Sunday, April 27, 2014

Cross Hatch Embroidery

If you love to do embroidery blocks and incorporate them into your quilt tops, ponder the idea of (gasp) stitching right over top of your blocks. I've done this several time for different customers and they have asked for it again. I think the look is really great, it allows the stitching to shine, and that's the point of quilting.

Whether it's wavy or straight lines in the cross hatch, I think it's gives a nice texture. When I quilt, I want the quilters work to shine through, I feel my job is to enhance their work, not overshadow it.
I've used templates for all the continuous curve, I love the consistency I can achieve with templates.
MB loves working in these colors and I've quilted several embroideries for her. It's always a pleasure to quilt tops that are flat, straight and square!
Hope you enjoyed your Sunday, it's my Friday! I take Mondays off and spend the day with my guy! Hoping for sun and wind, we got a new two string kite and I'm itching to give it a try!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Official Announcement

It's official. I've made a decision to make a living through quilting. I'll be doing longarm quilting, teaching and working towards lectures for guilds with a trunk show.

This was my plan back in 2005 when I purchased my longarm and I was in the process of developing a solid customer base. Then we moved, then my DH passed and it was heads down, earn a living, and keep my head above water. Then a year later I took the time to conquer breast cancer. I hit the magic number in a few weeks, May 14 is my 5 year cancer free date. I finish the drug therapy in August and life is good! I have a super supportive partner and I've never been happier. This decision has been so refreshing for me and for my quilting life.

So if you hear that I'm teaching in your neighborhood some time, I'd love to meet you. If you have a closet full of tops that need to be quilted, look at my work and my website, and if I can help turn those tops into quilts, that would be fabulous. I do edge to edge and hand guided custom work.

I'm trying to blog from my tablet and its a bit funky, but I'm working through the issues. Feel free to contact me via my blog, or my website, I'd love to hear from you.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Doll Swap Complete

I got my package in the mail and it is winging it's way across the USA this Good Friday. Yes, I made the deadline! Whew.

And I received my swap quilt this week as well. Did I score or what!?!  Photos don't do this piece justice.  It was made by Ramona of Doodlebugs and Rosebuds Quilts and her work is amazing.


There is everything in this that I love.  First off, those color choices are fabulous.

Then there are the 1" blocks throughout this top that make my heart sing.  And points on stars, yup, I love 'em!

Same fabric in the sashing as the binding, which was beautifully applied.  This is a ribbon worthy quilt, people!  Oh, and it's flat, straight and square, just the way I like things!  :-)

If others are 1/2 as pleased as I am, then Lori's swap will be a roaring success.  I can't wait to see who gets what, and Lori will be doing a Linky Thingy on her Humble Quilts blog in a few weeks.  I've seen a few pieces and I've had a sneak peek at someone's.  This has been a lot of fun and I'd do it again! 
Thanks Lori, for all the organizing!  You're great!

Happy Easter Weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Doll Quilt Reveal

As soon as Lori from Humble Quilts emailed the name of my recipient, I knew exactly what pattern I was going to be inspired by. Note I didn't say "make". This is from a Jo Morton Vintage Quilts book and I've loved this pattern from the first time I saw it.  I used the photo as my inspiration, and made choices round by round.  I couldn't decide on a border so I used two different fabrics.

(disregard the funky lines coming out from this photo, I took the photo on a tile floor)
My label does have listed who it was made for.  I just don't want to give it away until she received it in the mail.  Then it will be a surprise!
I hand quilted this with rust thread, my "go to" color for vintage quilts.  I love how it looks.  Instead of stitching in the ditch, I eye balled the center of each round.  Here is the back and you can see the center has an X stitched; for some reason it just wasn't enough so that one seam got SID.
Rounds of stitching, I just love how tactile a hand quilted item becomes.  There is nothing like a hand quilted piece. 

I loved this pattern so much I started to make one for myself. Once I got into the larger rounds and more decisions, I decided to only focus on my swap version. My version is very similar in color, just a few different prints.

Working on a piece that you know is going to another quilter is so different than making something for a non quilter. I think, as a quilter, we appreciate the piece just a tiny bit more!  I hit the deadline, just need to write a short note, and get to the post office.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quick Curve Crazy

Have you tried this ruler yet?  Do you have any of Jenny Pedigo's patterns?  Have you seen her quilting and design ideas? Wow, she did a workshop here and then was the guest speaker at our guild meeting on Tuesday evening.  Talk about eye candy to the power of 10.

  My photos aren't the greatest, but she is so sharing on her blog, lots of close ups of the quilting and she has been offering free patterns that go with her Quick Curve ruler.

So far I have this much done on Metro Rings.  CW repro's with Moda Pie Crust as the background and cheddar and red as my solids.  This will be my beach quilt!
There were so many great color combinations at the workshop, for me, that's the best part of taking a class. 

 So fun to see how others use fabric to make the same blocks.

