Monday, June 30, 2014

June Quilt Update

Previous 2014 posts:  First of year quilt update  (There are individual class posts for 4 Bonnie Hunter classes as well if you click on Feeling Crafty label and go to older posts.)
                         End of January quilt update
                         February quilt update
                         March Quilt Update
                         April Quilt Update
                         May Quilt Update

Roll Quilt - yes
CS quilts - borders on and backs made - yes
UFO - Estate Sale blocks - yes - Gratitude quilt - just needs handwork on binding and threads worked in
BOM blocks - yes
Mark and Quilt Applique quilt - hahahahaha -- didn't even take it out of the tub
Finish Scrappy Bargello top - came close to center top but this is a no
Bind DN quilt for new baby - yes

It is a new month and I have lots of wonderful things happening.  My new granddaughter will make an appearance this month and since school is out -- our time with grandchildren starts.  I am so excited and hope that this year we will accomplish the goal of having all 12 current grands come and visit.  So far --- Malea and Elena are checked off the list but we are hoping for them again before the year is over.  Since there will be lots of visits -- I have given myself an easier goal list this month.  Perhaps I can achieve it?  We'll see.   Let's get started.

1st - With a new baby's arrival getting closer and closer, I think it is time to finish her quilt.  I love the fabric I found a couple of days ago and think the pink stars will just add that little bit extra that says "girl".  I get the binding nade and since I still have a few scraps laying around, I make a quick label as well plus get the binding attached.  Woohoo -- the end is in sight.  I also complete all three BOM blocks and worked on CS final row.  As I am adding the last few blocks, I notice that I have a block turned the wrong way - grrr.  Thankfully it is on the last row so out comes the seam ripper and in no time, my second top is truly ready for borders.

2nd - Sitting quietly in the living room I bind the DN quilt -- it is finished and I absolutely love it.  I love it so much that I am going to hold off mailing it for a couple of days in order to do a "show and tell" at guild on Thursday.  Then it will go in the mail.

Even the back is cool!

Cool corners -- I love how they turned out.

3rd - It is time to get busy on the CS twins.  I have been working on the borders as leader/enders, but am a long way from having all 8 strips finished.  I get a lot of them together and know that I will need more since there are two quilts.  Off to the cutting table I go.

4th - The CS pieced borders are finished.  Woohoo!

5th - I cut and piece the white inner borders for the CS twins and attach to both quilts.  I am moving forward -- oh it feels great!  I lay out the border strips for a quick peek at what it will look like before heading off to guild with my pretty show and tell.

Our guest speaker tonight is David Taylor and I cannot tell you in words how very much I loved his presentation.  What a wonderful speaker and oh so funny.  Here is a glimpse of the beautiful work he does.  He is my friend Lisa's fabric soulmate.  Amazing.

6th - The pieced borders are my CS twins and I am taking a deep breath before starting the final border.  I have started a new Facebook Group called Our Quilty World and am hoping that it will be a place of not only sharing but also of learning.  As I am sewing today, I take a quick picture of a very dirty Featherweight to show how I find that elusive 1/4" seam.  Thank you Bonnie Hunter.

A quick run to the post office and "baby girl's" quilt is in the mail  Whew. She has not arrived yet and it is out of the house.  Awesome.

Onto the green borders for the twins.  Please let this look good.  Oh - I just noticed that a little leader/ender nine-patch worked it's way into the picture.  Wonder what that could be for.  Hmmm.

7th - I wake early and start pinning on the green borders.  Oh no --- they don't fit.  I lay the quilts back down and really  notice the waves all around the edges.  I made a huge mistake when I put the white borders on --- I didn't measure and cut them according to the center of the quilt -- just merrily sewed away.  As a result, they stretched and so the pieced border now has one too many units in it.   GRRRRRRR.  Never take shortcuts -- they are just not worth it in the long run.  I now have to rip out all 16 borders.  So not a happy girl here.  My sweetheart, meanwhile, has placed this little sign in front of my computer monitor.  Hmmmm --- what is he telling me?

Mister suggests that we go pick up wine and stop at an estate sale along the way.  Time for a break.  Okay.

Oh my, look what we find at the estate sale.  No, it doesn't come home with us as the price of $675 is outside my budget right now.  So sad.

