Thursday, October 19, 2017
I've been machine quilting my neighbor's quilt for a few days now. She was not interested in any custom or ruler work. We decided on a large meander which makes sense since the quilt is such a large size. I'm using Aurifil thread 50 weight on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. My machine seems to love this combination! It's been stitching very nicely!
I can't really tell how much of the quilt I've quilted. I think I'm close to half way done but I'm not sure. I'm so happy that the quilting is moving along so quickly. I was afraid this quilt would take a long time based on the size alone. I really think the longarm is the reason I'm making such great timing. I've had the longarm about a year and I'm finally starting to feel comfortable with it. It seemed to take awhile. When I bought it, I wasn't aware of the steep learning curve. I'm glad I didn't know! I might have chickened out and never bought it!
Monday, October 16, 2017
I thought I would start making a few early Christmas gifts. I haven't made mittens in a very long time! I thought I would give it a try. So far so good! I figure once you're past the thumb, you're okay!
This is just some yarn I had in my stash. (Yes, I seem to have a yarn stash as well as a fabric stash!) I really love the cable running through the middle of the mitten.
The pattern comes from this book. I found this book years ago when Borders was going out of business. There are some really great patterns in this book. So glad I bought it! I still miss Borders, by the way.
I'll post a picture when I finish the mitten. Hope it turns out okay! Might make a few pairs if successful!
Friday, October 13, 2017
I have the backing right side up with the quilt top sitting on top of it. Even though I checked my calculations many times, I wanted to make sure the backing was large enough to accommodate the quilt top. I have some nice extra fabric all around the top. Just how I like it!
My neighbor has yards and yards of this green fabric which she wanted for the backing. I started by cutting one piece approximately 102 inches long. She had a 4 yard cut which made it easy to get this length with no seams.
However, all her other pieces were closer to 2 yards. I decided to add to those 2 yard pieces. I kept the large piece in the middle. I sewed the pieced 102 inch pieces to the top and bottom of the piece in the first picture. It's hard to see. This backing is so large that I have no place in my house to lay it out nicely. Hope I can get it on the longarm okay. I have some batting all ready to go. I usually pop it in the dryer to get rid of some of the creases. I'll be loading it on the longarm tomorrow.
Molly seems to agree with my choices so far. She found a nice place for herself! Cats always find a comfy little corner! Have a wonderful weekend!
Monday, October 9, 2017
Here are my two borders for Green Tea and Sweet Beans. These borders will be sewn onto the top and bottom of the quilt top. The top border still needs leaves. I've started preparing them. I use the freezer paper method so it will take a little while to get the leaves ready for applique.
Here's a close up of the top border. I like using different fabrics for the stems between flowers. I think it makes the border more fun.
This is a close up of both borders. It doesn't seem possible that these borders take so much time to make! When I finish the top border, I'm going to sew them onto the quilt top. It might make me feel as though I'm actually making progress on this quilt! These borders are nice but slow to make!
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Here's my finished pile of scraps for Scrap Vortex. I haven't worked on this one in awhile. Step 2 is taking me a very long time! Step 2 is basically putting 2 scrap pieces together that were made in Step 1. I feel some of my scraps are a little large so I'm cutting some down and then joining them to other pieces. It's a slow process but if I just keep at it, it will get done.
This is the pile of scraps I have yet to work through. It looks like I'm about half done. I'll just have to remind myself to keep working on it. I think after Step 2, it should become quicker.
I'm also working on the backing for my neighbor's Log Cabin quilt. It's so big! I think making the backing will take awhile too. I can't wait to get it on the longarm. I spoke with my neighbor today and she thinks a big meander will look good. Once it's loaded, quilting should be fun!
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Here's my completed dust cover for my Avante. I changed things up a little bit. I could have cut out an opening on either side to accommodate the poles. I decided against it. The openings would only work if the machine was pushed all the way to the back.While quilting, I just leave the machine wherever I stop. I felt this would keep the machine better protected against dust and any fur my cats may throw around in the area!
Here's a closeup of the front of the machine before I applied the binding. I love the sewing machines! I wasn't convinced I needed I binding so I zig zagged all the edges. I suppose I could have left it but the binding does give it a nice finished look.
I also placed small velcro dots along the top that has a built in opening for the thread pole. I may use something else eventually. I feel those dots just keep coming off no matter how hard I press them down. Either way, I think it's a nice way to protect my machine.
Monday, September 25, 2017
Here are my pieces all cut out to make a dust cover for my long arm.
