Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Scrappy Stars

I took a bit of time yesterday afternoon to try out some scrappy stars using the Thimble Blossoms pattern I bought Sunday evening. (see previous post) These were tons of fun to make, and I am trying to be more diligent in my cutting, measuring and trimming, among other things.

The top block was my first and it has some minor issues, but when used in amongst 144 other little scrappy stars, I doubt those issues will matter. The bottom block came out much better because I was more careful about cutting, trimming and matching seams. I don't have any firm plan for completing this quilt quickly, but I do think I will try to make a few at a time and just let the stack grow until I have accumulated the necessary 145 stars. Won't this be a fun quilt?

Busy day today, Peeps, so I am off!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Two New Patterns

Try as I might to eliminate new pattern purchases, sometimes I run across a true beauty that simply MUST be purchased. I have stopped taking magazines and buying them in the stores. I rarely buy new quilt books. I figure that most quilts are just new takes on old patterns, so I tell myself I just need to be "inventive" and come up with my own beauties.

That said, yesterday, I bought two PDF patterns. I just couldn't resist. Downloading patterns this way has it's benefits - but also its drawbacks.

One benefit is not filling a bookshelf or a 3-ring binder with yet another quilt pattern. The drawback, for me anyway, is how to store the PDF files on my various devices. If I save them in a number of different locations, then I hope I will be able to locate them when I want to. So there's another benefit.

You probably don't care about any of that; you just want to see the patterns that tempted me so, right??

This screen shot of Lake Effect by Minick and Simpson does not do justice to just how pretty those fabrics are. You may recall that I have been attempting to imitate this quilt since April or May - go have a look at this fabric-buying post (scroll down quite a ways), and then this template basting post. I thought I ought to be able to replicate Lake Effect without purchasing the pattern. Well, I have decided that while I could do the elongated hexies with little trouble, I would definitely need help with those appliqued inner sections. And, gee whiz, it was only $15. So I bought it last evening from Fat Quarter Shop. Sent instantly to  my phone - what could be easier??

 Now for the second pattern...in the past several months, I have become quite a fan of Instagram. I try to use it exclusively for quilt-related pictures, therefore it serves as a different form of Pinterest, but I get to control (for the most part) who I follow and what I see. Aside from ads which must be scrolled past, I really love it. One of the things I am seeing quite a lot of lately are pretty little star blocks to go into a Camille Roskelley /Thimble Blossoms pattern called Scrappy Stars. The blocks finish at 4.5 inches, and they look so scrumptious - especially the ones that Carrie Nelson is making -  I decided I simply MUST make some, too. And even though this is a very traditional star, getting it to that exact size might be a challenge, so for less than $5, I bought this, too.

What am I thinking?!?! Ahhh, well, I know. I can plan out 40 quilts before finishing one, but who do I have to be accountable to?? No one but myself. And I am good with it. *grin*

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Summer Style

I finished off a little hand-stitched project this week. The UFO for this month was to finish the large hexagon table topper that I began last summer. I took a few hours here and there this week and finished it off with the Frankfort Girls here on Friday. A quick binding and off to the screened porch for the dining table.

It is nothing fancy, and the edges are a bit wavy, but I like how colorful it is and it works well on the porch. This is a wonderful little bonus quilt as I bought nothing new for it. The hexagons were pieced from scraps on hand. The batting was pieced from two small pieces, as was the back. Even the thread used to quilt it was purchased for some previous project. I love when just a little bit of my time can result in a sweet little accent piece like this.

I am excited to have younger daughter Emma here today. Her 25th birthday is later this week, so I am planning a big dinner of some of her favorites. While we visit, I will very likely have a stack of 2.5" squares to stitch - haven't done any in ages. It will make for the perfect activity while chatting and catching up - Slow Sunday Stitching style. I may end up with 4-patches, or 9-patches - who knows? I"ll be spontaneous. *grin*

Have a great Sunday and a great week!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

It Runs In the Family

There may just be a bit of bragging in today's post for my two daughters, Erin and Emma, have become quilters. And here is one proud momma with a big grin on her face. As youngsters, I had them both in 4-H and they took sewing projects all through the years. Getting them to sew anything else throughout the year was just not happening, though, and I thought for sure they would never pick it up again after starting college.

