Saturday, November 29, 2014

Birthday Fat Quarters

For days I've been studying this group of fat quarters that I received from members of my quilt guild (more to come!) for my birthday next month.  I LOVE the wide assortment of fabric that I wouldn't normally have chosen for myself.  

Clamshell Quilt by Jo Avery of My Bear Paw for Issue 14 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine
Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine

I can't wait to make this quilt out of them - a celebration of the diversity of personalities in my quilt group!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

In Progress

What a pleasant change of pace after being immersed in batiks and intricate piecing (for others!) for weeks!


Monday, November 24, 2014

King-size Quilt No Match for Bernina 710!

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my Bernina 710 is more than adequate for machine quilting an enormous king-sized quilt!

After a long and winding (and painful!) journey, a 710 finally became part of my sewing machine arsenal this year.  It's exactly what I had been needing!  

The painful journey?  Last year, I was foolish enough to think I needed to purchase an expensive APQS George with a super big throat space to handle larger quilts.  But, after a long and terribly frustrating experience with it, I returned it.  (It's taken me until now to be willing to admit and write about my foolishness!  Maybe I'll have to courage to write some more about it later.)  Whew - what a relief to unload that burden....  Then, this spring I purchased a  Bernina 750 from my local dealership, but I quickly realized all didn't need all the bells and whistles it offered.  Thankfully, my Bernina dealer gives you 90 days to test drive and make sure your purchased machine is the right fit for you, so I simply returned the machine for a used 710.  Perfection (at a much lower price point!)!  I find the 710 to be a bit of a beast for my alteration work, but I love it for machine quilting.  So, I held on to my 440 and use it for my day-to-day sewing, then simply switch over to the 710 for machine quilting.  The 710 is also a great back up for when my 440 is down.

What really helped with machine quilting this king-size quilt was adding a narrow card table to the side of my machine to support all the quilt bulk.  It worked great - I couldn't believe what a difference it made!!

I'm so fortunate to have this sewing space that is just perfect for machine quilting.  My machine sits in a dormer window alcove that is 60" wide - just enough space to sew comfortably.  For the longest time I thought it was too small of a space for machine quilting (in fact, I would often machine quilt at a larger table in my basement because that's what I thought you were supposed to do), 

but it finally dawned on me that the walls are exactly what I need to keep the quilt from falling off the table, resulting in all that drag and weight that machine quilters dread when working on a large quilt.  (Interesting, isn't it, when what you think you need isn't what you need at all?!)

I'm terribly encouraged - a king-size quilt with a pillow tuck is as big of a quilt as I'll ever quilt, so I am good to go!!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Swoon Sighting

I took a break this afternoon from machine quilting a king-size quilt and popped in at the Lebanon Quilters Guild Quilt Show.  I got to see this lovely Swoon quilt as a result.

Camille's Swoon quilt has been on my Quilting-To-Do List for a while now!


Friday, November 21, 2014


Basting a king-size wedding quilt with help from my sister!

Yoga pants and American Patchwork and Quilting Radio were most definitely needed for all the hours spent pin basting on the floor!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine LOVE

Oooh, this is the first issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine that I've been able to get my hands on.  LOVE it!!!  

I've already added two more quilts to my never-ending Quilting-To-Do List!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Making Progress

With 396 yo yo's completed, I'm over 3/4 of the way to the finish line for my Christmas Yo Yo Quilt.

I'm still not sure how big I want to make it, so I keep stitching away!

I figure I can make some pillows with any leftovers.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Suburbs Swirls

Kathy O. just e-mailed me these pictures - she's in the middle of quilting my Suburbs quilt.

I knew I couldn't pull off machine quilting those amazing swirls on my own, but hopefully some day with lots of practice I'll get there!

Don't you love the movement it gives, the feeling of the wind swirling around?

Can't wait to see it in person!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

T-Shirt Quilt for Kristen

I had to take Kristen's brightly-colored t-shirt quilt out for a photo shoot on the very fields where some of these shirts were worn!

It's a surprise for her from her mom and sister; can't wait to hear how she likes it!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Laurie's Quilt

Just finished machine quilting this lovely quilt for my friend Laurie!

I had my usual "I-think-I'm-going-to-have-a-stroke" sensation as I got started, as free motion quilting is far from perfect, and the imperfections of it (especially when you're quilting someone else's quilt!) can really whack you out.  But, as always, once I am able to embrace the imperfections, I find that I really enjoy the process!

The combination of practicing my FMQ designs on a big white board and Laurie's input re: the quilt designs was helpful in getting started.

Laurie wanted a lot of movement in the quilting vs. straight lines, so we chose spirals, stipples, and loops.

Because I've done so much stippling over the years, I'm comfortable stippling.

But, I still need to work at perfecting some of my other FMQ designs.  
As I always tell myself, "Angela Walters says you don't get better by ripping, you get better by quilting", so I resisted the urge to redo several sections of stitching.  :)

Thanks, Laurie, for trusting me with your quilt!