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 work!

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!

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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Morning Glory top done!

After several days of non-stop sewing, the Morning Glory top is pieced and the borders are on!  Yeah!  Almost done with the Book of the Month challenge for this month!  

The flower centers still need appliqueing, then the quilting.
Looking for a stone effect, so a little research is in order.  Any ideas?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I LOVE Freezer Paper!

 My Ruth McDowell wedge project is coming along quite well, due in large part to freezer paper.  It makes the process so much easier!  The fabric is stabilized, it's easy to line things up, and everything is coming out smooth.  Just gotta love freezer paper piecing!

So this is what is done so far:

Day 1 was piecing the big flowers.  I didn't include the centers, as I plan to applique those on after the top is together.  I chose to go more blue than purple, as I'm not much of a purple person.  For the petals, I chose a solid, but for the star radiants, I chose a Moda marble.  Adds just the right touch!

Some parts of the flowers have stone around them, requiring that I make fabric choices now for the areas beyond the flowers.  I think I've changed my mind at least three times!  I've concluded that I'm not as daring or bold as Ruth is in her fabric selections.  So hopefully, this won't end up looking dull!

That's all for now.  I'll have more tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book of the Month

It's time to start the January Book of the Month, where I try to learn a technique or make a quilt from one of the numerous books off my shelf. This month I've chosen 'Piecing: Expanding the Basics' a book by my idol, Ruth B. McDowell. She explains the numerous techniques that are used in her prize winning quilts, and I am choosing to focus on a wedge structure block. This picture of a morning glory, which I took in Rhodes, Greece, is my inspiration. 

I don't wish to replicate the photo, instead I'm focusing on a wedge structure flower.  

Working in EQ7, I drew the flower and the leaves in pentagons.  Unfortunately, I didn't like any of the patterns when they were placed side by side.  So I'm going with a change in size and overlapping the blocks for a more pleasing arrangement.  It's probably going to be more difficult to sew, but I'll figure it out!

And here are some fabric choices:

 I'll post more once the blocks are started.  Feel free to follow along!