Hope your Holidays were great! I seem to be taking a bit of a break.
I just finished a top and am pulling fabrics to start another. On the back wall you can see my block tests for size and skill. As in .... "do I have the skill to do this project?" "Is bigger easier?" I always make tests first.
See you in the new year!
Raw edge applique! sewn with red thread!
I am loving this!
Gonna make a couple more even though I should be quilting a quilt.
Maybe I will make placemats with the tests or sew them onto bags for Etsy.
My girlfriends have some really cute kids so they made their own girl scout troop. Or mostly their own troop. I don't know the details exactly.
I love to do crafts with the kids, it's fun and I did fun crafts when I was a kid and it instilled in me a love of creativity.
So here is my raw edge appliqué present. cute huh? This is the first one so I think I should use red thread.
I have a banner hanging in my house, a museum banner, the kind they hang from light posts to advertise a show. see more here. Mine is a self portrait of Egon Schiele.
The banner is not exactly festive and I want to make a banner of presents and trees for the holidays. I may use this method. I cut the shapes out and "glue basted" them down and stitched around. Its fast, it's fun and I am loving how cute it is.
Have a good Turkey Day!
A few days later the Queen informed me that someone had asked her for a Passage Quilt and they wanted fish so she put out a call for a fish top and Friday night we got 2 fish themed tops. The woman was there doing passage sewing so she choose the one she thought her loved one would like. Today I quilted it and will deliver it tomorrow.
I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out. Once its washed it will crinkle up kinda like water ripples. I'm hoping anyway... Here is the back:
I am participating in the spare change swap over at chickpeastudio. Metrosupial Designs and I were late, missed the deadline and would not be deterred so we swapped between the two of us. Spare Change was just too good an idea to miss out on, so we are participating anyway. Just try and stop us!
This is what Katie sent me and I have to tell you there are some real beauties in here.
Its my first "Swap and Make" so I am extra excited...
I am waiting for everybody to get their swaps from chickpeastudio before I start sewing.
This week I went and had my machine serviced, now it hums like a top.
I live in Oregon.
My ballot came to my house with a set of voter guides. I sat with my mother in our living room,
with a ball point pen, reference materials and some iced tea. I filled in my ballot, put it in the secret envelope, and signed the outside envelope. Today I am taking it to the drop off. I like to do it on the same day as everybody else in the country. patriotic.
Oregon has some of the highest voter turnout in the country, or should I say "ballot turn in" ?
Either way, I think we are so likely to vote in Oregon because it is so easy for us to vote. After all those long lines and waiting waiting.... now you know how easy it could be.
Careful coz I am gonna try and teach it to your kids. :0
I finished my baby quilt, I just need to bind it and wash it, then it will be ready. I Mctavished the interior, left the center square unquilted, and quilted a feather wreath around the border.
I'm getting a bunch ready to put on my etsy. I got my samples back so those are gonna get washed and are going too.
see cute PIRATE DOGS!! How cute is that??
A few days ago we bought a Wii, my friends have them, I keep hearing about it and the lady in the Social Security Office waiting room raved about her Big Brain game and I wanted it for my mother. I have never had a game system before, ever. I always thought it was the sole dominion of boys, stoners or "dirty hairs". I don't have any kids, so I never really "got" the game thing.
Okay, I get it now!! omg! how fun is this?? We got Mario Cart and I am driving around a little track. I have been bowling, playing tennis, baseball.. fun Fun Fun! seriously Fun... but I have a little Wii Knee... So when you see me, be sure and ask me "hey Rachel howz your Wii knee?"
over at dioramarama she learned to longarm, and my friend Lori came over to quilt for charity on my Handi-Quilter Sweet 16.
I thought I would show you how I set it up so I can quit 2 tops on the same back and save time by basting onto my leader.
Let me say first that I use 108" wide backing whenever possible so that I baste that selvage edge to my leaders.
First I place sticky back velcro to my on my rollers- both types. I sew velcro onto my leaders. It comes as a set and I use it all. I have several sets of leaders, so I can baste several backs at one sitting.
I also have lots of small 60" single leaders to baste/pin tops to if I want. Mostly for charity I float the tops, for pay I pin, and for me I baste.
Here is a pic of the sewn velcro and the velcro on the roller.
here is a pic of basted edge:
I baste using the longest stitch on my machine. I pin from the center out in a few places and -ALWAYS- sew with the leader on the bottom from the edge! If you didn't want to baste this system works great for pinned backs too ... because you can pin anywhere.. and slap it on the rollers later.
