Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Finish

I finished quilting the quilt for the wrapped in love group at my former church. I was really pleased with how it turned out.  I didn’t select the colors or fabric, the color genius Connie took care of that. I didn’t even pin baste it, I just did the free motion quilting and bound it.
jims quilt
It was densely quilted.

Here’s how I block a quilt:
I wash the quilt in cold water. This gets off all the blue washout marker lines. Then I put it in the dryer for about 5 minutes. While it is still warm. I lay it out on a freshly vacuumed carpet, and pin it to the carpet using T-pins. I had a fan handy, so I turned the fan on it and it was dry in about three hours.
blocking jims quilt
The blocking helps to flatten out the lumps that come from dense quilting and somehow, the fibers remember to stay flat in subsequent washings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

W.I.P. Wednesday

You are going to be seeing a lot of this quilt in Wednesday posts. It’s a commission/gift quilt for someone very dear to me.
storm at sea beginning
It’s a king sized quilt in the storm at sea pattern. Lots of measuring, lots of cutting, lots of acute and obtuse angles. I’m using fabrics from Zen Chic’s Figures line. Right now I’m still in the planning stages. This is going to take awhile.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Finish and a Giveaway

I did it! The matchstick quilting is done and the quilt is bound.
from rail

I’m glad it’s done. I’m not sure if I will ever do another throw sized quilt with matchstick stitching, but I do know I’m not going to make the pattern again.
So, here’s a giveaway. Just leave a comment below and I’ll pick a random winner. The winner will receive the original pattern and a template for making the octagon shapes. It’s a fun pattern.
here’s a link to the prairie grass patterns website so you can see more about what you might win.
I'll pick a winner on Monday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WIP “Works in Progress” Wednesday

I’m still doing the matchstick quilting on the Russian Rubix throw sized quilt. I can see the end in sight, and I’m loving the texture this intense stitching brings to the quilt.
matchstick quilting
I finished the piecing on a scrap quilt. It’s up on my design wall for awhile to allow me to think about how I will quilt it. It is made from 2 1/2” squares from my scrap bin. I think I have enough to make three quilts…but more on that later.
scrap quilt
And here’s a quilt I’m quilting for a friend in Florida. She made the beautiful top, and I get to do the quilting and finishing.
I had to do some testing to find the right thread, needle and tension combinations. Doing free motion stitching on batiks is often a challenge because the fabric is very tightly woven.
close up free motion
The best part about my new studio arrangement is that I can have two machines set up at the same time. Sometimes I piece, sometimes I do free motion and sometimes I quilt using a walking foot. I have learned that I cannot do one type of stitching for very long without injury, so it is wonderful to be able to switch between projects without having to change machine set up.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Finishes

I’ve been watching Jacquie Gering’s Creative Quilting with your Walking Foot on Craftsy. (the first project was matchstick quilting) Here are a couple of finishes using different stitches with the walking foot.
blue scrap front
I quilted the blue scrap quilt with the serpentine stitch.   I only quilted it with about a third the rows of stitches she suggested.
You can see the texture better on the back. The quilt measures 50” X 64”.
blue scrap back
I quilted the orange bow quilt diagonally with the scallop stitch. It’s a decorative stitch on just about every machine made since 1960.This quilt is very densely quilted. It measures 30” square.
orange bow
orange bow quilting
They were both fun to do, and I highly recommend the class on Craftsy, Creative Quilting with Your Walking Foot.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

W.I.P. Wednesday (Work in Progress)

What was I thinking? Matchstick quilting on a throw sized quilt? It is going to be a work in progress for a long, long time.
The quilting lines are 1/4” apart. It’s not easy to keep the lines straight and I have drawn registration lines on the quilt to help me stay straight.
Best guess is that I only have about 150 lines to go. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scraptastic Tuesday Link Up

Even though it’s a little more work, I’ve been creating quilts from my scrap bin recently. I found this quilt on Leanne’s website and promptly began sorting my warm and cool 2 1/2” strips.
I decided to make two quilts, one from cool colors and the other from warm. The block construction for the two quilts is exactly the same, they are just set differently resulting in very different quilts. One difference between our construction is that she used  five 2” wide strips for each block and I used four 2 1/2" wide strips for each block.  This endless play of color and design is of the things I find so satisfying about quilting.
cool quilt2
warm quilt2
The blue green one is ready to pin baste and quilt, the salmon one is still in the construction phase.
Further down the scrap food chain is this pile of 2/12” squares ready to assemble into 16” blocks for yet another scrap quilt.
postage stamp quilt
I thought I was doing so well managing my scraps until I found this big bin crammed with scraps.
more scraps2
The first step for me will be to cut these scraps into manageable sizes. I sort them into 5” squares, 2 1/2” strips, and 2 1/2” squares. Anything smaller than that is packaged by color and sent to my local thrift shop.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Paper Wall Hanging

