Thanks for dropping by to take a look at some of my thoughts and ideals. Hope you will let me know if this has been helpful, useful, inspiring or whatever, and remember to come back soon.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Well ladies I've been off for a while during the especially busy summer months around here.  For those of you who do not know I am an avid gardener and canner so the spring and summer and somewhat into the autumn months I stay extremely busy.  Also this year I took a trip to see my grandson in Hawaii.  I had a wonderful time and got to visit a lot of quilt shops in the islands and purchased a lot of fabric.  Even had the opportunity to take a quilting class on Hawaiian quilting while I was there.

Well it's time to get it all back together and back to quilting for my late autumn and winter months.  Right now I am getting ready to start a class at the Senior Center and I'm really looking forward to that.  I've also entered some of my quilting into the local Agriculture Fair, in addition to some of my canning projects.

Got several quilts to get done, some for me, some for paying customers and some that I do as a charity project so I've been busy upstairs this morning working on some of those.  I'm still practicing some of the things I learned in my class with Lisa Sipes who is a wonderful quilting and if you don't know about her, please check her out on the web or FB.  She does wonderful quilting.  I have many friends on FB that are quilters and I love sharing some of their pictures and they always and forever inspire me.  Lisa Calle is just a wonderful quilter at Stone House Quilting and has some great rulers which are on my wish list.

Today I will not be posting any pictures of the projects I have completed over the summer and there have been a few.  One of the ones I am working on is for my grandson Collan who is going to get married in June.  He is the one who is currently living in Hawaii and he is a precious man!  But then I also have another precious grandson and two precious granddaughters and one great-grandson.  Each one is special in their own way and there is no way I could even begin to tell you how much they are loved and adored by me.  Oh well enough of that.

What's on my schedule in quilting?  Oh we will be using up some scraps and finishing some projects that are already started.  Looking forward to my class.  Looking forward to getting a few more supplies, such as the rulers I spoke about and learning to use them.

One little thing that I want to share with you is the importance of getting good instructions about how to use the things you are purchasing.  One of the reasons for this is my own problems that I have had.  I had someone recommend a particular item to me that would make my life so much easier.  It was a quicker way to get my backing and tops loaded onto my longarm machine.  Then another person recommended it also so I bought it.  The cost wasn't astronomical but nevertheless at $80 it wasn't a cheapo.........Well try as I might I was having all kinds of trouble using this new device.  After months of struggle and complaint that my hands just weren't strong enough and it was really hard to use someone posted and sent me a link on how to use the thing.  Guess what, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought and I could use it when I started doing in the way they showed.  Instruction is very important!  What can I say.....I'll try not to make that mistake again!  Now some things you can learn how to use very easily and there is another item that I purchased that actually cost me well over $100 that was a breeze to use!  I didn't need anything more than being told once how to do it and it worked really well.  Be on the safe side though, and get your instructions.  If there is a free class or if you can look at U-tube videos and see how to use it, go for it!  If the class will cost you extra money you may want to try to figure it out first and then if things don't work out well think about the class!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  See you soon.

Guild Quilt

I joined with a lovely group of ladies several years ago and we decided that we would form a quilt guild, so we did and we found a place to start meeting and getting together and now there are quite a few lovely ladies that have joined with us.  Our guild decided early on, that we would like to give to the community and not be just takers.  Giving back is such a wonderful feeling and we have in the past completed many wonderful projects.  We've done a little of everything we could think of and when people have new projects they are interested they can present those projects to the guild and see if this is some the group wants to be involved in also.

We had decided to let the guild purchase some background fabric and each month as we present new blocks to the membership the members are to make up the block and bring one in to the guild for donation and we put those block together and get the top quilted and bound and then donate the quilt to whichever charity that we have chosen.  At present we are working on some quilts for the crisis center in our town.

This week I worked on getting one of the quilts quilted and I decided to use a variety of quilting patterns in the background fabric.  Since I had just taken a class with Lisa Sipes, who is majorly awesome, much of my inspiration comes from what she was teaching us in class and some of her work.  The block pattern here is a bow tie and I decided that I would do minimal quilting in the bow tie and just did some loops to represent the folds that you will see around the knot in the bowtie.  I put stars in the outer border because we have no ideal if this will be used on a bed for a man, woman, boy or girl and stars are so generic.  I really hope whoever gets to use the quilt really enjoys it!

