Thursday, June 23, 2016

All Things Bright And Beautiful!

My name for this eye catching quilt which has now gone to its new home DownUnder! 
 The lovely girlfriend of my nephew Wes so loved this quilt that I thought she should have it.
I know that it will be well loved and used so tomorrow it will be winging its way across the Pacific ocean as she and Wes return home to Australia. I doubt there is anything more gratifying to us as quilters than to have someone fall in love with a quilt, it blesses us as artists that our creations are to be well loved.
God's blessings go with them and may they soon return to visit us again!
Linking up with "Needlework Tuesday"

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Talkin' Turkey!

This is Angela's setting for her Turkey Tracks blocks,  it is a bright, scrappy traditional quilt. Not sure how long she worked on this, there are a lot of little pieces, maybe a year or so I know it was quite a while!
With four separate pieced borders I was at first inclined to simply  quilt it edge to edge but after I loaded it on the longarm I changed my mind and quilted all four borders separately, though it's quite hard to see that.
The main body of the quilt is freehand peacock feathers
I really like the backing, the quilting actually shows, whereas the front is so busy no thread color would have been effective so I used a neutral.
 Before beginning this quilt I did some maintenance on the longarm above and beyond the standard, replacing both the original tensioner unit [nine years old] and the bobbin case -the latter only seem to last a couple of years before becoming unreliable. Now the tension is perfect no  bottom loopies, so I am a happy and confident longarmer again!
There is a little progress to report on my new bed quilt, the blocks are now sewn into rows and pinned on the design wall so perhaps I will get that together next week before our Boston family arrive for a visit.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Family Visit And a Quilt Delivery

We are so lucky this month to have nephew and his GF from Australia visiting the USA. Wes had to come for a friend's wedding in CA, and now he and Kristie are doing a bit of traveling around. Friday night oldest son and wife hosted a barbecue and we all enjoyed the reunion, it's been a couple of years since Wes was last here riding the bulls.
 And I was able to deliver Wes's quilt which will be going back DownUnder with him later in the month.
 Tonight it was my turn to entertain the visitors, not everyone was available there were some conflicting events........
 so the three pans of ribs were not all needed and I have enough to see me through several days and no cooking!
I also made a pavlova just in case Wes and Kristie were feeling a bit homesick!
 Grandson Daniel came came by to collect Wes and Kristie for a little partying and managed to find a piece of pavlova with his name on it!
Now there's just one piece left..............
must be mine!!
Next quilt on the long arm isAngela's Talkin' Turkey.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Blue Bargello

Donna's lovely wall hanging is quite large, 53"x81", and took longer than expected to quilt. I delayed the start because I was unable to use my first choice thread, Art Colors "Azure Sky" a Superior trilobal.
It refused to play nice with my machine, hard to believe really because these are some of my favorite threads and usually sew like a dream on my A-1 machine. Fortunately I had an alternative, Superior's King Tut "De Nile", 100% Egyptian cotton.
My machine is currently going through some tension issues and nothing I have done the past weeks has completely solved the problem although I can make it behave on and off. It's most frustrating so I have ordered a new tension unit and bobbin case to see if that might do the trick. I seem to be able to identify an intermittent odd noise too now so I'll call the helpful tech tomorrow and see if he can hear it, these guys are pretty savvy at diagnosis.
So here is the bargello wall hanging, quilted. I used a double matt, Quilter's Dream poly Select on the bottom and QD wool on top to give more definition and I am quite pleased with the result.
 I had chalked in diagonal lines every three inches to keep the diagonal quilting parrallel, and I needed to roll the quilt back and forth several times in order to quilt diagonally.
The picture below shows the true color better I think and also detail of the freehand quilting, it's a simple design that reminds me a bit of waves and fits the ocean like colors of the quilt.
The backing is also batik
Now I will get back to my new bed quilt, I have all the blocks laid out and ready to construct.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

My New Bed Quilt!

