Friday, December 17, 2021

Patchwork Christmas Trees, REAL crumbs, everywhere!, Cardio P.T.


I've made 5 - this is from Jordon Fabrics, YouTube video, called a Patchwork Christmas Tree and a printed pattern is FREE.  She says it is "fast" -  but each one took me a day - lack of concentration on my part.  I did a brief amount of machine quilting in the background and on the tree.   I decided if I made one, I might as well make half a dozen or so.  It's about 18 in. square and I put corners on the back and could be hung or used on a table.   

Below:  A real crumby mess - that WAS a cute little sugar bowl.  Too much energy on my part, not enuf self-control - the sugar and chips went everywhere.  The sugar was destined for the top of Cherry/Walnut Scones.  As luck would have it, the drawer was also open, and bits and pieces ended up in the tableware.  Slow down Elaine Adair!   BTW, the Scones were delicious!

Cardio Physical Therapy -- y
esterday I "graduated" from 3 months of disciplined Cardio P.T. to strengthen my heart after the heart "event" last August.  The RN nurses were skilled and wonderful - I was waited on, fussed over, measured and monitored several times each session. and everything was explained clearly what was happening.  I had been doing physical exercises for years but had concentrated on strength and flexibility of big muscles but didn't know about cardio strength exercises.  I'm finished with the P.T., in better shape than where I started and all lab results are on the positive side, all parts within "normal" range.   Funny thing, they were all in "normal" range before the heart attack, now they are just better.  Nothing of interest or alarm was shown, either before or after the attack - Have no idea what that proves or disproves, only that I am in decent shape.  The stent is doing its job.   I lost 20 lbs on this Heart Diet for all the right reasons, and will try to continue because it feels wonderful to be in looser clothing.  I guess it means a heart event can happen to anyone.  Please, pay attention to odd happenings with your own body. 

 Looks like I'll have more time to use up my fabric stash!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all!

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Crumb Blocks - Can't make just one!


Marsha gave me a shoebox full of scraps about year ago.  I put them together, aiming for 6 1/2 in. chunks.  It was difficult to actually stop sewing little bits together!  Lots of fun - I wish I'd not used the cornerstone in the sashing, but live and learn - those busy blocks like "plain" sashing better.    This is about 44" x 58"   It finished up so quickly, I already gave it back to Marsha.  Go ahead, give this crumb block thing a try!  I sorted the scraps into mostly red, white and blues.  

Today, I'm making Christmas Trees, ala Jordon Fabrics, on YouTube.  To make use of a nice clean, tidy area, I put up a big table in my family room --  now I can mess up that space quite well!  Hope I get some Holiday items finished soon.  

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

At last, one job FINISHED!!!

 What can this be?  Surely, not a quilt project!  I'm trying to get so many different "jobs" done, and have been unsuccessful at checking them off my "to do" list - seems like everything is NOT done, yet these  homemade butterhorn rolls are done and delicious!  

35 lined all up, like little soldiers. 

32 made it to storage - wonder where 3 of them disappeared to??? 

I am bringing the rolls (not a single burned one!) to dinner with friends.  The pot holders will live in her house now.  

Seems like Cardio P.T. is taking up so much of my time, at 3 times a week, still continuing for another 2 months.  Yes, it's necessary, and a pleasant experience, yet there is no dilly-dallying.  Roof issues are almost finished, business issues still are undone, home improvements have come to a halt with winter hanging over, Thanksgiving and Christmas are both "looming" - wish I had a more positive adjective to describe a lovely time of year, my printer won't print which results in numerous projects undone, and I have a "new" phone on the counter, still in it's unopened Fed-X wrapper, staring at me, challenging me to get that project on it's way.  Furnace filter ordered, air compressor hardware reconfigured so I can blow out used filters.  Oh yes, and I'm planning on  learning some cost savings tricks on my "Smart TV" and eventually may even drop my TV/Cable access since the programming is so unrewarding.   All overwhelming projects - no time to concentrate on any of them, and very little time spent on quilting. Gotta remember, "One Day at a Time."  I'm exhausted.

