Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Have been working on my strawberry quilt.  I DID have enough to get all of the missed pieces cut!  I only had to piece 2 of the gingham squares. 

I have the rows (35) lined up and ready to sew.  I have finished about 1/2 so far.  A lot of strip piecing.  I have been looking at a lot of strawberries!  Finally had to just quit for the day.

I said last night that I'd talk about my assembly line cutting if anyone was interested.  Well, I got several requests to hear more about the process.  Keep in mind that this picture was taken before I had a blog.  It isn't as detailed as it would have been if I had taken it today.

First thing I do is decide on the fabrics I want to use and either design or pick a pattern according to the amount of fabric I have.  It usually takes me hours to get that part of the process figured out.  I have a habit of rewriting amounts needed for each pattern.  I try to make my quilts as large as the fabric I am using will allow.  There is a lot of figuring amounts and math.  (I was always terrible in math!) The larger quilts sell better at auction, so it means one more row wide or long or both!  Once I have it all figured out, I "bundle" each quilts' fabric along with the pattern.  As you can see, I line up my bundles for cutting.

This is my living room.  I spend 1 - 2 weeks calculating and cutting out!  I use a small plastic folding table elevated on bed risers.  I repackage my cut projects and put them into plastic bins.  Finally, when I am ready to sit down and sew again, I just take off the top of the pile!  This picture shows 13 different bundles that I cut out all at one time. 

I do sew every day.  Or at least do something that has to do with my quilting.  The bottom picture shows a very SMALL portion of the stash that I have, and yes, this is ALL donated fabric.  Do you see the bundles on the bottom shelf?  They are all quilts that are ready to be cut out.  I praise the Lord every day, that I have this great opportunity to create and sew quilts.  It is my mission to sew for the glory of God!

I hope this wasn't to boring.  I love what I do!!!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Something new...

I started a new project today!  I was so excited until...

I realized that I had failed to cut out enough of both the 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 strawberry pieces, and the 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 gingham squares!  UGH...I was NOT happy.  I will pick all of this up again tomorrow.  I was to upset to continue today.  I am hoping that I have enough scraps to finish this project.  Did you notice the pattern in the first picture?
When I have my cutting out marathons, I usually cut 10 or more projects at a time.  This is an example of how I "bundle" each quilt.  The scraps, the pattern and all of the pieces.  Then, when I am ready to start a new project, I just grab what's on top.  Unfortunately, this little strawberry picnic quilt was one of the last ones I cut and I missed the piece count.  It's OK, I will hopefully get it done for next weeks turn in!
I think that I am getting this "bloggers" mindset for picture taking!  I am trying to track progress and all sorts of happenings.  Let me know if you have any ideas as to how to organize my projects.  Would you like to see the assembly line method I have for cutting out projects?  Let me know.  I really appreciate all of the comments I get!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013


It was nice going to church, then out to lunch with Mr H.  Sunday's are our day to be together for sure, our "date" day!  Always a pleasure.

I thought that I'd tell you a little more about my quilting story.  Back in October of 2010, I had knee surgery scheduled, and the Dr said that I'd have to be completely off my feet for at least 6 weeks.  I approached the quilting coordinator for the NFC Quilters to see if they had any quilts I could hem for them.  She was shocked that I'd even ask.  She said that she didn't know of anyone who'd want to hem quilts unless they had to.  Well, as I have said in the past, it is my favorite part of making a quilt.  She was happy to keep me busy with hemming projects.

It ended up that I only had to be off my feet for 2 weeks, so I was able to move on to bigger and better things.  The coordinator eventually asked if I knew how to cut out quilts, then it was, do I know how to sew quilts, now it is - do whatever you'd like.  I feel so blessed to have been entrusted with the designing and sewing of so many beautiful quilt tops with so much beautiful donated fabric. 

So far I have made 153 or so quilts.  I know that there are some I failed to take a photograph, so the exact count is unknown.  It is so exciting to be able to MAKE LEMONADE OUT OF LEMONS!!!!! 

These are just a small cross section of the quilts that I have made.  From simple small quilts, to larger more difficult quilts.  I know that the Lord has blessed me and will bless whomever is sleeping under each of these quilts!  I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


My daughter's birthday is coming up, and she wanted a sewing machine!  She wants to learn how to quilt.  That is ever so exciting for me.  I got to deliver her new Janome today!  Unfortunately, I never actually got around to showing her how to use it.  We went to JoAnn's to buy fabric for the projects that she wants to do first, had lunch and a wonderful chat, but NO sewing.  Oh well, it is a great opportunity to get back together for another day of chatting and getting familiar with her new machine.  I took pictures, but they are lost somewhere in the ether!  It is so frustrating when you are learning a new skill!

