Sunday, July 11, 2010

When there is more quilt than space

I have to say that one of the most useful quilt class I have taken is a class by Sue Patten.  She tells of opening her quilting business by offering to quilt all her guild's quilts.  Some were less than perfect but she was able to quilt out the extra bult by just quilting. 

Now, I have never been a quilt snob as some are.  I don't have a list of things you can't have in your quilt in order for me to quilt it.  I don't audition my piecers in order to quilt for them.  I'm happy go lucky and truthfully, I started longarming because I didn't want anyone scrutinizing my piecing ability........

Here is a quilt that had a little extra... But turned out great!
I used the quilting a rose tutorial on youtube to do the rose buds and then did leaves in the other areas of the block.

Feather and vines in two borders (going in different directions, so we wouldn't get caught up in the direction) and wavy lines in the other border.  There were polka dots in that border so I didn't want to do straight lines in case the dots weren't straight.  And I needed to take up some bulk. 

Again, this was a great experience.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


You've heard about BeBe my special needs dogs.  Here are the other nuts in my house.  I guess in seniority, there is Chippy.  We got Chippy from the Humane Society the first summer we lived in Longmont.  Our first black cat was Rudy.  She was giving to me on my 21st birthday.  The best cat evah.....Anyhoo, what can I say about Chippy.  He's a great cat.  He doesn't meow, he grunts in a cat-like way.  He'll sleep with Sam at night and he likes to hang out in the back yard and in the garage.  This is the Chipster.

Chip likes to sleep in/on black things. 

Then there is Java.  Java is our first foray into greyhounds.  We lost my bestest buddy Delta to liver disease and after about six months we found Java.  He was a retired racer with the name Maui Breezer.  They renamed him Kona which means hawaiian princess ( not good for a boy dog).  Java was/is a great dog.  He loves people.  At the dog park, BeBe will be chasing other dogs and Java will be hanging with the people so they will pet him.  He's my hip dog.  He is always there for a pet.  He also follows me everywhere.  It gets annoying when I am cleaning house.  He'll bump into me it I stop to think.  Java loves his walks. 

By the way,  it is very difficult to photograph a flat dog.  This is a great picture.

Here is BeBe and Java sleeping together.

The Beebster is scared of people.  She'll let Ed touch her when she's been sleeping but generally she won't let anyone but me touch her.  She looks fat here but she's not.  She reminds me of Donkey in Shrek with her long  body, shorter legs and bouncy ears.

Finally, the newest addition.  Ozzy, aka, Little Cat or LC.  He's a nut.  He'll knock you down just becuase.  And I can honestly say, that since he's been around, there is no peace on the table.  Anyhoo, I had a quilt in a box, and LC had to sleep on it. 

LC is totally different from Chippy.  Short Hair, little head, different eyes.  But all in all, you really have to look and compute to figure out which cat is there. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Quilting with Stencils

One of my friends, Mary Beth, has more time to think that is necessary (just kidding) and came up with a stencil challenge for the folks on AQPS chat.  Well, I'm not a big stencil girl.  I'm more of a 'fly by the seat of my .... kind of girl.  I just let it fly and see what happens.  I also have great customers who generally say, 'do what you think is best'.  That definitely keeps me in my comfort zone but it doesn't challenge me.  I have recently started quilting for a magazine and they tell me exactly what to do and how to do it.  Although, there is no comfort, it gets me out and challenges me. 

As does this one customer.  She likes one thread color, whereas I'm more comfortable matching thread to the fabric.  So I had this great quilt with churndash blocks and applique and I thought about this stencil challenge.  There were alternating blocks, one empty and one with wool applique.  So I chose a stencil from Thimbleberries and freehanded everything else to coordinate.  I'm not sure the pictures are great, but it was a fun quilt and I enjoyed doing it. 

One thing that I can say, the muscles used to follow a stencil are definitely different that the free-hand frenzy.  I enjoyed this challenge and although I won't enter into the challenge because I'm way more surfer dude carefree than most quilters, I learned that any time you challenge yourself, you grow!

Like I said, the pictures aren't great but they are pictures.  The block has the stencil which has a heart and leaves in it.  The thick border (three borders) were a challenge because I would normally do three separate borders (growth) so I did a heart vine, to mimick the stencil. 

The leaves are brought back in the outer portions of the churndash block with the applique and there is a heart loop in the blue sashing.
Here you can see the stencil with the two inspiried parts. 

The quilt was tooooooo cute.  Thanks Mary Beth for the challenge.

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Digs

I thought about this blog today and I tried to think of the last time I wrote something.  I knew it was March 1st but I tried to make it May 1st because that would be easier to explain.  Yikes.  I can say I've been busy but probably not that busy.  So I will try to do better.  I bought a new camera for Mother's Day and I barely got it set up when a wonderful thing happened.

Here's the back story.  I gave up my sewing room last year when my son got his drum set.  He got the big room in the basement to house his drums and multiple guitars.  I took the same sized but not quite the same family/office space downstairs.  My old sewing room was long and skinny and there was alot of storage space on one end because there were no doors, etc.  The new room is the same size but there are doors and windows on all sides so I wasn't able to store my nuts for winter.  It was a rude awakening when I got everything out and I had another room filled with my 'quilting stuff'. 

At the same time as the room swap, we bought another longarm machine.  So things were tight, to say the least.  I was able to quilt but there was no piecing at all except if I went some place else.  Things were ok but I was always on the look out for a solution.  I found a couple of great places but they involved moving to  a different house.  Besides the stinky economy, I love my neighborhood.  We back to a park and a walking path and we are minutes from where we need to be. 

I got desperate in April or May and thankfully my husband found an add for an affordable commercial space.  When he finally called, it was perfect.  1050 square feet, with a big garage door and a commercial front.  Well, I've been there for a month and a half and I LOVE IT.  We have partitioned off the back third and have moved all our storage there.  Both machines fit great and I have a great sewing space.  I think that one of my friends will probably teach classes there and I have already volunteered to accept quilts for the quilt guild quilt show.  The best thing.... I finished three quilts for my family and two magazine quilts since I've been there.  I hope to finish three more this month.  So here are some pics.

This is the 2002 Milli on the 14 foot table with the Compuquilter system.  See the fabric partition that separates the storage space.

This is the 12 foot table with the 2008 Milli for the majority of the custom quilting.

Ironing and thread and dog bed, although the dogs have only been there once and they were freaked out.

There is an 8' x 8' office space that is partitioned off.  This is where the sewing machine is.

The front of the space and the cutting table and plenty of peg board space for tools and rulers. There is still alot I can do but it is definitely a bright working space.