I miss my man.  8-(((

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Making Every Day Count

I'm still here, back home in Nebraska, after a 2500 mile road trip. Yes, I LOVE to drive.  Part of my trip was to meet up with my High School GF who lives south of Chicago.  After we arrived back in my home in western Nebraska and recuperated a day, we drove north thru Wyoming to visit Devils Tower near Hulett, WY.  She had never seen "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", so I checked out that film from our local library and gave her a lead in for the Tower, with that space ship scene!  Our drive north was spectacular, the stunning fall day was exceptional and the Tower was phenomenal.  If you have never visited this site, you MUST put it on your bucket list.  This is just one of many photos taken on my jaunt. We were respectful of Native American culture and left our own prayer strips. 

By the way, the Lickity Split Quilt Shop, in Lusk, Wyoming, is another spectacular stop, definitely surprising to see the large shop in this small town.  I exercised great restraint, but caved at the Fat Quarter rack!  

My" ticker" cooperated, after some adjustment to medication - I'm getting used to new health routines and glad to be out and about, "Making Every Day Count" as my Robert always encouraged.

Due to traveling, and a new roof installed, visiting and hostessing,  my quilting has slowed down.  I'm attending a Retreat soon - perhaps I'll get some sewing DONE. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Rocky Road to Kansas

This has been in process for a while - I can't remember how I made the string-piece units - probably on phone book pages, then trimmed to correct size using a template.  During my renovations, and moving a lot of books, giving away stuff, replacing stuff and books, I dusted off Eleanor Burns quilt books, and perhaps used part of her wonderful methods.  This RRtoK was machine quilted on a Janome MC6500 that almost always works wonderfully.  My favorite thread is silk-finish cotton Metler.  I wanted to practice my ruler work .  One more thing - no one ever talks about the Pressure foot and this time I adjusted it a lot until a good "sweet spot"  was found when quilting backward using the ruler, previously a bug-a-boo.  

Size is approx. 65" x 78".

NQR - Finally, it appears my roofing job may start soon.  This is some of the hardware,  and the shingles arrived a few minutes ago.  It's been 11 years since our last new roof - also replaced after a July hailstorm.  We don't get much rain here in western Nebraska, but frequently rain is accompanied by damaging hail.  I document life-happenings via this blog.  

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Log Cabin, on point, QOV?

 The second border brought this Log Cabin up to 65" x 75", a better size if I decide to donate it to QOV.  I think it's a little uhhhh "fussy" for a guy, and female QOV recipients are scarce.  I'm not even sure I want to donate it  - I'm liking it a lot!  So, what do you think??  Too "fussy" for a guy?

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Log Cabin, on Point


Between  questions, investigating, not knowing how, getting a new roof due to hail damage, hiring tree trimmers, home insurance complications, health insurance, Air Link  (helicopter)  flight insurance, new heart-healthy diet, replacing a TV that was needed to help me "rest", redoing the studio to make it more usable, cardio P.T., and the usual home maintenance, I've been infrequently working on this Patriotic Log Cabin.  For whatever reason, I kept getting mixed up with "which row?" kind of slip-ups but today it's in order.   Sometimes, when making a row on point, the blocks don't appear to be in the right order until you lay it back out, and my eternal "too many jobs" got in the way of a calm approach.  But it's almost together, and I'll finish it at next All Day Sew.   For now, it's 56 " x 56".  May add a plain border.  I still need simple corners.  Yeaaaaaaaaa  !!!!!!!!!!!  

Recovery from my "event" is going along fine, and I'm dropping some needed weight on my new diet of "no fat, no sugar, no salt" and finding many suitable and tasty substitutes.  Mostly I'm not very hungry, totally unlike my previous self.   Cardio P.T is informative and an important factor for recovery.  My many years of exercising at the Wellness Center was for flexability and building body muscle but not heart muscle.  hmmm - be aware those are different.  I'm still learning.  

Monday, August 16, 2021

New floor DONE, a finished Quarter Log Cabin Quilt, Air Link flight.

 This is the last big project for the year.  Old carpet finally GONE, and new vinyl flooring installed.  This is the family room.

The is a small pass-thru area usually piled with "stuff".   I need to find 2 strong men to slide the heavy cabinets 16 inches the other way, but I'm close to the end of this project.  The plan is to add 1 area rug here, bright and graphic, to give the room color.   

Here is the larger part of family room, needing a 2nd area rug.  

A quilt photo ... this one is probably my favorite of many.  

