Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Betty Boop Quilting Studio Update and...Happy Halloween!

Finally starting to show some significant progress on the Betty Boop Quilting Studio:

ALL quilting books and magazines sorted and shelved...YES!
You may remember, it seems like I/we've been building these three 4' x 8' shelving units for a century - I referred to them in this blog posting: Around The World Blog Posting..., and I am happy to FINALLY be able to say they are ALL finished, assembled in place and up-righted w/help of my youngest daughter, Jaclyn, and her daughter, my DGD, Jade...Thank YOU, ladies!

ALL 3 shelving units in place...Yippee!

Civil War BOMs and accompanying fabrics are now happily organized
and in their rightful places waiting for construction

The third shelving unit is still awaiting ALL the fabrics it will eventually hold -
many of these black baskets will hold batiks, some of my very favorite fabrics to work with ;-)
I've started organizing the batiks but, in case you thought I might be getting finished up well...

There's still plenty to do - this will eventually be a kitchenette,
once ALL fabrics are sorted and shelved
We have 'some' of the kitchen stuff in place, but the main cabinetry and stove have to wait until I finish up the rest of the organization...hopefully by next week!

Embroidery station
Eventually, I need to put a cabinet and/or shelving in this area, for now this will work ;-)

Updated ruler/template area - it's much more organized w/bobbin winder it!

Media area for watching quilting videos.
See my cutting mat temporarily stored behind this media center ;-)
And for now, time to get back to the actual quilting - I have 4 quilts to finish by next week!

McTavishing the patriotic RED border w/King Tut Freedom
Veteran quilting getting finished up later today...
I still need to put together a brand-new cherry/walnut sewing cabinet I've had for months for my 'red' Janome sewing machine, which is on a temporary table for now, and also a cutting station - just got the 'other' wooden work bench delivered yesterday.  Came up w/'brilliant idea' to put two wooden work benches together back-to-back w/additional top for cutting surface.  IF I can get current quilt tops finished up I will begin construction...I'll keep you posted on how this goes...;-)

Happy Halloween from 'Miss Betty' and me!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Finishes...Yes! w/Updates...

Got in a few quilt finishes this week - including two Quilts of Valor and one Veteran quilt destined for a VA hospital:

Quilt of Valor just coming off the frame
A few close-ups of the stipple quilting on this QOV:

Stipple quilting on star and white sections
Back w/all-over stipple quilting
Freshly bound strip-pieced Quilt of Valor, finished earlier in the week
Side border quilting of this QFC SewFest Veteran quilt
I used LAVA Sunrise to quilt this quilt - and it quilted out beautifully!  This variegated gold thread has wisps of golden red streaks throughout, which makes it perfect for most red/gold/blue patriotic type quilting and quilts.  Always enjoy quilting those 'swirls', McTavished the Navy Blue borders and utilized, once again, Dave Hudson's Random Stars Panto - one of my very favorites!

Attaching bindings:

Sewing on the border w/pen stitch and LAVA Sunrise thread
All finished up ready for labeling and then to ship once the third one is finished
Embroidering a special quilt label
And the finished labeled QFC SewFest Veteran Quilt #2:

Labeled and ready to ship!

For now, time to get back to it - third Veteran quilt is ready to load,

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Quilt of Valor comes off the frame

Been working on this one off and on for a week now - just soooo much going on this time of the year being married to a farmer and it's Harvest Season!

Turned out pretty good, I think:

Quilt of Valor coming off the frame
A couple of close-ups:

Freehand swirls in the borders w/Superior's Freedom
McTavishing out the stars & stripes
And the back, which shows off Dave Hudson's Random Stars panto quite nicely:

Back showing various modes of quilting
UPDATE 10/11/2014:  Almost ran out of King Tut Freedom thread:

Just about to run out of King Tut Freedom...Oh NO!
Look what arrived in the nick of time:

Whew!  Another Superior Thread order arrived in the nick of time ;-)
Thank YOU Superior Threads - you're The Best!

And now - time to get back to it, halfway through another Quilt of Valor destined for a WW II Veteran...


