Praise !

Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37: 3,4

Psalm 31: 7, 8

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy; for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; thou hast set my feet in a large room.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tutorial--Spiral quilting; my personal experience

I've had several questions about how I kept my rounds so even on the little baby quilt that I quilted by machine.  As I stated, this was my first attempt, so I am by no means an expert.  But I'm happy to share what I did.

Firstly, I feel strongly that thorough basting is your best friend on this type of project.  I taped the back to my cutting table, and made my layers.  I then reached for my basting pins and started out putting them 2 inches apart.  Well, my fingers were hurting very quickly, and I thought of how often I would be UNPINNING, and the odd angles that the pins might be lying in when I came upon them.  So, before going even two rows that way, I decided to remove the pins and use thread-basting instead.

I grabbed my curved needle and basted about 4 inches apart, horizontally as well as vertically.  With hindsight, I would suggest even closer basting lines, maybe 3 inches apart, because you are going to be quilting across the stretchy bias of the fabric half of the time.


I put my open-toed walking foot on my old Singer model machine (in cabinet), donned my rubber-dotted quilting gloves, and started at the center of the quilt.  I considered starting off to one side and making maybe 3 different spirals, but being my first attempt, I thought I'd better stick to one for now.

Since this quilt has several different sizes of dots in the fabric prints,
I decided to use a dime-sized one near the middle as my starting/reference point. Holding my hands flat on the part of the quilt on either side of my walking foot,  I circled the dot part-way around, and started getting a little bigger so that I could line up the edge of my walking foot with my beginning stitches.

When I began, and for the first 4-6 inches of rounds, it was a strain on my shoulders, not from the weight of this tiny quilt, but from the action of keeping my hands flat on the machine-bed while turning the quilt to follow the circular pattern of my previous stitching.  As the rounds got farther out, this became much easier.  I gradually let the distance between the edge of my walking foot and the previous round get bigger....first an eighth of an inch and finally a quarter of an inch.  This made the actual 'channel' more like 3/4 inch to one inch by the time I reached the outer edges of the quilt.

Even though I used a walking foot, everytime I came around diagonally across the bias, fabric would try to 'push' up a bit in front of my stitching.  If I had clipped the basting stitches in front of these 'pushes',  as I was tempted to do, great distortion would have occurred.  Instead, I eased through these areas, and only wound up with the tiniest of tucks in a couple of places, which are pretty much unnoticeable to anyone but the stitcher, myself.

Eventually you'll reach the edges of the quilt and still have corners that are unquilted.  At this point, I just lined up the foot the same distance as earlier rounds along previous stitching, quilted the arc, broke thread, and went back to do it again until the areas were filled.

Because this was improv piecwork, slight distortion is not really noticeable, and I was able to square up the quilt, before binding, with no problem.  If this top was made up of precision pieced blocks, it most likely would be a different story.  For that reason, I will probably save this type of piecing for more freeform pieces.

As far as concern for circles not being truly round or perfectly spaced, the finished look seems to remove all imperfections from the naked eye.

And that's my take on spiral quilting.  I AM NOT anxious to try this method on a large quilt, mainly because of the wrestling act that would take place as I fed a large quilt 'round and 'round through the harp of my machine !  But I do admire quilters who HAVE accomplished such a task !

I hope this was helpful and that I get to see YOUR finished spiral quilting project !


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I'd like mine with.....CRINKLES !

And, boy, did I get them !  Yummy !

Yesterday's photos were taken late in the evening and the colors are wonky.


I snapped these two pics as soon as I got the little quilt out of the dryer.  Well, actually, that's not quite true.  My husband took it out of the dryer while I was clearing ice off of the back porch, and I didn't see it for a little bit.  When he told me that he had put it in the bedroom, I was like, "NO !  I needed to block it while it was still damp......it must be all stretched out weird !"  He said, "well, it looks pretty good to me."  

And, sure enough, it does !  And it went until it was totally dry with no distortion !   I am amazed, and so thankful !

I was dying to dive back into the sewing room and create another one, but alas, the floors needed mopping, the toilet had to be cleaned, and then, yeh, there's still more ice to be chipped away...............

Oh, well, the sewing room will be there when I get back to it.  It's my reward and my getaway.  Bless you all, stay warm, and be careful on that ice !

Monday, February 16, 2015

Success !

I have admired quilts online that were quilted in one big continuous spiral pattern, but have feared that if I tried making one, the finished quilt would be distorted.



