Red White and Blue Quilts!

I mentioned that I got 18 yards of red white and blue fabrics through a donation. Well, I finally finished some of the quilts from that fabric.  Over the course of a few months I had made the quilt top. I stuck them in a pile to be longarmed and just left them there. 

Last week I had the opportunity to buy a single piece of fabric for 40% off. That's a big deal at the quilt shop so I purchased enough 108" wide backing fabric to complete 4 quilt tops. With 108" wide, I can get 4 quilts on the longarm with just 3 yards of fabric. What a bargain!

It didn't hurt that we're in a deep freeze here in Wisconsin so I wasn't going anywhere so I might as well get quilting.

I used Villa Rosa pattern cards Daybreak, Olympiad, and Phoebe for these quilts. I love those cards, the instructions are easy to follow and straightforward.

I had a great helper. Jordy is getting so big already. He's 4 months old now.

It felt good to finish them.

I still have a little bit of red white and blue fabric to make more and I am happy to say, not many more. 


The January Deep Freeze

Between the snow storms and the below zero temperatures, we knew we would be packing it in at home for a while. We loaded up on groceries before the weather came. I love the feeling of being home, safe, warm and secure. And it's so pretty after it snows. The backyard looks so serene. With temps around 8 below zero, I don't think we will be traipsing around on the patio for a while.

I'm planning on getting some charity quilts started this week. I'm going to take this fat quarter bundle of children's fabrics apart and cut a few quilt kits out of it. There's so many fat quarters that I think I should be able to get at least 3 quilt tops out of it. 

Jeff's favorite college football team, the Michigan Wolverines won the National Championship last night. He is so very excited that they finally won the whole thing! And here he is in his 1997 Championship t-shirt. I was happy to see it still fit - haha!



There's a deep freeze here in Wisconsin that doesn't seem to have an end in sight. So I'm quilting like a maniac.  Yesterday I took out my rolls of batting and cut enough pieces to longarm 6 quilts. Some have the backing and some do not. I'm going to start getting them on the longarm so I can get them off of my to-do list. I used 100% polyester batting for these.

The first quilt I completed was the Wigglebutts quilt top. It was one where the backing was ready. I did an allover meander so the quilt went quickly. And I hand bound it using leftover backing after the quilting was done.

I imagine that someday I will gift this to my neighbor, Sarah. She has a black labrador named Roxy that she loves very much. I've never seen so much dedication to a dog. It's a wonderful thing.

With this deep freeze and no where to go I also made some homemade bread and baked potato soup. My son Brian got us a Lodge dutch oven for Christmas and I've already used it twice. I love it.

Lodge Dutch Oven

Baking and cooking sure make the house feel warm.


Christmas Cookies and Quilts for Vets

I'm very happy to be hosting Christmas Eve dinner this year yet I'm amazed that I'm not stressing at all over it. 

Today my granddaughters and their friend frosted sugar cookies for the holiday season. It's so fun to let them do their thing. It's also a tradition that Jeff gets in there too to help. It's his favorite Christmas cookie so he's always ready to sample a few - haha!

I bought the girls goody bags for St. Nick's day and there were suckers with handles shaped like lips. They just had to try them out. 

I grabbed some quilts from my Sweet Sundays quilt group for my husband to take to Zablocki VA Hospital for veterans. His Legion Riders group goes to visit at Christmastime and he likes to take quilts along to give away. This year my group had 18 quilts for him to take.

I didn't realize until I took the photo that the quilts are sitting on my new Ikea furniture purchases. I think I will take that as a hint that I better get going on putting it together. I love assembling Ikea stuff.


Client Longarming

The Elna 792 Pro came into the shop this week. I never really cared to upgrade my current machine, as long as I can piece a quilt top, that's all I ever needed. 

Then along came this home machine with an automated stitch regulator. I could free-motion quilt small projects with ease if I had one of these. 

My friends with longarms think it's crazy. They all say the same thing, "Just load the project on the longarm!".  Sometimes I think it's too much trouble for really small projects. I can free-motion quilt on the machine I have now but I sure would love it to not have to worry about how fast or slow I have to go to keep even stitches. I am definitely getting one of these....


I have a client who is very passionate about a PKD fundraiser that happens every year. She makes a quilt to raffle off every year and this is the one for 2023. It's always a queen-sized quilt so the event does make quite a bit of money off her beautiful donations and I am happy to help.

