Friday, November 18, 2016

{Post 1,525} Quick Catchup

If you're anything like me, you have those quilts that haunt you until you make one.  One of those for me is Scrappy Mountains Majesty from  Below are my first blocks.

This is Bonnie Hunter's quilt below.  Love it.

And JUST that fast, my finished quilt top is below.  In truth, I started the blocks October 10 and took the picture below on October 25.  That does not seem possible, but those are the dates on my pictures!!

We are having guests from tomorrow until the week after Thanksgiving, holiday preparations, customer quilts to work on, etc. So no hurry in getting this one finished.

Tomorrow I will share another quick finish.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

{Post 1,524} Catching Up After a Long Dry Spell

Hello to both of you who are still reading!

It has been so long since I have posted.  To be honest, not a whole lot of sewing or quilting has been happening.

I went through a freshen-up-the-house spell.  I painted the foyer, hall, and one kitchen wall cream.

Here are a few pictures from my foyer.  My husband built the shelf. It has 6 double hooks for coats. I repainted the umbrella box, and the antique table was slenderized by 6" of depth, had a shelf added inside the door area on the left, and was repainted after being fortified.

Last item for this post is a bargello quilt I made for my oldest daughter.  It lives in her kitchen. It is 44" square.

Monday, June 6, 2016

[Post 1,523] One More Post For Tonight

My fellow blogging friend, Julie, has one of these quilts as her blog header picture.  I just winged it and am making one from hers.  No pattern.  One of my daughters has claimed this as her Christmas quilt this year.  I am making a piano-string border.  This is the center completely sewn together.

One of my friends made me two little "shelves" for under my sewing machine and desk area.  They allow my knees to bend at just the right angle and make less strain on my back.

Here is the back of an I Spy quilt for one of my little guys.  I forgot to take a picture of the front, but it was bold 4-patches alternating with novelty prints.

One of my long-time friend's daughter is getting married this Friday.  W-a-y back on April 29 she came over and we pieced this together.  We took turns.  I cut while she sewed (and then I pressed), and then I sewed for a while while she pressed.  In a short time, we had all the blocks sewn, pressed, and laid out.  She took them home to sew together into a center (no borders).

[Post 1,522] More Catching Up

This is one of 4 chairs my FIL gave my daughter for her new house.  The seats were long-gone, and that was one of the challenges.  The other was that the paint on them was really reluctant to let go.

Eventually I had 3 chairs sanded down and stained.  Then I put 2 coats of polyacrylic on.  This step alone took hours.

After a couple experiments, we decided to weave seats (that's me weaving) out of strips of fabric in greens, golds, and browns.  My first one had the largest learning curve, of course.  I was glad to improve on each one.  The 4th chair is at my house now. I painted it black.  It was the one that had the must stubborn paint.

Here is a chair partially stained.

"My" chair, with a pile of fabrics torn and ready to use beside it.

Here is a finished seat.  It is remarkably comfortable to sit on.  The weaving was grueling, and awfully hard on my fingertips.  Back-breaking because of the odd angles I had to be in.  But I did it for love, not money.

Here is one of the quotes painted on the kitchen wall.  From Truett Cathy of Chick-fil-A fame.  

The closing picture is some of the best food on the planet being prepared...strawberry pretzel salad.  Mmm-mmm.

Thus endeth another good week.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

{Post 1,521} Break Week

One of the reasons I came home when I did from my daughter's in GA was that I was making 150 cupcakes for our church's ladies' banquet.  Here they are baked before the frosting and decorations were applied.

Here is a picture from said banquet of my local girls and me.  My grandson, Timmy, is on his mommy's lap.  The colors for the banquet were turquoise and red.  Very pretty.

My daughter's house has some very quirky things, but it is her!  Several people have sent me this quilt with a note saying "you've got to make this!".  It doesn't appeal to me, but Susie loved it.  The second picture is a close up of the poor hanging block.  She later added larger eyes, which look much better.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

{Post 1,520} First Week As General Handywoman/Cook

I spent two weeks with a week's break inbetween at the house of one of my daughters.  She had bought it very recently and asked if I could come spend some time helping her spruce it up.

