Thursday, June 27, 2013

Round Robin

 Round Robin was a block of the month quilt at our local quilt shop - Quilter's Corner.  It was a large wall hanging but I wanted it small enough to hang on a 40" shelf/quilt rack in my entry way.  So - I half-sized it!  The 6 inch blocks became 3 inch blocks and I must say, they are adorable :)  And of course I didn't run short of fabric at all - I even had enough for backing!
 Here is a close up of some of the three inch blocks in the border.  I was pretty pleased with my feathers (machine quilted) in the border too.
 A close up of the center, which is hand appliquéd, using the back basting method, which I learned from a magazine article by Jeanna Kimball. I also embellished with a bit of embroidery.
I even turned the corners with feathers!  Most of the fabrics are Civil War reproduction fabrics.  The quilt measures about 33 1/2 inches square.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Mom

I love the expressions on their faces!
These little dolls reside in my sewing room and their cute little outfits were made by my Mom!  My Mom is one of the most talented people in the world!  When I was little, she made me a bunch of Barbie clothes and clothes for my Chrissy doll.  I still have them and they are so fun to pull out and look at because they include bell bottoms and fringed vests of the 60's and 70's - very cool!  If my kids want to see what I wore growing up, they can look at my Barbie's clothes :)
I cannot believe the tiny little sleeves and hems on these clothes.  When my daughters were young, she made Barbie clothes for them too, so we also

A couple of these little babies belong to my daughters

have the 80's and 90's represented, complete with crocheted gowns - absolutely beautiful.My Mom also knits, crochets, decorates cakes, paints - you name it, she can do it!  I have always been very amazed and impressed by her talent and her willingness to share it with others.  My youngest daughter takes after her as far as loving to try new things and learn new skills.  My oldest daughter is more like me, finding one or two things she enjoys and sticking with them.  Whichever way we are, I think God is pleased that we are trying to use the talents He has given us and sharing them with others.  Thank you Mom for being a good example of this to me!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

One More

 A quick post tonight because I'm watching the season finale of The Voice!  I'm hoping The Swon Brothers win :)
This is the third baby quilt, made from scraps of the other flannel one.  Simple 5 1/2 inch squares and simply quilted.  A little more cuddly because of the simple quilting on the dense Bamboo batting.
By the way - what is YOUR favorite batting?  I'd love to hear your opinions. Post a comment!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Two Done

I finished two of the baby quilts this weekend!  This pink and white one is for my friend Lynn's first grand baby.  Her daughter is expecting a baby girl in July.  Maybe she will be born on my birthday!

 This was a fun and easy quilt to make and I'm happy with the way it turned out.  I enjoyed quilting the little flowers and swirls.  It has flannel on the back and Dream Cotton batting, purchased at Quilter's Corner.

This quilt is from a kit my Mom purchased from Connecting Threads.  It worked up cute!  It's all flannel, front and back, so it's very soft.  It will be a gift for a boy or a girl - whoever I need to give a baby quilt to next.  I had so much flannel left over from this kit that I was able to make another baby quilt.  I even had enough backing for both!  So the third quilt, which is not quite finished is made out of these same flannels.

I was disappointed in the batting I used in these two flannel quilts however.  When I was in Denver, at the Quilt Show, I purchased a large roll of Bamboo batting from Winline.  I had used Bamboo before and really liked it.  The sample they showed me seemed much like what I'd used before.  So I purchased a large roll, thinking it could be used for several projects and save money over all.  I used it in these two baby quilts though and it's SO dense!  They don't feel as cuddly as a baby blanket should.  They will be better used as floor mats, when letting the baby play on the floor.  I will have to tell whoever I give them to, to use them on the floor as play mats.  And I think the rest of the roll of Bamboo batting is destined to be used in wall hangings.....

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Clean Your Machine!

