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!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Sunday Stitches

On occasion I blog.

Yeah, right. I absolutely have been taking too much time off, lately. And once that pattern establishes, I have a terribly difficult time getting back on track. So, after the better part of a week of silence, here I am to share a bit of stitching news.

DH and I have been watching season 3 of The Crown. We enjoy it so much. The cast changed significantly from seasons 1 and 2, and that took some getting used to, but we are all good now. We watched the episode about the Apollo moon landing last evening. I don't know how far behind we are, or how many more episodes remain.

When we settle in for an evening of television viewing, I try to work on my Lake Effect applique panels. Here are some update pictures. This is the bottom panel of the outer border. They are really long and narrow, so I cropped off a bit to make the picture work better.

If you can detect the dark basting stitches, that indicates the small section yet to be appliqued down. I am using the back-basting method that I discovered and learned a few months ago. Big game changer for me. I have been a real Negative Nancy about the applique phase of this quilt, and now it does not intimidate me at all! WIN!

I will link up now with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts. It has been awhile since I have checked in with those talented ladies. (I have the attention span of a squirrel.) There are some beauties on display this week, so go have a peek if you are so inclined.

Have a great week, Peeps! Turkey Day is approaching fast!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Jelly Roll Quilt Top

Before I get into sharing the latest finish out of JQR, allow me to say here that your enthusiasm over my previous post has been most appreciated. I have never had such heartfelt messages, comments and encouragement as I have had since this post. The wonderful world of quilters and the way we cheerlead for one another provides such a boost. Thank you, thank you.

Now, on to the Jelly Roll quilt. Back in September, I began a JR quilt in honor of National Sew a Jelly Roll day, sometime in the middle of the month. Using two partial JRs of a French General fabric, I just randomly began sewing a block. After awhile, I had a nice little thing going, so I made blocks until I ran out of jelly roll. To finish up the last few, I even had to dig in the French General remnant bin - all good.

And here is my finished quilt top. I have no name for this, and no pattern. I could do a tutorial because it was super-easy, fast, and fun. Maybe I will.

Any interest in that sort of thing?

My only real objective, besides using my partial jelly rolls, was to create diagonal red chains and off-white chains. Mission accomplished! I now have a nice throw-sized quilt top. I am considering a border, but maybe I will just be done and move on. Stay tuned.

This quilt was one of the contenders for my sewing day with the Frienzies at Sherrie's. I opted not to take it because I was unsure of how best to set it together and knew I needed to concentrate on what I was doing. That was a good call, for I would not have been concentrating that day, and this layout is definitely one I like. Worth waiting.

Now, I am ready to return to the longarm room to begin quilting a t-shirt quilt - the first of three I have lined up to do. All are for others, and two are for paying customers who want them for Christmas gifts. Gotta' get going on them.

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Biggest Quilting News Ever!

How d'ya like that headline? I hope it conveys the nearly unbridled excitement I am feeling over this latest development.


Yes, you read that right. After two years of inactivity, false starts, excuses, and issues, all systems are going. Successfully. And below are the first few stitches of what I hope will be many thousands of stitches yet to come.

It's been a long journey, one that has been precisely two years coming to fruition. On November 16, 2017, DH and I drove over to Sharon and Fred's to inspect the long arm she was giving me. Yes, that's right, Sharon GAVE me her long-arm quilting machine. We went to assess its size and to establish a plan for dismantling, moving and reassembling it. Read about that in this post.

Fred and Sharon behind the Tin Lizzie.

Table parts ready for assembly in our basement.
The machine moved to our house on December 8, 2017. We did a good job of assembling it in a timely manner. I was motivated to quilt! After assembly, however, I found many excuses for not quilting. It was daunting! Checking tension, checking needle, threading correctly, loading a quilt correctly, skipping stitches, watching videos, questioning friends. I was overwhelmed and easily discouraged, and consequently, I would leave it for months at a time.

One major problem was that we put the machine in our partially finished basement. It is a clutter catch-all, often damp and chilly, and since we spend very little time down there, we have all manner of dust and detritus. Every fall, we battle mice. Even with all these negatives, DH and I worked like crazy to clean up and clear out the space so that it would be a more pleasant place to work. And in June, I actually loaded a quilt onto the machine. I was GOING to quilt, by gosh! Here's the post for that.

And then I saw a snake. Eww! (He came in through the washing machine drain.) And then I saw mouse droppings. Eww! Before you go thinking we live in a ramshackle sty, let me assure you these creatures go hand-in-hand with country living. Farmland surrounds us, and we have a fair amount of wooded land on our property. We are remote, for sure. Anyway...

Is it any wonder I didn't relish going downstairs to quilt? It creeped me out to think of working in that basement. Until we do some major remodeling, that's just a fact.

Then DH and I had a light bulb moment -- we would dismantle one of our extra bedrooms and move the Tin Lizzie upstairs beside my existing sewing room. Having all sewing and quilting located in adjacent rooms made so much better sense. Why it took so long to come up with this is beyond me, but gosh, once the idea was out there, we really went to work to make it happen. Click back to this post from October first, when we were in the midst of transitioning.

