Monday, September 30, 2013

New look, new name

Ok all, is no more and has been born. I'm praying this doesn't mess up my followers. Come by and see my new look!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Name change

This is the free clip art photo I have on my business cards. As most of my work is quilting and not crafting, I'm thinking of changing my name from Tanderwen Crafts to Tanderwen Quilts (or Studio Tanderwen).

I'm not quite sure how this will affect my followers, but it looks like I can change it simply through blogger. Maybe give the whole page a face lift as well.

Any thoughts? Would you like to see this blog stay Tanderwen Crafts or change it up? Help? Feeling a little indecisive!

I'd like to keep the Tanderwen, which means 'under the oak tree' in Welsh, but change up the second part. Maybe find a new, more modern looking tree. I found some really great ones on some Vista business cards. Wonder if I could get that motif on my blog as well? Hm......

Friday, September 20, 2013

Carmen's quilt

Carmen brought me this Christmas quilt and asked for some custom quilting.

I thought I would try something a little different. I usually quilt these curves by hand, but I wanted to see if I could get them more uniform. I don't have any curved rulers yet and I wasn't sure if they would even work with moving the quilt rather than the machine.

 I was going to use a bowl to quilt the curve, but I found this nice CD-ROM holder. Works great! I can do curves! Only problem is that it only works one way. I can do the curve up or down, but then I can't get the angle on the other side without turning the quilt. The lip is too high to fit on the right side of the needle.

So now that I know I can quilt curves with a ruler,  I've ordered a set of Fine Line Continuous Curve rulers from Accents in Design. I can't wait for them to arrive. So excited:)

Thanks Carmen!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Custom king

Hey, what do you know? Turns out that a king size quilt will fit on my kitchen floor. Of course, I had to move all the chairs, the bench, and the table out. Still, I was worried I might have to high tail it to the church cafeteria.

Think a large quilt surcharge is in order though. Took about 1 1/2 hours to pin, including floor cleaning time. My backside is aching a bit. Guess I'm not as young as I used to be, hehehe:)

This should be a fun one though. All custom, and carte blanche (not sure if I spelled that right) ahhhhh.

Stay tuned (in a few weeks) for photos to follow...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jonnie's Christmas quilt

Jonnie asked for a pantograph type edge to edge on this quilt. She found this free pattern and sent me a link, thinking that the ornaments could be linked with loops or something.

 I wasn't too sure I could free hand the pattern and get the ornament spacing just right. It is kind of hard to see the bigger picture when all you see is the part of the quilt that is right in front of you. I wanted the ornaments to be spaced perfectly, so I printed the sheet and traced the ornaments about a 1/4" smaller onto some cardboard. Then I cut them out and marked the outlines with a Frixion pen.

This pattern wasn't as closely quilted as I'm used to (I tend to quilt small), so I put my pins inside the ornaments so I wouldn't have to remove them while quilting. Keep everything well in place and all that:)

I did break down and buy one of those Kwik Klips. A friend had recommended them. She said if I was a pin baster, I wouldn't regret it. I was a little wary. Ever see one? It is a wooden handle with a grooved brass tip. I was thinking it might be a little cumbersome, but I went ahead and got one anyway. Figured it couldn't hurt:) Who am I kidding? This thing is amazing! What have I been doing killing my fingers all these years? It feels a little weird holding it in my left hand. My right hand figures it should be the one with the tool:) So I slip a pin in with my right hand, and this Kwik Klip is an extension of my left. It takes all the brunt and saves my nails. Brilliant!

You can just make out the ornaments on the back of the quilt, all looped together in a long string.

Thanks Jonnie!

Beth's blue and white quilt

This is the last in a bunch of antique quilt tops I have quilted for Beth. I love the simple lines and colors of this one!

I wanted to do something a little different from the typical edge to edge, so I quilted straight lines in the nine patch blocks and feather motifs in the large white spaces.

Thanks Beth!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Jonnie's Christmas wreath quilt

Jonnie made this quilt for her upcoming class at Sew Original. Love the applique! Her stitches are totally invisible!

She asked for custom quilting and sent me a link with a photo of the pattern for purchase. It had lots of fancy quilting.

I managed to replicate the little feathery design in the corner by sketching it out on paper and going over the design with a black Sharpie.

I laid it under the white fabric before pinning and traced it on with a Frixion pen. Then I figured out how to quilt the little squares without having to cut the thread. Turns out if you start the diagonal line from the corner, you can quilt the large square, continue the diagonal, quilt the small square, and then finish the diagonal to the opposite corner. Does that make any sense?

There was a semi-complicated swirl pattern on the outer border, but I wasn't seeing how the lines all flowed together. It looked like a panto of some sort. I made up my own swirl to compliment the space.

Small intricate quilts are so much fun. Thanks Jonnie!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tamoe's quilt

Tamoe brought me this gorgeous log cabin quilt. She made it using scraps and all the strips are 1/2"! You can see the pre-quilted pic above. Her seams are amazing. Not a line out of place.

She asked for feathers all around. Fun!

I quilted feathers around each area using cream thread on the cream blocks and an dark eggplant  on the dark blocks and piano keys on the green border.

Even the back is beautiful!

Thanks Tamoe!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

APQS George and thread

George and I have been battling since he arrived a few weeks ago. Who was going to win the tension battle? I was starting to feel like a beginning quilter and rapidly losing my confidence that I would ever get rid of these railroad tracks that keep popping up on the back. But only in certain directions. I was convinced that George didn't like to go backwards and to the right. Tracks every time!

I've spoken with my APQS rep and done tons of tension research on the Internet. I should be an expert by now. I tried lowering the tension in the bobbin and tightening the top. My TOWA gauge has been working overtime. I would get the tension perfect, but every time I made a loop, there were always tracks in one section.

Connecting Threads cotton worked perfectly in my Jane. Unfortunately, George is too much of a machine for this cotton. I would get into a groove and then, snap! This was very depressing for me. I love that thread and I have all the spools now. And because it is only $2.50/spool, I was able to avoid charging for bobbin changes.

A fellow quilters gave me some Signature cotton thread and some PermaCore to try out. She had recently upgraded her machine and had tons of Signature thread that couldn't work in her new machine. She said she could give me a great deal. I was ecstatic! George doesn't care for either of these threads though.

Desperate, I called up APQS and talked to one of their service people. She was super friendly, with loads of great ideas for fixing my problem. She said she wasn't surprised that the Signature thread wouldn't work. She suggested So Fine by Superior Threads and Aurifil Mako cotton to satisfy traditionalist quilters who prefer cotton all around.

Success! There were samples of both of these threads that came with my new machine. George was quite happy with So Fine. And he loves the Aurifil. Of course, I had a heart attack when I realized how much these threads cost. The So Fine is $16.50/spool and then Aurifil is $35 for a large spool!!! So I won't be stocking up on these in advance, but steadily ordering a few spools here and there. I'm sorry folks, but the bobbin charge is back:( But don't worry, it is the standard $2/bobbin that most quilters in the area charge. I hate to do it, but I can't afford to provide free thread anymore.

So George and I have reached an agreement: I will provide him with copious amounts of expensive, high quality thread, and he will provide me with perfect tension and quilting satisfaction.

I have been working on a gorgeous 1/2" strip log cabin quilt all weekend and I can feel my confidence and enjoyment returning. Woo hoo!