Friday, January 31, 2014

Kitty Quilt - Finished! :) Prepare for a Photopaluza!

I have to say I'm thrilled with how this turned out!  It is hard to part with!!  Here is a little photo-paluza of Pamelas Kitty Quilt...


I hope you are all getting lots done out there in quilting blogland!  Up next is a quick project and then Pats/Chris quilt!

Linking up with Nina!  :)

Just a note, due to a customer who had to reschedule for another month I do have an opening for a light custom/edge to edge for the dates of February 11th through 15th!!  Leave a comment or send me an email if you'd like me to put you in!  :)  FILLED - THANK YOU!  :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pamelas Kitty Quilt - In Progress

Just a few photos of Pamela's kitty quilt!  I am loving all of those little patches to play in.  I am looking forward to see how this triangle/striped border looks when finished.  I think when the binding is applied it will almost be like a prairie point border...but with texture!

This block isn't finished but I think it is turning out cute...

Alright, off to make dinner then back to work!  I'm really loving thow this is coming out...Pamela was sweet enough to let me do what I please with this quilt so I'm just going to town and having a good time!  :)

**Linking up at Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Deanna's Quilt and a Zentangle

I finished quilting Deanna's Swoon quilt yesterday - perfect for the below zero temperatures we've been having lately!  This week is to be bitterly cold here in Ohio...but boy do these bright colors make it feel a little warmer inside...

We decided on a light/medium gray thread as it blended the best with the fabrics on the front AND the back.  There is some contrast in the white, but the neat thing is the gray reads more as shadow than thread so you still see texture.  I really like how this turned out!

I am keeping this post short and sweet tonight...because it's almost 3 in the morning!!  It's so hard to force myself to go to sleep when I've waited ALL DAY LONG for peace and quite.  LOL!  Everyone is snoozing away and I have been...zentangling.  :)

I created this zentagle-ish drawing useing my Wacom tablet and Corel Painter.  Just doodling.  Doodles are wonderful because they translate really well to quilting...and ANY form of drawing seems to help not only create designs but improve your free motion quilting skills.  Plus - it's really really relaxing.  I had been tooting around in the painter program to start learning some of the functions...I'm artsy by nature so I thought I might goof around with some graphics.  This is what I ended up with!  :) I must sleep!!!  :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eunice is Back in Business!

Yes!!!  After what seemed like a long start getting back into customer quilts, my sweet long arm Eunice is back in business!  LOL!

I think at this point I could change my motor brushes with my eyes closed too.  I had to open up the motor, fix the motor brushes (several times), reattach wires that I didn't even know lived in my machine, replace the belt, then the needles - and NOW she sews!  LOL!

Here are some shots of Pamela's snowman quilt...

I think the border is probably my favorite...I love the way the quilting looks with it!  :)

On to the next!!  :)

Friday, January 17, 2014


Just a little update as to where I am at work wise!  It has been quite a week!

This past week my Father went into the hospital for emergency surgery for a urinary blockage.  I won't go into details, but it was no fun for Dad!!  :(  My Mother relies on him quite a bit for transportation as she has had a number of strokes over the years and consequentially now suffers from epilepsy, so she no longer drives.  In addition to that I just wanted to be there for my Mom and Dad!  :)  So Dad is home now and doing really well after two surgeries and a three day hospital stay.  Wheew!

As if that wasn't enough to throw my week out of whack, I broke my very last long arm needle and had to put off quilting for two days while I waited for needles to come in, and THEN the belt on my long arm snapped!  OH my!  There is truth to that saying, "when it rains it pours!"

I think I have answered all emails and messages and am pretty much caught up now.  I have a few quilts in wait (Pamela, Deanna) but please know they are coming and I will contact you very soon!  I never want to leave anyone hanging or wondering what is going on with their quilt!  :)

Thank you all for being really wonderful and understanding!  It was really nice to get so many well wishes and prayers while Dad was sick.  As my parents grow older the reality of their mortality really begins to weigh on me...I know we haven't got forever but I truly am grateful for the time we DO have!!  :)  I love them!  :)

- Valerie

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Special Gift

I know I have been posty mcposterson lately - and now that I'm working on customer quilts again I may slow back down to a post a week - but I just had to share.

Yesterday I received a gift in the mail that just about brought me to tears.  My Husband, a.k.a. the sweetest man on the face of the planet, bought me two very special books for Christmas.  One was by Sharon Schamber, and another by Karen McTavish.  Because he is a collector of baseball cards and sports memorabillia, his immediate thought to make it even more special was to ask if he might get an autograph to go with the book.  Well Karen's book was out of print, so he didn't get to order it directly from her - so he couldn't get an autographed copy.  Instead he asked if maybe she could send a Christmas card...and she did!  He once before had asked her for an autographed photo which she obliged and I have saved with all of my quilting books - I was a little afraid she was going to think I was "one of those" fans what with all the photos and autograph requests!!!  But I have to say, I was tickled and honored that someone of her talent and level would take a moment to do somthing special for me - twice! -  and that meant so much.

