Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Quilting a QOV w/Updates...

I received this gorgeous QOV quilt top from my Quilt of Valor Team Partner early last week and decided to get it loaded and start quilting immediately:

Halfway though quilting this Quilt Of Valor

                                                       SID and Outline quilting ALL the motifs in this block w/clear mono-poly

McTavish quilting in the background of each block

Sideways picture of the Flag borders quilted w/swags using HQ swag templates

All of the SID and outline quilting is finished along with the outside Flag borders.  The interior star borders will be McTavish quilted w/Gold thread, the same Gold used to crosshatch in each of the navy borders of the banner and used to quilt a Gold Star in the circular navy/star motif above each eagle - after I finish the McTavish background fill in each of the eight Eagle blocks... just 4 more to go!

UPDATE 5/30/2013:  Trying to finish up a quilting project in the MidWest with a continual onslaught of storms can be challenging, especially if one's studio is directly across the road from a flank of metal grain bins that just LOVE to draw lightning from every thunderstorm!

This is why my studio was wired with GFCIs from one end to the other, and I also use commercial grade surge protectors to plug my machines into, which then plugs into the wall mounted GFCI, but I STILL unplug all my machines whenever a storm arises - I'm not taking any chances!!

Managed to make some serious progress in between the rucus:

All the blocks and borders are now completely quilted, now to finish up the crosshatching and I'm golden ;-)

UPDATE 6/2/2013:  This Quilt of Valor is now officially quilted and coming off my frame:

I Love how well it turned out - I'm always a bit surprised to see the finished quilt and how it quilts out...

A few stats on this QOV.


Clear mono-poly - used to SID and outline quilt every motif in each block/border seams
LAVA Sandy Beach - used to McTavish background quilt each Eagle block
Penny Gold Glide - used to McTavish quilt the navy blue star sashing border
Rainbows Patriotic - used to quilt the 3-swag border in the outside flag borders

Bottom Line - used for all bobbin work, 18 hand-wound bobbins were required for this entire quilt


Hobbs 80/20

After all trimming is complete, this Quilt of Valor quilt will be ready to ship back to it's creator - my QOV Team partner, who will finish binding the quilt, create the presentation case, gently launder and label prior to shipping it to it's final destination where it will be presented to a deserving Quilt of Valor recipient.

UPDATE 6/4/2013:  shipped back to original creator and should arrive 6/7/2013.

I am truly honored to have participated in this wonderful project. 

So, like I always say...time to get back to it...


Sunday, May 26, 2013

In Memory of those Who have Fallen...

In honor of those Who Remain...

A hearty shout-out and BIG Thank You to ALL our Veterans!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Quilts Arrive in Roselle, NJ Safe & Sound...!

I've waited a very loooonnnnggg time to finally be able to write this post - yippee!  ALL three (3) Hurricane Sandy Quilts have arrived at Timeless Treasures Fabrics and are awaiting their distribution decisions to survivors.  I was warned to NOT post when they had been shipped due to possible theft threats.  I guess homemade quilts are a high commodity and coveted by many, including those who would like to auction or pawn them off to the highest bidder...who knew?!?

Here they are, just prior to shipping:

Serenity on bottom, Good Morning next in the middle, and Renewal on top

                                I included some special messages - one for Timeless Treasures describing these quilts, and a letter for each individual recipient of one of the 3 quilts, letting them know just how much their welfare means to all of us and how that feeling was attempted to be conveyed in their quilt...

Added a customized quilt label w/name:

I'll keep you all posted when/if I hear more.  In the meantime, the postman just delivered some of my pink and yellow Good Morning fabrics for Good Morning II:

Time to get started, this quilt is due to be delivered no later than June 20, 2013!

Enjoy your weekend,

PS...To read All the stories about these Hurricane Sandy quilts, follow these links: 

Hurricane Sandy Quillt #1, The Good Morning Quilt
Hurricane Sandy Quilt #2,  The Renewal Quilt
Hurricane Sandy Quilt #3,  The Serenity Quilt

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blocks for 'Quilts for Boston' DONE!

I decided to finish up the modern quilt blocks I committed to for the 'Quilts for Boston' project - should've had them finished up last week but my cold/flu from h#$ll decided to make a re-visit, (my deepest sympathy/empathy to ANYONE who has had to suffer through this one!), and I needed to do something productive after having been flat on my back for more than 3 days so...decided to get with it and get these done, the laundry could wait.

Quilts for Boston

Have you ever been a bit stymied on how to finish a project, (and maybe that's why you haven't finished it ;-), especially if you aren't quite sure which/what fabrics you think should be used and where, which block-style, blah, blah, blah.  I think that's where I've been with this project, too.  I'd already made my embroidery/block decisions, digitized them, and finalized my thread choices but what fabrics?

