Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kimmie's Wedding Quilt... Part 7

I'm almost there! The next step in this process is to attach the borders. The inner border is a narrow green strip, followed by the outer border which is pieced. But the outer border has to be pieced and measured first and then the green border cut to size to make the outer border fit.

To make the outer border I'll need these "threesies".

Then take eightsix 3.25in squares and cut diagonally twice for 344 triangles

I then chain pieced the brown triangles to first one side of the threeseis

and then the other side to make the parallelograms

And here's a little peak at what the pieced border will look like.

I will be working every spare minute this week in order to get this ready for quilting! I am soooo close to being done!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kimmie's Wedding Quilt... Part 6

Feet back on the ground in TN and back to work. First things first though. Playing "kickballgame" with my grandson in the backyard (which means kicking a football around the yard about a million times)!

and having spaghetti for dinner with fresh picked strawberries for dessert! A nice warm bubble bath and the little angel is off to dreamland!

All the pieces are ready to assemble into a quilt!

To make the center of the quilt these blocks are sewn "on point" so that means assembling in rows starting at the top left corner and assembling the rows diagonally rather than straight across. Unfortunately I didn't remember to take pictures of the process. But, eight hours later most of the center of the quilt is pieced...all but the 4 corner pieces. See those corners with the blue... there is supposed to be a string block there! AAARRRGGHH! I walked around in circles looking everywhere for the missing pieces. I finally gave up and layed it out and took this picture thinking I would have to make another string block tomorrow to get this done. After taking the picture I picked up the top to put away and guess what I found underneath?.... yep... the missing block. Now it's all together and ready for the border.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Wedding

Pre-dawn wake up, driving in the dark to the airport, parking and shuttle to the ticket booth, new-fangled scanner thingys (and a pat down for Matthew) and we make it to the gate with five minutes to spare!

Earplugs in. Lots of gum chewing! ...and we are on our way! First stop, Detroit. Three visits to Urgent Care during the past week with massive doses of antibiotics, decongestants and steriods did the trick... no burst eardrums! A BRISK walk from one end of the terminal to the other (something like 40 gates!) and onto the next plane to Elmira.

The natives are a little different here in Elmira. I have to admit I've not seen tails like this in TN.

It's a little gray and cool here (compared to sunny and 90 in TN) but the rain seems to be holding off for the wedding.

Next, a 50 min drive on country roads across the border into Pennsylvania and we made it!

The happy couple exchange vows

There was even an adorable flower girl

Matthew with his beautiful cousins!

The reception at the VFW afterwards, seeing family and friends all decked out, lots of food and music and dancing! It was all sooo much fun and it was all over too quick. The trip home was uneventful. Met this cutie on his way to florida. Wish I was going with him!

I came home to an exhausted grandpa, a boisterous grandson and about 8 quarts of strawberries! Pie anyone?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kimmies Wedding Quilt.... Part 5

All the pieces for this block are now complete so it is time to assemble.
I need 4 of these light/dark "twosies"
and 4 of these purple/brown half square triangles (HSTs)

plus one green square (not pictured)
These 9 pieces are stitched to make the center of the block.

The block center then gets surrounded with an HST strip on each side and blue squares in the four corners.

Voila 24 hours of sewing later the 30 blocks are completed and the quilt is ready to assemble.

I have an early morning flight tomorrow so I unfortunately will not be able to finish this for the wedding. Luckily my niece is very understanding. :<}

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kimmie's Wedding Quilt... Part 4

Step 4 of this project is to make 600 half square triangles. Yes, I did say 600! To make this go a bit quicker I found a webpage to help...and it's FREE!


You print these sheets in the appropriate size (they have a variety of sizes available), pin the pages to strips of dark and light fabric that are facing each other, and sew on the dotted lines. You then cut on the solid lines, remove the paper and press open. Still a time consuming propostion (16 hours), but much faster than making them individually.

Now the 600 HSTs have to be sewn into strips of 5. This went fairly quickly (6 hours) by first setting aside 120 HSTs and chain piecing the remainder into sets of two, then adding the single to make 120 sets of three which are then sewn to the remaining 120 sets of 2 to end up with 120 sets of 5!

The local quilt shop owner will be retiring soon and is having an inventory reduction sale! Lucky for me I realized this before she closed the doors. I went on an afternoon shopping expedition and came back with this for the backing! I just love it! All the right colors.

The next step is to make some of these pieces into blocks...but I'll save that for another day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Just so you don't get bored with my sort of diary of Kimmies wedding quilt I thought I'd change the subject today and talk about some of my distractions from quilting.

