Somewhat quickly is approaching is my daughter’s wedding! Big Excitement, and many lists!! Instead of a traditional guest book, we opted for something quilty, and something that makes sense to someone like me. What did you do with your wedding guest book? Was it packed away in a cedar chest or bin? Did you EVER look at it again?
I had spent some time looking for patterns or a design for signature quilts, and yes there are some ideas out there, but I can’t usually play by the rules ( follow a pattern). I take comfort in doing things randomly, and not following a plan, yet I still wanted to make this quilt as something the bride and groom would like. This meant that there was a trip to a quilt shop. Darn hey? With my daughter in tow, we headed out to a place that I knew would have a great variety of not so traditional fabrics. We headed off to Juneau to J & A Stitches. I had visited their booths at numerous quilt shows, and saw a great representation of their goods which included many landscape fabrics, large graphic florals and a new favorite – Kaffee Fassett. Juneau is the county seat of Dodge County in Wisconsin. This quaint, yet well stocked shop, is located in the middle of nowhere on a farm. Roughly a 25 minute drive from my house, and well worth the trip! My daughter is artistic, and I thought it would be fun to watch her make the choices of fabrics. Seeing as how this is a quilt for a couple, she did not want to go too girly! She found some great fabrics that had some appearance of texture and movement.
I recently pulled out the fabrics and came up with a loose plan. I tend to like working with something that has some structure, but leaves the door open for possibilities as it comes together. I needed to use the light fabric to accommodate signatures on the blocks and wanted to have enough room if the signor wanted to add a message to the bride and groom. I do like to paper piece using phone book paper as my foundation. I cut numerous squares from paper, and varying width fabric strips. My light fabric, as well as the black were the only ones that remained constant in width. The others were cut in 1 1/2″ and 2″ widths. The placement of the white and black will be the same on each block, as well as the browns will always be on the outer corner. From there, each block has a bit of variety as to which blues were used where. I randomly pull the strips from my spaghetti like fabric pile and sew them to each block. I work on 2 blocks at one time, chain piecing them together. Here is the what the results are so far:
Guests will be asked to sign a block when they enter the hall. Later, when this Mom has some time to recover after the wedding, I will sew the blocks together in a way that is pleasing to my eye, and get it quilted up.
I envision this quilt on the back of the couch, or in a basket of blankets being used often for snuggle time on chilly Wisconsin evenings.
Back to it!
Getting back to my quilting after a break is always so refreshing. I usually come back with a vengeance and just want to do nothing but sew. Now that I am in the workforce after many many many years being a home maker, I no longer have that luxury. I have to budget my time now. I have to carve out little bits of quilting time, and let me tell you, I treasure those times!! The sewing machine that I quilt on is now at the shop, hopefully it will not be there too long! In the mean time I am making half square triangles, 256 of them to be exact. They will become the sashing in my appliqué quilt. There are many ways to make half square triangles. I don’t always use the same method. This time I have chosen to use Thangles. They are very simple to use and very accurate. You simply cut two fabric strips 1/2 inch bigger than your desired finished Half square triangle and lay the Thangles paper on top of the strips which are right sides togetherand pin in place.
Take the pinned pieces to you sewing machine and stitch on the dotted lines.
if you remember to put the light colored fabric on top when you cut them apart and press them, the seam will be pressed towards the dark fabric. One little Thangles sheet makes six half square triangles. I like it that I can make many different combinations, as I like a scrappy look.
now that I’ve written about it, I am going off to my little corner of the living room and sew some more!
Not too long ago, this happened to my Nancy’s Notions Catalog. And now this beauty came in the mail for me:
I have not had the chance to peruse it yet, but rest assured, it is not left on the kitchen island for my doggies to get into! The cover does lure you in with all those great colors, doesn’t it? Thanks Nancy!
