Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I found my Feathers! w/Updates

Been practicing for what seems like FOREVER on all kinds of feathers - bump back, hook, and my current favorite feather - the Jamie Wallen 'Mystical Feather' aka the typical longarm freehand quilt feather.  For some reason, I relate to 'how' Jamie does feathers and mine look very similar to his, (I did say 'similar' - his are perfect, mine are in transition), soooo...I'm stickin' with what is workin' for now ;-)

Here's my latest real attempt on a real Carpenter's Star quilt - no practice here!

Freehand Jamie Wallen feathers - not perfect, just much better!

And I think with more practice and quilt application, these feathers will soon be something I can be proud of and offer to clients.

Used crosshatching in half-circle center alternate gold triangle blocks and...practiced various 'other' techniques in every other center half-circle gold triangles - got LOTS of practice w/different filler techniques and kept it rather consistent w/crosshatching.

Implemented an Irena Bluhm feather filler technique in the half-circles of the navy blue/off-white triangles,
while consistently feathering around ALL the half-circles in ALL the off-white/gold/navy blue triangle blocks

                                 Free-hand feathering to the gold tip corner triangle points helped finish everything out.  

Notice how 'crinkly' everything is?  That's because I didn't pre-wash 'any' of my Civil War reproduction fabrics just so everything would look 'aged' after I laundered upon finishing the quilting, and Hobbs 80/20 batting really helps out with that total effect...LOVE IT!

UPDATE 7/7/2013:  Finished and bound, waiting for the proper quilt label, still pondering on that ;-)

Learned a whole lot about feathers with this quilt that I will be able to apply to future quilts - I'm excited about that!  Thinking of how I can mix feathering w/McTavishing - that should be loads of FUN!!

I have 4 charity quilt tops I will be practicing on arriving from Quilts Beyond Borders, along with two lap throws I'm currently piecing, one in colorful summertime prints & batiks:

 Lots of space for feathering!

Like I always say - time to get back to it...


PS...Thanks Katy S. for the info on Quilts Beyond Borders!  If you all get the time, pop on over to Katy's, she's doing some FUN stuff over there, including some really great quilting ;-)

Friday, June 14, 2013

100th Post - WooHoo...!

Can You believe it - my 100th blog post?!?  I can't!  In fact, I didn't even realize it until I happened to look over at my post list, searching for one that needed editing and there it was, that '99 posts' notation, oh my goodness.  So I pondered on it for a couple of days - what should I put in my 100th post?  It needed to be kind of a landmark, a little bit of humor would be good, and something light-hearted but memorable.

I happened to glance over at some of my quilt pics and saw one that has been and will ALWAYS be close to my heart - my very first pantographed quilt to come off my home-built Betty Boop quilting frame on my 9" Janome 1600db machine, 'Queenie'!

'Queenie' coming off the frame...

I had first written about 'Queenie' in April, 2011 on the home quilting systems forum, long before I had my blog.  So I went back and grabbed that post, (Thanks, Angie ;-), and decided to re-post it here for all to enjoy.

So, without further ado, the story of 'Queenie':

Repost April 28, 2011 11:03 pm (CST) from Home Quilting Systems

Good Afternoon ALL!
And a stormy afternoon it is - and in spite of all the storms we keep having
here in the MidWest, including the accompanying power outages, my first
over-sized Queen quilt, 'Queenie' as I've come to call her, is Finally coming off
the frame after being on the frame for over 2 weeks waiting for me to decide how
to quilt her, and oohhh my, if she could talk what a story she'd tell - would
probably have to be turned into a 3-part mini-series!  (Pictures posted below).

To follow in Gail's (from NE OK) footsetps, if I may be so bold ;-) - 

What Did I Learn:
1)Do NOT use fuzzy reddish/rust thread that the nice saleslady promised was
designed specifically for long-arm/mid-arm/short-arm/any-arm quilting machines
and NEVER leaves a fuzzball anywhere - Really, tell that to my 'Queenie' who now
has multiple reddish/rust fuzz balls quilted into her from head to toe, front and back.
(I'll be sure and tell the family it helps to make her more cuddly - yeah, they'll buy that,
won't they?)

2)Do NOT combine pre-wound polyester bobbins with the fuzzy reddish/rust thread
for the first time on an over-sized 'Queenie' size quilt and not expect to have tension
issues and thread breakage, especially since you've bragged repeatedly how you
NEVER have tension issues or threads breaking on EVERY blog and forum known
to most quilters/sewers in the western hemisphere!

