Posts Tagged ‘Quilting’

Jan 2017
I send boxes to be shipped to my friend, Trish, every year.  Most of the items are for distribution to the local Honduran families to which they minister.  I’ve made and sent quilts before as their homes don’t have heat and many nights can be down in the 50’s!  I don’t want to sleep that cold and not have a quilt or blanket so they are really needed.  Mostly it is my time and I use fabric I already have.  I have yet to make much dent in the fabric stash so I’m glad to make someone happy with a warm quilt.

I also send school supplies, kitchen items, and small gifts for the Christmas packages they make.  I like supporting them because my funds and the gifts go to the people who need it most.  And Trish & her family continue to minister, teach, and train the ones they help in the economically poor country.  They don’t just drop a gift and never return but continue to make sure the family knows about God’s love and to make sure their physical needs are being met.

Last year they had some of their gifts stolen so I hope that quilt is keeping a  young person warm and they feel God’s love from my work.

This year, I made a quilt in colors for Trish’s room as she’d been talking about them moving houses to allow for their son and growing family to move into their bigger home.  I thought a new quilt would be nice for her new room.  This kept me so busy the month of January to try to get it done as a few customer quilts had started to come during my weeks of vacation. (Stay-cation, of course, but I was trying to quilt for me.)

Loaded on the frame.  I forget the exact dimensions w/o looking up the notes but I think it was 96″ square.

Each star triangle got about the same but freehand quilting motif.

It was a last minute piecing idea to put piping in between the borders.  It wasn’t a smart idea either! Besides being tedious, now my triangle points were all cut off! Argh!!

And my triangles didn’t fit my corners properly.  I decided it didn’t matter in the overall look of the quilt and I wouldn’t mind it if it was my quilt!

I pieced the backing from leftover fabrics from the front and I had clearly cut way too many triangles for the borders!  

It is easier to show the quilting from the back sometimes.

So as not to be removed, I incorporated my label into the back of the quilt!  I appliqued her initial and then wrote my words on the lighter fabric along her “T”.  I added narrow fabric strips along the bottom of the label area on a 45′ angle while I pieced the backing.  I found it fun to decorate the back as I had done on the Pencil Quilt last fall.

In one of the borders, I also backwards quilted a special message to Trish that I was going to tell her about when she received the quilt.  I’ve not heard from her or if the quilt made it safely to her or not.  :\   It sort of makes me sad but I know that she is very, very giving and could have given it to someone who needed it instead of keeping it for herself.   (Hence, the label that can’t be removed.) I also know it isn’t possible to run such a ministry they do on their own and send notes to everyone that sends boxes for them.  I loved making this and would love to make a giant star quilt for myself sometime and add all the heavy freehand quilting.  It was a lot of fun!


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This IS the BEST way to spend a February weekend!!  Dear, dear friend from Texas flew to visit ME!  I realized that in all these years, I’ve only had family visit, never a girlfriend.  This was the best weekend of quilting, sharing, encouraging, eating…. EVER!!


She is a hand-piecer but wanted to try my long-arm!  I let her!  LOL!!  My thinking was that I’d start it, she’d do a bit, and ask me to finish.  She loved it and did her whole quilt – a throw size.

This is in the evening after she had just arrived that day!  I’d be way too tired to think.  She did an amazing job!

Put any 2 ‘retired’ homeschool moms together and what do they do…?  We took a historical field trip!  This is an old stone bridge on some property we rent where a famous future President crossed following some local debates.  It is cool to see, the weather was so mild we were sliding in mud!, and it was a good time to be out and hike.  Thankfully, we took a driver and slightly OK photographer.

We were dressed for February, not for fashion photos!  It didn’t matter, we were together!

The middle of our mild winter, she saw a few bits of snow fall and the pond behind us had ice on it.

She got so comfortable with the machine she added her name to one of the near-solid blocks.  She also added a bit of glow-in-the-dark thread for fun on this quilt!  We were so excited when it really glowed!  (by Superior)

I added the binding by machine and she had her quilt ready to take home with her!  She left 3 other quilt tops for me to quilt and bind for her.   She hand sews the bindings.  All had wonderful labels that she lettered while she was here.

She also got a junior version of English Paper Piecing class.  I’m no pro but it was fun to play with fabric together.  She also organized and culled my batik fabric bin.  Clearly she didn’t cull enough as the lid still doesn’t fit on!

Monday night we threw in a trip to one of my quilt guild meetings.  In February, we don’t usually have programs scheduled but she loved it enough she promises to go to a local guild near her!  #cough

At the airport and sadly it is time to say good-bye.  We had realized we’d never run out of things to talk about.  I needed to get a jump on the traffic.  And really just.in.time!  It backed up a ton behind me and in the other direction as I headed out of the city.  Sad to send her back home.  Thankful over the top that she came to visit!

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I was honored to be asked to enter and then super-excited and shocked to be accepted to show one of my quilts in a local art gallery.  The fall special exhibit was entitled, “Farms & Barns 11”.  (I assume eleventh year with this special theme in the fall.)

acceptance letter


A beautiful town ~~ this was on my way home after I set-up my quilt.


The acceptance letter also let me know there would be an opening reception of the special exhibit in just a few weeks.  I kindly told P that he would “get” to be my arm candy that night!  (His comment while driving away was along the lines of there went 2 hours of his life that he’d never get back.)

My guild friend that suggested I enter the show was at the opening reception and we were able to chat and I met her friend and her husband.  She is so sweet & kind to support me so much like this!

