Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sweet Viola the Ocean Waves quilt

Happy Saturday morning! I hope you are all good. It is a great day here to just burrow into your sewing room and create wonderful things. It is grey and rainy and I love it! I finished up the binding on this old quilt this morning. I found this top in town at an antique store. I only made it as far as the first couple booths, and had to dash out (after paying of course) with my treasure in my arms. I guess I was afraid some other feral quilter would snatch it out of my hands. This patten is called Ocean waves. Obviously it is a scrap quilt. I have another one with the same pattern downstairs but it is only blue and white, it is quite wonderful how just the fabrics make such a different effect. I feel like this quilt is almost laughing with the joyful bits of fabric that were used.

I tossed this top up on my frame almost as soon as I got home. I was between tops and was dying to try out some of my wonderful Statler designs. When I bought my new Gammill Long arm from Beth it had a multitude of wonderful designs loaded on it's computer and this was the chance for me to try a bunch of them out. Normally my clients like me to hand guide my custom quilts, and I love it, but I wanted to play with the perfection of the Statler Stitcher.

My kiddos came down and had fun picking out designs as well. The Dove was from Ethan.

The Peacock was Emma's choice. Anyway, this quilt will be given as a wedding present today to one of the men who works with my husband. I hope they like it...I am always torn when I give quilts. I LOVE quilts, pretty much any quilt I like. But what if the people I give it too think I am an idiot giving just a blanket? Will they see the love and blessings that were stitched into this piece? Will they see the fun and happiness I wish them to have in their marriage?

I got tired of quilting the diagonal lines, and just did swirls at the bottom part....I wish I would have done swirls all the way through it...or figured out how to do diagonal boarder quilting...I will learn that Monday, so I will do it on my other Ocean Waves quilt.

Oh well, if they don't like it I will be happy to take it back and use it in my household.

Here is the Label that came with the top. Viola hand pieced this quilt back in 1954. I wonder what her life was like? I hope it was a good one!

Do you feel odd about giving quilts as gifts? Sometimes I feel they may be perceived as over the top...or old fashioned, but my house is swelling at the seams with quilts. I really don't NEED any more, but boy to I love to make them!

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

a pair of shirt stripe quilts

Hey there! Today I have some shots of the Shirt Stripe quilts I custom quilted for a very nice lady. I think these quilts are filled with some of the best stripes don't you? She said that most of the stripes are from stripe shirts that she has been collecting.

Since the quilts are for little boys we wanted the quilting to be more linear and masculine. I used my channel lock feature a ton on this quilt and I LOVE it so much!

The quilting is wonderfully visible on the solid backs. Great quilts! I have a couple other finishes to show soon. One I  kick myself for not taking a picture of, but maybe I can catch up with it at KCMQG. Who knows?

Have a great day and I hope you find time to make some great things!


Collage winner!

Hei there folks!

I sure hope you are all doing well! I forgot to choose a winner for the Collage pack of fabric! Shame on me. Ha.

I finally emerged from my Quilt lair long enough to pick a winner. Such great words you all picked. The winner is....

  1. Lately my favorite word has been make. I feel I need to have that tattooed on my eyes, it motivates me to get started and do stuff!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Lets talk about old quilt tops for a moment

So, Hey there! I have so much to blog about but I wanted to throw this post out into the either before I buckle down and blog about several of my latest quilts I have quilted for ladies.

I LOVE old quilt tops. And old quilt blocks....few things get me as trilled as when I find an old quilt top. My kids help me hunt for them in antique shops....and I have been known to buy some off ebay from time to time.

All the quit tops I collect I intend to finish....but sometimes I feel like I am so busy finishing these old birds that I neglect my REAL quilting and designing. But frankly there is SO much to learn from an old quilt top. I love the scrappy ones with a zillion fabrics that are perfect for tiny piece work....I think that is why I love Denyse Schmidt fabric so much because so many of her designs are inspired by old fabric. Gives me shivers it does!

I am often asked about what to look for and where to look for these special projects. I am going to be frank here....I have started leaving many quilt tops behind at antique shops. Think about you have UFO quilt tops laying around your sewing room? I bet you do. The ones I have made and just not quilted are because I have fallen out of love with them....or they just aren't fully finished yet and are waiting for the next inspiring boarder to pop into my head. Well, I am pretty sure the same thing happened with many of the quilts I have been finding lately. The quilter fell out of love with them or died...or in 2 cases the quilt tops were given to grand children to have finished....but the grand children had no clue how to go about having them finished so over time they wound up in my quilt lair. Thank goodness I KNOW how to do the finishing work. I will endeavor not to leave my offspring in such a state when my end comes.

Some quilt tops are not worth your while. For real! Don't waste your money and valuable time on someone else's mess. I have some that I really wish I would have thought about more before I bought them.