3)Do NOT convince yourself you can complete a pantograph row 96 inches long
in the middle of a thunderstorm and not be distracted or have a power outage
halfway across - forget the fact you might get electrified from a lightning strike
even though you have a power surge protector!  Those 10 grain bins across the
road certainly will NOT contribute to drawing lightning into your garage/quilt studio.
(And those night crawlers that keep finding their way onto the floor behind you
while you're trying to quilt will just have to wait until you finish your line of quilting!
Darn that wind from the last storm that blew the outside storm door off - what'll
we do now?  Can't get it fixed until the storms blow over and we're under another
thunderstorm warning right now...).

4)Do NOT forget that you spent more than 2 full weeks making primary and secondary
leaders with Velcro for your quilt frame so you would NOT have to remove quilt poles
with the quilt still attached while trying to rotate an over-sized 'Queenie' size quilt that
has become too large for your mid-arm quilt machine to quilt the entire depth of your
pantograph.  Instead, Please remember that you can take the quilt off the Velcro leaders
and simply 'flip it or rotate it' and leave those heavy quilt poles on the frame where they
belong!  (And remember to give your hubs a nice confident, reassuring smile when he
steps into your studio while you are hoisting a 10' long pole with an over-sized 'Queenie'
size quilt on it while trying to turn it around to get the proper directional role while trying
to not take out any of your overhead lighting or heaven forbid, your quilt machine,
which you now know was absolutely not necessary - guess that's what happens at 2:00 am
when those brilliant ideas come and you've had NO sleep ;-).

5)Do NOT have a panic attack when you discover an hour later - after rotating
your quilt, that your quilt is no longer square like it was when you first put it on your
your quilt frame, and is now almost 1" longer from one side to the other and you
only have 4 pantograph passes left or 18 inches of quilt left to quilt it out!  Just remember
that old trick of Sharon Schamber's with the spray starch and spray the daylights out
of the excess, pat and pin it out and let dry for the next couple of hours, square up
your borders, baste down because it's 4:00 am - time for a quick nap so you can finish
quilting later today!

Oh my, if quilts could talk!  I made this quilt, (while watching the Kennedy's) specifically
to practice my panto quilting on, and for our family's TV room.  Thank goodness that's
what I made it for because the only award this quilt will ever win is for being the fuzziest!
On another note, the hubs walked in right while I was taking it off the frame and said,
"WOW, that really looks good!", almost surprised...I knew I married him for a really
good reason - he's a great quilt judge and he's ALL mine ;-).

~Deb/stormy MidWest/off to bind 'Queenie' while we still have power!

Do You have a Quilt who wants to talk and tell your story?  I know we'd love to hear it...

Alrighty then, and now for the complete 'Queenie' reveal:

Side view of 'Queenie' getting panto quilted w/9" machine

Close-ups of 'Queenie's' panto quilting

                         Another side view

And there you have it - my very first pantographed, over-sized 'Queenie', who now has permanent residence in our family's TV room:

'Queenie' - Always ready and waiting to 'snuggle up' with anyone who just needs a 'Queenie' hug ;-)

Hope you enjoyed our stroll down memory lane and Thanks for tagging along for the first 100!  Wonder what's in store for the next 100?  Certainly, time will tell...


PS...Want to go back to the 'very beginning'? - Here's a link to my very first blog post:  "First Post..."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Another Monday Mash-up...

Been busy like many of you these days.  Finished up my garden:

Completed final successive planting and mulching

So I could finish up quilting the Good Morning Quilt II:

              Good Morning II coming off the frame

Panto quilting w/Fly Away by Jodi Beamish

                                                                            Like how it's showing up in the borders 

In between gardening and quilting another MidWest thunderstorm threatened, so decided to bake some bread!

First, we grind the wheat.  This is the wheat before we grind it:

Hard white wheat - ready for grinding into flour

     The last of the wheat in the hopper prior to grinding

                                                                                        Wheat made into bread dough

All ready for supper!

In between all this, there was a lively discussion on one of my quilting forums about a quilting tool.  I first read it while the bread was proofing and all I read were the words 'top anchor' and 'magnet'.  I immediately thought the reference was for the notorious 'Harbor Freight magnets' we frame quilters like to use on our frames for various reasons, including to 'anchor' quilt tops.  

