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“I have given skill to all the skillful, so that they may make all that I have commanded you. “ Exodus 31:6


“O Thou who art the all pervading glory of the world, we bless Thee for the power of beauty to gladden our hearts.
We praise Thee that even the least of us may feel a thrill of the creative joy when we give form and substance to our thoughts and, beholding our handiwork, find it good and fair. “.
Walter Rauschenbusch


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"Come, and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me.
I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the LORD woud not have listened and heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!" Psalm 66:16-20
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Monday, November 22, 2021

3D PopStars quilt FINISHED


 I finished quilting, binding AND labeling the 3D PopStars quilt last week and am just getting around to posting it.  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

I used a free pattern from FatQuarterShop, as I explained in a previous post, using 12 fat quarters collected from various sources.  The tan background fabric and the dark brown shadow and border/binding, are all fabrics from Walmart's wall of one-yard prepackaged cuts.  

I chose to add the one-inch dark inner border
to highlight the shadowing color, and then made a finished (close to) 1-inch binding, enclosing the pieced border that was made in the same fabrics as the stars.  I really like the framing effect that it gives.


I hand-quilted in a big stitch around each star, alternating between a tan and a reddish brown thread, and then did the remainder of the quilting, with the tan thread, by machine on the Jazz 2.

EDIT:  You know what, I was mistaken !  I forgot until seeing the above photo, that I had also handquilted around and in the borders with bigstitch as well !

 

The quilt finished with a measurement of around 52 x 70 inches.  80/20 cotton/poly batting by Fairfield/Polyfil, ordered online from Walmart.com.  I'm thinking of looking for a bit loftier cottony batting.  This just seems too thin lately. 

***********************

Months ago I bought a quilt kit from Fabric.com, from one of their half-off Fabric Friday sales, while I was waiting to receive my Jazz 2 machine.  Well, I wound up piecing it as a trial for my new JukiTL-2010Q, which performed beautifully. 


After finishing, I realized that I wasn't crazy about the farm/animal theme of the fabrics, although I loved the soft mood of the coloring.  So I offered it for sale on Facebook for basically what I paid for the kit.  No charge for the work.  And it sold right away-----turns out the lady that bought it is having it quilted as a surprise for her daughter who wants to be a veterinarian !  So perfect !

************************* Yesterday my brother John and his wife, Deb, hosted a family Thanksgiving at their house for our side of the family.  All five whole siblings were there, praise God, but sadly my half-brother Richard wasn't present......I keep hoping !!!!!!!!  Anyway, we all brought something, and there was a ton of food, and talk, and laughter, and the kids and grandkids playing outside in the rain !  I'll share a couple of pictures , but hoping my daughter sends me more.  

My niece, Ruhama and her husband, Rex

 
My brother, Jim, and his love, Lisa
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And finally,  I got out the many mini-jellyrolls that I bought on clearance, for a dollar apiece, last January, and did a bit of string-piecing, and several borders, to wind up with this.  Now to get IT quilted ~!~ (Maybe.......after resting abit from SO MANY BORDERS, I may wind up adding MORE......I still have a bag full,.....6 more jellyrolls !

Currently only 50 inches square..........should I keep going?????


Thursday, November 4, 2021

Little FINISH in time for Christmas -- Trees......."O Holy Night"

 

Well, mark it up to old(er) age.......another finish snuck by me.  I had intended to hand-quilt this little one, but no design came to me, so I just machine-stitched diagonal lines an inch apart AFTER quilting in the ditch around the trees and the checkered ledges they're growing from !  
I used the Jazz 2 machine, and an open-toe foot that is intended for applique or satin-stitch.  I prefer it for quilting because of the great visibility that it gives to me. 

 

I did have a bit of fun using a decorative stitch (from Jazzy) for a garland on the lower third of each tree. And then I remembered that my Melody BabyLock machine had an alphabet !  So I made up a label, including a little bit of a pine cone type of design (blacked out a bit of info for privacy sake online).

Now, DON'T laugh........but I MIGHT HAVE bought another new sewing machine last month!!!!!!! 

I've been enamored of the Juki TL2010Q that I see being used on so many quilt videos, and of course, I wanted to do my part in stimulating the economy once more, right???????  I ordered it on October 20, and received it a week later, from Quality Sewing and Vacuum.  

That's 4 machines set up in the room NOW, and my poor little Featherweight is crying "foul !  Find me a shelf OR SOMETHING !"

I saved a quilt kit that I had purchased in a half-off sale from Fabric.com, and let it be my first real test of this Juki machine.  I finished the quilt-top today,

although I'm having a bit of a time finding the sweet spot when it comes to the exact size of 1/4th inch seam that I need;  after cutting EVERYTHING to an exact size, it was really difficult to make it fit if the seam allowance was off just a bit.   The foot is supposed to be an exact 'scant' quarter, but I have trouble just following the side of a foot.  So I used screw-on guides, but one position would be too skinny (right against the side of the foot), and then when I'd adjust it, it would be too fat !!!!!!!!!

