Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday Mash-up is back!

Got a break-ey break from the HEAT wave and Miss Betty & I got to spend some quality time quilting:

Isn't this Military Gold Glide machine quilting thread looking Rich?
Just getting started on this Quilt of Valor - been in our quilt queue for almost 6 months, waiting patiently for his turn - wait 'til you see 'the rest of this QOV', but that's another blog post ;-)

Awhile back, I promised I'd share how we echo quilt pantos that end up having too much space in between the pantograph quilted rows.

Echo quilting w/HQ echo foot around the Becker's Shooting Star panto - LOTS of FUN!
We usually do this 'after' ALL the panto quilting is complete and usually after the borders are ALL quilted and the SID work is done.  This echo quilting is Fast & FUN - our two favorite criteria for quilting!

And the results speak for themselves:

Echo quilting complete - you would never know
there was too much spacing between the panto rows
Once we discovered this remedy for dealing with too much spacing between panto rows, either by accident, or now in our case by design - NO more ripping for us!  And did I already's FUN!  Give this a try the next time you happen to misjudge your panto spacing!

Fireworks Quilt of Valor coming off the frame
During the HEAT wave, been working on getting more star blocks off to the QOV Stars Group. These star blocks are well underway:

Sewing the second side of this Star block unit

...and should be finished up just in time to mail on the same day as our East Central IL QOV Group meeting this Thursday.

Miss Betty is waiting - time to get back to quilting!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hodge Podge Sunday...w/Updates!

Running around doing about 10 different things - NO time to be bored on Hodge Podge Sunday...;-)

Working on Clues #4 & #5 of our June/July QOV Mystery, trying to get caught up!

Clue #5 of our QOV Mystery - isn't this a neat block?!
UPDATE:  Good thing I did a final 'check' prior to starting to sew 'cause I made a teensy-weensy mistake in my pre-assembly prior to sewing, that could've ended up w/BIG bad results!  Can you tell the difference?

This is actually how Clue #5 is supposed to look...Surprise!
This is what happens when one is trying to combine two QOV Mystery Clues at the same time!  If I had already sewn Clue #4, this probably wouldn't have happened since it requires the same blue/white 4-patches...gulp.
Clue #4 units waiting patiently for their turn in the assembly sewing line
Grabbed a few of these QOV Signature blocks that had been sewn earlier - last weekend, maybe, I forget! and got them pressed, ready for Stage 2 of their assembly:

Signature blocks pressed and ready for Stage #2 assembly...Yes!

I use one end of our dining room table to set up a temporary cutting station by pulling back the table cloth:

Temporary cutting station
This is what my dining room table looks like when multiple projects are going on:

Dining room table subbing as cutting/assembly table while the Boop studio gets finished!

Time to get back at it since it's trying hard to storm...


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Time out for the Annual Betty Boop quilting studio Deck Staining/Painting...

Playing beat the clock - trying to get the Boop quilting studio deck ALL stained and painted prior to the 4th!  Just barely made it before the thunderstorms started rolling in:

This is where the table rests once the deck stain dries completely

This side of the deck faces the south and our pond -
where a bald eagle flies over from time to time

Going down?  The exit to the first landing

ALL 37 steps are now stained - the white pickets at the bottom landing still need painting...
after the T-storms pass ;-)

Even added a couple of coats of paint to some vintage pieces:

Formerly starting to rust, this cast iron table looks Brand-NEW
with just a few coats of paint...and hammered copper paint to boot!

A Special Thank YOU to my DGD, Jade - for helping move ALL the deck furniture,
including this beastie table, into and out of the quilting studio!!

Vintage trash can sporting its NEW coats of paint

This freshly painted love seat will soon get some NEW cushions to go with -
once their ALL sewn!
This is what the quilting studio looked like while the staining and painting was underway:

The studio kitchenette - now includes the grill in the back w/cover, along w/table chairs

The 'vintage love seat', along w/cast iron table upside down on the studio guest bed.  And yep - that's the large potted plant that contains 'Scarlet', a surprise Tiger Lilly who graced us w/her gorgeous RED blooms earlier this year!
Meet Scarlet!

A better view of the covered grill w/vintage trash can - soon to be painted!

Now that the thunderstorms have arrived, time for some sewing.  Just finishing up Clue #3 of our June/July Quilts of Valor Mystery:

HSTs sewn for Clue #3 of our QOV Mystery - all ready to be cut apart and pressed

Clue #3 trimmed/pressed

Alrighty then - time for a break!  I have some quilting mags just waiting for me to peruse...

Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Back to Playing Catch-Up!

May has been soooo busy, BUSY!  Yard work came early w/wonderful gardening weather - which gave 'Miss Betty' a much-needed break-ey break.  Now that I'm almost caught up on my part of the yard work ;-) time for some quilting!

'Miss Betty' quilting out patriotic star panto

This Quilt of Valor has been in our quilt queue for quite awhile and just now came up.  I like to keep Red/White/Blue patriotic QOVs on hand for 'emergencies', and I created this one with that in mind several months ago.

We knew exactly how we wanted to quilt it with our trademark panto in the center, custom quilting in the borders - complete with our 'flavor' of McTavishing:

Close-up of Becker's Shooting Star panto quilting

McTavish quilting in the borders w/Rainbows Patriotic in the needle

Should be able to finish up quilting later today.

