Praise !

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear....Psalm 27 1-3
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, September 30, 2010

The 'Learning" quilt.......

Having more free time than some folks, I decided to take what I was learning on the "Free-Motion Quiltalong", and apply it to a 'needs to be done yesterday' project.
It was quite a learning experience working on this quilt.  I found that it is indeed very true, as I have read many times, that working free-motion quilting on an actual quilt, albeit couch-sized, is much different from just practicing on a much smaller project.    (Note:  I have quilted larger quilts on the sewing machine, but always used all-over meandering, or straight lines.)

Things I learned:
I would definitely profit from a "supreme slider" type of product to apply to my machine bed.

Gloves are a MUST HAVE !

Needle-down position on machine--yeh, that would be WONDERFUL.

One-inch strips would be ideal for coming up with LOTS of design ideas.....2 inches is a little more difficult.
BIGGEST aggravation............a machine that COASTS to a stop.  I just could not CONTINUALLY slow down and coast to the place where I MEANT to stop, even for shifting my hand placement.  So, I wound up with little 'thread balls' in a million places.
ALSO......VERY IMPORTANT..........I think I see why I don't find many photos of "modern" machine-quilted quilts with borders.  It's difficult to balance the machine-quilting on the interior of the quilt with the design you do in the borders.  My quilt is more heavily quilted inside; then, I just did a large-scale meandering in the borders; therefore, the borders wave a bit despite the fact that I measured the centers of the quilt when adding the bindings.

Here are a few shots of the different designs that fill the rectangles and triangles. 
In the photo above, you can barely make out the couple's first initials in the triangle with the heart (I know, it's kindof a sorry heart).......H for Holly, and J for Jeremiah.
 The backing fabric turned out to be a great choice for machine-quilting, as it has pale paisleys and designs all over it that look alot like my quilting.

 The binding fabric was kindof a strange choice.  It actually has giraffe heads all over it, but the coloration went well with the border fabric. 
  I  managed to quilt quite a few hearts into the border triangles.
All in all, I'm pleased with the quilt, and very pleased with the time frame for making it.  As 'using quilts' go, it's a keeper, I think.  Let's hope the wedding couple thinks so.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am WORN OUT

I have been machine-quilting, off and on, most of today, and I am BEAT.

When I took the basted quilt to the machine, I couldn't decide how I wanted to quilt it, so somehow, it's turned into a sampler.........(that happens to me alot, now that I think of it,...I did that on Aunt Edith's quilt, only with hand-quilting !)......anyway, I started  using all the different quilting designs that I have been practicing on the quiltalong quilt, and now, I have to keep finding new things to use, or make sure that I don't quilt any block just like the one next to it.

























I have quilted 40 of the 50 blocks, and have used LOTS of thread.   One of the most frustrating things I've run into is a 'backspin'.  I've read about that happening to your bobbin, but mine spins at the top of the machine.  I've wound thread from a serger-sized spool of thread onto a bobbin, and am using that at the top of the machine.  Well, every once in a while, for no apparent reason, the top thread (bobbin) just spins wildly and flips off of the thread pin ! 

AGHHHHHHHHH  !  !  !

I had to take a break from it at one point, and it was the perfect opportunity to go look in on the quilter's monthly meeting.  I was able to give a little help (hopefully) to a lady who was putting 3 sets of mitered borders on a quilt top.......she was mitering each border separately !

Anyway, I think I'll go and decompress for a little bit before bedtime. 

Special thanks and thoughts go to my super-generous gal-pal, Jodie Ann,.......so sweet of her to understand that I need time to work on some gifts now.  Sure do appreciate all the work you send my way, Jodie.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Remember how guilty I felt for grabbing the biggest doorprize basket?

Well, ......... I did put it up for my daughter, afterwards.........


I've won again !

Leah Day's new book and Beginner DVD
The LORD is so sweet......this one is definitely for me. 

When Pat Sloan interviewed Leah Day on her radio show, Leah offered a copy of her new book of machine-quilting designs and her DVD as a prize for commenting. 
I've been enjoying Leah's blog and her quilting videos and could hardly believe that she presents them FREE for all the internet world to enjoy and benefit from. 
I am thrilled to be getting this prize ! 

And, I'm THROUGH entering giveaways for awhile............they're all yours now, girls. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I went for five minutes.......

and wound up staying for nearly 2 hours !

My 35th high school reunion was held this weekend.  This is the first time I've been around to attend one, so I haven't seen most of these people in all those years.    I skipped the football game gathering last night , since I never cared much for the sport, but I decided to just pop my head into the get-together at a restaurant this afternoon. 

Well, before you know it, I was hugging, and smiling, laughing and talking, with faces so familiar, yet so changed ! 