But I got up the nerve to try it on a baby quilt today, and am happy with the results.  I did run into some moving of the top fabric.....there are a couple of small tucks that I don't think anyone else will notice but me.  But the finished quilt lies nice and flat.......I hope this statement is still true after laundering.

I thread-basted about every 4 inches, but would baste even more closely if I were doing it again.

This is the top that I shared a couple of days ago, pieced completely out of my bin of leftover strips.  I used a solid yellow cotton for the backing, and one of those pieces of batting that I found down at the second-hand store.

I am just tickled to death with the contours you see in a low-light photo.  Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeal !

Finished size------31 x 33 inches.


By the way, the snow went north of us, and we wound up with sleet falling continually from about 3 a.m. until 1 p.m.  There's a buildup of anywhere from an inch to 3 inches of ice around here, so I was very happy to just stay inside and sew.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Improv !

Happy Valentines' Day to all my readers.   Hubby bought me a little inexpensinve jewelry set that I picked out at Walmart, and I bought him his much desired but sadly denied half-gallon of chocolate milk..........I haven't let him have it lately due to a bit of trouble he's having buttoning his PANTS !   lol !  Trust me......it was EXACTLY what he wanted !  And I like my necklace/earring set, but my best gift was a phone call from my baby girl this morning........we talk so seldom, it just sets my heart singing for her to call me !

I've spent the last two days digging to the bottom of my one OVERPACKED bin of strips.  I wanted to put together a baby quilt for a couple in their early forties who are expecting their first child.  I couldn't bring myself to put anything together out of my fat quarters, so I brought out THE BIN.

I dumped it's contents into a laundry basket and just started pulling and stitching. I made quite a mess before I was done.


 Finally, this evening, I have a 33 1/2 x 31 inch top.  Hopefully I'll pull something for a backing early next week and get to quilting it by machine.
It looks so GAUDY when I see it here, but I LOVE IT in person !

A new long-arm quilter opened a shop here last week, and I bought a 36 x 45 inch wool batting from her to try out, but I think I want to use cotton in this one.  I'll probably try the wool one in something I'm keeping, since the finished quilt may require special laundering.

Anyway, my housework went undone, though I did get a good supper cooked......salmon patties with white beans and cornbread with lots of butter !

In today's mail, I got a sweet valentine from my best friend, Wanda, reminding me of how quilting brought us together to make lots of fun memories and a lifetime friendship.  And I received a note from JoAnn, telling me that Jennifer is thrilled with how the embroidered quilt top turned out, plus a generous payment for work rendered.  She has plenty more work to keep me busy and I love that !

We're supposed to be getting some snow tomorrow night, and have REALLY cold temperatures overnight tonight and tomorrow morning.  We are blessed with a snuggly, comfortable home, and the peace of God, our Father, so I plan to curl up and enjoy the beauty.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

I got the curtains(AND PILLOWCASES) made

I LOVE  really FULL curtains.

I bought enough fabric for really FULL curtains.

I GOT GREEDY.

I looked at all that fabric and thought, "wow, I can cut enough off of this to make 2 matching pillowcases and still have enough for FULL curtains !"

WRONG

I got one panel finished and hung it up by itself to check the length...............and found that the width barely came past the center of the window.  Sadly, I finished the second panel, and saw that I had accidentally hemmed the first one to a half-inch shorter header than the second one.

 Rip, redo, re-evaluate.........respectable.
I have reached the point of overdoing now......I hung the pashmina at the headboard posts and realized later that it was overkill.

Silly confession :  Before bedtime last night, I realized that the reason for the screwholes in the tops of the 4 posts was that this must have been a canopy bedframe originally.  !   !   !   As a little girl, I DREAMED of having a canopy bed..........raised in a household full of brothers !
    So, I took the fabric for the curtains and draped it over the four posts, secured it with clothespins, and traveled backwards about 45-50 years to my childhood dreams.  I LOVED IT.........although Lottie-dah threatened to bring it down on my head at any moment !   LOL  !

UPDATE:  I did also finish the pillowcases.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

One more job accomplished

Now that the embroidered quilt-top is in the mail headed back to Oklahoma, I have a few days to do some much-needed personal projects.

Firstly, this new quilt that I bought measured 90 x 90 inches for either size that you could order....twin or full/queen.  But Walmart.com marks the twin-size 'out of stock' in order to charge you ten dollars more for the full/queen.  But, I loved the colors in it, so I went for it after reading in the reviews that an 82 year-old woman 'hemmed' hers to fit.

