Saturday, January 29, 2011

Almost a Finish.....

So glad to be able to post so much progress on Ms. Vernice's quilt....

 The arcs in this strip are the only thing I marked for quilting.  I used a small plate, marked the plate for the beginning and end of the arc and just moved the plate along.  Everything else on this quilt was stitched with no prior markings.

The quilting was done with several different colors of Fil-Tec's Glide thread.  Just need to cut and apply the binding and sign the back.
It's a cold day here--with promise of greater warmth this afternoon--but I wasn't willing to take the quilt outside in this cold, and don't have a really good place to photograph inside.  Nevertheless, I hope you are able to get a good idea of how it looks--although quilts are always better in person!

I do love this sewing machine (1936 Singer 15-88).  It runs so smoothly that it's easy to forget I'm treadling.  And it's so much quieter than an e-machine.

I used a different thread on each border going from tan, to green, to red, to gold, thinking of the seasons--going from the promise of spring soil, to vegetation, to bright blooms, to the golden of harvest.  Given all the white that's in the quilt, I'm thinking I'll call it Blessings of the Seasons.  But I'm still thinking about it.

Happy quilting.....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Bit Tickled

I've had more time than I expected to work on the quilt from the last post.  It's being tickled with lots of feathers.

So far the only thing I've marked before stitching is the semi-circles just under the triangles above.  Everything else was just done freehand with no marking.

Last weekend I tried to contact the person from whom I acquired this treadle, a Singer 15-88 and his e-mail was returned to me.  I phoned the cell number but did not hear from him and wasn't even sure it was still his number.  This morning he phoned me (most of his family has moved to the Dallas area), and I asked him if he thought his mom would like to have a quilt made on the machine.  This quilt has been calling her name ever since I started it. I love how this machine operates and I am so glad she took good care of it for all those decades.  (I know she also had modern electric machines.)  Her son says she made him lots of shirts on this machine.  So far I've used it only for alterations and piecing and quilting.

I've been horribly stressed, and working on this quilt with all the winter-brightening colors and all the white areas for quilting has lifted my spirits (although that may have a lot to do with praying as I work on it).  Although the weather has been better than many winters here, the season still feels like it will last forever, so despite the fact that these colors are far from my favorites, their cheerfulness is welcome.

I'm getting closer to finishing it and would love to complete it this weekend, but, of course, I never can guess ahead of time how much I'll get done.  However, I need to get past the road block on a gray/violet quilt, and if I can't do that, I need to be working on a blue/yellow quilt.  Both are in the piecing stage. (No, we will not mention how many other unfinished quilts I have.  One year I posted them in my side bar, and every time I signed on to the blog, I felt further and further behind.  Not going there again!!)

Stay warm, friends, and happy quilting.....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Yummy Goodness

 ....Not of the eating variety, however.
Oops, that's the back.  Here's the front.

 Basted.  Ready to quilt.  Well, first I have to quilt the stabilizing stitches--not nearly as much fun as the real stuff!
Just look at all those lovely white areas begging so nicely for feathers!  Time for Prairie Home Companion, the lovely 1936 Singer treadle,  and quilting!

I did get the baby quilt in the mail this morning.  Hope it arrives at her grandpa's house before she does!  Post office said it should be there in two or three days.....

Lila Tueller give-away

New, springy, soft colors, perfect for a prayer quilt as well as a lot of other lovely creations.
Check out Lila Tueller's post  on her blog.  Her new fabric is Isabella.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Baby Quilt Finished!

I am so happy that I've finished the baby quilt before the arrival of the baby!
 I did have to go back and hand sew places I missed on the back of the binding.....oh, well......
I decided to name it Orleans Baroque.  The print is a Hoffman fabric named Windsor--I'm pretty sure I purchased it in 2000.  I think it looks a lot more French than English.

 The rest of the photos are of the back--because the quilting doesn't show up very well on the photos of the front.

It's been laundered in baby soap and will be ready to send off as soon as I find my Pigma pen, sign it, heat set the ink, and get it put into the envelope for mailing.  I'm thinking I'll send it to the baby's grandpa since I have his address, and the mommy-to-be just moved, and I don't have her address.

You can click on any photo to open a larger version of the photo (or right-click and open a photo in a new tab or window).

I'm not sure if the next quilt will be the Blossoms in the Snow or, preferably if I can get un-stuck, the purple feathered stars, etc.

