Sunday, March 31, 2013

This and That

     Today was a wonderful Easter day.  After a special church service, I enjoyed dinner with my brother and his family.  In the afternoon I finished a sample pillow for a JoAnn class.  I thought the browns would look good in my living room.

Later I was trying to decide what to work on so I pulled out the coin top and added several simple borders to make it larger.

Now is time to relax and watch some TV.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quilt Backings

     I have several quilt tops waiting to be quilted.  Today I pieced two backs.  One that will be a gift, I had purchased 2 - 4 yd. pieces so that was easy to sew together and is ready to be sandwiched.  I don't have a place at home to sandwich a full size quilt top so I usually use my church fellowship hall.  The heart quilt top also needed a backing.  I did not have a large enough piece of one fabric to use; and instead of buying more fabric, I really wanted to use what I have.  I searched my stash.and chose steel blue shade pieces.  I came up with about 5 yards.  I bought one more and pieced this back.  It did take longer to piece than the first backing, but I feel good that I used my stash and only bought 1 new yd of fabric.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Heart Top Together

     Today I added the border for the heart quilt top.  Using 28 heart blocks (4 by 7) the JoAnn pattern calls for a Very Wide border so that it will finish as twin size.  It could be made with 40 heart blocks (5 by 8) and a more narrow border to finish the same size.

    Tomorrow I will find a backing and get it sandwiched for quilting.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Progress On the Heart Quilt

    I'm sorry I missed my SQG sew day, but this morning I had things to take care of.  In the afternoon I got to spend some time piecing.  I have mentioned before that my local JoAnn Fabric store now has a classroom, and I am scheduled to teach some beginner quilting classes for them.  Today I worked more on the sample for the twin size “Pieces of My Heart” quilt.  The center panel of hearts is all together.

     Tomorrow I hope to get the wide borders on and get it sandwiched and quilted soon so it can hang in the store.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Special Couple of Days

    For the sad reason of my 92 year old mother’s passing, I had a lot of family visit the past few days.  I got to spend some very special time with my 5 year old granddaughter, Mattie.   She watched as I pieced rectangles together on my grandmother’s treadle machine.  Mattie picked out some fabric pieces for me.  She also helped pedal the treadle. Today she had the idea to make the blocks we pieced into a quilt.  She picked out a few more rectangles so that the top measured about 12” by 16”.  I used fusible fleece for the batting and sewed the backing on pillowcase method so today Mattie could take home the “fastest little quilt ever made”. 

   Mattie loves to do projects and crafts so in a few years I look forward to her spending some summer vacation time with me for us to make many special things. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Show and Tell

    This afternoon I finished all 28 heart blocks for the "Piece of My Heart Quilt" which is the sample for the JoAnn Fabrics quilting class 301.  Actually, when I thought I had them all done, I could not find the first 2 I made so had to make 2 more. The others will probably show up some day.  Here are half of them on my design wall.

Maybe tomorrow I will add the blue sashing get the center sewn together.

   Tuesday at GCQ general meeting we had the "Pizza Girls" present a trunk show.  I enjoyed it very much and came home with 2 new rulers.  I have been wanting for sometime to make a spider web string quilt.  They showed 2.  Here is one.

I bought the template for cutting the kite shape for this quilt.

Years ago I bought a kaleidoscope ruler and love the look of the kaleidoscope quilts.  They showed several which interested me so maybe I will actually use mine.

      I also liked the quilts they showed that were made using a giant 45 degree diamond.  Here is what they showed.  Each block finishes at 24".

That template came home with me. Now I just have to find the time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

More Piecing Going On

     Before talking quilting, the smocked dresses arrived and Will shared a photo of the girls trying on their dresses so I can share it here.  I am pleased that they seem to fit well and the girls look happy with them.

    Yesterday I finished piecing all the columns for the simple bargello quilt.  Instead of sewing them together to make the top, I am considering a different method.  Marge Edie, who has written several books on creating bargello quilts, sandwiches the batting and backing, then sews the strips together through all the layers so it is quilted as the columns are joined.  I recently saw this same method (called “Quilt As You Go”) used for a strip quilt pattern from in a free eBook.

     I sewed more on a stack of heart blocks for the JoAnn Fabric sample quilt.  
 I also spent some time planning for fall quilting classes at MTC.  That’s all for tonight.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Quilting Day and Weekend

     Saturday I celebrated National Quilting Day in several enjoyable ways.

