Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Weekend Off

I've given myself the weekend off from sewing and whatnot. I needed some time to let my mind wander where it wants to. I'll be back next weekend with more rows and pretty pictures.

Here's a peek at what I've been playing with this past week.

See you later!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lots of New Rows!

My neighbor who I made the Dresden tea cozy for came back from her annual road trip this past week. She had volunteered to pick up patterns for me along the way. There are so many that I'm just going to list them. If they're for the Aquarium Quilt, I've put an asterisk before the shop name.

Quilt Quarters in Caramel, IN.
The Quilting Bee in Georgetown, IN.
The Crazy Cousin and Quilt and Sewing Center in Fredericksburg, VA.
*Jinny Beyers Studio in Great Falls, VA.
*Cottonwood in Charlottesville, VA.
*Circle Sewing Studios in Woodbridge, VA.
*Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, VA.
*Rachel's Quilt Patch in Stauton, VA.
The Quilt Patch in Fairfax, VA.
*Four Season Stitchery in Grantsville, MD.
*Tomorrow's Treasures in Crofton, MD.
The Smocking Shoppe and The Cozy Quilter in Louisville, KY.
Q - First in Quilting in Lexington, KY.
*Sterling Thimble in Mount Sterling, KY.
Sneed's Vacuum and Sewing Center in Charleston, WV.
Itchin' 2 Be Stitchin' in Beckley, WV.
Sew Chic in Fairmont, WV.

I headed south again to help my mom and see my aunt who was visiting from Louisiana. While I was there I had time to pick up patterns from Heyde Sewing Machine Company in St. Louis, MO and the Fariview Heights, IL location for Jackman's Fabrics. The Jackman's row is going in the Aquarium Quilt.

My aunt picked up the kit from All Stitched Up by Angela in Slidell, LA for me before she headed north to visit.

Nonnie's Attic in Pekin, IL finally received their row patterns from the printer. There was an issue with the printing and everything was delayed for weeks. They had to get special permission to mail their pattern out to people who walked into the shop from the officials at Row by Row.

A friend who lives in Hawaii, and is a fabulous quilter, sent me the kit for the row from Fabric and Quilting Delights in Kailua-Kona, HI and the pattern from Kilauea Kreations in Hilo, HI. The Kilauea Kreations row is going into the Aquarium Quilt. I'm not sure about the other one. I love it and may do a wall quilt with it and the row from Lexington.

And yesterday FH and I took a mini road trip to Galena, IL and visited Phat Quarters for their row. We also took some time and wandered Main Street and checked out the various shops. It was a nice little getaway.

On the progress front, I've quilted two rows (Rochester, IL and Normal, IL), sandwiched three more, and finished the row from Mt. Vernon, IA.

I've also figured out fabrics for most of the new rows for the Aquarium Quilt and traced out templates on vellum for the paper-pieced rows and on Templar for any appliques.

Today I'm doing laundry and working on rows. Lots of work to be done! See you next week!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Aquariums and Acquisitions

It's been a busty week here on the Row-ing front. I'm going to list the shops where I've acquired new rows first, so if you just want to see gorgeous fabrics you should scroll on down to the pictures.

I ventured out last Sunday and drove all the way to Normal, IL to visit the Sewing Studio and pick up their row. [It's finished!]

A couple of stitching friends have moved to Florida in the last two years. The friend in Naples, FL decided to purchase the kits for me instead of just picking up the patterns. Thank you again, Carol! The Naples shops are: Flash Sew and Quilt and Sew Studio. The row from Flash Sew and Quilt is for the aquarium quilt. The other row kit is stashed for later. [Flash Sew's row is started and pictured below!]

The friend in Clearwater, FL went hopping with members of her quilt guild and she sent me patterns from:Country Quilts and Bears in Clearwater, Happy Apple Quilts in Palm Harbor, Crafty Threads in Tampa, and Rainbows End Quilt Shop in Dunedin. All these rows patterns are stashed for later.

Dear family friends in Tennessee volunteered to pick up the two row patterns from Goodlettsville, TN. Originally I wanted these rows for a quilt featuring geometric rows, but since one of them decided to mail me the kits, I've decided to use a few geometric rows in the aquarium quilt. There's the added bonus of now needing as many rows that feature fish/frogs/turtles too. The Goodlettsville shops are Quilter's Attic and Sewing Machines Etc. [Spoiler alert: both of these rows are finished and pictured below!]

