Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Well, here it is...New Years eve. Another year bites the dust. In looking back at this year, I can't say it was the best one I've ever had, but probably not the worst either. Quilting wise, I've learned a lot, made a few new friends, gained a couple of new customers & just flat expanded my abilities. I think I did well.

I just inventoried my studio to see what I had in the hopper for projects. Believe it or not, I only have 5 UFO's! Not bad! I also counted up the kits that are awaiting made, I have 6. Also not bad.  And, believe it or not, all of these are not full size quilts! Most of the kits are under 44" wallhangings.  I think I can manage to finish off all of these in 2014.

Something I didn't count in the UFO grouping, but maybe should have, is three leader/ender projects. One is scrappy blocks made out of 2" X 3 1/2" rectangles. When I have 2" strips left over from something I just cut them up & throw them into a bag. Then I just grab & sew.  Another one is a bow-tie. It's just a simple scrappy that I got off a tutorial by Missouri Star Quilt Co. It utilizes 5" charm squares, so I've cut a bunch of them up & am using them to make this quilt. The 3rd one is also going to take awhile to complete. It's a Cathedral Window quilt. Hopefully I'll get it to King size when it's finished. I'm going to use the sewing machine method & not do it all by hand. After doing the Grandmother's Flower Garden all by hand, I'm not doing it again!

I've come up with a way of doing things this year. I hope I stick to the program!
Monday - will be known as "Scrappy Monday". I'll either cut pieces for those scrappy projects or sew on them. If I make a concerted effort one day a week, I may just get them done in my life time!
Tuesday - "UFO Tuesday".  Get them back to the WIP status, one at a time til they're done.
Wednesday - "UFO, Queenie style". My quilts to be quilted are starting to pile up & I need to get them done!
Thursday - "Trim it day". Get those quilts that are quilted & ready for binding.
Friday - "Binding Day". Yep, finish those quilts & don't forget the label!
Of course, if there's time left over from one of these, work on the scrappys.  Of course, this will work nicely only if I don't have a customer quilt to quilt! Then, I'll try & get back to that days schedule when I'm done with theirs.

I hope everyone stays safe tonight & have a Great New Year!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Whew! Have I been busy! We just finished up our guild's annual quilt show for another year. It's a lot of work putting on these shows, but hope all that attended had a good time & enjoyed all the quilts that we displayed.
Good news! I had three entries & took home 3 ribbons! WOOHOO!! Also, two of my customers entered their quilts & both took home ribbons! So, everything that I had a hand in that was judged came home with ribbons! I think that makes for one successful show for me!  On to what am I entering next year! I've got some ideas, now to get them done.
I'm still exploring Irena Bluhm's ideas. I really like the idea of painting rather than piecing. Not that I object to piecing, but I like being able to come up with the shading of the designs that you can't do with piecing. I've got a quilt on paper that needs to be finished up & made into a quilt. I might have it ready in time for next years show. We'll see.
I will finish up what I affectionately call Mr. Eagle. I really didn't want to put him in this year as he would be competing against Heart Abloom & Bird of Paradise. They're all in the same class.  He'll definitely make the show next year.
I did get most of my swaps done & in the mail in the last couple of weeks also. Just the Secret Santa one to go.  I have some things left to make for that one & then in the mail it will go.
I'll try & do better at posting on the blog this next year. I know that once a month for updates is a bit too infrequent. Maybe if I set a goal of once a week I can do better.
Til next time...........happy quilting!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Well, here's another quilt for the guild's annual quilt show.  This one is called Bird of Paradise.  It's one of Judy Niemeyer's older patterns that I had picked up several years ago & finally got it together. I've heard quilter's say her patterns are hard, but I didn't. Once you get her technique of doing paper piecing down, it's not hard at all!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Well, I guess I got to the end of what's allowed in one post, so will continue with this one.  Here's the other picture I was trying to load.
As I said, I still can't believe I did it!

In between quilts, I also made a wallhanging.
I also found a picture of the full quilt of Calyspo too!
In between all this, I got 7 charity quilts quilted! Now you know why I haven't posted lately!

Well, I keep saying to myself that I will update the blog. Then promptly forget! Shame on me! I've done a lot since the last post!

Let's start with a customer quilt. I did Paula's Calypso quilt for her own use. It's her first quilt & did a very good job.  She helped me with adding the quilting designs to the blocks & then I quilted it.
Each of the striped blocks had a different sea shell & the solid blocks we put palm trees into. Came out great.  She's entered it into our guilds quilt show next month. Hope she gets a ribbon!

