Monday, October 16, 2017

Kelly Cline and Beautiful Quilting

Sunday was a very rainy and windy day but it didn't keep me from driving to Elmira for the quarterly meeting of my long arm group - SOLO. Elmira, Ontario is in Mennonite country and it is a 1.75 hour drive from where I live. As I got closer to Elmira I was a little surprised when I came upon many, many horses and buggies sharing the road with me. I have never seen so many and I have never actually driven past horses before in such close proximity - usually they are in a field. ;) I did slow down and I gave them lots of room as I passed.

We had a guest speaker for this meeting and you may have heard of her - Kelly Cline. She works with linens and doilies and old tablecloths - lots of vintage and very beautiful pieces. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and didn't get any photos but here is a link to her vintage page. Really, check out the links she is fantastic!

Kelly gave us a trunk show and then she gave a demonstration of her process using the long arm with these vintage pieces. She also uses a domestic sewing machine but I do believe she says she loves her long arm. Kelly does gorgeous work and during the talk she had certainly inspired me to think about doing some custom work of my own - maybe not on linens but certainly on my own quilts.

When I got home I visited her site and I saw a photo that contained the phrase 'She believed She could so She did'. When it comes to free motion quilting or ruler work I think I have to take up this phrase literally and believe in myself. Who knows where it will lead but maybe I can get the confidence to do custom work on my own quilts.

So after all that, today I am going to make a backing for this crumb quilt I made and I am going to do a pantograph that I want to practice. ;)

I don't know if I will get the whole quilt done today. I am feeling a bit tired today and I had intended on sleeping in but that didn't happen.  I think I have a cold coming and I hope I can fight it off. I have Tai Chi tonight and I don't want to miss it so I may need a nap.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Old Tobacco Road

When I went to the Guild retreat in September I did some prep work ahead of time on two quilts that I wanted to work on while I was there. They are both Bonnie Hunter designs, En Provence (2016 mystery) and Old Tobacco Road (free mystery pattern generously provided by Bonnie Hunter). Well, now that En Provence is ready for quilting it is time to give Old Tobacco Road some more attention.

When I last worked on OTR I had all of the sub units pieced and I needed to start sewing those together in the correct order (notice I said correct order) and then join them into rows and so on. Yesterday I started doing just that!

After sewing some of the sections together a thought came to me...there are a ton of flying geese in the border....maybe I should be using them as leaders and enders. :) And so I did!

It is looking pretty good so far except for that one solid looking black has got to go. It is sticking out like a sore thumb and my eye is drawn directly to it. There are other black rectangles being used but they blend in better because they have more texture or print and don't read as a solid. That strip is already attached so I will have to get my seam ripper out and get to work on it before I go any further.

Friday, October 13, 2017

En Provence is Ready for Quilting

I couldn't quite get the whole top into the photo...
I worked on the borders for this quilt top off and on over the past week or so and I finally got them finished and attached on Wednesday evening.  I think it looks really good and I can't wait to see it turned into a finished quilt.

This quilt top came together so quickly that I have surprised myself - I only started it in September and it is already a finished flimsy!

I think the next time I work on a pieced border like this that I will definitely do a line of stay stitching all around every edge - border and quilt top - before I start sewing them together. I did have a little issue with some of the stitching starting to separate so I did do some stay stitching but not until I had most of the borders attached.

This photo is a little dark!
Even with the little bit of frustration from the seams splitting I quite enjoyed making this quilt top and I am very happy with the end result!

The next step is to decide which backing to use and figure out which pantograph and thread that I want to use. Hopefully, the decisions come quickly!!

It has been dull, gray, and rainy the past couple days so not a lot of light coming into the house to take photos but...I did my best. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Another Quilt for Betty

Betty has given me a few quilt tops to quilt for her and this is the third one of the group. She chose the Popcorn pantograph by Jodi Beamish and I think it looks great. The quilt has such great texture and I think Betty is going to be very happy with it.

I used a So Fine thread #455 for the top with a brown magna glide bobbin. Betty's top is made entirely from batiks and I know that batiks can cause challenges for long arm quilters but I can't say I had any real difficulties with it. I have read that there can be real challenges specifically when a batik is used as a backing but in this case she chose a regular cotton wide back. I did use a 3.5 needle instead of a 4.0 so the finer needle may have helped.

I don't know what this block is called but I really like it. I took a closer look at the construction and from what I can determine it is made with partial seams. I like it so much that I think I have to make my own quilt using this block!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Perfect Day!