Me - I use them to hold a practice/test piece in place at either end of my quilting frame and in a pinch, remount a quilt to fix/quilt an area that may have been missed.  The Harbor Freight magnets are fast and a hoot to use, especially when 'newbies' are around.  I had to buy an extra set for the hubs, you know guys - they think EVERY garage tool is exclusive to them...Geez!

The confusion came from the original name that was referenced in the first post - Top Anchor Quilting tools. I know the tool as the EZ Arc, here's why:

The name on the front of the package and the tools itself is EZ Arc

And it appears, their facebook name is EZ Arc and on it is referred to/listed as the EZ Arc.  

On the back of the tool is where it states, TopAnchor Longarm Quilting Tools - looks like they may be using this term as their business term?:

Notice the Caution message:  contains small magnets - 
hence my magnet confusion LOL!

I haven't had this tool very long and this is the very first time I've even turned the package over to read the back and to take this pic...Mystery solved ;-)

I have a couple of quilts I was planning on giving this tool a try but for now, time to sample some bread and finish binding the Good Morning II quilt - got a little delayed yesterday with all the storms we keep having!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Good Morning II for Oklahoma survivors underway w/Updates

As soon as the latest Quilt of Valor came off my frame, it was time to get the Good Morning II quilt started.  Originally, I had planned to have it all finished up and ready to load as soon as I took the latest QOV off my frame, but life (and Mother nature) have a way of changing things up sometime, don't they?  But I'm only behind a couple of days so, no worries!

Good Morning II all ready to load!

Came out pretty good, I think ;-)  You'll notice I switched out the lime-y green batik interior sashings for pink-y/orange batiks, and the exterior perimeter border is Moda's Good Morning yellows/pinks/oranges versus the previous Good Morning purple.  The strips are all from the same Good Morning jelly roll - and as we all know, I LOVE jelly rolls!  After all, I didn't get nicknamed StripperDeb for nothin' ;-)

Here's the original Good Morning quilt top for a quick comparison:

Because I was short a few strips (found them later after the completion of this quilt),
I had to create a couple of embroidery blocks to fill in the original Good Morning.  
Quilters are a creative bunch, aren't we?

                      Aren't these fabrics FUN?!

Now that that Good Morning II is all pieced, time to decide how to quilt this one.  I've been thinking of doing a panto. In fact, Good Morning I was almost panto quilted but I was in such a rush trying to get all 3 Hurricane Sandy quilts done I just quilted them all virtually the same w/McTavishing.  And now I'm so glad I did, since they ended up being a cohesive 'trio set' and I think the similar piecing w/similar quilting works for those three.  However, for this one, I think it's time to change things up a bit.  Here's one of the panto designs I'm considering:

Fly Away panto by Jodi Beamish

I like the undulating pattern of Fly Away and the scale seems perfect.  Others being considered, Circle of Life by Patricia Ritter, Fantasy Flame 2 by Jessica Schick, and Harbour Wave by Patricia Ritter & Mary Beth O'Halloran.  

Most of the pantos I purchase now come from, and I purchase the digitized versions for several reasons - 1)they are less expensive, 2)I can resize them to whatever size I may need, and finally, if I ever get my dream of adding a Pro Stitcher to my HQ16, (I use my Avante for all my freehand stitching because of the Precision SR, which works so wonderfully with McTavishing - my favorite type of quilting), 3)most digitized designs include the format for the Pro Stitcher, so I would already have them ;-). 

Alrighty then, I'm off to print out a couple of samples and make my final quilting decisions...

UPDATE 6/8/2013:  Decided to go with the panto Fly Away by Jodi Beamish:

Lookin' good so far

Using Superior's King Tut Harem with Quilter's Dream poly batting.

About halfway through:

                         Time to finish up...

UPDATE 6/17/2013:

 Bound/gently laundered/labeled - ready to be shipped!

UPDATE 6/24/2013:  Shipped and received by Mission of Love ;-)

I soooo enjoyed working on this FUN, sunshine-y quilt - my only hope is the recipient will feel the warmth that was quilted into this quilt especially for them, and know we are ALL standing strong with them.  It was a true honor to be part of this quilt relief effort.

My Best to You and Yours,
~Deb see pictures of some of the many quilts for the Oklahoma Tornado survivors, (including Good Morning II - center right of photo page ;-) Please follow this Oklahoma Quilt Relief for Survivors link: ...Thanks!