30 August 2019

Dresden Irish Chain Top Complete

Some powerful storms moved in last night,
leaving a rainy morning to follow.  A person could
sure get used to this weather--I'm ready for some very
colorful fall foliage!  

We'd only been home from NY for a few days when we
headed out to spend the weekend with our other DS
who attends Creighton in Omaha, NE.  With our
schedule and their incredible amount of snow up there,
we had only made it up there once last year so we made
it a priority to get a couple visits in before winter.

It's pretty wearing on me, this having to tell my kids
goodbye all the time, so I've been very ready to settle
in my sewing room and focus on something else.
Needless to say, the Dresden went together in no time.

Excuse its wrinkles but why iron?  Two seconds after taking
this pic, folded it up and put it aside till I find a backing.
(I don't see any need for a border at this time.)
It measures 84x84.

One of my next to-do's got moved up very quickly.
I guess that's fine because that's how things get done, right?
Instead of shooting for a due date in Dec, I'm now looking
at a baby shower date of Sept 14.  Add in that the long arm
is finally going in for its tune-up next week and it's
suddenly time to get things hoppin'.

Like Tigger maybe?
The mom-to-be likes Pooh so I had the grandma-to-be,
pick from an online search of fabrics.  This resulted in some
not-so-great fabric but it was available locally, aka, quickly.

I thought the antique-like tone of this fabric would make
it difficult to find coordinating fabrics that would be
cheery and youthful for a baby quilt so I hit the
road to a shop about an hour north of Wichita.
Somehow I have about an 80% success rate at
finding exactly what I want (and more <cringe>) in
their clearance section.

Well, up that percentage a little more!
(what IS it with this magical little quilt shop??)
These blue and green fabrics are perfect matches.
The ivory was regular priced but no surprise as I knew
I'd need to be picky on the background fabric.

Now, about that cringe-worthy "and more" thing...

This was a must-have.  So so pretty!
The kind of fabric I could stare at all day.
My sisters all agree so that makes it okay that
I bought all 5+ yards, right?
I was planning on giving the Dresden to the grandma-to-be
(because eventually all of my friends will have a quilt)
but now I'm thinking the above fabric would make the
coziest winter quilt for her so, we'll see.

Back to Pooh.
Eventually, I settled on some basic star blocks
with a chain block to alternate. 

In no time at all the star blocks went together.
Next up the 4 chains and maybe I'll even get this
little thing done today before hubs and I head out to
spend the eve with friends while we watch West Point's
football team beat Rice.  We don't want/have cable so
we might be spending some time at sports bars this fall.

While I love hanging out in this little small-town coffee shop,
rain makes a sewing day all that much better so off I go.
Besides, this bouquet has me seeing fall fabrics.
Happy quilting--and go Army!

22 August 2019

Latest Quilt Delivered to West Point & Visit to NYC

This past Saturday we watched 1187 new cadets, DS included,
as they were officially accepted into USMA's Corps of Cadets.
(Above the Class of 2023 in the foreground awaits to join.)

 Marching to join

There are only two times a class is ever apart from the corps;
the second will be in 4 years at their graduation.

All together

I have heard so many say there is just no way to describe
the feeling of this place to others--one just has to be there
to truly get it.  I completely agree.
But what else can we do but try for those that cannot?
Pictures will have to suffice for our family who
have not had the experience--yet.

As the last of the cadets left the plain, we enjoyed
watching 6 paratroopers hit their mark.

And finally, we got to see this guy--and his laundry.
I did surprise him with his quilt.  He said he really
does not like the "green girl"--the blanket they are
 issued.  Guess that would be my kid:  quilt spoiled.
Wish I'd gotten a pic as we showed it to him. 

We--hubs, one of our daughters and I--treated
him to a very fine meal that evening.

Oysters, chowder, steak, veggies, truffle fries and dessert.
There really was no filling this kid up!

We had heard that they are very tired after their 6 weeks
of BEAST so we didn't plan much for the next day other
than Mass, lunch and a ferry trip down the Hudson.
(We had to grab a to-go lunch to make the ferry.
This time he ate both a 12" and a 6" sub!)

All the moms say it doesn't get any easier to say goodbye
but I'm still hopeful.  Our next visit is in late October.
Any guesses as to how I'll be keeping myself occupied till then?

DH, DD and I started our next day out with a visit to Ellis
Island and the Statue of Liberty.  I completely underestimated
how it would feel to walk where so many of our
ancestors came into this country.  Above is the train
station--no longer in use other than to sell ferry tickets.
Regrettably, I didn't get the actual platforms that extended
way out to the right of the picture.

