Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Well I marked some of the quilt as I was working on it not realizing that I would be getting it so wrinkled while I did the embroidery.  That is leaving it where it needs to be ironed.  Soooo  I sprayed out all the blue I could find but I still didn't feel good about it so I put the top in the washing machine on Gentle and rinsed it out.  So far so good.  It is on the table drying because I wasn't sure about putting it in the dryer.  I pray all the blue marker is out because after I embroider a few more names I will need to iron the top.  THEN I can mark it.  I just jumped the gun.  But I have to admit I'm very afraid to iron where I had the blue marker.  I have tested it on some of the cream clothe that I had left over and all went fine so I'm hoping all is well.  Oh I dare not mess this up or I will be so upset.  Oh why didn't I realize I would need to iron before I started marking!  UGH!


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Well it is time to start marking my patterns on the quilt.  I must say I am nervous to start the process.  It is always a fear of what if I mess up?  How will I get that design out of there? There is an eraser pen you can use but I don't have one.  But today is the day to jump right on in there.

I am also still having trouble with my thumb and to make matters worse the hearts  are full of seams to stitch through.  I'm thinking of trying a bigger needle and putting more slack in the hoop.  After this quilt I'm going to try to learn to quilt with a little thing called Aunt Becky and a method that is better for the thumb.  Here is a video about the method http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeSSyueipPw&feature=player_embedded
Since I am so new at quilting I should be able to learn this method which should be easier on my thumb.  But for now I will do my best to do the best job I can with the least amount of pain to my thumb.  :-)

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Oh how frustrating today has been but I am happy to say I have kept my cool.  Over and over I kept telling myself "it's all a learning process"   I was preparing to sew my last row of hearts on the quilt when I realized I had put two hearts in the wrong place on that row because I ended up with a purple lining up with a purple just above it and that shouldn't be.  So I thought "that's O.K.  We will just leave it that way."  Then a light bulb went off in my head.  I shouldn't have any purples in the bottom row.  Those are my extra hearts and none of my extra hearts were purple.  OH NO!  That means something is terrible wrong some place.  So on the hunt I went.  I found it in the second row.  I had listed Tammy's favorite color as pink when it is purple.  I wanted to cry.    But I held my cool.  I had to get out the seam ripper and disconnect half of the second row from the first and third row.  Then I had to take apart 2 blocks.  From there I had to take apart 2 blocks on the bottom row so that I could move the purple into the spot the pink now occupied.  Everything was going slow but fine when suddenly I hear RIP!!! 

There!  Right there!  Do you see it?  It ripped right into the seam.  There was no way I could trust that not to go into the heart.  Sooo  off to to the store to get some fabric to remake the heart. UGH!  Fast forward time at the store, wash and dry and iron the fabric, cut out the fabric and sew the heart.  Now we get to put it all back together with the NEW purple (yes that picture is really purple not blue) in the right spot.  Now Tammy has the right favorite color and I am RIGHT BACK WHERE I STARTED THIS MORNING.  Oh but my problem is fixed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today I can truly look back on my quilting and say that each quilt has been a learning and growing experience.  This quilt has taught me to

  • Slow down the process and not rush ahead. 
  • Be sure to measure and remeasure.  What's that saying?  Measure twice and cut once.
  • How to square up the blocks
  • To trust my instinct and my creativity
  • And to be willing to step out of what I'm used to and do something new.  Who knows, I may even try applique some time or teach myself to machine quilt.  Of course I will only do that in a pinch because I have the hand quilting process.

This has been a row making day.  I've made 3 rows and connected them.  I'm starting to see the quilt come together and it is exciting.  I'm still my hardest critic but I think I LOVE this quilt.

I don't know how much more I will work on the quilt tonight but if I don't finish the rows then tomorrow I plan to finish the rows and start marking it for quilting.  I think it may be best to mark it before I put the borders on.  What do you think?  Mark first or borders first?


Not a soul made any suggestions on the borders.  Does no one have an opinion?!?!?!  (Dramatic Sigh here) Oh well.  :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Today has been a very productive day.  I cut the sashings for the blocks.  I worried that it would be hard with the rulers I have.  But I am so grateful that it was easy to cut the sashings for these heart blocks.  I was worried about that.  I did misjudge the sizes for the bottom sashings but hey they are too big so I can cut them before I even sew them on!  Yea!  Always better too big than too small.  The sashings will all be on by the time I go to bed.  Yes it is moving well.  Tomorrow will be connecting the blocks together and possible putting the borders on.  Friday will probably be picture time then the marking and Saturday should be the pinning it all together and Sunday well we will see how it all goes.  Lord willing no later than Monday I will be quilting.

I've ordered all my stencils that I plan to use for this project and all but one are here.  I had problems with the heart stencil fitting into my heart pattern so I'm going to have to change it up a little bit but I'm pleased to say I will be able to work it out.  So here is the stitching idea's

The hearts are being stitched with http://quiltingstencils.com/featherheart11.aspx
The sashing (small borders in the quilt) will be quilted with this
And the borders will either be a bigger version of the sashings or it will be http://quiltingstencils.com/heartborderandcorner9.aspx

Now is your chance to voice your thoughts.  Should the sashings and the border be the same or should I use the heart border?  What do you think?

Until tomorrow  God bless you and thank you for reading.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I'm so happy.  The bolt of fabric I needed for the borders and sashing's is in.  I'm so happy.  And I forgot to take a picture of the bolt.  Sorry.  It has already been cut into the 3 lengths I needed and washed as well as Ironed.  I've talked Jim into cutting my long border pieces.  I am always so afraid to cut those for fear I may mess up and not cut it straight enough.  I don't mind the smaller pieces but I'm just not sure how to do the larger ones.  He is so kind and at this point has always cut my longer pieces for me.

The last two days have been very long for me not knowing what to do with myself since I usually quilt.  Oh there were things I could have and should have done but I didn't.  Yesterday I vegged with a puzzle book.  Oh well.

So where do we go from here?  Well tomorrow I'll start putting on the sashings.  I would like to go ahead and embroider the names on but I'm trying to learn that even though this is for my Aunt, I shouldn't put the names on a memory quilt until it is completely paid for just in case something should happen and I have to sell it to someone else.  I honestly doubt that would happen but it is just a good policy to get in the habit of.  I try not to start a quilt until enough money has been paid to cover the cost of the fabrics.  From there I will go ahead including the quilting but not the names (if it is a memory quilt like this one) until it is paid for.  I'm sure it will work fine waiting on that part for a month or two  after all the hand quilting will take plenty of time in its self.

After the sashing I will start marking the quilt for quilting and by this time next week at the latest I should be quilting it.  This is going to be one nice quilt and well worth every penny and more.  I've enjoyed the learning processes I've already experienced with this quilt. 

Until the next update...

Friday, February 17, 2012


All the hearts are finished.  I am very grateful I had extra fabric because I ran into another "Oh NO"

Am I a perfectionist?  You bet.  I've tried to make each heart as much like a heart as the pattern will allow.  I'm sure when I put the borders on and do the quilting they will look even more heart shaped.  

Here are some pictures of the last bunch of hearts to be finished up over the last several days.

And the last of the hearts to be made

Tonight after I finished up the hearts I laid them out in what will probably be the order the blocks will be in.  Please realize this IS NOT what the quilt will look like.  There are borders and things to be added still to the pattern.  What I am about to show is the finished hearts. 

I am both excited and nervous for the next step of putting on the sashings and borders.  I am so used to following a written pattern but not one I have made up myself.  Also I have not done any embroidery in a long time and the names and dates will be a simple embroidery stitch.  But my aunt had faith in me so now I must have that same faith in myself.  :-)

Now if only the bolt of fabric would get here!  I am at a stand still until then.