Here are some pictures.
After it is all put together.  These quilts are for twin size beds and should fit them really well.  The bed it is displayed on is a queen size.

Hate when I get the camera strap in the picture!  This picture shows some of the different quilting patterns I used and you can just faintly see the bowtie patter in the green block.

More backgrounds, this is very angular.

And this one is curvy.

This is both straight lines with rows of bubbles.

Swirl pattern.

A bubble with a little wink!  Takes longer than I expected.

Any old timers out there remember paisley.

My little butterflies.  I've been doing these for a long time now.

Another oldie in the meandering hearts.
And finally just some pebbles.
I also did some straight lines and double lines and triple lines and just wavey lines and meandering in addition to all of the above and some cross hatching.  At any rate it was fun to just practice some of the background fills that I know and some new ones that I learned.  Now on to the next quilt!
Oh I also purchased some red snappers which are devices used to attach the quilt backing to the quilting machine.  Now I just hope I'll be able to use them.  Getting them on the first time was not easy at all!  Still waiting to get a stapler that works!  Hate when I get something home and it does not work and then I have to carry it back and wait for the replacement.  Drat!!! and Double Drat!!!
I hope you all have a wonderful week quilting and doing those things you love to do.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

What should I do?

Well it has been an interesting week this week, as most weeks are.  Wanted to take some time to talk about quilt/quilting classes.  There are really so many of them out there and they are being taught by people who fancy themselves teachers because they have made a quilt!  Some of them haven't even made an entire quilt, but they have made quilt tops.  Many of them are teaching classes and all of their quilts have been quilted by others and usually even their binding has been put on the quilts by others.  Now there is nothing wrong with them wanted to share what they know.  My feeling is they should only teach what they really, really know and understand.  I know everyone has to start somewhere.  That somewhere can been by doing a demonstration at your local guild.  Don't have a guild, then talk to your local quilt shop owner and see if she will set up a demonstration day, on a day that she is having a big sale or is involved in a shop hop.  (I've actually done this a couple of times.)  The owners are typically so happy to have someone to attract more customers into the shop and in addition if you will go over what you are going to be demonstrating with the owner and make very sure that she has all of the supplies that you are using in your demo.  You can even talk with her about what she would love for you to demo so she can sell more of that particular item.  These events are a win/win/win situation.  Noone loses.  The shop owner can get more customers into her shop and have the opportunity to sale more items.  If she stocks up on what you are demonstrating she even stands the chance of making even more sales there.  You get to practice your teaching skills and present yourself to lots of people as a teacher so you have done a lot of advertising for yourself at no monitary cost and the customer has the opportunity to learn something new at no cost to her/him!  Now where is the downside to this?  Sorry I can't find one!

Well maybe there is one downside...........you have to know what you are going to teach!  It is also helpful to bring along the items you will need for demonstrating your project.  If you have never completed this particular project, do not try to teach others how to do it!  Please, it is an exercise in frustration and futility when you are not able to answer questions they may have about how to do something.  It is not likely they will want to consider taking any other classes from you.

I will never understand why anyone would even try to teach something they have never completed, but some people look at it and say, oh, it can't be that hard, I'm sure I can figure it out.  Sorry I'm not paying you so you can figure it out on my time and possibally give me wrong answers.

Well enough about teachers who don't know what they are doing..........Let's get down to the students.  I've been there on both sides of the fence and I guess I've made every mistake that it is possible to make and I do have to say that I have tried to learn from at least the majority of those mistakes.

As a student, please listen when the teacher is talking.  If you want to make notes then be sure and have your pencil and paper ready to take notes.  It's not anyone's responsibility to bring things you may need to a class except yours.  If there was a list of what to bring, please be sure you have all the items on the list before class time.  It's really nice to get there a few minutes early to set up what you need if that is allowed by the store and the space is available.  Sometimes classes are back to back and this is not possible.

Please read the directions that are handed out!  The teacher may make a statement and either she may "say it wrong" or you may "hear it wrong" and then there is a miscommunication and this can spell disaster to a quilt top!  If the directions say cut something at 2 1/4" and for some reason you have 2 1/2" stuck in your brain then there will be a problem.  Now that problem is easily solved by cutting off the extra 1/4", but if the directions say 2 1/2" and you cut at 2 1/4" then that is not as easily fixed!  This could present a big problem.  If the directions are handed to you in written form and the teacher says something else or you hear something else, you need to ask.  Sometimes the teacher will make a statement that the written directions say "............." but that is a mistake and instead do "............"  be sure and make that note on the directions that you have been given so there is no mistaking what you are suppose to do!  Ask for clarification if you have questions.  Good teachers do not mind answering questions about a project.

