I Have a Little Wii Knee.... ;D

I am never going to get tired of that! never! I know it's totally stupid, but I cannot get over it.
Careful coz I am gonna try and teach it to your kids. :0
detail by you.
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.
IMG_0738 by you.
here is a pic of basted edge:
leader/backing by you.
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:
charity quilting graph by you.
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.
IMG_0659 by you.
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...
Quilters Rock!

moving on...

To border or not to border? by you.
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...:)
Quilters Rock.

Did you make one too?

Susan sent me this photo of a top she made using Bali-pops based on my tutorial here! Isn't it great!?? Susan said "The pattern was so easy and fun". Thanks Susan, your quilt is wonderful.

A little while later after TLC wrote her comment:
Here is one in "sherbert" over at TLC Stitches. Super cute!!

Staple Singers On My Pandora

on the quilter! by you.
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.
IMG_0720 by you.
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.
  baby quilt detail by you.
I also have been playing around with this piecing pattern:

testing  by you.
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 ..
IMG_0643.JPG by you.
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.
Quilters Rock!!


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?


Pretty thread by you.
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!!!
My thread just came Hurray! by you.
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!!
Thread!! by you.
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.
IMG_0712 by you.
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.
Quilters Rock!

What Up?

Today I am trying to get back to a "normal" schedule but I fear my bon-bon days of Do Nothing are over for a while. This Friday is Passage night and I am trying to get some tops quilted. I have 2 done, and another 2 on the way hopefully.

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!
Quilters Rock!

Working Working Working

Hi, whew, its been awhile huh?
I'm still settling Mom, but she seems
pretty happy.
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.

More later
Quilters Rock!