Friday, February 1, 2019

Sew Much to Write About!

I know, I know… it’s been awhile.  Somehow, time escapes me during the busy holiday season and my priorities get all discombobulated!  Let’s see… where to begin?  I think I’ll start with a quilt that I actually finished, including even getting the binding stitched down!  By the way, speaking of binding, if you ever need some really great step-by-step instructions, check the April 2015 entry for this blog.  Mom really spelled it out nicely.  I actually have a printed copy that I keep near my machine for reference whenever I’m working on a binding.

So, the quilt.  Last time I posted, I showed a photo of the Bezels All-In-One club pattern called Bezels from Joyce Lundrigan.  I finished it!  The quilting is really spectacular… thank you, Joyce!  I learn so much with her quilting patterns and they’re so versatile.  I’ve used them on other quilts quite a few times already.
Completed Bezels quilt!  LOVE the quilting!

Shot of the back of Bezels.  You can really see all of the thread color changes here.
Another thank you to Joyce, and to JoAnn Knight, for their new Skill Builders club.  It’s a monthly club where you focus on learning (or sharpening) some of your techniques using the Gammill Statler.  I went crazy with the first one, which was to make some super cute winter pillows.  Seriously, I’ve made six of the darned things so far and I have fabric and pillow forms to make more for myself and a few more friends!  I used minkee fabric for the red pillows with a white jersey for the lettering and snowflakes.  The grey fabric is still super soft, but more of a velvet or velour feel (and much easier to trim on!).  These were really pretty quick to make, really luxurious and expensive feeling, and fantastic gifts! 

A smaller project that I completed was a block for LakeviewQuilters Guild’s raffle quilt for next year.  It’s going to be absolutely gorgeous when it’s complete!  It’s a medallion quilt with gorgeous fabrics, the pattern roughly based on Stars for a New Day, but with the pieced block border replaced by applique blocks from Afternoon Delight.  That’s where I come in… I picked up one of the block kits from the committee to make my contribution for getting it done.  So cute!
My raffle quilt block.  This is just glue-basted down, and not yet stitched down.

A top that I finished but haven’t gotten to quilting yet is a mini Storm at Sea.  I’ve always liked the pattern and how it has so much movement and looks so curved, yet there’s nothing but straight stitches.  So, I picked up a laser cut kit from Flynn Quilt Frame Company at Festival last year.  I actually started it almost immediately when I got home, but realized that I needed to hold off a few months before finishing it… I’ve been told by my quilting friends that it’s against quilter law to finish something that you purchase at Festival too quickly.  Hahaha!  I did clear it with them and make sure that three months was long enough.

In non-actual-stitching news, I’ve got a couple of lovely (and very fashionable) braces on my right arm for at least another week.  My elbow had been bothering me for awhile, just feeling kind of achy in that little dimple thing (that’s the technical term for it) on the outside.  I went to my favorite orthopedic doc and he said I basically have tennis elbow… braces and anti-inflammatory drugs for a couple of months and I should be good as new.  I have no idea what triggered it… it’s can’t possibly be too much quilting.  Right???

 I picked up a new beauty for house a couple of weeks ago… not sure yet if it will be functional or just a decoration.  A friend of mine texted me a photo from an estate sale she was browsing through, and I immediately texted back, “Get it!  I’ll pay you back!”  So, I am now the owner of a 1926 Singer sewing machine.  It needs some love and care, but it sure does look nice just as it is, too.  If anyone has a suggestion for places to take it for refurbishing, please let me know!

Last, but not least, I’ve got a special kind of quilt loaded on the longarm right now.  This will be in the guild’s annual auction in August this year.  The 9-patches were Mom’s from an exchange she did years ago.  She had given them to our friend, Becky, a few years ago to do with as she pleased.  Becky put them together with alternating squares and added the border, then gave it to me to quilt.  The original pattern had hourglasses instead of squares… I like this better.  It also had some applique flowers and vines (very simple ones) on the border, but I’m putting on the beautiful quilted border of feathers and piano keys from Joyce Lundrigan.  It’ll be a pretty one when it’s all done.

That’s about it for now.  I’ll see y’all next month!
Keep on quilting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Festival, Quilting, and Backings, OH MY!

Whew!  It’s been a busy couple of months!  Festival, starting a new business, quilting, and new threads and backings!  I’ll try not to overload you with too many pictures or words, and keep things short-ish and sweet. 

First, in my last post, I toward the end, I posted a picture of my grey and white prairie star block for Corey Pearson.  I did end up taking it apart and reworking it so that the points match up better.  And, it’s still 6” square.  Imagine that!  My friend, Cynthia, also finished her grey and white block.  I must say they complement each other rather nicely.  We delivered them to Corey while he has working the Gammill booth at Festival.  I can’t wait to see what he does with all of these blocks!!!

