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...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Readers! I have so many blessing for which I am grateful. I have been reflecting on those blessings and giving thanks.

I have had some diverse fun the past few days. On Tuesday evening I went with 6 family members to Cincinnati to see White Christmas The Musical at the Aronoff Center.
The show was fantastic. The costumes, the singing and especially the dancing - all were exceptional. This show was a treat in every way. As my sister said, "Best night ever!" We all had a wonderful time.

The sweet twins, my nieces Anna Rose and Mary Jean, attended with us. Aren't they growing? They are now 8-year-old second graders.

 A very cool opportunity to support our servicemen and women was available to us at the Aronoff. Guests were invited to sign cards which were collected and will be delivered to deployed military around the world. The girls sent their sweet sentiments, as did the rest of us. Talk about blessing - I am grateful to our military, for sure.

We also had to get a picture of the twins with their Grandma Jeannie. If you want to take in a show at the Aronoff, I suggest you allow time to dine at Trattoria Roma which is just a half a block away and easy walking distance from the theatre. We had a wonderful meal - from wine and appetizers to entrees and dessert.

All of this festivity resulted in my staying the night in Hillsboro at my mother's. I thought you'd enjoy seeing the beautiful flowers blooming in her sun room. Many, many healthy African violets and a whopping Christmas cactus that is just beginning to come into bloom. By Christmas it will be full of bright red flowers.

Through all of this, we are cat sitting for our older daughter while she and her husband spend the long Thanksgiving weekend at her in-laws'.

He's such a handsome kitty. He loves coming here as he has space in which to roam after being limited to his 1-bedroom apartment in Columbus.

I have done minimal sewing, but a finish was accomplished. I will share that soon, as well as some fun projects from the Frankfort girls.

Wishing you all a most blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Class In Session

Claudia was over yesterday for another sewing lesson and she brought along a friend, Denise, who has some experience with sewing and quilting, but was interested in the project we were to be working on.

The project? Using the 60-degree ruler to make table runners out of border print fabric. Fun and fast, if you've ever done them before. Really a good project for a day-long class because the students get to go home with a total finish, and by using all the excess in additional smaller projects, they get comfortable with the technique. Here are pictures of the day's activities.

First, let me take care of old business by showing you Claudia's new sewing machine. Isn't she a beauty??! I have sewing machine envy. I love the bling on the front, and she sure does hum along so smoothly and quietly when she sews. What a great buy! I recommended that she shop at Old Town Fabrics in Chillicothe, and she did! Hooray for shopping locally and supporting our small businesses!

Now on to the fabulous finishes.

Claudia's nice big table runner - totally completed and totally matched on those seams. What a great job!

Denise's table runner is even bigger - she has a gigantic table. This was tricky because we wanted the words to face outward on each side. It took some figuring, but we managed it.

We just kept on sewing and before long we had not only table runners, but these centerpiece mats, as well. And there in the top right corner you see a stack of mug rugs that Denise stitched up in a frenzy of productivity. She really did make the most of her fabric. Claudia has the technique pretty well under control, as well, but as a newby, she was more careful and deliberate in her stitching. Her plan is to use the remaining border fabric in as many smaller pieces as she can - on her own.

Our intention was to finish Claudia's Mondo Bag, but that never happened. So we have scheduled a day in early December to take care of that. Denise will come back to join us. I have several Mondo patterns ordered which I will have by then (I hope!) and we will just keep on stitching. I can foresee Christmas gifts resulting in this endeavor!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Neptune Border Solution

I was in a quandary about how to finish the borders on the race quilt I made Tuesday when Sharon was here. I had mis-remembered something, which, after investigating a bit, I have finally straightened out - and that is all great, because my border solution was buried in the solution.

First, the race quilt - this is what I stitched Tuesday afternoon from the leftovers of a Neptune jelly roll.


While I worked on this, I mentioned just in passing to Sharon that I had won the jelly roll in a Schnibbles give-away 4 or 5 years ago. Nothing more was said about that, but the thought occurred to me that I surely must have blogged about it, so later in the week I went back through the archives of this blog and found the post about the give-away. Click here to read it. The coolest part is that I won a charm pack, not a jelly roll. So that meant that I still had the charm pack, and consequently, fabrics for making a border for my race quilt! Yay for poor memories!!

Putting all the pieces together, then, I suspect that I bought the jelly roll to go with the charm pack, anticipating the need to have more than just a charm pack for whatever future project might come. And that purchase was long enough ago that I have completely forgetten when or where I bought it.

Mystery solved. And borders forthcoming. Win!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

4-Patch Doll Quilt

 Look what I made on Thursday afternoon. I had no pattern; just made it up as I went. When one has plenty of fabric, pretty things can happen!

