Praise !

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? I Corinthians 3:16
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.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

More String-Piecing

For the past week, I have been giving string-piecing another try.

This was my first one, if you'll remember it with me.......

  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY PASTEL STRING QUILT that I made a few months ago.  It is my all-time favorite quilt that I have ever made.

Well...........lately, I have been staring at a ziploc baggie of dark strips that I had leftover...ones that were too dark to fit into the pastel quilt.  It just kept nagging at me to make another string-quilt, but there weren't enough strips there to make a couch-size quilt, and I didn't want to cut more strips.
So, I grabbed 16 paper foundation squares and started piecing, using this white fabric with tiny black confetti pieces scattered on it, as the strip down the middle of each block.  I fell in love with it after about 5 blocks !
Here is the final result, measuring approximately 45 inches square.  I can hardly wait to see it quilted and wrinkly from the laundering..........ALTHOUGH, it already looks scrumptious while it's nice and FLAT.

As you can see, I even went so far as to piece a piano-key border.  I'm not totally sold on my pieced corners in the borders, but wasn't sure what to do about the strips changing directions there.

My computer suddenly isn't playing nicely when it comes to my editing my photos, so I wasn't able to crop or adjust coloring or brightness.

Update on hubby:  It's been 3 weeks since his second session of chemo treatments, and his 100.6 fevers have started again.  Also, yesterday morning, I woke to the sound of something hitting the floor, and I rushed into the kitchen to find him lying on his side.  Somehow he lost his balance and fell.  He wouldn't let me move him, so I called for an ambulance, remembering that the first time he fell, in February of 2010, he broke his hip.  But, blessedly, after examining him, the EMTs determined that nothing was broken, and we refused transport to a medical facility.

With his spleen so swollen from the Lymphoma, we were concerned about internal bleeding, but after waiting an hour for his doctor's office to open, he felt well and we decided that there was no real harm done, PRAISE GOD.  But he requested that his walker be brought into the house from storage, and I no longer feel comfortable leaving him alone unless really necessary.

His next chemo is scheduled for December 1st, but I don't think we're going to have a big Thanksgiving dinner here at home.  His eating behavior is too erratic for me to spend the money on a large meal that may not get eaten with just the two of us here.  Maybe we'll be blessed with the Thanksgiving meal from some other source.  There is family around....I just have to get over my shyness about asking !

Monday, November 7, 2016

FINISHED, FOR SALE....Tweaking Tradition

I finished this quilt today, and I wish that it would photograph as good as it looks.
The color is a little off in this photo, due to me finishing after the sun had left my window.

My husband has even watched it's progress with interest, and that happens RARELY.
Color is pretty accurate on this photo of the finished top.


The finished size is 47 inches by 51 inches.........a nice, very generous lap-sized quilt, especially good for use at church ( I LOVE to take a quilt to church),  or for someone in a wheelchair. 


Once again, this quilt is actually two-sided, and the color-scheme is definitely gender neutral.  I think that a man OR a woman would be pleased with the coloration, which is truly vibrant.



The pieced portion of the top is quilted in one inch horizontal rows, and the borders are quilted in one inch vertical rows.
It has a 80% cotton/20% polyester batting, thus making it soft and pliable, yet breathable.


I am offering this one FOR SALE.  My asking  price is $165.00.
I consider that a starting point.......feel free to make me an offer.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Backing made

I really wanted to be able to complete this little quilt with fabrics from my own stash,.....even though I was tempted to purchase flannel for the backing.  But, because the flannel was borderline wide enough to use without piecing it, I went back to my own fabrics.
The center rectangle is NOT a Kaffe fabric.

I came across a bundle that I was blessed to receive as a gift years ago.  I think that these are Kaffe Fassett dots.  I had 6 fat quarters, and that may even be enough to bind the quilt, although the last quarter is a white background with green dots, and I'm not sure I'd be happy with a light colored binding.

We'll see.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mindless piecing, Box of Crayons

Hubby goes for his second set of chemo treatments today and tomorrow, so I've needed a little bit of distraction.  So, over the last few days, I pieced a little baby-sized quilt top.


These were from my old collection of child-themed fabrics, a shoebox-ful that I tried to sell during my last yard sale.  The solid fabrics are from a set of 2 1/2 inch strips I bought from Connecting Threads years ago.

So pleased to have something pretty from these leftovers !

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tweaking Tradition

Rummaging through my 'pieces' shoeboxes last week, I came across a bunch of 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch rectangles that were leftover from a several-years-ago project.

I sewed most of them to some 2 1/2 inch green solid squares that I also found, and then started playing with them on my design wall (after drawing a possible layout on my graph pad).

