Monday, September 29, 2014

Sharon's Moxie

After a week of edge to edge designs, I was glad to get back to some custom work. Sharon had shown me this quilt weeks ago and I was dying to get my hands on it.

It is a free pattern by Tula Pink, called Moxie. You can find it HERE. I'm loving these colors! I think I need to make one for myself. I bet it would look amazing hanging in my studio.

My first thoughts were to quilt a different filler in each ray, quilting all the way out to the edge of the quilt. I was thinking white thread, but I decided to match the colors on the medallions instead. I didn't want the quilting to overwhelm the prints.

I also ended up quilting on each side of the ditch rather than straight down the seam. There were two reasons for this. First, the seams were pressed open and I wanted to reinforce them. Second, I think it helps space out the different filler designs.

I had a challenge to come up with 16 different fillers. I alternated between circular designs and more linear ones.

The circles were fun because they are a little bigger than the average pebbles. The large circles are a bit larger than a quarter, all freehand.

I used the chevron pattern on the fabric as inspiration for that ray. I tried marking a couple, but it worked out better to use my hopping foot as a guide.

I tested out some McTavishing and a design that kind of reminds me of shingles on a roof or feathers. Again, I used that first pink fabric as inspiration.

This Asian feather was a lot of fun. The spine curves back and forth all the way out to the edge of the quilt.

The same thing goes for the regular feathers. I stopped the pink thread and continued with the white as the design extended into the light borders.

Here is the center. Lines extending out and curved lines.

So much fun! I definitely need to start ordering some more fabric for myself.

Thanks Sharon!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A week of edge to edge

I got to have a fun break last week from custom work and test out my new favorite panto, Waterworld.

I used it with blue thread on this snail trail quilt.

Then I quilted 6 Hungry Caterpillars in a row! The Tuesday class at Sewingly Yours had made these adorable baby quilts.

My daughter kept wondering why I had the same quilt on the frame for so long. When I explained the situation, she said I needed a quilt copier, lol.

Linda asked if I could fit this one in. She was planning on travelling to California with her granddaughter and asked if I could have this quilted before then. The top is a vintage table cloth, which was amazingly soft.

Next up was a king quilt that I used my Bauhaus panto. This one was a wedding present.

Plus a matching baby quilt for the first grandchild;)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

So  I've been tagged by my friend, Debbie, for the Around the World Blog Hop. You can find her blog HERE.

I didn't grow up with a quilting background. My mom sewed doll clothes for me, and I learned how to cross stitch, but that was about it. I bought my first sewing machine about 8 years ago, thinking I could learn how to make curtains for our new home. I found some books on quilting at the local library and my journey began.

I'm married to a sexy Welshman, and we have 3 kids, 3 dogs, and 8 chickens, hehehe.

A couple of years ago, I upgraded from a Viking with a 6" throat (yes, I did quilt a couple of king size quilts with this) to a Babylock with a 9" throat, thinking I might be able to quilt for customers and earn a little extra money. The Babylock seemed like a dream and then I discovered the sitdown longarm. Who knew such a thing existed! Of course, I didn't want a proper longarm with a frame. I didn't need one of those huge things. I was a whiz at free motion and I figured I could quilt just as well on a sitdown. It only took a few months to disabuse me of that notion. I loved my APQS George. It was smooth and had an amazing 20" throat and would have been perfectly fine for personal use. However, it doesn't matter how good you think you are at free motion work. If you are using a sitdown machine of any size, you still have to clear the kitchen and vacuum and mop the floor for every quilt you do. It isn't exactly conducive to productivity in business.

So just under a year of quilting on my George, and putting away every dime, my George moved to Patsy Thompson's house and Debbie's Sundance came to live in what used to be my living room.

I'm considering renamed her Toothless after one of my favorite cartoon characters, which now resides on top of the machine head. Her namesake is loyal and powerful and dedicated, all characteristics which I think should be present in any longarm. Obedient as well. We'll see.

We've had our battles over tension, but I think she is coming to see the light. Owning a longarm is not like having a domestic. No one tells you how temperamental these machines are. I have felt from time to time that I have jumped way out into the deep end, but my friend Gina B keeps pulling me out. She is an amazing quilter and she has been a huge help to me, both in advice and a shoulder to cry on. You can see her beautiful quilting on her new BLOG.

So what am I working on?
Mostly customer quilts. I just finished the last of six adorable hungry caterpillar baby quilts. My oldest daughter was wondering why I hadn't finished the quilt already (they kept popping up on the frame). I explained that I was quilting six that were the same and she told me I needed a quilt copier, lol.

I've also got a bunch on unpieced chevrons on my design wall. I won a layer cake called Sphere from Owl Orchid Quilts, and this will one day be on my bed. I managed to get the two bottom darker blue rows pieced, but the rest will have to wait. Still, they look pretty and modern on the wall, so no rush.

