Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2 Quilts For Kelly


I was super excited to quilt 2 fantastic Granny Square quilts for Kelly L. They were made of wonderful Denyse Schmidt fabric, and a print by Lake House Fabric (I believe ). Forgive me for these pictures. It was raining cats and dogs so my studio was so dreary.


I decided to challenge myself and quilt them each a bit different. This one I decided looked more masculine, so I just used double arcs in the printed fabric, echoing straight lines in the white and you can't tell, but the black and white sashing has serpentine lines.


For the straight lines I used my channel locks. I thought I was going to use my ruler to quilt, but quickly decided that was not going to work in my timeline. Channel locks were much better.



The second quilt I decided looked more feminine so I quilted it with paisleys, swirls and mazes. The sashing has a tiny feather/vine.


I used pebbles too around the cornerstones. I like how the quilting gives the block a secondary design.



These were AWESOME to quilt. Kelly said she used 5 inch charm squares to make the blocks. They were really big. Such a great impact. If you want to make a Granny Square quilt too. Blue Elephant Stitches has a great tutorial

xo,
Tia

It is fall!


It is Fall! My favorite season of the year. Last weekend we went to Red Barn Farm in Weston, MO. Sam and I first went for a preschool field trip when we were stationed in Ft We have gone for a couple years in a row and just love it. Oh notice since my husband has retired he has grown a beard. I like it.


The weather was just perfect. I am modeling one of my new (not really new actually. I have made this bag for years but I have finally written a lovely pattern for it and am teaching the technique at 3 Ladies Quilting Shope in Leavenworth next month. I am teaching several quilting classes in town. I have been so busy designing, writing and quilting that I am weary when it comes time to promote myself.


My boys are getting so big.


There was a pumpkin patch to buy a pumpkin or two.


Critters to pet. It was really funny listening to some of the other visitors talking about the animals. There are some pretty hilarious misconceptions out there!


And of course there were apples to pick!


Lots and lots of apples to pick!


We picked 2 little baskets full and I had the overflow in my bag. It was a great day.

We are also now a sport family. Ethan is playing tackle football and Emma is on her Jr High Volleyball team. We are so busy with these kiddos. Sam gets his time in sports next year...he is going back and forth between football and soccer. Fall is the best!

xo,
Tia Cutis

DVD review and Giveaway


Hey there! My wonderful Friend Carrie Bloomston of Such Designs has been super busy. She has made a great little movie with Interweave Press about Art Techniques for quilt design. She is giving away a copy of the DVD on her BLOG. Please go over today and leave a comment so you can have a chance to win.


Carrie is the sweetest lady around and is just bubbling with creative energy. Even though I have a zillion things going on in my life I took about an hour to sit down with her DVD, a pad of paper and a cup of tea. It is so nice to stretch your creative muscle a bit...so relaxing. Carrie is such an encouraging personality and she chats a bit about her process which I ALWAYS find fascinating.

You can also BUY your own copy of the DVD HERE. Well worth the money.


She even showed one of the quilts I made for her last Quilt Market. The pattern for this Modern Folk art Applique Quilt will be in the next Quilt Festival Magazine on the cover no less. Wild. The Paint Brush case I designed will be in the same issue. I love Carrie's art and quirky style. Her colors really appeal to me.



So...Go over Carries Blog! Leave a comment and get your creative juices flowing! You have to leave the comment on her blog. You can say something here too if you wish, but she chooses the winner.

xo,
Tia Curtis

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Fort Leavenworth Quilt Posse is back in session


Hey there! Our Quilt club has started meeting again at my house. Last month we made improv house blocks. This month we made more traditional house blocks. Tanya brought the pattern to the group and it was really fun to work with.


My friend Tanya is a very technical quilter. I value her so much! Our design processes are so different, like night and day different. She is my pattern tester and will not hesitate to call me out on any of my mistakes. Until I met Tanya I really didn't think much about  quilt math or yardage requirements. I always shoot from the hip, but Tanya has pointed out that most people like accurate math and accurate yardage requirements. So thanks to her and her guidance I have a notepad (I have several actually) by my cutting table and I write down all my steps as I go. I am trying so hard to be more organized with design....sorry I am getting off task....squirrel!


We had such a good time meeting and sewing together. Two new quilters joined our gang, and sadly several moved away. Alas life in the military does that. If you live in the area you are welcome to join us.


Tanya demonstrated the proper way to square up a block. I have been doing it wrong for about 12 years. I use the lines on the mat and the ruler to square up. Tanya uses the lines on the ruler to do it. It was a bit confusing to me so I will probably carry on with the way I do it. So far it works pretty well. At least the new quilters know the right way to do it now. They didn't have as many bad habits to break as I do.


Here are our little houses. The goal of this project will be a wall hanging with 9, 12 or 16 houses. In the white space you can write or embroider your series of duty stations and maybe the years you were there. I have some pretty wild plans for my wall hanging.