Finally just went up to the quilting studio, (I hadn't been up there for 3 days, didn't know if I could climb the stairs, but the golden bears/retrievers were convinced with their help I could do it - their idea of 'helping' is to run up in front of me, stand on the stairs and block my passage until they are petted an unbelievably L - O - N - G time!  At least they still have lots of their winter coat left, it's great for grabbing a tuft and having them pull me along...)

While they were outside guarding the door (to make sure I didn't make a secret exit without petting them), and after scrubbing my hands and arms to the elbows from ALL that petting, (I knew I had to have a bathroom in this studio for a very good reason!), I started rummaging through some of my stash that STILL isn't put away - and YES, I'm using my recent illness as the excuse, and stumbled across a box of patriotic fabrics that had been sent to me by those wonderful ladies at Quilters for Comfort (QFC) and down in the bottom of the box was a bright, sunny yellow peaking out at me - perfect!  Along with it came a beautiful blue, Boston Blue - I could not believe my luck and don't EVER remember seeing these fabrics before.  I don't think they'll mind too much if I use a few of these scraps for these blocks, especially if I agree to quilt a quilt or two for them in the very near future ;-).

But no time to waste 'cause the wind had picked up - the horrific storms that had hit Oklahoma earlier in the day were headed our way, my thoughts/tears/prayers have been with those unfortunate souls since watching the unbelievable events unfold all afternoon on Monday.  I haven't cried that much since the Boston bombing...so much tragedy in our world right now, too much.

I got back to the house just in time before the storm hit - my golden bears huddled next to the back porch door under the cover of the roof and we watched it come in together.  We were soooo lucky, lots of wind and some rain, but nothing near what hit earlier in the day at those unfortunate towns and surrounding areas.  I don't know that I'll ever be able to get those images out of my head, they play over and over and over.

I decided to stop thinking and start doing.  Went back into the house after most of the storm had passed and felt confident the dogs were safe and bedded down for the night, and that we wouldn't lose our power so I could run my machines to finish up this project, and I got busy.

The first of the 4 embroidered Quilts for Boston blocks:

                                                                              Adding the embellishment stitches

Finished Blocks
Ready to be pressed

All finished up, pressed and ready for shipping!

If you hurry, you still have time to make a quick block and donate - details here:  http://bostonmqg.blogspot.com/p/quilts-for-boston.html

UPDATE 5/24/2013: 'Quilts for Boston' Blocks delivered - just in the nick of time...Whew!

And as a final reward to myself for finishing another project, I ordered some additional Moda Good Morning pink fabrics - I'm going to need them for 'Good Morning II'.  I'm confident there may be a young girl in Oklahoma who might just love to have a bright new quilt for her room...

If you would like to help those in need in Moore, Oklahoma - Mission of Love has just started a new project aptly named, For the Love of Moore.  ALL details can be found here:  http://www.missionoflove.org/.  I know where Betty & I will be sending our 'Good Morning II' quilt, how 'bout you?


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Problem Child is off the Frame...!

Just took 'The Problem Child', aka Pinked Out in Wonky Denim off the frame, and I'm more than pleasantly surprised at just how good it looks:

Ready for binding & quilt label...Yes!

Here are a couple of close-ups, including one of the back 

(I love looking at the backs of people's quilts, now ;-)

Alrighty then - I'm off for some shut-eye so I can finish the binding and label first thing in the morning...

UPDATE:  5/12/2013:  Pics of the finished "Pinked Out in Wonky Denim" prior to shipping:

White feather/swirl border using denim/pink variegated So Fine

I 'borrowed' the border treatment application from Professional Quilt Artist, Myrna Ficken and her DVD, "Just Do It II - Borders, Sashings & More".  I call it alternating feathers & swirls, can't remember what Myrna calls it, but it worked great in this quilt's border, don't you think?

QFC Quilt  Label                       .

Finished quilt - bound/labeled and freshly laundered  - 
ready to be shipped to the intended ;-)

UPDATE 5/16/2013:  The Problem Child Quilt, aka 'Pinked Out in Wonky Denim' arrived safe and sound to a fellow QFC member who will present ALL of our groups' donated quilts in July to a Women's Shelter - I feel very fortunate and honored to have played a small part in this group effort.


 "It's not a quilt 'til it's quilted...!"

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bow Ties make a Surprise Come-back...

750 needed for the quilt I'm making...still have a ways to go!

I needed a little break-y break, (Thank YOU, Christian S.), from 'The Problem Child', so decided to pull-out those bow ties I had stashed/stored awhile back while working on the Hurricane Sandy Relief Quilts and Easy Street - which is still in storage 'somewhere' waiting to be relocated into the new quilting studio, just as soon as the storage/book cases are complete.  Until then, I needed a little sewing/piecing stress buster, and I knew the bow ties would be just the ticket since all I have to do is cut/sew/press, etc.  No over-thinking, just doing!

