Quilts, Denim and Thrifting… Oh, and I Finished My Cross Stitch

I’ve been working on a ton of projects but current resources are making things hard to finish anything. And when I say “resources” I am not talking about time, imagination or inspiration and generally speaking also not about fabric, thread or sewing machines.

The group of quilts that I’ve been working is based on using denim fabric harvested from old jeans. Getting my hands on really, really cheap jeans isn’t an issue. The problem I am having is that the borders I want to add to these quilts in progress I want to be seamless. And that will require the purchase of new denim fabric. And, of course, I want to use is flannel and I am finding that the necessary amount of this fabric will be quite large. I tend to find myself in this quandary quite often now that I am approaching nearly a year of unemployment. 😦

Not so long ago, I saw a comment posted on a beautiful – simple yet very functional – quilt made from old blue jeans. The comment, which I cannot seem to locate now, said something to the effect that quilts made from old jeans look like “old jeans” and therefore implied that the quilt looked ‘old and worn’. I replied saying that’s what makes these quilts so extraordinary, that they feel as great as your favorite jeans and thereby by extension, are something to be used and to feel comforted by. These words kicked off a goal of using harvested denim to make both beautiful and functional quilts. To show that your blue jeans and flannel shirts aren’t about dressing up, but about feeling good; and isn’t that what we all love about our favorite quilts?

So, let me start with sharing my method for acquiring blue jeans. It was a absolute accident that I stumbled upon this idea. If you’ve been reading or following my blog, you’ll know that I am a huge lover of thrift shops and going with my son. We just happened upon the “Last Chance” racks of clothing at Red Racks. Red Racks, I believe, are local to the Missouri, from Kansas City on the west all the way to St. Louis on the east. With a little luck, you may find your solution in your area.Fancy Line 1

Red Racks is a major source of funds for DAV. The proceeds from the sales of donated goods help our country’s Disabled American Veterans, providing assistance for transportation, medical needs, counseling, and much more. Find out more at DAV.org.

Fancy Line 1

So, Red Racks have what they call “last chance” and all items on these racks are priced at a dollar. Sometimes, they have some wonderful items (a great place to get kid’s clothes!) and often many pairs of jeans. These range from baby jeans all the way to guy’s jeans. Even at this price, you can’t beat it.

But… on Sundays the last chance has one really last chance and everything is marked to twenty five cents! Now here is a unbelievable price! And as you might suspect, items go quickly. For some reason, The Kid and I just happened to be there early and literally took every piece of denim we could find. And even at this, our giant haul was only $13!

Now, here is one thing that I discovered with working with denim. Be extremely cautious using denim with stretch. One project I am working on is using the jeans seams. However, when you add in seams with stretch, the piece becomes … curvy. Not a result that I wanted. And if not used correctly, the stretch denim can cause havoc in your quilt. I am not saying that you can’t use it, just be careful when you do. I, personally, have opted to reduce my use, if not all out stopping.

IMG_4370So, this is one of my first hauls. Either someone was watching or had the same idea as me, but it never was more than this. But this is more than enough. I was also working on collecting colored denim as an accent for these quilts, but true colored denim is hard to come by. Or maybe I should say heavy denim or colored denim without stretch.

IMG_4369In this pile, really only the top red, the blacks and browns and the bottom turquoise print are what I would call “real” denim. The others are lightweight and/or have stretch and will not use them in quilts. They may work great for making doll clothes though.

So, I’ve been able to piece together six denim quilts, four that need borders and all need flannel backings before I can ship these off to my top quilter. For those who may have missed it, I have a wonderful friend Becky, who does my 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: rebecca_collis@yahoo.com. Just let her know that I sent you!)

Here is a quilt that I stumbled onto via Pinterest. It is called “Cathedral windows” and was quite quick to put together.DSCN5208And the back:DSCN5209This is quite wonderful since it didn’t actually require top quilting… it is a ‘quilt as you go’. I love the varying shades of denim… this is one of those quilts I am working on in the concept to show just how beautiful old and faded jeans can be turned into equally beautiful quilts.DSCN5210And here, a shot of the front. Some of the squares turned out a little funky, I think I wasn’t paying quite enough attention to the flaps as I worked. I think once its gone through the washing machine once or twice.DSCN5211I’ve actually starting working on another of these quilts, starting with 10″ circles which should fold down to about 7″. Initially, I was going to use the harvested colored denim, but after assembling a few squares have determined that it is too dull. So, more investigation as to other possibilities.DSCN5212I actually did a smaller quilt with some leftover squares and ran it through the washer. This will give you an idea of how it will look:IMG_4388I did finish the binding for one more that Becky top quilted for me (there are still a ton more to finish binding!):

DSCN5214The quilt didn’t turn out quite like I hoped. The patterns of the fabrics mask the layout and you can’t quite see it for the colors.DSCN5215Oh, well, sometimes you hit a homer and sometimes it is just good for keeping the fans in the bleachers warm.DSCN5216Pretty purple backing with a nice meandering pattern.

