Monday, November 18, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - Lessons Learned!

Hi, all!

As I write this, there are only 36 days, 6 hours, 20 minutes and 47 seconds until Christmas..  I've moved beyond stress, and I'm living in that lala land where, as was said in "Shakespeare In Love", strangely enough, it will all turn out well - who knows how?  It's a mystery!  But I have made some headway on some projects and I'll share some of the progress in this post.

First, though, let's see how last week's list went…

1.  Quilt six quilts for ministry needs already on the list.
Done!  Three have already been delivered, and three others are out having the binding put on.  Here's a couple of the quilts…

This quilt went to a woman with breast cancer.

This quilt went to a woman with pancreatic cancer.

2.  Quilt a friend's quilt top.
Done!  And wouldn't you know, this is the only pic I took of it!

3.  Quilt my FIL's quilt.
Done!  And it's not only quilted, the binding is on and it's been washed!  It's all ready to go.

4.  Cut out the butcher aprons.
Done!  All ready to be sewn together.

5.  Cut the replacement pieces for the antique quilt repair and sew the fans together.
Done - this is one thing I'll share a bit more about below.

6.  Make some ruffled pants for Emmy.
Done!  And not only did I make the pants, I also made a matching pinafore.  Emmy is an excellent clothes model - in fact, when I tried it on her for size before I finished it, I had a hard time getting it back off her!  She wouldn't let me have it back until I promised she'd get to wear it later.  Here's the finished product!

So. Stinkin'. Cute!

7.  Piece a baby quilt top for a friend.
I delegated this to another member of the quilt ministry.  I really should do that more often!

8.  Start cleaning the house for the holidays.
Started - it shouldn't be too hard to finish it up this week!

9. Keep up with any new ministry needs that arise.
Done.  We've had two more requests come in that I made backs for - they are ready to be quilted tomorrow.

As promised, here's more about the antique quilt repair.  Well, I must confess that Saturday afternoon, I was totally devastated - I was sure I was going to have to tell my friend that his quilt was beyond repair, because I could not figure out how in the world to make it work.  

This quilt was pieced in 1938 - I know this because some of the signature blocks are dated.  My original plan had been to make a template, cut all the pieces, sew the stars together and then appliqué them by hand to the quilt after cutting the original, damaged pieces out.  The quilt has been used, washed and dried so much that it is very shifty.  And my suspicion is that the pieces were not very uniform in the first place!  The upshot of that is that each five-sided piece of each star was a slightly different shape and size.  NOT conducive to repairing!  

Then I thought I'd pick out the stars and cut each piece individually.  Well, whoever quilted this quilt meant for it to stay quilted forever!  Where it was knotted, I could not get the knot out, no matter how I tried.  And I was afraid that if I went between the layers, I would destroy whatever was holding the quilt together in the first place.

As my husband would tell you, I do not deal well with being told that I can't do something.  Stubborn runs in my family!  But I couldn't see any way that I could get this done before Christmas, and maybe not for months and months if I had to make a template for each star blade.  So I bit the bullet and called my friend.  Now, he is not a quilter.  He doesn't sew.  Which probably makes him very qualified for thinking outside the box!   After I told him I couldn't do it, he started making suggestions - and when he suggested just patching the quilt, an idea began to form in my head.  I told him I'd give it a try.

At first I thought I would place the star blades that I had cut over the ones on the quilt, and raw-edge appliqué each one on.  But when I laid the first blade down, I realized that if I laid a second blade on top of it and stitched where the seam connected the blades on the quilted star, it would be kind of like paper piecing.  So I did that, carefully stitching only the length of the seam on the quilted star, all the way around the circle.  When I got to the last blade, I folded the edge over, pinned it to the first blade, and edge stitched it down.  Then I folded the edges under all the way around the outside and inside of the star and edge stitched them down.

