Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another QOV

The third QOV this year, one to go!
Sometimes you just have to custom quilt as in this example, the blocks are highlighted much better with custom work. It took a bit longer, all the ruler work, which I actually enjoy!
This machine came with the biggest ruler base/extended plate I have ever seen, 22" long! I found it a little awkward at first but gradually adjusted. I still wish there was more base in front of the needle so I may end up ordering the smaller extended plate later.
 I really like muslin backs they make the quilt reversible as a "whole quilt". Matching thread helps the visual coherence of design and means no worries about "pokies" although the Prodigy stitch is so beautiful that I find I can easily sew with different color threads top and bottom and no pokies.
I used alternate designs in the plain blocks, one based on a square the other on a feather wreath.
 Quilter's Dream batting of course their Dream Poly which looks and feels like cotton.
 When I have no idea of the recipient I feel comfortable with QD poly batting knowing it will hold up under all conditions!
 Otherwise each of the blocks has a different quilting pattern depending on inspiration!
 It is fun to use variety and keeps boredom at bay!
Next up will be an easy quilt before I tackle the final QOV, another very similar to this one.
An interesting experience, as I was checking over the quilt front and back to be sure all was well, I came across one of my large pins with the pearl head inside the quilt, trapped between top and batting! 
OMigosh, what now?! I had this happen once many years ago, and this time fortunately the pin was only a few inches from the edge. I undid an inch or so of quilting, pushed the metal part outside the top and snipped it off with wire snips. Then the pearl head just rolled out of the quilt sandwich and I re-quilted the couple of inches! 
Whew, just in case you ever have this happen there's one solution. If the pin is too far from the edge just poke the metal through the fabric and clip it off next to the head and leave the head in the quilt!
Happy quilting and don't stress it's meant to be fun!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Lovely New Bobbin Winder

It doesn't take a whole lot to make my heart beat faster, LOL, this time a new quilting tool! My old bobbin winder went to Denise along with my A-1 longarm and I am just now replacing it because I had to send back two others- I needed hearing protection to use them, seriously, they made the most dreadful grinding, grating, obnoxious noise! Argh!
 I went online-again for the ?umpteenth time- to search for something different. Finally after much diligent web surfing I found a youtube video of something called the K Kraft Bobbin Winder. If you click on the link you can see a picture and a youtube demo, and yes, it really is that quiet and worth every penny! And on sale right now, even better.
It has several nice features you will not find in other winders, though I did see one for about $300 at "Quilts On The Corner" Renae Haddadin's website that had the ability to use more than one size bobbin.
The K Kraft can take multiple different bobbins, and has an electronic memory that records and saves the number of winds for different bobbins and then can repeat that and stop when the bobbins are full.
But don't take my word for it, go take a look at it in use on the website, the business is truly a "mom and pop" shop run out of their home/workshop. The mom, Diane, is also a quilter and her husband originally invented the winder for her.
Call me a happy winder!

A little Aussie Quilt

A few years ago I kitted up a selection of Aussie wildflower fabrics along with a few others that fell within the same colorway. Its one of the projects I took to quilt retreat and sewed up this 47"x57" girlie looking quilt from an idea in an Australian quilting magazine.
Yesterday I got it quilted super fast with an Edge to Edge freehand folk-art flower, and bound it this morning because I woke at 6.40 am and didn't want to go to the gym that early!
 I used a sagey green 50wt.thread on top and pink in the bobbin. Again the Prodigy stitching is so great that neither thread showed through in "pokies", I am loving Miss Prodigy!
Bound with the same fabric as on the back, most of that well aged piece is now gone from stash- for those of us who are "curators of extensive private textile collections", every time you use up a fabric you must replace it with a new one doncha know?!
Just in time, I have a couple of new fabrics arriving tomorrow to do the Bonnie Hunter mystery.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Pastor's Second Quilt

The second of two quilts promised for our Pastor to replace those his Grandma made that are literally falling apart! He admired the quilt I showed him in CW reproductions and these fabrics are mostly that with a few others tossed in for color variety.
Having such a variety in stash of Civil War replica fabrics there are too many different ones in this quilt to count, but there is also a reminder of my husband in it! You may notice a blue plaid here and there that used to be DH's shirt. It was a favorite of mine, it always looked so crisp and clean but eventually the collar and cuffs showed wear and it had to leave his wardrobe! The remainder of the shirt was in excellent shape, it is a linen/cotton combination that wore exceptionally well, so I deconstructed it "a la Bonnie Hunter" and have used pieces of it since in several quilts.
 I ran it through a rinse and spin cycle last night so it is appropriately wrinkled in a quilty way!
Lightweight quilts are the most useful here in Arizona and so I used the very thinnest batting I know, Quilters Dream Angel Request, which has sadly now been discontinued! I have a little left but only enough for a couple more baby quilts I think. Obviously there was insufficient demand, the rest of the nation does not have our six month heat soaked summers!
The backing is a grey wideback with a feather design that I had in stash, thread on the front is a sagey green and Gide light grey in bobbin. The Prodigy longarm has such amazing stitch quality that even with the very thinnest batting I was able to sew different colors top and bobbin.
Next up, at least half a dozen smaller quilts which should quilt up pretty fast then it's back to piecing for a bit, I am joining the Bonnie Hunter Annual Mystery this year. Last year I kind of sort of almost committed to make the 2016 Mystery but never actually sewed a stitch! This time I will attempt to make a much smaller version, probably less than half the size, but I will see how it goes! My patience for thousands of tiny pieces is growing thin and I am leaning heavily towards the simpler more modern style of piecing- in fact the only quilt magazine I now subscribe to is "Modern Quilts Unlimited".

