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! 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

In a Bind!

As I prepare for the hand stitching portion of the Orang Crush Quilt, I thought I would share a tutorial entitled "The Ultimate Quilt Binding". 

I saw this YouTube video several weeks ago and I have a new way of doing my binding!  It is super easy to do with mitered corners and all!  Many thanks to Missouri Star Quilts for this tutorial!  You have changed my life!

I hope that you find it as helpful as I did.  Next time you are ready to bind a quilt, give this method a try.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Sticky Situation

My latest project involves t-shirts... screen printed t-shirts and jerseys.

The presser foot doesn't easily move over the numbers on the jersey and I encountered a little puckering...
So, my solution... use a little bit of interfacing over the numbers...
The presser foot easily moves over the printed jersey and then I just tear away the interfacing when done.
No more puckering! No more messing with stitching so very slowly and manually moving the quilt forward. No more sticky situation!  And I can move on to the binding...  Happy quilting!
Check out blogs by other quilters at

Monday, July 14, 2014

Something Special for Emma Noelle

Last week I quilted an adorable baby quilt for a friend.  It was so fun to use some of my newly acquired free motion quilting skills...

I had fun creating waves... and clouds. (though the photo doesn't show the detail of the clouds very well...)

I am certain that Sandi's newest grandson will love this quilt.  I know that she stitched lots and lots of love into it.  I can completely relate because our first grandchild is just weeks away from arriving. 
Yesterday I attended a shower held in her honor... Emma Noelle.  Well, her and her mommy, Heather.  And I am now torn... I have these wonderfully, personalized blocks to assemble into a quilt for her. 
I have read each one of them several times and I am so touched by the messages and pictures.  I really, really want to assemble them... but I have another quilt on my design wall and ready to go...
The blocks are cut and ready to go.  I guess it is best that I don't have all of the blocks for Emma's quilt... a couple of the guests just couldn't finish theirs and requested a little extra time.  Thanks Mary & Catie... I am off to crush the Orange Crush quilt. 
Interested in other blogs by other quilters?  Check out

Monday, July 7, 2014

She's a beauty!

After last week's close call of being without a sewing machine for a few weeks I decided that I needed a "back up plan" and started a hunt for a used, reliable machine.

The hunt didn't take long.  Thanks to fb and a local "swap shop" group I found a gem... and at a bargain price!

I spent a little time cleaning her up and making sure the tension was correct and oiling the key areas.  She does a beautiful job!  I would have absolutely no reservations about using her for piecing while the "big girl" is being repaired.

Now that my back up plan is in place, I have an adorable baby quilt to quilt and bind for a friend.

Summer has arrived.  And that means that the warm temps are here too.  Try to stay cool!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sewing Mends the Soul

I recently saw a picture that touched me.  It spoke to me... it fits me!  I certainly believe it!

Of course, it helps when the sewing machine is working properly!  Now I love my Babylock Serenade and I have learned that treating it nicely, not abusing it and caring for it properly is very important.

The other day I was caring for it... cleaning it.  It got a deep clean to get all of the lint out of the feed dogs and bobbin area.  I lubed it up.  It was feeling good!  And then, as I was sewing (and not paying attention) the top thread ran out. :'(  It was jammed and would not move.

I unplugged it and carried it out to Dave's shop for his assistance.  Within a few minutes we had the entire... I mean ENTIRE bobbin mechanism out of the machine!

At this point I was feeling quite anxious for the Serenade... Would we get it back together?  And would it actually work?  I may have appeared fairly calm, but inside I was panicking!  All I could think was "I am going to have take the machine to Pueblo for a repair and tune-up."  No big deal for most, but since the sewing machine technician is in a town 80 mile away and they take, on average, two weeks for the repairs, I was quite distraught.

Because, as the picture states "Sewing mends the soul".  

Well, we did get the machine back together and it did sew. Though it still needed a little adjusting.  My guy spent hours with me trying to get it just right and tweaking this way and that way trying to get its stitching to be "acceptable".  The longer we worked on it, the worse it seemed to be getting.  It didn't matter which direction we tweaked. 

In frustration, he stated "This is the last time.  If it still isn't right it will just have to be taken in for adjustment."  We reassembled on last time, set the machine into place, plugged it in and...

It was perfect!  Not a skipped stitch! Not a loose stitch!  Perfect! 

We looked at each other in amazement and smiled.  We have absolutely NO idea of what he did differently that last time.  It doesn't really matter, but it certainly leaves us very curious.  (I am certain that there will be a conversation with the technician when we do end up taking the Serenade in to the repair shop.)

So, for now... I'll be "mending my soul" as I prepare for the Farmer's Market on Saturday.