28 April 2018

Road Trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company

5:30 AM.
Seeing thick fog out the window, I hit snooze and crawled back
in bed--most certainly because of that fog.  Yep.  Too foggy to drive.
And those flint hills can get heavy fog.  Heavy...like my eyes...
and the rest of me that wanted just a little more sleep.

I did eventually get up but moved slowly, and it wasn't long
before I was about 30 mins behind "schedule".
Do you schedule your free days?  On the one hand, that kinda
kills the "free"; on the other, you want to make good use of time.
So I guess mine are freely scheduled, you could say.

But back to the trip.  The fog had lifted for the most part, leaving
just enough to make for some pretty scenic driving.  No, I do not
recommend snapping pics while driving but I did catch this one and
then put the phone aside--but there were some awesome views later on.

I rolled into Hamilton just after 10:30 and was surprised to find
there were plenty of quilters already there shopping away.
Okay, either they spent the night nearby or they
didn't have the 4+ hour drive I had, right?

Before you even park, the quilty inspiration begins
which was great because I was needing it.
I never go to the quilt shop starting completely from scratch
but there I was doing just that--I needed to buy every single fabric
for an entire quilt.  The task ahead was a little daunting.
(Hey--the struggle was real!)

But I was already off to a great start--I picked the absolute best day to go!
Beautiful, sunny and hardly a breeze with temps in the upper 60's.
Just perfect for walking from store to store, up and down the street.

 I perused a few shops to get my bearings, which one always
needs to do at Missouri Star--it can be very overwhelming.
I was needing those first few fabrics to kick it in,
to give me that feel so I could run with it.

Hey, it's the card trick quilt from Jenny's tutorial video--I made this one!

The last thing I expected to find on this trip was the backing fabric
but not only did I find it on the $5/yd clearance rack,
it actually became the catalyst for the whole selection process.
(I love this place but it's not the best for clearance shopping!)
Talk about going at a quilt in backwards order--but oh well!
I grabbed it up and went in search of what might go with it.

Next I came across this fat quarter roll.  I had seen the entire
line online already, noting it would be good for this quilt.
But seeing it all in person?  This is some fantastic fabric!  
And with that, it was on.
Sleeves were pushed back, rotary cutters rolled and fabric went flying.

I took a short break for lunch after which I slipped into the latest
new shop containing Farmhouse style decor.
Maybe that would clear the fabric fuzz-buzz in my head.
(You know--when you get kinda fried after looking at so much?)
Nope.  Still fuzzy.
I heard a very familiar voice but didn't think anything of it...
till someone said her name.

That's right--not only did I run into the Jenny, owner of Missouri Star,
but I grabbed a selfie to prove it to you all!
I wish I would've taken a whole second to see if I was even getting
a decent angle on myself--sigh, I was certainly not.
(Did I mention I got up pretty early?  And drove over 4 hours?
And I think I forgot mascara...)
But I was just trying to be quick and as little a bother as possible.
Jenny, on the other hand, was super nice about it and
leaned right in as if we were best buds.  Aw, thanks Jenny!
(She's tall, btw!)

And with that,
I flew out of the store before I embarrassed myself further.
Without rolling the dice.
Without passing Go.
And without buying the ceramic chicken
that I was eyeing for my kitchen display case.
(Guess I'll have to go back!)

I ended up finding everything I needed but the outer border.
And that's okay because sometimes you need to see the finished inside
before you can decide on the fabric for the final "frame".

I'll wait to share my finds over my next posts as I work at piecing
it together--which I've already started because yes, I'm very
excited about it.  I hope I'm correct in that I think it's exactly
the colors, look and style I was after...maybe even better.
Oh I really hope!
Because that's gonna be the icing on a really fun day!

24 April 2018

April Catch-Up

Our April weather has been all over the place.
We've had snow and ice, heat and snow again.
More recently, we were finally able to enjoy some beautiful days,
allowing me to get a huge amount of work done outside--
including some areas that have been neglected for years.
With a graduation party coming up, it will be nice to have it all back in shape.

I think we might actually be past the threat of frost so from here on out,
till it gets hot anyway, it's likely that only the rain that will keep me inside.
(Or pain--but that's an ugly issue best left alone.)
It was a much-needed rain that allowed me to get this top completed.

It sat on the quilt frame longer than I'd intended but I was
able to get it quilted up by doing just a few rows at a time
throughout the following week.  It's just waiting for its
binding and a label (rain predicted for tomorrow!).
Then it will be displayed in a store-front in Kingman, KS
until its auctioned off to benefit a church in June.
I'm both nervous and excited to see what comes of my efforts.

