I’ve been on a Pantograph buying spree lately! Here are the new designs that can be longarmed on your quilt!
Be sure to check out my Quilting Designs to see all your options. (Which by the way has been updated into hopefully an easier to read format!)
Good Vibrations 2
Ebb and Flow
Bump & Squeeze
Monday evening this came off the longarm!
It’s for the Quilt of Valor program & will most likely to given to a local Veteran.
If you’re not familiar with the Quilts of Valor program, I high recommend checking out their website. It’s a fantastic program that supports combat veterans & those who were touched by war.
It was pieced by Anna D. & she used the Disappearing 9-Patch pattern. This is a great pattern for scraps & works up quickly!
I used a new pantograph, Zebra by Hermoine Agee- it reminds me of the flag waving in the breeze.
For the backing Anna used the 10″ square method. I’ve never used a backing like this before & I was quite impressed by how easily it worked. It’s also nice because it guarantees the longarmer to have enough extra fabric. We need the extra room in a backing in order to pin it to our leaders (that’s how we get the quilts on the frame) & for our clamps to hold the sides to prevents puckers.
It was a joy to quilt & I can’t wait to longarm Anna’s next quilt! The recipient is sure to love this quilt.
It’s time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again!
This year I’m submitting a special quilt that’s part of a larger project I’m working on. This is one of seven quilts I’m making with my Mom’s group for graduating foster teens in the City of Alexandria.
These teens leave the foster system only with the items given to them by a proactive community member who works tirelessly on their behalf.
Nationwide 1/3 of them do not have a high school diploma.
Due to limited work histories, many find it difficult to obtain employment. Those who do typically work in positions where they can easily be exploited or find it difficult to increase their independence.
One day they are considered a child by the state, and the next day they are on their own responsible for everything.
I was drawn to help these teens and I was thrilled when my mom’s group wanted to help! We are sewing string blocks
during nap times, in the evenings, anytime we can grab a few minutes together. These women have newborns & twins, but all of us have babies under two. Once or twice a week we get together at my house & we work while the babies play (ok, & sometimes we play more than work!) I love this project because the string quilts don’t require advanced quilting skills & there’s plenty of work for non-sewers to do! In fact, we can assembly line these blocks easily where one person sews & another presses.
It means a lot to me that these teens receive the quilts. I worked with foster kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Alaska & this is what I know about them:
– These are the easily forgotten.
– They are talented at making themselves invisible.
– They have had their hearts broken numerous times.
– They are beautiful lives that deserve to be made whole again.
These quilts for them. To give them something that will keep them warm- no matter where they are sleeping. To give them something from moms in their community to let them know they are cared about. To give them a reminder that someone has not forgotten about them.
If you’re interested in how to make a difference for foster teens graduating out of your local area- the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
can help you!
Linking up with the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side
In my last post I mentioned that I didn’t have any pictures from the trunk show. Well, that same day a woman who attended the trunk show shared with me the pictures she took.
This is sweet quilt I made for a class sample. This is one of my favorite patterns for beginners.
These are a few of the first quilts I longarmed. I’ve learned a lot since those days!
This is called a winding ways quilt. I started this in Alaska & only recently finished it.
A Seven Sisters quilt! One of my favorite patterns!
A log cabin quilt I made with a friend
while J was deployed.
A Double Wedding Ring quilt! This is one of my personal favorites & was a feat to accomplish, but it was well worth the effort.
The sunflower quilt! My only hand quilted quilt! My sister pieced the top & I quilted it, took 15 years & I’ll never hand quilt again….
And my first official quilt! Just look at those pastel calicoes from the 1980s!
Thank you Heather for your pictures!
Last Friday several ladies from my mom’s group came to my house for a trunk show. Several of the women recently started quilting & had heard I was a quilter & were very interested in seeing my work. So 5 ladies, 7 babies & many cups of tea filled our living room that beautiful morning!
I gathered most of my quilts from various places in the house (closets, quilt racks, boxes, backs of chairs, beds, & cribs) & chose my “favorite” quilts I wanted to chat about.
I knew in planning my talk that I wanted to share more than just the stats about the quilt. I mean, there’s so much more to a quilt than what fabric I used, what pattern I chose & how I quilted it. I wanted to share my story through the quilts & my thoughts on quilting as a hobby or vocation.
It was a wonderful experience to share from my first to my most recent quilt & be able to talk about who I was at the time I made it.
Because, when we create we are invited to learn a new piece about ourselves. And when we continue to create, we are able to remember who we are.
I could go on & on about last line, in fact, I think I will in a bit (I hear Teapot waking up….)
I didn’t get any pics of the trunk show, but after everyone left there was a heap of quilts in the middle of the living room & Teapot took to climbing & hugging the pile. Or actually this pic might have been after all the playing when she was tired (but not too tired to actually nap!)
This is another quilt I longarmed for Quilts from the Bluffs. Isn’t it the most darling little quilt?
I love the design & balance of this quilt.
The 9-patches are bold & distinctively stand out in the quilt. And by adding in the skinny teal inner border they gave the quilt a nice “pop”. Now your eye isn’t getting bored with looking at pink & brown.
The complementary print fabric adds texture and subtlety- see how it appears to hang out in the background & doesn’t overpower the 9-patches? This is a great use of a print fabric!
Then the added brown cornerstones in the outside border then create a sense of continuity.
