MY BLUEBERRY DAYS QUILT

MY BLUEBERRY DAYS QUILT
My Blueberry Days quilt photographed at Colonial Pemaquid, Maine

In August 2020 I gathered together all kinds of blue and white scraps. I wanted to make a blue and white “snowball” quilt. I just put the last stitch into the binding. My blueberry days quilt is complete!

Prepping The pieces

I used this pattern for size and cutting instructions. I put my top together in rows instead of blocks of four snowballs.

According to my notes, I cut 224 (6.5″) blue blocks, and 896 (2.5″) white squares for a total of 224 snowballs.

I sorted and cut all the needed supplies here in Aug. and early Sept. of 2020 to take to Maine with me. All the fabric was scraps from my overflowing scrap bins.

Blue and white fabrics from the scrap bin
Blue and white fabrics from the scrap bin

Marking the diagonal line on the white squares was easy. Use a sharp pencil and small ruler. For the ruler I used a 4″ square for rotary cutting. I marked these while watching old movies over several evenings.

Sewing in Maine

We set up sewing at CL’s house in 2020. My first project was to sew the corners on all the 224 blue squares. After that, I trimmed the white portion and ironed the blocks. I love not dealing with the bias on triangles and have gone to using this method when possible.

MY BLUEBERRY DAYS QUILT

Once the ironing was done, it was time to sew the snowballs together. There are 16 rows of 14 snowballs.

Top is complete except for outer border
Top is complete except for outer border

The white inner border was cut 2″ wide. The outer border was cut 6″ wide. The outer border is a blueberry fabric I purchased on a previous trip to Maine.

I had to add the outer border once back home in Indiana since I did not pack it for the trip.

My Blueberry Day quilt  with borders
My Blueberry Day quilt with borders

The finished size is: 94″ x 112″.

My Blueberry Days quilt was machine quilted in January 2021 by RLM. The design is stippling.

I finally finished the blue binding last week. It was not on the list you saw of projects I wanted to finish before the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt starts next month. However, I only had about three foot of it left to hand sew down. And it was on the top of the UFO pile.

Another project done!

Complete!
Complete!

My Thoughts:

Find a UFO and complete it. For an uplifting feeling of “yippee”, pick something that is almost complete and finish it. We all need the good feeling that comes from a completed job well done.

If you are looking for an easy project that could be made into a table runner, or any size quilt then this is the pattern for you. It looks great planned or scrap.

Wishing my readers a great week.

Happy quilting.

Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books

09/2021 Perkins Cove, ME - Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
09/2021 Perkins Cove, ME

People ask me what I do while in Maine each year on vacation. Well truthfully – not a lot. When the kids were home, vacations involved activities and places the kids would enjoy. However, now that vacation is solo, my vacation is about quilting, relaxation, and used books.

Before the question comes up “why do you vacation solo?”, let me answer it. Hubby does not like to travel anymore, and I still do. So he enjoys the quiet time at home to work on his own projects while I go on vacation. It works well for both of us, and gives us both much needed quiet time.

Quilting Projects during vacation:

This year has been a bust when it comes to quilting projects. The first six months were spent recouping from a shoulder injury. Then in July I injured my wrist and was in a brace for several weeks. Injuries like this seriously interfere with anything quilting, especially when it is the dominate arm.

So this vacation I packed fabrics for a few simple wall hangings, and already cut pieces to work on components of other quilts. Actually, I feel like the time was well spent.

Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell
9/2021 – The size now is 29.5″. The four center blocks is a panel of painting by Norman Rockwell named “Four Freedoms”
Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021 – Another fabric panel with borders I added. Size: 31″ x 50″.
This fun spool fabric looks a lot like my spool drawer at home.
9/2021 – This fun spool fabric looks a lot like my spool drawer at home. Size: 41.5″ square.

Component parts for other quilts:

This bag of several hundred 3″ squares turned into a pile of 100 nine patch blocks.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021: 3″ squares from scraps
100 nine patch blocks
100 nine patch blocks

An uncounted pile of “fallish” looking HST turned into many Flying Geese.

