Friday, July 27, 2018

Recent happenings

The kids have been out of school for a few weeks and I've been able to do some sewing here and there recently.  They've been home with me up until this week but now they are going to some local camps so I've been able to get some things done.

A few weeks ago I finished quilting and binding this charity quilt for our guild.  I need to take a full set of pictures of it so I can post about it.
 Two moms in my Girl Scout troop have new baby that delivered a sweet baby boy recently and one that is expecting a new little girl towards the end of the year.  Of course I'm making both of them quilts.  This is the top I pieced for the boy.
I decided to use up the leftovers from Jammer's Sound the Alarm quilt.  It will have to wait to get quilted as I have customer quilts to complete first.

At the end of June I joined in on Moda Bakeshop's Choose Your Own Adventure Quilt Along.  I decided to combine my Kate Spain Aria and Canyon layer cakes and I got started working on my center medallion.
 I chose the Dresden Peak path.  This is how far I got before we went on vacation.
I wasn't able to continue with the next round as I had to wait for my fabric order to arrive but it's here now so I need to get working on this so I can get caught up.
I'll be sneaking in some time in between customer quilts.

While on vacation I started on this new counted cross stitch project.  
This is my progress so far.  I only worked on it during the drive south and then again back north and haven't gotten back to it since returning home.  Another road trip is coming up so I'll be taking it with me then to work on.
So that's the current creative happenings here lately.  Plans are also underway to finally painting the kids' bathroom and the kitchen.  We've been in this house 7+ years and both of those rooms are still builder white.  Trying to do it with them home was impossible so them going to camp will be a good thing.  Stay tuned to see the befores and afters.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Marylou's French Roses quilt

Fellow Girl Scout leader Marylou asked me to quilt her French Roses quilt that she made as a gift for the co-leader of her troop. 
It is a raw edge applique pattern and once it is washed the loose edges will curl up and make the flowers "bloom."
Marylou requested simple basic meandering but I also echoed each flower.
Choosing a thread that worked the best across all the colors in this quilt was challenging but I found a cone of King Tut Luxorious that was perfect.
The quilting added much needed texture to this pretty top.
Marylou was thrilled with the result and I'm sure her co-leader will treasure it.
Thanks Marylou for letting me quilt this for you.  She's already brought me another top to quilt (an adorable baby quilt) and hopefully that one will up on the lineup and on the frame soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New goodies acquired

Since there hasn't been as much sewing going on here in recent months, I've had no reason to buy a lot of fabric or other quilting goodies but I did snag a few things that I'm excited about.

I attended MQX East again this year (I love that the show is only 3 hours from me) and although I was only there for a couple of days it was enough to see all the pretty quilts and to take some great lecture classes.  One of those classes was Margaret Solomon Gunn's Dense and Dainty and I was so impressed with what I learned that I decided to purchase 2 of her books.
Oh how I love thread so of course I had to get some of the new Innovatech thread to try.
More thread....a few cones of Bottom Line (which I don't use much of yet) and a few cones of So Fine 50 in colors my stash was lacking.
And a few more cones of my favorite Glide and Hab+Dash's new Glide 60, which I could only buy 1 cone of because they were sold out.
I never miss adding every single Kate Spain fabric line to my stash and her Voyage line is no exception.  These pretty charm packs came home with me from MQX.
I recently read on someone's blog about using this small laser marker instead of having to draw lines across squares when making half square triangles so I ran over to my local Harbor Freight to get one.  I haven't had a chance to use it yet but I'll report back when I do.
I added a few more Kate Spain charm packs to my stash...this time her new Bungalow line.
Have you seen the Hoffman Dream Big panels that everyone is quilting up in so many beautiful ways recently?  I fell in love and wanted one too but two ended up in my cart as I couldn't decide between them.  When finished one might end up in Sunshine's room.  

And lastly I fell in love with the Moda merit badges so of course I had to have them. :)  I am a Girl Scout after all and badges are our thing! I used some gift money I received and bought every set. I just had to have them all!
I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the badges yet though I have a few ideas.  If you've collected the badges too and have actually done something with them I'd love to see your project. 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Charmaine's batik star quilt

I just realized that I hadn't published this post yet though I thought I had. Oops. Between end of year events for both of the kids, Jammer's Boy Scout troop and my Girl Scout troop, things around here have been just a tad bit busy.

This is the beautiful blue batik star quilt that I quilted for Charmaine. This is the "before" picture.
All loaded on the frame and ready to go.  Truth be told...she picked a different panto to use but right before I started working on this, I put the tracing sheet of that panto on the quilt and didn't like it.  It took over and the gorgeous piecing was overwhelmed so after some texts back and forth with pictures of other options with Charmaine we agreed on a different panto.
Here is the quick "all done" pic.
I had to lay it out on the floor in my great room to get a full shot of it.
It's a nice cuddle size of 75" x 75".
The quilting makes such a difference and adds such great texture.
The panto we agreed on was Whirlygig.  I used So Fine 434 for the top thread and Hab+Dash's Primo Soft in Rock Navy in the bobbin.
Of course the quilt inspector insisted on invading the photo shoot.
Charmaine brought this pretty blue batik for the backing.
We both agree that the Whirlygig panto softened the piecing lines just enough while still letting the pattern shine.
Once it was washed I'm sure this was super snuggly.
Thank you Charmaine for letting me quilt this beauty for you.
She entered it in our guild's recent show where the theme was "Stitch Upon a Star"and while Charmaine didn't have it judged, it received many wonderful comments from those who attended.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Charmine's baby quilts x 3

My friend Charmaine emailed me at the end of January and asked if I would be able to quilt for her a few baby quilts and a bigger quilt which she wanted to show in our guild show at the end of April.  I knew that my insane cookie life wouldn't take over for 5 weeks so I said yes.  Here are the baby quilts all finished.

