I am ashamed that I have not been current on my posts. I got in gear this morning because of a post on Facebook asking about whether you can use a domestic sewing machine to quilt. YES! And please do not be afraid to try. In 1999 I purchased a book called "Heirloom Machine Quilting" by Harriet Hargrave. I read that book from cover to cover on my lunch hours and breaks at work. I could not wait to try her methods. And yep, I was an epic failure. I threw the first few pieces I tried to quilt into the wastebasket. Now I wish I had kept them, but I was so discouraged by my lack of talent. Well, I went back again, and again. Kept trying and trying and my husband said it was looking "better". He was being sweet. I thought it was horrible. Then one day I started a project and as I went along I felt more relaxed moving the quilt under the needle. I looked at the finished project and I thought, "Um, not terrible." It wasn't prize winning work but it made me happy. And from then on I got better and had more fun. The moral of this story is, don't give up after your first try. Look on line and watch videos. Get DIY books that give you tips and ideas. You WILL get better and you WILL learn to relax and enjoy sitting down at your machine and quilting. Good Luck to all of you.
This was my third try at a large piece...So don't give up!!!!
Well, I can't believe that March is just about done! And Easter is over! Where does time go? We had a house full of people on Easter and a really wonderful time. My husband had back surgery on the Wednesday before Easter, but he was doing wonderful and was able to enjoy the day too.
I finally made some Easter projects this year. I have made many things for other holidays but never had made anything for Easter. Here is what I came up with.
I sure hope you had a good holiday. Take care and remember...
February 28th! It is 52 degrees in northeast Ohio! Sunny too! I am so doing the happy dance. I've been working on my heart quilt but I don't have any pictures as of right now. I will have a few later on. But I did finish my St. Patrick's Day placemats. I use them as table toppers for my coffee table and end table. Here are a couple of pictures of my sunroom
Very cold and snowy today. We were suppose to take my 89 year old mom to her hair appointment but she decided not to go. This made me very happy since I do not like to drive in snow. I forgot to take any pictures of the snow today but here is a picture I took a year or so ago. If you look closely your will see a red tailed hawk sitting on top of my light post. I love bird watching but I did chase Mr. Hawk away from my bird feeders. He had to get his lunch in the woods behind us that day.
Hope you are warm and safe wherever you are. And remember...
I am a little crazy or so I've been told. I love to decorate my holiday pencil trees for each season. And I love to make table toppers and place mats for each holiday too. Seems like I make a new bunch each year and I am accumulating quite a few. But if it becomes overwhelming for my closets, I will start giving some of them away. That is the fun of quilting. There is always someone who wants what you have made!
Ready to quilt
As soon as I am done with St. Patrick's Day I am off to Easter. And since Easter is so early this year, I need to hustle.
I have decided to make a conscious effort to finish UFO's this year. I don't have hundreds but I have enough starts and stops that I need to really get busy. I have finished one. It is from a pattern I bought a few years ago. I mulled over and over the fabric choices and finally settled on a grouping. I fussy cut a lot of the pieces to come up with a pleasing pattern. This took quite a few months and I was still working at the time so it went along very slowly. I finally retired and also put together the pieces I had cut out. Time went by and I had set aside the top worrying about how I would quilt it. Four weeks ago, I pulled the top out and layered it with the backing and just pretty much mindlessly started quilting. When I finished I realized that I should do that more often. Just quilt! Don't fret over how to quilt, it just do it!
I hope you like the end results.
Have a great weekend! I will be looking at more of my UFO's!!!
How in the world did the time go so fast? It is Christmas in two days. I guess I am ready or at least as ready as one can get. I was busy all this fall quilting some tops that my daughter-in-law was given by her grandmother. They are really old and had some staining on them but I felt they were too nice not to try to do something with. I could not get out all of the stains but here is how they turned out.
So what do you think? I feel they turned out very well.
Got to go. I am working on the world's ugliest quilt ever. I will do a show and tell when I am finished with it. For now...
I have been kicking around the idea of a quilting club/bee and quilting classes in my home town area for a while now. This past Monday evening I attended a wonderful quilting guild in a nearby town and learned a lot from some great and talented quilters. They were amazing and I just was in awe of the quilts and quilted projects they presented at show and tell. They were so welcoming and warm I would love to join their guild but I vowed when I retired after 30 years of driving in bad weather that I would not do any driving in the winter, or at least not to go very far. So I am still determined to create a group in our area. So ladies and gents, we are going to do this. If you are interested in joining a group for quilting, please let me know privately and we will set up our first meeting. If you do not have my personal information, just leave a comment here with your e-mail and I will contact you. This group is open to ALL, no matter what your skill level. If you are a beginner, GREAT! We will learn together. If you are an advanced quilter, GREATER YET! You can help teach your way of doing things and maybe give tips and pointers to the rest of us.
