Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finished For……Saturday.

Made it in just under the wire, it's 11:59 pm!
 Don't you love piano key borders? I do, and not just because they are a great way to use up scraps which is what I suspect Hannah did! They cry out for individual quilting attention I cannot simply quilt over them randomly. These are perfect length for free-handing, saves a great deal of time and trouble having to use a ruler.
The body of the quilt has edge to edge freehand feathers, and the thread is Superior So Fine in a neutral, # 402.
 The backing is a nice Kaufman white on white wide back.
 The quilting design often shows up best on the reverse side and pretty enough to make the quilt reversible.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A very Green YBR!

Linking with Needlework Tuesday
This an all batik quilt for a young man. 
 The quilting is Swirls design and the thread a light green so it doesn't show much in the pic.
Took much longer than I expected, this particular batik was causing skipped stitches and broken thread! It seemed to get worse the further I went, and I wasted a lot of time correcting the booboos! 
 I corrected all the usual sources of such issues, new needle, larger needle, new bobbin, silicon on the thread and thread paths, loosen the quilt sandwich and check for burrs but nothing seemed to help. By the very last couple of rows it was really persistent and I was getting very frustrated, so I tried two more things-backed way off on the speed and the upper tension. That seemed to do the trick, finally and I was able to get it done a short time ago.
Why didn't I do that before?
Tomorrow I will bind it and be happy to see it go home.
The Wedding Gown Quilt is on it's way and I have one more quilt to do before vacation next week. I think I can do this!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quilter's Dream

I am honored today to be the featured "BattGirl" on the Quilter's Dream website.
They regularly write about quilters who have done something unusual in the use of Quilter's Dream batting.
"The Wedding Gown" quilt is the source of their message today and can be seen at the link below.
A big thank you to this outstanding company for their product and exceptional service.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Easy Kids Aprons

These two were fast to make- the little girl's apron is the same fabric as her Mom's.
These are for the Boston twins, our great niece and nephew.
You can use a FQ and just cut out the armhole, then I used that for the pocket even though the print runs sideways! Both are embroidered with their names, I do enjoy the embroidery machine for those special touches.
 Yesterday morning while I was dressing and The Boy was meant to be downstairs eating breakfast, he sneaked back up into my studio and managed to do some cutting, no wonder he says "I'm a sneaky boy"!  I usually make sure to put all the sharp things out of reach before he arrives but he's getting even taller and those long arms can reach further than before. He customized Daniel's apron with half a dozen slits in one side and cut one tie into three pieces! I added another strip to the shortened tie and ironed on a matching scrap of fabric to the back of the apron, stabilized the front with matching thread then embroidered "Love from Matthew" over the damaged area!
When life gives you lemons make lemonade - and his cousin will appreciate the humor I think!
Later I discovered that the cover for the embroidery machine had been "fringed" in the same episode as the apron event, I hope there's nothing more! I did not discover all of this until last night when The Boy had already gone home, however you can be certain that we shall have a wee conversation about it when I see him next week!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Aprons make good gifts for people who like to spend time in the kitchen. This is one of three I am making for a mom and her two kiddos who enjoy cooking together.
The fabric is adorable, when I purchased it I had no idea how I'd use it but it makes great aprons
 I used Cindy Taylor Oates book Retro Aprons- it isn't the first time I've used the book, there are a lot more cute ideas in it. This style is very comfy and good for all shapes and sizes the pattern goes from small to XXL and gives good coverage for messy cooks! I particularly like the neck strap which I often find very uncomfortable and difficult to tie at just the right length, but this wider style shaped to fit around the neck is very nice. 
One of the kids aprons will be from this same fabric and I have a different cute KitchenAid  mixer fabric for the other child, no worries then about whose is whose and we always want to try and avoid more opportunities for sibling rivalry!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fast Turnaround

On Monday I received an urgent message from BJ-she needed a quilt for a shower on Friday and if she dropped off the top on the way to work Tuesday could I get it quilted? Only lapsize and nothing fancy needed. OK, I think I can squeeze it in and true to her word the quilt, backing and batting showed up at my front door Tuesday morning.
 Sometimes I can fit in a last minute quickie and this was one of those times. After we returned from DH's birthday dinner last night [at Mastro's, the Crown Roast of Lamb was excellent!] I finished off the previous quilt and loaded this one.
 Using a gold color thread I quilted a folk art sort of flower, fast and easy!
I think it must be a girl, it's very pink including the backing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

July Fourth Wall Hanging

This panel is made by Northcott, it came with 20 LED lights which I have not yet attached.
I purchased it from Missouri Star Quilt Company, but it looked too narrow to me, sort of unbalanced and I had HST's left from another project that, added to the sides gave it the extra pizzaz I wanted. Two layers of Quilter's Dream batting, the first for stability Dream Green, the top is Dream Wool which gives nice definition.
 The flag, sides and top and bottom borders are quilted with Superior So Fine neutral.
 The rest is thread painted with Superior silver metallic and what a great thread!
 All that quilting at regular speed, minimal tension adjustment and not once a broken thread! See the dimension the Dream wool gives to the flagpole.
And here is the label.
It will really sparkle after the lights are installed, so I will post one more pic then.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Written In My Own Heart's Blood

Linking with Books and Quilts
This week the latest novel was released from my absolute favorite historical novel writer ever, our own Arizona Native Diana Gabaldon. Unless you are able to find these books at your local library they are not free, but for Diana's global fans they are well worth the investment, they can be read over and over and never lose their ability to entertain.
 The eighth in the "Outlander" series, "Written In My Own Heart's Blood" has been long and anxiously awaited.  I have all eight on audiobook on my iPod, so meanwhile I have read and re-read or rather listened to the other seven books several times over. Lest you think this is a quick process Diana's "Outlander" series are quite substantial novels all running over forty hours listening time for each book.

