September 27, 2010

Design Wall Monday~Sept. 27, 2010

There is a lot of finish this n' that going on in the sewing room.
Since Amanda has gone back to school, I'm sewing the border onto the Hot-Diggity Dog quilt she made.
Making a border for this project so I can get it quilted.
(click pics. to enlarge)

These two tops are just hanging on the long arm be-cuz.
I'm going to machine quilt the smaller embroidery birth announcement wall hanging. I just haven't figured out what design to quilt on it---

Not sure what to do with the vintage alphabet quilt top. I'm considering tying it with some colorful yarn that was in the bag with the quilt. I bought this top at an estate sale.
Check out Judy's Design Wall!

September 25, 2010

These Are Out of the Cubbie

Remember the cubbie purging a few weeks ago. These came tumbling out. Daisy Kingdom baby quilt panels. Three of them! I have not a clue why they were in there. But, almost all the stuff in the cubbie I can't remember when I bought it, or why---

Two of the baby quilts were the pre-quilted type. One was a fabric panel. I used the one fabric panel to test out the new Circle Lord Baptist Fan template boards I recently bought. So much easier than any other method I've tried for Baptist Fan quilting. Luv the Circle Lord method of quilting.

I stitched bindings on all three using Judy's machine binding technique, freshened them up in the washer, and now they are ready for donation to a community quilts project.I'm always pleasantly surprised at how cute fabric panels are when completed. I noticed there are some sweet baby quilt panels in the latest Keepsake Quilting catalog. Hmmmm----

September 24, 2010

Quilts of Valor

Barbara Winkler, Chairman for the Southern California Quilts of Valor organization forwarded these pictures from the recent San Diego Quilt Show and the Quilts of Valor booth they had set up at the show.

Deanna showed several of the quilt tops she made, and "Sparkling Sam" that I recently quilted was one quilt that hung in the booth. The quilt next to Sparkling Sam is another of Deanna's beautiful quilts! Both drew a lot of visitors to the QOV of booth and hopefully spread the word about this worthwhile organization.
Deanna and Sparkling Sam!

It's always fun to put a face with a name because as "toppers" & "long armers" for Quilts of Valor we usually receive a quilt top in the mail, we may correspond a bit about the top, the long armer quilts it and sends it off to a destination, but essentially we remain strangers passing in the night so to speak---Nice to "meet" you Deanna! and a special "thank you" to you and Barbara and all the Quilt of Valor quilters for all you do and for which I feel a privilege to be a small part of.

Please consider donating some of your quilting time to Quilts of Valor.

September 22, 2010

September 17, 2010

The Padded Room

Today Fedex bought me a replacement flannel for my Cheryl Ann Design Wall. I'm not sure what happened to the first flannel piece, but the last time I set it up at quilt retreat, it looked like it had shrunk. It was pulling on the flexible fiberglass rods and was warping in all directions. I would place quilt blocks on it---and Boink! a rod would come loose and the warp effect would act like a sling-shot and fling all the quilt blocks several feet across the room! It was quite funny at the time, but not very productive!

I store the design wall it in a dry closet, no dampness, so it's a puzzle how the flannel has shrunk over time. I called Cheryl Ann and she said no problem, she would send a free replacement and a return shipping label to send back the original. I really enjoy Cheryl Ann's portable design wall, and it's so handy to have at quilt retreat.

I went digging through the closet where I had stored it last Oct. so I could see how the new flannel fit. Just like new!

I then started looking at all the quilts I had stored in the closet. They had not been refolded in a long while. I read someplace you should refold your stored quilts frequently so the crease lines does not damage the fabric. I don't know if that's true, or an old quilter's tale, but I do this once in a blue moon just to be on the safe side.

I took some of the quilts out to the living room and thought hey, since I have the design wall up, I should take some pictures of some of the quilts This is my first ever baby quilt that I made way back when.
I'm always a bit surprised at my earlier quilting projects. As I've gotten older, and presumably better at quilting, ( I hope)-- I also attempt less intricate long term projects I've noticed. Why is that I wonder. Is it the old adage, ignorance is bliss, or I was so much more carefree years ago with those earlier project, or I've become too careful, trying to not make mistakes that it has kept me "in the box" instead of "out of the box". Perhaps contemplating each detail too much, expecting too much. I wasn't intimidated when I first started quilting. I didn't even know there was a beginner, intermediate, or advanced quilting pattern back then, so I just went for it. Now I study every pattern, consider all the options. Design intricacy's and time mostly and frequently I decide to not even attempt it----

Here is a hand embroidery redwork quilt. Also hand quilted with cross hatching. I think it was about my 4th quilt. I'm not sure I would attempt this now. It took me almost two years to complete which didn't seem to matter that much then. Now it seems I'm in too much of hurry for lengthy projects.

I have made a lot of quilts since I first started quilting. Many gifted to family and friends or given away to charitable organizations. I was surprised at how many quilts of assorted sizes I still have. Table toppers, small wall hangings, lap quilts and bed quilts.

After I had unfolded some of them and spread them around it looked like a Padded Room!
(full view-click on pics)
Boots thought this was the best thing ever! and a great chance for a good quilt snuggle!
The quilts are all refolded, hopefully on another crease line, and back into the closet. After Bill saw the quilts all around the room, his only remark was "are you making more?" Silly question, of course, it's what I do! :o)

There are 32 stacked here, more everywhere else--- if your counting. :o)

Why Don't I EQ?

When I'm roaming around reading blogs I frequently see this little logo. It reminds me that I have Electric Quilt and even the newest update EQ7. I hate seeing this little reminder! Guilt overwhelms me. Guilt that I have EQ7 installed on my computer, but have yet to even open it and look at it. Even more guilt that I see so many other quilters designing beautiful quilt tops with it. I don't know why I have Electric Quilt. In all the years I've owned it, and upgraded from the very first edition, I have yet to use it to design a quilt! I feel terrible about this.

