Friday, December 13, 2019

Two Quilts for One Customer

I hate to think about how long I have had Beth's t-shirts. I suppose I picked them up from her as far back as February or March. I devoted the month of May to making the quilt tops; I wrote about the big one in this post, and the smaller one in this post.

I will show you the finishes before I go into the long tale of at last finishing these quilts.

It is obvious seeing them folded together that one is much smaller than the other. She had saved a lot of her son's shirts! Several were from when her son was a very little boy. Those shirts ended up being cut at 12" square and went into the smaller, lap-size quilt. The bigger shirts were all cut at 15" and made a big 88" square quilt.

Like I said, the tops were made in May. Then the wait was on. I could have taken them to my friend Terry for quilting, but that longarm hanging out right here in my own house needed to be used. It had been dormant for far too long.

It hadn't been without some trying, though, however half-hearted it was. At some point, I made a quilt 'sandwich' out of some old fabric and did try to get things going, but whenever I hit a snag, I would just stop. I was easily deterred. When the time crunch began to set in - Beth wanted these quilts for Christmas - I finally got serious about making this situation right.

With the help of DH, we moved furniture out of a whole upstairs bedroom, dismantled the longarm - which was in the basement, mind you - and moved it to that empty bedroom. Oh, remember, we painted and steam-vacced before moving the longarm, too. So, when all was set up and ready to go, I had terrible-looking stitches. The fix ended up requiring two trips to my favorite Tin Lizzie repairman over in McArthur. He diagnosed me, then fixed me, and at long, long last, I quilted my first quilt on a machine I'd had for two years!

I've blogged a few times about this whole process, so all that is a very condensed version of the entire saga. Click here for the more complete story.

Later today I am delivering the quilts to Beth. In time for Christmas! Yes! Deadline met with barely any time to spare. They have some flaws, but I think they are minimal. Quilters can be overly critical of their own work, and t-shirt quilts are not meant to be heirlooms, so these will be good for actually using and enjoying.

I cannot tell you how happy I am to finally be quilting and getting projects done all on my own. It's a monumental development in my evolution as a quilter.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Slow Stitching

I am determined to finish quilting this little Roman Holiday table topper - before Christmas! I am doing big-stitch quilting on it, yet like I so often do, I get side-tracked by other projects, and it sits ignored in the quilting room. I have recently brought it back out and leave it on the footstool near my chair in the family room. While I watched both Buckeye basketball and football on Saturday - two wins!! - I worked on this topper.

Those big stitches are becoming rather haphazard. I think that comes with the infrequency of my work on it. If I were more focused, I would know where I was going with those markings made however long ago.

Maybe you can guess my attitude concerning the haphazard quilting - no big deal! Done is better than perfect, for sure. This attitude keeps me plugging away on this little beauty.

I am linking up with the friendly folks partying over at Kathy's Quilts for the Slow Sunday Stitching event. I wonder how many  more quilters are trying to finish things in time for Christmas??

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Saturday, December 7, 2019


I am truly enjoying the Tin Lizzie. If only I had made the move upstairs sooner. Oh well. That's water under the bridge, and from this point on I will just be happy that I am at last using the long arm and getting some of these quilt tops quilted.

Back about a month ago when I made two separate trips to McArthur for repairs to the machine, I picked up backing fabric for three quilts that I had on the my immediate radar for quilting.

The black fabric on top has already been used for the t-shirt quilt I worked on last week. It isn't "matchy-matchy" with the top, but this worked, in my opinion, because it looks like the lining in a suit jacket. And that is a lot like the back of a quilt, don't you think? The top is a jumble of different t-shirts with no particular dominant color. I used gray and black for the sashing and cornerstones. This black and gold paisley just seemed like a good, understated backing.

The photo above shows the quilts as I was preparing to take it off the frame. The backing is rolled onto the bar. It is weird to think that black can have different "colors" but there is a definite difference in the backing black and the border/sashing black. However, I believe they work.

