Archive for the ‘Longarm Quilting’ Category

I’ve had 4 quilts on (and back off!) the quilting machine this week — it sure feels good to FINISH things.  Well, “finish” as in “finish this particular step and then put them in the pile for the next step.”

I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures to my Flickr Photostream, and because I’ve run out of steam for tonight, I’m just going to point you there if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to.  A scrappy nine patch plus those Strip Twist QOVs from last week are the 3 that are photographed, the braid quilt was quilted today, but not photographed yet:

Quilt Photos

Did you know that tomorrow is the last day of January? How did that happen? Here are the photos I’ve picked for the last few days of my daily photo project:

The sky was such an odd foggy shade of grey and the trees were all covered with snowy ice:
january 27, 2009

You’ve seen this one:
january 28, 2009

And this one:

january 29, 2009

I waited until too late in the day to try to take Mark’s picture. None of the pictures I took were very great, and this one only looked decent after I went with the black and white. My goal was to get some pictures that show HIS eyes, but he wasn’t in the mood, and it was really too dark.

january 30, 2009

I’ve always thought that my eyes were my best feature, but my boys hit the beautiful-eye-gene-jackpot in that their DAD has really beautiful eyes, too.

Look at that dog’s tongue.  Don’t you wish you could do that?




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I referenced this a few days ago, but have only today remembered to get photos of it.  if you are a member of MQResource, these are the same pictures that are posted over there.

This quilt is so big, I don’t have a good place to spread it out for a full view, but this gives you an idea of the overall look.

Typically, a Blooming Nine Patch is made with all print fabrics that flow into one another (via changes in color).  I made one last spring which I’ve shown a couple of times with bugs and flowers and stripes.

My customer used some solid fabrics with her, which meant that some of the quilting would actually “show,” whereas in a typical B9P, the fabrics are so busy, the quilting is more texture than design.

I picked a couple of things to work with:  continuous curve (the arcs), feathers and ribbon curls, and tried to come up with different ways to use them, so that each color fabric has different design, but it is all cohesive.

I think it turned out well, though it is huge and seemed to take forever to do.

And yes, David, I stand by the word NEED, in reference to NEEDING to sew.  (That would be my brother, by the way, being smart-alecky…)

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You wouldn’t know it by my blogging, but I have actually been quilting recently.  I’m almost done with this flying geese quilt that my Mother-in-Law made.  I thought I was closer to being done, but then I remembered that I actually have to quilt the geese themselves, yet.

I finished a really big Blooming Nine Patch last week, I guess I need to take a picture of it yet.

Today, I had two separate people in the shop who are brand-new longarm quilters, so i got to talk shop quite a bit this morning.  Of course that meant that I didn’t actually do any quilting.  It’s funny, it’s dead quiet in here all week long and whamm-o — everybody shows up on Thursday.  What’s up with that?

Perhaps I should remember that next week and make better use of my time Monday-Wednesday.

I also had a sales guy in here wanting to sell me a fancy plastic No Smoking sign (for $15), apparently I’m supposed to display one in accordance with the new Iowa Smokefree Air Act.  Really?  Me?  Here?

When I e-mailed Mark he responded

Do you also need a “No Killing” and a “No Stealing” sign too?  How about a “No Unnecessary Signs” sign?

I found the signs online, that I can download print and laminate myself.  I’d hate to get with a $100 fine for not having the sign.

Because you know that lots of people are going to try to smoke in my shop.


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Bad words

It could be worse.  The pleat is closer to the right side than the center, so I don’t have to take out HALF of what I quilted last night.  Just a quarter of it.

THanks for all of the kind words about the article.  My sister and her husband both independently did a screen capture of the article and sent me a PDF of it, I’ll probably add that to the post, for when the link expires.  

The crazy thing is that I haven’t actually been able to read the article myself yet.  I can’t bring myself to do it.  Mark says it sounds pretty good, just one awkward phrase where you can tell what it was I had said, but it was maybe missing a word or two.  Eventually I’ll probably be able to read it.  I’m just weird about reading about myself like that.

Let me restate that:  I’m just weird.


Back to frogging.  Once again I prove to be a Horrible Warning:  check the @#$% quilt back to make sure it is smooth.

Oh wait.  I did.  So where the @#$% did the pleat come from????