I used to rent time on a longarm and wasted so much money "pinning on" to their leaders, and daydreaming about a better way to do it....
For passage, all our kits finish at 48"x 60" so I set up my backing like so:
I cut several backing and battings at once. After I quilt my 2 quilts I have some inches left over, not more than eight usually. I practice something I want to try in this space, sometimes it works sometimes it's sucky. Sometimes I don't practice and the "binders" use it for binding.
Here's a practice example: More here....
If I prepare the day before I can do 8-12 quilts in a day. I usually do 2-6 in a half day, so I can do other things. This weekend I did 4 quilts, and still played a ton! I love this system I hope if your a quilter, you will be inspired to do a little charity quilting for fun and for practice.
okay enough from me!
oh, yeah.. I have been looking around and if you like my blog, please add it to your list, I don't think I'm on any lists, I always look. or send me mail and tell me why. I bet it's coz I'm too new...
I am so happy its done... I started it before I went to my moms and it was so hard and distracting ...it almost got relegated to the UFO/"I quit" pile. Then when I came home it hung over my head like a Halloween spector... but its done and later I will quilt it in a dense pattern and probably hang it up somewhere for a little while. Hooray! its done!
I am waiting for feedback from my friend before I can start her project ... but I can wait a Wii while... Some of my friends are going on retreat this weekend, I can't wait to see what they make while they are gone. I made some noises like I would charity quilt an extra 4 tops wile they were gone but I can see that it may take a Wii bit longer than I thought...:)
A little while later after TLC wrote her comment:
Here is one in "sherbert" over at TLC Stitches. Super cute!!
I look at professional quilters work and squirm uncomfortably with jealousy. Jessica in Arizona is a pro I follow, her work is wonderful. Another is BeckyBeesQuilting, she lives local but I have never met her, I follow her on Flickr.com.
Looking at the pictures I think, "Is that the goal of how I want to quilt?" It's lovely controlled quilting, that's what drives me crazy with green. I know I have to just let go and do the best I can. I know I want that control, but am I really willing to work that hard on it?
I want my quilting to look modern, fresh, and not so traditional. Part of that look for me is that freehand style and more all over.
I am getting ready to quilt a quilt for my girlfriend Faith, a kind of free hand style memory quilt.
I have done some sketches for it and prepared some things on tissue paper I am going to quilt thru.
Here's a look I like, the centered bit, not the edge bit which needs more practice.
I am quilting a baby quilt with this to see how well it works and what it looks like after a trip thru the wash. Color accurate in first photo of post.
I also have been playing around with this piecing pattern:
I am going to make it smaller and with fewer pieces, you'll see later... so that pattern idea is on track... Im going to cut something out while I work on Faith's quilt. I'll show you later.
and I am in the final piecing on this one ..
I did most of it before I left for CA to move my Mom. I added little pieces to make it a straight.
I may add borders or something.... yawn, it is just taking too dang long. It has Y seams and is a nightmare. I would just like to get it sewn up and make it stop pressuring me to finish.
I used a layer cake and Jelly Roll from Moda in Cotton Blossoms... more later.
That's whats going on quilting wise at my house. I think I have caught you up.
My Moms Condo is closing soon so we are busy with those details. What better thing to do when the economy is in free fall then buy real estate? I ask you.
Every Week I get a newsletter from Dover the free image people. They send a link to sale items and samples. I downloaded the harsh black and white image from them... took the image and lowered the contrast so that when I print it out I don't use all my ink. I hope to one day be skilled enough to enlarge and quilt the the image, or one similar on a quilt. Beautiful. Dover is a great source for copyright free images or "clip-art".
The other day I had a friend in to quilt. It was my first passage quilting bee. I was kinda nervous, I usually don't have people in my work space and it was the first time I let someone else use my Handi - Quilter Sweet 16. All-in all it went pretty well. She bought me lunch, and was a good guest. My friend quilted 4 quilts for passage and I fixed up some so she took away 7
so that was good right?
I love thread! A most common, noble, hardworking thing. Never when I pick out clothes do I say to myself " check out how well that thread is holding that sleeve on!" Yet, there it is doing it's job.
