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...

UPDATE 11/02/2014:

QFC SewFest Quilt #1

QFC SewFest Quilt #2

QFC SewFest Quilt #3

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...


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Sixth QOV is Officially Completed...!

I am sooo pleased to be able to report that Irene's awesome Quilt of Valor - the 6th and final one, (at least for now ;-), that I received from Clairellen and those Quirky Quilters in Michigan, is quilted and being readied for it's journey back to Irene to receive it's finishing touches - and didn't it quilt out neat?!:

Irene's awesome Quilt of Valor coming off the frame
I just adore this QOV of Irene's and vow to make one myself sometime.  Not sure I'll be able to approach her creativity and originality but, I'm willing to give it my best shot later on this year, when I will have had a bit more time to gather some nifty military fabrics.  In the meantime, just check out her neat fabric choices w/these close-ups:

 Right side of quilt fabric w/quilting
Left side shows the quilting pattern a bit better w/neat fabrics

I chose to use a very special panto that I don't use very often just because of its intricacies - I have to be on top of my quilting game to pull this panto off without a hitch.  Here's a close-up pic of the gorgeous burgandy red back, which shows the detail much clearer:

Back showing Star Spangled Support panto w/free-hand quilting

The Star Spangled Support pantograph from is one of my very favorites for Quilts of Valor quilts but, it's a bit of a challenge to pull off, at least for me.  However, the final result is well worth ALL the efforts expended, especially when Superior's LAVA Diamond Head thread is used in the needle to show it off.   I chose to add a freehand swirl after I concluded the panto because I opted not to 'offset' each panto row on this particular quilt for design aesthetics, and I'm glad I did!

Final views from the front concludes our quilting journey with this wonderful Quilt of Valor:

Quilted front close-up
Completed left side off the frame
The right side

And this now quilted QOV beauty ;-)
It has been a true honor and pleasure to have been included in the 'creative process' of this quilt and especially to be granted the privilege of being the quilter of this extraordinary Quilt of Valor...Thank YOU!

Time to get back to it...

The QOV 6:
#1 Paula's Quilt of Valor
#2 Sandra's first Quilt of Valor
#3 Mary Anne's first Quilt of Valor
#4 Mary Anne's second Quilt of Valor
#5 Sandra's second Quilt of Valor
#6 Irene's Quilt of Valor