Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can you say, "Last Quilt"?

Last week, I met with the lady who hand pieced this Grandmother's Flower Garden. She had it machine quilted by a long arm quilter in Nebraska and wanted to finish the edges in a traditional manner. Her quilter turned down the job. My daughter was offered the job and she passed it on to me. Now, let me tell you right now that I do not do binding! Actually I would if someone was willing to pay me enough, but my price is so one has bought it. When I met Helen, she won my heart immediately. I sat for an hour looking over her quilt, listening to her stories of quilting and how she so wanted this quilt to be hand finished since it was her last. She has had a gradual decline in her eyesight and can no longer do the hand work she so loved to do. I understood what she wanted, but I could not bring myself to tell her how long it would take me to do this job. When I saw how the LA quilter had sewn right to the edge, nailing down every lineal inch of the octagons around the outer edge, and then running a continuous curve all round, and sometimes stitching the batting to the backing...I took a deep breath and said, "Oh, it will take a while to undo all those stitches, but it is not impossible." Oh how I wished the LAQ had just basted instead of stitching those edges! No one puts a traditional binding on a Grandmother's Flower Garden! Helen wanted the edging finished in what is called a "knife-edge" finish. That's tucking the edges inside the sandwich a quarter inch and blind stitching it closed. I have one side done, and am taking a break before I hunker down and finish the rest. No need to ask how long it is taking, and no need to ask how much it will cost. This is what I call a labor of love and it is priceless! Next time someone calls on me to do a hand finished binding, no matter how big or small, I will reply, "I don't do hand finished bindings unless you are over 90 years old and it is your last quilt! and you are willing to give up your children's inheritance." Sincerely, I do have a soft heart for situations like this and it is a rare opportunity to give back to our community. I think of my mother and my grandmother who stitched many hours unselfishly to provide for children, neighbors, and's the least I can do.

Thank you for looking

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cozy nightgowns for a chilly winter night...

This is an example of how diverse we are at NABQC. I dug out my old Stretch and Sew patterns and whipped out these nightgowns for the grandchildren. They've had a bout with chicken pox and needed some soft nightwear. I called mom for their measurements and adjusted the pattern in length only, sleeve and skirt. No need to hem them; they'll outgrow them by spring. If you are making these, please pay attention to the stretch in the ribbing you buy. It needs to be at least 50%-100% stretch. I accidentally bought 25% stretch and had to ditch it. It just doesn't stretch enough in those tiny little cuff applications.

I taught SS by the Ann Person method about 30 years ago and still have the books and quite a lot of patterns. It really is a brilliant method of sewing knits. I have more projects planned and will post them here as I finish.

Thanks for looking.
I am Bonnie Russell, owner and quilter, and my business is making beautiful quilts and making quilts beautiful. NABQC came about as a partnership between the love of sewing and hazelnut farming. That's how the name was chosen. My husband, Fred, is the nut farmer, and I do the sewing using many bolts of fabulous fabric. My studio is located in Dundee, Oregon, the beautiful Willamette Valley, in the center of a hazelnut orchard. Experience came with 42 years of dress making, 40 years of marriage to my wonderful, loving, supportive husband (34 years of nut farming), 25 years of raising three daughters, and now we have seven grandchildren to mentor in Future Quilters of America!

With a Statler Stitcher and Gammill Optimum Plus longarm quilting machine, a 14 foot table, and the drawing program AutoSketch, no project is too big or too small. Anything from hand guided meandering to custom digitized designs can be applied to a project to complete that labor of love.

This blog is to temporarily serve as a source of information until a website is produced. It contains pricing, products, helpful hints, pictures, inspirations, and who knows what else will show up. Thank you for reading and I hope you will find it helpful.

Tale of a Dog