Some Red, White and Blue

May 28, 2011

I almost only wrote one post this week!! Wow, this week just flew by!  Time flies when you are having fun or in my case quilting. :-)  I recently quilted another client quilt, which I will reveal soon.  It was probably my biggest challenge to date as far as coming up with a good quilt design.  I just kept looking at it and it wasn't speaking to me at all.  Quite the silent the treatment!  LOL!  More about that to come...

I thought I would take a little trip down memory lane with this post.  This is Memorial Day weekend and my very first quilt is fitting.
 I posted about it during my first days in blogging.  You can read about it here.
I machine quilted it all on my first little sewing machine.  All stitching in the ditch.  I was very happy and proud when I finished it!!!  I didn't cut any points off and my seams are pretty perfect.  Although it's a smaller project, it probably isn't a "beginner" quilt.  It has set-in seams and the center house block is all paper pieced.  It was a fabulous introduction to quilting! I do have what I've come to understand is called a "humility block" in this quilt.  I'll give you a hint...when you look at the flag block in the upper right corner.  It's hard to tell, hence why it's in the quilt.  The cream stripe directly under the star block is wrong side out.  It was subtle enough that I didn't rip it apart to fix it.  No one notices until I point it out.  This quilt will hang from now until Fall with the rest of my red, white and blue decor.
Here are a few of my Americana/patriotic themed decorations.

 This is above our entertainment center.

Last, but not least!
Scooter!!  Taking a nap on my pie safe on top of Butter Churn!!  Scooter has been with us for about a month.  Kristin is home for the weekend and will be taking him back Monday. :-(  I think Sarge will be walking around with perma-smile on his face Monday night! LOL!

I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Grad Photo Quilt

May 25, 2011

Yikes!! I've been an absentee blogger lately.  Trust me I haven't been lounging on my couch eating chocolates either!  It's been crazy around here.  Spring is always a crazy time around here.  The girls have so much going on, Spring planting, work...the list goes on.  Our neighbors' daughter is graduating and her open house is this coming weekend, so I've been frantically getting the outside of our house ready too, whenever I've had a spare moment.  All my annuals are planted and Scott got the garden in.  I feel like I still need a few flower pots, but oh well.

When I'm not running around like a mad woman, I've been quilting.  The thing I love to do most!!  I've been staying up way too late quilting.  Scott keeps joking that he is going to put a picture of me on my pillow, so he can remember what I look like!  Ha ha.  Right now I'm trying to find balance with all my many jobs and quilting.  Also please excuse my lack of email returning response time too.  Starting June 1st, I'll be working at the quilt shop one day a week and quilting for others the other days!!!  Yippee!!  I'll actually be able to set normal "work" aka quilting on Annie, hours for myself!!  I'm so excited!!  Hopefully, no more quilting into the middle of the night.  I am overcome with emotion that my dream of quilting for others is actually a reality now!  I feel very fortunate.  If you would have told me a year ago I would be doing this and quilting tops for some of quilt blogging idols, I would have said you're crazy!!  I literally am pinching myself.

I can finally reveal the grad top today.  The client is picking it up this morning.
I love how it turned out!!

I had a lot of fun with different quilting patterns and threads.  Speaking of threads...I used 11 different threads on this quilt!!  Not sure that was too time efficient.  I'm sure I could have gotten by on fewer thread changes, but oh well because I love how it turned out.
The back.  This quilt took me longer than I expected it would because of the amount of stitch in the ditch and ruler work involved going around the photos.  Newbie mistake.

I hope my client loves it as much as I do!

Studio Space

May 20, 2011

I've been busy working on client quilts.  Nothing I can reveal yet.  Soon, though!!  I know I've posted pics of my quilting Studio before, aka Annie's Studio, but I've had some recent questions about my setup.  Also I've add some things.
Scott installed and built this awesome pressing station for me.  It's over 8' long.  It's a must!  It stands out from the wall about 6" so I can easily press a large quilt top or backing.  All the cabinetry is fabulous for storing and keeping client quilts organized.

I've decorated the top cabinets with some pineapples and signs.
I now have a great place to hang quilt tops until they "speak to me" and tell me what kind of quilting they would like or I can hang finished quilts of my own.  ha-ha!!
It's just a simple curtain rod, but it works great! 
I love my pineapple on an arrow hanger!!
This is the area right behind me as I'm quilting.  It's nice to have all my tools an arm reach away when I'm quilting.

Additional space for threads.  Another pineapple.
The "Rock Star" in all this!
My sign above the doorway as you enter The Quilted Pineapple Studio.  Scott designed some personalized signs for me.
Scott also surprised me with this sign.  It's my logo he designed with my initials in the pineapple!!  Cool, huh??  Pretty clever.

