Thursday, April 26, 2018

Custom Quilting for an Appliqued Gem!

My latest client quilt turned out to be a lot of fun with a variety of custom quilting throughout! As I was quilting, I kept thinking of it as The Bunny Quilt, for good reason, don't you think?


This top was pieced a few years ago and was her first attempt at applique. I think she got the hang of it pretty well!


She used fabrics that were very traditional, maybe even some French General. All French General? At any rate, it was so fun to view this in person, but my photographic skills just don't do it justice.


She wanted 'light custom' for the quilting as she was donating the quilt to a charitable auction to benefit Hopewell, a therapeutic farm community near Cleveland, Ohio, that serves adults with mental illness.  A very generous offering from someone in Idaho!

I tried my best, but as the quilt progressed, I finally decided I just couldn't do 'light custom' on an applique quilt and just went for it.  I tried to change up the quilting in each of the blocks, but several have that easy outline quilting (definitely light custom on those). Pebbles, on the other hand, are not.


Fun feathers around the border. A flowing leaf in the sashing.


I found I really wanted to stitch in the ditch around all these blocks and the sashing. But I refrained - light quilting!



For the most part, I left the applique pieces unquilted. Except for a few straight-line stitching in the the birdhouse, water can and other spots. 



At any rate, it such a joy to have a quilt like this come through my door. I get to enjoy the labor of the quilter's efforts, and try to do something to enhance it just a bit.

I hope the auction brings a good amount for this quilt.

Oh - almost forgot to mention that I had an outbreak of Shingles while I tried to get this finished up for her deadline. Not fun! I even had the vaccine two years ago. Perhaps my case would have been more severe had I not had the vaccine. At any rate, I'd highly recommend everyone over 60 get a vaccine. There is a newer version now that is supposed to be more effective. Plus, I caught a killer cold and developed bronchitis while dealing with those shingles. Enough, already!

Come on Spring!

Quilting with a smile,
Barb


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hands2Help 2018 Quilt On Its Way!

It sure feels good to give, doesn't it? Even when you don't get a direct thank you, but you know in your heart that your generosity will be appreciated.

Big smiles on my face as I got my Hands2Help 2018 quilt sent off in the mail yesterday.

A Cute Baby Girl Quilt for Hands2Help 2018

This was a simple patchwork quilt with fun pinks and oranges and browns. And a truck! And some farm animals scattered about. Different. And perfect for some little one!

My quilt went to Little Lambs Foundation for Kids out of Logan, Utah. Hoping it will find a good home through their efforts.

Thank you, Karen, for once again spearheading this great cause. It will be fun to see how many quilts find new homes this year!

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up with:
Oh, Scrap!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

What's On Tap for Q2 Finish-A-Long?

I've come to the realization that my husband truly believes there should be a finite end to my quilting projects.

What???

That is such a foreign concept to me, that I don't even know how to process it. And he thinks we have enough quilts. What???


Help me set him straight. What do you tell your significant other about The Need To Stitch, The Need to Create, The Need To Do Anything Other Than Watch TV???

So in this vein of thought (that one can never have too many quilting projects), I've come up with my Goals for the second quarter of Finish-A-Long. Let's see what I can accomplish between now and the end of June:

1.  Quilt up my Star Quilt (carry over from Q1).



2.  Quilt and bind a replacement quilt for our son.


3.  Quilt and bind my Turtle Baby Quilt

A reader pointed out the error of my ways, and I've since corrected the placement of the bottom section. Doh!

That's enough. In fact, if I crank through all that, along with everything else that we have going this time of year, I'll feel quite accomplished.

Yep, yep. Good plan!

P.S. My husband retired last week.........


Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up with:
Q2 FAL

Monday, April 2, 2018

April's One Monthly Goal

Looking forward to April, but wow, it's already here!


So, for my April OMG goal, I'd like to get this little baby quilt quilted and bound and ready for someone to love!  It was fun putting it together. And more and more these days, I'm all about FUN!!!

