Tuesday, March 29, 2016

More quilts

Hi there!

I have been thinking a great deal about time lately. Specificity about how much time I spend quilting and kinda in general about how much time we have on Earth. My mind wonders quite a bit while I work doesn't it? I really like Instagram. I like looking at all the quilts folks make and the beautiful quilting my fellow long arm quilters do. I think about how much time they have spent honing their craft and how much time they spend on each project. You can't really tell in a photo, especially a nicely edited photo. I also think about value. Do the people I quilt for value the work I do? I assume they do, after all they pay me nicely. I do both custom and e2e (Edge to edge) quilting. Most of my custom quilting is hand guided because that is what I love to do, and I am pretty good at it. My e2e quilting is done by my computerized machine. I of course have to set the quilt up and program the machine to do what I want it to do. In general e2e designs are quicker and easier than driving the machine around a quilt so they cost less. Custom work cost more. Right now I am totally booked up with custom work. I have about 3 times more custom quilts to quilt than e2e quilts. Needless to say I am feeling a bit of pressure. I am delighted that people trust me with their wonderful quilts and want me to be a part of making them into useful, beautiful works, but I get a bit of panic in my gut when I look over at the rack and see the Queue of quilts waiting their turn. Normally when ladies send their quilts to me (or drop them off) they say to do it when I have time, no rush. But sometimes they want their quilts back the next day or within the week (those ladies I normally refer to some of the other quilters in the area) sometimes people don't seem to know the work and time that goes into a custom quilt. The quilt in the last post took 3 weeks! That's a great deal of time spent in the basement studio working on one project and that's a bunch of time that makes me behind on my work for others. I have always prided myself in speedy, quality work and it frustrates me not to be able to whip through quilts like I used to. Some quilts just take so much more time. The style of quilting also makes quilting take longer. I am still very fast with "modern" quilting. I love the swirls and lines and angles, so I can quilt them quickly. Traditional quilting takes ages. I have to use rulers with traditional quilting and I have to slow down so I don't break my rulers and my needle. 

OK, I don't really know where I am going with all this. I just want you to know that if I have your quilt I haven't forgotten you I am working through my list! I promise. At any time you can email (or call) me and I will give you a status update.

Ok, now lets look at some pictures. I don't get much time to blog, so when I do I pack a whole lot of quilts into one post. This post has some lovely quilts.

This first one was made by Kelly. We are both in the KCMQG and I love quilting for her. All the solids are linen and the little kites are made from Cotton+Steel fabric. I thought it looked like little space ships flying around in a dog fight, so I broke them up into teams. The blue team got cross hatching and the tan team got swirls and pebbles. I didn't want her hexagon piecing to get lost, so I outlines each block.

Kelly left the border rather irregular. I wasn't sure what her binding plan was, so I quilted all the way to the end. I figure she could do a fancy zig zag binding or just cut the pointy bits off and make the quilt into a regular rectangle.

The one mustard color block got curved cross hatching.

This quilt also had 2 layers of batting (one cotton and the top layer was fluffy wool). I loved quilting this quilt. I think it took me 3.5 days.

Next up is a quilt I quilted for Heather. She brought it to me as an e2e, but I really wanted to custom quilt it as I knew just what I wanted to do to it. I know that is not something I should do. Its not my quilt and an e2e would have been lovely, but it is fun to quilt away with my Statler. The majority of this quilt was done with my Statler Stitcher (my computer quilted it) but I hand guided the double arcs inside the star. I could have programed the computer to do them, but it would have added at least another day onto the job).

I used wool batting on this quilt and I love how the puff really showcases the quilting. This quilt didn't take long at all. I think I worked on it for a day and a half.

Next up is a quilt I finished yesterday. Or at least I thought I was finished with it. When I was photographing it I noticed a couple spots that I had let un-quilted and meant to come back to, but couldn't immediately see on my quick once over before taking it off the frame.

Stephanie did some beautiful needle turn applique on this quilt. I did a more modern feather in the sashing and border and cross hatched the backgrounds of the blocks. The cross hatching took ages. I thought if I free handed the cross hatching it would go faster, but I wasn't happy about how the lines were matching up, so I had the computer do them.

This was a fun quilt to work on. It took almost 8 days to quilt. The feathers were very fast, the cross hatching took a week all by itself. Oh! And Stephanie came by to visit on Friday, so she got to see her quilt in progress. I think that is the first time that has happened. Besides some local clients most of my customers mail me their quilts. It is fun to meet the ladies I work for in real life.

Here is the back. If you look close I bet you can find the un-quilted spots.

Last up is this Texas Flag quilt. it is #20. It is a remake of #19 which wasn't quite big enough. Now I have a massive Texas Flag quilt in the basement that I neither need, nor do I particularly want. I may put it in my etsy.com shop. At any rate I like the quilting on this one. And it is sooooo big.  But things are bigger in Texas aren't they?