She wanted me to do all those "ing" things...unpacking, organizing, cleaning, sewing, painting, COOKING...

My daughter, SIL, and one of their best friends live in the house.  All of them work full time, so the best thing I did for them was have a hot, delicious meal ready when they all got home (which was 8:30 PM or later, nearly my bed time!). They could have left overs for lunch the next day.

Here is my sweet potato casserole base, ready to go into the dish.  They loved it.

She had a list of projects a mile long.  She is my most organized offspring.  She had a huge whiteboard with rooms of the house listed.  Under that was a plethora of Post-its with projects for said room.  Let's say I did what I could.

They have a coffee bar. One of the more simple projects I did was make this mug hanger from pallet wood. It has since been mounted on the wall slightly higher than this.

There were several shopping trips in my week.  I shopped for kitchen items they did not own, food, various household things.  On a Goodwill trip, I found this adorable stool for kids.  She has a room especially for littles that visit.  $2 at Goodwill!

I did not see my daughter much. Maybe an hour every evening.  As my time to leave drew near, we realized I could not get to EVERYthing.  So she began to prioritize.  This is the wall behind the head of her bed and about 18" on the adjacent wall.  The plan was to paint it red, then the headboard would cover the lower part of the wall.  She was going to get a 4' x 8' piece of insulation board and cover it with fabric to match the curtains for the top part.  That's why the whole thing is not painted.

It was a fulfilling and exhausting week.  I ended up going back after a week of rest.  I will save those projects for another post.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

{Post 1,519} Pressing On

This is one of the little girls we kept for nearly a week.  The ones for whom the I Spy quilt in the last post was for.  The ones who had never spent a night away from their parents.  The ones who are 4 and 2.  The ones obsessed just a little with princesses.  Here is the senior one's princess hair.

Here is my tumbler quilt.  I am putting the binding on.  I have started doing every part of the binding sewing by machine.  I don't think I got a picture of the whole quilt.  It has a bazillion tumblers (actually, 13,600, some of which are pieced).

This is the hand quilting on my Mennonite Mosaic quilt.  It would get finished faster if I actually worked on it.

Occasionally, I get an itch to sew something quick and with different fabrics than my usual go-tos.  How many sad stories start with, "When I was at the quilt shop...?"  This one isn't sad.  I bought a mini charm pack (2-1/2" squares) of a line of reds and taupes.  

Here is what I made from them.  It now has a border of one of the reds (with enough of same for binding!)...this is 35" long, I think.

Thus ends my blog post for today.  I hope your day is a blessed one.  Look for the silver lining!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

{Post 1,518} Where Do I Begin?

Where do I begin?  How about where I left off?

I have a blog to journal events in my life.  I know you all are not interested in the day-to-day around here for the most part.  I like to track the progress of my quilts here and throw in a few other DIY projects.

Here is some quilty content.  

What is sad is that it took me about 10 minutes to remember for whom I made this quilt.  It is for two little girls in my Sunday school class.  My husband and I teach 2-5 year olds.  This is for two sweet sisters in our class.

Next up is the progress on my Maverick Stars.  Still determining the recipient for this one.  I have enough blocks to make a good-sized top now.  The blocks finish at 9-1/2" square.

I was going to help a woman make a table runner in preparation for her making a bed-sized quilt.  She did not like piecing.  Truly, the whole process was a struggle.  I made these two table runners/mats in preparation for helping her make a bed-sized quilt.  I pinned the instructions, but here is the link  From one set of strips, one makes the following two quilt tops.  The instructions were a bit nebulous.  The most frustrating part is that no end sizes are given.  I am going to quilt these and have them in my gift closet soon.  I love the colors.

17" x 25" and the other is 17" square.

That's all the quilty stuff for now.