A friend of a friend happened to live close to Helios Stitches N Stuff in Mount Vernon, Iowa and mailed their row to my friend here.

A mini and fiber friend in Idaho really liked one of my fish patterns, so I went and picked up another copy for her. In exchange, she sent me the pattern from Stitches and Petals in Moscow, Idaho.

FH came home from his business trip bearing two rows from The Quilters Studio in Fairfax, VA. One is the pattern, the other is a kit. The kit features fish and will definitely be making an appearance in the aquarium quilt. The other is a gorgeous waterlily design. [Another spoiler: the fish row is finished!]

Now for the really fun part!

The Rochester, IL row is finished!

I figured out the layout for the quilt and as a result some of the rows needed to become squares. The South Elgin row was easily altered and the row from Jackman's in St. Louis is now square as well, and waiting on it's applique to get done.

Sewing Studio's row is completed. I kitted up this one myself instead of buying their kit. Their colors were gorgeous, but I wanted to make sure I had consistency of colors in the overall quilt. I know you haven't seen most of these fabrics yet, but the blue and brown are already slated to be prominent in more rows. The yellow fish is made from leftover batik from the South Elgin, IL kit. The orange fish is made from extra after making the Rochester, IL fish.

Flash Sew and Quilt's row has the applique in progress.

The background for Sanibel Island, FL's row is put together and is waiting on me to cut the applique pieces out..

The rows from Goodlettsville are finished and gorgeous! The row from Sewing Machines Etc looked like it would become a square nicely. Only eight more rows that can become squares needed!

Quilter's Attic

Sewing Machines Etc. I added tow more wave sections because the square really needed a bit more wave action.

My present from FH again took me out of my preferred comfort zone of needleturn applique, but the fabrics in the kit really needed to be fused and the raw edges covered with satin stitching. The pattern designers encouraged us (all the quilters playing with their pattern) to really play with it and make it our own. I decided to add some grasses at the bottom. When I quilt this, there will be bubbles int eh stitching.

And finally a sneak peak at the next row going together. All cut out and waiting for me to start piecing.

Oh and in case people were wondering, there has been quite a bit of snoop-ervision going on around here.

See you next week!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Rowing Along

First off, I want to thank the friends who reach out to me after my father passed. Your words of friendship and comfort meant, and still mean, a great deal to me.

Since I've been home, I've been keeping busy with piecing more quilt rows. I'm lucky enough to have friends and family all over the country who are taking great delight in mailing me row patterns from quilt shops near them. One dear family friend who I've known since kindergarten decided to send me the kits and not just the free pattern! Oh and for those who are wondering if they missed something, I'm participating in this year's Row by Row Experience shop hop. It's huge!

My neighbor, I made the Dresden tea cozy for her, is on a road trip currently and has been stopping at quilt shops in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland! She's having a blast seeing all the different quilts and picking up rows for me. I didn't even ask her to, she just volunteered. I've been getting semi-regular texts from her asking me to look up quilt shops along whatever route she's planning on for day trips.

FH is on a business trip, as of 4 o'clock this morning, and has already acquired a row kit and another pattern for me. I've even been lucky enough to make two new friends in different parts of the country (one in Hawaii) because of this event and we've been gathering patterns (originals, no photocopies)  for each other and mailing them.

I've finished up two more rows since we've gotten home and am working on two others. I'm going to start the list with references linking back to my first posts about these rows and provide the names of the shops where they can be picked up. I wasn't thinking clearly when I wrote up that post two Wednesdays ago. These will be in order of completion.

Row 1 is from Peoria, IL. The shop is called Prairie Points and is one of my favorite places to visit.

Row 2 is from Morris, IL. The shop is called The Fabric Center and is right down the street from a great little bakery. I just want to say what a lovely shop this is and if you're visiting the Chicago suburbs, you really, really want to visit it.

Row 3 is from Winfield, IL. The shop is called The Quilt Merchant. Another lovely shop in the Chicago suburbs.  This row took me out of my comfort zone with the fusible applique. I always do needleturn because I prefer the look, but this kit came with the applique pre-cut and with fusible web already attached. I think it came out alright, despite me getting a single square turned 90 degrees int he wrong direction. A friend quipped that that fish is now a "Nemo" fish due to having a wonky fin, and I thought it was funny enough to let it be.

