Wednesday, November 28, 2018

9.5" Ohio Star Blocks

I find myself in a curious spot at the moment in which I don't have any particular quilting deadlines to meet and no definite plan to start anything soon.

The hustle-bustle of Christmas is taking top priority along with finishing off the semester at OU-C.

Yesterday, I felt compelled to create a little something, though, so I secluded myself upstairs in my sewing room and came up with two Ohio Star blocks. I found a pattern that made a 9.5-inch block, and I knew it would come together quickly.

As is generally the case, the most difficult part is deciding which fabrics to use! The cutting is simple and only a few parts are necessary for this block.

Doing a star in Christmas colors was a no-brainer. I made the quarter-square triangle blocks with 4.5-inch squares (2 red, 1 green, 1 white) and I like how the resulting block turned out.

After finishing this block, I had the idea to make another Ohio Star, but use just two fabrics rather than three - just to see how it would look.

I'm calling this colorway 'Butterscotch" as it reminds me of those yummy Werther's hard candies. This look pleases me as much as the first. Ohio Star blocks are hard to be dissatisfied with, apparently.

I played around with a photo editing app on my phone and came up with the following pictures which show what an entire quilt of these blocks will look like. This is fun to do once a block picture has been cropped close.

I took the single block and made a 9x9 collage using an app called Layout (I use the free version for iPhone.). The photo below shows 81 stars. I did this by using the 9x9 photo in a new 9x9 collage. This allows me to get an idea of what a full size quilt of this block would look like. I sometimes cannot visualize the end result, so this helps immensely.

I did the same thing with the Christmas block. Check it out.

Doing this Christmas version reminded me of a quilt I made in 2015 that looks amazingly similar. See if you don't agree. The main difference is that the stars actually share points. I will have to pull this quilt out and measure the blocks. I am curious as to the size of the block parts and how it compares to what I made yesterday.

Now you know how I entertained myself for an afternoon. I'm pretty easily entertained, wouldn't you agree? Next, I must turn my attention to several dozen rough drafts which have found their way to my inbox. We are in the homestretch for this semester. Yay!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Big Stitching and Buckeye Winning

What a great day in the state of Ohio! Our beloved Buckeyes beat TTUN and all is right with the world - if that sort of thing matters. We are devoted OSU fans here in this house, and it sure feels good to enjoy this day after a fantastic win.

I was able to get some significant slow stitching done during the game, and have made a good amount of progress on the Roman Holiday "freebie" table topper. I had all these leftover HSTs and made this little beauty back in January or February. Late this fall I decided to do some big-stitch quilting on it, and if I can devote a few more hours, I will have a finish before Christmas. Yeah!

You can see my quilting marks and I sure hope those will wash out. I've used a rather heavy hand on marking this; I'm crossing my fingers.

Right now we are watching the NFL battle of Ohio; this household roots for the Browns, and so far that looks like a happy ending for us, too!

I'm linking up with the Slow Sunday Stitching party over at Kathy's Quilts. Hope you will go have a look around! There's plenty of inspiration!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I sincerely hope you are having a wonderful, peaceful and blessed Thanksgiving! We are spending the day at my sister's and my extended family. Count your blessings! I know I am!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Catching Up - Veterans' Day Sewing

For quite a few years - like over 20! - my friend Sherrie has hosted all the Frienzies and a few more friends for a long day of sewing when we all had Veterans' Day off. That was back when we all worked as teachers; now we are (nearly) all retired, but she still hosts this day.

Sewing for me that day involved finishing my Chock Full O' Charms quilt. I was really focused on it and did, indeed, finish the borders late in the day.

When I began sewing for the day, all 8 charm packs were sewn together in straight rows which you see above draped over a table. The fabric is Rachel Remembered by Betsy Chutchian/Moda. The next step was to mark the cutting lines, stay-stitch on either side of the cutting lines, cut, then reposition and sew back together on point.

Cutting this quilt is a nerve-wracking proposition, let me tell you. I was more than a little reluctant to do it, but I trusted the pattern's directions, checked and double checked my numbers, and did it.

With no problems, whatsoever! It was great! And it came together perfectly.

The three parts are laid out above, but it's really hard to see where the joining parts are. Use the picture above to see the first part, and then you can probably figure out where the 3 parts are.

After the 3 parts were assembled, I added a narrow inner border (the only part that isn't Rachel Remembered; it's just a neutral from my stash) and that fabulous navy floral outer border. I love it!

Sharon sewed her Chock Full O' Charms, too, and is still in the straight stitching of rows phase of construction. I know she is feeling like this will never end, as 8 charm packs is a lot of sewing!  Her fabric is Luna Notte by 3 Sisters/Moda.

Susan came with pattern and fabric for a messenger bag. She did some of the work with us, but had to leave before completing her bag. Later she sent this picture of her finish.

