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!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Progress on Lake Effect

I've been in a blogging funk lately, readers, and that accounts for the lack of posting from this quilter's realm. It could be because I have not really done much of significance lately, or that I am just having a mood. Or a combination of both, perhaps.

I have forced myself to at least work on gluing hexies while I watch sports on television. We are in that happy place in which baseball is getting exciting - especially if your team is still winning - and the beginning of football. This makes for lots of options for fans in our house.

An easy project to work on while watching games is prepping the hexagons for Lake Effect, a Minick and Simpson pattern I recently bought with the idea that it will be a 10-year effort. Bit by bit, I will get it done, I hope.

All of these hexies are glue-basted. A recent rough count puts me in the neighborhood of 450. I figure that's about halfway.

One evening of moderate effort can result in about 50 prepped hexies, so it will get done if I continue this type of effort.

Yesterday, I read through the directions in the pattern; how nice that it can easily be broken down into manageable sections when the time comes for stitching. It can be portable, too, which means I can work on it when meeting with the Frankfort Girls, or when we are off on a random road trip.

In other news from my quiet world, DH and I got up early for a walk this morning. Such cool, crisp weather we are having! Quite pleasant for walking, if not just a bit on the nippy side. I keep in mind to be grateful for this quiet, peaceful world as so many are in the path of Hurricane Irma.

One would never imagine by looking at this idyllic picture of southern Ohio that not so very far south, folks are facing an entirely different reality today.

I will link up with Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching linky party. Hope you'll go have a look around! In the meantime, I will look around to see if I can locate my quilting and blogging mojo - it's gotta' be around her somewhere!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

I'm Excited!

Today is a much-anticipated day! I am taking not one, not two, but THREE baby quilts to Mendelbrights in Cynthiana to quilt on Rita's long-arm machine. I have had the task of quilting these quilts on lists since the beginning of the year, yet I was forever "kicking that can down the road" as I really feel quite inadequate with quilting on my small domestic machines.

When I found out that I could rent time on a long arm, I was intrigued, but it still took me several months to finally bite the bullet and do it! (Such a procrastinator!)

You've read about Mendelbrights in two earlier posts - my initial visit and then my maiden voyage, as it were.

Today, I will be tackling the baby quilt for Adam and Jenna, whose son Wyatt was born in January, I believe.

It's an OSU Buckeye quilt that will have a soft flannel backing. The whole family is crazy for all things Ohio State. I'm sure they are raising their boys to be fans, as well. *wink*

The next quilt will be for Alison and Paul, whose son Parker was born in March, if memory serves.

I am hoping this doesn't look too feminine for a baby boy. I made a quilt for this family when their first child, a girl Jackie, was born, and I used all the leftovers to make this. Even that gray polka dot backing is leftover. Perhaps the novelty of having two quilts connected in this way will take away from the possibility of its being girlie.

And finally, I am quilting for Erin and John, whose son Robert was born just last month. I made this quilt top awhile ago before Robert was ever expected, and since I know this family has a penchant for diving, this water-themed quilt using Neptune fabrics seemed fitting. Made in the well-known "jelly-roll race" method, I had a matching pack of charm squares which I used as a border.

Quilting three quilts in one day - to say this is exciting is to put it mildly. I am ecstatic!

All of these new little families go way back with ours. Adam and Alison are the son and daughter of our long-time friends Harold and Judy; Erin is the daughter of equally long-time friends Bob and Vickie. Our three families have celebrated New Years since the early 1990s. Our children and theirs grew up together, attended school together, attended the same church, all one big extended family, so to speak.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sewing With Nieces

If anyone thinks kids would have absolutely no interest in sewing, then let me introduce you to Anna Rose and Mary Jean, my soon-to-be 10-year-old nieces. They have appeared here on the blog in a few earlier posts, but it's been awhile. (See them at age 2. Or at age 5Or at age 7.) On Sunday, we met at my mother's house (Grandma Jeannie, to the grandkids). She set up two card tables in her sunroom, I brought both my machines, some fabric and supplies, and we had a day of sewing. What fun!

About a week ago, I received a text message from them asking to sew with Aunt Jayne. We set a date for the Sunday of Labor Day weekend to meet at Grandma Jeannie's for an afternoon of sewing. That gave me time to shop for colorful, kid-appealing fat quarters at JoAnn Fabrics, which had a great sale going on. I'd determined that we would be making headbands, so I also picked up some elastic.

Anna Rose cutting her fabric.

Mary Jean tried cutting with snipper scissors.

She found that she could cut faster with big shears.

Anna Rose with her blue-green headband.

Mary Jean with her purple polka dot headband.

My cutie-pies look adorable in their new headbands!

Their cousin Emma (my younger daughter) stopped by to help.

I was grateful for Emma's assistance! And the girls adore her!
 After the headbands were completed, they wanted to play in the fabric (I know the feeling!), so I just let them cut and create. Neither girl grew tired or bored, which I half expected as the afternoon wore on; I figured their attention span would at some point be ready for something else, but they remained engaged all afternoon and were actually sad when the time came to put all our stuff away. I am fairly certain we are going to make sewing together a regular activity.

Mary Jean is putting stuffing into a little doll pillow.

She made two pillows. 

Anna Rose wanted to cut shapes and put them on the fabric. I told her this was a real quilty thing called applique. Don't you think she did great?

By late in the afternoon, I wasn't needed to hover over them; they were capable and comfortable using the machines, and were completely engaged in creating little bags or pillows or applique panels. I made 4 more headbands while they created. These can be shared between them or given to friends.

As we headed home after a very long day - we'd gone to an 8am service at Chapel in the Woods, and finished off the day with a cookout at long-time friends, Jim and Shirley's - I remarked to DH that I hoped the day was one the girls would remember long into their old age. Some days from my childhood are seared into my memory; I'd like to think we accomplished that with these dear sweet nieces.

Happy Quilting, Friends!