Thursday, December 31, 2020

Still Making

 As the year comes to a close, I am still making quilts. I'd been in a bit of a funk in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but an idea struck me in some odd moment, and now I am back to work, focused on a strong finish to this strange, pandemic year.

Of course, you have all read about my 4-month focus on the churn dash block. I made dozens - many dozens for 3 different quilts. So this most recent push for churn dash blocks was for the block exchange that we Frankfort girls had at our Christmas gathering a couple of weeks ago. I took 42 blocks and came home with 42 exchange blocks of all manner of colors and combinations. 

That stack of blocks has been waiting for inspiration, and finally this week it came. Half-square triangles for the setting blocks. 

I dug into the stash for a suitable combination and came up with this dark burgundy and cream pairing that will do nicely. The blocks need to be 6.5 inches, so I whipped up a handful to see how the results would look - hey! a winner!

My ancient stash provided these two fabrics - an old Kansas Troubles fabric from their line called Stitches on the Oregon Trail, and an old Kaye England neutral called Matters of the Heart. Very pleasing. 

In place of partying to bring in the new year, you'll find me stitching. Happy New Year!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas To All!

We are having a true White Christmas here in south central Ohio this year. Yesterday the snow began around 3pm and continued until almost midnight. In that time we had accumulations in the 4-5-inch range.

All is calm.

While the snow was falling, so were our temperatures. Christmas Eve morning saw the thermometer at 48 degrees. By bedtime, we were at 17. Brrr!

If you look close, you can make out the sidewalk.

Our Christmas Day will be a first for us - no family coming in; just the two of us here to enjoy a quiet day and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Son is all the way out in Oregon; DD1 will go with her husband to his family's gathering in Findlay; DD2 has to work. She is employed by a health care facility.  

I hope your day is filled with the wonders of the season; peaceful reflection, and utter contentment. I am spending some of my day reminiscing about Christmases past (click here) and to read that wonderful Truman Capote short story "A Christmas Memory."

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


 All of us who sew and quilt probably gift from the creations we make; I am no different. Sometimes, the gifting just sorta' happens as a surprise, rather than through any grand plan on the maker's end. Here's my case in point.

A few weeks ago when I finished the last of the churn dash blocks, I pulled out my tub of Christmas fabrics just to see what I could come up with. All I did in that first little session was to make a 16-patch block of 2.5-inch squares. I pressed it, and left it on the ironing board. 

Then I began marinating ideas. I wanted to figure out how to add points so that my 16-patch could be the center of a big star that would result in a block big enough for a pillow front. I was thinking that a pretty star pillow would be a great gift idea.

I could have used available mathematical dimensions for such an endeavor, but who wants to bother with that?!? I just cut some big squares, drew the diagonal lines, sewed, cut, then finally, trimmed to fit my center square. I like how this turned out!

And then, by gosh, I instantly knew that this would be perfect for my mother. It would look great in her home - already filled with a lot of cozy decorations.

The star looked festive and cheery under our tree; I hope Mom has plopped it somewhere in her house to look festive and cheery, too.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Red and White Quilts

This may or may not be a rerun post of quilts I put out each December for Christmas. I could go back to see my old posts, but who doesn't love to look at a stack of quilts, especially those that are red and white!?

It's a no-brainer, isn't it?

At the foot of our steps sits this narrow bucket bench. I don't change items on the bench ever - except at Christmas time. Because I have such a pretty collection of red and white quilt tops, I love to bring them out each December just to help out with Christmas decorating. What a great excuse to bring them out of the closet and into something of a "limelight." 

To see each quilt fully laid out click this link - I did go find a previous post. 

Or you could look at them in order from top to bottom here:

Chock Full of Charms

Stars and Stepping Stones - my design

Thimbleberries Christmas Confetti

Thimbleberries Hourglass Quilt

Red and White Ohio Star - my design

Jacob's Ladder - my design

I have probably said in previous posts that I want to get busy with quilting these, and all the other flimsies filling my closets. I am getting more and more comfortable with the long arm machine, and I am getting closer each week to dedicating more time to doing this quilting. I'm on the cusp...I really am.


