Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine Love

Time to remove all the 'snow' related items of January in my house, and move onto Valentine's Day!  Love all the cheery reds and pinks!

On Monday, I won our guild's raffle basket with the purchase of ONE ticket!  They always say, "It just takes one to win!"  I was so excited because this thing was loaded with fabric!  And who doesn't love fabric?
 The three lovely Valentine panels were also part of the winnings, and just perfect as I have wanted to do a heart wall hanging.

So, yesterday, I added some of the fabrics from the basket, and some from my stash to make a piano key border.  And today, got it quilted, mostly by following the lines already printed.  I could have gone hog wild and put in lots of fill, but I really didn't want it that dense.  Plus, I want this up on the wall before Valentines!!

Here's the result, with binding to be yet attached:

 Got to use my new Handi Versa Tool.  Still getting the hang of using it to control the foot in the little grooves.  Good practice though.

Tomorrow, I'll be announcing the next Book of the Month project--stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Last week I spent all of Tuesday quilting another heart practice quilt.  I really wanted it done, because I was leaving for Road2CA the next morning, and didn't want to come back trying to figure out where I'd left off, never mind being out of the groove!

I left it unrolled so it wouldn't wrinkle, yet still pinned in case I had missed something.  When I walked into my studio Saturday morning, I was greeted with all this wonderful texture!  Damn, that looks awesome!
Even though it's a rather plain jane quilt, the quilting is really cool!  

Now, I have to thank Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts as my source of inspiration.  She does absolutely stunning workSpeaking of Judi, the horse quilt she quilted for Jan was at Road2CA, and what a beautiful quilt.  You can see pictures of it here.

In regards to Road2CA, what a great show!  The quilts were stunning, the classes were worth it, and it was just awesome to spend time surrounded by all the quilty stuff!
Took classes with Dawn Cavanaugh, Deloa Jones, and Cathy Wiggins.  Met Renae Haddadin, Eleanor Burns, Emily Cier, and another of my favorite quilters, Angela Walters.  An absolutely fun time--I highly recommend going!

Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stitch Talk #3 Curved Spikes

Today it's all about stitching the Curved Spikes fill.  

This one is pretty easy, as you stitch an arc, then echo it back, then stitch another arc in a different direction, maybe even mirrored.  I would change the size a bit if doing that, otherwise, you'll end up with horns!

Anyway, follow along in the pictures to get the idea.  And again, practice on a whiteboard or the vinyl before putting it to thread!

Have fun and Happy Quilting!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stitch Talk #2 Curliques

Stitch Talk for today is block #2, Curliques, of the Blue Heart quilt.
This is one of my favorite designs!  It looks so pretty, and is so fun to draw!

Once again, using the clear vinyl over the top, practice drawing the design, getting an idea of where it goes in the block.

This one was started near the heart instead of the block border, just for the sake of not having to cut the thread!

Curl around, backtracking in the center curl, then branch out to form another.  Three things that add interest:  alternate the curls whenever possible, branch off at a point far enough away from the inner curl so that each one becomes distinct, and vary the size.

And here's a picture of the back.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 18, 2013


The Fish baby quilt is quilted, and not without a hitch, of course!  But it turned out very cute, and I'm sure the baby will love it!

Designed the quilting with my vinyl overlay and dry erase marker.

And now I have a guide so that I don't forget what goes where, or which way!

Here are some detail shots:

Love the bubbles!

And of course, there were thread breaks, shredding, and thick seams.  But overall, definitely not the nightmare the piecing was!  To read about that, click here.

Enjoy, and I'll see you Monday with another fill lesson from the Blue Heart quilt.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Piecing Nightmare!

Have you ever had a piecing nightmare?  A top that looks so simple to put together due to the number and size of the pieces, yet everything seems to go wrong?  Well, I just had one of those!!

This is what I designed in EQ7:

Looks easy enough, right?  Wrong!  And of course, the nightmare was all due to operator error!

First, the fish block.  Relatively quick and easy with freezer paper piecing.  But alas, I read the size wrong!  They were supposed to finish at 8", not 8.5".  So get the seam ripper out, and take apart the four blocks making them up, and resew.  Unfortunately, some of the fish tails got shortened a bit, but I decided to live with it--the baby won't notice!

Then the stripe print.  I needed about 4 more inches of material to get the size triangle I needed.  I could have looked for another fabric, but darn, I liked how this on looked with the others.  So, back to EQ, to see how a narrow strip of aqua would look on the two sides in order to bring it up to the correct size.
Okay, not bad, looks like sashing.

Get those four blocks together, and on to the corner setting triangles.  I double check the measurements needed on the top, then check the remaining fabric.  Just enough!  There was a 4 1/2" square cut out of one corner, but fortunately, the rest would work.

I cut the two squares, line up the ruler for the diagonal cut, double check, and woosh!  Now, is the ultimate nightmare!  I had forgotten that there were two squares of fabric I was working with.  Do you see where this is going????  Yes, I set the ruler for an opposing diagonal cut, and woosh! start to cut!  I get about 7" in, and realize I wasn't supposed to make this cut!  AAAHHHH!!!!!!! #*+^@&!!!!!

Now what????  The four blocks go on to the design wall, and I spend the next 2 hours figuring out what to do with the limited fabric I have.

 The blue could have added the extra amount needed, but unfortunately, it greyed the aqua.
 The decision was to cut the tips.  After trying to get the stipe ones bigger!!  Ugh!
Here's the resultant top:
 I'm sure the baby will never know it wasn't supposed to be like this.

Now, on to the fame--hope there are no nightmares there!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Stitch Talk #1 Bricks

Today's post is about the quilting designs on the Blue Hearts quilt.

I'd like to go through each block, showing how I did them.  The first one (because they're alphabetical!) is the Bricks block.

Now, in figuring out the designs for these blocks, my favorite tool to use is a piece of clear vinyl, about 30" wide by 5' long.

It can be found at Walmart, and Joanns.  I put blue Painters Tape around the edge, so I know where to stop drawing.  Learned my lesson after marking two quilts with dry erase ink that DOES NOT come out!!

Laying the vinyl on the top lets me draw with the dry erase pen until I'm satisfied with a design.  It's also a great way to practice the design.

With this design, I started in the corner, working with one continuous line, backtracking where needed.  I also used the heart and the block edges to help me travel.

Start in the corner, at the arrow

Make one brick, and continue along adding bricks of different sizes and orientations.  It's the size and orientation that adds the interest.
Follow the little white lines (ie stitches) in the pictures to get the idea.  Backtrack when there's nowhere else to go!
Stitch a brick, traveling along the block edge to get to the next brick

Stitching along the second brick (double white lines) is necessary to continue along

Continue until the whole block is filled with bricks

 And here's a picture of the back.

 Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Learning some fills!

The quilt that's been on the frame, waiting patiently to be finished, is done!  

The hearts were hand appliqued several years ago.  I dug them out with the idea to quilt different fills around each one.  As I'm just learning freehand designs, this was a bit of a challenge.  They're not perfect but it was fun stitching different fills for each one.

To see detail pictures, please go to the Longarm Learnings page.