Thursday, December 1, 2011

My table's dressed up for the holidays!

In October, I took a class with Nancy Bills that was put on by my guild.  Taking classes with a guild is a great way to meet new people and learn something along the way!  Nancy was teaching a pineapple block made the old fashioned way.  That means no paper piecing!  Here's one of the class samples.

Creating those pineapple blocks accurately was challenging for me!  But they sure looked nice when done.  I particularly liked a lot of blocks put together.   In the quilt below, the block starts at the small four patch and works in rings out.  Triangles go in the corner of the block.  It makes for a striking quilt when you put the blocks together and you can make some interesting secondary designs by fiddling with that triangle in the corner.  Here's another of Nancy's quilts that a lot larger.

I love how she put the navy blue as her final boarder around the outside, kind of like a scalloped edge.  I wanted to do that too.  But I didn't want a wall hanging, I wanted to make a table runner.   

I had to put  an extra round around to get the blocks facing the way I wanted.  I never could figure out how to get that blue border to make the scallopy edge.  It looks so simple in her quilt, but I really drew a blank on it.  So I ended up putting three blocks together and quilting a pantograph over the whole thing.  And I really love it!  Thanks Nancy for a great class!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I don't do customer quilts, but...

My husband's coworker's wife rescued an old stamped cross stitch quilt top.  It was only partially embroidered so she painted in the unembroidered parts.  She asked me if I would quilt it up for her.  She made an offer I couldn't refuse.  She's a storyteller and would do a program for the day program my daughter goes to in exchange for quilting the quilt.  How could I say no?  So here's the quilt top after I added borders from the fabric she supplied.

These are the lines stamped on it for quilting.

I originally thought I would quilt butterflies on that X box but in thinking more about it, realized the blue lines would show through and might never be removed as I don't know if she plans on washing the quilt or not.  And I didn't want to wash it with all that paint...

So I loaded it up and started quilting!

Here's a close up of one of the butterflies.  You can still see the stamped cross stitch under the paint.

And here is the quilt nearly completed.  I'm in the process of turning the quilt to finish the borders.

I quilted around each cross stitch butterfly and leaf group.  I was seeing cross eyed by the time I got done!

And here's the view from the back.  I'm not entirely happy with the amount of unquilted space around and under the butterflies.  The bat is a nice fluffy one, so it fills the spaces pretty well.  It's really pretty cuddly.  I'm not sure what she plans on doing with the quilt.

But I'm glad it's off my frame!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catching Up

It certainly has been a while since I updated this blog!  Thanks to Sharon who spurred me on to look at it again.  So to catch up for the last year, I have some photos.  First, I finished and gifted last Christmas (!) the Feis dress for my granddaughter Megan.  She grows so fast it will soon be time to make another one for her.

She's has won enough competitions that she is now in the Prize Winner category.   

I also finished up this old quilt started in 1997 from a pattern in McCall's Quilting magazine.  I quilted it on my Bernina.  It was the first time I used the stitch regulator on the machine and it worked great.  The machine also has a thread cutter which I used extensively.  That was not so great though because it leaves a bit of a mess on the back.  I am very happy to have this quilt done at last!

And over the summer I got a new longarm!!!  After much research, I ended up with an Innova 26 inch machine.  It is wonderful!  I'm still gaining experience using it but it is so much easier to use than the Husqvarna Megaquilter on the Grace Next Generation frame that I previously used for frame work.

This is the first real quilt I quilted on it.  As you can see, my cat Pete thinks it makes a great bed!  The quilt is from a workshop I did with Mark Lipinski.  Fun and easy guild workshop with lots of time for chatting with friends.

I didn't get a good shot of the quilting, but that might be for the best.  Remember, it's my first quilt on this new machine!  This pattern always looks a little crooked to me.

I quilted a bunch of charity quilts for my guild using pantographs.  I didn't get any pictures of them either, but the guild usually take pics so I'll try to get them when they're posted.

Being guild co-president for the last year has encouraged me to take a lot of workshops and I have lots of quilts ready to be quilted!  Next up is a quilt I did in a Jan Krentz workshop.  This was a really fun and easy quilt even with all the Y seams.  Jan has the best method I've found yet for doing those Y seams.  This quilt top, excluding the pieced border took two days to make!  The pieces are really big.  The final quilt is about 72 inches square.

Here's the top all laid out.  Our guild is having a show so all these pictures with quilts on the floor were my entries to the show!  Here's just the top.

And here it's loaded on my machine.  With all that white expanse, I knew it would be a good quilt to try to do some fancy quilting.  I had seen another star quilt done with this curved crosshatching and knew I wanted to do that on this quilt.  This is my first ruler work and let me tell  you, it takes a bit of practice!  I really like the effect though.  I looked high and low for ideas for triangle or diamond designs to put in the colored sections.

I ended up drawing my own feather design.  I do this by drawing on freezer paper then sewing over the design with an unthreaded sewing machine.  I can then use the pattern with holes in it with chalk to transfer the design to the quilt.

Here's a somewhat blurry picture of the whole quilt quilted. 

And a detail shot of one of the corners.  Again, I couldn't find any stock design so I drew my own.  I'm pretty happy with how the whole quilt came out.  There are lots of errors in it but that's ok.  This was a learning piece.

So that's my year!  Hope yours is going well!