Posts Tagged ‘wall hangings’

I finished two projects Sunday. One is a pillow that was begun last year. It was hand pieced from one of the quilt tops I received from  a friend. I hand quilted it but wish I had made the border wider. The plan was to quilt a design on the border like the other pillows but I decided against it.

Quilted pilllow

The other is a wall hanging that I designed to hold cards, letters, or whatever. I started on it the other day and actually finished it fairly quickly. It didn’t turn out just like I envisioned but it was machine pieced and hand quilted. I like the summer look it has.

Wall hanging

Both of these will be going to the church shop to be sold. I am also working on some more cross-stitch things to put in the etsy shop which is almost ready to go–it is taking too long for me to get all of this done. I stopped by Hancock Fabrics this past Sunday to pick up some zippers-about 32 of them :). They were half off! I could not resist. Next on the agenda will be a table runner and some stuffed blocks if I don’t get busy with something else.

I hope everything is going well in your sewing garden. May you have a bountiful harvest!



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Many, many years ago—almost 20—I set out to design something to put on our door at Christmas. This was soon after we moved into our house, and I wanted something that could be used on the door or wall. It needed to be more than a wreath that would let others know our reason for celebrating. This is the result…

It is not Christmas without this banner. I have thought about replacing it thinking it looks a little plain, but then I remember just what Christmas is about.

Looking through the storm door with snowflakes (wishing...).

Some years back, I got the idea to put rope lights between the two doors. I love the effect this gives because it lights up all around without having the lights in view. I could not get a good photo but this is the idea…

One may think the white is meant to be snow as we often associate snow at Christmas but it is the result of bright light shining at night causing features to fade into a single silhouette. Silent Night, Peaceful Night…ahhh…

Again, Merry Christmas!


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At the beginning of this year when I was deciding on what quilts I would be working on, I forgot all about the Christmas one I started years ago but never finished. I use it “as is” but pack it away after Christmas. I have pulled it out, cleaned, and pressed it.

It was meant to be a wall hanging and was done in my (better) cross-stitching days. The pattern is from a pamphlet filled with great designs. I love them all, but especially the reindeer and Santas. There are snowmen/women but they don’t have much color to them. I will have to dig out the patterns along with the Santas I have stitched.

I just love this design! It is so whimsical…

Happy Gardening and may all of your projects continue to progress!


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Years ago, I had a friend who lived across the street from us. She and her family had moved into the neighborhood not long after we moved in. Our girls played together but she and I were closer than our children were. She was very family oriented and liked to collect things that gave her home that warm and friendly feel, so I designed this quilt hanging for her—I love this material.

This was not a difficult project, but I chose to use plaid for the lettering (I see those eyes roll). It took extra time to match up the pieces, and I wanted it to look just right. It was machined pieced and hand quilted with a heart motif on the border. It was about 14 inches wide and about 46 inches long (just guessing). This is a terrible photo and my apologies, but it was scanned from a photo taken years ago.

This was my second quilted wall hanging I made after I was married. Anything I quilted before is lost to memory with no photos. I designed it and was very pleased with it except for the time it took to piece together the letters. I have often thought I would repeat this project but never have—not even for me.

As for the friend, she has moved on years ago. We kept in contact for years but sadly have since lost touch. I miss her, but life goes on.

Happy Gardening and may you find the time to WELCOME new friends into your life!


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I have been sewing by machine since I was a teenager-learning on my grandmother’s treadle machine after she had passed away (See Sewing, Quilting, & Recycling – Part 1 [22 JUN 2010]). It made the most beautiful stitches. Boy, do I miss that baby! Of course it was one of things stolen from our country home. When I moved out my own (about 30 years ago), my mom gave me a new machine, and it’s the same trusty machine I use today. I have thought about getting a new one, but I plan on using this one for as long as I can keep it going. It’s been very trustworthy and is an extension of me.

My interest in sewing was peaked when I took sewing/crafting classes not long after I got my new machine. They proved to be invaluable because I was challenged in areas outside of my comfort zone. Later, I made so many things for the girls when they were little-mostly because I had to but later because I really enjoyed creating and designing things. As my children outgrew their clothes, I put things to the side including scraps from some of the dresses and other things I made for them. I remember the joy my mother had making things for me. I guess that played a big part in my desire to continue that tradition.

