Sunday, December 15, 2019

5 quilts in two days!

A repeat customer called the other day and begged to have her five Christmas gift quilts done. We decided to go ahead and do them despite my need to start the cookie baking marathon before the kids come. Four of the quilts are quite large, and one is a big throw size. Mr Wazoo volunteered to do the small one and one other since the weather was bad and he couldn't go out to play. I did the other three!
I started with this one. Bright colors, picked by the lucky nephew who is on the receiving end of the quilt!

I forget the name of the Panto, but it is zigs and zags alternating direction.
It gives wonderful texture to the quilt.

We have never used microfiber sheets for backings before, but they all quilted up fine. They have a really soft hand, too.

I quilted up number two for another nephew. He also picked the colors.
The sugar skull border fabric is a perfect finish!

Panto: Woven wind

Microfiber sheet on the back again!

Number three was quilted by Mr W out in the man-cave. This is my favorite of the rail fence ones because of the color combination.

Panto: Square spiral

The texture really shows on the back, another sheet.

I quilted number four, made for a niece, or sister...I don't remember.

I used King Tut variegated thread for the quilting.
Panto: Flower power

The backing is another sheet, but the color doesn't come through correctly here. It is a nice lavender.

I like that the quilt maker fussy cut some of the fabrics for the crazy blocks.

The recipient must love nature and animals.

This smaller quilt is for the girlfriend of the maker's son. I had to laugh and tell her that I have quilts all over the place with ex-boyfriends of my girls. Yup, I made one for the latest squeeze of one daughter who is coming for Christmas. I wonder where it will end up...

Mr Wazoo quilted it with t he Small Splat Panto.

The quilt is the only one with a patterned sheet on the back.
All this quilting may seem like quite an  accomplishment to you, dear reader, but it is an even more outstanding feat when I reveal that I also added and sewed all the bindings on the quilts. The last quilt is on my Bernina as I type, and is about half done being bound. I am determined to start the cookies tomorrow, as I have a few things to go to this week and time is running out!
I added borders to the red quilt and loaded it on the Millie yesterday late afternoon. It was chugging along when I heard a loud WHACK! noise and then the dreaded hum of the machine being stopped in it's tracks. I jumped up and tried to get the firmly stuck needle up out of the quilt by turning the hand wheel, but nothing would move. I cut the thread to release the tension on the quilt, but that didn't work either. I called out for Mr Wazoo to come quickly, and after trying in vain to get anything to move, unplugged the machine. Silence. OMG! I just knew I was going to have a rip in the quilt, or at least lose the pattern on the computer. We undid the side panel and found thread had gone into the gap around the take up lever and wound itself tightly around the shaft, stopping any movement of the needle bar. Mr W used a box cutter and tweezers to get the thread off, and was able to finally raise the needle from the quilt. No rip!! Yippee!! I plugged everything back in and it all came to life. Guess what? There was the pattern, still on the screen of the tablet indicating the spot where the pattern was so cruelly stopped. I was so elated at the prospect of the quilt suffering no damage and the pattern being intact, I gave the man a big hug. We both decided it was best to leave while we were ahead, and did so at 6:30. A nice steak dinner made the evening complete.
I'll finish the quilt today And get the binding on and hand sewn tonight. It will go to a nice lady who was totally enamored with my quilts at the trunk show a couple of weeks ago. She wanted to buy one, but I had only show quilts with me and I don't part with those. I promised to get a quilt to her, and this is the one. Not to a gift. It makes me happy to give appreciative people a quilt.

Here is the top, all ready to be quilted. A quick trip to the quilt shop for backing, and it was loaded and the quilting started. I'll post photos when it is done.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Too small backing debacle

I made the back wider for the big quilt, but it was dubious whether the length would be okay. I have learned a great lesson today...don't take a quilt if the backing isn't correct! I started as close to the top roller as possible, and began quilting. And quilting, and quilting, and quilting. Oh crap! I got to the last row and the backing was an inch and a half short. The maker is a friend, and I am hoping she will just cut off an inch and bind the thing. I wound the whole quilt back until I could reach the ironing board with it still mounted to the leader. I sewed a long piece of fabric to fit and fused it with batting tape to the too short back. After rolling the entire thing back on the front roller, I realigned the pattern and finished quilting. Egads! That whole gerry-rigged fix took an hour to accomplish. Never again!

Loaded and ready

What seemed like a million years later, all finished.

It is a beautiful quilt, but I'll be happy to see it go home!

Pantro: Swirls and Bubbles

The back looks great. See there pieced column? I guess we needed one the other way, too!
I got a bit of Christmas gift work done, too. Some placemats and bowl cozies. I also finished sewing the blocks for the red and tan quilt and sewed it together. I think it needs a border, but I wonder if I have something that will match okay. That's for tomorrow! We received a tin of cookies from my son today...I hear them calling me.

It needs finishing, but will be a nice gift.

