Alpine Wonder Land

November 30, 2011

Winter officially arrived last night in the form of a snow storm.  Yuck!  It's been mild and lovely here and then all of the sudden it was a blizzard!  Heavy, destructive snow.  School was cancelled today for the girls.  While I enjoy having them home, I can't get much done.  Elaina had been home anyways, which worked out well for her to have a day off of school.  We ended up taking her to the doctor on Monday.  Her fever wouldn't break and she was just so sick.  I thought we were going to need to go to the ER, but doctor got us in last minute.  Turns out she has a form of strep.  Not the typical one they test for in the office.  They sent her cultures to the hospital.  She's on antibiotics now and wow have they been miracle drugs for her.  She is getting back to herself and feeling much better.

I recently quilted Alpine Wonder for my client June.  I thought that Alpine Wonder was an appropriate post considering it's totally winter here now.
 I am very happy with how it turned out!  I have some experience quilting Alpine Wonder as I've quilted my own version.  However, that was long before I had my longarm and FMQ it on my sewing machine.  I posted it here.  I'm pleased to say it went much faster on the longarm, but it still took me way longer than I thought it would.  Naturally.
I used a variegated blue thread for the sky which I did not get a good photo of.  It was a actually a cotton King Tut thread.  First time I tried it.  I had a little spool and it was perfect.  Surprisingly no issues.
On the branches I used a light green Bottom Line thread on top and So Fine in the bobbin.  This was the first time I used Bottom Line on the longarm too.  Again, no issues.  It is left over from when I quilted my Alpine.  I had a terrible time FMQ with the Bottom Line on my sewing machine.  Thread was shredding like crazy.  I'm sure it was operator error. :-)  I was so happy to get the tree done.  It took me nearly an hour per branch level!!!!  Lots of quilting there!!
I used So Fine thread on the trunk.  I love how the trunk came out!! It's my favorite.
Finally, on the snow,  I used So Fine thread again.  Pebbling and swirly snow.  Makes it look a little like trapunto.
I used Hobbs 80/20 batting.  June was thrilled with her Alpine.  She is going to apply all clear crystals on it.  I think that will look sharp.  I used colored on mine.  June already has a place to hang her Alpine!

So this is what it looks like out my back porch.  As you can see the girls and Sarge have already been playing in the first snow by all the tracks! :-)
Hope everyone has a great day.  December 1st tomorrow??!!!

Mini Ode To Virginia

November 28, 2011

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!  I know we did!  I ate so much...too much! :-)  I didn't go shopping on Black Friday.  It's just not my thing.  I've done it before, but never felt it was worth it.  I did a little online shopping though.  Good deals and free shipping.  You can't beat it!  Poor Elaina was sick with a fever since Friday.  She had to stay home sick today too.  Her fever spiked again early this morning.  I just checked on her and she's snoring like a hibernating bear!

I wanted to thank everyone for all the kind comments on the original "Ode To Virginia."  I was blushing as I read them.  Well, now I'd like to share "Mini Ode To Virginia."  Deb, once again did a beautiful job.  It was a challenge to try and think of different quilt designs, so the quilts didn't look the same.  There are similarities, but different.  I tell ya, I felt like a magician digging into my black hat for quilting tricks!! LOL!!

That's a lot of pictures!!!  Just a few more.  The back.
 Before quilting.
I used Hobbs Wool, So Fine threads top and bobbin.   I think there were 3 thread color changes. Everything is freehand.  I used my straight ruler and a purple air erasable marker.  Those markers are priceless.  I go through one or two of them on each quilt I quilt.

I'm off to check on Elaina.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

November 23, 2011

 Can you believe it's Thanksgiving Eve????  I surely can't!  I did pretty good with the shopping.  I only forgot like two things.  Luckily, Scott will pick them up on the way home from work today.  We always host Thanksgiving in our home.  Scott's parents and my dad and sister will be here.  The girls love having everyone here.  It's nice not to have to drive anywhere.  So today I will be baking and doing as much prep work as I can.  Hopefully, Sarge won't have a date with a skunk like he did last year!  Fingers crossed.

