Another Collis Country Quilting Quilt: Zig, Don’t Zag

The second of the two quilts shipped off to my new long-arm quilter is finished. If you missed yesterday’s post, I wrote about a very talented woman who is now quilting my quilts. She is not exactly local, but close enough that I should be able to deliver a sizable stack of quilt tops ready to be quilted. I had previously sent her two randomly chosen quilt tops from my considerable stack as a sort of trial and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Somehow, out of the hefty stack, I managed to choose two of the largest quilts I made. Or maybe all my quilts are larger than I remember. At least shows that Becky can handle even the largest quilts. I’ve completed so many quilt tops, that by the time I get around getting them shipped off to be quilted and they return, it is like having brand new quilts. It is quite a nice surprise.

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So, here it is, spread out on the guest bedroom waiting for binding. This one is larger than the last, so much so that I think it is close to king sized. I rarely pay attention to the sizes as I am creating quilt tops, rather just sew to my heart’s 2Isn’t this beautiful quilting? I love the way that Becky quilts right up to the edge. Oh and did I mention that she actually bastes right at the edge before quilting? Makes the quilting lay so nice and flat. And after the first washing, the quilt takes on that puffy look, which I fell in love with when I saw my very first handmade quilt.


I tried to get some close up photos so that you could see the beauty in her quilting. And so that you can see the details in the fabrics that I used. I have a whole collection of fabrics that I continuously add to so that I can make “I Spy” quilts. You can see some of those fabrics in this quilt.DSCN3286I don’t recall where I saw this design but it was easy enough to do. I am pleased with the wide border, to set of the white zig zags.


Lots of bright colors and cheery fabrics:DSCN3289 DSCN3290

And there it is in all of its glory! Its funny, but The Kid has called ‘dibs’ on this quilt. Funny enough, though, he calls ‘dibs’ on most of my quilts! If I actually gave him every quilt he called dibs, he’d be sleeping under thirty or forty!DSCN3285I can’t say enough good things about Becky and her services. In case you missed yesterday’s post, I am trying out a new longarm service, Collis Country Quilting. If you’re interested in contacting Becky, you can reach here on her Facebook page: Collis Country Quilting. She can also be reached via email at: Just let her know that I sent you! She is working to build up a client base, which is kind of funny, because as word gets out about how good she is, she probably won’t have time to do my quilts! Ha!

Still working on completing everything that’s already been started (before beginning anything new), but I’ve managed to sell my last furniture piece. I need to get a few more of the garage furniture completed next. I picked up a few new pieces over the last couple of weeks, so tomorrow we start banging out those projects.


My New Longarm Quilter! Meet Collis Country Quilting

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I am an avid quilter. Well, I suppose it might be accurate to call me a ‘quilt piecer’, as I have really only actually done “quilting” on a single quilt. When my daughter-in-law was pregnant with her first baby – a girl – I made her a quilt. I found out that she was pregnant and that they were decorating their baby girl’s nursery in red and white. I pieced the top in a weekend and then furiously spent the next six months hand quilting it. I got it done just in time for Elisabeth’s birth. After that, I knew I wasn’t cut out for being a hand quilter.

Funny thing is, I had attempted to do quilting using my sewing machine a few times, but never could make it go the way I wanted. And then I have to sit and carefully pluck the stitches out and then find someone else to quilt it for me. I did tie a couple of quilts, even went so far as to “tie” a quilt and stitch beads into each section, but knew that the beads would soon be lost during use. Then I saw the ad in the back of a quilt magazine.

I “met” Gloria through that ad. And a virtual relationship started. Gloria has quilted so many quilts for me, that I couldn’t keep track. I am guessing somewhere in the three- to four hundred range. If memory serves, she had just gotten her long arm and wanted to try out some new patterns. In all of those quilts, maybe – maybe – I specified a pattern or thread color a half a dozen times. Otherwise, I let her experiment to her heart’s content. I would box up ten to fifteen quilts and send them off and two to three at a time they would come back. She has always done above excellent work for me. There literally has NEVER been a quilt that she completed for me that I didn’t outright LOVE.

