Washed and crinkled

Do you wash your quilts before ‘giving them away’ ? Do you PREWASH your fabric before cutting?

I did not used to….but after my experience last summer with a very complicated quilt and the resulting reworking of it, I will never take a chance again! I want my quilts to be USED! And using them means they will get washed. Not always the way I would wash them, so I want to make sure no color runs, and that it shrinks up and crinkles up the way I expect it too.

There was a lot of blue and red bleeding of my quilt for JJ, and thankfully I used a color catcher (BOUNCE product) when it washed. I ran it through a warm wash and was worried that it might bleed again, so I washed it on warm AGAIN with a 2nd color catcher. This time not much color on the catcher, and so I tossed it in the dryer and “let it go”.

Washed a crinkled

Washed a crinkled

I love how it looks and felt when I took it out of the dryer….warm and ready to snuggle!

A finished project – Quilt for JJ – The Boxer

pic one on fence finished

pix seven back of quilt

(If you click on the photo of the back of the quilt and zoom in a bit, you can see some of the quilting detail)

Finished quilt for JJ

Finished quilt for JJ

Here is the finished project – a memorial quilt for JJ King, in honor of his father, Senior Airman J. King who was killed in the line of duty in February 2013 at Andrews AFB Maryland.
What else can I say, but I am thrilled to have worked on this quilt, and delighted that I completed it today, Memorial Day.

After taking the photo’s I drummed up the courage to bring it in the house, toss in the front loader with a color catcher and set the temperature to WARM. I ran it through the washer twice because that first color catcher was PURPLE when I took it out. The second time the color catcher was lightly tinged with blue and red, so I feel comfortable about the colors staying fast. It is in the dryer tonight, and I look forward to seeing how it crunches up into the stitching. I did prewash my flannel and the solid blue had been prewashed. I was a little nervous about those reds and blues; and am hoping the cream in this quilt resembles it’s proper color when it comes out of the dryer. Cross your fingers!!

You’ve read the back story over the course of the last two months. I am looking forward to sharing it tomorrow with my sewing friends at church, and then sending off in the mail on Wednesday morning.

Special thanks to Susan for asking me to make this quilt.
Special note: the pattern is called The Boxer, designed by Jeni Baker for Aurifil as the March 2013 Block of the Month, hosted by Pat Sloan.

LOVING the flange!!!

LOVING the way the flange looks  peaking out from behind my binding!!

LOVING the way the flange looks peaking out from behind my binding!!

This is turning out to be the best finishing touch to an awesome event!!
LOVE the flange!!!

Getting about 1/3 the way around the front side of the quilt…taking a dinner break! Will probably finish in the morning!!! Can’t wait to get the rest of this binding on, take a couple of pictures…then wash this quilt and see “what” happens….

Note; this is an Aurifil March 2013 BLOCK of the Month; Designed by Jeni Baker. Block is called THE BOXER. I just HAD to make the whole quilt with this one block. Sashing and borders are my own design! Thanks especially today to “Aunt Marti” http://www.52quilts.com for the awesome tutorial on flanges in binding! Thanks also to Pat Sloan who hosts Aurifil Block of the Month this year.

Machine quilting is finished

Got back out to the sewing room today and FINISHED the machine quilting on the memorial quilt I have been working on.
Tomorrow I think I will make some binding and get it stitched on. I feel so close to completion on this quilt. Would really
like to get it in the mail on Tuesday morning! (No pressure……)
Here is a peak at the machine quilting….all pretty straight line….


PRINTING on FABRIC & Working on the back

Well; you know about my “mistake” on the quilt front……I have managed to “pick out” the stitches all around the upside down block (really a whole row)….now I just need to get busy and reinsert it. That is the plan for today!

But, I was so annoyed with myself I could not face it for a couple of days!!  Hate when that happens.  I did, however, spend my time productively.

I experimented with printing on my own fabric using the freezer paper method.  It worked GREAT!!!  I have used the commercially available products in the past, but last year my quilt instructor, Edwina,  at Serendipity Quilt Shop told me about this method.  Basically she said “GOOGLE IT” …so I did.   I found lots of information about how to do the process; ordered the Bubble Jet wash and Bubble Jet Rinse products too….  I think I have about $20 invested in the Bubble products.  I’ve had them sitting on the shelf, just waiting for me to use them.

When I decided to try this over the weekend, here is what I did…..

I cut the fabric and the freezer paper to 8.5 x 11 “.  I ironed the fabric to the shiny side of the freezer paper; brought it to the printer and put ONE piece  in the paper tray.  My printer pulls from the bottom tray, and I have to load it fabric side down.  (I learned a long time ago to put an X on the top piece of paper and see which side it printed on.  )

I set my printing options to the HIGHEST quality PHOTO settings…the maximum DPI.  Takes a LOT of ink, and it prints REALLY slow…but the quality is awesome.

