Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Lakeside Retreat Update

In the beautiful cool mountains of Arizona, my second retreat this year and oh my so productive! I do not go on a quilt retreat to relax but to cram in as much sewing time as possible and six projects is great progress and I did not even have to stay up all night to get them done.
Number one, an eye catching pattern for a large wall hanging or a modern baby quilt. It needs a good pressing before I quilt it. I modified the design a bit which required some rearranging of a few blocks
 The large work room we share.
Our wonderful hostess and chef in her kitchen
 Projects two and three, from donated 2.5" batik strips, perfect size for baby quilts.
Number four, made from leftover 6.5" half square triangles and fabrics from two other projects, another perfect size for a baby quilt. Another quilter allowed me to try out her "Block Loc" ruler to trim these HST's and wow, what a great tool. 
A bit pricey, but I had a 30% off coupon, that helps!
There is a channel/gutter across the back of the ruler that catches the seam on the HST and allows perfectly accurate cutting I loved it so much I had to buy! It comes in several sizes up to 8.5" I think. A great timesaver when you have a lot to trim.
 Number five is a birthday gift for my brother, who loves driving around the USA on his visits here from Australia. He also collects number plates, makes it a perfect gift. He and my SIL will arrive Monday for another visit and he has a birthday next month.
 hard to see the quilting since I used black thread but I simply outlined the number plates and quilted a diamond cross hatch in the background.
 A swirl in the stop border and Greek key design in the final border complete the quilting.
This kit came from Amazing Quilts in Lakeside, it is their 2018 Row By Row block. I haven't participated in Row by Row for two years because I have over a dozen from 2015, completed and needing to be combined somehow! But this one can be a stand alone wall hanging, just too cute!
 Finally the bonus project, Susan showed me how she makes luggage tags and I made a few from a FQ, this will also be a gift.
We awoke Sunday morning to 36 degrees and huge snowflakes falling!
 Unfortunately my friend's car also had a flat battery which delayed us about 4 hours!
But the drive home was snow free, just intermittent rain.
                 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Last Three?

Bragging about something can cause one to eat one's words, as is the case with "being finished with baby quilts for the year"! After Bible study this morning I found out there is probably another baptism, previously unknown, next Sunday night after 5:30 pm. service. Since I am leaving on a four day quilt retreat tomorrow morning this babe will have to wait a week [or two] for his quilt.
Last night I completed the quilt for great grandson Sterling due Christmas Day, "The Whale Tale" quilt, and no, that is not a spelling error, the pattern is called Whale Tale.
In an attempt to portray true color I first draped it over DH's truck, but then I had him hold it up for a better view.
 In daylight these are more the true colors. Below is a pic taken indoors and even without flash there is one fabric that reads very pink
With or without flash it was the same thing, a very pink tint on one fabric. Odd isn't it?
 This was great fun to quilt, the clouds were easy and the whale tail is simply meander. In the ocean I used an inverted clam shell design and every other row reversed the clam and sewed over the previous stitching to create a design that looks like fish.The birds are SID outlined.
I forgot to embroider before I mounted the backing on the long-arm so I had to sew on a separate piece for the label.
A couple of months ago I ordered labels from Finerribbon.com < https://www.finerribbon.com >and I am very pleased to be able to add one to each of my quilts now. The back of the label lists care instructions.
 I had to piece the backing and thought there was sufficient of the lighter blue but once I had it pieced it was obvious it was a bit small for the long-arm and I found this long strip of ocean looking fabric in stash that was perfect to run down the center. QD Dream Angel batting and Auriful #50 weight light blue 100% cotton thread.
Just perfect for a boy whose Dad is in the Navy!
The next two are what I thought were the final two Baptismal quilts for 2018. They are almost identical to two others I made recently with a few fabric substitutions and different backings.
 To coordinate with the nautical stripe, a sailboat backing and red pin dot binding to set it all off.

Fun to quilt these modern designs alternating in each stripe.
 Below, another look alike from a recent quilt, 24.5" MSQC Crown blocks.
Fast and effective for small bits of fabric.
The backing from stash is feminine and coordinates nicely with the front

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hannah's Baby Quilt

This one is for her expected great granddaughter. The center applique was made by her friend who was so unhappy with it she was ready to throw it away, but Hannah rescued it!
Applique is not my favorite to quilt, some quilting has to be done in the applique to keep it from "poofing" and there lies the problem! It must be minimal to retain the appearance of the technique but sufficient to tack it down.
 My friend Gale suggested a feather heart around the girls, and that was a really good solution.
 I decided to do ruler work in the blocks simple and clean.
 Some years ago I purchased Delo's Appliguide but have never used it until today!
It really did help to control stitching around the appliqued pieces, so I will use it again. I used Masterpiece 100% cotton 50wt.thread and Aurifil 50wt. cotton.They both performed very well on my Prodigy machine. Batting is Quilter's Dream Angel. 
And now back to the Baptism quilts, two more to quilt.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Baptism Quilt For A Boy

Next Sunday we have a three year old for Baptism, not a baby but I think he should have a quilt anyway! So this one is for Noah.
 Quilted with alternating designs.
 The backing is cute for a boy with puppy dog bones etc. I like to piece backings, uses up those smaller pieces and makes it more interesting.
Now on the longarm this applique quilt for Hannah's great granddaughter.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Aaah September, And We See Summer Waning?