My in-laws came and were thrilled to have their quilt on display.  This is the first time I’ve had the chance to have a photo with my FIL and his quilt.  (the least blurry photo)


All the other exhibitors showed various forms of paintings or digital photographs.  My piece was the only one not for sale and I assume most of the other exhibitors had not made such a personal piece but have their pieces offered for sale on a regular basis.   I felt my work was out of place and it was displayed away from the other works but I was still happy to have my work there.  It was the best lighting the quilt has ever been shown in which thrilled me to see the quilting textures enhanced.

P & me….


This was heading back to the main floor after we looked at children’s art work displayed in the basement.

06I sent the gallery director jpegs to print out of 2 of the labels on the back.  Hopefully no one was touching to read the back of the quilt so these 2 frames had information about the quilt.

FIL was curious about my selfie so I showed him an example…. and we got the 2 of us!  😉


Waiting for time to pass and letting MIL rest instead of standing.


I hope I can get more advance notice for future special exhibits and be able to create for another gallery show.  It is a beautiful gallery!

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This year for one of the quilt guilds, we have a UFO challenge.  Before our first meeting of the year (March b/c Feb we were snowed-in), we filled in a form with 5 UFOs we’d like to complete this year.  (UnFinishedObject… in this case, a quilt)   I wanted to participate but have clearly told myself that it may not be something I can accomplish every 2 months.

The program chair collected the forms as we arrived and then randomly pulled a number during her report.  This month (to start in March and bring to the meeting in May) is number 5.

I checked my form at home that night and my #5 is the only one that I put on the list that isn’t started.  Nadda.  I have pattern.  I have the fabrics.  I have the reason I want it.  Not started.

In 2 weeks, I have colored in the black & white pattern and cut pieces for 3 of the 4 accent colors.  Enough cutting to get my will power going so I’m eager to squeeze in work on this.

Outside the Box — pattern and a few pages of the “pattern from hell” and the most complicated one I have ever seen!!


I got a bum deal on the pattern.  Found the pattern and fabrics at a booth at a quilt show.  Looked over the pattern in my room that night and thought – what a nightmare!  Once home, I looked online for ways other people had made the quilt and found not. much.  Then I found the pattern writer and her website.  It is a download purchase so I assume in color.  And $2 less than I paid for the black & white at the show.  😦    I’ve tossed & turned about giving another $10 for the color pattern but one evening just colored A, B, C, and D fabrics with colored pencils for the cutting and assembly pages.  All will be well.

The cutting is 1 piece at a time.  Slow.  But steady and all has gone great so far.  The cut pieces are sorted per instructions into the 4 bags as I go.  Maybe but still no betting… it will be a top at least by the May meeting.  Hoping it is a good planting week and I can feed the men and get to the meeting.  I’ll take as much as I have finished.


The background is a light aqua from Kaffe and the 4 accent fabrics.  Who knows what color shows on your monitor.  It will be a large wallhanging…whenever finished.

I’m calling this project Number 5 (#5) for now for many reasons.  UFO list item #5, for our child #5’s room are a few things.

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When the gov’t calls a legal holiday, I have a quilting friend with the day off!  🙂  Lunch out, a good drive, a quilt shop or clothing store or many of the above, and lots & lots of chat.  It is great!

This trip I had 2 layer cakes (already purchased) that needed companion fabrics and my friend said one store had a lot of batiks and brights.  The store was beautiful!!  And quiet.  And great inventory! And I spread out all over.  Left them money and came home with 2 packets for future quilts, all ready to go.

yellows and greens various sized prints with a splash of dark green

Yellows, darker greens, browns, and near white with a “background” of grayish white and splash of brown/black.  Dynamic!

pinks & purples & blues with a splash of gold B

Pinks, blues, purples in batiks with a “background” of violet and splash of gold with purples.  I knew that color-wise a yellow would be a good compliment but I sure wasn’t sure I’d ever find it.  Pleased with this stop in Monticello!

Do you separate your precuts when you buy them?  I keep them wrapped up until I’m ready to use them.   My friend got a new charm pack while we were out and immediately spread it out when we got home.  So funny when we realized that!

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I finally got a chance to get back to quilting on my test pieces, aka doll quilts.

IMG_20150108_105047 B

They aren’t perfect or what I would do for something “real” (not tests) but this is for testing and learning and both are going on.

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A fellow quilting friend gave me this cabinet for free that she got for free.  Double win!!  I have no idea where the “before” photos went but this is one of the baskets that isn’t redone yet showing the original colors of paint and the fabric.

cabinet 4

I visited my favorite local quilt shop and in the clearance closet found a great neutral fabric for 40% off!  (there are good scores in there sometimes!)  Then a stop at Home Depot for 2 cans of spray paint in the color “snow”.  A nearly light gray color.

I was hurrying to get this painted before the mid-October temps dropped to below 40’F so I could get the painting done in the garage.  I could use another can of paint and many warmer days, hence the baskets aren’t redone yet.

I plan to have this upstairs for the winter so I can have a bit of personal projects in the living room with my sewing machine and be able to sew in the evenings.  So now with the redo, it seems OK in the living room.  Mostly I’ll like having just the small area for ironing seams.

cabinet 1

The table I intended to use is going to probably become a kitchen table at an apartment soon so I guess I’m in the market for a portable sewing machine table.   I know what I want as another quilting friend has this sort of set-up as well.  That will be a New Year’s addition.  (Yahoo!)

When I recovered the ironing surfaces, I added a layer of batting over the foam that was on there already.  We put new hinges on the drop-sides.  I need Mr. Strong Arms to get the casters in the bottom a bit more secure.

The baskets fit in the pull out part and stay there to slide back into the main section.

cabinet 3

Finished for now!  Thank you!cabinet 2

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