I found my inspiration on Pinterest. Many people view Pinterest as a great time-waster and I will admit to wasting many hours there, but it also has been a valuable source of inspiration for me time and time again. 

I'd pinned the quilt shown below ages ago, but it was making its way through another cycle of pinnings and it popped up in my feed. Click on the picture to go to the source. I love it every time I see it. So by gosh, I just went upstairs and made it.


 Selecting fabrics out of the stash was an adventure down memory lane, as many of the fabrics I chose have been used in previous projects. The 2-inch strips and the background fabric are shown above.

These fabrics became the setting blocks and the setting triangles. The pink has been in my stash for a very long time; the black is relatively new.

Here is a side-by-side comparison:

Mine is less subtle, but I still adore it. It was a very satisfying way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, November 20, 2015

We Were Racing

When Sharon was here on Tuesday, she spent all of her day quilting. You saw the red and white quilt a couple of days ago. She did that in the morning; in the afternoon, she quilted her race quilt which I saved for a separate post so I could pair it with my own race quilt which I made that afternoon. You will recall Sharon's race quilt top  by clicking here.

Machine quilting on regular sewing machines is a learned skill. Neither Sharon nor I have a lot of experience with it, but we are improving, as naturally one would with practice. Above, Sharon is doing the classic stitch-in-the-ditch.

 By late in the afternoon, Sharon had finished her quilting. She has some backing fabric left over, so very likely she will make the binding from that.

After finishing my Mondo Bag, I wondered aloud what I would ever do with the remaining Jelly Roll strips. Sharon suggested I make a race quilt with it, and without stopping to consider any other options, I just sat down and started. For whatever reason it seemed better to stitch than to think. Making a race quilt on Tuesday afternoon was the furthest thing from any of my plans, yet here we are - a quilt top awaiting borders.

I love it! Sometimes the most spontaneous efforts are the best, wouldn't you agree? This measures a long and narrow 31" x 61", so I really must figure out how to even out those measurements. Borders, for sure. But having something that will match this is a long shot. I will think on it for awhile. (There's a time for thinking and there's a time for action; now it's time for thinking.)

So, Sharon and I were racing on Tuesday afternoon. We had a most productive day, actually. She quilted two tops and prepped the binding for one. I finished my Mondo Bag and made a race quilt. Wish every day could be so productive.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Making Mondo Bags

Class was in session Monday when Claudia came for more sewing lessons. The plan for the day was to make a Mondo Bag. Years ago I made one (read about it here) and I have had a second pattern for a long while. Claudia had purchased her pattern, and so we devised a plan to work on making this bag.

Claudia selected a patriotic pack of fabrics, and had cut her 2.5" squares ahead of time. Here is one of the 4 panels ready for stitching.

This is the result of Claudia's work on Monday. The outer bag and the lining are both to the point at which the sides are sewn together which will make these strange shapes become a Mondo Bag.

I used a Jelly Roll of Neptune by Moda and Tula Pink. I have had the Jelly Roll for several years and really didn't have any other ideas for how I'd use it. This will be perfect. My first panel, above, is sewn both the width and length seams.

On Tuesday, I went back to work to finish my bag. These are the strips I selected for my handles - the greens are the under sides; the blues are the outer sides.

Mondo Bag construction is the strangest, most convoluted I've ever made. How anyone figured that the odd shapes shown above in Claudia's picture could be turned into this awesome bag is totally beyond me. Above is my lining and batting.

My bag is finished and Gracie's inspection is complete. I guess it earned her seal of "a-purr-val."

I really like the Mondo Bag - both this one and my first one. However, I noticed through all of this that there are some differences. The handles are shorter on this bag than on my first one. Now, maybe I just opted back then to make longer handles; I just don't remember. I sorta' wish I'd made the second bag's handles longer, too, but it's too late now.

And there are differences between Claudia's pattern and my pattern. Hers is newer and that newer version has smaller panels. It took quite a bit of study to figure out why her measurements were so far off mine. She will still end up with a very nice bag, though. She is coming back on Monday to finish her bag, and we are going to try to make a quickie table runner, too.

Hope you have a great Thursday!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Simple Red and White Quilt

This quilt is proof that a quilt doesn't have to be intricate to be beautiful. The simplicity of this gives it a beauty in its own right.

 Sharon was over yesterday for our weekly sew-together, and she machine-quilted this. It belongs to her neighbor, and has some sentimental value. Sharon is finishing it for her, and is nearly there. She prepped the binding (below); will attach and stitch down soon. Sharon wants to return it in time to be used for Christmas decorating.

Wouldn't you love to have that to add to your holiday decor?

Happy Quilting, Friends!