Also got some long-awaited QOV quilt blocks finished and ready to ship:

Dandy Stars - created extra for the QOV Stars Facebook Group
And lastly, finished cutting ALL the 'bars' for a Stars and Bars QOV:

Basket of strips for the Stars & Bars QOV, along w/high-tech cutting list -
a recycled junk mail envelope complete w/patriotic color theme ;-)
And - the sewing of the strips for our QOV signature quilt is complete, just need to press/trim/sew the stars and we're Golden:

East Central IL QOV Signature Quilt - in progress

Got the inspiration from one of my favorite Quilt Ladies, Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company:

Made in Red/White/Blue, the central 'white' strip can be used as a Signature block and ultimately Signature QOV quilt!  We have TONS of the red/white/blue sig blocks waiting to be signed and turned into QOVs.  Thought I'd sew the first one as a model for those to come.  I'll post pics of our progress in upcoming blog posts...

Time to get back to it!


Friday, May 27, 2016

A Creative Memorial Day Tribute to Honor our Fallen Heroes

For those Who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice - a Tribute to Honor These Fallen Heroes:

Thank YOU for the Freedoms we enjoy today and Everyday because of their sacrifice for me and my family.

My Best to You and Yours,

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

QOV Quilting Toss-up! w/Updates

Time to change up the quilting a bit.  Taking a page out of Miss Katy's quilting playbook, over at, specifically this blog link: where she utilizes more than one quilting technique w/panto in different sections of a quilt...neat!

So here we go w/latest Quilt of Valor created by our Doris and I - we make a pretty good QOV Team, don't you think? ;-)

Another of Doris's 'Row Quilt' QOVs coming off the frame
While choosing the border quilting design first - since Miss Betty & I LOVE quilting borders, we decided to treat ALL three borders as one, which would allow us to quilt them w/larger panto.  I chose this one:

Starstruck panto chosen for the 3 Red/White/Blue borders
It was a great choice and quilted out perfectly, with just enough room for echoing...what FUN!

Starstruck panto w/echo quilting
For the interior, we chose Becker's Shooting Star from, which also was a wonderful choice, along with one of our long-time thread favs - Rainbows Patriotic:

Starstruck and Becker's Shooting Star pantos combined in one Quilt of Valor!
We enjoyed quilting out Becker's Shooting Star panto so much, we're giving serious consideration to also quilting out this QOV with it:

Alycia's Stars A-Waving Quilt of Valor ALL loaded and ready to quilt!

Loaded this most recent Quilt of Valor onto Miss Betty right before the latest round of thunderstorms hit.  Once they pass, we'll be ALL ready to start quilting again!

UPDATE later that same day:  managed to squeeze in a little panto quilting in between storms - isn't this star quilting turning out neat?!

Close-up of star quilting

UPDATE 4/29/2016 - look what just came off the Miss Betty quilting frame prior to the NEXT thunderstorm hitting:

Alycia's Stars A Wavin' coming off the frame!

This wonderful Stars A Wavin Quilt of Valor Alycia designed for us ALL to enjoy creating and ultimately awarding to a very deserving Service Member or Veteran, will be on display at our local library in Marshall throughout the month of May beginning May 3, 2016, along with additional QOVs. East Central IL QOV has been invited to create a display sharing the Good News about the Quilts of Valor Foundation, and how EVERYONE may join in helping to create and award beautiful Quilts of Valor for those touched by war.

Another storm is moving through...time for binding!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

It's Time for some Quilting! w/Updates

Miss Betty & I have spent considerable time apart of late, while yours truly readied several/many quilt tops, including quite a few Quilts of Valor, for quilting.  Now has come the time to start quilting them!

First in the quilting line-up, a quilt top created by 'our Doris', bordered out and ready for quilting. Once we got our thread options chosen - one of our long-time favorites, you'll remember this one:

Superior's Rainbows Patriotic machine quilting thread - one of our favs!
...along with one of our favorite bobbin thread choices:

Maxi-lock for bobbin thread and Revive for press-F R E E/wrinkle F R E E backings...
what a perfect quilting combo!  (Additional info here:
When we got the quilt sandwich loaded, time to attach the side tensioners for stress-F R E E quilting:

Side Tensioner
Here's a close-up:

Customized 'Betty Boop' side tensioners - got this neat idea from
Professional Quilt Artist/Instructor, Sharon great!
ALL the links to the Sharon Schamber tutorial videos may be found under our Favorite Tutorials page here:

After the quilt top/backing/batting is loaded, bobbins are wound, machine threaded, side tensioners attached, favorite House episode of Season #3 picked out and ready to watch/listen to, time to start quilting! That is until a storm blew in and the power went out...UGH!

Alrighty then - 2 hours later, after the storm passed and the power returned, it was NOW time to quilt, and quilt we did!

This was FUN!!

Quilting the Stars and Swirls panto
This is also one of our tried and true pantos, you should remember this one, too ;-)

Dave Hudson's Random Stars panto
We haven't quite quilted 100 Quilts of Valor with this favorite panto but, we're getting close!

And no QOV of ours would be considered complete without a little McTavishing, and here we go:

McTavishing the top border w/LOTS of swirls to mimic a waving flag
This side border came out really nice, we think:

McTavished side border w/Rainbows Patriotic...neat!
As soon as ALL the panto quilting and our version of McTavishing is complete, we'll go back and add the continuous firecracker swirls we're so fond of in the white picture frame perimeter borders, and this very special Quilt of Valor will be ready for binding and labeling.  We'll update this post w/pics as we progress.

IF we hadn't lost our power for those 2 hours, might've been able to finish!  Oh well, there's ALWAYS tomorrow, tomorrow...

It's Tomorrow!  UPDATE 4/07/2016: just finished quilting and coming off the frame:

Doris's QOV coming off the frame
Some close-ups:

Star panto quilting w/Firecracker swirls and McTavishing quilting in the borders

The back shows the quilting a little better ;-)

ALL quilted and ready for binding and labeling!
Time to make some binding!

UPDATE 4/21/2016:  ALL finished and ready to be awarded to Doris's Vietnam Vet.  You may read ALL about it by following this direct weblink to our East Central IL QOV blog posting: