Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More Machine Quilting

I've been steadily machine quilting my quilt tops trying to get them done. This is the Mystery Quilt that the guild offered this past year. I meandered the body of the quilt and decided to sew this curly little scroll in the inner border. I thought it was a nice reference to the pattern in the outer border. This pattern comes from this book:
I bought this book at the Mancuso World Quilt Show. I couldn't resist buying it. I have fun just looking through this book. It's full of great ideas. I'm so glad I bought it!

I've also been working on my Summer Star Sampler quilt. This is Block 8 out of 12. I stippled in the blue areas and sewed feathers in the actual star. These next photos may help you see things better.

It's a sort of side view.

Just a little bit closer!

 Here's a closeup of the 9th block I've quilted in this same quilt. There are leaves that start in the outer corners of the 4 patch. This one is light and even harder to see than the others.

I just have to say that I'm being kept busy with my machine quilting! After this, I have 2 quilt tops left to finish up. I'm just trying to get these quilt tops made into actual quilts so I won't feel guilty starting something new!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blogger's BOM August

This is the Blogger's BOM for August which was given to us this month by Amy's Creative Side. I thought this was such a great looking block. I love the symmetry and how everything just seems to line up. The directions were easy to follow and I just loved making it.

Here are my blocks so far! I really love how they look. I'm thinking of what sort of sashing I would use and have not come up with any ideas. We still have 2 months left so I have some time to think about it. I'll be rather sad when this BOM is over. It's been so fun to make a block a month and link up with other bloggers making the same block. I'm hoping another wonderful quilt along or Block of the Month will pop up and fill the void!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mancuso World Quilt Show

I went to the Mancuso World Quilt Show this past Friday. What a great time! There are close to 100 vendors and well over 100 quilts. I don't know about you, but I always have a hard time trying to decide who I should visit first, vendors or quilts?! You don't have to make that decision at this show. The quilts are displayed between the vendors so you can shop and admire the quilts all at the same time!

I took pictures but did not note who made the quilt, what award it won, etc. I just took pictures of what I found to be amazing! The above picture was one of the first quilts we saw. The detail in the buildings was just unbelievable! Such wonderful work!

I loved this quilt! It's a beautiful close up of flowers but if you look close enough, there's a fairy living in one of them! I was amazed by the detail once again. This could have been a photograph.

I don't know the name of this one, but we nicknamed it "Joey"! The picture was made of tiny little squares. It was gorgeous and so hard to take a picture because there were people in front of it all the time! I'm not sure why, but it didn't win an award. I wanted to present my own award to it!

This one turned out to be one of my favorites. We saw it up close but didn't think anything of it. The design wasn't visible until we walked a little bit away and then looked back at it. Every seam in the vertical strips matches a seam in the background fabrics. I have no idea how you can even plan that!

The applique on this quilt was perfect! That red strip on the front is a barrier put up to prevent us from getting too close. Some of this quilt was touching the floor so we had to keep away. I could only manage to photograph the center. It was huge!

This was a scrap quilt that also caught my attention. The pieces on this quilt are no larger than an inch. I think that would drive my crazy but someone did a wonderful job sewing it all together. It was gorgeous!

This quilt had some wonderful machine quilting. It's very difficult to see in the picture. The colors were so rich. It also reminds me of fall and I'm really looking forward to that!

This quilt was a showstopper! It had beautiful quilting and applique. It was a work of art.

This show had quilts on display from all over the world. I was never bored. We were there for about 4 hours. I don't think any of us really wanted to leave! I thought of returning the next day but I never made it. I can tell you that I can't wait for next year! I'll be there!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

FMQ Challenge August

This month's Free Motion Challenge was taught to us by Wendy Sheppard. She blogs at Ivory Spring. She is an accomplished quilter. She taught us to quilt the jester's hat. I thought it was a very pretty pattern and felt it would be a great allover design for a quilt. Wendy made it seem so easy and free flowing. I had problems as soon as I tried to draw it! I'm not very artistic but it seemed hard to draw. I did get better at drawing the actual hat but then you had to travel with it! Here is an idea of my paper practice.

This is only some of the practice papers I kept hanging around the house. I tried doodling my hats at work also! I did get better at it but I feel there's room for improvement.  I'm glad I could fulfill the challenge this month and hope to continue my practicing!

I felt this picture was a little bit more of a close up. I really love the actual pattern. Many thanks to SewCal Gal and Wendy Sheppard for another awesome month of the Free-Motion Quilting Challenge!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Finishes!

Although I'm on vacation this week, I did manage to finish two projects! This is my first knit doily using that huge cone of cotton yarn I bought a few weeks ago. I really love how it came out. I must admit it was a fairly tough project for me. I'm used to knitting with wool yarn that has a good amount of stretch. This cotton yarn has no stretch at all. It was so difficult to knit 2 stitches together or pass a slipped stitch over. It actually broke one of my bamboo knitting needles. I think I'm going to invest in metal knitting needles. I've found a couple more free patterns on line that I would like to make. This doily measures about 8 1/2 inches across. I found a pattern for a 15 inch doily. I'll really need the metal needles for that one!

This is a scarf I made using the yarn I bought at the Lowell Quilt Festival last week. I love the color. The yarn is Acacia Fishnet yarn. It's exactly what it says, very similar to fishnet. There is no stitch running across the top so you know where to insert the needle. It's just netting and you have to stretch it out. I don't think I was always at the exact same spot each time I knit into a stitch. However, I think this yarn and pattern are very forgiving and it just doesn't really matter. It's about 4 inches across and 45 inches in length. It's a nice pastel purple with a silver edging. The picture doesn't really show what a great color this scarf is.

