Thursday, December 8, 2016

So many awesome quilts so little time!


Hi There!

It has been ages since I blogged. I feel as if I have been sewing like "a cursed princess in a fairy tale" (that is from Downton Abbey, but I like to say it when ever I can. I am in no way cursed, but I have been doing sooooo much quilting lately). So much that I just can't find the time to sit and blog like I used to. When I do have the time there is one of my 3 kids sitting at the computer working on homework. When did all homework have to be done online? Maybe I need my own computer? The thing is that my computer is an iMac. It has been great these past 5 years....but I am not sure about getting a Mac book especially since my Gammill Statler is on a PC. We bought a laptop for me last year, but so far my husband has taken it over. 

OK, Lets look at a zillion pictures. I won't be able to give each quilt the glory it deserves. but when will I have the time to sit at the computer again? If it isn't on the blog it didn't happen right? This is my record. My portfolio.


First up this awesome quilt by Hillary. She is entropyalwayswins on Instagram. I have had a quilt crush on her for a while now and was pretty geeked out when she contacted me and wanted me to quilt for her. I used to crush on fabric designers, but now that I quilt all the time I have little crushes on quilt Makers. I love watching their process and watching them make from the screen of my phone. Long arm quilting can be a pretty lonely work...but with Instagram I feel like I have a tribe. Hillary is part of my tribe (in my imagination).


So, when I first saw this quilt I thought Tin Tile Ceiling. Do you have those old houses or shops with stunning tin tiles on the ceilings? We have a heap of them here in Leavenworth, Kansas. I love how all are different, pretty simple when looked at individually, but wildly stunning as an entire ceiling. So that is how I wanted to quilt her quilt.


Hillary choose double batting. A cotton blend on the bottom and a fluffy wool on top. I love quilters dream batting. The wool is so so good.


Next up is Susan's Double wedding ring. I quilted a Dear Jane for her not too long ago.  This is a wedding quilt for her son (I think). I knew that I needed to quilt it with a pretty quick turnaround. I thought I would do arcs in all the little squarish pieces, but that would have added a week at least to the quilting. I looked at a bunch of vintage and antique quilts and I loved how they just echo quilted inside the rings. That is what I did. It gives is a little bit of a modern spin...but in reality it is anything but modern.


Feathers are so awesome. Everyday!


And the back.


This awesome quilt is by Sue. She is in my Modern quilt guild here in Kansas City.She is a fairly new quilter and decided to jump in with Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks . She gave me acres of open space to quilt. Luckily I had just taken a Compositional Quilting Class with Krista Withers (who I have know for YEARS on the Internet. She is totally awesome in real life and we stayed up way to late talking and laughing about everything) . I knew that compositional quilting quilt be perfect for this quilt.


It took a long time to quilt, but it was worth every stitch. The batting is wool and that added fluff really makes all the quilting sing.




This was seriously so fun to quilt.


The blocks were fairly small, but I tried to make them unique with a little fancier quilting than Stitch in the Ditch,




Next up is an e2e quilt. in real life there were about 9 e2e quilts, but for some reason only this one slowed down enough to post for a picture. This e2e is really pretty, but takes SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO long to quilt out.


While the above quilt was being quilted by my Stater, I quilted a sugar skull quilt for my very best friend on the planet. All the pieces were loosely glued to the piece of fabric below it. That was a bit of a surprise, but in the end it worked out ok.


I used my older machine on this quilt since it was more arty from conception.


Next up some sample sewing.....this will actually be listed in my shop as two smallish quilts. I thought it would be a good class sample, but the feedback has been that is looks too hard. It isn't really hard folks. just take it piece by piece.




Last up a Christmas quilt! Isn't this pretty? Gwen made it. The appliqued bits are wool and some parts were thick, but overall it worked out awesome. I love it and wish I would have made it!


This was another quilt that was so fun to quilt.

Thank you ladies for letting me quilt your quilts!

xo,
Tia

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Dreamscape quilt for Carrie Bloomston

Hi There Folks!

Wow. It has been such a long time since I blogged. I have been so busy quilting and I even got to take a little personal time and take a couple classes. It felt so indulgent to take some time and learn something new. I will blog about it later I hope.

Today I wanted to show you the quilt I made for quilt market. I only did one this market and I am so please that I made that decision. I figured if it was only going to be one quilt it should be a pretty wild one. 

Carrie Bloomston sent out the call for her quilting friends and as soon as I saw the fabric I knew JUST what I wanted to do with it. I have designing quilts and bags for Carrie's quilt market booth since she began designing fabric. I always love her work and her kind soul is an example for me to try to follow. 


