Area 51 Challenge Update #3

For this week’s finishes, I felt like I should get out my headband, leg warmers and put on my Cheap Trick albums because I went all the way back to the ‘80’s! After quilting the “cowboy” quilt last week, I wanted a slightly smaller project this week. So, it was an easy choice to pull a batch of 13 Roman Stripe blocks that had been following me around since the late ‘80’s. These were left over from another project in my first strip piecing class. Yes, back in the day when the rotary cutter was big news and Eleanor Burns was still tearing fabric strips. (I remember the husband of a local shop owner I knew made wooden boards 2.5″ long so we could lay them across our fabrics and draw a line to cut on – and this was a big technological improvement!) So, here I was with 13 blocks. After pressing, I laid twelve of them out and sewed them together with a simple border. Then, I took the 13th block and put it in my embroidery machine. One quick, painless, simple label. What to do for a back? Well, thinking about that long-ago class brought to mind another piece from that class which was undoubtably the worst color misstep I ever made. This poor, small, ugly bit of piecing has wandered from pillar to post with me and left me wracking my brains about how to use it. I’ve considered making it into a doll quilt but, frankly, didn’t want to do that to some poor doll. So, to the back it went. I reached into my “other” fabric storage area (the one we didn’t clean yet…don’t worry, I’ve got it planned after New Year’s) and the first piece I laid my hand on was from the same shop I took the class at. And, frankly, it was an “ugly” that I bought ten yards of on sale and used for backs. I pieced together the back, added batting and…stalled. I had no idea how to quilt this one. I felt called to feathers but I hate to mark and I was afraid that the black quilting would be too harsh on the lighter sides of the block. Thank goodness for our quilting buddies! A phone consult with my dear cousin, Gayle, who suggested blue thread, was just what I needed. I drew some simple curved lines and practiced my feathers. I have to say that the result was better than I had hoped. I hope you like it, too.  And, my to my surprise, that ugly piece looked much better quilted….I didn’t realize that even “ugly” could quilt out! 




Classmates back view


Classmates Label

My second finish this week was a log cabin heart design also from the ‘80’s. Believe me when I tell you that this quilt was pin basted with pins that were 2″ long! I remember thinking (in my newbie brain) that if you used bigger pins then you could baste quicker…I can only hope that the holes wash out. This poor little thing was actually intended as a Valentine’s present for a now-defunct husband. I guess it’s a good thing I never finished it, or he might have wanted to keep it. Although the rosebud fabric shows its age, I think the finished product is pretty cute. Oh, and that rosebud fabric…I must have used it in every color it came in before Mary Ellen Hopkins taught at our guild and I learned about backgrounds!


Log Cabin Hearts aka "My Vintage Valentine"

In addition to all the excitement in my quilting, I’ve got a new little love in my life. He’s got real potential as a quilter’s assistant. Meet Winston and his big brother, Jack. My apologies for the late post today, I promise that I had all of these finished by Saturday (I sewed the binding down on the Roman Stripe while listening to USC give my daughter their pitch.) However, an empty refrigerator and nothing for dinner, along with two banks, a school and Goodwill to go to ate up my entire morning! I’m off to do some filing now but I’m determined to finish a charity quilt I started last night and work on my block of the month. Hope you’ve gotten some time to quilt today or, if not, then soon!

Week 3  Finishes 7


Winston with his big "brother" Jack holding down my quilting hoop.

One response to “Area 51 Challenge Update #3

  1. I am impressed by your determination to get through your UFOs. I can see where both Winston and Jack will be great quilting assistants.

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