What's on your agenda for April?

Quilting with a smile,

Barb

Linking up with:
OMG

Kaffe Table Runner Brightens My Day

This little gem was such a fun project. I adore bright colors, and the greens and reds and oranges and purples in these fabrics make this one of my favorites!


 I purchased this as a kit at the quilt shop in Sisters, Oregon, about four years ago. And then it sat in a drawer. Why, I don't know, because once I got it out to make it up, I was delighted!


Sometimes a kit is just the thing I need to get me motivated for a bigger, more involved project. Sometimes a kit does the trick. Yep, it certainly did this time!


This turned out to be a long table runner, which is perfect for our dining room table. It measures 16" x 71". I finished it and it has brightened up the long winter days we've had this season. Sweet!


This was one of my goals for the quarterly 2018 Finish-A-Long. So glad I put it down as a goal, because now I can thoroughly enjoy it!

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up with:
2018 Finish-A-Long
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
MCM
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers
Needle & Thread Thursday
Finished or Not Friday

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Wishes

Happy Easter to all, and may thankfulness, gratitude and blessings abound!


Quilting with a smile,
Barb



Monday, March 26, 2018

Prairie Quilt Complete


As I was putting this quilt together, I came to think of it as my Prairie Quilt! The fabrics are from Basic Gray's Persimmon collection for Moda. When this collection came out, I was drawn to the variety of prints, many traditional but sprinkled with a modern flair. And it reminded me of a Little House on the Prairie theme.

So I got my AccuQuilt cutter out and started making six-inch blocks. To come up with the design layout, I simply placed all the squares in a paper bag, closed my eyes, reached in, and drew out a square, one at a time. That was such a fun way to layout the blocks.



Of course, I made some rules for myself. If I drew out two of the same squares, one right after the other, I'd throw back the second one and select again.  I also tried to have some semblance of balance with the lights and darks. So I did  do some rearranging before the final layout was complete.

For the quilting, I wanted something different than straight line quilting, which seems to be the standard for simple patchwork patterns. I also needed something different because my Gammill doesn't like to straight line stitch from right to left. The thread breaks. Often. Even when I adjust the needle position, and fiddle with the tension, and slow down, I still get thread breakage. So I avoid straight line quilting. I think, overall, it's good to know either the limitations of the machine, or my limitations and not fight it, lol!



So what I chose to do was use a curved ruler for a simple jumping curve on each side of the blocks. I thought of them as 'jumping' as I quilted it because I bounced from one side to the other to the other. It was actually a fun method to quilt, it went quickly, and I sure enjoyed the process!



I actually have enough fabric blocks left over to make another quilt like this one day. Hmmmm......

Getting this quilt quilted and bound was my OMG goal for March, and also a quarterly goal for the 2018 Finish-A-Long. I sure am glad to have finished it. I think I'm almost ready to start on a king-sized quilt for my son. Maybe. Yes, one day soon. I should. Yep, yep. For heaven's sakes, Barb, just do it! You've been putting that one off w-a-y too long!

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up with:
OMG 
Oh Scrap
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Midweek Makers
Let's Bee Social

Finished or Not Friday
Linky Tuesday

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Good Homes Found For Forgotten Treasures

Thanks to all of you who spoke up and offered to Adopt the denim and corduroy fabric squares that I had up for adoption as part of Cynthia Brunz' annual Quilty Orphan Adoption program. The responses were all so good that it was a very difficult decision.

But, decisions have been made! I didn't realize when I put these squares up for adoption, how heavy they would be to mail. The first set weighs in at 4 pounds, and the second set is mostly denim and weighs in at 7 pounds. Yikes! 

So I decided that I should split up these two so they will be winging their way to not one, but two good homes!


The first set of fabrics, with the blue and lavender, will go to Gene Black. Congratulations! I hope your brother enjoys his soon-to-be quilt!


