Friday, June 28, 2019

Emma Makes A Quilt!

Both of my daughters are at the age where many of their girlfriends are having babies. I have written on several occasions of helping them (in varying degrees) to make a baby quilt for this or that friend from high school or college or work. To read about some earlier efforts from Emma, click here and here. To read about some of Erin's baby quilts, click here and here.

More and more I am doing less helping! They are becoming quite confident in their quilt-making efforts. Yay! Both girls have a baby quilt in progress, and I have done practically no helping whatsoever!

Having the daughters take up quilting has been really gratifying for me. They each have a very distinct sense of style and color, and do a good job of combining fabrics and patterns. I believe it was Emma who said before making her first baby quilt that she figured she would continue the tradition of Honnold ladies making/gifting baby quilts. *smile*

Last Saturday, Emma came with fabric and when the day ended, she had a whole quilt made and quilted! The only part left to do was to hand stitch the binding. And she did it all on her own! I was across the room to give advice and offer suggestions, but she did all of the construction herself.

 We started with cutting strips of 5 fabrics that she purchased for this little girl quilt. The idea was to copy a quilt I recently made - super fast beginner stuff, for sure. Emma decided the width of each row and the placement of fabrics.

After she decided the quilt top was finished (that's the beauty of this quilt - no pattern! Just make it up as you go!), I dug out some scrap batting. She had already determined that the elephant print would be the backing, so we prepped it, spray basted all the layers and set up for machine quilting.

While she quilted, I made her binding. She stitched it on with corner instructions from me. This week her only job has been to hand stitch the binding. The baby shower is tomorrow.

These last two photos provide a closer look at the fabrics - the color scheme is purple and gray. The fabrics are not at all "juvenile" prints; they run from that elegant floral to the more playful elephants and dots.

It was a fun day. We visited and gabbed all afternoon. Emma did 10 years of 4-H - all sewing - so she knows her way around the sewing room. Once she gets more settled, we'll get her a sewing machine of her own, and she will be able to do all of this without Mom's help. (Hmm, maybe I will hold off on getting her a machine of her own!) I really enjoyed the day. *smiles*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Quilts By My Friends

It has been far too long since I last brought you any quilts made by the sweet ladies I quilt with on a regular basis. The Frankfort Girls, as I refer to them, are a prolific group, and do their best to keep me motivated and productive. We all feed off the energy of the rest, and a more wonderful group of quilters would be hard to find. I am so fortunate to be a part of them!

The three quilts below are all from Helen. The first is her 9-patch quilt using the exchange blocks we shared back in March.

This next quilt is Helen's Simple Friendships 2 quilt. Look! It's quilted! She worked on the binding the last time we were together.

Helen has a distinct fascination with penguins, so it was a natural for her to make this next quilt. I don't know if you can read it all, but she had our friend Jan embroider names for each penguin - Paula, Poppy, Phoebe, Porter, Pearl, Petunia, Preston, Polly, Paige, Penelope, Patty, Priscilla, Peyton, Parker, Prudence, Portia, Palmer, Pixie, Pamela and Pippa. Fun!!

Another member of our group, Terry, has also had a very productive few months - she has made lots and lots of mini quilts! Most, if not all, of the following quilts are very likely from the Simple Whatnots sew along. I don't know many details, as I am not participating. So rather than give inaccurate or incomplete information, I will just show the pictures. These are all minis.

This next quilt is a patriotic lap quilt that Terry was binding at our last gathering. It will be finished just in time for the Independence Day celebrations coming up next week.

Now, there are 7 total gals in this group, and I have just highlighted the work of Helen and Terry. The rest are equally productive, yet I just didn't seem to have the pictures of their work. Maybe they are shy about show and tell! *wink*

How is your productivity today? I hope to continue with yard work and sewing on Six Degrees.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Six Degrees Is Coming Along

I have had such a good few days of stitching, dear friends! Last week I was so aimless - indecisive and unmotivated. I wrote about it in a couple of posts (here and here). It feels good to be back to focusing on a specific project instead of flitting from thing to thing, with no measurable progress on any of it.