So until then...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ever learning

Do we ever quit learning?  I don't think I ever will.  One reason is there are always new things to try and new ways to try old things.  Some times the old ways are best some times not.  But the lessons I've learned lately have been costly.

1.  I bought one of those Clover mini irons on eBay.  Well don't buy on eBay unless you are sure you are going to like what you get.  I don't like the iron.  Case and point the old way is best for me.  I like to use my big iron.  Now I'm stuck with this little thing I'll never use.  If I had gone down to Joann's and bought it I could have taken it back.  But if I had liked it I would have paid about twice as much for it so which way was best?

2.  I bought some fabric once again on eBay (see note above about buying from eBay)  It was listed as Teal.  It seems more green to me than teal.  How do I know my Aunt will like that color?  Should I use the solid fabric I purchased at first instead of this "teal" that doesn't look teal?  UGH!  Oh and I shouldn't have second guessed myself when my husband suggested the solid teal.  I should have gone with the tone on tone teal I had in my hand!   But now I have a yard of fabric I don't know if I will ever use and I'm still not happy with my choice.

That is another lesson I've learned.  Don't second guess yourself.  Usually your first choice is the best choice.

3.  The third lesson is don't go for the cheaper just to save a buck or two.  I bought some new pins because mine were getting old and hard to push through the fabric.  I wanted to buy the flower head pins like the ones I had but I chose the ones that were $2.00 cheaper.  Well guess what?  They don't go through the fabric any better than the ones I took back.  Just goes to show you, you get what you pay for.

Lessons learned.  I'm always learning new lessons.  I just don't like it when the lessons end up costing me.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


The last few days have been more laid back on my work.  I have had a lot more pain the last few days so I've slowed way down.  Still I have been getting 3 hearts a day done.  I thought I might get a few more done today but I honestly don't know at this point.

Yesterday was a productive day.  While I forgot to take pictures of my work I will tell you I did get 3 blue hearts finished.  Besides that we went to another fabric store and I was able to find 2 colors to replace the ones that didn't work.  If you remember I had a blue that the pattern was one that wouldn't work with the patchwork hearts and I had a red that was way too thin to use.  So I ended up getting another blue and since the red was an extra heart I chose a darker green instead since I couldn't find a red I was happy enough with.  I have also ordered what I hope is a really nice teal to replace the solid teal I have.  I just don't want to stick a solid in with the mix but I can if I need too.  I was hoping it would get here today so I could wash it with the other fabrics.  But it isn't here yet.  If it doesn't come tomorrow I may just go ahead and wash the two fabrics I just purchased.

I did come to a decision on the batting.  The store we were at had the Hobbs I was thinking of getting.  I was very happy about that until I opened the package and felt the batting.  It in NO WAY compared with the Quilters Dream samples I was sent.  I did go with the Cotton since most of the hand quilting reviews I read recommended it and the quilt is going to Texas so I want something lighter that will breath.  I also chose the mid range thickness because it is said to show off the quilting well.  We shall see.  I also plan to check out their wool batting at some point.  I've been tempted by the cotton bamboo blends as well as the silk blends that I've read about but lets face it, there is only so much money to go around and that is getting up into the high end deals.  All in all I think I made the right choice for this project. 

I will try to remember the pictures tonight.  :-)

Until next time...keep stitching

Monday, February 13, 2012


Well it is Monday and my body felt it.  Actually I felt the snow we had.  I have to say I haven't felt that bad in a while.  But still I did get some accomplishments done. 

The first think I did was to cut out all my colors.

Boy it doesn't look like much once it's all cut out.  It's hard to believe that those pieces of fabric will be hearts but one day they will be.  While I was cutting I realized one of the fabrics WILL NOT make a good heart.  You need patterns that flow and this one would have 1 block that was turned differently than the rest of the fabric.  GRRRR  So I will have to find another blue to replace it.  I also discovered last night while sewing that one of the red fabrics I chose was WAY TO THIN.  I would not feel right using that piece of fabric on something that was meant to last a LONG time.  So that means I have to find two new fabrics for the quilt.  Oh and while we are talking about set backs...Today I finished a block that I had started last night.  Here is the block.  I wounder if you see the problem with it?

