Saturday, June 30, 2018

June Wrap-Up

Good grief, I do believe I have spent this month playing and gallivanting. The June collage tells the truth.

Mostly, I believe I have the 9 photos in chronological order. First, the trip with the Frankfort girls to McArthur, Nelsonville and Belpre for a shopping outing. We even went to a shop just across the river from Belpre, but I don't even know the name of the town.  Second, we were surprised by niece Abby and her husband Stephen when having dinner at La Cascada, our favorite Mexican restaurant over in Hillsboro. They joined us and we had a blast with them. Third, Mom and Kevin pose at the base of the Perry Monument overlooking Lake Erie when we took her to Put-In-Bay.

In the middle row, we see the mansion at Louis Bromfield's Malabar Farm near Mansfield, OH. We had a lovely day touring the home and the farm. In the center, all my siblings met at a popular watering hole - again, in Hillsboro - along with our momma. What fun that was!!  And finally, I took the big plunge and actually quilted on the long arm. It went surprisingly well, and my goal for this next month is to do a real quilt. Yes. You heard me. A real quilt.

In the bottom row, one of about a thousand pictures I took at the Dayton Air Show which was absolutely amazing. The final act of the day was a spectacular performance by the Blue Angels, which is what is shown in this picture. Talk about precision! The middle picture in the bottom row is from atop the aforementioned Perry Monument at Put-In-Bay, where we went for a second trip, this time with my father-in-law and brother-in-law. The final picture is of the Ohio Theater in Columbus, where we saw two movies this month in their Summer Movie Series. The first was a 1940 film called The Shop Around the Corner, and the second was a 1960 film called The Apartment. Both were black and white. The summer series features old movies and the big draw for us, besides the gorgeous 1920s theater, is the affordable ticket price - $5. The movie series is in its 49th year, and we have been going for at least 35 of those years.

This may be the first end-of-month collage I have done that doesn't include a quilt picture. The long-arm picture and the shopping picture are the only ones even remotely quilting related.

Since I played so much in June, I am gearing up for an extraordinarily productive July. I have made some preliminary goals, and will share those soon. I have also looked back at the yearly goals I made back in January; it seems I am still on track with those, even though I have spent a month having fun away from the sewing room.

Now, I can't beat myself up too much, for there has been some activity on the sewing machine. I am working on Blockheads 2, and find myself doing two different versions. That has been fun. I will share some updates soon. I have made some mini quilts, too, so I can't claim total negligence, right?

Today is our 39th anniversary. We are doing absolutely nothing special today to mark the occasion. Mostly, this is because we have spent the whole month celebrating!! Ha!! You can click here to see the post from last year in which I remember the day.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Baby Quilt Flimsy

I am notorious for gifting baby quilts well after the birth of the babies - sometimes as late as a first birthday! But this next baby will have a quilt ready and waiting well before his birth.  *Win!*

The leftovers from a quilt DS Emma made for her college roommate's first child were still scattered about my workspace, so I just picked up those 60-degree triangles and stitched up a quilt top. It took no time at all because I didn't overthink it! (I waste so much time when I overthink.)

I am sure there will be issues from the stretching of bias edges, but I am going to charge on and ignore them. This is a baby quilt. It will get treated roughly. A puckered intersection here or there will not affect anything whatsoever. End of discussion.

My plan for finishing this quilt is to investigate my border and backing options with flannel as my preferred choice. I think a suitable plaid would be okay, or I could go with a soft baby-gray or navy. I will begin the search pronto.

Click here to read about the quilt Emma made for her friend.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sharon's Jump Start

When we sewed together on Monday, Sharon came with a plan. That makes all the difference. When one has a plan, making progress is practically guaranteed.

A plan we made about two months ago was to designate July as 'Roman Holiday' month. We both have significant remnants and stash of this fantastic fabric, and it just seems a shame to allow it to wallow any longer in tubs, closet, or drawers.

So for her Roman Holiday quilt, Sharon is using a pattern from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott called Daisy Chain.

Just look at those gorgeous colors. Mmmm. I have salivated over this line of fabric for a long, long time. Sharon needed to make three sets of  strips. Next she will press these and then sub-cut for squares.

This lower set of strips has a wider neutral for setting squares. It will provide the criss-cross design that will become apparent as the quilt comes together.

I have decided to go forward with that basket pattern from Moda that I spoke of a few days ago. I hope to get started asap. First order of business is a trip to my LQS to buy a pad of Moda Cake Recipe papers #7.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bonus Quilt

Sometimes I just can't explain why I do the things I do. Case in point, yesterday I made a mini-quilt that I had absolutely no plan or idea or inkling of making as the day began.