Tanya saw this quilt hanging in a friend's house. It was a nice little quilted record of everywhere she and her husband had lived over their Military career. She had made the quilt with her quilt group as a swap. We are going to do that as well. This was a really quick block. After I find out about copyright I can post a PDF of the pattern for those of you who would like to make one for yourself...as well as the Ft Leavenworth Quilt Club Members who have moved on. We miss you.

xo,
Tia Curtis

ps, Next month we will be exploring Log Cabin blocks. I am going to show several ways to make them and you can choose which method you like best. Hopefully we will have a good sized stack made up by the time we need to go get kiddos. Log Cabin quilts are a big favorite of mine.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Midnight in Amsterdam


Hey there! 2 blog posts in one day! Must be a record for me. So, I have been working on this quilt for the past couple days. I thought I was going to quilt it really simple using the Statler Stitcher, but then changed my mind after I got it loaded up. I decided to try something a little fancy. I Custom quilt for others all the time, I may as well quilt one for myself too from time to time.  In a nutshell I spent a ton more time on it that I thought I would. I always think I am going to get all this quilting done while the kids are in school, but not really.


For this quilt I used various types of shot cottons, peppered cottons and Oakshotts. The background is Kona cotton in Silver. I used silver thread too. I love the feel of Peppered Cottons but they really are not easy to work with. They frayed for me like crazy which was really frustrating as I was quilting it. I kept spying little jolly colors through the silver background even though I had trimmed the back of the quilt top quite well.


I had a precious stack of Oakshott cross weaves that I had been saving for something special and I felt they worked well with the rest of the fabric. I liked working with the Oakshotts quite a bit.


I used a great deal of Ruler work for the quilting and I locked my channels on the diagonal so I could do the diagonal lines without having to hold the ruler still. I think I still need a ton of work with rulers to feel comfortable, but overall I am happy with the effect of the hooked feathers (all hand guided), the pearls and the straight lines.


Here is is on the table last night. I use that blue ruler to guide stitching in the ditch and other straight line work. Sometimes I like the ruler better than just locking my channels on my machine because the machine is seriously perfect with it's straight lines and I am not so perfect with my piecing. I think I can fudge it a bit better with the ruler...sometimes.


Here is the back. Lots and lots of thread. I used two layers of batting for this quilt to really make the quilting pop. The result is a very heavy quilt!


Also yesterday my friend came over for a private free motion quilting lesson and to rent time on one of my machines. She did such a great job!


In the time it took me to quilt one row of my quilt Traci had her entire twin bed sized quilt finished. Stitching in the ditch takes forever!


 She did great on Lady June ( My Gammill Supreme ). She kept saying this is so fun! Funny...I think that all the time too! Quilting is so fun!

xo,
Tia Curtis

PS, my Midnight in Amsterdam quilt has no real purpose. I thought about writing a pattern for it...when I have time. But for now it is resting the the stack of quilts that need to be bound.

Optical Illusion Quilt Book - and give away!


Good Morning! If you are coming over from Facebook, Instagram of the Mystars blog WELCOME!!!  I am going to chat a bit about my quilt in the book Optical Illusions Published by Kansas City Star Books. A group of really great quilters and I have designs inside. I feel like it has been ages since I made this quilt. But I guess that is how it goes in the quilting for publication world. I make a quilt, send it away and then get to working on other projects, quilts and designs and forget a bit about what is no longer on my design wall or in my stack of quilts waiting to be bound. In fact just the other day I was hunting through my fabric stacks looking for my Botanics fabric by Carolyn Friedlander. I knew I had bought quite a bit of it, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I knew that I have used it in quite a few projects, but surely I still had a couple yards somewhere! Then it dawned on me...it is in this quilt! My Tropical Storm quilt.



So, when I was asked to submit an optical illusion quilt design idea I went first to Pinterest. If you have time to kill go ahead and do a search and see what pops up. A mind blowing collection of really bizarre pictures. Of all the Optical illusions that popped up the one that appealed most to me was the one above. I knew I would have a terrible headache if I tried to recreate it in a quilt, so I opted for a more simple and approachable design. Welcome Half Square Triangles! I did several water color sketches and settled on the one up in the sketchbook.


As I was working with the fabric and scribbling out the instructions I felt the quilt needed a little pop to make it more like the quilts I make for myself and my family. So I pulled out some of my favorite fabrics and added tiny bits of them into the mix.


Next came the quilting which is the best part! All the white triangles are quilted with straight diagonal lines and each colored segment is quilted different. This was a fun quilt to quilt after I sorted out what I wanted to do to it.




Here is where all the Botanics went. I need to order some more I guess.

OK, so I am going to give a book away! Please leave your email below or a comment with a link to your email in profile. That is it. I will choose a winner Sunday 21 September.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quilt Of Valor Ceremony


Today was a really good day. Our Quilt of Valor group gave away a room full of quilts to soldiers of the 291st MP Company. They just got back from a deployment to Afghanistan. I know legions of quilters make quilts for QOV, but I wonder how many actually get to go to the presentation ceremonies? Well, if you ever get a chance I think you should attend.


This was the room ahead of the presentation. Many of the quilts are laid out on the tables waiting for a solider to come and pick them out. There is another stack of quilts over on the side stage to fill in as quilts get chosen.






It was so fun to walk around an try to pick out quilts that I had quilted. I have done so many lately that I have last track of them.



When the soldiers and their families came in they got to pick out which quilt they liked the best. It was fun to see some of the wives come in ahead of time to scout out the quilts then tell their soldier to  pick their favorite. Most of the soldiers were single so there weren't many spouses picking out quilts ahead of time.





Here are some of the tops before I quilted them.


Here are some of the pictures of the soldiers with their quilts. They were all so sweet and thankful. I don't think I have ever felt so much happiness after giving a quilt away as I did today.






Today was great! Thanks all of you who made tops, quilted them, bound them, made pillow cases and labels. These quilts will be loved! They are so special and have found very worthy new homes.

xo,
Tia Curtis