Jun 30, 2012

A Jelly Roll Quilt Top

I am moving through my stack of UFOs at lightening speed these days. I have spent more time in my quilt room in the last month than I did in all of 2011. And I have had a great time playing catch up. 

At our quilt guild meeting earlier this month, one of the ladies showed a quilt that she had made from a jelly roll. I loved the look and decided that at least one of the jelly rolls in my stash needed to be made in this quick quilt method. She had taken all the strips in the jelly roll and sewn them together end to end-her "top" was now 2 1/2" long and a LOT of inches wide!! Next she folded the entire length in half, right sides together and sewed the entire strip. (When you reach the end of the seam, the fabric is folded back onto itself. You have to cut it here to open it up) The "quilt top" is now 4 1/2" long and only half the REALLY wide width it was before. Again, she folded the strip in half, right sides together and sewed, cutting the center to open the seam. Each time you do this, the quilt is twice as long as before and the width is half the size. The width of your quilt will be determined by how many strips were in your jelly roll.

When making a jelly roll quilt this way, you fold in half and sew 5 times. The first time you have two rows in your "length" and your quilt is 4 1/2" long. The second time you sew you have four rows (8 1/2") for the length. The third sewing will make your quilt 8 rows long (16 1/2"). The fourth time it is 16 rows (32 1/2") and the last time you sew, the quilt is now 64 1/2" long. 

I made a quilt top using this method the other night. It was so simple. I sewed the whole top in one sitting-it took about two and a half to three hours to complete. I also went through three bobbins!! My top is 54X64". If you wanted a larger top, a border or two would be great. The quilt that was shown at the guild meeting had 2 borders-they looked like they were 2" and 6" in width, so her quilt was probably about 70X80".

I backed my quilt in flannel and used Warm and Natural cotton batting. I did a very simple wavy stitch across each of the seams to quilt it. I used the same fabric as the backing for binding strips. 

This was a really quick and fun way to make a quilt from a jelly roll-I will be doing it again! 

Jun 24, 2012

YEAH!!! Finally Finished!

I am not sure who is more thrilled with the fact that Matthew's quilt is finally finished. I gave it to my friend Judy, who was sweet enough to quilt it for me on her longarm. Bless her heart, she was so frustrated with her machine while working on it-it kept making thread nests on the back of the quilt and breaking the thread. Not a fun way to quilt a big quilt!

Judy and I met up at our favorite quilt shop and I got the quilt back from her on Friday. Saturday morning I sewed the binding on and I spent the afternoon and evening hand stitching binding. This morning I finished the last side and sewed on the label.

This afternoon was my granddaughter, Sofie's, 4th birthday party. It was the perfect opportunity to give the quilt to Matthew. And since he is recently engaged (yeah!!) to Elise, I presented it to the two of them. And here they are with their finally finished, brand new quilt! Check this one off my UFO list!

And I had to give credit to my friends who helped me get this one finished!

Lesson learned-it doesn't matter how long it takes, finishing a quilt always feels good. Happy quilting.

Jun 16, 2012

A Sew Day with Little Girls

This weekend two of my granddaughters, Emily (7 1/2 years old) and Madison (6) are staying with us. Their older sister, Katelyn (almost 9) is with their aunt for a few days. I decided it was a good time to get out the Hello Kitty sewing machine and get some sew time in with the girls. 

I had purchased fabric to make pillowcases for the girls and decided that was an easy project for them to sew and something they would really enjoy having. They have pillowcases for birthdays and holidays-but one that they made for themselves to use any time would be really special for them. 

Here I blogged about sewing with two of my other granddaughters. And since I am an "equal opportunity Grammy" I had to give space to Emily and Madison and brag about their pillowcases. This was the first time either of them has ever sewn, but after a very quick lesson about how to use the sewing machine and a little practice on scrap fabric pieces, they were ready to sew. Both of them did an excellent job!

Emily is a "girly-girl", so her fabric has 
purses all over it in bright colors.

Madison is a dog lover, extraordinaire!
Her fabric has wiener dogs all over it. 

Jun 11, 2012

Dog Beds From Scraps

I have been trying to "go green" as much as possible.  I recycle all my glass, plastic, aluminum and newspapers. I use my own fabric shopping bags instead of plastic from the store. I also try to re-use instead of throwing away. Even when I am quilting I am thinking of the environment. Instead of throwing my fabrics scraps into the trash, I save them all in a large bag in my quilt room. I include any strip that I cut off when I am squaring up my fabric, a tiny dog ear I trim off of a half-square triangle, and that 1/2" that is left over from a strip you have cut squares from. I save it all-no piece is too small! It is amazing how fast it adds up too. I throw in little pieces of batting and even a few threads here and there. When my scrap bag is full, I stuff it all into a pillowcase or two and sew it closed. I then donate them to the humane society in my local community. It makes a great dog bed for a stray animal. They can choose to rewash or throw away when they are finished with the bed, but in the meantime, that pup had a great place to sleep at night and all it cost me was the time and energy it took to throw my scraps into a bag instead of the trash. 

Jun 6, 2012

Fireside Cozy

I am so inspired by finishing Matthew's quilt top that I decided to get out a VERY OLD UFO and finish it. I get into a lot of trouble when my friends say "let's make this quilt together" because I start out all gung-ho to make a new quilt, then something happens and I have to stop for a while or I put it aside to hurry and finish another project and then I never go back to what I was working on. In the meantime, my friend has finished her quilt and is snuggling under it on a chilly evening. 