Completed Flying Geese
Completed Flying Geese
Finished size: 4.5" x 8.5"
Finished size: 4.5″ x 8.5″

These red, white, and blue HST and squares will eventually become small Friendship Stars.

Red and white HST
Red and white HST
Blue and white HST and squares
Blue and white HST and squares
Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
More parts for Friendships Stars

And 2 other projects:

Pumpkin Spice has been in the works for several years. It has become one of my more ignored projects. I like to applique, but it is time consuming to prep for. However, I got three plus part of another pumpkin hand appliqued over vacation. I may or may not decide to add some leaves.

Pumpkin Spice wall hanging
Pumpkin Spice wall hanging

I love to do counted cross stitch, but it is time consuming which hinders me from doing much of it. Plus I have to work totally uninterrupted so I don’t loose count. But my evenings in the hotel on the coast were perfect for this.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
Maine sampler

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books

My vacations would not be complete without spending time (and $$) getting used books. Or reading and enjoying time by the ocean and lighthouses. After all, my vacation is all about quilting, relaxation, and used books.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021 – Riding the ferry away from Isleboro
Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
9/2021 – One small area of Two Brothers Books, Freeport, ME

I work hard for 50 weeks a year to have two weeks to relax, and just enjoy a slower and no stress time. Maybe my vacation does not appeal to many others, that is ok. But I really do think some down time in our busy, stressful world is good for all of us.

And yes, I did hit several used books stores this year. I ended up mailing home two boxes of books. Mailing books is cheap, and why should I hassle around with the weight and space constraints? It is less stress to just send them.

Quilters, please take some time to just do quilting and relaxing. And if you happen to see me in a used book store, hopefully we will be finding some fun quilting (and other topic books) that appeal to us.

Quilting, Relaxation, and Used Books
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

SHOWING OFF QUILTS

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Four quilts on a wooden fence

Quilters love to show off quilts to anyone who will stop long enough to look – we are just like that. Yep, we are show-offs, at least when it comes to our quilts. I thought that starting off this week by showing off quilts would be a great way to deal with Monday.

A sampler quilt
A sampler quilt

All these photos were taken in June 1995 in Montana. A co-worker allowed me to “borrow” the old barn and wooden fence on her family farm for a personal quilt show.

Dresden Plate made from my Grandma's real feed sacking
Dresden Plate made from my Grandma’s real feed sacking

I like doing my own outside personal quilt shows. It is fun to see them hanging outside in natural light. Plus the different surroundings make them look very different from being on a bed or wall.

Hand quilted fabric panel
Hand quilted fabric panel

Supplies to do this are minimal:

  • Permission if private property
  • Some sort of rope or thick string
  • Clothespins
  • Tacks
  • Small hammer
  • Pliers to pull out tacks
  • Dry weather that is partly sunny seems to be the best for lighting
SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Basket quilt

When people tell me they do not have time to quilt, I nod. However, in my head I am saying “really?”. In 1995 when these photos were taken, I had:

  • children under 12
  • was homeschooling said children
  • working 30 hours a week in town
  • being a loving wife and mom
  • raising a large vegie garden
  • getting 4 – 5 hours of sleep nightly
Quilts on the side of an old barn
Quilts on the side of an old barn

Honestly, we make time for what is important to us. And what is important probably changes over time.

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Another scrap triangle quilt with lots of small triangles

I make no claims at being “Super Woman”, but I do like to make my time count. At the end of the day, I need to know that something good was accomplished. I work because I have bills to pay and groceries to buy. But creating is how I feed my soul. Quilting gives me joy.

Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts
Christmas Sampler, Ocean Wave, and 9 Patch Basket Weave quilts

Just Do It

If quilting is what makes me happy and “fulfilled” I will make time in my crazy schedule somehow. Even if some days there is only 15 minutes crammed in before I go to work, I will make it fit.

Flying Geese, and Friendship Star
Flying Geese, and Friendship Star

My totally unsolicited opinion is to please look at your own daily schedule. Make a list, and see where changes can be made so there is more time to quilt.

