What I’m Working On…

I told you I was busy doing the big batch of charity quilts.  Well, I’m still working on them.  BUT, before I could really get in the swing of them I had to finish quilting what was on the quilting frame.  Remember I had loaded those three baby quilts?


It took me about two hours to get them all machine quilted and off the frame.

Someone asked how I load them all at once so I snapped some pictures.  You can see that the first top is just completed.  I had sewn the backing for the next quilt to the first top’s backing.


I put batting down and put and the next baby quilt on the second backing.  See?


For this one, I used my Hook and Point design.   You can find a video tutorial on how to do that HERE.

The third baby quilt backing was sewn to the second backing.  When I was done with the second, I moved on to the third top.

For this one, I simply did a wavy line.

So, all three of those tops have been through the machine.  I have the binding made.  All I need now is to actually bind them.  That was my Tuesday morning job.

At this point, I hadn’t heard back from the schools that I had asked if they needed quilts for any children at school.  So, Wednesday I grabbed the stack of quilts that needed to be bound that the Cresco ladies had sent to me.  I bound them all in a matter of a few hours.  Here they are…

There are six of them.  All of them I would consider medium-sized lap quilts.

These were machine quilted but not bound.  This one is a disappearing 4 patch.

I loved the colors on this one…

The machine quilting on these was really nice.  Donna is the machine quilter for the Cresco ladies and she does a nice job.

I think this one was my favorite.  I love a simple rail fence quilt.

This one I might consider a medium lap quilt.  It was a little bigger.

…as was this one.

I machine bind so really these were all finished in a couple of hours.  It doesn’t take long when binding by machine.

Kelli ended up taking these quilts to the Ossian Senior Hospice Nursing Home where she works and they will be saving them as Christmas gifts for a few of the residents.  The nursing home was thrilled to get them.  They are the perfect size for them.

The next day, I had heard from the school next to our district and they needed 22 quilts to give to needy children.  I kicked things into high gear and started prepping quilts for the quilting machine.

I took quilt tops that had been sent to me.  I added borders onto many of them and made the binding and backing.  I did that for five quilts.   It took a bit as a border and the binding fabric had to be found.  I’ve said before that I have a lot of stash but the overwhelming majority is fat quarters or smaller.  I like scrappy quilts and don’t buy a lot of bigger fabric cuts.  I also thought this was a good opportunity to get some things used up…so that meant piecing many of the backings.

On Thursday I machine quilted three of the quilts.  It took me THEE ENTIRE DAY.  I had the most miserable experience at the machine.

Here is the first quilt.


I did the hook and bump motif on it.

My problem with this quilt…My backing was somehow 2″ too narrow.  Oh, my word.  I was ready to let out a lingo but didn’t…

While the backing was in the frame, I had to add another piece of fabric to it.  This is totally do-able but it’s totally NO FUN AT ALL.

The next quilt…I did say a swear word.  I said a couple actually.  My thread kept breaking.  I don’t know why.  I tried and tried to figure it out and I have absolutely no idea why it kept breaking.  I changed the needle, I switched thread, I cried, I oiled the machine, I rethreaded the machine.  Nothing worked.  Seriously, I tried everything.  Finally, the quilt was off the frame.  UGH!!

I completely cleaned and did everything I could do to the machine after the quilt was done.  I redid everything that I had done while the quilt was on the machine all over again.  I wanted to just cry again.  Of all the times for the machine to act up, this was not the time!!

I put a batik quilt on next and prayed for the best.  Everything was working fine.  I still don’t know what the issue was.  All I knew was that it was working and I shouldn’t question it.

You can see the backing of the batik quilt in the picture below.  In an effort to be conservative and to clean out my bobbins, I used up all the partially full bobbins that I could.  I used all the yellows, purples, oranges, reds, golds, greens, and blues.  I used a variegated thread too so it all mixed. The backing is so colorful, you don’t even notice.  So, that took a while longer than normal as I wasn’t always using full bobbins.  It’s okay.  I have plenty of empty bobbins now.  YAHOO!

Friday Kelli and Georgia came.  I had been up early and prepped more quilts and backings.  I machine quilted one and did another half of one.

We went and bought a dresser for my sewing room.  Then Kelli and Georgia slept.  Kelli had to work overnight.  Georgia was up after a bit and I got to play with her.


She is such a spark of energy!!

Saturday I was up and back to work trying to get as many quilts finished as I could before Monday when the gal was coming to pick them up.  I finished the quilt that was on the frame.

I added to the next quilt and put together a backing and I got it loaded.  I filmed a new quilting motif video for poinsettias and ribbons (watch for that soon).  I loaded the quilt on the frame and got about half done.

