Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8th Already! Holy Cow!

Hello, I'm still here, been sidetracked by family needs and Thanksgiving! I've been plugging away on the customer quilts as well as my decorations for Christmas. Both are moving along, slowly but making progress!

I've quilted a quilt made from men's clothing, it had shirts and pants in it, very nicely done and easier than I thought to quilt. It was quilted with a basic meander in Superior's Rainbows thread to match the quilt.
I just finished an Oriental quilt made for a lucky granddaughter, the pattern is Terry Atkinson's Snapshot & I'll post a pic when I take one!
More to come later, just wanted to catch up! Enjoy the season, there's snow still on the ground here from Saturday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I've been bitten...

Okay I haven't posted for too long and I blame it on Facebook, I'm hooked, watching what everyone posts and playing Farmville. I have been cleaning the studio and working on my customer quilts running a lot of never ending errands and spending time with my family.
I have to make a wedding quilt for my son and his wife who were married last April. It's been sitting and sitting on the work table just sighing and making it known that I need to get to it if I'm to make it before their first anniversary. I finally cut out the strips but am still having decision problems with the background, can't decide which fabric to use and went looking in Doylestown today and the selection was sparse! I suppose all of the quilt & fabric shops are feeling the pinch of this terrible economy. I suggest that we all try to shop at our LQS' so that they stay around for us.

This quilt was a challenge, every time I'd look at it to design the quilting I'd see something different. The designer & Piecer is Susan Shiveley, she's a mathmatician and she loves creating her designs using math. Her piecing is always spot on too! I wound up creating several different feather designs, stippling the background and doing some continous curves.

This weekend we put up our Christmas lights, it was 60' and sunny, not Christmasy feeling but a good day to get it done! Here's a pic of The Bandit, she is getting so big!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Everything happens for a reason...

"Everything happens for a reason" a favorite quote of mine from the movie "Life As A House". Many things have happened in my life these past few weeks and some have me wondering what the reason could possibly be, I sure don't know. I suppose all will be revealed in time and I will be patient. I will plan ahead and do my best, comfort those in need and rely on my support system of family and friends.
In the mean time I've been working on a couple of projects and organizing the decorations for the outside of our home. This year I'm getting the whole crew here onboard and make some fun, take some many pictures and bake some cookies for all the little Elves!
In my studio I continue to work on my customer's quilts and get them done for Christmas, I also need to get some of my projects done for Christmas as well! Wish me luck! The two pics below are just 2 that need finishing. The ornament quilts needs it's borders and the Christmas block was from an exchange that I did on the APQS forum last year, those I'm still trying to decide on how to set them! There is the snowman laps from fats pattern that needs borders and some others that I can't think of. I need to buckle down and get sewing and quilting! Ta ta for now!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spooky Halloween wishes to all!

This was what fall looked like for one day last week, all the color's almost gone now, like the daylight that will change with the clocks this weekend!

Hello again, it's been a very busy week in the studio! I quilted several large, think queen & large twin size quilts in marathon quilting sessions! The latest was for my friend Julie aka jaybird quilts and is her design for a magazine. Hey Julie, hope that the binding is done before the wedding tonight! :)
This is one of the quilts that I finished this past week, with the help of my pal, Sally, the binding queen! It's for a 6yo Grandson, lucky boy!

Here's a new picture of Kevin's pup, Bandit. She is growing so quickly!
We are having a few friends over for a Halloween party tonight so I've got to get ready, more this weekend when I can get more pics of the quilts that I've done and maybe some of my studio!
Have a 'SPOOK' filled Halloween, may all your tricks get you treats!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Rainy Weekend!

If it's Friday, it must be raining in Plumstead! Yup it is but it's okay we are inside, warm and dry. Everyone is home and it sounds like we are going to watch 'The Shining', I'm not sure which version but it's a good movie for the Halloween season!

This week in my studio I quilted two large quilts, an ocean waves with meander quilting and Bear's Paw with custom quilting. Both are for grand kids! Judging by the number of quilts that I get to do for grand kids there are many warm and well loved grand kids out there!

I've got the next quilt loaded, it's an over sized double for my pal Joyce's granddaughter, Ahna. It' all pink in varying hues and some purples.

I've been using a lot of Dream wool batting, my customers love the loft and the breatheable warmth of it. It's washable and holds up well as far as I've used it. It quilts wonderfully and everyone that's used it comes back for it again and again.

Please remember that this is BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH! Do your self exams and get your annual mammograms! (isn't she the cutest thing???!!!)

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Time Flies!

Hello again, it's been a busy week in the studio and at home. I entered a quilt into the Keystone Quilter's show, which ends today. I have never entered a quilt in a show for several reasons, afraid to have my work scrutinized, not organized enough to get them registered on time and just lacking confidence in my work. My Mom thinks I am wonderful but she's my Mom! Anyway I dropped off my quilt expecting to get some useful feedback from the judge,nothing else. Yesterday I went to the show and looked at all of the beautiful quilts and read thier stories and went thru the entire room and didn't see my quilt! I looked again and then asked one of the white glove ladies who sent me to another room that was marked 'More Vendors' and here was my quilt! My quilt that I made for my husband, John, with a 3rd place ribbon on it! WOW!!! Boy was I surprised! I was grinning from ear to ear!
Here's a pic of the quilt with the ribbon. Today the entire gang here is going to see our quilt hanging with it's ribbon!
This week included Ashley finishing her first quilt, a Rail Fence and me puppy sitting the Bandit for 4 days straight! I forgot how much time puppies require! Below is a picture of Ashley & her quilt and 2 of The Bandit, who is growing so quickly!