And the second set of fabrics, with the denim and stars, will go to minibea12. Congratulations! A denim quilt will create a great weighted quilt for your grandson.

Now then. What shall I work on today?

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Adopt A Quilt

What's better than free?

Cynthia Brunz over at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, is sponsoring her annual Quilty Orphan Adoption program.  You have the choice of putting a quilt block/project up for adoption, or adopting one of the fun quilt projects someone else has offered, or both!





I decided to look through my long-lost storage bins to see what projects I had that might be worthy of adoption. It turns out I think these just might be the ticket!

I began my quilting career years ago sewing up patchwork Levi quilts.  I'd cut up old jeans into six-inch squares, buy some nice coordinating corduroy or twill, make a fun design pattern, and stitch away!  I didn't know anything about machine quilting then, and the first quilts I made were entirely of denim. Can you say HEAVY!!!  So I tied the quilts and gave them to ALL my relatives!



These make fantastic picnic quilts, or snuggle quilts, or concert quilts, or play quilts. They are durable!

As time passed, I selected contrasting fabric that wasn't so heavy. Which was a good thing, because it's not fun to pull a muscle in your back trying to lug a quilt out of the trunk of your car so you can go experience an outdoor concert, lol!



Anyway, after everyone I knew had received one of my quilts, I still had a lot of patchwork squares cut up for future quilts, but never got around to making this one.

It has a real bright colored turquoise blue twill, a soft denim in soft lavender, a lightweight denim blue, a lighter denim with a bit so sparkle, and a denim that has a blue and lavender and white design woven throughout.  These are all cut from new fabric (not used jeans). A fun combo to come up with a fun quilt!



I hate to see this go to waste, so if you'd like to Adopt it, let me know! There are probably about 150 squares here.  Let me know how this quilt will be used after you sew it up, and I'll select an adoptive home next week.

I also have this pile of squares cut from old jeans, and if you have a use for those, I can either adopt them out separately, or combine with the multi squares above. The star denim is cut from new fabric.

Who's game?

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up with:
Quilty Orphan Adoption

Monday, February 26, 2018

My Blue Scrappy Quilt Is Already Loved!

Finishing up what I call My Scrappy Blue Quilt was one of my top goals as 2017 turned into 2018.

 

I'd started this project a full year ago and had a neat little stack of blue rectangles along side a bunch of Kona Snow rectangles at the top of my cutting table. Only once during the past year had I been able to take them off the table and start to stitch them together. Just once!



The project began as an effort to use up some scraps. But it lacked luster, and I didn't think I had enough blue scraps, and I'm not an expert at throwing together scrappy quilts (like some people I know, Cynthia Brunz Designs).  Getting a good running start on it just didn't happen, and so it failed to rise to top of my priority list.



As I cleaned up my cutting table one day, I decided I really wanted to get all those Blue and Snow rectangles off of there. They had started collecting dust! And as you all know, when 'needs to' turns into 'wants to', things happen!



I got the quilt top completely pieced in January, and my February goal was to get it quilted, bound, and ready to use. And I'm proud to say, it happened! A finish!!!



I used my wonderful Go-To Thread - Glide - and simply free motion quilted fun, flowing paisleys all across the blocks. When I free motion an edge-to-edge design, I have a tendency to start BIG and end up little. So I concentrated on keeping the same size throughout the quilt, and I think I did fairly well this time! Does anyone else have that problem? Changing up the size of the quilting pattern as you advance through the quilt? (I'm hoping I'm not alone.....)



At any rate, I got this done a couple of weeks ago and have thoroughly been enjoying sitting beneath it when I have my early-morning coffee and computer time each day!  I am not a 'blue' person, and so this quilt was a bit out of my comfort zone. But once it was finished, I've discovered how I really do enjoy it! It's a nice, bright addition to our living room, it's fun to look at all the scraps and remember what project I used them for, and the quilting was just plain fun and creates movement in the quilt.