I also did a custom quilt for some trucker friends of mine. Their daughter just graduated High School & is of Indian decent, so I designed this quilt for her.
I just did a simple stipple to quilt it, as I didn't want to detract from the overall design.

Then, I got Hearts Abloom quilted.  But, I was quilting on black & I had done the design & didn't know how to transfer it over to the quilt.  I found somewhere on the internet to use water soluble Solvy, the heavy kind, to transfer over the design, quilt through it & soak it to remove the Solvy.  To test the theory, I made a vest.

I think it came out just awesome!

Then on to the quilt since the experiment worked!
I still can't believe I made this!! It looks like one of the more experienced quilters out there did it!  Here's some detail of it:
Will have to finish in next post.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Playtime this week! My Pastor & his wife just adopted a little girl from China. They had adopted a little boy from Korea previously. I decided to welcome little Sophia with a quilt. But, I didn't want big brother to feel left out, so I made him one too. Their room is done in Oriental, hence the cranes.  But, couldn't leave Mom & Dad out! So I made them a wallhanging!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Well, I must be on a roll lately with finishing up UFO's! Here's 2 I've finished!
The first is my Grandmother's Flower Garden. I started it in March of 2011. This was my truck quilt that I was working on while being loaded/unloaded & any down time I had. There are 3,979 1" hexagons in this quilt.  29 months later...it's in one piece!
The next one has been a work in progress even longer. I started this one in 2005. I wanted to do a Baltimore Album type quilt, but not like anyone else. So, I designed Blooming Hearts. The inspiration came from a photo of something similar that was awarded a ribbon post houmous. I hand appliqued the entire quilt. In the blank squares & the setting triangles I'm going to quilt feathered hearts. Still unsure about the outer border though!
I've also done a few other things, but will post later. Til then, Happy quilting!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ok, it's been a month since I've updated the blog. But I've been busy! I got all 7 charity quilts quilted for the guild, but that pile seems to grow instead of shrink! There's 10 more to be quilted! But I did get some quilts pieced in this last month, as well.
Some friends of mine ordered a Queen sized quilt for their daughter's graduation. Since she's a direct descendant of Pocahontas, & they live in South Dakota, I'm thinking Indian. As luck would have it, my BFF, Judy, sent me a panel for Christmas that just fit the bill nicely. Now to make it bigger! I'd already downloaded the free pattern, Daisy in the Cabin, from Pam Bono's site. The eagles in it were perfect for the sides, now for the 4 corners! I decided on the Bear Paw block, but subtle. This is the finished top.
I used the same colors in the eagles for the borders, but thanks to Judy's suggestion, I put a small piping between the borders & the main body of the quilt to make it stand apart. Here's how it looks.
I did get some other things done, but have to take pictures to share later.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sometimes I do swaps with others here on the internet. I like to send/receive little notions from time to time. This latest was a pincushion couples with a needlecase. We can all use more of these in our quilting lives!  Here's the needlecase
Then there's the pincushion. I've been wanting to do a Cathedral Window quilt for eons, so decided to test the waters with the pincushion. Here's both sides

These are going in the mail today. I sure hope both recipients like them.

Friday, May 10, 2013

I told ya'll I'd be back shortly!  Here's Naomi's Kaleidescope quilt, just off the frame.  Fixing to give it to her today.

