Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crazy, busy week!

This has been something of an arduous week, with major projects going on. I'll be relieved to get some of these larger projects done and out of the way so I can work on some smaller, fun things that I've got planned. On Monday, my granddaughter, Lily came over with her mom and together they finished her first sewing project--this little doll quilt. Lily is so proud of herself and she's already started working on an apron for her doll. It's great to have another sewing enthusiast in the family!

And speaking of sewing enthusiasts, Laura started pulling out her little Elna sewing machine this week and tried threading it herself. So I gave in, threaded it, explained again in sign language (challenging!) how to start sewing and began giving her pairs of 2.5-inch strips to sew together. Fortunately, she understands putting right sides together (she hooted with laughter when she saw I had sewn a wrong side on a border strip!) and she understands strip piecing. By Friday night, she had sewn 32 pairs of strips together! But whenever she sews, I get less done, since I have to provide occasional guidance and correction. Nevertheless, I was still able to accomplish quite a bit this week.

Before I started with the scallops on Mom's quilt, I thought it might be good to do a little practice piece. I needed a quilt sandwich and one of Laura's little stitchery projects was the perfect choice. I had a piece of leftover bias binding and used that to practice with. It went well and really boosted my confidence before starting the real thing.

The last quilt that I quilted on my longarm was my Scrappy quilt and it had skipped stitches all over the place. I was so frustrated and I knew I had to resolve the problem before I quilted Mom's quilt. Last week's visit to the 2 hour-distant quilt shop was a great blessing, because the owner is an APQS dealer (my longarm machine is an APQS Ultimate II) and he gave me some ideas to try to fix the problem. So before I started quilting the Egg Money quilt, I thought I might as well quilt my Friendship Bee wall hanging to see if the stitches were still skipping. I'm glad to say that overall, the stitching was much better and now I have another completed project!

I got all the borders added to Mom's Egg Money quilt and here I have the top laid out and I'm tracing on the scallop markings. Thanks to those wonderful Frixion pens, I was able to make clear markings that all disappeared later when I ironed the top.

Here's the top, fully loaded and already partially quilted. The stitching quality was great overall, but I had one row that messed up. So after I quilted the whole quilt, I went back, ripped out stitches in several places and fixed all the goofs. Oh, and this quilt was SO much bigger than I anticipated! I bought 3 yards of 108-inch backing, thinking it would be plenty. However, this quilt finished to 90x108, so it wasn't enough! Even my batting wasn't wide enough! I made an executive decision and trimmed FIVE inches off each border (they were 15 inches wide) and then it fit just perfectly. I think it will still work on Mom's bed too (I sure hope so!)

After quilting, it was time to add the binding for the scalloped edge. You actually sew the binding on your drawn lines and then trim the excess fabric away once you've sewn it all. I had read that it takes a while to sew it on and that was definitely true. It took me a little less than 2.5 hours to sew the entire binding on, including going back and fixing some of the inner points. It really wasn't too difficult to do, you just had to go slowly and be careful in stitching those points.

I was concerned about joining the binding ends, since I try to make mine look just like another seam in the binding, but that actually went very well. In this photo, I had added the binding, trimmed the edges and then I pressed the binding (as well as I could) to prepare for hand sewing. And that's where I am right now--I've hand-stitched about half the binding down to the back and I plan to finish the rest of it today--more t.v./Downton Abbey time for me!

Meanwhile, I've finished the top of the Martinsville Rose quilt. I LOVE the striped border, but I'm not so crazy about the green outer border. The fabric was part of the same collection as the fabrics in the quilt, but I think it's a bit TOO green. However, I really couldn't find anything else that seemed to work (and we love green in this household) so it's going to have to do. I've loaded the backing and batting onto the quilt frame (I hate seeing an empty frame--it looks so barren!) and I'll have the top loaded before the day is over. I plan to get it quilted next week.

So now I'm outta here, and off to Get More Done...Today!


  1. My you have been busy. Love Lily's doll quilt! Laura looks like she is having fun. Pretty needle work. I know you are proud of these two girls. Making things, having a good time : )
    Beautiful quilts! Many wonderful projects going on at your house. You go girl!

  2. Martinsville Rose is so pretty. I love that will share Laura's sewing adventures with us, too. I got a good chuckle at the mental image of her laughing at your fabric orientation mistake. :D