Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hexie Update

For someone who swore she would never - NEVER - get started on this English Paper Piecing craze, I sure seem to be making more hexie units than I thought I would. And, while I may be 'going over to the dark side,' I am still very much a novice at this particular craze.

This photo shows the sum total of the hexagon units I've made using this template. What I will eventually end up doing with these, I have not a clue. That seems to be not a concern at this time. I guess what IS the concern (for me, anyway) is figuring out how to make symmetrical units - units that look 'planned.'

 These two hexies show the progress I am making. The top one shows my attempt at having the stripes in the petals all going the same way. I failed at this attempt. The lower picture shows a more successful attempt - having the stripes radiate outward like a flower petal would. This suggestion was made by Jan, one of the Frankfort girls, and the queen of EPP. She has made two full-size quilts and countless smaller projects, so has all the techniques. I suppose that I will eventually learn these things, after all, practice makes perfect; I certainly seem to be content to continue practicing.

This next bit of news will come as a bit of a shock to some of you, so brace yourself. I have been cleaning the sewing room. It all started when I went upstairs with the intent of dealing with "just one tub." Six days and much lifting, sorting, moving and rearranging later, I can at last say that I am 90% done with my cleaning. I need to do a thorough dusting, and several of my surfaces still need to be tidied up. I have dealt with piles on the floor and in corners; I have emptied out a bunch of tubs of varying sizes; and I have labeled UFOs in tubs before tucking away on shelves and in cubbies.

I will bring you pictures in my next post. Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Friday With Friends

Our Frankfort group met at JoAnn's on Friday, and I have a few pictures to share of some of our work. All 6 of us were present, but I have pictures of only three seamstress's work.

JoAnn, our hostess, had just finished a quilt she plans to give a friend who will soon become a first-time grandma. This quilt will be meant to stay at her house for when baby comes to visit. JoAnn was stitching the binding on Friday and finished it up while we visited.

Sheryll found a UFO that needed finishing. She said that she was lots farther along on this than she remembered being, and so she was motivated to finish it. Of course, having fall arriving helps, too.

Jan is making progress on her plan to make 12 table runners for her newly-wed daughter - all themed for holidays or seasons. This particular day, she spent cutting out shapes and letters.

 Terry was working on cutting out shapes, too, but it was just from paper, so I didn't get a picture. Hopefully, I will follow her work and bring updates as she progresses. Sharon O. was continuing her work on a project I have already shown here. Click on this link to see her sweet little table topper. (Scroll down to the pic of appliqued spools and crows.) And I took my EPP kit with the intent of creating some lovelies. I didn't have the glue I needed, which slowed me down a bit; I still managed to make one and I have yet to take a picture of it. I guess I can bring you that tomorrow. Come on back, y'all!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's Show Time!

The feature of today's show is the happy coincidence that both Sharon and I finished our red and white quilt tops yesterday while sewing together. One part of a four-part idea cooked up back in May or June, has at last been realized.

We took our finished quilt tops out to the shabby bench for a photo op.

Here's mine on the guest bed. the inner (neutral) border is 2 inches; the outer border is 8 inches. The hope was to make the stars look like they are floating on the neutral background. I think it worked. Here's a close up.

This closer view look less yellow-tinted. I cannot explain this. This picture and the one above were taken about 2 seconds apart. (I should take a class in photography to understand this type of thing.)

Here are some shots of Sharon's red and white quilt.

That same yellow tint seems to have affected Sharon's quilt, too. The fabrics Sharon used is solid red and solid white - it's very pristine looking; clean and crisp. The pattern Sharon used is from a quilt magazine (McCall's, I think), and it was a whole lot more work than mine was. Just imagine staring at those red and white checkerboard blocks for extended periods of time - your eyes will bug out!

So we finished our quilt tops and began planning our next step. Remember I said that this was one of a 4-part plan? Well the other parts, were

a. use our Roman Holiday remnants
b. use our French General remnants
c. make a Christmas quilt

We decided that these red and white quilts will double for Christmas quilts, so that is off the list. After discussing, suggesting, pondering, and all other manner of brainstorming, we came up with doing Tag Sale (Carrie Nelson pattern) with our French General remnants. The remnants of my Roman Holiday fabrics are so picked over that I think I will just have to come up with really, really scrappy-looking 9" blocks, and see what I can create from them.

