Friday, September 9, 2016

Starburst - Finished Quilt

Time to share Starburst, all finished and doing the job it was intended to do, wrap sweet Benjamin in hugs until I can get there to give him some real time snuggles!

All of the info on patterns I used to make this quilt can be found in my previous post. As I said in that post, some of the quilt was quilted on a long arm. I thought I would be able to finish most of the quilt that day. . . not even close! The quilting on the left side (about 15 inches along the side), in other words, one pass before having to roll to the next section. . . Imagine my surprise when I got to that point and looked at the clock and it was past time to pack it in and head back home!! Time truly does fly when you're having fun! haha

Finishing this quilt up on my domestic presented a problem or two. My domestic is very finicky when it comes to Glide thread. Sometimes it works just fine and sometimes. . . well, let's just say that it likes to eat and shred it. Because I mistakenly figured I'd have the quilt finished by the time I left that day, I wasn't too terribly concerned. . . talk about bad assumptions! But I pushed through and got 'er done! ;)

My machine also decided to have issues with a 12 wt Wonderfil thread that I had been using on Pixilated Strategy. I had quilted almost an entire spool into Pixilated with! I used it to put Benjamin's name on the quilt. It looked fabulous on the front:
I remembered to take a picture after starting to rip it all out. . . then I remembered this might be good to share. . . you know, the good, the bad and the ugly. . .
And the ugly I found on the back when I flipped the quilt over. . .
Wish I had taken that picture prior to ripping. . . the 'E' was solid blue loops on the inside curves and the outside echo was more of the same! Notice how the tension is perfect. . . until it isn't!
I wish I could say that I figured out what the problem was. . . I cleaned my machine, changed needles, threaded and rethreaded so many times it made my head hurt! In the end, I went very slow and ended up pulling a few loops into the middle of the quilt. Definitely not optimal but hopefully it will not come out. . . I thought maybe it was the batting? So I put Pixilated back under the needle the other day and guess what? MORE LOOPS!! That quilt has quilting in other areas that is done in different thread and I am working on that portion to save my sanity. NO issues! Stay tuned, maybe I'll get it figured out by the time I post a finished Pixilated Strategy. . .

OK, enough on issues :) Wanna see the entire quilt? :D
Sun was not cooperating with this picture. . . See one below that was snapped pre wash and before I quilted in Benjamin's name. . .
Definitely can see the quilting better BUT, never fear, I have LOTS of close ups ;)
All quilting to the left of the small star was done on the long arm.
In this picture, everything to the left of the large spiral was quilted on the long arm. I quilted the spirals and paisleys on my domestic. The bottom goose was done by Gina Perkes :)
I ripped so many times on his name I was afraid I was going to ruin the fabric! It all disappeared with the wash and dry :D
I used curved rulers for the inside of the stars. This portion was all done on my domestic.
Ghost Geese! We all know I am a fan of ghost anything in negative space! LOL
I tried to really exercise a little bit of restraint (SO hard!! haha) so I just ditch stitched this star :)
And the back! All flannel I had in my stash. Yay for stash! :)

And here's what a learned while quilting this quilt:
1. Not all wool batting is the same. This is not a criticism at all. I used wool Hobbs wool for this quilt. If you have been following along for any amount of time, you know I am a Quilter's Dream fan girl and almost 100% of my quilts are made with it. I used batting from a roll Gina had at her store and it was Hobbs. There is a difference. The Hobbs was a little 'stiffer' . . . I don't know how else to describe it. It is kind of like the consistency of an 80/20 batting with slightly more loft. It quilts up beautifully. I kept thinking while I was quilting it, this would probably be a better choice for show quilts. The quilting POPS a little more. I wondered if I would lose that wonderful snuggly softness of Quilter's Dream wool which maintains that snuggly softness even if it is quilted to death. After washing, the quilt was as soft as Quilter's Dream. So like I said, not better or worse, just different.

2. There is a long arm in my future, I just am not sure how far into the future it will be. I am totally OK with that. It's not like I'm limping along with an inferior sewing machine. I have 11.5" of throat space - I can easily quilt any size quilt with it. When the time is right and the universe aligns, I'll have a long arm. Until then, I can go up to Payson and rent Gina's machine :)

3. Flannel plus a good starch soak equals backing that is stiff and very resistant to puckers or wrinkles. When I say 'soak', I mean I poured a bottle of starch (might have actually been two) in a bucket and added the flannel and soaked it. Then I let it dry on my ironing board outside under the patio, out of the sun. Gina asked me what the heck I did to it! LOL Even with all of the traveling this quilt did while it was in process, there is not one wrinkle or pucker on the back. I was a little worried about the fact that the quilt was definitely not completely anchored when I took it off of the long arm. It seemed like that might have been a recipe for disaster but it wasn't.

