Monday, October 29, 2018


I don't know about all seamstresses, but I sure do like to keep my hands busy as much as possible. In an effort to keep up with some of the reading I like to do, but not sacrifice sewing time, I have become a big fan of audio books.

While big-stitching yesterday on that Roman Holiday table topper, I listened to the final three chapters of The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth. The last name of the main character is Wild, and her family lives next door to the Brothers Grimm - as in the fairy tale Grimms. The backdrop of the years and years of war brought on by Napolean's aspirations were harrowing, as were the conditions in the Wild household. I began listening not thinking I'd care for it, but I soon found that I really wanted to finish it. Not having a very familiar knowledge of the lives of the Grimm Brothers, listening to this really was a total learning experience about a time and place where upheaval was constant.

Here is a picture of my stitching. It looks a lot like the pic I took the previous weekend. I have moved it in the frame, though, so progress is ongoing.

Not all my reading is done by listening. Our book club met on Thursday and I had to drop everything for about a day to read Educated, a memoir by Tara Westover.

It was a quick read - two sittings, and I was finished. We had a lively discussion about Educated and while it engaged me tremendously, I just have a really hard time believing that all she said happened really happened. I do recommend it, but my skepticism remains.  (How's that for a review?)

I need to get myself off to class! Have a great Monday!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Taking a Drive

In the last post I mentioned something about "a substantial amount of running around" which seriously bites into my sewing and quilting time.

Yet, I admit when it's my DH who suggests taking a drive, I face the temptation of begging off because so much has to be done. Shame on me! We so enjoy a pleasant drive around southern Ohio with so many interesting places to see within an hour of us.

One such place which we gravitate to more and more frequently is Hocking Hills. Even though the forecast was rainy and gray, we headed east to Vinton and Hocking counties yesterday for a little drive around.

The three pics above were all taken from the front seat of a moving car in between swipes of the windshield wipers. Finally, some fall color is showing up and I wanted to document it. I do not have any memories of a fall in which the colors came so late in October.

Take a closer look at the middle picture. On the left, the stone outcroppings are visible next to the road. This area of Ohio has the most cavernous rock formations! Our family had a weekend in Hocking Hills earlier this month, and I will write about it as soon as I sort out the gazillion pictures I took. The area is a true gem tucked into a very out-of-the-way spot.

On the way to Hocking Hills, we pass this barn with a fantastic quilt block. This is also the same road to Athens/Ohio University where DD2 Emma attended from 2011-15, so we have driven past this barn often. I don't think this block has faded one bit in all these years. I've always intended to make this block, yet have never done it.

Still rainy and gray here today. A good day for sewing.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

October Update

I gotta' get my act together! October is nearly over, and I have not accomplished near the tasks I had hoped.

This teaching gig is seriously digging into my sewing and quilting time. *whine!*

I had to cancel sewing yesterday with Sharon because I still had 15 essays to read. Plus, book club is tomorrow and I had barely started the book. (More on that later.) And I admit, I do a substantial amount of running around whenever friends or family want to do something. So, I am complicit in my sewing shortcomings.

I want to make the remaining week of October productive, so I am going on record right now with the following goals:

1. Finish the basket quilt top.

I have just 2 or 3 horizontal rows to attach along with their sashing strips. Should be one afternoon without interruptions to accomplish.

2. Finish Chock Full O' Charms quilt top.

Apparently, I haven't taken any pictures of the current CFO'C quilt, so above is a smaller version of it which I made 2-3 years ago. I am using 8 Charm Packs of Rachel Remembered, and it is going to be gorgeous! I have some of that luscious blue floral for the border. Mmmm… It will be a beauty. Stay tuned!

3. Finish the Schmidt baby quilt.

This has been a UFO for at least 3 months. I just keep putting it off. I have the border and backing fabric purchased. Like that first quilt, this would require just one nice, long session at the machine and I'd have a finish. Do I need to mention that this baby is at least 6 weeks old already?? *sheesh*

 So, three goals to try to accomplish by next Wednesday. Let's see how I fare.