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The quilt

The quilt pattern is called “Beef Cake”  — it’s from the book Have Your Cake and Eat it Too by Dodi Lee Poulsen of Two Sisters at Squirrel Hollow.

Once I had the correct cutting instructions (which can now be found on their website), everything was golden.  I’m not a fan of the Turning Twenty type quilts, but this particular design struck me as being much more interesting, particularly (I think) because the pieces are much smaller, and they tend to blend together much more (in MY opinion).

(And please don’t send the lynch mob after me.  *I* don’t care for Turning Twenty or Yellow Brick Road.  If *YOU* like those designs, then by all means, keep making them.  I’m sure I do stuff that you don’t care for either).

The quilting is a variation on a design from my first Meandering Magic book.  It’s called ferns, but instead of making the fern fronds touch the meandering line, these fronds don’t touch, which means each side of the line is done in a separate pass.  It still goes very quickly.  Even if your quilting machine starts making hideous horrible noises that make you think it is ready to die.

(It didn’t die, it just had thread wrapped around the shaft right behind the hook.  Good gad, though, the sound was horrendous.  I nearly cried in horror).

So there you have it.  The quilt I was nearly ready to give up on, turned out to be pretty darned cute, if I do say so myself.  It’s not in my normal color palette (HA!  No red, white and blue!), but I like it!   And I very much appreciated the personal phone call from the designer who filled me in on the situation with the cutting instructions.  

One of the things I’m finding fascinating about working within the fabrics I have for sale at the shop is that while these are not the latest and greatest superstar designer fabrics, they are still pretty good-looking fabrics.  They don’t have a rockstars name on the selvedge, but you know what?  They make a pretty nice quilt just the same.  Plus, I find I like the challenge of putting together fabric that DOESN”T all come from the same line, I think it adds a little more sparkle. But again, that’s just MY opinion.

OK, I’ve got to get working on a writing project, so I’d better sign off.

Have a lovely evening!



p.s.  the credit for this variation on the fern design goes to my friend Terri W.  I’m sorry I forgot to mention this earlier when I posted originally.

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I’m not even sure why I bothered to post about my pleasure with the USPS shippin website, but I do apologize for boring all of you with it.  LOL
Here’s something more interesting:  a quilt I finished for a customer.  In theory, you’ll be able to click on these to view them larger, allowing you to see the detail a bit better.

The pattern is Buggy Barn’s Coneflower Crazies.  Isn’t it cute?  She still has buttons to attach to the center of each flower.  I had a lot of fun this one, using the wonkiness of it as inspiration for the wonky quilting.  I used Warm Bond batting (The Warm Company’s new 80/20 cotton/poly blend batting) which seemed to quilt nicely.  Signature cotton thread on top, Superior’s Bottom Line in the bobbin.  I love prewound bobbins now.  I used to think they were overly expensive and not worth it, but I’ve changed my tune.

Another quilt is calling my name, so I’d better answer, since it’s the quilting that’s keeping the lights on right now.  Did you know that opening a shop take a LOT of money???  Yikes.


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The simple meander is often maligned by quilters, many of whom are longarm quilters and get tired of quilting it on their customers quilts.

Sometimes, though, it’s just the ticket, especially when your customer wants something super-quick and simple, just something that holds it all together:

(customer = myself.  quilt = shop sample, pattern = ellen’s favorite lap quilt in the book laps from fats)

This coming weekend is the Traer Cruise, if anybody has a classic car they want to bring to town, I’m sure you could join the crowd.

I pulled out the blue and white double Irish Chain I mentioned yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had more of it done than I remembered.  In fact, nearly all of the 169 blocks are made, and I had even started sewing some of them in rows!

As a refresher, those blue squares finish at 1 inch.  I worked on a little bit of sewing last night, but had to bring all of the pieces to the shop today — I had brought my iron and ironing board down here and had no way to press them!  I need to get a second ironing board, but I keep forgetting, or haven’t had enough room in the vehicle.

Got a call from Mark a bit ago, we are out of milk AND bread, so I HAVE to remember to stop at the grocery store on the way home.  I need to work on some menu planning, and getting more use out of our crockpot.  I actually put some chicken and rice in the crockpost on Tuesday.  Tonight, they had to fend for themselves.

I’m trying to think of a snappy way to end this, but nothing is coming to me.  I guess I’ll just quit.


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