Food for thought.

Memory is a wonderful treasure chest for those who know how to pack it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On a mission.....

First off, I was on a mission to get ALL my Halloween obligations done as my youngest grandson didn't have a Halloween pillowcase for trick or treating this year so he ordered one that had to have spiders.  I had to order spider fabric.  Better yet, this fabric glows in the dark (the spiderwebs)

It came in the mail this week and I have the pillowcase all made and ready for him  on Thursday when I see him.


Then what I really wanted to get done this week was my yellow/cream  checkerboard quilt.  I worked on getting everything cut and prepped for my sew-in with my gal pals on Tuesday.  I didn't get the whole thing together that day because I had to leave early, but I did finish it on Wednesday.  This isn't the best picture as it is huge and no one is going to be able to hold it up until it gets on the long arm, so here it is draped over the ironing board.



White trying to finish this one up this evening, we lost electricity.  So while I was working on the last few seams and had to stop because I couldn't use the sewing machine,  I used my reading light flashlight to pin the remaining seams. 

It came in handy because by the time I had the rest of the seams pinned, the electricity came back on and I could complete the quilt.

Now to see if I have enough fabric for the binding and figure out what I want for the back.

I just love getting projects done.  Now...what will I work on while I am waiting for a backing for this quilt?   Hmmmmm......

Oh, I should mention, too, that this week my friends and I attended a trunk show showcasing Gudrun Erla.  Wow!  What wonderful quilts.  She's great, too. 

I came away so inspired and ready to try something that I ended up buying one of her rulers AND two patterns.

The first was Strip Ribbons.  I plan on looking in my stash to see if I have enough of my French General (which I had tons of !) I think this will be a great quilt for that.



Also, I picked up Kira and some fabric to play a little.


The fabrics are Zen Chic.  I can't wait to see how this turns out. 

I guess this will be the next quilt to go under the needle.  We'll see!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Finishing up.....

Gathering Baskets is completely done now.  The binding was attached and hand sewn down last night.


Then to finish up the Halloween season, I made another Halloween pillowcase because I noticed that one of my grandsons didn't have a pillowcase for trick or treating.  I had to remedy that before next Halloween and what better time than when Halloween fabric is on sale.

So I ran out today and picked up fabric and made this one this afternoon as I will be seeing him tonight.


I will have one more to make  for the littlest guy, but he requested spiders.  Hmmmm....I am not fond of spiders, but I found a "cute" spider (if they can be cute) fabric online and ordered that.  Once it gets here, I will throw that one together and then I am all caught up on Halloween pillowcases.  

Feels good to get things done and out of the sewing room.

Now....on to the next project.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Procrastinating no more......

Well, I say that tongue in cheek because I know I will procrastinate again, but for this quilt I just figured now was the time.  So I just loaded it onto my Millie.


(I am going to treat this post a bit like a tutorial for a friend)

This quilt has been sitting in the wings for a very long time.  The backing and batting were cut and ready to go, but I guess there was just that fear knowing I wanted to do custom quilting on this one and I felt so unsure.  I might say that this is MY quilt.  Of course my reservations don't make any sense since I have done custom on customer quilts, but with their quilts there is always a time limited so you usually just jump in.  

OK....now is the time.  I should say, too,  that I have quilted this quilt several times in my head, so I probably know what I am going to quilt in each area.....pretty much.  Now to put it down in stitches. 

The first thing I did was do square flowers in my half square triangles.  I have been wanting to try these flowers for some time.  



Once they were done, I advanced the quilt to the next section. This section is mostly stitch in the ditch with some loopy/feathery designs in the red flowers; and some straight line quilting in the background of the large flowers.



Next advance brings me to the baskets.



I am stitching in the ditch around all the features of the baskets and the outside of each block.  Then in the basket itself, I did the "C's" in the colored blocks only.  I am still trying to decide what to do in the larger parts of the background of each basket, but it probably won't be much.  I am putting a feather variation in the basket itself.


In the area outside of the basket, I decided to do a swirly design.


There are 12 basket blocks, so this will take some time.

I have completed  the first of three rows of baskets.  Things are going well.

Here is my final row of baskets.  I finally have this quilting design down pat.  I can outline the basket and do all the "c's" in the colored portion of the basket all in one fell swoop.


  I do this after doing all the stitch in the ditch of the block, the sashing and working on some of the half square triangles as I go.