Here are the directions. I've read through them and they don't really make sense to me. I hope I'll have a better idea of what to do once I start sewing. The pattern is a free download on the Handi Quilter website.
The weather has been so very warm and humid. It feels like middle of summer. I'm happy to stay indoors and sew!
Friday, September 22, 2017
Isn't this the neatest cake!?? Bits N Pieces, my local quilt shop, is having a 15th Anniversary weekend. They're having the best sales! They're also supplying cake and chocolates! If interested, the shop is located in Pelham, NH. It's worth the trip! The sale ends on Sunday.
I bought these quilt clamps. They come in handy of you want to test your tension while working on a quilt. You can secure a practice piece to the frame and check your quilt stitch. I've had my eye on them for awhile!
I've been quilting my fabric to make a dust cover for my longarm. It's coming along very nicely! It's so fast. I'm almost done.
Here's a closeup of the quilt sandwich. I'm just doodling away! I'm stippling, feathering, and clam shelling! It's just a fun way to practice and make something at the same time.
Have a nice weekend!!
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Here's my slab table runner. I'm enjoying the process of sewing down the binding. It's a great excuse to watch television!
This is the backing fabric. I've had it in my stash for years. I bought it at Keepsake Quilting. It was in their bargain area. I thought the colors as well as the print was just perfect for this runner.
This is the first time I've loaded a smaller item onto the longarm. It was pretty easy. I finished it so fast!
I quilted all over feathers. I thought this would be a great way to practice. I made small feathers and large feathers to fill different area.I think they came out well. I'm happy with my table runner. Such a fun project helped along by my blogging friends!
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Our guild, Tewksbury Piecemakers, held it's first meeting of the new year last night. Anyone who took part in Show and Tell had their name entered into a drawing and I won! It was so fun! I "showed" my Arcadia Avenue quilt. I won a package of 2.5 inch strips and a pattern that I can make with them. I felt the new year started with bang! For me, anyways!!
I found out that Handi Quilter has a pattern to make a dust cover for my long arm. I usually throw a sheet over it! I went to Joann's and found the perfect fabric! Isn't it adorable?? I'm going to use backing from my stash. I figure you'll only really see the top fabric. I'll quilt it first and then cut my pieces. Should be a fun project! (Just another one to add to my ever growing list!)
Saturday, September 9, 2017
I put my slab blocks together to make a table runner. I'll have to admit that I took a little sewing break. After sewing that huge log cabin quilt, I felt a little break would be good. I decided to work on these colorful blocks as my next project! I'll probably use it in the spring. It reminds me of nature with all the pink and green. (My favorite combination!)
Here are the blocks without the outer border. I've been practicing a new free motion pattern and that's how I'll finish this one. So nice that my blogging friends made these lovely blocks. I think of them every time I work on it. Thanks so much!!
Monday, September 4, 2017
Happy Labor Day! I'm enjoying this holiday and hope you are too! I'm not sewing today. I finished sewing my neighbor's Log Cabin quilt. It was a sewing marathon for me! I finished it up yesterday while it was raining outside. I thought I earned a well deserved break from my sewing machine.
Here's another view of the quilt! It's huge! I think the backing is all cut but I'll have to sew it together. That can wait for another day.
Craftsy is offering All-You-Can-Watch Day. You can view classes for free! I'm already on my second class. You have until midnight tonight! Enjoy!!
Friday, September 1, 2017
I couldn't include all the blocks in this picture but there are 42 blocks total. They measure about 16 inches square. I finished all the blocks and just wanted to see how they would look when sewn together. It can be difficult to mix blocks made by 2 different people. We all have our own personal way of sewing. I was hoping it wouldn't be too hard to sew them together.
My daughter thought it was funny to see me taking a picture of the blocks. Here I am trying to take a good picture!
I did sew 3 rows together. I think it looks good so far. It wasn't really that hard to match up the seams. The blocks are not completely uniform but it seems they're close enough to sew together without any major problems. I'm half done, 3 more rows to go! I think this will be a great quilt to stipple all over but I'm going to check with my neighbor before I start the quilting process.
I was busily sewing and not paying attention to my cats. I found Lily sleeping calmly amid a toy she had destroyed. So fresh!!
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
I finished making the blocks for my neighbor's quilt. Phew! They're ironed and trimmed and all set to be sewn into a quilt top. As a quick diversion, I decided to make this Cube Pinnie by May Chappell. She has a great tutorial on her blog which you can find here. It's quick (took about 30 minutes) and it's so darn cute! I cut three strips as you can see above.
