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Update on Granddaughter’s Quilt

Not a lot of progress on this young ladies quilt but it’s a start and want it done by end of February. I have it on the quilting frame but ran into an issue of using old needles that aren’t sharp enough and found out today that I need to begin the stitches in the middle of the quilt.  I bought new needles and hubby is going to help me re-frame it.  Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

 

 

 

 

With all the cold, wind and snow moving in I may just make some progress this weekend!!

Jennie’s Christmas Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in November I had asked my son for some ideas for his fiancée and he told me she love hand/homemade.  I knew she love green because she is a true Irish lady.  So I decided I would  piece together a quick quilt for my soon to be daughter-in-law, Jennie Olera Malone.  I knew I didn’t have much time to make a complicated one so I chose to do a simple stripe of most of the green fabric I had on hand.

I called a friend of mine that does machine quilting and asked her if we had time to get this ready for a Christmas gift and she assured me it would not be a problem.  She said if I had everything to her by the second week of December we would be in good shape and she would have it back to me by the week before Christmas.

I pondered over the look of the quilt to be pieced and what to use for a backing which I knew would have to be ordered.  After deciding what I wanted I went online to Joann’s thinking this would be my quickest option and should have it by the first full week of December.  WRONG!!!

I placed the order online on November 28th and didn’t get a confirmation until December 4th.  It was to be shipped FedEx from Michigan, okay this will work coming FedEx.  Long story short the fabric arrived on Christmas Eve and we had our Christmas get-together on Saturday before Christmas.  I took a picture of the pieced quilt and put a note with it in an envelope for Jennie under the Christmas tree.  This was not a very good first Christmas from the Caldwell family to her but I think she understands.

These are some pictures I took of the finished piecing and the quilting is underway at my friends.  I’m hoping Jennie will like it when she FINALLY receives the gift.

Jens Christmas Quilt 2015 (2)

I pieced the quilt with light and dark green fabrics.  It’s made to fit a king-sized bed with hangover on the sides and the length will hang over about a foot with room to tuck in pillows if she likes.

Jens Christmas Quilt 2015 (4)

Jens Christmas Quilt 2015 (5)

Jens Christmas Quilt 2015 (6)

Jens Christmas Quilt 2015 (3)

The backing will be solid and quilted with ivy quilting.  It’s also the fastest quilt I’ve ever put together.  I’m hoping to make everyone in the family a quilt this winter.

I’ve learned a great lesson from this.  I will not order from Joann’s online again but go to the store  and I will definitely avoid FEDEX!!

 

Barn quilt

Red barn w/quilt

Red barn w/quilt

My barn quilt is fading and needs some work.  Since putting mine up two years ago, more are springing up in the county but not as many as I would like to see.  Our local library has a local artist painting them for a price and the proceeds benefit the library.  I love this idea for the library and spreading the quilting heritage throughout the county.  I’ve decided to start another one for the same barn but for the other end of the barn.  This will be seen as you go either way past the farm.  I also want to put one on all of the other barns but will probably do two each summer. 

I’ve just got to figure out how to keep them from fading and peeling.  Apparently the exterior paint and three coats of polyurethane aren’t enough to fight Mother Nature’s effect on them.  Research is needed before I start the new board.  I’m told that rustoleum latex paints are the best and I used a basic exterior paint.  Experimentation will be the true test. 

I love seeing them all over the county and this winter I’ll being looking for the pattern that suits our farm or maybe use a pattern in one of my quilt like I did for the first barn quilt.

What’s a hankie for???

 

 

 

 

 

For several years I’ve been collecting dainty ladies hankerchiefs and my mom made sure I got some that belonged to my grandmother.  Some belonged to my husbands aunt and some I found at yard sales still in their original packaging.  I’m working on some ideas about using them in a quilt for my guest room.  This quilt would not be used a lot and the hankerchiefs will match the feminine decor in the guest room.  I may use some of them in a shadowbox as well.  I’ll probably continue collecting them for more future projects.DSCN5063

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The other project that isn’t finished

About four years ago hubby bought me an embroidery machine which I love.  It’s an older model but perfect for me.  I started making blocks of embroidered snowmen and plan to turn those blocks into a quilt.  Here’s a quick view of some of the blocks.