Dabbling with making a dress for myself. I have not done this kind of thing for years. Not something that will need to be fitted. Slippery slope! It has to fit! And so I have been watching YouTube videos on making a muslin, measuring and altering… even toying with the idea of purchasing a dress form. However, that could make for one expensive dress if I add that into the cost!
Sometimes the map has to change… we have all experienced it. We have things mapped out. We have a plan! And by God that plan will work! OR NOT! And so our map has to change. Just like Luanne’s post the other day about how her machine was no longer working, and needed to go in for repair. But, she was quilting away… finishing a project instead of starting another new one!! Thud! Sometimes, we have no choice but to keep on the path, especially if there were a deadline involved. But, sometimes, a new opportunity presents itself… Plan B or C, or D and so on.
Here is a cute printable I came across. Thinking it needs to be printed, framed, and on a wall in my sewing room!
Moving on! Enjoy the day!
My life has been chaotic lately with lots of fun activities. My daughter and her 4 children were with us for two weeks. Much of my free time was spent with those wonderful grandchildren and not quilting. They have left and one would think it was time to sew. Not quite yet. I have a son and his wife that will be staying with us soon as they move from the state of Washington to Wisconsin. I feel blessed to have them, so much so that I am giving up my sewing room to give them a place to stay until they get a place of their own. I spent the better part of last weekend packing up my fabric, books, patterns and projects and relocating my sewing machine to a corner of the living room. I was excited to sit down and get back to quilting. Everything was set, but my foot pedal would not work! Upon investigation I found that the machine is definately going to need to visit the repair shop. I was so sad and quickly sat down to pour out my frustrations to Pam. Pam has this wonderful way of helping me to see how to turn my misfortune into an opportunity. She encouraged me to get out my other sewing machine (the one I piece with) and get to work on something else. She’s right. I have no deadline to finish quilting the other quilt I was working on. I quickly did what she suggested and am on to Plan B. I will take this opportunity to finish up the appliqué quilt that has been waiting in the wings. I am even contemplating getting out the quilt I have been planning on hand quilting…… What started out to be a frustrating night has turned around with new opportunities. Thanks Pam, for helping me adjust my attitude and getting excited about doing something else!
These days, I carry a notebook (this is not my norm) of lists of things that need to be accomplished. Aside from deadlines for a couple of quilts, my daughter is getting married at the end of June. We are doing a lot of things ourselves, and the notebook has helped to keep me on task.
Well, I couldn’t stand it anymore! I really like to be the kind of quilter that just goes into my room and decides at that moment what I am going to work on. My schedule has simply not allowed that. Insert sad face. So, after finishing the wedding invitations, I felt like a little play time was in order.
What does that mean? Scrap bins!! I just start sewing scraps together randomly and when they roughly reach a certain size I pull out a template. This time it was the hexagon using the largest size which I think finishes at 5″.
And here is what some of the play brought about:
How will I lay them out? As flowers with a different center that is not pieced? Will it be a solid? Will they be grouped or single hexagons floating?
Here are a couple of backgrounds that I tried just for the fun of it. I will wait for the design to speak to me as I don’t tend to work well with too much advanced planning. That stresses me out!
Not really sure what I am going for. Just auditioning ideas. I think this will require a design wall and a lot of staring at it! Another day! Back to the lists in the notebook for now!
A much needed gentle rain falling now. Bring on the flowers!
Sometimes just the right tool makes a job that much easier. I learned that when I was out at Luanne’s and she helped me to pin baste a quilt almost a couple of months ago now. I had seen this Kwik Klip Tool, but had no idea what a difference it could make. After all, how hard is it to close up a few hundred or so safety pins? As quilters, we are used to sacrificing our fingers for the art right? This is not a new tool. I have seen it for years. The Kwik Klip makes this somewhat dreaded job go that much faster and easier with less wear and tear on the hands. As an alternative, check out the other favored item that Luanne used….. Yes, a grapefruit spoon!
Both Effective Tools!!