In any case, Orleans Baroque is my first finish of the New Year.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Doilies & Hankies....

 Of course I love textiles...of almost any kind....but especially pretty ones. This crocheted doily was probably made sometime between 1930 and the mid 1950's.  It was stuffed into a bag with a few other lacy things at a thrift store several years ago.  I have no idea if it was made for Kate R. or for a family named Kater.  If any of my readers know a crafty, textile-loving lady named Kate R or a family named Kater, I'd love to pass it on.  My mother never liked to do fillet crochet, but for years she made doilies and beautiful lace edgings.  I made a few but changed to tatting because every time our family got together one little kid or another would rip out my knitting or crocheting.  Tatting doesn't rip out without a lot of intentional untying of knots.

Besides, I was inspired by this.....
...That's a lovely linen handkerchief with an edging that must have been tatted in size 100 or 150 thread.  It's so delicate, I'm not sure you can even see much of it if you right click and open the picture in a new window or tab.  It's wrinkly; it's been in a drawer that had some other stuff tossed in too--including a picture of the Central Illinois farm where I grew up.  I've never known who made that lace-edged doily.  It arrived inside a congratulatory card mailed to me, addressed in beautiful handwriting but unsigned and with no return address way back when I graduated from eighth grade.  I've always treasured it.

Are you old enough to remember your mama tying a quarter or a nickle in the corner of a pretty hankie so you could place the money in the offering plate at church--or maybe tying money in a hankie so you could buy an ice cream cone when you went to town with your daddy or grandpa?

I've lost so many of those hankies over the last several decades--mostly because they've been stored in boxes and I've moved too many times and had too many distractions in my life to care for them properly.  I'd love ideas of things to do with them that would protect their fragile beauty.  I've seen them made into quilts and even a window valence, but I don't want them to wear out so I need a much more gentle use that would let them be displayed with minimal damage.  My dear friend Harriet made some into a bouquet in a lovely vase, but it's much too dusty in my part of the country for me to do that. I could just fold them up and stack them and take them out and look at them once or twice a year, but they are so beautiful, so delicate, and bring so much pleasure that I'd really like to find a workable way to display them.

If you love hankies and you're a quiltmaker, you might want to check out Denise Russart's "Granny's Hankie" BOM over at her blog: 
You'll find it over in the right hand column of her blog in the Block of the Month Projects.

Let me know if you have display idea...or if you know Kate R. or the Kater family....

Saturday, January 8, 2011


This is a very rare pajama quilting day for me.  Doesn't happen very often, and I must do other things too, but I'm pretty sure I won't have to venture away from home before Sunday morning.

Baby quilt is basted.  I used Sharon Schamber's method of hand basting. She has posted an instuctional video about it on youtube. I do it just a little differently, but with the same results.
Finally got the stabilizing quilting done this afternoon. 

So far I've quilted the four green multi-triangle areas along the body of the quilt.  I'm using Fil-Tec Glide thread in green, gold, and violet and my lovely 1935 Singer 15-88 treadle.  Those treadle irons operate so easily (it's a straight leg).  Over spring break or sometime this summer I need to make time to work on the irons of the 1919 Singer 66.  It has issues with thread tension and with treadle irons that just don't operate as easily and smoothly as they should.  On the newer machine, most of the time I don't even need to use my hand to make sure the wheel turns the correct direction, but on the 66 I have to use my hand almost every time to make sure it goes in the right direction.  Since it was much dirtier, I'm hoping the problem is no more serious than some dust or dirt that I haven't managed to clean up.

Four hard days of work this week.  On Tuesday it was 53 degrees F. when I left to come home.  About 20 miles later I hit a snowstorm for which the NM Highway Dept. had been unprepared.  I couldn't tell that snowplows had even been out, so the trip was an extra 40 or 45 minutes long.

I have a good friend who is spending the month in Hawaii--although she had a delay of several days getting her flight due to last week's snowstorms affecting air traffic in the East.  But now she's there, having fun, and staying warm.  How nice is that?  Now that winter is here, I'm grateful for every hot flash/power surge! I'm also hoping that the snow predicted for Sunday night is not enough to affect the Monday commute.