I have much to be thankful for.  Not sure I know where to family,
 (These photos were taken on our vacation in the Smokey Mountains in August.)
our health, friends, life in general.  I'll be honest,  I'm thankful every day.  Every day.  There is not a day that goes by that I don't take a moment and look around and think about all the things I have to be thankful for.  Now, that we've taken time for "Deep Thoughts by Linda," I wanted to write a fun post about the little silly things that I've been thankful for recently.

I'm thankful that my family is so supportive.
The girls left me this sweet note.  Read it closely.  LOL!!!

I'm thankful is wasn't me that spilled the spaghetti!
Scott and I went to the MSU/UofM game this year.  I'm so thankful we won and I didn't freeze for nothing!!  We had the best time ever with our friends, even though they were our foes for the day!
My friend Belle.  I love this photo.  Belle all in blue and me all in green!!

Last, but certainly not least, I'm so thankful I figured out how to quilt this beautiful quilt.
Does it look a little familiar??  It should.  Oh yes, it's a mini "Ode To Virginia"!!!  It's Deb's other quilt I've been waiting to reveal.  You know I couldn't quilt it exactly like the other!!!  So, here's a little peek of the back.
 I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!!


November 14, 2011

I'm completely wiped out!!  I just got home last night after clocking in nearly 1000 miles in the car last week.  Where did I go...where didn't I go is more the question!!!  Three of us (2 girlfriends and myself) went on an amazing quilt adventure through Illinois and Wisconsin with the final destination of Primitive Gatherings!!!  Best trip EVER!!!  I have much to share. 
 But first things first...
We have a winner.  It's Michele!!!  She wrote:

Count me in :-) I'm so glad to have met you through blogging! Your quilting is inspirational and you are so kind to share your tips :-) 

Thanks Michele!!!  Michele also has a blog.  It's wonderful.  She loves herself some Schnibbles like I do!
Please email me your info Michele.  Congrats!

Thank you to everyone for joining in the giveaway!!!  I think everyone loved my Rudy Reindeer!!  No, I did not make them.  Yes, they are made of wool.  I have more of them too.  Little ones that I just put out at Christmas time.  Will share those when I take the spiders down from Thanksgiving, I mean Halloween.  LOL! 

You guys have made blogging such a pleasure!!  Your comments mean the world to me!!!  Here's to another great year! :-)

Let's Celebrate!

November 10, 2011

First of all, thank you to everyone for all the kind words regarding the quilting "Ode To Virginia." A big thank you to Deb for sending me such a gorgeous quilt to begin with! I mentioned that Halloween was my Blogiversary, so instead of tricks I'm going to offer a treat! Plus, I want to extend my appreciation to all the wonderful people I have "met" through my blog. What better way to do that then to have a little giveaway!! I'm giving away Jacks Scnibbles pattern by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. and 2 charm packs of Grace. All you have to do is leave a comment and I will announce a winner on Monday. You don't have to Follow Me to join in. However, if you do already Follow Me leave me a second comment telling me so and you'll have your name in twice!!! Or if you want to start Following, leave me a second comment that you signed up to Follow and you'll get your name in twice too!!! :-)

My Rudy reindeer are not included. But they make good models don't they? :-) I love them so much, I leave them up all year!

Good luck! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Giveaway now closed.

Ode To Virginia

November 7, 2011

I'm really learning what it means to put your heart and soul into a quilt.  It's what I do with every quilt I get the honor of quilting, but this next quilt took me to a whole 'nother level.  This is another one of Deb's quilts of American Primer fame.  When I opened the box and saw "Ode To Virginia," I looked at Scott and said "I hope when the time comes to quilt this, I'm a really good quilter."  Behold "Ode To Virginia" and a whole lotta photos.
 Yes, each block has a different design.  I had a lot of open areas to really tap into some creativity...that I didn't even know I had! LOL!