 This photo is of an actual sewing machine that Dr. Bob at Superior Threads took apart when his friend asked if he could figure out why her machine wasn't working properly.  The machine looked fine from the outside, but this is what he found on the on the inside.  The parts were covered with lint.  Lint is an accumulation of fluffy fibers. A little bit of lint is to be expected, but this sort of accumulation needs to be prevented.  
The lint which we find in our sewing machines is mostly from threads, fabric, and batting. Cotton produces more lint than spun polyester. Lint is a result of friction (or rubbing) against the thread. Think of how many contact points the top thread touches during the threading process. There are thread guides, tension discs, levers, and the needle. Each contact point causes friction which results in lint coming off the thread. A little lint is to be expected. However, excess lint can be bad for your machine because it can cause your stitches to be misaligned, feed dog operation malfunctions, fabric puckering, and thread breakage. Regular cleaning and maintenance is recommended for all sewing, serger, and longarm machines. Many machines come with a lint brush to remove lint from the bobbin case area, thread guides, and the needle area. Please refer to your machine manual for proper care procedures.
What is the key to reduce or eliminate lint? Don't use low quality or cheap fuzzy threads.  By stitching with high quality cotton threads, you will notice that there will be less lint buildup inside and outside your machine.

I have two machines, one, my Pfaff is set up mostly for piecing and the other, my Bernina, is set up mostly for quilting.  However I can and do use both for everything when I want to.  I also have a small Bernina (I call it my baby Bernina) that I use to take to classes because it's easier to carry.  I know - I'm pretty machine-spoiled.

With my five quilts pinned and ready to quilt, I decided to take my Pfaff to Hi Fashion to get cleaned and serviced since I would be quilting on the Bernina.  Brian serviced it and called and said it was full of lint, which sucks up the oil that the machine needs to run properly.  The picture above is NOT my machine - thank goodness!  But it could have been, if I let it go too long.  Brian suggested using these micro vacuum attachments, which I already had at home, to clean the lint out of the bobbin area every three bobbin changes - to prevent the spread of lint that happened to the machine above!  Trista said it's also great for cleaning the lint area of your dryer and cleaning in and around computer keyboards and such.  Since my machines are all clean and oiled and shiny now, I think I will use these vacuum attachments to clean my dryer - which could really use some help....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CO West Quilt Guild Challenge

 Tonight was the CO West Quilt Guild's annual challenge presented by Marla, who was in charge of the challenge this year.  The theme was "Sizzle" and we each got a piece of bright, sizzling, yellow, orange and red fabric.  We had to make a small-ish quilt and we had about six months to do it.
Here are a few of the quilts displayed at the meeting.  About 20 people participated.
 This is Marla's quilt which really shows the challenge fabric well in the woman's dress and shoes.  I love the "sizzling" foot popping kiss!  Even though you can't see the kiss, you KNOW :)  I voted for this quilt!  Every member present, whether they made a quilt or not, got to vote for their three favorites.
More quilts on display.
 This is Phyllis' quilt "Liar, Liar! Pants on Fire!" which won third place.  I love this quilt!  It reminded me of when I was a child and how whenever my brother and I said this, we got in big trouble - like sent to our rooms or something.  Calling someone a liar was like using a dirty word.  I just remember not being able to use this little chant.  My Mom taught us well :)  But I love this quilt!
Phyllis said the inspiration for this quilt was a Zits comic where the teenage boy comes home from a date and his parents ask him how it went and he said, "boring" or something like that and his parents said, "Liar, liar, pants on fire!"  I also really like Zits comics.  If you've ever had a teenage son, you can SO relate!
 This is Eddy's quilt, which I also voted for because it's so funny and made me laugh out loud as soon as I saw it.  I showed this picture to my husband and he laughed too.  If you've ever gone to a big quilt show and browsed the huge amount of vendor booths - your Visa card would sizzle too!!  Eddy attended the Home Machine Quilting Show in SLC in May and shopped the over 200 vendor booths.  Sounds like her Visa was getting pretty hot!
 This is Michelle's quilt which I also voted for and it won first place!!  This quilt is amazing and the picture hardly does it justice.  She said there are 170 plus inset seams (which are hard and time consuming to do) and a ton of tiny hand appliquéd circles, and her machine quilting (a lot of it done with metallic thread) is absolutely amazing.  I happen to know this quilt took her a ton of time to make (she said four months) and is absolutely stunning. It is definitely one of those quilts you ooh and ahh over.
Way to go Michelle!!
This is my quilt "Sizzling Hot Tropics" or "Hibiscus and Heliconia".  The Pattern is from the book Paradise Stitched by Sylvia Pippen.  It won second place!
Laura Pedge asked me to teach a class at her shop Laura's Home based on this book.  Those taking the class will get to choose any pattern from the book and I will be teaching the back-basting hand appliqué method and Sashiko.  The class starts July 25th.  I'm excited!  And a little nervous :)  But it will be fun.
I really love hand appliqué and the back-basting method is my method of choice.  I like Sashiko too.  I guess I just find hand work relaxing :)