In a quilt, thread can really add something or be a big distraction. Personally, I like thread to kind of "disappear" into the fabric design - as in ... Let's not look too closely, I'm a folk artist not a fine artist. I try to pay homage to tradition and still do something as a quilter that looks fresh. Other times, I am just quilting that sandwich together.
I own a Handi-Quilter Sweet 16 (follow link to see a picture) , I am sure you have seen the ads in magazines. I am not a longarmer, I'm more a hobby quiliter. I quilt for charity, do my own quilts, quilt for my friends, samples and Etsy.
All that being said my point is this: I take thread very seriously. I want strong thread, that is thin and doesn't have a lot of lint for me to clean up. Thread also has a kind of voo-doo quality to it, what works for you may not be what works for someone else. To a certain extent a quilter has to find the thread that works the best for them and experimentation is required. I have tried lots of brands Aurifil, Gutermann, Mettler, Robison Anton, Signature, Star,etc etc...
After about a year of trial and error I have a couple I like.
For piecing I like Aurifil, and Masterpiece by Superior ... Lately, I have used Essentials at Connecting Threads a VERY good value per spool and a very good piecing thread that I have also used on the HQ16 - a nice quilt.
Far and away my favorite quilting thread is Superior Threads. I like the So Fine and Bottom Line the best. I also really like Signature Thread see pic above.
In the face of looming depression, I decided if I was going to be cash poor I wanted to spend some money on thread. I also want to expand my quilting business and take on more jobs per month. So I need to have some color options. They just released a bunch of new pale colors in So Fine so I made an order. I have been waiting for my box to arrive. Pins ANd NEEDLES!!!
Here is my beautiful box of thread and bobbins they sent me... they packed it so nice and clean.
When I opened all the boxes it was so pretty!!
I'm so happy! I even got something called Moda green.. I'm so happy! oh I said that already.
I have been contemplating this purchase for months, looking at the website and looking at the catalog, playing with my thread cards etc
Thread cards? Here's photo. At 3$ a card they are a bargain and a great help.
I don't have a whole set because I don't use some of their threads (yet) but there are more.
Just the cards I need...
Questions? coz I feel like an expert, I'm not; I just have an opinion.
I'm been distracted by a "genius" idea I had, making a template and maquettes, plus trying to get everything in my regular life done by its deadline. I need to figure out our pine tree situation, since they are dead. Blah, blah blah, I feel really busy and kind of shattered. The good news? I'm sewing! I love working with cloth and thread!
Hi, whew, its been awhile huh?
I'm still settling Mom, but she seems
I have been working on paid work lately, which means it's time sensitive. So I feel
really busy. I figured out a way to show you what I am working on without spoiling the published unveiling. Black and White!
I am testing a pattern and making the version that gets photographed... I haven't been doing this very long so I am always nervous. I love the idea of getting paid to sew, and I am grateful to the company that values my efforts.
Did you ever see that movie Home for the Holidays? Its from 1995, its a Thanksgiving movie, a classic. Visiting my family generally reminds me of this movie! So if you rent it, think of it happening to me in the middle of a hot, Southern California August.
I have a feeling that I'll miss my online life more than I'll be missed.
I will be twittering my doings so if you twitter, I tweet!
Mr. Miyagi said "Wax on, right hand. Wax off, left hand. Wax on, wax off. Breathe in through nose, out the mouth. Wax on, wax off. Don't forget to breathe, very important."
That's is what I am doing! I spin the circle(wax on), then spin out(wax off), making sure that I have my hands correctly placed and I try to be "even". I have been doing practice on passage quilts, and trying to remember to breathe. wax on.
Today I realized my hands were very sore from holding the handles in a "death grip". Deep breath and relax - wax off.
The great thing about the handles is that I have the control knobs right done by the quilt top.
wax on - that gives me the ability to be more precise- wax off - I am hoping to learn to McTavish - wax on- now that my hands are closer to the needle-wax off .
My upper arms hurt, hands hurt, but these hours have been good learning, I feel much more balanced.wax on- wax off - remember to breathe.
We are no longer alone. When we first moved in, we had no neighbors- no one across the street- just one family behind us. They got divorced and moved out. We were alone. In the past few weeks 3 new families have moved in around us and behind us we got "intel interns". I have always been jealous of the ladies a street over- they all moved in around the same time, they all know each other, they are all blonde, they look so darn cozy.. .. hummph. Part of me is so excited to have neighbors... I hope they like me.
