Saturday, September 30, 2017

Closing The Door on September

It seems impossible that another month has slipped by, but the calendar does not lie. In saying goodbye to September, I have to remark that while I had some serious issues with making myself blog regularly, I more than made up for it by getting a whole lot of stuff done.

If I revisit that list I made and shared as we began the month, I see that I set some rather lofty goals which did not even get touched. Item 6, for example, is one that will be moving to October's list. (Fortunately, that baby is not due until late December!)

But rather than focus on what I did not get done, let's see what I DID accomplish. Remember, minimal work is still progress, right??

1. All three baby quilts are quilted, bound and ready for babies. Yeah!
2. See yesterday's post for the reveal of June's UFO which is at last finished!
3. September's UFO is also revealed in yesterday's post. I had a really satisfying Friday morning, you know?!
4. I regret that I haven't made much progress on Emma's wall hanging, however I did get my triangle papers and have fabrics cut out.
5. I selected the wedding quilt from those hanging in my closet, but have not decided on a backing. You will recognize it, as I have recently finished it, but I will keep mum about it as I want it to be a surprise.
6. Nothing, as explained above.
7. 8. 9. Random stars, hexies and pincushions. Yes, yes, and yes. Some are featured in the collage below.
10. Block Swap blocks - only minimal work done here; I do finally have all the fabrics for the two or three blocks I still have to finish.
11. No one would ever accuse me of overdoing it on cleaning, but I have done some stuff; several tubs have been straightened and rearranged. As my cutting table is heaping with clutter at the moment, it just isn't all that visible to an untrained eye. *wink*

Some accomplishments that were not on the list include getting to spend a day sewing headbands with my nieces. We had such a great day together. My high school graduating class had a very impromptu get together with a classmate who was in from the west coast. On short notice, we had a decent turn out of about a dozen friends to reminisce with. And last, we served as kitty-sitter for our daughter's cat Rocky. He loves coming to the big house in the country, quite a change from his small apartment in the city.

I didn't include it in my collage, but Sharon and I did a jelly roll day together. For her, it went well. For me, well, there's a reason I've not blogged it. I promise to fill you in on the ugly details soon.I'm fixing a few things first.

Hope your September was fabulous! Let's see what kind of mischief we can make in October, okay?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Two UFOs Finished

Please join me in celebrating the completion of not just one UFO, but (drumroll, please) TWO!!

Not only did I finish the September UFO - Farmer's Wife Quilt, I finally finished June's UFO - Flag Day Farm. Wow. For me this is huge. They've been weighing on me not just this month, but for years. I suppose I bought that center panel of Flag Day Farm a full 10 years ago, if not more. And I began making Farmer's Wife blocks when that book was published in 2009.

Whew. Let's have a look. Both quilts are square, which I normally do not prefer, but that's what worked, so there ya' go. Deal with it, right?

The June UFO was Flag Day Farm, and I just barely made a dent in the process of creating this medallion quilt. Everything is made up from my own head here, and I couldn't duplicate it if I tried. The panel is approximately 21" square and I knew I wanted it to be on point. Since the panel is from an old line of fabric by Minick and Simpson, I decided that I would only use newer Minick and Simpson fabrics to construct the quilt. I had most of this on hand, however I did buy the floral for the outer border on sale at a flat fold table at Old Town Fabrics. The quilt measures 72" square, and I am giving serious consideration to quilting this by hand for Greenfield's upcoming History Day. I will do big-stitch quilting, and, in keeping with Minick and Simpson style, I will imitate the 'Baptist Fan' quilt design that Lori Simpson prefers using on her quilts. 

Farmer's Wife Quilt is September's UFO, and I have finished it just in time. It measures 66" square, and while it is far from a perfectly constructed quilt, I think I will be quite pleased with it when it is eventually quilted. The backing has already been selected from the stash, so it could be only a matter of time. Previous posts here on the blog explain why my FWQ is so much smaller than most, so a search will give you addition information if you want.