Tomorrow is the day I will be attending the Mancuso World Quilt Show in Manchester, New Hampshire. I hope to be there most of the day. They have so many vendors! I think there are close to 100 vendors on their roster. The quilts are from all over the world. It is quite interesting to see this show. The vendors and quilts are displayed all together. There will be 3 or 4 quilts in a small area with vendors on either side of them. You get to see the quilts and shop all at the same time. It's a really fun show. I'll take some pictures! My friends and I are all looking forward to it! We can't wait!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lowell Quilt Festival

I went to the Lowell Quilt Festival this past Friday. I took some pictures to share with you all. There were some amazing quilts on display. I managed to take a picture of some of these quilts, however there were many more quilts that I just couldn't get to. The above picture shows the first aisle as you enter the quilt display.

I loved these two quilts being displayed side by side. I loved the colors of the pieced quilt. I admired the detail of the portrait quilt. I did not document who made these quilts or what awards were won. I just took photos of what appealed to me.

Again, I was drawn to the colors of both of these quilts. There were so striking!

This is one of the award winning quilts. It was just amazing! It was quite difficult to take this picture. There was always a crowd of people around it.

This quilt was beautiful! I have no idea how I would even begin to make this quilt. Just gorgeous! Whoever made it must be very talented!!

Hope you enjoyed this little taste of a very amazing quilt show. The vendors were wonderful. I bought some lovely fabric as well as the third book of patterns using the Twister ruler. I also bought some yarn! I almost bought some lovely jewelry. I'm going to a very large quilt show this coming Friday and felt I should leave something to buy! I'll be attending the Mancuso show in Manchester, NH. You'll get to see a whole new set of pictures!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic Socks/Lowell Quilt Festival

I finished my socks! I'm calling them my Olympic socks since I worked on them while watching the Olympics. They're a midnight blue with tweed specks added in. They're hand dyed and so soft! I wish you could feel them! They're made using a lace pattern. It was an 8-row repeat which I thought was difficult when I started. However, it got to be so easy after awhile! Mistakes were minimal. Cookie A is the designer of this pattern. I used her book Sock Innovation. The pattern is named Glynis.

Here's a closeup of the pattern as well as the yarn. This picture is much more accurate as to the true color. I really love them. I can't wait to go to another knitting show to grab some more hand dyed yarn. There is something very special about this product that you can't find in mass produced yarn.

Speaking of shows, I'm planning on going to the Lowell Quilt Festival tomorrow. It's not very far from my house and it's always a great show. They have great vendors and wonderful quilts on display. They usually have shuttles to take us around the city to different museums. There are great textile museums scattered throughout the city as well as a quilt museum. There are also many different restaurants to try. I will take pictures and give you all a little taste of what the show was like!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Productive Day

I machine quilted another block in my sampler quilt. There are large leaves radiating out of the dark star. There are also straight line designs in the corners and triangles. The leaves were not marked but the lines were measured and marked using one of those blue Mark-B-Gone markers. I love those markers. I already washed it out. I have used them for a long time and never had a problem with them. Of course, the quilt will be washed when the quilting is complete. (Who knows when that will be!)

Here's a close up of the block. It's still not a great picture but it is a bit easier to see. The free motion leaves were very quick. The marked lines took longer but so easy to quilt! I used a walking foot for the marked design. I enjoyed quilting the whole block. Machine quilting is getting a little easier for me.

I figured since I had the walking foot on the machine, I may as well as outline the wreath. So that's what I did! I quilted around the inside and outside of the wreath. I also stitched the border seam. I was thinking of meandering the background and leaving the wreath the way it is. I haven't decided for sure. I would like the wreath to look like one unit. If I quilted around each twister, it may look sort of choppy. I still have to think that over!

I also have the backing all put together and ironed for my mystery quilt. The mystery quilt was also ironed. I did laundry and even cleaned a few windows. I'm not sure what got into me today but I feel like I accomplished a lot! I am feeling sort of tired now. I plan on sitting down and watching the Olympics with my knitting and a cup of tea!! Hope you all had a good day too!! Enjoy your evening!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

This has been a somewhat quiet week. It's been hot and I feel like I haven't had much energy. I've been watching the Olympics at night. I finished my fussy cut hexagon the other night. It uses the fabric I used to make my Lil Twister quilt that I gave my mom. I love how the design goes all the way around.

I'm also knitting a pair of socks. I'm hoping to have those done next week. They were a bit difficult when I first started them but I've become used to the pattern now. I feel as though I'm knitting the second sock much quicker than the first.

Joann's is also having a great sale. I had a 25% off coupon for my full purchase. They even had batting on sale for 50% off! I had never seen such a large spool of Sugar 'N Cream cotton yarn being sold at Joann's before. Of course, I just had to buy it! I think it will be great to make doilies. It looks like I can make a lot of doilies if I feel like it!We'll see how many I actually make!

I'm trying to get the backing ready for a couple of my quilt tops. It's just been so hot. I'm tired of feeling hot whenever I get into a project. I have air conditioning but I'm still hot! Am I the only one dreaming of fall?? I love the cool, crisp air as well as the lovely colors of autumn. It sounds so nice after all these hot days. I love summer but it just feels as though we've had too many hot days in a row. I feel like we need a break.

Disco is Done!

Even though I'm busily working on my quilt Christmas gifts, I did manage to finish this quilt top! It's Disco by Jaybird Quilts...