Scroll down to see a close up

Oh I was so disappointed when I noticed this shift in the fabric.  And there is nothing that can be done to fix it.  So OUT IT GOES.  I will have to make a new one to replace it. 

So with the set backs were there any accomplishments today?  Sure there was. 

These are the squares that were made yesterday.

And these are the squares today.

So I believe I have 6 squares made.  I should have 8 squares made but I had a problem with 2 of the squares.  Slow and steady wins the race.  I will get there but I may need to slow down just a bit to prevent errors.

Tonight I've been searching for the best kind of hand quilting battings.  I've heard wool is wonderful to quilt with but this quilt is going to Texas so wool isn't the best idea.  I've also heard cotton is good but then I've heard cotton is bad for hand quilters.  What oh what do I do?  I want to use the best I can for hand quilting but I also want it to be a cooler.  Decisions Decisions.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Feeling GREEN


There may be snow on the ground and it may be 20 degree's but I was feeling mighty green today.  I cut and sewed most of the day cranking out 3 hearts.  Can you guess what color they are?  You got it GREEN!!!!!

Don't mind my shadow on the blocks.

My stencils arrived today and even though I took a pledge to slow down and enjoy the whole process of the quilt making I am finding it hard not to be anxious for the quilting part of the project.  Especially after getting the stencils.  I just love creating images with the thread.

Oh but I do have reason to brag I guess.  I've managed to perfect my cutting, piecing and ironing to the point where I didn't have to do any trimming to square up one square (the top one) and very very little trimming on the other two squares.

Tonight I will leave you with a quote from a book I'm reading named Quilts From Heaven by Lucinda McDowell

"To appreciate the precision of working with tiny sections, consider that if the measurement of just one edge of one piece is not perfectly aligned, the plan of the entire quilt top can be jeopardized." 

(They are all the same size.
The pictures are just sized differently)

Friday, February 10, 2012

I spent the day washing the fabrics and ironing them.  I thought I would post some close up pictures of the fabrics so that their designs can be seen a little better.

All the blues including the Teal. 
It is so hard to judge the colors in these pictures.

Purples and Pinks


And the greens

I'm hoping to get a heart made tonight.  Oh and I ordered a mini iron for pressing the seams.  Some times the full size iron is just too big.  I've never used the small one's.  I hope I like it.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

And We're Off


Day 1

Well I don't know if I can call it day one because I've already spent many days drawing out the design for Pieces of a Mothers heart, and I've already spend days trying to decide what stencils I wanted to use when quilting this quilt.  So is this really day 1?  I don't know but we will call it that.  Here is a drawing of the quilt pattern.  I had a second choice in mind but to be honest I'm not sure if I'm a good enough quilter to make the other quilt.  Besides my husband thought this pattern was the better pattern.  Anyway...  Here it is.

That is the pattern.  I know you probably can't read all the writing and that leaves more to the imagination.  :-)
I spent a lot of time hunting up a pattern to make the hearts.  I finally found a very easy scrappy heart pattern that works very well for Pieces of a Mothers Heart.  But I wanted to make sure I could make the pattern easily enough and that I liked it so I made a sample heart.

And there it is.

Today I spent about 3 hours shopping for the material.  Would you believe I found it all?  I thought it might take two or three times going to the store and I didn't want that because then I might accidentally buy the same fabric twice.  So I persevered at the expense of some very sore knee's by the time I was done.  But some ice packs helped that problem.  My Aunt wanted to see the fabrics.  I'm sure she wanted to see them close up but I don't know if I want to do that until I make the hearts then I will take pictures of them.  But the picture below will give you an idea of the fabrics.  I will say there are 4 purples but in the picture with the blues (yes there are a lot of blues.  Seven blues and a teal to be exact) the purples turned out more blue in color.  Oh also there is a bolt of the light off white fabric that I had to order so it will be a while in coming.  And yes you read right...A BOLT.  That should tell you that while it will be a colorful quilt it will also be a lighter color quilt as well. 

