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Girlfriend Quilt Weekend

This IS the BEST way to spend a February weekend!!  Dear, dear friend from Texas flew to visit ME!  I realized that in all these years, I’ve only had family visit, never a girlfriend.  This was the best weekend of quilting, sharing, encouraging, eating…. EVER!!

 

She is a hand-piecer but wanted to try my long-arm!  I let her!  LOL!!  My thinking was that I’d start it, she’d do a bit, and ask me to finish.  She loved it and did her whole quilt – a throw size.

This is in the evening after she had just arrived that day!  I’d be way too tired to think.  She did an amazing job!


Put any 2 ‘retired’ homeschool moms together and what do they do…?  We took a historical field trip!  This is an old stone bridge on some property we rent where a famous future President crossed following some local debates.  It is cool to see, the weather was so mild we were sliding in mud!, and it was a good time to be out and hike.  Thankfully, we took a driver and slightly OK photographer.


We were dressed for February, not for fashion photos!  It didn’t matter, we were together!


The middle of our mild winter, she saw a few bits of snow fall and the pond behind us had ice on it.

She got so comfortable with the machine she added her name to one of the near-solid blocks.  She also added a bit of glow-in-the-dark thread for fun on this quilt!  We were so excited when it really glowed!  (by Superior)

I added the binding by machine and she had her quilt ready to take home with her!  She left 3 other quilt tops for me to quilt and bind for her.   She hand sews the bindings.  All had wonderful labels that she lettered while she was here.

She also got a junior version of English Paper Piecing class.  I’m no pro but it was fun to play with fabric together.  She also organized and culled my batik fabric bin.  Clearly she didn’t cull enough as the lid still doesn’t fit on!

Monday night we threw in a trip to one of my quilt guild meetings.  In February, we don’t usually have programs scheduled but she loved it enough she promises to go to a local guild near her!  #cough

At the airport and sadly it is time to say good-bye.  We had realized we’d never run out of things to talk about.  I needed to get a jump on the traffic.  And really just.in.time!  It backed up a ton behind me and in the other direction as I headed out of the city.  Sad to send her back home.  Thankful over the top that she came to visit!

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The last clue added the last row on the outside of the quilt.  The soloist continued a pattern to the centers and the corners.

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She also suggested piecing the backing from stash and I continued in my neutral pile.  And you know …. there are still more fabrics in the bin!  Her instructions included a bit of “sashing” on the back and corner posts.  I did all of this in neutrals but many in the group did another design of colors with this piecing.

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I wrote the label on one of the backing cornerstones before quilting.

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Planning the quilting….  I took a photo of the complete top, printed it in black & white, and then used tracing paper over that master to draw some ideas on paper.  In this photo, some is marked and I’m looking at thread ideas.

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Next up… quilting!

Her Pencil Quilt

It is rare that I get a chance to piece a quilt.  But there are gifts for special ones that go out ‘in haste’ here & there.

This is for a friend’s first granddaughter that is due soon. A family friend found me via FB and asked if I and any of our group’s quilters would like to make a baby quilt.   Sadly, our friend died 7 yrs ago and we thought it would be sweet to bless the daughter with quilts from her quilting friends as her mother would have been doing.  I was the only one that sent a quilt. The baby’s room is painted a golden yellow with accents in navy, purple, and fuchsia.

I chose the accent colors from my stash but just could not find the right background fabric for this.  I could drive 1 – 1 1/2 hrs each way to a modern quilt shop to try to find something which adds up to “take a day trip” with 3 hrs on the road, lunch out, etc.  I could have looked online for awhile and ordered but then I wouldn’t have it in time.  Or… I could dye my own!  My SIL was here and I was asking her help with choosing dyes off my color chart. Nothing was quite right and I was also looking for yellow dyes in the storage drawers.  There NOT on the chart but in my inventory, was pencil yellow.  Yes!  That was the color we wanted and I had bought that on a special – no longer made deal.  Of course, now I love it and hope to get some more pencil yellow fabric from my amount of dye.

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The next day I dyed an extra amount of fabric than my plan needed just to be sure I had enough.  I was also making my own pattern so was just using my guesstimated amount of fabric needed.  I used about a 1/2 strength of dye.  I stirred the dye about every 15 mins for an  hour to have it more of a ‘solid but not quite’ coloring.  I was so excited as I think it came out perfect to what I wanted!
I cut the half-square triangles (HSTs) with my accuquilt Go! cutter.  LOVE IT!  I line up the fabrics that will be sewn together, right sides together, and they come out of the cutter ready to zip under the sewing machine.

Once I had all the HSTs sewn and pressed, I laid out part of the center design.

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Sewed the top together…

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And this also shows some of the quilting marks I made before I loaded it in my machine for quilting.  I had guidelines for the circles and divisions of 8 or 4 per ring.

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First the detail quilting in a variegated thread that stands out on the lighter fabrics.

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The finished quilt – quilted, labeled, bound, & washed.

12Close-up of a corner and you can see the circular designs.  The background fill thread was a matching yellow and a finer size thread.

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The back of the quilt. Once again, without going to buy the fabrics, I pieced the back from other fabrics in my stash.  🙂

I appliquéd the baby’s first initial and a heart, then pieced in the diagonal piece of fabric for an accent.

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I had help from my family & friends on the label verse but I found it fitting since the mom has never met me. It was just a gift from God, with love from one of her mom’s quilting friends.  Sent from Illinois to Mississippi.

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The one who contacted me and the new mother were surprised at how well it matched the baby’s room.  Yeah!  I loved this quilt and had a hard time putting it in the box to ship away.  It was a gift of love so I knew I needed to send it.  It sounds like it was well received.