8th - I finish ripping the borders off the first quilt and MEASURE, then sew them back on and add the green border as well -- it is finished and looks so much better.  I start ripping on second quilt as Jen arrives to deliver my grandson, Josh to stay for a few days.  It is his first time here without Mom.  I am so looking forward to it.  Time to go play.

9th - While my boys are sleeping in, I finished ripping out 8 borders on the second quilt.  Look at this pile of thread along with the extra units I am stacking up that have been removed.  I have all the borders laying in piles waiting to be reattached but that's all for today -- we are off to the aquarium with Josh -- toodles.  (oh, the paper and pen --- well I have writing a poem as I rip.  Seems that hours and hours with a seam ripper can cause your mind to do strange things.)

10th -  My early morning sewing consists of putting the borders back on the second quilt, adding the green and finishing my poem.  Enjoy all --- we are off to the zoo with Josh.  New Celtic Solstice piece counts:  Each one has 2,750 for a total of 5,500 thus far.

A Quilter's Celtic Ode To The Frog by Deb Hayter with apologies to Clement C. Moore.

The day had arrived, the first clue came out.
"Let the cutting begin", I said with a shout.
The colors I'd chose: orange, green, yellow and blue.
I had pretty jewel stacks and new rulers too.
Each Friday would find me merrily sewing along.
The units were made; please don't let them be wrong.

I stay with the pack, never falling behind.
Until the reveal was given and a new plan in my mind.
I'd make a new quilt for each grandchild this year.
But what of my units?  Leaders and Enders I cheer.
So onto the blocks which from units were made.
They fit together perfect and my fears start to fade.

Months have passed by. Almost six (I'm keeping track).
But my blocks are all ready.  It's an impressive stack.
There are so many - what was I thinking?
"A king will not work," I said without blinking.
Two queens it will be, so off to retreat
And hope for two tops. Oh my, wouldn't that be sweet?

The trip is a success and I am in awe
The tops are gorgeous and shown with a "ta-da."
It's time for the borders, let's get them in quick.
The top looks so perfect - wasn't that slick?
It doesn't lay flat?  A closer look makes me pause.
Oh no, wait, wait.  What could be the cause?

I should have measured and counted my squares
So I wouldn't have put too many pieces in there.
And now I hear from you, the mocking little bit
Each time you open your mouth - "Rip it, Rip it, Rip it."
A lesson has been learned, never again will I cheat.
The borders are back on and my tops are complete.

I know I know -- good thing I didn't try to do this as a living.  Haha.

11th - Spending the day with grandsons.  No sewing.

12th - Another family day! Spending with grandsons and preparing for my granddaughter's birthday party tonight.

Oh the party is fun but the best part is that I got to give her the quilt I made.  Her smiles made the whole thing worthwhile.  Yay.

13th - We have switched out grandsons and 6 year old Josh went home with Jen while our teenage grandson Jon is here for a week.  He wants to sew!  What more can a quilting grandmother ask for?  I have CS blocks laid out in the studio for my labels so I snap a quick picture in order to remember what I have in mind and then start in helping Jon select and cut fabrics for his project.  He uses the design wall to determine the order he wants his fabric to go in and thinks he wants to do a Scrappy Bargello type quilt.  While he sorts and presses, I cut squares from a brown fabric to go with the estate sale blocks.  I am ready to start this project.  I get one block put together and everything ready to go for tonight's Bind Us Together work meeting.  Mister gets my Featherweight all cleaned and ready to go and Jon gets a lesson in cleaning and oiling a machine.  (Here, the faceplate is off and he is getting a look inside while Grandpa explains.)

The meeting is a blast and I enjoy making new acquaintances.  I think the ladies are awesome and am hoping to have much more time with them in the future.  I spend the evening making blocks for the estate quilt --- need a name, need a name.

I LOVE this!

I sit across the table from Dorothy and have to admit that I adore her.  She is just so full of life that she makes it so fun to be around her and absorb her vitality.  What a great lady.  And genuine -- much needed in my life.

14th - I wake early and walk down the road to a garage sale that the church is having.  I score on 10 shirts for 25 cents each and a 72x90 cotton batt for $1.00.  Great start to my day.   Once back home, it is into the washer for the shirts.  Now it is off to the Farmer's Market and the zoo later today.  See ya later.  When we return home, I head out to the studio for some alone time to work on my estate blocks.  I get about half of them made before my eyes start letting me know that I should get some sleep.

