Just When I think I'm Out, They Pull Me Back In

April 28, 2011

Feathers, that is.  My post title is one of my favorite quotes from the "Godfather" movie series.  Unlike the family business of organized crime pulling Al Pacino's character back in, I'm back to practicing feathers again.  I have a confession...I love feathers!!  Bet you never would have guessed.  I've never met a feather I didn't like!  LOL!  All types and designs.  I want to be able to quilt them all!  It's hard for me not to look at a quilt top and not see feathers on it!  I have a few client quilts done, but I'm waiting to reveal them first in person, then I'll show and tell on my blog.  So between quilting client quilts, I've been practicing some new feather designs.  I feel super comfortable with quilting curling feathers, so I've been practicing a freehand allover feather design.
Yes, I love these too!!  LOL!  My inspiration comes from Jenny at Jenny's Doodling Needle.  I've become a huge fan of her quilting.  She has been super helpful in answering questions I've had on how she's quilted tops.  How nice is that??? 
Good thing this is just practice because one of my rows of feathers is going in the wrong direction down the spine!  I see some quilts being quilted with an allover feather design in my future!!

I had several emails regarding Patti's quilt and that I should have posted before and after quilting photos.  Yes, I should have!!  Better late than never.  :-)

Before.

After.

Yes, it was a beautiful top before, but I think quilting takes it to the next level of beauty.  Patti is thrilled with her quilt and I believe she is having second thoughts about gifting it!

Feeling better, still tired.  I'm actually tired of the rain.  It's been raining here constantly.  I'm sure in July, I'll be whining that there's no rain and I'm tired of watering.  LOL!!!

WINNING

April 25, 2011

I have a winner to announce, but before I announce that, I've been doing some "winning" myself.    Lori of Humble Quilts had a giveaway for a Lapel Stick and I won!!
 
It is like a fabric glue stick.  I'm very excited to try it.  I'm going to use it in place of spray adhesive in some small quilting projects.  Lori was very sweet and also sent me some gorgeous reproduction fabric too!  Thank you, Lori!! 

I have been very busy quilting away on Annie, but nothing I can reveal yet.  Soon, though.  I have lots to show!!  I hope everyone had a nice Easter.  I had everyone over to our home.  It was wonderful, but I am super tired now.  I'm starting to feel like I'm coming down with something.  I hope not!

I want to thank everyone for all the lovely comments I received.  I was very moved by all of them!!  Also, I think I've made all sorts of new friends!!  Bloggers are the best!!  You all have made this journey into blogging extra special.  Now onto the winner...it was Di of Quilting Is Blissful!! 

Di's comment, "How exciting to have reached that '100' post mark--and you are really doing a good job with your posts--so here is to the next '100'--have fun and have a great Easter week end!!
Hugs, Di and that miss graci
"

Congratulations, Di!  Please email me your info, so I can send your goodies right out.

Again, I want to thank everyone for all the wonderful comments.  Here's to at least 100 more posts!!

100 Posts!

April 22, 2011

Today marks my 100th post!!  I can't believe it.  Blogging has been such a wonderful experience.  Even before I started writing my blog, I loved reading so many blogs.  Those are the blogs that inspired me to start my own.  When I started, I worried that I would run out of things to blog about.  Now, I can't decide what I want to write about first.  My mind is always thinking about my next post!!  LOL!  AND the friends!!!  Can I just say I never dreamed I would make so many supportive, helpful and just wonderful new friends.  I have made some really good friends through blogging, though we've never met in person.  Amazing.  Everyone in blogland always comments that blogging friends are the best.  It's so true!!  To help celebrate my 100th post milestone, I'm having a little giveaway!!!
I'm giving away 3 Charm packs of Le Petit Poulet by American Jane for Moda and the pattern for "Endless Summer" by Pam Buda for Heartspun Charms.  "Endless Summer" was also the Le Petite project for March.  The pattern calls for the 3 charm packs, so it'll be enough to make the pattern.  I love the fabric.  Gorgeous colors and with a few little roosters thrown in.  To enter my giveaway, all you have to do is hop on one foot, leave 5 comments.... no just kidding! :-)  Just leave a comment on this post.  I will close comments Sunday night.  I will announce a winner on Monday.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and Happy Easter!!

Giveaway Closed.  Thank you!

