Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Talkin Tuesday and London Modern Quilt Guild

Tonight is the 3rd meeting of the London Modern Quilt Guild at the Tonda Room at the London Central Library, the meeting starts at 6:30pm. There is lots of parking in the area and the bus stops almost at the door.
Tonight is the first of our member lecture series. Basically every meeting two people will give a mini lecture on something to do with quilting. Because I'm smart like that I volunteered to go first with the lovely Teresa. We're doing a thing on HSTs, their versatility and importance in design.
I think I will also be bringing my Curio quilt so I can work on the binding and get some feedback from the group on the pattern.


I always get some questions about the chat so thought I'd add some tips here.

Most find it easier to follow the chat using TweetChat. It automatically adds the hashtag (#talknt) to your tweets for you and has a control for how fast the page refreshes.

You MUST add your name and email on the Talkin Tuesday blog to be in the drawing for prizes. You do not need a URL, just leave that blank if you don't have a blog or site you want to link to.
The reason this changed from retweeting was all those retweets went to my limits and I kept getting thrown in twitter jail (locked out).

Just jump in! We're all really nice I promise. I ask questions, Q1, Q2 etc, often provided by the sponsor, and you answer and we discuss! Conversations spin off and some pretty funny things normally come up. There aren't any real "rules".

Tonight we're giving away sets of spools of AURIFIL thread!! You absolutely want to be the winner tonight!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Long arm quilting

 I don't know if you know but I have been renting the long arm quilting machine at my local sewing shop, Joyce's Sewing Shop, for a little under a year.
Mostly I do all over designs and have done a little bit of custom quilting in borders.

Well on Friday I decided to give a go to custom quilt an entire quilt. And I didn't pick a little one either! No, no I had to pick the 100" x 100" quilt I'd just finished sewing up for a new pattern.

(You can get my current patterns at Fat Quarter Shop or Pattern Spot)

The day did not start well. It was pouring rain and I got wet just getting into the shop at 9:30am.
It took me over an hour just to load the silly thing! But once we were loaded I thought all would be golden. I'd found the perfect Sulky verigated blue thread to match the basicgrey Grunge borders and I started to quilt. Well I got about an inch before the thread snapped. Ok....rethread, add sewers add and start again, 2" this time and snap.
This went on for over an hour as we tried every trick and method we could think of, including switching to some King Tut thread. The threads just kept snapping on us.
Finally Kelley, a long arm extraordinaire herself, said maybe the brand new needle we'd put in was bad. Sure enough switch it out and all the snapping stopped. By this point it was almost noon!!

I was not going to be put off though and kept quilting away, switching threads for the border and the main part of the top. I quilted and quilted. Stopped and chatted as other customers came in and wanted to see what I was doing, how the machine worked etc, Quilted some more.

Shane finally called me because it was getting close to the time to get Little Bit from school, luckily he was on a split shift and was able to get her. They played until he had to go back to work so he dropped her off at the shop where I was still quilting away.

Little Bit was awesome, read her book and looked at all the pretty threads for half an hour until my mom could get her about 5:30.

I'm still quilting. And quilting. At some point I had given up my hope of this being a incredibly grand custom quilt. I settled for focusing the extra work in only the larger empty spaces. Everything else just got little orange peels quilted in.

So finally at 7:30 I had finished and was out the door. I spent 10 HOURS quilting this monster. I stood the entire time. I could barely move. I can still barely move. But I am really happy with how it turned out.

I can't show you the entire quilt just yet but thought I'd give you a sneak peek at the quilting. Which I have to say I really am proud of. I know it's not as amazing as some of the girls out there can do, Like Natalia at Piece n Quilt or Judi at Green Fairy but for me it is the best I think I'll ever be. The side borders aren't as good because of the all the stopping and starting as I rolled the quilt but I even like them.

Somehow this quilt was meant to be. I made it in under a week and probably could have made it in less time if I'd not had all sorts of other things crop up last week.

And this one is MINE. Yes I'm actually going to keep a quilt!

The exciting world of Thimbles

Yes I know you are all just waiting in thrall for my riveting review of thimbles. No? oh, ok.

I know they don't seem like a fun topic but thimbles really are a necessary evil in quilting. I can't make a machine binding look good on both sides so I rarely use it, which means hand sewing the back. And to do that, I need a thimble.

Traditional thimbles always bothered me and I could never really get a hang of it. And once I started wearing long nails they didn't work at all.

I can't remember where or why I picked up my first Clover open sided thimble but I love it. Totally and completly.  It doesn't feel like its on my finger because its only on the bottom, and not tight at all. The extended tip works great for forcing that stubborn needle through a seam, and whether you have long nail or not rests nicely on your finger. I've actually bought 3 of these. Because I lose them. A lot.

The last time, so the 2nd of the 3, was before the move to the house. It hasn't been seen since. My friend Niki from Stitchin Heaven sent me another type of thimble in a prize pack I won from her New Years Eve twitter party.
Since at that point I'd not been wearing the fake claws for awhile it was great. The rubber will occasionally let the needle poke you but not badly and it is looser and more comfortable then the traditional thimble. This one has a metal top so you can still use it to push through any bulky parts.
I managed to not lose this one for about 6 months, which really has to be a record for me.
The package even has a hole so you can make sure you get the right size! The one I have is orange, so probably a large?

For a reason I still don't understand I decided to get the nails put back on recently and while I could use the Protect and Grip thimble still it is somewhat akward with the nails so I had to go and get another of the open sided ones.

So that's my little opinion piece on thimbles. What do you use and why??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer fun!

We've had some really unseasonablly hot weather lately, and a lot of thunderstorms. While it's not been great for the farmers it has been fun for the kids!

