Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Challenge Recap

In my last post, I introduced the Going Up Challenge that Annie, Jerry, Kare, Connie, Jeffry, and I were doing and I've finally got some updates and a recap and this mostly presented in pictures. 

We had a really fun time, and I think everyone is happy with the results. (A couple of the quilts are not completed, but they will be soon.)

I still find it amazing how different the projects look; and the differences are not only a result of very different fabric choices, but also the variety of "design spins" and decisions made by each one of us.

The 2 1/2" pre-cut strips that Connie brought needed some extra attention before Kare could begin. They were beautiful strips, but they were a bit wonky and not cut straight in some cases. Kare actually put together one unit (5 strips) and then decided that she needed to take that apart and trim EVERY strip. That took a lot of time, but she was not going to be happy giving a wonky quilt to Connie. 

Once the strips were cut, the real planning began. Some of us just laid them out and just "went with it", while others took pictures or sketched our layout ideas.


There was a lot of work time, which resulted in a bit of quiet time as well. That's very unusual for us. I guess we were concentrating!

Kare used her Featherweight for the first time! Yay!!

Even though he wasn't sewing, Jack spent time in the room with us.

If you look at the bottom of this picture, you'll notice a stack of fabric. The bolt has the Kaffe fabric Jerry brought and periodically throughout Saturday, I randomly pulled fabrics and laid them on top of that fabric to see what Jerry's reaction was. I already knew what I was going to do, but thought it would be fun to see his reaction to fabrics that obviously did NOT belong next to that floral. Yes, it was mean; but it was fun! 😈

Our friend Eileen had a couple of quilting questions, so I told her to come on over, but be sure to bring something on which to work. She is doing hexagon handwork. Kare's sister Gail also stopped over for a while, but I didn't get a picture of her. Darn it!

We were good and did remember to take some time for hydration and nourishment! 

Saturday was very productive, fun and loud. But, it was very quiet early Sunday morning before anyone else woke up. I think this could be considered the calm before the storm.

Jerry's low bobbin indicator was not working so he thought he might investigate. It was quickly decided that cleaning one's machine is very important! From this picture, it looks like a mouse had started making a nest in Jerry's machine. 😜 

And to not be left out of the fun, Kare gave us a good laugh when she looked at her phone and wondered how it could only be charged 19% when she had it plugged in overnight. Fortunately someone had a compatible charger to hers and when Jerry plugged in her phone, he noticed that it was actually charged to 99%. Further investigation showed that Kare was looking at a snapshot that her sister had sent her and the 19% was in the picture, and not Kare's phone. Kare was a bit disgusted with herself, but laughed with us!

Jack returned and entertained us with some light reading. (I guess it helps that he has hearing aids and can remove them when it gets too loud.)

And there was a little mischief too. Jeffry stepped out of the room just long enough for me to take this picture and send to him.

Nothing was moved, but it was fun to pretend! 

It was also fun when the quilts were being put up on the design wall!

The missing section of the quilt is the section that Kare decided to rip apart, trim and re-sew. (I'll be sure to get a picture when the quilt top is complete and before it gets sent to Connie.)

It wasn't long before we started seeing finished quilt tops!

Connie decided to forego the sashing and borders altogether to create a quilt that fit the Edison Chargers School theme Kare was going for. She added an extra section to make it longer. I think it looks awesome and love the lightening bolt look to this. 

Annie finished Jeffry's top and I love how this looks. She purposely arranged the yellow and orange fabrics so they were showcased because they are Jeffry's favorite colors. 

I think Jerry had the biggest challenge because he did not love the fabrics he had to work with. (Ok, secretly I hoped Jerry got my fabrics because I threw in a bunch of strips and fabrics that were left over from another project and I didn't absolutely love them either. I knew that if anyone could make them work together, it would be him.) I love how he reversed the fabrics and put the dark as the background. He opted for the four light horizontal sashings only and no borders. I like how this turned out! 

Jerry's an over-achiever who had extra time and fabric so he made scrappy binding and a strip quilt. I think I may add some borders to this and use it as the backing for the other quilt. 

Jeffry has borders to add to Annie's quilt, but I love how bright and cheery this is! Do you notice how he swapped out the background fabrics in the center section in order to make the strips pop? Awesome! 

Here's what I made with Jerry's fabrics. I placed his black and white batiks in a way to alternate lights and darks both vertically and horizontally. It wasn't always easy because many of these read as mediums. Instead of using the solid black and white fabrics he brought, I use a purple Peppered Cotton from my stash. (I really must love my brother because I love this fabric and am very selective of when I use it.) I love how it works with the batiks.

