Grandmother’s flower quilt – July ufo wrap up, advice for satin quiltmakers

Here it is – finished! Done and delivered to the bride and groom on their wedding weekend no less.  Now, to come clean:

Yes, I was sewing in the car on the way to the wedding, but I was done by the time we got to St. Cloud so really only an hour and half: I had 7 more hours to spare.

Yes, I switched the numbers of my ufos for July to make sure I would get it finished in time.  I have never done that before but drastic times call for drastic measures.

Anyway, when I was ready to add the batt and back, I did an internet search for satin quilts and found nothing, so I am putting my experience out there for what it worth.  If you are thinking of making a satin quilt, reconsider.  Most satin is not machine washable, and slips and slides quite a bit.  If you really want to do it, using a paper piecing method like grandmother’s flowers pattern is actually a pretty successful way to use satin.  The paper keeps it in place while it is being sewn together.  When you are ready to baste your quilt sandwich together, do not use the iron on batt.  It is impossible to get the iron hot enough with satin, and it shifts like nothing else.  A better choice, (which I thought of after I had already done this one) is to pin at the intersections of the patchwork, this will help minimize any pin marks. I would also not leave the pins in very long, so try to immediately quilt.  Otherwise, you could hand baste still in the intersections.  I think I would also consider putting the top together using an old sheet as a lining, then adding the batt and back, or alternately using an old sheet on the top of the back and batt and securing that part before adding the top.  I wonder if I would have had less slippage.

For grandmother’s flowers, as I said before, these can be put together more than one way, so if you are making a big lump of them, sew them together one by one, don’t sew them together several at a time.

I am happy with the way it turned out and my sister and her husband were really excited about it.

satin quilt – grandmother’s flowers quilt

Much, much progress.  I feel pretty secure that this quilt will be done in July, just the binding left to sew.  I was going to flip the flowers over the edge, but I am not happy with how that looks, so I will trim them and bind them.

It is easy to see the way the satin catches the light differently, the two darker panels are the same material as the lighter ones.  Here is a better image:

It is shaping into a really beautiful piece, and I am excited to have a successful finish this month for a change!

a peek inside

So hopefully, if all goes as planned by Monday this will be part of a quilt sandwich.  However, before I take out all of the paper patterns I used to piece this thing together with, I wanted to show you them and the short hand history of the past few years they create.  In the photo above you can see the orange papers that Paul’s elementary school with good and bad behavior.

Here is one of Eliott’s tests from high school.  You can see his handwriting.

Here is some of my college paper.  and you can see Paul’s homework below.

Here are some screen shots of training from my old job at the appointment center.

Here is the cover from my church’s bulletin.

Appointment center again!

I like this one, again from college, that says Leaves of Grass, maybe my quilt is like a poem.

I think this is one of Eliott’s papers from school, but I’m not sure, then church to the right and more work paper discards above.

Finally, a sort of label from who knows what.

grandmother’s flowers quilt

So, here’s the thing I learned so far.  I will share them in case you ever want to make on of these quilt.

There are two ways to put these flowers together. I call them left and right although that is really not accurate.  If you sew a quilt like this together, just sew them all into one clump, do not make flowers unless you are careful to sew them together all the same exact way.  Don’t ask me to explain how you can sew them together differently but you can.  In any case, I sewed three of them one way, and four the other.  So now I have three that fit together and four that fit together but not to each other. (sigh) So now I plan to have the big cross clump in the center with four corners on the edges.

I plan to go get some satin and put what I am calling the center panel together this weekend.


I got a lot done this weekend so I have a lot to show you! I am making good progress on my Christmas stockings. I have the monograms done and ready to sew to the stockings.  I am on track to finish my first ufo for 2012!

On Friday night, after much complaining and irritation, and after I had every single person in my family try to put them together, I finally decided to put these together in flowers.  In my mind, I would put these together in rows like I would squares.  For anyone doing one of these quilts, which I definitely would not recommend at this point, you have to put them together in flowers.  What I will do next with them is still unknown.  But I did get one done already!

Lastly, I am most excited about Paul’s quilt.

I am now working on the hand quilting, which besides the binding, is the last part of this quilt!  I am so excited!  I am also very excited about the way it is turning out.  As usual my hand quilting creates a landscape that interacts with the surface but also floats above it.  By the way, I plan to leave my knots showing on this quilt, since I just read Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: A Guide to Hand-Sewing an Alabama Chanin Wardrobe.  I am still on the fence, but since my some of my hand quilting knots that I popped through the top of the quilt on some of my other quilts didn’t stay, and this quilt will get heavy use from a teenage boy, I’m going to try her idea of leaving the knots exposed as a design element.

more January flowers

More flowers.  No, this is not the same quilt.  It is another ufo that I have been working on for years.  I got it out to take a look at it again, and get going on it.  It is all satin fabrics. It looks pretty big, so I only plan to make a few more.  Steve said I should get some more satin in purple to offset the colors I already have.

