Nativity quilt … the rest of the story!

The quilt sold at live auction!
Our Nativity quilt was one of the items featured in the live auction at St. Martha’s Fall Festival on Saturday. It was a wonderful event for the whole family filled with fun, food, games for the kids, craft booths and fellowship! And yep … this is my final post about the Nativity quilt!

The live auction started at 7 pm. For a few ladies who stood off to one side closest to our quilt, you could cut the tension with a heavy-duty rotary cutter! After a full day of working our craft booth, several of Martha’s Quilters were in attendance for the live auction. Finally, our quilt came up for bidding. Our demeanor turned anxious as our quilt was finally brought forward. The minimum bid was $1,000. I held my breath. Would anyone in the crowd even bid on such an expensive item? Five long seconds passed. Finally, a lady raised her hand in the front row. Then a lady on the second row raised her hand. They battled back and forth and when the dust settled … our Nativity quilt … the one seven ladies worked on for three months … 843 fabric pieces and over 250 collective hours … the same quilt I had dreams about … what if we didn’t get it finished in time kinda dreams … the auctioneer announced “sold” … for $2,200! A very happy ending to a long journey.

Check out Martha’s Quilters booth at Fall Festival


Martha’s Quilters have been busy since July creating lots of one-of-a-kind handmade items for St. Martha’s Fall Festival. Our booth will be overflowing so come on by and check it out! Let’s see if I can list a few things we have for sale … college quilts (A&M, UT and LSU come to mind), lots of lovely quilts (fabric and crocheted), Christmas tree skirts, ornaments, seasonal table runners, fabric purses, felt purses, small rosary zippered bags, aprons, mug rugs, embroidered baby items (new this year and absolutely awesome), wine bags, designer fabric checkbook covers, rolling pin covers, and so much more we are going to knock your socks off!

St. Martha’s Fall Festival is this Saturday from noon to 8 pm in the church parking lot. Lots of food, drink, activities for the kids, and oh … there is a live auction where, among other items, our fabulous Nativity Quilt will be auctioned to benefit our ministry and the parish!

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part nine – it’s done!


We are finished with the Nativity quilt! Lots of detailed quilting was added this week. Check out the donkey’s mane and the manager! We certainly have some talented ladies.

Two of our paper-piecing ladies were not present for our group photograph … Liz and Lynn. Marie and Maria joined us for the group photo. They did not participate in the paper-piecing part of the quilt but were such a great help with hand sewing the binding and hiding the thread tails.

The Nativity quilt will appear at all Masses in the narthex this weekend and will be auctioned in the live auction at St. Martha’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 3.

Martha’s Quilters also has a booth with lots of wonderful handcrafted items at the Fall Festival!

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part eight – Sally machine quilts!


Sally took a turn at machine quilting this past week and we are loving her results! Lots of detailing in different areas like giving the sheep and dog texture, detailing on the kings, manager, fencing, donkey and cow. Did you notice our cow actually has a nose? I’m sure I missed pointing out some of the areas she worked on. My eyes were glazed over on Wednesday in admiration of her work! I didn’t get a tally on the hours Sally spent quilting, but she still has it for a few more days.

I also included a photo of Noreen’s sky quilting that I believe I left out a couple of weeks ago. Stunning!

Many thanks to the lovely Maria who spent several tedious hours this week “hiding” the threads! It is a thankless job but it has to be done!

Clara will get the quilt next week for the final round of quilting. Also completed this week … the binding is made and ready to be sewed on when the machine quilting is finished. The sleeve for the back of the quilt is also made so the finished quilt can be hung. Finally, the quilt label has been planned, Sally will embroidery, and we are nearing completion on an amazing project that has been a labor of love.

Our Nativity quilt will be auctioned on Saturday, October 3, at St. Martha’s Fall Festival.

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part seven – machine quilting!


Our Prayer Quilt Ministry’s Nativity quilt is now being passed around to those who are machine quilting the three layers together at home. Noreen took it first and did some lovely quilting of the sky, angels and the palm tree. The detail work turned out amazing! The quilt was handed over to me last week. Talk about being nervous! I haven’t machine quilted in a long time! I outline quilted for ten different small areas which included the three kings, a couple of sheep, the camel and Joseph. You should see this quilt in person!

Noreen spent 16 hours machine quilting and I put in 12 hours. Sally has our quilt this week. I can’t wait until next week to see her progress!

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part six – A basting we will go!


Our paper-pieced Nativity quilt entered a new phase this week … basting! For non-quilters out there … a quilt isn’t a quilt until the quilt top is sandwiched and secured with batting (the fluffy stuff) and a fabric backing. After basting is complete, the machine quilting part will take several weeks, so you might not see a Nativity quilt post for a short spell.

Noreen, our fearless leader, encouraged her mighty paper-piece team to watch a couple of Sharon Schamber’s videos on YouTube a few days before we were to baste our quilt. Sharon was a guest speaker at a recent Kingwood Area Quilt Guild meeting and also held a workshop. Noreen and Sally attended the class given by Sharon and were impressed. We were going to use her technique to baste our Nativity quilt. The first video is eight minutes and the second video is a little longer. Sharon showcases a herringbone stitch basting technique and shares basic tips. Our huge quilt was perfect for Schamber’s technique. It only took a few hours and we were done!

For the next few weeks, the quilt will travel from house-to-house for machine quilting. First stop … Noreen’s house.

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part five


In just a few short weeks, seven very busy ladies, from our Prayer Quilt Ministry, finished piecing the top of our Nativity Quilt for St. Martha Catholic Church’s Parish Festival. When completely finished the quilt will be auctioned on October 3.

My last assignment was a section for one of the angels at the top of the quilt. I have to admit I’m getting pretty good at paper-piecing!

Thanks to our fearless leader, Noreen, for taking all the many sections of the quilt and sewing them together. It turned out stunning! Our seven ladies collectively sewed 833 pieces of fabric which took 170 long hours. And that is just for sewing the top together. Noreen then pulled all the little pieces of paper from the back of the quilt!

But folks … we are not done yet! Next comes basting the backing, batting and top together and quilting the top! Stay tuned for further progress … and pray for us!

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part three


This week we had a few fellow paper-piece members out on vacation. The rest of us brought in our sections of the paper-pieced Nativity quilt so we could share our progress. My assignment was a part of a camel. Helaine, Lynn, Liz and myself love show-and-tell … especially when it is related to quilting! Still lots of work to do but at least we are in the home stretch with an end in sight to all the teeny tiny fabric madness that is the world of paper-piecing!

It is all for a great cause for our St. Martha Catholic Church parish festival which is being held October 3, 2015.

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part two


Looks like all the paper-piece ladies at St. Martha’s Prayer Quilt Ministry survived week two of our Nativity quilt project! A couple of the ladies are on vacation this week so only a few were available to bring in their finished assignments. How awesome is the cat and the donkey?

This week my assignment was to put together a Shepherd. Liz had the other half which included the Shepherd’s staff. My part of the Shepherd came together much easier than last week’s Kneeling King. And I did not utter one swear word! I swear! But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out if a Shepherd was really going to appear until all the many little fabric pieces were assembled.

Our fearless leader, Noreen, even had time to put together week three’s assignment. I don’t know how she does it! I got a camel. From the looks of the fabric key … a very bright-colored camel.

Nativity paper-pieced quilt – part one


Our Prayer Quilt Ministry is getting ready again for the St. Martha’s Catholic Church parish festival. This year it will be held on Saturday, October 3. Along with lots of crafty items for sale, our group has just started working on a special surprise for the silent auction.

The conception of the project began when Lynn brought to Noreen, our resident “Fabric Whisperer,” an intricate paper-pieced quilt pattern called, Advent Nativity, on the Paper Panache website. It is a stunning quilt! But it would be a HUGE project for just one person. I could almost see the wheels turning inside Noreen’s head at the possibilities. It wasn’t long before she was organizing a group of us to make the quilt. Certainly seven pairs of hands could pull this quilt together. With Noreen at the helm there was Sally, Liz, Helaine, Lynn, Clara and myself volunteering for the assignment. No small task, Noreen enlarged the quilt by 190% and put together the quilt sections with fabric pieces into zip lock bags. When finished, the quilt will be 60 inches wide. I don’t recall the length.

Last week, seven of us took home instructions and fabric pieces for a small section of the quilt. I was given the Kneeling King. It had been five years since I’d tackled a paper-pieced project, so I was a little nervous. I have to confess, in the privacy of my sewing room last week, I said a bad word a few times after ripping out the same two small fabric pieces three times.

On Wednesday, everyone brought their paper-pieced assignments in and laid them out. There were lots of confessions of frustration, but you couldn’t tell by wonderful results. I was very impressed! This week will be easier!

Three more weeks of sewing assignments and then the task of sewing the small sections together. This week I was assigned a Shepherd.

Tell me what you think?