They keep me most entertained at the gym and sometimes at the longarm and every time I hear them I discover facts I don't remember from other hearings.
Diana is one of those gifted authors who is able to transport one into events by sight, sound, touch and smell.  Her historical research and accuracy is amazing making it even more interesting to experience 18th. century life in Scotland, England, France and America including the tragedy of the Scottish Rising of 1745 and the War of Independence here in the USA. 
The entire series is made even more fascinating by the addition of time travel from the 20th.century back 200 years and Diana's medical research for the role of heroine Claire Fraser.

All of the above books are beautifully and artfully narrated by the very talented Davina Porter. "Narrated" seems to lack a great deal in describing Davina's linguistic ability which is really quite remarkable as she acts out the many accents and characters. Davina was the 2006 Audie Winner for Best Female Narrator for her performance of  Diana Gabaldon's "A Breath Of Snow And Ashes"
Diana has authored many other books including the "Lord John" series, featuring one of the characters from the "Outlander" books.
I highly recommend them all!

Vintage Fan Quilt

The fans are sewn together but now what to do for borders? 
I'm thinking maybe a small [1.5"] solid blue stop border then the off white muslin outer border, that will allow me to feather it nicely. I haven't enough of the off white Kona muslin on hand so I need another yard, might go look for that after I get through at the gym tomorrow.
It's nice to have another WHIMM well on the way to completion. This was an estate auction find from a few years back so it was well and truly aged!
There are a few quilts here needing to go on the longarm and a couple more coming in later this month. and as we will be on vacation most of July I am going to be busy till then!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ta Da!!

Final post on the Wedding Gown Quilt, linking up with Needlework Tuesday
From the original silk wedding gown……
Andrea's parents in 1960……..
to this! 
The memory quilt for Andrea's bed to help her to remember the love of her family.
With the addition of 37 vintage handkerchiefs belonging to Andrea's Mother and Grandmother, this ended up measuring about 66" x 86". The initial hankies with the "S" are her Mom's and those with "R" are her Grandmother's.
The finished quilt showing backing and binding.
I was honored to be entrusted with this project, these are precious items and I suspect that Andrea surrendered them to my keeping with some trepidation, especially for someone without knowledge of the process necessary to make the transformation from gown to quilt, she had to totally trust me! 
I hope that she will find it a blessing in her life.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

It's Quilted!

This evening the wedding gown quilt is off the longarm, ready for binding. Yeah!
I'm not sure how much you will get out of this video of the end of the quilting, it's rather dark even though I have 4 good lights hanging over the machine table.
And here is the trimmed quilt, I hope that tomorrow DH will hook up my display system again so I can get a full length photo, for now this will have to do.
 The yellow looking area on top of the quilt is not the quilt color but from lighting issues, the following photos show the truer color. I need to count and see how many hankies are on the quilt, I sent the pics to Andrea a short time ago.
Tomorrow the binding should be done and I can say "tada"!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wedding Gown Quilt Progress

This morning I was able to get the final work done to attach the hankies to the silk gown base. Under the silk I placed the Dream Orient batting, but no backing. It was the only way I could see to get the hankies stabilized onto the quilt top without showing the stitching on the backing.
Here is how it looked during this part of the process- I spaced them out in approximate position and pinned just so I had an idea how it would work out but then I really had to "float" the quilt, there was no way to roll this onto the bottom roller!  As I completed each row though I could then roll it up and position the next section with proper placement.
Quilter's Dream orient batting stood up well to the test, I really had no issues stitching without the backing and I am very happy that I did it that way, now only the edge to edge quilting design will show on the back of the finished quilt.
A couple of videos showing the process. This video shows how I had to "float" the top with the batting, leaving it a whole lot looser and less stable than I am comfortable with, but I couldn't think of a better way to do it. Once I got to the final couple of feet I did attach the bottom edge of the batting to the bottom leader. 
Close up of one of the attached hankies.
I then removed the project from the longarm machine and re-loaded with the backing and it's cryptic label!
This is the backing fabric Andrea chose, and I think it will probably be the binding also.
Now everything is back on the machine ready for the final quilting, I am just awaiting approval of the quilting design from Andrea. Her time zone is 15 hours different so we are not always up and around at the same time!
Onto the final phase before binding and I am feeling good about it now that most of the new challenges seem to be behind me!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Vintage Fans

Not being able to ever have my hands idle, I was looking for another project to fill in time until I can get back to the wedding gown quilt which needs to have the label embroidered onto the backing before I go to the next step. That will happen after my little embroidery machine comes home tomorrow from a service visit to the shop, nothing bad fortunately just a regular CLT! That's Cleaning, Lube and Tension check.
I went searching among my "project boxes" and found these vintage fans that came from an estate sale a few years ago. Hand pieced, there were thirty four fans all missing outer corners, along with some extra blades.
I was able to piece together six more fans - by machine, I am not that much of a purist - for a total of forty fans.
Then using off white Kona muslin from stash I cut forty outer corners and sewed them on. However there was no extra fabric for the small corner pieces, so I will have to look for something appropriate when I visit 35th. Ave store later this week, surely I can find a retro plaid that will blend in.
Along with the fans etc in the project box, I found this pattern saved for a possible design choice for the quilt.
Serendipity, would you believe this pattern requires exactly forty fans for the body of the quilt!
Hmmmmm, I don't think I ever  counted the fans before nor did I read the directions below, I just liked the picture, serendipity indeed!
Regretfully I doubt I am able to duplicate the pieced border so that it looks age appropriate, perhaps I can find an alternative while shopping for the corner fabric. Any ideas, suggestions?
It makes me happy to know that I will shortly have another WHIMM [Work Hidden In My Mind] off the shelf and onto the "completed" list!