Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mission Accomplished!

It's Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend 2014. Where has this year gone already?!? Can it truly be nearly June? It will be a fun and fairly quiet holiday weekend for me with just one outing tonight. The rest will be spent quilting.

My bookcase has a permanent display in memory of my father, and in honor of brother and great-nephew who were/are all Navy. Dad served in WWII and I received the flag at his and Mom's burial in May 2012. Wayne served in Viet Nam and my great-nephew Christopher is currently in and stationed in Japan. I'll also have my flag out on Monday remembering all who served.

This evening will be a fun time calling a contra dance for friends in Manhattan, Kansas. Although I haven't gone regularly for a number of years, I still call on occasion when asked. It's great fun, easy steps that anyone can learn, and everyone gets to experience the joy of moving to live music! I took the above picture of my friends Enid and Lou at the Manhattan dance several years ago. I love the way I managed (accidentally) to capture the movement as they were swinging. Plus, it's a nice break from the quilting projects to do something entirely different. I'll still get a quilting fix as I plan to stop at a couple of shops along the way that I typically don't get to. On the way home tomorrow, I have a date with one of my best friends to meet for banana splits! I'm definitely looking forward to that, too!

Now for the quilting news! Mission accomplished!!! Way back in 2010 I flew from California back to Kansas to visit my daughters. Being a new quilter who had recently experienced my first shop hop, I decided to create my own shop-hop across Kansas between my girls' homes in Emporia and Leavenworth. It turns out there are a LOT of shops between them! In fact, so many that I ended up shipping an extra box of goodies home that I couldn't get into the already over-packed suitcase. LOL! One of the shops I visited was Quilters' Paradise in Baldwin City, KS. Little did I know, it would become my favorite and "home" shop years later when I moved back to Kansas. Anyway, Sharon, the shop owner, was in the process of designing a block of the month pattern out of the Wizard of Oz fabrics that were becoming popular. I fell in love instantly and bought the block kits she had on hand and ordered the rest. Several months later, back in California where I was caring for my folks, my box arrived with the rest of the blocks and a finishing kit, including Oz character picture blocks to be included in the backing. Life had gotten busy by then with work, full time classes for my BA, and Dad who was becoming increasingly frail, so I put the box on the shelf, thought about it now and again, and went on with my daily routine. That box would travel back across the country to my home in Kansas before moving to the top of my "to do" quilting list!
Jump forward to 2014 and I'm back in Kansas two years, living in my second home already (having followed my kids so I could continue babysitting my little grandson), and in January I decided it was time to start on the Oz quilt. I managed to make a block a day for several weeks, but it turned into a block a week sometimes. But I stuck with it and by early March the main part of the top was complete! I just love the way Sharon designed this pattern with the yellow brick road sashing marching from corner to corner! Then there was the matter of the pieced borders. Sharon had designed pieced film strips using lots of fussy cut pictures to go all the way around the top! It took me a few weeks to get those put together. The inner film strip went together great and fit the way it was supposed to. The pictures were another story--I had to fussy cut each to the correct width for side pix and height for top/bottom pix, put a strip of black between, and have them come out the right size to fit the film strip. It took some doing, but I got the top and bottom done and loved how it was looking. The sides were a bit more work, making sure the corner blocks fit and the rest of the pieces matched up. The outer film strip turned out to be a bit more of a challenge. The border had gained just enough that the 1" blocks didn't fit quite right. I took it with me to a quilting retreat and spent the entire weekend just finishing the borders! But by Sunday afternoon it was done, complete, finished!!! I literally did a happy dance when the last stitch was done! I'm so happy with it and can't wait to get the backing made so I can quilt it and put it on my bed! Here is the completed Dorothy's Adventures in Oz quilt top.

I have several other projects underway and plan to take the time to write about them too. In the meantime, have a safe and fun Memorial Day. While enjoying your time, be sure to remember why we celebrate.

More snippets from the sewing room soon,