Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Wrap-Up

Taking a quick look back at March, it appears I did very little sewing and a whole lot of playing. However, I do think I managed to accomplish a few things in my quilting room, so I pronounce the month to be a huge success. Let's review:

I love making these collages to summarize the month through pictures. Some of these have made their way to the blog, but not all. I will share just the basics on the 9 pictures in this collage.

To begin the month, we have had an old, non-working truck sitting in our driveway for-ever, and it was a constant sore subject between DH and me. We finally agreed to have it towed and make an attempt to get it running again - just for simple needs like getting mulch each spring, or carrying heavy stuff too messy or big for the back of the car. Getting that truck out of our driveway at last could be my biggest success of the month!

The other two pictures in the top row are of places I have walked this month. We got back into regular walking with the nicer weather, and explored a section of the path beside Paint Creek, shown first, and then I got to walk in Arizona, shown next.

In the middle row, I am pictured with Cleveland Indians TV personality, Andre Knott at the Goodyear Ball Park at Spring Training. That was a totally accidental meeting, as he and his family were just sitting a couple rows in front of us having a regular day at the park.

In the center is the second famous person I met this month - Carrie Nelson. I did write about this in several posts, if you wish to scroll back and take a look. And, you will find evidence of actual sewing.

The final picture of the middle row shows my dear Frienzies at our March get-together at Kay's house. We had a delicious dinner and afterwards painted canvases for spring.

The bottom row shows my major sewing accomplishment for the month - my Prairie Vine quilt top. Scroll back a bit to see more on it.

The middle picture is a grave marker from a cemetery near Otsego, OH. My 88-year-old F-I-L wanted to take a drive down there yesterday while we visited him. Jacob is the oldest Honnold in the family tree, to date. It's pretty cool how much genealogical research has been done on my DH's side of the family.

That last picture seems a strange one to include for a March highlight, but believe me, I want to remember - those keys have been lost since Christmas-time. I knew they likely spilled out of my purse, I just didn't know where. While at my F-I-L's yesterday, we parked on the street in front of his house after returning from the cemetery trip. My S-I-L found them in the grass as she stepped out of the car. I cannot believe it! Of course, we'd already gone to the trouble and expense of replacing one of the keys. And yes, they still work. Amazing.

So with not many pictures and a whole lot of words, there's my March. I hope I can be as focused in April. Fun times ahead!!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Checking Those Goals

As I finish the main portion of Prairie Vine and realize the end of March is upon us, it seems a good time to pause and check in on those goals for 2018 to see how I have been faring.

Item #1 - Snow Shoo - was finished off around the end of January.

Item #2 - Use Corey Yoder fabric - I am taking care of this by using it to make my Village quilt. I had no intention of making this particular quilt, but as pattern designer and Moda rep extraordinaire Carrie Nelson was in town, I really had to jump in. I am glad to be using the CY fabric, too.

Item #11 - Lake Effect - I continue to plug away on this project each Friday when I meet with the Frankfort girls. It is fun to do, and I like the periodic nature of working on it.

Item #12 - Prairie Vine - my most recent semi completion; I still have the applique work to prepare and then actually execute it all. 

Item # 14 - Blog 250 times - This post will be number 49, so I suppose I am slightly behind schedule on blogging. I can try taking off fewer days with the hope of getting back on track, but I don't make any promises.

I can account for completion and/or progress on 5 of the 15 items on my list; I do believe I am staying on track sufficiently well. I also know what projects to turn to next, which is part of the reason I make a list each year. Staying focused is hard, and with so many pretty quilts and so much pretty fabric, it's easy for a gal to be sidetracked.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Finish! (Almost)

I am thrilled to introduce you to Prairie Vine, complete with her sashing, cornerstones and borders. I have plenty of pictures of her in a variety of settings and angles.

I call her complete (almost) because on top of those green borders I am supposed to applique an undulating vine with leaves all the way around the quilt. *ahem* Yes, applique. And probably you haven't seen much applique featured here on my blog over the years because -- I don't applique.

Well, we are just gonna' see about that! At this time, I do intend to applique that vine and all those leaves onto this quilt. I plan to use a fusible of some sort and machine-applique to make it go faster.