I ironed the wider strip in half and lined up raw edges to one of the other strips. I sewed all the way around. I lined up raw edges of the 3rd strip to raw edges of the MIDDLE of this piece. (Forgot to take a picture, oops!)
You end up with this weird looking thing. I may have over pinned but I thought that might help me out in the end.
After some careful sewing, this is what I ended up with!
I used fiber filling but crushed walnut shells was recommended. It would probably stand up better with the shells. It's fine for me. It's so cute and I just love that little pocket. It's a nice feeling to make something and finish it up so quickly. Nice change of pace for me!!
Monday, August 28, 2017
Arcadia Avenue is finally complete! I just finished sewing down the binding. I'm so happy to have this one all finished.
It's hard to see the binding in that picture so I took a few closeups.
I really love this Kaffe Fassett fabric. I wanted a little punch of color to finish off this quilt. This fabric was perfect! Love the colors.
I'll be making a nice label for it. No quilt is done until that label is attached! I'll also be making a label for Patchwork Swoon. I thought it would be easier to make both labels at the same time.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
I finished making the 17 remaining blocks. I started to pair them up so I could sew 2 blocks together.
Here's my little pile of 2 blocks sewed together. There are 60 pairs, 120 single blocks. My neighbor had made 151 blocks. She purchased so much fabric that she could have easily made 2 quilts. I needed the 17 blocks so I could make the quilt with an even number of rows.
I'll end up with 42 of these blocks. I'll set them as 6 blocks by 7 blocks. It should be around 90" X 105". She wanted a large queen and I think that's what she's getting! I'll be talking to her after the quilt top is finished. I would love to stipple this quilt. I think it's the fastest way and I don't think she will want to pay for custom work. She has the backing and binding all ready in the totes she gave me. There's so much extra fabric in those totes! I'd feel bad if I didn't use up as much as I can.
Over the weekend, we went to The Walker Stalker Convention in Boston. My kids love this show and I love it too! It's one of the few things we do as a family. Here's a picture of me with my daughter and son. We had a great time. They paid for meet and greets but I just admire from a distance! The actors are very friendly and fun to meet.
One last family photo! My mother found this and sent it to me today. That's my dad with his sister. We think it's from the late 1920's. It's a wonderful photo although a bit sad.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
A friend and I went to the World Quilt New England run by Mancuso Show Management. It was held in Manchester, NH which isn't too far from where we live. There were so many quilts there! Unbelievable! I think we were overloaded on quilts which I never thought could really happen to us. This is an international quilt show that travels all over the world. There was so much to see! There were also about 50 vendors. Such fun!
I took a few pictures and will share what caught my eye! This quilt above is called Andesine. It measures 63" X 75". It was made by Andrea Stracke of Germany.
Walking by this quilt, we thought it was a great quilt that was machine quilted. We were so wrong!
It's all hand quilted! It is also hand pieced. We couldn't believe it! I thought it was micro stippled by machine. I have no idea how she could have done this all by hand. So beautiful!
This quilt is Geisha, made by Jennifer A. Wheatley of Gilbertsville, PA. It measures 78" X 58". This quilt was striking! It reminded me of a painting.
There was trim and fur sewn onto the quilt to give it some 3-D effects.
The thread painting was excellent. It all worked together so well.
This is Good Vibrations by Ansa Breytenback of New Zealand. It measures 78" X 81". I just love the colors and vibrancy of this quilt. It's actually inspired by the old Beach Boys song of the same name. This quilt is so colorful that it sparkles!
This is That Blooming Mosaic from South Africa. It's made by more than 40 women from Village Quilter's Guild. It measures 76" X 76".
Each image in this quilt is made from tiny little tiles that are somewhat appliqued onto a background fabric.
I don't think each tile is traditionally appliqued. I think it may be glued down or somehow put into place so it can be quilted and secured to the background. It's amazing 40 women could do this as a group project. Phenomenal!!
This last quilt is called Carousel. It's made by Yvonne Chapman from Australia. It measures 36" X 36". The quilt maker said that when she rode the carousel as a child, she always thought the horse she was riding on was the REAL horse! This quilt is a tribute to her childhood.
That's all I the pictures I took. There were many challenges also. There were over 100 small wall quilts inspired by The Lion King. There was a Hoffman Challenge using one of their butterfly fabrics. So much to see! If you get the chance, don't miss it!
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