I also quilted a memory quilt for her. Her son passed away from cancer and she made a quilt to honor his memory. 

Besides the 2 quilts, she had a table runner to be quilted as well. I love the colors she used. These are the last client projects I plan on completing before the holidays. 

On Thanksgiving day I became one of those statistics attached to senior citizens. I slipped and fell then ended up getting 16 staples on the top of my head. It was quite a gash. On my way down, I hit the corner of the buffet in my daughter's dining room. I got right up thinking I was fine except for my head stung a little. And I didn't see any blood although it was all over the buffet. Jeff says I could't see it because it was running down my back. The next thing I knew we were headed to the hospital.

I really didn't hurt myself and frankly, I was disappointed I missed dessert after dinner. At least I got to eat before I went to the ER!

I know they are hard to see but this photo was taken right before the staples were removed. And hallelujah for that. I think the staples were worse than the wound. I am so happy that things turned out like they did. I really could have seriously hurt myself.


Longarm Quilting for Someone New

My cousin's sister-in-law contacted me out of the blue to ask if I would longarm a quilt for her. The funny thing is that my cousin lives in Ohio and the sister-in-law lives in a northwestern suburb of Milwaukee. It's probably a 40 minute drive from her house to mine. The surprise for me is that she remembered that I was a quilter. I was definitely honored by her request and immediately said yes.

The quilting challenge for me was that there is a block that's embroidered and she doesn't want any quilting over it. This is something I haven't done before but I love new challenges.

She chose her thread.

She chose her quilt design.

And away we go!

I went around the embroidery as best as I could.

I'm happy to report that she loved the way it turned out. She is new to quilting and is loving it so she asked me if I would be her quilter. I absolutely said yes!

In the meantime, friends of ours asked Jeff to make a 4-foot tall wooden tree. They have a cat that likes to get into trouble and they wanted something to replace a Christmas tree. Here's what they asked for. They love it and will use it this year unfinished and stain and seal it in the summer when they can do that outside. I like it so much I might just have to ask him to make me one.

5 T-Shirt Quilts Delivered

I had the wonderful opportunity to make 5 t-shirt quilts that would become 5 Christmas gifts. The quilts were all made from a Navy Veteran Submariner's t-shirts.  The client sent the shirts to me back in late August and I had mentioned to her that I would be out of the country and traveling for over a month so these wouldn't be finished until November. She wasn't worried, but I was. 

The shirts were prepped with fusible interfacing by September then they weren't pieced until October. I got them on the longarmer and by the beginning of this month they were all quilted. Unfortunately, my husband was having a cardiac procedure on November 4. I decided to make the best of my time in the hospital waiting by hand-stitching the binding on. It was a great way to take my mind off of his procedure. By the time he was settled in his hospital room, I had finished the binding for 2 of the quilts.

I sure had lots of room to spread out at the hospital.

I completed all the binding within a week and prepped my invoice to send to the client. Frankly, I was ok with her waiting to pay so I could take a break - haha! But like all good people do, she paid me promptly so I had to prep them for shipping right away. That means getting photos of them finished needed to be done. Sadly, the November skies are always overcast so it was very difficult to get good shots. Everything looks so gloomy. 

Each one of these quilts has a plaid shirt, a submariner t-shirt, and pieces of a life well lived. I did my best to make sure all 5 had equal elements to reflect the personality of the wearer.

I also tried to make sure that each quilt had a front pocket that I quilted around so the pocket is still usable.

It was clear that this person was somehow connected to Hawaii as well as to the Navy.

The challenge was making sure there was some color balance and equal sizing for each one.

The backing for each quilt is a different fabric. I felt the need for some differentiation among them.

After they were all done, I had very little pieces of shirts left.

I had a little help with the shipping. And I have to say, what a challenge that was! The price for shipping all 5 quilts in one big box was double what it cost to use 5 priority mail boxes. I don't know if that's because it's a long way from Milwaukee to Phoenix which is their final destination. I was quite surprised by that.

We headed to the post office less than 24 hours after payment like a good business should - haha!

In the meantime, I wasn't paying close attention to my kitty who snuck into the garage. His curiosity got the best of him as he stuck his all white face into the exhaust pipe on Jeff's motorcycle. Just look at that dirty, adorable little boy. I can't tell you how much trouble it was to get that off. 

I sure hope the recipients like their precious gifts.