Thursday, December 29, 2011

Alaska Flag Quilt

 Hey there. I sure hope you are doing well. It has been pretty busy around here with my family visiting, but I wanted to pop in to show you one of my latest finishes. I designed this quilt around the Alaskan Flag. I decided to make the stars a bit more liberated than the 5 pointed stars that are actually on the flag. As I finished this quilt top, I knew just how I wanted to quilt it.

 I bet most everyone is familiar with Vincent van Gogh's Stary Night painting, right? I love the swirls that he painted into it and I have always loved taking that to my quilting. So I did it again here on this quilt.

 I also quilted the names of each star. Don't you think star names are funny?

 The second star of the big dipper is actually 2 stars. Did you know that? Well, you do now. And the stars are named Alcor and Mizar.

 Polaris is up in the top corner of the Alaskan flag. I love this quilt and I can't wait to wash it. I am giving it as a gift (late Christmas) / swap with my friend Sharon. She has been making me some wonderful paintings. She misses Alaska terribly, so now she has a quilt to remind her.

The smaller stars have circles around them...I think it looks a bit like star dust. I used some more of my favorite Presencia cotton thread for this quilt. I will be sad when I run out of it that is for sure. 
I hope Sharon likes this quilt!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Quilt For John

 Hey there! I have finished another quilt for John. He wanted very simple quiting for this quilt. So...this is me doing very simple quilting.

 Some simple zig zags in the bars, and the rest with my favorite determined meandering. This is really fun fabric too. Stanley certainly approved. Again, John is a great piecer. Not a block out of line on this quilt.

Here is a bit of the back, with a print back the quilting is hard to see, but I think it is wonderful.

I have a massive Dresden plate quilt to load up onto the frame next for Katy.

Have  great day and keep warm if you are in the Northern hemisphere!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Bee FF quilt

 I took my BeeFF project out to work on a bit during a quiet moment this morning. I have really enjoyed the slow thoughtful time I have been able to spend with this quilt. I am hand quilting it in a quilt as you go method. As you can probably see many of the blocks are different sizes. I am adding boarders to the smaller ones because in the end they will all need to be the same size. I have big plans for the final boarder of this quilt. My wonderful BeeFF group helped me out with these blocks. I sure hope we stick together for another great year of quilting. SOme of our members are onto bigger and better things or at least cutting back on all their swaps. I totally understand that. I did the big cut back a couple years ago and I am very happy I made that decision. It is hard to never take time to sew for your self or just for your family.

So, I am loving this applique. All the wonderful little stitches made by friends are each a treasure. When you see something so obviously hand made, do you ever wonder about what was being thought about while it was being made. I do. I love holding old hand made items and imagining all the lives that have touched and have been touched by them. This quilt is going to be one of my magnum opuses when it is finished. Maybe I will try to find a show to enter it into?

OK, I am off to bed. This has been a very busy and wonderful weekend.


Some art for Lady June

I am having this made into a bumper sticker for my Long Arm. Her Name is Lady June. As soon as Sharon first saw my Gammill Supreme she said it needed some nose art. I agreed! Sharon had this whipped out in no time. I wish I was as fast as she is.

A quilt for John

 I finished quilting this quilt for John (aka Quilt Dad) on Friday. The temperature finally dropped below 80 (to 34F that is how it is in Texas. Nice and warm one day and mighty cold the time to prepare), so it actually felt like fall in my quilting studio. I will need to find some sort of heater for winter use for sure. I was decked out in gloves, a wool toboggan, one on my Dale of Norway sweaters and long Johns...oh and my daughters furry house shoes. Quite a sight to behold.

 John made this quilt for Quiltmaker Magazine out of the block he did for Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Magazine.

 John wanted it quilted fairly simple. I find circles so soothing and I wanted the chevrons to be quit simple as well so the focus was on the blocks and not the quilting. I am very happy with how this one turned out. Sharon came over and we were admiring the fabric as I was loading it up onto the frame. I was thinking about how to quilt it and Sharon suggested modernized poppies (basically 3 circles inside one another), so I took that and made this design. It has a bit of a flow to it. It is so nice to have an artist across the street. Sharon is brilliant.

I have 3 more to quilt for John, he is a great piecer. I will show them as soon as I have them finished.

