Thursday, December 14, 2017

Progressing On December UFO

While I have made it quite clear that I long ago lost my excitement over finishing UFOs, I am working pretty hard to get this last one for 2017 finished to the flimsy stage.

When Sharon P. was here on Tuesday, I made some significant progress on the large tumbler UFO from several years ago. When I bought the tumbler acrylic template, I cut tumblers in 2 sizes - 3" and 5".  I came to refer to the little quilts as small tumbler and large tumbler. I made them mostly to see how easy the template was to work with rather than because of a deep desire for a tumbler quilt.

This UFO from earlier this year - the small tumbler was finished early on in this challenge. I love how the small tumbler quilt turned out especially because of the wonderful floral border.

At last I am finishing the large tumbler UFO. I have had to cut more tumblers to increase the variety of fchoices, and I am cleaning up some of my jumbled tubs of Kaffe Fassett fabrics. This flimsy is going together easily.

When a seamstress sits at her sewing machine and looks down at this massive splash of intense color, she can't help but be happy to be working on such stuff, even if it is an ancient UFO. These bright fabrics make even the gloomiest wintry day seem cheery.

By later Tuesday, I had constructed about half of the rows I think I will make. My plan is to be near a finish on this center section by midday tomorrow. Then I will ponder border options for a day or two. I could conceivably have this UFO checked off the list by Christmas! Woo-hoo!

Today, we Frankfort girls are having our Christmas meeting! We normally meet on Fridays, but this week we are meeting on Thursday as one of our mgroup is scheduled to have surgery on Friday. We all have free enough schedules to allow us to make this change to our routine.

I will bring pictures of all the fun at Sharon O's house. Yes, that Sharon of "let's give Jayne a long-arm machine" fame. (What a sweet one she is.) Sharon's DH is fixing breakfast - yum-o! We will exchange gifts and also the blocks for our block exchange project that we began in late spring.

In amongst all the fun of parties and UFO finishes, I am finalizing semester grades for my two OU-C classes. Seems like there's never a dull moment around her, you know?!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Odds and Ends

The jobs in the quilting room have been either secret or small lately. It's that time of year, you know. I have bits of things to share, so I will combine a few in today's post.

First, I helped Claudia for a bit on Friday afternoon (last week) on a t-shirt quilt she is making. It will be a nice-sized quilt, and she is currently in the process of making the last of her blocks. We discussed the size of her sashing strips, the usefulness of cornerstones, the width of the borders, etc.  She has become so knowledgeable in her new-found hobby! I am quite proud of her fantastic progress.

Next, I will give you a sneak-peak at some Santa-sewing I did on Sunday afternoon. I can't wait to share the entire project with you!

And last, for today anyway, is this cheesy picture of yours truly just after DH and I finished putting the long-arm machine together. We have both remarked that this was not nearly the intimidating job we feared it would be. Now I just need to find a few free minutes to play around with it!

For now, that's all I've got. I did sew with Sharon yesterday, so I have some progress on my December UFO to share. It is going to be so nice not to have to think about UFOs for awhile! Yes, I do still have more, but I probably won't even think of working on one for several months! This year of UFOs has done me in!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Meet Robert!

This has been the year of the baby quilts, as I have gifted 4 and helped the daughters with at least 3 more. Many blessed events this year!

One of the quilts I recently gifted has popped up in an email photo along with the handsome young man for whom it was made. I'd like you to meet Robert Schrader. He looks pretty darn thrilled with his quilt, don't you think?

Robert's quilt was a jelly roll race quilt made with Neptune fabric. I quilted it when I rented time on the long arm machine at Mendlebrights down in Cynthiana. Grammy Vickie, my close friend, delivered it for me recently, and momma Erin provided the picture. Wouldn't you just love to cuddle on this guy for awhile?? I'm told he has the most unruly hair! Wow!

It's pretty hectic around here lately. I did get the Tin Lizzie all set up, with the valuable help of DH. We plugged it in and it fired right up. Now for some time to test things out. First, though, we have had an electrician in to create more outlets for the basement space where the machine is located.

I have done some secret Santa sewing the past couple of days, and I am slowly working on Christmas decorations. Busy! Should take time to enjoy, right?!

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Major Announcement

Few times in one's life does one owe so much to one person, but I am the grateful recipient of the most amazing gift ever. My quilting friend Sharon O. GIFTED her long-unused Tin Lizzie Eighteen to me!

Most of us already know that quilters are among the most generous folks ever, and Sharon's kindness is truly one of the most generous acts of kindness I have ever been privileged to receive!

To say that I am over-the-moon excited about this would be putting it mildly. This news has been brewing in the background of things you've read here for several weeks, and today I have finally taken ownership - DH and I moved it from Sharon's basement to our basement, with the help of Sharon's DH Fred.

This is the machine - and in the background, you can see Sharon and Fred. Sharon bought this Tin Lizzie just after she retired in 2001. Every time she was ready to make some progress at using it and becoming familiar with it, she had a major health situation or surgery to contend with. At this point in time, she says she is just plain out of the mood to try to figure it out.

The pictures above, are from Sharon's - I took many so that I could be certain to put it back together properly. Now, below, you will see our basement. When she made this incredibly generous offer, our mostly-finished basement looked quite junky.

Since the kids have all left home and no one goes down here with friends to watch movies and hang out, the space had become a catch-all for stuff we needed to deal with, but , you know the old phrase - out of sight, out of mind! I suppose most people do this to some degree or another. I fear we are masters at it, unfortunately!

We - and I have to give great credit to Kevin, my dear husband, for he has been my best encourager through all of this - dedicated a couple of weeks to some serious weeding out - keeping, donating and trashing as much as we could, and as of last night, here is where Tin Lizzie will live.

We did pretty good, didn't we? Now don't go thinking that all that stuff has been dealt with. Just off to the right side of this picture is a pool table laden with stacks of things that still must be sorted and stored.

This morning, DH and I went over to Sharon's, dismantled the Tin Lizzie, and brought her to her new home. Below, she is waiting like a puzzle to be put back together. I plan to get right on that this evening.

And when that base is built and leveled, this sewing unit will join it and I will begin experimenting with long-arm quilting!

Isn't this exciting??

Now, however, I am off to Claudia's to help her with a t-shirt quilt, and later tonight, our Mennonite neighbors are coming to sing Christmas carols! What a busy day!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Considering My Options

Not too long ago I shared the little HST table topper or wall hanging that I made with my Roman Holiday scraps. In the tub of remnants, I found a nice stack of squares already marked with the diagonal line for making HSTs, so that is what I did and the result was a very pretty little quilt. Click here for that earlier post.

This has been hanging on the design wall for a week or so, and as I ponder the options for finishing, I decided to see what it would look like if a red border were added.

It hardly looks like the same quilt, does it? The red seems to give it a brighter appearance. This trial border is made with rectangular pieces that were in the remnant tub. I could use these, or I could make a very bold move and use the last remaining bit of THE RED. Any of you who know Roman Holiday fabric know THE RED to which I refer.

THE RED. The picture above is from years ago and this luscious yardage belonged to Sharon P. I don't know if she still has this big piece or not, but I know I loved this fabric enough that I took a picture of it. THE RED was the one fabric from the entire Roman Holiday line that is nearly impossible to find nowadays. Everyone must have loved it and hoarded it.  I sure wish I'd gotten more of it when I had the chance. But I digress...

I still have about a half yard of THE RED and it would be beautiful as the border on my little quilt. I may just do it.

I must be off to class. Today is the last regular class meeting. Next Wednesday is our final. Nearing the finish! Whoo-hoo!

I am linking up with WIP and Let's Bee Social. Go have a look-see!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Time for Flowers

Every now and then I have to remind myself that I enjoy making these hexie flowers, and I should get back to work on them. This generally coincides with a Frankfort Girls' Friday get-together, too. That was the case this past Friday when I needed a project to take. I dug these out after having ignored them for awhile, and that little bit of effort on Friday morning has spurred me back to thinking about how nice it will be to have an EPP/hexie quilt one day.

In addition to working on these with the girls on Friday, I used football-watching time to do a little more. We had all eyes on the big conference championship game last night, hoping for an OSU win over Wisconsin. What a nail-biter! We came away with the win, and life is good in Buckeye-land! What a fun team to watch.

I have enough little hexies prepared for one more flower, then I will need to make some decisions about the colors and fabrics for the next row around. One stitch at a time. That's the mantra for quilters. The finish will come one stitch at a time.

I am linking up today with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching party.
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hello December

The magical month of December has arrived! Are you ready for all the excitement? I can feel the Christmas Spirit growing bit by bit!