Sunday, September 28, 2014

2 by 2...w/Border/Binding/Label Updates

Quilting 2 by 2 = two quilts on the frame at the same time!  That's how I'm 'starting' to get caught up w/ALL my frame quilting in between staining my deck ;-)

Just loaded the 'second' quilt top and starting to quilt
See the first Quilt of Valor on the pole just above the second?  You can tell by the fine line of batting in between each quilt.  Here's a better look at the first quilt - a Quilt of Valor I created about a month ago and just now getting it quilted - it's been a little crazy busy lately ;-)

Stars, swirls/furls, and of course a McTavished border!
This is another strip-pieced patriotic quilt w/additional borders to finish it out.  Here's a full pic of this top prior to quilting:

Strip-pieced Quilt of Valor w/patriotic borders from Valor fabrics
Love adding swirls and furls to a QOV to go along w/stars
This Quilt of Valor ALL finished up w/binding and ready for labeling
And then I got to load this lovely quilt from those very busy Quilters for Comfort ladies, just back from their annual SewFest, where they spend almost a week creating wonderful quilts for our Veterans.  This one will be going to a VA Home in Missouri.  It's getting some stars and McTavishing to enhance its patriotic features:
McTavishing w/Rainbows Patriotic in the borders
Stars and furls in the interior

They're both almost finished - just a couple more passes of the stars/furls and the final McTavished border, and they'll be ready to come off the frame for binding and labeling.  There's two more neat Veteran's quilts from those QFC ladies, but first will be adding a border or two for each wonderfully patriotic quilt, which gives 'Miss Betty' & I even more quilting real estate ;-).

UPDATE 10/9/2014 - Coming off the frame:

All finished up - quilted/laundered/bound and...


Border Update 9/29/2014:

White & Red borders added to this really wonderful quilt
White/Gold/Navy Blue borders just added to this neat patriotic Veteran's quilt
Next in the quilting Que:

Isn't this a gorgeous Quilt of Valor?!
Just received this stunning Quilt of Valor from Clairellen and those Quirky Quilters in Michigan - they've been at it again!  

I am sooo privileged to get to quilt such amazing quilts for ALL these talented and productive quilters...Thanks a bunch you busy QFC Ladies, and especially those Quirky Quilters!

Time to get back to it...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Around the World Blog hop...Finally! ;-) w/Updates

I was nominated by Katy of KatyQuilts, Thank YOU, Katy, well over a week ago, but due to 'some kind' of technical glitch, I haven't been able to log in and post for quite awhile until today! Participation requirements include posting replies to a few simple questions.  So, without further ado, here we go!

1.  What am I working on?

Answer:  LOTS of stuff ;-)  I like to dabble in ALL kinds of creative mediums, like many of you, including power tools of all kinds.  (I got a DeWalt table saw for Christmas last year that is Boss!). 

2013 Christmas present - he's Boss!
And the year before:

My chop saw baby - Love him!
But my lifelong passion has been 'some kind' of sewing/quilting.  I've told the story many times - that I made my very first quilt on my Grandmother's Singer treadle when I was 6 years old from leisure suit leftovers for my Barbie and Ken, who were going on a camping trip.  Then I sewed for my children and their Cabbage Patch dolls as they were growing up and while running a custom sewing/alterations/craft business for 20+ years.

A few years back, the frame quilting bug got hold of me and as with anything new, I was absolutely obsessed and I don't think I really slept for 6 months while staying up late at night researching everything/ANYTHING frame quilting.  I built my first Betty Boop quilting frame for my 9" Janome DB sewing machine out of wood, and painted it lipstick red, 'Miss Betty's' favorite color.  And just WHY the name Betty Boop?  Betty Boop was a favorite character of my Mom's and she even resembled her.  Sooo, in honor of my Mother, I named my system 'Betty Boop'.  And now you know why I need power tools!

When Mom suddenly passed away a few years back, I took some of the money I received from her estate and purchased Betty Boop II, an HQ Avante on 12' studio frame - and that's where I focus a good amount of my creative time.  Recently on ALOT of Quilts of Valor.  Here's one of Miss Betty & I's most recent endeavors:

WW II Naval Quilt of Valor coming off the frame
This Quilt of Valor was soooo much fun to design and create, and I was so honored to have been asked by his daughter, Daralea, when she nominated her father for a Quilt of Valor.  

Many of the embroideries were customized just for this amazing WW II Veteran, another passion of mine, including the 'Rosie the Riveter' embroidery in honor of his wife, who actually was a Rosie the Riveter in Chicago, IL, while her husband was serving his tour of duty at Pearl Harbor right after the bombing.  You can read ALL about this QOV w/pics by following this link to our sister blog:

As a recently appointed East Central Illinois Quilts of Valor State Coordinator, (the title is longer than I am tall, LOL):

QOVF Founder, Catherine Roberts, me, and THE Marianne Fons
and a Quilts of Valor 4-H Leader in our area:

Clark County, IL 4-H Quilts of Valor SPIN Club
been a little busy getting things in order.  In the meantime, the deck project I started in May of this year is just now getting finished up:

Deck's ALL stained - now for the 37 steps, 2 landings and accompanying railings inside & out
9/26: Progress - sloooow but sure, and Yes, that is Betty Boop 'lipstick red' ;-)
Along w/some organization on the inside:
Ruler/template organization - Yes!
My DGD, Jade & I put this pegboard together and hung it - it's 4' wide x 8' long - it's a Big Boy, ready to hang LOTS of quilting goodies, what FUN!  Thank YOU, Jade!!