But I really like the Juki machine.  I've become a bit spoiled by the foot-controlled thread cutter, and the knee-lift.  The speed control is a nice feature too, although I'll probably only use that button when I get brave enough to try free-motion quilting on that machine.  I've been so disappointed with not being able to get the Jazz 2's tension where I need it while doing FMQ that I think I'm just too afraid that I'll be disappointed AGAIN.  I'll let you know IF and WHEN I get over that.

I did have a bit of a scare yesterday, though....... (listen to me.....A BIT...girls, I WAS FREAKING OUT !!!!!!!!!)  I wound a bobbin, then did a bit of cleaning in the bobbin area, and somehow, when I pressed the needle-down button to bring up the bobbin thread, my needle went THROUGH the bobbin case somewhere, and the whole movement was stuck.  Lovely people on Facebook talked me through the solution, but I'm not sure that I don't hear a different little click that I didn't have before.  BUT, she's sewing beautifully, so I'll keep my self still for now.  But you know that feeling when you're not sure what you did wrong, and you're leery of every next move/seam/stitch?????????  Oh, me !  

Breathe.........all is well, and I AM BLESSED.  I PRAYED FOR HELP AND RECEIVED IT......PRAISE GOD/END OF STORY !

So, I think that's all the news I'll share today.  Hope to be back soon ! 


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

3D PopStars ! Completed top....basted for quilting.

 I gave a peek at this project in my last post. It was made from a free pattern offered by the FatQuarterShop.  I first saw the block on a post by Pat Sloan on one of her daily videos.

 I pieced it on my old Singer 15-91, and am happy with the results.  I added an inner border of the same fabric as the shadow.  I think that it greatly improves the impact of the final pieced border.

 This is a fabric that I came across in one of Fabric.com's Friday half-price days.  It's from Stopf of France, and is 62 inche wide !  I love the size of the print, and the colors were stunning.  A bit brighter than the quilt's top, but a nice surprise when turning the quilt, I hope.

  Last Wednesday I took a day for myself, and just moved the living room furniture out of the way for an afternoon of quilt-basting.  I'm still an advocate of thread-basting, as I think it gives less opportunity for the top fabric to shift much, as opposed to pin-basting.  I have yet to try any kind of basting spray.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Finished in September...Celebrating Coneflowers

The county fair passed before I had quilted this one, so it didn't get entered. 

  Instead I gave them, for display purposes only,

 my red, white, and blue reversible quilt, finished in August, 

and a small quilt that I made in 2020.  

The only thing that I entered in competition was the small ripple afghan that I also made in 2020. It received a blue ribbon, for which I was awarded a $10.00 check !

So, in the first weeks of September I quilted this 50" square quilt on my Jazz 2.  I just quilted in the ditch around all of the geese and the flowers, and then did a bit of straight-line quilting in the background of each flower block.  

 I pieced it a good while ago when I ran across the block design online.  For a while I was torn between a horizontal and a diagonal setting for the blocks.  It was a hard decision, but I went for the horizontal in order to make it more of a wall/decorative size.  The geese were an afterthought, pieced in units where you sew and flip a square onto the rectangle, then another one on the opposite corner, then a rectangle onto the top of that, etc.etc., until you wind up with a column of geese rather than making them separately.

The overall design is terribly busy, but then again it is an explosion of color and jubilation at the glory of God's creation,  I think.  

 I had gotten a clearance buy on these discontinued one-yard cuts of the flower and butterfly print from Walmart, so I decided to piece some together for the backing.  It worked out very well, and allowed the use of a dark binding to tie everything together.  

 

 The large, 12-inch throat space, AND the presser-foot knee-lift, of the new machine made it much easier to do all of the twisting and turning that was necessary to stitch in the ditch around all of the piecing.  

Friday, August 20, 2021

Catching up with Summer 2021

The majority of the month of July, from the 7th through until August 5th, was spent working diligently, if slowly, on the hand-applique for Jodie Ann's Sunflower quilt top.  I started out to do needle-turn, but when that was not going as well as I'd have liked, I switched to good ol' turning under and thread-basting all of the edges and points, and then thread-basting pieces in place on the background squares.

Most of the pieces had already been cut out, and the backgrounds marked for placement, but sadly the pieces and the marking didn't always align.  The marks were made in pencil, sometimes very darkly, and that was over 25 years ago.  They would NOT erase away.  Some of the marking was even on top of the pieces, as seen on the yellow petals.  I did the best job that I knew how, and I was satisfied with my part in it.  


When finished, I had kept track of atleast 84 hours work.  
That is on the low side of actuality. 
The center rectangle was not found among the fabrics that she had stored with this, so I had to use the closest I could find to it.  It looked closer while piecing, but the density is a bit heavier, I guess.  Her blocks were cut from a very low thread count white fabric.  Hopefully with a batting behind it, and quilting all over, it will not be as noticeable. 
 I danced for joy upon completion, and I got it mailed off as quickly as possible, on August 6th, I think.  Yesterday I received payment in the mail and a few words of thanks and appreciation.  I know that she left many projects unfinished, but I have explained that this will be the last for me to finish.  I hope to stick to those words.  She was as dear as a sister to me, and now has reminded me to get my act in gear with the ideas/projects/fabrics that I have stashed on my own.

