A Finish and a Start

Late yesterday afternoon, I finished stitching the binding onto the Shoot for the Moon quilt. It's completely finished now.

Hey Thanks! Don't mind if I do!

As anyone knows, no quilt is complete without a full complement of cat fuzz. Especially the black ones.

Here's the quilt, completely finished.

Just for grins, here are some details of my favorite blocks.

This morning I added some tiny crystals for windows on the rocket ship in the block below.

And I put some crystals for the cat's face on "Meow Minor" below.

They're all the same color, but that nose picked up the glare of the flash more than the others.

Thanks, Mom. This is a nice cozy place for my nap, and I was just thinking about (yawn) snzzzzzzzzz....

When I was finished with that, I printed out my quilt label.

I'm trying a different product for this one to see how it works. It ran through the printer great, even though it was on a roll, which caused it to curl up some. I just flattened it out with my hands as much as possible by curling it back the other direction.

So this is the product, available from Amazon.com. I was going to tell you that it appears as twill, but when I went to find the link, I discovered that it's actually identified as "twill". Duh. There's also a cotton poplin variety. Here's the front packaging label.

And part of the back label.

These instructions didn't photograph very well, but what you want to know is that it needs to be allowed to dry for 15 minutes. Then I'm supposed to rinse it under water for 30 seconds or until the water runs clear. This is where we may part ways because if it isn't relatively color fast, then it's of no use to me for this application.

Here's a close-up of the unprinted fabric so you can get a sense of what it looks like. It comes on a roll, and I just cut mine down to 4 x 6 inches (photo sized). Actually, it ended up at 4.25 x 6. The roll is 8.5 inches wide, and so I just cut off a 6-inch hunk, and then cut that in half. It's the most efficient use of the roll for my purposes.

As I'm writing this, I'm waiting the requisite 15 minutes for it to dry, and then I'll finish telling you about it.

* * * * *Tick Tock Tick Tock (time passes)* * * * *

Okay, so I've rinsed my label under cold water. I didn't notice any running, and the image is still crystal clear. Nice. However, when I blotted on an old towel to get the excess water from it, it did leave a smudge of ink on my towel. As a warning, don't use your nice white guest towels for this purpose. Otherwise, I'm very happy with it.

Some of you probably use Printed Treasures, and I have too. I've quit using it, however, because it's been such a bugger to get the paper from the back. I've had to resort to dousing mine in lighter fluid to get the blasted paper to let loose. Obviously, that's not a good solution. Also, I don't like the quality of fabric Printed Treasures uses. 

So I'll still need to iron some fusible backing to this once it's completely dry, and then I'll apply it to the back of my quilt. Unless I tell you otherwise, I'm giving this product two thumbs up for now.

Back to quilting: In addition to cat fuzz, no quilt finish is complete without a new project to take it's place. Am I right about that? So here's what's up. Last spring when I was at the Northwest Quilter's Guild quilt show, I saw this quilt:

with this attached tag:

My good friend Lisa is in her last year of teaching after a career spanning more than 25 years. I loved this quilt, and so I offered to make one for Lisa when she retires (this coming May). 

It took a little convincing at first...I'm not entirely sure she understood the project at first...but eventually, she started sending me blocks. Oh my, the blocks did come. 

In preparation for writing this post, I asked Lisa to give me a little information about her career, and this is what she told me (edited slightly for brevity).
I was 35 years old when I began and it was actually fun for both the teacher AND the students:  no scripts, state tests were given, but the pressure wasn’t huge.  We learned the basics, and then learned from each other during projects like writing newspapers.  When I subbed for junior high or high school, the kids thought I was a student, so I realized elementary was the place for me.  Even so, every year the 5th graders would gauge their height against mine, and I had to creatively remind them that height did not equal authority!  I’ve taught at 3 schools for Hemet Unified:  Winchester, where I taught 4th and 5th grades, Ramona, where I taught 4th and 5th grades, plus 2nd, and my last year there was spent as a “reading specialist.”
That brief stint as reading specialist, combined with student teaching kindergarten many, many years ago, landed me as the kindergarten teacher at Idyllwild School, after 3 years back at 4th grade.  Teaching kindergarten has been the most challenging, AND the most rewarding.  
During my tenure at Ramona School, I was approached by a member of the local chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars with the request to  represent their chapter by applying for Teacher of the Year.  I don’t generally go for that stuff as I have worked with fabulous teachers at every site, and feel each one should be recognized, not  singled out. However, I allowed myself to be talked into it, and since I had agreed, I put together the best portfolio I could, submitted it, then forgot about it.  A few months later I received a phone call from the VFW commander to announce I had been proclaimed Teacher of the Year for Riverside County as well as for the State of California, 2006! 
I am now ready for retirement, but I am enjoying every single minute of my last year of teaching as my dream was "to go out with a smile!"

