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...

Monday, July 6, 2015

Contagion and Addiction

Those are terribly alarming words to use for a quilting post title, but allowing myself to experiment with English Paper Piecing is nothing short of an addiction or being exposed to a contagious germ. The possibilities for beautiful blocks and infinite variety abounds. I fear I will, indeed, succumb to the allure of them. Even the packaging comes with a warning.

The block I have just finished is called a Lucy Boston block or Patchwork of the Crosses - better known as POTC by those firmly established in English Paper Piecing circles.

Placed this way, on point, the cross is clearly evident. I assume as I do more of these, I will get faster. Finishing this first one was quite a bit more time-consuming than I hope future ones will take. In other words, I hope there's a learning curve as I practice.

Placing the block square on a quilt offers an equally lovely look, but the cross is not quite so evident. I think depending on the design one makes with the fussy-cut fabrics, one or the other placement would be preferable; and the quilter will just know when she sees it, I suppose.

I find that I am in that all-too-familiar place where I have so many projects vying for my attention that I am not dealing with any of them. When this occurs, I make a list. In no particular order, I have the following projects to work on.

1, 2, and 3. The Work Shirt Quilts (yes, a third has been added)
4. July UFO - 16-patch blocks
5. June UFO - Heart Wall Hanging
6. May UFO - 9-patch Strippy
7. Borders on the Blue Churn Dash
8. Begin red & white quilt project with Sharon
9. Finish Snowbird Triangles
10. Sewing Supplies Carry-All
11. Reupholster Kitchen Chair
12. More POTC blocks

There's just never enough to do.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th!

Here's hoping you have a fantastic Independence Day!

(Source: Sandra Boynton Facebook page.)

I attended an annual Fourth Picnic last evening at some dear friends' - lots of fun and fireworks! Today, I have my 40th high school class reunion. Looking forward to that! Hope to sew at least a little bit in between all the frivolity!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Show And Tell

About a month ago I took some pictures when we Frankfort girls met at Terry's house. I never did get around to sharing those pictures, and since I have neglected to take pictures of my ongoing progress on the work shirt quilts, I think this would be a good time to take care of old business.

If ever two pictures could illustrate how varied our interests are, then these two do just that. One quilt is bright and crisp; the other muted and warm. Opposite ends of the spectrum, in my opinion. And on any given day, these quilts could come from any one of us. Well, almost.

Jan sure gets a lot done, and this finish shows her versatility. I love her color combinations using nothing but solid prints. Just lovely.

Sheryll always does such beautiful work with color selection and applique. I believe this was a finish for our UFO Challenge. I love the way that cheddar just gives that wonderful pop of color.

Short and sweet today, Peeps. I hope your day is productive!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Has Arrived

Incredibly, we are turning the calendar to a new month again. I don't like to think about how time goes so fast.

June's goals were somewhat derailed by the death of my dear grandma. I now have even more reminders of her scattered about my house -- her love of cardinals -- her love of quilting -- her love of family -- several mementos now grace some nooks and crannies in my home, and I am reminded of her often.

So on we go, into the latter half of 2015! I have one of my work shirt quilt tops finished, and have a good start on the second. Pictures will be coming soon. I need to make a list of UFOs needing completion. In addition to those specific to our UFO challenge, I have amasssed others, as well.

I thought I would start the new month with an update from my friend and former student, Amie. She is the one who made a request for fabric scraps and became inundated with fabric from all corners of the country. Here is the post explaining all of that.

Amie has worked sporadically on finishing her postage stamp quilt because she has other projects in the queue like the baby quilt you see above. Isn't it darling? Some sweet baby will love it. Amie sent the following update last week (slightly edited):

I had pretty much stopped getting fabric in the mail.  I think I received one envelope right before we left (for a family trip) on (May) 30th.   But then over the last two weeks I have received probably 8 or 9 packages.  One of those was from a lady that has become a pen pal but she always puts a few pieces in. I started piecing blocks again and I only need 7 more!  If I hadn't had a few other projects thrown into my lap, I would have had all the blocks finished I'm sure. But that's okay.  

I am planning on sending GRIT an email to hopefully put in their "letters to the editor column", thanking everyone for their responses and letting them know I really don't need any more fabric.  We just got the latest issue and someone requested fabric for making yo-yo's.  I'm going to send her a package and warn her of what might be coming her way.  I have now filled a third, very large container.  

On Father's Day, I showed mom and my sister all the scraps and told them to pick out  a scrap pattern and we can all get together and sew from my bins.  I bought supplies to start my scrapbook of letters and pictures but haven't been able to get it started yet.  It's on my summer to-do list but keeps getting bumped.