I then pieced the four horizontal sashings with the Kaffe floral and some orange fabric that I had in my stash. And finally, I asked Jerry what he would like for the outer border or if he even wanted one. I was thrilled that he and I were in agreement that the solid black batik was THE perfect choice. 

Overall, we had a fun and productive weekend and have already started the discussion about another challenge.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

National Jelly Roll Day Fun

When we scheduled our challenge sew date a long time ago, we didn't know it would fall on National Jelly Roll Day. What a happy coincidence!

I love sewing with family and friends and we've not had much opportunity to do that recently. Last year (Yikes! I can't believe it has been that long ago.), six of us decided that we wanted to do some sort of challenge together. We discussed some options and finally made a decision. (That appears to have been the easy part, as it took a lot of time, checking schedules, etc. to finally come up with a date that worked for all of us.) 

It finally happened and everyone showed up at my house tonight to get started. So what is the challenge? We chose a pattern and agreed that we'd each bring the fabric we want to use for it. Everyone got the pattern and had the opportunity to read it, review it, and pull fabric. We opted to make the Twin size quilt, because it's 2 1/2" strip friendly and we thought that would make it easier to actually get the quilt completed in one weekend. (You know that there will other things besides sewing going on, right? Laughter, eating, drinking, etc.) 

But, here's the kicker. Instead of working on our own quilt, we've randomly pull names and have to make someone else's quilt for them. Sounds easy enough, right? The first hurdle was to pick names without getting our own. After the first round of picking and a couple people getting their own names, we asked Jack picked the names for us. No one got their own names, but instead of it being random, a pattern emerged.

Kare is making Connie's quilt and Connie is making Kare's.
Annie is making Jeffry's quilt and Jeffry is making Annie's.
Jerry is making my quilt and I'm making Jerry's.

We exchanged fabric and visited for a while before Kare had to go home. It was getting late, but we started messing around with the fabrics and before we knew it, we were plotting out quilts. Here's a few pictures of fabrics that have been brought and some initial ideas.

Here's what Connie is using for Kare's quilt. These are the colors of the local school and Kare says the quilt will probably end up with one of her grandkids. The picture is kind of bad because it was really late and the lighting is not great. Kare brought a variety of orange and blue fabrics, as well a white. 

I think Kare might have taken Connie's fabric home because I didn't see it here and I really didn't want to snoop through bags. I'll post a picture tomorrow.

Annie was trying to hide her plan from all of us, or at least from Jeffry.

I sneaked and picked up the cover fabric while no one was looking. I love those fabrics! This is going to be fun.  :-)

Jeffry has a plan for Annie's fabric, but he's not going to give it up until he starts sewing. Annie has used this fabric for a couple of other projects, including a tuffet and two other quilts. It's so bright and cheery and fits Annie's personality perfectly!

Do you see the paper underneath the strips? I enlarged a sketch from the pattern so we could all use it as a mock up and try out different lay out options. 

Jerry brought a bunch of black and white batiks and solid black and white fabrics that he got a Lunn Fabrics recently. They are gorgeous! (I really need to make a road trip to that shop!) Jerry also brought some gorgeous Kaffe Fassett fabric, and I've been playing around with adding a few of my own fabrics to the mix. I've done some sketching and am also thinking about making a slight design change to the pattern. 

I pulled a variety of strips that were left over from a couple of projects, but the majority of the strips are from Olive's Flower Market. I threw in some other fabrics and I'm really looking forward to see what Jerry creates. (Actually, I'm really the most excited to be using some of these orphaned strips!)

This is going to be fun!

I'll update our progress with pictures throughout the day.

Are you having the opportunity to sew this weekend?
I sure hope so!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

O Strip Progress

I made some progress on the O Strip quilt last night. It felt good to sew and see this quilt coming together.

I'm enjoying the process of making these blocks and how it looks using scraps. I'm not sure that I'll have an opportunity to sew tonight, but hopefully I'll be able to get back to this later this week.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I started piecing the O Strip quilt Sunday. This was one of the projects I kit up so I could sit down and sew when I had just a little bit of time. I'm making the crib size quilt and have all the blocks made.

I have to finalize the layout and start adding the white strips and then this won't look so gray. I should have some time after school tomorrow to do that. 

I forgot to post pictures of the twelve blocks I sent to Tana Mueller using the American Honor fabrics. She's putting together some quilts for distribution to vets in November. I was just going to make a couple and then got carried away. Here's what I sent her.

I look forward to seeing the quilts she puts together! This certainly is a mish mash of blocks. 

What are you working on today?


