Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Round-up

Whew, what a month! I started with a hysterectomy, filled the middle with a quick trip to South Carolina, and then finished with a return to our morning walks.

The surgery was planned well in advance which gave me time to prepare several hand-sewing projects to occupy my recovery time. I glue-basted elongated hexies, some of which are shown in the first picture of the collage below. I also hand-quilted and did some random EPP stitching with other leftovers, an example of which is in picture 2.

Picture 3 is my mom! We celebrated Mother's Day at her house (this photo was taken earlier in the month at a restaurant), and we had our first homemade ice cream of the season!

Picture 4 is a table-full of goodies which were served at an afternoon tea I attended. A club I was formerly active in celebrated its 70th anniversary with a tea; all past and present members were invited. We had a lovely time, and the goodies were delicious.

Picture 5 is my May UFO, done to the flimsy stage. It is called Navy Monkey Wrench. With its completion, I am now 5-for-5 in UFO finishes this year - yeah!

Pictures 6 and 7 are from our very impromptu trip to Charleston and Georgetown, SC. After only about 24 hours of "planning," we took off early on a Wednesday morning, spent Thursday touring Charleston, Friday touring Georgetown, and Saturday touring Mt. Airy, NC, and part of the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way back home. We concluded the trip by stopping by my husband's hometown, staying the night with his dad, and getting back home on Sunday. It was thoroughly enjoyable!

Picture 8 is from a wine-tasting we attended as guests of our older daughter, who works for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Roughly a dozen or so Ohio winegrowers were on hand to share their best wines and entice us to their vineyards to shop for more. It was held in the Ohio State House lobby near the gift shop. It was well-attended and the wines were really good!

And finally, picture 9 is the paper-pieced finish from this past weekend. It has blocks that were, as the name implies, paper-pieced. I then machine stitched the top and hand-quilted it - what a mish-mash!

I have pretty much recovered from the surgery. My follow-up visit was yesterday, and the doctor tells me that no cancer was detected, and since all those questionable areas are removed, from now on I will never, ever have any concerns about that. DH and I have been getting back out to the bike path to walk every morning. I am beginning with 1.5-mile walks for awhile. I have a goal to be back to doing 3-mile walks by mid-June, and then to doing the occasional 4-mile and 5-mile walks by August. I will probably be able to do it sooner.

I have been making quilting goals like crazy for June - I had so many things on my May list that just didn't get done. I couldn't really foresee what recovery would allow; I'm not wallowing over those unfinished goals, either. I will just have to kick myself into a higher gear in June.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Frankfort Girls

The gals all came to my house Friday morning for our regularly scheduled get-together, the second time in a row that all 6 of us were present! I love when we can all attend - it makes for such wonderful catching up and fellowship. Let's have a look at some of our projects.

Jan shared a recent finish. She made her primary-color zig-zag quilt. She gave each of us this quilt as a kit when we were at Canter's Cave last month. Remember she had that zig-zag theme going on in primary colors? Here's a reminder, if you want to click back. Anyway, look at how gorgeous the quilt is!

Sharon O. is making a bag with elongated hexies in EPP-style. The versatility of this EPP craze is nothing short of impressive, and Sharon's bag will be, too.

At one of our recent get-togethers, Sheryll showed us the quilt she made for her daughter's upcoming wedding. It is now at the quilter's and I don't think I blogged about it, but Sheryll is using scraps from the quilt to make this pretty hexie quilt. It looks fantastic.

Even though I didn't blog about this quilt, I did take a picture of it. I am sure that when it is returned from the quilter, I will have a chance to photograph the finish.

I made a bit of progress on a hexie flower and sifted through a big tub of EPP templates that Jan brought. I also stitched a random 9-patch block made from the cut-away parts of the backing on my paper-pieced quilt. Haven't made a 9-patch in ages - guess what - it's still fun!

Terry and Becky came too, but I couldn't tell you what they worked on. We spent a lot of time looking at quilt books and planning a block-swap. Maybe all they got done was that! We also drew #2 for the June UFO. I will fill you in on what that is for me in a future post.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

I hope you are enjoying the official kick-off to summer. And I also hope you remember to honor the brave men and women of our great military who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

I found this next photo yesterday on Facebook, and, yes, I learned something (on FB!).

Military jets carrying fallen heroes are called Angel Flights. The flares used to create this "salute" make it look like an angel. Isn't that a fantastic thing to do?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Finally, A May Finish

Late Friday night, I took the last quilting stitch in my UFO of many years - the one I refer to as The Paper-Pieced Quilt. It has a long history - most of which has been spent in a plastic tub in the quilting room - but it now can at last shine in all its wondrous glory. (Sorry for the hyperbole.)

As quilts go, this one falls into the wall-hanging category, I guess. It measures at 41x48 inches. I think I will prefer using it on a table. We shall see.

