Flushing Historical Society Quilt Show April 30, 2011

I love a good quilt show, and I really like old quilts.  So I was thrilled to visit the Flushing Historical Society’s quilt show this morning.  The Society owns the old Flushing Depot in downtown Flushing, and quilts were hanging throughout the entire building.

Virginia Anderson was present at the show explaining the details on various quilts, and showing the quilts collected and made by Mary Schafer.  The way the exhibit was set up made it difficult to get photos of each quilt in its entirety, so I did the best I could.  Here are some that grabbed my eye.

 4302011 039

4302011 044

4302011 045

4302011 048

4302011 049

4302011 051

4302011 055

4302011 062

4302011 061


4302011 060

I was excited to see my quilt hanging in the exhibit!  The Flushing Sesquicentennial Quilt was made as a fundraiser for Riverbank Park’s walkway in 1984.  Designed from old photographs of Flushing, it includes the old mill, Depot, old Flushing High School, the original fire station and more.  People paid to have their signature placed on the quilt to raise money for the brick walkway.

Tutorial: Sewing Spools by Hand

Someone asked me recently how I constructed my spools quilt. When I commented that it was sewn entirely by hand, she immediately said, “Oh, I could never do that!” I assured her that it was really quite simple, and promised her a tutorial. It took a few weeks to get to it, but here it is!


First, I made two simple templates, shown below.

You can see the post where I drew the templates on graph paper here.    For each spool block, using a regular pencil with a sharp lead, I traced one center square and two trapezoids out of the same print fabric. I also traced two trapezoids out of a white or cream or tan fabric (we’ll call this the background fabric).

DSC04211Then I used a sharp scissors to cut out each shape, adding a generous quarter inch seam allowance as I cut.

I found it easier to prepare many blocks in one sitting, as I usually do my sewing while I’m enjoying a good television show or movie. These little pieces store easily in Ziploc bags and are quite portable in your purse!

Sewing a Spool

Thread your needle with a neutral color thread. I used cream for my choice, but a white or grey would work just as well.

Begin with the center square, one  print trapezoid, and one pin. Place right sides together, the short side of the trapezoid next to the square. Put a pin at one corner and your needle at the other as shown below. Note: the black background is my pant leg… if the trapezoid looks curved, it’s not. 

Use small stitches and sew along the pencil line from one side to the other, stopping at the corner. I repeat the last stitch or tie a small knot here but I do not cut my thread!

Next, take one of your print trapezoids and position it on the next side of the center square, as shown. Put your pin in the corner farthest from your needle. Pick up your needle and continue sewing from where you left off.

Repeat this process until all four trapezoids have been sewn to the center square, alternating background and print fabrics.





Sewing the corners: Very easy!

You won’t believe this until you do it yourself the first time, but the hardest part is behind you! The corners are easy!

Open your block so that you see it all in front of you. Take the two trapezoids where they meet at the corner and pivot them towards each other.


DSC04221Put a pin in the unsewn outside corner and your needle at the corner nearest the center square. Sew along the pencil line from the inside to the outside corner. Knot and clip your thread. Repeat three more times and you are finished sewing!

DSC04223In the picture here, two corners have been sewn, and two are yet to do.

I found that the more I did these blocks, the faster they came together. They really do become almost mindless sewing… and they are all straight seams!

DSC04224When the block is finished, I take a couple of seconds and trim my seam allowance on the block to a clean quarter inch. Press blocks so that you are pressing towards the printed fabric as shown.


See?  All pressed and ready to go!


Sewing the blocks together

Sew your spool blocks together alternating the light and dark trapezoids as shown, following the pencil lines you have already marked.

You can do this!


A Happy Easter



What a beautiful Easter yesterday!  After church, we came back to the house and we all changed into our “play clothes.”  A good dinner, lots of laughter and plenty of time for playing.  Samantha had fun with Bumpa (AKA “The Woodworker”).


Jacob had fun playing with Uncle Loren…


And Aunt Margaret relaxed after a good game of Tag with the kids.

These two photos on the bottom come to you courtesy of Samantha, age 3, who learned how to use Grammy’s camera.  Not too bad, Samantha!

(Notice I managed to squeak in a quilt photo?)

Let’s not repeat last week

The last week has been sad, depressing, cold, busy, and full of sleepless nights.  It’s one I wouldn’t want to experience again for quite awhile.  We lost a good friend of ours to leukemia less than 36 hours after holding a benefit concert for him.

Eric Fall 2010

Eric VanRaemdonck was a talented musician and artist.  He played a variety of instruments professionally, including drums and guitar.  His artwork may be seen around the world; you can visit his website at http://artisticnature.com/   to see both his paintings and those of his wife.  Eric played drums for years for the praise and worship band at Flushing United Methodist Church.  So it was fitting that we played and sang for our friend’s funeral yesterday. So hard to sing when you’re crying.

Today, Eric is doing well, as we know with confidence that he is in Heaven with his maker.  We are not so well; there’s a deep hole in our life that will take time to heal. 

Let Your healing love
Pour over this place,
Soothe the wounded soul.
Let Your healing love
Pour over this place,
Make Your people whole.

Strange New Technology

Pardon me for not posting lately… I have had computer issues, lack-of-time issues, and exhaustion problems.  A new laptop has been adopted within the last 24 hours, and I’m getting used to it.  Wow – so much different than my old one! 

Pardon me while I play with it.