Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Some holiday quilts






Renee says it took her a couple of years worth of Shop Hop shopping to find the fabrics for this cute applique quilt made from a Piece of Cake pattern. She did such a good job on all the applique and wanted custom quilting to make it shine.  I did another quilt for her a while back - another holiday quilt which is timely now:










It was hard to decide what thread to use on the green blocks.  Any green just  blended in and made the quilting invisible so I ended up using a gold colored Glide thread which shows up just enough.






 
 
 
 






 
 
 
 
 
 

This is Patty's pretty and HUGE block of the month quilt:




 
 
 
 
Patty is a pro - these blocks are all well pieced.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When I finished the quilting I was horrified to find several pleats on the back behind the bottom piano key border.  I have had few problems with pleats and pinches on the back since I got my Innova so this did not make me happy!  I had to spend an hour ripping and re-quilting and now all is well.
 
 
 
 
 
 





 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Feathers make me a happy quilter



 



Ruth has been teaching a class at my LQS on this Eleanor Burns pattern.  I find this kind of traditional quilt fun to do and Ruth wanted lots of feathers so I had a good time quilting it. 





 
 






I did have a terrible time with the backing which was not Ruth's fault at all.  It was a good quality wide backing with plenty of extra length and width.  When I loaded it is was twisted and contorted on the rollers - which would lead to major pleat problems when quilted.  I tried it in both directions with no luck.  I kept measuring it, sure I must have made a mistake but it measured as if it were square.  After sweating and swearing over the darned thing I finally decided the problem was that it must have been distorted on the roll and although the sides measured as equal, it wasn't a true rectangle.   I loaded it one more time and spritzed it heavily with water as I turned the rollers, keeping it pulled taut.  It  stretched it enough that it straightened it out and finally lay flat.   I was then able to quilt it with no problems.









 
 
 
 



I finished Gail's quilt at the absolute last minute and shipped it to her Next Day Air. That left her 2 days to put on the binding and  hanging sleeve, take photos and get it entered online in Road to California by the Oct. 1st deadline.  We made it with a few hours to spare!  I'll post pictures later.


I panicked and was sure I would run out of the weird brown metallic thread I was using in the border so made a rush order to Wonderfil Thread for three more cones, just to be sure I had enough.  I ended up using less than one cone after all.  I'm sure I'll find a use for three cones of weird brown metallic thread!



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails











Betty made this cute baby quilt for a new great-grandbaby with a little help from our Sedgwick sewing group.  Virginia gave her the block pattern and suggested the setting, I donated some fabric, and the whole group gave suggestions.  Because this quilt will be used and washed we decided I would do crosshatching right over the applique to protect against wear and tear. 


Since this is a little boy's quilt I didn't want to put any girly old feathers in the setting triangles.  Instead I used frogs and fish, inspired by the border fabric.





 
 
 

 
 
 
 






I'm still plowing away on Gail's show quilt but ran into a snag when I ran out of the metallic thread I am using in the border.  It's brown metallic from Wonderfil Thread in Canada and they were wonderfillly helpful when I frantically called to order more. 



Ann and I had entered this quilt in several shows without any luck.  I decided to try one more time and we entered it in the AQS show in Chattanooga.  This time it brought home a blue ribbon for Ann to hang in her sewing room. 












Monday, September 8, 2014

Two well pieced beauties






I whipped Gail's show quilt off my machine (Thanks to my Red Snappers!) so I could work on a couple of customer quilts. 





 
 
 
 

Mickey sent me this wall hanging to quilt for her and it is a beauty.  I was happy to see that it was well pieced, lay flat and square and had room for me to have fun with the quilting. 
Both top and backing were black so I used black batting - two layers of Hobb's 80/20 for a little extra loft.  In person this looks very sparkly since I used a variegated metallic for the feathers.













Joni sent me this 50 Shades of Gray quilt and it is also a well pieced beauty.  She wanted traditional quilting in thread that matched the background.
 