In order to transform this room, it was a quite the little project.  Yeah right.  Remember this is how this room used to look.
I think I like it better now! :-)


May 18, 2011

WIP or work in progress.  I'm currently in the process of custom quilting a client quilt.  It's a memory/photo quilt for a soon to be high school grad.  It's super cute and fun, but the layout makes for some creative quilting.  The client did not want me to stitch on the photos, so I'm stitching around them which is pretty slow going.  It took me a while to figure out how I should quilt this top, but I finally did.  I kept the top out while I was working on other things hoping that a quilt design would just pop out at me.  Well, several did, but none that really spoke to me.  Finally, it just happened.   It's the best feeling when it just all of the sudden becomes clear!!  I'll give you a little peak because it's still a WIP.
The layout of the quilt is 5 blocks across by 7 down.  The blocks are 8" X 10."  This is a long and narrow quilt.  The blocks alternate between photos and prints.
I quilted piano keys in the outer border and a pretty swirl feather in the sashing.  I'm really loving that design!
I'm using many different threads.  Not sure how I feel about varigated threads yet???  Pretty, but more work to tension.

I can't wait to show the finished quilt!! :-)

Rita's Quilt

May 16, 2011

Oh gosh, it is been one of those weekends where all I did was run around and nothing went smoothly.  It poured rain all weekend too!  I wanted to start quilting a client quilt, but realized I have no navy thread.  I couldn't believe it!!  How could I let that one get by me???  So I had to order some and moved on to another client quilt.  I know now to double check that I have the right threads!!!  Newbie mistake.  Sunday, we participated in the Race for the Cure in  downtown Kalamazoo.  My dad's good friend lost his wife to Breast Cancer 5 yrs ago, so we did the Mile Family Walk in her memory.  It was cold and poured rain the entire time for the 5 hours we were outside!!  I swear my feet were still freezing when I went to bed last night!!  I bought the girls some light pink ponchos for a field trip they went on today, so they were a big hit yesterday.  Everyone kept asking me if I had purchased them at the event.  I bought them the night before at Wal-Mart.  When we got home last night, I had to help Scott and the girls pack for an overnight field trip to Mackinac Island.  They got up at 3:30 this morning!!  They will come home tomorrow night.  I just wish the weather was warmer for them.

Anyways, I did finish another client quilt.  Another favorite, of course.  This quilt belongs to Rita, who was also voted as Quilter of the Year for our guild.  It will hang in a special display booth at the quilt show honoring Rita.  Hmmm, no pressure on me to make sure the quilting is beautiful.  Right.
This is a gorgeous scrappy 9 patch quilt.  Here's the story behind this quilt...Rita has made a 9 patch at the end of every quilt she has ever made with the leftover fabrics from the project.  Isn't that just a wonderful idea???  So this quilt has been a work in progress over many years.  Just look at all those 9 patches!!  She requested that I do the same allover that I did on my Tumbler quilt.  She left the borders up to me if I thought they needed a separate treatment.  Of course!! :-)
Gorgeous!  I took inspiration for the border design from the fabric in the borders.
A closeup of the fabric.
The back is so pretty too.
A gorgeous quilt with a great story.

I'm off to work, hopefully later I'll have time to catch up a little!!

The Versatile Blogger Award

May 12, 2011

I would like to give a big thank you to Cathy of Big Lake Quilter for honoring me with The Versatile Blogger Award!!  Thanks Cathy!!

There are a few rules when receiving this award:
Thank the person that gave you this award and link back to them.

Pass along the award to other newly discovered blogging pals.

Tell 7 things about yourself that others may not know about you.  Why 7???  I have no idea, but here goes...It's really hard to think of 7 things when you are on the spot! LOL!

1.  My all time favorite food is the donut!!  I've never met a donut I didn't like!  I swear I could eat a dozen!!  All I can say is that it's a good thing I never worked at a bakery!!  Whenever I go on vacation or visit some place, I usually have to try the local bakery.
Clearly it runs in the family.

2.  I love the South.  I hope to one day live there.  I'm pretty sure I'm a Southern Belle at heart.  Our favorite place to vacation is Tennessee.  Although Hawaii runs a close second.  :-)
Along the river in Gatlinburg, TN.

3.  I'm not a morning person.  No pic needed.

4.  I love to garden!  Vegetable and flower gardening.  I get a little obsessed about weeding.  I do it every morning in the summer.  Actually, Scott plants the garden and I maintain it.
 Our very first garden.

5.  I ran my first 5K last summer with my sister, Kristin.  She talked me into doing it and we ran it together.  It was a great experience and sense of accomplishment because the only running I had ever done was running around the house when the girls were babies!!

6.  I don't like winter or the snow, but you may have kind of guessed that.  My neighbors say that I hibernate from Dec. until March because they never see me!

7.  I started loving Country Music about 7 years ago.  I'm a huge Keith Urban fan!!!  HUGE!!  I see him in concert every year!  This summer I'm going twice!  I can't wait.  Kristin is usually my partner in crime.  A few years ago when we went, I was tossed a drumstick!!  Good times.
Now there's my 7 things.  Now I will pass along this little award...

