October 30, 2013

Lights, Camera, Action ---Finished

It's a "cut" as they say in the film industry….in the quilting world, "it's finished" sounds sooo-- good.

"Lights, Camera, Action" 

I made this quilt top several years ago, and just now have gotten around to quilting it.  Free motion quilted with pebbling, meander and some ruler work in the triangles.  It has been a fun project. The quilt is 52" x 60" and is a wall hanging for my grandson, Christopher, who does videography.

This is a fabric produced by Andover and designed by Gail Kessler. I think is such a fun fabric!  It comes in co-ordinated prints. Like the popcorn, the masks of comedy and tragedy, the film reels, etc. The center is a panel.  Since I purchased the fabric several years ago, I don't know how readily available is may be now…..


October 24, 2013

Progressing---sure but slow.

"Lights, Camera, Action" is progressing---slowly. 
 Custom quilting. Pebbles and ruler work

Completely different fabric choice for the Easy Street mystery quilt border. Love this Batik!
 From a distance it "reads" Turquoise---zoom in closer and it picks up all the colors in Easy Street!
 Adding a border is adding more appeal to this quilt.

Bonnie Hunter has a new mystery quilt starting this Friday, Celtic Solstice, if you are interested or in the mood for doing a mystery this time of the year. So much going on with the holidays coming up, I can't imagine doing a mystery quilt along with all the Christmas sewing projects going on. I won't be doing Bonnie's new mystery. I may in 2014 when I see the resulting quilt.  Bonnie's quilts are interesting, but very time consuming.

October 21, 2013

Magna Glides

Yesterday I started machine quilting on the long arm  and noticed I was getting low on pre wound bobbins.  My long arm uses L size bobbins.

I prefer to use Fil-Tec Magna Glide Delight prewounds
They come prewound with 72 yards of Glide thread
on a magnetic core. They are the most trouble free
prewound I have ever used, and they also combine well with 
any top threads I use which is usually Perma Core, or Superiors threads.  There are times I have felt guilty using these prewounds, and other quilters quite often  remark at the price, and that L size bobbins don't stitch very far, and other reasons why they do not  use pre wounds and wind their own bobbins.

I respectively disagree. I do a lot of machine quilting in a years time. Donation quilting, some quilting for a few close friends and my own quilts.
It has been almost a year and half since I've needed to reorder prewound bobbins. I think that  reflects that L pre wounds are worth it.  I did all this stippling and free motion quilting up the film strip border of this quilt top which is approx. 50" x 60" inches.,  and I still have a half of the med. grey pre wound on the bobbin.  This quilt will probably take approx. 4 prewounds doing Custom quilting.  Considering all the factors of perfect tension (magnetic core), lint free thread, and all the colors available--- and that my long arm "Polly" loves these pre wounds. The few cents more for these wonderful pre wounds is so worth it.

(above) The Magna Glide Delight stash
(below) Some of  magnetic cores for recycling back to Fil-Tec

The magnetic prewounds also come in cotton. 

October 18, 2013

Borders, and a Quick Quilt

I can't figure out how to title this blog entry so I will just tell you since I came home from quilt retreat last Thursday I managed to unpack and get things put away. That is a feat all onto itself! Did the laundry another thing finished,  and on Saturday promptly came down with the flu/cold bug. Three  boxes of Kleenex later,  today is the first day I have actually felt better. So, hopefully I'm on the mend----talk about wiped out, whatever this virus may be, it will take you down.

Yesterday I did  finish seaming the long diagonal center of the two sections of Easy Street. It is now officially a quilt top and I auditioned two pieces of turquoise Batik for the borders.

Amazing what a photo will reveal. Without the camera I had picked the second color (your right) for the border. Now, after the photo,  I like the first piece of turquoise fabric in the photo.  I also plan to add a small strip of purple sashing between the quilt top and the border. Every one who saw the quilt being pieced at retreat liked it----Maybe after it's quilted, I will too. I just want it to be finished.

Do you visit the Missouri Star Quilt Company website? Are you on their email list? I just recently joined their email listing.  I watched some of their tutorials (while sneezing and wheezing.) The Double Slice Layer Cake tutorial was one that caught my eye--- (along with many more).  I made this quilt top yesterday. Today I'll sew the blocks and borders together.

You've heard of those "week-end" quilts and thought oh-sure (wink-wink!). Well, the Double Slice Layer Cake could be a ONE day quilt. Really!