Things that students may not want to ask and likely should not ask, is "can't I make this block doing by doing it this way instead of what it shows here?"  That would be your choice and yours alone.  It would not be up to the teacher to figure out what size you need to cut each piece of fabric if you decide to do that block a different way.  You can do whatever you want, but don't ask the teacher to teach everyone else in class the project as she has it down and then teach you a different method.  That is a different class and you should have signed up for that if you want to do everything that way!

Okay enough of my rant on those things.

Another thing to take into consideration when signing up and attending classes.  As with anything wear layered clothing so you can take something off if you are hot, or can put that sweater or long sleeved shirt on if you are cold!  Everyone hates to be uncomfortable when they are trying to work and unfortunately people like different temps.  Also, toss a bottle of water or another drink of your choice into your bag so you don't have to go hunting something to drink!  It's a good ideal to make sure that all bottles have screw lids and if the bottle is not in your hand it should have the lid on to avoid accidental spills.  They can happen!  It's also really nice to have a snack if you get hungry.  Just a pack of crackers or a candy bar or pastry if the class isn't too long and if it is long you may be told to bring a sack lunch and you will be given time to eat that at some point in the class.  Be sure to bring a wipe of somekind to clean your hands after you eat so you don't accidentally get a grease spot on your fabric!

It's wonderful to chat with those who are working next to you or at your table, but that chatting should only be taking place when the teacher is not talking.  Be kind to your classmates and don't talk during instruction time so they can hear what they have paid to learn.

The most important part is to have fun!  Regardless of what happens..............you came to learn something and if that something is that the person that sat next to you in class has a really dry sense of humor and really made you roll on the floor laughing during the class then you have learned something!  It isn't all about sewing.  Sometimes it's about making friends and sharing. 

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  Learn something new today! 

I have to add a little update on this post.  This post was actually written several weeks ago.   It was far before I took a class at the Sewing & Quilting Expo with Lisa Sipes and this post has absolutely nothing to do with that particular class.  I frequently write several post when I have time and just keep those in reserve for the times when life is crazy and I didn't get anything done toward my blog that week.  Well this has been one of those weeks.  It's spring and I do an enormous amount of gardening and canning, etc not to mention, life goes on, so I didn't get to write anything this week, so I'm pulling out one of my drafts.  Less you think I am specifically speaking of one person or one class, I am not!!!  One thing that I really wanted to say though about classes and make it a point to say several times, be friendly and have fun!  Don't throw off on anyone's work....You can meet some wonderful people in quilt classes and they can become life-long friends.  My friend Kay and I met at a class and we have been friends since then.  My friend Nita and I met in a class and we went on to start the local quilt guild.  My friend Emily I met in a quilt class and I could go on and on!!!  You can meet wonderful people where ever you go.  Be happy, be friendly and enjoy your class.  Who knows, you may learn a lot more than you ever expected!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Awesome Class

I had a wonderful quilting experience this week as I had the privilege of taking a class from Lisa Snipes.  Lisa is a truly wonderful longarm quilter with many awards to her tallent.  Her most recent award was a Best in Show quilt at QuiltCon which was pieced by Victoria Wolfe and quilted by Lisa.  Lisa is a spokesperson for Gammill Quilting Machines in Missouri.  Her tallent is amazing and if you are going through any quilting magazines and see an ad for Gammill Machines you may well be looking at some of Lisa's quilting expertise.

It is amazing to me to be able to look at some of the work she does and realize that she has quilted on a piece of white fabric or black fabric and has used different colors of thread to create amazing designs.  If you check out the QuiltCon Best In Show Quilt at Victoria's Blog (Bumblebeansinc.com) or on Lisa's Blog (That Crazy Quilty Girl) you can see the totally awesome triple line crosshatch that adds so much deminsion and movement to the quilt.  Victoria has used a Double Wedding Ring type pattern, but the quilting truly makes this quilt and even more awesome thing to behold.

Being a longarm quilter and quilting for other people makes each quilt a really unique piece of art.  Without either person the result would never be the same!  The piecer and the quilter each bring a unique talent to the table.  When you get two people, both with amazing tallent in their own right and put those together you get truly amazing awesomeness!