So a week ago, I had a tubful of parts, put away for so long that I had forgotten why this UFO had become a UFO in the first place!

Some very dedicated puzzling took place as I figured out the hows, whys, wheres and whiches of this UFO. Before too long, I was happily chain-piecing my way to erasing the UFO status on Six Degrees.

Below is a miles-long (seemingly) chain of 1.5-inch strips. A neutral with a dark red and the same neutral with a blue. These are to become little 4-patch units.

Now, I will address those raggedy edges that you see. However long ago this project took on its UFO status (15 years?), I must not have been too overly concerned with cutting strips on the straight grain of fabric. Since they were already cut, I am going ahead with them, as I believe it will not be too terribly results-damaging in the long run if the little 4-patches are somewhat cockeyed.

And from the looks of these 12 pinkish-rose blocks, I think the little 4-patches will work out just fine. These came together in no time! I'd one made, and now all 12 are done.

Yesterday Sharon was here to sew and I put in a full, satisfying day of block-making. The 24 blue blocks are made (the pattern shows green, which I have switched out in favor of blue), and two of the 32 red blocks are done. The chain-piecing of those remaining red blocks will be my focus for today.

I am very eager to finally be finishing this quilt. The designer is Carrie Nelson, and I have made soooo may of her quilts over the years. She does love her little pieces, but the time required is worth it when you get a great finish, which she always delivers!

Click here, and here, and here for just a few of my previous Carrie Nelson quilts. She is also the designer of all those Schnibbles from several years back, and she designed Village, which I worked on, as well. I actually got to meet her when she came to Old Town Fabrics a couple of years ago.

Have a great Tuesday, Peeps! It's a gorgeous summer day here and after all the rain we have had, I plan to enjoy it!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching; It's Been Awhile

My long-held negative attitude toward applique just may be turning a bit positive. In the past week or so I have been working on a little patriotic project that has just a bit of applique. After hearing about a technique called back-basting, I am trying it with some measure of success.

I have hopes of finishing this before the fast-approaching Independence Day celebrations. I did a nice little bit today, and worked on it Friday at Sheryll's/Frankfort Girls get together. I am getting better. See how well my stitches match the traced design on that picture above?

I haven't linked up in ages with Kathy for her Slow Sunday Stitches. Kathy is celebrating 7 years of slow Sundays! Congratulations!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Six Degrees, UFO, Up Next

My quandary this week as to what project to take up next has been solved. It seems that the desire to work on a UFO has won out. I found my thoughts returning repeatedly to those blocks waiting to be made for Six Degrees; it seemed too irresistible NOT to go for it. So let the UFO fun begin!

When I inspected the contents of the project tub earlier, just one of these blocks had been completed. The small 4-patch units were complete, and all I needed to do was to construct the full blocks. Easy-peasy! I had 12 pink ones finished in no time. Next up will be 24 blue ones and then 32 burgundy ones.

Another matter. A few posts back, I shared my preparations of the Simple Friendships 2 mini-quilt for hand quilting. Several folks both here and on Instagram had questions about the template I used to mark the quilting design. I provide the following pictures so that those interested can gauge the size and see the label on the template.

I believe I was given this template. I do not know what the information on this label means, but perhaps that 3-1/2" measurement refers to the height of each row fans.

The template itself is 8"x15". On the mini-quilt, it made marking very quick, for sure.

Ok, gotta go! The Frankfort Girls await! It's that time again for visiting and stitching this Friday morning from 9-noon. Yay!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Considering UFOs

In addition to the new projects I shared yesterday in my quest for what to work on next, I have two UFOs that I might return to.

I have both of these quilts on my goals list for the year. This should present me with some sense of urgency since the year is half over already. Maybe it has, just a little.

When I rooted through some of my project tubs yesterday, I came to this one labeled "Meadow Lily." It was begun in 2006; I made a mistake which sent it into a 13-year time-out. I hate dealing with mistakes, sometimes. Maybe enough time has passed and I can now figure out how to fix and finish.

 I have made all these setting blocks - easy blocks, and they look pretty good.

I have only one of the lily blocks finished. I do not know what mistake was made, or what I will have to do to fix things.