I wanted to fussy cut and appliqué. I wanted it to be a modern broderie perse with a great deal of movement. I wanted the feathers and beautiful bees to be tossed about in a whirlwind. I was on a very quick timeline and all of this appliqué was needle turn so towards the end I was getting a little sore. I just tossed the little pink pluses down on the quilt and stitched them down where the fell. Oh! and this time I used glue stick to hold it all in place while I worked. Glue stick worked awesome!


This was the top before I quilted it. This shot does not do Carrie's wonderful colors justice. I always love her colors. I strip pieced the inner border.



I quilted it in a big radiating spiral. I have not got a perfect spiral figured out yet on the long arm, so I just did it wild and free. I love this quilting so much.


I used a wool batting because it is my favorite. You should try it next time.


Gosh I love this quilt so much. Such fun easy shapes to stitch down. I have been thinking about ordering enough of this fabric to kit the pattern...but I have never done that before and I don't know what sort of success that endeavor would be.

At any rate I loved making it. I loved the quiet stitching and the time I was able to spend sitting with my little family while I worked. I do hope appliqué becomes more popular. It is so nice to work on and let your mind wonder and dream.

Carrie Bloomston is having a giveaway on HER blog. GO there and leave a comment to win a bundle of fabric and a copy of her wonderful book The Little Spark. The winner will be selected on the first of November. You still have time to enter!




xo,
Tia

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SSG Rolfing Hero Bags

Hi There!
Long before I was a professional Long Arm Quilter I was a maker of some pretty fabulous bags. 

I have a story for you today. If you are in a hurry that is fine, just scroll through the pictures. there will be more wonderful quilts soon.

 I get asked all the time why I don't take orders for Camp Follower Bags anymore. Not too long ago I got chased down in the commissary by a lady carrying one of my bags that I made 9 years ago. She was shouting "Your Tia!!!" Indeed I am. Wow, that makes my heart sing. I know many of you did not know me during the days of Flickr so you may be unfamiliar with my Bags. (you can look at my Camp Follower Bags Blog if you like. It is still live, and you will see my cute kids when we lived in Australia).  I made bags from the uniforms of Servicemen (and women) for the folks who loved them. I didn't buy a bunch of old dirty uniforms and make bags from those, I only made bags from the actual uniform that that particular person had sweat (and often bled) in after the clients contacted me through my website. Each bag was totally unique. I think at my height of popularity I was making 12 completely different type bags that I had designed and created a pattern for. It was very difficult to keep up with demand with just me making them, but I hung in for a long time. My designs were being knocked off right and left. It was so sad to see something I worked so hard at being snatched away. I understand why it was happening...they were pretty awesome and I couldn't possibly sew for everyone. People would email me furious at my price point. Enraged I was charging for a product that took from 8 to 16 hours to make. First I had to figure out what the client wanted, what fabric to use with their uniforms, deconstruct the uniforms and then create something totally custom, beautiful and in most cases reversible. That's a tall order but I did it for hundreds of bags. And I did it with a glad heart.

 Well, not only did I make bags for service members who were alive and well, I also made the bags for the fallen soldiers' loved ones if they asked me to. I didn't charge for them because I felt it would be wrong. I was honored to do it.  I did it with love.

Well The Hero bags, as I called them is what ended up making my whole business come to an exhausted halt. Towards the end I started getting requests for Hero Bags from women whose husbands weren't dead at all. Heck some of the ladies had nothing whatsoever to do with the military, they just wanted a free bag. These people clearly had no clue what is was like to get the call or visit that would send your world crashing or to see a friend break. I suppose they were going to use it as a talking piece? Frankly I have no clue why they would want one. My market was as niche as they come.  It broke off a chunk of my heart when I got request after request that turned out to be false. I was just done. 

I changed lanes from making awesome quilted bags to quilting awesome quilts.

I just want you all to know why I quit. I loved it so much, but it became too much for one woman and quilting is so much easier.

This is the last part of a Hero Bag order that I started on over 2 years ago. Margie is the mother of SSG Rolfing. I have never met her, but from our correspondence she must be one of the most wonderful and patient people on the planet and my soul aches for her loss. If you have the time please go read about SSG Rob Rolfing.  Go read about Margie's son. Know that we all lost a fine man. 


Margie wanted me to make duffel bags for her grandsons. Rob's nephews. Out of the 12 type bags I have made in the past, none of them were duffle bags. The trouser leg just wasn't wide enough, there wasn't enough fabric. I started on these bags so many times but put them away because I just didn't have enough uniform to make them happen. Finally I forced myself to do it. I ended up using every single bit of the trousers to make these bags. The inside out pockets, the fly, the reinforced knee and rump. All of it got used. Frankly when I first spoke to Margie I did not have the skill to make this bag...or to figure out how to make it happen. I am a much better maker now.  This was the time for it to happen.


The bags are quilted just like all my other Camp Follower bags are, I even used variegated thread.


