Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A burst of sunshine

This quilt is a burst of sunshine in all the gloomy winter weather!  Karlisa is new to quilting and this is one of her first quilts - she did such excellent work! 

She used lots of different gold and brown fabrics, many contributed by her small group.
Pretty impressive for a first quilt!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lots of excuses

It's been a long time since I last posted but I have lots of good excuses.  My hard drive died and it took a forever to get it fixed over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Once I got my computer back I had to reload all my programs and get all the settings back the way they had been.  For a non-computer person, this was a challenge!  Fortunately, all of my data was safely transferred to the new hard drive so I didn't lose my pictures and documents.  Next,  I couldn't get Blogger to allow me to post photos.  After a lot of tweedling with it, I managed to get it to work but it is still misbehaving. Finally, I have to admit it was hard to come back to earth after Houston.
This is Evie's applique quilt which she did a beautiful job on.  Those big blocks are pretty much filled with applique, so the challenge for me was to find a way to add a little stucture to the background.  I prefer that to a sea of background quilting.

Next is Cecille's quilt made with embroidered blocks. 

She came up with her own setting to show them off.



I just finished my last customer quilt of the year.  Time to enjoy the holiday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The experience of a lifetime

It's hard to come back to earth after almost a week in Houston for the International Quilt Festival.  Gail Stepanek and I attended the awards ceremony where we finally found out what we had won: The Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry - what a thrill!  Winning one of the top eight awards meant we had to make an acceptance speech the next day at the winner's luncheon.  We both sweated over it but managed to get through it without drooling or crying.

We spent a lot of time in front of our quilt answering questions.  Gail brought her pattern and a sample block so she could show how the top had been made.  She especially enjoyed showing these kids that were there - they had all made their own little quilts.

I like that they matched the flower arrangement in front of our quilt to the colors of the quilt:

It was fun to meet so many quilters from all over the world as they came by to see the quilt and congratulate us - it was truly the experience of a lifetime, we both feel so lucky to have had it.

The quilts were incredible and beautifully displayed, especially the amazing display of red and white quilts in honor of the show's Ruby anniversary.


We found time for shopping and for relaxing:

My sister Kathy came to the show from Oregon.  She is not a quilter and had never been to a quilt show before- nothing like starting with Houston!  Despite being a newby to the whole thing she enjoyed the quilts and the shopping - she even says she is ready for next year!


Here she is inspecting an antique signature quilt which she found fascinating.

Our collaboration has taken us places we never expected!

Monday, October 27, 2014

It had me stumped

This quilt is a reproduction of a quilt made in the mid 19th century that is in the Shelburne Museum.  Tammy bought the pattern a few years ago when the Wichita Art Museum had an exhibit of quilts from the Shelburne. 

She was new to applique when she started this quilt about eight years ago and says you can see how her skill progressed if you look closely at the quilt.

Tammy said the directions for the quilt were pretty vague and I can't imagine trying to applique on such a huge piece of fabric!

I really liked this quilt when I saw it at the exhibit and was excited to get to quilt it until I actually had to come up with a design.  It had me stumped for a while because of the unusual non-symmetrical layout. 

I would like to have used wool batting but because the background of this quilt is bright white it wouldn't have worked well.  The wool is very beige in color and would have dimmed the white to cream.  I ended up using Hobbs 80/20 and Aurifil thread.

All that background quilting wore me out so I'm happy I will have a week off from my longarm to recuperate.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Garden Nouveau

This is Jane's quilt, and what a gorgeous quilt it is!  This is the second quilt she has made from the Garden Nouveau pattern by Vicky Lawrence and she says she loves the colors of this one. 

The applique is done with satin stitch on her embroidery machine.  She used a digitized version of the Garden Nouveau pattern called Nouveau Fleur  by Anna's Awesome Applique Designs.  I wish I had taken a close up of the satin stitch because it looks so beautifully perfect!

All that satin stitch took a long time to do.  Jane told me how long it took to stitch out the long border and it was something like 80 hours.  Or maybe it was 50 hours?  Brain fart.
A long time anyway.

I used several shades of purple thread and gold metallic for the feathers around the blocks. The batting is Hobbs wool. 

I told Jane she should really enter this in a quilt show.

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.