Sunday, October 22, 2017

A "Test Quilt"...

"Hey" to all you beautiful blog readers out there!  Once again...time has gotten away from me!  I'm still here!  I've been doing a lot of quilting so I thought I'd share some of it with you!

A friend of mine, Kevin H. from the "Kevin the Quilter" blog, designed a quilt top and asked me to be a tester for him.  He is a scrap quilter through and through, and this one is made totally of strings!  He named it "Sorta, Kinda Amish" and you can read his blog post about it here.  

I thought I had a lot of strings, but ended up having to pull out some of my ugly 1980's blue FQ's out of my stash and cutting some more.  He had lighter blue strings around his middle red square and darker strings in the border.  Snce I knew I didn't have enough blue, let alone enough to separate them out into "lighter" and "darker", I decided to use neutral strings...which I had a BUNCH of... around the red inner square instead!  

I tend to buy and use neutrals that have a lot of prints on them, so to make the neutral strings more "cohesive" and less assaulting on the eyes, I actually used the back side of the fabric! can do that.  You paid for both sides, so you get to choose which side you want to use!  ;)   By using the backside in this quilt, I think it provides a calm spot for your eyes to rest.

Some of those ugly 1980's "country" blues put to use (the bottom strings)...
If the fabric is still ugly, you just haven't cut it small enough...

Since I was starting to run out of red strings towards the end, instead of using longer strings to make the cornerstones, I divided the block size into fourths, used the shorter strings, and then sewed them together to make the larger cornerstones.  (You can see some of the ugly 1980's blue peeking through on this pic, too!)

Since I rarely use black in my quilting, I ended up having to cut some strings from some black FQ's, too, to get enough for the inner border...

I haven't measured the finished quilt top, but I would estimate it to be about 44" x 44".  Originally, I thought about adding another border and cornerstones to make it bigger, but decided to leave it "as is", which is the original pattern size.  I haven't quilted it, yet, but plan on sandwiching several quilt tops in the future and doing it then.

I want to thank Kevin for letting me test his quilt pattern for him!  It was a lot of fun to make and worked up quickly!  I think I worked on it for about 3 evenings and 1 Saturday.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Quilt Gifted...

My son-in-law's mother, Lucy, lives with him and my daughter's family.  Lucy asked me one time how much it would be for me to quilt a quilt for her.  When I told her how much I charge, I knew there was no way she would ever be able to afford it.

So when Dale asked me to make a quilt for his sister, I decided that I would also deliver one for his mother at the same time.

When we went to Tennessee for Ellie's birth, I delivered the for his sister and one for his mom.

Unfortunately, the only picture I have of the whole quilt is this one that was taken at the guild meeting in June when I took it for "show and tell".

Lucy was shocked when I gave it to her!  I told her that now everyone in the house has their own quilt!  Unbeknownst to me at the time that I was quilting this for her, her room in their new house is painted blue and white!  :)  Lucky coincidence!  

Here's a close-up of the quilting...all done freehand on my Tin Lizzie18" sit-down long-arm machine...


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Newest Addition...

On August 9th, we welcomed a new addition to our family...Eleanor Tillie Gwen Paez...our fifth grandchild!  

We were headed to Tennessee to welcome her into the world, but she made her entrance before we could get there.  She was born late morning and we arrived around 5 PM.

What a JOY to meet and hold her!!!

Here was Clark seeing her for the first time!!!  He was immediately enthralled with "Baby Sister"!!!

Big sister, Sera...

Andy has always had a way of calming a crying baby...I can't even calculate how many miles he put on our carpet when the kids were young...walking them to soothe them...and here he is doing it once more for a fussy Ellie!

One of the family traditions is that I give the grandbabies their first sponge bath at home!

We were able to stay a few days and spend some time with all 3 of the Tennessee grandkids.  I took Sera to the pool a couple of times and we had fun!

It was difficult to leave them when the time came to return home, but until the day that I can retire, we have to leave them and just plan for our next visit!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Quilt Finished...

Quote for the Day:
"Finished is better than perfect"
~a favorite saying amongst quilters

Last year I was gifted some quilt tops from a friend's mother's estate.  Most are pieced by hand, probably using templates and scissors, which makes for some "wonky" quilt tops.  But they are all still beautiful in that special way that antique or vintage items are.

Many years ago there used to be a shirt factory here in Grafton (way before our time of moving here.)  I've been told that you could go down there and buy "remnants" very cheaply, so many of the old quilts/quilt tops from this area have shirting material in them.

I believe that this particular quilt top is made from that mixture of feed sacks and shirtings, probably obtained from the former factory.

Here's a picture of the quilt top when it was given to me....

