Saturday, March 20, 2021

Quilted Hug for Mom

I got this shawl finished for my Mom a couple days ago and I took some pictures outside yesterday. was such a beautiful day but still cold. Today is supposed to be quite a bit warmer and Peanut and I are really looking forward to that!

I took this photo as soon as I removed the shawl from the longarm. I don't know how visible the quilting is but it is a loose leafy design called Lush Leaves. I love it!

I cut my binding at 2.25" and I applied it to the wrong side of the shawl and then flipped it and stitched it to the right side which is the reverse of what I do with a quilt. I didn't want to go with hand stitching the binding because I thought it would be a quicker finish by machine and I think it will hold up better. I know that this will probably get a lot of wear and tear and be washed frequently so I did a double row of stitching when I applied the binding to the front. The first line of stitching was right along the edge of the binding and the second line was about a 1/4" away. I really wanted it nailed down! I also added a small label sewn into the binding that has my Mom's name on it. 

The pattern calls for pockets on the inside but I didn't bother with them. I don't think my Mom would remember they were there and they wouldn't be used anyway.

Unfortunately, I couldn't make a visit with my Mom work last week but I am able to go this week!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Trying Something New

One of the things I want to try to do this year is to make some garments and I think I have found the perfect item to start with - a Quilted Hug. I found the instructions on YouTube here

I had to modify mine a bit because I don't have the fabric required for the lining so I am using flannel instead with 80/20 quilt batting. I am also making the outer layer from one piece of fabric instead of piecing it like a quit top. I will know soon if I can make it work or not as I have everything cut out and loaded on my long arm for quilting. 

batting, backing and top

My Mom was placed in a nursing home at the end of January and I have finally been given permission to visit her which I am very happy about.  At this point she really has great difficulty communicating so telephone calls really have not been much of an option. I don't know if she will remember me or not but I remember her! Anyway, I want to bring my Mom a gift and I thought a quilted hug would be perfect. My Mom is very tiny - less than 100lbs and she is always cold so I know this is something that she can use and enjoy. My hope is that with the flannel lining it will very soft and snuggly.

The home is about an hour and forty-five minute drive from my home so it isn't a quick little trip and my visits will be somewhat limited but at least I can do some visiting. In order to visit her I must take regular Covid tests prior to visits and I am awaiting the results from the test I took yesterday. I know I haven't been exposed to the virus as my husband and I are very, very careful but the nursing home justifiably needs proof. 

Friday, March 12, 2021

Another String Quilt

While I was on my last blogging hiatus I did do some sewing that I haven't shown on my blog. I love string quilts and I have oodles and oodles of strings that need to be turned into quilts. The only way I know how to do that is to sew those strings together in one form or another. 😉

Molly and my zig zag string flimsy - sadly she is gone but absolutely not forgotten 💔

I started making these latest blocks once I finished with the final string blocks for my zig zag string quilt that I had turned into a flimsy in January 2020. My beautiful Molly was such a lovely model when I took that photo. At the time, I couldn't wait to get started on the next group of string blocks. I changed things up a bit and started making Crooked Courthouse string blocks. You can find the instructions for these blocks on Bonnie Hunter's blog - here. My zig zag quilt top is currently languishing in my 'ready to quilt' pile but maybe it should be the one I choose to quilt next.

When I started the crooked courthouse blocks I decided to use some 2" squares that I wanted out of my stash and they became the centers in all of the blocks. This is a great project to help me get them out of my stash!

This time my blocks finish at 8" and I won't need to make as many as I did in the last couple string quilts. Bigger blocks = quicker finish. :)

I still have a ton of strings so I know I won't be running out any time soon.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Blind Man's Fancy

Now that the rail fence quilt is off the frame I am ready to load another...but which one? It seems that the one I intended to quilt is not quite ready for quilting. This is my Blind Man's Fancy quilt top and I thought I finished it in March 2019.                         . 

As I look at it, I keep thinking it needs another blue border and then a brown border. The more I think about it the more I keep having the song from Lamb Chop's Play Along running through my head. If you recall it is called 'The Song That Doesn't End' but what I am singing in my head is 

This is the quilt that doesn't end

Yes it goes on and on my friends

Somebody started sewing it not knowing what it was

and they'll continue sewing it forever just because 

This is the quilt that doesn't end....