The gold fabric in the picture up top is currently on the quilting frame for a second t-shirt quilt (third overall quilt). It is the only one of the three backing fabrics that is a true backing. At a width of 108 inches, I was in good shape with loading and quilting this. No work!

Above is the bottom end of the quilt with the gold backing rolled onto the back bar. It has the look of batik, but is regular cotton with that mottled look.

I wrote and saved the above yesterday, and after quilting for about 45 minutes today, I finished off this t-shirt quilt.

Coincidentally, Sharon O. called while I was quilting. If you recall, she is my benefactor. She gifted this quilting machine to me and after two years, I am at last using it! How I can ever thank her for this wonderful gift, I don't know. Perhaps just being happy in using it will show my gratitude. And I am. Blissfully happy. Truly.

Okay. Now to get to binding. Then I have one more t-shirt quilt to load. It will get that remaining backing fabric in the top picture. Stay tuned for updates on that!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Frienzie Pam's Windfall

Long time readers are familiar with my Frienzies - those dear friends from my working days at CHS. We all had lunch together for years and years; not only were we coworkers, but we also shared many of the same interests, so naturally we formed some very strong friendships.

Most of us are now retired from teaching, but we still faithfully get together every month for a meal - either at someone's house or at a restaurant. Last month we sewed with Sherrie on Veterans' Day, and in the blogpost I did on that day, I mentioned that I would bring you additional details on Pam's treasure-trove of vintage quilt blocks.

In that earlier post, I alluded to the vintage blocks and quilting stash she'd recently acquired from her husband Charlie's late Aunt Margie. This aunt was known in the family as the quilter. Pam tells me that she and Charlie have one of Aunt Margie's quilts hanging above their bed. When the family needed to disburse Aunt Margie's belongings, Pam, a retired home ec teacher, was given the quilting items, which consisted of several tubs of fabric, supplies and orphan blocks.

Many of the orphan blocks are appliqued. Take a look:

A Celtic Knot

A river or stream with a boat?

Pam has taken the last three blocks and turned them into a table runner, using some of Aunt Margie's fabrics for the setting blocks.

Another table runner is made of three flower applique blocks placed on point. Pam did both of these table runners on Veterans' Day.

Now let's have a look at the pieced blocks. Pam has done some research on sampler quilts, and she plans to go this direction so that they can all be used in one quilt rather than a ga-zillion table toppers.

Drunkard's Path

36-patch block

A whale or fish
A starflower

Do you know the name of this block? I do not.
Pam turned these Storm at Sea blocks into a table runner.
Churn Dash

Snails Trails

Combination of blocks - unsure if it has a name, but pretty for Christmas!

Table topper made from triangles cut at 60-degree angles.

Scrappy signature block? 
As Pam creates her sampler quilt using these random blocks, I will try to bring updates from time to time. Pam likes to get things done, and never shies away from a challenging project. It will be fun to see what she comes up with.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019


The hurrier I am, the behinder I get.

That seems to be the way of things lately. But I foresee a great shift occurring in the next week or so, as my semester comes to an end, and I can refocus myself on my sewing, blogging and home.

The good stuff, in other words.

A quick acknowledgment to our new month, now that we are 3+ days into it. I have a November wrap-up to share, so let's get to it.

Top row: My impromptu table topper that ended up looking better on my bar than on my table; my cousin Ellen and I at our annual Buckeye weekend/family reunion in Columbus; and our first snow of the season - earlier than usual, but very pretty while it lasted.

Middle row: My first quilt finished on the Tin Lizzie!!! This was a truly major highlight of the month - perhaps of the year!; then the second quilted effort was a t-shirt quilt; and the final pic is of the Tin Lizzie in her new penthouse suite.

Bottom row: a fun crafty afternoon with friends resulted in this string-art Christmas tree; the back basting continues on Lake Effect; and last, the girls, their fellas, DH and I had a fantastic evening of dining and cheer at Lindey's in German Village. This has become a tradition as we have made this a part of our holidays for 4 years now.