15th - Jon is ready to start sewing today.  Well alrighty then.  I get him started sewing strips together while I debone shirts from yesterday.  He gets about 9 strips together and I realize that we have bit off more than we can chew.  Time to change plans.  We opt for a strip quilt instead -- let's just leave the strips in the order they are and see what comes out.  I KNOW this is a better plan.  He sews his 175 strips together -- yep that's a long string and then starts putting the first two sets together.  During his ironing time, finish my blocks.  I have 5 small units left and decide to save 4 for corners on the quilt which leaves me one.  What to do, what to do --- ah yes, I make a label with it.  Love it.

We work on a puzzle all evening and then after Jon is off to bed, Mister and I do the layout for the blocks.  I will be adding sashing between them, but want an idea of how it looks and am hoping not to have too many of the same units near each other.

Ah yes --- my yards of fabric from shirts -- all for $2.50.  Woohoo.  I can't wait to start putting it into a quilt.

16th - My quilt has a name.  "Gratitude"  The center top is finished and the 4 leftover blocks are put into a large square to use on the back.

Meanwhile, Jon is busy sewing on his top and is pleased that the rows keep getting shorter and shorter.  We finish our tops at about the same time using the same machine.  Yep -- I sewed whenever he was pressing.  It worked beautifully.  He picks out the backing and sews a seam to make it large enough.  Wow -- a lot accomplished in the studio today.

17th - Today the quilt must be put together!  If I say that enough times, will it happen?  I want to put it on a floor frame so that it will be easier for him to tie and although Mister prepped my baby quilt boards and attached the canvas, the larger boards are not done.  So the first thing Jon and I do is get two of them (I think the longer baby boards will work for the width), some fabric, and the staple gun.  An hour later, we have the boards prepped and ready to start pinning the quilt on.  I lay two of them out in the kitchen and Jon starts pinning the backing on.  Next for the clamps and pinning the sides.  I have now lost my den and have no idea how we are going to get around this thing.  Another half an hour later and we have the quilt up. (Yes, that is polyester batting --- he wanted lots of "fluff")

It is time to tie.

I spend the evening working on borders for my Gratitude quilt and sew one on before realizing that I hate them.  Back to the seam ripper and then onto new ideas.

18th - I think I have the borders figured out and am excited.  Off to the studio.  I find a light tan fabric with a small print and some dark blue (both from my beneficiary) and get to work.

I love how they turn out and my borders are soon on without a hitch.  Yay!  (Doing the happy dance here.)

Jon gets his ties clipped and now all that is left is to trim and bind.

It is a lazy day now though and neither of us really want to work on anything.  What to do, what to do?  I know:  Back to the Future.  He has never watched it and Mister and I keep making references to it that he doesn't understand.  It is time to enlighten him with a classic.

Oh --- and bake some brownies --- now THAT sounds wonderful.

19th - So the saga of my Gratitude quilt continues.  I have never felt more guided in a project.  With each step, the ideas came out of nowhere and used only items from this beneficiaries stash (with the exception of my sashing).  Now that it is time to do the back I know that I want to use all the blocks that are leftover from the front.  I have managed to put ALL the 4 1/2" squares into either the quilt, the square for the back, or the label.  Now I have this square and need to go from here.  I search for backing fabric and all she really has gifted me with are some plaids so that is that.  I don't want to have to match plaids on 4 sides of this square so I decide to make a center panel the length of the quilt.  I remember that there are also been some orphan blocks in the boxes and think they are blue/brown.  Yep -- baskets.  Well, let's put them together and use up ALL the scrap pieces of sashing, borders, etc.  It works and I have a finished top and back.  I truly have felt inspired during this whole process.  What a wonderful feeling.  Now -- to sandwich and quilt it.  Time for another episode of Back to the Future --- part 2.

20th - I am up early finishing some swap blocks that I missed and trying to get them in the mail today.  Once that is finished, the boys start waking up.  Jon is heading home tomorrow and the quilt is not yet bound.  After trimming the edges on his quilt, we are off to the studio first thing and he gets his binding made.  Where oh where is my camera when I want it?  We put the walking foot on as this dang thing has 5 layers (UGH) and start attaching the binding, almost forgetting the label as we go.  Typical me.  I debone another shirt while he sews - last one.  Once the binding is attached, we head back into the house and I sit down to hand-stitch the binding down (yes, I offered to do this part for him).  He gets the movie set up and we watch the final episode of Back to the Future while I stitch.  Everything goes well and voila -- we have a finished quilt.  Label written on and everything.  Excellent!  Time for the outdoor picture. and then onto laundry and packing so we can go downtown tonight for the block party.