I figured if she could do it, so could I.  Well, after putting it on the bed, I found that not only did it hang to the floor on each side, but they didn't take the time to center the design, which was VERY OBVIOUS.   So, it was a win-win situation for me after all.  I cut about 12 inches off of one side, and 5 or so inches off of the other, after removing the binding.  Then I rebound the edges and now I have just the size I want WITH a SYMMETRICAL design !  Whoop, whoop, and praise the LORD !

I wanted to go without the  dust ruffle, but under-bed storage is DEAR to me in this little home.  In one of the photos, my husband pointed out the basket showing underneath the bed, so back came the ruffle.  That's okay.........I wasn't going to get a modern look with this little four-poster frame anyway.

Hopefully I can get the new curtains made before the week is out.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Jen's quilt-top.......DONE !

I wish I could present a better photo, but my home is too small to lay this top out flat.  And the weather is not cooperative enough for a clothesline shot......maybe by the time it is quilted I can get an outdoor photo !

The finished size is 89 x 99 inches.

        This photo shows the muslin border that I integrated into the piecing.

 This way the stars got all of their points finished and the quilt-top grew just a bit more.  Everyone seems to have queen-sized and king-sized beds nowadays, and although I didn't ask where they would display this quilt, I feel like they'll be happy to have bigger rather than smaller.

Quilting it is going to be quite an adventure........especially as the weather warms up.  Hopefully, when it reaches JoAnn, she'll get it basted and back to me here in Tennessee right away, so that I can quilt it while Winter is waning and Spring is making it's grand entrance.

It's been a long day, as I started it by changing my bedroom around again, including swapping out my Hollywood bedframe for the four-poster one that I had in storage.  I still need to get the new curtains made to match the quilt and shams that I purchased from Walmart.
I was ordering myself an 8-inch memory foam mattress from Walmart.com, but when I looked around our local store, I ran across this quilt design.  I went back online and found and ordered it, but it measures 90 inches square; so, I need to cut it down to fit my twin bed.  Now that I've finished Jen's quilt-top, I can get to these bedroom projects.  I'd love to paint the walls, too, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to that, with the room full of furniture.

I just want to mention here that the snow that they predicted nearly missed us.  I woke to a slight scattering of snow across the back porch and across the grass.



Saturday, January 31, 2015

Getting close !

I am SO VERY TIRED after spending hours at the sewing machine and at the ironing board and at the cutting table today !  

But all of my triangle units are pieced, pressed, trimmed and sashed.   Thank the good LORD for the strength to stick with it !   Monday is looking like either a doctor's appointment (eye check-up for hubby) or a snow day, so I don't know how much piecing I'll be able to get done that day.   But one more row assembly, plus adding a few rows together, and I AM DONE.
This picture looks confusing because I have pinned the quilt in progress SIDEWAYS to a design wall on one wall and a curtain on the adjoining wall.  Remember, my home is small and this quilt is growing to be RATHER LARGE !
I know, I know......it could be days, but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  For now I am just happy to have those 576 triangles DONE !

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Halfway there !

I'm pretty much halfway finished on the commission I'm working on........the embroidered quilt top's sashing/stars !   It is a TEDIOUS undertaking, but done in increments, it is manageable.

I am doing the stitch and flip method for making the triangles at the end of each yellow sash, stitching diagonally across 1 1/2 inch squares on each corner and then flipping and trimming.  I sew enough sashes for one row at a time, including the sashing strip that joins rows as well as the sashes that join the blocks.

There is A LOT of pinning involved, but I am pleased with the appearance thus far.

This morning I took a bit of a break to make a diaper-changing pad for a sister in Christ.

 This is the quilt I made for her last year,
if you remember, and today was her due date to deliver her baby daughter, Abigale Marie Hope.  I used the same roll of strips that I used when making the quilt.......solids from Connecting Threads.

Working on the project gave me the perfect opportunity to pray for her during her scheduled C-section.

I can hardly wait to hear more details about the baby and her arrival, but we, her friends, are celebrating Krista's victory, and praising God for his faithfulness.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yay SNOW ! ! !

I've been asking the LORD for one good snow that blows into every crevice, but leaves the roads clear for safe driving (cuz' we Southerners DO NOT know how to drive on snowy/icy roads !)  And HE delivered last night !


I love this kind of wet snow ........ beauty for an early morning, then gone before you have time to get tired of it !


Lottie was curious, so I took her out into the backyard on the leash.  She enjoys getting out there in harness.