However, I think something deep down might have been at work, for now that both girls have lots of girlfriends who are having babies, all of a sudden I am finding out that they want to make their friends baby quilts!! I am more than willing to encourage this!

Erin has made several already and even guest-blogged about one of them. She currently has another in the works and it is going to look fantastic (no, I'm not at all biased!).

This is her inspiration picture, taken from Pinterest. I love it in these colors, but since she knows the baby is to be a boy, here are the fabrics she selected.

In addition to these, she also will include a couple of her husband's cotton shirts. This is significant, for the mama-to-be is Jeff's sister.

In order to get some of the prints she wanted, she bought some fabric bundles, so now she is on her way to establishing her "stash." She pulled out some of these to use, and some to save for an as yet undetermined future project.

Evening lighting.

Obligatory cat-on-quilt picture; why do cats do this???

Daytime lighting.

Not too many days after these blocks were stitched I got a few texts with questions about spray basting, and she went straight to work layering that quilt and preparing to stitch! (She does not seem to have inherited  her mother's tendency toward procrastinating, thankfully!)

Spray basting completed.
Big-stitch quilting begun; isn't it perfect?

So that covers DD1 and her baby quilt exploits. Now let's follow up with DD2's efforts from earlier this year.

This past winter, Emma asked if I would help her with a quilt for one of her college roommates whose baby was due in April. We got busy right away, and finished it in plenty of time for the baby shower. And not long ago, Emma sent me this picture of little Paxton Nash snuggled under the quilt! How precious!

I am quite alright with my girls picking up this quilting habit. Even if all they ever make are baby quilts for others, just think of the joy they are bringing these new moms, while at the same time learning quite a lot about a hobby that could grow on them over time, just like it has done with their mother. Sweet.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dorothy's First Completed Quilt

Earlier this year my good friend and neighbor Dorothy decided to take up quilting. Here's her first finish.

She signed up for a mystery class at a local quilt shop - Creations Sew Clever in Chillicothe - and finished this quilt top earlier this year. Then she turned it over to an acquaintance who does long-arm quilting, and LOOK!! It turned out great. I wish I had a better picture to show the fabrics more closely and also the quilting. It is really a great quilt for a beginner. Since making this, Dorothy has made a picnic blanket-type quilt for her son and daughter-in-law, and is currently working on a two-color quilt - blue and white stars - it will be gorgeous.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Pincushions - Like Trying to Eat Just One Cookie

Is it possible to eat just one cookie? Or one potato chip? I can confidently equate the itch to make "just one more" pincushion to those tempting snacks. I have a pile of teeny-tiny scraps still on my table from that July UFO and I can't bring myself to toss it out - there might be yet another pincushion in there!

So far, I have made 4 from the current pile of scraps, and one from the scraps left of the Swoon quilt which I finished earlier in July. If you haven't seen some of the pincushions being made, you are missing quite the show. Crazy Mom Quilts blog did one for each day of the month of July, plus a few extras (she couldn't stop either!) and Carrie Nelson joined in the fun - I saw hers on Instagram. Now this month, there's a "pinnie parade" hashtag going around IG, so if you've missed it, you must go check it out. You might just find yourself equally tempted.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Circleville Quilt Show - Vendors and Shopping

Gosh, there were some great vendors at the show. I enjoyed talking to many; they were so engaging and genuinely interested in visiting with customers. Maybe it was the excitement of just starting the show, as opposed to nearing closing time on the last day - everyone was upbeat and cheerful. It made for an awesome quilt show experience, for sure. (It would be an interesting experiment to go back towards the end of a show to see if everyone is still as upbeat as they were at the beginning.)