 Are you pictured out yet??  Just one more...before quilting.  I've been forgetting to that and a couple of you emailed me that you would like to see before pictures.
I really worried about quilting this one.  I just stress about my quilting doing these beautiful quilts justice. I totally changed my mind like 5 times on what to do with all the borders.  In the end, I went with my gut.  Several hours later...naturally.  All the quilting is freehand, even the feather wreaths.  Let's see how do I describe what I wanted the quilting to do with this quilt???  When you look at this quilt, I wanted to draw your eyes to continually move across the quilt.  I think I did good.  :-)

After, Deb received her quilts she sent me the nicest message.  She said her quilts were "AMAZING" and "even much better than I said they would be."  She was at a retreat and said her cabin mates were "oohing and ahhing" over them.  Deb's kind words made my whole weekend!!

Now the specifics...Hobbs Wool batting and So Fine threads top and bobbin.  FOUR color thread changes!!  This quilt was designed by Deb for her guild as a BOM last year.  Each block represents part of the state of Virginia.  Deb did a phenomenal job!

I could probably post all week on just this quilt.  I have about 100 more photos!  LOL!  Actually, this is #2 of the 3 quilts I quilted for Deb.  I have one more yet to reveal. :-)

American Primer Quilt

November 4, 2011

Geesh, I have officially become an unintentional absentee blogger.  I apologize.  Just crazy busy around here.  Between quilting and family stuff, there's barely been time for sleep.  That's no joke, either.  Twice in a week I nearly pulled an allnighter quilting.  Trust me, I'm waaayyy to old to be doing that.  That should be reserved for college students. :-)  Speaking of school, I didn't realize 5th grade was going to be so much work...for the parents that is.  Wow, lots of homework, projects, studying (FYI...5th graders don't have the first clue on how to study) and reading.  This is the first year that the girls will be receiving letter grades.  We had conferences last night and we are so proud!  The girls received all A's!!!  Gosh, just makes my heart smile writing this.  I'm sorry I have to brag a little.  Not only did they receive all A's, they nearly had a 100% in all their classes.  I'm very proud.

So I had a couple of anniversaries pass by too.  My wedding anniversary was on Oct. 30 and my blogiversary (so not a word) was on Halloween!!  I can't believe it's been a year.  I'm thinking there is going to be some giveaways coming up in honor of such festivities.  Stay tuned.

Finally, I'm going to share the rest of Deb's gorgeous American Primer quilt.  I love this quilt!
 I did some custom quilting in the borders and around the body of the quilt.  The body of the quilt was a new freehand swirl design.  There was a ton of piecing in this quilt with TONS of seams to quilt over.  I felt a complimentary allover design in the center was perfect.  
I quilted feathers in the open white areas.  I tried a little curved cross hatching in those pieced triangle blocks.  The borders are also new designs for me too.  With each quilt, I'm getting braver and braver with trying new designs and techniques.  I think my quilting gets better and better with each quilt too. :-)
Deb did a beautiful job mitering the borders.  The flowers came out perfectly.
I wanted to make sure I came up with a border design that didn't take away from all of Deb's hard work in the borders.  Since the quilt has a patriotic flair, I thought a banner type border would look great.  This is how I did it.
I used my curved crosshatching ruler to quilt the first scallop.  Then I used my one of my circle templates to quilt the next scallop to create the banner.
I then went and added double piano key lines.  I used a purple air erasable marker for guide lines.  Worked out great!!

The back is gorgeous too!
Lots of texture.
You can see the quilting really well in this photo.  I LOVE the look of curved crosshatching!!!!

The batting is Hobbs Wool.  Have I mentioned how much I love the look and feel of wool batting?  It's wonderful!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Oh, and I made a few changes to my blog.  Just a few updates and added some tabs at the top.  I can't believe I figured out to do it!!! LOL! :-)