I thought that I had all of the pieces cut for Jen's quilt-top, but after piecing a few sashes and trying a layout, I found that if I put green squares in the center of the green starpoints, the stars take over from the soft, gentle blocks of the quilt.
Instead, now, I think that I will put yellow in the center, so that there are only green star outlines, rather than solid stars.  I would prefer to keep it all muslin, but this is their choice, and I think it is going to be really pretty when finished......very traditional-looking.


Monday, January 19, 2015

GOD is good !

And His peace abounds !

It's Monday morning again, and I've been busy with first-of-the-week household chores.   Got some laundry done, a big pot of potato soup made (along with muffins and bacon to go with it, of course), dishes washed from that job, and the hubby's hair cut.  It is such a beautiful day outside today, and PRAISE GOD, I'm feelin' FINE !
Now having gotten all the fabric for Jennifer's quilt top, I can buckle down to that project.  She's done the most beautiful hand-embroidery, using the patterns for the fifty United States, along with the state flowers.  I will attempt to add sashes, and complete the top before mailing it back to Jodie to be basted.  Then, she wants to send it BACK to me for hand-quilting.
I hope to start cutting and sewing on the sashes this afternoon.
Maybe I can do a little mock-up in EQ4 to show you what I have in mind.


In the meantime, I've done a little bit more fabric acquisition !  I made my third fabric-searching foray out to the second-hand store, "The Ultimate Garage Sale"; and this time I came away with 4 one-yard pieces of gorgeous nearly-tone-on-tone prints.  I only paid $7.75 for the four, altogether !


AND, Jodie sent me these fabric remnants as a birthday/Christmas surprise (I just realized that the one-yard piece didn't make it into the photo), and it has me in the mood to play.............but that will have to wait just a bit !


So, now that my lunch is settling, I think I'll see how much more work I can get into.  Love to you all.........and peace in Christ JESUS !

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lagging behind........

.....I am so bad about posting here !

I finished the new quilt top on Wednesday, I think.  It's really big for a couch quilt, but that seems to be the way I make them lately.  I guess it comes from my napping on the couch......I'm pretty tall, and I hate it when a nap quilt won't cover my feet while letting me snuggle it against my cheek.  So I try to keep THAT in mind when I make them for other people.

Anyway, the big piece of fabric from last weekend's "score" worked out perfectly for the border.



























  I call this one, "Marking Time", and it measures around 60 by 80 inches.  I haven't chosen backing fabric yet, as I expect that I won't get a chance to baste it until the weather opens up again in the Spring and I can do it outside.

But I went back to the second-hand store this weekend and made my second score !   I had messaged the lady who runs the store, and asked her to look and see if she could locate a copy of Electric Quilt among the sewing supplies she had.  While I was perusing the aisles this Friday, I looked over, and there sat EQ4 on a shelf that I had already passed once.

 I asked her if she had put it out for me, and she said that, no, she hadn't had any luck finding what I wanted.  Well, I don't believe in luck.......I KNOW that God blessed me by putting that right there where I HAD to see it myself !   She let me have it for $4.00, and I loaded it onto my computer when I got home.  I know it's not the latest version, but IT IS the version that I had before, so I am perfectly comfortable in knowing how to use it !   SCORE again, praise the LORD !

Saturday, January 3, 2015

SCORE !

I went out to one of our local second-hand stores today, wanting to just dig around and find some treasure........figured I'd spend 3 or 4 dollars, so I raided the piggy bank for the quarters that I save just for such a trip.  When I found it closed, I decided to take a peek at another one that I usually don't bother with.

Well.......I'm glad I BOTHERED.   I stumbled upon a treasure-trove !  Apparently, they have bought out a storage locker that had been rented by someone who ran a quilt store or something, because there are shelves packed with fabric, rulers, books.....who knows what all?  I only spent about TWO HOURS picking out fabric pieces, since all fabric was HALF-PRICE today !  So, I didn't even get to PEEK at the books !

They had bins full of folded fabric pieces, both quarter and half-yard, that were priced $1.50 each or 10 for $10.00.  So that made them 10 for $5.00 or FIFTY CENTS EACH !  So I dug out lots of the ones that were fat enough to be half-yard cuts, and some of the fat and long quarters.  I wound up with 5 stacks of ten, and a couple of 2-yard pieces, plus a couple of cotton batting remnants that are big enough for a baby quilt, and a small couch quilt (each cost me $2.00)  So, I left there with 24 1/2 yards of fabric, plus batting, for $35.25 !  I am so tickled !  The fabric is probably from around 2000 to 2005, maybe, but that's newer than alot of my stash, and will allow me to feel free to get rid of some of my own, and mix this in with the rest.   Mostly, I tried to restock my lights that I used up making these blocks recently.

