Read With Me Quilt

Making this quilt has been on my to-do list for a very long time. It's from a free tutorial found at the Moda Bake Shop. If you want the tutorial, here is the link.

I finally decided to make it for a teacher at my granddaughters' school. We just love her and Teacher Appreciation Day just so happens to fall in April so it seemed like a good time to make it.

I used mostly scraps left over from other projects with a few new fabrics mixed in for color balance.

I didn't want the 'books' to be too bright and cheery. After all, books in a bookcase usually aren't very bright, especially if they are loved and used.

Making the letter applique was way easier than I thought it would be. I don't usually do this much applique on anything so I wasn't so sure what I was in for. And wouldn't you know it - easy peasy.

I used a totally different fabric not found in the quilt for the backing but I think it goes together pretty well.  I quilted it with a rainbow variegated thread so the colors would show up on the white background.

The quilt should have been gifted earlier this month but because of the pandemic, I don't know how or when we will get it delivered. Because of the quarantine, I took time off from finishing this to make masks. I'm happy that I still finished it before the month ended.


April Longarm Projects

I quilted 2 quilts for work this month. They will be used as samples that will hang in the shop. One is a beautiful Quilts of Valor quilt and the other is a king-sized quilt.

I also quilted 3 Easter wall hangings and a Frozen-themed quilt during the first week of April. I also sent along 2 face masks when returning the projects to their owner.

There were 2 other quilt projects I quilted. One was a beautiful floral and the other was a sock monkey quilt. 

As always, I enjoy helping others complete their projects and I hope they like the final results.


Dresden Neighborhood Wallhanging

Here is my Dresden Neighborhood wallhanging. The original pattern has the 'neighborhood' in a circle. But if you take some of the dresdens and turn them upside down you get them in a straight line instead of the  circle.

I used Moda Grunge in a blue and green to make the background look like sky on top and grass on the bottom. I also made sure my houses were stitched down in a rainbow effect.

I used many of the stitches on my sewing machine to stitch around the houses and roofs as well as to sew on the windows and doors. It was so much fun.

I can't wait to hang it in my sewing room. I also made sure to put a rod pocket on the back in case I enter it in quilt shows.


My New Bathroom

This is my ugly bathroom. It's the private bathroom off the master bedroom suite. Outside of changing the paint color over the years, not much else has changed in the room.

Then we decided to replace the bedroom carpet and include the bathroom, closet and hall so there was a consistent floor throughout.

As we worked through our options for floor, I found this piece of art. It is an oil painting from a local artist from the Lake Winnebago area. I absolutely fell in love with it and I instantly knew what I wanted to do with it.

Yes, it's going in the bathroom. My bathroom. So I took the painting to the store to pick out a new bathroom paint color.

My husband was taking the old sink and cabinet out so the new floor could be installed where the cabinet was. It was all good timing, then I could paint the walls where the cabinet was. And it was good I was painting before the new floors came so I could be messy.

Somewhere along the way my husband found a brand-new-in-the-box Kohler vessel sink at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. He had to have it even though he didn't know where he would use it. I think he wanted to re-do the powder room and make it fancy but I had other ideas. I drew up a plan where he could take the old cabinet, make it smaller in both width and height. I really wanted a new cabinet to have legs and not be up against the side wall. And I wanted a drawer on the bottom.

Amazingly, he did it. He cut the base off, took the doors off and made the frame smaller. We picked out milk paint to coordinate with the flooring and he sprayed the cabinet with our new custom color. I had some fun buying new crystal knobs for the cabinet too. We looked for antique ones but couldn't find any but that's ok, most of the project was a repurpose project.

We considered making a cement countertop but I think we were both ready to call this a finish so we went a shop less than a mile away and had a custom quartz top made for the sink to sit in. It is so beautiful.

Once the cabinet was finished, my husband took the old large mirror to local glass shop and had it cut down. He used scrap wood to make a frame and used the same milk paint to finish the frame.

I bought a waterfall faucet to install over the sink to finish the entire thing off. I love the end result and I totally enjoyed the adventure getting to this point. Now I get the fun of picking out new bathroom accessories and towels.


Butterfly Patch

Lollipop GardenThis quilt is called Butterfly Patch. I made the quilt from the same fabric collection that was on the pattern. I loved it that much.

It took me some serious shopping to get all the fabrics found in the quilt. I ordered from 3 different shops in order to have everything I needed. That's how committed I was to making this happen.

Lollipop Garden
The pattern is basically made up of 4 different simple patchwork blocks. They were made in matching pairs so the same blocks could be used on each butterfly wing.

When it came to the backing I just chose a close match at my local quilt shop. It was pretty and looked great in one big piece.

Lollipop Garden

Lollipop Garden

Lollipop Garden


A World of Hearts

The quilt shop where I work wants to participate in the #aworldofhearts thing so my boss made up a pattern called Hearts in Windows. If a quilter is going to put a heart in their window, of course it will be made of fabric!

So she put her pattern and a kit to make it online and it blew up. She called the employees and in order to keep social distancing standards even while we are closed, everyone picked a day to come in to make the kits. So I make them on Tuesdays. It's crazy, she wants to keep a standard of making them from reds, whites, and blues, but we are running out of fabric to make them! So she is ordering more all the time. 

