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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Friday, June 3, 2016

CiL Quilting - Another Finish

Another Friday, another finish!

Remember this quilt Kat sent to me to quilt for her Covered In Love project?
Well it is now quilted and most likely when you are reading this, it will be winging its way back to her! When Kat asked me to quilt this one (the blocks were made by Kat's bee mates at do. Good Stitches), my initial reaction was "Heck yes!" . . . and then I got the top. Holy moly people! This top is truly spectacular! I admit, I was a little scared to start! But start I did! I'm going to totally photobomb you and then I'm going to tell you about how I came to my quilting choices. Ready? Here we go!

My absolute favorite block :) 
And the back.
The shadows from the slated part of the patio cover. I probably should have waited until morning to take pictures but I was way too excited!!
 I just love this quilt! Kat and her Bee Mates did a spectacular job on the blocks, they were all beautifully done!

The quilt lived on my design wall for well over a week (I'm thinking more like two) while I finished up a couple of projects. When I first saw the top, my immediate thought was to go crazy with the free motion quilting like I did on the Blaze pattern test quilt or on Purple Haze. And then I got to thinking and bouncing ideas off of Sandra. The stars of this quilt are very obviously the paper pieced blocks. I didn't want the quilting to compete. And then I started looking at some of my quilting books and of course online. I was looking through Christina Cameli's book "Step by Step Free Motion Quilting" and hatched a plan. Wavy lines with a twist. Throw in a motif here and there to add interest. . . I let that percolate a little and drew it out on some easel paper. I put it next to the quilt top and asked my ultimate quilting advisor (otherwise known as my husband LOL) which he thought, flow or wavy lines. I think you know which he picked :)

I have come to love the wavy lines! Throwing in a motif here and there adds some interest and it totally keeps me from getting bored! haha

But lets go back to the beginning. The first thing I did was to ditch around all of the paper pieced blocks with a clear monopoly thread. Then I decided to do crosshatching in the blue zig zag. But, instead of the crosshatch lines following the block lines, I did on the vertical but on the horizontal lines I ran them perpendicular to the angle of the zigzag. If you look, you can see that this basically made for a more flattened diamond shape. Because the flower was kind of a part of the zigzag I decided to extend the crosshatching to the flower block as well.

OK, now to the end. A couple of those little critters really needed eyes. I debated with myself, and with Sandra on how to add them. I thought about applique. I didn't go with applique because I didn't want to hit the wool batting with an iron. . . I've said it before and I'll say it again, wool batting and irons do not play well together. I watched Youtube videos. I searched the internet. And then I decided to bite the bullet and dust off my very rusty embroidery skills :) I was initially going to use an 8 wt thread but that did not go so well. I could not get the knots to bury and there was no way I was going to risk putting a hole in the quilt. So I tried some black Aurifil 12 wt. Ahhhh perfection :) The knots were willing to be buried but they also do not seem to want to pop back out. Mr. Squirrel was done with a satin stitch and a running stitch. I added just little dots to the weasel, the fabric is dark so his eyes aren't real noticeable but he does look a little better with those little dots :) And Mr. Fox presented his own issues. I tried drawing on full eyes and I could not help but think that he looked like a demon dog. So I decided to do a satin stitch for him as well only on a much smaller scale.

And this one is a wrap! :) I am so honored that Kat trusted me to quilt this very special top. If you want to help out with Kat's project, you can participate by making a block (June's block instructions are up!), or 10, or a top, or a quilt. :)

For me, it is on to the next :) I still have a bit left to add to Purple Haze and I have not forgotten about the quilting post for that one! You'll be hearing from me again soon. I have decided that until that one is done, I do not get to start another project . . . I'll let you know how that goes!

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday and TGIFF with Leanne over at The Devoted Quilter.

Until next time, keep on quilting!
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Friday, May 27, 2016

One Finished, One In Process

So excited to share with you a finished quilt! Why does it seem like it has been forever since I finished a quilt? It really hasn't been that long. I think the problem might be that I might have a few too many things on the go. . . My MO is to start quilt, finish quilt (including quilting and binding), start new quilt. That MO has slipped over the past . . . hmmm. . . might be a little longer than I am willing to admit! There are currently four quilts in my house that are various stages of quilting. . . one ditched, the Rose Linen quilt. . . remember that one??? I have not touched it in over a year! :( The Kaffe Fasset floral collage that I showed yesterday AND Pixilated Stategy is still in the flimsy stage on the guest bed. . . And the quilt I am currently working on, Kat's quilt (picture at the end of this post!). That does not include Purple Haze and Breakaway. Both need additional quilting. People, this is why I typically work on one start to finish. Once I have moved on to the next, the previous is marked in my head as 'finished' . . . I can't go project to project. It's not how my brain works. I have accepted this. What to do? Well, I thought about restricting myself to starting nothing new until I have all of these things crossed off the list. . . probably not realistic. So here's what I have decided is my goal, I finish quilting two quilts and then I can start one project. I will finish Kat's quilt and then I will either quilt Pixilated Stategy or get back to that ditched quilt and get 'er done. When those two are finished, I can start something new. Let's see how this works ;)

Sorry, you are here to see a finished quilt, huh? Well here it is!

And the back :)

And rolled up. . . OK, there is an art to this rolling thing. . . and I have not figured it out!! LOL

Did you notice? I'm thinking if you have read my blog for long you thought, "Wait, the quilting. . . it's not the usual dense intricate quilting that she usually does." Yup. I quilted this quilt in about three, maybe four hours and I love how it looks! I did curvy lines across the seams both horizontal and vertical. Then I did two curvy lines between each of the curvy lines across the seams. I didn't worry much about how consistent I was in terms of the space between the lines. There is something to be said for a quick finish in terms of quilting. It's been awhile since I finished a quilt so fast!

As for thread color, I was going to go safe. Gray. And then I said to my husband, "I think I am going to quilt this with gray thread." The immediate scrunching of his face told me that he had other ideas. :) His response was "I think blue. Cobalt blue." Really? He has chosen thread colors several times. He's been spot on every time. And I had a spool of cobalt colored blue Isacord that worked perfectly! It worked so well I even used it for the binding :)

Remember I told you that I used Terial Magic instead of starch to treat the fabric prior to cutting? It worked fantastically to pretty much eliminate any fraying. Sewing the patches together was a breeze. Quilting was a bit of another story. . . The stiffness of the top made it a bear to move through the machine. Not impossible but the stiffness of the quilt definitely gave me a good upper body workout! It was not so bad that I would never use it again. I think there are definitely projects that I would use it again. Also, this quilt went back to soft as butter after it was washed.

On to the next! I am now quilting this beauty for Kat for her CiL project! It is almost all ditched and I will start the fun stuff today :)
Isn't this just awesome??
Keep an eye open for a post on the finish for this one next week? Yup, might be next week!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday. I'll be spending some time checking out what everyone else has finished this week!

Until next time, keep on quilting!!
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