Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So pleased to be done!!!

The 1940's wool quilt repair project is done done done.  It is such a heavy quilt with a top made out of old wool coats and corduroy pants and the original wool batting.  Whoa!

I originally started this undertaking here around the middle of August.  I actually got the quilt in July but it has taken me forever to decide what to do with it.  I rinsed it 3 times in cold water in the bathtub, let it drain over night, and then spread it out on a sheet over the grass in the back yard.  The red fabric bled terribly but it didn't bleed onto the adjoining fabric - just the original backing.

The dot in the middle is lint on my camera lens.
 I put on a new back keeping the old one and the original batting.  Then I had to quilt it together.  I used rather big stitches and they aren't very uniform but I have to tell you. . . . . . . . quilting through 4 layers of wool (the maker often didn't stitch in the ditch and I followed her original quilting lines) is a hand wrenching experience.

This quilt belongs to my DIL's father.  He made the label for it above.  Click to enlarge.  When my SIL saw the label she said that this quilt went from being a ratty cast off to becoming an heirloom.  I'm pleased to be part of that process.

This holey and weakened area needed a lot of attention.

There were a number of moth holes all over the top of the quilt.  I used matching tulle and tacked it over the holes so there wouldn't be any more fraying.

The white in the upper right is paint not a hole.  You can faintly see the patch job here.

I got better at it as I went along.  Perhaps I should replace the first few patches but I'm not going to.  Done is done.

NOW, I can get to the projects I had planned before this one came along.  I can't say it too strongly, "I am so pleased to be done!!!"

Walnut in front of Maple so you can't see how dazzling it is.

We are having a gorgeous fall.  We went to see the fall colors in Sardine canyon a few weeks ago and that was especially nice.  But, the trees around my house rival anything the canyon can produce.

Cutleaf Weeping Birch

This is another angle that shows the Locust in front and the pretty Maple behind.

Usually the Locust turns yellow and drops it's leaves before anything else starts changing so it's an exceptional fall - one that hasn't happened before.

I hope you're having a stitchy day!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ad Hoc Improv Quilters challenge

I just noticed those two orange HSTs in row 2 that are side by side - gasp!  I may need to do some rearranging.

All the things that are going amiss in the world make quilting seem rather insignificant.  But, it is what I turn to when I want some peace.

I finished the top for the Ad Hoc Improv quilters (see link-up here) quarterly challenge of using words in a quilt.  The blocks made me think of bears (Bears paw) and when I think of bears I think of Yellowstone Park.  This was going to be a camp quilt from the start and what better place to go camping?

I used a random mix of unrelated scraps and fat quarters.  There are cows and maple leaves, violins, tape measures, chili peppers, sunflowers, apples, and uglies.  It measures 76" X 90".

I've been stitching a little on the Marigold quilt.  I just love the play of light and shadow when something is hand quilted.

Looking at it just makes me happy.  I only have the words left to quilt and then I can bind it and hang it up.

We went on a trip to Kentucky last week to visit our son who is stationed at Ft. Campbell.  We arrived in pleasant continual drizzle.  It was kind of like those big round shower heads - a leftover of Hurricane Irma.  So, so sad.  It just gave them rain in the Kentucky/Tennessee area unlike the remains of Hurricane Harvey that flattened fields of corn with the wind and flooded fields and basements with the constant rain.

 I took my "Rising Sun" blocks to hand piece while sitting in the car.  I was able to finish 9 blocks!  That's amazing for me.  I finished one block while we drove through a snow storm in Wyoming on the way home.  It helped me to relax as I sewed instead of watching the road.  Here are the previously pieced blocks with the new ones.

This was the "rising sun" one morning as we were driving east.  I wish I could have captured the bright orange glow it was producing.  It was pretty special.

And then, the whole point of going so far - the grandkids.  Too cute!

We went to Ft. Defiance in Clarksville Tennessee for a reenactment but only got to see some of the cannons and a few people dressed in period costume.  Oh, and we got to see the remains of the original earthen fort.  I didn't realize the Confederacy was trying to defend themselves with only dirt for walls (that's all they were able to quickly come up with).  No wonder the Union won that particular battle.

I haven't been working very much on my applique.  I've started another basket block.  It will have a large center flower and 3 more petals on each side fanning out.  It kind of looks like a moth with those feathery antennae and the hovering wings.  I'm hoping to get it done by the end of the month.  That's doable, I think.

Another view of the Yellowstone Park quilt top.  I don't know when I've had more fun making a quilt top.  I gained energy from the colors, I was using up scraps and cast offs so the fabric was free, it made me think of childhood trips with my family, and it is cheerful.

Off to get more done,

Friday, August 25, 2017


I finished the top panel for the Roseville Album Quilt just now.  Whew!

I need to make a doorknob and there's a large circle that goes on top of the plant in the lower left corner.  So, when I get my circle making stuff out again for another block I'll make those two extra.

I've decided to name this block "My Full Time Job".  Working on it everyday felt like a job sometimes.

I laughingly call this quilt the Co2 quilt because there are so many bubbles (circles) on it.   I didn't put the circles on the lower or left panel thinking I could get away without them.  But, I can't so I'll have to go back and make them carbonated as well.

Hope you have time to put in a few stitches today.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

a little challenge

I wanted to participate with the Ad Hoc Improv Quilters  this quarter because they are adding words to their quilts.  I started this quilt and it would have been great but the addition of wording has taken it to a whole other place - I love it!