This is another finish!  It is tied with a pale yellow pearl cotton and is 58x65.  I know it will find a great home at next years auction!!

I have been getting so many great comments!  I really appreciate the feed back.  Please, continue to let me know your thoughts, it makes my day!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

I SPY!!!!!

These pictures show the progression of my day...IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!  My friend Chris invited me to help machine quilt the "I SPY" quilt that I have been working on for the last 2 weeks.  (This is the quilt that I had to un-sew 4 rows of awful quilting.)  I got to her home about 9a, we got everything all set up, and began quilting.  This was my very first experience on a long arm machine.  It was very scary, but VERY fun!  I sure hope that she invites me to her creating space again.  It always takes longer then expected.  She had several beautiful "show and tell" projects to show me.  I always get so inspired when I get to see where others create and their stashes.  I came home about 11:30a and ate some lunch.  Then I sewed the binding on and hand sewed it down.  I finished by 3pm.  Now I have another finished project!  Every square is different, with the fun smiling lady bugs on the border.  It measures 59x65.  It is just plain FUN!

I guess I haven't learned to rotate pictures yet, but aren't these colors yummy?  This was a stack of new fabrics Chris had on her desk, for a new project that she is working on.  She is going on a shop hop this weekend, and will get some additional matching fabrics.

My week ended on a very high note, I hope that yours is doing the same.  Have a wonderful relaxing weekend.  I would appreciate your ideas and comments, they make my day!!
Tuesday Archives at Val's Quilting Studio!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Just got home from my sisters birthday party!  A great time with all 3 of my sisters.  Nothing fancy, but fun!

Here is another finish that I turned in yesterday!  It was beautifully prairie stitched by Lori.  Her work is outstanding.  Thanks, Lori!

What happens is, we get lots of donated fabric.  I bundle what I think will make a pretty quilt and either design a pattern or choose a pattern that suits the amount of fabric I have.  As I complete each quilt top, I turn them in to our coordinator.  We have several cupboards that we keep tops in, waiting to be small stitch quilted, prairie stitched, machine quilted or tied.  When the quilting is done, they are usually passed back to me for binding.  (Sewing on the binding is ny favorite part of quilt making, and is how I got started with the NFC Quilters.)  When I have the hand stitched binding done, I bring the completed project back to the coordinator to take to MCC headquarters in Reedley, CA. 

This is just one example of lemonade!  This quilt was prairie stitched and brought in $200 at the MCC auction last year.  I added a row in either direction and the piano key border to make it bed size.  I used scrapes and yardage that were donated.  This picture was taken before this quilt was stitched.  I didn't know at the time of completion, that I would someday have a blog!  Thank you donanters!

I will go further into my story in future posts.  I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This is one of my favorite UFOs that I have designed.  The antique flower pots were donated and I had to design a quilt around them.  None of them were the same size, so I added a strip to each side, then trimmed them to the same size.  I then added the 9 patches with the pinwheel center patch.  The piano key boarder made it king size.  All of the fabrics are either old or reproduction prints.  It is on the frame and awaiting the small stitchers to work their magic!

A fun flannel baby quilt, waiting to be tied.

Look at this lemonade made from lemons!  Jennifer donated her "scraps".  She had already used these fabrics for 2 quilts and was "sick of looking at them".  I used my half hex template, and made this little gem.  It is machine quilted in the ditch.

Thanks to all who donate their UFOS and schnibbles!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I just completed my hour long tutorial on downloading pictures into the computer!  I am excited about the possiblilty of sharing some of my work with you.

One of my original designs!
One of the ladies from NFC Quilter's took a trip to Alaska last May.  She brought back this 8 picture preprinted panel.  I designed this quilt around the individual panels.  It is one of my favorites!

This was a UFO!
 We get UFOs all of the time.  When that happens, it is time to put on my thinking cap, and try to figure out what the pattern is supposed to be.  I had to add to the border, and used every single scrap that I had to finish this beauty. 

I have a lot more to share with you, but I have had a bit of a time just downloading these two pictures!  I hope that you have enjoyed these pictures.  I have got to change my mind set and how I take pictures.  I promise, I will have glamour shots to show!