I am guessing that when I sort through this little stack of pinned pieces, I will discover the error. I hope I have enough of the fabrics for making corrections. We shall see.

The pattern is from this Thimbleberries book, published in 1997. I return again and again to Lynette Jensen patterns, even after all these years.

The other UFO is by another designer whose patterns I have made often - Carrie Nelson. This is from 2004, and I worked on it at Sherrie's Veteran's Day sewing.

Six Degrees became a hostage in time-out because that center medallion section did not fit somehow or other. I don't recall precisely. I suspect that my quarter-inch seam allowance is too wide. I hadn't learned, probably, about scant quarter-inch.

The pattern is shown made up in rose, burgundy and green. My plan apparently switched the green to blue. I like these colors and fabrics that fill this tub. To like a project after more than 10 years is something, isn't it?

Above is the center medallion. I pressed it, and found that the center of each star was big, so maybe that was what dissatisfied me way back when. I think it would be fine when quilted, so I probably should have kept going on this quilt.

All these parts - in various stages of completion. I wonder how it will look? My curiosity is getting the best of me.

Now, in addition to the three possibilities shared in the last post, I have these two UFOs to add. Five really promising quilts; I am leaning toward Six Degrees. I am also leaning toward Larkspur. Hmmm.

Decisions; decisions.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Needing Direction

I find myself at that troublesome space between projects when I am filled with indecisiveness as to what to work on next. This very unsettled space sneaks up on me from time to time; it's an uncertain feeling, lacking direction as to what to work on next.

Thankfully, I have several places to which I can turn when this vague feeling presents itself. First, I checked my goals list from the beginning of the year. I also wrote down some goals in my Quilter's Planner, so by looking over both lists, I have some strong ideas taking shape.

I also perused several quilt books and files for some inspiration. I specifically searched 3 of the notebooks shown below - Quilt Patterns; Bags, Baskets, Purses, Pouches; and Block Patterns.

This morning I took yet another stab at inspiration. It seemed a good idea to examine some of the project tubs stored under my cutting table. Looking at all these areas usually culminates in something "clicking" for me.

Seeing this method of organizing projects may give the impression of my being ultra-organized. However, while I considered the contents of some of these tubs, I found it is not foolproof; I discovered an obvious error in storage and labeling.

I had one tub labeled "Larkspur" - a gorgeous line of fabric by 3 Sisters/Moda. I also found another unlabeled tub of the same fabric line. Huh?? How does this happen? Turns out I have a whole bunch of Larkspur! Yay!

I combined the contents into one tub. I found that in one of the tubs, I had also inserted a free Moda pattern for the Larkspur line. Maybe this ought to be something I get started on? I sure do love the fabric, and there appears to be plenty of variety for making the quilt. This is on the list, for sure.

My labeling system is unusual. Several were labeled simply "Pleasing Fabric Combo." Whaaaat? I have a tendency to pull fabrics that work nicely together and if I have no pattern in mind, I store them with the idea that a pattern will eventually present itself for that particular combination.

Well, whadya' know!  This has actually happened!

One quilt I have a strong desire to make is this churn dash quilt called "Feed Sacks: True Blue." (Terry was cutting for this pattern earlier this month, and we talked about sewing it concurrently. Click here and scroll to the very last picture.) Anyway, I think this particular blue and red "pleasing fabric combo," along with more blue fabrics pulled from the stash, will do nicely in this pattern. Now I have another probable upcoming project.

One last idea . . . . Looking through the books last evening, I encountered a quilt I have already made - Plan C by Carrie Nelson. The pattern is in her book, Schnibbles Times Two. Scroll through my 2012 Finishes for my earlier version.

If I used this little collection of Summer Breeze fabric in that precut-friendly pattern, I believe I would have quite a beauty. It is not a big quilt, and as I recall making my first Plan C, it is really fast in how it comes together. I like it, and I think I will do it.

Larkspur, Plan C, and True Blue are very strong possibilities for me in the next few weeks and months. I have some more to tell you about, but they fall into the UFO category. I will share those tomorrow.

I believe I am going to get focused very, very soon!

Happy Quilting, Friends!