Stephanie - Peas In a Pod
Desley - Addicted To Quilts
Michele - Island Life Quilts
Kathy - Tamarack Shack
Donna - Sugar, Spice & Southern Life

Joan - Joan at Leschenault


An Evening with Mary Lou Weidman

May 11, 2011

Our guild guest speaker was the very talented Mary Lou Weidman.  She was so entertaining and inspiring!!  I enjoyed her lecture and trunk show so much.  I really wish I would have been able to take her workshops too, but it's just not a good time for me.  At least not right now while I have feathers on the brain!  LOL!  Her whole concept was to think "outside the box" and story quilts.  It was definitely "outside of my quilt box."  I'll be honest, I love very traditional or scrappy quilts.  Initially, Mary Lou's quilts look very nontraditional, but after her lecture and seeing her amazing quilts, she uses some traditional blocks and a scrappy flair.  I loved them!!!  I will apologize now for my terrible picture taking are just a few of her quilts...
I love her beautiful colors of fabric!!  As well as her great sense of humor!!  See the article of clothing hanging in the middle of the clothesline??  LOL!

I love all her details.  Mary Lou would talk about the importance of a quilt telling a story and how many of her family members would inspire her or life experiences, like your mom, aunts and Mary Lou becoming a grandmother.  I loved that concept!  That you could make a hundred beautiful pieced traditional quilts, but if you made one unique, personal story quilt that would be the quilt everyone would love and want some day.  So true.  The next quilt was my favorite.  I think the story is pretty evident.  :-)
You can't see in the photo all the gorgeous crystal embellishments, but it is stunning!!

Her book is wonderful, Out of the Box.  You can purchase it on her website here
She also has a new book coming out on July 11 that she talks about on her blog Mary Lou and Cherries Too as well.  I'll be looking forward to that!!

It was a great evening filled with inspiring eye candy!

Mother's Day

May 10, 2011

First of all, I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day!  I did!  It was so nice outside and I actually had some time to do some of my own sewing.  Scott and the girls always surprise me with some wonderful gifts on Mother's Day and this year was no exception.  This year's gifts had a bit of a quilting theme.
The girls and Scott worked together to create this beautiful garden stone for me.  I love it!!  Scott said it was completely the girls' idea too!!  I can't wait to put it out in the landscape in front of the house.  Now my next gift is probably my second favorite gift of the day...
A tape measure!!  I really really needed this too.  I was using Scott's bulky, broken tape measure to measure client tops.  You know it's love when you get a tape measure for Mother's Day and you're excited!!  The tape measure is propped up against little albums with my business cards on the front.  The albums are for showing photos of my quilting to potential clients.  Another great gift!  Scott is pretty smart.  :-)

And rounding out my quilt themed Mother's Day...
My first quilting magazine cover!!!  Probably my only.  :-)  I had such a good laugh with the "Frogging 101" on the cover.  LOL!  My family made me feel like a "quilting queen!"

I worked at the shop yesterday and then headed over to my quilt guild meeting.  I almost didn't go to the meeting because I was exhausted after work, but I needed to deliver another client quilt before the meeting.  I'll be able to share that quilt soon.  I'm so glad I went to the meeting because the guest speaker was Mary Lou Weidman.  She was awesome!!!  I will tell you all about that in my next post.

Piece de Resistance

May 6, 2011

I don't even know how to begin explaining how much I love this quilt.  I had the honor and pleasure to quilt this large, gorgeous quilt from my client Sharon.  Sharon is a former co-worker at the quilt shop.  She also is a member of our guild.  We have become really good friends in the last few months, unfortunately for me, although I am happy for Sharon, she is moving out of state next month.  I was super nervous to quilt for her because she is a very accurate, precise and excellent quilter.  Thank goodness all my nervousness did not translate to my quilting because I am very happy with how the quilt turned out!
I quilted a meandering feather allover in the center.  I love this design!!  It's going to be one of my favorites. 
I quilted a chubby leaf design in the sashing.  Perfect for the Fig Tree fabrics used in this quilt.
I love the outer borders with a whimsical, swirl feather.
Can you believe I forgot to take a pic before I started quilting???  Oh well.  The back is so gorgeous too.  All beautiful texture.  Sharon opted for wool batting, which really shows off the quilting.

The funny thing is I always take lot of pics while I'm quilting on the machine to download on the computer to look at.  It gives me a better perspective of how the quilting looks.  Even if I think I really like the quilting, while I'm doing it I see every little thing and I am so close that I start to question how it looks.
After I saw question.

I know I may have mentioned just a few times how much I've loved the client quilts I've quilted and how difficult it to give them back...well I actually DID get this quilt back!!  Just temporarily. :-)  Sharon just left for Paris yesterday for a little vacation with her two daughters.  Doesn't that sound wonderful??  She is going to miss our guild meeting Monday and then she'll be moved before the June meeting, so I am going to take this quilt to show at the meeting on Monday in Sharon's absence.  Sharon was extremely pleased with her quilt!  She just loves it!!  I had a feeling she might.

I've been busy quilting on Annie.  I'm thinking she is going to need a spa day too!  LOL!  I'm off to catch up on emails and blogs.

I would like to wish a everyone A Happy Mother's Day Sunday!!