So the picture leaves a lot to the imagination.  It will be a pretty quilt.  Tomorrow will be wash dry and iron day.  Although I am concerned about something.  I read just the other day that if you are going to wash your fabric you should also wash your batting.  I don't plan on washing the batting so I need to ask around and see if that is correct.  SOOO who knows what tomorrow holds.  But no matter what I do about washing or not (or maybe seeing if my husband will take me out to see my two Aunts) No matter what tomorrow holds, Saturday promises to be a day to start the Pieces of a Mothers heart.

Until then....
Jim's Quilt

I have another quilt I would like to share with you before we get on to the upcoming quilt.  This quilt is the pieced top to Jim's quilt.  I was going to start quilting it next but I've been hired to make a quilt for my Aunt Shelia.  So this quilt will have to wait just a while before it gets quilted.  But here is the top.


This quilt pattern actually came from the Moda site.  I saw a quilt like this at my LQS and I loved it.  I had planned to buy the kit to make the quilt but she told me where the pattern came from so I just made it on my own.  The only difference is it does not have the 10 inch borders that it should have.  I'm still thinking of adding those to the quilt so it can go on our bed.  But it really was supposed to be a lap quilt for Jim.  Oh decisions decisions!  :-)

I do have one other quilt top that I started but I don't have a picture of it.  I am planning on making it in the quilt as you go method and have started doing so.  But it too has to be put away while I work on other things.  My mind is so full of quilts it is hard not to have quilts in different stages around here or to have quilt tops that have not been quilted yet.  But I will try to correct that since I did take the pledge to complete each project, enjoy each step of the process and to share with each of you the process.  So lifes gonna be a changing here!  :-)

Now you are caught up on all my quilts.  From here out you will start hearing the process of each quilt as I make them.  And hey you might actually hear about my life and get to know me a little better along the way.
So hold on to your seats we are about to begin the journey of Pieces of a Mothers Heart!  YEA!
Angels Pinwheels           

Now we come to the third quilt I’ve made.  I just finished this one completely.  Well actually I still have to finish getting my markings off.  I don’t have a washing machine big enough for quilts so I am using a spray bottle and misting it to remove the markings.  I will show you some pictures through the process of making this quilt.  I didn't start taking pictures until the pinning process so my first picture is of me beginning the pinning process.

Here are some close up pictures of the quilting work in progress.


And last but certainly not least some pictures of the finished project.  About 5 months worth of work from start to finish.

Close up

And the back of the quilt.

I wish you could see more of the detailed work but because of the type fabric you can't see it as well.  I think my granddaughter will love it.

Coming soon a picture of quilt number 4.  It is just the pieced top at this point.  The quilting will have to wait because I am about to start my first quilt for a customer.  I will be showing that one in the whole process.  I'm really excited to start that one.

Off to do some shopping for the next quilt. 

Until Next Time...

The hand quiltin grammy  :-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This is the first quilt I ever made.  I made it last summer.  It was machine sewn and quilted. 
It was made out of scraps that my Aunt Happy had given to me

And this was the second quilt I ever made but the first one I hand quilted. 

My MIL has it now.  I bet I would just die laughing if I saw how far apart those stitches are.  But she thinks it is the most beautiful thing and she can't believe I ever gave her something so special.


This is my first blog post.  I plan to journal my quilting journey here.  I have only been quilting less than a year.  I have dabbled in machine quilting but I have to say that I like hand quilting so much better.  I find it totally relaxing to sit back in my recliner and stitch away.

I will soon begin my blogging because my Aunt is sending me a check for the quilt she wants me to make for her.  More about that on another post.  I promise to try and keep up with my posting and whats going on with the quilt.  It may not always be a lot and my words may not be as pretty as other writers but I'm certainly going to give it a shot.

God bless you and be with you,
The Hand Quiltin Grammy