Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Follow my blog with Bloglovin These weeks fly by so fast, I can't believe it's Wednesday already and I've been home a week since vacation. I have only a little project I can show you. When I got back from "up north" I remembered that I needed to fulfill a little promise to make some heart blocks for quilters in California that lost their homes to wildfires. I had read about the project in a post by Bernie at Needle and Foot. Pastel heart blocks are being collected by Kerrie's Quilting to make into quilts for the displaced quilters. Here are what I came up with (please pardon the wrinkles. I forgot to press them after signing):

I used graph paper to cut a six-inch heart pattern. I don't have a zigzag function on my sewing machines. I was going to hand stitch the hearts but didn't trust my sewing to make them both neat and secure, so I pressed them around a freezer paper template and then removed the paper and straight stitched them down. I signed them with FMQ on my treadle machine using pastel thread that was already in it. That was my favorite part of the project. I love doing handwriting in FMQ because I like stitching tiny designs in FMQ, and handwriting is such a natural feeling motion. Also, my FMQ handwriting is a lot like my cursive writing from my middle and high school years--so much neater than my college and present day writing. Back then, I guess I concentrated more on presentation than message. 

Anyway, these were fun to make. I did find, though, that I don't have a lot of pastel fabric in my stash (at least in large enough pieces for a 10-inch block). I might need to change that. I think tomorrow is the deadline for mailing blocks for the project so you still have time today to make one (or more), especially if you can zigzag the hearts. Just head over to Bernie's blog for the information and mailing address. I hope they will bring a spot of cheer to some quilters who probably feel quite overwhelmed right now. 

In other WIP news, I finished quilting my grandbaby's quilt this week. It was not without a crisis, however. After I finished quilting the third quadrant, I turned the quilt over to admire my work...and there was a big wonky pleat where two quadrants came together. WHAT??? I have never had that happen before. I've always prided myself (therein lies the problem--you know what they say about pride) in having nice tight basting and have never had a problem with the backing shifting. But it happened. If the fabric had been a busy all-over pattern, I might have let it go, but it's a stripe and the pleat wobbled back and forth because it happened as I was making a turn at the end of each row, so of course the stripe wobbled, too.

(Side note: I like to take those little personality tests online. The ones that determine whether or not I have OCD tendencies make me laugh because they always say that I am almost too laid back. It's just that seeing a picture of one piece of candy in the wrong container of a set of carefully sorted candy colors feeds my artistic whimsy. Ah, but when it comes to sewing, well that's a different story. Points have to match and seams line up, etc.) 

At first I thought I would have to unstitch the whole quadrant. But I came to my senses, and painstakingly unpicked all the stitches just over the wobble. Then I carefully folded a neat little pleat down the side of one stripe and hand stitched it down with tiny stitches (ironic, since I didn't trust myself to applique those hearts, above). I could tell that the fourth quadrant had the potential for the same problem, so I took a seam in a little deeper in the backing before rebasting (to the nth degree) the last part of the quilt. I requilted, matching up all the ends of the parts where I had removed stitches, and then I finished the quilt. AND IT WORKED!! Yippee!. You can still see where a stripe is narrower than it should be. I will have to talk myself into believing that it is a bit of artistic whimsy to keep the OCD part of me calm, but at least the wonkiness is straight instead of all over the place. After the baby comes (won't be long now), I'll have pictures up and you'll be able to see how it turned out. I have no pictures of the fixing--I was too freaked out to grab the camera. 

Now it's time to make some baby quilt binding. 

Have a great week, and remember, you still have time to make a heart block if you'd like. 

This week, I'm linking up with Freemotion by the River, Freshly Pieced, Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation for their linky parties. The buttons are on the right. 

 And this week, thanks to the gentle encouragement of some fellow bloggers, I'm finally figuring out how to use Bloglovin'. (I had no idea how many blogs I had bookmarked. This will be much more efficient. Who knew? Obviously, everyone but me!) 



Stacey said...

Very cute blocks and great work on the FMQ handwriting!

Lara B. said...

Hi Janine! I was happy to find you on Bloglovin'. Make sure that you"claim" your bog on there. I knew to look for Quilts from the Little House, but others might only be led to Janine Marie. It took me awhile to figure out that you have two identities on Bloglovin'. Mine following list got so crowded that I started following people with my blog's sidebar as well. It's a little less overwhelming.

You absolutely amaze me with how perfect you are able to write a FMQ signature with your treadle machine. I have never seen anyone who can do that so well. The heart blocks are wonderful and you solved your no-zig-zag problem very well.

I would have had a cow over what happened to the baby quilt. But you kept your head, LOL, and it sounds like you fixed the pleat trouble very well. Heh heh - if I took a test for OCD it would not say that I was laid back.

Cathy said...

Love your heart blocks! I'm sure they'll be well received.

Sandra Walker said...

Those are lovely colours you used for the blocks you are sending. Quilters are just the most generous people! Glad you figured out bloglovin too--hang on for quite the ride!

Kaja said...

Lovely heart blocks and your FMQ signatures are gorgeous - so neat and elegant and they look very pretty on the hearts. Well done for mastering bloglovin', it just makes my head hurt when I try to sort it all out.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Beautiful work and your signature is perfect! I love using my 15-91 Singer which is only a straight stitch and I do a free motion ziggy zaggy.

Sharon - IN said...

What a great project. Pretty hearts and signatures. I have not attempted that in FMQ yet.

Bernie Kringel said...

Finally catching up and ready my favorites! Thank you for contributing these lovely heart blocks. Signing your name with FMQ is genius!
I have had a similar issue with a fold on the back side and I did the same as you. It worked well enough and wasn't the sort of quilt that I felt like it had to be perfect. Good solution!

Good job figuring out Bloglovin. I think you'll like using it! Enjoy the rest of the weekend.