At any rate I hope to be able to put some of the new techniques to work in my own quilting room.  I've already been practicing the triple straight line stitching and some of the different fills that she brought to our table in the class.  In my opinion, every quilter needs an infusion of new thought at intervals or they are prone to get into a rut and none of us want to be in a rut.  The same holds true with people who piece quilts.  Take a look at your fabric stash and you will see what particular colors that you tend to purchase.  The majority of people will gravitate toward one hue, light, medium or dark in addition to purchasing a lot more of one particular color family, green, yellow or red or anywhere in between.  I found that I typically purchase medium hues and when I would hunt for lights or darks I would wind up back at the fabric shop.  Now, I try to keep it changed up and one day when I am going to visit the quilt shop for nothing in particular I make it a point to pick up a light color, and then again I may decide I'm going to pick up a dark and those pieces are just for my stash.  Because I discovered this some time ago, I can now go upstairs to my stash and pick out all of the fabrics necessary for a quilt and I will have a good mixture of lights, mediums and darks. 

I have also found that I frequently tend to not purchase any geometric patterned fabric and therefore sometimes I just make it a point to pick up a geometric, when I have an extra dollar or two and this is just for my stash.  There is nothing like diversity to keep your mind fresh and your stash varied and that variation will make for some really interesting quilts if you allow that to happen.  You would have really had a laugh if you had been with me when I was trying to find fabric for a wall hanging nativity scene that I have been working on and I had very specific requirements for those fabrics. 
I needed flesh colored fabric, but I wanted one of those to be European, and one Asian, and one Moor.  In addition I needed fabric for hair for the European and Asian and the Moor in addition to fabric for the hair of Mary, Jesus, Joseph, the Shepherd and the Angel.  I did not want to use the same hair on two figures in the scene and I needed hair for a beard for at least two of the men.  Then there was fabric with the pattern of fur for the cattle, sheep and camels.  You would never believe how many shops I visited and how many hours I spent on the computer looking for exactly the right fabric.  Now those type of quilts will bring a new dimension to your stash that is truly wonderful. 

All of the above also applies to longarm quilting.  Not only do we have the patterns but we have the different colors of threads and the different textures in addition to the embellishments that are readily available to dress up the quilt.  Rickrack, ribbons, buttons and gems are truly only the beginning of what can be used to embellish a quilt. 

All of this being said, I strive to be a little different, but not overly out there because that just isn't in my nature.  Lisa, however is out there and I am so happy that she is.  Without those people who step outside the box, we would miss so very much!

A wonderful picture of some of Lisa's quilting!  I told you she was awesome. 
Picture of Lisa and I at the class.  It was a wonderful class.
While I aspire to be a quilter that produces work like Lisa, I'm afraid that I'll never quite make it that far, but I can still practice, practice, practice, as long as people continue to bring me practice pieces for me to quilt.
For a wonderfully entertaining hour check out Lisa's blog and look at her fab work.  Oh be sure and get a Kleenex before you start to keep the drool off the screen!  Hope you all have a wonderful quilty day!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Are you seeing Double?

It is not very frequently that I have people insist that they want their quilt done exactly like someone else's quilt.  I typically just don't do that because every quilt is an individual masterpiece to the person who made that particular top.  People just don't pick the same colors and styles of fabric patterns and quilts can look so very different and all of them awesome in their own way because people are different.  While it is a compliment for someone to want to do something like you most people still want just a little something different so they can call it their own.  Recently I had a lady call and she said I have made a quilt like Gloria's and I want you to quilt it exactly like that!  I even borrowed her quilt because I wanted to be sure that the pattern was exactly like her's because I just love that quilt and I love the way you quilted it because it is so much a springtime quilt, and has the light and airy quilting that isn't the heavy stuff you see on most quilts.  Oh well to each their own.

Because I do each quilt as an individual I don't always remember all of the details of what I did with a specific quilt and this is one that I did at one of my busy times and I did not get any pictures made to put up on my blog.  Drat, that will teach me!  I have to remember to do that so I have a record of what I did to what!  I had to borrow Gloria's quilt so I would know how the quilt the thing! 

Well I finished quilting this morning so I am definately going to post pictures of this one.  There is a little difference between the two quilts because the border fabric that Gloria used was not available any longer on Janice had to pick out another border fabric.  The backing fabric that Gloria used was great but again Janice could not get enough to make a backing so she had to piece her backing and that turned out great.  The thread that I used on Gloria's did not go as well with Janice's quilt because of the difference in the border so I used a slightly different thread.  I'm not sure what Janice will bind the quilt with, but that may be another difference.  Anyway, here is Janice's quilt.