Hope you are having a great Wednesday! I am about to head off to class. It's a gorgeous day!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Baby Quilt

In that long absence from blog-land, I did a good bit of secret sewing. I needed a baby quilt for a shower that was held on Saturday. You got a little tease about this project back in this post, but I said as little as possible so that no surprises were inadvertently revealed.

I have to say that I love how this turned out. You know, this could very well be the fastest I have ever completed a quilt. Truly! Bought the fabric on the 5th; gifted quilt on the 20th. Whoa!

I have made this design before - on this quilt. I cut the squares at 5 inches. Since I planned for the stripe to be the backing and binding, I needed to add some fabric for more variety on top; I had two solid blue pieces that blended nicely. I cut and sewed the whole top in one evening.

As I moved into sandwiching stage, I used spray-baste glue to layer the top to the batting and the batting to the backing. That was all I needed to move on to the quilting phase. Stitch-in-the-ditch was as complicated as I wanted, so like presto! it was done!

I love the stripes, and the binding stripes turned the other way looks great. Visually, I find it quite pleasing.

The baby shower was Saturday, and I failed to get a pic of the new momma with the quilt. Oh well, maybe after the little guy arrives, I will have a chance to get a pic with both Mom and Baby.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, October 21, 2018


It's been quite a long stretch since last posting, and several things await to be shared here. First, in order to participate in Slow Sunday Stitching, I want you to see the big stitching I've begun on the Roman Holiday throw I made last winter.

Earlier this month, I prepped this throw and backing for History Day with the intention of quilting it with big stitches in a Baptist Fan design.

For now, I am stitching only half of these lines. With big stitches, I wondered about density, so after I see how I like this, I will decide whether or not I need to go back through and do the remaining lines.

The thread I'm using is 12 wt. cotton by Aurifil. I like the thread and the big-stitch technique, as I am making relatively quick work of this throw.

The party is over at Kathy's. Hope you can take a moment to snoop around.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Getting Organized

Now don't laugh because I know it seems hard to believe, but I really do try to be organized. I admit that I often don't know what book I'm supposed to be reading for book club, and I have been known to show up on the wrong day for appointments or at the wrong time. Planners, used properly, ought to correct those embarrassing lapses.

In the midst of my haphazard social obligations, housekeeping duties and work-in-progress sewing room, some organization does occur. Honest!

And I am already planning to be even more organized in 2019, because look what has arrived in my life. This planner is massive! I am glad I ordered it early, for it will take me 3 months to study it and figure out how to use it. I might check to see if an owner's manual was included. *wink*

For a couple of years, I have honed my record-keeping and planning skills in smaller planners purchased at Office Max. They have served me well, and I have grown used to using them, well, mostly.

After seeing this beautiful planner all over Instagram, I investigated further to see if it would suit me. The accompanying bonuses sure look promising!

Apparently, after investigating, this planner won me over, for now it awaits the start of the new year and an even better-organized me.

Well, that's the plan, anyway.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Decorating With Quilts

For as long as I have known her, my friend Sharon has been a skilled home decorator. I lack the "eye" that she has, and gosh, what she comes up with is impressive! In her new (to her) Worthington home, she has pulled together some of her beautiful quilts to make this place distinctly her own.

The home is a split-level, and this beautiful 9-patch greets guests at the front door. Mostly blues from Edyta Sitar and Minick and Simpson, the blue-and-white theme has begun. At the top of the steps, looking into the living and dining area, more loveliness awaits.

This space is the most inviting, calm area. It is bright and airy, and the blue/white color scheme just accentuates the serenity.

Sharon has hung Elizabeth on the wall above her bed. Oh, what a quilt to feast one's eyes on! My own Elizabeth hangs folded over a hanger in the closet! I need to take Sharon's lead and get some of my beauties out where they can be enjoyed.