Yesterday we celebrated Thanksgiving and we had such a great day. Of course, it was very busy filled with food preparation, cooking and eating but also with fun time spent with our adult children. While my husband was looking after the turkey, Adam and Eric spent time playing a table top strategy game, called Warhammer, and Anna (Adam's partner) and I spent time looking for a quilt design to make a wall hanging for their bedroom. After dinner we played board games. Perfect!

Adam and Anna had been talking about getting a piece of art for their wall when Adam suggested to Anna that I make a quilt instead. That suggestion by my son made my heart sing and, of course, I would be very happy to make them a wall hanging. :)

Anna came prepared with an idea of what she wanted and she called it a mandala. I had never heard of such a thing but she showed me some photos of ideas that she liked and then we went looking through my magazines for a pattern. Luckily we found something that would work for her and me  -  many of the mandala designs are very complicated. Once the design was chosen we got started with fabric selection.

We think we have the fabric figured out but as you know, changes can and do happen! At this point, there is going to be some white fabric added to the mix and a peach coloured fabric is also a possibility.

Anna has never done any quilting activity before so this was a brand new experience for her. I put her to work and she traced all of the templates for the block design onto template plastic and I cut them out. Anna used the templates to trace the center pieces for the block onto the fabric and cut them out using the rotary cutter for the first time. The rest is now up to me!

It was the best day and my heart is filled to the brim!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Twins...Toddler Quilts that is!


On Friday evening I took a little time out and finished stitching the binding on this toddler quilt. It didn't take too long because it was already three quarters finished when I worked on it last. So, now I have another little finish!
Delightful Too!

I started this quilt because I had leftover bits, pieces and hunks and chunks from a toddler quilt that I made called Delightful. I wanted to use up as many of the smaller pieces as I could so they would not get put into my overflowing scrap bins.

Delightful Too!
The last time I showed this quilt on my blog it was in July and it was just a flimsy. It wasn't the greatest looking picture but, hopefully, now you can see how pretty it really is. I used up lots of the leftover hunks of fabric when I pieced the back as well lots of little teeny tiny triangles and I think it turned out funky and fun. The binding is scrappy made from leftover strips of fabric.
back of Delightful Too!
I chose to quilt it with a pantograph called Popcorn and I think it looks like clouds - I can imagine that the geese are flying in the clouds. :)

As I was looking back to find out the details about the the first quilt - Delightful - I see that I didn't post about actually finishing it. Well, it did get done and I quilted it with a pantograph called Blowin Wind and I finished it with a zig zag fabric for the binding. The binding didn't turn out quite as I had expected because the zigs zagged unexpectedly! :))

I am linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's Quilts where Kathy encourages all of us to take some time out of our day to slow down, relax and, hopefully, do some handwork.

I don't think that I am going to get any sewing time in today because Thanksgiving preparations are under way!!!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blue Cheese is Truly Scrumptious!

I finished my quilt and I love it so much! My general plan is to make quilts for my family members but I don't think I will be able to part with this one....

I started Blue Cheese back in September 2016 while I was on retreat at Killbear Provincial Park - my first retreat ever. It was so much fun that I went back again this year but I digress. :))

The pattern for this quilt came from a hand-me-down Quilt Sampler Shop Hop magazine that featured this quilt (called Better with Cheddar) from Quilt Junction in Waterford, Ontario. After I decided to make the quilt I realized that some of the essential pages were missing. Not to worry though because I was still able to figure out what sizes to cut my fabric, and if I recall correctly, I made my quilt a bit longer than the pattern specified.

I had been holding onto this particular cheddar fabric just waiting for the right quilt pattern to come along. The quilt design didn't require a lot of cheddar fabric but it certainly had enough to give the finished quilt some yummy highlights. Happily I still have quite a bit of the cheddar left for more quilts. :)

My quilt finished at approx. 74" x 84" and I used Tuscany 80/20 cotton/wool for the batting - love it!! I quilted it using a continuous Baptist Fan pantograph by Hermione Agee. I used Omni thread on top with a magna glide bobbin. I gave it a very scrappy binding using some of the blue fabric leftover from the quilt top.
gorgeous back texture
I had intended on finishing the binding yesterday at the guild social sew but I got less than 10" done. So, I finished the binding last night while watching Nature and then Nova on PBS and this morning I tied off and tucked in all of the thread tails. I am going to put it on my bed tonight but I don't think I can wait that long to cuddle up in it. :)