Last night was our county's Relay for Life event. The American Cancer Society sponsors this fundraising event every year all around the country. Funds are used to continue research for a cure... not only breast cancer, but all cancers! Teams are formed, money is pledged and team members walk around the track for 12 hours. There is a special survivors starting lap and a luminary ceremony to name and memorialize those who have died of this disease followed by honoring those who have fought and won their battle. The remainder of the night is filled with fun activities. Of special importance this year is the beginning of a new 20 year study about genetics and cancer. To register there is a simple questionaire, and some blood samples drawn for testing. Every participant is given a number to protect privacy and you will be contacted periodically during the next 20 years. With both my best friend and mom being cancer survivors I felt this was important enough to participate with hopes of finding cures/prevention for all future generations. At the end of the night we had raised over $103,000! Sorry, I forgot my camera so I couldn't take any pictures.

This morning I started my day with continued work on Kimmies wedding quilt, but after a couple hours in walked another little distraction...my 2 year old grandson. He loves peanutbutter and crackers, walking our dog Toby and following grandpa around the garden. Today was harvest day.... strawberries! Eating them fresh picked from the garden was a real treat for him. Here he is with his favorite aunt after tasting just a few!

Mom wasn't thrilled that his new white t-shirt and shorts were covered in strawberry juice...Nana was in the doghouse. But, being resourceful I threw everything in the washer with some soap and Oxyclean and him in the tub with some bubble bath, all was shiny and clean again and Mom was smiling when she headed home a couple hours later.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Kimmie's Wedding Quilt ... Part 3

The next step in this project was to make 60 string blocks. I went to Dollar Tree and purchased a 60 page sketch pad and gave it to my husband who took it to work and used one of those big paper cutters to cut all 60 pages down to 8.5inch squares. Perfect!

But making these blocks was looking to be more challenging than I thought. Not making the blocks, but finding the fabric. You see, I wanted this to be the "scrappy" part of the quilt and use men's shirts. Well after several weeks of visiting our local Goodwill I had only 3 suitable shirts... and I needed 15-20 to have a variety of fabrics! It seems the men's shirts donated in this area are all polyester, polos, plaid flannel or denim! Here it was the end of February and I was running out of time.

In steps my sister-in-law... she lives near Baltimore... lots of goverment and professional jobs! She scored and shipped me 15 shirts! THANK YOU Dorene!

I spent 5 hours deconstructing shirts. I cut off the sleeves and set the remaining body of the shirt aside for later. I then cut the seams and cuffs off of each sleeve. Then each sleeve was cut into 1.5inch strips. Now I have a washbasket full of strips to work with.

I spent there remaining days of February and all of March ... a total of 30 hours... sewing strings to paper, removing paper and trimming the blocks to 8 inches.

Then each block had to be cut in half diagonally and four of those halves sewn back together to make 20 eleven inch blocks and 18 half blocks.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kimmie's Wedding Quilt ...Part 2

It took several trips to different quilt shops to gather all the coordinating fabric and finally on Feb 1, I was ready to begin cutting and sewing. I started with making the 172 "threesies". Cutting strips of blue and purple, sewing them together, then cutting them again. This took about 4 hours total. Not consecutive hours, mind you... there are so many distractions around here what with family, church and community activities and work... more on that in another post. So I'm working on this "in-between" with hopes of getting it done close to on time!

The next step is to make 120 sets of light/dark squares aka "twosies". This involved cutting strips of light and dark fabric, sewing the strips together, then cutting. This, again, was easy and took only 2 hours.

Next came the half square triangles.... 60 of them! I cut squares of brown and purple, then cut them diagonall to make triangles.  Next, I sewed a brown and purple triangle together and pressed open. This step took a total of 6 hours

So far that's 12 hours of work on only 3 steps! 5 more steps to go!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kimmie's Wedding Quilt.... Part 1

This is my first attempt at blogging, so I hope you will be patient with me as I learn how to do this.

What to blog about??? Well, how about the quilt I am currently working on for a wedding present for my niece. I am frantically sewing pieces together in hopes that I would have a completed top to show her on the big day...May 14... only 10 more days! I will do the quilting after the wedding and mail the completed quilt to her later...she is a very understanding niece :<}

The pattern is Roll Roll Cotton Boll... a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville.com. The mystery was revealed over an 8 week timeframe beginning December 2010, but I didn't begin this project until mid January 2011 when I received the wedding invitation and decided that this was the quilt I wanted to make for her.

This pattern is designed to be made using your stash....you know... all the left over pieces of fabric from past projects. Ideally, the stash is cut into workable sizes of squares and strips... unfortunately, mine is not. Let's just say stash management is something I am in the process of learning. My stash is currently stored in boxes and sorted by color, but no workable sizes...that's a project for a future date. I chose, instead, to go to the local quilt shop and purchase fabric in her color choices (blue, green purple) to make cutting the pieces necessary for this project easier and quicker. I also purchased men's cotton shirts from Goodwill.

I will stop for now and get back to sewing. But above is a picture of the fabrics I chose. I'll be back later with updates and more pictures of the process.