This picture is the quilt just laid out across the bed.  It will really be a great springtime quilt with those vibrant colors!  Now the center of the quilt is not quite centered on teh bed because the center is actually the light strip.  The quilt top is centered on the backing though!

The vibrant colors and then the half-square triangles that is using cloth made from all of the fabrics is really awesome, and a really wonderful way to use up scraps.  In every section of "made" fabric there is one strip of the color of the solid portion of the half-square triangle which really is nice!  And the way the 1/2 square triangles are rotated brings an interesting secondary pattern to the quilt.

This is all part of the light and airy quality of the quilting.  Using the varigated thread that contains the colors in the print really brings visual interest.  You can't see it in this picture but there is a straight line of quilting running through the center of the print strip so the quilting does meet the guidelines for that particular batting and how closely it should be quilted.

All of the orange pieces have the same quilting pattern which is some curlie q's.  The pink and orange prints all have a leaf pattern for the quilting.

Now this is the back which was pieced with this orange strip lengthwise down the center of the backing.  So nice that the top of the quilt had the strip that ran the exact same way so here is that quilting pattern that is on the front printed strip down the center of the back in the orange piece of fabric with the two sides having the quiting from the pieced strips.

A close up picture of the pieces strips on the front.

A closer picture of the back so you can see the line running up the center of that printed strip on the front.

 The pink and orange border with the little circle pattern quilted around that border.
The outer blue flower border has the leaf mofit quilted there as does the blue flower fabric that is one the ends of the pieced strips on the front.

I think this quilt turned out very nice.  Sure do hope the customer likes it also!

I'm working on some other things including a tee-shirt quilt that I have to finish by April, just another month away and then there is another tee-shirt quilt to be finished by August.  My tee-shirt quilts are really time intensive.  People seem to want to bring in their tee-shirts and then they find more they want added, and then they decide to add pictures, and then they decide they want some message or saying quilted into the quilt and so it can really get to be a long and drawn out process so I have to start those things early in order to get them finished!  Also have a few of my own projects that I would like to make some progress on! 

I hope you all have a wonderful quilty week!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

And February is almost gone!

Well ladies I finally got the quilt done that I have been telling you about and showing you some of the pictures.  It turned out so very well, in my opinion, I just hope the lady that I finished this for thinks the same thing.  I really love applique but sometimes it just seems that I have a very hard time deciding what to do in the background.  Can't wait to take my class in a couple of more weeks and see all the new things I get to learn!  Super excited about that even though it is still a couple of weeks away.

So here are the pictures of the finished quilt.

As I have told you before I did a very little detail work on the applique pieces but I did do the stems up through the tulip leaves.  I also did a line of stitching that runs beside the black applique blanket stitch that defines the area where the two leaves are together and also on the tulip petal.  This picture actually shows the meandering that I did as the background and it is fairly small, but not a micro thank goodness.  As it was this took an enormous amount of time.  In additon it shows the areas I picked out for some division between the blocks and the half feathers that I used in those areas as well as the channel outlining those.  I can tell you this is so much harder for me than you would think when you look at it!  Ruler work is definately not one of my best items.
This picture was taken while the quilt was still on my machine at it shows the chanels better and shows all of my bobbles much better!
This is not the best picture in the world, but it sort of shows the border.  All around the border I did triangles and then in the triangle that pointed in toward the quilt I did lines and in the triangle pointing away from the quilt I did an Egyptian Feather.  This is the first time I have used this technique also, but it turned out well and actually was much easier to do than I expected.  If you want to do something like this remember you have to measure your borders and divide so your triangles will be consistent!  I was fortunate that I thought of that before I started this!
This picture was taken after the quilt was removed from the machine and it is spread out over my bed.  Of course the light streaks are because the sun was coming in through the blinds.  I really do love this quilt.  The finished product is one I would be happy to have any time!
After this quilt was completed I did get another pinned on my machine.  I have to say here I can hardly wait to get my staple gun so that I can start using it.  It is on order.  That should speed up my process some and will be very welcome.  Anything that helps me quilt better and quilt faster is always welcome, as are new ideals.  Many of my ideals come from looking at things others have completed and belonging to a network of awesome quilters who are all much more talented than I.  This really makes me strive to make each quilt better than the last one.
In addtion to the above I have started taking a class at the local Senior Center with my bud Peggy.  Peggy teaches the class and it is free.  She shows people techniques and they make a quilt top which they can either sew while they are there, or take the things home to sew and bring them back to show everyone what they are doing.  People in the class also will bring in quilt tops that are completed and everyone will help them to pin baste the quilt if they are going to be quilting it themselves on their home machines.  People working together and helping one another achieving things they never thought they would be able to do!  Isn't that what it is really all about.  Yes there are always those in a class that would detract from the goals, but they can be tolerated and loved as we continue to help one another!  I hope you all have a wonderful quilty week!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Goodness it's February already!

