Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February UFO Challenge

Judy’s UFO Challenge for February was project #1.  I’m breaking the very loose rules and finished #11 instead of #1.  The #1 is at the long-arm quilter (out of my control), and all I had left to do on #11 was the binding.  The binding got finished tonight.

UFO #11 003

This quilt is for Quilts of Valor.   The backing looks like a men’s tie fabric. 

UFO #11 004

Now for the March UFO – #8. 


A Super-Duper Wonderful Surprise

When I got home today I saw a package on my front porch.

Levenger 001

A box from Levenger.  Did I order something from Levenger???  I know I wanted a book weight, but I thought I decided against it.  Too expensive.  Hmmmm.  Then a little nagging thought came into my brain…………….my cousin MB.  Could it be?

Levenger 002

Yes, the card inside tells the story.  My cousin is very generous, very thoughtful, and knows me well.  What fun to open a Levenger box.  Everything is first class, from the box….

Levenger 003

to the cloth protection……

Levenger 004

to the product.  A classy leather book weight with my initials!!!!!

Levenger 005

Wow – Wow – Wow.  I love it and will cherish it and will NOT lose it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you my dear MB.  You make my heart sing.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Almost Seven Years

Yes, it has taken me almost seven years to finally complete this knitted poncho.

knitted poncho 002

I purchased the yarn and pattern in 2005 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, while on a road trip with friends.  Penny helped me pick everything out and got me started on doing the pattern.

Taking a picture of myself wearing this poncho was rather difficult.

knitted poncho 001

It is a very loose, uneven knit, but light weight and very comfortable to wear.  It also keeps me warm.

knitted poncho 003

There is one scarf left in my knitting bag to finish up and then I would like to try making a pair of socks again.  I wonder if I could get them done in less than seven years……


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happy discovery

One of my favorite possessions, a leather book weight from Levenger, went missing a few moths ago.  That book weight was always on my kitchen table, holding books open as I read and ate my meals.  One day it was not there and I spent hours frantically looking for it.  Never found it.  I’m thinking it got mixed in with newspapers and went out with the recycle.

Today I decided it was time to purchase a new book weight.  I didn’t want to get another expensive Levenger one, so I looked on Amazon to see what options I might have.  Among the choices was this less expensive type of book weight -

backings and book weight 006

My eyes popped when I saw it because I remembered that I had the exact same book weight at one time.  I went to the desk drawer where I keep my collection of book marks and sure enough, buried in the back of the drawer was this book weight!  I can’t express how happy I am to have found this little treasure.  Gotta go read now…


Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Dance

From this…………..

MB's fabric 001

to this…..

MB's quilt tops done 002

times two!!!

Yes, both quilts tops are done……all borders attached.  The binding is cut out and ready to sew together, and the last task to be done is piecing some backings.  I’ll go through my stash tonight and pick out some interesting fabrics to make the backs a nice surprise.

I’m very pleased with these quilts and excited to see them quilted.  Mostly though, I would love to see them on my cousin’s guest beds!!!!  (And maybe sleep under one.)


Monday, February 13, 2012

Red Inner Border

How do you measure the strips for long borders?  I remember when I first started quilting I never measured.  I just cut the right width, sewed the strip on to the quilt and cut off any excess.  Sometimes it worked quite well and sometimes I had rather wavy borders.

Now I measure very carefully.  When the measurement is quite long, it takes some creative methods to get that accurate cut.

red border 001 


Then of course it has to be carefully pinned before sewing.  Recently I discovered that if I did my pinning while sitting comfortably in my big chair, instead of hunched over the sewing machine table,  pinning was becoming a favorite task!

red border 004


The red border looks good. 

red border 005

What’s left to be done?  The final gold border, the backing, professional quilting, and the binding.  It is getting close enough to the end of the long process that I am already envisioning handing over the finished quilts to my cousin and seeing them on her guest beds.  It makes me smile.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2nd top ready for borders

Yes, I finished the second quilt top for my cousin.  Now I just have borders to do. 

2nd MB quilt 001

(tops laying on my guest beds)

I spent time tonight calculating the amount of fabric needed for the borders and decided I didn’t have enough of the red fabric for the little inner border (the cornerstone fabric).  I went through my stash to find some matching reds which I can put at the top border where it will fall behind a pillow and not be noticed.  I think I have enough of the gold for the wide outer border.


The binding is done for friend Moe’s little quilt.

2nd MB quilt 003

I’m ready for more Moe ! ! ! !  



Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Math

As followers of my blog know, I am making two quilts for my cousin.  Here is one top completed except for the borders.

MB's #1 together 001

Now I am working on the second top.  I feel like my progress has been very slow.  Of course I do not work on these quilts 8 hours a day.  Some days I’m lucky if I get an hour at the sewing machine and some days I don’t sew at all.  But still……………..this is a simple quilt pattern and I felt like it should be going much faster, so I decided to do the math.  (I’m a retired accountant.)  There are 512 pieces in this top which means there are four sides to each of those pieces that has to be sewn, or 2,048 seams (be they small or not) and each of those seams has to be ironed.  Then when it is time to sew the long rows of blocks to the long rows of sashing, it all has to be  very carefully pinned, then carefully sewn, then ironed again.  And of course the whole process needs to be done twice for two quilts.  Looking at it this way I can be OK with my slow progress.  Besides -  1.  It is for my cousin who I love, and she loves me and forgives me my slowness, 2. I love working with the colors and fabrics, 3.  It gives me purpose in my sewing, 4.  It keeps me from eating popcorn and doing jigsaw puzzles all day!!!