Thursday, June 4, 2020

A gold thread runs through it

Whew -- another marathon of watching the Schoolhouse series from Quilt Market. That was another TWELVE hours of watching. And I watched pretty much all of it. There was some good, there was some bad, and I'm talking about technology and content. But overall, I'm happy that I sat through the series.

I'll share some of the great stuff that is coming. I understand that everyone is trying to find the next clever gadget, but I do NOT need a template to cut a square or a rectangle. Don't get me started! That's for another day.

It was a crazy busy day at the sewing machine while I watched the Zoom presentations. Actually, I started the day by quilting something on the long arm.

I kept it simple, and only did one small project. However, that got done, and the next quilt for a customer is loaded and ready to go later this morning.

This project was a bunch of Fireside fleece scraps that I had put together. OK - so the story goes like this. Ronda gave me a kit of Fireside Fleece a while back  (I gave her the quilt in September 2016). Go back and read the blog post about her quilt - it's pretty funny, and yes - I still eat oatmeal for breakfast!  She had purchased it intending to make the quilt for herself. When she realized the MESS that this fleece makes, she gave the kit to me to find a new home for it. I decided to be a good friend, and I made and quilted the quilt for her. Heck - I even bound the darn thing for her!

I took the SCRAPS from that project and put them together to get this beautiful small project. I was initially going to finish it off and make Ronda a matching rug! That never happened.

Yesterday's project on the long arm
When chatting with Ronda the other day, she mentioned that she was going to make her cat - her lazy cat, a blanket because the cat was continually sleeping on her Fireside quilt, I said NO - I have the perfect thing for the cat. I dug the "rug" out of a bag of stuff (I knew exactly where it was). I found a piece of fleece that was the perfect size to fit the quilt top, and I was ready to go.

By the way, here's a picture of the cat. All cats have this superior look about them - don't they?? This is OREO.


Well, I'm going to fix that cat! I quilted DOG PAWS all over its quilt! Take that - superior thinking feline!!!

Dog paw quilt pattern for the cat quilt

The other day as part of my ripping marathon, I had ripped out a large piece of fabric that had been quilted with metallic thread. I swear that I cleaned up all the threads and put them in the garbage. Alas, that didn't happen. I found gold threads on the fleece when I was quilting it.

Gold threads

I had serged the Fireside fleece bits together as this stuff is way easier to serge than it is to sew. It's also tough to press the seams, so they technically weren't touched.

Serged seams on the fleece
That made it a wee bit of a challenge to quilt as some of the fleece wanted to shift. It wasn't horrible, but I did have to be careful. 

The quilting on the cat quilt

Since the project wasn't huge, I decided to stand by the long arm and babysit while the pattern was stitched out. So I was there with the laptop in one hand and smoothing the quilt top with the other. What one does to get something done. I would NEVER do that with a customer quilt, but this was for a CAT!!!!

Watching videos while babysitting the long arm

Before I knew it, the cat quilt was DONE. I really like the look of this, and if it wasn't such a mess to work with, this pattern would look awesome in a big quilt.

Cat quilt - DONE
Here's the quilting on one of the light squares. I used fleece on the back and Fireside fleece on the front. No batting. The quilting stitches just sink into the pile, so you can't really see them.  As if Oreo is really going to care.

Quilting pattern from the front

Quilting pattern from the back
I know- that backing doesn't really match the color on the front. HEY - we're talking about a quilt for a cat. That was long-armed no less!!  Besides, Ronda likes purple so I chose it for that reason and it was the exact size I needed.

Oh shoot, when I was taking the quilt off the long arm, I found another gold thread. 

Another gold thread

I decided that binding quilts was a mindless enough job to do while watching the remainder of the Schoolhouse presentation. I had gotten started in the morning and got back to the half-completed binding. Binding this quilt wasn't really a challenge, but it did have fleece on the back, so it was heavier and bulkier than a regular quilt.
Putting the binding on a quilt

Oh gosh - there's another gold thread!!!!

More gold threads

Here was my setup yesterday. The sewing machine on the right and the computer on a bucket on the left. It worked like a charm. I did have to play with the volume for some of the presentations as my earbuds died not long after I started watching. They do NOT last long. Not like my big over the ear headphones.

Set up for adding bindings to quilts

 And there's another gold thread!
Another gold thread

At last, this quilt was bound. Yeah!!!!

The binding is complete

Let's move onto the next one. I decided to work on the quilts one at a time rather than do all the first step and then the second step. So I'm merrily sewing along and OH GOD - I made the binding for this one, and I'm missing quite a bit. I was probably missing THIRTY inches. That was a wee bit of an error. But it was bias binding and I probably made what I could from the square of fabric that I started with.