  • Can daily “chores” be moved around for better time management?
  • What can be gotten rid of completely?
  • Are there items that suck time from your day with no visible benefit?
  • Activities that absolutely have to be done?
  • Can you utilize some time saving gadgets or techniques to gain a few more minutes as you go through the day?
  • Is multi-tasking of “chores” possible?
  • What could or should be done by someone else in the home?
  • How can you stop phone or other interruptions?
SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Dutchman’s Puzzle

I felt guilty, or allowed others to make me feel guilty, because I “selfishly” took time out of my crazy days to do something that I enjoyed. Then my grandma reminded me that if I am happy I will make a happy home.

And I wanted, and want a happy home. Not perfect, but happy.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones” Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)

Dutchman's Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler
Dutchman’s Puzzle, Tumbler, Sampler

So embrace your quilting. Let it bring joy into your life. And when you get a chance, show off those quilts.

Just for fun

Here is a real outdoors quilt show in Montana. Lots of beautiful quilts made by wonderful quilters. So inspiring to be able to see all these quilts and the mountains at the same time.

SHOWING OFF QUILTS
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

THE FUSSY CUT BARNYARD QUILT

THE FUSSY CUT BARNYARD QUILT

Sometimes it is fun to walk through the memory lane of quilts and old projects. I recently found my photos of this one, “The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt” and thought I would share.

Can you say baa, oink, or moo? When I made this quilt back in 1996-97, I still had a small child at home who thought making animal sounds was great fun.

Some day I will show off my quilt scrapbooks here, but for now let me just say it has been fun to look at them and remember. With my wrist still in a brace, my hand quilting has been a non-happening thing lately. Thankfully therapy is helping, but there is a long way to go.

The Fussy Cut Barnyard Quilt…..

Once upon a time I had a yard of fabric that had primitive farm animals printed on it. You know – horses, cows, pigs, and sheep. They were spaced far enough apart that I could fussy cut them out.

One fine spring day my young daughter ran around the house and yard making farm animal sounds at the top of her lungs. Her brother tried to interest her in quieter, calmer things but she was not going for it.

I had been “playing” with several fabrics to try out fussy cutting. On this day, I was inspired to involve my noisy daughter into “helping” me make this piece of fabric into a quilt.

I measured and cut, daughter gathered the pieces up and laid them out on the floor of the living room. She made the correct animal noise for each block as she went along.

Her brother picked out the fabrics to frame each animal. I sewed, he ironed, and she finally fell asleep on the floor under the table with the sewing machine on it.

Brother and I got the top together during the nap of a now quiet little sister. She woke up just as the last rows of blocks were being sewn together. I decided that no border was necessary. Top was done.

Now to hand quilt it…

I should have just machine quilted this and been done, but I thought it would be fun to hand quilt. Why you ask? I can honestly say I have no idea.

Somehow, I came to the decision that the “Baptist Fan” would look great on this. The design looked great when complete, but marking it was awful. It seemed like every area of the quilt needed some different color of marking pencil.

The joy of putting in the last quilting stitch on this quilt !

The finished size was 31″ x 47″.

No wool batting for this quilt. Instead I used what was on hand – a left-over section of polyester batting. The binding was just a plain black cotton solid fabric.

By now, daughter had lost interest in farm animals and the sounds they make.

Complete…

I entered it in the local fair that summer. The quilt got second place with many comments about how “original” it was.

The Barnyard quilt made rare appearances at other quilt shows, and on my walls at home.

The quilt guild I belonged to was raffling quilted items off in 2002 to help a local organization. This fun quilt still looked new, and I added it to the pile of items that were being raffled. It was time for the quilt to go live at another home that would appreciate it.

Barnyard quilt completed.

Thoughts on donating…

As you read through this blog and my old one, you will discover that I truly believe quilts and quilting can be helpful in our own corner of the world. There are so many people who can use quilts.

The donated quilts do not need to be beautiful, or even bed size. They should be well made. Many people associate quilts with comfort, happy memories, or family.

For veterans, babies, or children, quilts are especially appreciated. Check around your own community: homeless shelters, veterans clinics, adoption agencies, crisis pregnancy centers, kindergartens, etc.

Donated quilts can be simple designs. Generally machine quilting or tied with yarn is acceptable.