I may have even found the border for the current project.   Here's a look at it on the design wall.......still would like to throw some more batik in there, so nothing is settled.


I can hardly wait to go out there and dig around some more !  I'm really hoping to find a great buy on EQ7 or something similar......I've really missed mine since my computer crashed and I lost the program during a full system recovery.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Peaceful Christmas

Hubby and I spent a peaceful Christmas day together......our 39th Christmas celebration as a couple.  Come December 31st, we will have been married for 38 years.

Last night we went to a celebration at the home of my brother, John.  Then, we drove over to Jeff's home, another brother, and exchanged gifts.  This afternoon, John and Deb came by and we enjoyed yet another exchange of gifts.

My daughter, Kelley, was tickled that I sent gifts instead of money this year, and she was really taken with the red jacket that I bought for her.   I spoke to each of the 3 grandkids this morning, and it sounds like they must have been very good,  judging by the number of gifts each one described having gotten.

God has been so very good to all of us, and James and I have enjoyed a most peaceful and blessed year this year.  After attending funerals for the husbands of two dear ladies that attend my church, I am so very blessed and thankful to have my precious husband still by my side.

I hope that you, my friends, have been blessed with peace, health, and love in abundance this Christmas.

As for what's next, I have started piecing a new project, and I don't know how much bigger it will grow.....

but, it will go on hold temporarily while I take on a long-awaited commissioned work for JoAnn's daughter, Jennifer.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Downtime

Well, I'm curious to see if the problem I had with Blogger last time has been solved.

Seems to be !   Praise the LORD !
Lottie is awfully glad that we returned the new 40-inch flatscreen t.v., and is hoping that Santa doesn't decide to bring another one to replace it.   I think that this is her personal heater/viewing window on the world of falling leaves and wildlife.
Yesterday, I finished a pair of fingerless mitts.  I knitted them to begin with, and then after seaming them together, I crocheted around the finger edge to make them a bit longer.  I decided to use shells on the top side, and plain single crochet underneath.  I'm pretty happy with the results.

Today, I did absolutely nothing worthwhile......except for a little morning Bible reading.  I tried to get interested in a piecing project, but just couldn't get the 'juices' to rise !

I'd like to make a quilt for a dear friend's grown grandson, but I haven't been able to decide on a design.  I guess it'll just have to percolate a bit longer.

Our church's Christmas program was last night, and it was a good evening, balanced between laughter and thankfulness for our most priceless gift, the birth of our saviour, JESUS.

I haven't done any decorating as of yet, and I don't know if I will.  But I celebrate Jesus in my heart !

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Back from Internet Hiatus.......again !

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but for some reason, I can only see my typing text when I click on the HTML button. I know I've been away for a while, and I did feel that I had misplaced my 'blogging mojo', but this is an unexpected quandry ! Anyway, I have been busy during my hiatus.
I pieced and quilted a large couch-sized quilt for my 81 year-old sister-in-law. Her favorite color is yellow, and she has been a lifetime crafter, so I wanted to really tailor this quilt to her likes. I took the time to hand-quilt it, which was really an unusual occurence for me these days, but I'm glad that I could do that for her. I sent the quilt to her last week, and she is very tickled with her surprise. I don't have any photographs to share of the work that I've done for my best gal-pal, Jodie Ann. I pieced 2 quilt tops for her, and am about to undertake the assembly of her daughter's 'state flowers' hand-embroidered blocks, after which I hope to do the hand-quilting also. Also, back in the month of October, my daughter blessed me by driving out here to bring my grandchildren for a visit after a long absence of 2 1/2 years ! It was a short visit, but PRICELESS ! How I love that girl of mine and her babies......hubby too, although I didn't get to see him. Well, I've previewed this post, and although I divided it into paragraphs, blogger chose to run it all together ! So, I apologize, but I'M BACK.......kindof ! Thanks for all the comments I found waiting for me when I came back !

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's that time again......

.......Internet Hiatus time, I mean.  Everytime my bundle price runs out, I take a leave of absence from home net access, and it begins again at midnight tonight !

So, I'll miss you 'til we 'chat' again, hopefully with me checking in sometimes at the library.

But I'll leave you with the last of my September pics !

Love to all !
Here's one last bouquet from Summer/Fall of 2014