Friday, April 28, 2017

April's Friday Finish

A local nursing home requested some lap quilts from our quilt ministry group, and so that has been our focus over the past month or so.  This is the fourth "opportunity quilt" for the reverse side of that 17 in 2017 list of projects, and my one and only finish for April.
A whole lot of colorful scrappiness, with prints, plaids and dots from every season of the year and some novelty prints thrown in for good measure.  The quilt finished at 40 x 50 inches. And I didn't even make a dent in the huge bags of scraps we have accumulated.

This is the third quilt I've finished using those infamous phone book pages for the strippy block foundations, and it will be my last. Too many hours spent tearing off paper when I could be sewing ... Someone had the idea of trying used dryer sheets as foundations that would not require removal.  I'm thinking of trying that method, and wonder if anyone has made strippy blocks using these?  Seems like as long as they don't fall apart in the laundry they might work well since they're dimensionally stable and very thin.

I'll be making more nursing home quilts toward fall, but for the next few weeks will be working on a much larger project that includes a whole lot of scrappy nine-patch blocks, about 50 or so ...  Yet another opportunity.

So happy that spring has finally arrived and with it the fun of some outdoor quilty photos in the early morning mist.

Happy Friday!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Labeling at Last!

We've heard it over and over again, add labels to your completed quilts!  And while I've always added personalized labels for gifted quilts, and have even quilted the grandchildren's names into their special quilts, I'll admit to being totally remiss when it came to the ones I've kept for us.  Until now. Over the past two weeks, between other projects, labels have been added to 19 quilts!  I think I'm all caught up now, except for one antique quilt fragment that I squared up and bound the cut edges on two sides several years ago, that now hangs on a wall in my sewing room.

An older photo taken in our previous home

It all started when I was itching to get this old girl out to play for a bit.   She's a 1951 Singer Centennial Model 201 that we found twenty years ago in the attic of a big old barn-turned-thrift store in upstate New York.  I was shopping for an inexpensive bedside table and my husband spotted the Queen Anne cabinet and discovered the sewing machine inside.  The machine was a bonus, and a mighty fine one at that, as it worked perfectly right from the start.
At any rate, I was feeling the need to do some machine stitching but didn't want to start another big project, and labeling the many quilts around here has long been on my 'to-do' list.  I wanted to document some special quilts that we had picked up along the way, especially those for which we had provenance information, some that were totally made by others, others are vintage tops that I've quilted and finished, in addition to my own quilts. Quilts like this hand-quilted Mennonite broken-star pattern beauty from the Shipshewana, Indiana area that we picked up at a church school auction several years ago.
I don't have a date for this one, but it's fairly recent, the fabrics look like 1980s or early 1990s to me, and sadly one of those deep pinks still bleeds every time it's washed.

My labels tend to be very simple, printed on a commercial printer-friendly fabric, and bordered with pieces of leftover binding.  In this case I included information about the origin of the quilt, and where, when and who last purchased it.
My own quilts just get a name, location and year completed, unless I've given the quilt a name.  A simple job, so easily done. I'm so happy to have this nagging project completed, and wonder why it's taken so long to accomplish!  It's a pretty sure bet I'll add labels as soon as anything is completed from this point forward.  I hope ...