Yesterday was a sewing day with Sharon, and I had in mind that I'd work on finishing that baby quilt I wrote about some time back. It was still spread out on my table, and truly, I just needed to finish it.

But . . .

Also spread out on the table was a partial charm pack of an old Sentimental Studios fabric line called Pashmina. At one point years ago, I took a few pieces out for a project, but the remainder was still hanging around with no foreseeable project awaiting it.

So I began sewing. First I made half-square triangles. Then I decided to make quarter-square triangles out of them. After about 24 made, I stopped and sewed them into a 4x6 grid. Then I went digging for a border. The "blue drawer" contained a bit of an old floral from Blackbird Designs called Garden Magic that matched the colors adequately, and so without giving it too much thought, I cut some and applied borders and corner QSTs. I love it!

I am so pleased with this unexpected little quilt, one that was not even on this gal's radar. After finishing this, I did move on to the baby quilt, and will need to find some suitable border fabric before I can claim a finish on it.

More pics to come on the baby quilt, as well as pictures of what Sharon worked on. She is getting a jump start on our project of the month - the July Roman Holiday quilt.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Looking Ahead

Maybe it' a bit too early to being thinking about July's activities, but because I have decisions to make and need to have a plan in place, I am looking ahead.

For Sharon and me, July is Roman Holiday Month! We both have remnants and some new (to us) jelly rolls in our Roman Holiday stashes, and we want to use this beautiful fabric! Through text messages, I know that she, too, is looking ahead and trying to establish a plan so that when July arrives we can go-go-go.

One type of quilt I've never made is a basket quilt, so I think that I would like to pair my Roman Holiday fabric with a basket pattern. This idea has fairly consumed me the past few days, and I have browsed through dozens of books, magazines and internet sites for inspiration.

Many fabric shops, fabric companies and pattern designers offer free patterns, which I have also perused. Moda's blog has a lengthy selection of freebies, and Picnic at Daybreak is one that I particularly like.

I spilled out the content of my Roman Holiday stash and added in the new charm packs and the jelly roll. This picture indicates that most of my quilt will be red, which I wouldn't mind in the least. The collection contains a good bit of brown and green and yellow and blue, believe it or not. I have a bit of yellow yardage which you see in the picture, but I only have the other colors in the precut forms. This definitely limits my options, so I must be deliberate in choosing a basket pattern.

While my brain works this all out, I have been stitching on Lake Effect, watching Cleveland Indians baseball and enjoying a lot of down time. Life is good here!

I've joined Confessions of a Fabric Addict and her weekly party Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Facing My Fears

That title is quite dramatic, don't you think? Perhaps you think I have some riveting tabloid news-type material to share in today's post. Alas, the dramatic title is simply referring to my reluctance to make myself sew on the Tin Lizzie long-arm machine that's been with me now for 6 months.

Back in November, my dear friend Sharon O. gifted me her barely used Tin Lizzie. I wrote about her generosity here. With the help of our husbands, we brought the machine here in early December. DH and I then assembled it relatively easily. In the intervening months, I have spent some time fiddling with things like tension and attempting to get the hang of quilting. I became aggravated at threads breaking, stitches skipping and improperly formed stitches. It seemed I would never get it figured out. Of course, I needed to have more determination; instead, I'd just close the door and ignore it for another month. I gave up pretty easily, I am ashamed to admit.

Early this month, when all the Frankfort girls went on that shopping trip to eastern Ohio, I spoke at length with a shop owner who knows Tin Lizzies really well. He was extraordinarily helpful with pointing out some obvious tips and offering suggestions that I have been able to use with encouraging success.

The result of this is that I have put two pieces of fabric together with a batting, loaded it onto the long arm, and have quilted with satisfying results. I was just tooling along great until I ran out of bobbin thread. I hadn't thought to load a second bobbin, so I stopped. I should make myself get back to work on it because I was very happy that mostly everything was going along so well.

Tomorrow morning the Frankfort girls will be here for sewing. I need to do a fair amount of housekeeping - vacuum, dust, sweep, etc. Mostly, we have clutter, so a thorough straightening-up is in order. We always need a reason to tidy things up around her. *grin*

It's been awhile since I joined a linky party, so why don't you go take a peek at Kelly's Quilt Infatuation to see her gorgeous churn dash quilt!? I do love those churn dash quilts, and this one is quite striking. Check out the linky party participants, too!

Hope you are having a great day!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

Ever since our son discovered cartoons and more specifically Calvin and Hobbes, we have been fans. He even named one of our cats Hobbes. I believe DS was given all the books as they were released through the 1990s and 2000s, and I still have them.

To commemorate Father's Day, I thought I would pay tribute to Dads by sharing a bit of Calvin and Hobbes.