Here they are all packed away.  I love this picture because they fit so perfectly in this box, without bending or any extra space.

ufo 2012

Judy at Patchwork Times is doing another UFO project for 2012, and I am going to give it a shot again.  I had seven finishes out of twelve last year so I am feeling that I was successful.  Only four of my projects are going to be a repeat for 2012 (one I just gave away, so while technically not a finish, it is gone)  So here is my list for 2012:

1. Chicken quilt 1 – Prodigal chicken comes home from war to opulent city

2. Chicken quilt 2 – Country fried chicken

3. Denim cathedral windows quilt

4. Paul’s quilt

5. Ducky quilt – this is a newer quilt, only in my my mind so far with only 3 pieces cut out and the templates even though I have been thinking about it for over a year.  A long way to go, so my goal is only to make progress.

6 .Repair Grandma’s quilt 1 and 2- I came into possession of two of my grandmother’s quilts.  I want to mend them.  They don’t need a huge amount of work, it’s just a matter of getting to it.

7. Dark angel quilt, mend bathroom rug.

8. Christmas star kit and g. cross stitch- this star kit I have been meaning to work on for a full year.  The cross stitch is over 4 years old at least again for the cross stitch it is just to make progress.  Since the kit is mostly working on the computer, I figure it is a good pair.

9. Grandmother’s flower garden- again a very old project.  I have several pieced, and the goal is to get the top pieced at least.

10.Christmas stockings

11. Hawaiian quilt – this one needs a total work over.  I feel like it should be cut into small art quilts.

12. Angel card quilt

2011 ufo wrap up

1. Hawaiian quiltThis quilt I have been working on FOREVER.  I am very frustrated with it.  On the other hand it is potentially nearly done because it has the binding nearly on.  I still feel like it needs to be quilted more. Updated December 2011:  Although this is technically a finished piece, I don’t feel like it is done.  Does that make any sense?

2. Blue Knitted scarf Again, I have been working on this forever.  I think I can declare it finished as soon as it reaches around my neck. Completed in June!

3. Valentine quilt This is kind of a cheat.  I was planning to finish this anyway, with a tentative finish date in April. Completed in April!

4. Dark angel quilt I just began this last week, so although unfinished, it isn’t something I have just been leaving alone.

Update December, 2011 : Again, although technically finished, I feel like it is not done, but very close.

5. Graduation scrap-book  Yes, my boy needs a scrapbook at his graduation party.  I have started it but it has a long way to go. Completed May 31!

6. Green, black and red, corduroy quilt  This I have had half done for DOUBLE forever. I began this quilt in 1997.  This a true ufo. Update 2/2/11: Completed!

Corn, Water and Wood, 61″x76″, fabric, thread, January 2011

7. Cardinal cross stitch I have worked on this for two years, but it substantially done. Update: Done in summer!

8. green t-shirt I just cut this at Christmas time. completed 6/28/11!

9. denim dress remake I have barely started this.  I just cut off the collar. I have a very vague idea of what to do with it. Update: I accidentally gave this to good will.  Since it is gone, I call it done.

10. These next three I am very nervous about putting on.  I have worked on them for a long time and they are hand sewing.  I am nervous I won’t finish them.  The first one is the Jewel Encrusted Pony. Update: Completed!

11. g cross stitch This is a top-secret project that I have worked on for six years.  It is a gift so I don’t dare give more information.  Hopefully, the person will someday receive it. Update: unfortunately this one will have to go on my 2012 list.

12. grandmother’s flowers quilt Again I have worked on this project on and off for four years. Maybe longer. Update: Again this one will have to go on 2012’s list.

So this is my final update for 2011.  I loved doing this project and have already started on my 2012 list.  It felt a little like college with self-directed deadlines not completely under my control, but with a lot of cheerleaders.  I definitely made progress.  I got seven projects done completely done and three more on track.

lost rotary cutter

I lost my rotary cutter and it was my big sewing Saturday. Sigh. So, I did what I always tell my kids to do when they can’t find something – clean.  Here’s what I found:

 The front of a Spiderman t-shirt.

A lizard embroidery.

A half-finished block.

A grandmother’s flower garden block from my grandmother.

No, no rotary cutter. I did sew some more on my cathedral windows quilt. And now, I have a clean studio.

By the way, for those keeping track, I have not finished my September ufo.  It is a large cross stitch.  I did make significant progress, but still a long way to go.  October’s ufo is five, which was Eliott’s graduation book.  I finished that in May for his graduation.  So, I plan to work on the cross stitch for another month.