Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rescued Stars

I debated. I himmed and hawed. I procrastinated.  I considered alternatives about how to do the border on the "Rescued Stars" quilt top.

The pattern called for what I would call a half-square triangle blended with a four-patch... I don't like small pieces.  And since the finished block size was 4" it meant small! 

Whenever I finish a project started by another quilter I spend some time "getting into the mind" of that quilter.  I carefully sort through the fabric provided and make every effort to finish the quilt in a manner that would make them proud.  In this case there were some pieces cut to the specific sizes that the pattern called for in making the border.

In the end I gave myself a pep talk yesterday afternoon and I sat down with all of the cut pieces that came in the special box. In all reality I didn't have to cut very many squares to get enough for the border.

Today, the border has been attached. The quilt sandwich made and I should be able to get it quilted tomorrow and the binding on it on Saturday.

I am glad that I took the time and effort to mess with the small pieces (I didn't even grumble that much) because the quilt looks wonderful!

I love making rescues!

UPDATE:  The quilt is finished!  A full day early...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

More Rescues!

There is little that excites me more than a box of goodies that arrives unexpectedly from a friend with a few "rescue projects".  Even in the midst of a partial re-model of our kitchen I was more excited about the box of goodies than the project!

Above is the kitchen after a kitchen "touch up" in 1997

This remodel has been a long time in the plans... when we moved in in December of 1994 we knew we would replace the range top and oven eventually - when one or the other quit working was the thought.  We never figured that the appliances would last another 20 years!  In fact, they were still in good working order when we removed them last week. 

We found a stove that  fit our needs and the right price.  So the transformation began!

In a matter of just a few hours we had the range top,
oven and cabinets out of the kitchen!
And in less than a week we have the new oven in place
and in working order. 
We still need to finish painting the cabinets but at least now I am able to cook and prepare meals with out the need of "being creative" and dealing with tools and dry wall joint compound  and drywall dust on the cabinet. ;)

And NOW I have time to go work on the "rescue projects" that arrived when we started the kitchen project.  There were two of them -
Some Victorian Christmas Stockings

And a quilt top, fabric and pattern - "Back in time Stars" from a magazine published in May of 1996.

The pattern makes a finished 84" x 100" quilt... I think I will make a smaller lap throw, using only the finished star blocks that were included. 

I am off to rescue! 

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Very Different Kind of "Happily Ever-After"

The wedding plans were moving forward... Plans for the showers were in place and the first shower invitations had been sent out... The wedding dress alterations were done. The quilt was nearly done.

And then we got the phone call that brought all of the plans to a halt.  There were questions and doubts in her mind and she felt that she could not overlook them and therefore, in a somewhat mutual decision, they called off the wedding.

It had to have been a difficult decision, but she has had the love, prayers and support of so many family and friends applauding her for making the decision now, rather than AFTER the ceremony. 

She has always wanted a fairy-tale story of her own... And she deserves it!  This just has a very different kind of "happily ever-after" ending - and it seems just perfect for now.  I love you, my princess!

So, for now... the wedding dress is placed back in the closet, the quilt will be finished an put away as well.  In all honesty it will probably become a wedding gift for someone else that we love when they get married, but I just cannot see giving this to Rebecca and a future hubby... It just doesn't seem right to do that... Anyone interested in buying it as a gift?

The center block has a sunflower medallion stitched in

I did free-motion vines and leaves in the background

The center back of the quilt has a pre-printed vintage marriage license


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Winds of Change

Plans for wedding #2 of this year are well under way.  Our oldest daughter got married in May.

And our youngest will be wed in October.  So... the changes to my wedding dress are under way.

I was touched and honored that she wanted to wear my dress and chuckled to myself when she expressed her concern that I wouldn't want to make changes to it.  My response was, "Well, honey, I'm not planning on wearing it again.  We can make whatever changes you want."

Gone are the sleeves and the lace and ribbon at the neckline.

 Oh, and I can't forget the addition of pockets! =D

It's a good thing there won't a lot of time required to change the dress.  Because I have a wedding quilt I need to get done, too!

The block name for the quilt is Summer Winds... It could be Winds of Change.  There have certainly been a lot of changes for us this year...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Abandoned... but not forgotten

I was recently gifted an assortment of fabric scraps and yard-cuts from an Aunt.  When I received them, I quickly went through them for a quick inventory and then had to set them aside because of wedding details.

I had forgotten most of what was in there, but I did remember that there were 12 pieced blocks that were obviously intended for a quilt top, probably from a block of the month class or the likes. 

I pulled out the blocks and placed them on the design wall...

The biggest problem was that the blocks were not uniform in finished size.  They varied from not quite 12" to nearly 13".  My solution?  Well, in addition to the blocks there was extra fabric of all four fabrics used in the blocks, so I framed the blocks and cut them all to a uniform size, placed sashing strips between the blocks with cornerstones.

Then I needed to decide on borders, based on the remaining fabric.
Not bad for a "rescue" quilt. 
Since this was all stitched on my back-up machine, I need to wait for my "first string" machine to be returned so that I can quilt it and do the binding.  I haven't checked yet, but I am hoping that there will be enough of the dark teal/green for the binding.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Picking Up the Pieces

The other night I watched Bonnie Hunter ( on her QuiltCam and got inspired!  She was using up odds and ends of all sizes (she refers to them as crumbs, chunks and strings) and shapes to string piece blocks.

I went to bed thinking I needed to tackle my accumulation of scraps that hadn't been touched for years.  You will notice that the plastic bin is overflowing!

I actually thought that the pieces in there were just about too tiny to do anything with other than applique.  I had a dream about making log cabin blocks with a free-form style of not worrying about the strips being perfectly straight. 

The only thing I did start out with was 2-1/2" yellow squares for the centers.

I sewed for a few hours...

... and I quickly had 9 blocks that were 12-1/2" square with some wonkiness to them because they were all different widths and some were not straight.  The day was only half done so I cut some more center squares and continued on with my sewing.  In just about 10 hours I had 18  "wonky log cabin" blocks.

All I need to do now is add some borders and it will be a lovely twin sized quilt that will be available for purchase at the Farmer's Market on Labor Day weekend.

As I was sewing I couldn't help but think of the parallel of these pieces of fabric to the past year of our lives.  A little wonky, not perfectly straight, but still very much useable and has become something quite beautiful!

Oh, and the plastic bin of scraps?  After 18 blocks what was left all fit into the bin. 

It is tucked safely away until I finish my next quilting project and the quilt for our grand daughter that is due to arrive in about two weeks. 

Happy Quilting!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Filling In the Blanks

This morning I pulled out the squares that had been written on for Emma's shower quilt and began laying them out.

There were a lot of blank spaces... Hmmmm... Do I leave them blank?  Do I fill in with just more of mine? 

 And then I remembered the artwork that was hanging on our refrigerator.  It was from Nola and Naomi in May when they were here for Heather's wedding.  Perfect!

 Nola's was the perfect size for the 6-1/2" blocks and I got two of them out of her one drawing...


Naomi's was a little big so I scanned it and reduced it and then traced it.

Just a few more to fill in!