Friday, June 10, 2016

I really am no good at blogging...

I've posted (I think) two entries in three years! Pretty pathetic, but I have a good excuse. Life!
I got a longarm quilting machine in December 2013 and my days, some nights and most weekends have been devoted to Louise. Louise is a Gammill Classic Plus longarm machine on a 12 foot frame, and I love her to death!
I have a nice customer base already and my Facebook page is where you can see all the quilts I've quilted over the past 2 and 1/2 years. I don't get much sewing done anymore, I'm so busy with Louise. I still take time for my Quilts of Valour group and the women who join me every month keep me pretty busy too. They're a very prolific group of piecers and I have more tops in the queue to be quilted than I can possibly get done in a month or two, that's how prolific they are.

No blog post is complete without pictures so here are a few quilts that have been quilted on Louise in the past couple of weeks.
Custom Quilted for Brenda, a gift to Bethell House for their Fall fundraiser

The back!

Totally made from scraps by Susan. I love the colour in this quilt and how it creates a lovely rainbow

A Vintage top from Sondra that is to become a wedding gift this summer

The back!

Another view of the top to show the piecing instead of the texture created by the quilting.

Me and Louise working on a  customer quilt

My grandson Eachann and Rob, an Afghan Vet. Eachann knew just what to do when he met Rob at our QOV sewing bee. Picture credit goes to Alex Sher.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Texas Teardrops Quilt A Long

See that button over there on the right? The one that says Texas Teardrops?
Well I did it, and am now quilting it.
I thought this was an excellent project to use some of the Kaffe Fassett fabrics I recently acquired.

There's lots of cutting and "pasting" with this project, and I hate waste...

All the blocks are fused

Top is finished!

And now, the quilting

I love this pattern and the fabrics I chose for it. And, it's actually one that I'd like to make again, maybe in Christmas fabrics for an antique ornament look. It'll be awesome!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ponies and Teddies for Babies

I haven’t made a lot of baby quilts. Until recently that is. I just finished a run of three. One for a friend in Virginia to present to her granddaughter, and two for another friend in California, who is a first time grandmother… to twins!

 The first one, depicting Grandma’s horses as Thelwell ponies. Butterflies and flowers keep the ponies occupied, while Grandma happily bounces on her pony. I love the abundant manes and tails of these ponies. The looks was achieved by “painting” with thread.

Applique Heath

This “fluffy” gray pony is my favourite I think. I love his expression!


A Happy Rider!

The second baby project involves Minkee teddy bears blowing bubbles.

Bubbles and Bears
Bubbles and Bears
I made these quilts as the exact opposite of each other.


Bears close up

                    Closer look at the bears:

Bear detail

And closer still, with the little bubble wand.

Bubbles detail

The “bubbles”. I got to play with my newest toy, an Olfa circle cutter. I’m loving this cutter! Perfect circles with no effort on my part and no trying to follow the lines of a drawn circle with scissors!

Bears and bubbles quilted detail

The quilting is also “bubbles”

I had a lot of fun designing and making these three quilts, and REALLY enjoyed playing with the circle cutter.  They’ve given me more ideas for baby quilts, which I just might try out even though there isn’t a particular baby in mind for them.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I'm NOT a Good Blogger and other stuff...

Ok, so I'm not good at Blogging. I might have mentioned that in the first one last year ... that would be 3 whole posts ago.
I used to be pretty good at this (a few years ago) when I had my Extreme Mustang Makeover horse to show off and promote. I even used WordPress for my blogging! Well, yes I had help... I created my own blog here on Blogspot and managed it very well. I don't think buttons existed then.
And what the heck is "Link up"??? Wait. I know what it is, sorta. HOW do you link up would be the better question! I just spent the better part of an hour trying to remember how to add a button! Just think of the sewing that could have been accomplished in that time, or how much fabric I could have bought online in that same time! Oh yea, I'm good at buying fabric online, don't have any trouble there, none at all, nope, nope, nope! Sometimes I wish I did...