For now, she is finished, though, as I have to prepare said vine and leaves. Until then, let's just look at her in all her scrappy and reproduction-inspired beauty.

I am happy to have this completed to this point. And, to be honest, I do not really dread all that applique. In fact, while I do find myself intimidated by it, I know I can do it and I am eager to prove myself in this area.

Now, before I go, I have to share one more picture. DH interrupted my little photo shoot with Prairie Vine, and the result you see below. Don't husbands just crack us up sometimes?! Every time I look at this, I have a little giggle.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sharon's Progress

On Monday, Sharon was here to sew. It'd been ages since we last got together. I went on a vacation, and then she had bronchitis - so maybe 3 weeks! Wow.

Inspired by the quilt on the cover of this Minick and Simpson book, Sharon is making her very own blue and white Triple Irish Chain. It is going to be a beauty.

All of the checkerboard blocks are made and Sharon was diligently working away on the setting blocks most of Monday afternoon. I felt we were accomplishing a lot. Great productivity out of the quilting room! Yay!

 Here is a gorgeous stack of blue and white checkerboards. I am drooling over this quilt, and while it has never been on my "to-do list," I may need one for myself.

I can't wait to show you how it all comes together!Oh the anticipation!!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Switching Gears

After a week of building my little Village houses, I switched it up yesterday. I was feeling the burden of having too many projects started and not enough of them being finished!!

I needed to get that Prairie Vine quilt together. Above are the 16 blocks I finished earlier in the  month; they have been hanging out on the design wall ever since. Holding me back was making 25 9-patch blocks out of 1.5-inch squares. Ugh; so tiny! Well, I figured out a quicker way to accomplish the task that didn't involve cutting 225 tiny squares. I sewed short lengths of 1.5-inch strips together, using scraps from the Prairie Vine blocks, and mix-and-matched for a scrappy result. It went really well.

Above are my scrappy units ready to be stitched in very random fashion. I did the job in five groups of five, and that made it quite simple. I had them together in no time at all.

Next on the agenda was to cut the sashing strips, and I already had the fabric pulled - this very vintage Judy Rothermel piece from a line called Civil War which had been aging in the stash for far too long. And now I am in the midst of putting all these pieces together. Hope you will come back later in the week to see the results of this labor. I will go ahead and put on the border, too, but then I have the applique stuff to do. This step might take me awhile...

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Village Mistake

Of all the possible mistakes I make in sewing and quilting, the one that boils my blood most of all is wasting fabric. And darn it, I wasted some of my precious sky fabric for the Village quilt.

In my earnestness to build lots of houses, I discovered that quite a few of my sky parts were cut inaccurately - too large, to be precise, which meant that in order to salvage what I could, I had to whack off 5/8-inch from far too many triangles. Follow the photos below to see what I mean.

The top triangle is the correct size; the lower stack is obviously too big.

So I cut away the excess; grrr! Straight into the waste bin!

And I didn't just cut a few wrong. Nosiree. I cut bunches wrong. Man-o-man, I was fuming at my stupid mistake; if I had only checked the directions, I would have known. There I was, thinking I was totally cool with this pattern and had it all under control. I tell you, every time I get a bit too big for my britches, I get a brutal reminder that I'm not the wonder woman I think I am.

I suppose I should be grateful that I didn't cut them too small; at least this way I did still get to use them. The other way around would have resulted in buying replacement fabric.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Village Progress

It hasn't been an overly productive week from the quilting room, but I have continued to work periodically on the houses for Village. It has been a week since meeting Carrie Nelson for her Village session at Old Town Fabrics, and from the 11 houses I made that day, I am now up to 29. Minimal progress, but progress nonetheless.

I spent a productive hour or so one afternoon cutting lots of parts for houses. Finally, I have dipped into the 3rd line of Corey Yoder charm packs, Flower Mill. The variety will be wonderful, and I expect the house-building will continue for some time.

Speaking of variety, take a look at this design wall. Gracious! I removed half of the Prairie Vine blocks to make room for Village blocks. Now Village is growing around the remaining Prairie Vine blocks. I really ought to maintain my focus a little bit better. I think some telltale parts of other projects are evident to the left - yes, I admit to having a tendency to flit from one project to another all too often.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Sewing With Friends

Yesterday the Frankfort Girls came here for our bi-weekly Friday morning visit. Six of us were in attendance; we missed Becky who could not attend.

