Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pin Basting 101

I am excited about finishing my current project, but don't want to actually show the piece until it is finished.  I love every step of quilting, and machine quilting is one of my favorites.  Today, I pin basted my project, so it is ready to go!

First, I trimmed and press my top, and set it aside.  I pieced my backing fabric, pressed well, and set it aside.  I can't show you that either, but suffice it to say, I found the PERFECT backing fabric! I also pieced my batting.  I butt the edges, and sew together with the multiple zigzag stitch.  Then I layered the project - backing face down, taped securely to my table; batting, smoothing it out nicely; and then the quilt top, also smoothing it carefully.  Then I start putting in the safety pins, starting in the center and working out from there.  

Detail, showing the pieced batting.  This is a poly/cotton blend, 80/20, my favorite batting. 

My tip:  I insert ALL of the pins BEFORE I close any of them.  Why? Well, when you close the pin, you distort your carefully layered project.  That is why I wait.  When all the pins are inserted, then I can sit down and close all of the pins. 

I found this tool years ago, and it works great.  Helps me to close the pins without hurting my fingers.  Another tip:  when you remove the pins while quilting, throw them back into your storage container while still open! Then you don't have to open them later.  Saves lots of time.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Birthday Fun!


Well I made it another year, and had a great birthday! New Year's Day is my birthday.  It's a great day to celebrate, and I also do some reflection, that's for sure.  Thinking back over the past year, and thinking ahead - thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2017. 

The girls made my birthday dinner, but I didn't want people slaving in the kitchen all day, so I said a store-bought cake was fine.  And trust me, this was MORE than fine!  It was "thanks for the extra five pounds" fine.  Yum!

We also had a nice girls' brunch the day before - first brunch, then mani-pedi's! Lovely daughters Emily and Genevieve.  It's always extra special when Emily is in town from Texas. :) 

Third lovely daughter Hannah and myself. 

More birthday fun! My awesome sister-in-law, Jean, sent me a CASE of Sofia sparkling wine!!! It comes in little cans, COMPLETE WITH A LITTLE STRAW!  It makes the perfect little pick-me-up after a long day of work and teaching.  Jean knows what I like!

This is random, but had to take a picture at Target.  These throw pillows are EXACT COPIES of some pillows we got as wedding gifts in 1978! Except ours were large, FLOOR pillows!  Super groovy, very '70's.


One more thing - I recommend you check out my cousin's new blog:
THE GOOD LIFE IN WISCONSIN - adventures of a city girl gone country. You can find it here.   Julie is on a new adventure, living with her dad and her son, on the family farm.  Julie is a poet, and an adventurer, and her charming style comes through her prose.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

String Quilt Legacy

String quilt, made by my grandmother, Frances Timson Heggestad, c. 1965-1970.  Grandma made all of the string quilts in this post.  My grandmother was extremely frugal, used scraps from everyone she knew, used and reused fabric to make these glorious, colorful string quilts.  Grandma foundation pieced the blocks on pieces of plain cotton - probably old sheets.
This quilt is owned by my uncle, Orville Heggestad, and is being repaired/retied by my cousin, Julie Heggestad. Julie just sent me these photos - I had never seen this quilt before.

Detail of Orville's quilt.  I love seeing old fabrics that I recognize!  The red/blue/white checked print was a shorts and top outfit that I had as a girl.

This is MY string quilt.  Look familiar? Same fun polka dot print running through the quilt, lots of the same prints.  I can hear my grandma humming (she loved music) when I look over these riot of color. 

Detail of my quilt.  It is "just a coverlet", no batting - but with the top layer, backing, and the cotton base of the string-pieced blocks, this is warm - and heavy!

This is another of Grandma's string quilts that I own.  I used it a LOT when I was first out of college.  I lived in an efficiency apartment and slept on an old sofa bed, and the quilt was unfortunately damaged by the bed (when I folded it up every day).  It is old, and well-loved, and the pieces are so worn and soft they feel like silk.
A number of years ago, I took the quilt apart, with the idea of repairing it.  I removed all of the ties holding the layers together.  The ties were made from a thick cotton thread - perhaps from feed sacks?  

Detail showing some of the damage.  I am inspired to get busy and repair/restore this quilt.  I plan to just replace the damaged pieces, add a soft batting - wool? and a backing, and tie it again.

Surprise! When I took my old quilt apart, look what I found inside, instead of a batting - another quilt!  This is a handmade Dresden plate design, hand-quilted (with more of the blue thread from feed sacks).  I doubt that Grandma made the quilt - I imagine it was gifted to her, and she used it as a quilt batt.
Grandma made LOTS and LOTS of quilts - but mostly for charity (world relief).  She lived a very frugal lifestyle on a very limited income, but still found ways to give to others.  

Balance, New Quilter, 4th of July

No, this is not trick photography - it is real! Our daughter, Genevieve and her bf Dave are pregnant! We are so excited to welcome our fir...