“Under the Needle” Quilters Style

Well haven’t got up to too much this past weekend. The weather has turned sunny and warm here in Victoria but other than working and sewing not much else is going on. My partner and I were invited to a pot luck by a neighbour on Saturday night. At the townhouse complex where I live there is a clubhouse that can be rented for a very reasonable rate. My neighbour is a member in a band that plays songs from the 50’s and 60’s. I helped make the banner for the band called Trilogy. It was a lot of fun singing along to all of the old songs I remembered as a child. Of course I remembered afterward that I didn’t take any pictures. There were people there who took some videos so I will see if I can’t get hold of some pictures and video to post here.

I am currently making a quilt for someone who has to undergo an operation due to cancer. It started out as a lap quilt but it kinda grew. Now I think it will be almost a bed quilt when it is done. I got my inspiration from a quilt in a book that was scrappy and used 2.5 inch strips cut into 5 inch logs. I have so many scraps so I thought this was a good idea. I didn’t totally like the design of the quilt in the book just the “brink” idea so I changed it up and started designing on my design wall.

The Light Within-1

Not sure why I didn’t stop there but I wanted more colour so I continued. Before I knew it I had to move the quilt from the design wall to the design floor. I am happy with the way the quilt is progressing but it is now pretty much queen sized. Oh well. To top it all off, even though I used many scraps I still have a ton of 2.5 inch strips left!!

I worked on it until late last night (that is about 10:00 pm for me these days) and was up early this morning trying to get things to a place where I could get the top and strips up off the floor but at the same time not lose all of the hard work I did with the colour placement.

The Light Within-2

Here is a shot of the quilt top with the brinks sewn into rows which I completed last night. As you can see there is not a lot of room to walk around this sucker so I needed it up off the floor so I could walk in my studio. As mentioned it kinda grew but I am liking how this is turning out. Not sure if the person I was making this for could use a bed quilt or if I should make another quilt that is more of a lap size. We’ll see how this turns out and how time permits. I wanted a project that was fast and easy and used up my scraps. Well, this was fairly easy, used up my scraps but fast…not so much. It takes awhile to see 33 2.5 inch rows  that are 82 inches long together even with all of the seams being offset. Thank goodness they are!!

Behind every quilter there is a huge pile of fabric!

Happy Quilting

 

Coming Up with Quilting Designs

I have a client quilt on the frame and although I know what design I will be quilting on this one as it is just an all over design it got me thinking about how I come up with different quilting designs. My fall back design for all over is a leaf pattern, leaves are easy to do and if they are not perfect that’s OK because nature doesn’t make perfect leaves either. It’s also the first quilting design I learned how to do.

When it comes to all over designs I try to take hints from the quilt itself, for instance one of my client’s quilts was green and red and had nature and leaves in a lot of the fabrics. The quilt design was simple so the meandering leaf design I came up with seemed to fit the bill.

In another quilt I did, a Bonnie Hunter mystery there was so much going on with the design and the many different fabrics I just kept with a simple all over echoed flower design. With that quilt I used a thinner thread (Superior Threads So Fine 50) as I just wanted the texture to show as the quilt was so busy as it was. When I was quilting that design I was thinking oh no not sure I like this but when I got that quilt off of the frame I really, really liked it. The quilt is now on the bed in the spare room.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I don’t do much pantograph quilting as I prefer to quilt from the front of the machine but I did piece and quilt a quilt for a client that was a cat quilt. This quilt called out for paws and I did do that as a pantograph as it would have been to hard to do this totally free hand.

Cat Quilt-1

There are other quilts though that just call out for more custom designs like a design in the blocks and another in the sashing and border. I find deciding on what to quilt in these particular quilts more difficult as the choices are so vast. I try to take some clues from the fabrics used but I will admit sometimes I have to drape those types of quilts over my stairwell and stare at them for awhile well I go looking for inspiration.

The next quilt on my list to quilt is a Judy Niemeyer Bali Wedding Quilt. I started the top a few years ago and worked on it while going through cancer treatment. I finished the top two years ago and it has been sitting in my “to be quilted” pile ever since. Time to get this one finished I think so I have been sketching out ideas on what to quilt where. I will post pictures of that process in a future post. Meanwhile here is a picture of the pattern. I bought the extra papers for this one and made my top queen size.

My latest favourite quilting quote

I’d rather be stitchin’ than in the kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready for Art Quest

Well things have been busy around here this week. I have now completed making the Inspiration Journals for the upcoming Art Quest Show and Sale at my church. Here is a picture of more of the journals I have made.

