Saturday, August 31, 2019

Goodbye August!

Wow! It is so hard to say goodbye to August. Realizing that we are, for all intents and purposes, done with summer is a difficult pill to swallow. Waaa, I'm not ready!

Generally speaking, I am not one to bemoan the end of one month or season. Typically, I am optimistic and eager for the fun of the approaching season. That said, waving goodbye to these carefree days of our waning summer brings with it some melancholy.

More structure with my daily and weekly schedule; more attention to my work with my university classes; less time for sewing, running around, piddling and wasting time - these are some of the new realities of my fall.

Hey, that's good, right!? I am blessed with these responsibilities and I do them by choice.

My day of long-arm quilting at Terry's allowed be to finish up the wedding quilt for my nephew and his bride. I am still not ready to reveal the entire quilt, but I will show you my binding. While a lot of quilters hand-stitch their bindings, I tend to do most of mine by machine. It does not seem difficult and I generally always have good results. Just preference, I suppose.

Enjoy your Saturday! We are watching our beloved Ohio State Buckeyes! (Now there's a definite benefit of fall's arrival!)

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Simple Friendships 2 Update

In May and June, the Frankfort Girls participated in a quilt-along to make a Kim Diehl sampler. We jokingly referred to it as a mini-group doing a mini-quilt in a mini-quilt-along. It lasted just 5 weeks; the resulting mini-quilt was a fun little table topper. Recently, Terry shared her finished top.

I will add the minis that I have already shared, just so that all of them are collected here in one post.

Hopefully, I have not missed anyone. I know that several are still working on theirs. I began quilting mine, but lost the markings, then started something else, and I have not gone back to it. I will find some time to work on it sometime this fall, hopefully.

I am going to be short and sweet with this post, Peeps.This has been a tough week of classes and schedules and prepping and demands. I am plum wore out.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sneak Peek

We friends, right?

(That's a phrase some of us girls use; borrowed from a gal I follow on IG.)

So if I show you all a picture of a quilt that is going to be gifted in a couple of weeks, you'll keep the secret, right?

I feel like I have over-blogged about the ongoing problems I have had with using my long arm machine. But I desperately need to overcome the setbacks because I have literally dozens of tops piling up around here. Plus I have a current need for a quilt NOW!! My nephew's wedding is just a couple weeks away. Desperation forced me to ask Terry to quilt it for me.

Bless her heart, she had a better suggestion. She offered to let me use her long arm and she would coach me through the process and I could learn as I go. Whooo-hoooo! Yes! I was all in on this, and we met up yesterday. Just take a little peak at my very satisfying afternoon's effort.

Now don't you go inspecting too closely because there all sorts of beginner's mistakes in this, but by gosh, it looks pretty doggone nice to these old eyes, and I think the recipients will be satisfied.

I cannot tell you how giddy I was when I was finished with this. I needed Terry to "hold my hand" through the whole process - loading through unloading. She has graciously offered to do another session with me next week, so I will get more practice. I am determined to get my own long arm up and running. It was so much fun to do this, and I know I can get better at doing them.

I will share the full quilt soon after the wedding. Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Summer Wrap-Up Continued

Yesterday I summarized the household projects we tackled this summer along with my quilting highlights. Today, I plan to sum up the adventures we had and the books that I read.

This summer has been the summer of garden touring for us. In June we visited Schnormeier Garden near Gambier, OH. In July, we drove to Ball Ground, GA, to visit Gibbs Gardens. And earlier this month, we toured Kingwood Garden in Mansfield, OH. All were fantastic in their own ways, and inspired us so with regard to plans for our own gardening efforts. (We have a long way to go.)

Schnormeier - 50 acres of trees and green space with an Asian influence.

Gibbs - 220 acres of year-round color - annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs.

Kingwood - 47 acres of showy color, manicured lawns with paths, seating, shelter.
We loved all three experiences, but the one I most want to revisit is Kingwood; it most closely matched features that I think would look great here at our place. I have no inclination to put in the work required to have a showplace garden, but we could easily incorporate a few basics.

Besides garden trips, we traveled to Cleveland to catch a doubleheader, seeing the Indians take both games against the Rangers. Totally fun day. We then went to Put-In-Bay where we revisited old favorite spots. Closer to home, we managed to attend seven of the summer movies at Columbus' Ohio Theatre. Each summer for the last 50 years, old movies are shown at discount prices; we have gone for years. Also in Columbus, we took in one evening of Picnic with the Pops. Very entertaining. A day trip to Hocking Hills led us to discovering a small glass-blowing artisan with amazing creations.