Friday, November 10, 2017

Veteran's Day

We are grateful, we owe so much to so many

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Eighth Baby Quilt!

 Yep, that's right eight baby quilts so far and there may be a couple more before the year is done! Seven of them I constructed and quilted, this one was quilted for my friend Linda in Colorado.
 I used the lightest Dream Angel batting, a light yellow Superior Sew Fine thread on top and neutral in the bobbin and quilted peacock feathers with separate border.
The back is a cute alphabet panel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Quilt Of Valor

This striking QOV finished just in time to receive another two for quilting. 
I love the setting for these simple blocks.
Quilted with Superior Sew Fine thread in a neutral color and a flag and stars design.
I think I have about a dozen tops now in line for quilting and I am still struggling with tension and not sure of the reason. Timing seems good but the tension is undependable and it is most frustrating!
This week I will not get a lot done, the Boy has two half days and no school Friday, must be teacher conferences?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Angela's BOM

 Hot off the longarm tonight, quilted with both traditional and more modern designs.
It's fun and challenging to find different quilting ideas for each block, but never boring, you get to do a little of a lot of varieties of stitching. It shows a lot of different textures drawing attention to each block.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Paisley Is Here!

Wouldn't you know that Paisley waited until the morning I left town to make her appearance! She was born Thursday Oct. 5th. as we were driving to Lakeside AZ for our quilting retreat, so I did not meet her until Tuesday.
Such a pretty little doll of a baby, already doted on by everyone in her circle of family and friends, we could not be more proud of her parents for producing a beautiful child for our first great grandchild. I think they look pretty pleased with themselves!
Yesterday we met the little family at the Great Australian Bakery for lunch and spent a couple of hours with them.
She looks so tiny, and GGF thinks she is pretty special too!
 I see a lot of quilts in her future, I have plans!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Summer Has gone, Yipppeeeee!

That is what most of us say here in Arizona especially in the Phoenix area where in August summer seems never to end. But finally daytime temps in the 90's and even 80's and evenings and mornings are lovely. We can at last take a deep breath of Fall air and begin to live fully again rather than from one air conditioned place to the next!
Where has the year gone? Second week in October already and the holiday times are fast approaching beginning with halloween.
The past month or two I have been getting acquainted with my Prodigy Quilter, a bit of a transition from the A-1 but as I quilt with it more I am surer than ever I made a very wise decision. We have had a few challenges, we added a new encoder to get the stitch regulator -SR- working beautifully and a new hook has helped with tension.
Last night I finished quilting the Giant Star quilt and it's ready for binding.
Quilted with Baptist Fan design, always a great choice for traditional piecing.
 Neutral thread and Quilter's Dream Angel in the Request.
 The backing was not long enough so I inserted some leftover blocks from a previous project.
My latest acquisition is an older Pfaff 1222E. When I was visiting my friend in Colorado Springs I sewed on her 40 + year old Pfaff 1222 and loved the sturdiness and quiet operation from the solid German engineering. As I began to look around for one I discovered that they are quite coveted and can bring $400-$500 even in less than working operation. I managed to win one from eBay for $56, shipping for this venerable old lady was $60! But the machine is in excellent condition it looks as if it was barely used.
It had case and accessories, but no foot pedal/power cord. The accessories include a few different feet, bobbins, vintage thread I will not use, and even oil and some original Pfaff machine needles.
Missing also is the extended plate, I will look around and see if I can find one but it doesn't stop me sewing! It also needed a new on/off switch, $15 on eBay, the cord etc I purchased locally. My friend, a vintage sewing machine collector came over to check out the 1222E and declared it a great buy, insides are pristine barely used. We pulled it apart and oiled every moving part, I wish I had taken photos of that process with parts spread all over!
So now for under $200 I have a fine machine that will probably sew for decades-did I really need it? Well, probably not, I think I have nine machines, four antique/vintage, a serger, a 1961 Featherweight made in Edinburgh, Scotland, an 1889 treadle plus a more modern Pfaff and Bernina [both about 15 years old] and the longarm among the number! I am wondering if they have twelve step programs for sewing machine addicts, but it is still cheaper than therapy!
 Last weekend was the four day quilting retreat with my MeetUp group. We stayed in the same retreat house as last year in Lakeside.
It is perfectly set up for quilters and especially caters to a woman's needs. This is the workroom, very large open and airy and bright. Comfortable chairs, tea and coffee facility and homemade gourmet snacks! There is room for eight but again this year we were six in number and that was fine.
I made quite good progress, finishing piecing the CW quilt which was a fairly big job
The odd blocks below turned into a nice baby quilt, originally there were seven from a block drawing at quilt guild meeting, and I added five more and a scrappy little border. I plan to quilt it "modern" because it looks modern to me.
At last year's retreat I had some help to find a way to make some sense of these mistakenly pieced blocks and they stayed that way in need of setting triangles because I could not decide what fabric to use. On route to the retreat last week we stopped at a couple pf quilt shops-I know how that must be a shock to everyone- and found some cute deer fabric which I purchased and now this one is ready for the longarm, it too may get some modern quilting designs.
I pulled out a group of Australian fabrics I had kitted up a couple of years ago and managed to sew some of them up into this little lap quilt, another in line for modern quilting.
The final morning I decided to start on an apron, it's almost finished, probably will not take more than an hour to be done.
We played a dice game with fabrics as the prize, no surprise! This year I won and ended up with 20 FQ's of batiks, a nice addition to my stash.
We were pampered by our amazing hostess with her gourmet food offerings.
Frances is the consummate hostess making us all feel welcome and comfortable
Dinner our final evening was chicken and artichoke lasagne
Salted caramel ice cream pie for dessert, yum!
We enjoyed it all so much that some of us will be returning twice next year.