I'm Bringing Spring Back-Wooly Friday Style

January 20, 2012

So it's been a crazy week.  Crazy.  Elaina was selected for Student of the Month for the entire 5th grade!!  We are so proud.  We went to the school board meeting Monday where she received an award.  Alyssa was so supportive.  I worried a little that it might be a little hard for her, but she congratulated her sister and was just as proud as we were.  I think it helped that when the principal talked about what Elaina's interests were, Elaina said dancing and spending time with Alyssa. :-)

Kind of funny story...well now it is after the initial panic.  I tried to fry my iPhone this week.  Literally.  I put it on the cook top instead of a pan!!  I had a pink case on it, melted that.  Luckily, the iPhone is genius and goes into a mode where it recognizes the temp is too hot and temporarily shuts down.  My phone was like a hot potato!!  Too hot to even hold!  We put it in the fridge for a while, it was like new!!  I left in a little longer for safe measure!! LOL!  Moral of the story, I'm trying to do too many things at once and not paying attention.

I'm counting down the days until Spring.  I cannot wait for sunshine and warmer weather!!  Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while, knows I'm not a fan of snow, cold temps and gray cloudy days.  I decided to infuse the house with a little spring with finishing my "Daisy Table Mat" from Primitive Gatherings!!
 I actually have been working on this since last April.  I finished all the stitching last August while on vacation.  I just need to finish up the back. 
Here's a close up of some of the detail, which makes all the difference.  This is what it looked like before.  What a difference!!
 I noticed while at Primitive Gatherings, how flat all the wool mats and penny rugs were.  Mine never lay flat like that.  During our time with Lisa Bongean, she really gave us a lot of pointers on how to achieve that.  Especially when applying the backing and stitching around the mat.  How you press makes a huge difference and use lots-o-steam!!
I am pleased to say my mat is flat as a pancake and perfect!
Looks good at night too!  I LOVE it!!!  I little spring is just what I need!
The mat finishes at about 18".  The candle holder with glass chimney is also from Primitive Gatherings.  I ordered it a few years ago.  I love it too.  I change the candle and fixings based on the season.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.  I know some twin girls that have a birthday around the corner.  We are having a sleepover tonight.  Yikes!! LOL!! :-)

Stack-n-Whack Quilt

January 13, 2012

I'm sure many of you have probably heard, the Midwest had a little snow storm blow in.  I'm glad it wasn't as bad as they were predicting it was going to be.  This has been my kind of winter so far because there hasn't been much of one!! :-)  I've been busy quilting for clients.  I use the term "quilting" loosely because I believe, no I DO spend more time trying to figure out what I'll be quilting AND unquilting, aka picking quilting out, than I do actually quilting.  I can't wait to reveal some of the quilts I've been working on, but until they return to their homes, I don't like to spill the beans. :-)

In the meantime, I have plenty of quilts to share that I haven't posted about yet.  Starting with Katie's quilt.  Katie made this gorgeous Stack-n-Whack out of some beautiful Asian fabric as a Christmas gift to her in-laws.  Funny little story before I show you her quilt...I actually did Katie's makeup for her wedding a few years ago.  That was back in my makeup artist days.  Fast forward a few years and now I'm quilting for her!!
Katie did a beautiful job on the fabric.  Perfect for a Stack-n-Whack.  Katie chose to go with an allover quilt design, as this quilt is HUGE!  I did a freehand swirl feather.  I love it!!!  A new design.  It is a very pretty design that is very forgiving.  Meaning if there is fullness or issues in the quilt top, it's pretty easy to work with.
 There was a lot of gold in the fabric, so I used a gold thread from Glide which was perfect.  I'm really starting to love Glide thread.  It is super strong, runs like butter on my machine and has the look of metallic thread without having the fussiness of a metallic thread.  The only thing is, I think you need to have the right quilt for this type of thread.  I'm thinking it wouldn't work for a prim or reproduction quilt.  If you have the right quilt, like this one...it's awesome!!
I used a ton of thread.  This cone was brand new when I started.  I actually really used it too, meaning I didn't have to pick out of this quilt once, well except when my bobbin ran out! 
I like to play a little game of "guess how many bobbins am I going to need" before I start every quilt.  I wind so many bobbins before I start and see how close I actually come to how many I really needed.  I'm not very good at my game...I always end up winding more bobbins.  Actually with this quilt, I came really close.  I thought I wasn't going to have to wind anymore... well until the very end.
I was down to just this area left to quilt when the bobbin ran out.  Luckily, I still had some thread left on another bobbin to finish it.
Or so I thought.  The bobbin ran out with just this tiny little bit left to finish!!! LOL!!   Can you believe it???  I was soooo close!!  So, yes I had to unthread my machine to take the cone off to wind just a small amount on a bobbin to finish the quilt.  Normally it would be no biggie to wind another bobbin full, but I don't use this thread often enough to justify keeping a bobbin full around.  Empty bobbins are a precious commodity around here.  They are pricey little suckers.  I have about 30 bobbins in total.  You would think that would be plenty, but you would be surprised at how quickly left over bobbins accumulate. 

