Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Pleasure of Ordinary Days

It was with a sigh of relief that I turned the calendar to December. November was absolutely too busy! I'm glad to see there are very few commitments for this month. For me, there is great pleasure in the sameness of routine. 

We don't have any large family gathering to attend this month, my extended family gathered in November and the Farmer's family hasn't gotten together in years. We will have our local son and his family here for a large breakfast on the 23rd.

We don't get into the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and definitely don't do the black Friday thing. I admit I did attend Wana Night Out in Shipshewana last Tuesday but waiting in line at Yoder's isn't anything like waiting in lines at Wal-Mart or another large box store. 

I do have some special days planned: Advent services at church, Grandparents Day at our grandson's kindergarten class, coffee with a neighbor lady(s) and a special shopping day with my DIL at local stores. Some baking is also going to happen here at home.

I'm going to spend the monthly slowly working on the many projects I worked on at the Jane Stickle Retreat including this small quilt which measures 74" long and probably 60" wide. I know I have the measurements written somewhere but can't find them now!

I had originally made the this quilt at the April 2017 Jane Stickle Retreat and added a white outside border. All summer I thought, "I don't like that white border!" 

The fabric had come from Yoder's so I checked there and fortunately they still had some yardage from this collection. 

At the fall retreat, I cut the white border to a narrow border and added the blue border, much more pleasing to my eye. I also sewed the backing fabric and the binding.

And now she's marked and in the hand quilting frame. 

When I was quilting my blue & white churn dash quilt, I was often asked how I marked the quilt. I took pictures while marking the outside border.

I've never had a professional marking lesson so this is the method that works for me that I have come up with over the years.

For the various marking tools I use, check out the post I wrote  on March 12, 2017.

First I marked the 4 corners. That is your starting point. Make sure you mark all 4 exactly the same.

Next I marked the long sides. Laying the stencil on the border, I pin each measure of the stencil. I need to see how many times the design fits or repeats.

I have 3 repeats of the stencil. I have 3 1/2" space I need to adjust for.

What I do is move the pins. I moved the first right pin 1", the 2nd pin 2 1/2" which left 1" for the 3rd pin. Carefully I add an extra feather to the design and carefully make the curve on the bottom. You will never notice the addition. Then I repeat this on the other long border. 

Now for the short borders. I do the same thing, seeing how many times the stencil fits. 

For this border, it is 2 times and I need to fit in 6".

I measured the stencil. It is 6" from the center feather on the right side to the next center feather on the left side.

All I need to do is trace that 6" onto the border. Turn the quilt and mark the other side!

For the all white border, again I marked the 4 corners first but just the left part, not the right cable.

Once the corners are marked, I start making the rest. I don't measure how often this stencil fits like I did with the feathers. 

When I'm about 10" from the corner, I slide the stencil shorter or wider the make it fit. 

This corner looks slightly different than the above picture. No one is going to ever notice once the marking is washed out.

I used the same marker for the next border. I am going to mark those blue squares as I quilt them using the white chalk marker. My experience with the Sewline white markers has been the mark doesn't last a long time so it is less frustrating for me to just mark them as I am ready to quilt that block.

I taped the stencil onto the inside squares so it won't slide around as I am marking. I used the blue marker on the white fabric and then marked the blue fabric with the silver pencil. 

After awhile my blue marker ink was getting very faint so I pulled a newer different blue marker. It makes wider lines and it actually showed up on the blue fabric so I used that instead of the pencil. In the white corners, I marked straight lines 7/8th" apart. Where did I get the 7/8" measurement? That is how far apart the lines are in the stencil hearts. 

I don't have a separate picture of the marked square but I'm sure you'll see it as I make progress with my hand quilting.

I've started quilting and this is how far I've gotten.

You will notice I am marking straight lines every 1 1/2" to give stability to the unquilted fabric in the border. I'm also doing it because I don't like baggy quilted quilts!
A close up view of the corner.

When I'm not quilting, I keep the quilt covered to protect from direct sunshine and little fingers. 

The pattern for this quilt is Cabin Fever, a five fat quarter fun project from Jedi Craft Girl.

Linking to - Slow Stitching Sunday, Show & Tell Monday With Bambi, Em's ScrapbagLove Laugh Quilt, BOM's Away, Quilter's Monday


  1. Thanks for showing us how you mark your quilt. It looks like you have made a good start on the hand quilting too. The blue border is perfect.

  2. Enjoy your hand quilting on this / very pretty and I like the blue border. Thank you for showing how you mark your lines! :)

  3. I like adventures but I also like the sameness of routine.

  4. very pretty and thanks for sharing how you mark your lines

  5. What a lovely post, Gretchen. The quilt is a beauty and as an occasional hand-quilter, I appreciate your tips for marking. Have a wonderful day!

  6. Thank you for sharing how you mark quilts for hand quilting. All tips are very helpful!

  7. Hi,
    Beautiful Quilt! Thanks for sharing how you
    mark your quilts. Very helpful. Have a great day!

  8. Lovely post, thank you for showing how you mark your quilts, you have made great progress on the hand quilting. The added blue border is just perfect.

  9. Thanks for explaining how you mark your quilt. It is alot like how I do it and I have always just fudged the stencils just like you do. I really like that blue marker. I have never tried it. Your quilt and quilting looks beautiful.

  10. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial on marking quilts!
    So happy you have another quilt in the frame and your quilting looks fabulous already!

  11. A wonderful quilt!
    Thanks for sharing how you mark your quilts :)

  12. Sameness of Routine is something that I am learning to appreciate!
    Thank you for the marking information! Great tutorial! Looks like you already have a good start on this one. Happy Stitching!

  13. Your quilt is going to be gorgeous! Good idea to change the border.

  14. wow! The blue border makes the perfect change. It's so very pretty. Thank you for sharing how you fit in the difference when you're marking the borders. I'm interested in knowing more about the silver pencil you mention.

  15. I have been hand quilting recently and admire your work!

  16. Thank you for your inspiration and link to Show and Tell Monday !! Bambi hug

  17. I love all the posts, I really enjoyed, I would like more information about this, because it is very useful and working.Thank you for this wonderful Article.
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