Every time I read about Amie's experience, I just think of how heartwarming it is that quilters are so giving. I will definitely bring pictures of Amie's postage stamp quilt as she nears completion.

Have a great July, and
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I Caved

Bombarding me from every direction, it's a wonder I have managed to hold out as long as I have. Quilting friends have tempted me. Pictures on Pinterest tempt me, as well. What is the temptation? English Paper Piecing. The name of these versatile blocks is Points Patchwork of the Crosses, or Lucy Boston blocks. Just do a search of those terms on Pinterest and see what gorgeousness pops up. Endless examples, each beautiful in its own way. Infinite variety.(Sorry; I had been using the wrong name; all correct now.)

Yes, those fussy little templates and the stunning blocks that result have finally broken my resolve to skip this current quilting craze. I'd been given a packet of templates and fabrics; I'd both watched and overheard impromptu tutorials by avid devotees.

It all finally just wore me down.

I took some scraps from one of the work shirts I've been using and I fussy cut some 3/4-inch hexies and stitched them together to make a wreath. I envision finishing this with a string so that it could be used as a Christmas tree ornament. I made this on Saturday evening.

After considering it for about a day and a half, I decided that I would put a center in it, also a work shirt scrap. I probably should have looked for a bigger piece for the center so I could do a better job of centering the plaid, but eh, what the heck, it's my first one; I'll work that stuff out on future efforts.

Future efforts. Sigh. Yes, I suspect there will be future efforts. I fear that I am falling  in beyond the point of no return with this technique.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Final Look at Quilt Camp

You've seen the variety of projects we worked on last week, but there were some other activities that I think you'll find interesting.

A new camper, Jan, is a woman with many talents, and she never does anything but what she puts 110% into it. I have shared her expertise in the world of Lucy Boston blocks and English Paper Piecing after our Canter's Cave retreat last April. Click here to refresh your memory. Well, she shared more at quilt camp. Take a look at this incredible display.

She will be doing a demo on EPP at an upcoming guild meeting, so this tri-fold board full of info and all the additional materials to go with it were quite a hit with campers. She converted a few more folks to the EPP world, and I have to confess that I made my first little practice piece on Saturday.

Jan also had a very cool caddy at her sewing station. She made it of sock monkey fabric, and it is chock-full of all the quilting necessities.

Here is Jan, having a bit of a problem with her water - she didn't drink off a bit before pouring in her Crystal Lite packet, and as a result had a small eruption.

Silliness wasn't limited to Jan, though. Here's Anita striking a pose on the chaise lounge under a grand quilt.

We had a seriously hot day on Wednesday, and  even in the a/c we were sweating. Sharon discovered that she forgot to bring a band to pull her hair back in a ponytail. Never fear! A quilter can improvise! A strip of fabric works in a pinch.

All fun aside, we did have a productive week, and most of us spent a few (or more) dollars downstairs in the quilt shop. Here are the purchases I made.

Seven fabrics - all half-yards. I have very few purples and pinks in my stash, so I think I have filled in some gaps with these. Then, in keeping with that EPP opening, I will show you that I succumbed to the pressure. I bought a glue stick and refill for prepping EPP templates. *sigh*

It's a new week, quilters! I am hosting a brunch at 10am for an friend from way back in my early teaching days. Dee and I began our careers at CHS together in the fall of 1979, and even though she left CHS after a few years, we have tried to stay in touch across the miles. Sharon will be joining us for a brunch of quiche, muffins and strawberries. I must get busy in the kitchen!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Other Hobby

Maybe you know; maybe you don't. I do have other interests besides quilting and today I will tell you about a project that makes me pretty darned excited.

For most of 2014, I worked with a committee at the Greenfield Historical Society to write a book about our local high school, Edward Lee McClain HS, which is celebrating its centennial this September.

Each member of our committee offered unique contributions to the project--some were researchers, others were organizers, and others were photographers. My only function was to write. Whew. It was work, but of the very most enjoyable kind. The book went to the publisher the first of January; we had a couple of opportunities through the winter to check proofs. On Thursday, June 11, it was delivered. That was quite an exciting day, let me tell you! The finished product is amazing, and most folks around town who have picked up their book are complimenting it. I think it will be successful, thankfully.

If you want to tour our beautiful school, come join us at our big Centennial Celebration on Labor Day weekend. The book will be on sale, too. Click here to access the Greenfield Historical Society website.

Happy Quilting, Friends!