Back in the late 1990s, several of my quilting friends were getting into paper piecing. I learned how to do it on these blocks. I had no plan in mind at all; I was simply learning a technique and grabbing whatever scraps I had handy to create each block. Had I used a plan, I would have definitely placed colors carefully so that a secondary design would be achieved. Oh well.

After I made the blocks, I just piled them away in a tub; on odd occasions I would come across them, pull them out and consider options. And then I'd put 'em away again.

At our 2014 Veterans' Day sewing event that Sherrie hosts each year, I brought this along to complete. Here is a brief mention of that.

And then instead of aging in a plastic tub, it spent a couple of years aging on a hanger in the closet. I pulled it out last October when I was preparing to demonstrate hand-quilting at our History Day event in Greenfield.

And Friday night, some eight months later, I stitched on the binding. Whew! What a needlessly long journey.

It seems rather typical of me, though, to have long-term projects like this. I often work in fits and starts on quilt projects. When I don't have a true deadline to meet, I am too easily distracted by other quilts or projects. This would be why I can count such an astounding number of UFOs stored here in the quilting room.

Let's have a look at this little gem in some random photos I took of her this weekend.

I can't say that I have very many quilts that represent so many different methods - paper piecing, machine assembling, hand quilting, and machine binding. All in less than 20 years! (hah!) 

Since this epitomizes s-l-o-w, I am linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching. Why not head on over there for a look around??

I have also linked this finish to Crazy Mom Quilts' Finish It Up Friday linky party. Go have a look-see!

Have a great week!
Happy Quilting!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Marking My Quilt

This long-time UFO has been nagging me to be finished for months now. I wrote about my interest in finishing it in this post from late February. I was experimenting with my grandmother's Pounce marking tool. It worked as long as I didn't carry my work around with me, but when I transported the quilt to and from our Friday morning Frankfort Girls sessions, I often lost my lines in the process.

This is a messy way to mark, so I disliked the idea of taking it along to mark in someone else's house.

This week, I realized that I only had about 30" of border remaining, so I dug out Grandma's marking pencils and used one of them to finish it off.

It stays on the quilt so much better. While I can see benefits to using the Pounce method, it does have its drawbacks. There's a time and a place for both, I can see now. Use Pounce when you have a lot of quilting to mark and when you are going to only quilt at home. Use pencils when you have just a bit to quilt and want to take it with you. Pounce is quite dusty (chalk dust); pencils need frequent sharpening and the method can be tiring on one's back.

I know I can finish this this week. We are watching a lot of ballgames - the Cavs are winning, and the Indians are on almost every night, too. We love our Cleveland sports teams! I like to feel productive while I watch, so this is a perfect game-time activity.

I will be reporting back with a binding and a finish soon; very soon, I hope!
Linking up today with Finish It Up Friday/Crazy Mom Quilts. Hope you will take some time to stop on over there to see what everyone is up to this week.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sewing With Friends

We had a fun-filled, productive day of sewing yesterday at Terry's. The weather was so perfect that all the windows and doors were opened up for a steady flow of fresh air. We enjoyed lunch on her screened porch. And we managed to accomplish quite a bit on our respective projects. Let's see what everyone was working on.

First, our hostess, Terry, had pulled out a t-shirt quilt she is making for a local customer. There will be 49 shirts in this thing - a monstrous size, in my estimation. I rarely go beyond 25 when I do t-shirt quilts. When we laid out the blocks on Terry's queen-size bed, we had to do lots of overlapping.

Sharon O. is partial to small projects and has made many table runners; yesterday, she was starting another one. I don't have any pictures of her fabric choices, but they are very similar to the ones in the pattern picture - it's called Berry Easy, and it will look fantastic.

She has a great book called The Big Book of Table Toppers, pictured below, and I believe she has made a few from this book already.

Jan was glue-basting a new EPP pattern. Last time we were all together for Friday sewing with the Frankfort girls, I mentioned her two new purchases, but forgot to make note of them. Well, this is one of them.(click for link to that post)

The pattern is by Annette Williams, an EPP superstar in Jan's book. As I said, Jan was glue-basting, as she had cut out all the pieces for this quilt already! Fussy-cut, too! Jan is so focused when she gets going on something; she is amazing in how much she can get done.

Susan brought some hand-stitching to work on. She rarely makes anything for herself, and this one is hers, all hers. I love the pink and green combination; and those triangles are so small! What a great look. The appliqued redbird in the center is felt/wool. Her task for yesterday was to stitch the saying at the bottom.

Sharon P. stitched diligently on what will be a beautiful blue and white (cream) 9-patch quilt. I imagine we will sew together next week, and there might very well be a finished top to show you then. For now, here is a tease of her work under the sewing machine.

Finally, I took my EPP elongated hexies to try to get a lot of glue-basting done. And I did. Afterwards, I played around with some sample placement of hexies, just for the fun of it. I still have tons more of these to make, so I won't begin stitching them together for quite awhile yet.