Saturday, August 26, 2017

County Fairs and a Baby!

It's been a busy week. Monday, I judged all of the quilt categories at the Lorain County Fair. That was tremendous fun and there were some wonderful (and a lot!) of projects.

Wednesday, I traveled an hour and half from home to judge at the Morrow County Fair; and although there were not as many quilts there, they were beautiful. I always have mixed emotions when I'm asked to judge a quilt show or Fair. While it's exciting and wonderful to see all the beautiful quilts, I'm always a bit worried that I'll have a difficult time choosing the winners. Unlike the Lorain County Fair, judging for Morrow County was done before the Fair opened. Because of that, I don't want to show actual pictures of the quilts and their ribbons.  
I am careful to make comments on every single entry. I think every participant deserves to know what my thoughts are about their project, and not just my negative thoughts. I ALWAYS find a positive, even when a quilter has entered his/her project in the wrong category and is disqualified. Because of that, it takes me quite a long time to judge. I don't mind though. I get to look at and touch quilts the entire time I'm there.  😊 

I did get some quilting done recently. I finished binding the Celebrate the Season banners, but I don't have a good picture. I'll be sure to get one and post it soon.

I also completely finished my Sunset Strips quilt.

I had extra blocks and not enough of any single fabric for the backing, so I pieced one. 

Even with all of the wonderful quilts at the Fairs and my completions, the highlight of the week was Tuesday when we all joined Lynn and Ty in welcoming a new baby to the family! Layne John was born at 7:48am.   

The girls stayed with Ty's parents Monday night and arrived at the hospital around 9:00. They could hardly contain their excitement!

We're all thrilled to have another grandchild and they entire family is doing well. The girls just adore their brother! I think he's happy with them too. 

Thursday was the first day of school for Nikki's kids. Quinn is in 4th grade, Sadie is in 2nd, and Ronan is in Kindergarten. I think they were all excited to begin.

This picture was posted on the school's Facebook page. I'm not sure what Ronan's thinking here, but he told me that he had a "great day!"

Ty is taking some time off work to be with Lynn, so I'm subbing for him until after Labor Day. I'm enjoying the opportunity to teach Sociology, Government, and World History. That's my certification area and I don't often get the chance to actually teach because I'm usually only in the classroom for a day or two. 

This weekend is being spent sewing, reading, and catching up on housework. What are you doing this weekend?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Quilt Progress

My goal for yesterday was to get at least one of the three small projects quilted and the binding machine sewn on the front. Despite judging at the Lorain County Fair all morning, I met my goal and then some.

Mingled is completely done! It's small (35" x 40"), but it has some "punch" appeal. I like the finished product. 

The banners are both quilted. These each measure about 15" x 55". 

And, the bindings are sewn to the front. 

I'm almost done hand stitching the binding down on the Patriotic one, and I'll post a picture when I'm done with both of them.

It sure feels good to have met these goals!

It's baby day, so I'll be away from the computer for most of the day.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Design Wall Monday

I am working really hard at completing projects that have been sitting around for a while. So in between new projects, I pull something old and work on it. Sometimes I'm lucky that they are small and I'm successful at finishing them before a deadline project demands attention or I get bored with it.

I still haven't decided if I want to add scrappy borders to the quilt I was working on last week, so I took it down and started something new. In my defense, this is a very simple quilt and I've had the fabrics pulled for a very long time.

The pattern is called Mingled and it's by Robinson Pattern Company. Like I said, this is quick to make and I love the center. According to the information on the pattern, the concept for the quilt began with seeing what happens when any two sides mingle together. The idea quickly expanded to represent how the best qualities of a father and mother mingle together to make a new and exciting creation - a baby! 

And since we'll be welcoming a new baby to the family tomorrow, I thought this quilt was appropriate to make right now. It's layered and ready for quilting. I hope to do that this evening.

I also pulled out a wall hanging that I cut out quite a long time ago, only to discover that there was a slight error in the cutting instructions. Instead of trying to figure out how to make adjustments, I simply put the pattern and fabric in a bag and tucked it away. No more! 

Adjustment has been made, as well as a Winter version of the same pattern. This is Celebrate the Season by Thankfully Sew.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture! I'll be sure to get a good picture when the quilting and binding is complete. Since the quilting will be very simple, I'm hoping to get this quilted tonight also. Keep your fingers crossed!

Binding is made for all three projects and if I'm feeling very productive tonight, perhaps that will get put onto all three. That would be nice, but I hope to go to bed early since we are meeting Lynn and Ty at the hospital around 6:00 tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned for baby news!

What are you working on today?

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