As the bedroom parts were moved out and the long arm parts were moved in, I washed everything with disinfectant before proceeding with reassembly. The photo above shows the frame and machine in its new home, with the quilt draped over the bars in front. With a clean machine in a clean room, I was ready to quilt! Oooh, the excitement!

That plan was soon dashed as my stitches were a mess. I did all sorts of trouble shooting on my own, but this was a bigger problem than I could fix. I called Terry over at the McArthur Quilt Shop, who services Tin Lizzies. After describing the issue to him over the phone, he made a conjecture that there was a problem with an encoder. I needed to take it in for him to look at. This involved, naturally, removing the quilt from the frame, dismantling the machine from the table, lugging it and the roller platform to the car, and driving an hour east to McArthur. That picture above is my dear Tin Lizzie in the back of the car ready for its trip to the fix-it shop.

And I had to do it twice. The first trip fixed the encoder, yet back here set up and ready to quilt, I still had issues. The side-to-side quilting worked great; the front-to-back quilting - ehh, not so much. It made only a couple of correct stitches and then a big long stitch and then the machine just stopped running. So I called Terry again, described this new issue; "it must be in the wiring" he hypothesized, and yes, the machine had to return to McArthur.

And that is how I spent Saturday morning, exactly two years from the date we first went to see the machine at Sharon and Fred's.

Now, for the good news! It's fixed! Terry was fantastic! He did not charge me for that second visit, and solved the issue - bonus: I shopped for fabric while he worked his magic. Back here at home, I put it all back together again, reattached the quilt for the umpteenth time, and took some stitches.

Success! I was quilting! I did a bit Saturday night and finished it Sunday night. Just before bedtime, I removed my first finished quilt from the Tin Lizzie, and ceremoniously spread it out on our bed for inspection.

Here are some glamour shots taken this morning. I couldn't help myself - I took a lot. This is Moda Love.  Click here for the details on it.

And thus, a new chapter begins here at Jayne's Quilting Room. For my entire quilting life, I have made quilt tops, and have two closets full (well, not full) to prove it. It will be fun revisiting each of these creations as I work my way through the quilting process on them all.

Happy, happy, happy quilting, Friends!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Sewing With Frienzies

We met. We talked. We ate. We sewed.
This annual tradition of sewing on Veteran's Day is now well into its 20 year, maybe more. And it always such a good time. Without further ado, let's just look at the variety of projects.

Linda had a pretty good start on this Dresden Plate quilt made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics on black. Stunning! She worked on sewing the top together and then cutting out the vines which will border the entire quilt.

Sharon cannot pass up any opportunity to sew with KF fabrics, and has been working on this quilt called Seed Packet. Another stunning quilt, right?

And one more Kaffe quilt comes from Kay, the original KF fan of our group. Way, way back in 2007 (give or take), she began buying this gorgeous stuff, and has made many KF quilts in these intervening years. The one above is her project from Monday.

Our hostess Sherrie is always a step ahead; she worked on this heart table runner which she will need for a Valentine's Day charity. She was working with a charm pack and a jelly roll.

Pam had a whole lot of stuff going on, and I do not have a good picture here to fairly represent it. The appliqued blocks here were made by her husband's late aunt. Pam has taken possession of a sizeable fabric stash from this aunt and found many orphan blocks in the collection. I will be writing more about this in a future post.

I worked on back basting a panel for my Lake Effect quilt. I'd traced the design a few days earlier, then attached the blue on Sunday evening. I was able to do a good bit of back basting all day Monday, and feel quite back in the groove with this project.

A couple other Frienzies attended but did not sew. We missed Hettie, our only still-working girl (as in not retired; several of us have taken up jobs in our retirement!). A wonderful day, and an even more wonderful group of friends!

Short and sweet, because DH is taking me out for Mexican!

Happy Quilting, Friends!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Works In Progress

I think I start too many projects. Emphasis on START.

On Monday I had a full day set aside on which to sew with Frienzies, and when I went to the sewing room ostensibly to get my stuff ready to go, I had a heck of a time deciding which project to work on.


I could not make myself focus! I truly want to work on them all, and of course that is impossible, so how does one pick? If I would finish one before starting another, I wouldn't waste so much time deciding.

It came down to choosing out of five options - three needed the sewing machine; two required hand-work. I will tell you what won out after I show you the five contenders.

First, I thought about taking the jelly roll squares - a red pile and an off-white pile. They would have been fun to sew together into the quilt top. Above, the individual blocks are laid out on the bed creating a pleasing red chain one direction and an off-while chain the other. Here's when I started it.

Next, I considered taking Diagonal Madness. It is always fun to sew Kaffe Fassett fabrics with the Frienzies, as so many of them have their own Kaffe stashes and quilts. The diagonal placement of the colors and squares requires attention; could I muster that with the Freinzies? Here's when I started it.

