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...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Round Up of Recent Activities

While DH and I are on our little getaway, I thought I would just do a quick pictorial of some of our recent activities around the homestead. Nothing much quilting related, at all, in other words.

We hit up the local garden center for some color to add to our yard. Most of this is perennial, so we are filling in for gaps when things aren't in bloom. We got it all planted in a day, and the gardens looked great for the fraternity reunion.

We "cat-sat" for our DD and her hubby. They were going out of town for a long weekend, so we had Rocky. He just loves being at our house because there is so much more room to roam than what they have in their one-bedroom apartment. He likes to sit on this spot because it affords him views of several areas. Isn't he a pretty guy?

Several of the fraternity guys camped in our woods. We served a hearty breakfast the next morning; sent them off with scrambled eggs and bacon in their tummies.

Here are the guys - both alumni and active members. All totaled up, we had about 50 here on Saturday. Several guys brought their wives/girlfriends. We had perfect weather, too.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hexie Prep Work

We had our big fraternity bash over the weekend and have been recovering ever since. Thus the absence from posting here. Besides the fact that we have been extremely busy with  reunion festivities, I haven't had any time for significant sewing, let alone time to blog. But things look to settle down here in the coming week, so maybe I can get my quilty creativity going again.

To fully wind down after the big reunion, DH and I are leaving for a short drive to northern Ohio where we hope to take in sights and attractions at Lake Erie, Put-In-Bay, and Kelly's Island. To keep my hands occupied, I prepped these sweet little hexies yesterday.

I took a page right out of my friend Jan's playbook - run copies of paper with the outline of the hexie drawn on, then put down double-sided tape and attach the parts in the desired design. Now they are portable and accessible.

That POTC block I did a week or so ago still needed to have an outer row, so I made 8 light neutral hexies to attach to it. I am going to try to get those done, too.

I must be off! Still a bit to do here before we hit the road!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Work Shirt Quilts

I'm a dawdler. I have an uncanny knack for turning some of the simplest, most straightforward tasks into long, drawn-out projects. Case in point, the two quilts I've been working on for my high school friend using her husband's work shirts. I picked the shirts up in June - probably around the 10th or 15th. I worked on the Brick Path quilt at Quilt Camp during the last week of June. I have taken nearly an entire month to finally finish the second quilt, Rail Fence.

Here, I have both quilts draped over the little bench out on the front sidewalk. Both have been enjoyable to work on; my own dear dad was a farmer and I have thought a lot about him as I worked to turn these shirts into quilts.

This Rail Fence quilt, obviously, was a bit more involved than the first. Those individual blocks have more stitching which required more cutting and more matching and more pinning. I also used two pockets in this one, just like I did on Brick Path.

And just because it's been awhile, I will show you Brick Path. I recently purchased some flannel to use for backing, and I hope to have them off to be quilted early next week.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Annette's Progress

One of my beginning quilting students from last Thursday posted a picture on Facebook yesterday that is worthy of my entire post today. Annette came into our sewing session last week as a confident beginner, so it does not surprise me in the least that she has made a second pillow on her own.

This is a teacher's dream - to see a beginner understand the basic concepts well enough to apply them later with changes to suit her own purposes. I'm sure you see the way she switched the placement of the blocks. Her first pillow is on the left; she created the second pillow completely on her own. Fantastic! Another quilter is born?? Maybe? Click here to read about the class.

Annette says she will return for a second class, and I am considering options for what to teach. My original thought was to do a bag - call it a back-to-school bag, which would appeal to my teacher friends. Alternative suggestions have been a baby quilt and a table runner. Those are both very doable options. Before that, though, I am going to offer the pillow class again because several gals said they wanted to come, but had conflicting plans.

Way to go, Annette!! Don't stop!

 Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Busy Week

This week is going to be packed. Already, two events have happened, and the biggest is coming on Saturday.

Monday evening I hosted the Frienzies for a potluck. Only 6 of the 8 were able to make it, but we still had a fantastic time. We ate on the screened porch and talked till way, way late. It was what we think of when we think of slow, easy summer nights with close friends and delicious food. It was perfect. The only picture I can show from that lovely evening is the centerpiece - all flowers from our yard.

