Happy March!

Here are the things left over from last month that I couldn’t mention till after the guild meeting so I wouldn’t spoil the surprise.

More mug rugs! I know, one would think I had enough of mug rugs, but here I am making more.  These were inspired by that heart ruler that my sister gave me, a panel of quilting sayings and of course the proximity of Valentine’s day.

I thought it would be fun to make Valentines to hand out at the Chattanooga quilt guild in February  like we use to in grade school. The sayings in the center of the hearts say:

The hand that guides the needle rules the world

Quilting is my passion – chocolate comes in second

Common threads make uncommon quilts

Excess upon occasion is exhilarating

Quilters have loose ends to tie up

Lead me not into temptation except quilt shops

Rx for a healthy stash: daily feedings

Great quilts from little fabrics grow, Quilts – hugs that last a lifetime

With each new project – back to square one

Quilting . . . it’s not a hobby – it’s a lifestyle, Quilter’s budget

Live simply – quilt, Enjoy a trip around the world without leaving home

The whole nine yards

If quilting were a crime I’d be doing time

Quilting measures up

Fabric sale stampede today

Sew and your friends sew with you; rip and you rip alone

Fabric fondlers anonymous acquisition committee

I’ve never met a fabric I didn’t like

A quilter and her money are soon parted

How to invite your friends to a quilters’ day out: textile messaging

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Next is   finish.  Keep in mind that we missed both the January and the February guild meetings because of bad weather. This means I had to have three UFO’s done for the March meeting.  This is my third one, so I am caught up.

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I started this quilt in a workshop at Crazy Quilter’s guild a few years ago that Dawn taught. It is from the book  One-derful 1 Fabric Quilts by Kay Nikols. It was the third quilt I made from this workshop and technically this one doesn’t qualify because of that narrow red border I added. That makes it a two fabric quit, but I just had to add it. It goes perfectly with the red in the flowers and I think it frames up the blocks in a pleasing manner.  The first one fabric quilt that I made is still awaiting quilting and the second one, being smaller,  went to Project Linus. I don’t know if I even got a picture of it. I will have to dig around and see. This one is queen sized, probably the largest quilt I have quilted to date, and I could not have done it at all without my generous friend, Karen who let me use her Sweet 16 quilting machine.

Here is the back. I think I could have used a different green, but technically it matches. Once it is on the bed, though no one will notice.

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Next up is a block of the month that I started making kind of by accident. We were still in Florida then, and one of my neighbors, a sweet lady named Therese, invited me to go with her to Hancock Fabrics to see a demo of their block of the month (BOM)  for that year (I think it started in September of 2003). Mostly, I think she wanted company on the ride all the way to Merritt Island, but I went and got the free instructions.

Usually when you start a block of the month at Hancock Fabrics (at least this is how I understand it), you buy the fabric kit for the first block for $5.  They demo how to make the block and you go home and make it. When you bring back your finished block the next month, you get the kit for the next block free. And so it goes on till the end, when you find you need to buy fabric for sashing, borders and what not.

This time though, the official fabric for the BOM was delayed for two or three months so they couldn’t make up the kits.  As an incentive to keep the group of gals who usually participated coming in to the store, the woman who did the demos offered to demo an additional BOM in the meantime, and designed another 12 block quilt just for that. I thought that was very generous of her.  For this one you just got the free instructions and used your own fabric.  Well, Therese and I liked the idea of the free instructions and we showed up every month to get the new block information.  After a couple of months, the regular BOM got started and the instructor would demo a block from each of the two quilts. Therese joined the regular BOM too, but I just went for the free one.

This is the first quilt that I actually went out and bought fabric for. It required four fabrics: a light, a dark and two mediums. Oh how I agonized over those choices.  I settled on greens because I knew Raymond liked that color and splurged on $2/yard flat folds from a store in Viera called The Rag Shop. It seemed like such an extravagant purchase as I was pretty sure I would get bored with quiltmaking and never finish the quilt.

As it turned out I did pretty well at keeping up with the monthly blocks, but after they were done they went into storage.  After we moved here and I put up a design wall, I dug the blocks out, arranged them and sewed them into a quilt top. Back in the box they went till this year when I decided to try quilting it.  Here it is.

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The original layout had the blocks on point and setting triangles and corners making it queen sized. As my fabric was limited, I decided to go with a smaller version resulting in a smaller, but still useful quilt.

Here is a picture of how I use a folding table to add length to my ironing board for large pieces.  I used the bed risers to lift the table up and just throw a small quilt over it to protect the plastic top from the heat and steam. So far it has been enough.

I like to use fusible batting in my quilts so I layer the back, batting and top on the ironing board. Then starting across the middle, I steam the layers so the fusible stuff sticks. I do the middle section first, then carefully slide the layers so I can get to the sides and keep moving back and forth till it’s all secure. Then I flip it over to make sure no wrinkles got fused in the backing.  Finally, I roll up the raw edges and pin them with quilting pins to keep them from getting in the way and the sandwich is all ready to quilt.

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 Finally, here is another quilt I am working on. It is even bigger than the One-derful one fabric quilt pictured above.  This is a quick but interesting pattern.

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