Category Archives: machine quilting

Betty’s Quilt of Valor

I received a request through Quilts of Valor to longarm in July where I volunteer to longarm 1 a month through the official website.  For July I was paired with Betty, a piecer from Pennsylvania.

She sent me a beautiful rail fence quilt.  I love how the stripes make the border pop!

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts
I chose the Ambrosia quilting design as I was inspired by the pattern in the cream fabric.

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts
It’s been a wonderful pleasure to be able to support such a worthy cause!

A Quilt for Maribeth (or Lessons in Giving)

Sometimes you start a quilt & are unaware of what it will become.

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
I began this quilt back in 2009?  2010?  I can’t remember, but it was a class sample for a class that never came to be.  I used the Moda Bake Shop pattern “Random Reflections.”  I pieced this at a quilting retreat in Kansas & wow, there were a lot of issues with this quilt.

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
For starters, I used a precut batik collection from somewhere (can’t remember exactly where, but it wasn’t a name brand.)  I went ahead & just cut the white from yardage & cut 2.5″ strips.  Come to find out, the precut strips where slightly larger than 2.5″ & instead of cutting new white fabric, I steamrolled through forcing the fabric to fit.  (Side note here, this is bad quilting.  Don’t do what I did.)

After piecing the top, I wasn’t thrilled with how it came out.  It didn’t look “bad,” but it also didn’t speak to me.  So it sat in the “to be quilted pile.” (which really has grown to almost hilarious levels.)

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
Fast forward to the summer of 2013 & I wanted to practice some custom quilting, so I dragged it out & got started.  Immediately I cursed my bad piecing & honestly, I wasn’t thrilled with the quilting choices I chose.  Then I found out I was pregnant & we were moving & it sat in a box.  I did work on it some after we moved, but not enough to really say I made any progress on the quilt.  Finally after we moved into this house & I was face to face with all my quilting projects, so I loaded it on the longarm & finished it in less than two hours one Sunday night.

Random Reflections by Ormond Beach Quilts
I couldn’t believe it.  All that procrastination & it could have been done in 2 hours!  After finishing the quilting, I was in love with the quilt!  It was beautiful!  The binding was already prepped, so it was finished quickly.  But there was a reason for the wait.   At the same time, a very good friend from college mentioned that her sister was moving into her first apartment.  I was down in the studio when I read this online & I turned around & saw the quilt & immediately knew this was for Maribeth.  It was her colors, style, everything!

So the quilt that I was ho-hum about in the beginning turned out beautiful & has found it’s home in California.  It just took six years for me to learn that wasn’t meant to be a class or a piece to show off my custom quilting- see, it wasn’t about me at all.  It was meant to be loved by a 20-something in the first place she can call her own.

I wonder what more lessons I’ll learn in the pile of unfinished quilts.

Foster Teen Quilts, Part 2

As promised, here’s part 2 of the Foster Teen Quilt Project!  If you missed Part 1- here you go!

I wanted to take this time to share some facts about kids in the foster system while I share the four feminine quilts we made.

On any given day, there are approximately 402,000 children in the foster system in the United States.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
The City of Alexandria on average has about 100 children in foster care. About half of the children are a part of large sibling groups, almost half are middle –school age or older.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
The amount of time a child stays in foster care can vary from as little as a few days to a number of years.

The average time and Alexandria child spends in foster care is one  year.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Youth who age out of the foster care system are more likely than their non–foster care peers to be involved with the criminal justice system, have low educational attainment, become pregnant, and experience homelessness.

Foster children attend an average of seven to nine different schools by age 18—80% are held back in school by the third grade. Less than half of foster youth in the nation will graduate from high school and only 2% graduate from college or higher.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
 Thank you for sharing in this journey.  It was a wonderful experience for our moms group & an incredible joy for us to give quilts so freely to these teens.

