Friday, March 31, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Bubble Flames

I have been working on my Adventurous Applique challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors for April.  I decided to try out some new free motion designs on it.  You get a sneak peek of the quilt that will be posted about next week.

Here's a closeup of bubble flames.  They are basically a teardrop shape with a little bubble at the bottom.  The bottom part of the tear drop comes in at the circle and isn't connected all the way across.

And another view.  I really like this design.  It was a lot of fun to quilt.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Island Batik Ambassadors Mini Madness

For the month of March the Island Batik Ambassadors were asked to make a paper pieced or English paper pieced miniature quilt.  I drafted this cute little quilt in Electric Quilt 7 and printed out the pieces.  

I used a 80 weight polyester thread to do my paper piecing.  It's thin and I wanted to try it out.  I used an 1/8 inch seam allowance since this whole quilt is only a foot square.  I wasn't happy with this process because things were beginning to shift as I tried to pull off the paper.  I ripped a few seams open and had to make repairs.  I'll have to try it again with a larger seam allowance.

I had a lot of fun quilting this piece putting together three different fill patterns: pebbles, paisleys, and a leafy looking line stitch.  It was fun, but next time I'll leave the open spaces wider than 1/8 inch because you can barely tell they're there!

I hope you get to quilt today!  As this is posted I will be visiting Missouri Star Quilting!  More about that soon.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Inspired by a Shirt

I was at the district office this week helping to write new report cards (yes, I did volunteer, and actually it was really interesting and we managed to do it with no arguing!).  One of my colleagues shirts fascinated me.  I was daring enough to ask her if I could take a picture.  Turns out that she has quilted before and was very willing to let me take my picture.  Aren't all the different clam shells great?

I also had to take a picture of a friend's stack of embroidery thread.  I love these rich colors!

I hope you get to quilt today!  I get to bind my newest show quilt....almost done!  Now to name it.....

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Finding Fabric Can be Frustrating

I'm working on a new pattern.  I have all the fusible pieces traced, but I am having the hardest time picking fabrics!  I spent an hour last night playing with possibilities and I still haven't decided.  Sigh. It'll come eventually, right?

The mess of things I've tried so far...

I really like this point, but what to put with it???

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Zentangle!

I made this quilt for a challenge for Minnesota Quilters a few years ago, but I came across it the other day and it seemed like the perfect thing for a Free Motion Friday.

Zentangle is an artform in which you're supposed to relax and draw.  I adapted, as have many quilters, for my needle and thread and quilted it in red so you can really see it.


PS...I'm working on a new project for Free Motion Fridays AND I'm going to Missouri Star next week!  I can't wait.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Quilt Qwazy Queens 2017 Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Quilt Qwazy Queens Blog Hop!  Today I'm going to share my studio with you along with some great giveaways!  Be sure to see Seams to be Sew for all the giveaway details.

I thought about cleaning up my sewing area so it would look perfect.  But let's be real here.  I teach third grade full time, have 2 elementary age sons, and I quilt for show and my blog.  It's a bit of a mess.  To be honest, it's not bad right now for me.  So here it is au natural!

The first picture is my ironing station.  It's on top of two white square shelves from Target.  I have the ironing board simply tied on top.  It's amazing how much more storage it gives me!  There is also my inspiration bulletin board above the ironing station.  Just don't touch the wall under the bulletin tends to be a little sticky from starch!

Here is my sewing area.  You can see I've modified my chair so it's just right.  It's not necessarily pretty, but it fits perfectly.  I have my main machine in an embedded table from Tracey's Tables and an extra table for piecing/guests.  I also have a pole lamp here to add more light when I'm quilting late in the evening after my children are in bed.

Here's my fabric.  Sigh.  I love it.  I have it sorted by color and style.  Prints separate from batiks which is most of the stash.  When it starts getting too full (yup, about there) I pick out some things I don't like and give it away to groups who make quilts for charity.  Sigh.  It's getting hard to get rid of things as I've done a really good job in the past.  Maybe it's time to pause buying....not likely, huh?