Granville Inn
One of the best summer memories came on the weekend of our 40th anniversary. Our sweet daughters gifted us with a fantastic trip to the beautiful Granville Inn, dinner and overnight accommodations. The big surprise - they were in the restaurant to have dinner with us! It was truly the greatest surprise, and I was quite overcome.

Now, for the books. First, I will offer this disclaimer: I don't read books any more. I LISTEN to books. I have come to love it, too, as it gives me a chance to multitask.

I have listened to the entire 7-book series by Jeffrey Archer called The Clifton Chronicles, the first of which is pictured above. By way of a short series review, I liked the earlier books best, with the final book being the least satisfying. This doesn't diminish how good the series is, though, as the whole multi-generational saga is precisely the kind of reading I love over the course of a lazy summer.

I also read (listened to) Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor; And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer by Fredrik Backman; The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny; Us Against You by Backman; and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Backman. I have been very satisfied with the Backman titles, and have a couple more to finish all his titles. I read Brad Thor for some stereotypical thriller suspense; always fast-paced; good guy always wins. Easy and fun. Every member of my book group has raved about Louise Penny, so I am trying to get on the Inspector Gamache bandwagon; he's the protagonist featured in each of Penny's mysteries.

These highlights represent my summer adventures and summer reading, but surely I haven't covered everything. That's okay. (You are probably bored to death - it's like I've showed home movies! Acckk!)

Today, I will meet my third class. Yesterday's classes went well, so I expect nothing less today. In the afternoon, I am going to have another adventure - long-arm practicing at Terry's. I continue to be be-deviled by my own longarm, so I am taking up this opportunity to receive some coaching. Wish me luck!

Happy Quilting Friends!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Back To School

It's been a 'heckuva' summer, and today I must head back to the classroom. This marks the beginning of my 10th year at my part time gig at Ohio University - Chillicothe. I began at OUC the fall after retiring from Chillicothe HS, and had no idea how long this side-hustle would last. I'm still going strong, and will try to continue for a couple more years.

Blogging may end up taking a bit of a backseat, even more so than it recently has. Why? Well, I have taken on an extra class, which will result in more reading and grading. Normally, I teach only two sections each semester. Starting today, I go to Chillicothe four days each week, rather than two. My courses are Developmental Composition, an entry-type class that prepares students who need it for the required Freshman Comp.

I normally reserve my wrap-ups for the final day of the month, but since returning to school seems to be a wrapping up of summer, I will reminisce a bit about all the fun summery things we did. There was a satisfying mix of chores around the house and vacation-type trips.

For home-related happenings I think I am most thrilled with my bedspread for the antique bed in Emma's old room. I had no idea how I would make it; I knew how I wanted it to look though, so I figured it out.

A day spent with my niece and sister, gave me a newly-covered chair for the same bedroom.

I made curtains for the screened porch out of drop cloth fabric.

We painted our kitchen table and chairs.

I purged several closets and kitchen drawers.

I painted faux windows on our garage door.

We power-washed the house. Gah! It was gross!

We cleaned up an old porch swing and will soon be hanging it on the front porch.

And those just are some highlights. We are always motivated to do jobs like this when we have a reason - this summer's reasons were numerous - we had guests coming on three different occasions. That's what motivates us!!

As far as quilting goes, I have mostly made t-shirt quilts! Four of them to be exact. I also dug out a UFO and finished it up, and made a mini-quilt with the Frankfort girls. I continue to work on Lake Effect, as well. Here are some repeat shots of the afore-mentioned projects.

Six Degrees - the UFO
Mini-Quilt - Simple Friendships 2
T-shirt quilt #1
T-shirt quilt #2
T-shirt quilt #3

T-shirt quilt #4
Whew! Is it any wonder my blogging has fallen behind? I have not even begun to take stock of the little trips we took and the books I read. But now I need to get myself on the road - can't be late for class on the first day! I will finish this 'trip down memory lane' post tomorrow.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Keeping Myself Humble

Making assumptions that turn out to be 100% incorrect certainly has a way of keeping one's ego in check. If I ever begin to think I know it all, you can be sure I will goof up sometime soon and have to eat some humble pie.

Today's humble pie comes courtesy of an assumption I made with regard to Lake Effect. Yes. A project I have worked on for over two years has been all wrong from the very beginning. And I have only just realized it because this week my effort was to finally sew the EPP sections to the center panel I recently finished appliqueing. See pattern front below.

Careful counting of EPP rows indicates that on the horizontal sides of the center panel, I should have four (4) full hexies and itty-bitty partial hexies at the top and bottom. Now look at this picture of my project to see how far off my reality is from the pattern. My partial hexies are NOT itty-bitty.

For quite awhile, I could not figure out how I'd gone wrong. Then, I surmised that I certainly must have used the wrong-sized hexies. And that is exactly what I did. Acckkk! All 70-bajillion of my hexies are smaller than what the pattern calls for. 