     I started the morning early by watching online several free episodes of "The Quilt Show".  Sponsors have advertised 3 free days of viewing 11 years worth of shows.  I hope you have taken advantage of watching some if you are not a paying member.  You do need to sign up for the free account but it is worth it.

    A friend and I went to Sumter for the Swan Lake Quilt Guild "Quilt Extravaganza 2013".  It is still on today, Sunday, from 1 PM until 4 PM.  It is not a judged show but you get to vote for Viewers Choice for a small quilt and a large quilt winner.  This quilt got my vote for the best large quilt.

It was all hand done and the quilter said she worked on it for 16 years to finish.  There was a good variety of quilted items on exhibit, including 12 quilts made by Barbara Fritzsimmons based on children's picture books.

    I have been wanting to teach a bargello class so I spent some time working on a lapsize bargello quilt that I hope would be simple to teach.   I pulled fabrics totally from my stash to play with strips.  This is what is on my design wall.  

Hope you are enjoying this weekend of beautiful weather whether you spend time inside or out.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Leader / Ender Pieces Become Coins

    To help deal with mounds of fabric scraps, I started cutting them into sizes that I planned to use as leaders and enders.  (  I love them in place of a scrap for a thread catcher.)   I cut a lot of 2 ½” squares and 2 ½” by 4 ½” bricks.  I had a pile of bricks sewn in pairs.  Some were sewn on my grandmother’s 1906 treadle machine when Quilt Mavens Bee met at my home last month.  I pulled out some leftover strips of unusual striped novelty print fabric and used the bricks as coin strips.   This is what I have sewn together. 

It measures 39” by 43”.  With an outside border added, it will be large enough to be useful for someone who likes golf.  I still have plenty of brick pieces for another project. 
     I also went looking in my stash for a different background fabric for the heart blocks.  While looking, I found a great fabric for the border and that led to the new background fabric and sashing fabric.  I decided not to use a couple of pale pinks. Here are my selections. 

 I like this plan much better.  The little blue flowers in the border fabric are perfect with the blue for sashing.
 Here are 2 new sample heart blocks.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Day of Quilt Projects

     Today was sew day for my church group and this afternoon I have been piecing so I am back to quilting projects.  Although… while reading quilting/sewing blogs, I came across an adorable sundress I would like to make. 

     For quilting projects I pulled fabrics and made a couple of sample blocks for a JoAnn Fabrics quilt class.  Here are two.  I might need to change the background fabric.

      While I was working on smocking, I did take the time to check on my favorite blogs.  Recently several have inspired me to think again about making a wholecloth trapunto quilt.  I am not interested in doing the art threadwork that Leah Day does ( I’m more traditional ), but I am amazed with her work on the wholecloth quilt “Dutchess Reigns”.  You just have to see it. 
   I also have watched several videos on YouTube with Cindy Needham who also does wholecloth quilts.  Her quilts are amazing!
If there is a problem with the links, just go to YouTube and search for Cindy Needham. 
Here is a link to Cindy’s webpage.

 Cindy and Leah also teach classes online with

   I am looking forward to teaching free-motion quilting again this fall for Midlands Tech and plan to incorporate some new techniques and designs that I have learned.  It will also give me more practice.  Maybe one day I will make my own bedsize wholecloth quilt.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Back to Quilt Projects

      Smocked Easter dresses for my granddaughters are almost finished.  The hem for the little one is basted.  When I pinned up the hem for the larger one, it looked too short so before I hem it, I think I should double check the length needed.  The photo does not do them justice. I look forward to seeing the girls in them. 

      MY local JoAnn Fabric store has remodeled and added a classroom.  I will be teaching some  quilting classes for them.  Corporate office of JoAnn Fabric has strict guidelines for the classes they want taught.  Quilting 101 is introductory and students practice using a rotary cutter and piece a block (they call “Hole in the Barn Door”).   Like many quilt blocks this one is known by many different names.  Here is my class sample.

I think I will also make up a lap quilt to show what can be done with a few of the blocks.
I hope to get a lot of piecing done this week. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dress Update

     Big sister's smocked Easter dress is looking like a dress only needing finishing touches such as back buttons, armhole finishing and hem.

    While I was sewing the angel sleeves and parts for this dress, I also worked on the angel sleeves for little sister's dress, so I am much closer to finishing.  I do need to check desired length for the hems.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Smocking Update

         I just finished the smocking for Mattie's Easter dress.

Hopefully, it won't take long to finish the rest of the dress construction.  Then I will do the smocking for Lily's dress.  Because hers is a much smaller size, fewer rows of smocking are needed.