Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'm Baaaa-ack

It has been weeks since I last posted... what happened???

It seems that ever since May when I was updating Dave's website and then making improvements on this blog I have spend an atrocious amount of time on the computer and using technology.  A few weeks ago I had scrolled past several articles about the need for a "digital detox" and "internet fasting"...  I thought to myself "That sounds nice, but a bit unrealistic.  Our business relies upon technology for advertising, billing and... just about everything."

I felt like I was on technology overload... My mind was tired of trying to fix, trouble-shoot and improve...  And then I had to travel to an appointment on the other end of the state.  Not only did I have limited time to be on the computer, but I had limited wi-fi and cell service. I then forgot my cell phone in my car when I joined some friends for a girls night out at a concert as well as the charging cord for my tablet.

It seems as thought it was time for a digital detoxing!  Upon my return home I was wrapped up with catching up on laundry and house cleaning.

BUT, I am now back, all caught up and I have resumed my regular routine.  This also means I am back in my sewing room!  YAY!!!

As I was resuming my routine I did have some playtime in my studio... I had been working on some crayon blocks, planning to make a throw quilt with them...

Here are some mock-up layouts I was considering...


As they hung out on the design wall my mind kept going back to the original idea of a wall hanging using just one large block with a name on it... I asked my oldest daughter (who is expecting her second baby) what her thoughts were.  She was thrilled with the idea. 

I quickly modified one of the blocks to have less pink/purple and 
more blue for a boy...

And I am certain that my Sweet Tater will love hers in her 
new "Big Girl Room"...


And I think this will be the perfect addition to the nursery...

I am just itchin' to get back to these fun projects, but I have a t-shirt quilt that must be finished for a young lady about to fly from the nest of her parent's home and is ready to discover the world while at college.  I think it is wonderful that her Mom wants to send her off with some special memories of her young life and a reminder of how much she is loved.

What is it about quilts that you love the most?  

For me it is that fact that I am making something that evokes emotion, can comfort and embrace a loved one as well as help someone recall memories and create new ones.  Most of all I want my quilts to represent love!  Which is why my quilt labels always include "Blessed from above, Made with Love."

Be Blessed!


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Thursday, July 7, 2016

To Quilt???? Or To Not Quilt????

I think most quilters have seen the t-shirts or mugs with the saying "To quilt? Or To NOT Quilt???? What a silly question!"  Because for quilters the most popular answer is "To Quilt!"  Without a doubt!

But this week I was truly faced with the question about whether or not to quilt a Crazy  Quilt...

It's a terrible pickle to be in!  My friend asked me to quilt the Crazy Quilt that came from her Mother-in-law.  

In researching vintage crazy quilts I learned that they are not typically quilted. They were tied... and no batting.  

 "These type of quilts were used as a coverlets to showcase the embroidery skills of the maker and to us up bits of the luxury fabrics that were perhaps traded with friends."

There are several interesting things I have discovered about this crazy quilt...

A name patch of some sort???  
Euls Ells Srs
Pierce City

When I did a quick search for Pierce City it came up with it being in Missouri.

Other interesting things I found in the Crazy Quilt patches...


Are these initials of individuals that created the blocks and did the embroidery?

Many of the satins and linens were very fragile.  Even prior to me spreading it out to work on there were some areas that the fabric had just  disintegrated and the muslin backing was the exposed.  This must have been the case for several areas of the quilt and someone spent a great deal of time making repairs...

You can see that the brown (polyester) patch below covered other satin-like fabric...

... and here you can see that this small, thin patch covers a hole... 

Likewise, below you can see that there was another repair...

When I asked about quilting it in a vintage quilting group many were strongly opposed to it and suggested holding to tradition and simply tie it. Yet others were okay with it and suggested a Baptist Fan pattern for it...  The "purists" also recommended that regardless of how I finished it, "it should not be used"...  when obviously it HAD been used by another...

Right, wrong or indifferent, I decided to fulfill my customer's request to quilt it. This decision was made mainly since she was not trying to preserve any authenticity of it or avoid losing any value of the quilt.

I did an all over grid with nylon thread so that it would not detract from the hand embroidery, yet stabilize the top.  

So, was I crazy to quilt a Crazy Quilt?  

Maybe so, but I know that my friend will fall in love with it and hopefully her son will be gentle with it, should he choose to use it.

To Quilt?  Or Not???  Silly question!

Happy Quilting!


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Monday, July 4, 2016

Go Ahead... Break the Rules!

Last week I was building up my inventory for the Farmer's Market.  Since it was the July 4th weekend and the City of Trinidad had lots of activities planned for the weekend I decided to create a few scrappy Patriotic items... 

This was a quick table runner that came together quickly.

One of the most popular items that spurred interest (both on at the market and on social media) was this square table topper. 

It was being shared and commented on by friends and friends of friends.  It was really the closest thing I have had to something going viral.  LOL!

I first created the center by creating a "wonky" star and appliqueing it to and 8-1/2" square, added the border and then I started my log cabin blocks.

I started with four center squares of two different fabrics for the log cabins and then I grabbed my scrap bin and started pulling strips that were long enough to build the log cabins.  Width didn't matter... which was nice!  And it didn't matter if it was 2" on one end and only 1-5/8" on the other end... It is what adds to its character and charm. 

In the "proper" quilting world where precision cutting and sewing seams are so important, sometimes it is nice to throw all rules out the window!  I just kept making the log cabin rounds until the squares reached 12-1/2"+ squares so that they could be trimmed down to the appropriate size.

Now, in life, I am not one who is comfortable bending or breaking the rules... My parents just didn't raise me that way!  But in quilting every once in a while when you bend or break the rules you end up with something quite spectacular!  So go ahead, break the rules!

What quilting "rules" have you broken?  Were you happily surprised at the outcome?
Happy Independence Day!

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