News:  an experience, everything is gonna be OK.

Yes, this is my arm, totally black and blue after procedures following a catheter and stent, after the ER said was a heart attack.  I think the right name is a PCI.   I was whisked from the local ER to the Air Link Helicopter in the middle of the night, too dark to see a view, to a Cardiac Hospital 3 hours (by car) east of my home.  Local hospitals can only do so much.  We (me and crew) arrived in 55 minutes, squeezed into that amazing little beast.  Frankly, I was so interested in the flight, I had no fears about the reason.  By mid-morning Tuesday, I was in surgery, all of 45 minutes, and awake, and back home Thursday, thanks to a dear friend who  came all that way and then drove me home, weak, but alive and  feeling tolerable.  The catheter and stent into my heart to clear out blocked artery kinda messed up my sewing arm for a while, but I AM RECOVERING!  Drop me a line if you have other questions.  You might remember an earlier visit to ER said Anxiety, but they did recognize immediacy the second visit.  I am blessed to have had the foresight to get to ER in time.  

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Before and After

 This was my "ruined" block yesterday, (previous post) carefully removed from the quilt top. sad day, and even worse, there were 6-8 strips of the same fabric in other parts of my quilt top.  I couldn't take the chance of "will it come out after I finish the quilting?"  I figured total removal was my only option.  Happily, this happened! 

HAPPY, HAPPY DAYYYYYY!  Here it is today, after excellent advice from Chantal, and a few other kind quilters.

Just a generous squirt of "regular" Dawn, in a bowl of warm water, some sloshing around and then sitting for approx. 15 minutes.  VOILA - no trace.  I will replace this block with another, already started, but no longer am afraid of the other 6-8 strips of that same maroon fabric already used in blocks of the top.  Happy Day!!!!!!!!!!!   What a relief!  I would guess "copious amounts of water" and plenty of Dawn would be needed if washing the entire quilt."

Saturday, July 17, 2021

I messed up, or was it a blessing?

This scrappy half log cabin top is layered and basted -- BIG project. but it turned out well.   Dig that border!  My machine quilting plan was straight line wedges in each block.  Great idea, and away I went with a full head of steam.  The lines were long and my ruler was short so I marked those lines in the first 2 blocks with blue pen, an old standby.  After completing 2 blocks of straight lines, my wedge quilting plan didn't seem so great, and I removed the quilting stitches and spritzed the blue lines, then went back to think about another design, while it dried.  Uh oh, Good Grief!!!!  I had forgotten the part about "testing".  Here is the ONE disastrous block after I removed it from the quilt.  The stain went thru the batting backing.  The other one block fortunately did not contain that offending fabric.

I'm unable to wash the entire quilt at this stage, or test various laundry processes or products, and to make matters worse (or better?), several unmarked blocks contain that same wicked maroon strips.  Yeahhh, I forgot the part about testing fabrics. 

I can replace the stained half square in the border and cut out the stained batting, that's the easy part.  Even inserting a new block will be easy compared to my plan to remove the 6 or 7 strips of that blasted maroon strip.  On the positive side, what if I hadn't spritzed the quilt and blindly quilted the entire thing, and years down the road, after a new owner washed it and found it bled over every part of the quilt?  I know there are laundry methods to solve the problem but I can't take a chance at this point.  There's a long road ahead of this finish!  I am groaning at my lack of thinking.

Monday, July 05, 2021

Quarter or Half Log Cabin, on Point, and Anxiety

This project was fun to make and went together quickly.  I even used the recently acquired 10 inch duo something or other Log Cabin trim ruler which surprisingly, became a well-appreciated tool.  Fabric choice was using what I had, many already-cut strips, and even used some uglies, always sewing value contrasts.  Sometimes the medium fabric was a dark and sometimes it was a light, and vice versa, depending on its neighbor.  All of my strips are one size, altho the ruler included instructions for a narrow/wider option.  In the below photo, lower left is the fabric for the float border.  Yes, I'm a "brown" gal - perhaps farm memories?  

Floater border paragraph has been removed - I definitely wrote my description incorrectly.  