Along with all of the excitement of the ribbon and crazy puppy doings I managed to get a couple of my customer quilts done. I am beginning to be caught up which is a wonderful feeling! Gotta run and get the borders done on a quilt that I need to deliver tomorrow.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

One week into October! Already!

Wow here it is October 8th already! Where does the time go?? It's been a quiet but productive week here at home and in the studio. I had Kyle's sweet girlfriend Ashely here all day Monday learning how to sew! What fun to share my hobby! I let her start on my little Janome Jem machine and a box full of 2.5" strips. She is going to make a rail fence quilt. One that I think is great for beginners and by midnight she had over 30 blocks made, trimmed and pressed! I was getting tired but I think Ashley could've kept going! Oh to be in my 20s again and have all that energy!

Kevin my youngest and the owner of Bandit the shepherd pup has been working days this week so I've been puppy sitting and she is growing by leaps and bounds! We've nicknamed her 'Roo as she bounces a lot! She also wants to be the alpha dog and that doesn't sit well with my golden, Daisy. Every once in awhile Daisy puts the Bandit in her place and she seems to be the only dog to do it out of the other 3 here!

John & Kyle have been on the Queen Mary 2 this past week with John's parents, sister and her daughter Kate. They cruised New England and Nova Scotia but had to miss St. Johns due to the high winds yesterday, so they spent the day at sea and are heading to NY today for arrival tomorrow morning.

I finished a few customer quilts this past 2 weeks, one for Halloween, two for Christmas, a sampler the Times & Seasons that I've mentioned earlier. You can see them below-

I've signed up for a Saturday Sampler program at Pennington Quiltworks in New Jersey, so far I've got 3 blocks done and the fourth one started. It's using Christmas fabric from Benartex. It's really pretty and the shop has the quilt in four colorways with over 700 people signed up for it! If you're not familiar with Saturday Sampler aka the $5.00 quilt it's a program where you pay for the first month's block and then each month you go for a demo and bring your completed block from the prior month. If your block is done then your next one is free, if not you have to pay the $5.00 for that month also you have to go at the demo times. If you finish them all then you really can make the top for the initial cost of $5. or $10. depending on the program. I am trying to do that, make the quilt for the initial cost but I did buy the finishing kit for the one layout that I like so much so it's more than $5.00 but you do have to add sashings and borders to finish it! Stay tuned to see if I can get them all made on time! Saturday Sampler block #4

This week is the start of Quilt Market in Houston, I went last year and it was amazing. My friend Gina is heading out there and so is Julie from the quilt shop who has been making samples and doing demos for the Moda bake shop kits.
I know that they will have a great time and see all the new goodies that will be coming out next year! Wish that I was going again!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Here it is the end of September already and I am enjoying how cool it's gotten! I love fall and went today to buy some pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. I feel so energized!
Today out power was out for over 4 hours and instead of wasting time I went to my studio and cut. I cut out a kit that I'd bought from Fat Quarter Shop, it's made with reproduction fabrics designed by Jo Morton from Andover Fabrics. It's all golds, greens, turkey reds and browns, just yummy fall colors. I cut the binding out as well and then I cut out a table runner that will be a Christmas gift and legs & binding for a Spider table topper that I am making. I will post pics of these projects and my customer quilts later, just wanted to get something up since it's been awhile!

It's been a very busy week, my daughter, Brianne celebrated her 30th birthday last week and had company for the weekend. I've also been puppy sitting for Bandit while Kevin works, which is a good thing since she gets me out and walking! Exercise, need to do it? Get a puppy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

These are 2 of the quilts that I completed for my customers this week The top quilt is a Terry Atkinson pattern pieces with many paisley fabrics and quilted with Highlight's thread from Superior Threads. The quilting is a freehand all over design of leaves and loops and some feather meander in some of the larger blocks to complement the paisley prints.

The second quilt is the Carpenter's Star or Wheel that is free hand custom quilted. This quilt had some issues, mainly that the backing is dark blue and the batting was very thin in places. I had to use light threads on the back to maintain the integrity of the quilting. I told my customer about the thinness of the batt and she states that it is Dream Cotton, select loft. The only thing that I can say is that it was a king size batt and she opened it and maybe laid it out on the quilt which
distorted the batting and then
when she refolded it it stretched even more, causing thin spots.

Lesson to learn, leave that batting in the package and just give it to your quilter!

Second lesson, don't use plain, dark backs on light quilts!

That being said, with all the difficulities I encountered the quilt
turned out beautiful.