I will be offering classes for anyone who would like a little one on one instruction. I will only have 3 to a class so that I can give individual attention. Or if you prefer, we can do private lessons. I want this to be fun, not work. Also, if you have a sewing machine that you just don't know how to operate, bring it to me along with all instruction books, accessories (such as the feet that came with it) and I will work with it to see what all it can do. I will need to have the machine at least two weeks before our first class to become familiar with it. And please understand, I DO NOT fix sewing machines. It will have to be a working machine in order for me to see what it can do. The type of quilting I teach can be done on any home sewing machine. You do not need a fancy machine that is touted as a quilter's machine. You just need a well running machine with a good straight stitch. So let's do this!
I have actually been doing some quilting. I have a habit of buying boxes of material at auctions and invariably there will be some quilt blocks that someone has painstakingly sewn together but never finished. I have so many of these and some are very pretty and well put together. Others are pretty, but the construction leaves something to be desired. I started thinking about the quilt blocks that were left to me by my grandmother and great grandmother. I just love them and would love to do something with them, but there are not very many, so making a quilt would be difficult if not impossible. So I got out some of the purchased blocks to play around with and boy did I have fun and come up with some ideas.
These blocks were put together mostly by hand. They were a bit out of square and the points were not exactly perfect. But I thought they were kind of pretty. My hubby thought they looked like the old sign off screen on the TV in the 50's and 60's (only those of you my age will understand that!). But I researched them and found they are called Millwheel Block. So I set out to do something with them.
The first thing I thought was that they could be made into a small quilt. The maker of these had set together four of the blocks so I will make a wall hanging or small doll quilt from those. But I wanted to do something with just one block. So I settled on a throw pillow. I had an old pillow that was falling apart. What you can't see it that it is stained, has tears and holes so I decided to re-cover it.
I quilted and embellished one of the Millwheel blocks and this is what I created. I used a decorative stitch along the border and I reached into the box of buttons I got from my grandmother and found this neat red one that worked beautifully. It hides the not-quite-perfect points in the middle of the block. My quilt in the ditch method will help to hold the block together and in the very corner I had to add a small piece of red fabric to get the block square but by adding the borders and quilting you would have to know where it is in order to see it. So this got me to thinking. How many of you have quilt blocks from a loved one who has passed on and you want to do something with them? There are a lot of ways to use them for pillows, tablerunners, wall hangings, etc.
This pillow goes just right with the red work quilt that we found among my husband's grandmother's quilts. We don't know if she made it, but it is from the 40's or 50's and we love it.
Now that fall is here, I am hoping to have more free time to do quilting, but I just had to finish this one. I never know what to say or what to do to help when someone loses a loved one. I found a wonderful quilt pattern for a comfort quilt in a book called "Prayer Shawl Quilts". The quilts are small lap size and go together quickly. So I have begun to create these quilts to send to people I know who are going through a rough spell. I find that while I am working on a quilt for that specific person who is hurting helps me to think of them the whole time, offering up prayers for them and hoping that for just a little while they may feel some peace. Here is one of the quilts I have made.
I also include this message. Somehow I think of this as a sympathy card-plus. I only hope that it can bring some comfort to the recipient.
Life is like a quilt. The needle makes tiny holes in the fabric as
we begin to make it piece by piece. The thread goes into the needle and the
needle goes up and down holding it all together. The job of the quilt when it is done is to
bring joy into our lives. We use the quilt and it becomes comfortable and we
take it for granted. But when just one stitch breaks, the whole thing can begin
to unravel. Only more thread, a patch and
the time and effort to fix it can make the quilt whole again even though it
will never look the same.
tiny holes on a quilt are like the many phases of our lives. The threads are
those people who come into the holes in our lives and hold us all together. The needle is like the ups and downs we go
through as we keep going along. The
finished quilt is like our lives as we find joy with those we love. We become
comfortable and take it all for granted. A broken stitch is like a loss or hurt
and we begin to unravel. Finally, fixing our lives just like the quilt is what we must do even though
it will never be as it once was.
I just had to share this. I entered my Iris Garden quilt in our local county fair and here are the results. I won Best in Show for machine quilting! I was so happy I was doing my happy dance.
This was a lot of work but I really loved the pattern and the look. It was the first time I had ever done needle turn applique so it was a challenge from the beginning. Now on to the next challenge. I will be starting free motion quilting lessons and I may try to establish a new quilting group/guild for my area. Onward...and remember...
I don't have anything to report to the quilting world today so I will share a story that took place back in June. We were having terrible rains and it rained everyday for weeks. But my diligent hubby was into his wood cutting and he wasn't about to let the rain stop him. So between showers he would work cutting and splitting wood. I worry about him out in the woods by himself but he is very careful and I have faith that everything will be alright. Then one day he comes in and he announces that he took a fall. I jumped up and immediately started checking him out to see if he was OK. Well, he informs me that he is just fine but that he rolled down an incline and landed in a big mud hole. As he turned around I started to laugh and I think he was a bit offended as he was trying to tell me what had happened. But he couldn't see what I was seeing.
The impressions could not have been better. The leaves are beautiful and needless to say, we still have not washed the shirt!