For the quilting I chose the pattern “Jilly” by Keryn Emmerson
because the round design worked with the flowers in the print while at the same time the center of the swirls gives some dimension to the quilt.
This quilt is one of the best examples of traditional quilt design I’ve seen recently. I hope this quilt is kept a little girl warm this chilly winter!
I was going through old pictures & couldn’t believe I never shared this beautiful quilt with ya’ll!
This was a donation quilt for Quilts from the Bluffs
a few years ago, pieced by one of their members & that I quilted.
Since the fabrics reminded me of a reproduction look, I wanted to use a classic quilting pattern to bring justice to the quilt. The Baptist Fan pattern was the perfect choice!
I love how it adds a nice subtle background texture, yet doesn’t distract from the overall design. In fact, the clam shells help add an element of movement that works with the diagonal stripes.
The Baptist Fan pattern is one of my all time favorites- it’s classic, simple & elegant. What more could we ask from a design?
What an amazing year this was!
- I had a baby…
- I started selling my patterns…
- I started teaching kids how to sew through collage & improv sewing…
- We bought a house…
- I grew my longarming business…
- We started moving…
- I think somewhere in there I quilted 3 personal UFOs… (make that 4 actually. Yeah, I’ll blog about the other 2 eventually!)
Whew! That was a lot!
I’m very excited about 2015!
- We’ll finish moving (yay!!!!)
- I’ll have a new studio space (it’s be-oooo-tiful!)
- A mobile baby (yikes!)
- New patterns to publish (exciting!)
- Will begin teaching private lessons (yay! One long term goal finally achieved!)
- Will continue teaching kids thru Art at the Center (this makes my heart happy)
I can’t thank you enough for all your support this year- new clients who trusted me with their quilts, those who purchased patterns from me and those who kept reading this blog even while I posted intermittently. Your support means so much to me & I can’t wait for what 2015 brings!
Around week 39 of pregnancy I suddenly couldn’t stand coffee. I tried for about two days to choke down the stuff, but I finally gave up & made some tea- I’ve been drinking tea ever since.
I’ll give everyone a moment to process that- I’m not drinking coffee anymore! (And I haven’t completely lost my marbles!)
I realized a tea cozy would be helpful to keep my tea from going cold in the mornings & a few weeks ago I had the sudden need to do some improv piecing, so I decided to finally make the cozy.
I used the template and basic directions from Lily’s Quilts. Which was an excellent tutorial! (Although it I were to make this again I’d tweak the template to fit my teapot better.) For the piecing I used a foundation piecing technique with my scrap batiks. (I keep all my batik scraps, no matter how small- batiks are far too expensive to be throwing away the remnants.)
There was little planning involved with the piecing, I just pulled fabric out of the scrap bin & looked to see how I could incorporate it into the design. It came together quickly & was just the freeing type of creativity I needed that day.
I knew I wanted tight quilting & I threw the pieces onto the longarm with some Warm & Natural batting scraps & did some straight line quilting approx. 1/4″ apart using Bottom Line thread in silver/gray. Some lines are closer than others, basically I just winged it, wanting the same freeing quilting experience.
For the lining I used some old teapot fabric from my mom’s stash that was a Mary Engelbreit or Debbie Mumm design from the 90s. Not my favorite & doesn’t match in the least, but hey, it’s a tea cozy lining- let’s not get too uptight about things.
For the binding I used some leftovers from some project I can’t remember but I made waaaaay too much for! I used a machine binding technique since my hand sewing time is precious.
Overall I’m incredibly pleased with how this turned out- I love coming into the kitchen in the mornings & looking at my beautiful tea cozy! And it’s been very effective in keeping my tea warm so three cheers for my idea working out in reality!
J recently got me a new camera. Nothing big & fancy, just a small point & shoot, perfect for tossing in the diaper bag or my back pocket.
Obviously it needed a case with my tendency to toss things in the bag of the day, & I’m never quite happy with the selection of cases, & there’s my “be a maker not a consumer
” philosophy, so last weekend I dug through my stash & drafted a nifty pattern.
I’m pretty pleased with how it came out. I’ve never made a zipper pull like that before & while it was a bugger to make (note to self, leave 2″ of zipper at end, not 1″), it adds the professional touch I wanted.
I pre-quilted the pieces with straight line quilting on my domestic machine. Normally I would have done the quilting on my longarm, but the pieces were so small it wasn’t worth the time.
Speaking of my domestic machine, here’s a story you might find humorous. Do you know I have a degree in Economics? Even studied it in grad school. At one time I wanted to research Labor Economics, but I decided to move to Alaska (yeah, that’s another story.) Anyways, the point is that I’m from the business/finance world & I never even took Home Ec in high school. So when I decided to leave that & become a longarmer, let’s just say there were some transitions to be made. I remember coming home from my first longarming convention & telling J “these people kept talking about their domestic machine & I don’t get it.” He gave me an appropriate stare. I went on to say “I can’t think of any sewing machines that’s made in America anymore- they’re manufactured overseas. Any anyways, I have a Pfaff, it’s German.” (Well *mine* was made in Germany, but let’s not get into that discussion right now). He then burst out laughing. I still didn’t get it. (You do of course, right?) Yes, he had to explain to me that it’s not an issue of foreign/domestic, it’s an issue of a machine made for commercial versus domestic use.
Yeah. I know. I love quilting & longarming life, but there’s still a part of me that thinks like an economist!