Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Goodbye July!

Incredible. July is ending, and we are just five months away from a new year. Yikes!

Well, I don't want to think about that right now. I have too much I want to get done before facing a new year. (If I don't think about it, time goes slower, right?)

When Sharon was here on Monday, she continued to work on her Tag Sale quilt using some gorgeous 3 Sisters/Moda fabric called Double Chocolate. And typical for me, I have no pictures of her progress to offer. Shame on me!

I returned to working on Six Degrees, a pattern by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie Quilts. Through all that bedspread construction and applique practice, I have ignored this UFO. It is made in sections around a central medallion, and that construction process had been started when I last worked on this quilt. I sorta' hoped as I revisited this on Monday, I could very easily finish this quilt top by the end of the month.

But doggone it, finishing the quilt top will have to wait. The photo above shows the center medallion and three of the four sides. While working on that 4th side I ran out of fabric for the setting squares. Major bummer! It is a Moda fabric called Garden Magic by Blackbird Designs. I think it is from 2005, quite old, in other words. I don't know if I can locate a half yard somewhere or not. I am searching all the interwebs for any signs of this fabric. Here are some helpful pictures, in case any of you readers might have a lead on it. I only have two bits of identifying selvage, but I think it's enough.

Alas, this Six Degrees will be a UFO for a little while longer.

Tomorrow I will have my July collage to share and - hopefully - a peek at some August goals.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Styling My Bedspread

I have had so much great feedback on my bedspread - flattering to no end. I have bumped into some blog readers when I've been out and about, with a couple making a point to mention how they loved the bedspread. I admit to stopping occasionally in the doorway of that particular bedroom just to look at it - sometimes I can't believe it turned out as nicely as it did, especially when I really had a lot of uncertainty about doing a good job. Here's the link to my bedspread reveal.

Since making the pillow shams, I have made an additional pillow. From some of the trimming of the bedspread, I was left with long strips from which I cut 2.5" squares. I used the remainder of the sham fabric to make more 2.5" squares; then I just began stitching a checkerboard  until I had something big enough to cover a 16" pillow form. I like the layered look that this provides. Then I found a well-loved blue quilt to fold across the bottom of the bed to add another layer of interest.

Perhaps you noted that I have made room for the small round side table and lamp, completing the space for now. Future projects for this room include everything from a fresh coat of paint on the walls to new curtains to refurbishing some dressers. These tasks are not super-high on my to-do list, but when I do get around to them, I will definitely share details here.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Quilter's Planner July Blocks

I had a chance to make my July blocks for the Quilter's Planner quilt-along. This was a fun block to make, and honestly, I have really enjoyed making all the blocks. I have looked ahead to the August assignment; I am getting eager to see this come together. *wink*

All of my blocks together on the design wall look very pleasing. I might break down and work ahead.

Sharon is coming today for sewing. We have been off our game this month with any given Monday being booked up by one or the other of us. It will be pleasant getting to visit - and sew - with her.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

More Applique!

Do you suppose that a day is coming on which doing a bit of applique for a quilt will be no more a big decision than any other quilting decision needing made? It just might be, as when I take this project in hand these days, I am perfectly comfortable with every stitch.

What a difference a new technique and a bit of practice makes.

I certainly don't pick this up to work on every day, but on days when I do, I feel more and more comfortable with the work I am doing. Above, the stems are stitched, and the next layer to be added will be the leaves.

The leaves were way easier than the stems - the curves are gentle, which are so much easier to manage. I made quick work of the leaves on this panel.

Today I have begun adding berries. Theoretically, these are round. I suppose this becomes easier to accomplish as one practices. I have many more berries to do before this entire quilt is finished, so practice will naturally occur.

That word 'practice' seems to be a prevailing theme, doesn't it?

My afternoon involves a friend's pool so no more stitching for me! Why don't you check out the link-up at Kathy's Quilts. Slow Sunday Stitching always offers some pretty and varied handwork.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Un-Birthday and Bloc-Loc

Two short - and very unrelated - items for today.

First, I mentioned a few posts back that we celebrated an Un-birthday party at Jan's on Friday morning, but I had no picture of what she gifted each of us. Take a look at this sweet wall clock. Jan said that since all of us are Featherweight owners, this clock was a must. I agree!

Second, I was working on some half-square triangles a few days ago which needed to be trimmed. I pulled out my Bloc-Loc ruler which DD Emma gave me for Christmas, and it worked like a charm. Very easy. I can't believe I have not tried it out before now. This one came in a set of three, so I will have to remember to use them for future trimming needs.