Lastly, I want to invite you to think about how you can help foster children in your town.  Get in touch with a local social worker & chat about how your skills, whatever they are, can help foster kids.

Many thanks to Kathryn Coneway for helping me photograph the quilts & Krystal Fenwick, social worker for the City of Alexandria who provided these facts.  And of course, to my mom’s group for coming along on this crazy adventure with me!

Foster Teen Quilts

About three months ago I came across an email asking for donations for graduating foster teens.  It was more than your typical monetary solicitation, this woman was asking for umbrellas & wastebaskets for these teens.

See, when teens age out of the foster system, one day they in the custody of the state, the next they are on their own.  They leave with mostly the clothes they are wearing & that’s it folks.  They don’t get to go shopping to decorate their new apartment paid for courtesy of their parents, they don’t even get a set a sheets.

In Alexandria however a social worker is trying her hardest to give them a start.  She has arranged a graduation ceremony to recognize this huge milestone in their lives & is working with the community to give them a wastebasket of basic items.

I read the initial email & immediately knew I wanted to give them quilts.  But truly I had no idea how I would pull it off.  Granted it was only seven quilts, so it seemed possible in theory, but Teapot was in between crawling & walking, & I wasn’t getting much sleep.

I knew several women in my mom’s group quilted & I was familiar with the string quilt project Quilts from the Bluffs runs where the blocks can be sewn by many different quilters.  I took this idea to the women & to my surprise they were excited & anxious to start!

We sewed & sewed & sewed.  Those who didn’t know how to sew contributed by cutting & pressing strips as we sewed.  We sewed during nap times, after bedtime, while babies crawled around our legs, together at meetups, alone in our homes.  I longarmed all the quilts & then led a class in machine binding for the women.

There are seven graduating foster teens this year, three men & four women.  These are the masculine quilts.

On the red quilt I used a freehand square meander pattern that I love for men’s quilts!
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

On the blue quilt I used the “Square Spiral” pantograph that works up nice & quickly while adding interest.
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

On the green quilt I used “Zebra” which is fast becoming a favorite.
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was an empowering project for the moms.  We all have babies under two years old & the most surprising realization for me this first year of Teapot’s life is how all your life becomes this child & much of what you used to do is impossible to do anymore.  Through all of us working together & supporting each other, we were able to make seven quilts in ten weeks with babies.   This was no small feat, but our love for these teens they’ve never met gave us the determination to finish.

In my next post I’ll share pictures of the feminine quilts & also share some data about foster children.

*also thank you to Kathryn Coneway who help me photograph these quilts!  I learned a lot about photography from watching her work those two mornings as we documented these quilts!

An Afternoon of Sewing

This past week I had a large project for a customer & to ensure I got in done in time, I scheduled a babysitter for two afternoons.

To my surprise I finished the project in one afternoon!  (It’s amazing how productive I can be when I’m not working in the evenings exhausted from a full day of chasing after Teapot!)  So instead of cancelling the sitter the next day, I decided to use that time for myself (& make things for Teapot, but whatever, I was still making & I wasn’t working!)

First up were 3 wet bags:

Wet bags by Ormond Beach Quilts
I had bought a package of 3 large PUL squares from the big box store back when I had the great idea to make diapers.  Since I quickly realized that was not for me, this package had been sitting around unused.  I opted to make some wet bags for our swim suits, cloth diapers when we’re out & about, who know what I’ll use the third for, but it’s nice to have available.

I used the 10 minute pencil case tutorial, but increased the size to 15″x24″.  While the first didn’t take 10 minutes, the third definitely did & I highly recommend this tutorial.  I chose this one because it had french seams which I like for wet bags.

On two of the bags I used some black grosgrain ribbon, so we’ll see how I like using it.

Wet bags by Ormond Beach Quilts
Then I made a second wet bag for Teapot’s diapers:

Diaper Wet Bag by Ormond Beach Quilts
So we do cloth diaper part time (Kawaii diapers with liners & disposables at night) & I made this pattern before & loved it, we just needed a second to have available when the first is drying.

