Quilting Fun

While I love the satisfaction of finishing a quilt, it isn't the only way to have fun with quilting. Fun also comes from the great outings with girlfriends, shopping expeditions with Grandma, or just sitting in my "thoughtful spot" chair perusing magazines and books. The thrill of the next project waiting just there on the horizon...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

April Wrap-Up

I just love April, and here we are saying our farewells. It went by in a blur, most certainly. I began the month by cutting out several quilts - one erroneously - then off to Canter's Cave Quilt Retreat.

I finished All In a Row at quilt camp.

I finished Abby's bridal quilt top and it is at the quilter's. (No post on this yet; I will share after the wedding in June.)

I prepped Eventide for my May resolution and it is at the quilter's.

I began Molly's baby quilt.

I made pillow cases to match Abby's quilt.

I did quite a bit of mending for DH and DD2.

I had a sewing class day with Claudia in which we made zipper bags.  I also sewed with Sharon and at Terry's, giving me lots of time at the machine.

That pretty much sums up my sewing activity. Other stuff took a bit of priority, too. The courses at OUC kept me with a steady stream of essays and finals to grade. Various events with our kids, family and friends, plus the normal stuff around the house that everyone knows must be done - all combined to keep me B-U-S-Y.

On top of it all, I managed to do more blogs this month than any so far in 2016, beating the January total by 1. I sort of set a goal for myself - attempt to write one every day. I don't often achieve that goal, but it keeps me on task.

Here is a collage of non-sewing things that have popped through my world in the last week.

My twin nieces and their parents took a week to go to Siesta Key in Florida for vacation. The girls drew my name in the sand with a heart around it. They also had quite a sand sculpture going. The crazy cow bird at the window has been pecking at his reflection for a full week now. And DH's iris are so full of color; they are quite the show-offs this spring.

What will May bring? I will definitely get the baby quilt finished. I should get both Abby's quilt and Eventide bound. I'd like to make more blocks for the Best of All quilt - the one I cut erroneously.

And I must try to get as much of another commissioned quilt done as possible - Elisa's king quilt.

I don't think I've mentioned it, but I have a t-shirt quilt waiting in the wings, too.

Staying busy. I like it that way. Off to a bridal shower!!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Baby Quilt Commission

Several months ago, I was asked by a young friend and second-time mom-to-be to make a baby quilt for the little girl she was expecting this summer. She told me the colors in the nursery will be peach and gray. Here is a bit of what I have come up with.

I wrote about prepping the design before retreat and actually bought the fabric while at the retreat; then got super-busy with school responsibilities and finishing other projects that this had to wait its turn. On Tuesday when Terry had us all over for a sewing day, I spent a couple of hours cutting and stitching this. I'm ready for borders, which I hope to do this weekend.

I've become particularly enamored with this specialty print with the baby sayings on it. All I could find was a fat quarter, so I've used it all here in the top, and am thrilled with how well it suits the color requirements.

I spent yesterday finishing the grading for Spring Semester. Then I had to dive into my book for our book club - the meeting is today at 11:45am. I have about a hundred pages to go. The book is The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. I had a hard time getting into it, but where I left off late last night (2am!!), it was getting really good, so I think I can devour those final 100 pages easily enough.


Busy day ahead! Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bridal Surprises

Coming up in June, my niece Abby will be getting married. I mentioned several weeks back that I would be making a quilt for her, and it has been delivered to Terry for quilting. I was very happy with the finished top, and I had an ah-ha moment when I finally decided on what to do for backing.

All the aunts are hosting a bridal shower for Abby this Saturday, and my contribution will be a couple of accessories to match the quilt. Here's a sneak-peak.

I am confident that no one can guess what this is, so my secret is safe until Saturday, right???

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Resolution Update

My big resolution for 2016 is to try to get one flimsey per month off of a hanger in the closet and out to be quilted and finished. As most resolutions go, I am already off track, but I am optimistic that I can get a few more done by year's end. Which is the whole point, anyway.

I did January's - Vincent, my Van Gogh-inspired quilt using Avignon fabric by American Jane. Below is a picture of it, and here is the post of its finish.

For February, I sent off my scrappy 16-patch stars. It will be coming back to me this week ready for binding. A bit late, since we are nearly through April already, but there have been some snags along its journey to being finished. Terry, my friendly quilter, had some health issues and then the backing I sent was causing her machine to skip stitches - these were the most significant of the snags. Hopefully, we are back on track now, though, and last I spoke with Terry, this Tuesday is the target delivery date. Below is February's quilt.

