Postage Stamp Finale

While Cindy has been holding down the blog fort, I’ve been staycationing and wallowing in my “world is out of control” funk. No more. I’ve got to shake these blues and maybe the best way to do this is to bring out the reds — you know which ones — the postage stamp reds!

As you may recall, in November 2019, I started creating a red postage stamp quilt. The pattern intrigued me from the beginning of my quilt journey when I was inspired by a quilt created by Red Pepper Quilts. Rita Hodge’s quilt was full of bright, happy colors. She created it by cutting strips that she sewed together and then cut apart in the 1.5″ square size.

But I am obsessed with saving every scrap of fabric I can and I’ve made a habit out of cutting 1.5″ squares whenever I have bits of fabric left over. So in November, I looked at a big baggie of red postage stamps and thought ‘maybe it’s time’ to start my postage stamp opus. I made this decision without doing the math — but I quickly learned that my baggie of squares was pitifully inadequate. I finished about 2 rows and then I ran out of reds. I cut some more and ran out of those. Then I bought some more red fabric and I needed still more stamps. That’s when I set up the quilting “bat signal”.

And my crew came through! Wendy at PiecefulThoughts sent squares, Tierney from TierneyCreates raided her stash. Sister Cindy sent some squares from Ohio. Roseanne and Sue from Homesewnbyus set fabric too. Then Mary from QuiltingisinmyBlood sent a most generous donation of squares. Oh my.

My Valentine’s Day finish goal fell by the wayside. Then I sewed some more and cut some more stamps, and I got sick, sick, sick of the color red and I sewed and cut some more. Covid descended on us, but we stayed safe and I received one final donation from Cindy and now, tada, it’s done.

Cindy did another big favor for me by taking over the task of selecting a 2-border finish motif. She even attached them and mitered the corners. Ms. G, my long-arming friend finished the job and I finally added the binding that Cindy so generously supplied.

My ‘takes a village’ quilt is finally completed. Thank you to all of my quilting friends, Mary, Wendy, Roseanne and Sue, and of course, Cindy for helping me finish my quilt. I am so happy with this quilt and I can’t wait until the fall so I can actually use it on my bed.

Here is the final math count for the queen size quilt:

  • Each 4×4 block required 16 postage stamps.
  • Each row required 15 blocks.
  • There are 19 rows
  • Total count of postage stamps: 4,560
  • There is a 1″ white inside border
  • Cindy add a 6″ red outer border

On the Border

Sandy asked me to give her a hand with the border of her Postage Stamp Quilt.  Of course I jumped at the chance because she did all the hard work and I get to do the easy part!ScrapsFirst things first.  I squared off the quilt because all those postage stamps made this top a little, shall we say, UNEVEN.  Proof of my effort was this lovely pile of tangled redness.  Scraps2 Next, I went on a fabric hunt.  The ladies at the quilt shop suggested adding a thin, white inner border before adding the red outer version I cut the white border at 2 inches and the red border at 6 inches but I think the white border is too wide next to the postage stamps.  I’ll need to do a bit of un-sewing to re-cut the white border to 1.0-1.5 inches.

Sandy, I’ll be keeping your quilt top for a bit longer but I promise to send it your way soon!



Pass the Vitamin C

With a title like this, I wish I were being clever and writing some kind of lively blog post about how the Christmas holiday is an energizing shot in the arm, a boost of brightness in an otherwise dark and dreary North American winter, blah, blah, blah. Instead I’m here to whine about a cold.

Seriously, I haven’t had a cold in about 10 years. Because at the first sign of a sniffle or a tickle of a sore throat, I start popping over-the-counter probiotics like they are peanuts at the ballpark. If you’ve been in my vicinity over these last 10 years, I have surely lectured you about my magical cure and I have tsked tsked anyone who did not listen and therefore developed a severe cold because of wanton disregard of my “medical” advice.

Well this time, no amount of probiotics or vitamin C or ginger tea or hot toddies or straight-up whisky shots — don’t judge, I was desperate- was going to slow this cold down.

While Cindy was safely in Ohio, outside of the cone of infection, I struggled through the festivities, high on fresh oranges and pineapple and Vic’s VapoRub.

How sick was I, you ask? So sick that I didn’t cut a single square of red fabric, nor did I sew a pair of red 1.5″ squares together — that is until this evening. After 5 days of sniffles and lethargy, interspersed with whining and a side of fever, I finally felt well enough to cut a few more squares and to begin the daunting task of sewing together 3.5K squares together for my postage stamp quilt.

There is so much red goodness to behold!

There’s only one magical cure of quilting fever: I must put my foot to the pedal, with no thought of germ infested airplanes or fellow gym members who don’t stay home when they are sick. I’m sewing away, but don’t worry, I’m saving my curative evening hot toddy for after I finish sewing for the night.