Here is my cutting table built by my amazing father.  I have an Ott Light above and shelving below.  This table was my art desk as a kid.  My dad made new taller legs for it so it's just right for a cutting table.  You can still see of my graffiti on it from when I was a kid.  It always makes me smile.  Right now it's covered in thread that needs to be put away.

On the left side of this picture is my flannel design wall.  I can't show you the whole thing as it has secret sewing on it at the moment.  I also have a dresser full of partially done projects.

You've probably noticed all the ribbons in these pictures.  I started entering shows in 2001 and my son tells me I have about 100 ribbons hanging on the walls right now (he counted the other day.  It was entertaining for a 5 year old).  My proudest are my Best Machine Quilting ribbon from MQX and Minnesota Quilters and my ribbons from Paducah and Houston.

Last, but not least, I have a tip for you.  Below is a large piece of laminating film that someone at my school was going to throw away.  Sometimes you end up with a large piece when you advance the film so you can cut it off.  I had to have it.  I draw quilting design ideas on the transparency with a permanent marker and then lay it on my quilt to see how it will look and decide if I like it or not.  You could do the same thing with transparencies or plastic baggies too.  It really helps to see the motif on the quilt.

And now it's time for some giveaways!  

Marian at Seams to Be Sew has some amazing giveaways. All giveaways are open to everyone, but before entering the drawing for these 3 giveaways--Terial Arts and Island Batiks, you must agree to pay your own shipping costs should you win. *Northcott FQ fabrics have free shipping.

USA Priority Mail: 6.75
Canada: 15.50
International: 23.50

Fat Eights from my FAVORITE Island Batiks?  It can't get better than that!

EQ7 is giving a 30% discount for the length of the hop!

Use the code that follows.
Promo code: EQHOP2017
The code is good from 3/16/2017 to 3/27/2017
Exclusions: Electric Quilt 7, EQ7 Migration Kit, Upgrade from EQ Mini to EQ7, EQ Mini Migration Kit, EQ Academy classes, and EQ University classes.
(This code is also good for Upgrades from EQ6 to EQ7, and also the EQStitch.)

Be sure to check out all of the posts from the Quilt Qwazy Queens 2017 Blog Hop!

March 16
March 17
March 20
March 21
March 22
I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Inspired by Wallpaper

This particular image caught my eye on Pinterest the other day.  Yes, Pinterest is addicting, but as an artist I use it for inspiration and it leads me to some interesting places.  Like these two art deco images.  The first is wallpaper.  The second is tiles.  They both look like modern quilts to me!

art deco floor patterns - Google Search:

beautiful art deco tiles:

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Happy International Quilting Day!

A great day spent sewing with good friends.

Worldwide Quilting Day - Ambassadors

I hope you got to quilt today too!

Project Quilting Time is Up Challenge

I discovered Project Quilting from Persimmon Dreams a few weeks ago.  There is a quilting challenge theme and you only have a week to make your quilt.  I waited to see what the 6th challenge would be: Time is Up.  There was a picture on the challenge post of some old fashioned pocket watches.  As soon as I saw it, my brain lit up and I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  Here is the final product.  The quilt is 14 by 20 inches and made in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

And now to tell you how it came about.

First of all, my husband has a collection of pocket watches most of which have been passed down to him.  I took a look and fell in love with one that he has.  It was passed down the maternal side of his family, but he's not exactly sure whose it was.  The interesting part of the story is that there are matching his and hers watches.  I knew I wanted to make a quilt of the dial of the ladies watch.  I'm not sure why, but it had never occurred to me that a lady would have a pocket watch.  It does make sense that they would need to know the time as well.  There is not covering and the hands are missing on this watch, but it is otherwise in great condition.

Here's the back of the ladies watch.  I thought about stitching it too, but I really wanted to tackle the dial.

Here are the front and back of the coordinating gentleman's watch.

I then drafted my design and traced it onto a piece of muslin.  I wish I'd taken a picture at this point, but I forgot.  I decided the background needed to be gears so I enlarged some I found online and traced them at random behind the watch.

Then came the quilting.  I did the watch in a medium tan Glide 40 weight Poly and the background quilting in a grey Aurifil 50 weight.  Then came the scary moment of soaking the quilt to get out the blue marker I'd used.  Inside this quilt is a silk batting.  While I've used silk before, I've never actually washed it.  It came out really nicely and with a very nice drape.