And that's all I have for today, Peeps! Short and sweet. Have a great Friday! I'm going shopping with my sister today. She will be mother of the groom dress shopping and needs my wise sisterly guidance! *wink*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Hillsboro Quilt Show

Friday afternoon I took a stroll through the quilt show sponsored by the quilt guild in Hillsboro. The show is held at Hillsboro HS, and boy did they encounter a "situation." At some point mid-morning, the gym floor - just down the hall from the location of the quilt show - was sealed, and the fumes were so strong! Doors were opened, fans were moved in, and yet the odor was still almost overpowering.

But the quilts were pretty, and I took some pictures of a few that caught my eye. I will start with one near the back row. This quilt is made by my cousin Marilyn, whom you have met here before. That link is one of several posts in which she is mentioned. Marilyn is such a talented quilter, and is prolific with applique! This Lori Holt 'Bee Happy' quilt is especially fun and Marilyn's work is neat as a pin, precise as can be.

This Texas Star quilt caught my eye because I have made one very similar to it. The first one is from the quilt show; the next one is mine. Click here to read about my finish from back in '16.

These next two pictures are the same pattern called In A Pickle. I know this quilt as Jan (of our Frankfort group) made one awhile back. Hers was a kit and made with batiks. I believe these are both batiks, as well. Notice the difference in backgrounds and in quilting styles. I dug around for Jan's version, which is pictured on display at her guild's quilt show.

This last photo is one that simply appealed to me. I think I am still very much enamored with the 9-patch quilt, and these tiny blocks are very, very attractive. And I really love that blue/lavender background.

A highlight of the show was getting to visit with vendors, one of which is Annette Williams, owner of Sewing the Good Life. She is so sweet, and always so friendly. I was glad for the chance to have an extended visit with her. She is quite talented and I love seeing her business growing so much.

Despite the horrible odor, I did enjoy the show, and guess what? There are two more quilt shows near here this summer. I look forward to attending them, too.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Frankfort Girls

Last Friday morning we all met at Jan's house, and that can only mean one thing - something over-the-top will likely be happening. She didn't disappoint, either.

When these gals come to my house, they are lucky that my kitchen is clean, the muffins are baked, and the coffee is hot. Simple and no-fuss, in other words.

Not so, with Jan. This girl is a party planner and is never wanting for a 'theme.'

Friday's theme was having an Un-Birthday Party, ala Alice In Wonderland-style.

I should have a picture of the contents of our gifts, but I don't, so that will have to be the subject of a future post. Jan and her penchant for throwing parties keeps things fun for all of us, for sure. Now, as if her party wasn't enough activity for one person, take a look at all of her items for show and tell.

Jan quilted this quilt and used her computer to do "fancy" quilting, as opposed to the meander quilting she normally does. We all thought she did a fabulous job, and I am sure that soon we are going to be seeing some amazing creations as she perfects this skill.

Last month, when we were all sewing at Terry's, Jan was cutting out all these hankies for her envelop quilt. Now she has this top prepared and ready for quilting. Take a close look at those little pink pinwheels used for cornerstones.

This is an EPP quilt that Jan has recently recovered from her quilter. It is called Caesar's Crown, a pattern by our friend Annette Williams of Sewing the Good Life.

This, too, is by Annette, and it is ready for the quilter. Jan chose to work this up in Buckeye colors, scarlet and gray. Isn't it great?

Another show and tell from Friday came from Terry. She is working on the binding. I'm not sure where Terry will display this quilt, but I can see it in her sunroom, a place I have seen many beautiful creations hung in the past. She also has a loft railing that is perfect for displays, too.

And finally, Becky had three little quilts for us to enjoy. She is having fun making quilts from Kathleen Tracy's book, Small and Scrappy

Making little quilts is so satisfying; you get to play in fun fabric; you get to experiment with new blocks and/or layouts, and - best of all - you get finished so fast!! Becky has made many quilts from this book which I have shared in that same post.

So this party was Friday morning. Friday afternoon, I attended the Hillsboro Quilt Show, and tomorrow I will bring you some pictures of that.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Applique Update

Summer activities sure do interfere with my stitching, but I am making progress on the applique panel for my Lake Effect quilt. Check here for my previous update, in which I was just beginning the panel using the back-basting method.

I have now finished all the stems - it looks rather abstract in this stage of things, but additions of leaves, berries, and birds will fill it in nicely.

This picture of the back shows my pencil drawings of the design. A close study will reveal the tiny applique stitches on the stems. It was very tricky learning how to round those deep concave curves, and I have to say that I still really quite the novice.