I have ordered some Spare parts for my Lady June (my massive Gammill) and I hope that they will come in Handy eventually. I was having some tension issues with her, but the folks at Gammill were so very helpful. I have had to become somewhat of a sewing machine mechanic. My husband wanted to have that job, but most of the time I have issues I can't wait for him to come home from work, so I just grab my screwdriver and go to town. It is so satisfying to take it apart and fix the problem (in the last case it was a thread jam in the rocking finger) and then go back to awesome tension. I love my long arm.

Anytime I get a new machine I have tension issues at some point. They drive me crazy, but it is so wonderful to figure what the problem is and be able to fix it. Speaking of sewing machines, my Bernina 820 is STILL in the shop. It is making some sort of alarm sound that no one can figure out what it means. That is something I love about my older machines. When they develop bad tension I can sort them out fairly easy. But when my fancy computer ones mess up there is nothing I can do but go to a professional.

OK, have a happy weekend and I will talk to you soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Zig Zag Quilt

 Good Morning! How are you doing? I sure hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. I finished a quilt last night. This was a pretty quick quilt as I started it on the 17th of November in preparation for a book review (Little Bits Quilting Bee) for my other blog. Nothing like a quick quilt that is a thrill to quilt. I used a silver thread for the quilting (both top and bottom thread are silver). I love how the silver looks on the front, and on the back it looks like a whole new quilt.

 Despite having my Bernina 820 back from the shop, I am still using my little featherweight. A word of advice to you...never buy a fancy schmancy computerized sewing machine and go move to the middle of nowhere where there is no support for it. Because when it is out of sync...there is nothing you can do but drive 8 hours to have it repaired...again. But DO have some great old machines that just require a bit of oil and will run until the Apocalypse.

 As soon as this quilt came out of the dryer it was instantly put into family quilt circulation. The quilters dream cotton batting I used has such a glorious feel to it after being dried.

 So, here is a full sunny shot from this morning. It is crazy windy (as usual) so the quilt is flapping a bit...and I didn't center it.

 I love these little feathery clam shells I used to quilt the background. They are so very fun to quilt with my Gammill. They appear like magic as the long arm passes over the quilt top. I wanted something minimal in the blocks and I wanted a bit of puff after I had washed the quilt, so I made little pea pod looking designs in the individual triangles. I love the sketcherly look and feel these quilts have.

 By the time I came back to the boarder to finish the quilting I did not want the vine I had originally thought I would use. What to do what to do???? How about loops. Na. Maybe double loops? They look a bit like babushkas or toes, but I like them.

 And because the backs of quilts are so very important....Here is the back of this one. I may like it better than the front.

 I think the texture is fabulous. Especially after the wash. There are parts that aren't perfect, but I am human and not a computer...and given how frustrated I am with computerized sewing machines at the moment that is fine with me.

I have done a couple other quilts...but I can't show pictures of them yet. They are going to be in books, so I will show you pictures later...or point you to the books ;o)

Have a great weekend, I think I will be driving back down to Killeen to drop off my Berninas.


Monday, November 14, 2011

My quilts in the Cloud 9 Booth

 Hey there! I bet if you read my other blog you are bored of my cloud 9 quilts, but I need to do a quick show of the quilts here too. I made 2 quilts for Michelle Engel Bencsko  of Cloud 9 fabric. I made the giant  hexagon up on the wall out of the wonderful Miscellany collection and the little brown and yellow flying geese quilt out of Across the Pond.

 I must say again how much I love the Miscellany quilt. I will be making one for myself for Christmas...Well, I will start it over Christmas break, who knows when it will actually be finished.

 It was such a thrill to both meet Michelle and Gina and to see my quilts in with all the glory of Quilt Market. Here I am with Gina and below is a picture of my with Michelle. I sure hope I get to keep sewing for these brilliant ladies! They make superior fabric to create with!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A quilt for Katy

 Katy sent me this quilt to quilt up for her and pass of at Market while I was there. I love the blue, I love the stars, I love the Happy Zombie fabric.

 I quilted it quite simple. With a stipple as the background and each star has some little melon curves inside the lines. And some pebbles because I really do love pebbles.

Katy has great pictures of the quilt all finished over on her flickr stream. She is so clever and she is the Features Editor for Fat Quarterly. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cross and flowers quilt

 I finally took the time to finish the binding on this quilt.  I LOVE it! Can I say that again... I LOVE this quilt. This is one of the things that I just can't believe I made. I feel like someone else must have made it and forgot it in my house. I had a completly wonderful time quilting this quilt.

 I wanted to do something special around the tulips besides just hand quilting them, so I added bubbles and I think they look just right.