I am linking up with Amanda for her Finish It Up Friday party. If you think all quilters sew only quilts, you will be surprised to see Amanda's pretty dresses in her post today.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September UFO

Even though I still have a few minor tasks to complete, for all intents and purposes I am considering this Farmer's Wife Quilt UFO a finish - another in the month it was assigned. Whew! Down to the wire on this. I dreaded facing it because I think I knew deep down that the blocks were not all uniform 6.5", and that some would have to be eased into place to fit. I trimmed things I normally would not trim in order to get this checked off my list. I am continually reminded by other quilters that done is better than perfect.

This quilt will be a poster child for that sentiment!

Since it has been years of start-and-stop work on this quilt (first post here), there are plenty of references to it in past posts. I won't recap all of that here. In a nutshell, a complete FWQ calls for somewhere in the neighborhood of over 100 blocks. I made 53, decided that was enough, and chose 50 of them to use here. (The 3 orphans that will find a use elsewhere.)

Because I could not just pick them up and sew them together randomly, I had to lay them out on the bed to arrange the blocks in a way that pleased me. I didn't fuss too much, but I did try to separate colors evenly around the quilt.

I had already decided that the sashing strips would be this brown in the photo above. I sewed all the sides onto the blocks and made rows. See what I mean about done is better than perfect? I have completely obliterated so many points on these blocks.

Then I had to go to the stash to find cornerstone and setting triangle fabric. I sorta' had a notion that red would be nice, so I dug out the big stash tub of reds. I found the Floral Trails from 1999 which seemed suitable, so I went with it. Then as I straightened around the remaining reds, I found this big hunk of Garden Dance and decided it could be called into service as a back. Voila! FWQ is 100% stash. Yeah!

At that point it was a very methodical afternoon of sewing rows and sashings together. When I had the first half done, I took the photo above, and then proceeded to finish the other half. By late last night, I had a finish except for trimming and corner triangles.

Because I need to do a lot of school work today, I won't get back to this until late tonight or tomorrow. I am debating the need for an outer border. That is yet to be determined. I will decide while trimming and attaching the corners.

I am going to link up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts and her Let's Bee Social party. She is featuring a new pattern - a cute panda bear baby quilt. It's darling.

The month ends on Saturday. I sure have been a lazy blogger this month. Maybe I will be more enthused in October. I did get a lot accomplished in September, so maybe that is a worthy trade-off.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Calico Collection

You know I have been sucked in to the Instagram world. I use it almost exclusively for quilt-related purposes. I follow very few people outside the quilting sphere. Most of my posts are quilt-related, as that is really all I want to see. (Narrow-minded??) I see so  much of what I don't care about on Facebook that I figure I will control my IG more closely; what can I say?

Lately, I find myself smitten by the many vintage-inspired calico hexagon flowers showing up on my IG feed. The way I see it, if I love this look so much, then I need to focus on making it myself. Focus is something I have lacked in my foray into EPP. So far, I have a lot of random shapes, colors, sizes, etc., none of which go together. With a plan finally in place, the above flower has emerged. Isn't it sweet!? I think I am going to like this!

I recently saw an Instagrammer post a few pictures of hexagons she'd made using random calico prints. It is quite possible that they were Liberty of London prints, but I can't be sure. Regardless, I loved how pretty and quaint they looked, and it made me head to the fat-quarter drawers to pull as many calico prints as I could. So far, this collection is neutral-heavy. Finding colors in my stash to add to this will be an ongoing project. Fun, too.

The last thing I need is to start another project, so this little collection may end up being stored in a tub for awhile. I do think, though, as some point I am going to make this hexagon quilt a reality. First, I will add to the collection you see here by going to my grandmother's stash. I am certain that I will find many more calicoes to add in. Won't that be special?

