Friday, August 31, 2018

Basket Quilt Progress

As promised, I am sharing my progress on the basket quilt, slow as it is. Sharon and I sewed together on Tuesday, and I've not taken one stitch on it since. That's just the way life is for the moment. Getting settled in to a new semester at OUC, adjusting to fall hours as opposed to carefree summer hours - this takes some getting used to.

But I digress. Let's see some quilt pictures, shall we?

I am finally able to use some chain piecing for this part of my construction process. It assures that I am keeping baskets facing the correct direction, and I can manage handling the quilt so much more easily. I am pinning very thoroughly, even though that might be unnecessary. I feel more confident that I'm eliminating mix-ups by pinning.

As I worked, I had to move from the table to the guest bed. The additional rows just became too cumbersome. Plus, I like seeing the progress row by row.

I have made decisions about the vertical sashing strips. I will also use one color per vertical strip just like I am doing one color per horizontal strip. At the intersections, I will use the background as cornerstones. In essence, I will be framing each individual basket, and while that is not the way the pattern shows the finish, I am happy to be using more of my Roman Holiday fabric.

Are you getting ready to celebrate the Labor Day weekend? Our plans are low-key, but we are meeting our daughters and their guys for dinner in Columbus this evening. Then we will bring a particularly adorable kitty home with us to babysit for the weekend, while DD1 and her hubby go out of state. Rocky gets his own vacation at our house.

Besides that, we anxiously await our first college football game tomorrow at noon! Go Buckeyes! We are always excited for football around here.

Here's hoping your weekend is enjoyable!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Sharon's Daisy Chain Reveal

If you follow, you know that my wonderful friend and sewing companion Sharon and I are in the midst of making quilts with our stashes of Roman Holiday fabric. While I have been making baskets (which have taken me forever), Sharon has been working on a much faster jelly roll quilt called Daisy Chain. To see her earlier work, and to learn more about Daisy Chain click here.

Awhile ago, she constructed all these blocks, then most of August has been occupied with family events which afforded her little time for sewing, but finally on Tuesday she was back to work putting the blocks together.

She sewed together such a lovely pile of lusciousness! *sigh*

And when the day was winding down, she had even more lusciousness. This quilt top center is now finished off. Wow. What a fun quilt.

Sharon will be adding a border, and (oh, darn!) it will have to be red. Ha!! Fact: it was the breathtaking reds in this line of fabric that appealed to us in the first place. It will be fantastic. I am so eager to see her completion.

In the meantime, I will still be adding rows to my basket quilt. I plan to show you my progress in the next post. Stay tuned.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Two Mennonite Quilts

Each Wednesday this summer, I have been driving two neighbor girls to their job at a nearby "Amish" market. The girls are our neighbors and are Mennonite. Odd isn't it, that the store is owned and operated by Mennonites, yet everyone refers to it as 'The Amish Store'?

Anyway, the girls - young women, actually - Kathaleen and Betty, are sisters, and have been nothing but delightful to chit-chat with as we drive to work each Wednesday morning and back home in the evening. They have heard me prattle on about my quilting endeavors, and have shown such an interest. At one point, I even took a stack of my basket blocks with me to show them.

Last Wednesday was my last day to provide their transportation due to my university semester beginning this week, so they asked if I had time to stop for a quick peek at two of their quilts, made by their grandmother, one of which is a basket quilt.

Seriously! How could I say no? *grin*

This basket quilt is Kathaleen's. The block size is larger than mine, so I estimate hers to be 8 inches. The work is entirely hand-done. The quilting in the alternate blocks is strikingly beautiful.

Betty, left, and Kathaleen hold up the quilt for a picture. I could tell they were very proud of their grandmother's handwork. The fabrics are a variety of scraps and to Kathaleen's knowledge had not been remnant of dresses - just a lot of scrappy calico prints.

Interesting coincidence discovered through our weekly chit-chat to and from work - Betty knew the workers from the Ashland quilt shop I visited in May. Small world! Click here for that post.

Betty then invited me to see the quilt on her bed, and well, yes! So, here is another handmade quilt by their grandmother; the pattern is called Periwinkle. The quilting is not as dense, but still looks very attractive beside the pieced blocks. And speaking of the pieced blocks, all the periwinkles are made with checks, plaids, or stripes, which I find to be an interesting departure from the typical calico I would expect to see. I wonder if these fabrics were from discarded shirts or dresses.

