Our Oklahoma October started out in the 90s and ended in the 20s. Talk about going from one extreme to the other! And it snowed on the 30th! Extremely unusual for this part of the country. On the positive side with all of these too-hot-for-me and too-cold-for-me temps, I stayed in a lot and got quite a bit accomplished.
Oh, and I could have gotten more done if my husband hadn’t tangled with a copperhead. We spent an entire day in the emergency room while they monitored him and did repeated blood tests to determine what changes were taking place. Fortunately no changes in his blood so no antivenom had to be administered. His ankle is still a bit tender but he has been back on his feet since about three days after the bite. Then there were the two days that my dad fell and had to have CT scans to make sure he wasn’t having any bleeding in his brain. And thankfully he was also fine except for a little bump and a scrape on his arm. His doctor has since ordered home health, and a physical therapist is working with daddy to improve his balance. I was the one who suffered permanent medical issues from all of this. My blood pressure went a bit haywire, and my medication had to be increased. A wild month to say the least. Everything is back to normal now.
I finished Aspen’s quilt and the doll quilt that we are giving her for Christmas. I do still need to add the labels, so technically they aren’t quite finished yet. But I’m calling it a finish. I’m sure somebody has done a pattern like these two quilts, but I haven’t seen them. I just had an idea for what I wanted to do and started cutting and sewing. I’m pretty pleased with the results. I used two layers of Hobb’s 80/20 batting on the twin size quilt with a single layer in the doll quilt and quilted them using a panto called Crayon Scribbles by Anne Bright Designs. It is one of the most difficult pantographs I’ve used, so perfect quilting it is not.
In addition, I put together 4 baby quilt tops and finished one of them. I found this really quick-to-make pattern called Baby Bento Box online. I’ve also seen some variations that I may try later. I suppose because of the fabrics on a couple of these tops that these would be better as lap quilts. I really had fun quilting the little bunny one. I had never done clamshells so tried my hand at that using a 4” circle ruler and Lisa Calle’s technique. The quilt would have been just fine with the overall clamshell quilting, but I thought it looked a bit plain so added some free-motion feathers in each clamshell. I like it so much better now.
My month wasn’t 100% success story. I had a flannel shirt that I wanted to add lace to the back of to make it more feminine. Sadly it didn’t turn out to my liking; and since I didn’t want to spend time ripping out everything I had just sewn in, I am going to send it to the thrift store. Somebody will like it. Maybe.
I did spend some time working on mine and my husband’s quilt this month. Last month I only had sewn blocks into 5 rows. I now have blocks sewn into 15 rows. Let’s see……15 rows times 29 blocks……..that’s 435 blocks! If our weather is going to keep being this cold, I had better get a move on and finish this quilt so we will be cozy and warm this winter. But there’s so many other things I want to make………..
Oh, and I found my missing string blocks! They were between two books on my bookshelf. I had put them there to keep them nice and flat until I had an empty project box to put them in. It was really strange how I found them since I had already turned the house upside down three times looking for them and had given up. So after about a month, I started thinking about them again. So I walked into the sewing room and straight to that shelf to start searching again when right in front of me at eye level was the corner of one of them sticking out from between the books. This second search has to be the shortest search on record. Those wayward blocks are now safely stored in their own box waiting for me to make more.
After a couple of months of NO finishes, I’m very pleased that I finished two quilts in July which completed another of my goals for the year – using up all the 2 1/2” squares and strips that I cut from thrift store shirts, skirts, etc. I finished the scrap quilt that I was using to practice different fills in the white squares. Just look at all that texture!
And I finished this pretty pink baby quilt. I used Anne Bright’s quilting design, Anne’s Garden, at an 8″ height. It was quite tedious to quilt this at a size smaller than intended, but I love the outcome. And it is a small quilt so only had to quilt 6 rows. Note the faux piped binding. I love using that technique. It looks so special but is easy to do.
In addition to these two finishes, I started a king-size scrap quilt for my bed. The blocks finish at 4 inches so I need 812 blocks to get the drop that I want. I have made and pressed in excess of 406 half-square triangle blocks. I still need to square them up. And I’m half done with a little over 406 four-patches. Here are some random pictures I took along the way.
I’ve also started a strip quilt. The foundations for the blocks are used dryer sheets cut into squares. Then I just sew random strips of fabric diagonally across them until they are covered and trim to 6”.
I hope you had some finishes in July. Now I’m wondering what August will bring.
What a busy month! And on top of cleaning and decorating the house for all the Christmas festivities, I decided to make house shoes for one of my granddaughters, her daughter, and her daughter’s dolly to give them for Christmas. Found some sparkly turquoise fabric at Hobby Lobby that I knew they would love. I used home décor fabric-backed vinyl for the soles. They turned out great and were a hit especially with the 2-year-old.
After completing the house shoes, I put buttons on the fly-away bells on the sleeves of a blouse I had bought. The sleeves kept getting into everything so had to tame them a bit.
And I made a tea towel for my mom. There is a story behind it. Of course there is, you say! LOL I had made a tea towel a couple of years ago that my mom wanted, but it was my favorite, and I couldn’t part with it. And I didn’t have anymore of the fabric. But as luck would have it, I bought a box of scraps at a garage sale; and, lo and behold, there was a piece of that fabric in there! Woohoo! So now my mom has a tea towel exactly like mine. She’s a happy camper.
