Tag Archives: personal quilts

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!

Improv Tea Cozy

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.

Tea Cozy by Ormond Beach Quilts
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.)

Tea Cozy by Ormond Beach Quilts
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.

Tea Cozy by Ormond Beach Quilts
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.

Tea Cozy by Ormond Beach Quilts
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!

 

Dancing Nine Patch for Paul

When J & I moved back here to Northern Virginia, I was fortunate in that I was able to rejoin my wonderful knitting group.  A dear friend in that group introduced me to another woman who also was having her first baby.

Turns out we were actually due withing 3 months of each other & much more in common than we ever expected!  We started hanging out, doing our daily walking together, as well as scouring all the local baby consignment stores for good deals.

Well she was due the end of January to give birth to a baby boy they had already named Paul, & I knew I wanted him to have a special quilt.  Since she & her husband both enjoy the outdoors, I wanted to make Paul a green quilt & I was in love with the Dancing Nine Patch pattern Bonnie Hunter had recently released.

Dancing Nines Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

I dug into my bin of green men’s shirts I had started collecting for Nick’s quilt & sure enough there was plenty for a quilt for Paul!  (And probably enough even another Dancing Nines quilt!)

Dancing Nines Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was very enjoyable to piece & since the pattern was very “square-ish,” I used the pantograph “Waterworld” by Jodi Beamish to add movement & soften the quilt.  I used a forest green flannel for the backing, & Warm & Natural 100% cotton batting.  This is definitely a snuggle quilt!

Dancing Nines Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was with how this turned out!  It’s the perfect size for a baby to grow into & use for several years.

I gave the quilt to Amanda during one of our group’s knitting days & she was loved it too.  (I wish I had gotten a picture of her face- it was the happy smile all quilters love to see!)

Dancing Nines Quilt by Ormond Beach Quilts

Paul decided to come into this world in the beginning of February & is the cutest little boy!  I hope he grows to play, nap & love the Dancing Nines quilt.

Nick’s Christmas Quilt

First, yes, you read that correctly, I’m blogging about a quilt I gave at Christmas in February.  It’s been that kind of year!

I’ve been planning quilts for my in-laws for quite some time no (I think 2 or 3 years actually…)  I gave my Mother-in-law, Donna her quilt back in April (& I really need to find that photo…. I think it’s on J’s phone….) and gave my Father-in-law, Nick his quilt this past Christmas.

Both quilts were carefully planned in that I wanted the fabric choices & design to be reflective of who they are.

Nick's Quilt

Now Nick is quite possibly the most down to earth man you’ve ever met!  He can talk to and make friends with anyone regardless of what they do or where they come from.  He may have had a white collar job in factories for the past 30 years, but he’ll be the first to tell you he’s more comfortable down in the manufacturing plant than in any conference room.

He’s also the most frugal man you’ve ever met.  Making due and fixing whatever’s around him.

Nick's Quilt

So I knew the fabric for his quilt needed to be from men’s shirts I bought at various thrift stores around town.  J & I both agreed the colors needed to be green- partly because he went to Michigan State & partly because he loves to be outside hunting & gardening.

Judy Allen's Lynn's Ferns on Nick's Quilt

The longarm design I chose was the leafy panto from Judy Allen called “Lynn’s Ferns” which I think added a nice movement to the masculine fabrics and square/rectangle shapes.

Nick's Quilt Back

And the backing had to be Michigan State fabric! (& Rizzo couldn’t resist “helping” with the binding!)

Nick was truly surprised Christmas morning to get his quilt & loved the fabrics- it was a wonderful joy to give him this quilt.

Simplicity & Complexity in Quilting

For quite some time now I’ve wanted to design a star wall hanging to teach in my piecing classes.

I wanted it to be in red & white, so it could be for Christmas, yet year round at the same time.
I wanted it to have a classic & timeless look.
I wanted it to be simple, yet striking at the same time.
I wanted it to be a design a beginner could successfully piece, yet at the same time be satisfying for an experienced piecer.
I wanted to play with the quilting & really showcase how quilting can “make” a quilt.

I do have to admit though that when I finished piecing the top, I nearly choked at how plain it was & I was afraid I really made a mess of things.

I’d always wanted to play with Lisa Sipes’ triple stitch & decided that would be perfect in the white- just enough to create texture & add to the star effect.  It did take hours upon hours of work.  But I just listened to hours of the Bowery Boys & time passed without notice. (Well, without much notice!)

In the red spaces I wanted feathers.  Over the top beautiful, formal feathers that dripped in elegance.  So I practiced & practiced & practiced my heart out, until I held my breath & just went for it.

But when I took it off the frame, I nearly choked again- but this time it was in amazement as to how beautiful it turned out!

After I caught my breath I ran upstairs to show my husband- I was so happy with how it looked!

I wish I had grabbed a picture of the corners, I did a very fun swirl there!  But it’s now hanging up at A Quilting Place to advertise for the Fall classes, so I’ll grab a photo later.

In all, this came out better than I ever imagined!  Exactly what I wanted & more.

And in the end- isn’t this why we make things?  So we can bring a vision to life, only to have it exceed our expectations.  To remind ourselves to keep pushing & keep challenging ourselves to grow.  To remind ourselves how complexity & simplicity live together.