I noticed that soft pink was used in both these quilts. I wonder if the grandmother did this with all the quilts made for the granddaughters, and, likewise, used soft blue in ones made for the grandsons. I wish I had asked. I will surely be seeing them again, so I will try to remember to ask. I also want to ask how many grandchildren there are, as they told me that every grandchild did get a homemade quilt from Grandmother. How nice.

Isn't it great to have friendly neighbors?

Today, Sharon was here for sewing. We both made good progress on our Roman Holiday quilts. I will show you Sharon's first, as her top is now put together. She will next be adding borders. I have about half of my vertical rows stitched to together with the sashing, and will continue plugging away on them this week.

Come on back for the Roman Holiday update!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sashing Those Basket Blocks

After deliberating for a day or two, I decided the best course of action on my sashing dilemma would be to use the Roman Holiday fabric.

I did give myself opportunities for finding more background. I dug waaaay deep in my tub of whites/off-white. None worked. Then I found myself in the vicinity of a quilt shop, looked at the options available and even bought 2 yards of a fabric I was positive would be perfect. Nope. Too white. I don't think my fabric looks that off-white, but you know how varied the whites are. I was foolish to think I could do it by guessing.

Those two strikes sealed the deal. It became obvious that I should just use the Roman Holiday. It's a Roman Holiday basket quilt - why wouldn't I use it if I have it??? I will be perfectly happy with it. I have no problem with my quilt not looking like the pattern. Featuring the gorgeous fabric is the goal. Always has been.

I have begun the sashing portion, and it's gonna' be fun to see how this works!

I will use a different color for each horizontal sashing. I have a red line and a blue line going so far. My next big decision will be whether to use color for the vertical sashings. I probably have enough of my neutral to do the verticals, but I may prefer to use the color. Verdict is still being deliberated.

I mentioned in a previous post that the 6-week long process of making these basket blocks was quite daunting. One fun trick that kept me motivated through the 100-basket countdown was listening to an audio book. When the story is a gripping one, staying on task is a no-brainer - I want to know what happens!  The book that captured my fancy was Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner. I highly recommend it, and I am currently into my second Meissner audio book, A Fall of Marigolds. Both books are historical fiction, and I believe Meissner's signature story-telling method is framing a story set in a historical time inside one set in the present. I am liking this author, as well as this method, and plan to seek out more titles by her. I am indebted to another quilt blogger, Nicole, at Sisters Choice Quilts, for recommending this author on one of her recent book-review posts.

Today is special in two ways. First, our oldest, Adam, turns 36 today. Whoa, how can that be?! He's all the way across country in Oregon, so we are celebrating from afar. Second, I begin another school year at Ohio University-Chillicothe. I have a M/W schedule this semester, and look forward to another challenging term. DH and I have had a fun, refreshing and relaxing summer; I am ready to meet another group of incoming freshmen writers.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Quick Fixer Upper!

We are off on an adventure to Hocking Hills today, so I will just share a couple of pictures to show you a recent project. Reclaiming a piece from my mother, I now have a new little curio shelf for my family room!

Several months ago, Mom was having a bit of a clear-out, and I came home with this chipped, dark green curio shelf. I finally decided that I would spray paint it and put it to use.

 Now I have it hanging in the family room, but empty; I need to find some treasures to display!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

100 Baskets

At last I have finished the baskets. Starting this quilt so many weeks ago, in early July, I had no idea that I would be so slow at finishing them, and I really dragged through those middle ones - the 40s, the 50s, the 60s - they took forever. As I neared 75, the end finally seemed attainable, and I plodded on. At 85 or so, I realized that I did not have enough parts cut out, so that slowed me further.

This afternoon, I stitched #s 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99 and 100. Whew!

Here's a couple of pictures marking the milestone. They are stacked in piles of 10. At first, I had them in a certain order, as there are 3 variations of baskets, but now they are mostly randomly stacked.

I have some decisions to make before moving on to sashing these baskets into rows. First, I have very little of the white background fabric remaining, so what to do?

One option is to take my bit of white and shop for more, hoping that I can find something to match.

