Monday, July 30, 2018

Twins' Back Packs

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to spend a day with my twin nieces - now 10! - at my sister's (their Aunt Sandy).

We played a game of Hangman - which they won without making any mistakes. Their interests are drawing, reading, science, math and about a gazillion other things. To say they are smart would be an understatement. They are so advanced; they seem to simply absorb everything they see or read or hear. Mary Jean is on the left; Anna Rose on the right.

When they were very little things, I made them identical backpacks - I suppose it would have been about the time they were beginning preschool. Anyway, they came carrying them filled with swimming stuff - suits, towels, sunscreen, etc. I was so happy to see that they are still getting some use of them now that they are grown-up fifth graders-to-be.

Still very little going on here in terms of sewing. We are getting ready for my DH's garden club meeting which will be here at noon tomorrow. Today will be cleaning and cooking! After tomorrow's meeting, Sharon is coming to sew. We will get our day one way or another - even if we have to start late!

And, perhaps you'd be interested -- today is Sharon's birthday!! We will celebrate with gift-giving tomorrow!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Looking Back

Since I am not making huge, blog-worthy progress on anything at the moment, I have spent a bit of time looking back through my blog to see what I was working on at the end of July in previous years. Here are the highlights:

Just last year I finished the UFO known as Wishes, a pretty quilt made with early Fig Tree fabrics of Joanna Figueroa. I have since purchased backing for this quilt and nearly gave it away as a wedding present last fall. However, I found I could not part with this quilt, gave the newlyweds a different quilt, and have this one still waiting to be quilted.

In 2014, I finished this sweet table runner. I use it all the time on a table in our front room. I made it at Mary's Barn, a sweet quilting friend whose cancer took her from us far too soon.

In 2012, we were about to enjoy the Opening Exercises of the London Summer Olympics. I had the quilt shown below set up in the quilting frame for easy access while watching the games. It is now finished and being used.

In 2011, I was attaching the borders to this lusciousness, Economy Blue by Kaffe Fassett. Gosh, what a beauty! Like most of my creations, it still hangs in the closet awaiting quilting.

This has been sorta' like a Throwback Thursday, except that this is Friday. I might do this every so often, when I lack any good current material to use.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Blockheads2 - Block 7

You have not seen many updates here on my BH2 progress, and there would be a reason for that - I have not been keeping up! I made a goal for this month to stay with the weekly block production, and then I fell off the wagon.

I did blocks 1-4 right on time, and was pleased with myself for keeping up. Then I made the July goal to continue and what happens? The designers released two ginormous and complicated blocks! I am working with fat quarters, and do not have fabric pieces large enough to make blocks as they suggest! It has me somewhat stymied and searching for variations.

I will get more into that later. Today, I simply want to share my two finished Block 7s.

Block 7 is 6.5 inches and is super-easy to make, which gives me time now to go back and redirect my thinking on blocks 5 and 6.

Hope you are having a productive day! I have made more basket blocks, and also did a bit of stitching on Lake Effect. These three projects - the basket quilt, Blockheads, and Lake Effect - seem to be my entire focus lately.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Claudia Has Been Busy

It has been awhile since I brought you news of my friend and former quilting student, Claudia. She continues to crank out some beauties and often sends me pictures of her finishes (and near-finishes).

Below are some that came in a recent email. She and her DH live nearby on a nice farm where they raise and train dogs, which means they also have a small flock of sheep. That country setting is evident as the backdrop of some of these pictures. You can also see that windy days do not cooperate with willing husbands holding quilts!

This last picture typifies Claudia's love of dogs! Isn't it going to be a great quilt for a dog-lover!?

DH and I are charging ahead into this new week. We are meeting another couple for a dinner date later on; this morning I got my 2.5-mile walk in. And I also made block 7 (two of them!) of Blockheads 2, which I hope to share here tomorrow!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

It's A Slow Sunday

We have been through a busy stretch of days this past week, and looking ahead, I see another week of busy days. For that reason, it has been a really nice, slow day here with a needle and thread. It's a really happy place! From a couple of movie nights with DH, to our youngest moving from Athens to Columbus, from book club coming up (still gotta' finish the book!), and a dinner date with friends, we have been - and will be - on the go.

What you see above is what I have actually accomplished today. I had not yet sewn any hexies top to bottom - vertically, in other words. To this point, I have only stitched hexies side to side. I selected five segments of six hexies, placed them vertically, and began stitching. A new phase of the process! I have two rows together and a third row partially added. I will finish this little section later tonight as we watch some Indians baseball and a PBS/ Masterpiece show we love, Endeavour.