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (8)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (7)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (6)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (5)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (4)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (3)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (2)

Embroidered snowmen for another quilt (1)Each block will have a different color scarf and I’m thinking about adding a new version of the snowman too.  Aren’t they adoable??  I’ve not decided how to put the quilt together but thinking about borders of brightly colored snowmen and Christmas fabrics or just winter fabrics.  I’ve got a long way to go though because I only have about 20 of the blocks completed.  I’m finding it hard to stay with the machine any length of time.

DECO Bernette 600

another finished snowman

snowmen card

favorite embroidery cards

Embroidery embroidery machine

embroidery cards

Sampler quilt mistake

I took one look at my last post and found out that block number five needs to be re-pieced.  Look at the block and see if you can find my mistake!!

Can’t see the mistake–it’s supposed to be a mirror image of this block number 6 except for the color changes.

Block #5

Block #5

Sampler Quilt 2012_2013 (10)

The mistake is in the bottom row and the outer blocks need to be turned.  I’m so glad I did the post so I could find the mistake before I started putting the quilt blocks together!!

Sampler quilt beginnings

I’ve set a goal for the year of completing a king-sized sampler quilt in burgundy as the primary color.  I started it yesterday and completed six 10 inch blocks.  Now, I just have to keep it up and hopefully have all of the 200+ blocks completed in three months, I hope!!  I thought I would share the blocks as I go along so this will be a continuing post.  Here’s the first six:

Block  #1

Block #1

Block #2

Block #2

Blcok  #3

Blcok #3

Block #4

Block #4

Block #5

Block #5

Block #6

Block #6

I think this is a pretty good start and if I 12 weeks to complete 200 blocks, that means I have to complete about 17 blocks a week, which works out to three a day for the next three months.  WOW!  Maybe I’d better rethink this time limit and make it six months instead of three.  Oh well, I will get it done and I will post as I go.  Wish me luck!!  Did I tell you I also have three baby quilts to start and finish by JUNE 2013!!!!!!!

Birthday Present

I think I told you last week that my wonderful hubby got me a new HP desktop computer for my birthday and Christmas!  I’m getting used to the new programs and catching on pretty quick.  Now, I just need to catch up on some posting.  Hubby knows how much I miss my blog!!

My daughter and family got me a new crafting table for my quilt room.  I spent “three” hours putting it together this morning.  It didn’t take so much time because it was complicated, it was because I took so much time getting up and down out of the floor trying to put it together.  Here’s how it went without me in the pictures:

Not out of the box yet

Not out of the box yet

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!!  Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part !  :)

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!! Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part ! 🙂

 

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

 

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up.  This is going to be so useful!!

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up. This is going to be so useful!!

 

Table top is together and on it's feet (and me too!).  Daughter helped me turn it up and we inspect for sturdiness.

Can’t wait to get started on some new quilts and other projects.

Quilting

I’ve got a hobby that started just a few years ago in earnest called quilting.  My grandmother Bradley used to quilt for the whole family.  She saved every scrap of fabric leftover from making grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s clothes.  I think I got my talent from her as none of the other family on my mom’s side quilted that I know of and my Mom had to many kids (7) to think about sewing for a hobby; it was only done by necessity.  I love the peace it brings me and the satisfaction of piecing together bits of fabric and making something beautiful.  Here are a few that I have pictures of that I’ve made.

 

9 Patch w red backing quilt 001

 

Nine Patch

 

HEATHERS MIRACLE

 

Blue & White Shock

Hunting Season 2011 072

 

Splash of color for hubby!

Joels Christmas quilt 2011 (3) Joels Christmas quilt 2011 (4)

 

Country Hues for my son-in-law.

margarets fall 2010 quilt 001

 

Margaret’s Quilt

rita's first quilt

 

My first work!!

sweet-sixteen-lavender-quilt-2008

 

Guest room lavender!

VICTORIAS CAT QUILT

 

Victoria’s Cats

I’ve made a quilt for my son but don’t have pictures of it.  I made my first quilt with blocks of candlewicking of mauve and pink  butterflies and used unbleached muslin as the background and backed it with mauve flannel.  It was so warm but I can’t find it.    I’ve made two baby quilts and here they are.

Melisa Kele's baby quilt

Melisa Kele’s baby quilt

Ripepi baby quilt

Ripepi baby quilt

Now, I’m inspired to get busy and quilt some more.  The hardest part about making a quilt for me is deciding on the pattern and then selecting the colors to make it pop.  Hopefully 2013 will  be filled with quilting masterpieces.