Again, more awe.  And nostalgia.  And whatever else
one feels in a place of such historical importance.

The inside was beautiful and clean but it wasn't hard to imagine
it as it had been--full of weary people who had crossed the Atlantic.

I'd flown over before but this was
my first view of her from the water.

A selfie on the pedestal; Manhattan in the background.

Another skyline view, back at the train station.

From there we made a very quick visit to Manhattan.
Below are just a few of famous places we took in.

Times Square.

St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Absolutely stunning.

Rockefeller Center--I was amazed at how small a space this was.
Seems to me it has always been portrayed much bigger in movies.

Central Park in the summer.

American Museum of Natural History.

And, the MET.
Walking 11 miles in about 6 hours or so, I feel like
we got to see about everything--certainly enough for me.
I know my daughter was disappointed not to take in a
Broadway show actually on Broadway but it just wasn't to be.
Personally, that was about all I needed of NYC.
Ellis Island was my favorite, Central Park was nice
and it was kinda fun to eat at the "real Ray's Pizza on 7th"
according to Santa [Ed Asner] in the movie Elf.
Now, it was hot and humid which didn't help the allure but I have
never been a city-type girl so, all due respect to those who love it
but...no thank you!  I was so happy to be home.

But it's still hard to leave this guy behind!

Gotta go focus on some quilting I guess.

Happy quilting!

12 August 2019


This morning, as this is being posted, the
class of 2023 cadets have already begun their
12-mile hike back to West Point.
"March Back"
Their six weeks of BEAST are done!
I think it's pretty appropriate that DS's
quilt is now done, too.  I'm guessing my
6 weeks was a lot easier than his!

I've decided to call this "From BEAST to Butter Bars".

63 X 78

All cadets graduate West Point with the rank of
Second Lieutenant, receiving a gold bar pin on
each shoulder.  These are known as the "butter bars".
(I don't have a pic but I did piece two gold
"bars" into the black backing of the quilt.)

Another quilt completed.
Happy quilting!

08 August 2019

Rainy Day Quilt Check-In

A quick check-in on this rainy morning.
I have all the Dresden circles completed;
today, after some time on the long-arm, I'll be
working on setting them onto their blocks.

I have one completed but I'm not quite happy with the
center circle so I've adjusted, cutting it a little larger
to give me more fabric to work with while pressing it 
into a smoother edge.  

I only have a fat quarter of that plaid so I was
trying to be conservative but I think I'm still okay.  A little
more overhang/seam should help to hide the
dark fabric of the petal bases showing through as well.

There is no mention of trimming out any of the fabric
under the Dresden to reduce bulk so I guess I won't. 

I have about an hour left of quilting on DS's but it has been
a tension issue from the get-go.  (Yes, again!)
Finally discovered the tiny spring
inside the bobbin case was off by 1/16" causing it to 
"bow" and put more pressure on the bobbin than necessary.
Fortunately, the tension issue only shows on the back;
I can only hope the stitches settle once I take it off
the frame...and maybe even more upon washing.
The crazy delicate balance of the mechanics of the
 long arm never ceases to amaze me.

Happy quilting, and may your tension always be balanced!

01 August 2019

Starting A Third, er, Fourth Quilt...Or Is It Fifth??

When one's quilting thread doesn't arrive in one's
idea of a timely manner, one shall start another quilt.

And so she did.
(This is how UFO's get started, isn't it?)
I'm using mostly fabrics from Bonnie and Camille's
"Little Snippets", the fat quarter set that I won.

Months later, I'm still giddy over it.
With 40 fat quarters, I'm really hoping to make
another quilt with these as well.

"Granny's Stars" from: Love of Quilting Aug 2009 Issue

I know I need to wait till next year for this one but
I do love it. Right on down to the hand applique.

Because I'm a "1 or 2 projects at a time" kinda
person, I always feel like I need to fess up when
I exceed that.  Or maybe it's really just about
making a list and a game plan but either way:
I technically have 4 quilts going right now.

DS's quilt
(currently quilting)

30's Irish Chain
(waiting in line for quilting)

Dresden Irish Chain [above]
(the real culprit in this whole thing)

And then my old side project:
(the innocent bystander)

At least two of them are being quilted and should be
completed asap so this period of too much on the
front burner should be short-lived.  

If I'm being really honest I do have one other UFO
that I brilliantly [sarcasm] chose to hand-quilt--which
is why I never count it.  I started it about 15 years
ago and just bring it out whenever I feel like it.

In all, it has been a good time in the sewing room
 lately and it's not even fall yet!  It will be interesting
to see how many I end up getting made this year. 

Happy quilting!
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