Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Harley Davidson ~~ finish!

The Harley Davidson memory quilt is complete! Binding and label done and dusted! The only thing left to do is to deliver it to the client. There were 30 or so tee shirts in the container, and I tried to use at least a small part from all of them. On many both the front and back had nice designs, so I sewed them together and created one panel. It was helpful in creating the puzzle design that the couple wanted. 

We were barbecuing on Monday when I finished the binding, so I  asked a couple of the kids to hold it up. Two "volunteered" but one of the guys was a bit short and had to stand on a small table. 

The other kiddo acted like he'd never held up a quilt, so someone had to get in the mix. Getting a straight line was impossible once I asked them to turn the quilt around. I had to choose how much of the boys to crop out but decided that I'll leave in however much is there. This way you can check out their happy faces. Everyone wants to be a quilt model in this family. At least they liked that it's a Harley Davidson quilt. 

My client mentioned using a black backing, but black is such a shocking color on the back of a quilt. I found some Kona charcoal, which is almost as dark and decided to go with it instead. I debated about the binding until I realized that I didn't have enough of the charcoal fabric. So black binding it is. I actually like the little contrast on the back, and the black works better on the front since many of the tees are black.

I put one full strip of tees on the back and the bottom-most tee has a nice open area above the design--perfect for the label. I included the information that I always include on a label and still have space for the family to add a note for dad. It's to be a Father's Day gift, so  that will be especially nice.

 Ready for its trip to Baton Rouge in the next few weeks, this quilt may be one of my favorite memory quilts. I'm quite surprised at that realization since I'm not a motorcycle fan but happy that I like it so much.

Quilt Stats
Name: Ainsworth Harley Davidson Memory Quilt
Size: 74 x 96
Fabrics: Tee shirts from client
Backing: Kona charcoal
Binding: Kona black 
Pattern: Puzzle design
Quilting: custom design based on tee-shirts
Completed: February 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Quilt Inspiration: small town life

That's our life: small town. Only a few families. Only a few homes. Only a few folks.

Wellfleet, Massachusetts: Even though this Cape Cod-based town is famous for its mild, sweet oysters, natives  ("Fleetians," as they call themselves) stay for the nine beaches, white-clapboard New England-style homes and trendy restaurant scene.This is a neat town to stay in,in December, each weekend they have Santa, caroling and the whole town is decorated. The best part is each evening they do a countdown at dusk and then turn on the lights.

The 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Virginia ~ Clarksville Chamber of Commerce © Sheila Cuykendall

Best Downtown – Old Town Alexandria. Loaded with history, but balanced with modern fun, Alexandria was named one of’s top 10 choices for best downtowns around the country. Located on the Potomac, just 6 miles from Washington, D.C., Alexandria offer a beautiful historic district, museums, theaters and shopping. It was also named one of’s Best Cities for Foodies in 2013.

A few from Pinterest and a few from our travels...


Interestingly, these small towns are all much bigger than our small town. Here we have three churches, a post office, a town hall, and homes. Some of the homes are old, historic homes, but that's all we can brag about. We're okay with not having a grocery store, a dollar store, restaurants. We gladly travel 15-20 minutes for those. 

Belle idée, les toits en dentelle !

And on That Farm - With a Big Quilt Here and a Small Quilt There Pattern: And on That Farm - With a Big Quilt Here and a Small Quilt There is the block 1 applique pattern of the And on That Farm quilt by McKenna Ryan. This quilt block features a quaint farm town with quilts on the barns! Finished quilt block measures 47 1/2

Round the Garden. Pattern by Wendy Williams.

Country Quilts: New Pattern--Summer

Country Quilts

A house on a quilt is a symbol of comfort and the togetherness of family, friends, and neighbors. House quilts really appeal to us, maybe be...

I finished   machine quilting my wallhanging with the houses. I try and do the smaller quilts I make and leave my large quilts to the p...

My Kinda Town quilt pattern designed by Peggy Larsen for Fiberworks features 9 whimsical paper pieced blocks

This would be a fun quilt to do by having a bunch of kids draw the house pictures!

Here it is all in one piece!  I can't wait to see how it looks when it's quilted!  I am waiting on 1 block which will be made into a label!!!


It's always nice to see such variety on a theme, but the number of quilts depicting small towns is really surprising to me. Most of these have been added to my board, "heart, quilts." 

QuiltNut Creations

Friday, February 16, 2018

Harley Davidson Memory Quilt ~~ Quilting Finish

 And so the Harley Davidson memory quilt is quilted. I still need to sew on the binding, but if all goes well, that will happen tomorrow. I was thinking that I’d use the charcoal Kona for binding, but tonight I’m thinking that a black Kona would be a better idea. Harley Davidson colors are orange and black but I like the frame of a black binding.

I took these pictures very quickly after I pulled the quilt off the long-arm and trimmed the rough edges off. So typical of the way I do things, I misjudged the amount of backing I would need. 

Actually, what I did was to use one strip of tee-shirts on the back so that the quilt would not be so large and heavy. Thank goodness I did! This quilt took five days to quilt. Of course, I did much more babysitting than quilting, and I do have a sinus infection that has me sleeping late every morning. Oh, and I should not forget that I visited the in-laws which always takes a couple of hours.  Nevertheless, I spent a couple of hours every day this week quilting.

Every tee shirt got its own custom quilting design. One has stippling with a small Harley Davidson logo stitched in. Another has palm leaves; the Florida shirt has tiki huts, Texas (maybe) has stars. Memphis has music staffs stippled in. And so on.