So, I'm a crappy blogger and I admit it. I wish there was a 12 step program to learn how to navigate all the things you can do in these blogs now. Like Pages! I thought (we all know what thought did right?) I created separate pages to share patterns and tutorials. I typed up a tutorial, copied and pasted and added pictures and Ta Da! It ended up on the main page, not on the Tutorials Page, which doesn't seem to show up anyway across the top there.... Am I that stupid  hopeless now? Next thing you know I'll forget how to use my sewing machine and have to revert to ARGH! English Paper Piecing!!!! I'm not saying that  EPP is a bad thing, I have one on the go, QUEEN size even! And I've only been working on it since.... 2002 but who's counting or keeping track? It has been promised to my middle daughter for her birthday. once she turned 18 I told her I'd have it done by her 40th birthday. She just turned 25 so I still have a bit of time to get that sucker beauty done!

In the meantime, while I try to figure this mess called blogging out and find some more enthusiasm for it I would like to share a few things that I will elaborate more on when I get this blogging figured out.
First and most recently I won an online contest through a blog I follow faithfully. I got her button over there on the left (I think she instructed me how at the time) See that Quilting Gallery button? Click it, there's ALWAYS something interesting going on over there! Ok, I won one of her Show N Tell contests (Scrappy Triangles) a couple of weeks ago with this quilt:
In this picture, it's laid out on the floor just prior to putting it into the frame for hand quilting. I don't know how many different fabrics are used in this one but I do know it's a lot and nothing was purchased specifically for this quilt except the backing (plain cream coloured muslin). The 1/4 square triangle blocks and the little tiny triangles in the star type blocks are all scraps (and I still have a bunch left over!). Even the cream background pieces are scraps!
I won this lovely thread set from Bytowne Threads for my entry

Aren't they just gorgeous? I can't wait to stare at them some more and fondle them. It will take a while before I can bring myself to actually use them. I'm kinda funny that way. I like to look, stare, dream and fondle new things before using them and spoiling that pristine condition that I receive them in.

Next, and not finished with the quilting yet is a quilt I designed (with some math help from another Quilter friend) and made for my sister. This is a pattern that I have already shared on Facebook, and will add here as soon as I get that page thing sorted out!
I call it simply Squares Linked and yet another quilter friend who tested the pattern for me took it and converted it into a pdf format for easy uploading (yea right!) and downloading, once I figure out how to get it on here!

Below: Here's what I started with - colouring on graph paper. Above: the finished top

Then I got really foolish and decided to back it with that fuzzy furry stuff that's worse than Minkee to work with! I wasted a whole can of 505 basting spray trying to get batting to stick to this stuff!

 Now that it's all pin basted within an inch of its life it's easier to work with, and slides across the bed of my machine (and everywhere else). It also hides puckers and other little mistakes. Looks good right? Well, there's puckers in there! You cannot see them, and they can be hard to find also. YAY!
I'm still working on the quilting so one of these days I'll be able to post pictures of it finished.
Here's one done in blues and yellows by Beth Cates and it's lovely!

Next post... Ponies! Fat ones too :-)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Woven Star block tutorial

Woven Star Block

12” block (finished)

Background fabric: four 4.5 inch squares & eight 2.5 inch squares
Star fabric: four pieces 2.5 x 4.5 and four pieces 2.5 x 6.6 inches

You can use all the same fabric for the stars, but would lose the woven effect. You still get it with just two fabrics, or go scrappy and use a different fabric for each piece (like I did)

Draw a line on the diagonal of the 2.5 inch squares.