My studio is set up and I love the light and space I am now enjoying. (studio tour coming) I left Florida with one project remaining, a wall hanging for the new meditation room at First Presbyterian Church of Daytona Beach.
This piece began with painted papers left over from various projects. I never wash paint down the sink, every bit of paint is applied to paper and saved. here’s a link to how I do it.
finished pages2
My idea was to solicit favorite hymn or scripture texts from the congregation. It was important to me that the writing be done in the participants’ handwriting.
I wanted to create a wall hanging similar to the ticker tape quilt I did earlier. Arranging the papers on the background fabric  is fun, not unlike working a jigsaw puzzle.
on the design wall
Finally, it was ready to go under the needle.
under the needle
and attach the binding
preparing the binding
It’s ready to hang.
ready to hang
Detailed views
I intentionally left one paper that will always remain blank. It’s so anyone who views it can insert their own hymn or scripture text.
Now for the technical stuff.
The quilt measures 25” x 43”. I used a 60 microtex needle, 100 wt. silk thread in the needle and 60 wt. poly thread in the bobbin. Like sewing on leather, there is no do over on paper, every stitch makes a hole that does not heal. I dropped the feed teeth and attached my free motion foot. I tried to use a fairly large stitch as every stitch micro-perfs the paper. It’s a good thing this quilt will hang on the wall, it will not hold up to much handling.
Should you decide to do something similar, I found that paint markers and sharpies did the best job of adhering to the paper. Ball point and gel pens tended to smear.

WIP Wednesday

WIP (works in progress)
briar rose
Another Heather Ross collection, this time Briar Rose. I had big ideas to make up the collection in Tula Pink’s City Sampler. I started making the 6” blocks months ago and only managed to make 16  of the 100 blocks. Yesterday I looked at those 16 blocks and decided to add borders and sashing and make a 40” baby quilt. Almost done.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Finishes

I have acquired a bit of fabric since last January, but I’m still living off my stash. I recently completed several baby quilts. Quick and fun.
Here’s the front and back of a baby quilt that used Angela Water’s Coral pattern. It’s for a dear friend’s first grandchild.

This one will go to the Wrapped in Love group at my former church. It’s made from orphan blocks from a bed quilt I have yet to finish. I didn’t think I could find a suitable back in my stash, but I tried using the wrong side of a bright turquoise and yellow print and it worked well.
church dash front
churn dash back
I’ve had this fish fabric for years and wanted to try Fresh Lemon’s Lemon Squares pattern with some Kona solids. I had enough to make two baby quilts.

fish1fish back

The one I finished late this afternoon is almost the last of my Comma fabric. I am partial to Zen Chic’s designs. This pattern is the old stack of coins pattern that is great for using up odd sized strip scraps. I promise you, the vertical rows on this quilt are straight! I did narrow straight line channel quilting on it. My phone photo doesn’t do this one justice. It really needs to be photographed on the floor with a baby on it.
And today on my doorstep I found this! A complete fat quarter bundle of Far Far Away.
far far away
I was a winner of a random drawing from Windham Fabrics. I am a huge fan of Heather Ross’s charming illustrations and her Far Far Away fabric line does not disappoint.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fabric Fast Update

Almost there! At the end of June I can resume my wanton ways and purchase fabric. With one instagram exception I have bought no fabric.
I have turned away from the lure of emails, blogs, twitter and instagram announcements of new fabric lines and sales, and it has not been easy. How have I done it?
1. I’ve been busy
for sale
Yes, our Florida home has sold. We are moving to North Carolina in mid-July. It has cut into my sewing time to make sure the house is always clean and tidy, not to mention getting my studio ready for the move.
2. I’ve made some scrap quilts
blue green scrap quilt
This one measures 54” X 72” and will be made for a hospice resident through our church’s Wrapped in Love program.
3. I've organized my fabrics
Nothing like a visit from Pattiwagon to jump start action and creativity
fabric in bookcase
Getting my fabrics out of bins and organizing them by color was immensely helpful in showing me my fabric collection. As I was sorting all kinds of creative ideas entered my mind on the things I would like to do with my stash. I bought the largest magazine backer boards available and used over 200 of them. Here is a tutorial on using them. I purchased the magazine backer boards from a local comic shop. The magazine boards are slightly larger than the comic boards. When we move, I’ll put my fabrics in a closet to keep them protected from sunlight, but my current closet shelves are wire which will not do for upright storage.
I’ve got a plan for my fat quarters, but right now they are neatly folded in plastic bins.
fat quarter onefat quarter two
4. I've tamed my craving by pinning fabrics I wanted to buy
I established a Pinterest board for pinning photos of all those yummy fabrics as they were introduced. In some ways it satisfied the need to purchase.

I may keep going with a modified fast, the rules of which I have yet to establish. I am almost out of Kona Snow, my go to background fabric. I need some Art Gallery squared elements for binding a pair of twin quilts, and some Kona Kumquat. That’s about it. I think I can live off my stash for awhile. Except…I must have some Charley Harper prints for baby quilts and I’m enchanted with Kati’s fox quilt.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fabric Fast Final Exam

A few months ago I finished a pair of twin quilts using lots of my V. and Co., Kate Spain and other stash fabrics.

churn dash

They have been languishing in my closet waiting for backs. why you ask? It’s my fabric fast. I would have liked to purchase 6-8 yards of the same fabric and be done with it, but I have this huge stash of small yardage. I had selected some of that yardage, but never could get inspired to make it work. I also wanted to use some of the orphan blocks from my Vintage Modern Quiltalong fail, but how? The task seemed overwhelming.

Enter Patti Wagon:

Much designing was done on paper

design papers

and on the design wall

on the design wall

I did not have enough fabric to make them identical, but PattiWagon and I are both pleased with the two unique pieced backs.

pieced back 1

pieced back 2

Some day I’ll get them basted and quilted, but for now I’m happy that they are ready to go.