The backing is just as pretty as the front.  Katie incorporated all her leftovers from the top.
The batting is Hobbs 80/20.  And before quilting.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Coxcombs & Berries

January 6, 2012

It's my first Wooly Friday of 2012.  For those of you that are new to my blog, my daughters have dance class on Fridays.  While they are at dance, I like to work on stitching wool projects to pass the time.  The last few months, however, I haven't worked on any wool projects because Scott has been taking the girls to dance so I could stay home and work on client quilts.  I'm really excited to get back to Wooly Fridays because I have a new, awesome project to work on!!  While on our girls' retreat to Primitive Gatherings, we also had a wool workshop with Lisa Bongean.  The project was a surprise and one of Lisa's brand new designs!!  We kind of got to be guinea pigs for her new pattern.  FUN!!  The project was a runner called  Coxcombs & Berries.

It's a stunning design!  Yummy wool set on a backdrop of Lisa's new line of flannels, Wool & Needle Flannels for Moda.  It's a nice sized project.  I believe with the borders it finishes at 17" X 58".  Here is mine so far...
 Of course mine doesn't have the berries quite yet.  :-)  Or the borders for that matter.
I haven't decided quite yet if I am going to add them or not.  I've decided not to use mine as a runner but to have it framed instead.  I have the perfect spot above the sofa in the downstairs for it.  Wouldn't it look fabulous with one of those primitive frames in red or in the brown of the vines??  I think so!!

We learned so much from Lisa on shortcuts and tips when working with wool.  Especially how to make our vines look similar from one side of the project to the other.  Here's some of the stitching that I have so far...
Lisa showed us some new stitches to add great detail to our projects.  The vines are my favorite because they look awesome and this goes so much faster than a blanket stitch!! :-)  Genius.
My friend Patti has already completed her project and then some!  She made hers into a valance, plus she made a mini version as a valance for her smaller window.
Patti just recently remodeled her kitchen and needed new window treatments.  Genius!!!  She used some Little Gatherings fabric to frame the project.  I love how they look!! FYI, her new kitchen is amazing.  I'll share pics as soon as I get them! 

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!  I'm back to client quilts after a little hiatus. :-)

Hello 2012

January 5, 2012

Happy New Year everyone!! Did everyone ring in the new year with a bang?  Not here, well, I mostly rang in the new year and then some in my pj's.  :-)  2011 was an amazing year and I was sad to see it go in many ways.  I'll never forget 2011 because it was the year I began my longarm quilt journey.  It's fun to look back through the year and see my progress.  It was exactly a year ago today that Jamie Wallen came over to set me up!!  I can't believe it's been a year!!

I think I met more new people aka quilters in 2011 than I've met in my whole life.  Many are new friends through blogging and many were through longarm quilting.  It was fun to meet faraway clients in person like JoAnne, who lives in my favorite vacation place of all time...Hawaii!!  It's been really nice to make new connections and bonds through quilting.  I hope to do the same or more in 2012.
I'm really looking forward to 2012.  It'll be fun to see how my longarming skills will continue to grow and expand.  I'm hoping to squeeze in a little more time for my own stuff, which didn't always happen in 2011.  Learning to longarm takes serious time!  But that's okay because I had a blast playing foster mom to lots of gorgeous quilts!! :-)  Another Year of Schnibbles is starting this month!!  I'm way excited to participate in that.  Le Petite was a blast!!  Are any of you joining in??  You should.  I've been lurking around in Blogland and looks like there is going to be some awesome participants.

So I did have one last finish for 2011.   
An Apple Core quilt!!!  Can you believe it only took me a few hours to make??  Honest.  It's because the center is a printed panel!!!  Looks pretty good though, doesn't it? :-)  I've always wanted an Apple Core quilt, but knew I would never make one.  I just happened to see this quilted and on display at Life's A Stitch Quilt Shoppe in Janesville Wisconsin.  Last November, my girlfriends and I stopped in Janesville on our pilgrimage to Quilter's Paradise aka Primitive Gatherings.  I didn't realize it was a "cheater" panel until I was checking out the quilting.  FYI, I'm obsessed with the quilting on quilts now.  I loved it right from the word GO.  I thought it would be a fun quilt to quilt and throw on the couch.  Pat, the owner, is the nicest person.  Her shop is well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.  Anyways, I whipped this up in a few hours while on our retreat at The Gatherings.  Another amazing aspect of 2011, finally going to Primitive Gatherings!!  Lisa, her staff and mom where the best hostesses!!!  A trip I will never forget.

Stop back tomorrow and see what we worked on at the retreat.  It's a beauty!!  It'll be my first Wooly Friday for 2012.

Thanks everyone for helping to make 2011 so special.  Best wishes to all of you in the coming year!