Food for thought.

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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Busy couple of days.

Rainbow boxes was completed on Saturday and is being picked up on Wednesday.

Sunday was spent with my girls canning.

One daughter mentioned she didn't want to go overboard like we did last year when we did 4 1/2 bushels of tomatoes.  It was an all day job!

So, instead we did 2 bushel  which reaped 45+ quarts

AND then we did 20 quarts of pickled beans.

So, still ended up being an all day job.  Seems to me that was six and one-half dozen of another.  Now to remember that next year so we don't go overboard again.  

It was a good day though spending it with my girls.  

Monday I spent the morning helping my daughter at the kids' school preparing for open house.  My grands go to the same school their mom went to and I went to, so it was a fun morning.  

For lunch I met up with my gal pals (ended up being a LONG lunch) and we caught up on what's been happening in our lives this summer.  Summertime is always so busy, we find it hard to get together.   I did pick up a couple quilts from Nancy to quilt.  I loaded one of hers today (Tuesday) and it is ready to start.  

I know I have shown this quilt in progress in the past.  It is paper pieced and the courthouse steps are tiny. 

See that tiny square in the middle?

That square is 1/2" square.  I am telling you....these blocks are small. 

This is a gorgeous quilt and I hope I can do it justice.  

So, I may not have gotten one of my quilts on the longarm today, but this one will be worthwhile working on.  

I may not get her second one on as I am awaiting two bolts of batt to come in the mail.  I am at the tail end of the one I have been working from; so, if that takes too long, I do have a package of batt for my quilt.  Time will tell what will come next.  

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rainbow Boxes

I am going to call this customer quilt Rainbow Boxes because I don't know the original name and because she used a plethora of scrappy fabrics in creating these beautiful rainbow colored blocks.  

Fortunately for her, I didn't have anything on the machine when  she handed it over to me, so I loaded it right away and that evening I had probably two thirds of it quilted.  Now.....if it hadn't been Dream Cruise weekend on Woodward Ave in Detroit (my husband waits for this all year long), I probably would have had it done right away. to Woodward we went several nights this week and most of the day today (Saturday, the official day of Dream Cruise).  

So, upon coming home today after the Cruise, I decided to finish this one up.  

I used Black Glide thread on top and  black Fil-Tec on the bottom and used the pantograph called Ribbons and Roses.  I thought this was very appropriate as it is a bridal shower gift.  

So, it is all complete and ready to be given back to the customer in plenty of time for her to get the binding on for her shower.

Hopefully, I can get one of my quilts on the machine tomorrow.  The one I have planned is the last one on my "to be quilted" pile.  I do have a couple more that "should" be on that pile, but I am just not ready to do those yet as far as experience goes.  So, we will see what time allows.

Feels good to get another one off the machine though!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Taking this as a learning experience.

So, I am guessing that I am glad this quilt is mine.  

I loaded it just before heading up to the Grand Rapids AQS quilt show knowing full well that when I came back it would be ready and waiting for me.  

Well, after accepting three quilts from a customer yesterday....I thought I had better hop to it.  

I am thoroughly disappointed in my workmanship on this quilt.  I am sure you are looking at it and saying "what are you talking about?", but if this had been a customer quilt, I would have changed course almost immediately.

I started out using red thread on the red and green areas.  I like how it looks from the front, so that is one good thing.  These are blocks that I won at a quilt retreat  (block lotto)  and not all of them were pressed with seams going in the right directions and I had to deal with some VERY thick seams  which in turn "bumped" my foot from going in a nice smooth line.

Then I went back and did all the white areas with white thread doing feathers.  They didn't turn out too bad.

Then I went back and tried out the dreaded metallic thread for the first time.  I have heard so many horror stories about metallic thread...breaking, causing major headaches, etc.....and I had none of that.  I adjusted my tension and found that sweet spot immediately and all my spirals sewed up great.  I am really happy about that!

Here's a couple close ups of the quilting on top. 

Doesn't look too terribly bad.

Here's the back with the extra blocks that I had. I used up a lot of different whites to make the back.  No close ups though because this is where I am really disappointed in my quilting.  

I DO NOT like using a dark colored thread (here I used red) on a white backing.  It shows every wobble and discrepancy.  Lesson learned.  I won't do that again.  

I will show you the backs of the stars which aren't half bad, but the points just aren't what they should be because of all those thick seams.

The stitching on the alternate blocks is where the problems lie.  

Here is the completed top.   

I will bind it in red and then put it in the washer and dryer.  I find that sometimes when there is a quilt that you just aren't crazy about, once you wash and dry it and get that comfy, crinkly look, it changes the character of the quilt.  I will see if that will salvage this quilt for me; otherwise, it will make a great charity quilt.  

So....overall, it was a  good experience in that it was practice which makes perfect; my tension was good; I practiced feathers; and I learned to love metallic thread.  Those are all good things.  

I'll let you know how the rest of this goes.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Grand Rapids AQS quilt show.

I hadn't mentioned it before, but I got to work the APQS booth at the Grand Rapids AQS Quilt show this past week.  This was a first for me and was quite the learning experience.  Long hours, lots of standing on your feet, but fun to meet so many people and talk about the machines that I love. 

I got to work with Angela from Quilted Joy who is a long-time friend of mine, too.  Tony, who is well known to all the APQS people out there was, also, in our booth and was a joy to work with.  He didn't make it into our picture above as he was off taking care of all your e-mails.  

We did set up on Tuesday; worked the booth Wednesday through Saturday and then there was a mad rush to get the booth tore down right after the show.  The whole week was a whirlwind.

