Updated: Feb 7
So it seems as if it has been forever since I sat down to write. We moved from a bustling city near Minneapolis to the small town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. My daughter took a teaching position and we decided to follow her. It has taken me much longer to get everything where I want it but I am feeling pretty settled now.
I now live on a one-way street with a speed limit of 20 mph. I am lucky enough to live across the street from a pretty lake by the name of Lake Alice. Each morning I get up and look out over the lake and each day it looks a bit different. There are scores of people walking around the lake all day. I had no idea how calming a lake can be, especially one where I have no responsibility.
This house came with a charming fenced garden. It’s just big enough to make me happy and not too overwhelmed. To add to my luck my next-door neighbor is a Master Gardner. We have been social distancing, but she is a wealth of information.
Last year I told you about a class I took from Kaffe Fassett. As you can see, it is border after border. I was in a hurry and slapped some of those borders on. When I took it to my longarm I got about a third of the way quilting it and realized that I had screwed up. It was bunching and it was not going to look good when finished. I am one of those quilters who like texture so it was densely quilted. I had a choice. Just plow through and make it look as good as I could or take it off the frame, take out all the quilting and rip the entire quilt apart and start from scratch. On any other project, I think I would have considered it a loss but this was a quilt that Kaffe Fassett had praised me for. So, I ripped everything apart and started over. This is a kingsize quilt with a large overhang.
Years ago a generous quilter had given me a tip on adding borders so I decided I would use her method.
Lay the piece out and place the borders on top of each other in the center of the piece. No need to measure just cut the borders to the center size of the quilt. When you sew the borders to each side you will fit the border to the quilt. You may have to ease or stretch a bit but both sides of the quilt will be even.
This quilt had 26 borders, remember I said it was a king-size quilt? That meant I had 52 borders to attach. This method worked great until I ran out of room on my cutting table. I didn’t want to crawl around on the floor so I looked around and saw the rails of my longarm which, of course, were long enough. I laid the piece on the rail of the machine with the center of the quilt on the rail. I used Terial Magic to make sure my borders were crisp and straight. Then I laid the two borders on top of the quilt and cut from there. I realized I didn’t need a huge table I just needed a surface to hang the quilt so it could be centered and wide enough to lay the border on it. Not everyone has a longarm but you could use a railing, a
2 x 4 on a sawhorse or just a long pipe.
Will I Never Learn?
I completed piecing the quilt just before we moved. I wasn’t sure my 14’ long arm would fit into the new house. It was going in the basement. We didn’t think we could turn the corner at the bottom of the steps and the windows were egress but we didn’t think the angle was good enough. When we got there we realized we were right and it wasn’t going to fit. My machine sat in the garage for a bit. One afternoon Dennis said, “let’s just try and get the longest piece in.” So the two of us took that rail and inch by inch we moved it so it cleared the steps! It was truly a happy day for me. I could have put the machine at my daughter’s house and gone there to quilt but I so wanted it near me. Dennis and I play pool most every night. We had planned on getting another pool table. Dennis was kind enough to give up the pool table and now my longarm is in this lovely carpeted room with a fireplace. It feels very cozy down here.
After getting everything set up it was time to test the quilt to see if it was flat this time. I put it on the longarm and it laid perfectly flat! I completed the quilting and it looks perfect. I would like to tell you this is the first time I have had to redo a project but that would be a lie. I am always in a hurry and I take shortcuts I shouldn’t. I pay for it in the end. Not sure how old I need to be to get this in my head. I never seem to learn.
I give you my Irish goodbye.
P.S. With all of the quilt shows being canceled we will not be traveling in the future. We will continue to sell online. I hope you all stay safe and keep sewing!
This month we will have a 10% discount on any of our products purchased from the website. Use code 10SPECIAL to receive the discount when completing your order.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Needs to sit overnight
Simple and quick to put together, this recipe is a family favorite.
1 loaf of bread - a day old is better 12 eggs
2 c. ham, diced 1/2 c. butter
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese 1 c. corn flakes, crushed
4 c. milk
Remove crust from bread. Place bread in a 9"x13" pan covering the bottom. Add ham and cheese. Cover with remaining bread. Mix eggs and milk. Pour mixture over the pan and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. remove from the oven and sprinkle cornflakes over the pan. Melt butter and pour over cornflakes. Place back in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 12
Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.