My 1st and 3rd daughters recently bought houses.  Oh, the projects I've assisted them with over the past month.  Pictures to come.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

{Post 1,517} Still Living, I Presume?

Just wanted to let the blogging world know that I'm still alive.  I will post some updates from the past couple of months tomorrow.

Had a good scare when I could not remember my password.  But the little grey cells came up with the right answer.

Here's a little teaser picture, because what is a good post w/o a picture?

I made this quilt for my daughter after telling people who constantly sent me a picture of this quilt that I'd never make one.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

{Post 1,516} What Has Joan Been Doing?

As I get older, I realize how important it is to have plans, but to be flexible.  One thing I'm trying to do more consciously is to invest in other people's lives.  

Here is a picture of Timmy and me.  We got him Sunday night and I took him home Tuesday afternoon.  So that meant some overnights and a lot of hands-on time.  While I was not expecting to do that, it was an investment in my daughter and son-in-law's life.  And I enjoy spending time with him.  He will be 2 in July.

Another investment I have been making is to teach a woman in my church how to quilt.  Here is her first large quilt.  She has also made a placemat-sized flag and a table runner.  I machine quilted this with Pajama Quilter's wonky feathers.  It is from a Quilt in a Day book.  All Thimbleberries fabrics.  Close up of quilting in the second picture.

Which one of these things is not like the others?  Ha ha...the man on the far right is NOT my son (but he is a wannabe).  One of my son's had to be at work last-minute because of a death in one of his coworker's family, so this man is filling in.  There is a slight resemblance, but he is definitely not Luke.

This my husband and I with 7/8 of our children.  Taken in January this year.  So proud of the people they are and are becoming.  Age 26 down to 16.  Well, 53 down to 15, but you get it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

{Post 1,515} I Spy from Charm Pack

Went shopping with a sewing friend last week.  I picked up a charm pack of the fabrics used for the 4-patches above.  After I pieced the top, I decided to add a border of just "I Spy" prints.  That makes the top about 48-1/2" square.  A nice lap size for little people.  

One of my 4-patches is turned the wrong way.  I didn't notice it until I took a picture.  I think that will be my humility block!

This AM I pieced a backing for it.  Now to quilt, bind, label, wash, and dry!

{Post 1,514} Surprise Sewing Day

Above are my original blocks for the Maverick Stars.  I decided the outer frames were too big and cut those 4 down.

This AM I got out of bed and realized I was home alone.  Then my husband texted and asked if he had told me he was going to be out of state all day.  No.  So I sewed for the morning.  

My son got home from work about 11:30.  We did a few things together, then I sewed some more.

This is what I had finished when it was all said and done.  They are 9-1/2" square unfinished.  I am getting the hang of the wonkiness of it all.

Monday, February 1, 2016

{Post 1,513} Maverick Stars Framed

Above are 4 of my Maverick Star blocks, with their frames.  I am trying to reduce scraps here, ladies!!  My center blocks are 5-1/2" square.  I am surrounding them with strips from my 1-1/2" strip bin in scrappy darks or lights.  For the outermost border, I am cutting one width of fabric, selvage to selvage.  I can get two 7-1/2", two 11-1/2", and two 2-1/2" squares (which is the size of the centers and corners of the Maverick Stars) with just a sliver of waste.  Voila!!

That makes these blocks 11-1/2" square.  I like the rest the same-fabric outer borders gives the eyes.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

{Post 1,512} Triangle-Pieced Wonky Stars

Bonnie Hunter saves the day again.  On her blog, there is a tutorial for Maverick Stars that uses triangles to piece what I think of as wonky stars.  Click here to see it.

Here is the result from yesterday and this AM:

I am a scrappy girl at heart.  My least favorite block is the top left original one.  All the background matches and all points are uniform.  My favorite is the bottom right...pieced center block with all different of everything.

