Sunday, December 7, 2014

Projects at the Old Victorian

The color is Oak Moss by Sherwin Williams.  

Last June we started scraping, priming, and repainting the house.  We painted until October, until the weather forced us to quit.  However, between all the summer rain we managed to finished most of the exterior.  

Next spring we'll finish painting the remaining high gable soffets the soft vanilla ice cream color.   And, I'll start scraping the old barn.  

I've been saying for the last three years that I'll be scraping the barn next spring--but other projects always seem to come up and we have to adjust our "to-do list."  

Here are some of the things I'm doing in the studio recently:

Today I'm working on a blue jean quilt.


Jon finally cleaned out his clothes closet and I drug a 32 gallon black plastic bag of his blue jeans up to my studio (just before our Halloween open house).  

For fun, I dug out a pair of jeans, thinking I'd try my hand at making a blue jeans purse, bag, or whatever . . . 

While chopping up the pair of blue jeans, I decided to do a crazy quilt with the blue jeans and put to good use the mounds of fabric scraps I accumulated this year.  The blocks are 12.5" sq.

I'm using the back pockets too!


In the evening, while watching TV--I like to hand sew fabric yo-yos.

I might even hoop up some of the blocks and embroider some bugs in the denim areas.

You'll have to stay tuned to see where this quilt goes.

I just love scrappy quilts.

Blue jean quilt blocks so far

Here's Scrappy Quilt #2 
I quilted it with warm and natural 100% cotton batting.  The top is sewn from a variety of cotton fabric scrap strips.  It is queen size, 90 x 100.

If you look closely you can see the long arm quilting stitch pattern.  My signature free-style design, "Squirrel Feathers."

I turned off the lights, and did some photographs so you could see the quilting stitches.

Below are photos of removing the finished quilt off of the frame.

It took 6 hours to finish the quilt after removing it from the frame.
I trimmed away the excess backing and batting.
Squared the quilt.
Made the binding fabric strips, installed the binding,
turned and hand stitched the binding. 

Did you know, it takes 17 yards of fabric to make one queen size quilt?

Look at the top rail--see the backing rolled up--see the two scrappy strips added?  

I made the quilt backing 98" wide by adding two scrappy strips.  I did this on purpose.  The strips add interest to the backing, and . . . 

having  4" of extra backing fabric on the top, bottom, and sides, is required to quilt the quilt on a frame.  

While long arm quilting, the left and right hand margins of extra batting and backing fabrics give me a place to attach machine side clamps.  The tension of the side clamps keeps all three layers straight and smooth.  


  1. The gray-green color you chose looks both elegant and comfortable. It appears warm for winter and cool for summer. After viewing your house in its outdoor wintry setting, it is visually warming to see your remarkable quilts, so vibrant with color.

  2. Thanks Jim for your great note and appreciated comments about the house color, and colorful quilts. It is a great house and quiet location, with a hiking,biking,snowmobile trail a half block from us. We are thinking about having a bed and breakfast here in the future. Come visit us next summer--I'll put a paint brush in your hand. Ha ha

  3. Dear Mrs. D. — It's amazing how much your new house color adds detail that was all but lost when the house was all-white, It and the cream trim are very inviting.

    The denim quilt is great, and I like the idea of adding the back pockets. I also like the stitching pattern on that second quilt; it reminds me of antique quilts I've seen from the 1800s!

  4. I like your scrappy quilt and those squirrel feathers! The blue jean one is interesting, too. I'll be interested to see what you do with those blocks.

  5. Mrs. D: Looks like the beautiful farmhouse is nearly done. I left you some contact info at the bottom of Edna's 1912 diaries. I believe our families are related, yours through Will Snow (Edna's brother) and mine through his wife Madye (my mother's paternal aunt. I now live in Oklahoma, but my Steven has daughters in Wisconsin (Milwaukee) whom we visit once or twice a year. I will enjoy following this blog, too.