I was led to this point by work I did on Friday at our Frankfort girls gathering. It seemed like I had a nice-sized stack of  these units, and I began to think that I might be getting to the point where I could move on to the next phase - gasp! Could that possibly be!?

Above, I have a stack of 40 6-hexie units. I like seeing this progress! When I began this endeavor (not related to the afore-mentioned television program, heh-heh), I told myself it was likely to be a 10-year project. I actually am beginning to rethink that timeline. It won't take me nearly that long if I continue to whittle away on it as I have thus far this year.

While I am making satisfactory progress, it is definitely slow stitching, and for that reason, I periodically link up with a blog that celebrates slow stitching. Check out Kathy and her Slow Sunday Stitching linky party on her blog. I am so happy to visit her each week to be reminded to enjoy the slow creative process of stitching.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Three Basket Versions

Picnic at Daybreak, the current pattern I am making, requires 100 basket blocks made three different ways. This has been fun seeing them take shape. I will be short and sweet today, and just get on with showing you the three versions. Scroll back to yesterday's post to see the pattern.

Block 1 has the fewest HSTs. Isn't it pretty in pale blue?

All my baskets are going to have either green or brown bottoms - the large HST. The small HSTs will be all the other colors in the Roman Holiday line.

Block 2, below, has one more HST added. In the example pictured, I tried using all yellow prints in the basket. I like this, but I don't intend to be "planned" in making all these blocks.

Block 3 has yet another HST added. I have made about 20 of this block so far. I really like this one. Heck, I should be honest - I like all of the combinations in all the versions! I guess with fabric this amazing, I just can't go wrong!

Did you notice the neutrals? I mostly have a wonderful Kona cotton cream-color for the background fabric, but a few of the neutrals from the Roman Holiday line were slipped into the HSTs and those will show up in random fashion throughout the quilt. I think when we see the big-picture quilt, it will make a lovely bit of added interest here and there.

I try to think like our grandmothers would have - they "made do." No fabric was wasted; substitutions were made out of necessity; and "close" was good enough. I did not want to waste the lighter fabrics from the line, so I am incorporating them into the small HSTs.

That's all for today, Peeps! We are off to see our daughters in Columbus, and then to a classic movie at the historic Ohio Theater - tonight's feature: A Streetcar Named Desire.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Endless Half-Square Triangles

Sharon and I designated July to be our month of sewing a quilt top using our precious stashes of Roman Holiday, a gorgeous fabric issued over 10 years ago by 3 Sisters/Moda. Both of us collected it, hoarded it, petted it, and have actually used it for some quilts already. But plenty of fabric remained, so we agreed to use this beautiful stuff together this month. It's so much more fun when one has a partner in crime; we encourage one another and keep each other accountable. I highly recommend this to anyone needed a nudge to get going on something.

Sharon is zipping right along with her quilt, Daisy Chain, a pattern designed specifically for jelly rolls. Click here to see her early work

For my version,  after determining that I would make a basket quilt, I found a free pattern that appealed to me on the Moda website; I downloaded it and have now made a good start.

This particular pattern calls for using Moda's Cake Mix recipe - a pad of papers designed for use with a layer cake of fabric. I did not have any layer cakes of Roman Holiday, so even though I bought the Cake Mix pad, I am not using the it. I did however, take from the cake mix the correct dimensions for cutting; I have made significant progress.

Making 704 2" half-square triangles has been something of a daunting task. The process is by no means difficult; it's just that there are sooo many. *sigh*  From a light and dark pair of 5" squares (charm pack size), I can make 8 of these triangles. I feel like an assembly line in producing these. But its very gratifying to see these little buggers pile up.

Triangles cut from 5" pairs of fabric.

Dog ears trimmed. 

Press open, seam allowance to the dark.
Trim to 2 inches.


More and more and more...

Fully prepped HSTs tossed into a tub.

Neutrals are both printed and solid.

And, still more and more and more...
A careful and conscientious quilter would have kept track of how many of these she'd made. I would not be that quilter. I probably need to make more, but for now I am moving forward with basket construction.

More on that soon!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hillsboro Quilt Show

This past weekend, the quilt guild over in Highland County hosted their quilt show at Hillsboro High School. Since Hillsboro is my hometown, and since I want to see their guild thrive and do well, I try to attend each year. The show is a small one, but I do always enjoy seeing the quilts and visiting the vendors.