Ok… here is a wrap-up ~~

One of the last mornings before vacation was over, I lamented to my mom about all the recipes I’d printed out to try that needed redone to go into my cookbook.  Mom asked if I had a 3-hole punch and notebook.  “I could do that!”

This only entertained her for 20 minutes but how wonderful to have this!! Sorted by categories, I had a new package of tabs that she labeled.  A brand-new 3-ring binder.  So easy!  Why don’t we take 20 mins to do these things to make looking for recipes a bit easier?  (and the cupboard to look a bit neater?)  If your mom isn’t there wanting to help, I bet you have a child or grandchild to help you!

I’ve continued to print recipes and I save up only about 3 before I go punch the holes and add to my book.  (…which now needs to grow!)  And for right now, in this busy season of our lives, I’m OK that the pages aren’t all retyped and formatted the same!  🙂

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I continued to sew and she had her knitting and a snack as the morning progressed.  I have a master pattern (mostly) ready to make some tops and jackets. Hopefully, now I can get some clothes made even though I’m not there to tailor to her all the time.

A going-away lunch out with friends who wanted a chance to  visit with my mom before she headed home.

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Early the next morning, we met DBrother & DSIL at a parking lot to switch Mom’s seats and bags.  (….ummmm – where did that tank top weather go???)  DSIL was quite pleased with the new artwork coming to their house!

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We all had good vacation time.  They headed for a long drive home!  I did a bit of shopping and then chatted with a NY sister on my drive home.
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This is Some Vacation! 4

Another day, mom was asking some equipment questions so she got a Combine 101 class here at the house.  The Farmer brought the combine and both grain heads up to the driveway so she could see them up-close.

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He tried his best to explain and she tried her best to learn!

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Mom was amazed at the size of it all (we are small farmers!) so this photo is for a size comparison!  This “class” and the photos were not planned.  I just grabbed my phone as we went outside and took photos.  So we are all in real life, stay home, type of look!  🙂  The dog, who doesn’t like photos, really wanted to be with us!

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I assume you may be getting tired of all these photos so I made these collage sets for the rest of the combine class.

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In The Farmer’s hand are 2 sets of grain kernels that he found on the combine yet so he could show her the grains.

This is Some Vacation! 3

I had the first week of MOPS for the school year while Mom was here so she went along with me.  My helper mom this year is my MIL and both our moms are friends so they enjoyed the morning together.

I had 3 kids in the room that day and reminded them that my “name” at MOPS is Mrs. M— and that “this one” will be our helper in the room each time and she is also Mrs. M–.   The kids were surprised!!  My MIL isn’t thrilled to be called that so we call her Grandma M as that is what I’m used to calling her.  To add more intrigue, I introduced my mom and they were so surprised that MY mom was there from so far away and that the other one was my husband’s mom.  It was fun!

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One evening we went to the PC Quilt Guild meeting.  It was an extra-special speaker that night and whereas most months we may only have 1 or 2 guests, this time my mom was one of 18 visitors to our guild!  Many, many of my guild friends (members at this one and members at the other one I’m in) were thrilled to meet her and introduced themselves.

Mom & I even had show & tell to share!  I prepared this embroidery for her to work on and she brought it back all done!  I still need to do piecing of trees for the border and quilt it for a table runner.

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She does beautiful work!  I couldn’t see a pencil line of the pattern left!  I’m not sure how she did all this of white & gray floss on white fabric!

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And I got her to initial it!  🙂

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~~
The second Sunday she was here was an open day for Miss K and we all met in the middle for a wonderful dinner!

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Once again, mom was the charmer and attracted the attention of the owner of the restaurant!  He came to our table and welcomed us, shaking mom’s hand and then giving her a light kiss on her head when he left.  After we had finished our meals (well, as much as we could eat and had packed up our leftovers!), Mom & I visited with the owner again.  Soon our waitress came to our table with a full serving of their dessert beignets compliments of Mr. Vitalie!  Beignets with marshmallow cream and a chocolate swirl for dipping!  We were sure our stomachs had not one more inch of space but warm beignets fit in there just right!

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We brought home some leftovers and mom would heat a few each day for her mid-morning snack.  🙂  Of course, she made me have one too!  Maybe my next “meal” there will be just an order of beignets!  ♥

This is Some Vacation! 2

During vacation, the Sisters group at church had a paint party and I signed up for myself, my mom, and a friend to come.  My friend claimed she wasn’t a painter and I said that it would all be fine and that my mom has probably never held a paintbrush in her hands.

For not fun reasons, my friend was not able to come.  I then sent a text to another friend, one of my MOPS moms, asking if she’d like to come.  It was my treat, she just needed to come.  She was thrilled and all the child care worked out easily for her.  So one friend was sad and one was blessed to tears by the opportunity to come to a Sisters event.

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I had hoped it was a paint party of copying the design the teacher had for us as I’ve seen many friends participate in doing.  However, it was a plaque/wall board and phrase paint class.  We used chalk paint and learned the benefits and the properties of it and it was fun.

This was shocking…. my mom doing a craft project!!

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About 40 were there, we had snacks but once we started with the project we were too busy to think much about more snacks!

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We had a good table of friends.  Fun evening and we were happy with our projects!

Mom was sort of a celebrity when I had her out for events.  She was thrilled to have “come the farthest” and everyone was thrilled she was out traveling and her age.

paint-class

I’m taking bets if she has this hidden in her room or hung in the main living area.  What do you think?
Mine is ready to be hung…. I need to choose what will hang on the wall area and do a layout.