The lower level family room is a colorful Kaffe Fassett extravaganza. Unfortunately, I took just this one picture, but it is definitely an indicator of the entire space. All those sofa pillows are covered in KF fabrics. A larger yellow piece of his fabric is pulled across a canvas and leans on the ledge just out of the picture on the right. And on the opposite wall (on the left in the photo), hangs a quilt made with KF fabrics called Around the World. Couple these quilts and pillows with the carefully chosen accessories, and this room is a veritable riot of color.

I think Sharon could become a very highly-paid interior decorator, don't you? Second career? *wink*

Hope you are having a wonderful Friday!! I am on an adventure with DH and our kids! More on that when we get back!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

A Day With Friends

For most of the summer, we three friends from way back have been trying to plan to meet up for lunch. Sometimes, however, good things must wait. For one reason or another, several previous dates had to be canceled and rescheduled only to be canceled again.

Finally, on Tuesday, we did it! Three long-time friends spent a lovely day together.

In the fall of 1979, Dee (right) and I began our teaching careers at Chillicothe HS. The following year, Sharon joined us. All English teachers, all in neighboring classrooms, all young, fresh-faced optimistic molders of young minds. They would love language because of us! Sharon was married with a small son; I was a newlywed of 2 months, and Dee was a single gal who met her husband-to-be at CHS. Sharon and I remained at Chillicothe for the entirety of our careers, while Dee branched out to other locales and with an eventual degree in Library Science, made her way into some librarian positions.

There's the very brief history of us. *smile*

We had lunch at a wonderful Worthington, OH, restaurant right on N. High Street - La Chatelaine.

We carried our meals out to this lovely patio to enjoy the unusually warm October weather - near 90! We talked and talked and talked. Hopefully you have experienced the wonder of friends who, after weeks or months or years of separation, can pick up exactly where you left off without skipping a beat. Sharon, Dee and I are like that. It happens every time! Pure joy, let me tell you.

After dining, we zipped around the block to a little stitchery shop, Sew To Speak. I had absolutely no intention of buying much of anything, yet I came out of there quite a bit lighter in the checkbook. They were having a "skinny bolt" sale - buy what remained on the bolt and get 25% off. My addiction kicked in and the situation became hopeless.

I suspect I will take several months to decide what to do with all this, but I will totally enjoy looking at it in the meantime.

The day with my sweet friends was an absolutely welcome diversion from real life (essays and grading). We met at Sharon's, who now lives in Worthington, and interestingly, that is the town in which Dee grew up. It is a convenient middle ground for the three of us to connect, and I hope we plan another day soon. With two of our birthdays in January, I suspect that we will. *wink*

Tomorrow, I will share some of the delightful decorating that Sharon has done in her new home.

Have a great Thursday!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Weekend Happenings

I make it sound like I'm all super-crazy-busy with exciting happenings at every turn.

Nah, not so much. However, I do feel like some days run at a fairly phrenetic pace.

(Betcha' didn't think I could throw a word like 'phrenetic' into the post, right?)

Friday, DH and I took a drive to Lake Hope; located near McArthur in Vinton County, OH. The days was largely overcast, but the remote, secluded surroundings of that lake and lodge and campgrounds was beautiful, regardless. DH remembered his parents taking a family vacation there when he was about 8 or 10 years old. He thinks one of the cabins below was the one they camped in so many years ago. How could he remember that???

On Saturday I had History Day, which was the subject of my last post. When that was over, I packed up all my stuff and headed out for a birthday bash in Wilmington. My mom's and my neices' birthdays are one week apart. Mother turned 82 on Thursday, and this week the twins will turn 11.

Intersperse those things with a van that needed to be retrieved from the mechanic's shop, the Buckeyes playing, as well as the Indians and the Browns, and a ga-zillion essays to read and critique, I have been a busy - mostly non-sewing - gal.

(Oh, and laundry. I had three loads. Ugh.)

One quilt-related pic I can include here from my fun weekend - I got to buy some fabric on the way to Lake Hope. There is a sweet quilt shop in McArthur, and I found some perfect baby quilt fabrics. I must get busy on these. Those babies sure don't wait, do they?