The couple I sat with included a 'boy' who I wouldn't have been caught DEAD talking to in 8th grade..............GROSS, ........ewwwwwwww...........and they couldn't have been more fun to sit with and catch up on school days !  

So, no pictures tonight, as I don't know if they would want me to post them for the world to see......(I used to be really decided about NOT wanting my picture on the worldwide web !). 

Back to quilting on Monday, hopefully, if it's not raining and I can baste in the yard. 

Enjoy your weekend........get out your old yearbook, and have a little stroll down memory lane.  It's a TRIP !

Friday, September 24, 2010

EDITED to include photo of back ! And, now, the real Dolly returns !

Less than 24 hours after finishing Jodie's Pandolph top, I have conceived, cut, sewn, pressed and photographed my newest little top. 
Top measures approximately 50 inches by 59 inches.

One of my nieces is getting married on October 15th, and she sent out BROWN wedding invitations.  I thought that this was very unusual, and tried to determine what colors she would like for a couch quilt. 

Looking through my stash, I came up with a piece of gold mottled background fabric, and knew that it would be good to represent the month of October.  I promptly went to EQ5 and worked up this design, having been inspired by this quilt on Flickr.  Of course, I didn't look at the photo once while designing my quilt, being sure that I knew how to make it.   I now see that the center 'brick' should be twice as wide as the background !  No wonder mine doesn't have the effect that I expected !   Oh, well, I still like it, and it may serve to teach me a lesson before attempting a bigger project without checking design and inspiration.
Home sweet trailer........I would have cropped more out of the shot, but I wanted to give a feeling for size of the quilt-top.

I wanted to use mostly brown bricks, but throw in some blue and even a touch of red, to add spark to the coloration.   I'm thrilled to say that, up to this point, I was able to piece the entire quilt from stashed fabrics (yes, Jodie, the same old fabrics).  I'm not sure what I'm going to use for a back, but an idea is percolating already.   I think it looks okay, in fact, I actually, REALLY like it. 

Piecing Jodie's quilt tops is good for me; it brings me out of my comfort zone !  But it feels good to be back, too.
Back of quilt
EDIT:  I got the back of my quilt finished too !  Once again, NO NEWLY BOUGHT FABRIC ! 
The blue fabric was actually a set of curtains that my other niece gave to me a few months ago, thinking that I might like to use them in a quilt.......how appropriate....from one niece to another !

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I present..........

A finished quilt-top, measuring approximately 87" X 88".
The quilt is seen here on a queen-sized bed with an average-sized mattress.

Now that this is done..........
Time to make some gift quilts?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Middle, middle,.......

I finished the middle ! 
Of the Pandolph quilt-top,
that is !


Monday, September 20, 2010

Quilt show results..... (and a link to a giveaway)

Jodie Ann, also known around here as "Anonymous", sent me photos from the Shawnee Spinning Spools Quilt Show in Oklahoma.  She wanted me to feel just as if I were there !  A virtual tour of the show, thank you very much, Miss Jodie !

And one of the quilts that she entered, that I had made, won a third place prize.......apparently, instead of ribbons, for third place winners they awarded a sack, printed with the name of the guild !  That's it hanging there on the left side.  Hey, that's fine with me !

I said that I was all through entering competitions, but I have to admit that there is a certain thrill in just seeing your quilt hanging in a show for all the world to have a good look at !
Prize or no prize, it is THE BEST way to get a photo of the whole quilt, wonderfully displayed.

Jodie informs me that the geese quilt that I made came just 3 VOTES short of winning the VIEWER'S choice award.  Now that is humbling !  She didn't send me a photo of it, but you can see it and read a bit of the story of it, here, on my Flickr page.

In other news, I finished adding the triangles to 15 of the 20 Pandolph blocks.  I hope to get the rest finished today and trimming begun. 

I practiced my
machine-quilting
....'nuff said.....










back side of free-motion quiltalong quilt


Oh, I almost forgot some BIG news.  I went to our local free health fair on Saturday, and (in honor of Jennifer --above wedding quilt--who always used to win when we went to shows together,) I WON A DOOR PRIZE ! 














I never, never, NEVER win anything......not complaining, just a fact........so when told at THE NURSING HOME'S BOOTH, that I could choose any of the four baskets that they had as prizes, I CHOSE THE BIGGEST ! 
Look at all the goodies inside ~!~
Even the basket itself is gorgeous !

Greedy, I know, and I have since repented of that greediness and decided to give said basket and goodies to my daughter when she and the family come out to see me ..... EVENTUALLY........because, guess what??????
They were approved, last week, for a loan to get their first house !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They have it all picked out and are going through all the necessary steps now !
So this will be her FIRST (hopefully) housewarming gift !


And, after seeing, at Saturday's health fair, that I'm letting myself get out of shape, now that I'm driving again, I decided to walk to town today to run my errands.   It is a beautiful 91 degrees outside, and the LORD cooled me down with a wonderful blast of a breeze as I reached my biggest hill on the way back home !  The birds are singing and God's creation is beautifully set for the coming change of seasons !

Think I'll grab a little nap now !
Picture provided by "The Last Piece" blog

Back for just a moment with the promised (in the amended title of this post) link to a giveaway.
This blog is hosted by a fabric designer who has just received BOLTS of her latest line, and they are GORGEOUS, fun-looking fabrics.   Read here for details of the giveaway......let's hope I'm on a roll, and WON'T be greedy about these winnings either !

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I got SOME sewing done today.......

......and was able to put almost half of the quilt up on my design wall......(otherwise known as the quilt hanging over the bed).  I trimmed down all of the blocks to 10 3/8 inches square (block-fairy was on vacation, I think) and I'm in the process of adding the pink and green triangles.  I cut them oversized, and when all are pieced, I plan to then trim the blocks down AGAIN to measure approximately 14 1/2 inches square. 
 I wanted to see what the sashing was going to look like.   I'm not sure how that's going to go with the skinny first and second borders, but won't know until I lay the ENTIRE top out, with the skinny borders going across the top and bottom, too. 

(Excuse me, I've got to say a few words to JoAnn, here).......Jodie, I am NOT using the most recent piece of fabric that you sent me.  I appreciate the trouble you had shopping long distance, but it just was going to look like a 'last-minute-add-on', no matter where or how I used it.  And it doesn't have any green in it at all.......this red print is MUCH prettier.  The quilt-top will probably finish around 87" x 90", unless the skinny borders look awful, in which case I'll have to eliminate them and the quilt will be a bit smaller. 

If it turns out to be too small for your queen-sized bed, it will look GORGEOUS on a wall, or on top of a cream-colored bedspread.........or on a full-sized bed.  Surely one of your grandkids will use a full before they move on to a queen-sized bed someday !

Sorry, readers,I just had to squeeze that note in.
Speaking of Jodie, she's entered a quilt that I made in the Shawnee Spinning Spools quilt show.  Her daughter was married in 1999, I think, and having half-adopted her to be my own munchkin at the age of 11, I insisted on making her a wedding quilt.  Jodie sent me a photo of the quilt this week......
The pattern was from an old Quiltmaker issue, and I think that it was called "Bed of Roses".  It was machine-pieced and hand-quilted.  This is the first photo I've had of it, since I forgot to get one before I gave it away.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jodie's Pandolph blocks...........

that's 20 !
That's all of them ~!~

Now, seeing as how some of them measure
around 10 1/2 inches square,
 and some around 10 1/4,
 and some around 10 3/8,
 I'm going to leave them out on my cutting table
 for the block fairies to find tonight. 

Hopefully, when I wake up tomorrow morning,
they'll all measure the same,
and I can move on to piecing
(as per design in link),
and adding the sashing.



Monday, September 13, 2010

Hey Jodie .......

I flipped !

Going to the back porch to rip.

Done !

Now, you who are scratching your heads need to know that Jodie Ann was always known as 'Flip' in our little circle of FUN quilters !  She REFUSED to make anything (there, Jodie, I've made it look intentional) without flipping something SOMEWHERE within the quilt top. 
This is her top, so I guess it was inevitable, even if I'm the one doing the piecing, right Jodie?

Anyway, I got two more blocks pieced, but I couldn't fight the pull of temptation to get back to the machine-quilting quiltalong, which was going on WITHOUT ME !
I've been tempted to buy myself a special table I found that would make my White sewing machine bed level with the quilting surface.  But after practicing today, I've decided that I should KEEP practicing, to see whether or not there are MORE problems with my quilting than just a small machine bed. 
I wiggled
Today, I tried the White machine, and wasn't happy, so I went back to the old Singer....had tension troubles there, (not sure why), but I got caught up with the quiltalong for now.  After working on my muslin practice-piece and on my quiltalong quilt, I pulled out the wallhanging that I had determined to finish during this learning time.
I squiggled

And, you know what?  
I finished a wallhanging !
Finished IS better than perfect.......not that this little jewel was ever going to be perfect ! 
back of quilt
I made the top about 22 years ago, and almost threw it into the trash when I packed up to leave Shawnee.  Wanda Gayle wouldn't hear of it, and threw it into my  packing, lamenting that a flat little 19 inch square couldn't take up THAT much room. 
Glad you rescued it Wanda.......it takes me back to those all-day (and sometimes almost all- night) sew-ins at Jodie Ann's house when we were all 'girls' !