I think this is my favorite star of all the 20 Texas flag quilts I have made.

OK, so this was rather wordy, but some good pictures too. I think I will be blogging more now that Instagram has become a popularity contest. That makes me a bit sad, but I don't want to have to compete. I am a pretty what you see is what you get woman. I am a very busy woman and Instagram was so easy to mini blog on. Oh well, it is nice to have more of a journal type record. I do like looking back through my other blog (Camp Follower Bags) and seeing my cute little kids and beautiful Australia.

Have the best day ever!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sedona Rose Quilt

Have a gander at this lovely quilt I had the pleasure to quilt over the last couple weeks. Isn't it just splendid? It was pieced by Peggy Claggett. Mea Bernina in Lawrence, KS is currently doing it as a block of the month. They wanted it quilted with a more modern style so I had a go with miles of thread and 7 thread colors. almost all of the quilt is hand guided, but I used point to point to quilt the arches around the medallion.

I am always curious about how long it took someone to piece a quilt and this one totally blows my mind. It took Peggy about 9 months to put together, and it was done perfectly square. So when I think about taking 3 weeks to quilt, that seems about right.  So without further ado lets have a bunch of pictures.

And of course a shot of the back. Look at all that pretty thread! Yummy.

OK, have the best Monday ever.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January flew by.

Hey there everyone! 

How is did your January go? Mine zipped by so fast. I took January off as far as classes go, but beginning on the third of February I am off to a quick clip with many classes this year. Please see my side bar if you are interested in taking a class with me.  I will be teaching in Kansas City at Modern Makers and in Leavenworth at Meadows Quilt Shop. 

Lets look at some quilts. I did several Edge to Edge quilts and got them out the door without taking pictures of them. That seems to be happening a lot lately. I seem to remember to take pictures of the Custom quilts, but the e2es slip by. 

 With that said I did take a picture of this quilt, at least the back anyway.   I think this digital design is named Space Travel. I have been wanting to use it for ages. I love quilting with Minky. I think it makes such soft quilts. The ones I have made for my children have held up pretty well as long as I don't dry them on too hot a cycle. The front of this quilt was really cute robots and rocket ships. There is a picture in my Instagram feed for sure.

Next up is this really sweet cupcake quilt.

The cupcakes are paper pieced and all the fabric is flannel. I stink at paper piecing. It is so hard to switch my brain to that area so I just rarely do it. Joe made this quilt and the next one. And he did a great job.

I knew just how I wanted to quilt most of they quilt, but those little "L" shaped bits had me totally lost. I looked and looked at them wondering what the heck was I going to do with them? I decided to quilt cupcake names into them. Red Velvet, Sugar Pie, Mochichino to name a few. Quilting words not only creates pretty texture it is kinda neat too.

Last up is this fabulous quilt with a big white skull in the middle. Joe made this for his young Nephew. I think Sugar Skulls are neat and I wanted to quilt the skull into a sugar skull...but hold back and not make it super feminine.

The back ground is quilted with contour lines. I never get tired of contour lines. Maybe the skull belongs to a pirate? And maybe the pirate buried treasure (as they do)? I bet these contour lines will help him find his chest of jewels and gold coins.

Have a great weekend. It is super warm here, so I hope you all get outside to enjoy the weather.


Monday, January 18, 2016

My Mighty Lucky Quilting Club Blocks

Hey there folks!

Have you heard about the Mighty Lucky Quilt Club? It has been all over my Instagram feed, so I decided to give it a go for the first month. Just to see if it is something I would actually do. I am not much of a joiner of things especially quilting things because my free time for quilting it so precious. I used to sew for fun all the time, but now I just feel guilty if I am not working on client quilts. Do you know what I mean? But then I got to thinking....my mind is jam packed full of quilts and ideas for quilts. I actually NEED to just sew for myself sometimes like I did when I first began making quilts. 

I also got to thinking about my Flicker Quilt Bee. I had such a great group of ladies to make quilts with. Each month one of us would have a challenge...a block to make for the lady of the month. It was so fun to work outside my box, or learn something new. I missed that. So I went to the Mighty Lucky quilt club website and join for the first month. It was Krista's month and the skill of the January was Bias strips.

I love bias when I do appliqué, but I do my bias differently than the technique shown by Krista. I don't use a bias maker, I just long baste stitch the bias and use my iron to shape it into the curves I desire. I also just pin the bias in place before stitching it down with my sewing machine. That is easier for me and that is how Gwen Marston taught me. If its good enough for Gwen it is good enough for me folks.

These are the 3 blocks I made. I suppose they are really 4 blocks, but the vine one is more one than 2 right.

