I am happy to report that the Quilt Suspension System I wrote about in my last post worked great for this large quilt! It's amazing how much easier it is to maneuver a large quilt when the bulk of it is held out of the way with the clamps. This quilt is 84" square, and I quilted it with an all-over freehand holly leaf design. The quilting is very dense (used 15 bobbins) and it gives the quilt an amazing texture. My DIL started this quilt about 10 years ago, and finally asked me to finish it for her, just to get it done. It was a perfect opportunity to practice doing a relatively large quilt, so now I feel ready to start my next challenge - 104" square! That's only an extra 20", right? Piece 'o cake!!! (I hope!!!)
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Monday, November 6, 2017
I made another change to my Quilting Setup for my APQS George machine. I added a Quilt Suspension System behind him.
I have seen several variations of this on the internet, and since George's table is only 24" deep, there's not alot of space for a big quilt behind the machine. That's fine on a smaller quilt, but this one is 86" square, so I thought this would be a good time to try it out. It's amazing how much of a difference this makes! I leave enough slack in the quilt so that it moves freely, and adjust it as I move from one area to the next.
I followed these instructions from Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry at Bryerpatch Studio. I did not use the upright posts, since I have exposed ceiling joists above me in my basement studio, I just screwed the eye screws directly into the joists.
When this quilt is done, the next one on my list is 104" square, and now I'm confident that this system will reallly help make these big quilts more manageable.
If you are interested in trying a suspension system, but would rather purchase something ready-to-install, Patsy Thompson has two different versions available for purchase in her on-line shop. Click here for more information.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Wow, I'm really behind on posting pictures of the Christmas Quilts I'm working on this year.
I have finished Quilt #2... (click here for more information about this quilt) I quilted this one on my APQS George, using an all-over spiral swirl freehand design...
...and I just finished the quilting on Christmas Quilt #3 today - on my George too, of course! The red binding is made and ready to attach next.
I used a light aqua SoFine #50 thread and quilted it with closely spaced wavy lines going horizontally across the quilt. I love the texture it creates. And the snowflake fabric for the back is a great match for the quilt.
I also finished piecing the top of Christmas Quilt #4. At 104" x 104", this quilt is a king size, so I am curious to see how it goes on my George machine. I'm sure the machine is up to the challenge - not sure about the operator...
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
I have another Christmas Quilt on my work table this week. I'm using this Wander Through The Woods pattern. The pattern uses 2 1/2" strips, but I cut my strips at 4" wide to make the quilt king-sized, at my daughter's request. She is aware of the quilt, and provided most of the fabrics in it, so it's not a huge secret, but I still don't want to reveal too much of the quilt just yet. She needs a little surprise when Christmas gets here, assuming I get it done that is...
I have all my strips made...
...and have this huge pile of trimmed off triangles left over.
I bet there's enough there to make another small quilt! Part of me says "throw them in the trash" because after all - what are the odds that I'll actually get around to doing something with them... But then I look at all these pretty little triangles and the wheels start turning...
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
There is a Juried Art Quilt Exhibit at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center here in Wellsboro. One of my quilts has been accepted, along with quilts from several of my quilting friends in the area. The opening reception is this Friday October 6th from 5pm-7pm and the exhibit runs through October 29th. Please come and see all the quilts!
Here is a sneak peek at my quilt, called "Interleave Vase".
I have wanted to make an Interleave quilt for quite a while now, so this was the perfect opportunity to try something new. The fall colors in this quilt are so much more brilliant in person - hope to see you at the show!
Monday, September 25, 2017
I put the pedal to the metal this week and got all my rows sewn together on my One-Block Wonder quilt. I have to admit, I'm in love with this quilt.
It was tedious sewing, with pressing all the seams open and lining up all those intersections, but worth every minute (hour).
I still plan on adding borders, but will mull the options over while I'm busy getting my Christmas quilts finished. Priorities...
A close-up shot. My favorite hexagon in the entire quilt is the aqua one just to the right of center with the skinny orange spikes.
I think the back looks almost as pretty as the front, with all those seams pressed open.
And in case you missed an earlier post, this is the fabric I used. Skyline by Hoffman Fabrics. I cut my 60 degree triangles simultaneously from 6 identical stacked panels, cut from the 7+ yards I bought. One quilt from just one fabric. It still amazes me how the finished quilt looks compared to the original fabric. Mind blowing...
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
I just got back from a wonderful Quilt Retreat. It's so nice to have a few uninterrupted days of sewing with friends. The time flies by and we get so much accomplished, in between our laughter and conversation, of course...
I made two quilt tops while I was there. First is an improvisational tree quilt (Christmas Quilt #3), using this tutorial I found from the Diary of a Quilter blog. (colors look better in person - aqua, red, gray and white)
Second is a Batik Square-in-a-Square quilt that I threw in as a last minute project. I've been in the mood to do a simple quilt with batiks for a few weeks now, and this seemed perfect. And it uses every bit of a 40 strip jelly roll. No waste! Not sure if I will add a border... Should I?
Once those were finished, I started sewing my half-hexagons together into strips for my One Block Wonder quilt and got 12 out of 20 made. I'm really liking how this is going and can't wait to see it finished!
The weather was gorgeous while we were there and I enjoyed going out for walks every day. I was so excited to stumble across this perfect bobcat print!!! That's a first for me!
This week I plan to finish the binding on Christmas Quilt #2 that I finished quilting before retreat. Hope to post pictures next week if I get it done, so stay tuned!
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
I found some spare time this holiday weekend to put my One Block Wonder blocks up on my design wall. After many hours of rearranging them, I finally forced myself to stop and say DONE!
Every time I thought I was finished, I would find just one more block to change. Then that move would lead to another, and another, and I realized this could go on forever.