I also finished my cross stitch of my favorite Pyrex pattern: Friendship Birds.IMG_4391I’m not thrilled with it in the hoop, can’t seem to get it taut. I am going to look into other options. Stay tuned!

Okay, that’s it for now! Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Finally Getting Around to Finishing… Some

My “To Do” is an ever changing – and growing – myriad of chores. It seems that every time I cross one thing off the list, two more get added. But I don’t have to tell you, I’m sure its the same for every one of you.

So, since I recently finished up the dollhouse, successfully started my fund raising on IndieGoGo and finished the big cross stitch, I finally feel like I am getting things done. The bad side of that is I tend to get a little too confident… and I started a couple of new quilts. Sigh.

But on the upside, I did manage to get the binding on five of the quilts that I had quilted. Seems a million years ago, just because I can’t seem to stay focused, but I have a wonderful friend Becky, who does my 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: rebecca_collis@yahoo.com. Just let her know that I sent you!)

I goofed on this quilt, first in measuring and then in cutting the backing. So I usually do a fold-over type of binding, but since I measured wrong, I had to do the reliable method of separate binding. Believe it or not I had to look up instructions, I do this so little.

DSCN5093But this binding turned out pretty good, if I say so myself. I ended up making about three times too much, but I guess I can hang on to it in case I want to do this again sometime.IMG_4311The fabric came from a stash where there were a various number of colors in the same pattern. I think it would make for a man’s quilt, as the colors are pretty muted and far, far away from any pastels!DSCN5094The back was more of the same fabric, just to use it up. You can see the great quilting pattern here!DSCN5096This quilt is one of those little challenges that I dream up for myself. I did this one a while back, so not sure if this is a charm quilt or not. There are some really beautiful fabrics in this one and would make for a great baby quilt.IMG_4312The backing is a understated green with a darker green ivy type pattern. Like I said, understated.DSCN5097This next quilt is called ‘Fire and Lightning”. Another pattern that I saw somewhere – a magazine, Pinterest or somewhere else online. Of course, I had to try it!dscn5099.jpgAgain, this would be an extremely easy pattern to do in pastels or colors to match a nursery or an quick way to spice up a living room with some color.dscn5100.jpgFantastic quilting that really pops on these colors though. Becky takes one look at my quilts and just knows what to choose.IMG_4314Love the meandering of this pattern!DSCN5101Simple red backing to keep from stealing the thunder of the colors and style.dscn5103.jpgIts funny when as much time passes as it does for me from concept to binding. I actually forget many of the quilts that I make! It makes for a fun surprise when I unpack these quilts and get ready to bind them!DSCN5103I know this one was inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest. In fact when I looked back to the original pin, it was almost the same colors!dscn5104.jpgOver the years I keep a vigilant eye on the discount fabrics and pick up fabrics on bolts to use later as backing. That is where this fabric came from.IMG_4313I am especially in love with whites… and add to a large stash whenever I can. Just makes for more interesting quilts.dscn5105.jpgNow on to my absolute favorite of my quilts: orphans. You know the ones, the extra blocks you made or did to try a pattern. I put effort into these blocks and am determined to never let these go to waste. Hence, “orphan” quilts. This is my third in recent months, the first one went to The Kid and the second one is on my bed.DSCN5105IMG_4315The back is another of my bolt purchases and goes nicely with the colors in the quilt.DSCN5107So, there you have it. I have about another ten or so to finish with binding and then I’ve got about three new denim quilts that will need borders and backing. I have one that is especially unique and am excited about finishing it and showing it here.

Thanks for stopping by! And happy quilting!

julie

An End to a Frustration

For some time I have been lamenting, investigating and wishing for a new heavy duty sewing machine that would handle all of the denim and leather that I threw at it. I love my  Singer machines, some I have had for lots of years, but they aren’t intended to be used with heavy duty fabrics. I have a couple of basic Singers and two more advanced Singers. Those machines are made for more lightweight sewing… quilting pieces and clothing. My experience sewing with denim – and especially the seams and waistbands – has been notably difficult. One project ended up with over fifty needles and I’ve broken a couple of throat plates and even broke one sewing machine!

