Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Postage Stamp/Picnic Quilt w/nod to those fab 30s ...;-)

A quilt for Me!  It occurred to me last week, after delivering the DGD Jade's Memory T-shirt quilt on 'Move-IN' day at college, and while wondering 'what' I was going to work on next...I hadn't made ME a quilt in almost ten (10) years!  Perhaps it was time ;-)

And I knew just the one I wanted to create - one I'd seen recently in the BIG Book of Strip Quilts:

Finally - a BIG Book for Strippers!

Like many, I've ALWAYS wanted my very own Postage Stamp quilt.  And I always saw a Postage Stamp as the perfect family Picnic quilt.

Typically, Postage Stamp quilts are comprised of 1" squares of a variety of fabrics and prints.  Novelty prints, and especially vintage fabrics, are some of the favorites routinely used to create these colorful wonders.  This particular postage stamp quilt - aptly named 'Basic Postage', was a little different with a neat twist:

'Basic Postage' from the BIG Book of Strip Quilts

Can you see the 'twist' in this colorful Postage Stamp quilt?  Not only are the one-inch blocks amped up to 2" size, they are also blended with 4" blocks for a neat twist - which adds a nice balance, especially when used with a 'blender/background' fabric, but also gobbles up ALOT of space!  In NO time at all, I knew I could quickly create this colorful wonder, utilizing some 1930's Reproduction fabrics I'd been saving for just such a FUN quilting feat!

I immediately launched on a fabric hunt, scouring through fabric bins and storage tubs of stash until I found exactly what I was looking for and started pressing, cutting, seaming and pressing once again my fabric choices:

Fabric choices seamed and pressed - ready to be cut into units

Strips are cut and sewn into 4-patches, center seams are 'twisted' to ensure they lay nice & flat:

4-patch seams do the 'twist'

Once pressed and twisted, sewn to the 4" blocks:

Ready to be sewn into blocks!

While strip sewing, pressing and cutting, I couldn't help but smile while daydreaming about the day this special FUN quilt would be ALL finished up and ready for its first of many Fall picnics with my family, and especially my DGD, Jade.  When I mentioned it to her on one of our first visits seeing her at school in the middle of her first week at school, she smiled one of her BIG beautiful grins and said, "I'd love to go on a picnic w/you, Grammy!"

Alrighty then, time to get busy sewing!  And sew I did!  In eight (8) days, this is what I came up with:

Interior of the Postage Stamp/Picnic quilt - ready for borders

Time to check-out some border options:

Border possibilities - including piano keys

I knew I wanted to incorporate the piano keys - they were included in the original Basic Postage pattern design and I LOVE piano key borders!  I even like quilting them!!  But I also knew, I wanted this quilt to be BIG - to accommodate our family and any/ALL picnics we would enjoy having.  Plus, it could double as a table covering in the Betty Boop quilting studio during the winter months...

This will do nicely:

8-Day Postage Stamp/Picnic quilt top - ready for quilting!

It was one busy week!  In between sewing, cutting, pressing and more cutting & pressing...life went on - including being the first week of the DGD going off to college, one of the largest Power Balls in history (yep, I bought a couple of Power Ball tickets.  Nope I didn't win NOTHIN'), got to eat supper with the DGD after, sewed furiously as Hurricane Harvey hit with a vengeance - Oh how I pray for those affected in any way by that horrific hurricane/tropical storm, and decided I would probably make at least one quilt for a Hurricane Harvey survivor, and I 'think' I know just the pattern I'll use...I'll share that with you in an upcoming post, once I make those final fabric/pattern decisions.

In the meantime...time to quilt!


Monday, August 21, 2017

THE Memory T-Shirt Quilt...

Several months in the making, this is NOT the standard Memory T-Shirt quilt for MANY reasons - one being it is NOT for the standard recipient, since the intended just happens to be my DGD, Jade ;-)

Jade's Memory T-Shirt quilt

Quilt label complete w/personal kitty sigs

'Miss Betty' & I have made several Memory T-shirt quilts in the past, AND they have ALL been very special but, understandably, this one would hold a very special place in this Grammy's heart.  (Many of you may not know I'm even a 'Grammy', since I am VERY protective of my family, and especially my one and Only DGD, Jade!)  Now that she's fully grown and college-bound, guess I can loosen those Grammy reins a tad...but NOT too much!!