So, July passed, with me getting my Jazz 2 on the 12th, and only getting to try out a few stitches on a scrap of fabric.  I wouldn't let myself get into anything serious until that commission was done. 

BUT.......the week of July 4th, I had pieced (on my Singer 15-91) this near-twin-sized top.......

and as soon as the Sunflowers were sent off, I started in figuring out a backing for the red,white, and blue (inspired by a design called "Standing Strong").

I thought I'd just kinda throw together a bunch of big leftover pieces, willy-nilly, and get it onto the basting frame.  But, you know.......I love a good reversible quilt.   

So......THIS HAPPENED.....

Which means that I immediately got to basting it in my big floor frame, and getting it under Jazzy 2's big, generous throat !  
I had no problems straight-line quilting this one, a presser-foot's width on each side of every vertical seam.  She finished at approximately 56 x 82 inches.  

Several items in the free bundle (that was promised with the purchase of the machine) were on back-order, so the commission work was a blessing in disguise (besides helping pay for Jazzy), as it kept me from being antsy waiting on the walking foot and the extension table.  Both of those arrived while I was piecing the backing !   Isn't God good ??????????





Friday, July 16, 2021

TINY update, just for you, JAN !

 My exuberance has been dimmed a bit by two TINY factors.

Firstly, the SewSteady extension table that was a bonus in this deal (the Jazz 2 purchase) is being custom made to fit, and should arrive sometime within the next 4 to 6 weeks.  That's no biggie, as I don't have anything fairly big to quilt right now....still haven't come up with backings to please me.

Secondly, the day AFTER I ordered my Jazzy, I received, unexpectedly, without fore-knowledge, a HUGE box, via FedEx, which contained TWO commissions. 

Now, I RARELY take on commissions anymore.  I've reached an age where I feel that I'll be doing good to finish HALF of the projects that I'd like to do.  BUT........this is a most special request;  I've spoken of Jodie Ann before (what I called her).  JoAnn was one of my two best friends in Oklahoma, and remained so even after I came back here to Tennessee.  Sadly, about a year after my husband passed away , Jodie also succumbed to a lingering illness.  I have since finished one quilt

  for her husband, after her daughter (Jen) sent me a box of her fabrics PLUS one quilt top that she requested that I quilt, saying that it would really please her dad.    So, okay, for Gary, who always cooked for our weekend quilt-athons at their house.  

Well, this time, one of the projects is one that I can remember her starting probably 25-30 years ago. (We pretty much raised our girls together from 10 years old, through college days). Her daughter loves sunflowers, and Jo got this pattern from Mountain Mist. 

 She started it, marked off and cut out most of the pieces, marked the backgrounds for applique placement, sometimes IN VERY DARK PENCIL, and finished around 3-4 blocks. 

 Okay, again, I know how badly she wanted to give this to Jen, so, I've taken it on.  OH MY GOODNESS......all these petals and pointy leaves !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  March on, Dolly girl !

But, the second project is a modern thing that I've never seen before, and feel no calling to further along.  So I returned that one today, sending it off with (friendly ?) instructions to NOT send me things without prior approval, and basically, that I'm NOT taking commissions. 

So.......being the person that I am........that is, a person that can't have a commission and then NOT WORK ON IT CONSTANTLY UNTIL IT IS FINISHED, I haven't really felt that I could take the time to even play with Jazzy a little bit.   Other than familiarizing myself with her basics, upon unpackaging, she's just languishing in my sewing room, lending a bit of updated class.  Ha !   

 Seriously,........our time will come, and it will be grand.  So, that's what's new around here.  

I Hope (yes, Jan, I HOPE) to have more to tell you soon.  But this project looks like WEEKS !  Are WEEKS considered soon?  As fast as my days now pass, I think so.  

Love to you ALL !  Keep HOPE alive ! 

*****

Coming soon, maybe, my opinion of the new Quilters' Select rulers I've been purchasing, latest of which I haven't had a chance to use EITHER !

Monday, July 12, 2021

BREAKING NEWS : I got my BabyLock JAZZ II today !

 SewingMachinesPlus offered a sweeeeeet package to go along with the already good price on the Jazz 2 by BabyLock.   They're one of the few online dealers that I have found who have been able to consistently get more stock of this sweet thang !

 So, like I said before, I bit, and today she arrived.  I've only played with her for about an hour, but things are looking very good !  I can hardly wait to get a sizable quilt basted, and really give this girl a try !  

 Hope to keep you all updated ! 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

1 Finish, 1 Start

 Our church secretary retired, such a giving heart that gal has, and I gifted this quilt to her.

Disappearing 4-patch, machine-pieced, hand-quilted, around 50 inches square maybe.  I call them Church-Lap quilts.

 
Pieced the week of July 4th, a quick strip-like quilt .  Hope to machine-quilt it on the new Jazz 2.....gotta come up with a back first !   Measures about 56 x 81.
 
***Note of reminder: today, July 8th, 2021, I received a box from Gary G. with 2 unfinished quilt tops to be completed, including the Sunflower quilt.