 I think this cross quilt block is wonderful, don't you? I used a tutorial from  the long thread. You should give it a try too! I used a wool batting in this quilt. I love wool. If you have never used it before, I really urge you to try it out. The wool batting I use is from Quilters Dream Batting. I have it available for the quilts I quilt as well as their cotton batting.
I decided to quilt more leaves and buds along the vine instead of appliqueing them on. I don't know if you can tell from the picture or not, but the cotton thread I used to quilt this piece is a pale variegated yellow.

Another Texas quilt

 I have been making Texas Flag quilts lately. They are quick to sew up and great for experimenting on the quilting with my long arm. I am quite happy with how this quilt turned out. This one will be in my shop when I load it up.

 I also plan to teach this quilting as my beginning quilting project. It is a great size for either use as a quilt, or as a wall hanging. People either love Texas or hate it, but in either case they probably need a Texas flag quilt to represent their stay here.

 I had so much fun quilting this one!

 I am planning a quilting class for the first week in November. I would love to see you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Quick flag quilt tutorial

 Would you like to make a quickie quilt? I bet you might. I like making quick quilts. I made this one for one of my bag customers and I was so happy with how it turned out I decided to write up a quick tutorial for it. I know it only has 9 stars and that bothered me just quilt more stars in the blue when it comes to the quilting part.

The Basics

You are going to need to make 9 liberated stars. These are really easy to make.

2.5 inch squares x 72

3 inch squares x 72 - but these white squares you are going to cut in half diagonally to make the rays of the stars.

And you will need 9 centers for your stars. I used some ACU fabric from the uniform I was cutting, but you can make them all white.

2.5 inch squares (for the star centers) x 9

HERE is my favorite wonky/ maverick star tutorial. Ignore the sizes she recommends, just follow her method.

After you have your 9 stars finished you need to make your stripes. I just took some reds and whites from my stash and cut a couple strips of varying widths (from 1 inch to about 2.75 inches). I did cut selvedge to selvedge, so I had about 44 inches of fabric of each strip. I decided that would be a pain to sew together and it would get boring, so I cut each strip in half = 22 inches of fabric and that was much better.

So, after you have pieced your strips together, just put some to the right of you stars and the rest down below.

For the stripes to the right I cut a 6 inch section...I can sketch this out for you if you like. My husband set my bamboo up again so I can doodle. Just let me know if you want more guidance or maybe you can figure it out on your own because you are awesome. You are awesome, you know.

This is how I quilted the blue part. Stars mixed in with stippling. Pretty simple huh? Ok, let me know if you make one! I would love to see it. I also have a little easy Texas flag quilt instruction a couple posts down.


Geese Flying Over the Pond Quilt

 Hey there! How are you all doing today? I hope you are good. Fall is upon us, we even got some rain on Saturday. It was so wonderful. The thirsty desert tried to quench it's need, but in my humble opinion we will need about a week and a half of steady rain to make a difference in the drought we have been dealing with.

So, since it is fall (and this is the latest quilt I have finished)  I give you...."Geese Flying Over the Pond".

I made this quilt for Michelle Engel Bencsko of Cloud 9 Fabric. I have made a couple other quilts for her

Dog Wood, Shade Garden, Miscellany and now this one.

Michelle sent me a stack of fat quarters and wanted a 60 inch quilt. She let me do whatever I wanted for this quilt. I love that. Here is a wonderful stack of organic cotton whatever you want with it. So I was looking at the stack of pretty fabric and I was thinking to myself, this fabric looks like fall. I was wishing it was cooler here (I think we were well into our over 100 days of 100 degrees) and I just wished for some cool weather. What really signals that the cooler weather is on the way? Leaves changing colors, that smell of autumn....pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks?? Well, I think looking up and seeing flocks of geese honking away to each other as they fly south is pretty fallish, right?

I love Flying Geese Quilts. All those triangles are scary though aren't they? Well, actually they are just a bit time consuming, but not hard at all. If you have never made flying geese blocks before here is a tutorial for my favorite method

Sarah Fielke is one brilliant lady isn't she?

Since I had 4 background colors I made the brown geese fly North, the Yellow geese are flying North, the red ones are flying East and the cream geese are flying west.

I had a fantastic time quilting this quilt with my long arm.

I made a little fern going around the last boarder. Ferns always remind me of the fall and the forest and lakesides. So I figured a fern would be just fine.

So, if you are at quilt market in Houston, this quilt should be in the Cloud 9 Fabric booth. Say hi to it for me! I will be wondering around market too....I can't wait!