 

Return To Wooly Wednesday

April 20, 2011

It's Wednesday, which means the girls have dance tonight.  It also used to be my night to work on my wool hand applique projects.  Lately, I've either been too busy with other things or my dad has taken the girls to dance for me.  So, it's been quite a while since I've worked on any wool projects.  While I am LOVING every second of longarm quilting for others, it's important to me that I still take some time to work on my own projects.  I went into my cabinets last night to find something to work on when I spotted the perfect project.  Sooooo, I prepped this project last night for me to work on tonight!!
 It's called "Daisy Table Mat" from Primitive Gatherings.  I love it!  I purchased it quite a while ago.  It just says "Summertime" to me.  We have had snow and cold weather again and I am in need of some serious sunshine and warm weather!  This project is perfect!!
This is what it will look like when I'm finished.  I"ll need to stitch a winding stem between the daises.  I will then applique the leaves on.  I thought it would be easier to place the leaves that way.  It's a pretty large mat at 18 inches.  It'll probably take me a few Wednesday evenings to get it done.  It's way bigger than the little candle mats I have.  I'm thinking that I may put it on the round area of my kitchen island when I get it done.  I know one little guy that will love this mat too...Scooter, my sister's kitty!!  He loves to lay on wool!  He has exceptional taste! :-)  Kristin and Scooter will be coming home Friday for Easter, but Scooter will be staying with us for a couple of weeks.  He'll think I'm working on the new table mat just for him!  LOL!

I am really looking forward to some quiet stitching time in the library tonight!!  :-)

Oh Beautiful Braid Quilt...Quilted

April 18, 2011

I LOVE this quilt!  Trust me, I am amazed at how beautiful the quilting turned out.  Everything is freehand.  I am very attached to this quilt.  I keep telling myself "don't get too attached, it's not yours!"  LOL!  I'm trying not to think about when I have to hand it over, which may happen later today.  Kleenex please.  

The wait is over and it was worth the wait!  As I promised...

Some closeups.

And finally the back.  It's very pretty.
A heavily pieced backing, a LAers dream come true.  Mmmmm, not so much.  The client was my good friend Patti, so she thought she would throw me few curve balls.  Help break me in.  Thanks, Patti. :-) Actually, it really did teach me a lot.  A heavily pieced backing can cause tension issues, but I paid close attention and no problems.  Also the green fabric is a batik.  Apparently, batik backings don't always want to play nice due to their thread count.  I know several LAers that won't accept batik backings.  Well, this one also did not want to play nice.  For some reason, I was getting very tiny batting pokies poking through the backing.  Hardly noticeable, but not to me of course.  Jamie warned me of this issue.  I called and spoke with him again a few times regarding this and he reassured me that it was nothing I was doing and they would slough off with wash and use.  I felt bad bugging him because he was in Rhode Island working the A-1 Booth at MQX.  He also told me my feathers looked better than his!!  Yeah, right.  This was all very helpful for working with clients in the future.

I need to mention the pattern for this quilt.  I forgot to for my 30s quilt and I received quite a few emails asking me what the pattern was.  This pattern is taken from one of my all time favorite quilt books.
Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.  The pattern is called "Friendship Braid" and is also pictured on the cover of the book.  My 30s quilt is also a pattern taken from this book called "Garden Trellis."  Also, I posted about this quilt that I am making for my sister Kristin, again it's a pattern from this book.  It's a great book to have!!

Thank you for all the kind words and encouragement regarding my quilting.  It really made my whole weekend!!  I finally have a price list that I am able to email if you interested in having me quilt for you.  I would be honored!!  Christine, you left me a comment on the last post, but you are a no-reply blogger, so I have no way to contact you.  Please email me, but the answer is "yes" I am accepting clients and quilt tops!! :-)

I'm off to the eye doctor...yet again.  I think this should be the last appointment for a while.  This current prescription of contacts seem to be perfect.  Fingers crossed.

Oh Beautiful Braid Quilt

April 15, 2011

I did it!!  It's done!  My first quilt with a curling feather border!!  I love it and want to keep it!!  I may shed a tear when I hand it over to my client.
I'm just giving you a peek.  You'll have to wait until Monday to see the whole quilt.  Trust me it'll be worth the wait!  :-)

