Monday, November 28, 2016

Don't Ever Say Never

I have always admired Cathedral Window Quilts. But, I have NEVER had the intention of making one or even trying the technique.

I was recently asked to make a Cathedral Window pillow for someone and I reluctantly agreed. Here is my first attempt.


I am somewhat pleased with this first attempt, although I have a lot of practicing to do before I am completely pleased and ready to make one to give away. There is a lot of pressing that needs to be done, and it needs to be done accurately. My mistake was trying to rush the process and take short cuts.

Before starting this, I wisely decided to use scraps for this first attempt. I like these fabrics and they were left over squares from a previous project. I'll put this pillow in the spare room that has a coordinating quilt. Where my points don't quite meet, I may add some embellishments like a pearl or button. Or, I may just leave it as is to keep me humble. :-)

I used a pressing template from Erica Plank- Unseen Hands that works well, if you take your time and do as she suggests. She also has a video on her Facebook page that was helpful, and if you decide that you want to make a pillow or quilt, I suggest you watch it. I should have done that. :-)

I seriously doubt that I will ever make a Cathedral Window quilt, but stay tuned for another pillow or two.

Check out other quilt projects being worked on today.

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Design Wall Monday

I have been busy!

While finishing the QOV projects for Friday's presentation, I packed up a bunch of kits so I'd have them ready at the spur of the moment.

I started working on one of those kits and because it was so easy, I finished the top last night.


I've got backing fabric ready for this as well as the binding. WooHoo! I think I'll go ahead and get it quilted and bound right away so I have QOVs ready as soon as they are needed.

I worked on this in between grading essays today. Trust me, I needed the break.  :-)

I've got to get busy thinking about upcoming classes. Any ideas? What new and exciting patterns have you seen lately that would make a great class?

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.

Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Quickie

I sure hope you didn't expect anything vulgar from that post title.  hehehehe

After Friday's QOV presentation, one of the recipients told me that he was going to give his quilt to his dad, who is a WWII veteran. While we talked, he told me that his did is wheelchair bound and
loves to sit and just enjoy the people around him and life in general. I decided that I could not let the recipient give up his quilt, so I told him that I would make a quick lap quilt in the appropriate size for his dad. He said that I didn't have to do that, but I insisted. I used a one-yard cut of Star & Stripes by Deborah Edwards for Stonehenge and did some quick straight line quilting. It's bound and ready to go. I'll make a proper QOV soon for the dad, but this will work in the mean time.


Friday's presentation depleted my patriotic/QOV stockpile so I started a couple of new ones. I'd already had them kitted up so it was easy to just pick up and sew. It has been a good break from grading papers this weekend.

I'll post pictures tomorrow of what I've completed.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

THIS is why I make quilts

Yesterday was a really good day! I was honored to be part of the Veterans Day Assembly at Monroeville and it was wonderful. 

A couple of young ladies from the junior class, Addi and Tabitha, worked closely with an elementary teacher, Mrs. Dreschel, to organize the assembly. The girls put together a neat video thanking veterans, designed the program that was distributed to everyone, and they presented a gift to the Monroeville VFW. There was a lot involved in the program itself, including a breakfast for the veterans, a lot music by the high school band, choir and various elementary classes,and even a coloring and essay contest for the elementary school. The winners of the essay contest read their papers and a senior young man spoke about the impact of Veterans day on him. Both of his parents are veterans and his speech was very touching. Also included was a Quilts of Valor presentation. That's where I come in the picture.

I'm sure you long-time readers remember when I made quilts for a couple of students who were involved in a very serious accident in January of 2015. You can read about them HERE

Heart Quilt - 2.5"  squares - Signature Quilt

Heart Quilt - 2.5"  strips - Signature Quilt

You might also remember that during her recovery from a traumatic brain injury, I tutored Allie. I loved working with her!

Allie is now a sophomore and doing amazingly well. This past summer, Allie and I talked about ways for her to give back to the school community (she calls them her school family), for all of the prayers, thoughts, help, and support that they showed her. She asked what kind of volunteer stuff I do and her eyes lit up when I told her about Quilts of Valor.

We got right to work to see if she'd be permitted to have the presentation at school during the Veterans Day Assembly. Once she got the approval, she needed to determine who, within the school family was a veteran and if they would accept a quilt. While she did that, I started sewing! When it was all said and done, five quilts were presented during the assembly and five others were presented in private.

Here are a some pictures of yesterday's presentation. (Since I was involved in the presentation, I want to thank Allie's mom Wendy, and the art teacher, Laurie, for sharing their pictures with me.)


I was so happy for Allie. I know she was nervous, but you could not tell it from the way she handled herself. I was amazed at how well she did. I don't know if this will work, but HERE is a link that includes a video of her speech.


While Allie and her friend Chloe covered the veterans, I called them from the audience and provided information about their years of service. It was very emotional for the veterans, many who thought that they didn't really do anything special and that they didn't deserve any special recognition. We beg to differ! They ARE special!



Of course there were a few chuckles too, especially when I'm sure Mr. Sparks wanted to make sure the girls did not step on his healing foot. 


It was very emotional to watch as the girls draped the quilts over the shoulders of the veterans and told them, "We have your back and we have you covered. Thank you for your service to our country." Allie's family is good friends with the last recipient (Mr. Sparks), and she was smiling as she picked up his quilt.


This might be my favorite picture of the day. I was totally blown away when there was a spontaneous standing ovation after the final quilt was presented. And the best part of that is the fact that it was the students who stood first and applauded. I love it when I see the positive in kids and not only the negative. It made me smile, and I was sure to tell the students how proud of them I was. 


