Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Woman Who Started My String Quilt

This is the woman who pieced the blocks for my string quilt. Her name was Emma Rachel Currence, and she lived 1882-1929. My husband's uncle does a lot of historical research on his family, and he emailed me quite a bit of information about her. That gives my string quilt even more sentimental value for me. My husband inherited her dark brown eyes. Thank you, Emma!


PS: Since I was born in 1962, she is *only* 80 years older than me. Seems like 1882 was a lot longer ago than that :)

Pattern Needed

I'd really like to make a Valentine's Day quilt for my kitchen. The walls in there are dark red, so anything red and white would be lovely. Do you have a heart quilt pattern that finishes at about 44" square that you can share? I've seen a couple I like, but they aren't the right size, and I don't want to fiddle with the designs. I like scrappy quilts, and I want something with hearts for this one. If you have a design or pattern, I'd like to see it.

The picture above is part of a 28" floor pillow I made for our living room. I machine quilted "olives" on it. Why? Because it's a heart pillow...olive you??

Thanks in advance!


Friday, January 25, 2008

Starting Quilting on Carolina Crossroads

Close, closer, closest! This is my Little Gracie frame. I have a 1930 Singer cast iron commercial darning sewing machine with which to quilt. I'd call it a "medium" arm. It's much longer than a regular domestic machine, but nowhere near a long arm. I paid about $300 for it; I've had the set for a couple years. All I do is meandering and some times add loops, hearts, stars, etc. Because of my sewing machine's foot, I can't do anything fancy. It tends to snag on a thick seam, which requires constant watching by yours truly. It still beats wrestling with a quilt on my domestic machine (which I still do sometimes if I want fancier quilting).

I got this loaded and about 1/5 quilted this AM. Off to violin lessons...perhaps I can add another pass or two tonight.

I didn't think to take a pic of my CC with borders. I did a scrappy cream 1" finished border, then a 5" unfinished of the same black with caramel flecks as my sashing strips. I am very pleased with it. The solid fabric border calms down the busy-ness of the center. I'm quilting with a mildly variegated gold/cream/peachish thread. So far, so good!


String Quilt Update ~ Nearly Half Finished

Here are some pictures from this morning of my antique string quilt. The above picture shows the hand-drawn and stitched Baptist fans on one corner. I started quilting the blocks from the other end of the quilt, so this entire half of blocks is as yet unquilted in case you were wondering.

In my mind I have 4 sections of this quilt...the fan border, the sashing, the blocks, and the binding. Four areas that need completion. The fan border is about 1/4 finished. This picture was taken from light coming in the window to the left. It seems to show the fans well.

Because I've been dragging this quilt all over town, the edges of the batting and backing were getting, well, nasty. So I put the binding on yesterday and trimmed it. I then started hand sewing it down. It's about half finished.

Here (above) you see a close-up of one block. The bright yellow basting thread is still in there. I am quilting 3 large X's in the sashing and one in the cornerstone. Most of the fabrics in this quilt are solids, plaids, and stripes. In spite of the pink used, it has a masculine look to it.

Here the quilt is folded in half and draped over the back of the sofa. All in the picture (except the borders) is quilted. I am very pleased with the progress. I sat in the mechanic's waiting room for more than 3 hours on Monday and in the laundromat on Tuesday, so that *helped*, LOL!

An hour of violin lessons today, so that's another hour of hand quilting! One of the things I like so much about hand quilting on a piece like this is the opportunity to see each and every fabric up close and personal.

Have a great day!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Preparing for Pay It Forward

I just want you to have a chance to prepare...mentally. I signed up on Tazzie's blog for her "Pay It Forward" giveaway and challenge. Within 6 months, she will send me a gift. When she does, I'll post on my blog and get 3 lucky (?) winners that I will send a gift to, which will definitely be something quilty. I'm starting to work on my gifts now.

I'm sure I don't have that many readers, so every person's chances to win are that much greater!

If you've "paid it forward", could you send me a link or pic so I can see what your gifts were? I don't want to overdo it, but I don't want to be a cheapskate either.

Also, have any of you watched the movie "Pay It Forward"? If so, please send me a review.

That's all for today. Stay tuned...


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Valentine's Day Runner

Here's a little table runner I pieced tonight. I thought it looked like 2 rows of hearts with the points touching in the middle. I listed it on eBay. It's a little small for our table for 10. I just had the urge to piece something quick. I want to start listing some kits and yardage (Thimbleberries) on eBay, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

The maiden voyage for the washer was our most recently completed I Spy quilt top. It was the one with the dwirling quilting. So I'm adding that to my finished projects list. We have two friends who are due any time now, so two new I Spy quilts will be leaving our little nest. We have three more under way. They are great first projects for my children to sew.

even hand sewed the binding down on the dwirling one (since she pieced it). She really persevered, even when she no longer thought it was fun. She worked on hers while I was doing some hand quilting on the string quilt. Good Mommy/9-year-old bonding time.


Some Folks Watch TV?

I'd rather watch our new washer! I think this was a one-time deal. We do so much laundry. I just checked in occasionally during the initial cycle to make sure all was well. It wasn't really that interesting! But I am grateful to be able to come out to my sewing machine and piece while laundry was being processed instead of hanging out at the laundromat!

~Joan, who is counting the new washer amongst her blessings for today

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Apple Core Eye Candy

The above is a *NEW* UFO of mine. That makes it sound not-so-bad, you know? It's an apple core quilt. I'm hand piecing it because of the curved seams. I'd like to make it a charm quilt, but time will tell on that one. It's about 12" x 15" now.

The main reason I'm posting this picture is because I've met another kindred spirit. Julie wrote me about our Carolina Crossroads quilts and their similarities. After looking at her blog, I see that we enjoy the same quilts very much. What a great benefit of blogging. Finding kindred spirits!

Today has been drive and sit, drive and sit. But it's been good. I hand quilted an entire block and a little more while at the laundromat. I was thanking the Lord that it wasn't crowded...that makes me nervous. Turned out that the only other customer there was a church friend from up the street! PTL!

Our washer died a slow, noisy, and painful-sounding death this weekend. Whew--when it was spinning, it sounded like a 747 revving up for take-off! But thank God, we were able to purchase a new washer today for about half of what we expected it to cost. God is so good to us, even when we're having a bad day. Thankful today for a new washer!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kids' Christmas Picture 2007 ~ Taken Today

You read that right. This is the 2007 Christmas picture of my other great children. They are 18 down to 8 years old. This was taken today.

We are late in getting out our annual "between the holidays" newsletter out for this past year. So I guess we just change the "holidays" from Thanksgiving and Christmas to Martin Luther King Day and Valentine's Day!

I'm getting a lot of hand quilting finished on my string quilt. Back upstairs to mark and quilt more Baptist fans.