It doesn't get very fancy at my house. I did spring for a centerpiece which I plopped on that Easter egg mat I made last year; I added various Easter candies, and placed a special Reese's egg on everyone's plate. I failed to get a picture of the lemon pound cake and the cinnamon coffee cake, but they were fresh from the oven and made the house smell heavenly.

Here are a couple of show and tell pictures. Terry shared her monochromatic barn/farm quilt which she was binding while we visited. It will fit her farmhouse decor perfectly.

Jan had a great quilt to share, too. Last November, she had parts begun for a crayon quilt, which you see below.

At the time I thought this seemed like an awful lot of work for a child's quilt, but it is so typical of Jan who was a primary school teacher all her life. Now, check out the finish.

She was prepared to stitch binding, also. Look at the detail - color names are embroidered on each crayon, the quilting is done with primary-color variegated thread, and the backing (which I don't have photographed) is of crayon fabric. Delightful in every way.

We enjoy one another's company so much that when noon rolled around, five of us met in Greenfield for lunch at Three Spoons. What fun ladies to sew with and wonderful to cherish as friends.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

First Full Day of Spring 2018

Happy Spring!!

Well, with this morning's weather, I may not be dancing as wildly as Snoopy, but I don't mind the snow - especially since I have absolutely nowhere to go today, plenty of sewing to do, or a book to read, and laundry to fold. Many options. Sounds like a good day for staying in and letting Mother Nature do her thing.

All these pictures were taken from our front porch. That last picture shows our little dogwood tree down front; I will be sure to repeat this view in about a month when it should be in full bloom. Seems very distant with these snowy conditions.

My last post left me wondering whether I would make 9-patch blocks for the Prairie Vine project or construct more houses for Village. Here's what won out:

A 6-house neighborhood for my Coriander Village. I love this construction business! *grin*

The total house count now stands at 17. All of these houses have come from the Sundrops and Lulu Lane fabric lines by Corey Yoder. The next group of houses I make will see some Flower Mill fabrics mixed in. I am about to crack the seal on those charm packs and begin cutting.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Retail Therapy

On Saturday when I attended the seminar featuring Carrie Nelson, I also did some shopping. Old Town Fabric Shop offers a discount when a class is going on, and I knew of a couple of things I wanted to get. No absolute necessities, but some little bits of stash enhancers.

I felt that my Village quilt needed more variety, and so I bought two more Corey Yoder charm packs from a line I didn't have. These Flower Mill packs will mesh nicely with the two Sundrops packs and the two Lulu Lane packs that I already had. Now I have a total of 6 charm packs to work with on the Village quilt, and I think that variety will be fun to mix and match. Should I become bored with these, I happen to know that a new line called Pepper and Flax will be appearing very soon, so I might even add more. Since I have done no more on Village since Saturday, I am fairly certain it will still be a WIP for several more months.

Then I picked up a bit of neutral yardage in a 3 Sisters line called Larkspur. I have collected bits of this line for about a year or so with no particular quilt in mind. I just know I love the fabric and something will make itself know to me as the perfect choice. For now, I am happy to simply gaze at the pretty fabric and dream of what to make with it. (Weird. I know. Oh well.)

Finally, I can never resist the basket of half-yard cuts that Old Town Fabrics keeps filled just to entice quilters. It's sorta' like at the ice cream parlor when they offer you a taste of any flavor you want - well this allows me a bit of fabric in any color I want for no particular reason other than it appealed to me on this particular day. They always offer these at a discount, and many of these have entered my stash over the years. It's a nice way to enhance the stash without going totally crazy.

Now, remember this was the day with Carrie Nelson? Well, we goofed off a lot throughout the day, and I pulled together some pictures into a collage to capture the fun. Because it was St. Patrick's Day, I wore some sparkly green glasses which were a big hit. Carrie agreed to be photographed if she could wear my glasses in one pic. Cool! So here's a peek at the silliness.

I am going to sew some more houses for Village, I think. Either that, or I am going to start those 9-patches needed next for Prairie Vine. I just know I need to get busy!

Happy Quilting, Friends!