The customer with the steam punk quilt gave me her leftover bits from the quilt, so I made some bowl cozies for a guy who admired the naked girls on the fabric.
I hope his wife thinks its funny, too.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

NO, NO, NO!! More too small backings

We took in a couple of Christmas gift quilts as favors to the customers, and promised to get them done in good time for the holiday. Both have too small backings!! AAARRRRGGGGHHH!!! After my doctor appointment (I'm fine!) and a grocery trip, I set to work fixing the backs for quilting.
The first one is a small gingerbread man throw, with more gingerbread men on the back. The back and front exactly the same size. I cut off the 2 1/2 inch strips that were added by the quilt maker to make the backing bigger, and added 6 inches all around of a nice red and black checked fabric from my stash. This added the 5 inches I need for attaching the quilt to the roller bars and to attach the side clamps during quilting. Hopefully, I can finish the quilting when I get home from the guild Christmas party today.

Off to the races with the quilting!
The other quilt was a very honest error. The customer bought wide backing thinking it was 108" wide. It is not. The fabric is 104" wide and will not work either direction for a 102X104" top. She quickly made a strip of leftover blocks, and yesterday, I cut the backing into two pieces, and sewed the pieced strip into the backing. One more seam and I will be ready to quilt that one, too.

The pieces are lined up and pinned together. I just have to sew it up and press the seams.
Meanwhile, the blocks I started over the weekend will languish for a while longer while I do the quilting on the customer projects.

The pieces are all stacked and ready to sew.

Here is a picture of the quilt I am making. I got the little booklet at a shop in Wisconsin last summer.
The weather has turned gray, wet and cold here, so Christmas preparations take place indoors where it is warm and dry. We finished the last of the tree decorating and I wrote the Christmas cards. Everything is wrapped and either under the tree or in boxes ready to send today. Next week, I will switch gears to cookie baking and get that done. Two weeks left to get everything ready!

Yukky weather

Mr Wazoo changed the decorative pots to winter hardy plants. Ornamental cabbages and pansies do very well here over the cold months.

Here, you can see the colors  better on the dogwood decorations.

Santa Street runs right along the driveway so Santa can park the sleigh without hitting a tree!

Our tree is looking good now that it has candy canes and little birds.
Don't you love Christmas?!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Caught up for Christmas!!

All the quilts I needed to have done for customer Christmas are finished!! There are a couple of quilts to be done yet in the queue, but they are not due by there holidays. I'm sure someone will bring something they want done ASAP, but it will be easy to do if I need to. Today, I plan to wrap presents and get them situated under the tree. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here at Wazoo!

I did another quilt for this customer recently, all in pink. This purple one is for her sister. The maker is a new quilter, and she does a wonderful job. Both quilts were flat and perfect!

She wanted hearts and flowers, so I used the Panto Frolic. 
Purple, purple, purple!! I guessed she was a tween, and I was spot on!! Eleven years old.

Here is the finished tee shirt quilt that had the screwed backing. I cut two strips 12" wide from the length and sewed them end to end. Then I sewed them to one side of the backing, making is just big enough to get the clamps on. I had to charge for all that fixing because it took almost an hour to do.

At 84 x 98" it is a really big quilt. Notice there is no sashing or borders either. The customer said there are 70 tees in this quilt!! Yikes! With flannel backing and 80/20 batting, it weighs a ton.

Panto: Rounded square plaid

The flannel is really thick and heavy, adding to the weight of the finished quilt. I'm glad it isn't my job to do the binding!

I L-O-V-E this quilt! The photos are old family pictures, some dating before the Civil War. The customer told me that her family has been in Georgia for generations, and many of her relatives were Confederate soldiers. There is also a picture of her grandfather in his doughboy uniform from WWI. From a divided nation's fight to a unified country's war, her family has served.

The quilt is custom quilted, using a block pattern of leaves and curls for the pieced blocks, and a frame of leaves and swirls for the photos. Because the quilt will and on a wall, it was okay to have the photo blocks lightly quilted to retain the integrity of the photos.

I used a copper colored thread for the antique look.

This is the customer's Great-Great Grandpa as a little boy. His hand-me-down outfit has several holes from rough wear over the years. I love the history in this quilt! One of the pictures is a row of open sided old busses with the drivers posing in a row in front of them. Her family has been school bus drivers for three generations.

This is the backing. After seeing this quilt, I want to dig out the old photos and make one of our family. My Dad as some really old pictures of relatives I could scan and use. Stay tuned for that!

I ended the day sewing some blocks from 10" squares and will get the second round of sewing done today. I saw a pattern in a shop in Wisconsin and wanted to give it a try. A project just for fun!
When I left the studio last evening. I enjoyed the lights Mr Wazoo put up. He has finished decorating the tree and will be out in the yard today cleaning up leaves and mulching the gardens for their winter sleep. He spent the day yesterday planting bulbs for the Spring.

This little vignette is in the side garden

The colored balls look nice against the dusk sky and Epp Mountain.

Lighted icicles across the porch. The wind always wraps the flag up on the pole. We undo it every morning.