I got the new handles!! A Common Thread had them in stock. 10 minutes to install and forever to learn. I also had to call Handi-Quilter and get new carriage tracks - 14$ set and they are not in their catalog. Thursday was Pioneer Day so they were closed. but I ordered them yesterday. In the mean time I am practicing on passage quilts, doing simple exercises or patterns to get used to where I need to put my hands.
I have been sucked into Big Brother After Dark, and twitter... I am now twittering and will soon start posting regularly. So if you twitter; I'll follow you, if you follow me.
No, this is not a picture of my machine... these are the new micro-handles for the handiquilter. They are kinda spendy but I want them anyway! My birthday is coming so maybe I can swing them... This is just what I need! really. me wants!
For the last 3 days I have been quilting a top and the thread just kept breaking.. and breaking...
something was wrong and I struggled, playing with the tension, changing the needle etc... then, I fixed it...or it stopped. It sure can be frustrating. I was trying something new, a new style of feather, and its been real tough going...
Today I finished a second quilt, and am going to load 2 more today! Hurray I am back on track.
Anxious to get some pumped out and off for binding.
GroovyHolly !!! She is in Canada! Are they metric?
It's on groovyholly to contact me(I don't have her mail)after I left a comment on her blog... so if I don't hear from her... second runner up will be chosen from my box of entries.
Below is a pictue of a quilt, I made it 2 years ago at a retreat with the BBClub. Since that time, our Queen has cut several dozen kits, quilters have generously donated time, assembled them, quilted them and bound them. The Patterns For Passage System is based on a 12" block and 6 inch borders. 12 blocks and borders make a 48x60" quilt everytime. Based on variations of the 9 patch or 4.5" thirds we have several kits we make, and people can sign them out at a local store, bring them back, and its a mitzvah all the way around. Who makes what and who quilts what gets pretty anonymous and I like that.
Back when we first started making kits we got in trouble for photcopying other peoples patterns and needed to make our own. Hence, the P4PSystem.
I love working Passage. I love making quilts for people I will never know. I love the people I have met, the friends I have made, and the skills I have learned. I never think of my enemies, but my "Frenemy" drives me insane! Every couple of months she pops up and wrecks havoc with sanity and my ego. I hate how easily I react!
Change of subject!!!
Tuesdays I go to Farmers Market! I like to get mini pies. they are called "All Mine". I also get vegetables and berries.
I am quilting a lot lately. I finished quilting The Calico Cat passage quilt and am doing practice on the left over backing. When I get it off the machine I will take pictures..
GIVE AWAY!! In honor of the quilting of the Rolling Pin tops this month... I am giving away a copy of the Rolling Pins Pattern. Leave a comment to be entered, it runs till Monday the 21st of July (10 days)
GIVE AWAY!! In honor of the quilting of the Rolling Pin tops this month... I am giving away a copy of the Rolling Pins Pattern. Leave a comment to be entered, it runs till Monday the 21st of July (10 days)
Looks like the text in the field didn't take. hmmm. Anywoo, this is a photo I took with my phone
of how I am doing the calico cat HB quilt. My DH got a new "auto-pap" machine for his sleep apnea and it is so much quieter I can't sleep. Could it also be the large Dr.Pepper that I had at Passage that was chock full of caffeine and high fructose corn syrup? yeah maybe..
I started passage quilting this last week. I have not been doing as much charity work as I used to, and I started feeling like I was missing service work (see previous post on subject) so I am making a real effort.
The first Saturday of the month is BB Quilt Club and the second Friday is Passage. The Queen of BB (not me, I am the Keeper of the Quilts)has ruled that in order to belong to BB; one must do Passage, attend regular meetings and retreats... I didn't go to the last retreat so I better get on the ball and get my passage done.
In the past, I delivered quilts to BB so the binding could done or made ready by passage. She Who Works Miracles With Fabric, took some Blue, White and yellow fabrics and made 2 tops in the Rolling Pin pattern -- from Me And My Sister Designs. I quilted one last Friday, delivered it to BB and it went out to be bound, so maybe we will get it back this week. I'll do the other one next week.