Naturally, my eventual layout involved un-stitching many of the sets to change up the colors that I needed.  But when I was done with the center, yesterday morning, I was left with a very traditional-looking piece.

I didn't like it.

So, searching for something to WAKE IT UP, I came across fabrics that I liked, but they were only 1/2 yard pieces.  So, I put several of them together and came up with something that I can live with.

So, here it is.  It now measures 48 x 52 inches, a good size for a baby quilt or a lap quilt for a wheelchair-bound person.
It doesn't photograph well.  But, in person, I really like it.  It has an energy to it.  I may just use it as a take-along/hand-quilting project for my husband's chemo sessions.  Then again, they don't provide ME with a recliner, or even a comfy chair, just a straight-backed bedside chair, so I'm not sure how well I could spend hours in one position doing handwork.

But, for now, the next thing on the agenda..........coming up with a backing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

FINISHED QUILT: Autumn's Paintbrush WARNING: Picture-heavy post !

Hooray for another finish.......praise the LORD
   As I mentioned in this previous post, the inspiration for this quilt came from two sources:

  1.  While browsing quilting blogs, I ran across a quilt that used assorted solid-colored fabrics as the background for some star blocks.
  2.   I had this little pieced tree block stuck up on my design board staring down at me, and inviting me to enlarge upon it's design.
So, I purchased what I considered 'autumnish colors' from the selection of Waverly solid-colored fabrics at our local Walmart, and figured out how to redo that little tree block in a 12-inch size.  After making a rough sketch on my graph pad, I had my design that should finish around my standard favorite size or 60 x 80 inches.

For the trees themselves, I used mostly charm squares that I had, occasionally cutting out a piece from my stash when needed.
When the top was completed, I started putting together a pieced backing, and I wound up with a whole separate design.  So, technically, this is a fully reversible quilt.
When it came time to bind this quilt, I felt that the tree side needed a wider binding due to the lack of a border.   I cut strips between 3 and 3 1/4 inches, winding up with about a 3/4" wide binding.  I chose a solid-colored fabric that was NOT in the top, but went with the Fall colors on both sides.
I had hoped to use organic wavy lines for the quilting, but because of the solids in light and dark hues, the quilting just did not look good.  So, I went back to my old stand-by, meandering, keeping the design a bit bigger than I usually do.
This is the second quilt that I have made with the Pellon 80% cotton/20% polyester batting (with scrim) that I bought in a 9-yard roll from Walmart.com.  I have laundered both quilts, and am totally satisfied with the performance of the batting.
Truthfully, I am OVER-THE-MOON happy about the outcome of this quilt. 
 I still don't know who I am going to gift it to, if that's what I do with it, so I didn't put a label on it yet.

The wind was not cooperating with me when it came time to take outdoor photos !

The porch photos came after trying (rather unsuccessfully) to get photos of the quilt while it hung on the clothesline.  (I wanted to be  able to see the trees in the woodline for a background.  Turns out, they're not color-changed enough yet anyway.) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Two more final steps and I'm done....

The binding is on !
I've named it "AUTUMN'S PAINTBRUSH".

I need to put a label on it and launder it.

Then.....

decide WHO gets it !!!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Closing in on a finish !

I can't believe it, but I quilted that leaf quilt TREE QUILT , last night, starting around 6:30 p.m.  I meant to just sit down and do a couple of organic wavy-line rows across the quilt.  But I didn't like the looks of that, so I thought that I would just do a sample of meandering across one or two of the blocks.

Well, it's hard to stop at that.  So I kept going, but boy did I HATE quilting the most interior blocks of the quilt.  But I prayed, and stayed at it, and , I can't believe it, .......I FINISHED THE ENTIRE QUILT.  Praise be to GOD, because I was so frustrated and jumpy from all the tugging and pulling and trying not to run over a stitching line or make them too far apart......and I promised I'd give HIM the glory if it came out well..............and I think that it is going to FOR SURE !

I'm not ready to post
lots of photos yet, as I haven't found my binding fabric, but I hope to finish early next week, and I just wanted to note my progress here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Of course you were right, commenter, A Maiden Hair Fern !

I washed the Heart Strings quilt today, and was blessed with a wonderfully , crinkly goodness, warm from the dryer.  There was definitely no disappointment.
















                                                                                                                                                     
     I updated it's 'before laundering' measurements in the stats of the former post to read 61 1/2 inches by 80 inches.
The 'after laundering' measurements are 59 by 76 1/2 inches.  I washed it in cold water, and dried it on a perma-press setting in my dryer.
So I lost 2 1/2 inches in the width, and 3 1/2 inches in the length.  Not too bad, but something that I should definitely factor into the finished size of the quilts that I am piecing.    60 x 80 is about my standard go-to size now, but I want ALL OF THAT, after shrinkage.