If you can see, I haven't touched the top border.  It is a large piece (although pieced).  It just isn't done in "blocks".  So, when I get to the end of this quilt, my intention is to take this quilt off the rails, turn it and then reload it.  At that point everything will be stabilized and then I will be able to see the whole border.  I will then take measurements, divide it and treat it as though it were made up of half square triangles and  then quilt it as the other borders.   This is the same as I have done for the last side border.



These pictures show how I divided the border in sections (thank goodness this one worked out to 9" like the bottom border).  I drew  a diagonal line and then did  my square flowers again.


Once I turn the quilt on the long arm, I will do it once again with that plain border.   These faux  blocks will be 7" square.


Then this quilt is done and ready for binding.


Here's the pretty toile' I had in the stash to use for the backing.


I think I have had this binding made since the top was made, but I will have to go on a hunt for it first.  Once found, I plan on sitting and getting this binding on promptly.





Monday, October 30, 2017

Off to California.....

I got this quilt in the mail on October 27,  got it quilted and it's ready to go back to California today, October 30, 2017.  


It was a quick one to work on since all the customer wanted was a meander which is a good stitch for a T-shirt quilt.






My Millennium handled this quilt like a charm.  It's heavy!  It's going to be WARM, too.  


The backing was a pretty flannel print of black and grays.

I am sure hoping the recipient of this quilt lives in a cold climate like Michigan as we are  becoming quite chilly here and it will surely keep them warm and toasty.  

I used So-Fine thread top and bottom in a dark charcoal.  It blended beautifully with the backing and for the top it didn't overpower the colorful t-shirts yet blended nicely with the black sashings.  

This was a nice little reprieve from working on the huge Hawaiian shirts quilt  that I recently did and then taking time out to set up a customer's new APQS Lucey this past weekend.  

Now I am thinking of loading one of my own quilts  if I don't get another customer quilt in  before I get around to actually doing it.  

Happy quilting everyone!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Got in the organizational mood......

It's very tiresome when you aren't organized, although I thought I was.   When you have to use a flashlight to see what you have in a cubbyhole like I do to see what colors of thread  I  have.....well, needless to say, I had just had enough of that.  


So, I talked my hubby into going to the hardware today and I bought some pegboard after we had already ordered some pegs from Amazon.  By the way, he is asking me if I want to buy a bag of 50 or 100 pegs.  He said,  "you don't possibly have 50 spools of thread?  Right?"  Well, when you are long-arming....thread seems to accumulate.   I got the bag of 100.

So, we bought the pegboard and boards to mount it to today.

4 x8


Cut down to 4 x 6 .


Then down to 3 x 6'.


Cut the bracing strips and attached them to the back.




The first thing I attached to the pegboard was the magnetic IKEA spice containers that I have had for eons.  I was going to attach them to the wall, but this turns out to be a better choice.



They contain parts for the long arm, needles and my leader grip clips.

Then it was on to the pegs and getting really organized.


My leader grips are at the top and I have started adding the pegs for my threads.




Like threads are now together and I even had room for rulers.  There's still plenty of room for more, but for now I am a happy camper and everything is out in the open where I can easily see it.  So much better than digging through a pile of rulers and rummaging through threads to find the right ones.   

I think  I will pull up a chair and just stare at all this neatness.  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

To Hawaii and back.....

....or at least that's how I feel after finishing this customer quilt today.


It's a big one!  92 x 90".

Each and every shirt was a different Hawaiian print and just made me feel so tropical.  

I was all set to do a custom job on this quilt, but the customer wanted a panto, so she chose "Banana Leaf".  I don't think she could have picked a better panto for this quilt.





To better do this panto on this quilt since it had dimensional collars on each shirt, I had to tack down each collar to prevent my machine foot catching the collar and either ripping her quilt or breaking my needle.  You may be able to see the bright orange thread that I used to tack them down.  I used a bright thread so that the customer could see them to better remove them.

The back was so tropical, too.


Here's a close up.



I just had to lay out the quilt to get the full effect of this quilt and to show just how big it was.



I think she is going to really like this one.  I know it makes me happy just looking at it.  It even goes along with the beautiful weather we are still having here in  MI  (76 degrees today).  That's unheard of for us in the middle of October, but I'll take it any old day.  

Well, I think I will be dreaming of warm, balmy breezes and maybe a Pina Colada for the rest of the day today.  Who knows what tomorrow will hold.  

Happy Quilting!