Yesterday, Sharon came over for a day of sewing. She is really accomplishing a lot. About a month ago, she and I made a plan to sew certain "themed" quilts together. We have done this before - last summer we used our Roman Holiday fabric in August, and in the winter we devoted March to using our Snowbird fabric. In just casual conversation, we learned that we each wanted to do a red and white quilt, so we decided that July would be our month to get that done. Sharon has been very productive about it; I have not. Yet. There's still some July left, though it appears I am going to miss my deadline. The beauty of our system, though, is that missing a deadline is no big deal. The idea to get a quilt top done by a certain date is more a suggestion than a firm commitment. That suits both Sharon and me perfectly. We have a plan for August, September, and October, too. You'll hear more about those later, no doubt.

That's an awful lot of explanation just to show you Sharon's red and white quilt. I will dispense with the words and get to the good stuff - the pictures!

Sharon selected solid red and solid white for her quilt, and has spent a good amount of time cutting and stitching these checkerboard blocks.

Her pattern comes from a recent APQ magazine cover, which you can see above.

Her next task is to make as 'ba-zillion' hourglass blocks; these squares need to be prepped by drawing a diagonal line on the white and matching up with a red. She was not looking forward to this. Why is it that we really dislike doing those types of tasks? Each of us has some part of the quilt construction process that we balk at, I suppose.

So what else is planned for this week? My husband's big fraternity reunion will be here this Saturday, complete with campers, a tent, catered dinner, and bonfire. It was a huge success last summer, but  RSVPs are down this year. I think the weather is going to cooperate, so even if the numbers are down, those who attend will have beautiful weather to enjoy. Here's a link to details of last summer's party.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sewing with Friends (part 2)

I was having such a difficult time getting my internet to work efficiently on the previous post, so I just quit after showing you the work that Jan and Susan did when we sewed last week at Terry's.

Mary, that same Mary at the Grove City Barn I've written about a few times, attended on Tuesday. She was making great progress on this wonderful kit in just the one day.

Just look at the great colors in this quilt - so subtle and calming. I think everyone was taken with the fabrics and colors from the very start.

Even Terry's sweet little Maddie wanted to show us how much she loved it, too. Of all the floor space, dog cushions and sofas and chairs, Maddie picked this spot to take her nap.

And this next picture showed up on a Facebook post from Mary last evening. Finished! What a fabulous quilt!

Several others sewed at Terry's - Sheryll, JoAnn, Laura, myself and, of course, Terry. I regret that I cannot share the work that Laura, JoAnn and Terry did - I didn't take any pictures! Shame!

I can, however, share the progress that Sheryll is making on a UFO. This applique quilt was a kit, and she is currently working on quilting it. You, no doubt, have noticed the hoop in the upper right quadrant.

My own work was divided over two projects.

  I have come so close to finishing this little wall hanging/table topper made with the cutaway portion of some recent flying geese units. I had to cut extra little squares and make more HSTs to finish it off. Well, I had them all sewn together, and - sigh - I found that I wasn't as exact as I needed to be, and they were too big. I spent an hour 'unsewing' and am going to trim them down, resew, and hopefully get this piece finished. Follow-ups forthcoming.

My other work was on the second of the work shirt quilts. I made the first one using a Brick Path pattern. This second one is a Rail Fence pattern. Since I am making this up as I go, time will tell when I think this one is finished. I am guessing it's about halfway there, perhaps. We shall see.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sewing With Friends

What do quilter's do when one's husband is out of town? We gather at her house and sew all day long, and all night too, if we like. Terry's husband was away, so she scheduled some sewing days last week. I went just for day time sewing, but a couple of gals stayed over, and sewed late into night.

You will never guess what Jan has gotten into. She swore she wouldn't begin another English Paper Piecing project for a very long time, but my growing interest as well as Sharon P's. and others' - well she was unable to resist. (Remember the post awhile back entitled  Contagion and Addiction?) So here is her latest undertaking.

Jan refers to the prep work on these kinds of projects "idiot's delight." She says that any crazy lady can sit and cut out all these bits of fabric, glue them to the cardboard template, and then place them on paper with two-sided tape. She preps the entire quilt like this and then proceeds to stitch. What a job! But I am loving how her mock-ups are looking, and believe me, she has done a lot more than just what I've shown here. Jan truly gets stuff done. 

Susan will soon become a first-time grandmother, so she has babies on her mind. She began a quilt that will stay at Gramma's house for when Baby is with her. The pattern is Baby's Not Blue from a recent Quilter's World magazine.

Susan cut this out on Tuesday and was busy sewing on Wednesday. This is what she had constructed at one point, and I am sure she has probably finished the top by now.

I have pictures of several other projects including my own, but I need to get this posted and move on to other endeavors today. I will bring you more tomorrow!

Happy Quilting, Friends!