There were pictures and videos posted on Facebook about the ceremony and that was nice to see. (I am so over the political negativity!) And I was surprised this morning when I went to a guild meeting and had one of the members show me that there was an article in the local paper. Here's a link to the article in the Norwalk Reflector :-)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Works

I have done nothing to The Wave quilt.


You can read about this quilt HERE

I have made some progress on the Sundance quilt and will post a picture tomorrow or Sunday.

Hopefully by then I'll have The Wave completed as well as a couple other QOVs.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Design Wall Monday

I got a little quilting done this weekend, but not all that I wanted to. Unexpected errands and visitors slowed me down, but all is good. I'm not worried that I'll get the quilts done that have deadlines because I'm ahead of schedule anyway.

Of course I started piecing something new, but not just because I wanted to. I am going to be part of a Quilts of Valor presentation on Veteran's Day and I'm making this quilt for a special recipient.


The pattern is called The Wave and I'll be adding borders as well as some appliqued stars. I love how this looks and so does Jack. It's quite easy to put together and I just may find myself making at least one more because I think it would make a great gift. Here's a picture of the original quilt.


While working on this, I've been sewing a project using the leader and ender technique.


I've had the Sundance pattern for quite some time but just never found the perfect fabric. I decided that I wanted to find fabric for this quilt and make it. I think it would be a really good class project for new quilters who want to make something fairly good size (55" x 70") and want to make it quickly.


On Saturday, I made a quick trip to M&E Quilt Shoppe and took the pattern with me. I wanted to show Mabel and Ethel so they would be on the lookout for fabric that would fit the pattern. 

Imagine my surprise when I walked past the cutting table and saw that Judy was cutting fat quarters of some new fabric that just arrived that would be perfect for the quilt! The picture below is not great, but here are the fabrics I'm using. It's Plush by Sandy Gervais for Moda.


Since the picture is so bad and I want you to see how perfect it is, here are better pictures from Moda's website.

This is the main/focus fabric.


This is the frame fabric around the small center.


Here's the small center piece.


Here's the background, which is between the pieced blocks and the large focus fabric.


And this will be cut on the bias and used for the binding.


Everything is cut and the pieced blocks are just about done minus the framing. Again, it's a crappy picture, but you can see how easy it is and how beautiful the fabrics are.


I'll do some quilting after school tomorrow (I want to get Jack's quilt done and load another one), and then work on the borders to the Wave quilt and finish these blocks. I'm also going to try to get the binding sewn on to Jack's quilt so I can be hand stitching the binding down Tuesday night. It's good to have goals, right?  :-)

What are you working on today?

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Finishes and a Meeting

I've got quite a bit of quilting to do this weekend because I was able to finish some quilt tops. Yay!


 I think Jack's quilt will be the first one quilted. :-)


Next up will probably be this Strip Shenanigans quilt I finished yesterday for the Flying Horse Farm. These are the blocks I was using as leaders and enders Sunday. I finished the blocks when I got home yesterday and put them together very quickly. The binding will be scrappy, made from misc. strips from inside the blocks. This quilt measures 54" x 64", which is perfect for the beds at the camp. Wait a minute! I just realized that I don't have to quilt this. I just send the top and binding. Yippee!  


These two Quilts of Valor quilts are ready for quilting and I have the bindings ready for both, which always speeds things up for me.



I think I'll be a busy gal this weekend!

Yesterday I mentioned that I was going to share some details about a dinner I had Monday night. Here you go...

Have you ever "met" someone on-line and chatted with them for a long time but never met them in person? I've been commenting on Scott Fortunoff's Studio e Blog for quite a while as well as e-mailing back and forth about a variety of quilting subjects.

In case you don't know, Scott is a fourth generation textile executive. He is part of the Jaftex Corporation which includes Studio e Fabrics, Henry Glass & Co., AE Nathan, Blank Quilting Corporation, and Fabric Editions, Inc. He is one busy guy!

A while back, Scott send me an e-mail thanking me for being a loyal reader of his blog and a consistent commenter. I'm just thrilled he didn't think I was a stalker! :-) Anyway, in his e-mail he wondered when we would meet in person. I chuckled to myself thinking that I should suggest to Jack that we make a trip to NY so we could enjoy the sites and I could meet Scott. Instead, I responded with asking if he ever ventures west to Ohio. As it turned out, he had a meeting scheduled near Cleveland in mid-October and wondered if I lived anywhere near there. Well shoot, I live just about an hour from Cleveland so we made tentative plans to meet.

Those plans were solidified; and after flight delays on his part, we met Monday night for dinner.


I was thrilled to also spend the evening with Karen Junquet, the art director at Jaftex.


These two are very talented, energetic and fun! We talked about a ton of things - some quilting, some not. We laughed a lot, and just had a good time.

Scott asked me how many quilts I've made. (Jack has asked me that too and when I told Scott that my husband asks me that, he says that it's a man thing to want to "know the numbers.") I had to admit that I don't know for sure, but it's a bunch. I know how many I donate because I keep track for tax purposes, but I have not really kept track of the others. I know I should, but I just don't do it. But, after these conversations, I've decided to get at least a rough estimate. I've made bed quilts, wall hangings, lap quilts, table runners, class samples, baby quilts, etc. and I will  get numbers for each of the categories and then a total. I'm going to try to do this soon, but we'll see. 

Scott, thanks for the invitation and meeting. I look forward to our continued conversations. Now I have to get busy and quilt!

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