I may have more ideas on this as the brainstorming continues.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ready For Borders

I did indeed manage to get the center of my red and white Ohio Star quilt put together yesterday. Today Sharon is coming to sew, and I hope to attach borders while she is here.
This is a picture of two-thirds of the center. I liked constructing this in sections, as I described in the previous post. I will use this method on future quilts, I'm sure.

And, all put together, it looks fabulous on the bed. It is still a relatively small quilt; I am so glad that I went ahead and added two rows in length and two rows in width. By the time I add borders, the size will be just fine.

My plan for borders is to use the white for an inner border of about 2 inches. Then I will add a wide red outer border - maybe 6 or 8 inches.

Happy Quilting,l Friends!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Ohio Stars Are Lining Up Nicely

Man, oh man, am I excited about how this quilt is coming together! I hope to get the rest of this center completed today; let me just show you a sneak peek.

Sewing entire quilt tops together always seems so daunting to me; I am impatient at this stage of the quilt-making process. Plus, the bulk that is created by the end is unwieldy. To eliminate such a mass of fabric at the sewing table, I decided to do just a third at a time. Since the quilt is 15 blocks across, I simply sewed three sections of five. The length is 17  blocks. The first completed section is shown above.

The chain-piecing, like I said, can get unwieldy, but doing just five blocks at a time seemed to keep the chaos contained. I like this sectioning-off method.

From sketch to construction in about a week. That's speedy for me. Incubation time has been considerable. A red and white quilt has been in my head for a very long time. This pattern and the plan of doing red and white with Sharon finally got me busy working on it.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Red and White Beginnings

The plan was to make this red and white quilt in July. Obviously, that deadline wasn't met. I didn't even get to it in August. So here we are in the latter half of September and I can show you the initial work done - finally.

To begin, I just wanted to see what a block will look like, so I cut just enough to make a block.

I am going to love this quilt. Seeing that crisp red pop against that neutral will really be eye candy. A real show-stopper, don't you think?

So I got busy. I cut a bunch of triangles, and began construction. I now have 96 hourglass units.

My next decision is whether or not to make more. I think I have plenty of both of these fabrics, so I ought to make as big a quilt as possible. I'm not following a pattern, and the sketch I've drawn could be bigger. If my figuring is correct, it will be throw-size. Since I've got the extra fabric, I ought to make it bigger. This decision is a no-brainer.

If you'd like to see the sketch of how this will come together, click here for my previous post on this project.

Back to the sewing machine!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Chickens, Corn and Farmers

You will get a sense of a farm theme with today's post, dear readers. In recapping all the sewing we did at Terry's on Monday, I somehow managed to overlook the fabulously fun applique project our hostess was working on.

These two panels comprise portions of a UFO Terry is finishing up. She worked diligently at her machine, ever-so-carefully appliqueing all those odd shapes.

And, to fully wrap up Monday's sewing at Terry's, I need to share a picture of what yours truly worked on. My friend Kathy, who commissioned me to do 2 throw-sized quilts out of her late husband's work shirts, wanted me to go ahead with a third quilt of the remaining shirt fabric. Leftovers were plentiful, so this is a sizable quilt. Those are 8.5" squares (finished to 8") and it measures 72"x80". I am leaning toward not using any borders. It is still spread out on the guest bed as I consider options. If I were to use borders, there is not enough work shirt fabric left to do it, so I'd have to go with another - likely flannel - option. I'll keep thinking. Eventually, the right idea will come. No border is winning, at the moment.

And that concludes the report of Monday's sewing. Took me all week to do it. In the meantime, I have begun my red and white quilt, and have been stitching away on several dozen hourglass blocks.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sewing Class

Yesterday afternoon, a beginning seamstress/quilter came over for some one-on-one instruction. We made a 16" pillow, that turned out to be an 18" pillow. That happened because yours truly didn't read her directions correctly and cut the squares at 2.5" instead of 2.25". Just goes to show you that even when you think you know what you're doing, sometimes you don't.

How embarrassing.

Claudia, my student, is going to try to return her 16" pillow form and exchange it for an 18" one, so hopefully all will work out. She certainly did a good job on her pillow, and we put the too-small pillow form (plastic wrapper and all!) in, just to see how good it looked. What a festive pillow!

Claudia says she likes patriotic decor, so it comes as no surprise that she would make a pillow using patriotic prints. Just check out how neat her intersections match. She is really learning fast and has the desire to do quality work.

On Saturday she was here for the Three Charms Quilt class. Here is her finished quilt top.

See what I mean about Claudia's flair for happy, festive colors? This little quilt (50" square) will brighten any space it is used or displayed.

We are planning one more sewing date, yet to be determined. She has purchased a Mondo Bag pattern, and wants to make it here with me. I have made one, and have the pattern to make another, so I'm all in!

I still need to get caught up on some of the sewing from Monday. I inadvertently omitted pictures of a cute applique project that Terry was working on, and I have yet to share what I was doing!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sewing With Friends

As I said yesterday, Terry had a group of us in for sewing on Monday; by all accounts, I would say we accomplished lots. Here's a look at our variety.

These pink tractors are in a quilt that Terry is making for her brand new granddaughter, Allie. Being a total farming family, the new parents requested a pink tractor quilt just after they discovered that they would be having a girl. This quilt is really special, don't you think?

Sharon O. is the quilter responsible for the above two photos. The spools  table topper has its binding ready to be tacked down. The dresden plate will become the center of a really pretty quilt that has a lot of hexies and applique. I should get the details and a picture of the pattern. It is quite striking.

Jan didn't sew a stitch; instead, she prepped for a lot of future sewing. Her recently married daughter will be receiving 12 table runners, all themed for each month of the year. The applique that will go into these table runners is considerable. Knowing Jan's work habits, she will have them done in no time.

These maple leaves are a UFO that JoAnn worked on. She was trying to figure out where she left off the last time she worked on this. Looks pretty, and I can't wait to see it finished.

I worked on the third work shirt quilt. Did I mention that I would be doing a third one? I had so much leftover shirt fabric, I asked Kathy if she would be interested in another one and she said yes. This one is much bigger and I cut large pieces, so it went together fast. I will get some pictures soon.

My Tuesday with Sharon didn't pan out. She ended up needing to help her mother to a doctor's appointment, and we tentatively decided that we might get together later in the day. Instead, we cancelled altogether after I invited my mother to come over for dinner. So the red and white quilt update will have to wait. I did get to cut out some bits on mine, and even sewed a handful of hourglass blocks. It's gonna' be a fun one to make.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

It's Going to Be Stunning!

Sharon P. is coming over today to sew with me. She is making remarkable progress on her red and white quilt. We sewed together yesterday, too, at Terry's house, and I can show you a progress report.

My picture just doesn't do it justice. I'm a bit blurry, and I think the shadows are affecting the color. Believe me, as she puts the finishing touches on this, I will be posting more pictures.

I have several pics to share from our sewing day at Terry's yesterday, but I will have to put those off until tomorrow. I have much to do, and precious little time to do it. Gotta run!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Class Is Held

I offered a second class for beginning quilters yesterday. The first class was the 16" pillow with 4 9-patch blocks made into one larger 9-patch block for the pillow front (double 9-patch). Those 2 classes went quite well.

This time around I taught a 50" square quilt top as the project of the day. We used 3 charm packs, and therefore I have dubbed this quilt "Three Charms Quilt." I have made 2 for samples, and started a third one today to demonstrate as we worked through the steps.

In the continued interest of using from the stash, I selected the 3 packs identified above. I think the two line blend very nicely, and gives additional variety.

I got so far as sewing all the rows together. I need to make just a couple of adjustments in placement, but for the most part I am satisfied.

We had a great class. For the life of me, I can't even fathom why it never occurred to me to take pictures, but I didn't. Geesh. The next class is Wednesday evening where we will do the 16" pillow one more time.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Next Up!

We've been watching a lot of MLB lately since the Tribe is attempting to make a run for a wild card spot in the AL Central. So my use of next up for a title is like the batter on deck, awaiting his turn at the plate. I think this one will be a home run.

Early in the summer when we were full of optimism about all that we could accomplish, Sharon and I agreed to do red and white quilts. She has been hard at work on hers. I, however, had gotten only as far as selecting the two fabrics from my stash. With the finish of the first 2 work shirt quilts and then the 16-patch scrappy quilt top, I was ready to focus on starting my red and white quilt.

I thought I had a pattern decided. I had a book pulled out with triangle papers set aside for the quilt I'd originally planned. Instead, I suddenly had this vision in my head, so I drew it up; it pleases me, so here we go. Red and white Ohio Stars that share points. It will look gorgeous.

 My fabric is from the stash, and while Sharon has been using solid red and white, I am going with prints.

The neutral is from 2007-not surprising- by Mary Koval. The red is a Minnick and Simpson from probably the same time called Independence Trail.

Now to get busy!
Happy Quilting, Friends!