I remember that when I moved from California to Missouri, I shipped her an extra large box of quilts… why drag them to Missouri just to send them to her? And then they came back to me done.

About a year or so ago, I managed to break her machine. I take full responsibility for it too. She had quilted a couple of denim quilts – recycled jeans, seams and all – but I recall her tell me just how difficult that it was to quilt. I recalled those quilts being hard on my own sewing machine, sometimes you get two or more seams stacked up and the needle just doesn’t want to go through it. Bam! Broken needle. Or broken throat plate. And it would throw the machine out of whack.

Well, it seems that one of my denim quilts really did a number on her machine. So much so, that she decided it was time to hang up her quilting needle for good. It was heartbreaking to lose her expertise and the quality she gave me in finishing my quilts for me. We’ve become Facebook buddies and share comments and a small part of our lives with each other. She did a great job getting a friend of hers to finish the remainder of the quilts that I had sent – sans the denim quilts. I had hoped to find someone more ‘local’ though, do you have any idea what a large quilt costs to mail? And multiply that many times over and it would seem that I am supporting USPS more than I should!

Recently, I wrote a blog about uncovering unquilted tops. Counted 53 that still need to be finished. And with my steady work to complete all started projects before I start anything else, I have added another eight plus six denim quilts.

Which brings me to Collis Country Quilting. When I wrote about all of my unfinished quilts, she made a comment to me about getting them done. Seems that she is in the vicinity of Kansas City, but still a little ways south. She is relatively new to her long arm, and after a year of practice of her own and family members… she was ready to take on more customers.

I picked out two quilts and shipped them off to Becky. She is great about communicating, she let me know that she had received them. And she sent me updates as she worked on them. This was sent when the quilt was on the frame:

01e3684c08dfadb21006aac0c79acd2e76cc634943Next was the photo of the quilt finished. There is just some magical about the transformation of a quilt once the quilting is done.IMG_0049Yesterday, I finally got to completing the binding. It came together easily. Finished in about an hour or so, and considering just how big this quilt is, that’s quick!

It was returned and then rested for a while on the guest bedroom bed. You can get a glimpse of the quilting pattern here:

2015-04-06 14.55.36I’m guessing about a full sized quilt, albeit an extra long one. It is a simple quilt, just plain ol’ pinwheels around a larger pinwheel medallion in the center.2015-04-06 14.55.08So, a few more shots of the quilt and its quilting:

2015-04-07 13.38.032015-04-07 13.39.16Here you can see the quilting on the center medallion: 2015-04-06 14.55.44I used the same material in the medallion as well as the edge setting triangles and the backing. I love the way this quilt turned out!

2015-04-07 13.39.25If you’re interested in contacting Becky, you can reach here on her Facebook page: Collis Country Quilting. She can also be reached via email at:

I have one more to get done and then I am caught up. At least in the quilts department! I’ve have a few things in the garage that are calling for attention, though.


Started A Hundred Things… But Getting Nothing Completed!

Ever have one of those days or weeks or maybe even months? Ever since I’ve been back from vacation, it seems that I have been having the hardest time keeping on track to completing projects.

Lots of things started… between the new furniture pieces and my quilting, it would seem that I have a hundred irons in the fire. But there seems to be so many things preventing me from getting the projects completed.

So, first up is the blonde bedroom set we picked up about a hundred years ago (it sure seems like it!!). We had a chest of drawers, a dresser with a mirror and a head- and foot-board. All was in pretty good shape with the exception of a missing drawer and another drawer broken (but it at least had the drawer front). In trying to determine if we could recreate the missing drawer (we had taken the head and foot boards for just that purpose), we determined that it would be too much work. So, we’re going to cut the dresser in half, going from a six drawer to a three drawer unit.

2015-03-02 17.37.32While The Kid works on that, I have taken the other drawers and chests and head- and foot-boards and given everything a nice sanding and patched holes and gouges. It is really a very nice set, well built. I remember my parent’s having a similar set, I would place it sometime in the 50’s, when blonde furniture was all the rage.