Missing binding

ACK - that color of brown was very hard to match. I dug out the brown stash basket. I found a replacement and then OH MY GOD - I found the scraps from the piece of fabric used to make the binding. I had THREE pieces that I could use.

Three scraps of fabric to make the binding

I also found the piece leftover from making the bias binding. It was too narrow. So I couldn't use that.

The leftover from making the bias binding

No way!!!  Yep - there's some gold thread peaking out!!!

Another darn gold thread

Since it was a striped fabric and the binding was made on the bias, the strip was diagonal. My leftover strips were either going one way or the other, but there wasn't enough to do diagonal. Who cares - I have matching fabric and that's good enough for me.  So I cut a couple of pieces and joined them to the existing binding and got back to work.

A good repair job!

NOOOOOO -- when I went to join the binding, the edges didn't quite touch each other and certainly not enough for a seam allowance. Oh gosh - I have to add more fabric.

No seam allowance 

So I had to cut another wee piece with the stripe going in a different direction. And the end of the bias binding was cut diagonally. I've never been able to figure out how to make that final join when one end of the strip is already cut on the diagonal, but after yesterday - I know how to do it! Unless I forget!!!  OK -- that's a bunch of lies! I did the join by trial and error until it fit!!  HEY -- I did see a gadget on one of the Schoolhouse presentations that allowed for this very situation. Perhaps I should invest in one of those tools!!!

The repair for the binding

It's on the quilt and you know what? If someone didn't know I had to do that, they likely wouldn't notice. I was just darn lucky that I found the same fabric!!!! I guess this is why when we make binding that we should be VERY careful of our measurements.

The repair job

And so that quilt got finished as well. I was on a roll and it was still early in the day. Well, early in the afternoon. I think - I did lose all track of time.

The binding on quilt number two

I dug out the third quilt to be quilted. Yep - you guessed it - it had a gold thread on the back as well. It didn't want to feel left out I suppose.

Another gold thread

I had no issues with the binding on the third quilt. It was fast and easy!!!

The binding on the third quilt

And now there they are - my five quilts for the month of May for Quilts of Valour. The four on the left were ones made from my stash (or donated stash) that had been designated for community projects. Someone in our community projects group pieced the tops or they were donated. I provided the backing and I quilted and bound all four of them. The one on the right came from the organization and I just quilted it. Someone else gets the pleasure of binding it.

The month's donation for Quilts of Valour

I dug out another four quilts from the stack of "to be quilted" community project quilts. I'll check with the organizer if they are good and then I'll get batting and put them on the schedule for this month.

I'll share more with you about that stack of quilts, but not today. I bound another quilt, but that's a story for tomorrow as well. Back to Oreo's quilt.

I needed to bind the quilt. I had some long strips leftover from the backing of Ronda's quilt. I was going to use those. Oh - the narrowest of the strips was just slightly larger than 2". So I trimmed all the bits to 2". Joined them together and started to bind the quilt. Two inches for binding is SKINNY and I'm working with fleece no less.

Fireside fleece strips being cut for the binding

Let's just say that it was "fun" to put the binding on this quilt. But it had to be done. However, I ran out of the blue fleece. I dug through my fleece scraps (because god forbid I throw anything away) and I found some brown plush that had been in that little doggie quilt that someone had donated to me and I had ripped apart. Do you see a theme here? Anyway, I added some of the brown and wouldn't you know it - I had to add a second piece of brown. It doesn't matter. I was on a roll.

SEwing the binding on Oreo's quilt

And there it is - DONE. Oreo is one special cat to get a nice quilt like this. But, technically it belongs to Ronda and she was going to get it as a rug - it's very pretty. But now her cat gets it and hopefully will stay off her quilt!!

Oreo's quilt
I went for a walk last night to break up the marathon of watching presentations. I had to laugh when I opened up the Google Maps this morning. I knew EXACTLY where I was. I'm on the hill just coming off the Borden Bridge. On the left (you can't see it in the photo), is a big white wrong iron buffalo!!!!

Coming up the hill from the Borden Bridge

Here's the position on the map. I figure two or three more days to get to Saskatoon!!!

Just crossed the river

I got more stuff done yesterday, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I did. I do have a couple of URGENT things that need to be done today. OK - they're not urgent, but I've been putting them off because of the crazy schedule of the last week. And I better not forget my dentist appointment at noon!!!!

Have a super day!!!!!



  1. Oh the binding struggles......I've had 2 so far this year, where I barely had enough for a narrow join ;-) but I did it! Then another short just 6 inches and I had used every inch of that fabric so I found a strip of fabric where the back of it would blend in and used that.

    We are a thrifty and industrious bunch, we quilters!

    Happy Thursday :-)

    1. Love your saves!!! We are truly a thrifty bunch. The more thrifty, the happier I am! Have a great day!