Benjamin will be all snuggled up in this quilt by the time you read this. And that my friends is why I make quilts :)

Next week I will be posting about another finished quilt. I'll post in two separate posts again, flimsy and finished quilt. I used a free Art Gallery pattern and it was a great pattern but if I were to make it again, I'd make a few minor tweaks. I'm way behind in blogging (not posting for two months will do that. . . ) so by then, Pixilated Strategy will be finished (SO close) and I have another baby quilt that I started today. That will be finished soon. Easy peasy quilt and the baby is due Oct. 1st. . . I thought I had so much time to make the quilt when the mom contacted me . . . Seriously, where does the time go?? Oh, AND I am Queen this month for my hive in the Stash Bee! I cannot wait to show you!! Patience my pretties ;) haha

Linking up with Finish it up Friday. I'm pretty sure that it is the linky party of the quilting world that will derail any plans of not starting a new quilt. SO many beautiful finishes to peruse!

I hope you have a great quilty weekend and until next time, keep on quilting!
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Monday, September 5, 2016

Starburst - Baby Quilt Flimsy

I finished this flimsy back in June. Yeah, June. I told you I have been sewing. . . ;) This is a two birds, one stone kind of quilt. Back in June I set up a day of quilting with Gina Perkes at her new shop in Payson, AZ. You know I am a total Gina fan girl. She sells Innova long arms. You know I have been tossing around the idea of buying a long arm. . . So I scheduled a day to finally make the decision. My niece was having a baby and said baby was due the end of August. This is the two birds (purposes), one stone (or quilt) comes into play. I decided to make a baby quilt to quilt on while I was quilting with Gina. Crazy? Yeah, probably so, but I've never been quite normal, right? Here's the finished flimsy!
I'm going to walk you through the process of making this flimsy. I found a bunch of patterns and put them together. Here's how four different patterns from four different blogs came together in what I think is a pretty cool quilt. Yes, lots of negative space. I did that so I'd have room to practice! I'll tell you about my day with Gina at The Copper Needle at the end of the post. Links to the patterns/tutorials will be in the picture captions. I'm going to let the pictures tell the story :)
These were easy and fun to make! I don't even remember how I found the tutorial but when I did, I knew I was going to use them in the quilt! :) It's called Migrating Geese.
LOOK at those points!! Not ONE pin used in the making of these flying geese! Did I mentioned there was a video link in the blog post linked in the above picture?? Yeah,!
You can find the instructions for this star block here. This was the last block that I found and I was kind of wishing it were the first. . . because I totally would have made four of these to make a quilt top. There is a picture in the tutorial. SO COOL!! Yes, it's on "the" list!! LOL
Trinity Star Block, McCalls Quilting. This block finishes at 16" x 16". Tedious. Worth it! :)
Star Cluster, Judy Martin. Wins the prize for tedious! But also very worth it! I would NOT want to make an entire quilt of these. . . although it would make a pretty awesome quilt! LOL
Here are the various different layouts I played with before finally deciding on the one at the top:
Seemed a little too weighted down on the left side. . .
I wasn't sure why I was not 100% pleased with this one, but I wasn't. I really did/do like that star block on point though!!
A reminder of the finished flimsy :)
OK, so that is the story of the making of Starburst. Oh, so you want to know how my day with Gina went? ;) In one word, fantastic! I've obviously had some time to process the adventure and here are my takeaways from the day:

1. I am confident that with time (and not as much as I thought), I could get as good on a long arm as I am on my domestic.
2. I have tried several brands. If I buy, I will buy an Innova. I quilted ALL day and only had two thread breaks. Both times they were caused by operator error, like forgetting to reset the stitch speed when going from micro quilting to quilting larger motifs. Stitch quality is freaking awesome. NO tension issues. I could go on, but in the interest of getting this posted at some point this week ;) I'll stop.
3. My husband has a way of planting me squarely back into reality. :) When I got home, I was flying high. I was ready to order. I gave 'the number' to my reality check. . . I got the look. You know the look. The "Are you @#%#@ crazy??" look. . . Hmmm, I didn't think I was crazy ;)

Bottom line, there's lots of craziness happening here and the bottom line is that making this purchase now is just not a wise move. So no, I will not be purchasing a long arm. . . yet! ;)

Oh, and as for the baby? His name is Benjamin and all 9 lbs 1.2 ozs of his incredibly precious self is here and he is happy and healthy. I just finished quilting his name in the quilt. The final step in quilting it. So yes, this quilt is finished and will be mailed on Tuesday. But you can see the quilt quilted soon. I'm going to try to keep this roll going! I have another finished quilt and cushion cover to show you. It.will.happen!

