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!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reading and Recovering

Besides glue-basting hexies, reading quilt magazines, and attaching borders, I have found myself buried in a very good book as I make may way through recovery from surgery. I imagine quite a few of you know the feeling of being happily buried in a good book. You get carried off to another place and time, and before you know it, all else is forgotten.

I love when that happens.

The book I am currently buried in is called The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman. Published in 2014, it is the story of Malka, who along with her family flees Russia to find a new beginning in the USA. The tragedies that befall her and others in her family as she grows up in early 20th century New York City are told in flashbacks by the present day Lillian (her American name) as an elderly ice cream mogul. Initially, I was not very much liking the main character, but since this is a book club read, I needed to stay with it. She has grown on me, at last, and I am enthralled by her story, and halfway through, I find that I cannot stop reading. The story of the immigrant experience in NYC in the early 1900s is fascinating. I hope I am equally enthralled by the ending.

So there goes glue-basting and anything else quilting related for the next day or two. Ah well, one needs balance, eh?

Happy Quilting - or Reading - Friends!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May UFO Finished!

Snoopy is doing his happy dance today, dear readers. Yes, he and I both are happy about finishing the May UFO.

While we're at it, let's have Calvin and Hobbes join us.

And here is what makes us all so happy - the Navy Monkey Wrench now has its borders! 

This is one of those quilts that has an unnecessarily long history. I seem to have many more of those than anyone ought. Start a quilt; finish a quilt - that's the way I should operate. In reality, I operate more typically like this:

The pieces for the monkey wrench blocks were cut out and taken in baggies to stitch while attending various cross country and track meets through our son's jr. high and high school running days - this would be in the  mid-1990s to 2001, when he graduated. Then, the blocks were stored away in a tub. Periodically, I would pull out the tub and take a picture of the contents, write a blog about it, and then return the tub to the closet. Here is a post from 2012. And here is one from March 2015, and again in April 2015. The UFO was listed for completion in 2015, yet obviously that did not happen - but I did work on it. And even though I said I was motivated to put on the borders, something else apparently snatched my attention, because I still had just borders left to do when I once again put it on a second UFO list - 2017. It came up as the quilt for May, and if you check out this post, you will see not only this quilt sans borders, but you will also see all my previous UFO finishes for this calendar year. 

I am definitely on a roll.

I love how striking my Monkey Wrench looks. I've kept it pinned up to the design wall, so I see it each time I look down the hall toward the sewing room. Even DH mentioned how nice it looks. *cheesy smile*

As I stitched borders yesterday, I had a chance to study my hand-piecing on some of the blocks. It made me reflect on just how much I do enjoy hand-piecing. I have not done too much of it lately, and I need to rectify that. I will soon be stitching my hexies, so that may suffice. However, I ought to get back to some of those 4-patches, or 9-patches, or 16-patches. 

Are you a "start-a-quilt-finish-a-quilt" type person? Or do you take the meandering multi-year path toward a finish? 

I hope your are getting some items checked off your list today! I'm linking up with the Monday Making party over at Love Laugh Quilt. 

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Quilting With the Frankfort Girls

My outings are becoming more frequent, and as long as DH Kevin will drive me places, I am happy to be driven out and about. Yesterday morning he took me to our regularly scheduled quilting group at Sharon O's lovely country home, and everyone was present! It has been awhile - some of us hadn't seen each other since before the Canter's Cave retreat a month ago.

Sharon had an attractive and springtime-appropriate table setting for us. Her love of pretty dishes, gardening and quilting all came together in a very harmonious centerpiece.

We had a show-and-tell from Sheryll. She used some of her mother's fabrics for a niece's graduation quilt. Since Sheryll was stuck in a corner of the room, we only got to see a quarter of the quilt, but it seems easy enough to get the gist of its looks. The pattern is by Thimbleberries; I'm sure we could identify more specifically, if need be.

Becky had been to the big Paducah show last month, and brought back a new project which she is already working on.

Becky loves making hexie quilts (you saw several of her creations here), so it should come as no surprise to any of us that she is working away on this pattern called Stars in the Garden II by Yellow Creek Quilt Designs. Her fabrics are Kindred Spirits, and these hexies finish at 1/2". *gasp*

I've been glue-basting my hexies, and it is interesting to see how someone bastes the old-fashioned way - the way our great-grandmothers would have done it. And her finished hexie is perfect. As a beginner at hexie quilting, I am grateful to have Becky and Jan both available for tips and pointers.

Speaking of Jan, she, too, had been to a quilt show. Nearby Washington Court House has a show going on now, and Jan was all excited because her hexie idol Annette Williams was a vending. She came home with 2 new projects, and I failed to take pictures of either. I looked on the website and did not see them, but I will try to get this information in some future post.

Terry and Sharon worked on hexie projects, too, (again, no pictures) so it looks like all of us have been bitten by the same bug. It is easy handwork, and that is what we do when we have our Friday morning fellowships. I am content to make my project slow and steady, while I suspect that a few of these other ladies will be making much faster work of theirs.

Hope you are making the most of your Saturday! I've joined the Whoop-Whoop linky party over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. You will see more hexie creations there, for sure!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sometimes, The Easiest Thing... the thing that you naturally mess up. I was happily stitching along last evening, feet up on the footstool, ball game on the television, and about half-way to finishing my POTC block, THIS happened!!

What?!?! This is going to sound ridiculous, but I could not for the life of me figure out what I had done wrong! I was so certain that the piece standing at attention was sewn in exactly right. I must have made a cutting mistake, I was thinking.

This morning, as I've had a good night's sleep and a large cup of coffee, I can see very clearly that I did, indeed, sew that piece in sideways. DUH!

Now the job of picking it out - that will be a nuisance, since typically these stitches are super-tiny, and how much will have to be redone? I suppose it's a trivial matter, but still.

This is not the first time I've happily stitched along thinking everything was hunky-dory, only to discover that I had sewn myself into a big ol' mess. I even wrote about one such instance here. And I won't even begin to calculate the number of UFOs that became UFOs simply because of a silly, careless boo-boo on my part.

Well, as you can see, the troubles in my world are small-potatoes, aren't they? World calamities, they are not.

In a recovery update, DH took me on an outing yesterday - to the library, the grocery and the drug store! Whoo-hoo! It was exhausting.  However, I am feeling so much better, so this afternoon we are going to venture out again - this time to an Amish greenhouse about 30 minutes south of here. I hope to come home with some pretties!

I've linked up with Kelly for her Needle and Thread Thursday linky party. Ironically, the title for today's post alludes to her own brand of quilting mistake. Her solution was perfect, too. Go have a look!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Slow Progress

I am one week post-surgery today. I feel pretty good, but gosh, I have very little gumption to get up and do anything! That easy chair with it's access to a phone, a remote, an iPad, and a tub of elongated hexies has been the extent of my sphere since coming home.

Thankfully, friends and family have been looking after me. Well before surgery, Jan handed me this stack of magazines with strict instructions to save them for after surgery. Good advice which I heeded; I've paged through about half of them.

Progress on the hexies has me to the point where I need to cut more cardstock templates, but I don't think I have the stamina to stand at the cutting table to do it. I may switch to some other hexie shapes - which I do have on hand - and add to other projects.

What are you working on these days? I welcome diversion, so share your projects - or plans for projects! *wink*

Happy Quilting, Friends!