It was going to be just a scrappy Bears Paw quilt.

But now, with the addition of words it becomes something unique.

I'm not as creative as some others when it comes to IMPROV but I am having to change things up to fit the words in and add a few borders like the green swirl above.  (Actually that green swirl reminds me of a turtle shell close-up.) So, I'm getting a few creative juices going.  One step at a time I guess.

I have put words on quilts before.  I think it adds so much interest to the quilt.  It also reveals my thoughts and frame of mind as I come up with the right words.

The quilt top below is still in progress but I wanted to put words to a song my mother sang to us when we were children.  This is what I came up with.

 I appliqued the letters on after the top was completely pieced.  I'll plan ahead next time because it was really awkward.

It still needs a border treatment and maybe a bluebird or a sun or . . . .

My Birds in the Air quilt signifying freedom.

The picture above was my first attempt at putting lettering in a quilt.  I made bias strips and just folded them into the shapes of the letters and then appliqued them down.  I wanted a message that represented the civil war fabric I used in the rest of the quilt top.

This is a pattern by "Joined at the Hip" but I added a double row of hst instead of one large row and I also added the pots and lengthened the stems so I could use up as many of the hst as possible from an exchange.  This is the quilt that is in the hoop right now.

I'm enjoying this challenge and I'm linking up with Ad Hoc Improv Quilters at

Go check them out.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Preservation of boyhood memories

My oldest son's father-in-law has asked me to repair his boyhood quilt. He's about 75 so it's from the 1940's sometime.  He lived in a rural part of southern Cache valley and he had a number of brothers.  They all slept together under this very heavy quilt.

It has a really hearty navy blue stripe on the back, almost like ticking but heavier.  The front is made from used wool coats.  The batting is cotton.  The binding is brought around from the back.

I thought I would just repair the worn and moth eaten areas and replace the binding.  But, after rinsing it in the tub 3 times because it was so dirty and smelled like a house that hasn't been opened to the fresh air for years,  I've just about decided to use another backing over the old one.

The wool top needs repairs but the backing is shredded in places.  It was hand quilted loosely across the top with heavy duty black thread .  This was a utility quilt at it's best.  Unfortunately the red wool bled in the cold water rinse and has soaked through to the backing.  Another reason for replacing the backing.

Does someone who has some experience with this type of repair have any suggestions?  Do I repair the wool with wool or will cotton do?  I know I need to replace the batting where it is missing  because of holes in the backing.

I think the boys must have kept the backing next to their skin because it wasn't as scratchy as the wool.  There is definitely much more wear on the backing.

I want to preserve this appropriately but I also don't want to spend an enormous amount of time doing it.

Thanks for any help,

Monday, August 7, 2017

All four?

Maybe if I didn't try and work on all four projects at the same time, it would look like I am making faster progress.  I guess if I was honest there is another project that sneaks into the mix when I need a take-a-long task.  But, I only took pictures of the "four".

First up is the leader-ender project I cut out and then decided that it would be the actual project instead.  It's is such a scrappy quilt.  I know that's silly to say that but it's quite amazing really.  I've made the 16 blocks and am in the process of making 40 sashing strips.

I'm planning on putting a panel with words on it between the 3rd and 4th row of bears paw blocks.  Not sure whether I will hand applique, machine applique, or block out the letters in patchwork.

It's been a really fun project and a great break from all the hand applique I have been doing.

The 2nd project is the Halloween Eve cross stitch.  It is my "I'm in no hurry" project.  I just work on it at the end of the day for a little while as I unwind.

The third project is appropriately the 3 Marigolds quilt in the hoop.  I hate to have an empty hoop or frames.  It just doesn't feel right if I'm not hand quilting something in those stolen moments while waiting for everyone to get ready or waiting for my husband to wake up after a sleepless night.  This little quilt is from a 'Joined at the Hip" pattern book using the hst from an exchange in my quilt group.  I kind of wish I had used a pale yellow fabric instead of the light beige.  The yellow would have helped the marigolds shine.

And then in the No. 4 slot is the Roseville Album Quilt I have been diligently working on since May.
This is the almost completed right side.  I just need to put a cat in that blank spot between the trees.

And this is the left side with the tree outlines done.  Orange and vermillion bubbles will go on the aqua tree with a slightly different treatment for the folliage on the yellow tree.  There's another cat between the trees and some birds in the upper left corner.  I have kind of slowed down on this project.  Need to get some oomph back.

But, we got some news today that puts a 5th quilt in the queue.  It's a baby quilt and today the proud parents (my youngest son and wife) found out IT'S A BOY!!!

I bought an American Jane baby quilt kit in Wisconsin 3 yrs ago and have been itching for an excuse to make it.  The kit is from the 'Ducks in a Row' line.  I'm so excited to get busy.  Don't you love it when you can quilt all day without guilt?  This baby NEEDS this quilt!!!


I'm linking up with Design Wall Monday on Small Quilts and Doll Quilts.  Go check us out.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Moving along in Fantasyland~

Just want to show a little of my progress   That goofy tree (from the last post) is really filling out and looks kind of enchanting.  The jury is still out for the bubble tree.  Isn't it interesting how you get a better perspective with a photo than just the naked eye?

I linking up with Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Dolls Quilts.