Thursday, April 28, 2016

Accomplished:  One Monthly Goal for April

At the beginning of April I determined (in this post) that I would finish hand quilting all the blocks in the center of this quilt.


I'm pleased to say that yesterday I accomplished that goal.  (And won't we all be pleased when this quilt is finally finished, down to the binding, so we won't have to see it over and over again, post after post?!  I know I will be!)

You may be able to see the pins around the edges of the quilt.  Those are in the 20 half-block setting triangles around the edges yet to be quilted.

I'm linking this post to OMG:  It's Finished, April Link-up Party! at Red Letter Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Heidi.

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How She Wound Her Bobbin

When I see sewing notions (at the thrift store or if we happen to stop at a yard sale) -- a box with a package of unopened Singer needles, some pins, a few bobbins, spools of thread, and buttons -- all for a dollar, they're mine.  This bobbin and a few others were in a box I bought last year.


I know this isn't the clearest photo but I think you can see enough detail.  The owner of this bobbin tied the end of the thread around one of the holes in the bobbin, then wound some thread onto the bobbin.  And then she used a different color of thread, tied it around one of the holes, and wound more thread.  And repeated the process several more times.  There were five different colors of thread on this bobbin.

Did she wind all the thread on the same day?  Did she use the first color and then later, when she needed a different color, wind the second color onto the same bobbin, perhaps because she didn't have but one or two bobbins?  I'm puzzled about why she tied the thread around the holes.  (They were so tightly tied I had a hard time getting the point of my seam ripper under the thread.)  Do you tie the ends of thread around the hole in the bobbin?

I am always fascinated by others' sewing notions.  Are you, too?

--Nancy.
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Monday, April 25, 2016

Everything's Going Slowly Except Time

I don't know what it is but I'm not making quick progress with anything these days.  And yet time just speeds by.  The end of the day comes and I wonder where the time went and how I managed to accomplish so little.

One thing I have been making progress with is hand quilting these blocks.
Finishing the whole blocks and the sashing between them is my one monthly goal for April.  I'm almost there.  I have the rest of this block to quilt plus several sashing pieces and then I'll be done--with the center blocks.

I used to breathe a sigh of relief when I finished quilting the center section of a quilt, thinking that I really was very nearly done because I only had the edges to do.  I've learned that the outer border can take almost as much time as half the center did.  I don't think my one monthly goal for May will be finishing all 20 half-blocks around the edge of this quilt.  (Because time is going too fast.)

These blocks
have become mostly leaders/enders (sometimes of themselves).  Unfortunately I'm not sewing another quilt at the moment so there's not much leading and ending happening. 

And lastly, I've been playing with the borders of this quilt. 
I have no idea where it's going or what it will end up looking like.  I don't think I've ever made a quilt that I knew in advance what it would look like at the end.  If I were a musician I'd say I play by ear.  I don't know what quilters call it when they make decisions as they go along.

The only thing I've decided for sure about this quilt is that I'm adding a narrow, 1" tan border.  (You see a 1 1/2" strip of fabric in the photo.)
I cut border fabric on Saturday, trying to match the lines as I cut and sewed the strips together.  Mostly I succeeded.  Maybe I can work a little faster and get the border stitched tomorrow.  More on this quilt later.

I'm linking this post to
Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework
Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times
Moving It Forward Monday at Em's Scrapbag
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
Main Crush Monday #17 at Cooking Up Quilts

Thanks for hosting, ladies.  And thanks to you readers.  I appreciate that you took the time to visit.

--Nancy.
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Quilts from a Local Quilt Show

These are quilts from the Columbus Metropolitan Quilters show in early April, 2016.  The venue was cramped with aisles only about 3 feet wide.  It was a little hard to get good photos.  Sometimes I had to go to the next aisle and nestle my camera between quilts to take photos.  These are a very few of the quilts that were on display.




























On some of the quilts you may have noticed a little flower or rosette on the side.  It was a clothespin with a flower attached.  We were told to use the clothespin to lift the quilt if we wanted to see the back.  Nifty!

I hope you have a great day!

--Nancy.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Down to Six

Just six of these blocks and the sashing around them left to hand quilt to finish my one monthly goal for April.


But the hand quilting won't be finished until I've done the 20 half-block setting triangles.  I wonder if it will seem like I'm going twice as fast because I'll be quilting half as much per block.  Either way, I'll enjoy the quiet time spent with needle, thread, and quilt in a hoop.