My redone Prairie Star.  Much better!

My star and Cynthia's star together.  So pretty!

Next, I decided a few months ago to go ahead and get a new business name registered and started up for my own longarm quilting services business.  I don’t plan to make it a full time job or anything even close since I still want time to work on my own projects, time to do my regular job, and time to spend with family and friends.  BUT, I did think it was a good idea to get it set up and ready for when someone asks me to quilt a top for them.  I have a fun logo all done, but no website yet (or maybe ever).  Ready, set, quilt!

I did manage to start and finish a quilt top during a 2-day bee in October.  It’s a Joyce Lundrigan All-In-One club pattern called Bezels.  I’ve NEVER started and finished a quilt that quickly, and I just love this one!  It’s definitely not my normal style with such bright colors and modern style, but I enjoyed making it and branching out to expand my repertoire.  It’s currently loaded on the machine, so next month I should have pictures of the completed quilting.  It’ll be absolutely gorgeous!

Bezels quilt top.  Hopefully, you'll get to see it quilted next month!
As far as actual quilting, I got four quilts done in the last couple of months.  First was one by my friend Becky, who finished a top for Omigosh, one of Mom’s patterns.  I was so terrified of messing it up that it sat for probably six months before I got up the courage to load it and take the first stitch.  I mean… all those tiny pieces… all that time and effort… and one of Mom’s designs!  What if I picked bad patterns or bad thread colors?  What if Becky hates it and I have to take out all of the stitches?  I seriously had nightmares until it was done.  And, I was obviously being silly.  It turned out beautifully!  I think my favorite part is the Baptist Fan-ish outer border.  Love it!

Becky's Omigosh quilt, all quilted, but not bound yet.

Closeup of the corner and that wonderful border.

Closeup of the blocks.

I also quilted a community service quilt for my friend, Jerrianne, which she put together using the Mother Goose fabrics that Mom designed years ago.  I used AnitaShackelford’s Modern Curves quilt pattern, which really gives a lot of movement to the quilt.  It will definitely make some child happy when they receive it.

Mother Goose community service quilt, made by Jerrianne.

Closeup of a corner.

Next up, I finally dove in to work on the Dream Big panel that my son picked out for himself.  He picked the absolutely brightest colored version, and brightest colored variegated thread for me to use on it.  I used Nancy Haacke’s pattern set that she released for it in November, and it turned out so cool looking!  Even the back of the quilt looks fantastic.  Since I used a solid white fabric for the backing, that bright variegated thread really shows up!  Now, I just need to figure out what color binding to put on… maybe a solid black to frame it… or a solid purple to blend in with the outside of the print.

My son's Dream Big quilt.  It's BRIGHT!

Closeup view at an angle.

View of the back of the quilt.

The last quilted quilt for this post is one that I’m calling Snowballs and Dogs, which I quilted for another friend of mine, Georgann.  I knew I was quilting a top of snowballs, which I love, particularly done scrappy like she did this one.  What I didn’t know was that she basically made a second quilt for the backing using several different dog print fabrics, and some positive word fabric.  It turned out so cute!

Snowball quilt made by Georgann.

Closeup of the quilt top.

The dog-themed backside of the snowball quilt.  So cute!

Closeup of the center panel.

Now, how could I forget Festival???  Of course, I didn’t.  I spent several days living up in downtown Houston, taking classes, shopping, browsing, and viewing some seriously spectacular quilts!  Of course, there were three or four quilts that were hanging, based on Mom’s designs.  I think, though, that I’ll keep this part short and just post a few pictures of some of my favorites from the show.  By the way, I did not win a ribbon for Baby Bear, but the other quilts in that category were simply phenomenal!  I’m just proud to have be juried in, and the judge’s remarks that I got back were all great!

A fabulous antique hexi quilt, made by "unknown."

A closeup of the hexi quilt with fingers for size reference.  No, we weren't touching it!

Circular Infinity by Susan Michael

Deuxmillehuitcenthuit by Ewa Guerin.  It's hand pieced and hand quilted.  Note that the center HST of each 9-patch is cheddar!

Over the Waves by Setsuko Matsushima.  Hand quilting, piecing, applique, and embroidery.  Winner of the Founders' Award.

Kora by Carol Morrissey

Streak of Lightning by Amy Pabst.  Talk about Omigosh!  These pieces are so tiny!!!

Me and Baby Bear.  :)

Reminiscence by Mariko Takeda.  Hand quilting, piecing, and applique.  Winner of the Robert S. Cohan Master Award for Traditional Artistry

Hope by Ximo Navarro Sierra.  Winner of the Pfaff Master Award for Machine Artistry.