The week began with 108 degrees, ugh, will it ever end?! But then a cool rainy front came in bringing relief and next week is predicted to be 101 degrees all week! That may seem horrible in September for anyone unused to the desert summers but to us it spells relief!
It was Yom Kippur so the schools were out Wednesday through the remainder of the week, keeping GM quite busy! A little quilting this week, and I am hoping to get a lot more done over the weekend and next week. I have three more baby quilts to finish for Baptisms at St.Mark, three in the next three weeks!
Here is number one all ready for a baby girl on Sunday. I made two of these from the MSQC Crown Quilt block pattern with little bits of fabric that were too small for anything else.
The blocks are 24.5" and very simple, great for baby quilts and lots of nice open space for quilting fun. 
The dedication label, not yet sewn down!
And my new personal custom labels from finerribbon.com
A huge roll but the only way they make the wider 2.5" ribbon that I need for quilts.
I am very pleased with them.
Next on the longarm, one of two from a kit that I split and perfect for a boy.
And the second, just a little different.
 Below is the second of the Missouri Star Quilt Company Crown block quilts,  almost identical, I had to add a couple of new  fabrics and another yard of WOW and I have until Oct 7 to complete it! We have a packed schedule now until Christmas, no time to dilly dally!

Monday, September 10, 2018

On Ringon Lake-In Packer Colors!

This is Angela's Ringon Lake version in her favorite team colors! This lady has to be the premiere Packer fan, though I saw a few kids at church Sunday in their Packer shirts- in Cardinal country! But we are a peaceable lot at St. Mark Lutheran so no harm was done, LOL.
 The last Packer quilt I did had Packer cheers written around the sashing and Angela requested it again. Too late I thought how I might have made it easier by using the embroidery machine before loading the top on the longarm-I will remember that next time and I have no doubt Angela is not done with Packer quilts!
I quilted a freehand swirl, rather like a rounded paisley. Bonnie Hunter quilts have so many little pieces I believe they are best quilted freehand so I can stitch over every possible little piece possible.
 It's also true that they are very busy quilts and full custom quilting would be wasted.
The batting is Quilter's Dream and the thread a deep gold color. The backing is pieced mostly the green above and the Packer helmet fabric.

Monday, September 3, 2018

August Quilting

This little Bonnie Hunter wall hanging is Angela's. Very cute so I custom quilted it in all different designs, with feather style hearts around the border and up the center and a feather heart in the star. It measures about 23"x37" and I confess I had never seen this one before. I know Angela is anxious to get it hanging in her home! I used a gold thread that blends nicely with all the many different fabrics.
This sort of primitive design benefits from a whimsical sort of quilting
 The quilt below I made using small squares of 30's and 40's reproduction fabrics I had left from another project. The white on white background is a beautiful Timeless Treasures fabric that is sadly discontinued but fortunately I bought a bolt of it when I saw it some years ago. I decided the combination would make a very sweet baby quilt for our expected second great granddaughter due the end of October. It is about 58"square
The thread is white and the batting the lightest weight Dream Angel non flammable
Our August retreat at Lakeside AZ was wonderful break from the city and the heat. Daytime temps were in lower 80's and low 50's at night.  I managed to piece two baby quilt tops for upcoming Baptisms at St. Mark Church.
 They are very similar because they both came from a kit I had ordered for a larger quilt and decided to use the fabrics for baby quilts. They measure about 42"x50" or so.
I have some cute backings for them that are more colorful and I will quilt them in modern style, choosing several different designs for each row and repeating them.
My biggest project at retreat was to piece the baby quilt for expected great grandson, due Christmas Day. It's called "The Whale Tale" and I love the pattern design but as many decades as I have been quilting, this was still a bit frustrating. The pattern directions were missing some essential instructions and after emailing the designer three times I finally heard back from them nearly three weeks later, long after I had figured out the problems for myself! They say they have updated the corrections so I hope it will prevent future piecers headaches!
Next I have a queen size Bonnie Hunter quilt to put on the longarm before I can get to the smaller ones. Oh and I also prepped another baby quilt at retreat ready to sew up in October when we will be back in Lakeside for more lovely weather and wonderful food and ambience.