It started out with T-shirts submitted in secret by the intended recipient's Mom.  And because the intended is not only a cat-lover and avid book reader BUT a lefty, fabrics were chosen carefully from the TAG Collection at ConnectingThreads.com, including this 'Left-Handed' Dot fabric.  (The intended requested a black & white theme be incorporated...WE happily complied, since it's one of our favs, too!)

Left Handed Dot fabric

Along w/texting fabrics and two of our favorites - the Abcedery and Famous Last Words fabrics, shown here in one of the pillowcases, created solely from Memory T-shirt quilt 'leftovers'.

Reversible pillowcase created w/leftovers

I use Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company's method for creating pillowcases...Fast!

A few notable facts regarding this unforgettable Monster quilt:

  • All T-shirts were cut/stabilized in one (1) day
  • The ENTIRE Memory T-Shirt Quilt was sewn together in one (1) day through tears of sadness and JOY - although it took (1) one week to lay out in various design layouts prior to the oldest daughter and her fiance showing up and contributing layout design ideas...which were worked into the final Memory T-Shirt Quilt  (Thanks Jessie & Greg!)
  • Took two (2) FULL hours to load this Memory T-Shirt quilt onto the quilting frame, due to the directional design of the front of the quilt AND the backing, plus the sheer size!
  • Quilted in one (1) Day - and it's King Size, quilted w/walking cat digital quilting design
  • Bound/laundered/labeled in one (1) day
YES, I was definitely under deadlines w/time constraints thus, LOTS of motivation to finish...and Finish we did w/one (1) day to spare...Whew!

Additional Memory T-Shirt photos:

Vintage corduroy Peace Sign fabrics from the 70s - from this Grammy's stash!

Tie-dyed T-shirts w/signatures of friends/family from the intended's childhood

Memory T-Shirt Quilt coming off the frame

And now - it's residing on the bed in the college dorm room of the intended.  We hope it keeps her ALL safe & warm as she embarks on the next journey of her life...

For now - even though I should be binding the HUGE pile of quilted quilts I have ready to be bound, this Grammy is getting back to sewing a personal postage stamp picnic quilt out of 1930s reproduction fabrics w/a few patriotics thrown in for good measure, while watching the August 21, 2017 Solar eclipse happenings going on at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale, IL:

1930s Reproduction Postage Stamp fabrics for personal picnic quilt


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What's UP Wednesday?!

We started something similar to this on a recent online group and had quite a bit of FUN with it soooo, thought I'd continue on here, just to share a 'few' things Miss Betty & I have been up to lately.  Soooo, here we go!

It's been a very busy summer!  Between dodging thunderstorms and weeding and mowing when it's NOT raining and storming - even lost one of my primary notebooks during one of our recent lightning storms, managed to get a few projects started and even finished.

First is a patriotic quilt top one of our Volunteer Members of our East Central IL QOV Group, Doris, started the interior, we added borders and readied for quilting:

A Doris original - ready to be quilted into a QOV!

This 'surprise' quilt is currently on the frame, almost finished!  This is a wedding/anniversary quilt for a very special bride & groom...and it's a Surprise!  So, you won't get to see the BIG reveal until 'after' it's been presented ;-)

Just a 'peak' of this Surprise quilt ;-)

Once this quilt is off the frame, a very special T-shirt quilt will take its place asap, since the intended starts college in less than 2 weeks...yikes!

LOTS of piecing of quilt tops and Mystery Quilt(s) are currently in various stages of progress:

Marathon of strip-piecing

ALL the piecing paid off...

Enough blocks and panels to create at least TEN (10) patriotic quilts for our Vets!

...and a few embroidered Eagle blocks thrown in for good measure ;-)

We need a few more to begin assembly!

Plenty of quilt tops are ready and awaiting to be ALL bordered out - here's a few we are working on:

Borders cut for nine (9) quilt tops, three (3) borders per top = 27 borders!

And the final clue to this Patriotic Mystery has just been released!

Patriotic Mystery ready to be finished - hopefully over the weekend...

Time to sew & quilt!