I have been working on cutting out large tumblers for my December UFO. Yes, this month is my final UFO at last, and I must say I am not sad about the end. The last few months of working on UFOs has been a bit of a drag. I am thrilled on the one hand, to be so close to finishing all twelve, but on the other hand, I sure would like to have been making new, fun and exciting stuff instead!

Can't have our cake and eat it, too, now can we?? I will be happy about checking off my UFOs and will not dwell on that other stuff I missed out on.

Back to the December UFO. It is the large tumbler quilt I started maybe 4-5 years ago. The copyright date of the tumbler template is 2012, so my UFO is no older than 5 years.

The portion you see above is all I did immediately after buying the ruler. I cut random Westminster Fiber fabrics - mostly Kaffe Fassett - and stitched. This start measures 20" wide x 31" long. Meager beginning, wouldn't you say? Alongside this start are some remaining yellow tumblers cut and ready; these are from the beginning and will get added into the new ones I am cutting now.

Cutting is in earnest, and I have quite a stack. I will be finishing this quilt in a way I have never done before. It will be determined by the size of the backing I intend to use. I have three yards of "Frilly" by Rowan Westminster (very old stash piece). As big as that back will be determines the size of the quilt. Have you ever done it so backward? I certainly never have. We'll see how it turns out - I may have way too many tumblers cut. Maybe.

I have done some calculations. (That's a scary sentence for anyone who knows my lack of math skills.) Anyway, the goal for a finish will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 54"x75". I think this will leave me with ample backing fabric to use as the binding.

Here is the resulting stack of tumblers from a wide variety of fabrics in the KF stash. I love this bright, vibrant fabric. It will be fun working on this as we head into potentially gray days of winter.

I hope your December is a magical one; and a productive one, too!

I am linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts and her weekly Finish It Up Friday party.
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ending A Productive Month

November has been very good to me as far as finishes go. One never knows when the month begins just how much can be accomplished, but as I look back, this month's efforts have been quite satisfying.

I created this collage of the highlights of the month, and still I don't have everything. The first shot is of a china cabinet at my mother's house. Several of my siblings and I helped her decorate her house for Christmas last Saturday. This is just one highlight pic of our efforts. Next is expectant-mama Elisa with the baby quilt I gifted her. Then we have a cute couple - my great Uncle John and Aunt Nina. We had a fun family-reunion-type weekend with them in Columbus. The first pic in the second row is a surprise that I have yet to write about. I will divulge more on it as we enter December. Center stage is my little Thanksgiving wall hanging. Another cute couple round out the middle row - brother and sister Matthew and (another) Elisa; the occasion for the fancy dress is Matthew's wedding, which was on the 11th. In the bottom row we have DD Emma and her boyfriend's sister with the baby quilt we made. Next is the wall hanging I made for Emma (which still needs to be quilted), and finally, the November UFO finished to the flimsy stage.

In addition to the collage highlights, these past few days I have worked on using up my Roman Holiday remnants. You saw in yesterday's post my 30" square HST flimsy. Since then, I have worked on smaller HSTs, this time with the goal of making Broken Dishes blocks. After all the HSTs are finished off, I will still have some rectangular pieces remaining in the tub and some very scrappy strips. It remains to be seen what will be done with those.

As I look ahead to December, I definitely plan to finish my last UFO for the year. I will be so glad to be done thinking about UFOs for awhile! The tub of Kaffe Fassett fabrics, above, will figure heavily into finishing that UFO. Yes, another KF quilt.*smile*

In addition, I have a quilt top needing to be quilted for that groom you met above, and his beautiful bride, Lindsey. When these are done, I think I will just play. Picking up whatever I want and doing something fun with it - now there's a luxury I haven't been able to enjoy all that much this year. With no pressing deadlines hovering over me, December seems like a perfect month to simply play.

Hope you find some time to play, too!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What A Productive Day

Yesterday, Sharon was here to sew, and gosh! We got a lot done!

First, I will show you two pictures of some remnants that Sharon was using to create a beauty. A long time ago, she took the cut-away portions of previous blocks to make pinwheels. Then, as often happens with we quilters, she stored those pinwheels away for an ever-so-long time.

She has decided to make something of them - the quilt will be the "little sister" of the original quilt, which she called a Bursting Star. I have a vague recollection of it, but it's fuzzy. She has promised to bring it sometime, or at least, take a picture.

Anyway, the work for her yesterday was to create something out of these pinwheel blocks.