(I'm sure by rights, I am supposed to give credit to my source on these images, but I found them with a simple Google search and about 3 mouse clicks.)

Hope you all have a great day! If you are able to spend time with your dad, try to learn something from him!!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Entering the Land of Blockheads 2

During the past year and a half, I faithfully printed off every single pattern in the Blockheads 1 series, the popular sew-along sponsored by Moda fabrics and several top-name designers and authors. I made exactly 2 blocks, but did not have the time to make them all.

Fans of Blockheads 1 have been patiently waiting for Blockheads 2 and we are in the second week of this new sew-along. More designers are involved, blocks are not all 6" blocks as they were in the first go-around. Now we have 12" blocks, too.

And you guessed it -- I am going to try to keep up with this one. We shall see. I have a long record of falling off the sew-along wagons I have previously attempted. What I begin with good intentions eventually becomes burdensome, and I quit. Hmmm. Hopefully not this time.

I spent the first week of the sew-along auditioning fabrics. This room is a mess with boxes, tubs, and drawers spilling out all my options. Here is a sampling of what I tried and rejected.

Most of this fabric is quite old; the floral set on the right is the newest - the Lecien fabric I bought earlier this spring.

But even older than any of those shown in the first photo, I pulled out one of the oldest fat quarter packs in my stash - Treasures of York County Heritage Trust by P&B Textiles. How old is this? I have been looking around on the interwebs to see if I can discover its age; currently I have found a Facebook page and have submitted a question. Maybe I will get an answer. Anyway, here's what I am using.

This fabric group is both pretty and garish. I suppose that might be why I have avoided using it for all these years. So, since my foray into the Blockheads world is an experiment, I might as well experiment with the fabric, too.

I have the first two blocks finished, and at this early point in the game, *gasp!* I am caught up. My goal will be to do each block as released - every Wednesday. Plans. Crossing my fingers. Hope I can do it.

Block 1 - 12"

Block 2 - 6"

Side-by-side comparison
So, there it is. My newest endeavor. I have two hopes: one, that I can keep up each week; and two, that this won't be totally hideous when I'm finished.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Progress on Lake Effect

The most portable stitching on my current to-do list is, hands down, Lake Effect. Because DH and I have been doing much gallivanting around this month, and will do more before the month is over, I really felt it necessary to work on something during this car time. Lake Effect has been perfect.

The photo above represents the hexies I attached on Saturday and Sunday while we were on the road to Mansfield, Wooster and Coshocton. As long as the roads are smooth enough, I can easily stitch these rows of six that will surround the appliqued panels.

I continue to be concerned that the "look" effectively resembles water. With the name Lake Effect, I need this to have the look of a cold, winter waterway or waterfall. I will use more blue, and hopefully this will bring my desired result.

The last three pictures show my combined work from this month of road trips (and it's only the 14th!) - the one to Put-In-Bay and the one to Mansfield - as well as the Friday with the Frankfort Girls. I consider this significant progress.

And my perceived progress is just the motivation I need to keep myself on track with this endeavor and work toward a finish. It won't be long until I will need to be thinking about switching gears to do those appliqued parts. I promise I will no longer be intimidated by applique.


Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Frankfort Girls

On Friday we met at Sharon's beautiful home, where her beautiful Stella d'oro lilies lined the front walkway with welcoming beauty.

Added later: what??!? I am a writing teacher, and that sentence is atrocious, plain and simple. Apparently, my editing and proofreading was nonexistent yesterday. *shaking my head in shame* 

Let me try again; I can do better.

On Friday we met at Sharon's secluded country home where a mass of Stella d'oro lilies lined the front walkway with welcoming beauty. Sharon is quite a gardener, and she knows the secret of making impact with quantity. It was quite lovely, and had my hands not been full, I'd have taken a picture for you. But you'll trust me on this, right?

I have only one finish to share with you, although everyone was busy, busy, busy with their stitching. Becky had recently finished this stunning project and had us all drooling when she unfolded it for us. My finished Village quilt top, which you've already seen, was the only other finish, I believe.

Becky's quilt probably has a name, but I did not get it. After it is quilted, it will be displayed as a store sample at Old Town Fabric Shop in Chillicothe. Becky works part-time there, and occasionally does samples for the store. This will be a block-of-the-month style offering for customers. From our spot in the back of the room, we couldn't get a full picture without a lot of moving and shuffling, but I think this partial view gives ample evidence of its size and beauty.

My hand stitching continues to be Lake Effect, and I don't just do it on these Friday sewing dates. It is such a wonderfully portable sewing project; I stitch in the car, and in quiet B & Bs on a weekend getaway. With all the road trips we have been taking lately, I have accomplished quite a lot on Lake Effect. Come on back tomorrow and I will have some pictures of it to show you.