I used Rob's patches and one of his favorite shirts to make the sides of the duffel bags.


One of the bags turned out about an inch longer than the other and I couldn't find a zipper to fit. As a last resort I took one of the zippers from an old ACU and it fit perfectly. It was like it was meant to be. Maybe it was one of his friends? At any rate I started sobbing. Silly right? Many folks cry about zippers, but not for the reason I was.


Margie, thank you for letting me make these bags. I am so sorry it took me so long to make the time to figure them out. I hope the boys love them and wear them out after years of sleep overs, visits to you, hiking trips and just all out use.

xo,
Tia

Thursday, August 18, 2016

More Quilts

Hi there Everyone!
I hope you are all doing well. I have been busy these last few weeks of summer. My website www.tiacurtisquilts.com is up and live. Thank you all so much for visiting it and looking around. The feedback has been great and I am so happy it has been helpful to you all to be able to pick your own e2e designs from the multitude that I have available. I will be adding more, so check back often. I had to stop for a while because they all started looking the same. 

My kids went back to school this week and I have been feeling a little lost without their racket and squabbling. The Long arm has been stitching away though and I have many wonderful quilts to work on and a couple patterns to get finished up and published on the website. My husband is in charge of the technology side of our business and is eagerly awaiting me to put on the finishing touches so he can hit the publish button.


Lets look at some pretty quilts! This is a chevron that I finished a bit ago for Nancy. I may have already blogged about it.But lets look at it again. I quilted another gorgeous quilt for her, but I failed to get a single real picture of it before giving it back to her at KCMQG last week.


I LOVE these vines. They are so wild and whimsical. Easy and quick to do too. In the Kaffe Fasset fabric I did rather simple quilting.





Here is a little wall hanging I quilted for Lori. Don't these flowers look like a pretty bunch of  ranunculus? It was very fun to quilt.


I especially love that last border quilting. This design is in Jodi Robinson's little book. I just love how fun it was to quilt.


This will be the first quilt pattern I publish independently. I have many patterns in books and magazines, but I am excited to offer exclusive ones on my own. I didn't choose contrasting flowers/background very well and that is frustrating, so I had to try to outline the appliqué with black sketchy quilting.


This is a custom job I did for Kelly and the quitl shope she works at The Modern Quilter in Omaha, Nebraska. It will be a Block of the Month. The pictures don't do it justice, but I was loosing my light and had to take some quick pictures before I jumped in the car and dashed off to Kansas City for guild.


I had this massive blue open space to quilt. I chose a big blue vine/feather and some swirls.


Its so hard to see, but the main blocks have echo quilting or some curved cross hatching.


This was a really fun quilt to work on. I have also been flying through edge to edge quilts too. I did 3 yesterday and 4 more over the last 2 days.

Well I hope you all enjoy your last bit of summer and if your kids are in school too I hope you can get some sewing done just for the fun of it!

xo,
Tia

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Mighty Savannah


Hi there! I got to quilt another quilt on my bucket list! When my friend Stephanie called me and asked me if I was interested in quilting her Savannah Lion quilt she was making for Cherrywood Fabrics I didn't hesitate to say YES!!! This is a quilt I have seen floating around the internet and I have loved it. I knew I absolutely did not have the patience to make it, but I was dying for someone to have me quit theirs for them.


I knew just how I wanted to quilt it! I wanted straight lines in the face and a wild mane.


For that fantastic teal and aqua background I quilted small scale grid and swirls (which I am totally crushing on at the moment).



The eye got a swirl. I do wish I would have used black thread, but oh well,


I love this quilt. Wool batting, 4 5 different colors of thread and I think 5 days of quilting. I probably could have done it in 3 days, but my kids kept having to eat and I kept having the sleep at night and the pool called a couple times to ask where we were (not really, but we did go to the pool. It is summer after all.)

Have the best day ever!
Tia Curtis

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tia Curtis Quilts Website is now live!

Hi there folks!

I am so happy to announce that my new website is live. You can choose from hundreds of Edge to edge (E2E) designs for your next quilt. All but 3 are $.02 cents a square inch. The price includes cream or white thread. If you want a special color thread that is fine to, I will just need to order it for you. My E2E turnaround is pretty quick still. The custom work is what takes so long.

You will still need to email me so I can send you an order form. I do like to talk with clients a bit before they send me their quilts.  I like to have a mental triage going. You can contact me through the contact page of the website, or you can just email me directly. Its easy. Have the best day folks! If you are poking around my website and notice something crazy that clearly does not belong there please let me know and Stu or I will fix it.

I still have a ton of designs to load up but they were all beginning to look the same so I called it quits for the time being, Next items to add to the website are patterns. I have written so many over the years, I just need to get them looking uniform so they will be pretty for you.

Have a great day folks!

xo,
Tia