Monday, November 29, 2021

Small Jelly Roll Quilt is Quilted

 In the midst of attempting to get all the Christmas decorations and the tree finished, I have another quilting accomplishment that I want to share.

I don't even have it trimmed yet, so I will definitely provide more details as I complete the final steps. But it is definitely noteworthy that I am getting better at loading, at cleaning my machine, at free-motion quilting, and at overcoming my fear of mistakes.

This was made in 2019, started in September when Moda celebrates its Jelly Roll Day, and I finished the top in November. 

The only reason it is done now is that I had both a piece of batting and a piece of backing that was the perfect size for this small quilt. Rather than to stack it up and think about doing it, I just got to it. DONE! That is a very good feeling.

More details to come, as I trim and bind this quilt.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

A November Finish

 Binding a quilt is the final, and very satisfying, final step of the quilt-making process. I am happy to report that I have just finished binding a very special quilt, one that had its beginnings in my grandmother's hands, not mine. 

Grandma's Pinwheels is not an overly creative name, but it aptly reminds me of this quilt's origins. My backing is more of that dot fabric that I've used on about 10 quilts now. It has worked so well having an entire bolt of backing fabric on hand. I will continue to make this an option as I do more quilts on the long arm machine.

Getting back to this quilt, here is a tidbit I may not have previously shared. Grandma was in her "use it up" phase of quilt making. She wasn't buying any more fabric, and asked me not to buy her any more, either. She went to work whittling down her existing stash. This quilt is a result of that effort. I have a couple of other quilt tops that she made with this "use it up" mentality. In this previous post you can learn about how I believe she was stuck after realizing that she had made pinwheels going in opposite directions. 

I finished the flimsy in early October, and ever since it has been on the design wall or draped over the long arm machine. Quilting it was a top priority. So, after all the Thanksgiving Day feasting, I loaded it up and by 10pm I had it done. By 11pm, I had the binding attached. I spent a bit of time both Friday and yesterday, tacking down the binding. 

Since it has two generations of quilters involved, I believe I will fix up some sort of label to attach to the back. I need to be more mindful to label my quilts; this is an area in which I fall short.

Hope you are having the best Sunday! I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts and her weekly Slow Sunday Stitching party. Click on over to have a look around.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Friends and Giving

The Frankfort Girls met at Sharon O's house yesterday, and the rest of us had a little - or big! - surprise in store for her!

The brief back story: We all decided to do an Ohio Star block exchange earlier this year, and for a number of reasons, Sharon begged out of the exchange. We had no problem with that, at all. After all, we are a very laid back sort of group, and putting undue pressure on someone to participate in one of our projects just doesn't happen! 

But, hold on just a minute!

We wanted to include her anyway, so the remaining 6 of us made what would have been "her" blocks, did a lot of secret sewing, and we gifted her finished Ohio Star quilt to her. We had the big reveal yesterday. Here's a progression of pictures showing her genuine surprise.

Needless to say, she was totally unaware of what we'd been up to, and was entirely surprised by the gift. 

After we gifted the quilt, we proceeded with our block exchange, and now all of us have 42 blocks for making our own Ohio Star quilt.

Look at how great Sharon's quilt looks. I think just about all of us plan to put our blocks together exactly this same way. I am, for sure. 

Our group shares such a love of quilting, and even more love for each other. We are supportive, giving, steady, and true. Quilting groups are simply the best way I know of to be motivated, to be challenged to try new techniques, and to learn and grow as a quilter.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Thanksgiving Quilt Show

Happy Thanksgiving to all my faithful readers! Are you preparing for your feast? We will be heading off to my sister's in a little while. I prepared three items for the feast table - spinach dip in a bread bowl, 7-layer salad, and pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing. YUM!

Yesterday DH and I had a little day date to the Ross County Historical Society in Chillicothe. Their special exhibit of quilts from their collection has been on display for a couple of months; the exhibit ends on Saturday.

I won't include a lot of detail on each of these pictures. Instead I will identify, include a year (if known), and point out one or two special qualities. Enjoy!

Mariner's Compass, c. 1890

Mariner's Compass, detail

Honeycomb Patch c. 1900

Honeycomb Patch, detail

Whig Rose c. 1840

Whig Rose, detail

And the show stopper of the entire exhibit is this nearly 10' x 10' beauty.

Eastern Star, Star of the East, Star of Bethlehem - 1835

Eastern Star, detail

Eastern Star, detail

Eastern Star, stitched date of 1835.

Of course, I took almost 70 pictures, and shared just these few here. Maybe in awhile I will post some more. 

If you are able to travel to Chillicothe, OH, this exhibit will only be up for 2 more days - maybe you can check it out!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Finished Christmas Pillow

After quite a bit of 'erring and arring' I finally set to work yesterday to finish this pillow I had an itch to make.

I had hoped to finish it faster, but that darn math issue popped up and I could not make my brain work hard enough to figure what I wanted. So, some of those 2.5-inch squares that border the pillow are in fact just whacked off where convenient for fitting. Ah, the best laid plans...

Ii is very likely that no one would have even noticed, but now that I've called attention to it, well... I do like how this turned out. Very nice that I made two stars while I was in construction mode; the next star will be placed on point thanks to DH's recommendation. That will look quite nice, I think.

Two treatments on this pillow differ from what I have been doing on pillows lately. First, I tried my hand at free-motion quilting on my older Bernina. What a different set of skills that requires! I attempted wavy vertical lines with occasional little loops along the way. It was fun; I need to practice this more, and on little projects like this pillow, it works very nicely.

