Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Billy's Shirts

The baby quilt was pieced and quilted and sent on his way.  Made entirely of a friend's son's shirts who was a volunteer fireman.  He was to be Uncle Billy to a new generation of Pestor babies.  Taken suddenly with congestive heart failure at 30 years old.  My friend brought me shirts and said, " just make something-- you choose." The fire trucks seemed appropriate, they were a $2.50 download from Etsy.  The other blocks were just pictures found on Pinterest.

I started the quilt on Mother's day, kind of 'teary' while cutting out each block.  I can't imagine what my friend must be going through losing a son.  I finished it on Father's Day.  They back was made from Navy and white gingham.

A good memory --- and I can definitely say a quilt brightened a very sad story.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Yellow Quilt

83 hours later - It's finished.  Granted, the 83 hours was over a span of two years, but I'm still just as proud of it.

The quilt started off as an experiment to see exactly how long does it take to make a quilt. Quilting is a hobby for me.  I still man a 40 plus hour a week job, along with a great husband and a couple of high maintenance pups.  People always ask, " how long does it take?"  I never knew.  I spared them of the details of the difference between piecing , appliqueing, paper piecing, etc..  I did not discuss the merits of the machine working effortlessly versus those days when a stitch never seems to go one after the other.  But I kept count.

I had 58 hours, I believe going into the applique portion, 3 hours in the binding. So between appliqueing and machine quilting there was 22 hours.

I made several baby quilts, a couple of pieces for my mom, a set of curtains, and remodeled a kitchen somewhere in the middle of all this. I hate UFOs.  I feel defeated and honestly-- wasteful.  I saw the pin of the quilt on Pinterest and loved the quilt all over again.  I thought how pretty the  black centers would blend with my dark kitchen counter tops now.

And I went back to work on the quilt.

I cut the borders out first-- to insure I had yardage without piecing them. What borders?  Guess what happened -- in all the 'minute counting' and rush to complete to move on to the next project-- I forgot about the borders.  I simply appliqued and stretched it on the quilting frame and again plowed into machine quilting.  It wasn't until I looked at the pattern still laying on the coffee table that I realized the error.

I was incredibly disappointed.  I looked at how I could add them, should I try removing the quilting I had already begun.  I talked with my mom.  She said the quilt is twin size without the borders and would still do a 'fine' job of keeping someone warm...The borders weren't meant to be,

I let go of the disappointment and love the quilt just as much.

Lessons learned.  I'm not plowing into anymore projects.  It's my hobby for the shear enjoyment.  No more.  No less.

Have you ever had a quilted piece that you look at and it reminds you of something.  That's what this piece will  do.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day -- finishing off a 3-day weekend. Today has been sunny and 82 degrees. Beautiful.  The other two days have been cloudy intermittent showers --- permission to quilt.

I have always followed Bonnie Hunter.  I admired her 'made from shirttails' quilt designs.  I loved how she thrift shopped for men's shirts for quilt fabric.  Kinda shot that " I can't afford to quilt " analogy to hell.  I have never cut up shirts for quilts -- except the t-shirt quilt I made Eric...

I never have -- until now.   A friend I work with lost her 30-year old son to congestive heart failure.  He just didn't wake up one morning.  A volunteer fireman --- looking back, friends and family could all pick up the signs, but being too close to Billy --- they just didn't pick up on it.

Kay brought me a tote bin full of his clothes and asked me to make a quilt from them. Yikes -- all I thought was that I don't quilt well enough to do something like this.  'No seriously,  My other son just announced they are having a Baby -- I'd like a quilt for that baby from Billy's clothes.."

I put the tote bin in the dining room corner and left it there for 3 weeks.  I couldn't even open it.  I finally opened to bin and saw the different pieces she sent. I combed  through books, Pinterest-- anything I could find to get an idea of what to make.

I picked out a nine patch variation.  I also found a fire truck applique.  So for $2.50 I downloaded it.  I probably could have drawn it out, but felt like accuracy was important.

This is the bottom three rows.  It's made up of a baby blue oxford and three different plaids.  It was amazing how for the shirt fabric went. Bonnie had a tutorial on how to dismantle the shirt to make the most of it. I incorporated a solid white background.  I bought navy and white gingham for the back and binding.

There will be a row of 3 firetrucks.   The firetrucks are burgundy, from one of Billy's shirts.  It fit the theme.  There will be a single plaid row on the top.

I started cutting on Mother's day.  It was tough. Really tough. Lots of tears, tons of prayers for that family, for that Mother as the scissors cut out individual blocks. I can't even imagine her heart ache.

This is go to be a great quilt.

P.S.  I'm back -- 4 quilts left the house without even a photo.  Everyone goes through different seasons in there lives... I think I'm about to embark on a great one.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


I was ready to move onto the borders for Sunflower Gatherings.  I hadn't read ahead much.  Figured on cutting four lengths and beginning the last of the wool applique. I opened up the last package.

I purchased my kit directly from Primitive gatherings.  They are always good at giving generous portions as well as cutting tips when pattern pieces are tight.

I looked inside.  It's a pieced border. several  pieces to be sewn together.  It's really going to add to the quilt.  I guess I better get that sewing machine threaded, right?

Glue Sticks-- I baste my wool applique using Elmer's glue sticks.  I struggle with the steam -a-seam.  I've even taken a class directly from Lisa Bongean and I still struggle at making the pieces stick.  I end up losing pieces or the minute I start stitching that peel up.  The glue stick mounts the pieces well and has no impact on hand applique or machine quilting later.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Bottom Rows....

I loved Sunflower Gatherings from the minute I first saw it.  A 2014 Summer Block of the Week program, I had to have been one of the first ten people to sign up.  I was enchanted with the dragonfly. The bright colors totally went with my home.  There's nothing like getting quilt stuff in the mail. It was like Christmas once a week-- every week during the Summer.

But my son got married, My job took some twists and turns. A season changed. Christmas projects came to the front of the line.  Who wants to work on Sunflowers with 3 feet of snow on the ground?

But alas, the snow does melt. Porch sitting returns and I was ready for handwork again. I didn't want to fund a new project.  My kitchen got the extra funding this Summer.

 I want to believe that I don't quit.  It's important to me.  So I pulled out the blocks. I realized I had more not finished than I had even sewn last year.  So I got busy.

The photo is a pictures of the final rows.  I'm going to sew them together --- Now On to the the Borders....

I hear rumors...Christmas Gatherings is coming out soon.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

On the Eighth Day....

God Created Pumpkins....

I've never seen an ugly one....

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.....

The seasons are changing fast.... Autumn is in full swing.

I run my two pups daily and seldom do I come home without a leaf, an acorn, a dried branch of something.

A perfect time for quilts.  Quilts on my table, that ladder back of a chair, the foot of a bed -- Fall and quilts just go together.