(sorry about the ear worm!)

The quilt top is currently approx 85" square and I only have about 16" x wof left of the blue fabric. That is just enough to make a 1" finished narrow border and then I can add the outer brown border but the real question is should I?

Not only that but I think it needs more than just an all-over quilt design. I'm not a very creative person and I am certainly not very artistic so it will take me a long time to figure out some sort of design to put on it....sigh.

In the meantime, I really need to dig through the flimsy stash and choose one that wants a quick finish!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

More Cheddarback Blocks

I keep telling myself that I am determined to finish these blocks so I must be determined...right?

I did get two blocks finished the other day and then there were four and happily I got another two more done. These are all blocks that will finish at 5" and they are really cute!

I haven't done any hand piecing or applique in such a long time but I guess I still remember how to do it. Two of these little blocks needed some special treatment - the pink and black one was hand pieced and the red and black one needed the little center square appliqued. I did some back basting on that little square and it seems to have worked out well enough.

Yesterday when I was walking Peanut I just started feeling so much better and much more optimistic about the situation we are all living in. Spring is coming and the sun was shining and even though it was still cold the temps were warmer and the wind wasn't as blustery. Spring is always so welcome after a long cold winter but it seems to be even more important this year.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Off the Frame

Peanut helped me trim the quilt

I finished up the quilting of my rail fence quilt yesterday and I think it looks great particularly with my little model on it! It didn't really take all that long and I was done in plenty of time to take Peanut for her walk by 3:15 yesterday while the sun was still shining. It was very was quite cold and we are definitely getting those March winds as it was quite gusty and blustery at times. They are calling for milder temps over the next few days and I am looking forward to getting some warmer days!

I didn't have time to trim the quilt until after dinner and when I did Peanut was really confused. Normally when I am crawling around on the floor it means playtime with her and she kept trying to play and didn't understand why I kept trying to shoo her away. lol

She was happy when I was done and we got a little play session in. 😀

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Time to Quilt


I've loaded a quilt onto my freshly straightened leaders and it went onto the frame so easily. I didn't have to fuss with anything to make sure it loaded straight - such a dream! Now that I have the aggravation of straightening the leaders behind me I am so glad I went through the process. The results are just great!

As you can see in above photo I have chosen a Baptist Fan panto for this quilt and I love it. I actually started quilting this rail fence quilt several days ago but since then I have been distracted by watching YouTube videos. Honestly, the addiction seems to be worse than computer games. 😵 I think I have it out of my system now and I am going to get away from my computer and do something constructive that is actually rewarding!!!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Straight(er) Leaders

I did it! It's not beautiful and absolutely not perfect but it will do. I followed instructions that I found on YouTube from HandiQuilter and Kimmy Brunner but I can't seem to find the video to link to - weird. I did find this video from whirlsnwwirls quilting and it gives information on sewing casings on the leaders so it may be helpful.

I had a lot of trouble actually sewing the hem down on the first leader because I couldn't get good tension on it while stitching. I tried to use my clamps just as shown in the video presentation but it just wouldn't work well for me. The first and last few inches on the sides are not perfectly straight because I just kept getting caught up with the clamps but honestly I think it should be okay. I don't normally pin right to the side edges of my leaders anyway. After sewing the first hem I was quite discouraged with my results. 

Before continuing with the hemming exercise I found some other clamps that I was able to put on my machine around the rails to help support the leader being hemmed and it helped a lot but by then I was frustrated and just wanted it all over with. I was sewing way too fast and without accuracy - ugh. Nary a straight line to be found - why do I always think I have to go at top speed! 

messy hems with new centering marks

When I was finished I didn't cut the excess canvas from the hems as suggested in the instructions. Instead I did another line of stitching close to the edge to hold them all down and I am happy enough with that.

My leaders won't win any awards but they are straighter than when I started. The next time they need this degree of straightening I will probably just purchase some canvas and make my own. I know...another I won't be doing it any time soon!!!