While I visited several vendors, I only remembered to take pictures of a few. That makes me a poor correspondent, right? Several vendors were quite busy with shoppers, and I obviously did not make it into every booth. (Please don't feel slighted if a shop at the show isn't mentioned here!)

One that I visited early on and later returned to was Sew Happy Quilting Traditions located in Belpre, OH. What a cute little shop with a vivacious young owner, Rachelle Yost. I would really love to take a trip across the state to visit her shop and I know some ladies who, too, would be up for such a trip. *wink* Most of the spending I did while at the quilt show was done in this shop; I will just show you a couple of fabric stacks.

This pack of baby-themed fabric will go into a quilt for a special little one due near the end of the year. I don't know if they know the gender, but this should work for either.

This second pack is just a random group of reproduction prints that I thought I might use as filler or neutrals for many of those hexagon blocks I'm making.

Many quilts displayed in the quilt show featured 30s prints, so perhaps this put me in the mood to stock up. A handful of these prints came from Rachelle above, but I bought most of them at The Laughing Ewe booth from Canal Winchester, OH. I talked to the a woman who I think was the owner quite extensively, but there was lots going on and I failed to get a picture. I do have a few ideas brewing in my mind for using this stack of happiness. I will report on that as things take shape.

One vendor came all the way from North Carolina - Karen Comstock of Quiltricks. Her booth's feature quilt is called Anna's Rose. (I have a niece named Anna Rose.) I learned that the Anna for whom the pattern is named was Karen's grandmother, who had passed before Karen was born. In her grandmother's things, Karen discovered an appliqued rose, so she adapted it into this quilt. What a sweet, sweet story - and an equally sweet shop owner!

I met Annette Williams of Sewing the Good Life at the Hillsboro show a few weeks ago, so I was sure to look her up while in Circleville. She was quite busy demonstrating techniques and answering questions, so I talked mostly with her husband. He knows his stuff in the quilting business! I picked out just one fabric (exercising restraint!) and he commented "that'll be great for fussy-cutting." I just had to giggle. So cute. Here is that fabric and the pic I took of Annette in Hillsboro.

Other shops I visited - in some I made purchases, in some I did not - are worth mentioning, for sure. Lavender Street of Cincinnati. She is selling out her store inventory and going totally on-line, so I got a great deal here. Quiltmakers Workshop (the website is under construction, but she's on Facebook) run by Mary Beth Simms had tons of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, and I got 2 fat quarters - how to decide on just two??? I know; it was tough.

A shop local to me, Creations Sew Clever, had a booth which I visited, but did not linger; I can go to the store anytime, so I visited booths of those who came from greater distances. I know Rita Fishel takes her shop to lots of shows across the country; she has more energy than I can fathom! I hope you'll look for her if you are out at shows. Or better yet, come to Chillicothe!

I stopped by The City Stitcher of Centerville, OH, and I recall visiting with her last year. The thing that strikes me as interesting in her shop is her many premade blocks that busy quilters can buy for finishing up. The picture below shows a few of the options available. Blocks are packaged by color, or by design, or by size. Lots of variety. I didn't get to talk to her because she was with another customer, but her business fascinates me, and based on the crowdedness of her booth, lots of others were fascinated, too.

Finally, I will tell you about The Soap Shepherd out of Brookville, IN. She had so many soaps and lotions - all made with goat milk. I loved talking to the owner, Rebecca Meyer, and I had intended to go back to her booth before I left, but I forgot. I have looked at her website and I see that she offers on-line sales, so certain folks on my Christmas list might well see some fragrant-filled goodness wrapped up come holiday time.

That pretty well wraps up the 2017 Good Time Quilters quilt show. I hope you've looked at the quilts in the previous two posts, and possibly gained a little bit of inspiration.

Happy Quilting, Friends!