 The black background makes this pop.  MF will be using cheddar and red as her solid triangles.  We tested it out before she left my place on Tuesday evening.
Jenny and her sister Helen come up with all these amazing creations using this Quick Curve ruler.  I'm skeptical of any "new" ruler, but this one has me sold on it.  There are many patterns available now, a book is being released this spring with 8 new patterns and a BOM is coming out this spring as well.  It doesn't get much better than this!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dresden Spins

It started with these two blocks. I wanted  needed to make a baby quilt with cowboy/western prints.  This all came about shortly after I pulled out the little box of western fabrics that I own and I had to vacuum the dust off of them.  The next thing that happened was seeing this post of Wanda's at Exuberant Color.
I had to find Kathy Doughty's newest book RIGHT AWAY!  Oh goodness, it is filled with ideas and inspiration galore.  You can ask for it at your LQS and here's where you can peek at it.  I modified the pattern and everything still worked out for me.    I love the red bandana print for the centers.
Once I took this to my LQS, we decided to play with batiks and see how it looks.  Here I'm auditioning the last few colors that I want to add into this quilt.  It's the perfect size for a group of quilts I'm making.  With no borders, it's approx 50 x 50
Once I got my color placement organized, I squared up the circles and pressed the blocks in alternate directions so they nest together.  A quick trip to town and I had the perfect center fabric.  I've machine appliqued them for a faster finish and also because this is going to become a beach quilt for my guys ocean front condo. (when he finally moves into it!)
Kathy has created a monster, I'm addicted to this block. I woke up about 5 a.m. Sat morning with an idea running through my mind. Sunday was spent finishing up a quilt on my machine, loading up the next one, with the goal of getting into my sewing room a priority.
Stay tuned for this one to evolve! and go get Kathy's newest book, you won't regret it.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Doll Quilt Swap

I'm going to make the deadline, really, I am. I've never done a little quilt swap like this before but I have to say, it's been a great experience for me. I knew exactly what I was going to make as soon as I got the name of my recipient.  Lori at Humble Quilts is the organizer of this project, and the rules guidelines were very simple.
I started making one for me at the same time, same pattern and colors but a variation of prints. Mine is still sitting amongst a pile of choices, while hers is layered, basted and is being hand quilted. I have about 3" around the outside and the border to quilt and I'm confident it will be in the mail by the deadline.

Have you done a swap before? Were you pleased with what you got in return? For me, that's not the point, it's doing something special for a fellow blogger/quilter, even though we get one in return.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

New Life for Old Blocks

These blocks shown on the right were bought on eBay. Yes, I went down that slippery slope a few times. But what to do with wonky dresden plates that have been sewn onto a poly cotton background with the tiniest, tightest stitches?
Cut them up and move forward, that's what you do.
This is the pile of trimmings and since this quilt is from back in the 30's and 40's, I think the trimmings might have some value to someone who restores quilts.
Is someone needed a print, they could get about  a 2 x 2 piece from many of the fabrics.
How cute is this monkey print???  I'm going to call the museum in La Conner and see if they have someone who does quilt restoration and see if they want them.  I will never use them, but don't want to just throw them away.
I'm going to do some colorful perl cotton stitching on this repurposed quilt top.  Once it's quilted and bound, it will get a good bath and be gifted out to someone with a new baby.
And I now have one less bag of parts and pieces in my sewing room, what a good feeling.  Some good things going on here, life is good!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Saving the Past

Back in the day, when I was employed and had co-workers, K arrived at work with a bag and asked for some help. I really wish I had taken before pictures of this quilt. I think it was washed as a top, and the sashing all shrank. The blocks were DD cups.

But this was from her family, her heritage and she wanted to preserve it. Although these quilts have no monetary value, the comfort and warmth they bring to the next generation is immeasurable.
5/8 " poly batting was my best friend for this piece. With some stitching around the flowers, they just popped up and the excess fabric was taken up with the batting. Instead of stitching in the ditch, I actually stitched on the seam allowance that was pressed out from the flowers. This helped take in some of the fabric and it also gave the hand quilted seams extra strength. Many little spots were starting to come apart.

In keeping with the timeline, I used a plain muslin backing and with the help of my wonderful LQS, this quilt has polka dot binding. I need to turn it and hand stitch it to the back and then it will be ready to go back to its owner for her to wrap herself in the stories this quilt tells her.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Customer Quilts

Welcome to April.  No April Fools here, just a few customer quilts that I've finished up. I LOVE this piece. It's all made with left over bonus blocks from another block.
These 1/2 sq tri's are about 2" finished and they make a wonderful top on their own.  I did an all over paisley freehand motif on this piece,  with the light and dark, I always lean to the lighter side when it comes to thread color.  I wonder if 100 years from now someone will look at this piece and wonder about the sanity of the piecer when they see those tiny triangle corners.
They certainly add interest to this piece.  What an array of greens, I love every bit of this and quilted it over St. Paddy's day. 
Another long over due quilt was this wintery snowflake and snowball piece.  The applique was fused and I outlined all the motifs.
Then I did an all over meander with snow stars scattered throughout.  I used a silver thread for this piece and I love how it turned out.
The piecer, MF, used flannel on the back of this one and it's going to be so cozy for her next winter!
I'm so glad spring is in the air here in the NW.  We just need to rain to stop and a few days of sunshine.  My lawn is getting ankle deep, yet I would loose my lawnmower in the bog if I tried to mow right now.