Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beautiful Applique

I ran off to my local quilt guild meeting Monday night. (The line from the movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou" pops in my head about the boy's mom "running O-F-T" when I say that) Frances Calhoun was presenting her applique work and it was beautiful!


The detail in her work is just incredible! I didn't realize I had my camera in my purse until after most of her bigger quilts had been shown. But I did get a few to show you with her permission.


George, below, may have been done by machine, but most of her applique is done by hand as is all her quilting. Her mariner's stars/NY beauty type blocks are all traditionally pieced too, no paper piecing for her!


Her style is different from mine, for sure, but we both agree that "our way" is just what works for us and each of us has to find our own way.


I have had an increasing interest in applique as I think it's a great medium for creating quilts that let my quilting really shine. I'm all about the quilting!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventures: Scroll Flower Week 3

I've got to admit I almost didn't get this week's Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventure post up! It's been such beautiful weather here and I didn't want to spend more time at the computer.

Free motion quilting: scroll flower

I had a few folks mention that they were having trouble spacing the scroll flowers in such a way as to keep odd areas filled in. So I shot another video on the design and I hope it helps you with how to work the design closer together for an even fill.


If you are new to this design, draw it out a few times before starting to quilt it. Link up to share what you've done this week with this design, even if it's just a drawing. We can each work on our skill with this design and see how much each of us has improved.

Some quick rules:

  • Keep your post relevant to this quilt along please. Spammy posts will be deleted.
  • Make sure you link up to the individual post, not your home page as nobody wants to have to search around for the post if they're a little late to the party.
  • Link back to this post somewhere in your post. You've got to dance with the one who took you to the party, so make sure you link back. You can use my button for this series on the right sidebar or a text link in your post, or even both.
  • Don't be a wall-flower. (Talking to myself here too. In person I am so stinking shy!) Visit the other links and leave comments.
  • Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply commenter, especially if you ask a question.
  • Visit others who have linked up and be sociable!
Don't forget to bookmark this blog, follow, or sign it up in your favorite feed reader. Like the facebook page (I do post some short things on it pretty regularly), or even check out my Pinterest boards. I'll be visiting you too!




Friday, April 18, 2014

Free Motion Quilting Video: Tying and Burying Thread Ends

'Garden Gal' asked for video showing how I knot and bury threads when I free motion quilt. I was happy to oblige!


Now, back to quilting on the farm quilt, if I can! Why must there always be dishes, laundry, mouths to feed? My parents have run off to Paris for a 30 year wedding anniversary trip, and I have suggested that next week my hubby should take the kids to their house so I can quilt with no interruptions.

Craftsy is having a big sale this weekend on fabric, yarn, and kits!

Big hugs to all of you who peek in at my quilty world and enjoy sharing my free motion adventures! There's a bunch of you and I am blessed by you!

May you all have a lovely Easter or Resurrection Sunday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Free Motion Quilting Farm Adventure

I'm still quilting away on the farm quilt, and it's coming along very well despite the interruptions (aka my wonderful family) when I have to stop and go do something else. I am one super blessed lady for a multitude of reasons (which I tend to forget all too often), but yesterday I was free motion quilting my heart out and stitched right across this pin! Twice. One stitch into the pin, one across, and one more right out of the pin!


Didn't break the needle either! For making the boneheaded mistake (again) of leaving a pin too close to the needle, I won't even complain of the stitch ripping that followed so I could tie off threads and start again without a noticeable spot showing.

Another blessing: my 4y.o. is taking a rare nap while I'm working on this post!


I'm putting rulerwork in the form of 3/4 inch curved crosshatching around the scene. It makes it look like a picture frame.


I'll get a post up soon with more information about using longarm rulers on a domestic sewing machine to do lines. It's a great technique, made possible by Janome with the convertible free motion foot set and the ruler toe (packaged for the 1600P).

BTW, Janome just jumped into the deep waters of the world that is Pinterest. If you love Janome machines like I do, you might want to go check their boards out!


I thought I was doing great marking the feather border on this quilt- it lined up perfectly with the curved crosshatching shapes.....and then I got to the other corner! Blast. I swore I had worked it all out.

Can you see in the picture below that the next curve would had come out as a point in the corner instead of a curve? This will need some tweaking, but I went ahead with the curved crosshatching in the meantime.


I had even marked the outer edges of my feather plumes as I went. Not a big deal, but I do some pretty stupid stuff sometimes!

A note about my post where I had asked for comments about how you keep track of to-do lists, appointments, etc. I got some great responses! Am I all organized now? Hardly. But I'm making progress. Some of the progress has been hampered by moving to a different computer to do my work. I finally decided the pain of switching and using a few different programs and such was worth it to be on a different computer than the kids. I'm using index cards for some lists to carry in my purse. And the note function on my very basic cell phone for a few shopping lists. I'm using my huge dry erase board still for long range things, goals, etc., but trying to take an updated picture of it occasionally with my tablet so I can make it "portable"! I still spaced out on an event this week though....