And now, I am off. More fun at OUC today! We are writing 'Argument Essays,' and the first rough drafts have just been submitted. Lots to cover, believe me.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Bit of Hand Quilting

With each History Day comes an opportunity for me to hand quilt, and for the 2018 History Day project, I pulled out a Thimbleberries lap quilt measuring 56"x65" - not too big and perfect for simple grid quilting.

I try not to overthink most aspects of my quilting, especially when the quilt will be used and laundered, and definitely  not pampered. The pieced blocks (with the gold centers) lend themselves to a simple 9-patch-style grid, so I extended those lines into the larger unpieced blocks. Easy-peasy.

During the five hours of History Day festivities, I did a fair amount of stitching - in between visiting with friends and acquaintances who passed by my corner of the Grain and Hay building.

To enhance my little corner, I displayed some quilts. The ones with the orange stars are hand quilted. Three of them have actually been projects for previous History Day efforts.

I am linking with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, even though I admit that all this stitching was done on Saturday. Today, only reading and grading essays are on my agenda.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Prepped for History Day

In a previous post, I mentioned Greenfield's History Day, and that I was prepping a week ahead (unheard of for me!) to be sure I was ready. I so typically put these sorts of things off until the very last minute.

And it took quite awhile to do the prepping, so I am glad I did it early. I wouldn't be too far off in estimating that it took me a couple of hours to get two quilts into frames.

First, I had to decide on the quilts I would most like to work on. One has several matters to consider - is this quilt worthy of my hand-quilting time? Is it one that I will enjoy looking at up close and personal? Is the size manageable? Those are the questions for the bigger frame. For the lap frame, I looked for something that gave me incentive to finish. It would be small and quick. I think I found two winners.

On my Q-Snap frame that sits up like a table, I pulled out Fall Foliage, a throw-size quilt that I made quite awhile ago. I've tried to track down exactly when I made this quilt top to no avail. 

While digging for suitable backing fabric, I came across a remnant from the quilt, and further digging eventually resulted in finding a decent piece that matched the remnant. Happiness!! After stitching them together I turned my attention to batting. Since this is a throw quilt, I didn't want to cut into a brand new batt, so I pieced together 3 batting remnants and used them for my quilt sandwich. Whew! Such a lot of work! Piecing backings and battings are NOT on my list of most fun things to do. This was truly labor.

Then I turned my attention to preparing the smaller quilt for the lap-frame. Last December I made the HST quilt from some of the Roman Holiday remnants, and I thought it'd be so nice to have that finished in time to actually use this coming holiday season. Could I do it fast enough? Well, I think I can, because I plan to do "big-stitch" quilting on it. Perhaps in a Baptist Fan design? I'm leaning that direction.

Below is the backing I chose - an older red with a holiday vibe to it by Robin Pandolph. It's barely big enough, but I made it work.

I glue-basted the backing and batting (another remnant) together. Then I did the same with the top. On smaller projects, glue-basting is the way to go, in my opinion. This was fast and easy.

So now I'm set. I have all these items set aside in a spare bedroom, and have added necessaries like thread, needles, thimbles, scissors -- all the usual tools. I will take a folding tv tray/table, a cushion for my chair, and 3-4 finished quilts that I hand-quilted. I display these behind me as folks to like to see them, and I love for them to be seen! *grin*

I have prepared a special feature for History Day -- a slide show which I will run on a continuous loop on my laptop. I went back through all my picture files and pulled every quilt I could find that I'd made. I selected over 100 pictures, and created a show of about 98 slides. It was fun to do, and I hope folks enjoy watching it. 

It's been awhile since I've joined a linky party so why not go have a visit with Kelly at her weekly Needle and Thread Thursday party! Looks like fun!

I hope you are having an awesome Thursday!! I have essays to grade, and later tonight - cards with some girlfriends. Busy day for me!

Happy Quilting, Friends!