That's exactly what happened to me with Fireside Cozy. (pattern by Whimsicals) Pam said "this will be a fun and quick quilt to make", so I was suckered right in. But before I could finish the top, my first granddaughter was born and off I went. Since my son-in-law was deployed to Iraq at the time, I decided to stay with my daughter for a month to make sure she was comfortable with being a first-time mom. When I returned home I had a lot of catching up to do around the house and day-to-day life got in the way of my returning to this project......

Fast forward from 2003 to 2012!! (It really wasn't so fast!) My granddaughter will be 9 in a couple of months and five more have followed in her footsteps. Time had come to dust this quilt off and get it finished. I had 13 more blocks that needed to be sewn-and they were already cut and half assembled-a fast finish. I made quick work of the sewing the blocks into a quilt top and adding the pieced border.

I even stopped when I got to this point and used my scraps to make a mini quilt. The border on the big quilt is made by cutting 9 1/2 X 5" brown rectangles, and 3 1/2" red and light squares. You place a square in the corner of the rectangle and sew diagonally, trim the seam to 1/4" and then press the triangle to the corner. When I did this I was left with 60 brown, 30 red and 30 light triangles. Instead of throwing them in the trash, I stitched them up, squared them to 2 1/2" and made a 12X20" quilt. It is already quilted and bound!

Now, it's back to my Fireside Cozy quilt. I need to find some fabric to back it with, get it layered and quilted. I am so excited to get this UFO finished too!

Jun 5, 2012

Twelve Old Quilt Blocks

Last year I attended a small local quilt show and bought some wonderful old quilt blocks from one of the vendors. I love old quilts. I always wonder about who made them, where they were made, if they were made to celebrate a special occasion, who has slept under them, etc. I long to know the story behind the quilt. 

I have to admit that what drew me to these blocks was that all but three of them were paper pieced on newspapers. I stood in the vendor booth and perused some of the news articles and looked with amusement at the ads. I found dates in May, October and December, 1941 on various papers. Several papers had Atlanta Journal or Atlanta Constitution on them and other papers had ads for local businesses or articles about Atlanta area events. The blocks also have the names of the makers embroidered on the front. I knew I had to have this slice of history!!

I have now put my detective daughter, Melissa, on the case. She has a membership to Ancestry.com and is doing some research on our family and so I gave her the names of the women on these quilt blocks. She is trying to find out whatever she can about them. I would love to be able to locate one of these quilters (or one of their family members) and find out the story behind the blocks-why were they made, why were they never put together into a quilt, how these women knew each other? So many unanswered questions! So far, Melissa has found out some information on one of the ladies-Mrs JC Chapman-from the 1930 census. She discovered that her first name was Grace, she was 38 and had four children. Her husband, JC, was a mail carrier. They lived on Atlanta Street in Marietta, (Cobb County) GA. That would mean that in 1941, when she made her block, she was 49 years old. It's a start!
I have plans for these blocks-I want to find out what I can about each quilter, then frame each block with glass on both sides (so that the newspaper can be read on the back-it is half the charm of the block!) and then gift them to my quilt friends and include the history that I have been able to learn with each. I would never consider removing the newspaper and assembling the quilt, so I think this is a great way to preserve the blocks and share them with others who will appreciate them. I will also include a photo of all the blocks with each gift.

The advertisements were both educational and entertaining! I thought I would share a few with you.

To prolong the life of your stockings, a nightly "luxing" with Lux will help prevent runs and even makes your stockings fit better. 

New and improved Ovaltine-"a scientific food-concentrate", promoted good health if you drank a cup each night and morning.

Crisco-fried foods are "so digestible, even children can eat 'em!"

I learned in another ad that the Dionne quintuplets have their chests and throats rubbed with Musterole at the first sign of a cold. And since the quints have always had the best of care, you can be assured of using the best product when you are using Musterole. :)

In an ad for Lane Drug Store, Doan's Kidney Pills, Sal Hepatica, and Vitalis Hair Tonic were all on sale. At Big Star Supermarket, a dozen eggs were 43 cents, a #2 can of tomatoes  were a nickel and a 1-lb can of fruit cocktail was on sale for 10 cents. In a May, 1941, Sears advertisement, boy's sports shirts were 59 cents and drop curtains for your porch, just $1.35. Murder Over New York starring Charlie Chan and Girls of the Road, starring Ann Dvorak and Helen Mack were playing at local theaters. 

Jun 2, 2012

Matt's Quilt

I feel SO good. I have finally finished Matthew's quilt top! I gave it to Judy to take home with her when she was here on Monday afternoon. In my excitement to have it finished, I forgot to take a picture of the finished top! Here is a picture with the first border on. It is on the floor in my quilt room-too big and heavy to fit on my design wall now. 

Judy has the quilt at her house now, loaded on her long arm and ready to be quilted. I can't wait to see how it looks when she is finished. We decided that a meander stitch was all the quilt needed. 

The colors of the quilt in Judy's photo are 
much more true to color than mine are! 

I will post a picture of Matthew with his quilt when it is quilted and bound. I am hoping to give it to him when he comes on Father's Day. Speaking of Matthew, he just proposed to his girlfriend on Monday night! We are so thrilled-we just love Elise and are excited to welcome her into our family.

The pattern that I used for Matthew's quilt was a free download on Andover Fabrics called Halfway Cafe. The original quilt finishes at 57X68", but I enlarged it to fit a deep queen mattress and made it 90X101".