Hope you are having fun with your stitching!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Family Time

I interrupt the regularly scheduled chit-chat about quilts to share a bit of my family with you.

Last night my siblings and I had the wonderful opportunity to spend time together with our mom at a local sports pub in my hometown, Hillsboro. The gathering was very much an impromptu one, but we had such a terrific time!

Pictured are Sandy, Jayne, Mark, Carol, Mom, and Alan. Just six years separate me (oldest) from my baby sister Carol (youngest), so we are close as families go. On Mother's Day, we weren't able to coordinate our times for a group picture, so I am glad this worked out for us.

Do you see a family resemblance?? *smile*

Quilting chit-chat will resume tomorrow! Thanks for indulging me!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Yet Another Baby Quilt

I am of the age at which many of my friends are becoming grandparents. Long-time friends Judy and Harold are soon to welcome grandbaby #5 later this year, and since the previous four have quilts, this one must get one, too. This baby will join older brothers Cade and Wyatt. Click on their names to see their quilts. Click to see the quilts given to cousins Jackie and Parker.

So, my dilemma: what to do. I really want to use from my stash; there is just so much here that I surely should be able to come up with something suitable for a baby. While straightening up a little bit in the quilting room, I came across a bag of scraps from a quilt I helped DD Emma make last year for her college friend. This will be a perfect starting point, as plenty of extra 60-degree triangles were left over, and I have suitable fabrics to add in to get a good baby-sized quilt. Yay!

So far I have sewn together just three rows (and that makes for quite an odd-shaped picture); my plan is to get really busy on this this week to get it as near completion as possible. It represents such an easy project with satisfying results once wrapped up.

Of course, I have many other irons in the fire, and will share more of my little quilting world tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Thank You Gift

At the beginning of May, when DH and I took that whirlwind trip to Siesta Key in Sarasota, FL, we stayed at a condo that belongs to friends of my sister. I have finished a thank-you gift for those folks, and part of the gift involved a bit of sewing.

I shopped Amazon for appropriate beach condo accessories and found this pillow.

I learned, though, when it was delivered that I only bought the pillow cover. I would have to buy or make a form to fit inside. Since the pillow is an unusual shape/size, I knew I would have to make a form for the 11" x 18" pillow.

The form above is my second attempt. My first attempt was too lumpy and misshapen. This one looks somewhat wonky, but it fits just fine.

Ta-da!! It will look fantastic in the condo, on a sofa or chair or bed. I can't wait to deliver this to these friends via my sister. Plans are in the works for us all to go out for dinner on Friday night.

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Too Busy for Quilting!

Lately it seems I have had too many irons in the fire to maintain any sewing and quilting momentum. Here's a run-down of the past week:

Friday - the fabric shop road trip with the Frankfort Girls. I've already shared this in the last post.

Saturday - Buckskin Community Yard Sale in South Salem. I joined forces with my neighbor Dorothy, and we had a relatively successful day. We set up in the parking lot of Buckskin Elementary, and it was hotter than blazes, but we had a good, steady stream of customers. The picture below was taken at the end of our day.

Saturday night - dinner at La Cascada. DH and I have been enjoying a weekly visit to this Mexican restaurant in Hillsboro for years now. We don't make it every single week, but we do go often. On this particular visit, we were joined by my niece Abby and her husband Stephen. It was a fun impromptu family dinner.

I spent Sunday catching up on laundry, unpacking the remains of the yard sale, and preparing to go on a quick overnight trip with my mother to Put-In-Bay.

Monday - Travel to Port Clinton, Ohio, and board the ferry to South Bass Island in Lake Erie where Put-In-Bay is located. We booked an Airbnb called The Dellwood for our accomodations, and all was lovely.

A ferry on Lake Erie waiting to dock. The water looks relatively calm here, but when we came out around noon on Monday, the waves were quite choppy; our ride was not smooth. At least one passenger got seasick and threw up. (None of our party, thankfully.)

Tuesday - leave PIB, and drive over to Marblehead to see the lighthouse.

More clouds and breezy conditions. We did not take the time to go up into the lighthouse, but for a small fee, visitors can do this. We did go through the historical museum and learned about the lighthouse, its keepers, and general history of the area.

Wednesday - today - I'm back home, I have driven for our Mennonite neighbors, walked 2 miles, and am getting ready to go to a friend's for a couple of hours of pool time (it's so chilly, it'll be more sun time than water time!). I hope to sew a quick project yet, and deliver it to Hillsboro later tonight.

I did take some stitching with me on the trip to the lake, and I even managed to sew while DH drove; I will provide details and progress soon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!