Words To Live By

October 28, 2013

Today I arrive at Quilt Market. Just in time for the last day. :-) I will be in Houston through Festival in the Primitive Gatherings booth. I will take plenty of photos this year. :-) Be sure to stop by if you are there!!

I had a HUGE response to my last post. Several emails requesting many more tips. So look for those to come. :-)

Anyone participate in the 2013 Summer Block of the Week, Words To Live By from Primitive Gatherings?? Well I finished quilting it a little while ago. IT IS beautiful!!! It is hanging in the Moda booth at Market. I will post many more photos but I will give you a peek just before I board my plane. :-)

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How Do I Come Up With Quilt Designs?

October 26, 2013

Thank you for all the positive comments regarding my new look!!  I have to admit, I am pretty smitten with it myself.  It makes me happy every time I see it.  Just brings a smile to my face and I guess that is what it is all about. :-) Another cool thing...not sure if you noticed, but if you hover your mouse over my photos, my very own custom "Pin It" button magically appears!!  Try it, I guarantee you will think it is cool too. :-) You can still click on photos to enlarge them.  I just wanted to make it super easy for my fellow Pinterest addicts to pin photos they found inspirational.  Again, thank you to my amazing designer Kerri.

Moving forward, I am going to try and post some tips and tutorials on quilting, designs, products I like to use...etc.  I will then post them under the "Tutorials" tab, so readers can readily access them.  These tips or tutorials are based on my own experience or trials and errors (tons).  By no means are these the only way to do things or even the correct way...they are my way.  My hope is maybe some of the knowledge I have gained will be helpful to someone...everyone, not just longarm quilters. :-)

"How do I come up with quilt designs?"  I receive this question by far the most often.  It is also the question I ask myself every time I start on a new top.  "What I am going to quilt on this??  This is still the hardest part of quilting for me.  For some quilters this is the easy part, well not for me!  Each new top is like the first day on a new job for me.  I always empathize with newbie quilters that ponder that question. 
 My suggestions...start looking for inspiration.  Pinterest, magazines, books, the Internet...your surroundings.  Find things that appeal to you.  Draw those designs out.  Draw.  Doodle.  DRAW!!  Did I mention drawing out designs??  It will teach your brain the movements you need to quilt those designs!!!!  PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If you repeatedly do something over and OVER, you will get better.  I promise.  :-)  Patience.   Yes, I am work in progress on that one. :-)
Remember when I mentioned that part about drawing (lol), my favorite tool...the whiteboard.  I think everyone should have one.  I use it all the time!!!  It is my absolute favorite design tool.  I LOVE it!  If I cannot draw a design, I cannot quilt it.  Thank goodness my quilting looks a whole lot better than my drawing. :-) I even draw designs right before I quilt them just to give my brain a head start.  It is like a warm up.  It works!!!  I find my quilting to be smoother then if I had a cold start.
Choose designs that you can execute well.  This is especially true for new quilters.  If you have mastered quilting swirls...then quilt all sorts of swirls.  Big ones, little ones...etc.  As your confidence and skills grow, add designs.  Even if they are "easy" designs, if you do them well, they will look beautiful. 
Just do it!  Do not over think it.  Yes, I am guilty of this too.  There have been times where if I did not load a quilt top, I would have never have quilted it.  I can over think things to the point of paralysis.  If the design does not work, you can always pick it out.  No one wants to do this torturous task, but it is not the end of the world.  I have never met a stitch I could not pick out. :-)  Some of my best designs have come from trial and error.  :-)

I could not write a post without some quilt photos.  You guys would think you were at the wrong place!  I have my Canasta Schnibbles all quilted!  Even the binding is on.  Not completely hand stitched down yet.  I will show you a peek now. :-)
I cannot believe this is my quilt and I get to keep it!!!

I had good intentions of piecing the newest Schnibbles, Clover, before I left for Houston, but that is not going to happen.  I have a good start and will finish I when I return home. :-)
Sarge approves.