Lay out the eight 2.5 inch strips (4.5 and 6.5 inches long), right sides up. On the longer strips place the square with the drawn line going from the top left corner to the right lower corner. On the shorter strips, place the square with the drawn line going from the top right corner to the left lower corner:

Stitch on the drawn lines and trim off the corners:
Now, lay your background squares and the star points out in the way you want them to look:
You do this because you want to press differently for each “small block”.  For points on block #’s 1 & 3, press seams towards the triangle. On blocks 2 & 4, press towards the strip. This allows for nesting of seams when sewing them all together and reduces bulk in the seams.
The picture below shows the pressing on block 3 (right) and block 4 (left):
Sew the smaller strips to the background squares:
Press seams towards the star points. Go back to your layout with them to match up your long points. I do it this way so I don’t mix my little blocks up:
Then you sew the long star points to the block and press seams to the star points again:
Lay the little blocks out one more time…
Sew them together in pairs, pressing the seams in opposite directions so they will nest in the center when you sew the two pairs together: And you’re done!
This is such a pretty block and so easy to make. They look equally good laid out in straight rows or on point. Here is a lap quilt I made for my sister with the blocks on point:
Here is another I just recently finished. The blocks are smaller - I shrunk them down to 8 inches and lined them up around the outside. This top has already won three 1st place ribbons in local fair competitions:

Well, it seems that I'm not doing something right. I created "pages". One is Home and one is Tutorials and another is Patterns.  I thought I posted this block tutorial under Tutorials. Nope, it's a blog post and ended up on the "Home" page.
So until I can figure out what I'm doing, those pages are now hid and instead of a blog entry you get a tutorial for a block pattern. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Buttons!

See over there on the left? And over there on the right, under my profile info? Buttons!!!
I confess I didn't have the first clue as to how I would get them there. Anyhting I tried was a html mistake. Or something like that.

Well, I'm having a blast with the Glorious Autumn Block Party and I wanted to show off the "button" for this. Michele Foster of the Quilting Gallery blog over there on the left has brought a huge pool of talented designers together and (If I remember this right) are giving us participants something crazy like 45 block design tutorials in 15 days. Or maybe it's 30 days. It's late, I'm getting old and don't remember a whole lot anymore. I have a bit of a crazy schedule right now so am downloading the block patterns and saving them to a special folder (so I don't forget about them!) to work on later. Also, I want to see all the designs before deciding how to lay out my quilt. Medallion style or sampler style? I dunno yet, but it will come to me. Sooner or later...

OOPS I rambled... What I was winding up to say is that darling Michele emailed me a link that took me to some spot on her blog, which provided step by step instructions to add these fun, cute buttons to my blog. Her instructions are idiot proof. I managed to do it! One of these days I'll figure out how to add a link right in here like everyone else does so you can click for more words of wisdom, tutorials or eye candy.

I have a tutorial coming up too. I typed this up for a dear friend so she could make these really pretty blocks. I've been obsessesd with it for months now and it shows up in a few quilts I've worked on this year, including the quilt I've alreadyposted a picture of. The only picture I've posted so far.

I have some block patterns coming as well. I designed these for QOV - Canada, to make use of Northcott's lovely Stonehenge line, designed especially for Quilts of Valour, in the US and Canada. The Canadian line is called Oh Canada! and besides being based on the lovely Stonehenge design, we've got moose and maple leaves! So those are coming, and I'd love you to download one or all six of them and make a quilt for a soldier, in Canada or the USA.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Here I Go...

For anyone who stumbles across this...
This is not going to look like much for awhile. First, I forget how to do this stuff, add gadgets and just about everything else...
I've created it, that's a good start isn't it?
The thing is, I offered advice during a QAL deal and one of the other participants took my advice and made herself a blog post and tutorial out of it. Well hell. I wasn't impressed since she did not ask my permission. Yea she gave me credit (if popping my first name in there is credit) before using my words exactly and putting in her own pictures of the process.
Well, I'm not going to be so nice anymore, I'll direct people to MY blog and MY instructions/advice/how-to tutorial from now on.

Another reason for blogging is I finally entered my quilts into competition, and won with everything I entered. This little sneak peak is of a top only and it already has three 1st place ribbons to it's credit. I'm thinking about writing a pattern to go with it...