Friday, August 11, 2017

Bits 'N Pieces

This has been a very good week.  I completed my 10th finish of the year and checked off another UFO, leaving only five on the list.  "Bits 'N Pieces" is done!

Quilting this one was not a good experience.  (I was going to say that it was a huge challenge, or maybe a real hassle, or maybe even a pain in the neck, but I'm trying not to be too negative.)  First, I spent an hour trying to get the tension right.  I was trying to use a light grey thread on top and black thread on the bottom, but it was not working at all.  I knew it would be better to use the same thread on the top and bottom for the tension to work out.  My friend Faye at Mimi's Passions told me to think about using chartreuse or orange thread.  Now, why didn't I think of that?  I'm always suggesting that to other people, but I didn't think of it for myself.

You know what?  I really liked the orange!

Then, I had a lot of trouble stitching through all those layers.  In some spots with all the slashing apart and sewing back together, there were so many thicknesses it was really difficult to get smooth curves or keep the needle going without it getting hung up.   To top it all off, I managed to do this - 

Take my advice.  Don't do that.

I felt better once I decided on a binding color (with the help of Sweet Adorable Hubby) and I knew I was almost done.

Hand stitching the binding down is my favorite part of making a quilt!

Now that it's finished I really love this quilt.  There are so many fun fabrics in it, from plaids and selvedge edges .....

..... to thirties prints .....

..... to juvenile prints.

Even watermelon!

So, tonight I'm sitting back and enjoying my accomplishments (when I'm not doing a happy dance!)

I haven't kept a quilt for us in a long time, so I'm looking forward to snuggling up in this one, drinking coffee, and reading a book.  

I may just do that every morning!

If you want to see how the blocks were made look at this blog entry then read this one.

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Can I bet a Whoop Whoop?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I've Been Rockin' those UFO's Lately!

I pulled out a UFO the other day.  (I'm determined to get as many finished this year as I can.)  

This particular quilt top was started in 2011 when I participated in a block swap involving "made fabric."  That's when you take your small scraps and sew them together, then use that "made fabric" in other projects.  Some people call them crumb quilts.  If you google "crumb quilts" or search Pinterest for them you will see some great quilts made that way.  Here are some examples.

 In this blog post from 2011 you can see how my blocks were made.  The basic blocks were by the other gals in the block swap.  I made the purple ones.  (I know.  Purple, right??)  I cut them up and rearranged them, then added the contrasting strips.  After that, it became a UFO because I couldn't figure out what to do about borders.  

This week, determined to get something checked off my list, I pulled it out and started to play.  At first, I thought I would put a small black inner border and then use made fabric for the outer border working my way around the top with red, then yellow, then teal, purple, blue, etc.  I wan't motivated to do that much work, though.  Lately, I've seen a lot of quilts with a pop of black and white stripes so I thought I'd do something with that.  It works.

What to do for the backing was another tough decision.  (I'm not used to making all these decisions without input from Sweet Adorable Hubby, but he was out of town, so I had to do the best I could!)

Thinking I would use a black on white print I dug through my stash and, instead, came up with these very cool prints.  I had about 5 yards of each.  I remember buying these at Hancock's of Paducah a while back when I was at a retreat at Kentucky Lake. 

Here's the backing I came up with.

Now, it's basted and ready to quilt.  

That's the goal for this coming week.  Checking off another UFO from the list will be so fun!

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I'll wait until it's finished before I ask for a Whoop Whoop!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

"Family Forever"

In 2012 I met up with a group of friends for some shopping at Hancock's of Paducah.  My friend Rose Mary and I thought it would be fun to work on projects together at our upcoming retreat that summer, so we each bought a "Tropical Breeze" pattern by Fat Quarters Anonymous.  We were both drawn to the same fabric line so we bought everything we needed and started on our quilts that summer five years ago.  This is all I got done --

I set it aside for a long time.  (Hmmm, I seem to do that a lot, don't I?)  Finally, last year I decided it had been a UFO long enough and I needed to finish it.  I wasn't really loving the fabrics I had planned to use for it.  It really needed some more color.  (I do that a lot, too!)  Color definitely helped.