I have moved on to basting on the leaves. I am now ready to begin the stitching. After all the greens are added, I will move on to the reds - the berries and bird.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Apprentice Cat

For the past two weeks we have been cat-sitting for our daughter and son-in-law while they have been vacationing. Rocky is a delightful guest who is much more a people-cat than our Gracie.

Getting my bedspread project finished while Rocky has been here has been interesting. He tries to "help" and it usually results in my giving up after awhile. He wanted my attention focused on him and not the bedspread. I have it on good authority that he does this with Erin, too.

Awhile back, Erin sent this picture of him after he positioned himself between her and her quilting frame. Look at that face! Is it any wonder we let him interfere help the way he does?? He's a cute little apprentice.

So here at my house, I found he was never far from the sewing action. I looked up while hemming the bedspread to see these ears on the other side of my table.

Often times, his ADD kicks in and he is distracted by birds. The collage above shows his fascination with birdwatching.

 'No! You will NOT finish pinning this skirt onto the spread! Pet me, instead!'

'Mmmm, I think I feel a nap coming on!'

How does one resist such a handsome boy?! I sure can't, and his frequent appearances in the middle of my work definitely slowed me down. But it's all good. He's worth a little extra time. As apprentices go, he makes up for any lack of efficiency by being just so darn loveable.

Today, his parents return from their trip and we take him home tonight. It will be good to see them back safely and I know a certain daughter who has missed her kitty and who will be more thrilled to see him than us!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Bedroom Redecorating

This house is full of bedrooms that are no longer used by kids, consequently they get rather junked up over time. I have a hard time throwing out and/or giving away, so the clutter factor has become concerning.

I say "full of bedrooms" - I actually mean just two. This is a 4-bedroom house; one is our master bedroom and one is my quilting room. The two remaining bedrooms are the ones needing sorted out and having order restored.

One bedroom, which our youngest Emma vacated, has an antique iron bed that has some sentimental attachment. It was given to my parents from my paternal grandparents (it was used from their house). I slept in it as a girl. It came with me when we married in 1979. And it was Emma's bed since the time she outgrew her crib. It was originally green, but was a chippy mess, so sometime in the 80s, we painted it white. Now it is becoming a chippy mess again, but that's another project for another day.

With the goal of bedroom re-do in mind as far back as April, I bought a bolt of ticking fabric when our local Ben Franklin announced it was going out of business. A light-bulb moment struck and I just knew that I could make some wonderful bedroom accessories with it. And wouldn't ticking look great on that iron bed?!!? At half-off, this had 'perfect scenario' written all over it.

Having never made a bedspread before, I have spent a couple months mulling over my stitching plans. I knew I wanted the sides to hang down to the floor and to be loosely gathered. I needed to leave the corners open for the footboard to be seen. I wondered how to minimize the raveling. All the mental work has been ongoing, and this month, I finally cut into the ticking and began the real work of constructing a bedspread.

By the time I took the picture above I had already completed several steps. Since the width of fabric (WOF) was not enough to cover the top of the bed, I added about 6 inches on each side. That took care of the top. Then I had to create the sides. I suppose there are formulas out there for determining how much extra fabric is needed when creating gathers, but I made up my own. I used two full WOF sections and a part of one more for each side. The bottom panel is two WOF sections. I measured and marked for the quarter-points and half-points. I gathered by zigzagging over heavy thread. I was able to reuse the same heavy thread for all three sides. (I remembered seeing Lynette Jensen of Thimbleberries use this gathering technique in one of her old books from the 90s.)

I worked side-side-bottom to make and attach the gathered skirts. I should add that I zigzagged each raw edge and turned under quarter-inches where hems would later be going.

This picture shows one side sewn on. I like how it looks, and with some pressing and a hem, it will turn out just as I'd imagined in my mental images.

Ta-da!! The finish! I am really happy with how the bedspread turned out. I will continue to "style" this space in the coming days, and having such good results with the bedspread will surely keep me focused and motivated.

I finished the bedspread yesterday afternoon, and on a whim decided that I ought to make some pillow shams to complete the look. So I did! It took me longer to shop my stash for these fabrics than it did to make the shams.

Not seen in any of these pictures is the messy off-camera stuff still in this room that needs clearing out. I have a nightstand that I will add. I will declutter a little bit from those shelves above the bed. I will add more pillows. And the big job: making a slipcover for an old chair.  Hopefully by summer's end, I can show you the entire room.

Happy Quilting, Friends!