So, after listening to his mother swear and bang my sewing table, The Kid took it upon himself to do a little investigation into my blog, Pinterest and Facebook page to figure out what I was looking for in a heavy duty machine. And this is what he went out to purchase:

img_3882I pretty much had decided that a Jonome was going to be my next purchase. It was wonderful for him to have understood what I was looking for and more specifically, what I wasn’t looking for.

Now my Singers – The XL-150, two XL-1000’s and an XL6000, are machine intended to do embroider work (as well as being sewing machines). I have invested a small fortune in the specialized embroider card disks, so I continued to purchase the same make, albeit newer models, of Singers. Its hard to make the change once you’ve invested that much in a system, but what I am finding now is that it is hard to find servicing – let alone parts – for these machines. But, oh how I love them!

There are a few things I might have changed – things that I have gotten accustomed to using the other machines – namely the option of not using a foot pedal. Was pretty used to touching the “go” button on all of my other machines, and now I have to change that behavior.

But as an aside, I have already spent the better part of twelve hours sewing together denim seams. If you are a regular reader, you know that I love to dissemble well worn blue jeans and turning the parts into new projects. And one thing I love to utilize is the leg seams on jeans.

olff-ffHere is what sewing together a lot of seams looks like:

img_3884I have to line up the edges and then have it quilted. I figure that a soft flannel backing would suffice without any batting.img_3883This thing weighs a ton, so I am hesitant to add any more weight to it. But additional quilting on it will help hold it together and hopefully be a nice finishing touch. I am thinking about using the ‘blue jean gold’ thread and then finish the edges with waistbands (which were also harvested from more than 200 pairs of jeans).

I am also working on a quilt (or two) made from more waistbands. And the bottom seams of each pant leg. I’ve got lots in the process!

But it is the new Janome machine that has allowed me to make actual progress for the first time in a long time. Thanks to my wonderful kiddo!

We don’t celebrate holidays like most other folks… it was my intention to treat everyone every day as if each day was unique and special. Can hamper this blog, as I don’t make Christmas decorations or other religious trinkets (although I have made holiday themed quilts for friends). I love that others celebrate in their own styles and traditions, and I don’t begrudge it for those who do. But I don’t wish people Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Happy Kwanzaa or whatever. But I do wish everyone a wonderful day to celebrate (or not) however you wish.

julie

Save

Quick Gift for a Special Little Girl

So, yesterday’s blog told you about a special little girl. I had remade a vanity and which her mom purchased for a Christmas gift. I mentioned that I had one other little gift for her.

You see, in only having one child – a son – I never really got to do the whole “girly” thing for a daughter. Yes, I had nieces and grandnieces, but they were all long distance and I rarely got to see them when they were growing up. I still long to do crafts in pink and its a great day when I get to meet little girls who are deserving of being so spoiled!

One afternoon, feeling a bit too much pain in my knees, I opted to do some sewing. Once I was done with my particular project, I didn’t feel much like navigating the stairs just yet, so while watching old movies, I just ‘goofed around’ with bits and pieces that I had. One such piece was this wooden cradle that I ran across somewhere. I probably picked it up when I was working on the 18″ doll furniture, but it was too small for that sized doll, so I just set it aside.

2015-11-15 16.16.12

A quick couple of coats of pink spray paint was the starting point. While making the larger doll beds and bedding, I picked up a few sets of “fancy” sheets from thrift stores, the kind with lacy and tatting edges. They make for fancy little sets of sheets, too!2015-11-15 16.14.55I started with a small piece of foam and made a ‘mattress cover’. I like this method of covers, I use it for pillow covers too, as an easy way to take them on and off for laundering. Material was left from an old mattress cover.2015-11-15 16.15.10Next came the bottom sheet. I made this like a pillow case, slip the mattress into it and fold over the excess.2015-11-15 16.15.34

Next the top sheet and pillow case. Yes, there is an itty-bitty pillow in there. 🙂 This is simply the edge of one of those thrifted ‘fancy’ top sheets. Simply cut to size and hem all edges.2015-11-15 16.15.57Now a little quilt. Having just finished a quilt top that was 3″ squares of various fabrics alternated with white, I had everything necessary to put together a quick small pieced top. Scrap batting and an a small piece of pink backing fabric and violá, the little quilt was done. A few extra pieces of pink and white squares and a little matching pillow was done as well.2015-11-15 16.17.37Tucked it all into the little cradle and its ready to go! 2015-11-14 13.46.15A quick photo in the Missouri sunshine and I’m done! Now just a matter of waiting until the original vanity is delivered so that I can present these gifts to this wonderful little girl (and her mom)!

julie

Large, Long, Medium, Small and Too Small: Let’s Talk About Scraps!

