Monday, February 13, 2017

Quilting Catch-up on Quilts of Valor w/Updates!

The weather has cleared, the snow has melted on the 37 quilting studio's time to quilt!  Been needing to get several Quilts of Valor quilted for quite awhile now, and this weekend provided that opportunity to get started.

The first in the QOV line-up, is a Land Of The Free quilt top that came to us via the Quilts of Valor Stars Facebook Group.  We added a final patriotic border, backing and started quilting!

Land Of The Free Quilt of Valor coming off the frame
Because this quilt contained several borders which provided multiple quilting application treatments, we go to apply several different quilting aspects, which turned out quite well, we think:

Multiple border treatments
We used one of our very favorite quilting applications, McTavishing in the outer, patriotic border, ruler work in the navy border, toothpick quilting in the red/white/blue star border, crazy 8's in the RED border and another favorite - our continuous fireworks/Jamie Wallen swirls in the gold border. Applying quilting to each of these borders was Fast & FUN - two of our favorite freehand quilting requirements!

Some close-ups:

Border quilting w/Star quilting

McTavishing and Ruler work
And the back - I always enjoy looking at the back when the quilting is complete:

Back of quilt

Once bound/labeled and a QOV Presentation has been created, we will be awarding this Quilt of Valor to a Warrior coming off the battlefield overseas...Thank You to EVERYONE who helped make this Quilt of Valor possible.  This Quilt of Valor is one of five that our East Central IL QOV group is making ready to ship to our overseas Warriors.

Another QOV that just came off the frame, quilted so quickly I only took one photo.  It's panto quilted in the interior with Dave Hudson's Random Stars w/McTavishing in the borders:

This quilt top was donated to our East Central IL QOV group to be quilted/bound/labeled and awarded to one of our overseas Warriors by the Comfort Quilters of St. Joseph...Thanks, Donna G!

Speaking of the Comfort Quilters, we have another of their gorgeous Quilts of Valor currently on the frame getting quilted - the 'Uncle Sam' QOV.  Pics will be forthcoming 'soon'.

And here it is ALL quilted out and coming off the frame:

Uncle Sam QOV coming off the frame

A few quilting close-ups:

Becker's Star Panto quilting

Taping off Uncle Sam's beard to prevent 'quilting' it -
blue Painter's Tape worked great!

Border quilting - didn't this turn out neat?!

Time for more quilting!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

En Provence Mystery Quilt - COMPLETE! w/Updates

Exactly one month later, the annual Mystery - En Provence, and the quilt that I decided to turn into a Tribute Quilt to my Mom is FINISHED!

En Provence quilt top COMPLETE!

Including the addition of two personal borders I added just for my Mom - shown below:

GREEN pieced skinny border & Zen Garden grape juice border close-up

So HUGE - now that ALL the borders are in place, it's Too BIG to photograph in its entirety!

The GREEN picture frame border was created from the leftover green fabrics sprinkled throughout this GIGANTIC quilt top.

GREEN skinny border strips, cut in half - typical 'Bonnie fashion'

The grape juice border is just for my Mom - who used to can just about EVERYTHING!

One year, she canned over 100 quarts of grape juice.  We stored them under the stairs to our basement, to keep them cool and try and prolong their shelf life.  My youngest brother and I came home from a hot school day one early fall afternoon, decided to each grab a quart of nice, cool grape juice and before we knew it, we were laughing and cutting up and just having a good 'ol time!

It was soon discovered, a few of those quart jars had come unsealed and fermented into home grown wine...our first exposure to home brew!  Mom did NOT see the humor in ANY of her precious grape juice fermenting into grape wine!  That story was shared throughout our family and we still ask, "Remember the year we canned ALL that grape juice that turned into wine?" 

This Tribute Quilt has traversed an unforgettable journey with me.  I wasn't even going to participate in this year's Mystery - since I seem to have NO problem starting them but LOTS of challenges in finishing them.  In fact, True Confessions time - this is my very first quiltville Mystery Finish!  I think my Mom may have wanted to be first...and rightly so!  I could hear her nudging and whispering...Finish, FINISH!

Blocks sewn and ready to be pressed

Blocks and units sewn into En Provence quilt top - now the pressing begins!
The quilt top is ALL pressed, time to add those borders

En Provence prior to adding 4-patch borders

The first 4-patch border...just THREE (3) more to Go!

4-patches, up close - we need LOTS of these!

En Provence with 4-patch borders added on ALL four sides...Whew!  I needed chocolate & coffee, and the hubs had frozen pizza while these borders were being created and added ;-)

En Provence ALL bordered out and ready for quilting!

I realized about a month before deciding on this adventure, while talking to the hubs about quilts, that of ALL the quilts I've created over the past few years, I had NEVER created a quilt just for my Mom. The year before she suddenly died, I had just graduated from returning to college to get my Psychology and Criminal Justice degrees.  Four years earlier in 2005, my Dad had unexpectedly died and in between, BOTH the hub's parents had passed away.  While going back to school and working, we stayed fairly busy attending funerals of our loved ones.  NOT much quilting was going on.

After my Mom died, I realized she was the last parent to go and now, we had NONE.  I built my first 'Miss Betty' mid-arm quilting frame a month after her passing, and started quilting NON-Stop.

First 'Miss Betty' home built frame quilting system w/custom made Betty Boop leaders

Apparently, it was lethargic.  Since then, I've learned LOTS of new quilting skills, met literally tons and TONS of NEW quilting friends who have ALL been instrumental in one way or another, in helping me acquire the quilting skills I have today!  With these NEW-found quilting skills, quilted LOTS of quilts, and ultimately graduated to the 'Miss Betty Boop' longarm quilting machine and stainless steel Professional quilting frame system I have today, Thanks to my Mom - who enjoyed Betty Boop and even resembled her, hence the name.

Current 'Miss Betty' professional frame quilting system - Thanks, Mom!

Now, finally - my Mom will have her very own quilt created just for her, as a result of my newly found quilting skills.

Thank YOU, Bonnie for designing such a beautiful En Provence/Tribute Quilt - that contains most ALL of my Mother's favorite colors and even one of my Dad's very favorite colors of yellow...couldn't have done it without YOU!

My goal is to have this gorgeous Tribute Quilt ALL quilted, bound and labeled prior to my birthday in the middle of March. Symbolically present it to my Mom on Mother's Day, 2017.

In the meantime, I have A LOT of catching up to do with my actual longarm quilting!

For those of you who have patiently been waiting for me to FINISH quilting your quilts...Thank YOU!  The quilting will resume tomorrow...TOMORROW!

Until then - I'm eating chocolate and taking a nap!


En Provence Intro
En Provence Part I
En Provence Part II
En Provence Part III
En Provence Part IV
En Provence Part V
En Provence Part VI & VII
En Provence FINISH!