Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Quilted Summer

It's hard to believe two months have passed since my last blog post.  I guess time just slipped away from me, and I got too caught up in summer break, planning vacations, and quilting!  Whatever the reasons, I've been busy, busy, busy, and I have a bunch of quilts to show!

First, and I can't believe I've never written about this one previously, I quilted a vintage Hawaiian quilt top for a friend of mine.  It was such a great learning experience for me.  First, the blocks were humongous!  I mean, they were approximately 26-inches square... giant!  I have a 30-inch throat on my longarm, but that's not all stitchable space, so the blocks wouldn't fit completely.  Luckily, the applique fit... barely.  I opted to quilt the top with traditional Hawaiian-style quilting, echoing inside and outside of the applique.  I got to practice using the echo function of my Statler, which was quite the experience.  First, I outlined the applique and stitched that out.  Then, I did the echo inside of that outline.  Surprise!  I couldn't get it to work for more than one echo inside, and I couldn't do the outside echo at all since it wouldn't fit in my stitchable area.  So... I got a TON of practice with free motion quilting.  Ta da!

Overall photo of Hawaiian quilt.
Close up of four blocks and echoing work.
Another close up of the echo work.
Another quilt that I quilted for a friend, Becky Stephenson, is this Pioneer Braid Quilt that she purchased as a laser cut kit from Common Threads Quilting (no longer in business).  She wanted an all-over quilting design, and I figured something curvy would look good and give the quilt a lot of motion.  After getting approval from Becky, I ended up using Waves and pearls E2E simple from Nancy Haacke at Wasatch Quilting.  It turned out really nice!

Overall Pioneer Braid Quilt

Close-up of braid quilt.
Another quilt that I quilted for Becky, but that is actually being donated to my guild's auction next month.  This was yet another of Mom's UFOs that she gave to Becky to finish.  The blocks were all complete, and were from an exchange that Mom participated in many years ago.  I used the New Bountiful e2e pattern from Karen Farnsworth at Wildflower Quilting.  That gave some soft curves to all the straight lines of the quilt top.  I know Becky had fits getting these all put together and squared up.  The thing about exchanges... you don't get equal quality from every participant!  And, in this case, there was a lot of room for error with all of those stitched lines in every block.  Still... I think this turned out striking, and will hopefully bring in a decent amount for the guild.

Overall photo of block exchange quilt.

Close up of block exchange quilt.
I also quilted a community service quilt for Becky's sister, Jerrianne Evans.  It's another one that she made using the Mother Goose line of fabric that was designed by Mom.  So cute!  I'd been looking for ways to practice Joyce Lundrigan's Skill Builders sets, and this top was the perfect opportunity!  I used the instructions for the March 2019 set, which used concatenating E2E patterns.  Great practice and a great quilt!

Overall photo of community service quilt.

Closeup of community service quilt.
And now, a few of my very own quilts that I finished!  I posted a photo of the top for my mini Storm at Sea from Flynn Quilt Company back in February.  Well, here she is all quilted up and ready to hang up somewhere!  I just did some ditch work around the larger squares, and then stitched straight lines through the "waves."  Her name is A Little SAS-sea.  Hahaha!

Overall photo of the top of A Little SAS-sea.

Photo of the back of A Little SAS-sea.
Another mini, and another kit I picked up at Festival last year is this totally adorable mini pineapple quilt.  I bought the kit from Yellow Creek Quilt Designs.  The pattern and design are from Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, and it is originally meant to be a holiday or winter quilt, with snowflakes embroidered in the corners.  I opted to un-seasonalize this little cutie and turn it into an Aggie quilt for my alma mater!  I was honestly amazed at those little blocks.  Each one is 2-inches square, but still has 45 pieces of fabric.  Wow!  I used the mitered feather border set from Nancy Haacke, which turned out really nice for this little guy.  Then, I used the Statler to stitch the words in the corners.  Gig 'em Aggies!

Itty Bitty Aggie Quilt
Last, but most certainly not least, I added that last border to my Antebellum Album quilt, the block-of-the-month for 2018 from Barbara Brackman.  And, I got her all quilted up!  Woohoo!  I used wool batting for the first time because I wanted to try out the puff that it gives, and really have my quilting pop.  It worked!  I used single irish chaine fleur 001 and 002 from Kimberlee Diamond at Sweet Dreams Quilt Studio for the blocks of the quilt.  For the border, I used Joyce Lundrigan's Feather Vein Scallop Border Corner Set.  I love this quilt!  My plan is to get her bound in the next week or two and ready to hang.  Love, love, love!

Still on the machine, loving how the quilting is turning out.

Close up of a corner all quilted up.

Overall of my Antebellum Album.
What else exciting is happening around here?  I'm glad you asked!  I'm heading out in a few short days for the 2019 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.  If you haven't heard of it, it's the largest outdoor quilt show in the world, with over 1400 quilts hanging... outside!  It's kind of a bucket list thing for many quilters, so I'm getting it checked off of my own list this year.  I can't wait!!!