Do you ever just have "moods?" I think I was in an antique quilt mood on Friday. While I saw several gorgeous quilts on display, for whatever reason I was particularly enamored with the old ones. Here are two that struck my fancy.

This was called a Horn of Plenty applique. I don't believe I have ever seen this pattern before. Very pretty, and look at the amazing quilting. If memory serves, the tag said it was over 150 years old.

This double wedding ring quilt reminded me of several old quilts that my grandmother made. To my knowledge, she never made a double wedding ring, but she did work with these types of fabrics - most likely feed sacks - in so many of her early quilts.

The quilt above is nothing very spectacular, but I really wanted to photograph it because it would be such a simple quilt to recreate - and fast, as the pieces are large. Only 13 star blocks (the intricate work, but not overly so) and large hourglass blocks for setting. I need to start thinking in terms of fast quilts, as I am not making my way through the fabric stash as quickly as I ought to be. Ha!

The quilt above was the first one I saw as I entered the door. My color doesn't do it justice. The deep burgundy red was very striking, and the whole quilt was just very pleasing to the eye. I found the border to be something quite different from the ordinary. Very nice.

Did I mention vendors? Oh, yes, I did make a small purchase. I found these four fat quarters in a shop and listened to them tell me to take them home with me. No purpose in mind, but they will enhance that stash I mentioned earlier.

Sharon is coming today, and we will continue our work on our Roman Holiday quilts. I will bring you pics of that fun stuff tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

About P&B Textiles

I have become a big fan of P&B Textiles after a recent exchange I had with them. I had fabric strewn out everywhere when I was planning for the start of Blockheads 2.

In that auditioning process, I came out with a fat quarter pack of an old fabric group that I've had for years. Here is a picture of the fabrics; I wish I'd taken one while it was all still in tact, but I had them separated before I thought about it.

I couldn't remember anything regarding my history of buying and owning this fabric. I just knew it seemed like I'd had it for a really long time. I went to the google-machine to see if I could learn anything about it, and that really didn't yield much information, either. Since I couldn't even close in on a decade for when I purchased this, the search turned up a whole lot of nothing.

That's when I decided to search for the company - P&B Textiles. I figure that these fabric companies have an archive of all their fabrics and the dates each were released. So I began a new search. Wow. That proved interesting. I gave up on the internet search and opted for the Facebook search. I was sure they would have a business page. And I was right. You can click here to see it.

On June 15, I sent a private message to the company: 
I want to know the year of release on a fabric pack I own. It’s called Treasures of the York County Heritage Trust presented by Roberta Benvin and Joan Hamme. Can you provide the year? Thanks. 
On June 19, I received this response:
  I put a post up about the release date and someone came back with 2007 based on a post she found about a York County Heritage Trust release party.
 Interestingly, as this representative spent time searching the internet for the requested information, he came across my blog! How nice for him to mention it! Soon, he sent a pdf of a pattern that was released when the fabric came out.

I was blown away by the prompt attention to my query, and I am now a brand new fan of P&B Textiles. Here is another look at the fabrics in the pack.

 They are quite a vivid group of prints. I really am curious how my BH2 will look in this stack of fabrics. You will see it all as I move on along through the quilt-along.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 9, 2018

One Pattern; Two Looks

You saw my first blocks of the current Blockheads QAL on the last post. The look those blocks seemed to be creating was quite "busy," and I had the thought that I would be dissatisfied with that chaotic look. For that reason, I pulled out a second set of fabrics to make a tamer version of BH2. It is proving to be quite a study in contrasts.

Version 1

Version 2
Version 1 has all the primary colors and lots of movement in the designs. Version 2 fabric is understated, almost pastel in nature. The designs are subtle as opposed to vivid.  I hope I like the first version when all is said and done, but I know right now I LOVE the second version. It's been fun doing this QAL in two colorways, and I can make minor creative changes as I go - this is something I am seeing the designers do, and many quilters show their changes on the Facebook group page and Instagram. The whole experience has really been fun.

One of the biggest differences to this point is how I handled block 4 with the two colorways. I would not have thought to do this had I not seen similar variations on the social media sites. Take a look - both these blocks are the exact same pattern.

Making this block gave me more to consider than any to date; I spent a good bit of time studying the blocks made and shared by others before beginning my own. I like the way each one turned out, too, and I hope I continue to be challenged as future blocks are released.

And, now that I am working on the block for week 5, this wish is coming true. Block 5 is a whopping-sized block, and I don't have fabric pieces big enough to make it like the original. Some "creative changes" are inevitable.

I am working on block 5 today; sharing to come soon.
Happy Quilting, Friends!