If you prefer to make something more time consuming or involved, then an organization that is doing an auction or raffle may be the place to donate.

Most quilters I know say they have too many quilts, or too much fabric to use themselves. This is the way to give back.

Any day spent sewing....
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

Currently, I have no need of fabric, threads, or quilting gadgets. But I love books. Would you believe me if I stated that these quilting books followed me home?

Let me tell you about these 3 books I recently added to my personal quilt library.

Happy Trails – Variations on the Classic Drunkard’s Path

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

I bought this classic book by Pepper Cory at the local library sale for $1 !! It has 64 pages of color photos, directions, b/w drawings of lots of ways to set the drunkard’s path blocks.

I have not made one of these in 20 years, but this book is giving me all kinds of ideas. And….there are several that would be a great way to use up some more scraps.

Blackberg Edition – 11 Bloved Quilts that Stand the Test of Time

A book of classic quilt patterns

This is a new quilting book hot off the press ! It has a churn dash pattern that I really like, plus some star patterns. Or maybe it is just the colors of the quilts in the books.

Published by Martingale and has 80 pages of color photos, directions, and is causing several unnecessary project ideas.

Vintage Treasures: Little Quilts for Reproduction Fabrics

THESE QUILTING BOOKS FOLLOWED ME HOME

I like antique quilts, especially ones from the 1780-1860 time frame.

And I am finding myself experimenting more and more with wall hanging or doll quilt size.

This book was published last year by Martingale and has so many fun ideas for small quilts. There are stars, postage stamp, yo-yo’s, pinwheels, baskets, and more. Many of the quilts are in under 36″ wide or long size group. A nice size to display.

My Thoughts to YOu:

Quilting books can be considered “tools of the trade”. Spend some time talking to other quilters about what their favorite ones are and why.

I suggest books that offer several patterns, and good photos and directions. As your skills increase, branch out into other patterns, or something more complicated.

Chances are that you will find certain patterns become your favorites (or not). Books can contain patterns or ideas that challenge you to make a new pattern. Or use a pattern as a starting place, and add to it to make the pattern and final project really your own.

Some day, you too can say, “These quilting books followed me home”. Others might roll their eyes, but new ideas are always welcome to quilters.

Most of all, have fun and enjoy the quilting journey.

"Live, Laugh, Love, Quilt"
Source: Quiltville

PLEASE NOTE: 
All photos and content are my own unless otherwise noted. Please DO NOT use or reproduce ANY content from this website without my written permission.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Basket Weave Nine Patch

I try to keep several containers of already cut pieces in various sizes on hand that I use a lot. Cutting as I have time keeps the scrap bins somewhat under control. And recently I have been so very thankful for already cut strips.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
One bin of cut 2.5″ scrap strips
Bin of 2.5" strips.
The colors are not separated, I sort through them when I decide what color to use.

Why I am thankful for already cut strips today

My shoulder caused problems during the first part of the year and was finally starting to heal and feel much better. On July 17 I was out at a local park. I was watching where I was going, not where I put my feet. Yep, you guessed it, the ground was uneven and I fell. No one has ever accused me of being graceful!

I am now in a brace to give my muscles and tendons a rest and time to heal. Severe sprains are no fun. It has really cut down on my quilting since I can’t hand quilt, use the rotary cutter, or lift much. Frustrating… but I am thankful for the already cut strips that eliminate that step.

My arm in a brace.

Spending time looking at quilt magazines and books is fun. I started out looking just to look and inspire, and ended up finding the “perfect” pattern for the two bins of cut 2.5″ strips.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Source: Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! The Complete Guide to Quiltmaking by D. McClun & L. Nownes

This pattern is a classic example of use the piece size you have on hand or want to cut. The directions call for smaller than my 2.5″ strips, but I am using the above photo as the starting point and will go my own way with it. I made a similar one years ago with different size blocks, sashing, and posts.

Sewing the strips TOGETHER:

I found strips that are close to the same length and sewed them together in groups of three length-wise. There is no rhyme to the colors as this is total scrap.

