Area 51 Challenge Update #2

Stealth quilting. That’s what I was up to this week. My oldest daughter turns 18 today and, even though I was momentarily tempted by visions of new quilts I could make her, instead I decided to give her a finish. I had a quilt top I made three years ago that she laid claim to and so, with tremendous secrecy, I pulled it out, basted it and began quilting. Now, here’s the downside to the clean sewing room, there is no place  to hide anything. In the old disaster area I could have hidden several works in progress but this is a new era and called for new strategies. So, each time I worked on the quilt, I tossed it in the storage area. Whenever anyone came into the sewing room, there was not the slightest trace of a work in progress. That presented a problem. My daughter is aware of my Area 51 Challenge and I knew I had to have something to work on so I pulled out a box marked “Bow Tie Blocks.”

The Bow Tie box contained 18 pieced red and green bow tie blocks along with extras of the colors I had used. I stitched up two more blocks set them together, added borders and basted my little quilt. This gave me something to appear to be working on when my daughter was in the room. A decoy quilt. This system worked out pretty well until last night when I hit the time crunch. I debated with myself about how to add the binding on this quilt. I have a “quickie” machine version of putting on a binding that I use for “dragger” quilts and then there is the more traditional “stitch on the front then hand-stitch the back.” Hand-stitching won. So here I was with a 74″x94″ quilt to bind and my daughter was rather persistently home yesterday. So last night found me with the large quilt stuffed under my sewing table and I stitched away at it while appearing to work on the bow tie quilt. It took me until one a.m. but I did finish both of them!

Now, I have to tell you the story on the birthday quilt. I belong to a great group of ladies who meet quarterly for food and fun and a fabric exchange. Each quarter has a theme for fabric and we choose our fabrics about a year in advance so we allow plenty of time to shop. The theme for this particular tea was “Western” or “Farm” (I’m a little fuzzy about which now.) Our dear friend, Connie, mentioned that she hoped we would like her fabric and when we unfolded the fat quarter we found scantily-clad, very handsome cowboys! Everyone had a great laugh over the “Cowboy” fabric and Connie mentioned that she wasn’t sure how to use it. Well, I was inspired and I ended up making a plan for this quilt and Connie commissioned me to make it for her granddaughter. Knowing I would be unlikely to re-create this quilt, I decided to make both tops at once and Sarah quickly laid claim to ours (which was just as well because I’m sure my husband didn’t want to sleep under hunky cowboys.)

So, without further ado, here are finishes number 4 and 5….The Man Quilt and the Decoy.

The Cowboy Quilt

The Cowboy Quilt

Cowboy Close Up

Cowboy Close Up

The Decoy Quilt

The Decoy Quilt


So, now that I’ve updated, I’m off to the sewing room to see what’s next!  Well, after I do a little shopping for tonight’s birthday dinner and pick up the newest issue of Qultmaker to get the final installment of Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt.  (If you haven’t checked out her website then I really suggest you do…she’s got great free patterns and wonderful ideas.) 

Happy quilting!

Week 2  Total finishes 5

12 responses to “Area 51 Challenge Update #2

  1. christine collins


    I have 4 yards of Cowboys coming….your quilt is terrific

    and I love the story of the “decoy” quilt, an ingenious way to get another quilt done

  2. Fun! What are you planning with your four yards?

  3. That’s just too funny about needing a decoy quilt.

  4. Really great stuff. My mom is wanting to get in to quilting. She is a bit scared. I probably won’t show her this…it might just foil her plans!

  5. After seeing the close up – I can understand both why Sarah laid claim & Phil wouldn’t want it anywhere around! Fun story!

  6. Congratulations on completing two more quilts! Sara will certainly enjoy sleeping under that quilt. I can only imagine the dreams she’ll have. Oh, on 2nd thought, maybe I’m too old for those types of dreams! I too had fun using the “cowboy” fabric.

  7. Congratulations on the finishes, and you’re a great storyteller. That little red and green bowtie quilt will be a perfect Christmas decoration (if you celebrate Christmas, of course). Louise

  8. I love the quilt with the cowboys, I live near you in Vancouver. Are you involved in the quilt of the month at Quilting Delights? I get down that way and thought we might meet if you are?

    • I’d love to get together some time! I’ve actually got a couple of Quilting Delights block of the month UFO’s but I’m doing a paper pieced NY Beauty at A Common Thread this year. Are you a member of the Clark County or Northwest Quilters? I’ve made going to my NWQ meeting a priority this year. Maybe we could meet there?

    • Hi Carline, I’m quite new to this so I’m not sure if you got my reply before or not (and I used to be so techno-literate!) I’d love to get together sometime…for you, I’ll even bring MQ1 and you can have a sneak peek!

  9. COOL IDEA! I wanna play!

    I haven’t been quilting that long, but, I have quite a few UFOs, so I’m going to accept your challenge!

  10. Pingback: For the (Older) Boys Blog Hop (and a giveaway.) | Words & Stitches

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