Sherrie worked on a Christmas quilt and made Christmas trees in the midst of her hostessing duties.  She later sent this picture of her growing forest of trees. Her pattern is in the upper corner of the picture.

Finally, Kay came with a sweet project made from a panel of Christmas scenes she was making into a quilt. I referenced this quilt in my last post, as she gave me an extra panel and I have made my own version. Kay had a real pattern and was piecing the alternate blocks. It looks pretty! Those pieced blocks are complicated, though, and I am glad I didn't have the pattern or I would never have made my quick version (see previous post).

The pieced alternate block.

The pattern from Henry Glass Co.
Linda was with us for the day, but I do not have a picture of her work on a jelly roll rug. Lyn came, as well, as an ardent supporter of the stitchers. *smile*

This has been a very abbreviated synopsis of our day. Every day spent with this group, the Freinzies, is a great day. My bonus was getting my quilt top finished off.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Quick Christmas Finish

Maybe a quick finish will be just the thing for me to get back in my groove. This sweet Christmas throw quilt top was the fastest finish I have had in a long, long time. Feels really good to share this already.

Honestly, I need to do more projects like this with large pieces, little (if any!) piecing, and satisfying results. I had only about 5 hours of total cutting/sewing time in this quilt, and it turned out great.

Back on November 9, when we had Frienzies' sewing with Sherrie, Frienzie Kay had two of these Christmas panels and gave me her extra. I didn't hesitate in accepting it! Seeing what she was doing with hers, I knew I would like a similar quilt for myself.

I didn't have a chance to do anything soon, though, because we heard the devastating news about Kevin's dad. But, while we were in Coshocton, I did take the opportunity to buy my fabrics while taking a walk one morning. I shared that stack of fabric in the last post.

I was too lazy to get correct names on all my fabrics, though, so let's dispense with that here. The panel and the red accent fabric are both from the Holiday Wish collection by Jan Shade Beach/Henry Glass. My silver dots is from Vintage Holiday by Bonnie and Camille/Moda. The green accent fabric is by Hoffman. The cardinal print (not shown in photo above) is from a line called Winter White by Lynnea Washburn/Robert Kaufman. (Clarification: the wreaths in this photo are on the edges of the panel piece; I have saved them for some future project.)

Last night, I decided to just get started. I mean, why wait? It promised to be a quick finish, so do it!

My original thought was to use just the 6 panels, but as I sewed the borders on them, I had a change of mind. I don't really have a wall for a wall hanging, and as a throw, the 6 panels wouldn't offer too much coverage. I knew I'd bought extra of the border print (the cardinal fabric), so I cut 3 additional panels of birds, bordered them, and planned a square quilt.

Once I had the panels bordered and the order of the designs set, I added the silver dot fabric for sashing strips.

The step above is where I stopped last night. The long horizontal sashing was my first task for today, and the inner and outer borders. See what I mean about being a really fast finish?!

The picture above is of the center of the quilt, the 2-inch strips of silver dots served as both sashing and inner border.

And my border print of cardinals completes this fun and fast Christmas quilt. Since I bought plenty of this, I made the outer border as wide as my ruler - 8.5 inches. I figured the more cardinals the better. Folks in our family have always been partial to cardinals, especially my late grandmother. This feature makes my Christmas quilt all the more special. The size comes to 63 inches square.

So, now I need to get busy with the quilting and have this ready for the holidays which are just around the corner. I hope I can be as fast on this next step as I was on the first.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Into Each Life...

. . . some sadness must fall. And that has most certainly been the case for our family this past week.

On Sunday, November 11, my dear father-in-law passed away at age 89. His passing is a great sadness for us - especially my husband, the oldest of the four surviving children. We have spent the week in Coshocton with the family and many friends celebrating his life. What a hard week; what a tremendous life. It has all been so very overwhelming and exhausting and heartbreaking. Whew. The veteran (Korea) passed on Veterans' Day. Ironic.

I can report only one little bit of quilting-related news. On Wednesday morning, DH and I took a walk to Coshocton's LQS (local quilt shop) Mercantile On Main. It is located only a few blocks away from the hotel in which we stayed, and while the morning was unusually chilly, the walk was invigorating.

The stunning quilt above looks even more spectacular in person. I wish I had been concentrating more, but I forget the name of the quilt and the fabric the shop owner told me she used. It was a fabric I never would have selected, but this display! What an awesome quilt! I believe she told me that they have it in kits, however I did not see it on the website. Maybe it has yet to be added.

Here's what I bought. At our Veterans Day sewing with the Frienzies, Kay gave me a (Henry Glass?) Christmas panel. (I have not shared all the fun we had on Veterans Day - hopefully, I can do that soon, but don't hold me to it!)  These fabrics will all be used to make the panels into a lap-quilt or wall hanging. I will get a good picture of the panel when I get started cutting and stitching. (That's a promise you CAN hold me to!)