Kate Spain "Cuzco" Layer Cake is the fabric.  The Missouri Quilt Company is 'sold out', but if you like Cuzco you can Google and still find it online at several websites. I plan to quilt this with the Circle Lord "Cosmo" template board. I'll post when it's finished. I wanted to share that it's possible to make a quilt top and even get it quilted in one day using Jenny Doan's "Double Slice Layer Cake" tutorial.

You could also make your own layer cake squares. A layer cake is 42-10" inch squares of assorted fabrics.

There are so many more wonderful free tutorials on the Missouri Quilt Company's website.  Jenny is a great teacher!

I did come up with a blog title after all---- Not a totally wasted week.  Have a good weekend everyone. Stay well.

October 13, 2013

Quilt Retreat

Last Sunday at this time I was rushing around gathering all my sewing stuff, packing my clothes, watering plants and anticipating sharing time with wonderful quilting friends at our semi annual quilt retreat. There are times it seems like only yesterday we met at the ranch,  and other times it seems like forever since we have seen each other....time has a way of playing games with my mind at eventful moments like these. Like can you believe it's Fall already with the holidays just around the corner.

The quilt retreats are always wonderful! How could four days of complete immersion in a passion for quilting not be completely wonderful! The welcoming hugs and chatter of dear friends as we schlep are belonging to our favorite sewing spots and start set up our tables with a multitude of containers of fabrics, cutting mats, rulers, irons, threads and sewing machines. Even our favorite sewing machine chairs get toted to retreat. Comfort is important as we may be sewing for literally 12 or more hours of the day---and into the night.

When I finally start down the driveway headed for the ranch I feel like I have packed my entire sewing room into the back of the car. Not that it would ever fit there, but it's all  important stuff!....and I've been known to turn the car around and go back for just one more sewing thing I suddenly realize I might need! Usually, I don't, but you just never know----that one piece of fabric or cutter could be important! As it turned out, I did forget some things------

The drive to retreat is always beautiful through the rolling hills of vineyards, wineries and roadside produce stands. Once I turn off the main road and go up the drive to the ranch a feeling of peace settles over me. It's like I leave the "outside" world, and settle into a cocoon with others that feel about quilting the way I do. Where else can one talk incessantly about quilting literally all day, and have the other person nod in perfect understanding when you mention texture, color & value, or a special quilt pattern or block? We are all of the same mind set at retreats.  The sheer joy of our shared passion for quilting is unsurpassed.

All the wonderful food is provided with not a thing to do except enjoy while we sew, sew, sew!

We plan and ponder all the projects we will take with us. We have big plans for what we will accomplish in such a short time----some enthusiastic quilters complete their unfinished projects. Me, I always take too many dream projects with me, and may finish one, or none.  Most containers never get opened, only to be repacked into the car, and placed back in the sewing room at home---some projects may go back and forth to several retreats in the hopes of being finished one day. Like this beautiful Labyrinth at the ranch, they go round and round.

Here I am working on the Miniature Menagerie quilt project. A complete change in plans with the fabrics set me back a whole day---and then I ran out of the focus fabric (quilter talk for the plain beige background fabric I left at home).

 I was however was not without other things to do!
More on that later!

Here are a few photos from our wonderful time together at our Fall quilt retreat. Until we meet again. 

October 03, 2013

Miniature Menagerie

Moving on from Easy Street ----I'm frantically working on finishing the machine embroideries "Miniature Menagerie" from Urban Threads,  the Natures Curiosity quilt for quilt retreat. I have six more insects to stitch out on a lovely new fabric I found at our local fabric shop. The fabric is a soft tone on tone beige by Victoria Hutto for Quilting Treasures.

 Cut and ready to stitch. Stonehendge "Meadows"

Easy Street Progress

All the blocks for the Easy Street mystery quilt are finished. Whew! I have a such an appreciation for all the quilters that have finished piecing and quilting this project.  I couldn't put up all the blocks on my design wall, so they are trailing onto the floor.

I'm packing Easy Street and taking it to the quilt retreat this coming week. Hopefully I will get the rows  sewn together there. Lots, and lots of matching seams. "Easy Street"is not "easy"!  I can't wait to get this off my design wall.  My enthusiasm for this quilt has not improved. I still find the fabrics, colors and contrast a jumbled mess for lack of a better description.