Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Some Quilts I quilted recently

Hey there folks!
I just got home from doing a trunk show in Rogers, Arkansas. It was so fun and it was such an honor to be asked to show off my quilts to the Modern Quilt Guild of North West Arkansas. Wow. Thank you ladies for having me down. Your town is lovely and your guild is filled with so much talent. You also have one of the coolest quilt shops I have ever been in. The Rabbits Lair was awesome. Wow. I have a bag full of hand dyed wool singing a siren song to me begging me to come do some applique. But I must resist! Until next week.

Tomorrow I get to Teach Quilt as you go on the long arm at KC Quilt Festival. I am beyond thrilled. I hope it is as fun for everyone else as it has been for me. Fingers crossed! I will pack the van after this blog post.

So, let me take a moment while I have a glass of wine to show you some of the quilts I have quilted lately. I hate glowing them all in one blog post. but looking at my blogging trends this is as good as it is going to get until next week or so...but I have fun plans for blogging then and I don't want to NOT show these quilts due to oversight. So lets take a look...

This is a fun quilt I quilted with a simple cross hatch. I kinda love it. Super simple and so fast!

This is a fun quilt (a man quilt) that I quilted with Bauhous in the body of the quilt and guitars around the border.

The man the quilt was made for is a musician. I love those guitars. If you look close I did a thick double stitching in gold to try to look like blue jeans stitching. I know in the 7 zillion stitches my Bernina has that I have a good thick back stitch, but I couldn't find it. Or maybe it was on a different machine?

This was a fun one I did for Taylor. So much texture! Lots of ruler work, but some Statler work too.

These modern pearls are my favorite.

The dense baptist fans are a close second.

This is another quilt I did for Taylor. She found a stack of antique signature blocks and finished them all into a quilt.

I swear if I ever get to have a farm with a massive flock of fat hens they are all going to get their names from this quilt.

Taylor gave me a little diagram of what she wanted the blocks to look like so I made it so.

I did a wide vine around the border. It loosely is related to the narrow vine in the sashing.

Next up is colored candies. This was an enormous quilt. Cheryl is such a good piecer. Talk about straight seams! I love it!

She wanted dense wavy lines and swirls in the colored blocks.

Lots of thread here!

Last up is this quilt for one of my favorite clients (all my clients are awesome, but one reason Beth is special is because she plots revenge with me to get my flock of fat hens back). I think this is the first quilt I have custom quilted for her. Which is odd because most of the quilting I do is custom quilting...I had a blast quilting this one.

Swirls and stars. Gosh I love that combination.

It is hard to see, but the centers of each star are different.

And it got a little star spangled border. I love how this quilt turned out.

OK, I am off to cut 20 quilt backs and the batting to match. If you are coming to class tomorrow come early to help pin them up to the frames and I will give you a treat!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Quilt as You Go on the Long Arm

Have you ever done Quilt As You Go (QAYG) to make a quilt? I tried a couple years ago on a quilt that I made with my Flickr quilt bee. Everyone made me appliqué blocks in the Baltimore Album style. They were so beautiful I knew they needed special treatment. So I got to work right before I bought my first long arm. It was all going well...each beautifully appliquéd block was being quilted by hand and it was looking like a masterpiece....but then, to my despair I noticed that all the blocks were different sizes. There was no way they were all going to fit together because like a total fool I didn't measure first or maybe in my ignorance I didn't think it would be a big deal! Agony! I became so frustrated at this point that I just began to machine quilt the blocks on my Bernina. I ended up hacking off parts of blocks and tried to make other blocks larger. Oh, it was a mess. I became the most frustrated when I began the process of putting all the blocks together with that dumb black sashing and the craziness you have to do to the back too. It has been folded over a quilt ladder in my dining room ever since waiting for the final borders to be added.

Well, with the addition of 2 Gammill long arms to my quilting stable I have found a much easier and faster method of QAYG. Using the long arm to QAYG is the most fun! 

I saw a couple pictures on Instagram of a friend messing around with it and immediately I had to try! I dumped out a handful of scraps and went to town! Needless to say my first couple tries were really messy, but I cut them up and made them into the coolest boxy zipper bags. They are just the coolest things.

Each toss of scraps resulted in such fun creations. 

I started to add in some little orphan blocks and I LOVED the results.

Triangles are a bit tricky, but they are neat too.

 **If you are taking the class with me on the 18th, think about how you like to make quilts. Do you like pretty wild piecing like the above or do you prefer more order like the log cabin below. I sent out supply lists for both type. Also add some Orphan blocks to your bag. They want to play too.

I decided to try my hand at making a log cabin. The first quilt I ever made was a long cabin, so when I am doing something new it is easy to go back to the familiar. This entire quilt was made on my Old Gammill Supreme. It was so fun...almost hypnotic to work on. I cut strips from my enormous collection of Cotton and Steel (which you can buy for yourself from my shop)  and went to town piecing. As I got down to the bottom I asked myself...what would happen if I added some orphan blocks? So I did. Those strip pieced triangles were orphans from a project that never worked out for me.