Especially with the current injury making it almost impossible to use the rotary cutter, I am thankful for already cut strips. Most of the three strip blocks were already sewn together which is another blessing at this point.

Iron all the seams. I measured across the three pieces and cut each three strip group the same size so now I have a square. Make the amount of these squares you need for your quilt top.

This is where I need to stop and say that I do all this sewing assembly line style. I just line up the fabrics and sew. When the pile starts getting in my way, I stop and cut them apart. Then I will grab more strips and assembly line sew again until I have the right amount.

I have kept the bin of strips beside the sewing machine for the past several weeks and sewed when I had a few minutes or hours. There is time tied up in this quilt, but it goes together easily. Another advantage of this quilt is that it is a great way to use those scraps.

Just keep sewing

Assembly line sewing is an easy and quick way to get through a pile of pieces. It also allows me to do a lot of ironing at a time. I sometimes make phone calls while ironing since I can put the phone on speaker. This allows me to get several things marked off my “to-do” list.

The original inspiration photo (above) goes together like my quilt at the start, but here I veer off in my own way. I sewed 9 of the blocks together to make a “basket weave” pattern (see below).

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Complete block is 17.5″ square

Sashing and posts:

I wanted to break up all the scraps with a solid color sashing. This beautiful turquoise/teal fabric was in my stash. All the fabric in this top was on hand already.

Sashing.
Sashing fabric

I like sashing to have “posts” because it is easier to keep the rows straight with each other (at least for me). The sashing is cut 3″ wide for posts because I have a box of 3″ squares left over from other projects. Another way to use up some already cut pieces.

3" squares to use as "posts".
3″ squares left over from other projects.

Measure your complete “basket weave blocks”. That will be the size of your sashing. Cut some or all at this point. I usually cut several to get started with, and then will count and cut more if needed.

This quilt top is 4 “basket weave” blocks by 4 “basket weave” blocks for a total of 16 blocks. I sew a sashing to one side of each block. This way there is sashing between the blocks. The last block in the row gets a sashing on the outside edge too. Complete the rows in this manner. Iron.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
Block with sashing between blocks, and a row of sashing with posts sewn to a row of blocks.

Cut more sashing strips the size needed. Sew a strip to a post. In my top this meant 4 sets of sashing and posts, plus one extra post sewn at the end. Iron.

Attach a row of sashing and posts to a row of blocks with sashing between matching the posts to the sashing between each “basket weave” block.

One row of blocks with sashing and posts.

This video is short and easy to follow for those of you who prefer things a bit more organized.

Border decisions:

Once all the blocks, sashing, and posts were sewn together, I need a border. In my mind borders serve two purposes: a frame for the quilt, and/or a way to make the top the size needed.

Top completed, but it needs borders.
Top done, but it needs borders.

Above photo is the completed top as of today. It is 80″ square.

I went back to the stash. After looking through several options, I decided on a narrow solid black border to frame the quilt. Then I will add some more strips around it to make it about 90″ square.

The remaining blue from the sashing will be the binding fabric.

Hopefully, I will get the border on the top yet this week, but at this point tonight my wrist is throbbing. It is time for ice and to rest my wrist.

Update 08/17/2021:

The top is complete !!

Borders are on. Finished size of top is 94″ square.

Narrow solid black border was cut 1.75″ wide.

The scrap strips used in the two rounds around the narrow black border are 2.5″ wide.

THANKFUL FOR ALREADY CUT STRIPS
All kinds of fun scraps in this top.

There is enough of the blue used for the sashing to make the binding after the top is machine quilted.

My tip to you:

When you can find or make the time, sort scraps or fabric from your stash. Cut these fabric pieces into common pieces and sizes you use frequently. Keep some on hand at all times.

They can make for a quick project, or are ready when the mood hits to just sit and enjoy the rhythm of sewing.

You will be thankful for already cut strips and squares.

Happy Quilting.

Make today amazing clip art.
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

The Antique Honeycomb Quilt was a wonderful find during a visit to an antique shop in Farmersburg, IN during 1997. The top was in a pile of other antique tops back in a dark corner. I paid $15 for it, and happily took it home.