21st - I am kinda sad that we are losing our housemate today but since he actually is awake early, I ask if he still wants to make a pillow.  His eyes light up and within minutes we are out in the studio.  When he had first started sewing, he had 9 strips together before we changed plans.  I still have those strips and they ware the perfect size for a pillow.  He cuts a back for it out of leftover quilt backing and is soon sewing the two together.  Next to stuff and he is so excited to finally get to use "fluff" in a fun way.  Now to stitch the seam closed by hand.

And in less than an hour, we have a pillow to match his quilt.  I think he is tired of me taking pictures though.  (and please disregard the mess on the table behind him -- oh my)

It is time to travel and return this kid - oops - amazing grandson -- to his mom.  We are meeting in Hillsboro and the Mister and I get the afternoon to play.  We head for Waxahachie and our first stop is at an antique mall where I find a two-tone 301 for $18.00.  Yes, that's right.  It even has the original bobbin case which is worth about $50 alone.  Happy dance here and perma grin.  The case is shot but perhaps I can find another one to use.  I also spotted this cute little childs iron and board.  It is about 18" tall and oh my gosh cute.  It does not go home with me but I could not help myself from taking a picture.

22nd - I have not touched anything to do with sewing today.  Not a single thing BUT I am working on this blog, does that count?  Oh and on finishing filling the last 3 spots in the November retreat.  I, along with everyone else, am so excited for this one.  The ideas coming from the ladies are fantastic and I have come up with the perfect project for my little gifts.  Sew fun.

23rd - I am up early and working on the blog again.  However, that is not my aim for the day and it is now time to head off to the den and get some hand quilting in.  Yes, my poor quilt has been sorely neglected these past couple of months and I need to get back to it.  Time for a movie.  Got almost halfway across the quilt today while watching the Andy Griffith show.  Sore fingers.

24th - I am ready to start on my CS backs.  I have leftover units that I have arranged into a label block and now need to fill the stripe down the back.  What to do?  Oh my heck -- I know -- somewhere I have saved all those blasted bonus triangles from the chevrons.  They are about 1 1/2" and I think I can make a cool block out of them.  Let's give it a whirl --- ha ha.  Oh, I know, all the points don't match.  I don't take the time to make sure that each and every block is trimmed to size.  Just working with what I have and having fun.

Once I have the two swirls, I still need more length so put a couple of yellow pieces on and then use up some of the leftover border from the fronts.

It's working.  I actually like this and am having such a good time working on it.  Scraps everywhere.  The blue stripes are leftover and things go together well.  It is time to add the main backing fabric.  What I wouldn't give for a living room large enough to lay everything out flat.  Oh well.  I LOVE my backing fabric.

25th - First things this morning Mister and I empty the kitchen and put the Gratitude quilt down to sandwich it.  We spray baste and then add pins for a little more stability.  I love this quilt and am thankful that we get to keep it. Also finish hand quilting and am able to roll the quilt.  Yay me.  It has been several months so I feel really good about checking this one off the list.

Earlier in the month we hit a wonderful sale at Tuesday morning and Mister found this amazing chair for me.  It is a folding chair --- yep.  It works for my hand frame and will also be excellent for the treadle.  Woohoo.  (The foot rest is a much loved and used gift from Jen.)

26th -  My destination is the studio and a second 2nd CS back. It is a bit easier this time as I at least have a clue as to what I am doing.  My backing fabric is becoming limited so I need to make this back a little different.  I lay the orphan block sideways and make my two swirls blocks.  Once I add some green, it is still not enough so I keep working on it.

In order to use the small strip that was cut from the first back, I need a bit more width so I hunt down some leftover orange and add it in.  Now I think it will fit.  Yep --- back 2 finished.

I spend the rest of the afternoon putting strips together on my Rainbow Bargello.  Sure would like to make some progress on this one.  Isn't this just a burst of happiness?