Well not only is it February, but February will be gone before we know it!  It's been another eventful week here and not just with quilting, even though there was some of that also.  I've been working on a quilt that I am doing for a lady in Rome.  Actually I thought I would be finished with it by now, but alas, it hasn't happened.  I decided to try something new, as in a new pattern, or maybe I need to rephrase that.  I purchased a video from a lady who does absolutely beautiful quilting, Lisa Calle.  This particular video is about how to decide what you are going to quilt on a quilt and how to design your quilting layout.  I really have felt that I was getting into a rut and wanted to do some new things.  I really don't want to do the same thing over and over on everyones quilts.  Quilts are so individual that I think they each need something that sets them apart from the crowd.  I've actually even signed up for a class coming up in March to learn some new techniques.

Well I digress..........Anyway I got this wonderful video and the instructor is showing how she comes up with some of her ideals and some of the things she uses and I was getting ready to put a new quilt on the machine so I though, well I'm going to try this.  Now that is when the problems started.  I have like never taken this long to get a quilt done (when I was working on it like I have this one).  But first I wanted to follow her directions and divide the quilt.  She says that your quilting will not show up as well unless there are dividing lines.  Well I had this really great ideal to do arcs on this quilt,  I got my design all ready and got my quilt on the machine and I was ready to start this.......Well, not quite, I soon discovered out of all the rulers I have I did not have the one I need to do the arcs because the blocks in this quilt are 18" blocks.  My arc rulers are 12" at the largest.  So then I decided to do straight lines.  Well this is much more difficult than arcs because they will all need to rise the same amount in the center or this will not look good.  I then had a lot of measuring to do.  Now I didn't have to make a lot of long marks, just dots, but the dots had to be in the right place or else I would not have a consistent pattern.  I really don't think that would have looked well at all!  So I had to measure and make marks.

She said to be sure and start in the center of the quilt, so I did. This really involves a lot of moving the quilt back and forth on the rollers. It's not at all like you just pin the quilt on and start on one side and work your way to the other. A lot more time consuming. In addition to that, I know that if I don't keep my work area fairly close to me then I wind up with a bad back ache and I hate to do that to myself, which means even more frequent rolling!

This is a picture of some of the marks that I had to make.
As you can see in the picture the marks are very small.  There are 30 blocks in this quilt and I had to measure to the center of each block and then I wanted the channel to travel from the corner up to  1 1/2" at the peak and then back down to the corner.  I wanted the channel to be about 1/4" wide which involved a real learning curve and I had to start marking the other 1/4" mark on the quilt to so the channels would be partially straight!  Wow, who knew this would wind up being this much work!
I wanted to put feathers in the blank space between the channels and between the border and the channel, I think this turned our really well.  Of course you can see in the first picture the feathers where they cross the block seams between the blocks.  This quilt has no sashing.  Still I'm liking the way this looks.
Now I'm really happy with the way this part is turning out.  I think the lady will be pleased when I get this finished, but as I said, a lot of work and a lot of measuring!  Now I started at the center and worked out to one side.  The video also said to go ahead and either pin baste your quilt if you had large areas between the channels.  Well I did have large spaces between the channels but instead of pin basting which I really am not a fan of doing anyway, I decided to go ahead and sew around the applique in the blocks.  The next step was suppose to be go around applique and specific blocks so I just decided to go ahead with that as my next step.
I decided that I wanted to go ahead and do the detail work on the appliqued pieces at the same time I was doing the outline work.
I really do like the way this is turning out also.  But another problem.  This is applique, and even though I spent extra time when I was putting the quilt on the machine to make sure all of the embroidery thread had the tails tucked under the applique, some of them sneaked out!  Drat and Darn!!, Double Darn even!!  I have to take a pin and work my way under the applique and pick the thread back down so it will be in under the appliqued piece or else the quilt looks like it has vericose veins!  There are some places that can not be done, since she just skipped over from one piece to the next and did not cut and tie the thread.  Oh well, nothing I can do about that.
Well yes I know I should have posted this first.  This is just a picture of the quilt before I started my quilting.
I have decided that I will do a small meandering pattern around the inside of the tulip blocks and I have an ideal for the border that I think will be nice and fairly easy to do.  First I need to finish the center of the quilt though and I'm just about half way through with that portion.  Next week is another week.
In addition to working on this quilt I've also managed to get the borders sewn on a quilt for the guild that is in line to be quilted.  Sorry I know it will not be ready for the next guild meeting.  No hope for that I don't think!  I've also been working on a t-shirt quilt being made out of a young lady's cheerleading uniforms, t-shirts, lots of bows and a couple of pictures and some ensignias from her high school.  Got the shirts all cut out and fused to the interfacing and trimmed to size.
I have two quilts that need to be repaired that are waiting for me in addition to another quilt waiting to go on the machine for a customer (it goes on next).  On top of all that I just picked up the t-shirts for another quilt for a customer.  So far I've done quilts for all of her boys as they graduated and got ready to go to college and she told me when the last boy graduated that she had some neices and nephews that she wanted to get quilts for so she brought the tees for one last week.
In addition to all of that I started taking a class at the senior center and we are going to be making a mystery quilt.  I really will have to work hard to keep up with this.  Sometimes I have a tendency to let those projects fall by the wayside and that is why I have so very many UFO's which is something I want to try to finish some of this year.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful week.  Happy quilting!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hey Baby it's cold outside!