This quilt pattern is a bit different than “normal” because the honeycombs are more rectangular than hexagon.

I compared the fabrics to some other quilts I had. And did some research, including a visit with my aunt who specializes in antique quilts. We both decided it was probably made in the very early 1900’s. The range of fabrics is from the 1860’s to 1900.

Some of the browns are faded and starting to shred.

Brown fabric that is shredding.
Brown fabric that is shredding.

Please note that this quilt is not a charm quilt where each fabric is different. It is scrap with lots of repeated fabrics. Someone using what they had on hand at the time.

A note on old fabric:

The antique honeycomb quilt top really called out to me for attention and care. I very carefully and gently washed (really soaked) it in the bathtub (see Method 2 of this link). I did not wring it out or agitate it in any way, but there were problems even with this.

Some of the fabrics that were intact prior to washing started shredding. The flip side is that some of the fabrics stood up to the water just fine, and looked brighter.

Fragile old fabric is something to be aware of if you like antique textiles of any sort. The condition of the fabric will determine if it is for show or use.

Some basic research shows that if any metal was used in the dying or dye setting of a fabric, the fabric is much more likely to shred or deteriorate with time. This seems to occur more in the time period of the mid 1800s to early 1900s.

To hand quilt or not:

Even with some of the pieces shredding, I decided to hand quilt it. There are two reasons for this: I could keep the tension of the quilt frame loose enough to quilt but not put stress on the fabric. The top called out to be completed into a quilt.

This quilt had no border, and I chose to leave it the original size of 68″ x 74″.

Here is the antique looking fabric for the backing.

Backing fabric of the antique honeycomb quilt.
Backing

The hand quilting is a simple outline around each piece. I simply “eye-balled” the quilting. It looks uniform enough that I have been asked what I marked it with.

THE ANTIQUE HONEYCOMB QUILT

A simple solid red binding completed the quilt.

Most quilts that I make are intended to be used. This one is only for display. It looks very homey and comfortable.

Some quilters would replace the shredded pieces with reproduction fabric, but I chose to leave them there. It adds to the antique look and feel of this unusual quilt.

This quilt gets many comments from people who like antiques, and other quilters. It is an unusual block, the various fabrics, the backing, the hand stitching all combine to make for a conversation starter.

Honeycomb pieces.

Would I do it again?

I honestly do not know if I would take the time and care to hand quilt an antique quilt top again. This one spoke to me and I paid attention. It is a source of happiness for me every time I look at it.

The moral to this is to follow your heart when making a quilt. Enjoy the process. Pick fabrics and colors you enjoy. Use a technique you enjoy. There is no right or wrong to making a quilt for yourself.

Make today amazing
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS TABLE TOPPER

Christmas tree clip art
Source: Bing clip art

Table toppers are easy and quick to make. It is such a nice feeling to make an entire quilted project quickly and have that wonderful warm feeling of “yeah, it is done”. That is how I feel about this Simple Christmas Table Topper.

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS TABLE TOPPER
Yippee!! It is complete.

Courthouse Steps pattern is a variation of the ever popular Log Cabin.

Making this Simple Christmas Table Topper:

Obviously the strips and center squares could be cut the size you need. But I used 2.5″ beige center blocks, and 1.75″ strips in green and red.

The front pieces were all from the scrap bin. The backing was a piece from the stash.

The blocks are super easy to piece. Sew a strip of one color (green) on the two parallel sides of the squares. Iron. Sew the other color (red) on the two parallel sides of the squares. Iron. Repeat until the block is the size you want.

The border I added was cut 4″ wide. I really like the cardinals and pine cones on it.

The border of the table topper.
Courthouse Steps border

For the machine quilting, I did straight lines along each row of blocks. Also along the borders. Simple and quick.

Polyester batting is great for this sort of project because it does not need to be closely quilted.

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS TABLE TOPPER
Courthouse Steps

The binding is a 2.5″ straight strip that is folded in half and ironed. I then sew it onto the front of the quilt. Yes, the corners are mitered. Please use whatever method of binding you want on your project.

I hand sewed the binding down on the back.

