Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Foray into Pins & Needles

On this blog, we've got a little bit of everything.

Fire-related things
General Life-snooping

And you've put up with a lot from me.  I appreciate that.

Now, we're going to go where some of you may never have gone before: The land of pins & needles
(aka: quilting)

I quilt.  I know, kind of grandma-esque, especially when you factor in all of the other things I find enjoyable, such as baking and cooking and making little villages out of plastic mesh & yarn (jk on that last one... as of yet...)

But I do it and I like it and I won't apologize.  However, if you want to skip ahead to something with less mothballs and false teeth, I understand.  Skip away.

I like to quilt.  I like to make most things.  In my life, I've created in nearly every way possible.  Let me count them.
1. Spinning Pottery   2. Jewelry Making    3. Chocolate Molding
4. Cake Decorating  5. Velvet Embossing    6. Candle Pouring    7. Soap Making
8. Bead Loom-ing    9. Crocheting    10. Baking    11. Paint-by-number    
12. Charcoal Drawing    13. Paper Mache    14. Acrylic Painting    15. Mixed Media Creating

This is just a brief listing.  As you can see, my mother indulged my creative side a bit.  And we are thankful.

But I got into quilting a few years ago.  I remember it well.  It was winter.  Cold.  Very cold.  And I wanted to be warm.  So I thought to myself, "A quilt would keep me warm.  I want a quilt.  I shall make one."  Fast forward 22 months, I was cold again, and finally finished my first quilt.  I did not do it correctly, OH no.  Some people might decide to take a class or ask someone for help or at least youtube it.  Apparently not me.  I blame this trait of mine to plunge headlong into a previously untried experience on an excessive amount of unearned praise received as a young girl; I really believe I can do nearly anything.

Anyhow, the long experience which began by me purchasing 14 different flannels and ended with me crawling inside of what was basically a HUGE pillowcase and spreading the batting to all corners, I had a warm warm quilt.  It looks like this:

It has a lot of pink, which doesn't really trip Handsome's trigger, and its also, as stated, VERY VERY WARM.  Which is great for a drafty apartment in Northern PA, and not so necessary for the sweet South.  So we don't really use it much anymore, unless its cold and we don't want to turn on the heat.

The next quilt I made, I actually used a pattern.  I made this quilt for my grandma, using the material from dresses that my grandma had made for me as a child.  Easter dresses, every year, made by her own hands.  So I guess its an Easter quilt :)

As you can see, this one is heavily quilted.  I rented an upright loom for quilting it, at my (then) local quilt shop.  It was really quite easy, and fun.  I quilted pictures and words and all sorts of things into the quilt, and gave it to my grandma for Christmas.  She bought a new couch to match it, so I guess she liked it some...

I've also been making some simple, easy, most wonderful thing in the world, T-shirt quilts.  I love the heft of them, the softness of the material, the cheapness of the materials.  For example, you see here, in my quilting closet, a bag.

This bag is full of supplies for my next T-shirt quilt.  Its all Clemson T-shirts, and some flannel sheets, bought at the local Goodwill, for less than $35.  Pretty much the cheapest quilt I've made to date.

Here's an old one I made, with T-shirts on both sides.  It weighs over 7 lbs.  I won a bet on that fact, and Handsome had to do the dishes as a result. Winning!

I also made a quilt for Handsome, before we got married.  I wanted to make one for our future together, but he was sort of ornery about the whole issue.  I was reasonable, and picked out blues, whites, and browns; masculine colors.  Unfortunately, H didn't see it that way. "You expect me to sleep under flowers and hearts and girly things??  I need a MAN quilt." he said.  So I said "FINE.  Pick out some manly material, and I'll make you your man quilt."  And we end up with...

A cowboy  print quilt.  Because cowboys are nothing if not manly.  Did you know that they make so many cowboy prints?  I think I count 23, plus some solids and non-manliness-offending prints.  I got to quilt some fun things into this one too.
(remember, we "DO" firearms at our house)
I also quilted the word "man" into the quilt on several occasions, just to be equally ornery, so now its a real man quilt.

Unfortunately, I did all of this awesome work up in PA, where I had a standing loom at my disposal.  And now I do not.  So now I've got a new sewing machine so I can finish some of the quilt tops I've got sitting around and make some new stuff.  And I'll keep you posted sometimes.  And sometimes not.  Because sometimes I'm witty and sometimes I'm not, and I don't feel witty today, and I'm afraid this post is sorta boring.  And I'm not sure if its the content or my mood.  So if its the content, I'll keep the posting to a minimum.  And if its the lack of wit of the writer, I'll fire her and get a new one.  

Preparing for dentures and Depends,


  1. I'm just starting to quilt and feel equally unabashedly-gradmotherly about it! I have some t-shirts all ready to be sewn together, but they've been put on hold for a baby quilt for my soon to be niece or nephew. I'm so jealous of your long-arm quilting skills! Hopefully, I'll be able to find a free-form foot for my kind of old machine. But I'm not holding my breath. Thanks for the inspiration to keep going, though!

  2. @JB

    Long Arm! Thats what its called! Thank you for that missing word/phrase. I've found its easiest to just let it flow. I just got a new sewing machine (to take a free-form class with, which I was too late to sign up for) because my machine was too old to quilt on. So I think I'm going to Youtube it, and try and figure it out on my own (go figure). I'll let you know if I find any helpful hints! Can't wait to see the baby quilt!

  3. If it makes you feel any less grandmotherly, most of my weeknights (when we had cable) were spent watching Wheel of Time and Jeopardy! and crocheting from 7-8. Then pitter-pattering around the house before going to bed.

    And they rubbed my face in the fact that it was grandmotherly by having old-people commercials at every commercial break during that time slot.

  4. I am impressed!!! Velvet embossing? Really? Wowzers. I love your first flannel quilt. I heart flannel. And the t-shirt quilt. Hey - you should totally make a sweatpants quilt! Law. I would be ALL OVER that.


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