The darker fabric is a dark red toille, and alongside this neutral, we get a very soft effect. If you study the direction of the pinwheels in one section and compare it to the direction in the other section, you will understand the dilemma Sharon is fussing about. When she made the pinwheels many months (years?) ago, she had no thought other than to just make pinwheels. Today, when she began to construct something with them, she discovered the directional issue, and now has decisions to make. I will keep you posted as her results come together. I am not worried. Everything Sharon makes is unique and gorgeous.

My efforts for the day resulted in a finished table runner and a small HST flimsy. First, let's have a look at this table runner.

I bought this kit just last Friday, when I took a drive with DH, F-i-L and B-i-L into Ohio's Amish Country. Yes, we stopped at Mrs. Miller's in Charm! Always a delight! Anyway, the runner was super-easy to make! And fast! I will probably find myself making several more.

After the table runner, I acted on a whim I recently had for using some of my Roman Holiday/3Sisters remnants. I made Eventide back in the summer of 2014 and had it quilted in 2016. I haven't touched these remnants since finishing the flimsy.

I hadn't forgotten them though!

After checking out the exact nature of the remnants, I found that I had quite a few squares, some of which were even marked with the diagonal line for HSTs. And with that, I had my idea working and coming together in no time!

I stitched up those triangles and began laying them out. I distributed the colors a bit, but did not allow myself to stress and obsess about it. This little beauty measures 30" square. I used all the triangles of this size and only had 4 leftover. Not too bad. I will surely find something to do with those extras.

Roman Holiday fabric is quite scarce these days, so I was very frugal in my cutting. You can see a triangle with selvage information on one block. I just figured it was a good way to pay tribute to this wonderful fabric, so I used it. And I am glad I did.

The only colors I had left were green, brown and red, plus the variety of backgrounds. I will get busy quilting this ASAP so I can use it this month in my Christmas decorating.

I still have Roman Holiday scraps remaining. I am hoarding it. I will try to do something worthy of such great fabric - maybe soon. I would like to tell the folks at 3Sisters and Moda to re-release this line!!

I have linked up with the party over at Let's Bee Social.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hello, Pam! Guest Post

Back in the summertime, I took this picture of a gorgeous quilt that my Frienzie Pam shared with us. Pam brought us a guest post last year, if you recall.  I saved this picture and a few more all this time in the hope that she would provide another guest blog about her fund-raising efforts, and today is the day, dear readers. Take it away, Pam!

Guest Blog # 2

I have made another Zentangle quilt! This one got its start at my 40 year high school class reunion! One of the guys that I graduated with is married to a quilter. I told her about my 2016 Zentangle quilt and the mission auction. Later that summer, she won some fabric in a quilting contest and donated part of it to me to use for another quilt for missions! The fabrics are Moda fabrics from the Simply Colorful II line. I received the green and purple fat quarters from Ann and the planning began!

 I decided to involve the church youth again and traced some shapes onto white fabric for the Zentangle. The youth selected the shape they wanted to work with and completed the Zentangle with scripture references. Their enthusiasm for the project had increased since last year. I think that is because they had a better understanding of how their drawings would be part of the finished quilt.

I selected the Ohio Star as the quilt block. I cut pieces for each block and made kits. Each kit contained one purple fabric, one green fabric, and a completed Zentangle to use as the center. I went to the monthly meeting of The Scarlet Thread Sewing Ministry and the quilters assembled the blocks in one day! I had 30 completed blocks when I left the meeting!

Next, I sewed the 30 blocks together. At this time, I had to order more fabrics to complete the borders, back, and binding. I was able to order fabrics from the same Moda line. I did have to do a little piecing on the back and binding. The end result did not suffer from the piecework that was necessary!

I made a label that included the names of all of the contributors and included it as part of the back. My friend, Pat, did the quilting and my friend, Terry, did the hand sewing to complete the binding.

The quilt was auctioned off recently and sold for $820. This money will go to the Lottie Moon Christmas Fund which supports missionaries through the International Mission Board. Just like last year, the party who bought it gifted it to the person that he outbid!

As Jayne mentioned in a previous post, I like to scrapbook. Above are photos of two scrapbook pages that tell the story of this quilt.

Thanks, Pam! Below are more pictures from this summer.

In the summer, when I first saw this quilt, I was so taken with the wonderful colors. As I study it now, I am still very interested in seeing if I can find similar colors to do my own raspberry and green quilt! I love the combination!

Awesome project, Pam. This is a wonderful way to bring many hands together for a common cause. I love that you are so willing to share this with me! And I love you, too! *grin*

Happy Quilting, Friends!