Oh,...the quilt top in the background in the first picture is a counting quilt inspired by my niece Karen, who celebrated her 31st birthday last week.  I started it when she was probably 3 years old.  One of the first nursery rhymes I learned was "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater."  Even at the age of two I was fascinated by the idea that any husband would want to keep his wife locked up--and then I was privileged to live through the years of great advances in rights for women.  I put the center section on the wall hoping I'd get motivated to finish it, but I'm not sure I ever will, given the quality of those early 1980's fabrics.  I'm thinking I may re-do it in batiks.  We'll see......

Stay warm, dry, and safe.....

Monday, January 3, 2011


No resting for's the batting for the baby quilt that is resting.  I've been all too aware that today is my last day before returning to the three hour commutes.  The commutes would be exhausting by themselves--but I also have to work, hard.  So, instead of dwelling on thoughts of tomorrow, I worked on the quilt.

Pieced the extra blocks, border pieces, and left over fabric into the backing so it would be wide enough.  That's almost always more fun after it's done than while I'm doing it. Aside from how much time it takes, it's really not a big deal, so I don't know why I don't find it more pleasurable. The backing is pressed and resting. 

 The borders are on, the top is pressed, and it's resting.

I'm hoping that by the time I get home each evening this week, I'll have a little leftover energy so I can get it layered, basted, and ready for quilting.  Quilting is always the fun part--as is choosing which threads to use.

We've reached the time of year when I'm grateful for each little hot flash/power surge.  We're having "Midwest Weather" for the rest of this week--that is, it will drop into the teens (or lower) each night, and we'll be happy if the temperature rises 20 degrees during the day.  Often, predicted lows in the teens turn out to be lows in the single digits, so I'm hoping the current predictions are accurate. 

We did go out for Sweet Teen's flute lesson and to fill the gas tank this afternoon.  Our last fill-up was December 21.  We'd driven only 319 miles since then, a lot less than I'll have to drive this week.

Oh, Sweet Teen did ask me why I call her that.  I didn't really explain, but I did say that as long as she acts sweet, I can call her that, but if she acts ugly, I'll have to figure out another name.  I really wouldn't like to be forced to do that.

Stay warm, busy, and happy, dear friends.....

Saturday, January 1, 2011


One finish for New Years' Eve...I started these years and years ago (a legwarmer pattern from After making a trip to the grocery store in cold, blowing snow yesterday, I came home, holed up with a couple of movies and finished off the foot of the second one.  We are so lucky to have a warm, cozy house, but when it gets this cold (still near zero when I got up this a.m.) they are a welcome addition to the day's wardrobe--even if they are knit from acrylic (because at the time I hadn't begun knitting socks).  Actually, I was making them for "Crazy Sock Day", part of a Read Across America celebration week in our school district. They're not as warm as if they had been made from wool, but I can wear a pair of wool socks beneath them, and they were knit from worsted weight, so they went pretty fast.

 I kind of stalled on this quilt, but hope to get in some sewing time and add borders today.  Every one of these kaleidoscope quilts I've done has received a different kind of setting. I can hardly wait to put feathers in those large sort of triangular areas along the edges.
Years ago I recognized that there were so many patchwork patterns I wanted to try, I'd probably never make the same pattern twice, but these kaleidoscopes became kind of addictive--or therapeutic. Up until the time I figured out how to do these, about the only pattern I'd repeated was a nine-patch.
At the same time I was figuring out how to do kaleidoscopes with repeating sections of fabric, Bethany Reynolds figured it out. She's made a career out of them.  I'm thinking this will probably be my last one unless I decide to make one from Noah's Ark fabric that's been sitting on the shelf for years awaiting my next kaleidoscope.  We'll see....
 I thought I'd attach the binding for this little quilt yesterday, but got sidetracked from that too.  These fabrics are my hand-dyes and were supposed to help me get out of my traditional little box--about ten years ago.  You'll notice that the squares still look like boxes, so what was I thinking!?  It's quilted with lovely feathers in metallic/holographic sliver thread--but I don't think it opened the lid on the box! It's taken a lot of years, a lot of life changes, and a lot of prayer to even open the lid on the box!  Actually, boxes are some of my favorite things! I kind of like opening the lid just a bit and peeking out. (It would be an entirely different matter if I were locked in a box and had no way to get out!) And I do enjoy the very real little boxes I've collected over the years!
My other New Years Eve Day project was washing a bunch of lace and linens--who knows when they'll get turned into some other projects--but at least they're clean!

Wishing all my family, friends, and blog readers a
Happy, Healthy, Prosperous 2011!

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