Memory Quilt-Second Time Finished

Yesterday, I showed how the client’s memory quilt looked after I finished it the first time.  Then, she asked if I could add some very special items to it.  After thinking about how I could incorporate these things into the finished quilt, I decided the only way it was to to applique them on the top and give it a collage/bulletin board effect.  Again, I received a big box of stuff and set about cutting and stabilizing it.  One thing I didn’t anticipate was the difficulty in repeatedly turning the quilt to stitch down the applique edges.  It was BULKY to say the least and I had to do it on my Bernina since my Juki only sews a straight stitch.  I soldiered through, though and anchored everything down.

Here’s how it looks now:


Here’s a close-up:


Lots of stuff in and on this quilt. I think it turned out pretty well and the client seems pleased. It is now on the way to it’s new home.  In the first post, I mentioned that the client also wanted a memory quilt for herself.  Another quilt, another challenge.  More on that one in a future post!

Memory Quilt-First Time Finished

A few years ago someone connected with me through my Etsy shop and asked if I would be willing to make a memory quilt for her.  That’s not the kind of quilt I usually make and my experience working with t-shirts and other clothing was pretty limited.  It was a very meaningful project to memorialize her sister and after some discussion about her expectations I agreed to give it a try.  She sent loads of memorabilia and somehow it all came together into a quilt that she loved.  Fast forward to this past fall when she contacted me again and asked if I could make quilts for both her and her daughter and again, I agreed. 

She sent the items for her daughter first and when I opened the box I knew I was in for a challenge.  She wanted the quilt to be double bed sized and clothes for little girls are, well, little.  Once I cut things apart and stabilized them I realized there weren’t enough items to make a quilt that large.  I decided to turn each item into a 12” block and add sashing.  Her daughter is young and loves Disney’s Frozen so I went with Michael Miller’s Fairy Frost in powder blue for sashing and borders (and back).  The light blue with silver “frost” worked perfectly.

The client had also requested that her daughter’s name be prominently on the quilt so I added a wide sashing strip and appliqued her name in big purple letters.  Everything came together; it was the right size and I was happy with the way it looked so I quilted it, stitched on the binding and sent pictures for her approval.


She emailed back that both she and her daughter loved the quilt, but…..she had some additional items that were very sentimental and would I be able to add them to the quilt. I had to think about that for awhile and came up with a solution.  I just finished the quilt and am happy with it (again).  This afternoon I’ll take some pictures, so come back tomorrow and see how it turned out.

DWM: Making Waves (again!)

The Making Waves blocks have shown up on my wall a couple of times already, but after finishing a big project yesterday, I saw them on my sewing table and decided to move it toward the finish line.  The half square triangles finish 1-1/2” so it isn’t a big quilt, around 48” x 60”, but it’s taken a year to get this far. 

This was the first quilt I started in 2016.  I cut all the half square triangles and kept them in a box by my machine.  I’m too easily distracted to do leaders and enders; I forget which parts go with what project, the pieces get misplaced and I don’t really like having more than one project on my table at a time.  I also organize my piecing so I rarely need a leader/ender and instead use the next step of my project as my leader. 

What does work for me, though, is simultaneous sewing.  When I have a big, tedious project like this one (576 half square triangles), I piece, press and bag a dozen or so almost every day.  That way, the number of units isn’t overwhelming and everything stays organized.  However, I just found out I got into a retreat this summer with Bonnie Hunter, who is the queen of leaders and enders, so maybe by fall I’ll be doing things differently!!

making waves top

Last September, some friends and I went to MQX and I came back very excited to try some new machine quilting techniques.  Regretfully, I have yet to apply anything I learned.  The simple piecing and wide borders on this quilt just beg for some fancy quilting so maybe I’ll be brave and try something new.  I don’t have a specific use for this quilt, so it will make a good practice piece.

Linking up today with Judy at Patchwork Times so be sure to check out some other design wall projects.

Pillowcase Party Continues

Last week my neighbor invited another friend and me over to make some pillowcases for a nursing home whose residents were displaced due to a fire.  Actually she bribed us with a yummy lunch, after which we got down to business and knocked out 11 pillowcases in around 2 hours.  We had a little assembly line going with the two of them sewing and me pressing, trimming and turning.  It was a fun and productive afternoon. 

Then I went to the guild meeting and the Sunshine committee said they were ALWAYS in need of pillowcases.  Those two events made me realize I’ve been missing a simple stash busting opportunity.  Making just two pillowcases a week will use about 110 yards of stash in a year with much less effort than making quilts.  Plus I know they will be used and appreciated.

It’s fun to paw through some older fabrics to find nice combinations.  This week’s pick: cream paisley body, navy check cuff and Kona mahogany flange.


This year, I hope to have a bigger stash deficit than last year.  So far I had no purchases, but Jen was looking for a particular line of fabric and when I found it for her a couple of pieces for me jumped in my cart.  It’s okay, though since I already have them earmarked for a project.

Week 2 Stash Report:
Purchased this week: 7 yards
Purchased YTD: 7 yards
Used this week: 9 yards
Used YTD: 10 yards
Net Out of Stash: 3 yards

Friday Finish: Winding Ways

This quilt has been waiting for a binding for a couple of months. Initially I couldn’t find a big enough piece of a suitable fabric but came across one this week that was probably as good a match as I have in my stash.  I didn’t want to risk having that fabric buried again so I moved the binding to the top of the priority list.

