Friday, June 1, 2018


I had to get permission to use some floor space at the church on Wednesday night because I have no space large enough to lay out this monster to pin it.

Betsy and I packed our bags and hit the road running.  We got to church around 5:30pm.  About the same time that the weather was doing havoc with electric all over Milford.

We laid the top out on the backing o see if we figured the amount right.  Check!  Sign of relief.  Then we had to spray glue the batting together int one large piece.

We worked and smoothed out all the wrinkles before we could pin.

And then we ran into this mess!

We pinned over 1,000 safety pins into the sashing of the quilt.  It only too us close to three hours.  And some of our fingers might not be the same.  Thank you, Brittany, for staying long enough for us to get it finished.

The long road that will be stitched in the ditch around every square.

Next project is to trim the batting even with the quilt top.  then we need to make sure that we have a two-inch backing strip around the entire quilt.  I plan to bind it like the Amish do.  We are taking a rest week this coming week because both of us have things that we must get accomplished next week.  I may take us awhile to quilt this baby.

Friday, May 4, 2018

It's Wednesday, We Must Be Quilting

This phase of putting this beast together is just about complete.  We are putting on the borders!
I cut the 2 1/2 inch strips, sewed them together, and pressed them.  Betsy pinned then on the quilt top.  Checking each seam as we went.  Good thing...we found a few that needed a little extra TLC.

The top is so big that it pulls to the left making it a bit of a challenge to sew a straight 1/4 inch seam.  But sure-handed Bets was there to help guide it through.

On monster of a quilt top finished!!!!

If our calculations are correct the finished quilt will be 104" x 119".

This is what it looks like on our king-sized bed.

Next Wednesday we will be making a trip to the fabric store to buy the backing.  I don't trust myself to buy the right amount of fabric...I get really nervous thinking I won't have enough for piecing the back or I will buy way too much.  So we are going to let the experts tell us how much we need.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

We Can Almost See The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

The precise pinning by Betsy begins.  Each row needs a sashing.  The first one is the easiest one but it set up the line for the rest.  You pin, look, look again, eye it up, and pin again another 5 times in each of the 56 squares.  Takes lots of time and patience.

I sew a 1/4 inch seam along the edge of each sashing the width of the quilt.

I trim, iron and look for mistakes.

If I find anything wrong, Betsy picks it out, repins it and I then re-sew it and re press it.  And of course, check it again.  Then I hand it off to Betsy and she checks it again.

Pressing the sashing seams toward the black.

Pinning the last row!!!!

The quilt top is almost finished.  We measured and I am going to take it up to our king size bed to see how it fits.  We are trying to figure out if we should use a 2-inch or 4-inch border all the way around.  Right now it measures 96 X 111, roughly.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

It Is Starting To Look Like A Quilt Top

Tonight we are getting so close to having the top finished.  The 2.w5 inch sashings between the rows have to be cut.

Then sewn together.

Always pressing the seams open.

Lots of pinning goes on.  Betsy pinned.

I carefully sewed.  Then I checked to make sure that there were no places that weren't sewn.  Then Betsy double checked my work.

And folks, we almost have a quilt top.  Next Wednesday night we will pin the rows together, sew them together, inspect them twice, and then we move on to the next step...layering the backing, batting and the top.  safety pinning all of that together and then finally quilting and binding.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

We Are Making Progress Every Week

We are still plugging along.  We are taking our time and really checking each stitch to make sure it passes inspection from two sets of eyes.  It is a slow process but we want it to be right!

Cutting the 2.5-inch sashings that go on the right side of almost every square.

Checking another time to see if it will sew right before pinning and sewing.

Pinning each square in three places to make sure it stays in place.

checking and measuring

trimming threads

ready for pressing

pressing seams toward the dark

Once again in piles according to rows.

ready and waiting 

pressing again

more thread trimming

sewing rows together

pressing yet again

A long night of trimming.

squares into rows

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

It's Going To Be HUGE

Bets and I are dusting off Big Bertha and starting to finish a quilt that I have been commissioned to do...years ago, right before Mark's dad passed, then my dad has had issues with his bladder cancer and then there was the little broken arm thing and rehab.  We have tried to do bits and pieces for a long time.  But now, Lord willing and the creek don't rise, we will be working on this HUGE monster every Wednesday until it is finished.

Steve found me from my blog.  The man knows what he wants and how he wants it.  Now if can just deliver.  One of my issues has been that I have been so scared to cut one of the t-shirts to make it fit the 12 inch square.  Simply because if I messed it up there was no way on God's green earth to replace it.  It made we sweat just thinking about it.

Each of the t-shirts represents a marathon in each state (50 of them) that Steve finished a marathon in under 4 hours! Impressive indeed.  We figured and then re-figured.  It will be a little over a queen size quilt once we get it finished.

Last Wed we started.  We made sure that the squares were all 12 squares, made sure the backing was secure, made sure we had them in the right order, and this week I will be figuring how much black sashing and backing fabric to buy.

We stacked then and rechecked them.

We made sure one more time that the t-shirt squares were square and in the right order.

Then the lights went out!  SERIOUSLY, right at the very critical part of cutting the t-shirt to fit.  We figured and re-figured.  We even made a pattern from newspaper.  We cut and re-cut.

Then it was time.  We were positive after many discussions that we had it right.  My right are isn't as strong as it should be yet so I asked Betsy if she would cut for me.

We laid the quilt out on the floor and measured two inches around each square for the sashing.

And then the lights came on!

Now, I know that some of you quilters are multiplying rows up and rows down...there are actually 56 squares.  One front for each state and then a few backs of the t-shirts.  And one in training t-shirt.  This is BY FAR the largest quilt I (we) have ever attempted.  Wish us luck.