Happy quilting to you.
--Nancy.

I'm linking this post to
> WOW at Esther's Blog
> Let's Bee Social #120 at Sew Fresh Quilts
Thanks for hosting, ladies.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When One Quilt Depends on Another

I made the background for these star blocks from the light scraps in the basket.  Scraps just pile up until I have to do something with them.
 
Sort, or pull out all of one color or several colors from the basket -- choose a block, and begin a quilt.  (My scraps are not yet organized by color.  It's on my to do list.)

When I cut out behind the appliqued stars I had more scraps already sewn together into about 4" squares.  So I squared them and sewed them together with 3/4" sashing and tiny 3/4" center squares.


I continued making more and now have 23.  But then I thought I might want to use those light scraps to make a border for the star quilt.  So I quit sewing the leftover scrap blocks until I knew whether they would work for a border.  This is when progress on one quilt depends on another quilt. 


Yesterday I laid the light scraps around the quilt, considering how they would look as a border.  It's not enough for me to imagine, and sometimes it's not even enough to see with the naked eye.  Sometimes I see things better in a photograph.  This time, just waiting till the next morning for a second look was enough; and the photograph added confirmation.

Now that I know I won't be using those scraps for the star border, I can make more of these blocks.


Sometimes, when I look at these blocks hanging together the thought of an old-fashioned window frame with small panes of glass comes to mind.  It's too soon to tell how these will go together.

I'm linking this post to blogs below and thank the ladies who host these link-ups.

Thanks for visiting.

--Nancy.
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Monday, April 4, 2016

My One Monthly Goal for April, 2016

In this quilt there are 14 whole blocks and the sashing around them that still need hand quilting.  I intend to finish those blocks and sashing during the month of April.


That doesn't mean the quilt will be finished because there will be 20 half-blocks around the perimeter of the quilt -- but they can wait their turn.

This month's goal will simply be a commitment of time and won't require any creative decisions like last month's goal.  With 30 days in the month and 14 blocks to quilt, I should be able to finish one block every two days.  (Let's see.  I think I have a stack of movies waiting in the family room....)

I'm linking this post to OMG (One Monthly Goal):  Plans for April at Red Letter Quilts.  Thanks for hosting, Heidi.

--Nancy.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Oh My Gosh, My March One Monthly Goal Is Finished

Everything takes me longer than I think it will.  (Maybe that's the way things go for many introverts.  Or maybe it's just me....)  At the beginning of the month I thought I had things under control for choosing sashing for this quilt and that it would sew up quickly in an afternoon.  About two weeks into the month, when I began to look closely, I realized that what I thought I was going to do wasn't what the quilt wanted.


When I should have been at least half-finished I was beginning all over again.  I finally chose brown for the sashing and a red/rust for the cornerstones.  I cut the sashing and cornerstones, no problem, and I thought stitching would take an afternoon.  Hah!  As I said, things take longer than I think they will.  And then, as usually happens, partway through stitching the top together I wondered if I'd made a bad choice for the sashing color and again questioned the arrangement of blocks.  I'm satisfied with the sashing and cornerstones.

My lesson with this goal is not to set a time limit on a creative decision.  I really can't rush creativity.  I need time to imagine possibilities, play with options, and let the quilt speak.  (Maybe it's another introvert thing.)

Above is a flash photo taken inside.  The colors are just a tad too bright.  Below is a photo taken between rainbursts today when the clouds thinned out just a little.  The colors appear greyed and less warm than they really are.  (But this quilt will have other opportunities to be photographed.)


Despite the problems I mentioned yesterday and despite how it looks in the photo above, the quilt did turn out very close to square -- an attribute I always aim for because it means my piecing and stitching are becoming more accurate.

As it is now, the top measures 59" x 82".  I think it needs a border.  I've had several ideas but need to play and dream a bit before deciding.

Even without the border, I've accomplished my One Monthly Goal for March:  to sew the star blocks together with sashing.

Please visit OMG: It's Finished! Prizes added to March Linkup! at Red Letter Quilts to see other quilters' finishes for March.

I'm also linking this post to
> Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict 
> finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

Thanks for visiting.
--Nancy.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coddling a Quilt

I know several readers said you liked the red sashing but I finally decided that the stripes I thought I would use were just too busy.  I searched for other reds  but didn't find fabric I like enough to use.


