Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First quilts and Harry Potter

Karen did the embroidered baskets quilt from several posts back and this is another of her embroidered quilts.  This is a pattern by Crabapple Hill.

Yesterday was a meeting of Prairie Quilt Guild and it was the first time we have had a December meeting in several years.  The last few years the December meeting had to be cancelled due to bad weather.  We had a fun Christmas party meeting, with Christmas music, Christmas cookies and decorations and a program about the 20 small Bees within the larger Guild.  We also had a guessing game of first quilts - all the board members displayed the first quilt they had ever made and we handed out a list of board members names with a clue by each name.  The guild members were supposed to guess who made which quilt.  It was just for fun, there were no prizes but I think people enjoyed it. 

My first quilt was this little block that was all made by hand; hand pieced, appliqued and quilted.  My clue was " This is the best hand quilting I have ever done".  It's also the ONLY hand quitling I have ever done as I am a confirmed machine

I  got caught up on my customer quilting so I finally allowed myself to go see the new Harry Potter movie.  We went to one of those huge theater complexes that had the movie playing in four different theaters at different times.  We chose an afternoon showing in one of the smaller theaters and were the only ones there!  It was great to have a private viewing - we could be obnoxious and rock our seats wildly, comment loudly on the movie while it was running and other bad behavior. 

While we read of heavy snows in many parts of the country it remains sunny, cold and DRY here in Wichita.  I'm sure we will get our turn! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Good quilting weather

I just finished two big quilts for Eddie - she makes nice big quilts for her grandkids.  She is a very precise piecer too, I can vouch for her accuracy on the one-inch squares in the Irish Chain at the top of this post.

I really like the way this one turned out, it's such a bold graphic design.  Hopefully her grandson appreciates it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Before and after

I'm amazed no one found the problem - or at least no one left a comment that they did.  That makes me feel a little better because I always check the quilt over for problems before I unpin it from the machine, and I was kicking myself for missing it. 

Here is the problem block, it's the one with the pink flowers.

Here it is after I fixed it in a photo taken in very different lighting.  You can see I left out the crosshatched triangle on the left side of the block.

Blogger is misbehaving, I'm having a terrible time getting the pictures where I want them!

Now go back to the photo of the whole quilt on yesterday's post and your eye will find it like a magnet!

Monday, November 29, 2010

What is wrong with this picture?

Barb brought me this beautiful applique top to quilt.  She says she finished the blocks years ago and only just finished the border, which she designed herself.  The blocks are a Piece of Cake design.  I was inspired to do a lot of quilting but did not finish the quilt without some mishaps.

I started the piano key border (the straight lines along the edge of the quilt) at the top and then I quilted all the way down the quilt and did the piano key border at the bottom.  I like to do the piano key border along the side going up the quilt, it is just easier for me to use the ruler that way.  When I finally made it back up to the top of the quilt I found that I had started the top with half-inch piano keys but forgot that by the time I reached the bottom, so had done three-quarter inch piano keys at the bottom and up the sides.  DUH!  I had to take out the stitches on top and redo the border there.

Once I finished the quilt, I pinned it to my design wall to admire it and found another dumb mistake!  It has to do with the crosshatching, can you find it?  Once you see it, your eye is drawn to it like a magnet and you wonder what kind of idiot quilter made that mistake!  I'll post the corrected quilt tomorrow.

So I got to work on my stitch ripping skills and I have to say that the perfectly even stitches that my Innova makes made the job easier than usual!  Maybe they should put that in their ads?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Spam for Thanksgiving

This is Karen's quilt with all the embroidered baskets.  I left it on my design wall to enjoy until she picked it up, it is such a cheerful little quilt!

Her embroidery is really well done, such tiny even stitches.

Linda wanted gold metallic thread on her quilt.

It is very sparkly in the right light.

Our email address book was hacked this week.  All of our friends received a Viagra ad thanks to some cheesy spammer.  I changed our email password and we took the computer in to be checked.  It was clear of viruses and malware so I think it is safe to open our emails once again!

I'm still madly trying to catch up after my three weeks without a longarm machine.  As a result, Dood now feels like home so it was a good way to get me acclimated to a new machine!

Happy Thanksgiving to all - I plan to use my new turkey platter for the first time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Open Studio


Another quilt from Marsha the Thimbleberries lady.  She does such a nice job on her piecing, it really makes my job so much easier!

Our speaker at Prairie Quilt Guild this week was Jane Hardy Miller, the author of the French Braid quilt books.  She was a fun speaker and brought many quilts with her, including a few from her upcoming book.  Here are a few of her quilts, I didn't post the ones that haven't been published yet, you'll have to wait until May when the book comes out to see those

Tomorrow we are having an open studio for the local longarm group to come see my new Innova.  Peter and I are Sales Reps in addition to being happy Innova owners, so we wanted people to have a chance to try the machine.  It will be fun to have some longarm chat and cookies!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A basket quilt and some tomatoes

I finished a quilt for Ann, she always does such a beautiful job. This was a pattern I had admired but resolved never to attempt since I am a piecing spaz. I did a lot of quilting on this one even though this is a busy quilt.


I love basket quilts, I will have to make one someday, despite my piecing problems!

We finally had a freeze, so I can stop obsessing about watering. I went out and picked every tomato left on the vine and they have been ripening up like crazy. I made tomato sauce for the freezer and tonight we are having BLT's for dinner. Yum.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I love my new Dood!

I'm getting along just great with my new Innova.  I finished up Mary's quilt (she had to wait for a month!).  It was started on my old Gammill and finished up on my Innova.  I really love the new machine - it feels different; like getting a new car and having to figure out where the windshield wipers and lights are, but it is already starting to feel like home.