I keep my tiny scraps in a shoebox-sized storage box under my desk.  I just throw the scraps in there when I have them.  These are very small pieces!  I figure I'll cut the 2-1/2" square centers from prints and outer squares from creams as I have them.  If all else fails, I'll cut off a bolt!  What???  Is that even possible, LOL.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

{Post 1,511} Alone Again and Still Tumbling

Yesterday I took my grandchildren back home.  It was a bittersweet time, for sure.  Their reunion with their parents was so sweet.  I consider it an honor to have had them.  I will miss the little nippers.  I rarely think to take pictures.  Just not wired that way.

I have been making major inroads in organizing my sewing room.  I found this box of irregularly-shaped triangles.  They are mostly from bindings that are sewn together at right angles.  Lots of them have the selvage fabric on one edge.

I have gone back and forth.  Pitch them?  Save them?  Donate them to someone else?  I just finished my Wild Goose quilt and gave it to my son recently.  That is what I used the other ones for, but I really did not want to make another one of those.

I made up one of these blocks this AM.  It will finish at 5" square.  It involves a LOT of precise cutting, which I would rather skip.  Is there a way to make wonky star blocks with triangles instead of squares or rectangles?  I really like this, but the construction is so time-consuming.  I am putting the box away until I hit upon a faster idea.

Here is a close-up of my tumbler quilt.  I will be adding 4" borders all around next, then piecing a backing and machine quilting this.  It measures 90" x 110" now and has 3,300 tumblers.  I will keep this one to use on one of our guest room beds.  We don't have many that are large enough.  

The close-up shows some of the details of the piecing and the wide genre of fabrics used.  Notice the middle row.  The brown tumbler on the far left is pieced from 2 of the same fabrics.  The one on the farthest right is Tigger in blue toile.  The one next to Tigger is cut down from a 4-patch.  There are Civil War prints, baby prints, I Spys, shirts, and anything one can imagine.

I am helping a friend with her son's rehearsal dinner for tomorrow night.  That means today is making cupcake picks, garlands, etc. as well as taking everything over for baking and cooking tomorrow.   

Praise the Lord for the strength to carry on!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

[Post 1,510} Tumbling Along

It has been a long time since I've posted.  Most of you read my blog for the quilty content, so I'll show that first.  Here is the progress so far on my tumbler quilt.  88" x 90", with another 10 rows (20") to go on the top.  I have enough tumblers cut and sewn into strips of 4 for the rest of the rows.

I have realized that we don't have enough BIG quilts.  We have tons of throws.  I have weaned those down some recently.  I need some quilts for our two guest room beds.  I have all the pieces cut for this, just need some sewing time, which will be rare for the next 3 weeks.

I found this little gem while unpacking a long-neglected box into my sewing room.  A Twister ruler runner, with some of my favorite fabrics.  I will machine quilt and then bind it soon.

Why will it be rare, do you ask?  My son-iin-law (who lives in GA) was badly burned at a work accidet last Friday.  My husband and son drove the 3 hours over to bring these two monkeys back here.

My granddaugter turned one on Christmas Eve.  

This is my soon-to-be-3-year-old grandson.

I am doing this to help my daughter and her family.  She just started working full-time in the afternoons/evenings a short time ago.  Her husband has not been able to use his hands due to their burns since the accident.  He is on strong pain relievers that make him a little loopy.  He has frequent doctor's visits, and she changes his dressings every 3 hours.  It would be hard for the kids to be there, seeing him the way he is right now.  My daughter has expressed her thanks many times.  She has said she could not take care of them right now with her other responsibilities.  Their church has been so helpful.  Meals at least once a day have been delivered, several boxes of groceries have come in, men from the church have called to see if Emily needed any repairs or chores done around the house.  In an email she sent a couple days ago, she said "We have seen God's grace on every side, and I coldn't have a breakdown if I tried."  Yet, it is hard, and the healing will take a very long time.  I am exhausted most of the time, but I have a lot of years of practice doing just what I'm doing with the little nippers. I would appreciate your prayers for my SIL, and my sweet daughter.