Another different treatment involved the zipper on the back. I have no pictures of this one, but I watched a YouTube video on line which I am sure you all would enjoy. It features Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life, and shows how to add a flap over the zipper which she places on the back of the pillow. Looks really nice, and I found it much easier to achieve a neat finish than what I'd been doing by trying to put the zipper in the seam at the bottom. I will show mine on the next pillow I share here.

One last picture of this one.  I might do several more of these; they work up so fast (if you don't obsess over the measurements of the border blocks). I enjoy trying out a variety of star patterns, so changing things up is very likely a possibility.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Revisiting Lake Effect

I have taken a brief hiatus from Lake Effect in recent weeks (months), and I finally find myself in the mood once again to tackle some of the applique for my one remaining panel. 

It occurs to me as I pull this back out that so very many steps are involved in applique. Trace the design onto the back of the panel; cut the shapes; back-baste shapes to panel; trim shapes; applique. This is a brief summary of the steps. Left out are decisions about fabric colors, thread colors, layering correctly (does the leaf go on top of the stem or behind the stem?) and neat workmanship on the actual appliqueing step.

Back of panel; bird fabric stitched to front.

Front of panel; two berries ready, as well.

Trimmed and ready for appliqueing.

The steps to this point are rather hum-drum, and maybe that's why I get so tired of working on this quilt. What comes next is the real stitching of those elements in place over that vine/stem. It is pleasurable work because it actually means it's done. And big shapes like the redbird are so nice, as they have few tricky curves and take up a lot of space. These leaves will be equally fun to do for those same reasons.

Three leaves prepped; back view.

Front view of leaves.

Trimmed and ready for appliqueing in place.

Because I grow impatient and want a fast finish, I stop work on this - my so-called Ten Year Project - and work on other things that come together faster. I do still want this quilt, however, and I intend to finish it. No pressure! I still have 6 years to meet that 10-year mark! *chuckle*

I am linking to Kathy's blog and her Slow Sunday Stitching party. I've not stopped by there for awhile, so go with me and have a look around!

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Christmas Star

Impulse creating - that's my specialty. Apparently, maintaining my focus on a single project is a total impossibility. With Lunch Box Social and Temecula Baskets as my two main projects this week, and intentions of longarming something, and a couple of other Works In Progress (WIPs) on standby, I did this.

I just took a notion to make something Christmassy! What does it hurt to take a half-day or so to whip up a festive block? It satisfied a sudden urge to get myself into a Christmas mood. I have an idea that I will turn this into a quilted pillow for the front room sofa. I will be hosting the family for Christmas this year, and I need to crank up the holiday mojo!

I've been seeing a lot of pillows showcased on Instagram lately, and it has jogged my memory that I've placed several pillow pictures in my saved files. But inspiration can come from table toppers, too, as well as individual blocks in larger quilts. My thought process considers how these various looks would translate into a pillow. 

I am particularly smitten with the idea of framing the star with a patchwork border, sorta' like these two little quilts from Lindsey Weight.

The first one is straight-up squares while the second one fancies it up a bit with HSTs in the corners. Both are pleasing; both would be so simple and fast to finish. However, I could get slightly more involved with some hourglass blocks like this next one from Jessie.

Hmmm...decisions, decisions. But fun to create, you know? I am stuck at doing the math for making all the parts fit on my 20-inch pillow inserts. (Math; it's always the math; smh.)

It's a beautiful day here in southern Ohio! Hope you are having a great Saturday!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Working on Lunch Box Social

The fun fabrics I've selected for my Lunch Box Social quilt have kept me quite content to continue work on it this week. It has come together quite nicely, and I am near to a finished flimsy already. All I have left to do is the outer border. 

All of the fabrics here were pulled from the stash several years ago when I first decided that I wanted to make this quilt. The most colorful fabrics were largely fat quarters, while the background and the sashing fabrics were 1-yard cuts. Because this quilt finishes at a nice small lap quilt size, the fabric requirements were minimal. 

Making the blocks seemed a daunting task, but after I realized that only 9 would be needed, I had a better attitude toward tackling this quilt. I was making a bigger deal of it than it really was, if you can imagine. Just do it, they say. Well, that advice certainly held true here. It was not hard at all, and broken down into parts and steps, the work was entirely straightforward.

Friday already! A productive week in the quilting room makes the days fly by. 

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Emma's New Quilt Delivered

The specially designed quilt for DD Emma was delivered and spread on her bed Saturday. If you are looking for a colorful, lively quilt, this is not the place to search. Emma's request was for a minimalist-style quilt in monochromatic tones. 

If you have followed along for awhile, you already know to look for the large single block in this quilt. Here at my house, I'd always placed in the upper left corner, but when we put it on Emma's bed, she wanted it in the bottom right corner. See if you can locate it.

It's slightly more visible in this second shot. Notice how nicely the two tones of Grunge fabric work in this monochromatic design. And the quilting shows up nicely, too.

The Ohio Star shows a bit more clearly when one zooms in on it. Emma wanted it to be subtle and she assured me that the quilt suits perfectly - just as she had hoped. Whew! I sure am glad about that. It appears that Schmoopy approves, too.

I have worked mostly on Lunch Box Social in the last day or so, but I may shift to yet another activity today - loading a quilt onto the longarm machine and doing some quilting. Gah! It's the getting started that is so hard! Once I get going, I am supremely happy and feeling confident. 

I need a good swift kick to the posterior.

Happy Quilting, Friends!