I was so excited about doing this, I skipped the Bubble JET WASH process…..But I did the RINSE when I was finished and hung the piece to dry on a hanger.  I went ahead; after the fact and washed two more pieces of fabric, just to see how they turn out.  I think I will try to print on them later in the week.

Anyway; without further ado….below is the picture of what I printed.


This first message was written by the family who asked me to make this quilt.

message on fabric print 2

The Farmer family asked me to tell a little about myself and the making of the quilt, so this message is what I wrote.

Below is the setting for both messages.


I decided to use some of the remaining fabric used  on the front of the quilt to set the block for the message.

I have since stitched it down to the flannel quilt back…..hoping it is near center!!

Off to put to the  upside down piece “right side up”….

Happy Sewing!

Progress report!

Pin basted at church

Pin basted at church

I have been working pretty much non stop since Tuesday morning on my BOXER quilt. Got the pieces back together, and took it church on Tuesday afternoon and pin basted it. I was able to get the quilting started while I worked with my group at church. It’s always nice to have a few ideas bounces around when it comes to “how would you quilt this?”. I spent most of Wednesday quilting too. In fact, since my husband had a meeting after dinner, I went back out and sewed until 10:30 pm. I was getting saddle sore from being in the sewing chair for almost 8 hours straight. Still have lots more to do to get the quilting done, but I am going to work on it again this afternoon!

My friend Krisin was working on borders for a quilt she was making for a nephew. She is a half/square triangle fan, and does LOTS of quilts using them. In fact, when she gets going making HST she makes so many, she always has a stash of ready made squares. This quilt below, came totally from her stash! I recognized the pieces immediately. She had made a quilt for one of her sons with the same squares! The fun of the half square triangles is you can do SO many patterns and get so many different looks.  The blue stripe border makes me dizzy, not sure I could bind this quilt!

Kristin's quilt for her nephew

Kristin’s quilt for her nephew


I have to ADMIT….I did take a break this week and “play” again with my embroidery machine. I found a great source where I can download 3 free designs each week, so I went looking for something I could use on a bookmark. One of my great nieces had her CONFIRMATION at church two weeks ago, and I wanted to make a little something special for her. So, when I found the design, I got busy and got stitching.

bookmark for Lexie

bookmark for Lexie

So, that was fun to make! The design is called the Luther Rose or Luther Seal, and is very symbolic for Lutherans. Had to change the colors from what the “designer” used. I knew something was “off” from what I was seeing on the embroidery website, and I had to double check, and make the proper changes. The heart has to be red, not pink. The cross has to be black, not gold. Otherwise, the designer did a beautiful job I think.

More stitching to come today….

Yikes….the mistake JUMPS out at me!

So; why is it you can’t see the mistake when you stare at something for days and days and weeks and weeks….???

I was just posting a photo of my Memorial Quilt to the Aurifil Flickr group, and all of a sudden —

Boy oh boy did it just JUMP out at me….do you see it???

Center section; 3rd row..wpid-2013-05-11_13-29-42_885.jpgdo you see it????

The blue “frame” has the top piece reversed….

And of course, the borders are on….I was getting ready to put the quilt together……guess I better get out the seam ripper….grrrrr….

Finished the top – THE BOXER – :)


I have “finished” the top !!!  Now to work on the back.

I dug through my stash and found SIX beautiful yards of sky blue flannel

with little “wisps” of white….kind of like clouds.  So, that is perfect.  Since it is 45 wide, I will have to piece it, but NO problem!

Got the flannel washed this afternoon and it laying back on the table in the sewing room.  Tomorrow morning I think I will get out the ruler

and make those selveges disappear and  piece the back.

I had the most FUN this afternoon playing with my embroidery machine. You know I made the initial block and the little airplane block for the

front of this quilt already.  I had an e-mail discussion with Judy @  grandparentsplus2.wordpress.com about “importing designs” from the web to the

Brother Embroidery machine and how I was doing it.  I promised her I would do a test this afternoon, to ensure my process was accurate as I had described it to her.

Well….without further ado….here are the results:


I made my FIRST ever quilt label.  I used a scallop frame I downloaded from Brother; then added the little airplane that I downloaded from another site.  I finished it up with

the words, fonts that were already in the machine.  I used the smallest setting for the letters and the overall size is 4″ x 4″.    I used a piece of fusing to  mount my red fabric to the

medium weight stabalizer.  The red fabric was already cut in a 6 ” square and my frame for the machine is about  5″ x 7 ” .  I will fold the edges under and stitch this on the back of the

quilt I believe.  Anyway; I am THRILLED that I made something useful with the embroidery machine I won!  If I had not put the little airplane on it, I could have probably written about the

pattern and designer.  Maybe I will make another…hmmm….meanwhile, time to make some dinner…the hubby is starving!