Now I can get back to sewing my own for a few days. Naomi has another one for me to do, but isn't quite done putting it together yet.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Well, beat me with the wet noodle! I hadn't realized it's been more than a month since I'd updated the blog! Guess I should update the March list, even tho I posted thruout the month. I did get my list finished, except the curtains...matter of fact, it's still on the list of undone! April saw a bunch of new stuff started. I now have two...yes two! Judy Niemeyer's patterns going together. Everyone (or so it seems) at  the guild is doing Desert Sky. I didn't particularly like that final pattern, but one of the gals was doing it more like a New York Beauty & I really liked it, so am doing something similar. The other one is Bird of Paradise, one of her older patterns. I have everything cut out now & awaiting assembly.  I also got a light bulb moment on a UFO that's about 6 years old. I started a lonestar quilt & had titled it "Texas, America's shining star", but my imagination & talents didn't match for quite awhile, so it got put up. Along came an applique pattern called "Liberty". It is the head of a bald eagle. So, I decided to put it in the lower right corner of the lonestar & put the lonestar in the upper left corner & do something else around the rest of it. I sent this idea to another longarmer. A few weeks later, she emailed me telling of her conversation of me putting the eagle in the middle of the lonestar! OK, lets take a look at it that way. WAY COOL! Now I just had to figure out the rest of it!  Think, think, think......jumped off the internet & saw my screensaver! There it was! The new name for the quilt??  "All gave some....some gave all"  Sorry, no more details, you'll have to wait for the reveal on this one!!
I also saw mechanical problems with Queenie in April. Her stitching got all out of whack & after talking to the tech, we ordered a new "Y" cable to the encoders. Sure enough! I had a broken wire to the forward/backward encoder, causing her to skip stitches & make for some really funky looking stitching! All this on a Queen sized Eleanor Burn's Nite & Day quilt that I wanted to put in the Terrell quilt show!  It took me 4 full days to get the stitching out of that quilt! Now it's back on the UFO pile for now.
At guild, we had decided to do these little thread catchers to go into the goody bags for the TAQG rally in July. We only need 500 of them! So, I headed up the gals to sew them. I did 25 of them & may have to do more to fill in the gap of others not doing theirs. They're quick & easy to make, so not a problem there.
I've finally gotten to get back to Queenie. My good customer, Cheryl, sent me 2 quilts to be done & I just finished them. First is a scrappy from the Quiltingboard mystery series.
The next one is a paper pieced one that she made for her new granddaughter. I had a fun time quilting it! I love it when Cheryl says "do your thing & make it pretty"!

Well, that's the latest from my playroom! Stay tuned for more later as I have another customer quilt going on Queenie tomorrow!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Well, here's one that wasn't on the March list of things to do. A customer quilt came in! This pinwheel quilt came in from a new customer in Delaware. It measured 97"X97".  It was her 3rd quilt - ever! The last 2 were done about 3 years ago, so, in essence, this was her first one.  I got it on Thursday & had it done & back in the mail today (Monday). How's that for a fast turn around??

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Well, it's been a little hecktic around here, what with Spring Break for the kids, but I have managed to get some quilting done!
I did finish Delectable Mountains. I did finish the QOV & is now hanging in the dining room.
I've also done the 2 T-shirt quilts. Somehow I had a few of doing them & found out they really are easy to do once you get the shirts stabilized. Here they are!

That's Doug from next door holding his & the other went to his sister as a housewarming gift.
The other thing I accomplished is the small quilt to go to TAQC for auction.
I used Derwent Inktense pencils to do all the painting. It was really fun to do & not hard at all. This one, along with "New Heart" are going to be auctioned at the rally for TAQC in June.
I also started a Judy Niemeyer quilt. Linda, in our guild, offered to teach "Desert Sky" to the members of our guild, but I'm doing "Bird of Paradise", so took it to guild & got it started. Believe it or not, I'm actually following directions! One of the gals is doing her Desert Sky differently than the rest & I really like how hers is turning out & may go back & do one like it. She did the light & dark of each color in each of the blocks, turned them into circles & it really looks sharp with a black background. They look more like a Mariner's Compass the way she's done it.
Went to the Dallas Quilt Show too. Test drove other longarm machines. Found out my skills have outgrown Queenie! Time for an upgrade! I've narrowed it down to 3 machines. Tin Lizzie, Handiquilter or APQS. Decisions, decisions!!  Lots of beautiful quilts at the show, lots of vendors to spend money at & just had a great time!  The Tyler Quilt Show is tomorrow, so will go to that with one of the gals from the guild.
We've also got Marti Michell in the neighborhood doing a trunk show tomorrow night & a retreat this weekend. Can't do the retreat, but am going to try & make the trunk show! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Well, srcatch one of March's off the list! Just finished quilting Delectable Mountains! I pieced this top a couple of years ago & put it aside to do on MY longarm! Well, it still took awhile, but it's finally quilted!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Well, I'm a little late posting the February report, because the internet service was being switched! Sorry bout that!! But we're back up & running with a much faster speed than before & can now upload/download a whole lot quicker than ever.
February list:
1. QOV - finished & hanging in dining room.
2. Customer's baby quilt - done & delivered
3. 2 Scrappies - one done & delivered, other on design wall
4. New Year's QOV - all pieced, awaiting quilting, bought backing for it.
5. Delectable Mountains - loaded on Queenie now
6. Santa - finished piecing, awaiting quilting
7. Wholecloth - still designing, threw out origional design & started over.
8. Coloring baby wholecloth - gave up & put it aside
9. Grandmother's Flower Garden - I'm getting there!