I decided to make my own from my stash so as not to use up a kit that can be sold to someone else. Here is my version:
Hearts in Windows

Here's what it looks like hanging in my living room window. I used 3M Command removable hooks and safety pins to hang it.
Hearts in Windows

The pattern is a pretty easy one-pager. I would share it with you but that would not be right. It is sold for $3.00 each and the money goes to a Racine charity affected by COVID-19. If you'd like to order one, check out this link:

When I made mine, instead of making it a mini-quilt, I made the back so a pillow form could be slipped inside it after I take it out of the window. It will look just as good as a pillow on my wicker rocker as it does hanging in the window. 

Bordered Nine Patch Quilt

I should call this quilt trouble. Only because it gave me trouble from beginning to end. At first I couldn't find a good background fabric to use to make this then I struggled with accurate seam allowances that I had to correct. That followed by me losing one of the blocks that I never found so I had to re-make it from scraps. Once I got the top together the trouble didn't stop.

I used a nice large piece of fabric for the backing but it wasn't large enough. I had fun taking all the leftover pieces that were pretty small and making a long strip to use on the back. I used the same fabric that I used as the background fabric for the front on the back to separate the patchwork strip from the print. I think it looks great. However, I measured wrong when I pieced it all together. The back wasn't wide enough. So I went back to the quilt shop to purchase more fabric to add the fabric on the opposite side of the back. That made it look like I planned on framing the print with the grunge fabric. I did not plan that at all! It's just that it looked better to add more fabric to the back on the left side that more grunge on the right.

So much trouble!
Saturday Morning Moda

Saturday Morning Moda

Saturday Morning Moda


My Mask Story

Back in early February my friend Sue suggested we make masks and sell them at a craft fair. She showed me this photo on her Pinterest page. I thought it was a fun idea at the time. Remember, back then we were just talking about how there was this pandemic thing overseas. So the mask idea seemed cute, like a novelty.
That same evening I went home and made my first mask. I chose the fabric because it was the only one in my stash that I was sure I had prewashed.  I really wanted it prewashed if I was going to try it on. It was so very soft and comfortable.  I took the mask to the quilt shop where I worked and my co-workers poo-pooed the idea saying it was silly and no worthwhile since the virus isn't airborne and the mask isn't going to help anybody. The practically called it ridiculous. Then I showed it to my boss and told her how it didn't go over to well with anyone in the shop but I still thought it was a fun idea. 

Over the next few weeks I purchased some more elastic, washed up some fun fabrics and made some more. I made some for my family and still thought I could sell them at the craft fair. 

Around the first week of March my boss asked me for the pattern I used to make the masks. I directed her to the tutorial found here.  The tutorial is a little confusing so she made up her own instruction sheet using my original mask as the sample. She posted it on the store website. It blew up into a big issue since by then we knew that N95 masks were the only helpful ones and that only medical personnel should be wearing them. It seemed to be a big deal that these were not good enough for anything (so much criticism) so by the end of the week she took the instructions down. I too was very turned off by all the negative commentary so I quit the entire idea and shoved the masks I made aside. 

All of a sudden there was a shortage of masks. Medical and emergency personnel were scrambling for anything that would help. Hospitals were putting out instructions regarding the kind of masks they would like volunteers to make. My friend who works at the VA hospital in Milwaukee asked for the masks I had made. I told her I had a few for her but wasn't interested in making more since I still didn't see them as good enough. I was so turned off. Since she sews too, she took my mask, slit the bottom seam open to add a filter. She called them wonderful.

Then everything stopped. Our governor told us all we had to stay home unless our jobs were essential. 

And so it began. I started making masks. Then a weird thing happened.  People started to request them. I made them for anyone who asked for one. I kept making them until I ran out of elastic. 

My husband took this photo of me at 11 pm: 

Here we are at the beginning of April and now any kind of mask is now acceptable. Medical people desperately need them, police and fire departments will take them, nursing homes and hospitals are using them too. And now elastic is very hard to find. It's like trying to find toilet paper. I have ordered it online 3 times. 
My girlfriend who has a bakery that's only open on weekends asked for some so I made her these with a cute cupcake print.

I've given most of them away and I am still filling requests. Currently, I have these left to finish. And of course, I am waiting for more elastic. Maybe I can find someone who would like to trade some toilet paper. I have plenty of that!


What's on the design board?

The answer to the question "what's on the design board?" is nothing. Yup, there's nothing there right now. I am working on a quilt called Read to Me that requires lots and lots of appliqued letters.
Here are the letters I made (so far)...
They've been ironed onto black Moda solid fabric with heat 'n bond lite. I think cutting them out will be a bit of a challenge, especially the insides of the letters. I am happy that I have the 'book' blocks completed. The sashing between rows will have the words.

This quilt in progress is supposed to be a teacher appreciation gift for my granddaughter's teacher. Teacher Appreciation Week happens in April and although school is now online and there will be no TA week celebrations, I am still making this quilt. Besides, while in quarantine, what else do I have to do? Ha!

I will tell you what else I have to do - I am going to start a quilt called Butterfly Patch. I fell in love with the pattern and the fabrics on the pattern cover so I am going to try an recreate is exactly as it is.

I work part-time in a quilt shop and even though the shop is closed due to the pandemic, I still go in once a week and cut fabric kits. Their online ordering has blown up and the shop owner can't keep up with the orders. Isn't the quilting community wonderful? Anyway, while I was there yesterday, the news media showed up to do a segment on all the good works the quilt shop does. The Racine Police Department was in need of apron-like covers to wear over their uniforms and the quilt shop put out a call to the community to make them from Tyvek. The community responded and made hundreds of the aprons within 48 hours of Jim making the request. Amazing.

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