Craig came over and did a bunch of things to help me..then after he left, I went back to the sewing room.  It was close to nine at night but I really wanted to get more of the quilts finished so I started binding quilts.

I got three done, looked at the clock, and realized it was close to 11 pm.  I shut the lights out and went to bed.

Sunday I was up early again.  I bound the last two quilts I had machine quilted and then I started putzing in the sewing room.

When Craig was over the day before, the things he helped me with were in the sewing room so everything was a mess.  I can’t wait to show you how the room is looking now.  I’m so excited.  It’s still not done but I took a BIG leap forward.  (Watch for a blog post about my sewing room coming up later this week.

In the afternoon I finished quilting the last quilt that was on the frame and I bound it.  That makes SIX charity quilts done this week…YAHOO!!


Then I went back to organizing in the sewing room.

I had a fantastic weekend.  I am loving the improvements in my sewing room and love that I got six charity quilts finished over the week.  I took pictures of them all and will show them to you in another blog post.  I’m so thankful for the tops that were donated to help me get a bunch done!

Another weekend surprise, Karl made me this stamp.


I love it!!  How fun.  He’s working on tweaking it a bit…but isn’t it cute?

As I said, it was such a great weekend!!

18 thoughts on “What I’m Working On…

  1. Judith Fairchild

    You had a very productive happy weekend with some great surprises and some not so great one. Your quiilting machine . Thread messing up was not a happy thing but machines do act up like that usually when you need them the most. I’m glad you got everything going again with out to many problems. I like the way you did your baby quilts sewing each to the next to save time and effort.
    Karl could always make a living making stamps like yours it is so pretty and appropriate. Thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to your sewing room tour.

  2. Ellie

    What a great sense of accomplishment! You really plowed through the quilts! Some lucky children. I’m looking forward to seeing all the quilts and also your sewing room.

  3. Donna

    Jo, you’ve done a marvelous job on these quilts and the recipients will be so thankful.
    Karl’s stamp is great – has he considered doing this on the side?
    Love and prayers

  4. Kate

    So many quilts completed in spite of the frustration of the quilting machine. Great work! I am looking forward to seeing the quilts, they look colorful and great for some fortunate child. Thanks for all you do to help others! The stamp is quite “cool.”

  5. Doris Gardner

    Georgia is so adorable!! And your quilts are beautiful! I think Karl should make the stamps to sell to us quilters!! Love your blog!

  6. The Joyful Quilter

    Wow, Jo! That was quite a quilt finishing extravaganza you were on. Awesome stamp from Karl (I bet ALL of your readers are going to want one!!) Looking forward to the sharing the quilts you completed last week.

  7. Teri DeGonia

    The quilt you had problems with could be because of the fabric. I had that happen to a friend of mine. She did the same thing you did, and decided that the fabric was a tighter weave. It was the backing. Just an idea.
    Love your quilting ideas. I did the hook and bump last week. Loved it. Looking forward to the poinsettia video. Also, loading the 3 quilts on a once.

  8. Lori

    Wonderful! What a great feeling to get so much accomplished.

    They are great quilts, the kids will love them. thank you!

  9. Elle

    Congrats on a major week filled with accomplishments! Your donation quilts will be give so much love to the adults as well as children.

    Georgia!!!! OMG she is so stinkin’ cute! I bet she’s a bundle of energy ;-)

    So sweet of Craig to come work with you to bring more joy to your Studio now that the harvest is complete.

    Wishing you a fabulous joyful week Jo. :-)

  10. Kim J LeMere

    How wonderful that the Senior hospice home got some quilts, such a great idea. After seeing some of your frustrations with top quilting I’m glad that I do mine by check book. I really do appreciate the woman who finish mine off for me. I have used the same backing for two quilts but I never thought to just sew two different backings together when I send them out. That is a great idea that I will discuss with my long armer. It might save her some time loading backings and batting for multiple smaller quilts.

  11. Susan Larson

    You are a “wonder woman”!! Love all the beautiful quilts. Karl needs to make these stamps and sell them to quilters. I know I would buy one!

  12. Liz A.

    Wow! Busy, busy, busy! I’ll bet your problems with thread breakage on that one quilt was due to fabric content. I tried to quilt something for a friend once but her backing was some kind of polyester. No matter what I did, I could not quilt more than a couple inches before the thread broke. I gave it back to her and asked her for a 100% cotton backing and bingo, zero problems quilting it!

  13. Kathy

    Love all the news updates of your grands! Do you think you might talk Karl into doing a blog post about that “so cute” stamp?

  14. Msrgie

    Wow! So much accomplished! Georgia looks so cute! That stamp is neat! Let us know if he decides to make more and is willing to sell them.

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