I had 3 finished today!!  I got 2 quilts hemmed, and 2 sleeves sewn onto wall hangings.  Let me know what you think of my pictures, please!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

NO LONGER PICKIN' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I finally finished my pickin' at about 5:45 this evening!  I am so glad that I am finally done.  I hope to start quilting tomorrow.  I am just going to do a grid, 1/4 in. in on either side of each seam.  I really don't know what I will be doing in the border (4 in.).  Does anyone have any ideas you'd like to send my way?  I am so excited to see this quilt completed.

I have been sorting fabric for a great scrappy quilt I have planned.  I need more colors, but it is going to be great when it is completed.  I am going to continue my mission in the daylight.  I don't feel that I am getting a good representation of the true colors in the poor lighting in our living room.  I am also inspired by the wonderful "low volume" quilts that I have been seeing everywhere.  I tell you, it's the visions of quilts flying around in my head!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


We did it!!  We finished up with our estate sale, and have cleaned it all up.  We are excited, the items left over will go to yet another charity yard sale next weekend.  It feels so good to help others with what we see as trash.  We all know the old saying, "one mans trash...".

Tomorrow will be a big day.  I will resume un-sewing my I SPY quilt.  I really hope I can get it done in the next couple of days.  The first is fast approaching.

Trust you all had a fantastic weekend.  Would love to hear from all of you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hot and Tired!

Today was a big family yard (estate) sale.  It really got dirty and hot out there.  Didn't get anything done in my sewing room.  Tomorrow is more of the same!  Have a blessed Sunday.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Wow, I have been a pickin' with NO grinin'.  I have only one more row of un-sewing to go on my I SPY quilt.  It will be wonderful when I get it done.  No time tomorrow, but maybe Sunday.  For sure on Monday.  I hope to have it all quilted, bound and ready to turn in by the 1st!

I have a lot of projects swimming around in my head.  I guess they will all have to wait until I get the ones that are already cut out, done.  It is so much fun to dream about quilts!!  Have a restful Saturday morning.

PTL!!  The Boston bombers have been caught.  We are keeping all of the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers.  God bless them all!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

MORE DONATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you Chris and Chris for the fantastic donations.  My cupboards are filling FAST!!  Thank God for the generosity of others.  It is such a pleasure to be on the receiving end of stash cleansing.  I know that God will use these bits and pieces for His glory.

Got a little more un-sewing done today on my "I SPY".  Only about a half of a row.  I got a paper cut on the middle finger of my left hand yesterday.  It made it a little more difficult to yank on small pieces of thread.  Besides the fact that my finger tips are just plain sore.

I brought home 2 more quilts from NFC Quilters yesterday.  Had a chance to sew the binding down and prepare them for hemming.  One is a wall hanging and the other is a comforter, both are beautiful, all are made from donations.  I love what I do!

Stand back and look at your stash.  Is there something there that can be donated to a local charity quilting group?  Think about it...you'll feel really good.

Great Day!

Turned in my work from last week, and picked up more!  That is how my NFC Quilting Wednesdays go.  The quilters finished tying two quilts, and they are ready to have the binding sewn down and hemmed.  Lori finished prairie stitching a wall hanging, also.  Fabric donations were made again this week!  We really appreciate and rely on these donations.  Lots of wonderful pieces, both big and small, modern and repros.  So many ideas swirling around in my head.  Remember, all of my quilt tops rely on donations and lots of creativity.  I love what I do!

I was called and asked to come to Chris's home to pick up donations from her stash also!  How generous is that?  I know that she will have great fabric.  She has been consistently generous to the NFC Quilters.  Lemons are looking just like lemonade!  We thank God that there are people who are willing to donate from their stashes.  God will bless this fabric many times over.

Tomorrow will be a big day.  I will be working on sewing down binding and picking out bad quilting.  Have a great, creative day!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


It has been a busy week so far.  I started quilting my I SPY quilt, and hated was not happy with it.  There were far to many puckers for my liking.  I have been working on un-sewing 4 rows of wavy quilting!  It is NOT easy.  Pick-pick-pick! I finally had to quit, because my fingers are really sore. 

Tomorrow is NFC quilting!  One of my favorite days of the week.  I will be turning in the 2 quilts that I hemmed, and the oriental wall hanging that I completed.  Then, lunch with the ladies.  After lunch, Cindy (Live a Colorful Life) and Deborah (Simply Miss Luella) have agreed to show me how to download pictures onto my blog.  I hope that I will catch on quickly.  I really want to share  pictures with all of you.