Art Quest Journals

They have all turned out very nicely and I have actually sold 3 of the journals before the sale has even started. These are really fun to make. The only downside is you can’t really sell them for the time involved to make them. My plan is to create a written pattern and also to post some how to videos so people can start to make their own if they want to. I will hopefully have that posted in the next month.

I have another finished quilt (yeah), one that has been sitting in my “to be quilted pile”.

Asian Sampler Quilt-6

This one I have simply called Asian Sampler for lack of inspiration at this moment. A few years ago I had made a Border Creek Mystery quilt and it called for making all of these small 6 inch sampler blocks. The mystery had two sizes queen and a bed runner. Well I turned the bed runner into a lap quilt but I only needed about half of these little 6 inch blocks which meant I had all of these blocks left over. What to do with these blocks? Design and make another quilt! So that is what I did, I love blocks on point so I used mostly fabrics from my stash however I did end up buying fabric for the border.

I had fun quilting this quilt although I have to be honest and am not totally happy with my choices for the border. I used a matching metallic thread and you can’t see it at all. I used the same metallic thread in the green plan squares with a stenciled quilting design and I am very happy how that turned out.

The quilt is Cocoa approved too!Cocoa on Quilt 2

I was sewing on the binding and had to get up to get something so I placed the quilt on the floor for less than 3 minutes. When I came back look who had crawled on it and made himself comfortable. What is it about quilts on the floor that dogs and cats like so much?

This afternoon I am off with my Mom to pick up my Aunt and Uncle from the airport as they are flying in from Kamloops to visit my Mom for a week. It will be good to see them. Tomorrow is helping set up the church for Art Quest and Saturday will be volunteering all day at the show.

Hope to see you at the show on Saturday June 4, 2016, 1600 Cook St, corner of Cook and Mason enter by the garden gate off Mason St. It is from 10 am until 5 pm.

Life

Well life has a way of sneaking up on one when you are least expecting it. I had to go into the hospital on the Friday April 15 re a routine (for me) checkup as I had been diagnosed with anal cancer and had treatment two years ago. The procedure was horrible but the good news is they didn’t find any cancer left!!! Yeah!!

The bad news is that the whole thing put my system out of whack and I ended up back in hospital again and spent part of last week trying to get over the ordeal. Sigh! Cancer the gift that keeps on giving. Oh well, hopefully that part of my life is over now.

The rest of last week was kept busy quilting a quilt for a customer that will be hanging in Bib n Tucker’s booth at the Victoria Quilt Show. I can’t show pictures of it until next week after the show but the quilt is a beauty. Gail of Bib n Tucker will have some patterns available for the quilt. The quilt turned out so beautiful I am thinking I need to make one for myself.

I did manage to get the binding on my Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion quilt.

This is a large quilt 88 x 88. You can see half of it draped over the fence. I just quilted a freehand all over flower design on the quilt as for me the quilt is so busy with so many seams I just wanted something that would give the quilt some texture.

I did come across one example of someone who had custom quilted their Grand Illusion the other day. It looked lovely but wow the amount of work that would have taken!

On other news I met a friend for lunch downtown last Friday and I walked through Bastion Square here in Victoria BC. They have a public market Thursday to Sunday at this time of year. I came across a booth that had the most amazing leather journals and one is now on my wish list. You can have a look at the journals at SpellBinding Journals.

The Victoria Quilt Guild show is this weekend and I can’t wait to see all of the quilts displayed and see what goodies the vendors have for sale. Hope to see you there.

Learning More

Well things are progressing on the blog front. I am learning something new every day. I am trying to limit things to two or three things a day which is why things are taking so long to set up. I find if I try to do more than that I simply get too overwhelmed and frustrated.

On the quilting front I recently made two Rock Candy Table Toppers as gifts for two very special people The pattern is from Jaybird Quilts . I love this pattern and they were fast and easy to make and look great. If you want a quick and easy project to practice your machine quilting on I would highly recommend this pattern. On other quilting news I am finally getting around to quilting my Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion quilt it is on the frame right now and I am about half way through quilting it. I will show pictures once I have completed it.

It is interesting not having to get up and go to work (as in a JOB) every day. I am finding my stress levels have gone way down. I am working just as hard or even harder researching what kind of part time jobs there are out there, how to set up a business to work for oneself, and also what other types of opportunities are out there for making an income these days. The nice thing is that it is all valuable information and I am enjoying doing the work especially as it is on my timetable.