Hello Everyone! We have been back from our Virginia trip for almost a week and I’ve been very busy finishing my project for the Art of Home Club. The quilts have been shipped and the patterns finished. It’s always good to finish a project. I’ll get to show the collection to you in August.
In the few weeks before we left, I was busy finishing the Snowbirds quilt and making a T-Shirt quilt.
This quilt was made with half square triangles, lots of them! I do love the way it looks, though. The pattern is a free Moda Bake Shop pattern by Ann Weins. After all the trimming of HSTs, this quilt went together pretty fast. I used a layer cake of Amy Ellis’s Adventures fabric with some matching Moda Grunge and Black Grunge as the background. The colors are a good combination for a young man, my nephew Alex, who just graduated from high school and is starting a new chapter in life while continuing his education.
I decided to keep the quilting simple. I used a Hera marker to mark the diagonal lines, then quilted it with my walking foot using Aurifil 50 wt thread in a dark khaki color. It blended well with all the earthy tones and the black.
While we were in Virginia, I was able to give Alex his quilt in person. I’ve made four graduation quilts, but have had to ship them, so it was nice to be able to give it to him.
I made a T-Shirt quilt for one of Alex’s best friends who also graduated. His friend’s mother asked my sister to make a T-Shirt quilt for her son. My sister had the t-shirts for a while and didn’t have time to do it, so she asked me last summer and I said yes. I got the shirts in January and she said there was no hurry so they sat and sat. Sometime in May, I decided I would make it so I could take it with us when we went on our trip.
T-Shirt quilts sew together very quickly, but there is a lot of prep involved. First, the shirts need to be de-boned (cutting them apart). Next a plan needs to be made so the shirts can be cut close to their final size. The next step is to interface them so they aren’t stretchy. I use Pellon SF101, a fusible woven interfacing. The final step before sewing is cutting the shirts to the final size. Nothing hard, it just takes some time.
This was the fourth T-Shirt quilt I’ve made, all commissioned. Every one has been pieced a little differently and I’ve loved the results of each of them. I used the same color of Aurifil thread to quilt this. I started with the walking foot, but after quilting one wavy line row, I switched to my free motion foot. I found it easier to make the wavy lines with this foot rather than the walking foot. My sister was planning on giving it to her friend this week.
We had a great time on our trip last week. We spent time with family and searching for retirement cities. We saw most of Virginia except the coast, the DC area and the very southern part of VA. Our first stop was Blacksburg to give it another look and walk around the campus of Virginia Tech.
It was a beautiful but warm afternoon and we enjoyed our walk around the drill field. Fortunately the wind was blowing like it always does there to keep us a little cool.
Of course, we had to walk by our dorms. Blacksburg is still a beautiful place and would make a nice place to retire. It’s still on the list.
We left Blacksburg the next morning and instead of taking the interstates to Williamsburg, we went by way of Smith Mountain Lake. Neither one of us had been in that area and it was a beautiful drive. We only saw a small part of the lake, but that area got crossed off the list because it was pretty remote and I think we want to be in a small city. On the way, we stopped at Appomattox Court House.
This is the house where Lee surrendered to Grant. An interesting fact; the McLeans moved from Manassas because the First Battle at Bull Run took place on their farm and they wanted to get away from the war.
We spent a night in Williamsburg with my father-in-law, then spent the next couple of days in Fredericksburg with my parents.
There was a lot of rain.
The Rappahannock River was supposed to crest at it’s second highest flood stage; the highest was during Hurricane Agnes in the early 70’s.
That’s the train bridge. Fortunately for us, the rain stopped in time for us to enjoy some blue crabs.
We had a great time, but it was time to move on. We spent our last day driving around the Shenandoah Valley from Luray to Harrisonburg and finally to Staunton. Staunton is a small city with a lot going for it. It’s about 2 hours from every where we would want to go, it has a quilt store and an indoor pool (my requirements) and a nice downtown area. This area is at the top of our list right now. It could change, we still have about 4 years to go before retirement.
I know this has been a long post, but thanks for sticking with me. Have a very pleasant week and 4th of July.