Tuesday, March 29, 2016

More quilts

Hi there!

I have been thinking a great deal about time lately. Specificity about how much time I spend quilting and kinda in general about how much time we have on Earth. My mind wonders quite a bit while I work doesn't it? I really like Instagram. I like looking at all the quilts folks make and the beautiful quilting my fellow long arm quilters do. I think about how much time they have spent honing their craft and how much time they spend on each project. You can't really tell in a photo, especially a nicely edited photo. I also think about value. Do the people I quilt for value the work I do? I assume they do, after all they pay me nicely. I do both custom and e2e (Edge to edge) quilting. Most of my custom quilting is hand guided because that is what I love to do, and I am pretty good at it. My e2e quilting is done by my computerized machine. I of course have to set the quilt up and program the machine to do what I want it to do. In general e2e designs are quicker and easier than driving the machine around a quilt so they cost less. Custom work cost more. Right now I am totally booked up with custom work. I have about 3 times more custom quilts to quilt than e2e quilts. Needless to say I am feeling a bit of pressure. I am delighted that people trust me with their wonderful quilts and want me to be a part of making them into useful, beautiful works, but I get a bit of panic in my gut when I look over at the rack and see the Queue of quilts waiting their turn. Normally when ladies send their quilts to me (or drop them off) they say to do it when I have time, no rush. But sometimes they want their quilts back the next day or within the week (those ladies I normally refer to some of the other quilters in the area) sometimes people don't seem to know the work and time that goes into a custom quilt. The quilt in the last post took 3 weeks! That's a great deal of time spent in the basement studio working on one project and that's a bunch of time that makes me behind on my work for others. I have always prided myself in speedy, quality work and it frustrates me not to be able to whip through quilts like I used to. Some quilts just take so much more time. The style of quilting also makes quilting take longer. I am still very fast with "modern" quilting. I love the swirls and lines and angles, so I can quilt them quickly. Traditional quilting takes ages. I have to use rulers with traditional quilting and I have to slow down so I don't break my rulers and my needle. 

OK, I don't really know where I am going with all this. I just want you to know that if I have your quilt I haven't forgotten you I am working through my list! I promise. At any time you can email (or call) me and I will give you a status update.

Ok, now lets look at some pictures. I don't get much time to blog, so when I do I pack a whole lot of quilts into one post. This post has some lovely quilts.

This first one was made by Kelly. We are both in the KCMQG and I love quilting for her. All the solids are linen and the little kites are made from Cotton+Steel fabric. I thought it looked like little space ships flying around in a dog fight, so I broke them up into teams. The blue team got cross hatching and the tan team got swirls and pebbles. I didn't want her hexagon piecing to get lost, so I outlines each block.

Kelly left the border rather irregular. I wasn't sure what her binding plan was, so I quilted all the way to the end. I figure she could do a fancy zig zag binding or just cut the pointy bits off and make the quilt into a regular rectangle.

The one mustard color block got curved cross hatching.

This quilt also had 2 layers of batting (one cotton and the top layer was fluffy wool). I loved quilting this quilt. I think it took me 3.5 days.

Next up is a quilt I quilted for Heather. She brought it to me as an e2e, but I really wanted to custom quilt it as I knew just what I wanted to do to it. I know that is not something I should do. Its not my quilt and an e2e would have been lovely, but it is fun to quilt away with my Statler. The majority of this quilt was done with my Statler Stitcher (my computer quilted it) but I hand guided the double arcs inside the star. I could have programed the computer to do them, but it would have added at least another day onto the job).

I used wool batting on this quilt and I love how the puff really showcases the quilting. This quilt didn't take long at all. I think I worked on it for a day and a half.

Next up is a quilt I finished yesterday. Or at least I thought I was finished with it. When I was photographing it I noticed a couple spots that I had let un-quilted and meant to come back to, but couldn't immediately see on my quick once over before taking it off the frame.

Stephanie did some beautiful needle turn applique on this quilt. I did a more modern feather in the sashing and border and cross hatched the backgrounds of the blocks. The cross hatching took ages. I thought if I free handed the cross hatching it would go faster, but I wasn't happy about how the lines were matching up, so I had the computer do them.

This was a fun quilt to work on. It took almost 8 days to quilt. The feathers were very fast, the cross hatching took a week all by itself. Oh! And Stephanie came by to visit on Friday, so she got to see her quilt in progress. I think that is the first time that has happened. Besides some local clients most of my customers mail me their quilts. It is fun to meet the ladies I work for in real life.

Here is the back. If you look close I bet you can find the un-quilted spots.

Last up is this Texas Flag quilt. it is #20. It is a remake of #19 which wasn't quite big enough. Now I have a massive Texas Flag quilt in the basement that I neither need, nor do I particularly want. I may put it in my etsy.com shop. At any rate I like the quilting on this one. And it is sooooo big.  But things are bigger in Texas aren't they?

I think this is my favorite star of all the 20 Texas flag quilts I have made.

OK, so this was rather wordy, but some good pictures too. I think I will be blogging more now that Instagram has become a popularity contest. That makes me a bit sad, but I don't want to have to compete. I am a pretty what you see is what you get woman. I am a very busy woman and Instagram was so easy to mini blog on. Oh well, it is nice to have more of a journal type record. I do like looking back through my other blog (Camp Follower Bags) and seeing my cute little kids and beautiful Australia.

Have the best day ever!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sedona Rose Quilt

Have a gander at this lovely quilt I had the pleasure to quilt over the last couple weeks. Isn't it just splendid? It was pieced by Peggy Claggett. Mea Bernina in Lawrence, KS is currently doing it as a block of the month. They wanted it quilted with a more modern style so I had a go with miles of thread and 7 thread colors. almost all of the quilt is hand guided, but I used point to point to quilt the arches around the medallion.

I am always curious about how long it took someone to piece a quilt and this one totally blows my mind. It took Peggy about 9 months to put together, and it was done perfectly square. So when I think about taking 3 weeks to quilt, that seems about right.  So without further ado lets have a bunch of pictures.

And of course a shot of the back. Look at all that pretty thread! Yummy.

OK, have the best Monday ever.