Entrance to the Farm

My secret project is complete!!  I’m so excited to show you my latest project.  I have in the last few years developed a passion for the beautiful barn quilts I’ve seen as we’ve took drives through the gorgeous farmland in West Virginia.

I decided about a month before my vacation in May that I was going to have one on the barn at the entrance of our farm.  Needless to say I didn’t think it was going to take two months to complete it but I finally did last weekend and my wonderful husband had a carpenter friend of our put it on the barn on Friday while I was at work.  I was absolutely flabbergasted when I came home from work on Friday afternoon and it was staring me in the face along with the “CALDWELL FARM”  sign I had painted and our “Century Family Farm” sign.  You’ll see pictures of all three at the end of this post but first I thought I would write about the steps it took to get the “quilt” finished.

When we told the kids what I was working on my son-in-law wondered why I thought a quilt would last very long nailed to the front of a barn in the wind and weather.  He did not realize that the “quilt” was being painted on a board and attached to the barn.  We all got a kick out of that!!

First I had to decide what the block/quilt would look like.  I had so many favorites and it took as much time to choose one block than it did the whole process of  painting.

 

I chose this design because it resembles my first quilt project and the block was called “morning star”.  This block is just a little different.  The colors I started to use were red, white and blue but when I actually marked the pattern out I decided to go with my favorites which are burgundy and hunter green.

Next I had to cut the plywood (3/4″ good stuff”) but my husband did this for me after we measured about 10 times.  Then I painted the board front and back with a  high quality exterior high gloss white paint.  I put four coats of paint on with a 24 hour delay between each coat.  Once the last coat dried I divided the board up into one foot squares, drew in the design from the picture above and marked it off for the first color.

 

Taping the design entailed careful placement so that when the paint was added the points of each block were perfect and didn’t bleed into the next piece of the “puzzle”.

 

 

 

You can see the pencil marks I drew as a guide where to place the tape.  Once it was taped up I painted another four coats of high quality exterior paint within the lines of the design.  It was easy for me to see where the design was going but hubby was totally confused and just couldn’t see it coming together.

I added the additional colors step by step and it took about six weeks just to get the painting complete and then I covered the entire board front and back with four more coats of a high quality polyurethane and let each coat dry at least 48 hours between coats.    Here is the finished quilt before mounting on the barn and after mounting on the barn.  The last photo shows the farm sign, barn quilt and the century farm sign.  I’m just thrilled with the results and I think my barn quilt is the first in the county!!

Barn quilt

After three weeks of patiently taping, painting, drying, taping, painting, drying, taping, painting and more drying my barn quilt is finished. The block is called morning star and it’s not on the barn yet but hopefully will be in the next couple weeks. I may have to wait until hay season is over but I’m just so glad it’s finished. It will be placed on this barn which is at the entrance of our farm.
The colors chosen are my favorite though some family members says it looks too much like Christmas colors. I’m thrilled with the results and I’m anxious to get started on the next one. It may possibly be the first one up in our county and I’m hoping more people will join the “barn quilt trail”!!

I’ll post more pictures when it’s on the barn!!

PINTEREST – My New Organizer & Memory

I mentioned in a previous post that I am a big fan of Pinterest and here’s my link if you want to visit: http://pinterest.com/ritascrafting/ . I love finding new gardening secrets/ideas, crafts, DIY ideas, sewing, good books and music from the other Pinterest boards. Most of all I love the fact that I can find gift ideas for my family and find the list easily. I can pin the recipes for cleaning and cooking in one spot and find it easily. I can look at what my friends are using/doing and try it myself. I can find some gorgeous decorating ideas, gardening ideas, and so much more.
To view the sites you have to join Pinterest but it’s really easy and you can add your own boards or just browse boards of others. It’s free!!!! By boards I mean groupings of favorites. I have seventeen boards which include DIY, Helpful Hints, Gardening, Wishlist, Family/Friends Wishlist, Music I Love, Books I’ve Read/Want to Read, Crocheting, Quilting, Favorite Blogs, Spring Cleaning & Decorating, Hunting & Outdoors, New Recipes, Beauty & More and a couple more. I’ll probably add some throughout the year and I add new pins to the boards a couple times a week. I would like to do it everyday but this time of year I spend a lot of time outdoors when I’m not at work and by the time I come in the house in the evenings I don’t care much for getting on the computer. I would rather shower and go to bed :)! Anyway, I just want to tell everyone about this site and hope you’ll check it out and maybe start your own Pinterest boards. I want to follow what you are doing!!

