Finally, the little’s quilt is done. While we were in Alaska, she was infatuated with the Northern Lights. Unfortunately, we weren’t there at the right time to see them. The ideal is mid-August through April. We were there at the end of July… so bummer. I told her we’d have to go back sometime in winter. I want to see a REAL snow! Although… recently I heard about looking at it in an icehouse in Finland. Maybe that’s where/how we should see the Northern Lights.
We immediately started working on the quilts when we got home because the little was so excited. We only bought a panel and one piece of material for her quilt while we were there. The rest was either bought locally or was stuff my grandma had stashed in her sewing room. (more…)
Back to quilts for a minute. I swear, 2020 has just brought out a whole different side of life. One where we pick up things that we either A) wanted to learn how to do, B) used to do but never have time anymore, C) very homebody type skills, or D) all the above.
Now, I’ve made quilts before. Not a bunch, but a few. So that’s to say this isn’t anything new to me… But this particular quilt was a fun quilt to master!
We went on vacation to Alaska this year. While we were in Talkeetna, Alaska, we came across a fabric (material) store called The Patchwork Moose. Initially my mom went into the shop to pick up some fabric from Alaska for my grandma. I was in a store next door when she sent someone to find me. The girls and I then went to see what she was up to. She wanted our opinion on fabric for grandma. Little did my mom know that we would walk out with material for both girls a quilt and one for the hubby and me.
When we got home, the little and I took the material down to show grandma. The little then told grandma that she wanted to work on her quilt right then. Grandma had a few free minutes, so off to the sewing room we headed. (more…)
When we went to Alaska, we went to the cutest quilt shop. Our plans were to make the girls quilts to help commemorate our trip. Well, we bought material for the quilts there that you could only get there… with the plans of getting more “filler” material once we got home. Less to try and pack to get back home.
Once my grandma and I got the quilt tops done, it was time to find backing. I went online searching for extra wide backing. I found what I wanted for the older’s quilt in Rogers, AR. So since we were already going camping the weekend that I found it, it was a hop, skip, and a jump away to go material shopping.
We ate breakfast at a restaurant called Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant in Anchorage the day before. Our waitress was so awesome. She asked if we were out of town or locals. When we told her we were on vacation, she asked where all we had been and where we were headed next. Then she suggested heading north to Talkeetna, Alaska.
The next day we grabbed breakfast as we headed out of town headed north to Talkeetna. The waitress had given us a few different Alaska books to look at and mom and my husband did some research before we headed there. One of the things mom saw was a quilt store located in Talkeetna called The Patchwork Moose. Now, my grandma’s birthday is the same day as mine which also happened to be the week we were on vacation. Very few years have I missed celebrating with Grandma. So we decided to go to the quilt shop to bring grandma back some fabric from Alaska.
Jump forward 5 years to about the beginning of October…. okay, back up to earlier this year first. When we were working on Abug’s quilt, I took hubby’s army uniforms to my grandma’s and told her we needed to make hubby’s quilt also. We used a couple pieces in Abug’s quilt and then it sat all spring/summer in grandma’s sewing room. So now we’re at the beginning of October and I went to grandma’s to can my fall green beans. I looked at her and said, OH CRAP, we were going to make hubby’s quilt and his birthday is in 4 weeks (or whatever the actual time frame was).
I knew that I was going to be busy the week of October 16th due to the Newton County Christmas for Kids Chili Cookoff and that I would be out of town the week of hubby’s birthday. So I told Grandma, if you can help, we’ll get this done for his birthday. She was ecstatic to help. Grandma’s are cool like that.
Choosing the Quilt Pattern
The first day we went to work, we had to decide what pattern to make. Grandma has a HUGE stack of pattern magazines and books. When I say huge, I’m not exaggerating and imagine HUGE! We debated this one and that one and tossed around ideas. Then I ran across this in the back of one of the magazines. The thing is… it wasn’t a pattern but more of an advertisement.
The more I got to looking at it, the more I realized we had done this type of star in Abug’s quilt, so I pulled that pattern out. I sat there and did calculations (yes, everyone trusted my mathematical skills…. scary I know) and away we went to making this quilt.
To tell you the truth, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get this quilt put together. I have loved every minute of it, but I’m truthfully not a put it off for 6 months kind of girl. Now okay, I’ll admit, I didn’t start this challenge the first week it was out there… in fact I don’t think I got started until February some time but dang… it’s been going on for a while. Last week I thought I had all the quilt blocks done until I realized there were 25 not 24. I ran out of time last week to get number 25 done so here…
Monday I started trying to put it together. It required 167 2.5″ squares. HOLY CRAP! That’s a lot of squares. It took quite a while. Normally you sew strips together and then cut the strips and it goes faster…. but not in my case. 1) I couldn’t decide on just 2 colors for the blocks. 2) When I did decide on the colors to use, there was no making strips. So putting this thing together was going slow!
Monday’s happen to be one of my favorite days of the week these last few months, and that’s because my squirrely girly and I have gone down to sew with my grandma. A few weeks ago though, grandma had knee replacement surgery and wasn’t able to sew for a couple weeks. Sad day, but at least her knee is feeling better. Last week, Thursday became my new favorite day… I should mention at this point I’m not crazy about Thursdays. Most people think I’m nuts, but they are just a reminder that it isn’t Friday. I know… pessimistic side in deed.
Being as though we haven’t sewn in a few weeks, we had a lot of catching up to do. Now, grandma couldn’t stay up in the sewing room the whole time because her knee was hurting at one point, it was lunch time, and she ahd to do physical therapy… but that didn’t stop us! Nope, in fact, I cut out and sewed together 4 quilt blocks. I’m missing 1 block and then we can slap this baby together… oh… and 167 2.5″ squares. Boy that seems daunting!
The last I tried sewing I swear everything went wrong from losing material to fighting grandma’s sewing machine. I was so frustrated beyond belief I almost couldn’t see straight. But I’ve been away from working on this quilt for 2 weeks now (vacation!!) so I came back with a better attitude.
Before we left Abug and I were at Walmart and she picked out the fabric that was used in Quilt Block 19. I left the material with grandma when we left and she had all the pieces cut out for us by the time we got there yesterday.
She also had her sewing machine fixed so things were looking up… until we misplaced one of the 4″solid pink squares and didn’t have any material of the solid pink to fix the mistake. Luckily we didn’t give up and we found what we were looking for. Whew! My only other problem is I forgot where I was supposed to gage my 1/4″ seam and made a few of my seams 1/2″. Dang it!
But this is Quilt block 19 and it turned out without many problems. You can’t tell from this photo but it’s an oversized quilt block. So I present Quilt Block 19. I’m quite proud of it :). There are a few mistakes in it though. Oh well….
Today was Monday. Typically I LOVE Mondays because that means that Abug and I get to go and hang out with grandma, but for some reason today was different. I guess I knew it was a Monday. I struggled. I was grouchy and grumpy and everything else. I’m sorry I grumbled! Gosh.
So Grandma kept Abug entertained by making her a new “purse” even though she brought one with her.
As you can see Abug loves her great-grandma and I see the feeling is mutual!
So to add to my frustration (wonder if I should have started that with sew… haha) grandma’s sewing machine quit working. It already had quirks but something happened and it died. So we had to use the old Singer. When I got there Grandma said I’d love this sewing machine. I anything but loved it. I spent more time trying to make it work for me or fixing my mistakes because I wasn’t paying attention than I sewed.