Still, this is my most favorite quilt that I have made in YEARS, and I find no fault with it.

Today, I basted another quilt, this time going back to doing it under the carport.   It took me most of 4 hours from beginning to end, but I basted it in a grid 4 inches apart widthwise and lengthwise.  I find that anything farther apart than this allows too much movement of the layers when quilting on my standard size, old model 15 Singer sewing machine.

Here are the legs to my basting frame, set in place (my husband made my legs for me, probably 30 or more years ago.)
  This photo shows me putting the top onto the pinned on backing that is topped by the batting.  The wind started to get up at this point (it was around 11 a.m.), and I  prayed for it to ease off.  AND IT DID.  Praise God, He cares about the little things that are important to us, as well as the big ones.


Here, the quilt layers are all ready .  At this point,  I use a fairly long straight needle to baste around the perimeter of the quilt layers, scooting my office chair underneath me as I go.  Then, using a curved needle, I stand and STRE-T-C-H to baste each row, reaching just to the center and basting toward me when I get to the middle rows of the quilt.  I do a back-stitch about every 9th stitch, incase the basting stitches get cut during the quilting.  That way the whole row doesn't come unbasted.

And here is a happily-tired baster/quilter with a fully-basted quilt.  I always wonder how much the 'sway' in the middle of the quilt affects how square the quilt will turn out, but thus far I haven't noticed any particular problems.  I've never had success trying to baste a quilt layed out flat on the floor.

I don't know who this quilt will be for.  I've already changed my mind twice, so I'll just concentrate on completing it, and I'm sure I'll know by then.

P.S. For Maggie, who calls herself a novice quilter, this is the entire basis for making the Heart Strings quilt....

I glued a one-inch strip of white diagonally on these 10-inch square papers from Missouri Star Quilt Company, and started sewing strips to each side of the white strip, and pressing them outwards.  When the paper was covered, I trimmed it to 9 1/2 inches. There are many possibilites for designs when laying out all the squares, but all of the squares are made the exact same way.  After putting the whole top together, I went back and removed the papers.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Heart Strings -- photos

HEART STRINGS
Stats:  Finished measurements 61 1/2 inches wide by 80 inches long, unwashed
Fabrics:  Strips of 1 1/4 - 2 1/2  inch wide fabrics from my extensive stash.  Backing from a 5 yard      length of a fabric bought on clearance at Walmart.....rose print, name unknown.
Batting:  Pellon brand, 80% cotton, 20% polyester, with scrim; 96 inch wide, by the roll, 9 yard roll, from Walmart                ($29.00)
Machine-pieced on 10 inch-square papers from Missouri Star Quilt Company.
Machine-quilted in the ditch of each seam, on my Singer Model 15 sewing machine.


Updating yesterday's pre-finish photos,
I took a few shots today.

I haven't washed the quilt yet.  Normally, I CAN NOT WAIT to wash and dry the quilt, and see the crinkly shrunken goodness of a new quilt.  But this time, I like it so much, I don't want anything to change.

And yet, this is a new batting for me, and I want, NEED, to see the final results, lookswise, as well as how it feels to the touch.

Time.

I need time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Heart Strings is FINISHED !

I don't have final pictures, but I took a photo today while the light was good. The top and bottom borders were still waiting to be bound, but I knew that I'd finish late and I wouldn't be able to get a decent photo.

So these

will have to suffice for now.



I JUST  NOW decided to name it HEART STRINGS.  It doesn't have heart shapes to the string-piecing, but when I 'pet' it, I see SO MANY fabrics from years and years of quilting love, and it just does my old heart good to see the beauty of so many colors and designs.

Got to get up bright and early tomorrow to take hubby to have a PET scan.  He's not feeling so great right now, and I'm not the most loving and patient wife.  I think I'm actually a bit mad at him for getting Cancer.  The LORD and I need to have a little talk about that.....I think I might have some repenting to do.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"I LOVE QUILTING

A few days ago, I got the idea that it would be easy to baste a quilt INSIDE in two sessions......basting one half stretched on my basting frame, and then unpinning, repositioning, and basting the second half.  I thought that this would be much better than experiencing the heat outside under the semi-protection of my carport.

WRONG.  I set up the frame in my small front bedroom, which was cramped with just HALF of a 63" x 81" quilt top stretched out upon it.  After basting the first half, it was a NIGHTMARE getting the second half properly stretched in place.  I do believe it actually took me atleast a third again longer than the traditional basting time.