So now I'm really finished, because I took them down in organized piles and I'm ready to sew them together. No turning back now.
There will probably be some borders added at some point, but for now I'm going to focus on sewing this section, hopefully at the quilt retreat I'm going to later this month.
While I was laying out the design, I asked myself what I'm going to do with this quilt. I have to honestly say, I don't know.
Do I need it? No...
Do I have a place for it? No...
I make quilts because they make me happy.
I also finished the Christmas Star quilt this weekend. I really love how this one turned out. I quilted fairly tight swirls on my George sit-down machine, using pink SoFine #50 thread, which gave just the right amount of contrast against the red fabric.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
I finished up some other projects in the last couple of weeks that I hope to be able to share with you soon - a Memorial quilt from clothing and an art quilt that I'm entering into a juried show. I'll share that one here once I hear if it's been accepted.
In the meantime, I'm back working on my list of Christmas quilts. I spent Saturday night pin-basting this Christmas Star quilt...
...then I stitched all around the perimeter with my Bernina to stabilize the edge. After all, I spent all that time pin-basting to get everything flat and straight, it just makes sense to lock down those edges now before I start quilting. Not everyone does this, but it works for me.
I'm now just a little over half-done with the quilting on my George sit-down longarm. I chose pink SoFine #50 thread, and I'm doing an all-over "spiral swirl thingie". I really like how it's turning out so far. Maybe I'll have a finished picture for you next week.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
I am still making little adjustments to my workspace now that George has moved in. I have a small plastic folding table beside my left elbow to help support the bulk of my quilts while quilting, as well as my cutting table beyond that. So my left side is perfect. But I still had trouble with my quilt sliding off the front of the table on my right side. Today I stumbled upon this little wooden folding table at my favorite thrift shop.
It was only $5 and it's the perfect solution. So now I sit in the middle, with a small table on either side, so I'm surrounded by workspace. Perfect for supporting my quilt!
And I'm happy to say that George is still behaving perfectly. No skipped stitches, no thread breaks, just perfect stitches. I'm a happy quilter!
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
I can't share this week's quilting project with you, because I don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipient. Maybe later after I've passed it on.
So for today's post, here are pics of some fun I had with my granddaughters this weekend. The 6-year old has been arranging fabrics on my design boards for a couple of years now, and has just recently started to sew them together on my Bernina now! Yay!!!
And now her 2 year old sister is joining in the fun... Aren't they doing a great job?
And sometimes you just have to sit back and admire your work... :)
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
My daughter-in-law pieced this quilt and asked me to quilt it for her. I just finished it up a few days ago and it's in the mail on it's way back to her. I'm still learning more with each quilt and love the process of quilting on George! I used Quilters Dream Orient batting in this one (her request) and love how soft and silky the quilt feels when it's finished. It's a little fuzzy while I'm working on it, but that cleans up with a lint roller, so it's not really a problem. It feels so luxurious! The polka dot backing fabric obscures the quilting, but the texture feels amazing.
Monday, July 24, 2017
I didn't get a chance to write a blog post last week because I was away at a fun-filled Quilting Retreat with a great group of close friends, but I'm happy to report that I finished making ALL the hexagons for my One Block Wonder quilt! These were so much fun to make, with three different options for each block, depending on how the triangles are arranged.
The last morning of the retreat, I quickly threw some blocks up on my design wall just to get an idea of what they might look like. This isn't my final arrangement, by any means, but it's fun to see how they all go together. I would like to try a circular or spiral arrangement by color.
Another highlight of our retreat was our block exchange. The 11 people in our group spent the last 1 1/2 years making 4 sets of 11 paper-pieced basket blocks, so each person got to take home 44 different blocks to make their quilt. Here we are going through our basket block buffet, picking up our blocks. Can't wait to see how all 11 quilts turn out when they are done!
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
I now have the second Christmas Quilt pieced and ready for quilting.
(Click here to see the first one.)
The pattern is Ballerina from Jaybird Quilts.
And I have the fabrics picked out for number three. I started with a Mingle & Jingle fat-quarter bundle, then added several others from my stash until I had an even mix of the four colors. Yes, I have a plan, but I'll save that for a future post.
And I'm getting more practice time in on George, as I quilt an all-over design on this quilt pieced by my DIL.
Now I'm preparing for a full-filled visit from one of my grand-daughters. She is coming to spend a few days with us, and we have lots of fun things planned before I leave for Quilt Retreat next week. I'm sure I'll have lots to share with you by then, so stay tuned...
Monday, July 3, 2017
I'm so excited to start sewing my first One Block Wonder quilt! I don't know what planet I was on when the OBW craze took off, but I must have missed the boat. They have been popular for quite some time now, but I just discovered this style of quilt recently when I came across some images of these type of quilts by quilt artist Bruce Seeds on Pinterest. His work is amazing and so inspiring!
I knew I just had to make one.
I searched for weeks, looking for the perfect fabric, until I found this one. Bingo! I think it will look amazing....
I cut all my triangles this week...
...and arranged a few hexagons, just to see what they look like, but I'm saving the sewing until I go to Quilt Retreat in a couple of weeks. If I can wait that long...
Monday, June 12, 2017
I put all the blocks for the Christmas Star Quilt on my design wall this week.
Once I was happy with the arrangement, I sewed them all together.
It will be a while before I quilt this one, because the grandkids will all be here for much of the next week, so there won't be much sewing going on in the Cotton Cellar unless it involves the kiddos. And I need to order thread before I can quilt it anyway. Yes, I have lots of thread, but not pink... That's right! PINK! for a Christmas Quilt?
Oh, and I just realized, I don't have a backing fabric yet! Guess I need to go shopping...