That's all I've got for now.  I'll take plenty of pictures in Sisters to share next month.  Keep cool and keep on quilting!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Spring Retreat!

It's May!  It's the month of my birthday!  And, as usual, I have some pics to share.  This month, the focus is on quilts (or rooms... you'll soon understand) that I saw at my guild's, Lakeview Quilters Guild's, Spring Retreat in Galveston, Texas.  Here goes!

I finally finished my block of the month that I was working on all last year, from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilts blog.  I have to admit that I wish I had used a little bit less muted palate of colors, but I do still love it.  And, I've already got quilting patterns picked out and ready to go.  I plan to add a "big honkin' border" (trademarked phrase of Sue Garman/Mom) of the red fabric this weekend and load her up on my longarm in the next week or so.  Yippee!

My Antebellum Album Quilt... imagine me with a big honkin' red border!
 Next, I want to share some of the beautiful and inspirational quilts that my fellow guildies were working on during retreat.  First up, a combination snail trail and star quilt top that Mary Ann Alexander's daughter designed for her on Electric Quilt, and which I couldn't stop stealing glances at across the room.  It didn't help that my seat was directly facing it when it was on the design wall!

Mary Ann Alexander's snail trail and star combination quilt.
A little further into the room, I came across this block of the month quilt that Maria Cazeras had purchased from Pinwheels and Posies down here in Dickinson, Texas, and had finally completed.  Great work!  Pinwheels suffered quite heavy damage during Hurricane Harvey.  We're so happy they were able to remodel and reopen, even bigger and better than before!

Maria Cazeras block of the month from Pinwheels.
I also came across another snail trail style quilt.  This one is a pattern called Azure Coast from Connecting Threads, made by Dottie Carlin.  I love the soft colors and it looks just gorgeous!

Dottie Carlin's Azure Coast by Connecting Threads.
Next is a little bit more teary story, but heartwarming all the same.  My dear friend, Mary Jo Thompson, lost her husband a few months ago.  She came to retreat with a box full of cut squares that came from his shirts.  And, she's working to make quilts for their kids/grandchildren out of those pieces.  What a wonderful way to remember such a great husband, father, grandfather, friend!

Boxes of squares from Mary Jo's husband's shirts.

The quilt pattern Mary Jo will be using to make quilts from those squares.
I can't move on without showing at least one finished quilt top from my good friend, Jerrianne Evans.  She finished this one at the retreat... a gorgeous top of 9-patches alternating with squares, all set on point.  It reminds me of several of Mom's patterns, has lots of my beloved Civil War colors, and calls to my affinity for scrappy quilts.  Love it!

Jerrianne's quilt top of 9-patches.

At the table right next to us, right behind me, we had a fairly young/new quilter, Kayleigh, working on a beautiful blue quilt.  She had drawn a name of a family member to give a Christmas gift to this year, and decided to make that person a quilt.  I know from experience that blues are a HUGE pain to match up... in fact, every time I make a blue quilt a swear I'm never making another one, but then I do it anyway... without a thought... usually fairly soon after.  I love blue.  LOL!  Great job on this one, Kayleigh!

Kayleigh's blue quilt.
Next I have a series of small quilts made by my good friend, Becky Stephenson.  She makes small quilts A LOT, and donates all or close to all of them to be sold in the small quilt auction at our bi-annual guild quilt show.  They're awesome!  I always have to reign myself in from buying them.  This year she and her sister, Jerrianne, did a short talk on making small quilts with a lot of tips and tricks.  It was great!  I think everyone appreciated what they learned and were inspired to go make their own small quilts.

Tiny boots.  How can you not fall in love?!

Simply lots of small scraps of matching stair-stepped colors.  Simple, but gorgeous.

Hearts (I know, upside down, but it's late and I'm too tired to fix it right now) and pinwheels.  Valentine's love!

Anyone watch the Tiny House show?  I think this would fit in perfectly!

A tiny, truncated alphabet.

Squares, half-triangles, and stars... OH MY!
There's always a last, but not least, right?  Remember at the beginning, when I mentioned rooms?  Here goes... we stay at the Victorian Condo-Hotel in Galveston for the retreat.  Well, some retreaters stay there and some stay elsewhere and travel to that locale daily for retreating.  Anyway, the rooms are individually owned and, thus, individually rented... and decorated.  One group of ladies was staying in a very special room... the flamingo room... and you'll see why...

A view looking toward the front bedroom, front door down that hall just a bit.  Note the flamingo wrapping paper used as wallpaper over the bunks on the right!

Flamingo-kitchen!  I love the bottle opener/flamingo butt on the wall.  The sink even had a flamingo drain catch!