Looking ahead to May, I have so much spring cleaning and yard work
yet to do.  The vegetable garden is behind schedule due to the colder
days so I'll be catching up on that as well.  Still, we are getting lots of
asparagus, and just beginning to enjoy the greens.
(spinach, kale, and all kinds of lettuces)

I have two graduation quilts to complete by the end of May.
I haven't settled on the pattern for my son's--and truthfully, his doesn't
need to be done till he goes off to college but I don't want to put it off.
For the other grad, I'm planning a delectable mountain design
in blacks, grays and a touch the manliest purple I can find to fit his
chosen college--K-State.  For these, not only am I going to have to go
outside of my stash, I've decided to take some pretty major action:
a visit to the Missouri Star shops.
I haven't picked a day but I'm still hoping to fit it in this week yet.
It's at least a 4 hour drive, more depending on KS City traffic
(and if I decide to detour to IKEA) but this girl has been working
very hard and a nice get-away road trip has been earned!

Hopefully I remember to take pics!

08 April 2018

Ohio Stars...In Kansas

It kind of amuses me that my Ohio Stars
are all done up in Kansas colors.
Well, Ohio is still a midwest state so we'll call it good.
I'm sure it shares our colors but they can't possibly
be as pretty <wink>.
I'm kidding, of course.  I've been to Ohio.  It's very pretty.
And definitely has more green than we do.
Which is why my Ohio Stars are more like Kansas Stars.

At any rate, I got the top done so now I'm going to have to
hit some clearance racks for a backing--and if I'm lucky,
enough yardage of it to add a 4" border as well which will
make it about 98 x 86.
Once again, I'm posting a poorly-lit picture.  No, I don't
take the time to take perfect pics, as I've said many times,
but I was hoping for some better lighting than this!
I finished this on Friday eve when a nice little wintery mix
was beginning to hit.  Early the next morning, feeling groggy and cold,
 I snapped this picture out of one of our bedroom windows.

As someone mentioned, what a lovely winter we're having this spring!
I only hope our peaches and other fruits that were just beginning to
bloom will make it through, though it's doubtful in this cold
This morning, while it was snowing and sleeting, I saw a rainbow.
So is that a snowbow?  Or a maybe a sleetbow.  I don't know.
Thursday's high is supposed to be 86'.
Sweaters and boots, shorts and flip-flops--just 4 days apart.
As we all say:  Welcome to Kansas.

04 April 2018

Ohio Stars Growing

It's amazing how the hours can fly by when sewing.
I listened to Tolstoy's entire Anna Karenina while working on my
previous quilt.  Over the last two days I've listened to multiple
podcasts and a whole series of theology videos.
(Yes, I listen to videos--my eyes stay on my sewing)

And suddenly I'd created a whole pile of blocks.

All 42 of them.  Today I got just over
half of the sashing put on (I'm liking what I see so far)>
This seems to be going pretty fast but I kind of feel like I might see nothing
but fabric and my sewing machine tonight when I close my eyes.
It's probably a good thing that I have to take a break from it tomorrow.

I seem to be suggesting that one can be too much at their sewing
machine, quilting away, but maybe I won't go quite that far!  

02 April 2018

Grandmother's Orchard Finish

Happy Easter!
Kansas is welcoming April in with freezing temps--
NOT my idea of a well-played April Fool's joke.
The only positive thing I see about this unseasonable cold is that it's
good quilting weather so that is exactly what I plan on doing this week.

But first I have my latest finished quilt to share.

Because I had no one in mind for this quilt,
I left it on hold till I found a matching
backing fabric at a reasonable price.

That happy day recently occurred so onto  the frame it
went, fast and furious quilting commenced and,
finally,  Grandmother's Orchard (began last summer)
is complete and ready for gifting.

As I write this, I can't remember the exact size but it's something
like 58x68 which is really too big for a baby quilt but I am planning
on gifting it next month at the arrival of a baby girl.
 I always appreciated a bigger quilt for babies crawl around on
so I am hoping these parents will too.  I also like that it could be
used later on the toddler bed or even just to snuggle with.

On to other finishes!

I had my sister bring her latest quilt top when she visited recently
so she could try her hand at the quilting machine.
After watching me for a while, she also quilted a few rows
here and there so that by the end of the day, off rolled
yet another finish from the frame.

And that means I get to begin a new project.
Criteria:  scrappy, traditional, moderately fast
Purpose:  charity auction

For this next quilt I'm using a basic Ohio star and using up scraps.
Happily, I have now moved out the last remains of quite a few pieces
that have been hanging out in my stash for many years.
Too many.
The background fabric is a more recent purchase
and my only option from my large-amount stash.
But my rule is scrappy and that gold color--
that is not so apparent in the pic--should work
well enough for the look I'm after.

Before all that cutting, I took a little quilt-break to
sew up four little zipper pouches.

I attached elastic straps that would slide onto the cover of a book.
I needed a pouch to hold the pens I use for my personal planner
and journal; I also made two for my daughters and one for a sister.

Though I've had very little time for sewing at all these last few weeks
the one ahead is looking pretty open (knock on wood) so
just maybe I can get all 42 of those quick Ohio Star blocks done.
After that I need to get starting on some graduation gifts!

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