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to my niece, Allyssia !

Well, actually, she's my GREAT niece, but truly, they're ALL great !
I filled in for Mandy's babysitter yesterday and today, having Allyssia brought over here at 5 in the morning........she was a living doll !

And today was her birthday.  We went out to sit in the driveway to play, and she was wearing shorts.  She didn't like crawling on the rocks on her bare knees, so I dug out an outfit that had belonged to my granddaughter 6 years ago........this little set of overalls and red onesie. Zoe wore them at around 4 months of age, but Allyssia is a petite baby.   They fit more like capris than long pants, but it covered her knees, so she was happily able to crawl around, sufficiently protected.

Then while I was preparing dinner tonight, I received the most precious phone call.........Zoe, my 6 1/2 year-old granddaughter, called to sing a song to me that they had prepared at school for assembly.  It was a song celebrating "grandparents' day" ! 
I didn't even know today WAS grandparents day, but thankfully.......and my LORD is so good this way,.......I got to spend it with a baby in my arms, and my own grandchildren singing to me and Papa on the phone !

 Here are photos of my youngest grandbaby, Seth, enjoying his first peanut-butter and Jelly sandwich !  (sometimes I have to 'find' my grandbabies photos on Facebook........my daughter says that it's quicker to share them with everyone at once !)  Looks like he couldn't get the sandwich in there fast enough !

Aren't I blessed?

Praise the LORD !

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm HAPPY to say that I LABORed on this DAY !

And what fun labor it was......from 8 a.m. 'til 8 p.m., with plenty of normal household stuff in-between.........working on Jodie's quilt top.

I got it all cut out except for the large pink and green setting triangles.......they'll have to wait until the blocks are all pieced and squared up, to give me the cutting size.
I pieced half of the quarter-square triangle units, before giving in to the temptation to lay out one block.  Then, of course, I wasn't satisfied until I actually PIECED one whole block, to see how it would finally look.  The seam-pressing gets a little tricky with the bulk of the triangle squares, but I think I"ve worked it out satisfactorily.
So, how's this one look?  Not bad?

Next time I sit down to piece, I'll finish all of the quarter-squares and then start on the half-squares for the center of the block.......half of the half-squares are planned to be red and green, and the other half, red and pink.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The MACHINE-QUILTING quiltalong has begun !

I'm so excited !

For a while now, I've wanted to machine-quilt on my cabinet-model Singer machine but would only attempt it with a walking foot.....no free-motion.  I didn't think that I had a darning foot to fit it, and once I figured out that the foot from my White machine (which I usually use to meander-quilt) fits this one, I couldn't remember what the other problem was.  Now I've remembered.......like her 'mother', this machine tends to 'run on' a bit.  In machine-free-motion-quilting, that can be a problem, needing to stop at a certain point, and the machine going on for another 6-10 stitches after you let up off the pedal !

But, tonight I practiced, per instruction, and I'm learning....
 (a) to slow down -- no small feat since this machine has a knee pedal, and I'm very excitable while doing this ,
and
 (b) to anticipate my stopping point, so that I can coast down to it. 

Now, I still don't know if it will be controllable on something like pebbles, but, hey.....that's why I'm doing all this, right.........to see what we CAN DO !

I'm so proud of the old girl !
**********************************
I pieced a sample bit of the quarter-square triangles for Jodie's quilt, just to see how much I needed to oversize the beginning square in order to have plenty for trimming.  Here's a layout of the outside perimeter of the blocks.........love that pink !

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pandolph quilt-top begun !




















Okay, the Pandolph quilt is officially under way !

Yesterday's mail brought a replacement piece of fabric, and today, I got to work figuring out my cutting measurements.  My sweet pal, Jodie, even included a new packet of basting safety pins, because she read that I had used too many on my quiltalong sample !

I started out by making all of my red/cream-combination half-square triangles.  I drew them out the same way I did for the Pinwheel quilt, and got them made quickly.
 I probably worked about 4 1/2 hours today.........I trim much more slowly now, giving homage to my age, wishing to keep all of my digits in tact !
I find that I now need to sit at the ironing board while pressing all of the triangle-squares open.   Funny how these things creep up on you, huh?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sneaking in a little practice last night......

.....I was drawing on a pad of paper and decided to try it at the machine.

It's supposed to say, "Dolly's Home", but it looks more like Dolly's House. My machine bed just does not let me move things around freely........I'm real jerky.  The machine I'm using is not installed in a cabinet or table, and I don't have an auxillary machine bed to add to it, so it's just the small bed area of the portable machine.  I don't know if that's the problem or if I just should have put on the quilting gloves......of course this was just a small 6-inch square that I was using for practice.