I chose brown sashing with red/rust corner stones.  I like it, I love it, I don't like it, I'm not sure.  But then it's still a work in progress.

I've had to coddle this quilt to as I sew it.  I stitched the first two rows together, then had to rip, repin, and stitch again.  Even with pins the fabric shifted but I finally managed to get the seams sewn evenly.  I laid the first two rows on the floor.  They were wavy.  I realized that hand appliqueing had caused the accurately-cut 10 1/2" blocks to shift and stretch a little.  I didn't want to recut them because I assume that they will nestle back to their rightful shape with a little coaxing and pressing (coddling!).  I have one more row of stars and the top row of sashing to sew and then it will be finished -- at least finished enough to claim it as a finish for my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for March.

And here is my basket of (never-ending) light scraps with a few 4 1/2" blocks on the left.  I have enough of those to make 6 more blocks.  I haven't spent much time on them lately.  You can see the blocks these will become here.


Thanks to the ladies who host the following link-ups:
> WOW:  Cherry Delight! at Esther's Blog
> Let's Bee Social #118 at Sew Fresh Quilts
> Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework

Happy stitching to you!

--Nancy.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hallelujah, He Is Risen!

I couldn't choose between two videos and decided to share both. The first is about my Savior Jesus Christ and the second is the Hallelujah Chorus. Enjoy!





Happy Easter to you and yours!

--Nancy.
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Monday, March 21, 2016

A Spot of Color

After working on light, scrappy blocks for a week or so I needed a spot of color in my quilting life.  So I started making this:
The squares are stitched into 4-patches and the 4-patches into strips, but that's as much as I've managed to do.  I need to cut triangles for the top of the basket and the sides, and a handle and background for the top, and then stitch them all together.

This is not an original idea.  I saw Marie's basket blocks at QuiltBee and she found the pattern in an Edyta Sitar book.  I don't usually like basket blocks but I couldn't resist this one.  I thought, Hey, I can make those.  They will be small, easy, quick.  Not!  Small does not equal fast.  There are 60 little squares sewn into 15 little 4-patches, for a basket that's 10" along one diagonal side.  I don't have a pattern, just going by what I see.  I don't think it will be too hard to figure out the rest (says the one who thought it would be a quick block).

It may not be fast but it is cute, and bright, and colorful.  I may stop at one or make more.  It was a pleasant, colorful, little diversion.  Just the spot of color I needed.

I'm linking this post to
> Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
> Main Crush Monday #12 at Cooking Up Quilts
> Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times 
Thanks you for hosting, ladies!

Happy quilting to you!
-Nancy.
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Architectural Salvage

Let me begin by saying that I love old -- old fabrics, old dishes, old linens, old homes -- practically anything old.  So when we learned of Columbus Architectural Salvage in Columbus, Ohio, we decided to visit just to look around.  It was enchanting, in an old, odd way.

I expected a dark, dusty warehouse filled with posts and beams.  We found it to be much more interesting, filled not only with architectural materials but also with decorative items removed from old homes and other buildings before they were demolished.  (And probably from at least one garage, too.)


I thought the owners of this business were adept at reusing and upcycling interesting salvaged items into new uses.  Not all would work in a home, of course.


There were lots of windows, many made of stained glass; lots of lamps, and many mantles.






We saw many grates to cover heating and cold air vents, some repurposed for others uses, like this table.

The table below had a wagon wheel on the other side, too, which gave the impression of a cart.






Some of the larger items had information about the buildings from which they came -- old churches, Odd Fellows buildings, theaters, etc.








I liked the graphic aspect of this piano keyboard hanging above a mantle.

And I loved the idea of using an old window to display photographs.




Our last home had been built in the 1880s or 1890s.  We put a lot of work into improving it but when it came time to sell we were lacking a grate to cover a warm air vent in the living room ceiling.  We searched high and low but there was no salvage store anywhere nearby at that time and we did not find a grate to fit the hole.  I remembered that a year or so before we'd been to a historic home in the city where they showed us a small table made from papier mache.  I told my husband I would just make a vent cover.  He didn't have much hope of success but when it was screwed to the ceiling neither the realtor nor the buyer guessed that the cover was not metal.  I chuckle to imagine what the new owner thought, and then chuckle again when I imagine her trying to find a metal one to fit. 

Do you love old, too?

--Nancy.
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