Feathers On The Brain

April 13, 2011

Is it Spring yet??  One day it's like a beautiful summer day here and then the next day...not so much.  I am really looking forward to warmer weather!!  I've been getting more Easter decor out, which really makes me long for warm sunny days.
The girls love any holiday decor.  I swear they rearrange these little Easter ornaments every morning.  :-)
I don't go overboard on the decorations, but always have a few carrots and bunnies around the house.
Twin bunnies remind me of some other little twins I know.  :-)
I always make room for a few little feathery chicks too. Actually, I think they are ducks as Terry mentioned in her comment! LOL!
Speaking of feathers, I'm practicing some feathers...again!  Can you say "obsessed, much?"  I'm getting ready to quilt a client's quilt that I want to curl some feathers in the border.  I've been working on perfecting my backtracking because it'll really show on the backing of this quilt.  I picked up some of the exact fabric while I was working at the quilt shop yesterday that is in this quilt border to practice on.  I wanted to make sure I could see the thread this time too!  LOL!
Yes, I can see the thread and what I'm quilting!!  Yipee!  That was more than half the battle on the 30s quilt.
The second photo is actually a better depiction of the color.  I know I can quilt the feathers, it's just I'm still a little nervous, being a newbie and all.  I need to tell myself to relax, breathe and just QUILT IT!  Maybe I should have a little glass of wine before I start!!  LOL!  I'll keep you posted...

30s Quilt...Quilted

April 11, 2011

Yes, finally!  Big time Happy Dance going on here!!  I am thrilled and happy to report that the 30s quilt is ready for binding!!  I will always refer to this quilt as "The Great Teacher."  This quilt taught me so much through trial and error.  It shouldn't have been a difficult quilt to quilt, but I was being the stubborn student and wanting to take the l-o-n-g way.  LOL!! There were times when I thought, "There is no way I'm showing this quilt to to anyone again."  BUT I couldn't be happier with how it looks and am more than happy to show it off.
 I pretty much could have been blindfolded when I quilted the borders because I couldn't see the thread at all on that fabric while I was quilting.  No joke.
 I tried a new all over design in the center.  Kind of a feathery swirl.  Everything is freehand.  I did mark for spacing on the sashing.
And finally the whole quilt.  Well sort of...my photo skills are pathetic.  :-)
Scott loved how the borders came out.  He was very impressed and loves this quilt now too!
I am loving every second of this quilting journey.  Even the little "learning bumps" every now and then.  

Hope everyone has a great day!

Friday's Arrivals

April 8, 2011

I was one of lucky winners in the Le Petite parade for February's project of "Sweet Spot."  I won a Layer Cake of my choice from the Fat Quarter Shop!  I was so excited and it took me a while to pick, but I finally chose the new fabric line from 3 Sisters called Grace.  It just arrived!
It is GORGEOUS!!  It's their Christmas line, but it doesn't scream Christmas.  The colors are rich and yummy.  Creams, greens, reds and deep browns.  Love it!!  A big thank you to the Fat Quarter Shop!!

I am extremely happy to report that my refrigerator was delivered today!!!  WOO-HOO!!  And speaking of gorgeous...
It's a beauty!  Looks better than I imagined it would.
It's such an upgrade from what we had.  Wow.  It's so nice and pristine.  I don't want to put anything in it!!  :-)  Actually, I have very little to put in it anyways.  I desperately need to go grocery shopping.  With our little fridge in the garage jam packed with condiments I never knew we had so many and the girls not being home, I have put off going grocery shopping.  I will definitely need to go because the girls are coming home tonight.  I can't wait to see their little faces light up when they see the new fridge!

I have been very busy working on my 30s quilt.  It's taking me longer than expected because I've hit a few bumps in the road.  I know it's all about the learning process of being a newbie longarmer. All my bumps have been in the quilting designs I wanted to do, not the quilting itself. The quilting is gorgeous, so that's a good thing.  First, I wanted to curl feathers in the border.  Well, the problem is you can't even see their beauty with the busy border fabric, nor could I really see to quilt them.  I tried everything to make them work.  I even tried several different threads, but eventually I had to concede that a simpler design was the way to go.  This translated to a lot of frogging.  Also, my backing fabric wasn't very conducive to heavy custom quilting either.  It's too busy as well.  I love that I'm learning all this NOW because it will help me when working with clients on choosing the best quilting for their quilts.

I took off the word verification setting when leaving comments.  I wanted to make it easier and more enjoyable for readers to leave comments.  We'll see how it goes.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Marked and Ready To Quilt

April 6, 2011

The last couple of days have been busy.  I went to the eye doctor...again.  I'm on my third pair of contacts in less than two weeks.  Just haven't been able to find the right fit yet.  What a pain!  These seem to be the best.  My vision seems to be clearest in these.  Doctor mentioned these were IT, if these don't work then contacts won't be an option for me.  I'm definitely getting faster at putting them in.  Only takes me a few moments now.  Used to take me f-o-r-e-v-e-r!  LOL!  I hope they work out, I'd really like the option for the summer.