Seems some days I just cannot get inspired. Doesn’t it happen to everyone? I walk around the house and look at projects planned, started and unfinished. I make lists of work that needs to be done. I review and re-order the lists and I watch CraigsList and pick up more potential projects. I clean, re-arrange and organize. I even cleaned and organized the garage; vacuumed the carpets.

Whenever I see carpets for free on CraigsList, I try to pick ’em up. Most of the time the rugs are dirty or smell or just plain ol’ ugly. Once in a great while you get a nice one. Hasn’t happened in a long while, but you can get lucky. Anyway, I like to pick up carpets when they’re available, ’cause I like to have them on the floor in the garage. Serves a couple of purposes… 1) makes it more comfortable to stand on, 2) helps reduce the noise and 3) I can walk around in the garage without my shoes on (either barefoot or stocking-footed) – well, as long as it is kept relatively clean. I have the great shop vac that can suck the color right out of the carpets and I usually try to do it on a regular basis.

IMG_7258Okay, back to the matter at hand. Trying to get inspired. I follow several other blogs, blogs of all different crafts and ideas. Of course I do follow a couple of different quilters and quilt makers. One is currently doing a “scrap-a-long” which got me thinking about my scraps. One other website has talked about what is the smallest scrap that one would keep and use. I recently did a bunch of cutting for another quilt (see above pic) and I got a lot of new scraps. Okay, I’ll admit that maybe I cut a little so that I was able to get a decent stash of scraps. I had pretty much used up all my other scraps and the barrel was almost empty.

So, sometimes when I can’t seem to get into a groove or lack the proper inspiration, I will sew scraps. I always have 8″ and 6″ squares of muslin sitting for just such times. I set up and I can sew scraps together without ever really having to think. I watch old movies and sew to my heart’s content.

So, yesterday, I took all (4) the plastic bins and hit the sofa. I dumped everything onto the ottoman and set the four plastic boxes around me. It seemed like a never-ending supply of scraps. I finally came up with the categories: large, long, medium, small and too small. Everything that was too small went into the trash. Two movies later, I was pretty much done.

So, this morning, still in the uninspired and goal-less, I headed to my sewing room and snuggled into my position behind the sewing machine. In this situation, I’m not going to try to use the small pieces, rather, I have that set aside for a special project that I want to try.

So, four hours/2 movies later, here is what I have:

photo 1And here is my setup:

This is but a step in a direction. Now I have to cut apart all of those pieces in the chain and then get ready to do a second round of chain piecing. I am trying to be random, allowing the pieces to be put together as I pull them out of the bins, but occasionally I will substitute another color if it is too similar in color.

IMG_6475Here are the 8″ squares waiting to be trimmed, lying on the cutting table. I have a stash of these squares too numerous to be counted, but I am conservatively guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 200. I won’t start sewing these squares together any time soon, as I already have about 150 quilt tops waiting to be quilted. Technically, I guess the scrap bin will never be “finished”, but I am still on the kick to not start something new until everything started is completed. It can be difficult at times.

julie

Better Late Than Never, Right?

So based on my post last night, the orange quilt I finished up wasn’t for my friends’ – Lucien and Jenn’s – second daughter, but for their first, Maxine. Who, according to emails we exchanged today, is six and a half. That has to be a record for late baby shower gifts, six and a half years! And, much to my chagrin, never even started a second quilt for their second angel, Eloise! Wow… I know things get busy, but I gotta do better!

But, I have filled you in on the unfinished pile, right? I’m estimating that there is something like a hundred more quilts just sitting and waiting. Waiting on money mostly. 😦

DSCN3256So, I have completed two more. They were long arm stitched for me and returned. I just needed to do the binding. And sew on my little label.

2015-05-01 17.39.24First up is this green nine patch set inside framing triangles. I have this thing with color families. It really helps to reduce the fabric stash – well, not really – but I will take what I can get. I love when I get this many shades of a single color, although in quantity, some of these color would be garish and definitely clash, but in small amounts it all works.

2015-05-01 17.37.48There were a couple of centers that differed from the norm. All of my sewing machines are also embroidery machines and when I brought home the first one, I embroidered every single design. There were a couple of quilts that had quite a bit of embroidery, some have but a little. These were obviously one of the first attempts at embroidery and they came out well. And I can never throw anything like that away. So, as I was working on this quilt, I trimmed out these two blocks and included them in this quilt. Just a little something extra: a pine tree…

2015-05-01 17.40.11

…and a bow in green.2015-05-01 17.39.51And to switch the color, the final one is in red. Shades of red. It seems that red is the one color that doesn’t really range far… there is really two base shades of red; One with the underscore of blue and the other with underlying orange. If it gets too bright, its pink and it gets too dark it becomes maroon. But I think it is one of the most happy colors there is and I love it.