From the Widow:  All is well in western Nebraska.  My overactive, overstimulated, never quiet mind, over-project directed brain has come back to "bite" me, with a first-ever "anxiety" attack,  which I thought was a heart attack.  As I was trying to count heart beats/minute, holding my chest,  I am still over-thinking.  Should I call 911, or drive or call a neighbor, or ???????.  Since I had this above quilt all laid out on my newly carpeted "design floor", I knew if I called 911, they would tromp all over it, unseeing anything on the floor,  in their eagerness to save my life, and in my overthinking panic I had the thought that if I was meeting my demise, who would put that quilt back together again, the way I had planned???.  So, I methodically checked my purse to be sure I had enuf Revlon in the make-up bag to last a few days if I needed to be admitted, and slowly made my way to the car, heart racing, chest hurting, drove the side streets in case in case of ???? and managed to get to ER at local hospital.  Nope, NO heart attack, more like "anxiety attack".  huh?  Totally surprised me, altho looking back, no longer a surprise.  I remembered that I had 4 dreaded responsibilities yet to face, heavy on my "to-do" list,  having to do with Wills, Insurance, etc., ya know, those kinds of business duties we DREAD.  Mostly, I am now learning to breathe more effectively, and try to reduce over-thinking.  I have learned many others also suffer from "anxiety".  My sister, also an over-thinker, suggested I read a book called, "Women Who Think Too Much."   It's on order.  8-)))  

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Making Every Day Count

Being a widow - The title of this post, that phrase, command, order, suggestion to "Make every day count"  has kept me moving forward.   Those were my husband's words.  He was pretty good at being productive.  He also said  "One step at a time", and "Slow, Steady  Positive Progress".   Listening to his good advice has been a good connection with him.   He was a Manager and knew how to get things accomplished.  I'm trying to follow his suggestions and hardly procrastinating any more.   I've been in this new life as a widow for almost a year and half - don't like it much.  My solution has been to take on projects, update my home, clear out stuff, just stay busy, gotta stay busy, don't think too much, don't want silence, keep TV on 24/7, keep my body moving, clear out junk, throw away stuff, don't let anyone know I might fall apart at any time. But, in time, perhaps I might just manage.  Others do it, I can do it as well.  Now, that's my job.  I think my Robert is proud of me.

Home improvements were needed.  I've finished with the living room and FINALLY have a beautiful new "design floor".  To dress up the room, provide sparkle, and to "keep a light in the window" (in case my man returns)  I added this leaded glass table lamp.

Yesterday, I finished this kaleidoscope project.  Blocks finish at 6 in.  You've seen it previously.  Still needs a label.  Its about 70 x 80.

All quilted -- I was very choosy with my scrappy fabric values and believe they work successfully.  My plans for hand quilting went out the window.  Here is the quilting design in the border wedges.

And to continue to "STAY BUSY ELAINE SO YOU DON'T THINK TOO MUCH" I decided to begin  yet another sewing project, a quarter log cabin, on point.  I'm loving it!!!  I'm planning about 56 blocks.    

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Projects and more

Still here - just busy with projects, perseverance and a little procrastination.  I'm yakking a lot today!

This kaleidoscope was supposed to be a hand-quilted project, a calming, introspective, thoughtful time of my life.  Nope - wasn't happening.  Problems with manicured hands and long nails,  trying out a Grace stand-up quilting frame, no-fitting or lost thimbles, out-of-practice me, 10 thumbs getting in the way, running out of time, all happened, and this morning after another 2 hours of hand quilting and being unhappy with the result, I am changing my mind and will machine quilt it -- not sure of how,  but I find it quite soft and pretty, with an amazing border, and the circles show up well, due to choice of values. It's a good size (about 70" x 85") and I want it D-O-N-E.

Below is a recent QOV presentation to a well-deserved Navy veteran.  His wife was just beaming with pride.  I donated the top, it was machine quilted by another and friend Tina did the binding.  It turned out beautiful.  Note the similar pattern to above kaleidoscope above, using a 45 degree wedge ruler.  

Below is a recent All Day Sew event and I (on left) brought a much loved string quilt for Show and Tell, made mostly of REAL 30s prints.   I DID hand quilt this one years ago.  Janice had come to visit our group.  Take note of the design because ...

