Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Little QOV in the Afternoon!

This kind of scrappy back building happened yesterday afternoon!

It was a beautiful drive home from the cabin, temps have crept up into the 80s here in North Carolina –how did it go from too cold to too hot so quickly?

I’ll take it.  I would much rather roast than freeze, and as the saying goes, “You don’t have to shovel sunshine!”

I’m soaking it up, because I’m SURE it’s not going to be like this in Iowa this weekend, nor will it be this way at the Grand Hotel in May!

This small quilt project has really been a fun one.  Such a satisfactory fast finish.  There may be more small quilts in my future.

I dug into my little bin of Quilt of Valor patriotic type scraps, and used some fun stuff along with the extra four patches from the top to make this strippy back.  When I do quilts with a patriotic feel, I tend to play more with the color families, paying less attention to the print on the fabric, than the colors that bring about the feeling that I want.  This means that there are not a lot of flag or star things happening in the front.  Theme fabrics can be busy and overpowering if too many of them are used in close proximity.  I let the colors do the job –but the back is a great place to pull in the Americana!


Zig Zagging some batting scraps!

The Rocketeer can’t be beat for a smooth zig zag.  I just set it at the widest stitch width and longest length, overlap the batting edges about 1/8’’ and let the zig zag do its thing to hold them together.  The thread smooshes the batting.  There is no ridge.  It is very secure this way, and then there is no fusible glue in the middle of my quilt.

Here’s a little video of the process, sewing one handed while holding the camera..LOL!  This is the first time trying to embed an instagram post so we’ll see how it works!


Quilting in progress!

Little quilts don’t take long!


I love anything with words on it!

The theme for the celebrity quilt auction is “America the Beautiful” and I am calling this one “Heart of Valor”.  Believing that valor comes in many ways, shapes and forms, I also think of those wives and family members who stayed behind while their loved ones were overseas at war and in danger.  What must have gone through their hearts and minds on a daily basis wondering if everything was going to be okay.  Sometimes the simple act of digging in the scraps and putting the pieces together help us move through even life’s most difficult situations.

In asking us to create our own version of “America the Beautiful” I am struck by the amazing diversity we have here within this country.  I have included fabrics from my earliest years of quilting in this small quilt with fabrics from the 70s, 80s, 90s, early 2000s, and into today as well as recycled shirt fabrics, celebrating every step on the timeline of my life as an American Quilter.  I hope whoever places the winning bid on this quilt sees herself/himself in the included fabrics as well.


Binding on, ready to flip and stitch down!


The back side –hanging sleeve and label in place!

I’m not sure what info they want on the label, so I haven’t written that yet.  I’m not sure if I am supposed to leave a “Bump” in the hanging sleeve to accommodate the rod, so waiting on that info as well.  But I can stitch the binding down!

Someone asked in yesterday’s comments if I am going to be writing a tutorial for this one.  It’s already published in my book MORE Adventures with Leaders & Enders, using 4 blocks instead of the 30 in the original quilt, and the block itself was already published in a past edition of 100 blocks by 100 designers as well as being included in the recent 1000 blocks by Quiltmaker so I won’t be writing a tutorial for this one. 

But I have had SO much fun doing this, I’d love to do more Quilt of Valor patterns in the future because I think there is a need, and if new fun designs can encourage quilters to jump in and sew up a quilt to gift to the cause, I’m all for it.

I just need time.  Oh yeah ---where is the time?

During the quilting process, luckily in between passes, our power went out!  And not just us – the whole area!  A call to the power company let us know that they were working on it and they expected the power would come on at……8pm.  This was at 5pm.  I had potatoes half baked in the oven! LOL!


What’s a girl to do?

I pulled the 1885 Singer 15-1 “Improved Family” out onto the back porch and made a go of some neutral string blocks.  HOW did the woman of the day in 1885 deal with no electricity?  It was hard to get the bobbin in just right.  This one has a very funky bobbin mechanism.  Read more about this machine HERE.

Mostly I missed my iron.  Finger pressing only goes so far.  But that’s the great thing about string piecing on paper.  I can tug the block to pull the paper away from the stitches, and still iron the block flat before trimming to size.