The middle was pretty, but it had a narrow solid, medium-blue border that was VERY WAVY (meaning that there was NO WAY it would ever lay flat!)  Also, that particular blue was not reflected anywhere in the quilt, so it looked like it was just an after-thought...slapped on for lack of something better.  I also didn't think the width of the border complimented the rest of the quilt, so I removed the offending border and added a wider border made from a 1930's reproduction fabric that complimented the red and pink already in some of the quilt blocks.

I purchased a cream-colored, solid backing and used 100% cotton Warm & Natural batting.  I quilted it on my Tin Lizzie18 sit-down long-arm machine using Aurifil 50wt. cotton thread on top and Bottom Line 60wt. polyester thread in the bobbin.  

I LOVE the way it turned out!!!

One of the feed sack blocks...

Shirting blocks...

The new border I added.  Free-hand computer or pantogragh used...just me and my machine.  They aren't the prettiest, but I sure have fun doing them!!!

The back...shows the "figure 8's" and the "loops" that I used to quilt the blocks...

I hope the recipient will like it!  


Saturday, July 15, 2017

And Here it is July...

Knock knock...anybody still there???  Sorry it's been so long since my last post know...LIFE!!!   I've been sewing my little heart out, but basically couldn't post anything because they've all be gifts!

The first of these items has been gifted today to my daughter who is due with a girl mid-August.  Today is her baby shower, which I couldn't attend, but I mailed her the items.  Hopefully, by the time I get this post done, she will have opened the gifts and I won't be ruining the surprise by posting on here.

She said she is planning a "Native American" themed nursery, so I saw pictures of this quilt pattern online and fell in love with it! is paper-pieced and I had NEVER done paper-piecing before!!!  I watched a video online (isn't the internet GREAT???) and then dove right in!  This was made ENTIRELY from stash.  The pattern is called "My Tribe" and is in the book Intentional Piecing by Amy Friend.  I quilted it on my Tin Lizzie18 sit-down long-arm machine...

The original pattern didn't have the flying geese blocks at the top and the bottom, but I wanted the quilt slightly larger than the pattern.  I used my Accuquilt GO flying geese die to make a row to add to the top and bottom.  

The backing was pieced out of some yardage in my stash...

I decided to hand-write the label instead of machine embroidering it this time.  The name was left blank because they haven't settled on the final name, yet.  This way they can write the name in when the baby is named.  

As is also my tradition for new grandbabies...I made 3 double-sided flannel receiving blankets and crocheted around the edges...

I make matching double-sided burp cloths out of the leftover flannel...


Monday, April 24, 2017

April Updates...

Betcha thought I had dropped off the face of the earth!!!  No such luck for you all!  

I've been busy with my "shoulder to the wheel" and "my nose to grindstone".  However, I've found it difficult to work in that position!

I begin my new position at work on May 8th.  This has been in the works since January, but I was just waiting for the powers-that-be to move me into the position.  I will be leaving "bedside nursing" and going over to the Patient Evaluation Center at the same hospital I've worked at now for 19 months.  The "PEC" is the dept. that contacts patients before procedures to make sure that all labs, tests, etc., are done, and if they aren't, we have some clinics where the patient can come in and be seen and get them done.  It is the job of PEC to make sure that there are no gaps that would cause the procedure to be delayed or cancelled when they come into the hospital for their procedure.

My career started out with 11 years in ICU/CCU and then 23 years in PACU (Surgery Recovery Room).  I have loved my PACU years, but my knee and back just can't take that kind of nursing anymore.  I loved PACU nursing because, in most cases, I could "fix" my patients problems.  They would come to me anxious, sleepy, in pain, and sometimes nauseated.  In most cases, I could "fix" those problems and then send the patient on their way.  I liked the "short-term" relationship, rather than the "long-term" relationship that we had with patients in ICU/CCU...sometimes they were there for months!  And I liked that I could see a difference in the patient from the time I got them to the time, 1-3 hours later, when they left you.  Job satisfaction!

But my doctors have been telling me for the last 5 years or so that I need to get into a job where I'm not on my feet on the cement floors all the time, and where I'm not lifting/pulling up patients, or pushing beds.  (Cement floors are horrible for arthritis.)

I think my long-term experience in PACU will help me prepare and educate patients for what to expect of their experience.

Now...onto the quilting updates....

The Tuxedo quilt is in the hand-quilting frame and I've started working on it.  In fact, I've already turned the quilt in the frame once already!  I can reach about 10-12" into the quilt from the edge of the frame, so that means that I'm already that far into the quilt.  Well...actually, I'm almost finished with the second 10-12" and will soon be turning once more!!

I've also started on a quilt that will be a I can't actually show it to you...but I can show you bits and pieces!

Once the quilt is gifted, I'll be able to show you real pics!