Thank the Lord, I have a nice warm house.  It is so unfortunate that not everyone is able to say that and so sad to think that many of the ones who don't have a nice warm house are children.  Wish I could give them a nice warm quilt to snuggle up in and a nice hot meal to warm their tummies.  It is a great comfort to me to know that my kids and grandkids are taken care of, and my great-grandson also.  They all have nice warm quilts that I have made for them to snuggle in if they like.  Each year at Christmas I start going through the quilts that I have on hand and pick out what I want to cycle out of the house this year and I always have a wonderful time doing that.  I'm sure that many of you have made so many quilts that you really don't need or even want to keep them all, so Christmas is a wonderful time to start a new cycle, and it gives us an excuse to purchase more fabric in the new year and start all over. 

I have promised that I will try to be better about posting on my blog so I am attempting to do that and I want to go ahead and show you some more pictures of what I was up to the weeks before Christmas when I was running around here like a chicken with her head cut off!  So here are some more pics.

This quilt was comissioned by one of the physicians I work with.  She wanted blue and some yellow.  It had to be masculine, meaning to her that there could not be any fabric with a flower print.  Then she picked out this pattern and wanted it to be very scrappy.  Well believe me it was.  I dug through my stash and pulled out every piece of fabric I had that was any shade of blue all the way to teal!  I had well over 100 different fabrics in this quilt and none of them with a flower mofit!  Hard to believe huh.

Another specification was that she wanted it to have a little bling.  Well the bling was achieved by using Fairy Frost fabric in the yellow with the gold metalic print and the white with the silver metalic print and then I picked a grey fabric with just a hint of a shimmer.  The Fairy Frost and the gray were used as the background fabrics.

After the quilt was started then she said she really had wanted to do some purple in it but she had so much purple in the room she was afraid to do a purple quilt.  Hence the purple border and binding, which when all was said and done, she really, really liked and the backing is the same purple.

Rather than put a label on the quilt, she wanted me to do what I call quilt writing on the borders of the quilt.  This particular quilt I decided that I would only do a top and bottom border and no border on the sides.  I guess I could have decreased the time I spent on the quilt if I had done side borders rather than all that extra stripping, but then again I really like the finished project.  The top border has her husbands favorite scripture.  I just used contrasting thread in my quilting machine and it turned out quite well.

This is just a closer look at one of the stars so you can see the scrappiness of this quilt.  I made the strata and then cut out the pieces.  When I was laying the quilt out I really wished that I had kept my pieces together better because it became a huge headache to find the pieces that matched and it looked so much better when the entire star was made out of the same strata pieces.  Problem was that the strata was very different and I would not have enough of one kind to do the entire star.  If I ever do this pattern again I will have a much better ideal of how I want to do the strata and how much of each strata I need. 
I really love the scrappy quilts and there will be more.  I have some pieces left over from this project and I have plans for those "one of these days".  Oh me, another UFO!
I also finished up a batch of my Quilts for Kids and those have all been mailed now which made me feel really good!
Well I can hardly wait until my next post because I want to tell you what I am up to next!  Ya'll have a quilty month with lots of love and laughter!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

2013, Yeah.