Good grief.

Having had no significant prior experience with EPP, I was unaware as to how these are measured. The pattern calls for 3" hexies, and mine measure 3" from tip-to-tip. BUT, the way to measure hexies is not by the full length, but by the side length. Hmmm. 

Of course I could have completely avoided this dilemma had I not been so cheap. In an effort to save myself a few dollars, I opted not to buy the kit (which contained all 70-bajillion correctly-sized templates) offered by the designers, Minnick and Simpson. Had I done so, all would have gone together perfectly fine. My frugal thought was that it was wasteful to buy templates that would end up being thrown out after this one use. I could make my own out of cardstock that I already had on hand; the only investment was just my time. As I was in no great hurry to finish this quilt (I've often referred to it as a 10-year project), this seemed entirely reasonable to me. Ah, well, live and learn.

Once I had figured out where and how I'd made the mistake, my dilemma was to figure out how to rectify the situation. I believe I have a solution. Hopefully the pictures below will help me explain it clearly enough.

I pressed under a quarter-inch on all sides of the panel. Then I centered it onto the hexies that will surround the panel. Above you see the panel is pinned on; my next step it to hand-baste them together. Then I will hand-stitch - almost like an applique stitch - the panel to the hexies.

Take a look at the reverse side, which shows not only how far off these hexies are from what they are supposed to be, but you can also see that I've removed many of the templates. I will remove the remaining templates around that opening, then do the stitching. Then I will cut away all the excess, leaving a quarter-inch seam.

This seeming setback leaves me undaunted! I will eat every bit of my humble pie this afternoon as I baste these parts together.

I am confident that my quilt will end up looking very much like the pattern and I will love it just as much as I did when I first saw it. Mine will simply have smaller (and more) hexies than the original. No biggie, right??

*heavy sigh*

I would like to think that I have learned my lesson about making assumptions, yet I fear that probably I have not. Somewhere along the line, it is likely to happen again.

I am linking up to share my mistake with the party-goers at Kathy's Quilts and the Slow Sunday Stitching link-up. 

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Simple Whatnots

The group I quilt with regularly, The Frankfort Girls, all have a fondness for designer Kim Diehl's quilts - her colors, her unique block combinations, her "look." One of Diehl's book, Simple Whatnots, features several mini quilts, and a subscription-style club was formed to receive monthly kits for each quilt in that Whatnots book. The name of the club? The Simple Whatnots Club, of course.

One of our group, Terry, joined the club and has had tremendous fun making these little darlings. Some of us are kicking ourselves for not joining in. Here's a link to some of Terry's earlier Whatnots quilts,

Take a look at these adorable mini-quilts that she recently shared with us.

My picture quality turns out to be pretty bad, but I hope you can see the beauty in these little creations. I have close-ups on a couple of them; perhaps they will look a little better.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Fifteen years ago, my sweet friend Sharon - yes, the friend who regularly comes to sew - moved from her house to a condo. This necessitated parting with several items that would no longer work in the new setting - namely, outdoor furniture. I have pictured many times the two lovely white wicker pieces on our screened porch that came by way of Sharon. Here is a link to a 2010 post that shows the pieces, and I'll insert a picture here of the rocker which I enjoy most mornings with my coffee.

Well, completely forgotten these past 15 years is another item that came at the same time - a porch swing. While we have a perfectly functional front porch for a swing, for whatever reason, this was never a priority for us. We put the swing on a slab outdoors near our lilac bush, and over the years, it had become quite hidden from view - and, consequently, forgotten.

DH pulled out the swing a week or two ago; he informed me that he thought it might possibly be sturdy enough to use. Would I want to? YES!

So we gave it a bath with the power washer on Saturday. Take a look at the weathering grime needing removed.

A close-up of the mossy residue of 15 years. Now see the difference, side-by-side.

I am encouraged that the wood remained in tact even under the force of the power washer. Fifteen years of weather exposure surely took its toll, but the structure seems sound. Only one board seemed to be loose when zapped with the sprayer.

Isn't she pretty, once again? She still needs to be lightly sanded, and I think I will cover it with a generous layer of weatherproofing sealant. And I will get DH to tighten up any spots that seem to need reinforcing - I don't think there are many.

You can see that the chains are still attached; we'll need to check the sturdiness of those, then see about installing eye-hooks on the front porch ceiling. As for decorating, I am sure I will make a seat cushion, add a quilt and some throw pillows.

In all the 27 years we have lived here, I don't suppose we have sat on the front porch for more than a handful of times. It has never been an inviting spot, and the screened porch was always much preferred. It may be safe to say things are a'changin'!

Happy Quilting, Friends!