I make new resolutions to myself about how I should learn this program and use it each time I see the EQ logo on my computer screen, and I look at the stack of EQ books sitting in my sewing room book shelf. But, that is about as far as it goes.

I guess basically I have too many other projects going on to consider designing a quilt, like actually sewing one from the hundreds of websites like this one: free quilt patterns or of the dozens of books stacked in my bookshelf (omg!), along with the magazines (more quilt patterns)--- and oddles of quilt pattern packets I've accumulated. I won't even mention the quilt kits I've purchased. (yikes)

Do you EQ? and if so what is the compelling reason that makes you EQ? What am I missing? It must be something wonderful as so many quilters EQ. Why would I EQ? As a quilt creative person I find the fact that have this program and am not attracted to using it more than puzzling, disturbing at times and I am oh- so guilt ridden.

September 14, 2010

There is This Cubbie

Just about all my fabric is in plain view in the sewing room. I like sitting at my sewing machine and seeing what's available and since it is at the northeast side of the house not much sunlight ventures into this room. This is what I see from one of the sewing room windows. It's pretty rugged out there with a lot of trees and brush. Shady.
I keep most of the fabrics organized up on shelves.Remember when I went on a "use it or toss it binge" awhile back. I took bags and boxes of fabric to our local Legacy resale craft and sewing shop. I needed to do this---and I still have enough fabric to last more than a lifetime.

However, there is the cubbie with a door on it. The only fabric cube that has a door---and I just didn't want to look in there, at least not on the days I was ridding myself of years of fabric accumulation. I thought there is probably not much in that cube anyway, or I would have used it by now. I'll get to it another day.

Well, today I pulled open the door---and it was bad. The fabric was compressed so tightly I had to tug on a few pieces so the other fabrics would release and come tumbling out.
I'm sorting it out and wondering about why I have this or that fabric. It's been so long I can't remember what I had planned, or even if I had a plan. Like why do have this:
There is 5 yds of it! Square cats or is it dogs or is robots? They have these cat smile and cat ears---so it must be some sort of cat. I don't have a cat, yet I'm drawn to cat fabrics it seems.
This fabric most likely was purchased in my Raggedy Ann stage of life. I like Raggedy Ann and Andy, but I can't think of why I bought this. But, I have a plan ---fussy cut out the square designs, and stagger some 9 or 4 patch block along the row, and this could be a cute child's quilt---someday.

Now these gorgeous beauties! I know exactly why I bought this fabric! Because they are nostalgically beautiful! and it's an Alexander Henry fabric and I'm a sucker for anything Alexander Henry!---just because it's so unique. Come to think of it, that square robotic cat print fabric is an Alexander Henry too!

And so is this Corvette fabric! Our son has a vintage Corvette similar to the one on this fabric, so of course I had to have this!
And aren't these just the sweetest cats! (more cats)

This is not Alexander Henry, but when I unfolded it my first thought was Pillowcase!

I didn't quite have enough fabric to make the cuff of the pillowcase from the kitten border, so I improvised and the kittens are on the body of the pillowcase instead.
If you want a quick method to make a pillowcase, Mary has a wonderful pillowcase tutorial on her blog. This pillowcase took me about 30 mins. to cut, stitch and press.

I've sorted and folded most of the fabrics and they are back in the cubbie, door shut. Who knows when I will open it up again---but, now I know what interesting "stuff" is in there.

Back to the ho-hum projects.

September 10, 2010

What's on the Long Arm

I received this beautiful Quilt of Valor top from Deanna in So. Calif weeks ago. I'm way late finishing the quilting on it. I will probably have a hard time sending it back to her as it's such a lovely quilt. However, I know it is going to a deserving wounded warrior. Deanna did such a fantastic job designing & piecing it, and I wanted to add some special quilting using the Circle Lord mini Ginkgo disk in some of the blocks. The Circle Lord is such fun to use, and easy too!


There is a flag block

And some flowers

A lot of open space for some feathers

Deanna did a wonderful job of fussy cutting the patriotic fabrics and adding the pinwheel blocks in just the right areas of the quilt top. There is even a tall Uncle Sam block and more pinwheel blocks down at the bottom edge. I'm finishing this up today, more pictures later.
Edit: A few people have emailed me about the long arm. I love my long arm! It's a 24" arm Prodigy Quilter on a 10' frame. It's a year old next month. It resides at one end of our living room.

September 09, 2010

Too Funny!!!

If you need a good laugh this morning---you have to hop on over to CJ's blog. You'll never look at product labels in quite the same way! LOL!

Just Keep Practicing

I'm always reading, drawing, watching DVD's, reading books or taking an online class to improve my machine quilting it seems. I keep pursuing that sometimes elusive perfect circle, loop or feathering. Practice makes perfect---so they say.

So, when I found a "Skill Builder" fabric panel at a quilt show I went aaaaha! ---yet another way to practice! It's a follow the lines type thing. When it's finished you put on the binding, wash it ---and end up with a completed quilt like this.

I didn't count all the different quilting motifs on this skill builder project, but there are at least fifty or more.

Every little nook & cranny and every half square triangle or sashing has a lined design someplace on it you can stitch. Very few if any repeats.

I'm binding this Skill Builder panel, but not washing it for now. I'm planning to keep it as-is so I can look at the quilting designs and if I need an idea for quilt design on a quilt I may be doing sometime.

If you want to try one of these panels do a Google search: Skill Builder Quilt Panel and you will come up with different suppliers of this neat way to practice your machine quilting skills!