Last weekend was so busy I didn’t have any time to work on the baby quilt. Tuesday and Wednesday my sister-in-law Nita came to visit. We talked, did a little shopping, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We don’t get to be together often enough, but I do love the times we are together.
Yesterday was an all-sewing day. BigJ needed to take my car, so I was stuck at home, happily. I got busy and finished up the second baby quilt top. Wanna see it? Of course you do!
It has been another crazy weather week in Minnesota. We have had sunshine, 80 degree weather, wind, rain, hail, and now chilly temps in the 50’s. Needless to say, it’s been good weather for a sewing project! I’ve been busy, so let me show you what I’ve done.
Friday is here and once again I am late at getting this post done. One of my goals for this year is to work on getting more of my posts ready ahead of time rather than flying by the seat of my pants. So far, it’s not going too well, but there is some improvement. So, strapping on my inner Last Minute Lulu, here goes!
I actually started and finished a large quilt top this week. That hasn’t happened in awhile. Now, granted, the quilt was easy because I was working with pre-cuts. Sometimes it’s just good therapy to grab and sew, y’know?
I made this quilt while waiting to begin another project that will involve more intricate piecing. I couldn’t go to the quilt store until this past Wednesday, so I had to find something to do in the meantime. I mean, I have no other unfinished projects that I could’ve, well, finished. Ha!
In Wednesday’s post, I showed you the pre-cuts. I used fabric from Corey Yoder’s Sundrops line along with a Kona Solid in a creamy white. The Sundrops pre-cut pack had a pattern in it named Garden Gate. So armed with everything I needed, I got to it.
Yesterday I was finishing the quilt by putting in the sashing. Easy peasy, until I did this.
Been there, anyone? So I spent some time with Jack, the ripper. We had a long conversation . . . 59 inches of conversation. Not doing that again, I hope.
I was so excited to show you the finished quilt, but I needed to take some photos. So I slipped my hikers on (who needs to tie them – this was gonna be short and quick anyway), and headed out on to my patio. Did I mention it’s currently -2 degrees here this morning? It was a short and sweet photo session, so don’t judge too harshly. Long sleeved shirt, denim capris and hikers; probably should’ve rethought that fashion statement before going out. I don’t think anyone noticed . . . they were probably tucked in their warm houses, slurping coffee!
So anyway — here it is, right next to our Christmas tree which has migrated to the deck. I told you it was tradition, now you have proof.
Even my cat got a short burst of energy from my foray onto the deck. That chilly air wafting through the house had him zipping to and fro, which of course means he will be napping on my ironing board later when I need to use it. Did I tell you that he once singed his fur nestling too close to the iron? Silly cat.
Today I begin cutting into this lovely cache of fabric. This will become a quilt that has been requested by a friend. I hope she likes it. I can’t wait to get started!
Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy your weekend, may it be full of long running stitches (and no Jack)!
My Friday Finish for the week isn’t a quilt, but a project that will improve my quilt room.
A few years ago, my daughter purchased an art canvas that measured 36 x 48 x 1 inches. She had planned to do a painting on it, but life got busy, the painting never happened, and the canvas shifted from place to place around the house, waiting for a spot to land. There had to be another use for it.
One day it occurred to me that I could use it as a small design wall. For awhile now, I’ve just been draping a batting over it and using it that way. This worked but obviously not as ideally as it could. When I cleared the quilt room to put in the new floor, it was time to get this design wall project done.
Here’s what I used for the project:
Art Canvas (this would work with any size)
Batting (I used Warm & Natural Crib Size)
Staples (long enough to secure batting well)
Because I had used the batting already, I wanted to get the threads cleaned off of it. I suppose you wouldn’t necessarily have to do this, but it felt better to work with it clean. This is where the lint roller came in. Helpful tip:Pull a longer strip from the roller and tear it off. Place it sticky side down on the batting and rub it (similar to waxing your legs – haha!). Pull it up and voila! It seems to pick up threads much better this way.
Lay your batting on a clean, flat surface. Center your canvas on the batting, making sure there is enough batting to wrap around each side of the canvas with some to spare. One end of my batting was longer; you’ll see that I cut that off later. You could also measure and cut the batting to size before you begin.