I'm linking up with Kathy at Slow Sunday Stitching.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy, Squishy Mail

I have been terribly remiss in publicly reporting that a couple of weeks ago, I received a very squishy package in the mail. Mail delivery is especially happy when it's fabric. And it came all the way from Ontario, Canada.

At the end of July, Kathy conducted a sweet little give-away to celebrate 5 years of her weekly feature, Slow Sunday Stitching. Two winners were selected, and yours truly was one of them. Sweet! The prize was her leftovers of a project she did using Deb Strain's Let's Bee Happy collection. Take a look at the goodies.

Kathy included a pretty card with a personal note.

Now, what will I make with this pretty stuff? The panel has 6 different picture designs. Pillows? Wall hangings? Table Toppers? Something small, unless I buy fabric. I would like to use just what is shown here, and that will require some thinking. Fun!

Thank you, Kathy!! I love it!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Nearing a UFO Finish

At last, it looks like I am going to be able to finish that June UFO that has been nagging me. After much gnashing of teeth and brain-draining effort, I think I am ready to put this into its final step - the last border.

My previous update on this medallion quilt dealt with how to arrange those 4-patch blocks around the quilt. In the picture below you see the dark squares arranged to surround the center. A characteristic of medallion quilts is to keep surrounding the center motif; believe me, I have studied a lot of them over the last several months. Some are quite involved - very finely detailed in many surrounding borders. I opted for a much simplified version, and even still, I have been at time flummoxed about making it all fit together.

Next will be to add corner triangles and then I do believe I am ready to put a non-pieced, final border on this and call it a finished flimsy. I have expended far too much effort at bringing this to completion and I am ready to move on. You  know, it's done when I say it's done, right? *grin*

The current dimension is roughly 56.5" square. I will add a wide floral border cut at 8.5", so that's another 17 inches to add. Ideally, then, if my calculations are correct, I will have a finished flimsy coming in at 73.5 inches square.

The photo above shows the border I will use. I have yardage of 3 fabrics - a red, a neutral and this floral. The floral gives it a lot of zing, I think. The red or neutral will become the backing. Below is a closer look at the border alongside the quilt.

The three yardage fabrics to choose from.

And just look at all the bits that are going to be left over. Gracious! I will have to revisit my Minick and Simpson collection someday, for surely there is another quilt in here somewhere! I've got plenty to work with.

Linking up today with Monday Making

Happy Monday, and Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Jelly Roll Day!!

After hyping the event beyond limits, Moda's big day is finally here - National Sew A Jelly Roll Day. In some promotions, I've also seen it called International. Anyway you look at it, it's a big deal.

For the benefit of non-quilters, let me explain about jelly rolls. A jelly roll is a collection of 2.5" fabric strips all from a single fabric line, usually 42, I believe. The strips are layered in such a way as to be able to roll them up and tie them with ribbon. When Moda first started marketing these, I was firmly of the belief that it would never catch on, and I would never, ever have any use for fabric already cut. Well, I have changed my tune. Take a look at my little collection of jelly rolls.

I stack them on a display platter on top of a dresser here in my sewing room so I can see them. I take them occasionally to the cutting table in the event that I might use them in some project or other. Generally, I return them to the display platter. I did recently cut into one (Polka Dots and Paisley) for the Minick and Simpson medallion quilt I am making. In other words, I do use them; I don't just hoard them!

I have one Jelly roll from the following lines: from 3Sisters: Paris Flea Market, Vin du Jour, and Luna Notte; from French General: Rouenneries Deux, Madame Rouge, La Petite Ecole, and Rural Jardin; from Minick and Simpson: Indigo Crossing; from Corie Yoder: Lulu Lane.

That makes 9 unopened jelly rolls. On Tuesday when Sharon comes to sew, that will change as we have decided to do our own little jelly roll celebration together. It will be fun. We tossed around possibilities. We have both made the simple jelly roll race quilt, and we are going to change it up just a bit. I will share more after we do it.