Another contender was the Quilter's Planner sew-along quilt. All the individual blocks are made and now the quilt top needs to be constructed. The background comes together in long strips. The directions have lots of numbers/measurements. I knew I would be talking and visiting - not concentrating, in other words. Again, could I muster that? Here's when I started it.

I have been working diligently on my Roman Holiday table topper with my big-stitch quilting. I have every intention of finishing it before Christmas, so it was a definite contender. I did take it along with me on Monday, but I did not take a single stitch on it. Here's when I started it.

The winner was Lake Effect, the 10-year project that I have basically avoided for about 3 months now. I was at a place where a break just seemed right. I am currently all revved up to do some back-basting, and this was how I spent my Monday. And, happily, several pleasant evenings since. *smile*

While I do seem to lose a lot of time spinning my wheels with indecisiveness, eventually, I manage to focus.

Of these five WIPs, I honestly think I can get Roman Holiday completely finished, and quilt tops for Diagonal Madness and Jelly Roll completed this month. I will allow myself to save the Quilter's Planner for December, and of course, this Lake Effect will take years. I have called it a 10-year project; I am just two years into it, so I have plenty of time left. No hurry, for sure. The fabric was purchased in April of 2017; here's a 2018 post about hexies for Lake Effect.

How do you overcome indecision in the sewing room? Help a girl out with suggestions!
Happy Quilting, Friends!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Two weeks ago, I had a call from my (non-quilting) friend, Judy, who volunteers at our local Christian Center. This center takes in and distributes gently used clothing and household items to those in need, and manages food distribution, as well. Judy's call concerned a recent donation they'd received -- three bags of quilt fabric. Would I be interested in it?

After driving into town to have a look, I determined that I was NOT going to take any of it. My closets are already full-to-bursting. However, the fabric was worth saving and using. I knew there had to be a group devoted to making charity quilts that would love having a chance at using this fabric.

The fabric was clean, folded neatly, and in good condition. I could tell that this quilter/crafter had known what she was doing. The pieces were somewhat dated - like maybe they'd been purchased in the 1970s and 1980s. The quality was acceptable, if not top-of-the-line. Many of the prints were themed: holiday, patriotic, baby, juvenile. The photos above provide some indication of the types and amounts. Additionally, I found a small stack of pre-cut squares and circles, no doubt abandoned projects.

I reached out via Facebook for suggestions on groups interested in taking a donation of fabric for charitable efforts. Many friends offered suggestions and provided me with names and numbers. It is so gratifying to know of the good souls who care about helping out those in need. All were worthy, however, I handed off the fabric to the first group with whom I had successful contact.

Touching Little Lives, Inc. is a central Ohio charity located out of Groveport. Their Facebook page indicates that they are a non-profit whose mission, supported entirely by volunteers, is to provide for babies in need. They donate handmade quilts, afghans and clothing to major hospitals and other support agencies. I am thrilled to have been able to save this fabric for an organization such as this.

Maybe someday after I stop working, I will dedicate more time to doing good work for others. At present, time just does not permit it. I would like to think that my little part in this larger picture has been a godsend to someone.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

A Party

When life gets really crazy with a variety of activities and obligations what's the best thing to do? Schedule one more thing, right? Then, at the last minute, doesn't it make sense to decide that you need a new table runner to accent your décor? So, you go to your stash and make one?

Yeah, that's what I'd do.

For about 6 weeks, I have known that I had a party coming up. Norwex - are you familiar? It's a company that sells environmentally friendly cleaning products through home parties (a lot like Tupperware from the 80s). As I prepared for my party, I brought out my fall quilts, table toppers and wall hangings. I didn't have very many. So I decided on Saturday to make a long table runner for a Tuesday night party.

Crazy, I know, but I was not to be deterred. I planned to keep it very simple, and be very casual about using stash fabrics in all the colors associated with fall. Below is a representative picture of my fabric pull.

Most of the fabrics started out as fat quarters, and most had been cut into for various scrappy quilts over the years - and I'm talking years. Like more than 30 for a few of these.

I cut 3.5-inch squares and stitched randomly. I tried not to overthink anything, as time was of the essence.

I pulled the fabric, cut and sewed the 5 rows x 15 rows together on Saturday. Sunday evening I selected the backing, sandwiched the layers, and quilted it. And late that same night, I put on the binding. Ta-da! Finished in no time!

My original thought was that I would use this runner on my kitchen table, but it looked so good down the length of my counter top (which serves as a bar on the other side) that I changed my plan.

And for the Norwex party, which was last night, here's how it looked covered up with appetizers.

My party was well-attended with 20 guests. They were generous with their orders, which means I earn lots of free products, so that makes me happy. And after all the clean-up, I am left with a new table runner for my fall décor. Below is the crowd smooshed into my family room and dining area.

I had quite a lot of leftover goodies. I sent DH off on his bus route this morning with two boxes of cupcakes to share with the teachers and children in the Mennonite school. I am anxious to hear how that was received.

Making a table runner was not even on my radar for this month, but I am glad to have deviated from that to-do list. Now, I must get back on task and finish a few of those WIPs (works in progress) that have been gathering dust.

Happy Quilting, Friends!