Shane and I bought a Slip n Slide for Little Bit and her friends and they sure made use of it!!


Even Rebel and Mason liked it! Ok maybe not but Shane liked dumping them in it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

New baby quilt

I have a nephew who should be making his entrance any day now so had to make him up a quilt. It's harder to find and design a boy quilt without getting into novelties, which are fun sometimes but not what I really felt like working with this time.
I actually dug these fabrics out of my stash from a project I gave up on a few years ago and repurposed them here!

I'm really liking the design of the quilt and am thinking of writing a pattern for it, maybe re-do it in newer fabrics? What do you think?

I backed it with Moda's Snuggles, which I LOVE. Unlike Minky, which has stretch in all directions, Snuggles only stretches one way so its fine to use on the long arm and easy to work with. I like to back all my baby quilts with it and the quilted wraps too.

I had lots of fun quilting it with vines and leaves. Instead of adding flowers I added some swirls in their place.

I really love how the back turned out!

  The whole quilt is about 45" square, which is small for me. I like to do quilts that will last the kids for awhile, hopefully they will wear them out before they out grow them.

  I think if I re-do this one I will add at least another row, which means I have to decide which way is the "top". Do you like the rows going vertically (the very top picture) or horizontally (the second from the top picture) ? I'd also make the middle row a nine patch like the edges. That should get it up to about 45" x 59", which is a nice size.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My new favorite accessory

 I found these awesome fabric headbands by Crimsontate, who I "met" through Talkin' Tuesday, and bought one for myself and Little Bit. With Little Bit's hair is can be a pain to keep it out of her face, and with her sensory issues most anything that puts pressure on her head is out. But since these didn't have any teeth and were wider I thought I'd give them a try.
Well she loves her.
But I love mine more! So much so that I bought more!

I figure I have one to go with most everything now. Oops I'm missing one...I was probably wearing it when I took the picture! lol It was blue too.

With my shorter hair I can't do the pony tails anymore so I love wearing these to keep the hair out of my eyes. They're really comfortable, I have too big a head for normal headbands (go ahead insert comment here), and because they don't pull my hair back they look good too!

I love how she uses premium quilt quality fabrics, these things will last and are fun, and I can wear the fabrics I like but don't really use a lot of in my actual quilting!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Naked Bed Winners!

Remember the challenge Sarah Fielke and I gave out two months ago? Well we have winners now!

You can go check it all out, and the awesome quilts that were made over on Sarah's blog!
There are lots of great pictures in the Flickr pool we started of peoples progress. We had 51 entries! Awesome.
the winners of the three $30 gift vouchers from The Fat Quarter Shop are:
Jackie Sparks
Jackie sparks
Camp Follower Bag Lady
Yay!! Congrats girls! The winners of the three $30 gift vouchers from One Choice for Quilting are:
Deb Westerberg
Deb westerberg
Johanna Wilke
Johanna wilke
Fantastic effort! The winner of the Down Under Quilts prize AND a $50 gift voucher is:
Chris Jurd!! Yay and wow, congrats Chris!
Chris jurd

And the over all winner of the Naked Beds Challenge for 2011, who wins a copy of Sarah's book, Quilting: From Little Things, is: L Wade Woolley!!
L wade-woolley

Thank you SO much to all our wonderful sponsors and judges, we couldn't have done it without you:
6a010536f8e72a970c014e872ca2dd970d-800wi 6a010536f8e72a970c014e60520cfb970c-800wi 6a010536f8e72a970c0147e3a67c27970b-800wi
I hope you will all join us again next year - the response was so great that I think Naked Beds should be an annual challenge to get you all creating bed sized quilts.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Patterns are a launch!

So you know the old axium, Ask and you shall receive? Well I asked.
And I received!!

I finally got the nerve up to email a few shops about carrying my patterns in PDF form and the answer was...YES!!

So now you can buy Cheers to You...


...or Avalanche...

...instantly! How exciting is that?!

Where you ask?? Fat Quarter Shop is carrying them, as will 1 Choice 4 Quilting and Mel at Above All Fabric will be doing a kit up for Cheers to You! You can also find the patterns at Pattern Spot.

I can't tell you how incredibly psyched I am to see my patterns for sale in these amazing, I've-loved-since-I-found-them stores. It is so humbling and so exciting, and slightly terrifying, that I really can't express it in words.

Thank you to so many people who have encouraged me, and pushed me, and to everyone who reads this blog and has been so amazing to me over the years, and especially in the last one.
I never would have gotten to this point without your support. Especially big huge hugs to Jacqueline, my friend and pattern editor, tester and soundboard.
And another huge hug and thank you to Leigh at Spincushion for doing my cover images! You are the sweetest!

There will many more patterns coming soon! This has totally sparked me to finish up a few more that have been percolating and had to be put aside.
I hope you like my logo because you'll be seeing a lot more of it in the future I hope!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

D-Day and a Quilt Show

Today is the anniversary of the commencement of Operation Overlord, D-day.

I though it appropriate to show some of the Quilts of the Netherlands that were created using the inspiration of Freedom. The liberation of the Netherlands was seperate from D-day but the point is the same.
I love seeing history represented in art like this.

I really wish I'd taken a better picture of the skirt. It was amazing!

I have lots more pictures to show of the Quilts of Netherlands show, there were some absolutly amazing quilts, and now that I have them downloaded I'll get them organized and show some more!
You notice I take pictures of the cards with quilts when I can. It helps me remember the quilt better, along with the artists information and anything else they've included.

ADDED- Different war but I thought it was really interesting article in my local paper about cave etchings in the tunnels under Vimy Ridge from WWI. Art during war in the most literal way.