Friday, June 29, 2012

Tia Curtis Quilts is on the Move!

Hey there folks! I just wanted to let you know that my sewing and quilting studio is on the road (in the back of the truck belonging to a man in a festive marijuana outfit)

It is on it's way to a storage facility in Kansas.We can't wait to move it into our new house in Leavenworth! I think we are going to do some renovation on the house before we get our shipment.

My blogging will be spotty, but I will be back in business before you know it. So get to work on those quilt tops and be ready to send them to me for quilting!

xo,
Tia

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Has a box of treasure ever turned up in your mailbox?

 Hey there folks! How are you doing? I am almost finished with all my sewing and quilting projects I wanted to get complete before our movers show up on Monday. I have a very special blog post here for you this afternoon. It is one I have been wanting to write for months. Really. It is crazy how time flies by and all the madness that can strike all at once. I am pretty sure at one point the Almighty was stepping to urge me to stop sewing and just start packing! Really. My tension got all crazy on my long arm, my Bernina started eating thread and my computer's video card melted. I fixed the tension issue with the Gammill, the Bernina had a rogue thread caught in the cutting device so it was wrecking havoc with all the sensors. Bernina does not make it easy to PMCS your fancy pants machine that is for sure! And the computer? Well it is toast. The vidoe card melted to the motherboard. We saved the hard drive, so I have access to most everything, but I do need to get another computer. I am using my old laptop that I had given to my daughter....it leaves much to be desired (I guess it spent too much time searching little petshop toys and youtube videos of Justin Bieber). I think I am going to make the conversion to MAC when we get settled in Kansas. My Gateway only lasted 18 months. I am half lost without my computer.

Anyway...enough of my technology woes! Let us chat about all the treasure up on the table! Do you remember me rattling on about Marjorie Horton? She wrote my favorite Welsh Quilting Book (Welsh Quilting and Design Handbook) I did a book review not too long ago. Since then Marjorie  Horton and I have become virtual pen-pals of a fashion. I adore her! I want to go up to Washington state and pet her quilts and play the human sponge so I can absorb all she has to teach.  She is so sweet and patient and answers all my questions. Well she wanted to know if I was interested in one of the books that influenced her to begin her Welsh Quilting journey. Heck Yeah! She said she would send it to me and maybe a couple other things.


 She sent me these wonderful foam mounted pictures of her Welsh Quilts (these are the Welsh quilts she hand quilted and they are gorgeous!) I shall be framing them when I get my quilting studio set up in Kansas.


 Aren't they just gorgeous?

 These are the two books she sent me. They are chock full of quilt beauty. Some really amazing examples of Welsh and English quilts. I have been reading them before bed in the evenings and I am learning so much about a craft I thought I was pretty familiar with. Oh, and the quilt inspiration within is dangerous. My mind throbs with quilts I want to make, but they will have to wait until I am settled! You can find both books on Amazon. Quilt Treasures and The Complete Book of Quiltmaking. Both are worth investing in if you are interested in Welsh or British quilting.

 I bet many of you are familiar with this quilt. It is from Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking. This quilt alone turned me into a liberated quiltmaker and a devoted follower of Gwen Marston.

 What you may not know is that Gwen made it after being inspired by this one! It is actually the BACK of the below red and white Stripy quilt. All those little squares are appliqued on. Isn't that fantastic?

 This book is "the complete Book of Quiltmaking" and I recommend you add it to your library. it is wonderful, really.

 So, not only did Marjorie include 2 wonderful book, and pictures of her beautiful quilt she included her class samples!

 2 amazing tea cozies

 And 3 Mind blowing hand quilted little Welsh quilts. I wish you could touch these little quilts! I can't find where her knots are....they are so thin and the stitches are all perfect and so little. Well, I think they are little. Marjorie said she actually had to make her stitched LONGER and slightly CROOKED to achieve the look of traditional Welsh quilt. 

 She said that the stitches had to be crooked due to the optical illusion created by Straight stitches in the cotton Sateen. Straight stitches look crooked and crooked ones look straight! Isn't that wonderful?

 Here is the second little quilt she sent. I love the cross hatching in the flower centers.



 Don't these quilts make you want to pick up a little quilt sandwich and do some hand quilting? I sure do.


 So, if the books, pictures and class samples weren't enough she also generously included her templates! And each piece has a little note for me on it! It is not feasible for me to go up to Washington to learn from her right now, but this sure is the next best thing!

 She sent me an 1899 English penny to use for marking feathers and adding machine paper that she uses for spacing when figuring crosshatching and church windows. And fabulous little notes!

 Here are some more of the templates that she marks her quilt with. If there was not a move on the imminent horizon I would be marking quilts!


See...I am starting small so I can practice making small stitches. Oh and on a quilting note, I asked Marjorie Horton what sort of thimble she uses. No thimble at all! She uses the finger nail of her thumb or index finger. I am definitely going to try that.

So, wasn't that the best box of quilting treasure ever? So much great stuff I can't wait to try out, learn from and hopefully pass that knowledge on to others! Thank you again Marjorie! I love it all and am so honored you felt I was worthy of all this.

Marjorie Horton has a blog! She will be posting all sorts of  techniques and pictures on it as soon as her new laptop arrives. Go visit her and book mark it as well.

Yours,
Tia

Sunday, June 17, 2012

 Hey there! I have been quilting up a storm, but since my computers have been having issues I have not been able to blog very often. I am here sewing instead (and sorting and packing a bit to get ready for the move).

 This is the quilt I made for Sharon Smith. I quilted all the herringbone parts with vines.

 Swirls and loops on the boarder. The quilting on this quilt went perfectly. Not one thread break....not that I normally have tons of thread breaks, but I had to do some big time care to my long arm not too long ago and I am very happy that my husband and I (and yes the Smiths) are able to figure out what was going on with the machine. Once again I will sing the praises of an older machine that I can tend at home.

 I signed it so Sharon won't forget who made this quilt. Normally I just sign in the binding, but I had plans to do more to this binding.

 This is the back. Pretty simple, 200 thread count muslin by Moda. It is my all time favorite quilt backing.

 I also finished several Texas Flag quilts. I think I have made 9 of these so far. Crazy huh? I just adore quilting them. The piecing itself is really quick and easy, but the quilting is a blast.


 I like to make loops on the bindings sometimes, normally I do it when I have a zillion other things to do and can't focus on what needs to be done, I can work on this mindless activity and prioritize the other projects I need to sort before the packers arrive.

 This binding has lots of loops.

 Finally this is a little flag. It will be a wall hanging. I did not quilt this one with my long arm.

I used my Bernina 820. I love this machine when it is working well.

I hope all you fathers out there are having a great day!
Happy Fathers Day!