This Simple Christmas Table Topper is 34″ square. Finish it by adding a tag with at least initials and year. I use up scraps of Aida cloth from counted cross stitch projects for this.

Happy Quilting.

Holly clip art
Source: Bing clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

A QUILER ON THE ROAD AGAIN

A QUILER ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Source: Bing clipart

I have always been ready to travel when the opportunity arises. Quilting and travel seem to fit together fine. So I am a quilter on the road again.

The hubby and I took a few days off to escape north to see my sister, her family, and any other family who showed up in MN. The plan was to make the drive each way a two day trip with overnights in the Wisconsin Dells.

Peaceful, quiet time…

The other part of the plan was simply to relax on the lake, enjoy no schedule, and have a great visit. The trip was great and the plans worked out fine.

The cabin deep in the north woods of MN.
The cabin deep in the north woods of MN
View of the lake from the cabin.
View of the lake from the cabin.
A QUILER ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Time on the lake
Peaceful view
Peaceful view

Quilting by the lake

I am still dealing with a problem shoulder so chose a small project that is very mobile. It is also great to just pick up, work on, and put down. No stress.

All the fabric pieces in the small project bag was cut out prior to the trip. The bag also had needles, thread, and small scissors. This makes for keeping everything together, and does not take up much room in the suitcase.

A QUILER ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Quilting project on this trip.
20 completed flower blocks
20 completed flower blocks
Muslin backing and paper removed from flower block
Muslin backing and paper removed from flower block

Fabric shopping to complete the trip

On the return trip, we made a stop in Hutchinson, MN. Hubby headed for the DQ down the block while I did a quick shopping spree at the wonderful store “Quilt Haven on Main”. If you are up that way, make time to stop at this fun fabric store.

Ok, I really don’t need any fabric, but I picked up a few pieces anyway.

Old timey prints
Old timey prints
A QUILER ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Just fun prints.

A QUILER ON THE ROAD AGAIN…

Travel, peace and quiet, and quilting can go hand in hand. If you have a chance to do so please take the time away from your regular life and just enjoy. Pick a project that travels easy and work on it while relaxing.

Happy quilting.

Happy quilting. Make today amazing.
Source: Google clip art
PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

DONATED BABY QUILTS TO THE LOCAL CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER

DONATED BABY QUILTS TO THE LOCAL CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER

I am a big believer in giving back to my community. Here are six simple donated baby quilts to the local crisis pregnancy center that I made. As I make these quilts, they get donated in batches of 6 – 12 to two local pregnancy centers.

The blocks are a mix of flannel and cotton with the batting being scraps left over from my own projects. The backing is usually a flannel or child print cotton. They are tied with yarn. People know that I make many of these annually so many of the supplies are donated to me for this purpose.

Supplies For the Donated baby quilts:

Nine 9.5” cotton or flannel squares (3 rows of 3 squares each)

Batting

Bright colored yarn

Backing fabric (flannel or cotton – 1.25 yard)

At a minimum they should be tied at each corner and in the center of each block. They could be machine quilted easily in straight lines.

I do a self binding by trimming the batting even with the top, and then trimming the back to 2″ on each side larger than the top/batting. Fold the over hang in half once (so now 1″ wide all around quilt) and sew down as binding.

DONATED BABY QUILTS TO THE LOCAL CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER

If using fleece as the backing, when self binding trim to 1″ and zig-zag stitch down. I have found if using fleece for the backing, I do not use batting.

Please remember that these donated baby quilts for the local crisis pregnancy center are meant to be loved to death, so make them well and colorful.

Reach out to others:

If you ask or look around your own community, there are people or places who would love to receive warm and cuddly quilts. These are also a simple way to teach people basic sewing skills.

In the past, I have used these quilts to teach basic sewing and giving skills to a group of teen girls at church. It was a fun way to learn and for them to socialize as well. Currently I am making the donated baby quilts alone as the girls have all left for college, and none of the current teen girls are interested in sewing.

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2015/02/10-crisis-pregnancy-quilts.html

https://indianaquilter40.blogspot.com/2014/09/19-crisis-pregnancy-center-quilts.html

PLEASE NOTE: 
ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE MY OWN UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.