There are several advantages to quilting a memory quilt this way. First, it adds to the depth of energy in the quilt and, second, gives the viewer something to look for. Third, it’s great practice for the quilter. Fourth, (my favorite) it’s an opportunity to create new motifs.

indianImage result
For the Alexandria, Louisiana, tee, I created a new motif. The focus of the quilt is the Indian motorcycle logo, so I attempted to recreate the Indian headdress. The first couple are okay but by the time I got to the end of the tee, I’d figured out a few problems and improved the design. 
So why didn’t I rip out the first ones, you ask? Well, it’s too much work but, also, I avoid ripping out because it so easily damages the fabric. Remember, these are old tee-shirts that have been worn and washed many times. They come apart easily if pulled on or poked with the seam ripper. What do you like most about quilt a tee-shirt memory quilt? 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Name tag and Studio Pics

I made a quick name tag to wear at our monthly guild meetings. I've escaped having to do that for several years because I was rarely able to attend. 

Now that I can attend every month and am president, I need to set a good example. Am I right? Besides there's a $1 fine every time I show up without a name tag. That was also okay but, let's face it, the fines will begin to add up now.

I've joined several sewing/quilting groups on Facebook recently. One of them is all about craft rooms. People share their rooms, spaces, closets, wherever they craft. They also discuss ideas and ask questions. Chatting is nonstop. 

I have been enjoying reading these group discussions and have participated in several. Finally I decided it was time to take a few pictures of the studio and share them. 

Then it occurred to me that I had a rough sketch of the floor-plan from when we last worked on it and found it among the many jpeg files I have saved. It may give you an idea of where things are and how I have set up my little work-space. 

Sewing table
Having cleaned up a bit, I thought I'd share them with you, also. The cleaning is far from complete, but maybe it's not so bad that I need to be embarrassed. My daughters-in-law noticed the difference, so there's some progress, anyway.

Accuquilt Studio cutter

Fabric and notions
Ahh, the mess that I'm working on.
 Areas are now well-defined so that each table, shelf, etc. has its job to do. No more of this playing around and thinking, "Well, I can do this here." Or, "If I put this here, I'll remember to come back to it." And, "Maybe I can do two things in this place." I'm finally resolved to keeping things in the area where they belong. 

Thread storage
Innova long-arm machine
I really like this set up and hope I can maintain it until it becomes a habit. There are, surely, some more things to do: figure out what to do with all that extra fabric, give away some of the books that are hanging out under the long-arm, and arrange those odd things that I'm not sure what to do with. All in time, I suppose. 

Next week I'll tell you how I have solved some of the storage problems that come with having lots of stuff.  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Back to Beta and a fabric sale

Convention theme: Beta on My Mind

I'm pretty far behind blogging about the things I've been up to. For example, I haven't reported back on my trip to Beta Convention. I really had a great time catching up with old friends, getting some "away" time, and helping others. 
Visiting state and national officers lined up for an intro
 My job at convention is to manage backstage: call groups to the back, line people up so they are ready when it's time to go on, and get people out of the way (back to their seats) when they're done.

Just a few thousand teenagers
and they love to support their clubs, even
if it means sitting on the floor
 I'm sorry that the pictures are so bad, but it's actually a good thing. These days we post all the pictures that we want, but I still hold by the adage that children don't have the mental capacity to decide for themselves what is safe. 

BHS students who were in the club I sponsored before retiring
Parents are quick to complain and sue if they think their child has been exploited. Of course, that's a parent's job, so I agree. But because there are always those who take things too far, I don't post clear pictures or names of students under the age of 18. Now that I'm retired, I don't have to be concerned so much but old habits tend to hang-on to a person.

When I returned home from convention, I got busy cleaning the studio again. I'm going through some of the fabric that I know I'll never put in a quilt and am trying to sell it online. I've joined several FB groups, some of which allow people to post ads. To find my ad, just click on this link.

 Mary's Destash

Hopefully I'll sell some of this rather than give it away. I can't toss it, that's for certain. I struggle to toss out even the stuff that I know is not good because of stains, fading, damage, etc. I suppose it's time to say I might be a fabric collector!  :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Pin It Weekly #233

After taking Jolie to get her new pointe shoes and hand-sewing the ribbon and elastic on them, I had ballet on my mind. Of course, that meant finding some ballet shots to add to my Pinterest.

Ballerina Anna Osadcenko - Stuttgart Ballet - Photo by Carlos Quezada Fotografía

Ballet Beautiful | ZsaZsa Bellagio - Like No Other
Zsa Zsa Bellagio
See this Instagram photo by @zarelywear • 562 likesLia Cirio @msliac, principal dancer with Boston Ballet and Zarely Role Model, is convinced that seeing greater goal helps focusing on smaller steps towards it #IamZarely  #zarelywear  #zarely #zarelyz2

Ballet Beautiful January 23, 2018 | ZsaZsa Bellagio - Like No Other

elegantballetMilena Mikhalchuk, Bolshoi Ballet Academy student, photographed by Darian Volkova

Have you seen City.Ballet, the online documentary series about New York City…

When I had a minute to do some pinning, I added a few pins to my "ballet, dance" board.

Ballet, Swan Lake Pas de quatre

Marianela Nunez as Giselle
I guess I got a little carried away. My original intention was simply to pin a few pictures and share the board with Miss Prima Ballerina herself, but I just kept pinning. There are over 200 pins on this board, but maybe Jolie will scan through and pick out some favorites for her Snapchat.  In the meantime, I'm having great fun. Hope you do, too.

Ballet Beautiful January 23, 2018 | ZsaZsa Bellagio - Like No Other
Myriam Ould-Braham and Mathias Heymann in Cranko’s Onegin