Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Elk Quilt

This client used some pretty wildlife panels to make this queen sized quilt.

It's not heavily quilted with crosshatching in the picture centers and stitch in the ditch outlining.
When I received this top, she had already marked this cable in the bright blue sashing!
It has textured Minky on the back.  I used these two colors of thread.  The nice thing about Minky, it that you can use any color thread and it hardly shows on the back, it melts into the pile. 
This is going to keep someone warm next winter!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Design Wall Today

This is one of the projects I am working on right now.
I'm taking these Crown Royal Bags and turning them into quilt blocks.

I had a special request for a 108x108 quilt commissioned from these bags and denim.  If you have not seen or felt one of these bags, they are made from flannel.
Here's what I came up with--it will be like a trip around the world with alternating purple and denim blocks.  Each row of denim will alternate light and dark.
How do you like the finished quilt?  Yup, I like my grid paper and my old fashioned #2 pencil.  Nope, I don't have a computerized design program.
I figured out how to break down the bags to get the maximum amount of usable fabric.

First, I carefully cut a slit in the drawstring pocket channel and extract the gold cord then slice off the pocket.
Slice off the serged edges:
I squared up the front with the name at 4 inches wide (the maximum I could get above the curve), pieced on the back below the name to make a strip long enough to center the embroidered name.  The side portion yielded exactly two 9.5" long pieces so that was the length I trimmed the center strip--ending up with a center strip 4 x 9.5. Then, I attached the bag side strips to the outer edges of the block making it a finished 7.5 x 9.5.

I had just enough gold drawstring cord to frame the block 3/4 inch in from the edge. I just used a zig zag stitch to attach the braid. When they are assembled, there will be a nice gold frame 1/2 inch from the seam on the blocks. 
I like it!


Oh, one more thing . . . I have a whole herd of elk on my quilting frame this morning . . .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hauling Hay

Not much quilting going on around here this week.  My hubby and I have been hauling hay.

Yes, my other car is a Peterbilt--with 70 feet of trailer behind me.

I drive the truck and hubby runs the telehandler--that's this fun little gizmo. It's like a cross between a forklift and a crane. It can telescope out about 20 feet (hence the name). Another handy feature is crab steering, so it can turn on almost a zero radius-and rear wheels can turn independently of the front wheels for getting in and out of tight spaces.
Each bale weighs approximately a ton (2,000 lbs.) and we haul 34 at a time.

Here, the last pair are being pushed onto the very back of the trailer You might notice in this particular photo, the front trailer has stacks of 3 bales, they just come out of a different brand of baler.  But a stack of 3 bales equal a stack of 2 bales in volume and weight.

This is a pretty common sight around Southern Idaho, there are lots of mega dairies within a 100 mile radius. Most of the alfalfa hay raised is trucked to the dairies. I do not use the term mega-dairies loosely, they are 30,000 to 50,000 cow dairies, miking 23 hrs a day with one hour to clean.  
Then out to the stack yard.  It takes about an hour to load the truck, unload at the stack and return to the field. We have radios so we can communicate, otherwise it would be very difficult to know when to stop, when to move, turn left, turn right, "I need 6 more bales," or "it's time for dinner!"

When it is sold, we head up onto the scales to weigh the truck. The light weight of the truck is already in the scale house computer, so it automatically calculates the weight of only the hay, the driver and the level of fuel.  This scale is accurate to 20 pounds and we keep it certified, so we know it is accurate--important when you travel through ports of entry. 
This photo was a few years ago, but is my all time favorite picture of the bales in the field.
Well that's my past week in a nutshell, but it's probably way more than you wanted to know!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sewing Butler

So, here I was pinning on a quilt and thinking how much I liked this little gem. It's just two 3-drawer units stacked together.  If you take the lid off of one of them, you can just click them together. Casters are on the bottom so it rolls around where I need it.
I call it my Butler.  Here's why:

I like to keep all my cleaning and sewing tools accessible and this keeps everything at a perfect height!

Since I wear bifocals, I even keep a pair of magnification glasses so I don't have to do acrobats when I need to get down under the machine to do cleaning and oiling. Those of you with bifocals, know what I'm talking about!
No, my seam ripper and tweezers are not missing, they are sitting on the quilter's handle attached to a gadget  my daughter found in a flea market-type store in Minnesota.   It's a magnetic surface on a webbing wrist band with a Velcro closure.  I never wore it on my wrist, because first time out of the box I found the perfect place for it here.

It also keeps my itty bitty screw driver that I use to adjust that pesky little screw #8 (needle up-down speed for APQS owners).  I have found this adjustment is related to ambient temperature. With cold nights-hot days in Idaho, it can never make up it's mind! 