Notes:  CREDITS go to Aurifi l Designer Block of the Month;  March 2013: The Boxer Block by Jeni Baker @ In Color Order (note:  For any questions email: jeni@incolororder.com. Visit Incolororder.com for more patterns and tutorials. Visit Auribuzz.wordpress.com for more block tutorials.  © 2013 Jeni Baker, In Color Order LLC.

One to go


Progress report…..Well; got 3 out of four borders on today.  Stopped at 3 because I was having a brain fade when it came to measuring the last border.  (Should be exactly like the top border…but hey…the brain quit!)

So; instead of letting my brain get the best of me, I decided to work on the USAF patches.  In the top BLUE cornerstones are Senior Airman stripes. One in each of the top corners. In the Blue squares at the middle of the border are Airman First Class stripes on each side.  In the red sashing,  in the middle column, you will see a name tape that says KING at the top and bottom of the quilt.  In the center red sashing is a tape that reads US Air Force.  These tapes are what are worn on an Air Force ABU uniform.    I’d forgotton how tough it was sewing those strips and uniform nametags.  I did put in a heavy duty (denim) needle in my machine before I started. You can hardly get a straight pin through the strips and name tapes.  The bottom border will have two blue cornerstones, like the top.  Those cornerstones will have AIRMAN stripes (commonly referred to as Mosquito Wings).

The red block in the center of the border at the top has initials JJ; and the red block for the center of the bottom border has the 3 little airplanes that I featured in yesterdays blog.  I think after a couple of cups of coffee in the morning, I should be able to build that border and get it on.

I spoke to my friend Susan today who asked me to make this quilt.  We talked a bit about how it should be labeled.  I think between her and I we will find a way to express our sentiments.

How do you label your quilts?

We decided to go with a flannel for the back of the quilt.  The fleece I bought is barely wide enough, and not long enough.  I refused to let that fleece limit me on this quilt….I had a vision of what I wanted it to look like, and once I let “go” in my head of the fleece, the quilt came together.  (Really should have made smaller blocks…but I LOVE this pattern.  )

So; now I will be shopping for flannel this week to finish this off.  (Unfinished dimensions are 58 x 70).  What  color flannel would you use?  The recipient is a little boy, almost a year old. My brain says blue.  (I planned to use the same blue in the cornerstones to bind the quilt — but I have been playing with the leftover fabrics and thought I might piece the binding with fabrics from the piecing).  Since there are so many shades of blue in this quilt, I was thinking I would love to find a “cloud flannel”.  Must be time to shop on line before I make the journey to the quilt shops.  My friend and I decided it would be better to do some quilting vs tying this quilt.  I think I will just do basic “stitch in a ditch” around the blocks.  Thoughts or comments are appreciated.

Since I played with my embroidery machine yesterday, I have been fooling around saving free designs. More about that on another day!


Notes:  CREDITS go to Aurifi l Designer Block of the Month;  March 2013: The Boxer Block by Jeni Baker @ In Color Order (note:  For any questions email: jeni@incolororder.com. Visit Incolororder.com for more patterns and tutorials. Visit Auribuzz.wordpress.com for more block tutorials.  © 2013 Jeni Baker, In Color Order LLC

Airplanes and little boys

Did a little machine embroidery on some 6″ squares.  Airplanes for little boys!  These planes are about 3/4 ”  each!


Also did a 6 ” square with initials for the quilt I am making.


Got all my squares put together with sashing and posts.  The red squares above will go in the center of that blue border I have pinned on the design wall.  The cornerstones will be the same blue as the posts in my sashing.   Spent a lot more time fooling around with the embroidery machine than I had intended.


Thought I would get the border on today. But…that’s life.

My dear husband was disassembling and reassembling the swimming pool pump, in hopes we could get the pool opened up; chemicals in, and the green gloop gone.  (Why is it that some times you open a crystal clear pool, and other years…ewww…..think the frogs want to swim there today.)  Love what happens when you pour the shock in and watch any of the algae turn white; break away from the walls and float to the top!! (Sick humor I have).  We have an auto cover that we flip the switch and roll back.  The “WORMS” somehow always seem to get in the pool along the edge of that auto cover.  Gross…..   But…hey; the water is 63 degrees; the air was 81 today; and by the time the water is warm enough to get in, I should have it crystal clear and balanced.  We use BAQUICIL; a non chlorine product, and I am often challenged by the chemicals. Thank goodness our local pool store does water tests for me WHENEVER I wander in with a bottle of pool water.

Hopefully, tomorrow afternoon, the domestic chores will not get in the way and I will be able to put the borders on the quilt top.