27th - Apparently one of my swap blocks did not make it to it's intended recipient so I make another and pop it in the mail.  Cass sent me a pic of Ophelia laying on her quilt and I am thrilled.  LOVE it.  I spent the entire day baking.  Yep - 3 dozen gingersnaps, 2 loaves banana bread, 2 loaves white bread, 8 scones.  My house smells amazing and the bounty is wonderful. It is our neighborhood wine night tonight and I am taking the banana bread along with a Riesling.  Oh - I also get to finally deliver Sheila's quilt.  Woohoo.  

28th - The Meet and Greet is this morning so after working on this blog for awhile, I get ready and head to Mama's Daughters Diner for breakfast and then on to the fabric warehouse district for a little fun shopping.  I give myself a $25 limit and walk away with 10 yards of Michael Miller and Robert Kaufman fabrics.  Win.  Thanks so much to Suzanne for putting this together --- loved spending time with her as well as Bonnie, Becky, Edwina, Jennifer, Debra, and Val.  Can't wait to do it again and yes, I forgot to take a single picture this time.  Ugh.

Spent the afternoon and evening at the DMA for the last day of the Nur exhibit and then to Calais for their last night in Dallas.  Nur:  Beautiful!  Calais:  Fun but sad.  On the upside -- we now have a reason to go to the Hill Country every few months to pick up our wine.  Yes!

29th - Clean the studio up a bit, put the Gratitude quilt on the machine to quilt, give it a few beginning stitches, and bring the bargello into the house to work on.  I spend the rest of the day working on it in the office so Mister and I can have a little time together.  I get all the panels made and cut and start attaching them.  This quilt definitely makes the eyes think about things.  I still haven't decided if it is a bit over the top or not.  Time will tell.

In between, I work on a "secret project" a bit.  I get the first little trial square made and certainly make my share of mistakes but have learned a great deal and the rest should go smooth now.  Gotta use up all these rainbow scraps somehow.  Back to the bargello and by the time my patience runs out (which translates to I start making mistakes) I only have 4 strips left.  Maybe I will have the center top done before the month ends?  Oh, wait -- that is tomorrow -- no way it is going to happen.  I am okay with it this month though.  The previous months I found myself stressing over getting my list accomplished -- this month -- I'm a bit easier with it.  

30th - I head out to the studio first thing --- I have a quilt to do today.  I get 3 quadrants done before it is time for me to change and head down to Calais to help Benjamin pack up the winery.  Everything goes well there, but I have a flat tire on the way back and spend an hour sitting in the car waiting for AAA to come help.  Yes, once upon a time I could change a tire myself, now I pay for that service. 

Once I get back home around 7 - it is back to the studio to finish the last quadrant.  I finish, then pick out one section that I don't like and re-quilt it.  A quick trip to the cutting table and I have binding strips to put together and then onto the quilt.  I don't even forget the label.  All that is left now is the hand work.  Whew.

It certainly has been a busy month but I did manage to get a few things accomplished.  Next month is looking to be a bit of a whirlwind as well.  I think I need a few more hand projects on my list as I may be doing some traveling in addition to having kids here.  Bring it on --- Super Gammy is ready.

Thanks for stopping in and once again if you have made it this far -- I bow down to you.  Welcome to my world.  


  1. I am so inspired by your blog and your beautiful quilts. The new baby quilt is awesome. I love how your grandson made his own quilt! Happy Sewing!!!

  2. Thank you so very much Karla. It was truly a great month and yes, sewing with grands is such a great experience.

  3. Woo Hoo! Enjoyed my double cup of licorice tea while catching up on ALL you doin's Super Grammy! Love it!! Hugs, Allison in Plano

    1. Thanks Allison! It was a fun month and although I didn't get as many of my own projects finished, I loved my time with grandsons.

  4. Hi, I came over from the frugal quilting fb page. Wow, on your month!! You are a MACHINE!! Loved your post and seeing so much progress. Enjoyed seeing the grandson's quilt and the baby quilt for the new precious baby is beautiful. :))))

    1. Thanks for stopping by and sitting a spell. I appreciate your comments and there are times when I wonder how I get as much done as I do since we still go so many places and have others in our life. It's a testament to the "find an hour a day" advice. It works.

  5. I don't know what to comment on first - everything is so absolutely wonderful. I really enjoyed you sharing your month. You really are a Super Grammy!!

    1. Thanks so much Sandy. I love what I do and love sharing as well. Please come back again to see what is up. Also, check out our Facebook group --- Our Quilt World --- small group to share, learn, and visit in.