Below  (Rocky Road to Kansas or Virginia Bound) is recently made from mostly scrap blue, purple, greens, turquoise, reds  that came from my discards scrap basket.  I DID have to add more lights to the final collection of scraps.  There are several more rows to assemble, (4 x 5).  Inspiration was Bonnie Hunter of - from one of her many delicious quilt books.  I absolutely LOVE the strings in the diamonds - this is where a person can add "glow" and I used a few turquoise and pinks that makes it SING!  It has more "bright and bold" in person.

It is laid out on my ta-da-da-da-da- daaaahhhh - NEW carpet/Design Floor!  This carpet /living room improvement project has been on hold for 2 months due to various delays, but the end result was worth the wait.  Wallpaper down, walls repaired and painted, drapes gone and wood blinds installed and a lot of corners cleared out!   Another project almost completed - I just have to move all the chatskees back into the curio/china cabinets.  

Laughing at myself - written several days ago.

I had spent hours basting a quilt, the Kaleidoscope, in prep. for hand quilting.  Just doing the basting is a humongous chore in itself, moving the heavy table inside, wiping it down, setting up, layering.  I gobbled down a handful of granola before attacking the job, not even bothering to put it in a dish.  Got that unpleasant basting job done, gathered all my hand quilting tools, set up a little work table, used a big hoop I still like, found several thimbles, even tried the expensive $22 thimble, tried them all, but they all were falling off, rolling away, or lost in the pile of quilt in my lap.   I am no longer thrilled with attractive long nails that Senior-hood has afforded me - they are causing finger fumbling!  This job has now become tedious, not relaxing which was the goal.   I spent another hour taping my finger, losing the thimbles as they rolled to the floor, or under the chair and finally found ONE thimble that worked the best, but then it also fell off and rolled ... somewhere.  Moved furniture, shook out the quilt top, checked pockets, shoes, under the chair cushion, but eventually gave up with impatience.   In frustration and impatience, I set that quilt top away for now ...  hours later I felt some of that granola that I had spilled down the front of my-shirt and was feeling itchy and  uncomfortable - dug around in my underwear ...  I found the granola crumbles ... also found the thimble.    

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Monkey Wrench, and Carpet Order

These blocks were made a while back - I made the scrappy WELCOME  banner from crumb leftovers, but finally the blocks are together and that kewl sashing is DONE!  A border is in the making.  Right now, this is 51 in. x 63 in.  No plans for recipient yet.  This 9 in. block is simple because the points are snowballed in the 3 1/2 in. square corner units.  Do you call it a Shoo Fly or a Monkey Wrench?  

New Carpet:  I ordered carpet from the local neighborly supplier for my living room, AKA my Design Floor.  Due to our remote location, we don't expect weekly or even monthly carpet delivery so I was prepared to wait.  I called to check on a timeframe and  was told  "it has been held up due to the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal. "  How bizarre can things get?   It's almost funny but when you think about it, but hundreds of huge ships were backed up going in both directions.  Other businesses are suffering the same issue.  We tend to think everything is available all the time, don't we?  and forget about the source of ordinary products.  Guess I will revisit the carpet shop and go thru that tedious selection process again.  

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Learning Every Day, and Interesting Fabric

 I learned something new - With repeated difficulty getting a new blade on this seldom-used rotary cutter I discovered the little black washer has a squarish center going in one direction and roundish going the other way - ya gotta pay attention.  OK, now it will work - I thought.  

It was still so awkward - then  I discovered the cutter can be used left or right handed and I had the blade loaded on the left handed side!  Who knew?    

My current project is a sampler, making 2 of each sister block, but separated, with one colorway on one side, the other colorway on the other.  Book is called "Sister Sampler Quilts".  A friend and I decided to do something together, in town, to feel a bit more socialable after being cooped up.

I already had a pretty FQ bundle of something - had never opened it, said Free Spirit on the ribbon, so I grabbed that to make blocks, not prepared for some of the fabric included in the bundle.  Ya jes' can't use some of these fabrics for any ole project.  This piece was the right overall color but look when I opened it up.  Is this not amazing?  

Happy Spring Everyone!


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

A second "Crumby" tote bag


I'm still trying to find the perfect inserted bottom - perhaps another trip to Hobby Lobby or Home Depot.   I did purchase  a "Yard Sale" sign on a stick, for one dollar, for and that was good enuf for 2 totes bottoms, but still could use something more sturdy.  The tote is squared off nicely and will hold a lot of something.  There is little planning to the pieced panel.  I just kept moving bits around until it looked kinda balanced.  This one had the panel, batting, backing and a lining.  The quilting is casual  straight-line sewing with a walking foot.  