It’s my last day at home – Iowa tomorrow!  Actually flying into Sioux Falls, South Dakota, picking up a rental car and driving 2 hours to Spirit Lake.  Can you say ADVENTURE!?


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Vintage Lemoyne star quilt found in Texas.

One of the best ways to change your life is to stop caring what everyone thinks and start caring about being yourself!

Have a beautiful Tuesday, everyone!

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  1. Anonymous10:09 AM EDT

    Next time your power goes out, go online (via some mobile device) to check for info. Google "Duke Energy Outage Map Carolinas" and you can pull up the area of outage, the number of customers involved, and the expected restoration time. Saw on your Facebook page that you were driving around trying to find the extent of the problem. No need to do that with the online map. It helps to get familiar with the map before you need to use it, too.

    Usually, the power is restored before the time given on the map. Patience is needed, though, if there's been a fallen tree (requiring more than just quick equipment repair) or a big storm with widespread outages.

    - From someone familiar with the system

  2. Dear Anonymous. 26 year old sons always want to drive around to see if someone hit a power pole. Besides, it gave him something to do! And we are not on Duke Energy here in my little corner of NC.

  3. Bonnie,
    LOVE your little valor quilt! I am always amazed at the beautiful creations you create with little scraps of fabric, many that were discarded by another. I love that beauty can come from those little pieces!
    Would you mind sharing the panto you used on this quilt. I am really liking it! Sorry about the power outage... It is hard to be without the electricity we are so accustomed to having it!

    Enjoy your day!

  4. Actually the weather in Iowa is supposed to be in the 70"s through the weekend.

  5. I don't think the weather will be too bad for your visit to Iowa - 60s, although over the last week it has been beautiful - in the 70s and 80s. One of my quilt retreat friends will be with you in Iowa (I wish I was there as well!). Say hi to Kay Christian, when I saw her in February she was so SO excited about seeing you! Your QOV is beautiful, as all of you quilts are!

  6. Anonymous11:57 AM EDT

    You mean there's a meter on the back of a house somewhere in North Carolina that Duke isn't monitoring and billing? They'll have to get right on that! LOL

  7. Anonymous12:06 PM EDT

    What do you think of not sewing your scraps together, and just butting the edges up against each other as you roll the quilt up on the long arm? That's what I do, and it works fine for me, but I see a lot of others sewing the scraps together. Just wondered what the pro thinks!

  8. Anonymous12:48 PM EDT

    This past week I had a visit from my cousin with pictures and documents in hand about my grandfather who was in the first world war. I didn't know these things existed. She wondered if I would like them, you bet I would. He was in the army, honorably discharged after losing an eye at 23 years old. His pay book said he got paid $1.00 a day to be on the front line in Vimy Ridge. He survived the horrors of the war to have a fulfilled life in Canada. I feel so privileged to now have these items to add to the artifacts I have and be the current keeper of this little piece of history. I was so lucky to get to know him.
    Thanks Bonnie for all your insperation.
    Ontario Canada

  9. Are you going to do any sight seeing in Sioux Falls? My favorite antique store is Lost Marbles on Minnesota, which is the main drag North and South. I've only seen sewing machines in there a couple of times, but she has a lot of vintage fabrics and clothing and things of that sort. There is an antique mall in Tea which is a little town S. of SF but I've only been out there a couple of times so I am not sure what is there.

  10. Bonnie how did you ever learn to take apart and put together sewing machines. That machine looked bad, real bad lots of thick grime. What do you use to clean them?

  11. How did you ever learn to take apart and put together sewing machines? That machine had so much grime, what did you clean it with?

  12. I'm happy to see someone else using their Rocketeer. I learned free motion on mine and then I tried free motion on a treadle machine. It can be done, but takes some real coordination, probably more than I have.
    I love your quilt of valor and especially the pieced backing.

  13. Jamie McClenaghan1:04 PM EDT

    Hi Bonnie,
    It's me, Jamie from the Peru girls. I am SO looking forward to seeing you at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island! My fingers are crossed that all goes well and my husband and I make it there . . . it didn't work out for us last year, but it's a new day.
    Hugs, Jamie


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