I also did a few not on the list!
Red Bird - finally got the binding on it!
Baby quilt - bound
Forever in our hearts - quilted & finished
Placemats & table runner for dining room table - complete!
Here's the table placemats & runner

And here is Forever in our Hearts:
Now on to March's list!
1. Finish & deliver scrappy
2. Deb's curtains ( been putting this off awhile!)
3. Day & Night - get it quilted & sent off
4. Delectable Mountains - is loaded on Queenie right now, get 'er done!
5. New Year's QOV - get it quilted & finished, sent off
6. Doug's T-shirt quilts - this turned into 2 quilts, get them done & delivered
7. Do the new mystery on Quiltingboard - it's a table runner & I'm making 2 of them.
8. Two small quilts for the Guild
If time allows, knock out at least 1 UFO.

The UFO pile is slowly but surely dwindling. I think I'm down to 3 of them. That's for piecing, then we have the quilting & binding to do on them to finish them up. I'm getting there! But it looks like I'm going to be spending more time on Queenie this month than anything else.
I'm also helping my neighbor make a Storm at Sea king size quilt. This will be his 1st quilt! Right now I've given him the homework of cutting all the pieces out. Then the sewing begins! This is not an easy pattern for a first time quilt, but he insisted, so here we go! Will keep everyone posted as to progress.
Til next time.............Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yesterday was a fun day in the studio. On my "to do" list was placemats for the dining room table & kitchen island. Since it's nautical themed, I chose a simple anchor for the center & rope around the perimeter. Dug out some light blue batik & started drawing out the area & stenciling all the placemats (all 10 of them!) Then got to thinking I needed a table runner for the center of the table. What to do? Think, think, think......I thought I'd use the anchors & rope like on the placemats, but the runner is going to be 60" long. Hmmmm....... Well, lets go explore my library for ideas. Oh! Mariner's Compass! I'll put that in the center & anchors on either end with the rope surround! Cool! Then I remembered an interesting tutorial I had seen on Quiltingboard.com just last week about a dresden plate with spikes! Off to the computer to find it. In the tutorial, all the spikes are the same length. I wanted more of the Mariner's compass look, so I varied them to two sizes, tall & short & alternated them. Here's the result!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Well, I see it's been 3 weeks since I posted anything! Didn't realize I'd been without the main computer that long! I could have posted with the ipad or laptop, but it's a real pain!

I correspond regularly with some other longarm quilters. Some have blogs, some don't. Anyway, a couple of us have been taking classes on Craftsy to better design & quilt. One thing about quilting, it's never a destination, it's always a journey! And we so enjoy the ride!  What a couple of us are doing is designing wholecloth quilts. Not huge ones, but nice wallhanging size. Or at least  mine is! The one element we have in common is roses being used as medallions. We all admire Irena Bluhm's techniques, but want to take it further. So, instead of piecing quilts, we're painting them!
Here's a sample of the painted center. Not perfect, but it's a work in progress. I did several samples & did each one with a different technique. The one I like the best is the Derwent Inktense pencils. But instead of using water to turn them into ink, I used a fabric medium. The water made the colors bleed too much, but the medium kept the ink right where I wanted it.
I'm already on the 2nd draft of the quilt. Too many aspects of the 1st draft I wanted to throw out, so I started over. Here's a corner from the first draft that has the possiblity of staying in the quilt. With some modifications, of course.
Stay tuned! There's more to come!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Well, color me happy! I just took the QOV from the Craftsy class by Kimmer Brunner off Queenie! Now to trim & bind it! That'll cross one off my February list!!
All kidding aside, this pattern may have been easy peasy for Kimmy, but it was sure a big learning curve for me! I learned a lot on this one. First of all, have your drawing, design, whatever you want to all it, always handy for reference.  On that, make sure you identify what rulers or templates your using for each area to quilt! If you use the wrong one, you wind up frogging!  (ask me how I know!)  This one had a whole lot of starts & stops, so you get real good at them after awhile. I also learned a whole bunch about Queenie too. She's a pretty basic machine. Only "bell" she's got is stitch regulator & needle up/down. I discovered that I can play with her on/off switch to get my bobbin thread up top so now I don't have to go to the back of her & turn the fly wheel!! Hooray!! Getting really good at turning her on/off without looking, either. Well, enough. Suffice it to say, I learned a WHOLE lot on this quilt. So now, here it is!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February goals

I forgot to include the goals for February in the post yesterday!

