharon's Pre-Cut Beauty

Both Sharon and I are in cahoots with using our American Jane fabric - Lorraine, specifically. We were both crazy about Lorraine when it came out, so we have made a plan to create some magic with this gorgeous stuff. Yesterday's post was about my creation. Today's post is all Sharon - she even provided all the pics. *thank you*

Sharon had her jelly roll of Lorraine, and she also had a layer cake. This gives her entirely different options and she has come up with a beauty.

She had just the book to go to, also, shown above with her beautiful lilies in the background. (Sharon told me that the very next day, all the lilies were gone thanks to the deer in her neighborhood having a feast.) Anyway, the pattern Sharon is using is called Old Gold, shown below.

When we sewed together here on Tuesday, she made her hourglass blocks. Take a look at this yummy gorgeousness.

I think I can safely speak for Sharon when I say that these quilts have been major F-U-N to work on. Every combination of fabrics brings a smile, and there simply can't be more happiness in a quilt than the two we are making with our Lorraine fabric.

Happy Quilting, Friends!