Okay folks, I am so very sorry, but I did this last week and I though I got it posted but apparently I had that old brain thingie and it did not get posted.  So here I am posting this weeks first and last weeks behind it.  Sorry.

Well this new year has started.  I have to say I finished out the last year in a blaze as I completed a lot of quilts between my semi-retirement on Nov. 1, 2012 and the end of Dec. 2012.  Many of those I did not get to make pictures of since my camera died and I had to get a new camera, which I got my husband for Christmas.  Now I'm back to taking pictures and really have been doing quite a bit of quilting.

I'm going to go ahead an post some of the many pictures that I have taken so you will get to see some of what I have been working on so you will know I really have been busy.  Many new projects going also, which I think will be fun.  Also I need to finish some of those older projects that I have started but not yet completed.  I have some that I have been working on for a couple of years and they just sort of get put back when I hit a snag or something to wait for a later date.  I'm sure none of you ever do that, start working on a project and something interrupts like life, or you hit a snag that you just don't really know where to go from here so you have to put it down for a while and wait for inspiration to dawn!  Sometimes it takes a long time for that dawn to come!

So here go my photos in review!

A young lady I know had a baby this year and I decided to make something for the newborn, precious little Olivia.  Now the colors in this are the colors her parents had chosen and I made a cute little round pad to lay her down on to change diapers, or for her to play on when out and about.  It being round, I had these pieces of fabric that had the holes in the center, so what to do.  Well I decided to make a patchwork and cut it to fit into the hole, so that is what I did here.  The top is finished, now just got to get her quilted.  This is a she!  Pretty in pink!

Now this is one of Kay's quilts that she brought me.  The border has this wonderful print that ran diagonially so I just decided to do some wavey lines up through the lines and I really think this turned out quite well.  Of course, I also had to add some leaves in the gold border.  I love doing leaves.

I wanted to do something a little different so I did just some close straight lines where the four corners came together and made the lines in different directions.  I liked the effect as did Kay.  Whew!

Another of Kay's Quilts that I completed for her.  We were going to Florida for a conference and we stopped by The Scarlet Thread down below Atlanta and picked out these fabrics for a pattern that Kay found that she really liked.  They turned out really well together.  Kay has a knack for how to arrange lights and darks.

This top was so pretty but it had some challenges in that each time they added another border the edges were longer than the center portion of the quilt.  The colors were beautiful, but........There wound up being about 4-6" extra fabric sewn into outside border.  I had to whip this one into shape!

As you can see I did a lot of whipping.  The outer border had the closest quilting and the amount of quilting decreased as I moved toward the center of the quilt, until the center was an all over mofit.  Loved the lace and tatting used in this top, but once again that can produce challenges to the longarm quilter.

Wanted you to see a picture of the whole quilt.

Wow, sorry folks but this internet is moving so very slow today, it has taken me more than 5 minutes each to add these photos so I'm going to stop for today.
I will be posting next week and putting up some more of what I have been doing.  Just a couple of hints that I will pass along.  On the quilt top I made the circle in a square quilt, that is flannel and boy does that stuff stretch.  You really have to be careful when piecing flannel and take care so you don't stretch the pieces completely out of shape.  I'm sure I will have lots of practice at fixing problems by the time I get through quilting that one.
Second hint is to be sure and measure your quilt before adding each border.  If the length of your outside edges and the measurement across the middle of the quilt are not the same you need to make some adjustments so your last border means all three measurements are the same.  If you bring the measurements closer to the center measurement with each added border you will not have wavey edges.  If your measurements are 74", 68", and 76" then you will have wavey borders with the one with the longest measurement being the waviest.  If the issue is not addressed early and consistently by the quilter you will have pleats in your borders which no one wants.  Even with very experienced longarm quilters it is very, very difficult to fix a border that is over 6" longer than it should be according to the rest of the quilt. 
My pledge is, I will do my best to make each quilt I quilt the best that I can make it.  I really try to do that but being an imperfect person, in an imperfect world sometimes the results are not perfect.  I hope you all have a wonderful day quilting and piecing.  Practice makes perfect!  I'm still practicing!