Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Got My Mojo Back!!!

I finished quilting "Paintbox"! It is all trimed and ready for the binding. Although there are a couple of spots when my quilting got "outside" the line, I think all in all, it turned out well. As I mentioned earlier, this is a complicated pattern to quilt and for a first time I am proud. I know now what I need to do next time to make it perfect! I also like using the pale yellow thread! It blends well in the colored blocks and doesn't stand out too much on the white sashing.

You can see the quilting pattern a little better on this one I think!

My pile of quilts that need binding....a total of five. I absolutely HATE binding! So many quilters actually like this part of quilting because they say it truly means a "finish", but I have to really push myself. The majority of these will be put on by machine (!) only one is designated as hand work!

I actually think I am getting my "Mojo" back---quilting at least! I am experiencing a renewed excitment about making new quilts and just as important, finishing some UFO's!!!!!

Have a early day tomorrow so no quilting tonight. Have a great remainder of the evening and thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I was able to get 64 blocks out of one jelly roll plus 10 more strips. That should make this quilt approximately 80 x 80. I am now starting to put the blocks together. My quilt will be vertical rather than horizontal. Since it is square though, I can lay it either way. I like the contrast of the bright fabrics with the white Kona!

I didn't get any more bindings sewn on, but will tackle at least one quilt tomorrow. Since I have been sewing them down by machine though, I have done a total of three!

After this quilt is completed, I have at least 3 that I have begun and need to finish! Lots to do!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Great Day!!!

I had a great day today! I went to lunch with a friend and her friend and enjoyed a nice leisure lunch talking about quilting (what else)! I came home and worked a little on quilting my quilt currently on the frame and made the block above. This is a whole new color for me---grey! I purchased several charm packs and a matching layer cake last year. Although I thought it was really pretty---the more I looked at it, the more it didn't seem like "me". I have been auditioning several blocks and nothing seemed to really work. It is a pastel with grey which (although I am starting to like grey more), I am NOT a pastel girl. I saw this block on the Oh Fransson site and thought I would try it with one of the charm packs. It makes a really large block--17 1/4 unfinished, but it takes almost a whole charm to make one block. I have 3 more charm packs and a layer cake, so I figure I have enough to make maybe 8 more blocks. That isn't going to result in my usual big quilt, but it will make a nice lap one. It takes a while though to make one block although it isn't really difficult. I figure I should have it finished by the end of summer :c)!

Nothing else really going on---just a nice relaxing day!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just Some Random Thoughts!

No pictures of quilts today--my blog is about my quilting adventure with some life "stuff" thrown in occasionally, so this post is about that "stuff"---just some "musing".

I am a sorta "novice-plus" longarm quilter..... not a beginner, but not yet a expert. I have some very nice "tools" (thanks to a very giving husband) to help me and am becoming much more comfortable in using them. My husband made these rather significant purchases (for us anyway) purely for my enjoyment. We never considered branching out into any type of business. Mainly when I did a lot of garment sewing, I have tried sewing for others. Quite often people wanted me to make an absolutely perfect dress (or whatever) from not very good fabric, without zippers, interfacing or even thread, and then charge them $10 because after all ("I paid $5 a yard for that fabric). People never considered the time you put into making their garment, since no matter what, I wanted to produce the best product ever. It was frustrating and at times very hurtful so I stopped, instead sewing for a time on consignment (I would make garments and then have a consignment shop sell them). I NEVER put my name in them, preferring to stay anonymous, and they sold well.

When I started quilting and then later got my longarm, even though I was often asked if I would quilt for others I said no, but relented and started "Imani" quilting service. WELL---Imani is closing! I found the experience stressful, hurtful and not worth the sleepless nights worrying about whether my clients would like my quilting. As an educator, I also was in a dilemma to try to help quilters by offering suggestions and pointing out areas that could be improved---not to be mean or demeaning, but to "help"---well that doesn't work, and again I came away feeling strangely hurt. I came to the conclusion that except for a few instances, not all quilters are interested in having someone critique their work, even if done to help their quilting growth. I am the first to admit that I am sensitive although at first meeting, most people don't think so. I take things to heart and although that is my problem, I can't seem to not. Maybe that is why I am considered such a good nurse---but then I digress. Anyway, for those of you who quilt as a profession for others, my hat goes out to you. I truly admire you providing such a service. I think I am a good longarmer---not a custom longarmer but in looking at others, I "do pretty good"---but I am going to "do pretty good" on my own quilts (and Diane's) and unless asked, will keep my "teaching" and advice to myself.

Wow---I feel so much better!!!!!!! Thanks so much for listening! Have an absolutely marvelous and blessed day. It is going to be 75 degrees here in Middle TN today! Can you believe it! I have to teach today, but I am coming immediately home after classes and guess what I am going to do!!!!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Current Quilting Project!

It has been very difficult to get pictures of the current quilt since the cream background reflects from the flash, but I think you get the idea. I am using a complicated (for me anyway) board pattern (I am in love with my CL) that is perfect for this quilt. Rather than use white thread on the front, I used a pale yellow. I made a good choice! The quilt was made using a Moda Kona Jelly Roll, assorted Kaffee/Butler prints and sashing of cream organic linen. The back is actually traditional pillow ticking---much lighter in weight though---but again (I think) a good choice. The different textures of fabrics work well and I am anticipating, will look well when I wash it. To decrease the amount of shrinking though, I used a cotton/poly batting since the linen may shrink more. ...I am NOT a pre-washer---but in this instance, even if I were, I would not have since linen is notorious for ravelling.