2015-05-01 17.38.42You see that this one is displayed on one of the two country rustic benches that I recently finished. Base construction is two twin head-boards and foot-boards, and the addition of a few boards and a seat, these benches were born. If you want to read more about it, you can read here.2015-05-01 17.36.42I tried a little different technique on the corners and while I like how the concept, I am not exactly thrilled with my execution. I definitely want to explore more options as to finishing techniques.

Most of my projects have been completed, although we have two of the antique victrola cabinets remaining and a small wood table. After that, I am going to have to start coming up with new ideas!

Ah, the weekend has arrived. Even with the fact that I am not actively working – a so called ‘9 to 5’ – the weekend holds different tasks and schedules. And it starts with sleeping in. LOL

julie

A Baby Gift When the Recipient is No Longer A Baby

By being such a prolific piecer, I tend to create quilts that take a long time to get finished. As some of you may remember, I had a huge box full of quilt tops that I had sent off to my long arm quilter (Hi Gloria!) some time ago. She had some issues with her machine (I swear I didn’t mean to break it!) but somehow in all of that, the baby that this first quilt was intended is by far no longer a baby.

A good friend and former colleague, I had made a quilt for his first daughter and she received it promptly. So even though we no longer worked together, we kept in touchish through Facebook. And when his second daughter was born, I whipped up a baby quilt complete with her name embroidered in the center. 2015-04-30 17.54.09If memory serves, I think Maxine is probably 3, maybe 4, now. But today, I finally got it completed.

2015-04-30 17.53.57 The center blocks are hearts embroidered in various shades of orange. Well, you can see that the whole quilt is a variety of shades of orange, this is the color they had picked for the nursery. And of course, the center heart has her name.

2015-04-30 17.54.40Now I just have to just have to get the address and get it sent.  I hope better late than never. Right?

The next one I finished today is this experiment with stars. It didn’t turn out bad, but it was an experiment for me and I really am not all that happy with the result.

2015-04-30 17.55.40

So many of the star points ended up being blunted with the next block. I really need to work on my technique. 2015-04-30 17.56.19

I love the colors in this quilt and I like the way that it shows brightly with the dark background.2015-04-30 17.56.24

It is really much too small for a bed quilt and much too dark for a baby’s quilt. I don’t really know what I will do with this one. I’ll have to think about this one.2015-04-30 17.56.34

2015-04-30 17.57.58Well, that about covers today’s projects. I’ve been working on creating the supplies for another project, it is great fun to sit and punch one inch circles out of paint chip cards. Does that spark intrigue?

And speaking of, the toy horse is still being worked on, slowly but surely. 🙂

julie

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.

photo 4

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 content.photo 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.

DSCN3288

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.

DSCN3284

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: rebecca_collis@yahoo.com. 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.

julie

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: rebecca_collis@yahoo.com.

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.

julie

A Quick Check In Before Working in the Garage

Just wanted to check in with everyone… The Kid and I have been busy starting a multitude of projects. The collection of furniture and projects is a never ending stream. I have a bug about the next “big one” – a project that will span a fair amount of time and cost more than most. It is a toss up between the master bedroom makeover or attempting to once more finish the attic space behind The Kid’s closet. Either way, both are slated to go done while I am taking a hiatus from work and have the time.

Today, we’re working on a couple of matching benches from head and foot boards. We also got started on my latest rescue, another five drawer dresser purchased at a local auction company. We also picked up a ton of paint chip cards, chose the color scheme for my master bedroom. Which one do you think matches best?photo 1

The Kid thinks the middle one on the right, I think the bottom on the left. I am going to leave these up for a few days, look at them in different lights.

I’ve also gotten a little further on my secret project… and it is still creeping out The Kid. 🙂

photo 2Sorry I can’t share – yet – what this is going to turn out to be! 😉

We spent most of today, though, listing eBay auctions. I also spent some time up in my quilting room, finishing up the remainder of my quilt tops: matching the fronts with the backing material.I finished up the last of my denim quilts, but need to purchase some flannel for the backing. I love the combination of recycled denim and flannel – like wearing your favorite jeans and a flannel shirt. I just went through 16 yards of dark blue flannel getting five other quilts ready. Wow!

I go in cycles, it seems, where for days, sometimes weeks, working on the same sort of projects and then suddenly due to acquiring materials, I will switch to something else. And then that, will consume my time for a few weeks. The furniture that The Kid and I work on is really to fund the other projects, so that sort of goes on all the time. At least a little bit all the time.

Come back often for updates!

julie

%d bloggers like this: