Thursday, January 28, 2016

Red and Black Strip Quilt

Yes, it's not the most exciting name but factually descriptive, although it does have gray and white as well:

This is truly a simple but very cool quilt.  It was brought to me for quilting by Awesome Grandma who did a quilt as a Christmas gift for every grandchild (10).  A couple were given as tops with the quilting to be completed early this year.  You can see the other quilts in previous posts.  A blush look at the quilt brought a dazed look over my face as I had no clue how to quilt it.  Grandma pointed out some designs she liked in the fabrics and that turned the lights on.

The fabrics she pointed out are the diagonal lines toward the top on both the left and right side of the black sashing in the picture below.  She also pointed out the pumpkin seeds in the gray fabric on the bottom left.  Perfect!

I started with a dark gray Aurifil 50 weight thread and my long  Handiquilter straight ruler and stitched wonky diagonal lines from top to bottom between the sashing.  They turned out great!  The length and depth  varies from section to section depending on the sizes of the pieces I was quilting across.

Using Aurifil 50 weight cotton thread, the black sashing was quilted free form with pumpkin seeds.

The backing was done in long vertical strips and looks as good as the quilt top:

The quilting looks even more cool from the back:

One more quilt to go from Awesome Grandma; I love this one.  

I'll be teaching a beginner free motion quilting class this weekend but will definitely be joining some links parties, join one (or all!) using the link button on my sidebar and see all the creativity going on this week.  See you there!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quilt Retreat Finishes!

I was invited to speak on free motion quilting at a local quilt retreat this weekend in Cheyenne, but it sounded like so much fun that I decided to participate in the retreat as well.  I love to quilt with ladies and since I have a husband, a son and a male dog, it doesn't happen very often in this house.  The retreat was sponsored by Rambling Rose Quilt Shop out of  Cheyenne Wells, Colorado.

As a participant, I needed to make something for a gift exchange.  I was looking forward to this and used all three of my main skills, piecing, free motion and embroidery.

First, I made this approximately 18" wall hanging using Cindy Needham's The Ultimate Stencil for the center shape.

While I was finishing up the wall hanging, I got this mug rug going on the embroidery machine.

Deb, the mother of the owner of the quilt shop,   picked out my gift:

When I was wrapping the gift, I grabbed a used piece of foam board to mount the wall hanging on so it would look good when opened.  I didn't pay much attention, and this ended up on the back of the foam board:

I think I had made this when I was teaching a group of kids and needed to get them focused.  If I recall, they got quite rowdy.  Anyway, the back of the foam board ended up being the life of the party.  

During the retreat, we had the opportunity to purchase a fat quarter pack and make the 10" super fancy folded star potholder featured on Moda Bake Shoppe on September 8, 2011 and designed by Mari from Not Only Quilts.  Here is a group picture of the ladies who chose to make the project:

They all turned out different but beautiful!  

I agreed with everyone else, that the project was too beautiful to use as a potholder, so I turned mine into a trapunto wall hanging for my sewing room.

This photo allows you to see the trapunto a little better:

And this photo picks up the quilting a little better:

I got home late Saturday evening; we had a bunch of kids over for a Bible Study Sunday evening.  Isn't this an awesome sight?

Everyone wondered why in the world I would take a photo of a bunch of shoes, but I was so incredibly blessed to see all these kids wanting to learn about Jesus.  Life is good!

I'll be linking up this week with http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.com and so join me in the fun and see all the creativity!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Quilt Baskets

Life has been busy, but good.  In fact, things have been sooooooo busy with quilting, teaching and working at Blakeman, Vacuum & Sewing that I needed to make some life changes.  So, I'll be limiting my time at Blakeman's to teaching Bernina classes and moderating our monthly quilt club.  That will give me about 13 hours a week to refocus on personal time to quilt and to spend time with friends, both of which have been seriously lacking.  I may also have more opportunities in other locations to teach free motion quilting.  THAT is a true joy.  That being said, I was able to complete a GORGEOUS customer quilt this week.   Oh, I love this quilt.  My style of quilt for sure.  So here is what I call Quilt Baskets.  The pale yellow, pink tones and grays in this quilt are fantastic!

Linda asked that the designs on this quilt be kept somewhat simple because Quilt Baskets (that's my name for it) will be used as a side table covering.  It will have items on top of it so the entire design may not always be seen.  With that request, I was able to text with Linda as we began the design phase as to what was palatable to her.  We ended up with flowers and butterflies in the center block area using Aurifil 50 weight thread in a pale yellow.  