My sister-in-law gave me this little weighted pin cushion/bag.  I use it for tread trash and cleaning rags. 
Hardly ever use it as a pincushion, as I like my little Auto Zone magnetic bowl for pins.

Drawer 2
This is full of little ~6x6 rags all made from t-shirt material. 

I fill this right when I cut t-shirts for a quilt. I stack a few trim strips and cut them into rags as I go. See, I just roll my "butler" over to my cutting table and toss my new rags into my drawer.  Everything else goes in the trash.
Drawer 3 & 4
These 2 drawers hold all the books, accessories, feet, bobbins, tools, etc for my 2 Berninas and my serger.  Again, I just roll my butler over to which ever machine I am using and I have everything at just the right height.
Drawer 5 & 6 
When I am cutting out fabrics, all the cotton scraps that are of a usable size but less than a fat quarter go into
drawer 5....flannels go into drawer 6.
When these little drawers are full of fabric scraps, I just dump them into one of my large storage containers:
Some under the ironing table.
Some under the quilting table. 
The beauty of this kind of storage, is that I can just pop out a drawer and bring it over to the cutting table for a project.  They also make great "book ends" for my packaged batting and misc. project storage on top. 
I use up a lot of scraps when I have more time to sew projects in the winter.
Looks like I still have some room here!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Layer Cake Neutrals

For this customer's quilt, I used a couple of her fabrics for my quilting inspiration.
Check out this fabric . . . 
. . . and this. 
That's where THIS came from: 
I have learned, working across the quilt in a diagonal path eliminates a linear look to an all-over pattern. 
 It gave it really nice texture.
Gray bumpy Minky on the back.  Yummy. 

Forgotten Treasures Sold!

Vickie was the high bidder on this little vintage package! 
She bid $75 and I can't wait to someday see her quilt(s) made from these.

I appreciate everyone that looked, shared, bid and otherwise supported this endeavor.  

If you didn't see my earlier posts, you can read about it here.

After shipping, all the money will go to buy batting for Quilts of Valor!

Thanks so Much!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Forgotten Treasures- One Day Left!

Hi, just a reminder that these lovely Double Wedding Ring blocks and pieces are still for sale!!
The bidding will end tonight-June, 15 at midnight Mountain Time!

Right now I have a bid for $75 . . .

. . . and I am auctioning them off to buy batting for Quilts of Valor!

Since I am receiving bids from various sources,
I will keep updating this post as the bids come to keep track of the the highest bidder:
Sue: $30
Sylvia: $40
Cynthia: $50
Carolyn $60
Vickie: $75
If you are interested, you may leave a bid comment at the end of this blog post, or e-mail me at

Thanks to all whom have expressed interest over the past week!
I have these all boxed up and just need a new home to ship them to.

I posted the original and complete story on this fabric here.

This sweet vintage package of DWR blocks can easily be yours!

As you will read in my earlier post about this unique bundle, I was the lucky recipient of a large supply of fabric yardage and I found a bag of these gems inside!

I need to note that these are remarkably clean: no smells only a stain or two that I could see.  I found no bugs or signs of mice in the package.  Kudos to this lady for keeping this collection so clean for so long!

There are 5 piles of this size of blocks, each pile has approximately 100, yes one hundred blocks!
The remaining fabric here in the drawer consists of 99% cut wedges like you see on the bottom left.  The rest of the fabric pieces are a variety of small scraps. (Bottom right)  
I found a few centers and melons in the box, that could possibly be used for a pattern.  There is also a pattern cut from a newspaper.  I couldn't find a date on it, but there is an ad for a car salesman at a dealership I remember as a kid--it sold out in the mid 60's.  


This pile of about 100 blocks are a different size.
 Wedges are longer and more narrow.

 Just look at all these fun vintage fabrics~

I love these pink fabrics and after seeing several of them, decided it was "Jack and the Beanstock."  

So, there you go!  Approximately 550-600 Vintage Double Wedding Ring blocks with extra scraps.
I can ship it anywhere in the US for about $10 and anything over that will be use to purchase batting for Quilts of Valor quilts.

I have been quilting for Quilts of Valor since 2008 and quilt at least 2 per month.  My hubby and I supply all the batting for the tops I quilt.  QOV is entirely a volunteer organization and this is a contribution we make.

If you are interested in placing a bid on this awesome vintage package just leave a comment in this blog or my earlier blog post or you may e-mail be at  bunkhousequilts@atcnet.net.

This special package deserves a Home Sweet Home!


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