Linking up with DWM and MCM. Until next time, keep on quilting!!

Friday, September 2, 2016

More CiL Quilts Quilted

Last time I was here, I shared a couple of CiL quilts that I had finished. Today, I'm going to share two more. I finished both of these quilts this week. One day of quilting on each. I do not remember the last time I finished quilting an entire quilt in a day! Both of these quilted up really quickly and I'm really happy with how they turned out! They are currently winging their way back to Kat. :) And Kat is sending more this way to be quilted. Quilting these quilts has provided the exact break I needed from Pixilated Strategy. Yes, it is almost finished. And yes, I am quilting the snot out of it! That wasn't exactly the plan when I started quilting it. . . things changed along the way. . .

But for today, I'm going to leave you with a bunch of pictures :) The first quilt was quilted with a design that was inspired by a panto called Modern Greek Keys. These blocks were the perfect size to do the round and square spirals. For the second quilt, I alternated ribbon candy and figure eights. I had my machine going so fast when I was doing those, I thought it might overheat! haha So much fun and the texture is absolutely amazing!

I hope you liked the show :) I have a couple of finished quilts and a cushion cover to share with you on another day. . . I may have been absent in this space but I have not been absent from my sewing chair ;)

Linking up with Finish it up Friday.

Until next time, keep on quilting!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Quilting Finishes for CiL

Uh, two posts in one day? Yeah, told you I was behind!! Kat sent me two more tops to quilt for CiL. I have SO much fun quilting these quilts! This is a picture heavy post, few words ;) Kat's July block drive post is up! Red, white and blue star blocks, pattern of your choosing! Her post has links to like a jillion free star block patterns or pick a star block that you love to make and join in the fun!

Here they are!

I am packing these up as soon as I finish this post. They will be back in TX by Tuesday!

Thanks for stopping by! Linking up to Finish it up Friday.

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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'How Does Your Garden Grow?" A Finished Quilt!

Hello! First, I want to thank everyone for all of the love shown on my last post wherein I shared the quilt I quilted for CiL. I had so much fun quilting it and was so completely honored that Kat would entrust such a beautiful quilt top to me to quilt! Lots of love and time went into piecing the quilt by Kat and her bee mates at Do good Stitches. These ladies did an awesome job! If you want to donate to Kat's CiL program, her block of the month this month is red, white and blue stars! Check out her post for July blocks containing links to lots of free tutorials for various different star blocks. And who doesn't love to make star blocks??

Now, on to today's finish! Remember the Kaffe Fasset flower collage flimsy I showed you when I reviewed Lara's fabulous book "Crafted Applique"? Well it is finished!! Not only finished, finished AND gifted! To my mom, who received it yesterday. Lots of thank yous, it's beautiful, and where should I hang it, it needs to be somewhere that everyone can see it! :) That makes me smile!

First, here are a few process shots. I used mostly Wonderfil 40 Wt rayon thread for the flowers. For the background, I used Aurifil Long Arm Poly and those glitters you see is Superior Threads Glitter in Steel. If you want a good amount of sparkle in your quilt, I cannot recommend this thread highly enough! Not.One.Break when I was quilting!!
I started in the middle and worked my way out. Even though I only used one layer of wool batting in this quilt, it poofed like I had used two. Which is perfect but I also knew that this quilt had three, sometimes four layers of treated fabric which meant there was very little 'give' to the flowers. That meant the potential for tucks was high and I needed to plan accordingly.

See the shine on the background fabric??? Yes, please!! :D
Here I was attempting to figure out binding. I pinned it onto Purple Haze with just the binding peaking out. That works!
Just had to confirm :)
OK, here we go! The finished quilt :) This quilt makes me smile and I know during those long MN winters, it will make mom and all those weary winter survivors visiting her house smile as well!
And one final parting shot :)
I will definitely be making more of these! Because I followed the patterns in the fabric, I could totally go into a zen kind of place while quilting. The hardest part of quilting was picking the thread color!

I have several other finishes to share! June was spent quilting and piecing with very few breaks for much else including blogging and unfortunately visiting and keeping up with my friends. July doesn't look like it is going to be much different in terms of quilts I need to finish. First up on the list is Pixilated Strategy. . . Yes, #1 fan, the quilting will commence today!

I'm linking up with Finish it up Friday! Need inspiration? Crazy Mom Quilts Friday linky party is definitely the place to go!! :)

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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