Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spring and "Jacob's Ladder"

The "Jacob's Ladder" quilt has been a long time coming. I started it way back when we lived in the apartment, probably 5 or 6 years ago. I started making hand-sewn blocks, intending to just do 4 for a wall hanging. Well, somehow through time I decided to make a few more and make it bigger, a small quilt. But before I got all the blocks sewn by hand, we moved into this house. Long story short, I eventually got to sewing with my machine, and finished sewing the blocks by machine. Then I put everything together into a quilt top, and quilted it in a hoop.

There it stopped for awhile. I wasn't in the mood to cut and sew the binding. So I folded it and put it away.

My way of doing binding on a quilt has been a little different - I'd sew 4 seperate strips, one to each side of the quilt. This looks fine, but the corners were tedious because I had to really tack them down and close them up on the back due to the one raw end of strip. Make sense? Anyway, I dreaded the corners, always, when tacking down the binding.

This last fall, a good friend of mine had a quilt project going. Her grandma had made the blocks, she and a friend had put the blocks together into a top, another lady machine quilted it, then she sent it to me for binding. It was a beautiful treasure, and I wanted to do a good job.

I decided I wanted to do a continuous binding, to have the corners be better than I had usually done. Not that the way I'd done them was bad, it was just so tedious. But when I tried to do a continuous binding on a small project awhile back, it DID NOT TURN OUT RIGHT, and I wasn't sure what I'd done.

Well, this quilt sat for quite awhile since fall, with me trying to get the nerve to jump in on this nice quilt. Then I remembered the Jacob's Ladder quilt with no binding on it yet. AHA!! "I'll practice on that."

Well, once again, I'd done whatever I'd done wrong the last time, and it still looked bad. So I'm very thankful for "YouTube." Between that and Google search, I finally figured out what I'd been doing wrong on the corners. I was just folding a certain spot the wrong way. So I ripped the corners and re-folded and re-sewed, and "voila," it worked FINE! YEE-HAAA! This cowgirl quilter was VERY HAPPY.

Then I had all the confidence in the world to tackle my friend's nice big quilt, and it went fine, too. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I was glad to be able to get the quilt back to her before Valentine's Day, which was my "goal." I will now do bindings no other way. LOVE the continuous binding, and how the corners go.

So after several years of on-and-off doing, the blue-and-yellow "Jacob's Ladder" is now folded and hanging above the cabinet that my Granddad Cline made, giving a nice springy effect. (Yes, I'm having spring fever.) I put the wintery things and colors away, and fixed the top of the cabinet with more spring-y colors. The flowers are fake, but I don't care. They at least give something pretty to look at. :) So ... I'll share some pictures of the finished arrangement - enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Multi-generation Treasure

At the top of this blog, it says, "Beautiful Expressions from Generation to Generation." Well, this quilt certainly fits in that category!

The quilt belongs to my friend. The squares were made by her grandmother. My friend put the squares together into a top with the help of a lady. Another lady machine quilted the top. Then, the quilt took a trip through the mail to me, and I had the honor of binding it. I finally got it done (she was very patient!), and it made the trip back to its home. It's a "Dresden Plate," and features feed sack material from the depression days or thereabouts. A BEAUTIFUL treasure. It was a real joy to be included in the making of it!