These 2 quilts are the same except that the long blue strip is opposite.  The pattern is a cute one and suitable for featuring a number of fun prints while also using up leftover bits you might have stashed away. 
My quilt inspector had to check out my work before he was able to declare them acceptable.
Charmaine chose the Shooting Stars panto for the baby quilts and it suited them well. 
I used my favorite Glide thread in Cool Gray on the top and So Fine 503 in the bobbin. 
The Gray thread barely shows but there is nice texture all over.  It's surprising how often a pale Gray thread works when others don't.  Isn't the elephant print just adorable?
For the backing for all 3 quilts she brought me this cute elephant print fabric.  I honestly had never heard of piecing a backing diagonally before but I just might give it a try sometime.
Lots of pretty texture with the pale Gray thread.
The 3rd quilt is made with bright fabrics, which of course I love.
The same thread was used and it worked just as well to not overtake the piecing.
I love the feature fabric on this one.
Here they are all ready to be picked up. Charmaine was thrilled with the results and even brought me another top to quilt for her. 
Thanks Charmaine for letting me quilt these adorable baby quilts for her. I had fun.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Restarting my quilting mojo

Now that Girl Scout cookie season is over (except for waiting for the rewards to arrive, sorting them and then getting them to each troop) I've realized that once the cookies get here in mid-March that I'm going to pretty much disappear online until the season is over at the end of April.  Cookie season is just too over-the-top insanely busy.  Almost 16,000 boxes passed through my cookie cupboard ) aka garage) this year. 

Truth be told, once the last cookie box was out of my house (not counting our personal stock that's in our freezer), I needed some down time to relax and reboot so I wasn't ready to jump back into the quilting for a couple of weeks.  Now I'm rested and ready to get to work.
Next up on the frame is this pretty quilt which is a charity quilt for my guild.  I've got an idea of how I want to quilt it but I'll be a little testing of the vision before I begin.
I've also had not one but 5 customer quilts dropped off recently.  These should be fun to work on in the coming weeks.
It truly feels good to be getting back into the quilting groove.  I'm hoping that my quilting business picks up enough to keep me plenty busy.  My boss (at my regular job) is working towards closing the doors and retiring so I'm not working for him as much.  If I have enough quilting business coming in then I won't be returning to the working world once the accounting job is over.
Before the first of the cookies arrived, I was able to sneak in 4 quilts for a friend so stay tuned to see those all quilted up.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Introducing Tink

I'm long overdue to make a proper introduction.  I'd like you to meet my new girl....

She's an Innova with a 22" throat on a 12 foot fame and I love her. 
There's a bar under the rollers where I can store 2 rolls of batting. My customers love that they can just get their batting from me and only buy the amount needed.  At this moment I have Quilters Dream 80/20 but I'll be adding more options in the future.  The 3 drawer unit on the left holds all the pantos and the 2 units on the right are filled with thread. 
I'm lucky that I don't have to turn any wheels to advance a quilt as I work on it because Tink has a power advance feature. 
This is the wall opposite Tink.  I permanently "borrowed" some shelves from other rooms. The old microwave cart works well  for when I'm writing up a customer order, the middle shelving unit holds the bobbin winder, all my books and my little tools chest.  My rulers used to be in the small basket but I've since found another place for those.  The ladybug hamper has larger pieces of batting, which I really need to sort and sew together to use up for charity quilts.
This shelf, which happens to have been hubby's when he was a teenager, was brought down from my son's room and now holds quilts in the queue waiting to be quilted.  All those on the shelves except the bottom one are for customers and my guild charity and the last pile are mine.  Yes I have a bunch of my own quilts that need to be finished.
Tink sports some pretty bling, which I got from Urban Elementz.  I originally bought the set for Penelope but could never decide which decal I wanted to place where so I'm glad that I had them available to dress up Tink.
The space in the room is a little tight and hubs wanted to not make it that much smaller by putting up studs and paneling on the walls with the insulation so I'll add some other decor bit by bit.  For now I hung the tote bags I received from MQX over they years on the right wall.  The pink rolling cart I recently got at Michaels (thanks to a gift card from my BIL) and it's perfect for holding all the things I need close by while I'm working.  The bottom shelf is loaded with all my rulers now.
So you're probably wondering why the name Tink.  This should answer that question.  No I'm not a fanatic but I do love Tinker Bell.  I love her attitude, her spunk and her determination.  These dolls were my daughter's when she was little and when she was ready to pass on all her princess dolls to someone else, I couldn't bear to give these away too so now they keep me company.
My assistant leader recently gave me this Tinker Bell sticker so she got added to bling up Tink just a little more.
I'm continuing to tweak things in the room as I go along but it's safe to say that I'll be spending a lot more time in the basement now.