Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Final Finish!

It feels really good to report that I have one more finish to tally up for this waning year. I spent yesterday afternoon adding the borders onto the Quilter's Planner Snowflake Sampler quilt, and I am loving how it turned out.

Despite how yellowed the picture appears, the background is crisp white, and the border is soft pink. The blocks are made from the leftovers of an early-2019 project using Memoire a Paris by Lecien Fabrics. I found the border fabric and the backing in my stash, and may get to quilting it in the new year.

This finish (quilt top finish, that is) represents a first: participating in and finishing a quilt-along - on time! Whoa! This is quite an accomplishment for me. I had no intention of even making this quilt, but the block for January was sooo alluring, and I had that gorgeous fabric still out from the previous project, so I made one block. Which, apparently was enough to hook me, because that one block turned into two the next month, and two more the following month, and so on all year long. It's all good, though, I mean, look how gorgeous!

This picture shows the backing fabric I will use. Trust me, it is purple. I can't seem to get my colors to look right at all.

Here's a closer look at the border fabric. Both the backing and the border fabrics have been in my stash for a long time; I am glad I had them - they both work so well with this quilt.

And that is a wrap on 2019. I spent a long while last night updating my finishes for 2019 in the pages section of the blog. I feel as though the year has been quite productive, and I am really proud of the projects I made. Having the Tin Lizzie 100% operational is going to make a big difference in my life this coming year. Can't wait!

Goodbye, 2019! You have been oh, so good to me! Thanks for all the fun!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Winding Down a Year and a Decade

All over the social medias I am seeing posts about not only the end of 2019, but also of the twenty-teens decade. Whoa. That's giving me lots to reflect on. It had never occurred to me that come midnight tomorrow, we begin a new decade. This will be the 7th decade I have lived in, which sounds like a lot, but I only had three years in my first decade. That means, though, that this decade will see me turning 70! Yikes!

Okay, I am not here today to talk about aging and the passage of time. I come here to talk about quilts, by gosh, and I have one more finish to share before concluding this year.

A long while back, our sweet young friend Caleb handed off a bagful of t-shirts and asked if I would make them into a quilt. We love this boy - he's almost one of our own! - so of course, I was all in.

I made the quilt top back in May, and quilted it in November, and included it here in my November round-up. It was my 2nd quilt completed on the Tin Lizzie.

Finally, yesterday I did the binding. With all the Christmas madness, I just hadn't taken the time to get this final task completed. It was taking up space in my quilting room, however, so it needed to be dealt with.

The back is pieced. I thought I'd bought enough of the black and gold paisley, however, I was not able to stretch it enough to make it work. My solution was to grab the gray and black stripe - it sorta' reminds me of barbed wire - that I used in the cornerstones, for a midsection of the back. Worked like a dream!

And now it is ready to be handed off to Caleb. I think he will love it. That was the last of four t-shirt quilts I made for others this year, and now all are finished.

Remember all those t-shirt quilts??

Number 1 was the Ohio State Quilt I made for my husband's college fraternity alumni to raffle for scholarship money. We just drew the winner on that - one of the alumni won it. Interestingly, his son was a senior on the OSU football team this year. We will be sending it out today or tomorrow.

Numbers 2 and 3 were quilts made for a local friend who gave them as Christmas gifts to her son.

And this one - Caleb's quilt - makes 4. I'm sure we will be seeing him soon.

And now, back to that end of the year/decade business. With just 1 1/2 days to go, I have one more quilt top I'd like to polish off. The quilt-along I worked on through the Quilter's Planner is right on schedule. The December instructions called for completing the quilt top, and I have nearly done it. Only a border to add, so my intention is to go to work on that this afternoon. Easy-peasy. Below is the first block done back in January.

I hope you are finishing your year - and your decade - strong!!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Can you believe it?!!? Christmas is here!

Image result for Vintage christmas images free

I hope you and yours are enjoying the blessings of Christmas.

We are hosting my side of the family today; 30 are expected for a 1pm feast. It will be a houseful! Absolutely the best kind of Christmas  -  with those we love.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Body Shop

I built a truck yesterday.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I would make a pillow using the red pickup truck motif that is so popular in Christmas decorations. I checked for one to buy at Hobby Lobby, but the only one they had didn't appeal to me, so that's when I decided I would just make one instead.

Then I decided that it would look good on rough and tough fabric like drop cloth canvas. You can see where this is going, right? Sometimes, the simplest project turns into quite the production, you know.

Off to Lowe's to buy a drop cloth. Then to borrow a couple of truck patterns from quilting friend Sheryll.  Then to find the Wonder Under. Then to buy a pillow form.

Above is a progress shot of truck construction work. I really didn't like that goofy front fender, so I trimmed it down a bit. Added later to the above was the black running board, headlight, and white walls for the tires.

Prepping the canvas fabric involved cutting away the hemmed edge. My pillow form is 16" square, so I cut 18" clear across one end. The extra 2 inches were my precautions for the potentially excessive raveling nature of canvas.

I marked the sewing line on the front panel at 16.5" - this seemed like enough of a seam allowance given that the canvas would be bulky and all. I finger-pressed the center point so everything would look pleasing. Then I placed the truck parts and ironed them on. No turning back at this point!

It had been years since I last machine-appliqued, so I figured I'd better do some practicing first. This little tree is the result of my practice. I will use this in something. Cute, right?

Then I settled in to do the truck on my pillow front panel. It occurs to me that my learning curve might have needed additional practice time. But too late now; it's finished and all its imperfections just add to its charm. That's what I'm telling myself.

The back is envelop-style, so the remaining 18" of my original cut was divided into two parts that overlapped for a neat finish. I sewed it all together, trimmed and zigzagged the seam allowances, and turned it right side out.

Voila! My pillow doesn't look half bad.

I have a lot of canvas drop cloth fabric left over. I suspect I will be coming up with future projects for this versatile material.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Continued Slow Stitching

My goal of having this table topper done by Christmas is beginning to concern me! This slow stitching business is just that - slow! However, it continues to be a work in progress, and it is nearing completion.

It may have been ignored for too long back in the earlier fall.

Lately, I have been keeping it on my footstool so that whenever I sit down, I can easily access it and get to stitching.

For the most part, the center portion is quilted. I have a few small places to stitch - like when I ran out of thread and such. Then it's on to the borders. Since I don't have a plan, I guess I will continue with the Baptist Fan motif all the way out to the edge.

A couple of good long evenings - maybe with a movie queued up - and this can finally be done!

Linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching party. Is everyone facing deadlines?

Happy Quilting, Friends!

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!