I wanted to use some of the fabrics I had originally bought for the borders, especially since I had so much of it.

The first one looked pretty good ....

..... the second one, not so much.

That was okay, though, because I have quite a selection of batiks  Surely, I had something that would work.  Hmmmm......

With help from Sweet Adorable Hubby I auditioned border fabrics until I finally found one that would work.  At first, I wasn't sure the binding fabric, which I matched to the backing, would work either.  

Once it was finished I decided it was perfect, and I love it!

I mailed it last week to my former sister-in-law who I still consider to be family, and I always will.  That's why I named this quilt "Family Forever."  We share many precious memories.  I hope they come to mind whenever she snuggles up in her quilt.

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Friday, July 21, 2017

An Old Wedding Quilt Finish -- Finally!

I'm sure my friend Pattie thought this day would never come.  I was beginning to wonder, myself.   The restoration of the Old Wedding Quilt is complete and it has been delivered.  Pattie is "over the moon" about it.  

Looking back at our electronic conversations it was January of 2015 when she showed me the quilt and asked for advice.   I took it home with me to see what I could figure out.  It was seven months before I even had a chance to look at it.  In case you don't remember this is what it looked like .....

 .....and my first blog post about this project describes the condition.  I think the most fun part of this entire thing was taking it apart.  I had never done that with an old quilt, and it was so cool.  (Yes, my favorite part of home remodeling projects is the demolition!)  Between finishing the top and starting to quilt it, I had to set it aside again for a while, but I got back to it, anxious to see it finished.  

There wasn't enough original fabric in good shape to use for the binding, so I ordered several shades from the Fat Quarter Shop hoping one of them would be at least close enough to the right color so I could use it.   Wonder of wonders!  One of them was a perfect match.

It could not have been a better match!

I used clip art and hand-embroidery to make the label.  Isn't it fun?  That's supposed to be the happy couple in 1963 and Pattie in 1967.  

Actually these pictures are a little better.

And now, for the rest of the story.

Pattie's mother, Irene Mayfair, was set up on a blind date with a young sailor named Harlon Doyle by her best friend and his best friend.  After their first date Irene told her best friend that she was going to marry that man!  And she did.  On July 3, 1963 in a courthouse in Florida.  They traveled to Harlon's hometown for their first Thanksgiving as a married couple and were presented with the quilt by Irene's new mother-in-law, Effie Doyle.

Pattie came along in 1967 and as she was growing up she took over the quilt as her own.   In her words,  " I sort of took it over growing up.  It was my favorite and one of the blankets I wanted to wrap up in if I was sick.  It went to the beach as a beach blanket, and was used for picnics over the years ... until it started coming apart, and I just put it up so it wouldn't deteriorate completely."

I am so privileged to have been a part of this quilt's restoration.  I hope as it hangs in Pattie's home it brings as much comfort to her as it did when she was growing up.  I know it will bring back many precious memories every time she looks at it.

NOTE - if you haven't seen previous posts on the progress of this quilt check them out here -

Aug 29, 2016 --

Sept 1, 2016 --

Sept 29, 2016 --

Jan 8, 2017 --

Feb 5, 2017 --

Mar 7, 2017 --

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Old Wedding Quilt - Update

After setting aside the Old Wedding Quilt for a while I've been excited to be back to work on it.  I don't think any of the blocks from the original quilt were the same size, neither were the sashing strips or cornerstones.   That made it interesting (and a real challenge!) to put it all back together and get it to be square.  In order to make it lay flat I cut and marked the backing and batting and made the reconstructed top fit within those lines, then used a lot of pins to baste.  The plan is to quilt it into submission!

I've  tried to maintain as much of this quilt's character as possible.  It was originally hand pieced using a heavy thread I haven't been able to identify and quilted with what looks like crochet thread.   I used hand quilting thread to piece it, and I'm using a medium weight Perle cotton to hand quilt it.  

I'm making steady progress every day and loving every minute.  

It won't be long now, and I'll be putting on the finishing touches.  As long as this is taking it is still a labor of love.  

When it's done I'll tell you a little about the love story behind the quilt!