Top and side of the refrigerator.  So fun!

Anyone for a flamingo-iced beverage?

How about some flamingo sugar or toothpicks?

Has anyone seen his keys?  I think he's had a few too many Pink Flamingos...

Wait!  That's not a flamingo in the framed art!  Maybe they thought we wouldn't notice with all of the surrounding pink towels and other flamingos. 
I hope you've enjoyed the flamingo room tour... and maybe gotten some inspiration from the quilts that we've shared with you this month.  See you soon!  I've already got a bunch of stuff ready to share with the next post, so stay tuned. 

Keep on quilting!
Jenny Arkinson

Saturday, March 9, 2019

I Thought It Was APRIL Showers!

Here we are in the very beginning of March, and at least here on the Gulf Coast in Texas, the weather has been a bit crazy!  We had a hard freeze this week, followed just a couple days later by temperatures in the 70s.  And, I think we've only had a handful of sunny days in the last MONTH!  I mean, who ever heard of freeze warnings and high pollen readings happening at the same time?!  It's rare that we wish for summer to hurry up and get here in Texas, but that's what's happening.  I want my sunshine back! 

I've only got a couple of things of my own to share this month, and then I'd like to share some photos of quilts that other women have made using Mom's patterns!

So, I did get a couple of quilts quilted this month, both for friends.  The first is a pink ribbon quilt for my friend Becky.  I just used an edge-to-edge pattern for it, one of the free ribbon patterns that came with my Statler.  I think it turned out nicely, and will make a very nice gift to someone who needs it one day.

View of the top of Becky's pink ribbon quilt.

Closer view of the quilting and the quilt.

View of the back of the pink ribbon quilt.
The other quilt that I got quilted this last month was Jerrianne's flying geese quilt, or the zig-zag quilt, as I like to call it.  I love the fresh autumn colors in the quilt!  This one has the Baptist Fan border-corner pattern from Kim Diamond at Sweet Dreams Quilt Studio.  It's one of my faves!  I did simple stitch-in-the-ditch with all of the flying geese... every stinkin' ditch!  Simple, yes, but lots of stitching.  I used Microquilter thread for the first time for all the ditch work, and it was FANTASTIC!  I mean, it basically disappears into the quilt.  Really amazing stuff!

Overall view of the flying geese quilt.

Closeup view of the flying geese.
And now, a little celebration of quilts that some wonderful quilters have sent me photos of, and given me permission to post, of quilts that were made from Mom's patterns.  First up, is one that I'm VERY late in posting.  She sent me the photo about a year ago, and I'm so very sorry that I've neglected to show the photo until now.  This is Sarah's Revival quilt made by Pat Pollock and quilted by her good friend Sue Huettl.  It took Best of Show at the Evergreen Quilting Show in Green Bay, Wisconsin last year.  Woohoo!  Well deserved!

Pat Pollock's version of Sarah's Revival.
Next up, I have a couple of close-up shots of some outstanding quilting on a Coxcomb Medallion quilt that was made by Tricia Cevoli.  The fabric choices are beautiful and the quilting is really bringing enhancing the pattern well.  I love it!

Close-up of some incredible quilting on Tricia Cevoli's Coxcomb Medallion.

A little larger shot of Tricia's Coxcomb Medallion.
The third quilt I have to share is The Tall Ship Elissa - My Homage to Sue Garman, made by Mandie Hartford.  She is a fan of Mom's patterns and I think it shows in her work.  The quilt is beautiful and the quilting is fantastic!  This quilt was entered in the contest at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival this year.

The Tall Ship Elissa - My Homage to Sue Garman, by Mandie Hartford
Next up!  A pair of quilts made by Linda West.  These are both applique patterns that are more whimsical or folksy in nature.  And, I think they're both wonderful!  Linda finished her Spring Joy quilt top just last month... so bright and cheerful, like springtime!  The second is her All Around the Town quilt that she finished several years ago.  She added her own personalization to this quilt, which Mom would have loved, with signs and labels to reflect the town where she lives.  So cute!

Spring Joy by Linda West

All Around the Town by Linda West
Last, but not least, is an adaptation of the Halo Medallion quilt, made by Pamela Liston from London, Ontario.  It was quilted by Renee Darkis from Alamo, Texas.  Pamela replaced the row of pinwheels with a string of pearls.  Then added an extra border of double flying geese because the delectable mountain border didn't leave room for a floater (due to a minor miscalculation).  It turned out so beautiful!  In fact, it won Best in Show at the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Guild's Quilt Show this year. 

Pamela Liston's Halo Medallion Quilt.
Thanks to everyone for sharing photos of their quilts with us, and allowing us to share them here.  We love seeing all of the different final versions that are created out there, and love to see Mom live on through her patterns and inspiration. 

That's all for now.  See y'all next month.

Keep on quilting!

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!