The girls just went to Scott's parents' house, so I'm going to be quilting 24/7.  It's looking like the 30s quilt will be my last practice play quilt for a while.  It's time for me to start putting my skills to work and Annie to start earning her keep.  I marked the borders on the 30s quilt, so I can feather them up.  It'll be great practice for me to feather an entire border.  I've loaded the quilt and started quilting the sashing.
The sashing will take the most time to quilt because I will be using a ruler as I quilt.
Boy, doesn't my crosshatching look so much better than it did on the muslin????  LOL!  Even though it's painstakingly slow, using a ruler makes a huge difference.
This is my little helper.  And in order to use my little helper ruler, I need to attach an extended base on Annie.  That way the ruler doesn't teeter around and the hopping foot doesn't accidentally hop on the ruler.  That would not be good.

Well, I'm off to the races...quilting races that is!  :-)

Spring Break And Spring Quilting

April 4, 2011

Hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Our weekend began with shopping for a new refrigerator.  I am pleased to report that we did buy one, unfortunately it won't be delivered until Friday.  Naturally, we needed to special order one due to the space configuration in our kitchen.  No microwave still.  I'll save that for another time.  I reached my fill line of appliance shopping with the fridge for one weekend.  Yes, like many of you mentioned, I'm sure the power outage didn't do the appliances any favors.  Too bad they didn't stop working right after our power was restored!  LOL!  I'm actually kind of looking forward to the new fridge.  The new one is a big upgrade from what we had. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to get something out of the fridge and there's no fridge there!! :-)

It's Spring Break for the girls this week, which translates to Spring Quilting on Annie for me.  I typically do not work when the girls are off school, so this week I am quilting every chance I get.  The girls will be going to Grandpa and Grandma's house this week for a few days, so I'll really be able to concentrate on some quilting.  I want to quilt some curling feather borders on clients' quilts, so I practiced some on muslin last night.
 Not too shabby!  I love them.  Don't pay attention to my wonky crosshatching.  I wanted to see the contrast next to the feathers.  I would use a ruler if it was on a quilt!  LOL!

Most of the time, I have to use indirect lighting to get the quilting to show, otherwise the overhead lights "white" everything out.
I quilted all the the feathers freehand.  I marked the spines with some help from some circle templates in order to get that nice "C" curve.  I just purchased a nice set of longarm circle templates.  Besides a straight ruler, Jamie suggested these circle templates.  I wanted his advice because there are hundreds of templates out there for LAers and I didn't want to waste money on something gimmicky that would just end up collecting dust.  I think these will work great for use in many different designs.
They actually look much pinker in person.  Not really sure why they're that color rather than clear??

I think with just a few tweaks in my feathers and I'll be quilting up a curling feather border storm!! :-)

 

Endless Summer - Le Petite

April 1, 2011

Done!!!  It nearly didn't happen due to a minor disaster.  I'll tell you about that shortly.  Almost a Happy Dance here.  The March Le Petite project was "Endless Summer" by Pam Buda of Heartspun Quilts.  I felt for this project I wanted to change things up a bit, so  I chose to make my version into a table runner.
My kitchen island is the ideal place for a table runner and I didn't have one, so this is perfect.  I used all fabric from Pom Pom de Paris by French General.  I love how it turned out!!  I know, big surprise since I love all fabric from French General!  It's so pretty and cheery looking.  Trust me my kitchen deserved some cheery last night.
Do you notice something strange in this photo?  I'll give you a hint...there is a big appliance missing in the back of the photo.  Yes, my refrigerator is missing.  Why???  It stopped working yesterday...while we were not home.  Yesterday, I walked in from work to find water everywhere!!  The freezer had completely thawed out.  Water seeped through the floor and dripped through the basement ceiling.  What a nightmare!!  I had to call Scott to come home early from work because I needed to take the girls to ballet.  Luckily the mess is now cleaned up.  Fortunately, we have a 25 year old fridge in the garage that runs like a champ!  I'm sure it's not energy efficient, but it was made back in the time when appliances were built to last.  Looks like I will be appliance shopping this weekend.  I need to buy an over-the-range microwave too because that recently died as well.  Nice.  And I thought I was going to be able to quilt my runner too last night, HA!  I'm just thankful now that I got it pieced!

This is the original pattern design.  Very pretty.  

I'm starting to decorate with Easter decor.  This little guy recently followed me home from my friend Daphne's shop.
I can't help, but smile whenever I look at him (or her?)!!!  :-)  So cute!!!
Even looks cute on my new runner!!  Happy April Fool's Day everyone!!  :-)

Make sure you stop by later to see the parade of "Endless Summer" quilts on Sherri's and Sinta's blogs.