1. Finish the QOV on Queenie right now, get it bound.

2. Quilt customer baby quilt

3. Get the other 2 scrappies finished pieced, quilted & binding on.

4. Finish New Years QOV. Have blocks done, need to get it put together, quilted, binding on.

5. Quilt the Queen size Delectable Mountains & binding.

6. Get Santa finished put together!

7. Continue design work on new wholecloth wallhanging.

8. Work on coloring the baby quilt sized wholecloth.

9. Find time to work on Grandma's Flower Garden!!

Is that enough to keep me busy this month??

Thursday, January 31, 2013

January's progress

Well, here it is the end of January. What's been accomplished this month? Not as much as I'd like, that's for sure!
First thing off the bat while Floyd was remodeling the guest bathroom in preparation of our niece & her other 2 girls arrival on Feb 6th, I hid in the studio & designed & quilted a little wholecloth quilt. Came out pretty good too!

Then I finished cleaning out the fabric bins & scrapping out anything under a 1/4 yard to strips or usable size squares or rectangles. I now have a huge collection of charms, enough 2" X 3 1/2" rectangles to make several scrappy quilts, enough strips to make lots of scrappy things & I can see what I have cloth wise for bigger projects! This project has been on the "to do" board since I put the studio together last March! Glad it's finally done & better organized too as I also did some re-arranging of the studio at the same time.
The New year found a new mystery quilt on the quilting board. This time, Paintmejudy did a quick scrappy. Just 3 weeks worth of clues rather than her usual 6 weeks. Since Dusti now knows how to sew, she wanted to do this one with me. Also my Grandson. So we decided to make 3 of the mystery quilts that were crib sized to be given to charity when finished. Grandson bowed out early on, so Dusti & I decided to turn two into one & make a lap sized. Now she's spending time next door with our neighbor, so will turn it back to 2 crib sized ones. Mine is done & already given to the guild for the local fire or police depts.
I had finished the top for a QOV for a Craftsy class given by Kimmy Brunner on templates. After finishing the scrappy one, I got it loaded up & now is about 2/3 done. A lot of learning curves on this piece, as I've ripped out probably as much as I've quilted! It's not going to be show quality, by any means, but my hubby will love it! Here's a picture of one of the designs.
I hope to have this finished by this weekend, as I have several waiting to be quilted, including a customers quilt! WOOHOO!
So, what did you do this month??

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Well folks, looks like a good day to get some quilting done...it's SNOWING! Yep, that white stuff that's a dirty word falling right here in Texas. Sure glad I don't have anything super important to do today!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Well, it's cold here in Texas. Low's in the upper 20's, highs in the low 40's. But the sun is out!

It took me several days, but I got all the fabric bins organized & all the smaller pieces cut into usable scraps. Boy did my charms drawer grow! Also have enough 2 1/2" X 3 1/2" rectangles cut to make another scrappy quilt like I made for Dusti for Christmas.

I think that this blog is going to be an adventure thru the quilting world from my point of view. As some of you know, I retired from driving an 18-wheeler this past March. Our shed had burned down just before Valentine's Day & the insurance company paid for what is now my studio. Also, as a retirement gift to me, I finally got my longarm. I bought her used, but she's a good machine. My hubby, Floyd, is still driving a rig, but hopefully for not much longer. He applied for full disability from the VA & we're still waiting for the approval to come thru for him to give up the road too.  In the meantime, I turned a pre-fab shed into a working quilting studio. All it had was insulation in it when we got it. We had to do all the electrical, walls, carpeting, etc. That took me about 2 months, including moving everything from the house over to the studio. It took me til the 1st of August to get all the kinks out of "Queenie" (my longarm, she's a QueenQuilter18). But since then I've been devouring everything & anything related to longarm quilting. I just love to be creative & really want to do some awesome quilting like I see at shows.

I'll put some free patterns up from time to time that I've found or created. I'll have to figure out how to do that. But, in the mean time, come along with me for what I hope is an interesting ride!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!

Whew! The holidays are officially over! With the kids getting back to school, now I'll get some piece & quiet around here. I don't know about anybody else, but I don't make New Years resolutions because they tend to get broken within a week, so why bother?  But I did set a couple of goals to accomplish right off the bat. When I first got my studio, I had decided to go through my cloth bins & weed out all the smaller stuff & turn it into useable scraps. I've started doing that & over half way through with it. I've decided not to do any quilting til this is accomplished. I also did some re-arranging of the studio that was desperately needed for better convenience. After I finish with this project, it's back to finishing up what's on the design walls now.  Stay tuned for the outcome!