" Do you not know?
Have you not heard???

The LORD is the everlasting GOD,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary,
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

"The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." Isaish 50:4


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.