I started on one of the short ends, pulling the batting around the frame of the canvas, then securing it with a staple. Using a staple gun from this angle can be a little tricky. I found it easiest to lay it flush with the canvas and use the frame to hold onto as you squeeze the trigger (I used both hands). This helps get the staple flush with the frame and through the batting. My staples were a little short, so we’ll see how they hold. Use staples that are long enough to staple securely.
With one short end done, I flipped it over to see my progress and to make sure I was tucking it snugly as I got ready to staple the other short end. You don’t want to pull so snug that the batting tears, but you don’t want it loose either. Once I felt like I had the right tautness, I flipped it over and got to work.
The next step are the long sides. The first thing I did was tuck the corner. Because my staples were shorter, I decided to do a two-step wrap, hoping to secure the batting well enough. Once the first wrap was done, then I made a second, similar wrap.
Then I worked my way down the long end, stopping just before I got to the other corner.I made sure to firmly tuck the batting around the frame as I worked along. At that point, I trimmed the extra batting so that I could tuck the corner without extra bulk.
Now that I had three sides done, I flipped it over to be sure it was still laying flat. Satisfied that it was looking good, I flipped it back over and worked on the other long end. This is the last wrap, so I made sure I was keeping it gently taut.
Done! It looks so much better stapled to the canvas rather than draping over it.
When I moved back in to my quilt room, I moved this antique dresser in. This is a family piece; the story is that it was made by an uncle of mine out of wood from an old organ. BigJ did a little work on the drawers, making them slide in and out better. It now holds my fat quarters, small projects, and batting. The design wall will hang over the dresser. I should be able to access it well enough for my little projects, more efficiently using my space. I’ll still be able to take it off the wall and carry it to another room to use if need be.
So here it is, at home on the wall, with a few little projects on it. I even have my dresser top reasonably clean (for now). One more quilt room project, done!
I do have one little quilt project finish for the week. I finished this little mini runner. I’m enjoying the Pantone color of the year for 2017 early!
Our weekend is looking to be cold, snowy and chilly. Tuck in, stay home, stitch much!!
This morning, I have the song California Dreaming going through my head. All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey . . . The other day I noticed that the oak leaves just outside my kitchen window were the loveliest shade of rust. Today the tree is almost bare. Like the song, the leaves here are quickly turning to brown. Thankfully, today the sky is not grey but a pretty shade of blue. Our neighbor’s tree is still holding on to those lovely rust leaves, however.
My hydrangea tree still has some lovely pink color amidst its changing to the cooler season. The breeze stopped just long enough for me to snap a quick photo.
I began tidying up my scrap bins the other day. This is a tedious process, not to mention distracting. While I was pulling the scraps out of the bin, I kept finding groups of scraps that I wanted to play with. So now I have a messier table with a few bundles dotting my sewing table here and there.
One little bundle managed to find it’s way into a mini quilt. It was easy to do from start to finish. It measures about 13.5″ square. The blocks are from my scrap bin; the border and backing are fat quarters from my stash. This will be a fun little quilt to tuck into a nook with some Christmas decor, for a sweet little candle mat, or possibly a gift.
I quilted it using a spool of the Aurifil thread (50 wt) that I won recently. I was itching to dig into those spools of thread, so it was fun to find that I had a color that matched.
I made the binding narrow, using a 1.5″ strip. The finished binding edge is about 1/4″-3/8″ wide. Having clips on hand to hold the binding down while stitching made this much easier.
The back of the quilt is the same material as the binding. It’s from a cute little fat quarter that I was given last year.
My other finish for the week is my Autumn table runner; you can read about that here.
California Dreaming is still singing in my head; might be because I’m heading to California soon?
Fall is definitely in the air these days. Northern Minnesota even had some snow last night. Oh how I wish the Autumn season could last longer than it does!
Most of the projects I’ve finished this week have already been posted, so I’ve decided to join the linky part hosted by Bernie of Needle and Foot and show you some of my autumn quilts and woolies today.
I thought I’d take you on a mini tour of my Autumn quilt decor in my home. It was a challenge to get pictures in my dark, tree-shaded living room, so please bear with me.
The quilt below is one of my very first lap or throw quilts. While we do use it as a throw, most often I use it for decoration during the Autumn season. It is a pattern I made years ago; I believe it was in a quilt magazine. It is one of my favorite quilts. The quilting shelf was made for me by my brother, Steve. You can see some of his other work here.
Fall is one of my favorite times to pull out my woolie projects. If you’ve been following me, you know that I usually have a woolie close by to work on. This next little set of pin cushions is a nod to Autumn and Halloween.