The quilt top was completed last year as a "web quilt along" that occurred the year before that (I think). It is called "Paintbox" and was on the Oh Fransson web site. Everyone else certainly finished there's way in advance but "better late than necessary". I have cut binding for five quilts and after this one is completed, I will only have one more top that needs to be quilted. Not sure if I will quilt that one and then bind, or do a little machine binding this week-end.

Well, just wanted to check in! Have a great week-end!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I got up early this morning and finished "Spontaneous Combustion"!!!!!! It really turned out great---lined up perfectly so the last line of the pattern coincided with the end of the quilt. You can't see the pattern on the front (too busy) but the back gives you an idea. Great pattern and when I wash it, will add lots of texture. I am going to look for some binding, cut it out and put it in my stack. I think I will put them all on by machine...no hand sewing....so I can get them done.

The next quilt to be loaded will be one I finished the end of last year and I will use another board.

I am on a ROLL!!!! I feel so good, I just might make a home cooked meal today :c)!

Have a happy/blessed Sunday!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

1 Done--Another 3/4th Done!!

It is hard to see, but the quilting pattern really looks nice on this quilt! Great even tension!!

The "Ug" quilt is done! I say "Ug" simply because I don't like it, but after quilting it, it doesn't look bad at all really. I continue to be amazed at how quilting changes the look of quilts! It is the added dimension that really makes them come alive, and even "sing" sometimes. I have cut the binding and will sew it on tomorrow!

I've had a great Saturday!!!! First there was the Guild Meeting! Lots of good bonding and a GREAT hot dog! I came home and worked on "Spontaneous"---it is 3/4th of the way done. My legs were starting to hurt a little (I am quilting in my "sock" feet and really should have on my Crocs). I am taking a little rest, but should have it done either tonight or tomorrow. I am using one of my Circle Lord Boards---"Swirl" and it is looking good! I decided to use grey thread on the front and red "So Fine" on the back. I hadn't had really good luck in using So Fine before, but with my Towa tension, I was able to get it right this time. Although when you look closely you can see the little grey "pin dots" (no way to really avoid that), the tension is great on the back!!!!!! I know I talk a lot about tension, but if you only knew the "stuff" I went through trying to get a decent stitch on the front AND back, you would understand :c). I had better not brag too much, Harriet might hear me :c)!! I am also "floating" the top---since there are so many seams, I thought it best to decrease the possibility of stretching. I rarely do this, but it makes it easier to keep your top straight and work with those occasional "puffy" areas,

All in all--A great day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Project!

It is hard for me sometimes to complete quilts I really don't particularly like----is it for you? But, I am pushing on!!!! I am almost finish quilting "the" quilt but am working on other projects at the same time. Above is the latest quilt. It is a free pattern from the Moda Bake Shop and uses jelly rolls. I am focused on using fabric I already have in my stash (how else can I honestly purchase more). I am making it larger, and currently have a little over 200 strips cut (counting the ones above). As I mentioned in an earlier post, the jelly roll is "Oz" which is perfect for such a modern quilt. I usually like to make blocks as I cut---keeps up my momentum when I can see progress, but I am going to need to cut all the strips first to make sure I have a good mix of prints. I just had to though make these blocks so when I get bored of sewing and cutting strips, I can look up and see what "awaits" once I get done. I have about 8 more strips left to sew together and cut so the end is in sight and I can start putting everything together. You can't see it very well, but the strips are sewn to white Kona.

I should be finished with quilting today, and will load the next quilt on. I have actually quite a few tops that need to be quilted---4---and 4 that need binding (yuk), so I have lots of work to do. Good thing I can "multi-task" :c)!

Tomorrow is Guild day and I have lots to sew --- for sure. I just have to figure which UFO to bring :c). I have purchased a neat little extension table for my Featherweight! I will try to get pictures tomorrow, but the table will make it so much easier to work on larger projects. I might even be able to take a quilt with me and put on binding.

More pics to follow----have a great Friday!

Friday, February 3, 2012

FINISHED!!!!! Finally!

I got up early today, finished the last block and put the rows together on "Spontaneous Combustion"!!!!!! It measures 82 x 92.5---perfect for my queen size bed. Now the challenge will be to figure out what thread to use. I usually try to get a coordinating backing so I don't have to worry about thread matches, but this time since the backing is a predominate red/blue, I am going to have to audition some threads. I am thinking that a red thread would be okay though. They have this same fabric in a yellow predominate, and I wish I had purchased that, but I didn't, and I really don't want to spend more money to get the other colorway (I don't think so anyway). I just really think the red "speaks" to the quilt more.

I am going to hurry and quilt the "UG" quilt, so I can put this one on. I will probably just do a simple meander since it is so very busy, anything fancy would be a waste of energy---I am already doing that with the current quilt and I want to just get this one done and bound so I can admire it!

Well, have a great day and week-end!