This morning I took some time going through them and counting them, and there are 56 blocks in all, including two t-shirts. Of course, I didn't photograph all of them for this post, but here is a small sampling of what I have to work with.

With 56 blocks, I've decided to set them seven blocks across and eight rows down. I'll have to keep them relatively small, and so I've settled on making each block 6-1/2 inches (6 inches finished), and I'm going to try to do one per week so that I can actually live long enough to finish the project! I'm going to start with this one created by Lisa's daughter, Keely and four of her granddaughters to commemorate their helping her get her classroom ready at the beginning of each new school year.

This one will be relatively easy to do. Some of the blocks will, of course, be more difficult and require more time for me to stare at them to decide on a strategy. I expect a combination of piecing, applique, and embroidery, and we'll just see how it goes.

Today is a day at home. If I can finish this block, I'll start working on some blocks for my other projects.

21 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

The binding is perfect for the quilt and brings out the yellows, nicely.
Love the designs, those are so fun and can't wait to see what you make.


Linda said...

Beautiful, I absolutely love the details.

Christine M said...

A great finish. Barbara. I love that it's already been claimed!

gpc said...

I absolutely love your moon quilt! And the retirement quilt has all the makings of (yet another) winner. :)

Dana Gaffney said...

That is a perfect gift, she's lucky to have you.

beaquilter said...

Love the quilt, the blocks are SEW much fun

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The Moon quilt is just wonderful! You will be lint brushing this one every day. The retirement quilt blocks look like such fun to play with and I am sure you will do a fantstic job.

Mrs.Pickles said...

great finish! and the retirement blocks are just so lovely. I am looking for something to print my label on so thank you for the review!

quiltzyx said...

Smitty just looks SO smug laying on the Moon quilt! I'll tell you, I bought one of the "Never Underestimate a Woman with a Sewing Machine t-shirts. It's very dark navy & I was covered in hairs & fuzz yesterday & wasn't even near Smitty! (I won't be buying any more tshirts from teespring either - the arms & the bottom hem constantly roll up! Erg!) Love all the quilting you did on the Moons too.
The retirement quilt will be another stretch for you! Lots of new techniques to try - maybe you can use your crayons for some too. Lucky Lisa!!

Lynne said...

Sounds like a challenging but rewarding project ahead! I'd say you were shooting for the moon but I know you'll get there.

Kirsty said...

Love the moon quilt! Well done. That spiral arm galaxy and the other galactic touches are just ...stellar!

Dar said...

The moon quilt is just so cute and your quilting looks great. I love the original designs around the moons, the campfire and many others. You did good, girl. This new challenge will be so much fun. I have a retirement quilt (I should say the blocks to make one) and it's not gotten farther than a box in my closet. Maybe I should send it to you for your creative genius to put it all together. ! lol. Maybe I'll get to it one day.

Claire said...

Absolutely. One should never have a gap between projects. (Fat chance, eh?) I look forward to following the new retirement project. Some great blocks.

And I agree, the quilting details are quite fun on Shoot for the Moon.

Debra said...

Such an adorable quilt - and you did such a nice job quilting it! Really, really cute!!!!!

Michele said...

The moon quilt turned out just adorable and the retirement quilt is certainly going to be a stunner when it is done.

Sandy said...

I've been following this quilt and I just love how it turned out! The quilting is so fun. Your new project looks interesting.

Kate said...

Shoot for the Moon turned out so cool. It is no wonder Smitty loves to lounge on it. Your new quilt is going to be fun. Looking forward to seeing it come together.

Jacque said...

LOVE your label....wonderful thought! :)

Judy1522 said...

I love the way your quilt turned out especially with the cats on it the real one included. You have given yourself quite a project with the quilt you are making for your friend. It will be very interesting to follow.

Brown Family said...

THat is an interesting product for labels! You are so talented that you will make a beautiful quilt for your friend. What a thoughtful idea!

Vivian said...

The value of Tuesday Archives is getting to read posts I missed: Smitty the quilt model does it again! Shoot the Moon is just too cute and I love that label! I've had that printer fabric roll on my wish list for awhile -- I usually prep my own sheets with Bubble Jet but have considered getting some ready to go so really appreciated your review.

The retirement quilt story is touching and now that I know about it, I have to search your recent posts to see its progress. She's going to treasure it I'm sure!