The trick is the sashing or background. After I sorted that out I was on the move!

This was so fun. And it was fairly quick all things considered. 

I do love Aqua. 

I am excited to say that I will be teaching this method at KC Quilt Festival this month and a version on the domestic machines Saturday (6 JUNE) at Show Me Quilting in Raytown, MO. Both classes will be really fun. At the Quilt festival you will leave with instructions to turn your piece into some zipper bags (or you can make them into a pillow...or add them into a larger quilt). At Show Me Quilting you will leave with a finished bag. I have been doing heaps of teaching lately and I really enjoy it.

*The top 3 bags were made with the QAYG method.


Tanya's Quilt

Being an army wife (even though my husband is retired) friends sail in and out of my life. Tanya is one of the friends that will stay dear to my heart forever. She has been such a blessing to know. Tanya was part of our Quilt Posse here on Ft Leavenworth. We had a blast. This quilt was one we did as a block of the month 2 years ago? Maybe it was last year. All the blocks were based on blocks from the Kansas City Star Newspaper. It was really fun to make blocks that were very simple and then we could drink tea and chat the rest of the meeting or blocks that were hilariously difficult and there was no chatter at all as we stitched away.

Tanya is one of the most precise piecers I have ever encountered. I am very fly by the seat of my pants, so her input is invaluable before launching a pattern. She let me custom quilt her quilt and told me to do whatever I wanted.

So this quilt is filled with feathers and swirls and so much love. I posted several videos on my Instagram showing the machine quilting the point to point function. I used a combination of free hand quilting and digitized designs.

I love the little stars she put in the sashing.

Tanya already had the label put on the was a wonky star!

I will miss you Tanya! Come back soon!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Basket Quilt

Hey there folks! Today I am going to show you a zillion pictures and chat a bit about this quilt that I have been working on for the past several years and have finally finished. My Basket Quilt. I started this one with Gwen Marston back in 2011 (I think) and finally finished putting the top together at our KCMQG quilt retreat in Hamilton, MO. I LOVE Gwen Marston and if you EVER have a chance to sew with her DO IT. She is brilliant. Truly. Anyway, she came to Dallas When I lived in San Angelo so I made the drive up to her to learn about making basket blocks (her way). I am actually not wild about basket quilts, but I LOVED her technique. It was so fun to make all the blocks just a tad bit different...heck some full blown KRAZY. Some even became flower pots. Flower pots and baskets are pretty similar really.

So I came home with a bag full of baskets and no clue what to do with them or what layout to give them, so they got put away. They were put away for YEARS. I would take them out during with them some create some fun spare parts...then get busy with work related quilts and the blocks would get put away again.

Finally I decided to make them into the last border of a medallion quilt. I love a medallion quilt. I make lots of them because they are so fun to build on and really fun to quilt. I made a center block and built on the borders, and made some more appliqué parts.

All the appliqué is needle turn except for one part.

They stars are the only part that I HATE. I really wish I would have just pieced some stars. I love making wonky stars I don't know why I dropped the ball here but I did. I hated this part so much that is sat unfinished for another 2 years. For real.

This funny appliqué sprout is a block I had been working on on and off while waiting in the school pick up line. It was in my purse and I needed another block to make the bottom border long enough. It kinda matched so I added it in. I also quilted a couple extra leaves on the stem.

Some sprouts in a pot. I did figure out the ACU fabric does not want to be forced into leaves. It fought me every stitch. But in the end I won.

Two of my Altura blocks from Carolyn Friedlander went into the quilt too.

I tried really hard to keep the quilting simple...but I decided the trees needed to be snowed on.

Each basket is quilted different. This one has some feathers.

I used two layers of batting in this quilt to make it really heavy and to make the elements of the quilt pop. I used cotton and wool batting from Quilters Dream.

I think this is my favorite basket. I quilted around the spheres and it looks cool.

This is the back. It is all fabric I bought while in Hamilton for the quilt retreat.

This is a process shot, while I was quilting the quilt on the long arm.

And here is fabulous Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company. She was as sick as a dog and still came out to say hi to our KCMQG. She is pretty great.

Anyway, I think that was my longest UFO project. If you have some crazy blocks bust them out and make them into a medallion quilt. It is magic.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Soul Searching Quilt

I also have this fabulous quilt to chat about. Ibby made this one using Kathy Doughty's pattern from one of her new books Making Quilts. That link may not work.

I had a blast quilting this one. Straight lines and swirls are best friends in my opinion...soul mates if you will.

I am kinda wild about how it turned out. I custom quilted it.

I also think Ibby has one stellar collection of low volume fabric.

Happy Quilting Folks!