I could write a book on how NOT to make a quilt with this one.  The homespun plaids were a little stretchy for the curved piecing (or sometimes ideal because I could stretch them to fit!).  They were also a little bulky for that tiny center seam.  The pieces were cut with the Accuquilt Go so I didn’t have step by step instructions for piecing the blocks together.  It was fairly easy to figure it out by the diagram but the pressing plan came about by trial and error.  After nearly all the blocks were pieced I decided to make it a little bigger so it would be a more appropriate size for donation.  Of course, by then I had used all of that collection of fabrics so I had to scrounge through the stash to find a few more fat quarters to use.  Not perfectly matched, but close enough. The back is a solid cream flannel that shows every quilting bobble.  I’m hoping that washing it will shrink it enough to minimize that problem.  My biggest concern came after quilting though.  The edges were supposed to be straight, but instead they pulled in on the curves so it looked like a scalloped edge.  I lamented not adding an outer border to make everything nice and square. 

After all this trouble, I wanted to cut my losses and machine bind it to just get it finished.  I’m never happy with my machine binding because the corners never turn out right.  I had an idea though and it worked pretty well.  After trimming the edges of the quilt and preparing the binding I sewed it to the back of the quilt.  Then I turned the binding to the front and hand stitched the corners.  I just took 3-4 stiches on both sides of the corner.  Then I went back to the machine and top stitched the binding all the way around the quilt.  Since the corners were already sewn, there was no fussing with them and they look nice.

Here’s the front:

WW corner front

And what it looks like on the back.

WW corner back

It’s not perfect, but a whole lot better than what I’ve done in the past.  This is when I slapped my forehead and wondered why I hadn’t thought of doing that before.  Am I the last quilter in the world to figure that out?

Anyway, the quilt is now finished and I’m pretty happy with the overall look.  Even the edges look pretty straight! 

Winding Ways finish

It wasn’t the easiest quilt I’ve ever made, but I love the pattern and see another one of these in my future.  This quilt epitomized why many of us keep quilting…it’s a continual learning experience!

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for “Can I Get A Whoop-Whoop.”  Check out the links to see what’s getting other quilters excited this week!

Change of Plans on the Turtles

Just as I was layering the turtle wall hanging for quilting I realized it might be better to make it into a pillow rather than a wall hanging.  There was plenty of fabric for the pillow back overlap, the size would make a good bolster and I would have more use for a pillow.

After stitching down the applique and sewing the pillow together, I ran to Walmart to get some fiberfill stuffing.  It seemed like it would take two bags of stuffing (around $8.00) and then I had what I thought might be a better idea.  The size of the turtle pillow was the same length and about half the width of a standard bed pillow.  I wondered if I could get a cheap bed pillow ($5.00) and cut it in half.  I was a little nervous when I cut it open (maybe I didn’t really want to know what they fill pillows with), but was relieved to find that it’s just a roll of fiberfill. 


It was perfect and there was even a bonus.  I was able to cut down the pillow cover and use it instead of making a muslin pillow form.  So easy and what a bargain!  I have enough fiberfill left over for the second pillow. but will have to make a pillow form for that one. 

Riding the Wave

All finished and what a nice reminder of our family’s memorable trip to Hawaii.  I smile every time I look at this!

2017 DWM Week 2: Maui Turtles

I’m still having a hard time focusing on the million ongoing projects in my sewing room so instead avoided them all together and worked on this little wall hanging.  This was a pattern and kit I picked up when we were in Maui last March.  I kind of forgot about it until cleaning my sewing room before Thanksgiving. 

The turtles are fused to the background and the borders are sewn.  Now it’s time to layer up batting and backing, then stitch through all the layers to anchor the applique and quilt it at the same time. It was such a quick and easy project, I made two—one to keep and one to gift!  Since I primarily make larger quilts, this was a great distraction.


The pattern is Riding the Wave by Castilleja Cottons.  Patterns and kits are available at Maui Quilt Shop here.

Linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.  Take a look at all the other design wall projects for some quilty inspiration!

Last Finish of 2016

The year started well, but predictably quilt finishes really dropped off in the last couple of months.  This was my December finish, the last one of the year. 

golden memories finish

The pattern is Golden Memories by Lori Smith of from my heart to your hands.  Over the years, I’ve made a number of Lori’s patterns and I just love all of them.  She has a great sense of design and scale and each of her quilts are gorgeous.

This quilt has a LOT of seams and I didn’t want the quilting to detract from the billion hours of piecing so I used and overall Baptist fan pantograph (Continuous Baptist Fans by Urban Elementz).  I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

golden memories closeup

At least I was until I spotted THIS when I edited the picture.

golden memories oops

How could I make a mistake like this?  And then not see it at any time during the piecing, pressing or quilting process? Wanting to reassure myself that I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide I simply could not piece one more four patch,  I looked at the pattern again. This is supposed to be a leaf block and a little stem should be appliqued in the solid square.  So technically, I guess this quilt still isn’t finished.  I’m pretty sure, though, that this is as finished as it will ever get!

2016 Stats
Number of quilts started:  29
Number of quilts finishes:  35
Number of quilts started in 2016 that were finished in 2016: 18
Number of UFO’s finished:  17
Number of 2016 projects carried over to 2017: 11

I am happy that I finished more UFO’s than I created in 2016.  However, at that pace and using a conservative estimate of 500 UFO’s going into 2016, I will need to live another 83 years to finish them.  Here’s to a more productive 2017!!

Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Friday “Can I Get a Whoop-Whoop.”

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