Row 4 is from South Elgin, IL. The shop is called The Twisted Stitch and is kind of hard to get to, but totally worth the effort when you get there. So many bright and colorful fabrics! I decided to make one fish who doesn't follow the crowd in this row. I think the "Nemo" fish from the Winfield row had an effect on me or something. ;-)

Rows 5 and 6 are in the works currently. Both feature applique, so are taking a bit of time.

Row 5 is from Rochester, IL. The shop there is one of my all time favorite shops in Illinois! It's called Peace and Applique and of course many of the quilts there feature applique! As you can see, I've gotten two of the three fish sewn down and the third placed. There will be seaweed in between the fish, but I changed the way it's done. In the original they made the seaweed fuzzy and textured, but I was afraid it wouldn't hold up to washing, so I drew up some quick designs to needle turn instead. Finishing this row is on my to-do list for today.

I needed a break from hand sewing yesterday so I began piecing the background for Row 6. It's from another all-time favorite quilt hop, Jackman's Fabrics, specifically the St. Louis, MO location. I haven't had a chance to get the row pattern from their Fairview Heights location. Currently the background is in 6 strips that need sewn together. Another project for today.

In the course of hopping around and gathering row patterns, I've also visited the following shops: The Quilted Fox, The Quilted Cottage on Main, Nonnie's Attic, and Harvest House Quilting. Quilted Fox and Quilted Cottage's rows aren't going in the aquarium quilt. Quilted Fox featured the Eads Bridge and is being stashed away for a different project. Quilted Cottage did a lovely trapunto applique design with seashells, starfish, and sand dollars, and is embellished with beads.

Nonnie's Attic did a cool paper-pieced turtle design, but the printer they sent the design to messed up the size of the paper-piecing guide. They had to get the all clear from Row by Row to take the names and addresses of people who walk into the shop and mail the rows to them once the printer fixes the mistake. This design will eventually make it into the aquarium quilt.

Harvest House's design is also going in the aquarium quilt. I just haven't started it yet. Oh and talk about a dark horse shop. It's a hidden treasure located in the basement of the owners' home! They used to do the big trade shows and then stopped for health reasons, but they're still in business! Such a fun little shop full of wonderful and beautiful things.

I also have been given or sent patterns from a few people that are burning figurative holes in my stash. Patchwork Plus in Wood River, IL features the meeting of the waters, i.e. where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet. I'm saving this design for a future project.

My in-laws were vacationing in Sanibel Island, FL when Row by Row started and picked up the pattern there for me. Three Crafty Ladies is a shop I hope to visit in person some day. That would require having the time and being invited to go to Sanibel with them ;-) Their row featuring some adorable turtles will be going into the aquarium quilt.

And finally a friend went to a wedding in Cedar Rapids, IA and popped into The Cotton Creek Mill in West Branch. She says we need to road trip there sometime together because the shop is so cool! I asked her to pick up their kit for me because it features a panel design of a barn, with barn quilt, and a windmill. It's being stashed for another project.

That's it for now. I'll post progress pictures and list the places where new patterns and kits have arrived from next weekend. Ttfn!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Thoughtful Melancholy

It's been a week now since my dad passed. I'm still processing everything and wondering what path my grief will take. It's difficult to be shattered over the death of a man who lived a long and full life. And up until the last few months he was enjoying life, even with the difficulties and discomfort he dealt with.

We thought we'd loose him so many times over the last decade. His health was one of the reasons I didn't go to grad school... the program loosing funding was the main reason. But it would've been hard moving across the country then, not knowing how much longer he'd be around.

I do know I'm glad his heart gave out before the Parkinson's took his mind. Dad had a great mind, sharp and witty, and if we all had to watch that be eroded away by a disease I'm pretty sure things would've been harder for all of us. And I know the Parkinson's was getting worse. He was becoming more and more childish and not remembering things...and people. He was also starting to see things... like his brothers calling him from across the street to come play ball.

I also know any of us will be lucky to reach the age of 94. Even luckier if we're still mostly mobile, comfortable, and mentally sharp.

There are people out there who will scoff, but I think my cousin was right. Grandma just decided it was time for him to come home. I also think she sent her other boys to call for him.