This weekend I have returned to working on the new quilt for our Cal King bed. Needing to stay off my feet it seems a good way to do that while I await a fabric order for newly wed grandson's wedding quilt.
 I was anxious to see how my grey and gold blocks would look once sewn together, so I have made up a set of two of the gold and two grey fabrics, there are 5 gray and 5 gold fabrics in all, the fabric on the very bottom is backing and I decided not to use the pin dot on the very top of the stack.
I have only completed about twenty of the 48 blocks that will comprise the body of the quilt which will cover the top of the bed, then a gray fabric will go around three sides to make it fit the CK bed. These four are the busiest of all the fabrics and each block will be separated by a narrow white sashing. I have not yet decided on the gray fabric for the frame around the quilt, I thought I would prefer to wait until the blocks are all constructed and then choose the coordinate. This quilt will be very similar to the one I made for son and DIL's wedding last year.
Below is the black gingko fabric for grandson's quilt, it has been in my stash a few years awaiting a special purpose. I had purchased everything on the bolt when it was on sale at 35th.Ave Sew 'N Vac and I am using the white on white gingko version in my own new quilt as you can see above.
The photo does not do it justice, it is a gorgeous fabric.
 Rather than use a plain white which seemed a bit boring, I chose the fabric below which I think has just enough design without being too fussy.
To be safe I am calculating 8 yards of each though I doubt it will take that much, probably around  seven, but it's always good to have black and white fabrics in the stash. I am very excited to see how they will go together in the chevron.
The quilt is to be the same design as this one I made in gray and white a few years ago, also for a wedding gift,  and it should go together fast.
One of the quickest ways to get all the HST's made for the chevron is to employ the "four at a time method", however there is also an "eight at a time" method but I find that accuracy suffers when you get that ambitious!
Choose a square of each color [mine will be somewhere between 10" and12" I have yet decided how large I want the HST's] and place right sides together.
  Sew around the outside edges.......
slice diagonally twice.......
press open and trim off those pesky corner bits............
 and voila, c'est magnifique, there is your chevron! Too easy, right?
You can find handy charts online for calculating the size of the square needed to produce the required HST size like this one, in my case I am wanting a larger HST hence the larger square.
 The rest of the fabric I need for the chevron quilt should be delivered around mid week and until then I can work on my own quilt!
Linking with Needlework Tuesday

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Daisy's Quilt

A sweet pink quilt for a new baby at church, I like to make quilts to welcome the newest members.
 There was an annoying stack of 2.5" pink strips left from a long ago project, and with the addition of some other small pink bits unsuitable for any other than a scrap quilt I was able to construct a perfect size baby quilt, about 40" square.
 The thread is So Fine from Superior and their Bottom Line thread for the bobbin.
A freehand feathery sort of design adds a nice feminine touch with just the right amount of quilting to leave it baby soft and cuddly. Batting is the delightful new Quilter's Dream Pink, a soft blend of 80% Dream Cotton and 20% Pink Poly.
In addition, Wes's quilt is all bound and ready for him to collect when he visits from Aus. next month.
 I do hope that he is traveling light, this quilt is very large- and heavy!
I am linking up with Heather at "Needlework Tuesday".

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cathy's Anniversary Quilt

Cathy told me to "have fun" with this quilt leaving all the options open. 
I love piano key borders and prefer to use straight line fourth inch outline quilting that contrasts nicely with something fancier in the sashing.
I chose a medium/light blue thread and Quilter's Dream Select batting. The body of the quilt  has a feathery freehand design, I knew no matter the thread the quilting would not show up well there and indeed much of the time it was most difficult to see where I had already quilted
 In hindsight I would have been better off with one of two other options and I will endeavor to keep that in mind next time I have a similar challenge!
I might have quilted the center of the quilt from the back [which is a tone on tone medium blue] or I could have chosen to use a pantograph or Circle Lord design, either of which would have removed the issue of thread blend on the busy fabrics.
It looks in this picture as if the back is even more challenging to see the stitching but in fact under the machines overhead lights it is actually much clearer.
I am a little handicapped at the moment by a stress fracture of my heel and I am wearing one of those compression boots, great clumsy things they are too, so I think I will do a bit of piecing this week. I was able to use my nice ergonomic saddle stool at the long arm machine for some of the quilting, it rolls around fairly easily and has adjustable height.
Linking up with "Needle work Tuesday"

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Happy Scrappy Haunted Houses!

Linking up a little late with "Needlework Tuesday"
This is Angela's version of Bonnie Hunter's Happy Scrappy Houses, I added the "haunted" because of the fabrics used, Halloween theme as you can see!
I wanted to quilt something a bit happy scrappy and wonky rather than some more traditional design and settled on spiders and their webs!
 It is quite hard to see on the front, no matter what color thread I used it would not show.
 However it does show a little better on the back which is half the girls and half a creepy green scarecrow figure. I think it turned out very cute............
I wonder where Angela found the sexy girl Halloween fabric? I have never before seen the like, though I must admit I do not go looking for Halloween fabrics. Angela is keeping this one so I hope she enjoys the spidery webs!
As I took it off the longarm the Boy was watching always wanting to "help".
He grabbed it from me when the last pin came out and wrapped himself up in it! 
Can I keep it Grandnanna? It's my favorite! 
Does this mean I will be making him quilt #7?! Halloween fabrics anyone..........?
Yesterday was 100 degrees + here in Phoenix and the first swim of the season - you can tell it was a joyous occasion !