Comments are exciting to me, so make sure to let me know what you think of my site.  Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I finished hemming the two larger quilts that I brought home on Wednesday.  Now I can start learning about my new machine.  I want to machine quilt the I SPY quilt that I finished last Tuesday.  Not sure exactly what stitch or style, but I have a practice sandwich ready to go.

Church was a blessing today.  We appreciate James and the worship team so much.  What a great way to regroup and fill up those empty places for the week. 

I have a date with Deborah (Simply Miss Luella) this week!  She is going to go over uploading pictures into my blog.  I have no idea what that involves, but she is such a sweet heart to be willing to try to teach me. 

Keep finishing up all of those great projects.  V

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Finish!

I completed the oriental half hex wall hanging.  It has been quilted (in the ditch) and bound.  I am happy with the way it turned out.

I have also sewn down the binding on a quilt that Judy finished tying last Wednesday.  I have just the two larger quilts to bind, then I can get back to quilting the "I Spy" quilt that I completed last Tuesday.  I love what I do!!

I hope to get the above mentioned quilts bound tomorrow. 

Friday, April 12, 2013


Just got home from the "Best of the Valley" quilt show in Lindsay.  It was wonderful.  So many inspirational quilts.  Seeing all the new fabric lines and color ways...well, yummoo!!  I love the embellished quilts and wall hangings.  Buttons, sequins, rhinestones...  Is this a new trend, or just new to me?  Great day of fun and fellowship.

Hope that you are all planning at least a little "me" time this weekend.  ; )

                                                                                                                                                                 Go over to Green Fairy Quilts.  They are having a sale on Fat Quarter bundles and Fat Eigths.  There are also 2 new Moda lines to see.  Free shipping in the US.  Check them out.

Off to the gym, then to Lindsay for the "Best of the Valley" quilt show.  Will be a day of inspiration and great fellowship!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Day of Sewing...

I  have been sewing most of the day!  I finished an oriental half hex wall hanging that I started just yesterday.  I have it pinned and ready for quilting.  Not quite sure how I will quilt it.  I have my new Elna Quilter's Dream, and now have many, many options.

Tomorrow is the "Best of the Valley" quilt show in Lindsay, CA.  We are taking a van load from Fresno and are making a day of it.  I so look forward to seeing the beautiful quilts and checking out all of the vendors.  I just get so inspired by beautiful quilts and fabrics.

My friend, Deborah (Simply Miss Luella), donated a box of beautiful fabrics yesterday!  I so look forward to seeing what wonderful pattern I can find for it.  So generous, thank you!!

See, that is what I am all about, the generosity of others.  That is how we get to donate so many quilts to the sale.  Check out Cindy's blog, Live a Colorful Life.  She has posted pictures from last weekends sale.  Thank you Cindy.

Thank you everyone for reading my blog.  Keep on donating to your favorite charity! 

Lemonade from Lemons!

OK ladies, here it goes.  I am so excited to be sending my first blog.  My new blog site is all about quilting for a mission.  95% of all the quilt tops I make are completed by the NFC Quilters and auctioned off to help raise money for disaster relief around the world.

Making lemonade out of lemons is what I do!  I work almost exclusively with donated fabrics and UFO's.  I know it's sometimes hard to part with the fabric we have in our stashes.  You know, the fabrics that we just don't know what we could ever make with it.  All of those donations help keep others warm.  Donating needs to become an important part of every quilters cleaning ritual.  I am sure that you can find a charity in your area, that can use your scraps and UFO's.

As soon as I learn how to download pictures, they will become part of my site.  I hope that this will be a site of encouragement and little nudges to help you think outside the closet.  I know that as NFC Quilters, we are always open to donations.

Just last weekend, we participated in the 46th annual West Coast Mennonite Sale and Auction for World Relief.  As you can tell by the name, it is held each year.  Tens of thousands of dollars are raised, and I think that it is the best live quilt auction, anywhere!!   There were over 200 quilts auctioned on Saturday. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of such a wonderful cause. 

I am a self taught quilter.  I have never taken a class, ever.  I started making quilt tops for missions in November of 2010.  I have made about 210 tops since.  From really big to really small.  A lot of the quilt tops that I make, I design. 

I'd love to hear comments and questions. Anything that you'd like to know about? Join me again, when I talk about a quilter's mission!

Thank you for dropping by my site.  I look forward posting pictures and hearing back from all of you.  V
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