GIVE AWAY!! In honor of these being quilted this month... I am giving away a copy of the Rolling Pins Pattern. Leave a comment to be entered, it runs till Monday the 21st of July (10 days)
I am a Utility Quilter, not an Heirloom Quilter. What does that mean? It means that the quilts I quilt are meant to be used. Loved. Drug around, tossed in the washer, dryer and generally abused. I have been working to figure out how to quilt, the way I want to quilt, in a fast and efficient manner to keep the cost low for those who want me to quilt for them. By Quilting Passage quilts I get the opportunity to quilts lots of different quilts and gets lots of practice, trying different things. I like to make a single pass, free hand quilt, with little or no cutting of thread. No super tight fills but hopefully good thread movement. Here is a picture of a quilt thats ready to be trimmed and bound.
Amy from TheCalicoCat sent me 2 tops from her pre-baby destash for charity. One of them is a pieced strippy quilt, with the strips going left to right instead of up and down. Is there name for that pattern? idk. Anyway its wonderful! Just the kind of work I like doing, a nice blend of contemporary fabrics and style with a splash of tradition. I am doing a "feathers to fill" pattern like the above pink/green. Except that because its a "strippy" I am trying to make each strip a bit different but related.
I wanted to get it finished today to take it to Passage but I am going to take longer than 2 hours to quilt it and so I will bind it myself. I will keep you posted. :)
Tech Talk: I was gonna use a King Tut thread called "baby blanket" but it proved too dark, so I switched to Maxi-Lock "pastel sprinkles". I am using Bottom Line 620 cream on the bobbin.
Above on the Rolling Pin Top I floated the top by not rolling it up on the bar. A frequent passage shortcut. Notice I rolled up the The Calico Cat HB top, I am using this top as a practice run for a paid job. I float tops a lot. I usually float tops I quilt for me and passage but when I am getting paid I won't. It doesn't seem to make a difference in the quilt but its a time thing. I really hate pinning on. Really hate it, so much so, that I must be paid to do it. ;D
Please leave a comment and get entered in the give-away (be sure that I can contact you, is your email included or on your profile?)
Miss Davis' gowns are by Edith Head and Marilyn Monroe is in it. So great!
I am quilting for Passage all week, quilts are due Friday. I'm feeling really good and connected to passage again.
While I am busy hit www.patchmenagerie.blogspot.com to see a tutorial I found. It is brilliant!
Did you see me listed over at whipup.net?? I was very excited! my Bali-PopTutorial got mentioned in "craftapoloza" with a photo! hooray!!
Feeling Bette Davis evil?? Have a glance at awfulplasticsurgery.com or PerezHilton.com
Feeling Eve evil try www.passiveaggressivenotes.com
Back to the movie!
Lately, I have been looking over the RareBookRoom.org
They have a first edition of The Grammar of Ornament, which is nice. RBR has Poor Richards almanac and my favorites; the illuminated manuscripts from the 16th century. These manuscripts have beautiful paintings in them that I can look at as long as I want, zoom in and zoom out, and whole books can be flipped through almost like seeing them in person. I love this site.
Lately, I have fallen under the spell of the International Quilt Study Center & Museum: an affiliate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. They just announced that they won a big prize for the brilliance of their logo. My favorite aspect is that you can search through their collection and create your own collection of bookmarked quilts, kind of like Fickrs "favorites". They have a quilt of the month, downloads, podcasts and it well worth a visit and a bookmark!!
Jacquie won the Q-tools! Hurray and its in the mail!
Marsha got a couple of Fat Quarters from Batik Textiles!
and Michele got some Japanese charms and a pen.. hmm that sounds lame but they are cute!
That was my first give-away and it seems like I should have figured out that I need to post a lovely picture and story of give away and then people will comment. duh!
So after the holiday I will totally do another one, I need to learn how to blog it right! Practice.
I worked on my HST quilt top but I have lost all enthusiasm for it. I want to make another of this type! A 9Patch-Snowball!
This one I made for passage a couple of years ago and it was one of my first long arm attempts.
I made a couple actually, this one with a white background and finished edge points, this black one:
I didn't do the edge and I think it was much less interesting. I did another (no pic) that was calico background and I liked it a lot.
Heres one I did for my DH, this picture is cute but in real life it's lacking something. I think making the background a mid tone and using everything in the 9P/SBs was a mistake.
So I want to try this again...
I really should be quilting, but I am still not feeling it. Lately, I have been feeling that I have totally gotten lost in the "business" of quilting. I really like the "service" of quilting and only started the "business" to help me pay for the "service" part, now I feel like I spend so much less time on the "service" part. So I am refocusing! Service anyone?