Then I went back and painted in the pocket watch with Lumiere paints to make some of the details shine.  I must admit that the reason I was attracted to the watch I chose was that it had feathers.  You can never quilt enough feathers!

A few close ups.

This is my favorite gear with the circles in the middle.

Be sure to go to Persimmon Dreams blog starting Sunday to vote for your favorite "Time is Up!" quilt.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Brick Wall Free Motion Quilt Along is Complete!

I can't believe this quilt is actually done.  28 designs later and it's been an absolutely blast!  If you're following along I would love to see what you've created.

I can't wait to get started on something else with these new designs and create some more.  Don't worry, come back next week for something NEW on Free Motion Fridays!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Project Found

As I was digging for a project to take to Quilter's Night Out the other day, I came upon a project that was leftover fused down onto a background.  It was all circles I'd cut with a circle cutter or scissors for the smaller ones during a class in Colorado 3 years ago.

Those of you who read my blog often are aware that I try to learn something new with each project.  This project was all about using different kinds of blanket stitching on the circles.  Different widths and lengths.  I like the overall effect because you have to look closely.  If you stare at the picture below you can see than the circle on the right has a much larger stitch width than the green circle on the left.  

Here's another look at some of the different circles.

Now you can see some of the Echo Curls I did as part of my Brick Wall Free Motion Quilt Along which is culminating Friday!  I can't believe the quilt is done.

The final quilt. It's a cute little piece done with leftovers.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Time Inspiration

I have always been inspired by the recent steam punk trend.  It's a ton of fun to watch what people do with gears.  This week is the last week of Project Quilting.  I just discovered it and was awaiting the last theme.  It's time and they had a fabulous picture of pocket watches.  That got me thinking.  My husband has a collection of old pocket watches.  And an idea was born, but you will have to wait until Saturday to see it!  I have a plan.

The thing is...this quilt has to be DONE by 11 am next Sunday.  Oh, boy!  Better get busy.

I hope you get to quilt today!  I'd better get a move on!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Jen and Jan's Mini Blog Hop

I was asked by Janice Holton over at Color Creating and Quilting to participate in a mini quilt blog hop!  The free pattern is adorable, but I admit that I am more of an appliquer than a piecer.  It's not that I can't piece it's just that sometimes I find applique faster.

I also decided to make a mini mini quilt.  It was supposed to be 16 by 16, but mine is only 8 by 8.  I dug into my new box of Island Batiks fabrics I received as an Island Batik Ambassador and had a blast playing!

I knew the house had to be purple.  When I was little my favorite color was purple and I just wanted to live in a purple house.  There was one in the next town over that was lavender and I got excited every time we drove by!

Above is detail of my tree.  I didn't feel like finding a leaf fabric so I just quilted leaves inside it and lots of brown lines on the trunk.

Since I love to applique I knew I wanted to make an applique quilt for the clothes line.  This little quilt measures 2 1/8 inches total.  Those orange peels are only 1/2 inch!  It was fun to play with the design.  I find my self coming back to it again and again.

I am ready for spring so I had to quilt in some flowers.

And my purple house complete with quilted in curtains in the windows and brick quilting on the chimney.

The back with all the quilting.  It's fun to see over that fun batik print!

Here are the rest of the participants.  They're so fun to see.

March 10 Reveal Day

Jen Rosin  A Dream and a Stitch *** Offering a giveaway!

Kate Heads at Smiles From Kate
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Melva Nolan at Melva Loves Scraps
Julie Stocker at Pink Doxies
Jayne at Twiggy & Opal
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Leanne Milsom at Lizzie the Quilter
Sandra Walker at Mmm! Quilts!

March 11 Reveal Day
Janice Holton at Color Creating & Quilting  ***Offering a giveaway!
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Amy Gerlich at Amy Scrap Spot
Sharon Denney Parcel at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs
Steffi at Steffi's Hobbys
Susan Gordon at Sevenoaks Street Quilts
Anne Boundy at Said With Love
Barbara Wootie at The Flashing Scissors
Jan Welander at Making Scraps

I hope you get to quilt today!