Tuesday Tip: Trimming Threads

Thank you all for being so patient last week when I needed to take a week off. I’m back home & going 90 mph again- it’s great to be back in my routine! I hope this Tuesday tip is helpful for you. In preparation for sending your quilt to a longarmer, you may have heard the request to “trim your threads.” Sound familiar? The first time I heard this I had no idea what it meant. Turns out it’s pretty important- more so than I initially thought. When you’re asked to “trim your threads,” you are basically being asked nicely to clean up your quilt. I pulled out a quilt I pieced back in college for an example. Here’s a portion of the top. See those dangly threads? Yeah, they need to go away. The longarmer’s hopping foot can get caught in them & things can get ugly fast. Also, if they aren’t cut before hand, they could actually end up being quilted in & then it’s a pain to get them out from under the stitching. Then let’s look at the back of the quilt. This is a great picture of a hot mess of threads in the back: Those need to be cut away as well since they could get caught & get tied up together while the longarmer is loading the quilt. Remember- you don’t want your quilt to have anything that might cause it to not lie flat! Finally, there’s this: Notice my green fabric has frayed a bit? Because I’ve used white sashing between blocks, that green thread has the possibility of showing through the white fabric when quilted- yikes! That’s something you definitely don’t want to happen! So take a look at both sides of your quilt before sending it off- it will look that much nicer after a few minutes of trimming threads!

Tuesday Tip!: The Stay Stitch

 

This cute little quilt top was a mystery I did with Stitchin’ Tree Quilts in Harlan, Iowa at a retreat back in January.  It’s a great scrap quilt & a fun play with color value.  Since my neutral was more of a medium color, I chose dark scraps for my piecing- but what, this isn’t a post about color theory- let me get onto the Tuesday Tip!

See how the outside border is pieced with all the different squares? Here’s a close up:

Notice how those seams that piece the border together run off the quilt? This can lead the stitching on the outside edge to become loose:

See how loose those seams are? And that’s just from folding & unfolding the quilt top! To keep those seams secure, we can sew a “stay stitch” around the outside edge of the quilt to keep them in place.

This is how I do it:  I simply sew around the edge of the quilt, 1/8″ from the outside edge.  Here it is in more detail:

I first get my “regular sewing foot.” This is the foot I use when constructing clothes or appliqueing. Basically it’s the foot I use when I’m not piecing a quilt. Now my foot has an 1/8″ marking on it. See where my needle is? Look just to the right of that- see that red line? That’s my 1/8″ line. I line up my fabric to that guide & start sewing as normal.

Now for thread, I don’t usually care what color I use for this technique- I just use whatever because since I’m stitching at 1/8″ from the edge & I usually sew my binding on at 1/4″ or 3/8″, it will be hidden in the binding. Here’s I’ve used a dark blue thread. So I continue sewing down the edge of the quilt side, until I get to the end, here I just stitch of the quilt:

Then I turn the quilt top & start the next side from the top:

My corner ends up looking nice & crisp like this:

You may be wondering why I bother sewing to the end, cutting my thread & rotating the quilt & starting again on each side- I do this because I get a crisper corner with my sewing machine. I found if I turned the corner, the corner ended up smaller & not as nice & even something crooked with my sewing machine. So in the end do what works for you- for me, I like the method that may take a little longer & use a little more thread, but I prefer it for the nicer finish. Thank you for joining me again for the Tuesday Tip! The stay stitch makes for a much nicer top to give your longarmer when you have a pieced border or a quilt that has curved edges (like in a Double Wedding Ring.) I hope to see you next week!

A Failed Project, Part 2

Remember the Failed Project?

Well I searched around & found a matching green, changed the borders & came up with this:

Much, much happier to this project now!

The quilting went very quickly- I knew from the instant I saw the pattern I wanted straight lines in the borders.  I didn’t use a ruler or mark anything- just free handed it & “winged” it.  I did a meander of leaves in the center.  Not the best looking leaves, but it’s just for me & it is just a table topper after all.  As I tell my students, that wonky leaf is where the salt & pepper shakers go!

Free Motion Flowers & an Old UFO Done!

This is an old UFO!  I pieced this top back in High School when I was making tons of charity quilts.

I thought most of them were finished & given away years ago, but while unpacking more boxes from Texas I found this quilt top.

I decided to use this as a practice piece for a freehand flower meander.  It’s largely over quilted, but it was fun & I became comfortable with the design and I completed a UFO!  Wohoo!

A Finish!

So here’s a quilt I pieced & quilted in the same year!  For myself!  I know- who would have thought?You might remember my talking about piecing the quilt.It came together very easily & since I actually bought the backing & binding at the same time (another marvelous idea!)- I had it prepped & ready to go on my “to be quilted” shelf in no time.

Then last Friday came around & I decided to give myself a challenge.  To see how fast I could quilt this 70×70 quilt in my free motion custom style- without getting hung up on perfection & overthinking the quilting & all those things that keep me from quilting my own quilts.

So I loaded it onto the frame without a quilting design in mind & pow!  It came to me!  Wavy lines!  The red plus signs would go in one direction & the blue in the opposite- I could then travel from plus sign to plus sign to keep thread breakage at a minimum & still do all the red’s in a red thread & blue in blue thread- perfect!

So I “winged” it!  & timed myself & finished the whole quilt in 2.25 hours!


Put the binding on at a retreat that evening & hand stitched it down a week later.   Voila!  A finished quilt!  & for myself!  That I didn’t overthink & stress & just had fun with!

I may be my new favorite quilt…..

(Sorry for the washed out photos- it’s actually a very bright quilt.)