For the past 6 months, my husband and I have been scouring thrift stores and garage sales looking for 11 x 14 frames to put my little sister’s artwork in that she was giving for Christmas gifts this year. She told me she had 9 pieces to frame. On Thanksgiving Day she told me she had 13. Okay, we are 4 frames short! So we went on a wild shopping spree searching for more frames. In case you are wondering why we are looking for them instead of her, it’s because she has autism. We help her out on such things when they prove too difficult or confusing to her. Some of the frames needed replacement glass which we found at a local lumber hard for half the cost of everybody else, and several needed mats which were purchased one per week at Hobby Lobby using the weekly 40% off coupon. Then we picked up her artwork, put everything together, and returned all to her so that she could wrap them. I watched as our other two sisters opened theirs on Christmas Eve. They went right to Kip and told her that these gifts are by far the best gift she had ever given them. Our mom and dad received theirs a few days earlier and called me to let me know how much they liked them and how much they appreciated us helping her. Thirteen gifts cost Kip only $34.21. We won’t count the gas, wear and tear on my car, or our time. LOL Here is the picture Kip gave to us.
Somehow during preparing for having 20 plus people over on Christmas Eve and going on wild shopping sprees, I found time to work on a quilt. I had it more than half done by Christmas Eve and finished it a couple of days later. This was a fun experimental quilt. The plaids and stripes I used were cut from a number of men’s cotton shirts I purchased from the thrift store way back when I first started quilting. I feel this purchase requires a little explanation. When I first started quilting, I was extremely short of funds. The thrift store would have $3 bag sales. I could fit a lot of cotton garments into that big brown paper grocery bag which gave me lots of fabric to play with. I’ve used pieces from this stash in a quilt for our grandson, a throw for a cousin whose wife passed away, and a doll quilt. I still had an overflowing tub that I needed to do something with. I certainly didn’t want to waste them so decided to cut all into 2 ½” strips and squares. Took a good while to do that but mission accomplished. Next step is to get all into warm quilts.
Now back to the experimental part of the quilt. I loaded the backing and the batting for the quilt onto my longarm and then pieced long 2 ½” wide strips. As I finished a strip, I took it to the longarm and placed it horizontally across the frame and stitched it in place using my longarm. Bonus was sewing the strips together and quilting the quilt all in one seam. It really went quite fast and made a pretty nice quilt. See for yourself.
But, really, I need to get back to making quad Log Cabin blocks. After all, I need 192 of these 4” blocks to make my quilt; and even though I started it in January, I only have 29 made. So during the month of December I added 3 more to that total and have determined that I will make 3 per week during 2018 and will assemble the quilt top in 2019. Oh, I almost hate to mention that there is a lot of appliqué on the border. This is a long-term project mainly because, although I really do like this quilt pattern, I find these blocks quite tedious to work on and each one takes so long to make! I figured out that in order to make one block, I actually make 5 blocks – 4 Log Cabins and 1 four-patch. So I will spread it out over time – a long time – and will eventually get it finished.
To top off the month, I whipped together a baby quilt top. Started it at about 8:30 one evening, worked for a couple of hours, and got up the next morning and finished it. And, yes, I used some of the plaid from those shirts I cut up and the leftover backing fabric from the other quilt I finished this month.
I need another 1 ¼ yards for the backing which I will pick up at Walmart next week. In the meantime, I’m waiting for the pantograph to come in that I am going to use for this one. It’s called Yippee Ki Yay! This quilt is destined to be the first one I finish in 2018.
Happy New Year!
They’re done! All three table runners are finally finished. Who knew when I started a Maple Leaf bed quilt in the 70s that I would end up with two throws and three table runners from those blocks so carefully hand pieced all those years ago. I did, however, learn a lesson from these blocks. I know without a doubt that I prewashed my fabric before using them as dark colors were notorious for bleeding into other fabrics. But one washing was not enough. When I washed the first throw to get the quilting marks out, the rust, burgundy, and red bled onto the white, and I used a Color Catcher just in case. It seems that Color Catchers don’t catch all dyes. Even after washing three more times, there is still errant color on the white background. Oh, well. Live and learn. And without further adieu, here are the long awaited table runners.
Now onto the next project.
The Quilting Makes the Quilt
I finished the two Maple Leaf throws. Yay!!!
Here’s the first one:
And some closeups:
And now for the second one:
And a closeup; hope you can see the variegated colors in the quilting:
I don’t know which is my favorite. I love them both. What do you think?
Now on to those three table runners………….
I recently took a FMQ class to help me get over my fear of FMQ. So I took it a step further and challenged myself to do a different FMQ design in every block of a little cheater cloth quilt I was using for practice. There are 30 blocks in all. I did FMQ on 28 1/2 of them. Just couldn’t keep my hands off my ruler. LOL
Keep in mind that these blocks are only 4 3/4″ square, and the FMQ is micro-quilted. Here are pictures of my favorites:
Hope you find some way to challenge yourself to do something that helps you stretch your abilities.
I spent my week in Centerview, Missouri, at Hunter Heirloom Quilting taking some classes. The first day, my hubby and I joined a few other people to learn how to maintain our Innova longarms. The class was taught by Joe Hunter. I already knew the first few items he covered but learned a lot after he got past those. Hope my hubby picked up on things I may have missed. That was the whole idea behind having him go with me.
The next day I took my first ever quilting class entitled “Taming the FMQ Fear, Part 1”. Since I got my longarm last May, I have done pantographs and ruler work mostly with a little free motion quilting (FMQ) thrown in. But the FMQ scared me because I was having trouble deciding where I needed to go next. Indecision can paralyze. I especially feared stippling. I still don’t care for stippling but found that there are alternatives that are much more fun to do. I not only overcame my fear, I began to improvise and create my own patterns. I especially like the rose pattern and one of the leaf patterns we learned.
While doing the rose pattern, there was a little hip swinging motion going on. LOL It was a lot of fun.
The last block that we quilted, we were encouraged to make up our own meandering pattern. I chose to mix the leaf pattern and the rose pattern. I was very pleased with the result and plan to use it on a future quilt.
Hope you also had a good week doing something you love to do.