In between quilting and staining, I'm working on 3 giant shelving units built out of 2' x 12's to be sturdy enough to hold LOTS of fabric.  They are ceiling height.  I have to carry them upstairs in pieces and then assemble.  It takes three people to raise them.  I have two of them completed and am working on the third, and hope to have it finished over the weekend as well, (I work on it after dark when I can no longer see to stain).

I have several ongoing projects like QOV Hearth & Home blocks, MQX quilt blocks for the MidWest Quilt Festival next week, September 24 - 27, 2014 - Illinois Quilts of Valor has a booth, hope to see you ALL there!

And an ongoing Bow Ties leaders & enders project by Bonnie Hunter:
Bow Tie blocks - only need 175 more!
My goal is to have this one finished up by the end of the year but - there is that annual 'Mystery Quilt' by Bonnie and I didn't have time to participate last year, the first time I've missed in quite awhile sooo, I'm thinking I'd really like to play in this one...we'll see...

2.  How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Answer:  I LOVE traditional quilts and I also LOVE the modern quilts soooo, I like to take traditional and 'mix it' w/a touch of modern - especially in my quilting.  For most who follow this blog, they know I also LOVE to McTavish quilt, or my version I refer to as 'Tango Quilting'.  I discovered this form of quilting while on a deadline to finish up several charitable projects that posed a few challenges w/puffy areas of some of the quilts, which is very common, btw, and I was tired of stippling out the fullness so went searching for an alternative.  It was LOVE at first bite!

 Recipe - take a 'traditional' log cabin quilt:
Patriotic Log Cabin getting traditional feather quilting
Add some snazzy, modern borders w/quilting:
Modern fabric borders w/McTavishing and swirl quilting
Results in a pretty neat quilt for a deserving Veteran:
3 Veteran quilts all ready to be shipped off to deserving Vets
These quilt tops came to me from those busy Quilters for Comfort - an online quilting group who create quilts for ALL kinds of folks, including Vets, Boy's Homes, Women's shelters, and children's needs.  Check them out when you get the chance and join in on the quilting FUN, if you have a mind to.  Right now, they're enjoying LOTS of sewing and quilting at their annual SewFest, where they create all kinds of wonderful quilt tops for our Veterans.  Yours truly will soon be receiving a big box FULL of quilt tops, backing and binding fabrics to quilt up into more neat quilts of theirs!

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?

Answer:  Simple - couldn't imagine a life without creating 'something'!  It's my stress-buster, especially frame quilting...Love it!  And blogging affords a wonderful log of our creative journey(s).  I enjoy going back and looking at what was created a couple of years ago and many times, just that 'looking back', gives pause for something to 'look forward' to...a brand-new journey ensues...

4.  How does my writing/creating process work?

Answer:  for some reason, I seem to ONLY be able to write from a keyboard.  Don't know why - maybe it's because I can type much faster than I can text or write by hand, just how that happens. Sewing/quilting ideas come from EVERYWHERE.  Just a matter of staying aware and capturing as much as possible in my mind's eye and then noting it in a draft email for upcoming projects.  I am also a big fan of book marking my favorite sites and especially my favorite blogs.  I also collect pics online and store them in appropriately labeled folders for quick reference, i.e., ALL my Quilts of Valor ideas are in one folder, quilting design ideas in another, block piecing combinations in another...try to keep it as simple as possible but...sometimes have to do a re-organize, like I am right now.  Speaking of which...time to get back to it!

But - before I do, wanted to post my Around the World Blog hop Nominees in no particular order:

  • Another Katie and Kwilts blog - who knew there could be TWO wonderful Katys/Katies who quilt?!  Miss Katie is part of the Quilters for Comfort online quilting group and currently away at SewFest. When she returns, be sure and tune into her blog next week for ALL the SewFest updates - it's always a wonderful read!
  • Sue Daurio is a fantastic frame quilter.  Her blog - is chock full of ALL kinds of quilting ideas, and her feathers are to Die for...pop over there whenever you get the chance...Amazing!
  • Lotta's blog: is one of my major sources for 6D Enbroidery tutorials. She comes up w/some of the neatest embroidery ideas I've ever seen, complete with a detailed tutorial to go with.  I discovered Lotta - whom I believe is from the UK, on my 6D Embroidery online group.  Check out her blog and her tuts - you'll be smiling ALL day.  Oh, and scroll down for the American English version ;-)
That's it for now - time to get back to the staining while there's still some daylight...