crafts · Quilting · Quilts · sewing · Uncategorized

A Confession

I have a confession to make.

This quilt was supposed to be a wedding present.

Many years ago a childhood friend got married. I was her Matron of Honor. She had been my Maid of Honor a few years earlier.

I chose the pattern “Treasured Hearts” from the book Hearts are Forever by Four Corners, picked out the fabrics, and got started. I worked diligently but, as I was an exhausted new mother, quickly realized I would never finish the quilt in time for the wedding.

Besides, I had fallen a bit in love with the quilt and really didn’t want to part with it. Horrible, I know. What kind of friend am I?

So a new gift was chosen for the wedding, and I put the quilt away to finish when I had more time.

I wouldn’t find that time for several more years, not until long after we’d built a house, moved, and had two more children. I can’t remember exactly what year that was (I should probably label my quilts), but I have a very clear memory of being cold and working on the quilting at the kitchen table while our across-the-pond neighbor at the time was in the basement fixing our broken furnace.

Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of white fabric. I find it tends to show every single wrinkle. But I liked the white on this quilt. I chose to quilt in the ditch around each colored piece of fabric. I used a soft, green flannel, that my parents purchased an entire bolt of at a very reasonable price in Ohio’s Amish Country, for the backing. The pattern made a twin/double size quilt measuring 73″ by 87.” For now, this quilt is draped over a chair in our living room. I thought that one day, should we ever turn our kids’ bedrooms into guest rooms, I might use it on a bed. After laying it out today to take photos, I realized how much it has aged just while draped on the back of a chair. The white is less white; the colors are a bit faded. It was a reminder that everything…and not just me…is aging.

Quilting · Quilts · sewing · Uncategorized

Loving This Quilt Pattern!

I found a little time to sew yesterday and ended up with a heaping pile of blocks for the Lemon Pepper quilt. Sadly, I don’t have quite as many as I need to begin assembling the top. I hadn’t decided when I first began cutting out the strips needed for this quilt whether I was going to make the lap size or the XL lap size. I had enough fabric for the larger version, but I wasn’t certain if I wanted to go that big, as quilting a large quilt on a regular sewing machine can be quite a challenge. I just love this combo of fabrics so much, though, that I’ve decided the XL lap size is the way to go. If I find the time tomorrow, I’ll start working on the 32 blocks I still need.

Since I don’t have much progress to share on this project, I thought I’d share an older wall hanging.

This one is definitely showing its age. I can’t recall how many years ago my mom and I got together to make these–it was probably around 20 years ago, as we stopped doing much sewing together after my second child was born and definitely didn’t do much at all after the third one came along.

This little wall hanging was made of nine paper-pieced hearts. We had no actual pattern for the hanging. We pulled paper-piecing patterns from the internet and then decided how we would tie them all together.

You can really tell how long this has been hanging on the wall by the difference between the backing fabric and the sashing fabric. The front has faded significantly. I’ve found that different fabrics seem to react to light differently, which probably has something to do with how high quality the fabric was to begin with. That particular black/purple floral was most likely purchased from Joann Fabrics, as that was where I purchased most of my fabric then.

(I recall standing in line at the cutting counter FOR AGES when they’d have a big sale. I think we were able to get a yard for $1.99 or some equally ridiculous low price. Now it’s over $10/yard at the nice quilt shops! I probably sound like an old person…”Back in my day the fabric was so cheap you could get 5 yards for what you pay for 1 now!”)

This little wall hanging hangs in the guinea pig room…the room formerly known as the reading room…the room that will one day be the yoga/plant room when the guinea pigs move in with our middle daughter (their owner) when she graduates from college and moves to wherever she’s going to live. Until that time comes, my husband and I get to cater to the demands of those two tiny tyrants and get to enjoy their little wheeks, chatters, and chirps whenever she’s away at school.

Quilting · Quilts · sewing · Uncategorized

Happy Valentine’s Day

A bit over a week ago, I gave a sneak peek of a project I had in the works. I was thrilled to finally finish it yesterday, just in time to decorate our kitchen table for Valentine’s Day!

The pattern is mostly my design. Ever since I made a Celtic knotwork wall-hanging eons ago when my now 20-year-old daughter was just turning one, I’ve wanted to do another knotwork project.

(Allegedly, I am part Irish. At least family genealogical records seem to indicate this to be true. My middle daughter declared today, after seeing a selection of “Kiss me, I’m Irish” shirts on display at Meijer, that, “Everyone thinks they’re Irish.” I said, “I am.” She responded, “Where’s the DNA test proving it?” Well, gee. I guess my grandfather’s research isn’t sufficient.)


The table runner finished at 33″ by 15-3/4.” I used a pattern from the Celtic Knotwork Handbook by Sheila Sturrock for the hearts in the corners, though I changed the pattern up just a bit. The “Love” script is my design. I cut 1″ bias strips, folded them in half, and sewed them wrong sides together with a scant 1/4″ seam. The resulting tubes were then pressed on bias bars. Note: You don’t have to turn these tubes, as they are already right side out. Simply trim the seam and press flat, with the seam hidden on the “back.” (You must cut the fabric on the bias so it curves nicely. I took a class on this technique when making the wall-hanging all those years ago and our instructor incorrectly instructed us on how to cut the bias tape. We ended up with a lot of wasted fabric cut with the grain, sewn together, and pressed. It would not curve properly! There was a silver lining, though. I liked the fabric I chose the second time around much better!)

The lettering and knots were set in place on the fabric with pins, following the pattern I had traced in ink on the background fabric. Then, once everything was where I wanted it, I used small dots of Roxanne’s Glue-Baste-It (which was surprisingly still good after 20 years) to hold the letters and knots in place. I did this on my ironing board with a scrap of fabric underneath to catch any glue that might drip through. You could use a piece of cardboard or Styrofoam. Anything that you can stick a pin in will work. The letters and knots were then sewn in place with a tiny blanket stitch using clear thread.

For the quilting, I outline quilted the knots and lettering in thread matching my background fabric. I also quilted hearts in the empty space using black thread. (For these hearts, I found a pattern on Pinterest that I liked, enlarged and printed it, and pinned the pattern to the table runner to quilt around.)

I love how this project turned out!