We decided to skip the small white inner border and proceed directly to the small piano border.  Since this quilt is not going to be displayed or used for cuddling, I skipped the ditch stitching on either side of the white border.  We didn't want that piano border to be too busy because I knew I wanted feathers in the outer border so Linda came up with the idea of very simplistic leaves in a vine.  It worked great.

The outer border was gorgeous and screamed feathers but it was not a large border so the challenge was to do feathers that would have movement in a small border.  This would be the part of the quilt that will be seen the most as it hangs down the sides of the table.  We came up with a semi-scroll in the center of each border.  On each side of each scroll is a series of straight lines for separation.  Then a beautiful feather in each corner extending over two sides.  I think I need to take photography classes because sometimes my photos are downright bad, but with the technological ability to scan in close, I'm sure you can get the idea.  This is the center scroll quilted in each border using Aurifil 50 weight cotton thread in a pink tone.

And the border feathers:

Here are views of the back.  The light fabric allows the quilting to stand out more.

Hope you enjoyed seeing Quilt Baskets; I thoroughly enjoyed it and Linda is very happy with the quilting.  Have a super week!  

Next week I will be sharing a post on a quilting retreat I went to this weekend in Cheyenne but hosted by a Colorado quilt shop.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Life is Better with Friends!

Today was Quilt Club over at Blakeman Vacuum & Sewing and one thing I have decided to do each month this year is to share stash busting ideas.  This little cutie was my first idea for the year.  It was inspired by a September 2, 2013 blog post at  I have no idea how I found this blog but am so glad I did.   This little project was so fun to complete and only took a few hours.  I can't wait to add a hanging sleeve to the back and put it up in my quilting room.  With this little quilt that finished at 15 1/2" square, I used up one-half of a charm back and a fat quarter.   I have several quilts to get back to for clients but another one of these may be in my near future.

Another idea I presented was a bookmark made with decorative stitches found on my Bernina 770.  Too many times we have all those stitches and have no idea how to use them. This bookmark is approximately 2 3/4" wide by 7" inches long and was stitched with decorative stitches using Isacord thread in bright shades of blue, yellow, pink and green.   So if you need to utilize some of those gorgeous decorative stitches you paid for, try a bookmark!  

It's a little late to get this post in, but I am still going to link up to and to see what creative quilting and finishes everyone is up to.  

Have a great weekend; may God do something special in your life this weekend.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year!

It's a few days late but family has taken the spotlight.  Thank you so much for helping me get off the ground on my first full year of blogging.  I have so much fun sharing my faith and my quilty life and thoroughly enjoy seeing all the creativity in the quilting community.

The year 2015 proved to be an exciting one.  Here's a quick photo recap of some of the excitement:

 New Machines


Teaching Free Motion Quilting

Our son's childhood friend, Elijah, and his girlfriend Autumn, were in a tragic automobile accident on Friday, May 8th.  Rehabilitation has been a long road and will continue for some time but my son was full of joy to spend time with Elijah at his home the week of Christmas and added to his excitement was seeing Elijah without a cane.  That is a far cry from robot legs!  My friend Debbie and I will forever remember the signature quilts made for Elijah and Autumn.

Bernina Training

25 Customer quilts
(these are the highlights)

My Son's High School Graduation

2015 Finishes
With all that going on, my personal quilting suffered but as I reviewed my completions, I was actually surprised at how much really was accomplished.  So here are some clips of my 2015 finishes (excluding those included in my previous post).

2016 Goals
1.  Learn to look at my craft as a gift and ministry from God and enjoy every moment of it.
2.  Enjoy my life and family to the utmost!
3.  Make more sewing time for ME!  
4.  Allot more time to spend with friends.
5.  I'm joining the stash buster bandwagon!  Use at least 50 yards of stash and two precuts.
6.  Provide an update on my stash goals every quarter.
7.  Complete at least 12 scrapbook pages (my son's plan).
8.  Attend the Houston Quilt Festival!
9.  Complete at least ten quilty Christmas gifts for December of 2016!
10. Visit my quilty friend, Debbie, in San Antonio! (and family!)

I've been checking out all the New Year goals.  I hope you accomplish the goals you have set but above all, enjoy your life and the lives of those around you.  Time flashes by too quickly.  So again I wish each and every one of you a fantastic 2016!