Thursday, January 30, 2014

I taught a class and my other Long Arm is back!

I taught a class last weekend. I named it "Free Piecing" admittedly that is not the best name for a class. I need to rename it something else. I didn't mean free as in "no money", I meant free as in "free yourself from rules!" It will help next time I think up names to actually say them aloud. At any rate we all had a great time and some really great blocks were made.

 I think the most fun was had with the bird block. 2 years ago I was in a quilt bee and for my month I wanted bird blocks made. I LOVE free pieced birds. I still have a stack of bird blocks that need to become a quilt. Soon I hope! Maybe next time I will just do a "free bird" workshop? We also learned to make log cabins, shoo flies, churn dash, liberated stars and fun with various pieced borders and bias tape. It was a great class. Thank you Beth for sponsoring me! Beth has a great shop in Raytown "Show Me Quilting"

Next news is that both my Gammill long arms are up and running again! the lovely Statler Stitcher is still here doing great things.

And around the corner is Lady June!

Lady June was my first long arm. She is massive, but now with her new table and modified wheels she is so much easier to push around. We even gave her a new engine. Beth's husband Dave did the after market work on this old girl to give her some more spunk. Before her original table was very very very tall. So tall in fact that my husband made me a stage to stand on so I could quilt. I still felt like some sort of quilting dwarf or child whenever I stood at the table. Now the table fits me much better.

Emma, Stu and I have been quilting away with her on the scrap fabric I loaded up. I love the idea of quilting words and I will be doing this more on my own work in the future. I just need to find the time! Ha! Don't we all need a bit more time in the day?

OK, I need to go get ready for my quilt posse to arrive. We are having quilting day at my house. Im so excited! I love quilting with friends. If you are ever in the area or live near Leavenworth we normally get together on Tuesdays or Thursdays….about once a month. Just email me and I can add you to the distro list.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A moment for catch up.

Up until last year I used to always quilt and piece with my camera by my side. Depending on where we lived I would have lovely natural light to snap my process pictures. Well since moving to Leavenworth I have taken to leaving the camera upstairs and only taking my phone downstairs to my studio. I suppose it is the convince of the phone always being in my pocket. Well, since I have taken to using my phone the pictures don't move to my camera that easily (well they really do, I just have to upload them…and that takes TIME!!!) So I have quilted heaps of quilts that I have not taken good pictures of. That is sad. It is almost like they never happened!

Well, Happily I did recall to take my camera down with my with these two quilts. This lovely dresden plate quilt was made by Jen. I just had the pleasure of quilting it for her. I love quilting for Jen as she has such a glorious stash of fabric to look at while I travel my long arm from one side to the other.

I custom quilted this quilt…but due to the bad pictures the quilting is hard to see.

This quilt is a birthday present for her daughter. I love that! Happy Birthday!!!!!

Next up is a wonderful scrap quilt by Shari. This quilt was very popular on my Facebook page, but I don't know if the friends and family on my Facebook know about the almost cult following the "Scrapvomit" quilt had all over the blogs and Instagram. Heck most of my friends and family on Facebook have no clue what I really do as a day job and think I actually MAKE all the quilts I quilt. Nope. I just quilt them. I rarely actually MAKE quilts anymore just for the thrill of it. Most of the quilts I make now are for patterns or for magazines. Not that I am complaining, I love that!  Quilting is my favorite part of the quilt making process anyway, so I sure don't mind. Quilt it up!

Shari has a grand fabric stash as well. Most of the quilts I have done for her in the past have been made from mens button up shirts. All those stripes look so great together. This quilt I quilted for her is with an edge to edge design that looks quite custom. I love it. It is one of my favorite at the moment.

You can see the detail better here on the back.

I love quilting for Shari and Jen! I hope you have fun binding your quilts!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Winner of Best Modern Quilts!

Hey there! I didn't forget about the drawing…time just flows at a different speed down in my quilt lair. I choose the winner of  the magazine, Best Modern Quilts by Quilters Newsletter.

Love this! Tia, you are, as always, a genius!!
I'm going to find my stash of zippers right now!

I have sent you and email. Congratulations and I hope you love the magazine!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A quilt for Julie

Hey there! Here is the first Custom quilt I have quilts for 2014. Julie sent it to me and wanted it quilted similar to the one in the book (Urban Views by Cherri House). I love how it turned out. At first a was a bit intimidated by all the stop/starts for the echoing squares and rectangles, but I put on some great music and got lost in the zen of quilting such a simple and elegant quilt.

With each advance I turned the top back and clipped as many red bits as I could. The red did seem to fray quite a bit. I hate to be happily quilting along and "Surprise!!!" there is a stray thread that is totally visible through the light fabric.

This was such a fun quilt to quilt and after I got into my zone it seemed to quilt itself.

I am working on a lovely double Dresden Plate right now for Jen. I love how it is coming along. Hopefully I will finish it tomorrow.

Happy quilting folks!

Welcome Blog Hop folks!

Hey there blog hoppers! So great to meet you if this is your first time here. I made a little pouch for quilt market last year and Quilters Newsletter so kindly decided to put it in their magazine. Pretty exciting that the magazine was called Best Modern Quilts. That can give a girl a big head I tell you. This evening the fine people over at Quilters Newsletter will choose a  winner from the comments section below…so go make a comment. Make sure there is an email for them to contact you if you are a shadow.

Here is the little bag I made. It is a super quick project. I made it in no time with my regular sewing machine. In the past I have made bunches (Christmas presents and end of the year teacher gifts) by quilting a large piece with my long arm and cutting it into smaller pieces to making into individual bags.

So for this blog hop I wanted to show you how I put my zippers in. I love this technique. The size of the zipper determines the size of the bag.

put your zipper right sides together with the quilted body of the bag. I guess my sewing machine could use a cleaning, huh?

Clip off most of the seam allowance. Don't cut the zipper. It will make you sad. You will probably have to start over.

Top stitch the zipper. This makes it pretty, strong and binds off the inside of the bag so batting and thread won't get stuck in the zipper teeth.

Sew down the other side of the zipper and clip off most of the seam allowance on this side too.

I hand stitch this side because I don't like fighting the bag through the sewing machine. It is much faster for me to hand stitch it and it looks fancy.

And Viola! Stitch up the sides of you bag, box off the corners and your little pouch is ready to fill with treasures.

Thanks again for coming to my blog! I hope to see you again in the future. I am a long arm quilter…so if you need one, shoot me and email and we can chat.

Tia Curtis

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Free Piecing Class at Show Me Quilting

Hey there! I am super excited to announce my free piecing class at Show Me Quilting next Saturday (January 18 from 10 to 4 ). I love Gwen Marson and her liberated piecing style, Discovering Gwen changed my quilt making life. I know that sounds corney but it is true. Gwen taught me to make blocks from my imagination - size doesn't  matter there neither does perfection. The results are joy filled quilts that burst with color and movement.

I will be teaching some basic blocks, borders and a bit of easy peasy appliqué (needle turn is not so scary, I promise) Fun is the key, adventure the order of the day!

We will be making fun traditional blocks but with a thrilling twist.

I will show you some fun borders to add to any quilt to quickly transform it into a modern exciting masterpiece.

There is so much you can do with just one block, so you can take that and keep a clean simple quilt, or you can glob all the blocks together to make a quilt that sings…a bit off key maybe but it sings nevertheless.

At the end I will teach some easy appliqué techniques. I have been seeing more and more modern quilts feature little pops of appliqué. I think it is such an important skill for any quilter to know how to employ.

So please come join me Saturday at Show Me Quilting for an intensive workshop on free piecing! Email or call Beth (or me) to reserve your slot!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Christmas Quilts for my kiddos - or the the Quilters kids do have Quilts!

So this year I made sure to make quilts for my kids for Christmas. Not only did I make them quilts, I made them in secret and totally surprised my 3 children. Very rarely am I able to pull off a surprise, so I was pretty excited about this. It was the best part of Christmas for me. All 3 quilts have super soft Minky as a backing. I LOVE Minky and I will be making myself a quilt with Minky sometime this year. They quilted so well, and are insanely soft….to quote my son "this quilt feels like it was made of clouds"

This first quilt was for my middle son. He almost ruined the surprise by finding my hidden stash of minky fabric. I bought enough at Quilters Quarters (when I worked there) at their super sale to back 3 quilts. And I thought I was so smart hiding it in plain sight. Well…he found it and pulled it out and draped it all over himself declaring his wonder that such a fabric existed. I wished I would have made a movie of it, because it would make every mom and grandma on the planet want to make quilts with Minky fabric. The top was a spare I made while trying to remember the measurements for the "Meet Me at the Crossroads" quilt pattern that I wrote for Fons and Porter Easy Quilts. It looks a bit masculine, and was the right size so it become Ethan's quilt. The back was all that mattered anyway!

The second quilt I did for my daughter. The top was one I made up while trying to write a quilt pattern for Whindam fabric. Most of the color prints on this quilt are lovely Kaffe Fassett prints. This was a stupidly easy quilt and I do hope you see the pattern again soon! wink wink. Anyway it was selected because it was about the right size. I say about because I was hustling along and didn't notice until the last row that the back wasn't going to be big enough. Whoops. Well, no drama. I finished quilting what I could and took the quilt off the frame and added another piece of Minky to make the back long enough. Then I finished the quilting on my Bernina. No worries at all!

The back of this quilt was a Minky type called rose swirl. it feels like you are petting feathers or rose petals. The softness is almost indescribable. It was the most popular quilt at Christmas. Emma had to fight to get her quilt. Her Uncle, Grandpa and Dad kept wrapping up in it. Not together mind you. That would be strange. Now, I did have some drama with the fluffy Minky poking through to the front. Emma doesn't care, but that might be important to you. Don't back an Heirloom with Minky Rosebud.

Emma picked out this fabric when she came to work with me in November. Quilters Quarters was having a wild sale (buy 9 yards of fabric and get 8 free) It was a mad house and the shop girls and I cut fabric until our arms were numb. My sweet Emma came to help put bolts back on the shelves. She was so funny! And she worked so hard. She found this red rosebud Minky over in a corner (I had no idea we even had any of the fabric in the store) and she drug it over behind my battle station. Like a lioness with a wounded antelope. She said "I want some of that!" so how could I say no?

And this quilt I stayed up until 0200 the night before we left for North Carolina to finish for my sweet little guy. He was the only one to go into Hancocks of Paducah with me when we stopped there over Spring break. He fell in love with this Viking fabric. He would drag it out off and on over the 6 months I had it asking me when I was going to make him a quilt. We sat down and he sketched out his plan…some were stranger and much harder than others. In the end this is what I came up with.

The best thing about this one besides the total shock on Sam's face was the quilting. I quilted it with dragons! What???? Yep Dragons. My Statler Stitcher really does have every design known to man.

Twirling Dragons and Vikings. It there any better combination for my Sam? Nope I don't think so.

So, what do I want you to take away from this post? Minky fabric is awesome! I wouldn't use it for a magnum opus, but for a quilt you plan to wrap up in and wash a zillion times YES!!!! The children in your like will LOVE them. And so will you…so make several.

** I am not paid by anyone to sing the praises of Minky. I just dig it.

*** I did quilt a quilt with something called cuddle. it was bought at Joannes or Hobby lobby and it was a stretchy disaster. It was fluffy on both sides. Be aware to buy a couple inches extra so the stretch factor can be dealt with. Personally I think it was cut wonky.

Have a great day and happy quilting folks!

Quilts quilts and more quilts!

Here are some of the quilts I quilted up before Christmas. I was pretty busy last month. I think 2014 is going to be even busier! I can't wait!

Let's begin with the above quilt I quilted for Leona. All that lovely Neptune fabric….some of the best navy blues ever printed. For real. I quilted it with and edge to edge…but an edge to edge with a very custom look. It's name is Modern Snails. You will see it a could more times because I loved it and used it quite a bit this holiday season.

Here is it again! in orange. I quilted this one for Helen.

This is a great quilt that was made by Pam. I custom quilted it in a fairly traditional pattern. All that point to point quilting took ages, but it turned out so nice.

This is another or Pam's quilts. I quilted it with an edge to edge named abundant feathers. you will see the back picture 2 below.

This is the back of the first of Pam's quilts. See all that quilting. I think the back is lovely.

This is the back of the abundant feather quilt. See…and edge to edge, but so pretty! 

This one was a massive one. The Generals Wives for April. Quite an epic quilt to make…and just as epic to quilt! I quilted traditional on this beauty.

I think you can see the quilting better on the back. I am not thrilled about the different colors of thread on the back, but I didn't want to have to deal with the dark thread making a surprise appearance on the light parts of the front. So I erred on the side of caution. I don't like using different top and bottom threads.

I made another Tshirt quilt for Susan's Husband. He was an Aggie in college and I got a kick out of all his funny tshirts.

I quilted it with kind of a wood grain. I thought wood grain looks manly. Don't you?

This quilt I quilted for my mom. We found the top at an antique store when I was visiting her in Asheville, NC. I wanted to custom quilt it, but she just wanted an edge to edge.

I searched through all of my edge to edge designs and I thought this one was fun. I think its name is wallpaper. It has birds and leaves on it. I thought it was pretty.

This last quilt was one I did for Paula. Isn't it a funny group of Grinch prints? I custom quilted it for her. Each block is different and the background it swirls. I wish I would have gotten a better picture of the border, I was so happy how Dr Seuss it looked. But I was in a hurry…I wanted to get it mailed out so Paula could bind it before Christmas.

This is a horrid picture isn't it? Sorry. Pretend you can see the awesome detail quilting I did. I know I quilted a bunch more quilts…but I don't have pictures of them…its almost like they never happened!