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.
Last week I stated that on Easter Grandma and I looked for block inspiration. Well, we came up with two for this week’s blocks. We chose this first picture because of my mom and the “red bird.” It is a way to incorporate some of my mom into the quilt. The second picture was chosen because one of the fabrics we bought was Minnie Mouse and I was looking for a way to incorporate it.
If you’ve been around me any time at all (and that includes reading this here bloggy) you’ll know I LOVE pictures. When I sat down to write this post I realized I screwed up and deleted all the pictures taken while sewing these blocks 10-12. So if that’s the case, how do I have pictures? Well the pictures I deleted were off my camera but I had a couple that I took on my iPhone so that I could send texts to my mom, mother in law, and husband to show our quilt blocks off. Those are the only pictures I have of this whole experience for blocks 10-12.