Busy Week

Good Saturday Morning! It's quite chilly here with a north west breeze. Fall is running in it seems.
We have a new family member, my youngest son has adopted a 10 week old German Shepherd, her name is Bandit. She's been the center of attention for most of the week and not just because she's so cute, the crate training and house breaking are all consuming. She's doing pretty well with the potty biz but is very vocal about the crate, not her happy place at all and boy does she have a set of lungs!
She's beautiful, the older pups aren't thrilled with her yet but they will come around I'm sure, I just hope that I can handle them while we wait for this to happen!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wrist Purse

Happy Sunday! The sun is out and it's beautiful, fall is coming day! We've had days of rain, again so today is a blessing!
I was at Country Quiltworks to meet some of my customers. It's nice to run into shop customers that I used to help when I worked there. Today there were 2 regulars and I said hello and remembered their names which was quite a surprise to the one lady! I made her smile.

I dropped off my sample for the wristlet handbag class that I will teach next month. It was fun and easy to make. I met the designers in Pittsburgh at Spring Quilt Market this past May. Nice ladies with some really neat patterns, Purse-O-Nalaties of Palm Harbor is their name if you want to see their other patterns!

I think that this little bag would make a great gift for a young woman, a teacher or babysitter!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Today I am working a 104" square Carpenter's Square quilt. Each block is 20" square and they are sashed with no real border. It's for one of my customers who has been making quilts for all of her children and grandchildren. She usually goes to Florida for the winters and leaves me with 5-7 quilts to do over a period of months. It's a bit overwhelming sometimes but I do my best and work my stitches to make her quilts more beautiful. She's a sweet lady, Colette and her good friend Dottie does all of her bindings for her. Here's a pic of one of the Carpenter blocks-

Friday, September 11, 2009

Magazine quilt pictures

Here is the sun with rays from the upper left corner. I didn't get any photos that really show all of the quilting. Since this was for a magazine the quilt needed to shine without the quilting overshadowing it so I matched the threads to keep it subtle.
The quilt was designed by my friend and it's called 'Indian Summer', this was taken prior to quilting.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Credit where credit is due, maybe....

Today I received my copy of Quilter's World magazine, with my friend Gina's quilt in it. It's called 'Indian Summer', it's a very striking design as are most of her quilts. I quilted this quilt, it was custom work, a pictorial design with a sun and rays, clouds, butterflies, corn stalks, flowers, vines and leaves.

I've quilted several quilts for Gina to put in this magazine and in the beginning my name, in very small print would be listed as the machine quilter. Now it does not get listed in any way, the editor, per my friend said that they don't put the quilter's names but the magazine tells a different story. Some of the quilts in this issue have the quilter's listed and some do not.

I get paid to quilt these quilts, it's what I do, BUT I always go above and beyond for magazine and book quilts. I don't expect anything extra but it's sure nice to see my name attached to a quilt that I worked hard on to increase the beauty, to make it shine it's best for the designer.
I guess I am steamed but not sure who to be steamed at! I will write Quilter's World and probably cancel my subscription.

I personally love to see the quilts and the quilting and I really appreciate the magazines that make it a point to show how the quilt was quilted. It's all inspiring to me, like going to a mini-quilt show!

So if you get the opportunity to quilt for a designer ask them to make sure that you are credited with the quilting!

Times & Seasons quilt views

Here are some snapshot views of the Times & Seasons quilt in progress. My customer really did a fantastic job with her machine applique and embroidery.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

Got this on the 'net, a cause that is near and dear to my heart as my sister is now surviving breast cancer...
Let's hope she gets her wish!
This is Janice's 'Winter Rose' quilt, I used a pantograph to quilt it all over. It was a kit that I originally custom quilted for Anne at the quitl shop.
Rosemary's Batik Diamond quilt, all over leaf and loop quilting. It's so much more beautiful in person!
Ruth's 'Romantic Heart" colorwash wallhanging. I quilted feathers around the heart.
Joyce's Monkey quilt, for her first grandson, very cute!
A wedding signature quilt made by Barbara, lovely sentiments written in the light rail fence blocks. A lot of stitch-in-the-ditch, leaves and dogwood flowers.

Above is one of my recent customer quilts, it's Mary's 'Walk About' quilt, made from Andover fabrics. I quilted fern feathers in the printed zig zags and concentric triangles in the black triangles. In the red sashing I did a freehand pineapple and loopy meander in the B&W border.

Daisy Bear

This is Daisy, she will be 7 this November. She is very intelligent, can figure out how to get out of cages at the groomers and she watches TV looking for animals to bark at.

My Morgan

Here's a pic of my 12 year old Golden, Morgan. She hates having her picture taken, loves to be petted and chasing squirrels off the bird feeders.
Well here goes, my first blog entry. I am in the process of quilting a beautiful pieced and appliqued quilt for a customer. The pattern is from The Piecemaker's and it's Times & Seasons. It's very well comstructed and she's used so many beautiful fabrics. I am trying to highlight the piecing as well as stabilize the quilt as it is to be a wall hanging. I'm making a lot of thread changes to match the fabrics and it's just a really great quilt!