Hope you are all having fun with Christmas preparations!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Switching Things Up

 Having made about all the churn dash blocks I care to make - for a while, anyway - I took some time Sunday and Monday to make a few zipper pouches. I really had no prior plan to do such work, but I happened to see a video tutorial by the popular Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company. I have watched dozens of her videos, and this one was so appealing for several different reasons that I just knew I had to make a few.


The reason for the video was to show quilters and sewists how easy it is to use cute, fancy zippers - which they happen to carry in their story. Well, I already had a stash of 8 or 10 of fancy zippers, so I watched the video to see how I could use them.


These first two are made with the same two fabrics; the linings are the other fabric. So that took care of my 2 light pink zippers. Next up was to pull fabrics for 2 darker pink zippers, and 2 royal blue zippers. Honestly, I took forever deciding on fabric combinations. That part took far longer than the actual cutting, sewing, and pressing of the pouches.

In addition to the combinations in the top picture, I have all the remaining fabric decisions made, as well, so I am ready for a marathon session of zipping through these zipper pouches. 

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Sunday, December 6, 2020

I'm Still Making Churn Dash Blocks

Some of you regular readers will know that I have been making quite a lot of projects with churn dash blocks. Since back in late August/early September, my predominant block at the sewing machine has been this classic block.

This week, I have made the blocks needed for an exchange we Frankfort girls have planned for later this month. These blocks are made at 6.5 inches. With 7 in our group, everyone will bring 42 blocks, and we will walk away with 42 blocks made by all our friends. It will be fun to see all the variety we will bring to the exchange.


Just to be on the safe side, I have made about a dozen extra. Perhaps I will use them when I make the eventual quilt that will come from these blocks. And even though I've made so any of these blocks this fall, I am still loving them, so it hasn't been a chore to make a few extras.

To see the earlier churn dash blocks and quilts I have worked on this fall, click here. These have all been a joy to make and I do love the end results on each one.

Hope you are having a happy Sunday! It's on the chilly side, here, but we are gonna layer up and head off for a long walk on the bike path. 

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Hello December!

The welcoming committee for December is decidedly late. Ahem. Well, I will claim the last week of classes as my excuse. Finished up today, and all that's left is to give a final next week. 

So here's to a new month, even if I am a couple days late with my welcome. Let's take a look at the November wrap-up first.

Top Row: A quick finish with an embroidery project. The stitching goes fast when it's this simple. I hung this in my long-arm room. And speaking of the long-arm room, I quilted Wishes for my sister, shown in the middle. Last, I painted the little rocker that my kids used as toddlers. It was weathered and worn; colored on and had stickers all over. Now as a white rocker, it will display a pretty little quilt or pillow.

Middle Row: Our great-niece Eve sits in her jammies with her grampa's new dog, Rusty. We visited family on DH's side the weekend before Thanksgiving. In the center, a pretty fall decoration for my newly finished kitchen countertop. And last, I finally started making the churn dash blocks for our group exchange coming up near Christmas.

Bottom Row: The kitchen!! I believe you have seen the pics in a recent post. I also put together a video for Instagram, if you want to go over there and have a look at before, during and after photos. I started another embroidery project since I enjoyed the earlier one so much, I traced out this much more complicated one and have started plugging away on it.  Finally, I end with the beautiful snow fall we had on the final night of November - it created a backyard sculpture.

That snow was what they call a wet snow - very heavy and look how it hung on the branches of our sweet bay magnolia. So pretty and unusual. We had quite a bit of snow overnight and through the next day.

On December first, DH and I ran a few errands in town, and coming back into our driveway, I had him stop for me in a few places so I could capture some of the beautiful snowy scenes. Isn't it pretty? I think the first snow of the season is the prettiest of all, and having it come in December is all the more wonderful. Both DH and I remarked that it helped to put us into the Christmas spirit! How nice!

Well, first up this month, I get to finish up my class work by the 10th or 11th, then it's full-tilt to Christmas! I hope there is lots of time for sewing! Heck, with Covid rearing up it's ugly head again, what else is there for me to do, right??

Let's have a great month!

Happy Quilting, Friends!