I'm glad to say that these scraps have found a new home out of my scrap bins, and that my February OMG goal is complete! It is also one of my completed goals for the quarterly 2018 Finish-A-Long!

 What, oh what, shall my next project be?

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up to:
OMG

Oh Scrap!
Main Crush Monday
Monday Making
Linky Tuesday 
WOW
Needle & Thread Thursday 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Curved Piecing, My New BFF

A funny thing happened on the way to making my son this Cacophony quilt.  The pattern was purchased, the fabric was purchased. And then it sat. For two years. Two full years!!




Why? Because I had never done curved piecing, and I was afraid of making an entire quilt with that technique. Oh, and the rest of the quilt is foundation paper piecing to boot!


But then in January, Craftsy came out with their Craftsy Unlimited program - pay one fee and get unlimited access to ALL their classes!  I signed up right away, and have taken full advantage of the offerings.



The first class I took was Playing With Curves by Ann Petersen. And I'm so glad I did! She is a fantastic teacher - very methodical and she presents the material well.  I practiced with the first assignment - placemats.

SO much fun!!! And easy!



The curved just laid right down when it came time to iron it out. Just as if they had a genetic disposition to do that! I don't know what I was scared of. Silly, silly me.


Do you ever do that? Develop a fear of something, no matter how small, and then get held back by it? In my old age I should certainly learn that forging ahead is my best bet. But sometimes I just don't recognize that it's the fear that's holding me back.



But in this case, I'm glad I waited and took this class of Ann's because now I have a terrific set of placemats. Each one has a different array of fabrics, but they look well together.


And they are even purple, which you all know by now is the Pantone Color of the Year. And look out simply delicious all those shades look together.  Go, me!


What little fear are you harboring in your Quilting Journey that is holding you back? And what's your plan to tackle it? Please share so I don't feel so all alone....

Quilting with a smile,
Barb

Linking up with:
Oh Scrap!
Monday Making
Linky Tuesday
Midweek Makers
Needle and Thread Thursday
 Finish It Up Friday
Finished Or Not Friday

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Drawing Is Not My Forte

A funny thing happened on the way to quilting this table runner:  I tried to draw the focal design first!

You decide:  Should I try to rely on my artistic pen and paper abilities to make a living? I strongly suggest you answer that question with a resounding "No!".


I admit, I didn't take much time sketching this out. I primarily wanted to get the flow of the lines down before I started stitching. 

This is how it turned out:


I've been aware, for many, many years, that my character doesn't like strict boundaries. I am not a good planner, even though I made my living as an event planner (go figure!). I like to do things spontaneously, spur of the moment. I'm a "Yes, let's" sorta girl.  And as I inspect the free motion quilting that I do, those characteristics come out front and center.



I do use rulers in my quilting. And I appreciate the need for stitch in the ditch. And I'd be lost trying to quilt a straight line through those squares without a straight-edged ruler.




But as you can see from my original sketch, and how it plays out in the center areas of these six blocks, each floral design is unique to its own development. I actually like to see the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences in where the needle has touched each point on the blocks. It duplicates Nature! It creates character! It creates charm! It creates a finished quilt, lol!

I pieced these blocks a couple of years ago as part of the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM with Jacquelynne Steves. She had enlisted the help of several quilters to come up with their own fabrics and unique take on these blocks.  It was fun to participate, and while I finished all the blocks on time, I didn't get them pieced together or quilted. Until now.

I'm glad to have finally finished this table topper so I can use it on my dining room table. Brings a little breath of Spring into our winter months. And it completes one of my goals for the 2018 First Quarter Finish-A-Long.

Quilting with a smile,
Barb 

Linking up with:








Custom Quilting for an Appliqued Gem!

My latest client quilt turned out to be a lot of fun with a variety of custom quilting throughout! As I was quilting, I kept thinking of it...