I was in a quandary about what to do for March, and since now April is about over and May is looming, I don't know which month to assign to this quilt. I suppose I will call it May, and just accept the fact that I skipped March and April. *sigh*

May's quilt is my beautiful Eventide made from Roman Holiday fabric by 3 Sisters. The pattern is a Carrie Nelson/Miss Rosie's Quilts design, and I love everything about it. Having such a pretty quilt hanging in a closet is almost criminal, so off it will go to Terry for quilting. Here is the post from when I finished the quilt top clear back in August of '14.

One final this afternoon; several essays to get graded; another final on Wednesday; a book to get read by Friday; bridal shower for niece Abby on Saturday; final grades to be submitted as early as possible. Just a normal busy week around here. Whew.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pam's Project

Frienzie Pam is one for projects - we have done several at her house over the years, and she is always game for any new thing we come up with. Actually, it's usually Pam who comes up with new things! Her penchant for projects carries over into her church's youth group, and this particular project definitely would appeal to all we quilters.

Various ladies in the church sewed the blocks of this quilt together after the youth drew the Zentangle designs on the white centers.
Each block has a Bible verse written on it, or just the chapter and verse. This stunning creation will be auctioned off for missions efforts of the youth group.

As striking as the front of the quilt is, the back is equally interesting. In order to place the label prominently, Pam pieced this colorful row of blocks into the backing fabric.

And the label contains the names of all those whose hands helped with the making of the quilt. What a wonderful project, from beginning to end. When we saw this quilt on Wednesday, Pam had only to stitch down the binding, and I understand she had a volunteer ready to do that task. If I learn how much the sale of the quilt brings in, I will be sure to report it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Quilting with Claudia

The sewing lessons with Claudia are becoming more and more focused as she is really getting the hang of all the basics of the craft. The lesson we had on Tuesday was more about efficiently cutting fabric for an entire quilt. Getting a good, workable system down makes the job go faster, as we all know.

Claudia had done a great amount of work prior to coming over. She'd collected 24 different fabrics of the brightest and most vivid variety and tried to closely imitate the colors in the pattern picture. Her system for keeping the colors straight was highly organized; she'd gone so far as to cut a swatch from each piece, label it, and glue it to a color guide that she created for the pattern. It was impressive.

We set about cutting from about 5 of the fabrics to see if we could establish a sort of rhythm or system that she felt comfortable with. I think she will do fine, as she refines her techniques at home with the other 19 fabrics.

Establishing a system for the sewing part was another of Claudia's requests. So we sewed a couple of 9-patch blocks. An added bonus to going ahead with this step was that it introduced her to the notion of 'subcutting.' After she has her 3 strips (light, dark, light) sewn together, she then had to press, then go back to the cutting table to cut the sections (in this case we were working with 2.5-inch strips). So subcutting is now something she understands and can refine at home on her own.

Teaching sewing and quilting-related classes has been interesting. I've enjoyed meeting and helping novice quilters. And I, myself, have learned so much in the process. I have been a teacher all my life, and it makes all the difference in the world when your student is eager to learn - and enthusiastic about gaining new skills. Claudia is this type of student. But it goes both ways, you know? I am an English teacher by profession, so I am having to learn as I go how to best teach this quilting stuff. I'm glad Claudia's so easy-going, for I certainly have been slow to pick up on a few things from the teacher side of things. My hat's off to those many home-ec teachers I know and love, for I can now relate to your situation! *wink*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Zipper Bag/Zipper Lesson

Serendipity describes how our zipper lesson came to be yesterday when Claudia was here. She requested a lesson on learning to sew in a zipper, and I had been wanting for the longest time to make a little zipper bag that I had seen online. Consequently, we had a happy meeting of the minds, and came away with a couple of nifty little bags.

The fabric for outer and lining bag parts were fat quarters from my stash. I had a couple of 9" zippers, too, but Claudia brought a 22" zipper, so we had a lesson about cutting a zipper down to size, and saving the end, because zipper pulls are available in sewing stores.

After we cut our 7"x 9" pieces, we began zipper application. It was not a smooth lesson. We faced issues that we eventually attributed to using inferior thread. It may have been something else, but we did finally get things going, and we finished our bags.

These bags are fresh off the sewing machine - not even pressed yet. It is billed as a 15-minute bag, but I think you might have to get your learning curve out of the way before expecting those speedy results. Anyway, we set these aside, and proceeded with our  quilting plans, which I will bring you tomorrow. Here are a couple more views of my bag after pressing.

I will definitely be making more of these bags; I think an assembly line of them would be the way to go.

Happy Quilting, Friends!