My December sewing plans include quilting about 4 quilts, minimum. I have two that are promised to a customer as my top priorities. Then a baby quilt must be finished, as the little fella is already approaching 6 months! Then perhaps a Christmas quilt?? Or two? Yes, I think I can do this.

I have blogging plans, too, with a big post coming up about one of my Frienzie friends.

I am in my final week of regular classes at OUC, and next week we have finals. I definitely feel the shifting of my energies.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear JQR readers and followers ~

I extend my sincerest Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you all! I am so very grateful for your encouragement over the years.

I have been blessed in so many ways and I humbly give thanks for those blessings today and every day!

DH and I will be feasting with my side of the family today at my sister's house. Should be quite the crowd. I hope you are spending the day with those that you love, as well.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers and
Best Wishes to all wherever you may be!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Long Arm Room Reveal

It's been awhile coming together, but I am finally ready to offer up a tour of my long arm room. Over the summer and fall we have removed a bedroom and created a room dedicated solely to the Tin Lizzie. Back in this post I wrote about my goal of putting the room in order and decorating it. And for now I am satisfied. There are still walls to be filled, but I will let that evolve.

Standing in the doorway to the room, this is the straight-ahead view. I propped the stepladder in the corner as planned (explained in this post) and draped 3 Sunbonnet Sue quilts on the rungs. The Sunbonnet Sue quilt on the wall is an antique made by my grandmother. I do not recall if this was my mom's or not. As soon as Mom sees this, she will know the details, I hope.

I didn't realize I had so many Sunbonnet quilts. As I emptied out some closets and tubs in the course of redoing this room, I came across all of these and decided that they should be kept together. Then I had the bright idea of using them in the room's décor.

Stepping into the room and turning at the end of the long arm, I have added a clock and the glass-front cupboard to the far wall. (Here's where it used to be.) On top of the cupboard, I have turned up an old laundry basket and filled both with quilts. These were fun to revisit while I refolded all of them. Some are very, very old - over 100 years, I imagine, while others might just be 30-40 years old. Most were quilted by Grandma, except for those most-ancient ones. They would be from my great-grandparents' generation.

There's just this one window in the room, and I have rehung the old curtains back up after laundering them. I made these curtains a long, long time ago, and I really ought to put up some new ones, but ugh. Not in the mood. These are a bit faded, but will suffice.

Let me point out the new light fixture and ceiling fan. This was not a priority when we first moved the machine into the room. However, when setting up the table, leveling out the height, attaching the quilt, we were so hot! It occurred to me that with just one window, I might not ever get good air-flow, so perhaps a ceiling fan would be wise. We were ordering new outdoor fixtures for our porches and garage door, so I added this to that order, and had an electrician hook everything up. I am already glad I had the foresight to do this. After quilting only 2 quilts, having the fan on very low speed has made a big difference.

Above is a picture taken prior to the new lighting installation. I wish you could see the original 80s-style fixture. It was a square box with a glass bottom; time for an upgrade, for sure.

A small dresser and a chair are centered on the remaining wall. The dresser has been around for at least 60 years. Originally, it was dark brown and had both its bottom doors when I was a small child. It served as bedroom dresser way back then. At some point, one door was lost, so the remaining door came off, and at some point after that, it came to me in my adulthood. I honestly don't recall where we used it - probably for the kids' bedrooms. When DD1 Erin moved into her own apartment, she took it and painted it white. Then when DD2 Emma went to college, Erin no longer had a need for it and Emma used it for several years. Now, Emma is in her own place and acquiring her own furniture, so it has come back to me. Hah. What a well-traveled little dresser. It is perfect for this space, as I have all the necessary notions and supplies in the drawer. Currently on top are the two quilts I've quilted so far, awaiting their bindings.

And that is my long arm room. Not too fancy. Nothing that will distract me from my task when operating the machine. I suppose as time goes along, I will add to the space, but it serves for now as is.

We have been having severe wind today which resulted in the loss of our internet for most of the day. This post was supposed to have been finished and ready to go several hours ago - before noon, for sure. Alas, here you go after 4pm. Oh well.

Happy Quilting, Friends!