It's fun to try new things!  

Saturday, March 20, 2021

National Quilting Day, 2021

 In honor of this special day, I put a few quilts outside for viewing by passer by traffic.  Days like this, I wish a had a long, high fence in my yard to show off and honor our quilting passion.  I just grabbed a few from the top of a stack.   Have a great day! 

The above  much-loved 16 Patches and Pinwheels has been a favorite designs, ala  So clever, so easy if you get the light/darks in the right places.  I've made this design at least 6 times, most of them for kids quilts.  This is a queen size, now needing a little repair, sorta like the old gate, that also needs a little repair. 

(Our snow is gone in many flat places, but huge piles still exist.) 

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Crumby Tote Bag

Having fun - an easy project.  It has a hard bottom insert, and is lined, all crumbs as you see.  This was a Craftsy Class that I've been admiring, called a Grocery Tote Bag, by Christina Camelli.  I must admit, that over the many years of making quilts on my own designs, I 've almost forgotten how to READ instructions, so used this as my "practice" project.   It's about 17" x 20".

Sometimes a person gets so engrossed in piecing, one forgets to put the important block in the center!  LOL

Like many of you who live in the central USA, our area was buried with the latest blizzard of storm Xylia.  I am still shoveling, and also being grateful for neighbor teenager who refused payment for snowblowing.  It's been a nice couple of days to stay inside and be glad I had a "stash". 

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Crumbs, TATW, Bargello, Puzzle Done

Pretty amazing what can be done with scraps and crumbs.  Triangles were sewn in the back corners and I inserted a paintstick for a hanging dowel.  I think the recipient liked it.  I LOVE the crookedyness.  

Having fun with Bargello/Trip Around the World, I didn't  understand how a TATW would actually be organized, but in the meantime, during my learning time, these were was a LOT of fun.  I made 4 of each style, and kept the "order" the same for each block - that is 2 strips of darks, one light, one contrast and 2 lights.   Right now, I have 9 sets of 4 blocks and will likely make 3 more sets of 4, using the same order so it ends up rectangular.  Perhaps I'll mix all of these blocks just to see what happens visually.  It's funny, the blocks that I really didn't care for are the ones that ended up looking most interesting.  A few of them laid out 2 one way, and 2 the other.  These are made tube style, Bonnie Hunter method.  

Only too late I realized a "true" TATW would be a whole 'nuther plan.  That plan, yet to happen, is not something done as quickly as these blocks.  Below is a picture taken from Lissa Alexander's book, which I eventually purchased, "Sisterhood of Scraps", more like what I had in mind at first.  The  method in her book takes more organization and a different method of construction - live and learn. 

Here is a jigsaw puzzle finally FINISHED this morning!  Yeaaaaaaaa!  thank you Alice!!!   This lived on my table since before Christmas and was unexpectedly helpful with my frazzled concentration after my husband's passing.   I don't know if that would work for everyone, but it sure kept my brain together, one piece at a time.  One blogger told me she not only made up the same puzzle, but then she made the actual quilt which was beautifully done and quilted.  Wow - who knows what inspires us?  

Sunday, February 14, 2021

More crumb blocks

 At the last All Day Sew, I dug in my "good trash" and pulled out a bunch of fabrics.  Some of my quilting friends looked uhhhhhh doubtful.  They will see, next time we meet.  Here are some of the panels, or blocks.  Any size will do, any colors, but I kept the pieces mostly square or rectangular. 

 My letters are 4 inches, and after a review of Steam-a-Seam 2, this is the draft product.  

The borders will be reduced as needed, land I'll do a blanket stitch around the letters. Then I'll layer it with batting and do a little machine quilting around the letters.   I'll sew little triangles into the binding at the corners and insert a small dowel or paint stick for hanging.  I've made this before and it turned out very well!  Just think of all the phrases you could use!  A kids name, "Gone Quiltin'", "Quilt Room", "My Space", "Happy Birthday", etc.  

Because I am placing my cardboard letters on the back, sometimes the result from the front might not be exactly what is planned.  Seams might not be where you wanted them, but you can always make another letter if needed.