Another option is to sash with some of my Roman Holiday jelly rolls. I have a full jelly roll and a half of another one. The pattern calls for very narrow sashing - 1.25 inches. So I could cut the jelly roll strips in half. Easy to do, and I know I'd have plenty. But the pattern calls for using the neutral; will I be happy with colorful sashing? Since it's RH, probably.

A third option is to dig into my stash of whites and off-whites to see if something I already own would suitably substitute. I will probably dig around later today to see what I can find.

Are you wondering about the occasional printed neutral? I began this quilt using my Roman Holiday scraps from an earlier project and a more recent Etsy-purchased charm pack. If I did not use the lights from the charm pack, what else would I do with them? A lot of light bits with no darker colors would be a senseless waste of Roman Holiday! So I decided that they could be used in the basket HSTs and would show up randomly throughout the baskets and, ultimately, all around the quilt.

I have not had a particularly regular presence here in blog-land, but believe me, I have been stitching. And now that I have at last finished the baskets, perhaps I can show you some variety in my content. Variety has been totally absent while making these 100 baskets. Gosh, I'm glad to have them done!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Feed Sack Pillow Cases

I have been absent! My good intentions of getting back to posting more regularly have all fallen to pieces with this recent period of inertia. Hmmff.

I last shared my new pieced pillow sham with the promise of sharing the additional pillows - so let's get to it.


For the past few years, the Circleville quilt show has had a nifty little feature that has grown and grown. Members of the guild bring unwanted items to a room set aside for a giant 3-day tag sale. It is a shopper's dream - especially if one likes all manner of sewing and quilting ephemera. I am always looking for vintage fabrics and have been lucky enough to find some exquisite pieces. This year, the search brought me these two pretty feed sacks made for eventual use as pillowcases.

Now that they are sewn and in use on our bed, I realize I should have made a bigger hemmed edge with the pink and blue borders. Pillow cases naturally have hems of 3-4-inches. I wasn't thinking. My inclination was to keep as much of the colorful parts showing as possible. I will leave them as they are for now. Maybe I will prefer the wider hem at some point, but they serve their purpose now.

I included that last picture to show the holes left by the original stitching from the feed sack. Whoever saved this fabric had removed the stitches and laundered the cloth. I am happy to see how they were originally stitched and glad for the evidence of its previous life.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, August 9, 2018


You might find it hard to believe that for most of my married life, I have not had a quilt on our bed. Instead, we have had a couple of bedding sets we bought. When our cat got sick on the last bedspread, I took it to be cleaned and decided that I was done with that bedspread. I put a quilt on our bed, and have not regretted it in the least. However, I still had the shams from the bedding set, and this week I have replaced them.

Today, I will just talk about the square pillow. The two pillows behind have a bit of a special feature which I will talk about soon in an upcoming post.

I had a pattern from Moda  for a 22" square table topper called Starburst. I think it is something that is meant to be for Christmas, and it was made for using those little 2.5" packs called Moda Candy, I think.

Anyway, as I was organizing patterns last month, when I came across this pattern I knew it would work for this pillow. I only needed to add a small outer border for my 24" square pillow, but it was just easy as 1-2-3. I also used larger pieces for the solid areas, instead of 2.5" squares. I mean why make more work, right?

The quilt on the bed is made with 2.5" squares, and the pillow, while it isn't an exact match to the quilt, does just fine to fit in with its random blues. The fabrics used in our new pillow sham are all from my stash, most of which are quite old. I did not overthink any of the choices, and just trusted that the combination of blues would result in a happily scrappy blue "family."

I am a happy camper with my new look.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Welcome to the Quilt Show

A lot of bloggers use a special feature on Wednesdays called Wordless Wednesday, and while I cannot guarantee a wordless post, I can assure you that today you will mostly just be looking at pretty quilts. Sorta' pretend you are strolling through a quilt show, but in the comfort of your easy chair. Hopefully, you can have a warm cup of coffee or hot tea for this leisurely stroll.

These pictures are pretty much in the exact order I took them. I did take out the pics of my friends' quilts that I shared yesterday; these are the random ones that for one reason or another captured my fancy. At the end, you will see three quilts that are noteworthy and I will describe them when we get there.

This is a quilt top that will be next year's raffle quilt.

Best of show - pieced quilt.

Best of show - applique quilt.
How's that? Few words Wednesday! I hope you enjoyed the show.
Happy Quilting, Friends!