The red hexies will need to be spread out more and used more sparingly. My inspiration is a Minick and Simpson patter called Lake Effect.

Getting together with a group of quilters is a great way to accomplish simple sewing tasks. We all made great progress. That social aspect of quilting is so very satisfying. With that in mind, I will link to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilt for their weekly linky party.

I did glue-baste more hexies last evening, and later I pulled out some hand-quilting. I will show you that tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sale Purchase/Stash Enhancement

You know I don't need more fabric. 

I know I don't need more fabric.

Yet, yesterday, I found myself at Old Town Fabric Shop in Chillicothe after my dental appointment, and I took advantage of their 'yard sale' - flat fold fabrics pulled and placed on sale for $5/yard. Who could resist? I sure couldn't.

The fabric on the left is Grant Park by Minick and Simpson/Moda. The fabric on the left is Josephine by French General/Moda. I didn't buy these just on a whim, either. I have a definite plan for each. They will be backs for quilt tops that are already made or close to being made. 

Back a few years ago when I decided to temper my rampant fabric buying, I gave myself permission to take advantage of sales and discounts. If I were to be tempted to buy any regular-priced "new" fabric, I had to have a definite plan or a gift certificate. I have managed to stay true to my rules pretty well.

This was a sizable amount of fabric, and I only spent about $35. I felt that was pretty darn good.

I am off today to sew at Terry's house. I will have lots of pics, I hope. 

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Yes, I'm Still Here

I have been noticeably absent and perhaps you are wondering what's going on. Well, I think you will be surprised to learn what I - er, I should say we - have been up to.

Last Wednesday morning, DH and I packed our bags and took to the highways for a very impromptu long weekend vacation to South Carolina. We are not typically given to such fits of spontaneity, so this was quite out of the ordinary for us.

I had just one commitment to cancel (sorry about that, book club friends!) and Kevin had two. We made our apologies, booked some rooms, packed very lightly and off we went. We had a long day of driving on Wednesday, but took frequent stops and took our time. We arrived at our destination just in time to catch the end of the Cavs first win over the Celtics.

Our first day, Thursday, was devoted to touring around Charleston. Neither of us had been there before, so we had lots to learn and see. While we walked around the historic waterfront area, we saw a sign for boat tours of the harbor; since this was the only way to get a good look at Fort Sumter, we hopped on board. More spontaneity!

Here are some pictures of our excursion around Charleston Harbor and the historic waterfront.

Ravenel Bridge

Our Excursion Boat

Ft. Sumter

US Custom House

Random Stately Mansion

White Point Park
Our hotel was in Georgetown, SC, a town I'd visited previously while on vacation with several girlfriends and my mother and sister. We absolutely loved a boat tour we took called Cap'n Rod's Lowcountry Tour. I knew Kevin would love it, too, so we booked it and took that tour on Friday. I didn't take a ton of pictures, but here are a few highlights.

Gorgeous Blue Sky and Water

We checked out of our hotel on Friday and turned around to head back home in the afternoon. Our next stop was about halfway home - in the little town of Mt. Airy, NC, the birthplace of Andy Griffith. That little town has capitalized on the idea of Mayberry, the fictional town where the tv show was set. It is a quaint little town, and everything is geared toward celebrating Andy and Opie and all the cast - Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Goober and so on.

Boyhood home of Andy Griffith
We hopped a tour in the police cruiser and toured around town hearing all the local lore and tidbits of the history on Andy and connections to places around town. The folks are just so friendly; they really are proud of their hometown hero.

Instead of taking a lot of interstates on this trip, we opted for less traffic and a slower pace, and nothing says slower pace than 100 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The speed limit is 45 mph, so we enjoyed the views, the wildlife and the flowers we saw along the way. We ran into some pretty heavy thunderstorms near the end of this ride, but for the most part it was quite pleasant.

Once back in Ohio, we finished off our trip with a visit to Kevin's dad; we stayed the night there, and arrived back to home sweet home last evening. All in all, a wonderful trip.

And I didn't take a stitch the whole time. Normally, I would have packed some handwork, but we did this so spontaneously that I didn't even have time to grab something. Oh, well, I don't know when I would have done it anyway. We were on the go the whole time.

I did take it slow, though, as I am still recovering; Kevin carried all the heavy luggage, and made sure to walk slow when we were out and about.

Here is what awaits me as I ponder my next move in the sewing room.

These three baby quilts need to be quilted. They've been hanging on this door all month as a reminder that finishing is absolutely essential as soon as possible. I do believe I am recovered to the point where I can tackle these this week.

This gorgeous stack of fabric is what I'm using for those hexies that are supposed to look like water. I have several of them glue-basted, but many more need to be made. I will likely do that tomorrow.

I have stuff to get busy on, so I need to end here for now.

I have linked up with Monday Making, even though I haven'r really made a thing - except a lot of excellent South Carolina memories!

Happy Quilting, Friends!