I did get some opportunities to run through the show and see the vendors and the quilts.  I am sure you have seen many pictures of the quilts on other blogs, but here are a few of my favorites along with some of the awesome quilting that was done on them.

Love the stars, the colors and the falling bits.  

A mother's love (sigh!)

Love the quilting.

Another one that I loved the quilting. 

Loved the soft touch of dyeing that was done on these feathers.

This was just awesome.

Loved the neutral background with the pop of red.  

Loved the color on this one.  

Absolutely loved the movement in this quilt.  

More color!!!

This was just a "wow" quilt.  

The one good thing about working the show is that I didn't have time to dilly dally at each of the vendors which is when I find that I impulse buy.  I am sure they aren't happy to hear that, but I did have a mental list of what I wanted.  

Superior Threads was just a couple of booths away from us and I wanted to stock up on some thread. 

I bought a couple of pinks for a quilt that has been waiting on the TBQ pile for some time but I am waiting to get good enough to do it.  The yellow is for some future baby quilts.  The chartreuse and orange are my favs for baby quilts and I needed to restock on those two.  

The green is, also, for that quilt that is waiting for me to get good and the other three (tan, purple and dk gray) are just to have on hand.

Then I couldn't resist trying out a couple of variegated threads.  The green will work on any quilt that has a lot of green and the crayola colored one is another one that will look great on a baby quilt or one with colorful blocks on white......or maybe that is just my excuse to buy them.   

Also, I just had to try a metallic and see if I can work with it on my machine.  I have a quilt loaded on the Millie right now that I might just try this in some areas.  

It is silver.  I hope I can get it to work.  It will look great. is the quilt that I have loaded on the machine right now.  

Right now I am planning on using red and white Glide thread on this and somewhere I am going to try and incorporate the silve metallic thread.

Ok...that's a lot to take in on one post, so stay tuned for some progress on the above quilt.  

Friday, August 5, 2016

Merry and Bright

Yes, I am thinking a little Christmas here but that is only because I finally got this little wall hanging on and off the long arm.  

I had won this little kit from Bunny Hill Designs for commenting on her blog.  You can visit her blog  here.....Merry and Bright

Anyways, the top has been done for some time, but as usual, it got set to the bottom of the pile to get quilted.  Well, I am nearing the bottom of that UFO (to be quilted) pile and in plenty of time before Christmas.  Of course, I can only say that if I get the binding on in time.  The binding is made, so I really have no excuse.  

Anyways, I thought I would show you some close ups of the quilting.  

I was going to do some micro stippling around the bulbs....and I did, but hated it and had to rip out.  That resulted in 10 minutes of sewing and 2 hours of ripping.  So, I decided less is more and then just decided to stitch in the ditch, stitch around the bulbs, made a little snowflake in the cornerstones and did a variation of a feather in the border.  

All this was in the kit.  

I did have to purchase some fabric for the backing and fell in love with these adorable ice skates fabric.

Not sure if you can see the quilting on this, but I used a pink for stitching in the ditch and an ivory for sewing around the bulbs.  The micro stitching I had done was taking away from the adorable fabrics so that is something you should take into consideration when quilting for yourself.  

I have a candy cane stripe fabric for the binding and hope to get that one on within the next few hours; and get a sleeve on this one, too.  

So....I almost made it for Christmas in July.  I'm just a couple days late, but definitely in time for Christmas.  

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Grandma's Quilt

This is the name my customer gave her quilt that I just quilted for her.  

For reference sake, I am calling it Crosses in Squares.  

I was having trouble coming up with a quilt design on this one so put it out there amongst my long arm friends and it was suggested I do feathers and some ruler work in the crosses.  Thanks Shirley.  Sometimes when the fabrics are so busy, it is hard to decide what to do with a quilt and then you resort to a panto, but in this case, I don't think the feathers are lost in the design. 

So, here are some  close-ups of the quilting.

Before I had even seen the backing for this quilt, I had decided on using a melon (orange-y) colored thread for the quilting.  (So Fine top and bottom).  Orange just seemed to shine through on this quilt.

Then I saw the backing. 

I guess orange was the right choice.  

Sure hoping my customer likes this one.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Completed my mission....

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was under some pressure to get a baby quilt made for later this month.  The mom-to-be is doing the baby's room in purple, teal and gray with a theme of stars. So, I made these liberated stars to start with.  

Then with my variety of grays, I started string piecing with  my stars being in various positions within the block.  

I tried arranging the stars (one per block) in a pleasing arrangement. 

Three blocks and I was really liking it. 

This is how I worked around my stars by putting them where I thought they would look best and then doing the strings. 

Sixteen blocks complete.

Top is complete.  Surprising how out in the sunlight you can see how warm some of those grays are.  

Then I got side tracked by my grandson who wanted a baseball pillow.  It was his 7th birthday and I had promised this pillow some time ago, so I thought I had better get it done. 

Got it done on his birthday. 

Thank goodness  I had a stitch on my machine that looked like the stitching on a baseball; otherwise, I could see me having to do hand embroidery work for this pillow.  

Plus, he loves minky, so I had some scrap minky and had just enough to put a zipper in and cover the back of his pillow.  

Ok....back to the baby quilt. 

I got it on the long arm  and did a panto called Patriot, but since this theme was stars and this is going to be for  a little girl, I figured if I stitched this in purple, we can call it little girl ribbons and stars.  Here's a few close ups of the stitching.  

The top is finished.  

....and the silvery gray minky really shows off the quilting in this picture.  

The binding is a gradient gray and white diagonal.  I love stripes for bindings.  

So the quilt is done in plenty of time.  Yeah!!!

Onto some customer quilts now.