This is such a striking quilt - it is a Jinny Beyer design, I think it is called Around the World.  I used bright thread in Mary's quilt: something different for me, I usually stick with thread that matches or nearly matches the  background.   But I thought this quilt would benefit from contrasting thread - I used five or six different colors of green, purple and turquoise. 

It's getting cold here in Kansas, time to pull out the down comforter.  I picked all the remaining tomatoes no matter how green they are and I'm ready for the first freeze.  I have to admit, I don't mind giving up on watering everything!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dood Day!!!

My small group met and we had a birthday party for Kelly.  I gave her a little quilt I had made for a guild challenge.  She liked it, and said it will look great hanging in her sewing room.

My new Innova longarm machine was delivered and set up yesterday.  Yippee!  I am so excited that I got up early and went right out to the studio to play.  This machine does not look like an Arabella - it looks too modern, so I decided to name it after my Dad who was a scientist. That seems more appropriate for such a high tech looking machine!   I'm calling it Dood, which was his family nickname.  Apparently when he was a baby before he learned to walk, he scooted around the floor on his bottom using his hands to pull himself.  His parents thought he looked just like a doodlebug and called him that.  Eventually it was shortened to Dood, and I can remember my Grandmother still calling him that as an adult. 

While I was waiting for the arrival of Dood I had lots of free time so I totally cleaned and re-arranged  the studio.  My Gammill had a 14 foot table and I decided to switch to a 12 foot table for my Innova, which gave me a little more room to work with.  Peter says women must have a gene that men don't have: a gene for re-arranging furniture.  He just doesn't get why anyone would re-arrange their furniture once it is in place for a few years. 

I decided to move all my quilting books and magazines into the house, since that is where I usually look at them.  That meant I first had to start moving stuff around inside the house to make room before I could bring the shelves in and start hauling books.  (I didn't make Peter move anything except the big stuff I needed help with!)  It was a long process.  Before I started moving I made a little scale plan of the studio and cut out the furniture to scale so I could play with it and find the best arrangement.  This is another thing that just makes Peter shake his head in amazement, but it really saves a lot of time.  It's also fun, kind of the grown-up version of playing with a dollhouse. 

I put Dood on the short end of the studio.

This machine is smaller than Arabella, I chose a 22" machine.  Since I do mostly custom quilting, I quilt mostly at the front of the quilt.  I feel like I lose control if I try to quilt further away from me.  I don't do pantographs and seldom do freehand edge to edge designs, so I think this will suit me.

The sewing table and ironing area got moved closer together, which is more convenient.  I spent several days refolding my stash.  I started this over a year ago and had gotten stuck halfway - it looks so much better now!

The cutting table is now near the design wall (which has Mary's still uncompleted quilt on it).  This is an improvement, because we use the design wall for photography and it's real easy to wheel the cutting table out of the way for that purpose.  The sewing table used to be in the way and that was a pain to move.

This is my Mom's old dining room table which gets used mostly to hold piles of stuff.  Since I just cleaned up there aren't any but they will soon start reappearing.

I think I need to finish this up so I can go out and play!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wonderful quilts, none of them mine!

I wish the quilt above was mine but no, it was made and quilted by Carla.  She did a program for our longarm group and showed many of her own quilts.  There were so many wonderful quilts but I only managed to get good pictures of a few, peoples heads and things like tables and boxes kept getting in the way.  This is another of her quilts:

Prairie Quilt Guild had a meeting last week with Edie McGinnis as the speaker.  Edie worked for the Kansas City Star for over 20 years and has published many books.  She is a long time collector of feedsacks and feedsack quilts and brought many examples of them.  I learned a lot about feedsacks from her talk and she had our guild laughing - she is a hoot!

This is the first quilt she made from feedsacks:

I like that she used white feedsacks for the backing:

More of her quilts:

This one is definitely not made from feedsacks, instead she used her collection of Daiwabo fabrics.  She says this is her best quilt. 

I'm stilll waiting for my new Innova quilting machine.  Hopefully I will hear this next week that it is ready to be delivered.  In the meantime I have been getting lots done!  I have cleaned and re-arranged the studio in anticipation of the new machine,  finished the top for my guild challenge quilt ( I can't show it because it's supposed to be kept secret!), marked the top for a new miniature wholecloth and have actually cooked dinner a few times. My next job is to sort through my old quilting magazines and donate the ones I don't need to our guild library sale.

Here are Elsie and Lily pursuing a cricket - it finally disappeared down a crack leaving one leg behind.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Disappearing nine-patch

I won't have any pictures of quilts I have quilted for a while - it will be a couple of weeks before my new Innova arrives.  These are pictures from my small group, we don't have an official name - we just call ourselves the Little Sewing Group.  When I first moved here these ladies invited me to join them twice a month.  We don't all quilt, some are knitters, or crocheters or embroiderers, but it's a good excuse to get together to sew and eat and talk.

At our last meeting Evelyn showed us how to make a Disappearing Nine-Patch block.  It's really fast and easy (even I can piece this!), you make a nine patch, cut it into quarters, move a couple of the pieces 180 degrees and sew it back together.  We met again today and got to see the finished projects.  Although we all made the same block,  it's amazing how different they look in different fabrics and different sizes. 

Up above is Betty's project - she is obviously an over-achiever since she was the only one to make something bigger than a table runner.

I only had enough of the Japanese fabric to make two blocks, so I made a short table runner.

Kelly made three blocks in three different sizes.  I couldn't get the third picture to go where I wanted it to, so here are two of them.

Madeline made small blocks.

Dee made a Halloween runner.

Evelyn, who showed us the block, finished two table runners. 


Virginia is hand quilting hers, it will be a doll quilt. 

I have lots of projects planned for my vacation from quilting.  Maybe I'll get them done, or maybe I'll just spend the next few weeks lying on the couch, eating chocolates and reading trashy novels!