Some of the dresses I made for my daughters years ago

It is these things and others that I want to use in my memory quilting project for my girls. I am designing a quilt for each girl so that they will have a part of their childhood to keep. I don’t want the quilts to be very large so they can display them on a wall or can store them away. The first thing I set out to do was to find all of the clothes and scraps I wanted to use. I could only locate the dresses at first and thought I would have to cut them up 😦 but I found the mother lode a few weeks ago :). What a relief! The photo above was taken when I first started this back in JAN-before I found the rest of the clothes and things.

I am not exactly sure what designs or patterns I want to use but possibly a block format having a different color and/or activity theme for each block. Sashing can be new material or made from their clothes or scraps. The batting will be polyester or a poly mix because it hangs better. As the project continues to take shape I will post ideas and progress. This is a long term project and will not be accomplished in a week or two. It is a journey that will progress as times goes along. The goal is to have the quilts finished by Christmas (this one)-at least I want the tops pieced together. And, the gifts are not just the quilts themselves but the whole process of getting to my finished goal. My memory quilt postings will be printed and given with the quilts. Just like life, this memory quilt project really is a journey and a gift of love made from things that were made originally out of my love for them to begin with (sniff) :).

Happy Gardening and may you have the opportunity to keep your special memories alive for the future.


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What does Alzheimer’s have to do with my memory quilt project? Memory quilts are usually designed for remembering and celebrating the past, some even give hope for the future (wedding quilts for example). We can also use memory quilts to help others remember the past along with the present – and not just for those with Alzheimer’s. There are people who suffer from other memory problems, too. Many times, old memories may come to the forefront while recent ones seem to vanish almost in an instant. I know what this is like. No amount of prodding or coaxing is going to bring those memories back at every command. Using photos of family including recent photos (updating as time passes) with individuals’ names marked clearly have been known to help in recalling people, but there will come a time when nothing will help keep those memories alive. However, helping a loved one, family member, or friend to hold on to those memories for as long as possibe could be the greatest gift one can give.

There are products on the market that will help you transfer photos to fabric in order give a progression of one’s life-be sure to label with names and dates. An updated photo of the family or group with the individual included may help the individual remember-be sure to label names and keep the photos available so the loved one can see it. Here’s where my little project comes in… Making a fabric photo frame on the bottom corner of the memory quilt will allow the person to see it daily-so long as the memory quilt can be hung near the person. An example is shown below. You may use a type of ‘plastic,’ to protect the photo-just be sure it is archival safe-the ‘plastic’ and photo can be removed for storage. 

Fabric frame that can be added to memory quilt

Sewing lines

This is just an example-use your imagination and own creativeness. I used two layers of fabric. I recommend adding interfacing especially to thinner fabrics. The yellow lines denote where the frame was sewn to the quilt top and the orange ones are where I sewed the two fabrics together. I finished the opening edge before I sewed it to the quilt (important). I suggest not making the frame very small because you can always add a piece of card stock to hold the photo like what you see here. I used an old piece of painting acetate I had around the house, but you really need an archival-safe product. You can even put a design under the frame so that a photo is not always needed to enjoy the quilt.

My husband’s friend who died last month had Alzheimer’s. Something odd – the friend would recognize my husband and know his name every time he visited though the judge could not recall his family. We watched as his family slowly lost a man who had been so full of life; a man who never had one bad word to say about another deteriorated into almost nothing. His wife for more than 60 years was always at his side-they were never apart except for his time in the service. It broke my heart to see this knowing what lay ahead and seeing her say her last goodbye.

This is happening all around us, and many younger people are developing Alzheimer’s and other memory loss illnesses, too. As we age, most of us will suffer some type of memory loss-not necessarily from Alzheimer’s. We need to do all we can for others. Maybe there is someone in your life you can help. If not, I encourage you to visit the Alzheimer’s link here and the quilting one of the side of the page. I encourage us all to get involved in helping others.

Happy Gardening and may all of your memories be special!

Note:  Sorry for the delay of this posting. Maybe this will spark some creative minds out there.