ANYWAY, I finally DID finish that chore late that afternoon, and my hubby was perplexed at how crippled up I was walking and how worn out I was.  He said, "you don't really have to do that, do you?"

Sigh...........I said, "honey, after your being in the hospital for five days, and then ending up with a diagnosis of Lymphoma, I have just been WAITING, HOPING, LONGING to get back to some semblance of normalcy."    And for me, a day spent doing anything connected with quilting spells normalcy.

To misquote a long-ago-spotted bumper sticker, even a physically depleting day spent quilting beats the best day spent beside a hospital bed !

So, the point I was going for is, I GOT IT BASTED, and yesterday I spent a wonderful day machine-quilting in the peace and comfort of my pretty newly-painted aqua bedroom.

And I fell in LOVE with this quilt .  I felt "ho-hum" about it before, disappointed that the setting of it wound up being assymetrical, which drives my sensibilities bonkers.  But, crazily, I am taking the time to use my walking foot and quilt in the ditch of EVERY strip, and even go down the center of the widest strips.  And I LOVE how it is looking already.

Another lovely bonus is the back of the quilt.  I had forgotten that I bought this 5-yard piece of fabric at some ridiculously low price at our local WalMart.  I found it stuck away in a drawer of my quilt-fabric chest of drawers, and I will share a photo or two of it also ,  .......soon, hopefully.

As far as news of my husband, today he underwent his first hour of chemo, and he goes back tomorrow morning, EARLY, Lord willing, for a 4-hour session.  He's feeling just fine tonight, with a good appetite, and I am feeling very thankful.  Praise God, we couldn't make it without His provision, mercy, and loving compassion. The hospital chaplain that he met today is a motorcycle enthusiast, as is James, so he enjoyed their talk and asked him to visit again tomorrow !






Friday, September 16, 2016

HUBBY'S HEALTH

I don't want to write much right now, as I am going through all kinds of emotions.

My husband was just diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, which is an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. 

Chemotherapy is being scheduled.......so the journey begins.  Thank GOD, we do not have to traverse this valley alone.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Improv

This isn't much to share today, but for my own records, I want to remember this project.

I ordered a 9-yard bolt of 80% cotton/20% polyester batting (with scrim) from Walmart.com, and I am supposed to be able to pick it up on Friday, September 9th.  I have never used batting with scrim, but the reviews made it sound good, so at $29.00, I decided to give it a try.

So, wanting to be ready to baste something right away when it arrives, I started searching for something to use as a backing for the recently finished Fall quilt-top.  Having little successs, I instead starting trying to clean up the mess of fabrics left on the cutting table from the top's piecing.

Then it occurred to me that I could PIECE a back FROM, rather than PUT UP, all this fabric.  I mean, I piece backs all the time, but usually out of  big lengths of fabric that are just not wide enough or long enough by themselves to do a ONE-piece big back.

But these are anywhere from one yard (rare), to 1/2 yard pieces, to PIECES, literally.  But it's been interesting........maybe the MOST interesting fact has been that it's taking so much more thought and time than the original top did.
Here's a photo of my progress thus far.  It doesn't look like much here, but it is actually quite striking in person.  I especially love the horses !  The piece is more green than it appears here (I also have it in rust).  I've had that piece in my stash for years and never found a place for it.   I think I'll enjoy it here !  Did you notice the little log-cabin-surrounded tree, too?  That was my original inspiration block, remember?  So fitting that it gets to ride along on the other side.  I may just quit calling it a BACK.......in fact, the piecing at the upper right looks like a number '2', so I'm thinking of this as 'side two' !

This is fun !

Friday, September 2, 2016

♪ ♫ An-ti-ci-paaaaaaaaa-tion ♪ ♫

September has arrived, and along with it we received a COLD morning on this second day of the new month.  I was able to turn off the central airconditioning unit last night for the first time in atleast a week, and open  my bedroom  window.  I turned my little room fan on high and went off to La-la Land.  In the middle of the night, I woke up cold, and I had to close my window !   Then this morning, my husband wanted me to join him for coffee on the front porch, but I weenied out, saying it was too chilly !   Kindof made me dread seeing the end of Summer, but that's silly, since I've spent most of it hiding inside under the air-con.

Anyway, the anticipation of Autumn found me designing a new quilt.   I thought that it was for my husband, but now I have someone totally different in mind.  The funny thing to me is where my inspiration came from, and how different the top became from what I first loved.

My two inspirations were  THIS QUILT

StashStars by Quilt Expressions (blog)
And, this little block that I made once while playing with leftover triangles and scraps (it's a 4" sq)

This is all I can  show right now, but I hope to finish it soon.



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