Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Carrie's quilt

Carrie brought me another of her amazing applique quilts. Just realizing how much this photo does not do it justice.

Carrie prefers cotton thread and I just happened to have a small cone of light pink Aurifil. I had used the 40wt Aurifil from the bigger cones with no trouble. Day 1: no trouble/perfect tension. Day 2: skipping stitches, bad tension, and thread breakage. What the hey?!

I tried everything. I changed my needle. I turned my needle just a bit. Maybe it wasn't aligned right. I adjusted the bobbin tension. I adjusted the top tension. I cleaned out the lint from the bobbin area. I checked the bobbin itself for lint. I checked the tension discs for lint. I sent two longarmmers emergency help requests. They suggested all the things I had thought of. We were all stumped.

Then, as I was test quilting on a sample piece, I glanced over a the cone and realized that the thread was pulling off the cone unevenly. There would be little jumps, which led to breakage and skipped stitches. Only problem, I don't have a horizontal thread holder on my George. Solution? Turn the whole thing on its side and stick the end into a leftover piece from my design wall. Back to perfect tension, yay!

Did I mention that longarms are finicky? Goodness sakes!

It was smooth sailing the rest of the way, thank goodness. Don't think I could take any more of that stress!

Isn't this squirrel adorable?

This one is my favorite. I love that bunny with his sweet little puffy tail.

Thanks Carrie! I had to keep stopping to admire the perfect appliqued curves.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jonnie's quilts

Jonnie brought me this quilt from Knit One Smock Too. It has a very unusual block design. We decided to go with wavy lines.

And she asked for simple swirls on this baby quilt.

Aren't the little bunnies cute!

Thanks Jonnie!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pow Wow!

I had a nice quiet Christmas break. Only a couple of customer quilts to quilt. So I got to try out a few of my own projects. I bought Cluck Cluck Sew's Pow Wow Pattern at The Little General and set to work.

I spaced out the arrows a little more than the pattern said and quilted it all over with wavy lines. Love quilting wavy lines. They are so fast and easy and they look great. This lap quilt is for myself and as much as I love heavy quilting, I made myself tone it down. Nobody likes a stiff lap quilt. And the bleached muslin I bought at Joanns is so lovely and soft.

The great thing about this pattern is that it makes allowances for the fabric you cut out when you sew your square onto the rectangle. You sew another line 1/2" over and then you have a whole bunch of perfect half square triangles just waiting to be pieced.

I had just enough to make a small wall hanging. Something nice and cheerful to hang in the studio. And of course, wall quilts just beg to be heavily quilted.

I have been wanting to try out a design that I have seen on many of Sew Kind of Wonderful's quilts. For lack of a better term, I call them 'pills'. You quilt them just like you would a string of pearls, only elongated. They are actually pretty fun to do.

So two of my own quilts done and ready to go:) Back to work!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shirley's Appalachian quilt

I apologize for the small pics. Due to rain and then cold weather, I had to take photos indoors, so I don't have one of the overall quilt:(

Update: But wait! Shirley has sent me a picture of the finished quilt:

Doesn't it look great with the binding on?

Shirley made this quilt for her grandson, who is an avid Appalachian fan. She asked for custom quilting with an echo around the balls that she fused on. She wasn't able to get enough of the balls and there was one block empty, so I quilted a ball in for her.

She even included a fabric photo of her grandson. So sweet!

Thanks Shirley!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Thread sketch

I got a little project of my own finished over the Christmas break. I had seen this digital print on Pinterest and had been wondering if I could turn it into a quilt. I contacted Elizabeth at Vintage Pentacost on Etsy and asked her if I could try to reproduce her print in fabric. She said sure!

Here is her Etsy site: Vintage Pentacost. Check it out. She has some great designs.

My version ended up a little longer than the original. I free hand sketched the swirls and taped the design to the window so I could trace it onto the white fabric. I made the mistake of trying to use a Sharpie to write 'One God'. Of course I did this after I had traced the entire design with a Frixion pen. Sharpies bleed people. Don't use them on fabric! Grrrr!

My plan had been to have this completed and ready to sell at the Bloom Craft Fair in November, but I wasn't quite there yet. I picked up some fabric markers, which worked great on the text. I also tried to blow up the original print so I could trace the words. They didn't quite line up, so it was back to free handing. First with the Frixion pen, and then with the fabric marker over top.

I know Frixion pens are controversial, but I haven't had any trouble. I stopped using them on customer quilts just in case, but I still prefer them on my own quilts.

I used my black YLI thread to quilt the swirls. I think that may be the last time I use that YLI for quilting. It just feels rough, sheds a lot, and never gets quite the right tension on certain bits on the back. Not my favorite.

I did have a lot of fun quilting the white filler though. Go Magna Glides!

Thanks so much Elizabeth!