Middle Child

October 22, 2013

Did you notice anything new and different??  You guessed it...a new blog design!!!!  I had the old design since I started this blog 3 years AGO!!  I figured it was time for a little update.  :-)  Kerri at The Cutest Blog on the Block here did an AMAZING job!!!!!  I could not be happier with what she designed!!!  She was an absolute dream to work with!!!  I am finally using my logo, which Scott designed when I began on this journey.  He is so creative incorporating my initials into the pineapple like that!  Kerri did a wonderful job adding the perfect colors to it.   Probably my second favorite thing about the new design...can you guess...my very OWN feathers in the background!  You all know that I feather anything I can get my hands on! lol  Again, Kerri did an amazing job capturing "me" in the new design.  Thank you so much again, Kerri!!!!  You ROCK!

This is kind of a test post.  I have a new watermark for my photos that I am still getting the hang of.  I literally had to draw names from a hat to decide what to post about next.  So much to post about...so little time.  I guess that is one of the reasons I love Instagram so much.  October is just zooming by.  Before I know it, I will be in Houston again!  Looking forward to it, although I never look forward to the packing part. :-)  This is the first Quilt Market in a quite a while that I am not frantically quilting all night like a maniac to get quilts finished.  What a welcome change!!!  Still quilting, but not in Olympic time. :-)

I still need to post some gorgeous flannel quilts from Flannel Gatherings by Lisa Bongean.  These are just too beautiful and deserving...to not post them would be a crime.  Each time I finished a flannel quilt, that particular quilt would become my new favorite.  It is safe to say, I have A LOT of favorites.  :-)  Next up...Middle Child available here.  It is bold and beautiful.  What a wonderful combination!
I had to have Lisa send me photos of this beauty from the Des Moines show because (gasp) I forgot to take photos of the finished quilt!!!  I know, so unlike me!
 All threads are Superior So Fine.  Batting is Dream Wool.  The design was bold in nature with awesome space for quilting to show.  Wool was the perfect complement.  The wool gives the quilting amazing texture and dimension.
 I love to mix straight lines with feathers!  The contrast gives nice visual appeal.  I feathered or quilted curvy swirls in the vast majority of the cream flannel and straight line designs in the darker flannels.
I think I have all 4 corners represented.
I love the center!  These feathers are similar to my new blog background! :-)
Red Star points have a great design accentuating the triangular shape.
 Beautiful feathers in the outer border.  Straight diagonal quilting in the brown, inner border.
A few "in Progress photos" aka the only ones I remembered to take. :-)
 All quilting is freehand. :-) And of course my bff...my straight ruler.  I pre-marked the inner brown border with chalk to make quilting the lines easier.
Still a favorite...

Mercerie Schnibbles

October 1, 2013

Thank you so much for all the kind comments on my last post regarding Rita's quilt! Thank you. :-)

It is October 1st and that means it is Schnibbles reveal day!!! Yippee!  It was nearly a miracle that I actually pieced one last month (Canasta), but 2 months in a row!!!  I am on a roll.  Seriously, you would have better chances betting on the Detroit Lions to win 2 games in a row.  It is just so hard to pass up a new Schnibbles pattern.  I ordered the PDF of Mercerie from Carrie's website here as soon as I saw it.  Mercerie Schnibbles is by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.  I knew I had just the charm packs I wanted to use too...like it was meant to be. (wink wink)
I used two charm packs of 1862 Battle Hymn by Barbara Brackman for Moda.  The background a reproduction fabric from the line Civil War Ladies by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics.  This pattern went together so easily and quickly, it practically pieced itself!  It could easily be done in a day or afternoon of uninterrupted sewing time.  I wouldn't know anything about that, but I imagine it could be done. :-)  I actually finished this a few weeks ago...way ahead of the reveal.  Just 10 minutes here and there between machine quilting...DONE!  Just follow Carrie's GENIUS instructions and you're golden!
I made a few of the blocks a little scrappy.  I really would like to make this pattern again, but completely scrappy!
Blocks came out the exact size the pattern (Carrie) said they would.
 I used the Fit To Be Quarter ruler from Monique Dillard available here that Carrie suggested.
All pieced.  At this point, I am always undecided on borders.
I tried them on and decided I preferred it with borders.
Make sure you stop by Sinta and Sherri's blogs later to see the Parade Mercerie Schnibbles.