Perhaps things will return to normal around here soon. Losing loved one - a parent - jolt's one very being. I truly adored my father-in-law; he was always kind and supportive - from the very first time I met him. We will soldier on and honor his memory always.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I'll try to get back on track one of these days!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tackling That UFO

I mentioned in a recent post that this baby quilt needed to be finished, and for whatever reason, I just kept procrastinating about it. Well, I finally am nearing a finish on it!

On Sunday evening, I cut out and attached the borders. Then I located some batting scraps and sized the backing.

On Monday evening, I stitched the batting pieces together, cleaned off the big cutting table and spray-basted the layers. On Tuesday (yesterday), I listened to an audio book and machine-quilted.

No, I do not have pictures of all those steps, but I can share a few taken while quilting.

I assure you, I never do anything too creative when I machine quilt - straight lines for this gal! I know that many of my triangles were stretching, but that walking food just worked like magic, and as far as I can tell no unnecessary puckering has slipped past me. *win!*

The fabrics used in this quilt were all leftovers from an earlier baby quilt that DD Emma and I made for one of her friends nearly 2 years ago. I hated to see these triangles go to waste, so I cut more from the fabric on hand - you might note that some of the triangles are pieced - yes, I was down to the smallest strips and needed to piece some blocks in order to get a nice-sized quilt. Will baby mind? Nah. I am sure this will make no difference whatsoever!

Some of the triangles that seem "loose" will look just fine once this is laundered, and as it is a baby quilt, I am sure there will be plenty of laundering. I hope they used it a lot!

That book I am listening to?? Oh, sure, I will share that with you! I have read at least two other books by this author and she is most assuredly a gifted storyteller!

The book is set in 1660s at the time the Puritans and other settlers were taming the Atlantic sea coast up in present-day Massachusetts. The narrator/main character is a teenage girl, Bethia, who carries many burdens in this untamed world in which she finds herself. Her one true friend is a young Native American boy, which of course, must be kept secret as social and religious standards were strict for women of all ages. The historic nature of the book appeals to me, and I find it fascinating to think of how my female ancestors had to live in the days when women could not make their own life decisions. Plus the work they did! No wonder life spans were short - they worked themselves to death. 

Listening to this book has made the quilting go fast! I am nearly finished! I hope to finish it off tonight after classes. Maybe even do the binding, too. Whoa!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Hand Stitching and Football

Over the weekend, DH and I along with my mother attended the annual family reunion weekend in Columbus to celebrate the OSU Buckeyes. Knowing that I'd be parked in front of football games all day Saturday, I took a little bag of sewing goodies to work on.

This year's football weekend involved 33 folks, ages 9-90. Most were family with a couple of family friends along, as well. Sixteen of our group actually attended the Nebraska game at Ohio Stadium, while the rest of us watched from a conference room at the hotel.

I had quite a few leftover half-square triangles from a blue/white quilt I made back in January/February. In a hasty check for some mindless, easy sewing, I grabbed them.

So I stitched. Now that I've made them into blocks, they will wait for me to get a good idea for how to use them.

Three blocks are finished, and I have strips made for one more. Buried in the HSTs I found some plain squares which I turned into a 9-patch. I can make a few more, too.

I considered taking my Lake Effect hexies, but the thought of explaining EPP to anyone who asked put me off that notion. *smiles*

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts Slow Sunday Stitching party.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Can you believe it?!?

November already. Like Snoopy and Woodstock, I'm rather excited for the month, as lots of fun is scheduled.

Before I go into all of that, however, allow me to share my October collage. As I wrote on Instagram, this was a month of very little sewing but a lot of memories. I had some totally special moments.

Of the 9 pictures in the collage, just four represent sewing -- Chock Full O' Charm with Rachel Remembered fabric; the baby quilt for Wendy; the Roman Holiday basket quilt, and the Roman Holiday HST topper. I plan to update soon on how some of those have progressed this past week or so.

The non-sewing pictures are the true memory-makers. A day with dear friends Sharon and Dee; a weekend with our daughters and their guys in Hocking Hills; our son coming home from a summer in Oregon; a hawk chilling on the chaise lounge chair in the front yard; and the euchre tournament hosted by my sister and brother-in-law in their barn loft. Gosh. All very special in their own ways.

I'm thinking about making some goals for November, but to be honest, my only goal ought to be a significant deep-cleaning of this house! We are moving some things around, and before one thing can go to another place the place for that needs to be tidied or rearranged. It all gets very complicated. I will try to make some sense of it.

Have a wonderful November!
Happy Quilting, Friends!