I have a wall quilt made of HSTs that is begging to be quilted. I ended up hanging it over another quilt so I can see it better. I look at it for a few minutes every day and ponder. I want something amazing in that gray space, but it hasn't come to me yet.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I'm not sure that it does. I tend to like modern quilts, well slightly modern, for myself. I also love art quilts. I like to have my quilts hanging on the walls rather than on the beds. I really like realism in art and love recreating that in quilts.

This is one of my favorites. I made it for my cousin as a wedding present from the photo on her wedding invitation. It turned out that she actually said her vows in that very spot!

Why do I create what I do?
Who knows why people are drawn to certain things. I can't seem to help myself. I've found myself taking photos of wallpaper and rugs at doctor's offices because they look like they would make interesting quilting designs. I find myself in my studio most of the time when I should be doing dishes, feeding my family, or doing laundry. My husband has to come in and drag me out!

How does my creative process work?
I pin a lot of stuff on Pinterest. Every time I see a quilting design I like or a neat quilt, it goes onto one of my boards. I cut photos out of magazine and put them in binders as well.

When a quilt comes to me, the quilter lets me know if they'd like edge to edge or custom work. I have all of my pantos traced and in a binder. I can take them out and lay them on the quilt to get a good idea of which one looks the best.

I also have a great design board for tracing on. I got it in the window section at Home Depot. It is somewhere around 18 x 24. I put masking tape around the edges so I don't mark over the edge by accident. I always use a wet erase marker so none of the residue that you find with dry erase markers gets blown onto a quilt. It is a great way to audition quilt designs without having to pick out actual quilting. Sometimes a design seems good in my head, but it doesn't look right when traced over the quilt. No problem! Simply wipe it off with a damp rag or paper towel and try again.

I try to quilt what looks best on each individual quilt. Some busier fabric doesn't lend itself well to particular designs. I also try to combine different combinations, like circular quilting with straight lines. Contrasts always look more interesting.

And I'm not afraid to try out unusual designs. One quilter asked me to quilt cell phones on certain blocks! I found an old schematic online and used that as a template. Basically, if you can draw it, you can quilt it.

As part of the blog hop, I am tagging Amy at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures for next week. You really should check her out. She does all her amazing quilting on a domestic and is full of great tips. She also has a ton of cool videos on her blog, which are really helpful for anyone who wants to develop their free motion skills.

Thanks all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Catching up!

The house quilt was fun, but it took a little bit longer than I had anticipated. So now I'm playing catch up. I'm also trying to figure out a better way to photograph these quilts. My lighting is great. It hangs over my machine, but it isn't very helpful when it comes to photographing quilts. The light should come from the side, not directly overhead.

So with Jonnie's quilt, I tried an experiment. I used my long magnets to secure one end of the quilt to the frame and then across to the table, hoping that the light would shine nicely across the side for photography. What do you think? Any better? I haven't been very satisfied with my pictures lately.

Loving these feathers. The dark beige thread looks like gold on the darker fabric.

Feathers fill this star in nicely.

Chris asked for custom work on this baby quilt for another grand baby.

I cross hatched the star and then quilted feathered swirls so that the heart motif would really stand out.

The line of swirls in the white border is always a great design for smaller borders. Chris asked for feathers in the outer border. I added a little center to each of the feathers. They kind of remind me of tongues, lol.

Tomoe brought me this white log cabin wall hanging and asked for custom work. I was standing there staring at it, wondering what on earth I would quilt over these perfectly pieced log cabin blocks. I was thinking something circular to contrast all those straight lines. Then I started thinking about rain drops in a pond. I used my set of solid circle rulers and borrowed a nesting set from my friend Debbie. Thanks Debbie!

I think I prefer the solid ones. Those nesting ones are really hard to manage as they get bigger. Mine only go up to 8" and Debbie went a few inches bigger than that. I'm wondering if I could switch over to the curved rulers I got from Renae Haddadin if I already have a set of smaller established circles to build on. Then I could just expand the circles even further that way.

And in case you are wondering, I did not stop and start every circle. I started with the outermost circle and worked inward, using the seam lines to sneak across to the next circle. You can see it on the back, but it is practically invisible on the front. When I got to my smallest circle ruler, I had to freehand the small circle and then swirl it down to the smallest bit.

Thanks Jonnie, Chris and Tomoe!

Sheila's house quilt

Sheila made this amazing house quilt in one of Kathleen Baden's classes. This beautiful quilt was full of appliqued houses and leafy vines. I wanted the quilting to compliment the house blocks, not overwhelm them. The striped background was easy. I just echoed the lines to create texture.

The background on this block is little groups of bumpy feathers.

Each house has a slightly different fill. I love how this one turned out. It is like the stereotypical stone cottage.

This door is one of my favorites as well.

There was enough going on in this block that a simple stipple works well in the background.

This house reminds me of a Welsh cottage, squat and long.

Here is my other favorite door.

Another stone cottage.

I stitched around all the applique in this quilt. I did it all without my micro handles. I went nice and slow and it went just fine.

I had a lot of fun with this border too. I love the feathers in the green. The straight lines help create contrast.

I've included a couple of pics of the back so you can see how much quilting there actually is on this quilt.

Thanks Sheila!