My little piece of heaven

I have a little piece of heaven and getaway right inside my home.  I call it my “Quilting Room” and it’s all mine.  It’s not a huge room but it’s perfect for some solitude to quilt, look through quilting books and magazines for the next project, embroidering blocks and more or to just sit and think.

Right now I have an old vanity with a missing mirror that I use for my sewing table.  It has three drawers on each side for storage and  a space underneath the middle for my knees and the foot pedal.  It just needs to be about two or three inches lower and about a two feet wider. I do try to make do with what I have to save money.

I have one of three sewing machines set up in my sewing room, an embroidery machine, a cutting table and all of my computer “stuff”. The rest of the room is lined with shelves which are loaded down with totes of fabric, quilting and sewing tools,  and all my sewing/quilting books & magazines. I did spare some space on one wall to use for my quilt design wall. I place my quilt blocks on it when I’m ready to put the blocks together.  I stapled a large piece of quilt batting to the wall and the blocks stick to it and don’t fall off.  You could also use the back of a vinyl tablecloth with cotton batting on it.  That’s what I used to use until I started making larger quilts.

I’m thinking about moving the computer to a new location in the house to free up more space to set up another sewing machine so I can work on two projects at one time.  Why do I have so many sewing machines??  I used to have only one and when it started having some problems and had to be in the shop, I was lost!  I caught a new Singer Simple on sale  and couldn’t resist the temptation and bought it.  My old machine is a Brother that my husband bought me for Christmas over twelve years ago and it’s only been in the shop three times.  It’s my old faithful.  The third machine is a Brother also, that a dear friend sold to me when she had to move and it sews great.

 The one I want to bring in to replace the computer is like the one I learned to sew on with my Grandmother.  It’s not Grannies but it’s very much like it and it’s a treadle machine.  I’ve been wanting to use it for years.  A treadle machine may just tell me how good my knees really are now at 58 years of age (me, not the machine, it’s older).  I don’t even know if it works but I’m willing to give it a good cleaning and try.  As you can tell, I love to sew, quilt, crochet, embroider (hand and machine), and most all crafting.  When the treadle machine moves in we’ll post again but until then, it’s time to find a new quilt pattern to start.  How about a red and white windmill? Or, a blue morning star?  Even better, I need a new purse!!!

Where’s your little piece of heaven?

Where do you go to relax and dream?

Baby quilt No. 2

I would have never  thought in a million years that a tiny baby quilt would take so long to finish.  I’ve been working on this little treasure for two months, cut to finish!!  The problem wasn’t the pattern, it was just finding the time to work on it.  Spring is not the time to start a new project!!  There are just too many things to do outside like yard cleanup, flower bed cleanup, grafting trees, starting seeds and not to mention tearing down the cattle working-pen and rebuilding again.  Well,  most of it is completed now and today I finish the little 40 x 48 fussy cut quilt.  I think it turned out pretty well and I completed it before the baby is walking.  I’m pretty proud of it though it’s not my most difficult but it is my first tied quilt. The colors were decided after a talk with the babies dad and the colors of their three year old brother’s room.   The bold blues and orange were the colors of the room with ocean animals as their theme.  I thought the fish and sea turtles pulled together fine with the bright orange from some of the fish.  I think they’ll both love it.

Hooked On a Book

I am so enthralled with the new book I’m reading that I wish the evening to fly by so I can have an excuse to go to bed and read myself to sleep.  It would be hard to convince most of  my friends that a quilting book could have love, mystery, suspense, history and comedy all rolled up in one book.    The Quilter’s Legacy is a combination of present day and early 1800’s and the time of the slaves.  Old quilts and a journal tell the story of slavery and quilting.  The story revolves around a family that comes to America to find a new life and . . .

Oh well, I don’t want to spoil the mystery so I’ll stop there but Jennifer Chiaverina is a wonderful author and the quilts described in the book are gorgeous!

Jennifer Chiaverini is a wonderful writer and she keeps me enthralled with everyone of her books.