Happy Quilting and Congratulations Challenge Winners and Marla for putting on a great challenge!!

Two More Pinned

 I pinned two more quilts yesterday morning - the Japanese Quilt Blocks quilt and the Round Robin (half size).  Now I have five quilts ready to quilt!  I better get busy.
Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Laura Pedge's Tuesday Afternoon Social.  She provided a yummy oriental food lunch and I did some hand stitching while visiting with friends all afternoon.  It was fun!
Today I'm not getting much done in the way of quilting or sewing, but I am going to take my Pfaff to Hi Fashion for a cleaning and service.  And this evening is CO West Quilt Guild's Challenge Reveal!  More on that tomorrow :)

And a special thanks to my hubby who always helps me set up the "pinning table" and put it all away once I'm done.  I couldn't ask for a more supportive husband!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Pinning Process

 I pinned three baby quilts this morning before it got too hot in my garage.  I pin quilts on our ping pong table, but I protect the table from scratches with an old sheet, topped with some thin white boards that we bought at Home Depot.  Two baby quilts fit at once.  I have pinned many queen size quilts on this table, but have yet to pin a king size, mainly because I have yet to MAKE a king size!  That is on my list though - I have one in mind to make for our bed.
The top two quits are flannel front and back, with bamboo batting. They will be gifts for someone - not sure who yet!  The pink quilt is for my friend's first grand baby.  It has a cotton top and cotton batting, with a flannel backing.

I bought a large roll of bamboo batting at the Denver Quilt Show in May.  I've used it before and liked it, so hopefully it works well again!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Machine Quilting

I am getting a queue of quilts ready for machine quilting.  The two quilt shows I went to recently in Denver and in Salt Lake City both inspired me to improve my machine quilting.  I tend to do more free motion and not so much marking.  A friend recently told me about a magazine she discovered called Machine Quilting Unlimited.  I picked up a copy at Barnes and Noble and I really like it!  I also found this Doodle Quilting book at Hi Fashion - another of may favorite shops in GJ - and it has some great free motion ideas in it.  On The Quilt Show website are some amazing videos by Sharon Schamber, who makes stunning quilts. Definitely worth checking out her work!

So armed with some new inspiration I am ready to tackle that queue of quilts!  Oh .... my new Bernina is great inspiration as well :)  Happy Quilting!!

Pin Cushions

I have been making pin cushions!  The cute little owls came from a pattern I got at the Denver Quilt Show in May. 

 The cute little penguin, dog and sheep were from kits I bought at Laura's Home - a fun little wool/quilt shop here in Grand Junction.  I will put a link to her website in my favorites.  

 I will have to give some away as gifts since I don't need them all - the tough part will be deciding which to keep and which ones to give away :)  Which do YOU like the best?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tea Towels

My daughters and I went to the Home Machine Quilt show in SLC in May.  It was the first big quilt show my girls attended with me!  It was fun to walk around and look at the quilts and see what they like and don't like as far as quilt styles and colors etc.  Of course we had fun shopping at the vendors too! My youngest daughter bought some tea towels and a pattern and made them over Memorial Weekend.  Fun!