The little owl pattern was too irresistable when I visited a quilt shop in Minnesota a year or so ago. The pattern is a Half Pints by Buttermilk Basin and went together quickly.
The pin cushion with the scaredy cat was a free download online a few years ago from Shirley Hudson Designs. Another quick project, and so cute!
The little pumpkin was a pin cushion pattern by a quilt shop I visited while on a trip to Missouri a few years ago. It is the first of the woolie pin cushions I made.
This little hanger is also made by my brother. He and his wife, Nita, of What a Hoot Quilting sell these. They hold little 6-1/2″ blocks and easily tuck into spaces where you just need a little something. (Am I an affiliate of What A Hoot? No, just a big fan who gets paid in hugs. Good enough for me!)
The little block on the hanger is my own design. I just sketched it up one day and stitched it together. I call it Harvest Moon.
This little quilt was made from a pattern in the Fall 2012 issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine. When we put in the bookshelves, which BigJ designed and built, he added this little nook so that I could hang my mini quilts on display. It’s one of my favorite design features in our house!
That’s my linky party share! Thanks for hosting this, Bernie!
(I’m not an affiliate of any of these companies; just giving them a little applause for their great patterns.)
It’s not often that I finish a quilt, all on my own, within a few days of piecing it. I have a habit of setting quilt tops aside and moving on to the next project. I am really excited to show you my completed Cross Cut quilt.
It took me a little time to decide how I wanted to quilt it. I noticed a little, somewhat fractured, heart in the quilt. This wasn’t planned by me; I didn’t see it until I started looking at the quilt after the top was sewn together. See it there, a little left of center?
So I began to think about that little fractured heart, about what I should name this quilt, and how to quilt it. And just like that, an idea popped into my head.
One of my favorite verses from the Bible is Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
So this little mini is named 423 after that verse. Inside the heart, I made some simple curved lines to represent a spring or spray of water. Then I just stitched an echo around the outside of the heart. Nothing too risky or fancy, just keeping it simple.
Here’s the echo work. I just eyeballed it and stitched away.
I decided to use a black and white fabric from my stash for the backing, and red fabric for the binding. Here’s a picture of the stitching on the back.
I’m still getting comfortable with machine quilting on my domestic, so this is far from perfect, but I’m excited because I had an idea, and I actually made it work!
The black and white fabrics in the quilt are Thicket by Gingiber for Moda; the colors are Riley Blake Crayola solids. I used a spool of red Gutermann thread that I had on hand for the machine quilting.
The one frustrating thing during the machine quilting process was that my walking foot was causing some problems. I would stitch along just fine, and then all of a sudden my needle would just drop out. I checked to make sure the walking foot was on correctly. I made sure the needle was tightly screwed into place. It was so annoying. The needle stayed threaded (no breakage); it just dropped out of its holding. I used spray baste (could that be the problem, even if the needle didn’t feel tacky?) and used Warm & Natural batting. If you have any advice, I’d be happy to hear it.
One weekend each year, our cozy little city bulges at its seams with people from all over who come to celebrate The Defeat of Jesse James Days. It is one of the largest festivals in our state. It began last night, with what the locals call “townie night”. The food vendors are open on Bridge Square and other activities are beginning, so the locals come out and play to get the busy weekend rolling. The weekend is full of food, art fairs, antique car shows, and reenactments of the bank raid. If you’re in the area, come and join the fun and see how Jesse James and his gang put our little city on the map. I may not get to any of the festivities this year; BigJ and I are sneaking away for our anniversary.
Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a little quilting and sewing. Here’s my roundup for the week.
I finished this mini.
And these three wool applique blocks for two different BOMs.
Those are my finishes for the week. It’s been a productive one, so I’m happy with it. Tonight we are having guests over for dinner, so I’m off to try to make my home look presentable! There are quilts to be hung!
I won the border wars and got the pieced border on — perfectly the first time. However, because I miscalculated on the blue inner border the first time around and had to rip it, I didn’t have enough of the fabric left to use for the final outer border. Here’s my remedy from my stash.
I’m satisfied with the result, even though I really wanted the blue fabric for the outer border. The top is done, and I also hope to find the backing in my stash.
Last night I got started on this little mystery project from Jenifer Gaston at the Woolen Willow. This is my first block. I hope to get the second block ready for some stitching tonight.