This was originally one of Bonnie K. Hunter's leaders and enders projects, the cheddar bow tie challenge, which for me has gotten stalled out a bit but still progressing, albeit somewhat slowly, but indeed surely!

Aren't these just the cutest?!

And for now, time to finish up sewing so I can finish up quilting The Problem Child aka 'Pinked Out in Wonky Denim' ;-)


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Quilting the Problem Child...

Just about everyone has come across a problem child/quilt top at least once in their quilting career - I've had a few myself...remember the 'Crooked Quilt'?  I acquired my most recent problem child a couple of months ago, and while I kind of knew it had a few 'issues', I guess I didn't go over it and take note of just ALL it's apparent challenges, which showed up quite well while I was loading it on the frame.  Here are just a few pics of what I'm talkin' about:

 Fullness/puckers/tucks in pink borders (among others ;-)

uneven piecing of pink sashing borders             .
                 Puckered center blocks and borders...

Oh boy, what FUN this is going to be!  After debating on whether to go ahead and quilt this puppy or not, I finally decided it would be another great learning experience and besides, time was running out.  I had committed a quilt to a charitable organization and I didn't have time to make one from scratch, so since time was a-wastin', decided to just go for it since it was already loaded:

McTavishing the pink borders helped take out ALOT of the fullness

Floral motif in center denim square,(borrowed from Angela Walters), w/stippling on outside denim areas.  The stippling has virtually the same effect as the McTavishing in that it can eat up ALOT of the extra fullness and puffiness in the denim areas.

Oh yeah - did I forget to mention this unique quilt top is made from denim scraps and pink poly?  I just love a good challenge ;-).

And it seems to be quilting out fairly well so far:

Certainly it won't be perfect, because there's just so much a quilter and quilting can do, but I think it will turn out far better than I originally thought, and once again I will have gained some great experience on quilting one more 'problem child/quilt top' and some lucky (?) girl is going to get one 'wonky' quilt.  I think I'm going to name this one, 'Pinked Out in Wonky Denim'.  If you come up with a better name, drop me a line and let me know.

And now, time to get back to it...


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy May Day...!

I just looked up at the calendar and realized it's May 1st - WOW, has it really been almost a month since my last post?!  Well jimminy crickets - but we've been busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, (I've wanted to write that in something ever since I heard my Grandmother say it when I was much younger and blonder than I am now - we did it Grandma ;-)

Been trying to finalize ALL those quilting studio details and when they say, "The Devil's in the details"... they weren't lying!  Here's just a few pics to show what we've been up to.

Two ceiling fans and one center light installed by yours truly yesterday:

And they even work!

I now have a lifetime ceiling fan installment number of 19 plus various light/exhaust fan fixtures, (sorry, I'm bragging I know - I'm not bragging about my current manicure though, which is non-existent after trying to manipulate electrical wiring on steroids!  I'm wondering if romex destined for a grain bin ended up in my ceiling, but I digress...)

UPDATE 5/2/2013:  my youngest daughter just reminded me I hung 3 ceiling fan lights in a house she previously lived in, so my grand total is now up to 22 total ceiling fan lights!  I'm ready to retire and get my 24 kt. gold ceiling fan chain and possibly a matching set of steak knives ;-)

Set up the embroidery area:

I set this up and moved it 3 times before I settled on this location
Love it - right next to my quilting machine so I can embroider/change threads and go back to quilting, YES!

Customized quilt labels are always an option for clients   

And now we have a nice place to take-in and store quilt tops ready to be quilted:

Looks like we already have a few ;-)

The Betty Boop customized carpet bag is for transporting precious quilt tops that may be picked up/delivered during a private consultation and upon the conclusion of quilting.  ALL quilt tops and quilts will also be encased temporarily in a new secure, clear garment bag for safety and preservation.  

In-transition sewing and cutting stations:

Just until I can finish building the new cutting desk w/lots of storage and 
get my walnut sewing cabinet hoisted upstairs!

Here's part of the kitchenette, waiting for the stove and kitchen cabinets:

And I even found some time to put together this outdoor love seat on the deck:
I got this mainly to store my cast iron cookware we use on the grill - works great!

There's still plenty to do including staining the deck, but I feel like we've crossed the primary hurdle of getting most everything in place, or at least 'knowing' where the remaining items will inevitably land.  

And now, I'm going to take a brief break from construction and ceiling light installation, among other things - I'm off to load a quilt top for the first time in 2 weeks and do what this studio was originally destined for...QUILT!