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T-shirts have become such a medium of advertisement, even a part of our identity. So, what can you do with a t-shirt besides holding on to it forever or getting rid of it? What about a quilt? T-shirt quilts are very popular today. It is a way to combine physical memories of significant times and events such as concerts, sports and organizational activities, along with a multitude of other types of t-shirts. One can display sentimental memories in one place making room in drawers and storage boxes 🙂 – I could use the extra room. The truth – I made the mistake of putting one of my hubby’s worn out high school t-shirts (it had holes in it) in the “rag” pile years ago. Ok, I didn’t do it twice. A t-shirt quilt may not be traditional, but that’s ok because it may spark the younger generation to take an interest in quilting. You can find helpful info in books and on the web (including wordpress blogs), but here are a few things you may want to consider…

If you want the quilt to last, think about how fragile the t-shirts are. If it is a quilt that will be washed and used a good bit, you may want to refrain from using older t-shirts that may wear quickly or ones that have become thin. The same goes for the printing. However, if the shirts are pretty tough, then by all means use them in a quilt that will be used regularly, but sometimes people would rather save the memories in the shirts and not really use it as a quilt. That’s fine, too. You can always display the quilt on a wall. Did you know that hung quilts can help absorb sound vibrations?

Just like other types of quilting, you do not have to follow any set pattern-it’s your design, but you need to have a clear idea before you begin cutting. Draw out a design first, and don’t forget seam allowances. Many people add sashing (borders) between blocks. This frames each t-shirt helping it to stand out. The sashing can be complementary material or a themed print or something different. Some use UP-cycled jeans or denim giving the quilt that special look. Most t-shirt quilts use only part of the shirt front where the printing is, but some t-shirts have printing on the back. You’ll want to use this side, too, but you have to decide how much or how little to use of each shirt. Perhaps you have an abundance of shirts and may only want to use insignias or logos or such. You can combine a few of these to make a block. The remaining part of the shirts can be used to add borders or may be added to the back of the quilt-you decide.

Be sure to wash the shirts first-I know common sense, right? And, if using cotton material for any other part of the quilt-including denim, be sure to launder first. You do not want the quilt to shrink or bleed after assembly. It may be a good idea to back each shirt with a lightweight fusible interfacing (some are made for knits), but be CAREFUL! Many t-shirts cannot be ironed over the printing. Check to be sure by testing a very small place and follow instructions closely. Interfacing adds stability and helps with seam curling. Machine piecing rather than hand piecing the shirts is a good idea, too. And, if you do not interface the shirts, make sure NOT to pull the shirts through the machine when piecing (stretchy fabric). Oh, and if you use jeans/denim, be sure to have the right size needle and proper thread. Here is an example of a lovely t-shirt quilt: http://treacleandinketsy.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/keeping-the-memories/

The backing can coordinate with the front sashing or something else. Consider how heavy the backing material is and how much it will add to the quilt. A thick all-denim back may make the quilt too heavy, and consider the finished size of the quilt. Also, consider the washing machine of the receiver of the quilt. You don’t want to make something and then find out it cannot be easily washed. As far as batting goes, use something that will not shrink-a poly batting is good. Many t-shirt quilts are quilted “in the ditch” – along the seams. Just make sure that the seams are NOT pressed open-press seam to one side-and this will help to secure the shirts to the backing adding life to the quilt. Binding-I tend not to bind this type of quilt (oh, horrors, right). You can bind traditionally, or you can sew the backing to the front (right sides together plus batting) leaving a hole large enough to pull it through (before quilting) then stitch the hole closed. Just be sure to trim the excess batting first. It is all up to what one wants.

These are just a few things to think about when starting out. No matter what t-shirts you use, this is a good way to save those memories without throwing them away. We need to try different things once in a while. Maybe we all need our own t-shirt quilt.

Note:  Part 2 of “Helping to Remember” will be posted at a later date.

Happy Gardening and happy memories!


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Fans and flowers

This is what I have been working on this week. The fan block started with some cut pieces a friend gave me. I added the white and I really like how the fan stands out.

Then there is the appliquéd flower top that is ready to be quilted. The block itself is 12 inches square with the top measuring about 22 inches. I guess I am in a spring mode with all of the pinks, greens, and purples I have been working with lately.