Basically here is what to look for:

  • look for a top that has never been washed. You may think that is gross, but washing a top with fragile seams can make a bad situation a downright nightmare. The seams will fray and then your seam allowance is gone...the top tends to be weak and will never stand up to any sort of use.
  • Look for a quilt with strong stitches
  • look for a quilt that is mostly square. The vintage quilt I just finished (at the bottom of the page) was all hand stitched and that quilter could care less if that quilt rippled and bucked like a wild horse. And let me tell you towards the bottom it did. 
  • If it is not square make sure it has enough character to make up for it!
  • do try to find a top with most of its seams intact. There are some special ones I have collected that do need some repair before I quilt them, but take the time to repair them. it isn't rocket science after all.
  • If there are tears in the top make sure the tears are just seams and not tears in the actual fabric. I don't mind quilting patches at all. I think it adds a great deal to a quilt, and mending means love.
What else? Let me know if you have questions about what to look for...I need to go get my kids from school, so I have to cut this post shorter than I wanted.

Oh, where to look for quilt tops?

I have had a great deal of luck with looking through antique shops. I can tell almost as soon as I step inside a quilt shop if it will be worth my while to look around, I bet you can too. Ebay is also a good bet. But with Ebay you can't judge odor. I have had some quilts that were just too foul smelling to work on...most of the stink airs out, or you can put it in a paper bag with (unused) coffee grounds for a few weeks and that absorbs the stink pretty nice.

This is the one I found today. Pretty good looking log cabin. It is old, but all machine pieced onto foundation. I do wonder what sort of machine was used....judging from the age of the fabric I wonder if it was a treadle?

Sadly this one has quite a few bad spots, but for $30 I bought it anyway. I love a log Cabin quilt. The first design I knew how to assemble was a log cabin I am pretty sure I made 7 of them before I even tried anything else.

Can you recognize anything special about this log cabin? A log cabin is a very traditional block...I wonder it you can spot where this quilt maker did her own thing?

The back of the top shows the foundation bits. Mostly cotton flour sacking, but some dress fabric as well. This is a very heavy top considering its size.

See where the foundation is tearing on the back? I don't think I am going to actually quilt this one. I may change my mind later, but I do like the construction of this top.

Forgive this terrible shot of the Ocean waves quilt I just finished. I am afraid my camera is getting ready to die on me. I will blog about this one in its own post, but I just wanted to show that these old quilts can be finished and Incorporated into your home. I use my antique quilts all the time. They are in full rotation in my house with my children.

 So this may be a question you are wondering....should you send an antique quilt top to your long armer???? Hell Yes! I can't speak for all the long arm quilters out there, but I love to quilt them. Think of all the work that goes into one of these hand pieced tops...only to spend the rest of its life in the near nude state. Finish them up! Give dignity to these beauties!

Happy hunting folks!


Friday, April 12, 2013

My turn for the Collage Blog hop!

Good morning! It is my turn on the blog hop! Hurray! So, I met Carrie Bloomston of Such Design last summer when I came up to Kansas from Texas to look for a house. I had looked at 30 houses in 3 days and I decided I needed a break and quilt market just so happened to be down the road in Kansas City. So I went. Basically I just wondered around in a daze...seriously shell shocked and overstimulated from both the houses I was thinking about buying and all the wonderful fabric and sewing doo dads. Somehow I found myself in front of Carries booth and it was like the eye of the storm....just silence and peace. The colors were soothing, her quilt designs were so different from everyone else's...I drifted over and well...I stayed. Carrie is such a great soul. After chatting with her for about 5 minutes I felt like I had know her all my life. Anyway, it was dinner time and all the sudden I found myself lifted with the tide of quilters going to dinner....and I went with Carrie and a bunch of other awesome quilters, designers and writers. It was a great night filled with conversation and fun. Wonderful. Anyway, over the year Carrie and I have kept in contact. I heard she had some fabric coming out and I knew it would be fantastic no matter what just because Carrie is that kind of lady.

She sent me a bunch with only one request....I was to use uniform fabric in with her fabric. I guess somewhere along the way she figured out that I sew with a bunch of uniform (in my other life as the owner of Camp Follower Bags and Quilts). So I did!  Originally I intended to make a wall hanging and a bag....but when the scraps settled and I put down my scissors I had made 3 bags and a quilt. I kept notes so all these items can become patterns! Hurray!

*** a quick note about Carrie's fabric. All the text is legible and makes sense! She has beautiful quotes and sayings mixed in with snippets of information. This will certainly be horde worthy, and I will be buying a couple yards of it.

I made a little sewing kit with a leather handle. I love these box bags. I teach free motion quilting with this design.

I made a wee little zip pouch, because seriously you can't have enough little zipper bags

Here is the other side which I love just as much!

And a quilted tote bags which I love. Lots of pockets on the outside.

Are you seeing the little pops of AUC and BDU?

And this is the quilt I rocked out in record time. I think I made all of this stuff in like 4 days. I love it. I especially love the Baptist fan quilting I did with my Statler Stitcher. I kinda want to do this on all quilts now. To heck with free motion! Just do Baptist Fans!!!! Just kidding. I love free motion.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! Thanks for reading my rambling. If you just skipped to the giveaway that is fine too. I am happy you came regardless.

In order to win a 10 inch pack of Carrie's Collage Fabric by Whindam leave a comment with your favorite word below in the comment section. Words can be powerful things. Just make sure I have someway to contact you. Next Friday I will choose a winner.

Here is the list of the other awesome bloggers who are hopping along with us. Lots of chances to win fabric!

April 9 – Julie Goldin 
April 11 – April Rhodes
April 12 – Tia Curtis
April 14 – Ramona Burke
April 15 – Sally Keller
April 16 – Angela Walters
April 19 – Jenny Kelly
April 20 – Sam Hunter

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Collage Blog hop!

I will be blogging about Carrie Bloomston's Collage fabric later this week, but I wanted to make sure you all had lots of chances to win a 10 inches square stack of her fabric BEFORE IT IS AVAILABLE in stores!!!!!!  Check out her blog and hop along.

What's going on down in the Quilt Lair?

Hey there! Good Morning! I hope the weather is pretty where you are. It is gorgeous here, but Thursday it is supposed to snow! Crazy right? Well, as usual I have quite a few projects I have been popping between here in the quilt lair.

Do you do that? Have a bunch of projects that way they all seem fresh? I do.

I started this Welsh Style quilt more than a year ago. I began it before I bought my first long arm, so it is to be quilted on my domestic sewing machine. It has been folded over the back of my sewing chair since we we moved here.

I worked on it a bit last week, but had to fold it back up to do real  "for money" work. It can't all be fun and games right?

If you are interested in this Welsh Style quilting ( I love it so much! ) I do have a couple more books available on (Welsh Quilting Pattern and Design Handbook by Marjorie Horton)

I also decided to putter along on this quilt again. It is the #xplusalong quilt that was all over twitter and instagram not too long ago. I went for it big time, but quickly lost steam on it. I just don't have the patience for the blocks....but I wanted it to be a big enough quilt to quilt up on my long arm.

So I added some half square triangles! Ha! I love it now. It will have some boarders as well. Eventually.

I have been quilting away on this great stripe quilt. Shari made 2 of them, one for each of her kiddos.

I am custom quilting them....trying to keep the quilting more masculine so lots of lines.

Next up, a tote of t-shirts to be made into a t-shirt quilt! It has been years since I made one of these. So this will be fun.

Last but not least I am working on some Hero bags from Staff Sargent Rolfing's uniforms. I am designing a special duffel bag just for this order. His mother sent me some of his shirts to include in the bags as well. Needless to say this will be some heart wrenching sewing. Take some time today to give your children an extra hug. Hold them close for a bit if you can.

OK, folks. I have sewing to do! I hope you take a bit of time today to make something special, or at least work on something special for someone you love!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Busy busy busy down in my little quilt lair

I have been so wonderfully busy this last week since getting back from Spring Break. I finished my 14th Texas flag quilt. This was a custom order and a bit bigger than the normal throw size. I keep telling myself I should just rock out a stack of these and post them in my shop. I love making them and the quilting process is downright meditative.

I know I have said this before, but the long swirls are wind, the pebbles are the rocky soil, the McTavishing (in the star) represents the intense west Texas heat and the clamshells are the bounty from the gulf. I added a couple other elements to this quilt. Some smaller Swirls (totally inspired from the quilting of Angela Walters and Krista Withers, who I admire endlessly.) are going to represent the flora of the texas hill country. The elements of Texas AR Texas to me.

Another thing that was different about quilting this quilt was the fact that I quilted in on my new Statler Stitcher. All the other ones I have quilted on my Gammill Supreme. I totally freehanded this one, and let me tell you the breeze track made it a total joy to quilt. May this quilt bring you much happiness and comfort, Penny. Thank you for letting me sew for you.

Next up is an awesome Star Wars quit made by Rebecca. This one I used my Statler Stitcher to computer quilt X-wing and Tie Fighters all over. They are a bit tricky to see in this shot, but I assure you they are there and the force is strong in this quilt!

Last quilt of this post is this grey and stripy quilt made by Shari. I find good stripes really hard to find, but Shari found the mother load for this quilt. I love all of them. I quilted this quilt with a "calm waters" edge to edge using my Statler Stitcher. Just a note, there are not pleats in the quilting, I think it is just the way I hung it out on the line and it was windy. The texture on this one will be amazing after it is washed.

On a bit of a sad note, this guy is no longer with us. He kept trying to kill our Lab Stanley who is old and sweet and mostly lame in his back leg. I got sick of coming home to blood on the walls and the red neck sound of dogs fighting as I tried to unlock the door fast enough to break them up. Needless to say our home is a much more peaceful place and Stanley is ever so much happier. We tried for six months to settle this fellow in our family...but he will make some family without another dog a world class pet.

OK, I have quilts to quilt and bags to make!

Have a great weekend and Happy Spring! The weather is gorgeous here I have already planted a bunch of things in the front and can't wait to get my veggies in on the side of the house.