I used some of the fun Sake fabric I won when I participated in a contest sponsored by Kona Bay Fabrics.  Three cheers for using stash!

I also finished binding a quilt, but I can’t show that quite yet.  Well, ok.  Here’s the back:

Longarm quilting by Ormond Beach Quilts
I used a new pantograph Moxie by Leisha Farnsworth- I love her style & can’t wait to get more of her designs!

Moxie

Moxie

It was a wonderful afternoon- Teapot had a great time with the babysitter & I actually made stuff!  Luckily for all of us, our new favorite teenage babysitter is available for the rest of summer!

Rachel’s Patriotic Star Table Runner

Rachel S. recently finished her version of the Patriotic Star Table Runner & was gracious enough to share pictures with me!

Rachel's Patriotic Star Table Runner. Pattern by Ormond Beach Quilts

Rachel’s Patriotic Star Table Runner.

She used Bunny Hill Design’s Celebration fabric by Moda.

Rachel's Patriotic Star Table Runner.  Pattern by Ormond Beach Quilts

Rachel’s Patriotic Star Table Runner.

Isn’t it perfect for summer?  I love the sailboats!

Also, take a close look at her quilting.  She did very simple quilting on this runner- just “Stitch in the Ditch” around the stars & then in the border she quilted straight lines.

Rachel's Patriotic Star Table Runner.  Pattern by Ormond Beach Quilts

Rachel’s Patriotic Star Table Runner.

Many times I show fancy quilting here, but this is a great example of how sometimes fancy quilting isn’t needed or necessary.

I also know that this was part of a UFO competition for her & sometimes simple is better because it helps us finish our projects faster instead of getting caught up in planning “Over the Top Quilting.”

Again, I want to say a special thank you to Rachel for sharing these pictures & encouraging us to work simply so we can finish & enjoy our projects!

Also, you can purchase a copy of this pattern in my Etsy shop!

New Quilting Designs!

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!)

Jazz

Jazz

Seaweed

Seaweed

Peacock

Peacock

Mod Dotz

Mod Dotz

Good Vibrations 2

Good Vibrations 2

Ebb and Flow

Ebb and Flow

Dewdrops

Dewdrops

Bump & Squeeze

Bump & Squeeze

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

Bangkok

Bangkok

Aqua Flame

Aqua Flame

Moxie

Moxie

echo blossoms

Echo Blossoms

Dahlia

Dahlia

Pirouette

Pirouette

Peacock feathers

Peacock feathers

Quilts of Valor

Monday evening this came off the longarm!

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

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.

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was pieced by Anna D. & she used the Disappearing 9-Patch pattern.  This is a great pattern for scraps & works up quickly!

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

I used a new pantograph, Zebra by Hermoine Agee- it reminds me of the flag waving in the breeze.

Zebra by Hermoine Agee, 8"

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.

Quilt of Valor longarmed by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was a joy to quilt & I can’t wait to longarm Anna’s next quilt!  The recipient is sure to love this quilt.

Lessons from Quilts Trunk Show Pictures

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.

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
This is sweet quilt I made for a class sample.  This is one of my favorite patterns for beginners.
Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
These are a few of the first quilts I longarmed.  I’ve learned a lot since those days!

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
This is called a winding ways quilt.  I started this in Alaska & only recently finished it.
Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
A Seven Sisters quilt!  One of my favorite patterns!

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
A log cabin quilt I made with a friend while J was deployed.

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
A Double Wedding Ring quilt!  This is one of my personal favorites & was a feat to accomplish, but it was well worth the effort.

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show
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….

Ormond Beach Quilts Trunk Show

And my first official quilt!  Just look at those pastel calicoes from the 1980s!

Thank you Heather for your pictures!

Lessons from Quilts Trunk Show

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!)

Teapot on the quilts from Ormond Beach Quilts