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Here’s the headboard… I think this is going to be finished in pinks, they seem to sell well. I think the wood corner pieces will be one color and the remainder of the drawer a lighter color.2015-03-02 17.38.20In addition to this piece of furniture, we have a three drawer dresser with a different feature. Originally, there was a large slab of granite on top, which had broke. We’ve fit the top with a bottom and then it will have a clear plastic top, in essence creating a narrow shadow box. I think it will also be the pale pink, and for photos I am going to use doll clothes or something to show off the use of it. I think that this will sell quite quickly.

One more piece that we’re working on is a media cabinet that will become just a three drawer dresser. I really like this one, mostly because it was made using mostly wood and not a lot of that junk fiberboard. We’re going to cut at the top of the inside drawer and once again, sand, detail and paint it. This might be a more neutral color, perhaps white.2015-03-02 17.37.57Oh, what else? I feel like I’ve been so lax in writing lately, and that there is so much to get caught up. Let me show you a couple of pics of the garage:

2015-03-06 18.44.29 2015-03-06 18.44.19Oh yes, I won two sets of headboards and footboards from an online auction place, we’re going to use them to make those cute little bench seats. The last one I did sold very quickly and had a lot of interest and was so easy to put together. You can see them in the photo above to the very left.

At least the weather has been very nice the last few days. Which was great timing since we just ran out of kerosene for our garage heater!

In the house, I have a couple more projects in the works. Of course, you all know about the cross stitch. I suppose you are all just sick of hearing about that! I warned you!

But I also started digging through the junk in my home office recently. You all know that at times I will get frustrated with a mess and will stop working just to get things organized. Well, my home office had finally reached mission critical!

I have two boxes of the stuff that I take to my “real” jobs… the kind of things that make computer work just that much nicer. For instance, I have a custom keyboard and mouse, photos of The Kid, my own pens and markers and calligraphy pens. When I finish a job, I just throw the stuff into a box and wait for the next job. But they’ve started to drive me crazy, as once there is one or two boxes, they seem to just invite more clutter.

One of the things I had under all that clutter were my Lego Mini-Figs. If you are not a Lego fan, just do a Google search on the words “Lego Mini-Figs” and you will see what I mean. Along with PEZ dispensers, it is one of those things that The Kid and I collect together. He plays with his, mine are meant to be showcased.

So, now that I had a decent amount, I started to work on putting them into a shadow box. I ordered black 2×2 blocks for the mini-figs to “stand” on and once they arrived, I started working on the layout. Ever notice that when you’re anxiously awaiting the delivery of something it seems to take so much longer than it should?!

2015-03-06 18.44.57I’ll give you an update when I get closer to being done.

Another collection: cut glass crystal. I found that I had some pieces without lids and some lids without bottoms. So, now I’ve begun this whole other search to find mates for these pieces. Yeah, like I don’t have enough to do already. <<Sigh>>

2015-03-06 18.44.48I did manage to find the right pieces, though, for another small cake/cupcake tray. That ostensibly was the reason for looking for doomed lids, in order to create these small cake/cupcake plates. But I don’t really need a reason. Now do I?2015-03-06 18.45.07And of course, the faux stained glass jars. I’ve done quite a few of these, and because we tend to find these bottles when we’re out abandoned house hunting, it is fun to turn them into night lights or ambient lighting. I thought I would do one in shades of pink. Offer it up when someone buys the furniture pieces we’re doing in the ombré style using pink. I like it even more with the micro-glitter with the faux stained glass.

Another development on the quilting front. I am a pretty prolific quilter but recently the woman who does the longarm quilting for me, my friend Gloria, opted to retire from providing this service to me. I’ve been doing some searching and also some investigative work into whether I might just invest in a longarm machine and do the quilting myself. I pulled together all the incomplete quilt tops that I could find and I have just over 50 tops (with their matching backs) ready to be quilted. This doesn’t include 6 denim quilts that are a special challenge. And today, I uncovered a bunch (maybe as many as 20) of tops that don’t have their backs prepared yet. And I know that I have blocks cut for probably another dozen or so.