I hope you've gotten some quilting time this week and don't forget to join in the Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventure or go visiting the participants.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventures: Scroll Flower #2

Another week has flown by and it's time for the Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventure, featuring the scroll flower design.

I've said you can size this to fit any project, from background filler to large motif. So I decided to do a project to show you a larger version.

I've got all these samples sitting around my quilting area. Recognize this McTavishing from last month? My hubby has mentioned our hot pads were in sad shape and so it was time to make a few new ones.


I cut some old sample quilt sandwiches into 9 inch squares and layered them with a square of pretty fabric and a seamed piece. The seamed piece isn't stitched in the middle, so I can turn the square right-side out through it.


Trimmed the corners first, then turned and pressed each hot pad, top-stitched around the edges, then I quilted them.


The first one I quilted a bit off center and filled in with some leaves.


I marked the center of the rest before quilting as a target for the center of my scroll. This kept the design much more centered.
And I finally made a button for these Free Motion Mondays!
Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures

If you want to use the button on your blog to show your participation in these quilt-alongs, or would like to put the button on your blog, the code is on my right sidebar.

If you are new to this design, draw it out a few times before starting to quilt it. Link up to share what you've done this week with this design, even if it's just a drawing. We can each work on our skill with this design and see how much each of us has improved.

Some quick rules:

  • Keep your post relevant to this quilt along please. Spammy posts will be deleted.
  • Make sure you link up to the individual post, not your home page as nobody wants to have to search around for the post if they're a little late to the party.
  • Link back to this post somewhere in your post. You've got to dance with the one who took you to the party, so make sure you link back.
  • Don't be a wall-flower. (Talking to myself here too. In person I am so stinking shy!) Visit the other links and leave comments.
  • Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply commenter, especially if you ask a question.
  • Visit others who have linked up and be sociable!
Don't forget to bookmark this blog, follow, or sign it up in your favorite feed reader. Like the facebook page (I do post some short things on it pretty regularly), or even check out my Pinterest boards. I'll be visiting you too!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Big Border Blues

I promised myself several months ago that I was going to work on smaller projects for my free motion quilting adventures and yet, I agreed to this commissioned project. Silly me. Then I went and designed it with huge borders!


I am making the finish of the farm quilt my number one quilty priority and the push is on to accomplish the goal so I can move on to any number of ideas I have rattling around in my addled mind.


I am marking these 12 inch wide borders now. Kimmy Brunner sure makes it look easy in my Craftsy class, Machine Quilting with Templates ! I think I need to order a few more templates from Accents in Design as I think I need the larger sizes for borders like this.

I want to do some curved crosshatching and feathers in the border. I've figured out the placement of the curved crosshatching, but I still need to figure out how to run the feather spines.

I needed to divide segments by 3-7/8 inches, so I used painter's tape to easily find the makings on my ruler. I'm using chalk to mark my lines. I am kicking myself for not picking up one of those chalk mechanical pencils that makes a nice fine line when I was in town yesterday.

I can't wait to see how it will turn out! LOL (Let's assume it turns out....)

Updated Saturday to add: Craftsy is doing a sale this weekend on selected classes!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Free Motion Quilting on the Farm

My free motion quilting adventure has taking me to the farm! I've been working on this quilt for far too long and it's time to "git 'er done" My client and friend (very understanding, patient, dear friend) wanted to gift another friend something with a farm theme, but not a cutesy quilt.

free motion quilting farm scene

How often do you get to quilt a chicken, a dog, and even a leaky water trough?


I quilted in some McTavishing to represent the water spilling out of the trough.

free motion quilting

I really enjoyed this overlapping flower design that I worked into several parts of the quilt. I think it would make a great overall design. It reminds me of a Baptist fan design, but with a flower.

free motion quilting

 This quilt is the biggest thing I hope to make for a while. I had told my friend that I wasn't going to make anything big for a while, but she really wanted a bed quilt. This is a bit of a compromise, 72x72inches. Big enough to lay out over a bed, but not entirely enough to sleep under.

free motion quilting farm scene

Now I need to mark and quilt the border. I really enjoyed this project, but I need some smaller projects so I can get the satisfaction of more completed tasks and projects to balance the frustrations of never ending dishes, laundry, etc.

I am feeling very spread thin trying to keep up with all the things I've got going on right now. I'm having a little trouble keeping up with my email and responding to comments, so please forgive me if I don't respond to every comment. I do read all of them and they help me keep writing this blog. I try to answer all the questions that I get in comments, so keep 'em coming!

So, now I've got a question for you: Do you have a special method that helps you schedule or keep up with a busy life? I need to tweak what I'm doing. (Homeschooling, working from home with blog, quilting, etc. Plus the typical appointments and to-do lists) I prefer a calendar on my wall and a huge dry erase board- both aren't very portable! But I'm afraid of going digital- wondering if it will be visual enough for me. Thoughts?