Many shops across the country, and around the world, too, are sponsoring special activities today. I know that our local Old Town Fabrics was participating, and I inquired about their plans. I opted not to attend, as we have plans later today, but one interesting thing they were doing was offering a prize for the oldest unopened jelly roll. Now, I don't think I would have won, as like I said earlier, in the beginning I wouldn't buy them because I thought it was dumb to buy already-cut-up-fabric. However, now that I do own a few, I would love to know how long I've had them. 

I just found this link to some jelly roll fact; I thought you might find them interesting. I sure did.
Have a great Saturday!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Finishes

A week-plus ago, I spent a few hours quilting three baby quilts. One of them, I finished off with the binding right away. The second, I prepped the binding, but did not finish. The third, I did not have enough of the backing fabric to do a binding, so I was in need of a suitable alternative. That stymied me. Earlier today, I dug through the stash, found something that I deemed acceptable, and I was ready to go.

This is the quilt with the substitute binding. Based on color, it works well, however, I would not have used this in anything other than a binding capacity; it is not a match, at all, if you were to see larger pieces. And that's all I have to say about that.

The chevron Buckeye quilt is now finished. It is bound with the flannel that is used for the backing. The quilting on this is freehand - yes, I did free motion quilting, my first voyage. It was extremely fun. I'd gotten my confidence by following a template on two earlier quilts, so I felt ready for free motion.

The quilting on this was done with a template. It was fun to do, but working from the back of the machine is very different from working from the front. I can see benefits of both.

At last all three baby quilts are ready for delivery. I will find some gift bags, wrap them up and hand them off to the grandparents - they can take it from there. I do hope that each family will remember to send a pic of their new little guy with his quilt; if they do, you can be sure to see them here.

I am linking with Finish It Up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts. She is showcasing a beautiful bag that looks just too scrumptious!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Random Pincushion

I see the most adorable pincushions in my Instagram feed, and I just can't help myself - I have to make one right now!

It's insane, I know. It's like I have no control.

So, Monday, when I should have been preparing for class and doing many other things, I did this, instead.

You know I've been working on that July UFO made entirely with a variety of Minick and Simpson fabric collections. Those scraps are definitely being saved, and some of them ended up becoming this pincushion. It measures about 4" square. 

This makes the fifth random pincushion now, and really, I do not need them! (Links to pinnie #1, #s 2 and 3, and  #4.) The fun is that they finish so quickly - you actually have a finished product in your hand in about an hour. That is very gratifying. Also, you use what normally would be wasted - trashcan material. There was a time when I threw away the cut-away corners of my flying geese units. No more! Look what can become of them.

The back of this pincushion is pretty, too. I have a stack of HSTs that may or may not be used in the medallion project, so I just grabbed one to use for my back.

Yesterday, Sharon was here to sew and we accomplished so much! I will try to get back to posting more regularly, as blog topics are piling up here! Hope you have a great Wednesday!

I am linking today with Let's Bee Social. You have got to see the gorgeous table runner she has just made. I may have to make one, as well. It sure is pretty. I've also just discovered Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrications. I am linking; let me know what you think!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Baby Quilt Finish

Forcing myself to do something after posting yesterday's blog, I dug out the smallest of the three baby quilts I quilted last Thursday at Mendelbrights. You can read the details of that endeavor here.

After trimming the quilt, I took the strips from the edges and cut, ironed and added the binding. It was probably the neatest job I've ever done as far as machine-stitching a binding. I took my time - that was important, but the bigger issue in making it so successful was that the smaller size made it so much easier to maneuver through the sewing machine. I had the binding finished in no time.

And just like that I have my first finish of September. This quilt will go to Ali and Paul for their second child born back in March. The quilt measures 40"x 40". Quite small, but snuggable, I hope!

Here are some posts that recount the history of this quilt: finishing the quilt top, starting the quilt top. It actually started with their first child's baby quilt - all the fabrics used in this one were the remnants of it, including the backing! How nice is that?!?

Hope you have a great Monday!
Happy Quilting, Friends!