Okay, so, I think I found a young lady kind of local who I am going to take for a test drive. I’ve sent her two fairly large quilt tops and backs and given her carte blanche to do what she wants with them. If it works out – and she does seem to have the most infectious energy! – then I am going to drive down and meet her, delivering to her another 50! (Hi Becky!!) I have such good feelings about this.

Whew! After almost nothing from me for weeks, I think I might have gone a little overboard! Ha! Feast or famine! I will try to do better about providing more consistent updates.

Oh, one more thing and then I will be done. Promise. One of the cut glass crystal pieces that I found and bought was for trifles or layered meat dishes. I had always thought they were called “truffles” but I am wrong. I have a recipe for a potato and roast beef thing, but of course, I started with a trifle. Oreo Cookie Trifle.

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This has Oreo cookies, vanilla cream, crushed Oreo cookies, whipped cream, mini Oreo cookies and an Oreo cookie crust bottom. This should probably be called “Death By Oreo Cookies” or something. My blood sugar is rising just thinking about cutting into it!!2015-03-06 18.26.05Thanks for dropping by!


Uh Oh, I Think I’m In Trouble Here

So, when I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I tend to stop creating and start cleaning and organizing. Yesterday was no different. I am a bit overwhelmed in the garage – to the point where I can now not get my car OUT of the garage. Sigh.

Also, my home office was rife with clutter, to the point where I couldn’t hardly get to any of the computers. Much less sit down and try to be productive.

So, out came the organizing bins and with that, the ‘attic closet’ that I store them in had to be organized so that I could get empty ones out and full ones back in. We started there. Pretty much pulled everything out of the ‘attic’ and made quick decisions on what could be kept and re-stored and what could be donated or thrown away.

With much of that done, I had the boxes I needed to work on the office. All the empty boxes that had been collected in my office were sorted by which ones needed to be kept (and organized in a container) the ones that no longer needed were broke down and readied for recycling. That was pretty easy. Carried the containers up to the ‘attic’.

Next came putting everything back into the attic storage (quick definition, the ‘attic storage’ is not actually the attic, but space behind the closet in the guest bedroom. It feels like an ‘attic’ because it is unfinished and cold, but the real attic is a floor up.)

We had a pretty large pile to be donated and that went into the truck for the next trip. The containers all went back in nicely organized by size. But then the brakes were hit!photo 4

Quite a few months ago, I organized the quilt tops that had been finished and awaiting quilting. I sent one large box off to my friend Gloria for quilting and set the other box back into the guest bedroom closet (closet, not the ‘attic storage’). I really had thought that there was only one box left. I really felt like I was making a dent in getting quilts quilted and then bound and completed.

In yesterday’s flurry of organization, more boxes were uncovered. First it was one. I sighed. Then another was uncovered (it began to feel more and more like an excavation). I called The Kid over. We removed more boxes and there was number three and four. Holy cow!

I also took one box and loaded into it all the denim quilts awaiting the discovery of someone who is willing to take them on. I think I broke Gloria’s machine with one of the last denim quilts she quilted. 😦 For this I feel really 2

So, I moved all of these boxes into my sewing room. I have to figure out something. And until I do, I cannot – CANNOT – start any more. This is nuts! I also have a large armoire in the guest bedroom which was my baby’s storage in his nursery. It stores TONS of quilts. It is now pretty full. And another dozen or so finished (at least they are finished!!) are sitting on top of the guest bed. I suppose this is where I am grateful that I don’t often have guests!!

I am planphoto 5ning on counting all the unfinished quilts which should allow me to do some math. I am beginning to believe that I could invest in my own long arm machine and would be cheaper in the long run than paying someone else to do it.

Oh, by the way, I did some searching on the internet to find someone to hand quilt my rescued quilt top and I found one woman who priced a queen sized quilt at $15,000. No, there isn’t too many zeroes or any typos. Good grief… if I thought I could get someone to pay me those kinds of numbers, I would totally do it! I can’t imagine! Can you?

I am hesitant to even mention the dozen or more quilts that are already in process… I’ve either cut for blocks or have the blocks and just need to assemble. I am so overwhelmed by all of this that I have decided to go watch a movie and do more cross stitch. Right?!?!


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