I did these by hand and must be honest and say that this is my first fan block. I have avoided fans  in the past because of the difficulty (for me) to machine stitch, but I found that it was easily done by hand. I plan to use the block in a greeting card holder wall hanging. The flower will be a square table topper that can be hung if desired.

I have not been doing well this week so I have been very slow and am very behind-so no memory quilt posting-my apologies.

Happy Gardening in all of your sewing endeavors!


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Part 1

For the most part, memory quilts serve as reminders of the past, but for those of us with memory problems or for someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, memory quilts can help to do much more. Alzheimer’s, a disease that is not completely understood, is devastating to family and friends but it especially hard on the individual. Imagine losing treasured memories including recognition of loved ones and the simplest of activities having only shadows of the past fading in and out until they are not even a distant memory. As part of my ongoing blog about my memory quilt project I want to draw attention to this dreaded disease and give you some links to a growing initiative. I am new to these efforts, but I feel they are worthwhile. Just because our bodies may be able to live longer doesn’t mean that our minds are disease-free. Please check out the Alzheimer’s Association at http://www.alz.org/index.asp. There is a lot of information about the disease, how to deal with the disease like how to better care for someone after they have been diagnosed, when to see a doctor, and so many other things. I urge you to check out the website even or especially if you and everyone in your family are extremely healthy and seemingly Alzheimer’s-free.

There is a project that is in the works called the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)    http://www.alzquilts.org    which is all about raising awareness while helping to fund research through art (link is also in the sidebar). Small quilts are made and donated to be sold; some are auctioned off. For a quilter, this may seem easy enough, but for each quilt made there needs to be a buyer. The whole idea is to raise money for research and to draw more attention to this dreaded disease. I encourage you to get friends and family involved by purchasing some of these special quilts. They are small, but they mean so much. Then spread the word and get others involved in making some of these memorable quilts. If you do not know someone with Alzheimer’s now, I bet you know someone who knows someone. Here is a blog with more information:  http://aaqiupdate.wordpress.com   Part 2 of this post includes an idea for a memory quilt wall hanging.

Take care and Happy Gardening!


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Last week was one crazy week. It began Sunday a week ago when a friend brought me several little batches of material she was getting rid of. Some were projects in progress or UFOs (un-finished objects) – most were just cutouts that had not been sewn. Most of the designs are not produced any more. There are some beautiful pieces in these batches. I’m not sure what I will do with them, but I think I can find (or have) material that will coordinate (cross your fingers that I have it on hand!). I’m not sure how this will fit into my plans for the coming months, but then on Friday another friend gave me some quilt tops she had not finished long ago and some rolls of decorator fabric. Wow! What nice friends! I still need to decide what I will do with everything. Here’s a glance at the material from the first friend.

If I’m going to give the finished projects to the church to sell for restoration, then it needs to be something other than a big quilt – it will take too long to hand quilt. Some thoughts for the fan cuts could be pillows, placemats :(, lap quilt, etc. I’ll tell more about the quilt tops and rolled fabric at a later time. Right now, I need to focus on my appliqué project. I’m really excited about this! I wanted to post photos, but they did not come out that well. I have the first petal sewn but need to go back and recut the white part of the petals. I just do not like the way it looks because I used an old piece of muslin-remember that I was just doing a dry run but then decided to finish the project. I really like it, but I hope others will, too. I’m not sure how I will finish it. It could be a big pillow, but I’m not crazy about that idea – yet. I’m toying with the idea of a lap quilt that can be hung if desired. The second idea will probably win out. Depending on how well this turns out and how it is received (remember the lady who thought my crazy quilts were potholders), I want to make a larger flower quilt, but I need to finish designing the block patterns.

It’s cold today, but no snow 😦 or ice 🙂 is predicted like it could have been. I think most people have had their fill after we had the ice on top of the snow last time. Most people I know are ready for spring. As for gardening and plants, there was a time I could grow anything (got that from my dad), bring it back to life, etc. Now, I’m having trouble keeping things alive since I keep it so cold in the house. My poinsettia from 2009 is looking rather ragged and the rose bush my hubby gave me for our anniversary has dropped all of its leaves. On the up side, there is new growth on the little rose bush, so maybe there is hope… 🙂

Happy gardening in all parts of your lives!


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