My final favorite is another tool recommended by Luanne (thank you for the recommendations and the blog post idea!)
These are amazing and wonderful multi-purpose gloves, that work very well for machine quilting. Just the finger tips have the gripping dots – on both sides. There is no right or wrong way to wear the gloves. I was in need of some new gloves, and thought I would give these a try. I think it is best for them to fit snugly, but not tight. I bought a small and it is perfect. While threads still tend to want to stick to these, it is not as bad as with other gloves I have tried. I could keep them on to re thread the needle on my sewing machine. Normally that would not have happened. These gloves are widely available from Amazon to Wal-Mart to office supply places.
The “Right Tool for the Job” has certainly made my quilting that much easier!
Luanne, any other features you like about these?
Spring has finally arrived here in Wisconsin! The sun is shining, the birds are singing early in the morning and my lawn is finally getting green again. I love spring. I think it is my favorite season. The long winter is over and I have months of nice weather to look froward to. While it is beginning to get warm, it is still too cold here to plant a garden, so what is a quilter to do? Sew one of course! I made this quilt a few years ago. It was a paper piecing project that took many months of gathering together with some quilting friends as we each sewed our own gardens. This week I pulled it out and replaced my winter wall hanging with “My Garden”. Now, as I await being able to go out and plant flowers in a few weeks, I can enjoy this fully blooming garden in my living room . The nice thing about this garden is there are never any weeds to pull, and there are no mosquitoes or other annoying creepy crawly things to bother me. I hope to spend a good share of time sewing this spring with my windows open, listening to those birds sing and creating new beautiful quilts.
Very close to being finished with machine quilting a queen sized quilt! So close. It was nearing time to head to bed. I am on the home stretch of the 12″ wide border, and am free motion quilting this beast on my new sewing machine. A couple of months ago, I took the plunge and bought an Elna 760 sewing machine. There are so many features that I have not even begun to learn on this machine. My priority has been to get this quilt complete. This is the largest quilt I have ever quilted myself on a domestic sewing machine. The wider throat space makes this oh so much easier!
Back to the story…. I had about 36 inches yet to quilt on the border, and then this happened:
The batting had flipped over to the back side of the quilt and I kept quilting away. I was pretty fortunate that it was only about 2- 1/2 inches in from the edge, and about 6 inches of length before I noticed the situation. Not really worth getting upset over. Could have been much worse. Out came the seam ripper!! While finishing the quilting maybe would have taken a half hour, it was just too late. Perhaps this is a reminder that instead of racing to the finish line on this, I should savor and enjoy the last bits of the process on this quilt.
So tonight, I will be slowing things down, quilting the last bit, and moving on to binding! Can’t wait to sew on the binding. There is something so satisfying about adding that finishing touch!
Welcome to those who jumped in to follow us! We greatly appreciate it!
Just sharing a couple of Spring or Easter related things today. While it is a great notion to think that I could decorate for all seasons and holidays, it simply doesn’t happen for me. Some years, yes, and this Easter, not so much. It has been a busy time. I just took the Valentine’s quilted wall hangings down yesterday, and still have a box of Christmas things that have yet to make it to storage where they belong! Gasp! That is my life right now – and am very grateful to have my reasons for being busy!
A couple years back Luanne was buying material to make some Easter table centers. I was with her and jokingly told her to make one for me! A couple weeks later it showed up in my mail box! How awesome is that! So, I pulled that out and added a couple of other things to create a little vignette!
I added a small wall hanging from a couple of years back where I used some of my 1930’s reproduction fabrics.
The tea cup filled with flowers is for a wedding shower centerpiece.
And the flowers for this centerpiece? All made from Coffee Filters! I love to take something intended for one purpose and create something completely different. The Groom’s Mom and I spent an afternoon together creating these. Check out Pinterest for tutorials on how they were created. There are many methods, and these really are pretty easy.
Easter and Spring Blessings!