Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy Days Are Here Again

2018! It's going to be a fantabulous new year! I know this because I am able to start blogging again. And, boy howdy, I have missed it!

And now, for the fast catch up, in 6 steps

  1. I retired in June 2016 from teaching for 27 years! This deserves a big hurrah. HURRAH!
  2. I didn't want to push myself at first with all this free time I was blessed with and I decided to start with a minimal amount of things I had dreamed of doing when retired.
  3. I chose: quilting, what a surprise!; community service and doing family history.
  4. For the last 18 months, I have wanted to blog. It is a huge job and I kept asking myself if I was ready.
  5. Then the time came and I set myself some limits. I would only blog twice a week because when I was writing blog posts while working I overtaxed myself and my free time. I have longed to blog and it never left my mind.
  6. Finally, I can blog again, enjoy friends I've already made and make new ones!
I've finished a few quilts in the first 18 months of, ahhhh, RETIREMENT!

This picture is not entirely correct: I do wear glasses and I do have grey hair. Sitting in a rocking chair all day? Hardly. I am astonished how quickly time goes by every day! So no rocking chair for me except when I watch TV!

In the past 18 months I have made quilts for 3 of my grandkids: Sweetie, Curly and Poppet. First up: the quilt for Curly. I'm thinking I might have to change her blog name; Curly no longer has curly hair, *sigh*.

When I decided to make birthday quilts for Curly and her sister, Sweetie, I wanted to make ones that were quick. I obviously had a deadline and I gauged the time that I needed to be ready for B-Day. Sorrowfully, I didn't hit the target.

I saw the quilt below in 2013 and knew I would make it someday. When I thought of Curly's Quilt plus easy plus search, this is the quilt I knew I would make.

To credit the designer of this quilt: Her name is Melissa Cory and she writes at Happy Quilting (link). This quilt and its pattern are found here (link). Here's the picture of her finished quilt.

Doesn't that just make you want to make this quilt for a little girl in your life? Me too. All it involves is making a quilt sandwich of top, which is a solid color, the backing, the batting and then quilt them together. It doesn't matter what pattern you quilt because you will hardly see it. I did long, curvy lines down the length of the quilt.

Next, I cut strips of fabric. I made mine scrappy in pastel colors and with girly prints. So far so good. Since I was making a lap quilt, I decided on 48"x70"-ish. I calculated the length of strip I would need to cut for medium scruchiness and got 72 inches. Once the strips were done, I did a double line of long stitches on each strip; on my machine that is 4.5. Again, progress was going well.

Then, silly me, I forgot to look at the remainder of the instructions. I went to the effort of drawing lines on the top, with a water-erase pen (blue). Once I started putting the strips on I realized that the lines were not the right distance apart, mostly erring on too close. I didn't leave space between the strips like it showed in the picture above.

I scrunched the strips before pinning them on the quilt sandwich and  I pinned all of the strips on and it was time to sew. Not too bad I thought, heh, heh.

Did I mention easy? Silly girl. How could I be so naive, brazen and, dare I say it, a bit thick. It was time to remove the pins. Many, many pins. Multitudinous pins. Sneaky little conniving pins. Long process pins. They thought I was playing hide and seek. And wow, were they hiding! You'd think that it would be fairly easy to remove the pins and you'd be appallingly wrong. It's a good thing I didn't bet on how easy it would be, I would have lost a lot of money. And here is where the timeline went horribly wrong.

You think it would be easy to find a pin here...You would be wrong!

1. I searched the rows and visually looked for pins. Positive result.
2. I felt for pins.  More positive results.
3. I looked at the back side and looked for pins.  Not many results.
4. I got a magnet and felt for pins.  Not too sterling results.
5. Got a super magnet. Excellent results.

Even at closer distance: Still impossible to see any pins!

I was so worried about leaving in a pin and that Curly would cuddle in the quilt and get poked. So I repeated steps 1, 2 and 5. Yielding more pins. Then I scrunched each row in my hand inch by inch. More! pins!

When I got to Nancy Drew's house, Curly was  agog when she saw her quilt. Not too long after, she got poked by a pin. Drats! Curses foiled again! Horrid little pins.

I went back to scrunching the rows in my hands. Seven more pins. Wow, it was just unbelievable how invisible the pins were. Curly got poked again. I went through the scrunching process again. Eight more pins! Scrunch again. No more pins. Curly only found one more after that. Not bad, and she still adores her quilt!

I named Curly's quilt "Giggle and Smiles" because Curly is the happiest little girl I have met. She can truly be described by the name of the quilt.

Front of Giggles and Smiles

Back of Giggles and Smiles
I love how it turned out! I made it too long...I trusted my memory of how long it should be and my calculation of length was much too long. Silly me to trust my memory!

I found this backing at a thrift store. It was a sheet but isn't it darling?

If I ever made this again  and I would love to. I would   I would pin one strip at a time and count the number of pins on the row. Once the strip was sewn on I would stop and take out all the pins out before sewing another strip.

A reader commented that I could use a ruffling foot to do all that scrunching stuff and no need for pins! Capital! I'll do it next time I make a ruffly quilt!

Next blog I write I'll share another quilt that I made last year. My last blog was in June 2015. A long time, yes, but work and home life just took over time I had. If you've read my blog you know that I could only quilt during the Summer, Winter and Spring Breaks. Even that I didn't accomplish much but I got a few quilts out but had to back out for reasons stated above!

I love my readers and followers. I am still trying to work out my comments section. It was messed up by Google Plus. I've gotten through many steps to get my blogger comments back and right now some computer techs are working on it. Hopefully within a week it will all be sorted out. Fingers crossed. I'd love to read your comments, but in the past you had to sign up for an account with Google Plus. I hope that is not the case now. If you can't comment below, you can email me your comments to the email address listed above on the right column towards the top.

Hurray! I'm back! Thrilling!

'Till we quilt again,


For your delight and more fun quilt stories, check the right column for parties I link to. They are listed in day by day order. Just click on the link and Presto! Change-O you will zip to their Linky Party! Thank you, lovely Blog Hosts, for have your Linky Parties. Fun for All, Fun for Days!


  1. I love this quilt, but I think I would invest in a ruffling foot or something to eliminate having to use pins! I'm glad your granddaughter still loves it anyway :)

  2. Beautiful quilt and I agree with Lisa, using a ruffling foot would make it easier. Enjoy your retirement......I do!!

  3. Congrats on retirement after a long, successful career! Glad that you have taken the leap back into blogging - can't wait to see more of what you make!


I love comments. They make me smile and feel warm and fuzzy. To show you my appreciation, I try to answer everyone's comment. :)

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