Friday, February 05, 2016

Purple Flowers

Purple Flowers is kind of an exciting finish!  I had this top hanging on the "to-be-quilted" rack for several months.  It was gifted to me by my good friend, Angela, with the request that I quilt it and donate it to someone who might appreciate it.  To be honest...when I first opened it up, it didn't look that appealing.  I wasn't sure how to tackle it, but now, I really like it and I think it came out really cute!

I used a simple tone on tone neutral floral print for the backing and my daughter quilted it with a nice big rose vine panto in a neutral thread.  This was her first time following a pantograph on the longarm and she did great!  Another lady offered to bind it for us and we chose a solid plum binding to make those plum squares in the quilt pop (and also to make them look like they really belong with those grape purples).  I can't believe it, but I'm happy to say the Purple Flowers quilt came out pretty darn good and was a fun group effort!
We've decided to donate Purple Flowers to a local woman who is currently battling pancreatic cancer.  I'm told that plum is the ribbon color for her illness, so it seemed fitting.  I hope it brings her some comfort as she continues her treatments.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

February Goal

I am dedicating my studio time this month to finishing up Country Haven, a Kim Diehl design (pattern found in the book Simple Appeal) that I'm working up in Andover's new Little House on the Prairie fabric line.
The log cabin-style center section and the strippy border cornerstones are all sewn together.  Next thing to tackle is the applique border.  All of the applique shapes (vines, leaves, and berries) are all prepped and ready to be sewn on now.  I've been playing around with tensions for using nylon threads to machine applique, but I'm having a lot of difficulty.  The clear YLI thread is working pretty well so far, but it wasn't available in smoke at my LQS so I picked up a spool of Mettler nylon --- ugh --- I cannot get my poor machine to stop eating the Mettler!!!  grr.....

If you have any suggestions for dealing with nylon thread for invisible applique, I'm all ears!  I'm using a thin-ish needle (70/10) with a zigzag stitch length & width set at 1.0.  My tension for YLI is best set at 2.5 (normal 40wt. cotton is 3.0).

Q1 (Jan-Mar 2016) Finish Along Goals:
  1. Crumb Along (Jo's Country Junction)
  2. Strippy Spools (M*QC)
  3. 4-Patch Revisited (Bonnie Hunter)
  4. Spools (Bonnie Hunter)
  5. Purple Flowers
  6. Lunch Box Social (Kim Diehl)
  7. Country Haven (Kim Diehl)
  8. Buttermilk Basin BOM 2015
  9. That 70s Quilt Re-Do
  10. Rustic Stars (Wounded Warrior Quilt)
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Wounded Warrior Quilts

I finished up a couple more quilts for the Wounded Warriors this month.  I really love taking these down to Ft. Leonard Wood a couple of times a year to honor some of these local heroes!!!
The Rustic Stars quilt above was cut out at the same time I was making the quilt for my husband's aunt around Thanksgiving!  She got her's for Christmas and I finally had enough time to stitch these blocks together to make this one for donation.
The blocks in this blue/white quilt were given to my daughter when she was making donation quilts as a Girl Scout years ago.  I did have to make just one more to get a nice even number, but the donator was kind enough to include a copy of the block directions, so she must have anticipated that we would need more.  For some reason, these blocks just never made it to the top of the pile...until now!
The blocks reminded me of airplane propellers, so this border/backing fabric seemed like the perfect thing to bring the whole quilt together. The logo is kind of reminiscent of the Air Force, but the hubby suspects they are drawn to model aircraft that were old army planes (before the Air Force became it's own military branch).  Huh, who knew?

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Design Wall 1/25/16

I am so excited to be working on this amazing project for display at Jackman's Fabrics!

This is the beginnings of "Country Haven," a gorgeous pattern found in Kim Diehl's book Simple Appeal.  I'm working it up in Andover's Little House on the Prairie fabrics and I think it's coming together beautifully!

Here's where I'm stopping tonight.  Tomorrow, I've got a morning guild meeting to attend, but I'm hoping that I'll have the center section's piecing completed by tomorrow night.  I'm anxious to begin the applique and I'm going to try using Kim's "invisible machine applique" technique for the first time!
I'm still a novice when it come to applique and I've decided to just follow the suggested directions for the next few patterns I attempt.  I figure that way I'll be exposed to several methods and eventually I can choose which techniques work best for me (or at least which I can accomplish with the least amount of stress, hehe).

 I'm open to suggestions...and would really love to know...what techniques work well for you?

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Baby Quilts!!!

We've been making baby quilts again!  Most of them are being donated to Soldier Babies, for young or lower enlisted families and single soldiers just to show them our support.  Often these families are far away from home and family and we just want to help welcome their little ones into the world!
Margie made this quilt, a sweet little scrappy, random charm quilt.  She also quilted it with criss-crossing diagonals on her sewing machine.
Kathy made this quilt that will be perfect for a little boy or girl (though it will probably go to a boy since we are always in need of boy quilts).  She began with the circus panel and added the blue border and then the charm pieced outer border.  Kathy passed it on to me to quilt with just some wandering loops and bind with that red polka dot!
2 baby boy quilts
I made these last two after my daughter asked me to make a baby quilt for a friend of a friend who has invited her to stay with them while she is apartment hunting in D.C.  I just love a churn dash and once I finished the first one, I whipped up the second one out of the leftover fabrics that I already had out in my studio...why put it away...use it up!  The quilt on the left with the white background is headed to D.C. for the friend's baby and the one on the right will be donated for a Soldier Baby!

I used this striped backing for both quilts and at the bottom is the label for my daughter's friend's baby quilt.  At the top right, written on the stripe fabric is our typical labeling for baby donation quilts..."Welcome to the World, Little One!"

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