 
 
 
 
 
 






 
 
 
I'm in love with some of the gray fabrics used in this quilt.  I may have to look for a few of them to add to my stash.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

As clean as it gets

My longarm group, Kansas Longarm Quilters, had a quilt room tour recently and because they were having trouble finding victims hosts for the tour, I volunteered.  It seemed like a good idea until it came time to clean my studio.  I'm busy quilting so allowed  just one day to clean it up and this is it -  as clean as it gets.


When Peter and I bought our house in Sedgwick we realized we would need to build a separate building to have room for a longarm machine.  We originally planned to renovate the old garage (build in the 1920's) as a studio but soon discovered it was too decrepit, infested with termites and had an old well inside.  We ended up taking it down and building a 24 x 26 foot building behind the house.  It seemed huge at the time but now is crammed full of stuff.




 
 
 
 
The entrance facing the house, with Mrs. Meatloaf on the wall.




 
 
 
 
Part of my thread stash.
 
 
 





More thread in all the shelves and cabinets along the wall.  Do you like the repairs on my chair cushion?  That's my quilt It's Turtles All the Way Down on the back wall.





 
 
 
 
 
A view of my stash with my first wholecloth Indian Summer on the wallJust not enough time to straighten my fabric shelves.  I need a couple more days to do that.
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Design wall and cutting table.  I can roll the table out of the way and use the design wall for photographing quilts.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 Another view of my Innova longarm with (ahem) more messy storage underneath.  I'll clean that up better someday - really!  On the wall is an old guild challenge quilt, The Cat's Tea Party.




 
 
 
 
 
Ribbons! And photography lights.
 
 
 
 





It's nice to have it cleaned up for a day or two.  As soon as I get back to work it will return to normal!







Friday, August 15, 2014

A peach pilgrimage and cabbage farts




Betty and I made our annual pilgrimage to the peach orchard and found the most beautiful peaches we have ever seen and tasted.









This is what Betty is smiling about:




 
 
 


We always enjoy our trip to the orchard.  We go first thing in the morning so it is cool and quiet with just the birds for company.  Tasting is free, of course.









Plus we come home with treasures.







I made a short road trip with Nancy and Tammy to Strong City, Kansas.  It's a tiny town in the Flint Hills with a wonderful restaurant called Ad Astra.  They are known for using locally produced food and I had heard good things about it.  We had an excellent lunch which we snarfed down before I took this picture.




 
 
 

Nancy ordered fried brussel sprouts and I can't believe I liked them after a lifetime of being brussel sprout-phobic.  They weren't battered, just fried until crispy on the outside  - yum!  I tried making them at home but only succeeded in making the house smell like cabbage farts. 

It was a beautiful day and the trip there was  a pretty one as we drove through the Flint Hills.  I love the round hay bales. 
 






We stopped in Cottonwood Falls and saw the Chase County Courthouse which has to be about the cutest courthouse I have ever seen.  It is the oldest operating courthouse in Kansas and was built in 1873.  A little Kansas history for you.




 
 
 
 
When I went to our little Sedgwick Sewing group last week I was the first to arrive and found Virginia waiting on her front porch with her goose.  She dresses that goose up in a different outfit for each season and holiday.  It has a bigger wardrobe than I do.
 
 
 





No quilt pictures this post - I'm still working on Gail's quilt.  I'll try to find pictures of a few quilts to  include in my next post.





Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Betty's hexies







Another quilt for Betty - hexies this time.  Betty said  she made it all from scraps except for the backing.   This was quilted using a cotton batt which doesn't have much loft so I used grey thread in the border so the quilting would show.





 
 
 
 

Of course it is all hand stitched and she even cut out the paper foundations by hand.  She says she likes to keep her hands busy!  It took her several years to finish.




I'm getting ready to start on another quilt for my quilting partner Gail Stepanek so won't have customer quilts to show for a while.