It's not a perfect repair, and it's not as neat as I planned it to be originally, but it will allow my friend to enjoy his quilt without feeling like it will disintegrate when he touches it.  I've got four more stars to replace, and this spot on the border to rebuild…

The sugar sacks that were used for the border are really cool, but I couldn't find any more.  I did find some light pink fabric that has a similar weave.  I'll run it through a bleach wash to see if I can get the color down to something similar to the existing border.  And then I'll put a new binding on it to cover up the tattered edges.  

So now that I've bored you to tears with that (unless you were smart and skimmed over it!), here's my list for this week

1.  Quilt two quilts for the ministry.

2.  Make a dog lead for a friend.

3.  Finish the antique quilt repair.

4.  Sew up the butcher aprons.

5.  Get the house cleaned up for the holidays.

6.  Make up my contributions to Thanksgiving Dinner and put in the freezer.

7.  Set up the Christmas tree Friday.

8.  Keep up with any other ministry needs that arise.

It's a short week for me - I'll be heading to my FIL's at the end of the week to help clear out his house, then back home just in time for Thanksgiving (which is why I need to freeze my contributions to dinner!)  I may not get all this done, but I hope I at least get the antique quilt finished - it would be so nice to not have that still on my plate when I get back!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?




  1. Had a job interview today, putting a border on a commission quilt, thinking of you. We need to chat.

  2. All the quilts are just lovely and I hope they give great comfort. You did a terrific job on your list. The outfit is just adorable - as well as the model! Your repair work is similar to what my Mom just did on a damaged (same period) Dresden Plate quilt. My week is getting ready for vending and vending.

  3. Fascinating to read about the quilt repair. Before I even got to the part where you hit upon a solution, I was thinking "just patch over it." I recently pinned a photo of a very old woman doing just that with an old quilt recently. I never would have thought of it otherwise. Makes me think that how it was done way back when. And the quilt was "shifty" you say? Well, you know I read that wrong the first go-round, tee-hee.

    Cute outfit for Emmy!

  4. Wow you are one productive person. I love the outfit you made and she is a doll. Your solution to fixing the quilt was great. I have a couple that I need to fix and I think that just might work.

  5. Sarah, your list of stuff you have completed BLOWS MY MIND! You are WONDER WOMAN to do all the stuff you do and still have time for hubby, kids, ministry needs, and your grands too! You are amazing and love the details you shared on the quilt repair... would love to see more on this as you progress... and I also read EVERY WORD of your post.. thanks for blogging all your victories this week :)
    As for me I am hand quilting table toppers for Christmas present and enjoying all the pretty stitches that will be more noticed on this smaller piece... no pressure right?? lol Have a great week and enjoy time with family too! Kathi

  6. I'm impressed with your antique repair, Sarah. You should join us in the Tennessee Quilt Study Group. I'll be happy to put you on the contact list if you are interested.

  7. Love the antique quilt. Great idea to call your friend. Sounds like my hubby, i use him for a sounding board when ideas don't work the way i want. I love the older quilts, pity it's wearing thin.

  8. great repair work, Sarah. Emmy's little outfit is so cute wish I had enough time to make my great niece one, but I think she'll have to settle for a pillowcase dress and store bought leggings and shirt (lives up north). Does your friends quilt (#2) have a name? I like that pattern.

  9. Ahhh! You made the cutest romper and ruffle pants out of my favoritest fabric ever!!!

    And good job on the repair. I've been slowly repairing an antique and it's hard work.

  10. From a historic preservation view your repair solution is brilliant. It preserves and protects what is left of the original under the new fabric. Nothing is taken away and the repair can be reversed if necessary. Whoop Whoop for you! (from a museum curator's mother)

  11. Your quilt repair is fascinating. You did a great job with it.

  12. You are amazing! Love the antique star quilt. Bless you for making it live on. janita

  13. What would we do without our lists to keep us on task! I usually have some that make it the next week and then again the nest week! I keep it on the list to keep it alive in my brain. Emma's outfit is darling! Kudos to you doing repair work on a quilt. I have one that needs to be repaired and yet to think about accomplishing that. Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. Yeah to you for figuring out the fix for that quilt. I know your hard work will be so appreciated.


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!