Lastly, I hate piecing backings!  So, I picked up three bolts of 108" quilt backings, all very pretty ones, and put them on the Come Quilt website for sale.  Of course, I’ll use some of them myself, but I wouldn't feel right not sharing with other quilters who hate piecing backs as much as I do.  LOL!  I've also ordered some Aurifil 80 weight threads that we'll start carrying on the website.  It's absolute heaven for applique.  If you want a color that you don't see (once I get them posted), let me know and I'll get it for you!
Moda 108" Quilt Back, Fresh Cut Flowers, 11140-11

Moda 108" Quilt Back, Holly Woods, 11145-11

Moda 108" Quilt Back, Snowberry Prints, 11126-11

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now.  I’ll be back next month, and back on track (hopefully) for monthly posts!  Everyone have a happy holiday filled with warmth, love, and family… and quilting.

Keep on quilting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Better Late than Never!

I can't believe we're already more than a week into October!  And, I know, I know... I neglected to post a blog entry for September.  I think I got a little overwhelmed with the end of summer, school starting for my brand new 6th grader son, and just overall busy times.  So, here I am trying to play catch up.  Quilt-life-wise, let's talk about what's been going on in my world. 

Did I mention before that I entered a couple of my miniature quilts into the juried show at the Houston International Quilt Festival?  Well, I did!  I entered Baby Bear and Rings of Love, and Baby Bear made it through the jury and will be hanging in the show.  So exciting!  I didn't win a ribbon for her, but I'm still very proud that I am a finalist and will have a quilt hanging in "the big show" here in Houston.

My miniature Baby Bear quilt.
We also had the exhibit of Mom's quilts going on all summer at the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas.  Mary and I, along with a group of quilting friends, went out there (finally!) to see the exhibit in mid-September.  I have to say, it was absolutely fantastic.  The building has a wonderful history, and it provides a perfect backdrop for the quilts.  The curator told us that it was one of the most popular exhibits that they've had, especially where the two main galleries were taken up by only one artist.  She said that she called Mom the Picasso of quilting because, similar to Picasso, her talents went through a variety of phases and periods, and touched on all different facets of the art form of quilting.  While we were there, we got to do a "walkabout tour" with the museum guests, where we toured them through the quilts and talked about our memories and knowledge of the different ones that were hanging there.  So fun!

And what have I worked on and/or finished since August?  Not as much as I'd have liked.  That's for sure!  I caught up (again) on the next couple of months of the Antebellum Album BOM that I'm doing through Barbara Brackman's website.  Month 8 was a very simple and very quick Southern Cross.  And, month 9 was a bit more complicated Lexington Belle block.  I'm really liking the way the whole quilt is turning out... and I'm tempted to go to Barbara's Etsy page and buy the patterns for the last couple of months so I don't have to wait!!!

Month 8 - Southern Cross

Month 9 - Lexington Belle

On the design wall and coming together quite nicely!

I also finished a block to send to Corey Pearson of Linda'sElectric Quilters.  He asked a group of women, all of whom attend an annual Statler retreat, to each send him a 6" (finished) block of their favorite pattern, made of all grey and white fabrics.  It's a surprise whatever he is planning to do with all of them.  I picked a variation on a Lone Star block, called a Prairie Star.  Why did I pick a block with so many y-seams?  I have NO IDEA!!!  I always have trouble with them, and I have trouble making the seams in the pieced points matching up.  You can see in the photo below that it's definitely not perfect.  I'm pretty sure I'll be taking it apart, at least parts of it, to do a little rework before I send it to Corey.

My 6" (finished) Prairie Star block... forgive the mismatched points!!!
Last thing to mention this month... I finished quilting a beauty last week.  It's one of Joyce Lundrigan's All-in-One patterns called Stars Encompassed.  I think it's absolutely beautiful!  Now, I will say that my Statler was giving me absolute FITS throughout the process, which slowed me down a lot.  It wasn't stitching smooth lines, so the curves weren't smooth and the lines weren't always straight.  I did all kinds of troubleshooting, and am now down to checking on my quilt loading skills, testing particular patterns, and playing around with all of the different variables (thread types, needle sizes, tension adjustments, etc.).  I need to get moving on getting some quilt tops quilted and finished!

Still on the machine being quilted...

Unloaded and being turned to finish the outside borders.

Overall quilting... it's a beautiful design!

A little closer view of the quilting... oops, my toes are in there!
That's all I've got for now!  Besides, I've only got a couple of weeks until November.  OH!  Which reminds me... I think we can all count on my post being late in November so I can post plenty of pics from Festival!!!

Keep on quilting,