I started with this one. It is pretty similar to Krista's block. I made it different by piecing my bias with several different prints. I like the scrappy look.

Next block was this puppy. Similar to the first block, but a little different.

And last but not least my vine block. I still need to stitch down the little flower blossoms. I have gotten several questions about what background I used. It is Paint dot cloud by Alexia Abegg for Cotton+Steel.  I still have some in my shop.

In summery I really liked this challenge. I feel like it really jump started my sewing MOJO. I will be doing next month with Season Evans too. Are you joining along?

Have a Happy Day Folks!



Good Morning!

So I have 2 lovely Custom Quilts to show you and a work in progress. 

I really like the embroidery on this quilt. Such narrow bits stitched so very well.

I quilted it with a clamshell background and some crystals in the sashing and a little vine quilted around the border.

This quilt  was made by a very skilled quilt maker, Pam. The quilts name is Cleopatra's Fan. I was a little concerned when I saw all the curves and bias, but this was the most square quilt I have quilted in quite a while.

I quilted it with feathers in the background, some S curves and echo arches. I also used Wool batting which gave the quilt so much loft. Wool batting is my favorite!

This is the quilt I am working on down in the studio now for Sherri.

It is getting quilted with a Lovely E2E.

Have a Happy Day folks!


Texas Flag quilt #19

Hi there! I will try to blog more in 2016. I guess that won't be too hard when I compare it to how frequently I blogged in 2015. 

So I made my 19th Texas Flag quilt over Christmas. I think this one had some really great quilting. It was king sized. 

I really like to combination of swirls and straight lines.

I think I will only make one more of these quilts just to round out the number. While they are very fun to make it is draining to "make" for others. I love quilting. It makes my heart sing, but I may be done making the same thing over and over. But looking at that quilting I just LOVE it. Of course I can do this to any quilt. It doesn't HAVE to be a Texas flag now does it?

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Happy Christmas...and more quilts!

Hi there! Are you all gearing up for the Holiday Season? We are in full swing here. Like any quilter I have been quilting Christmas Quilts for months. I love them. I love the idea of giving quilts as gifts to loved ones and I am so honored to be a part of the process for my clients.

I have been so busy quilting in fact that I barely have had time to shower on a daily basis. My husband went to Hawaii on a business trip last week and I was kinda happy because that meant I didn't have to feel guilty about staying up crazy late quilting away...and I may or may not have worn the same shirt and jeans for 5 days in a row. Good thing quilting doesn't work up much of a sweat.

This is a lovely Christmas quilt I quilted for Sharlene. It was done with an E2E. There are several quilts I failed to get pictures of because the lighting in my studio was rubbish and people were picking them up so fast.

This is a great big one I quilted for Joe. It was so pretty...these pictures don't do it justice.

I used an E2E named Surf. It is really fluid without seeming overly water like and it stitched out so nice. Really quick. The beast that is down on the long arm right now is taking over 2 hours per row. Not cool folks. That is WAY too long in my opinion. Longer than custom quilting. And the thread! Oh SOOOOO much thread.

I am getting off topic. This was a lovely Christmas Medallion quilt. So so pretty, but such terrible pictures. Forgive me Susan for not doing your quilt justice. Susan wanted custom quilting but not terribly tiny and dense. Some of the piecing was so tiny all I could do was Stitch in the Ditch. But I think I remained pretty consistent with the scale of the piecing and the scale of the quilting.

You can't tell, but there is a different snow flake in each log cabin block. Most of this quilt was quilted free hand and heaps of ruler work, but there was some Statler (digital) work as well. The snowflakes and the wide border were digitized.

This one was for Elizabeth. She wanted it custom quilted and it was a blast to do! Lots of ruler work and free hand quilted. I am so much faster freehand than having to program in Computer options. I LOVE it when the quilt lends itself to me just doing my thing.

The fabric is Charlie Harper by Birch fabric. So so so soft!

Next up is this awesome raindrop quilt by Sandi. I love pretty much everything about this quilt. When I saw it my breath caught in my throat and I knew EXACTLY how I wanted to quilt it.

Swirls in the rain drops and long tiny raindrops in the background. I just adore how it turned out.

This last quit is also Sandi's. It is made with Angela Walters' Athena fabric. This was soon fun to quilt. I tried to channel Angela and quilt up a storm.

Here is a little bit of detail. I tell you it is tricky to get good pictures of quilts sometimes and get them out the door in a reasonable amount of time.

This on is one I did for Cheryl. It started out as an E2E, but there wasn't enough texture so I went back in and added more lines free hand. I think it turned out really modern and clean.

That's it for now! I still have one more Christmas quilt for a client, then I will quilt for my own kids. I am really excited about what I am making them.

Have a great weekend!