Now my Husband had also emailed Sharon Schamber and from what I understand her son runs her website.  Christmas day had come and gone and he told me that he had tried to get ahold of Sharon but never heard back.  I told my Husband not to be offended, she is really top of the crop and really, I don't think I know a quilter who's been quilting long who isn't lusting after her quilts!!  :)  So I really didn't expect to hear anything, and I was content with that.  Well low and behold about a week after Christmas my husband recieved an email from Sharon's son.  He apologized for the delayed response and said that Sharon wanted to send more than an autograph, but something "special".  My Husband shared the email with me and I about lept out of my chair in excitement wondering what it could be!  He had sent a small photo attachment along with the email and I looked at it carefully - like any good obsessed quilter fan I had remembered a similar photo from Sharon's Instagram feed...and I immediately recognized that it was a snippet of one of her embroidery designs!!!

Needless to say I have been virtually stalking the mail man for my little surprise...and yesterday was the day! 

This is what I received from Sharon...

I mean, is that unbelieveable or what?!  I know lesser known artists who sell PRINTS of their works with an autograph for a pretty I can only imagine the monetary value a signed piece of work directly from Sharon would go for...not that I would ever part with it.  Truly, it just meant so very much to me, I can't even express it.  Just now I want to cry!!  LOL! 

Here is the reverse is autographed!  :)  My Husband said to me, "WOW!  That is the equivalent of Derek Jeter sending me a signed cleat!"  It is very exciting and so beautiful...

I love Sharon's immaculate detail in everything that she does.  Even the embroidered binding is magnificent!  I learned even just by looking at this small piece.  I hope that I get to see one of her masterpiece quilts in person one day...

...and that shiny gold thread is to die for!  Something that surprised me was the stiffness and flatness of the little piece.  I think much of that is from the thin batting and the heavy stitching, but I kind of think Sharon is known for her heavy use of starch.  You could definitely tell a bit of starch and pressing happened here!  LOL!  :)  So fascinating to have this real life little quilt in my hands and to be able to study Sharon's design up close and how she attached her binding and all the little details that can be missed in a photograph.

Even the packaging was special - I mean I think the package was about as exciting to recieve as the little quilt!  I won't show the whole envelope as it has addresses on it, but this was the little message written on the can not tell me you wouldn't squeel a little with excitment and anticipation if you found this in your mail box!!  :)

I may sound a little dramatic, but those of you who are absolutely crazy passionate about quilting will understand where I come from.  These two women really changed my life.  I don't think I really found my niche in quilting until I started machine quilting.  From the start I tried to emulate Sharon Schamber's work even way back when I was quilting on my little Simplicity Quilter's Classic!!!  When I saw the amazing creations by both Sharon and Karen, I knew this was for me.  I knew that I wanted to spend my life creating quilted works of art.  I had known I loved quilting right from the get go, but it took me a while to find my true place and passion.  These two ladies really lead me there.

When you share and create you just don't know who you will influence, who you will inspire, how you change people.  I'm a real believer in that things are "meant to be" and people who are supposed to touch your life.  I am so honored and touched and thrilled to have received such special gifts from both Sharon and Karen...and more than anything to be given their TIME.  Because time is so very precious!!!

So last night was just sweet, I went to bed feeling very lucky and very blessed.  I don't know if I deserve to be so lucky, to have such a wonderful Husband and beautiful family and the ability to spend my days doing what I love...but somehow I am.  Life is so very good!  :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Quilting is DONE!!!!

YAY!!!  I finished the quilting on this today - FINALLY!  I had most of it done last night but this morning had to finish up a couple of small areas I had missed...but I am thrilled to say the quilting is finished.  The next few days I'll work on adding beads, a few crystals, lace, and cording.  I also need to add a hanging sleeve and label...

Absolutely nothing helps to photograph quilting like the afternoon sun!  :)  Shows off some of the sparkle in the fabric too...

I did piece the back - it is half white muslin and half mauve cotton sateen...I actually LOVE teh contrast!!!

I decided to use that vintage lace along the seam to soften it a bit...and I will add crystals to the back as well to highlight the pretty quilting...I actually like the back as much as the front ont this!!!

Part of me wishes I had used the mauve cotton sateen on the entire back.  It looks so amazing with the quilting against it.  But - I think the opportunity to use the lace will be really beautiful too.

I'll be working on Pamela's quilt next - she has been waiting patiently during this time off for her soon!  :)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year...and The Quilt That Never Ends!

Happy New Year!  It's hard to believe that it is already 2014!  A year ago today I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my long arm...and I could barely do a decent stipple when it first came home.  While there are still imperfections and things I will need to improve and work on, I'm really thrilled with how my "vintage charm" or "looks like a stinkin' wedding quilt" or whatever it will be called is coming along.  A sweet quilting acquaintence asked me if I was going to enter this in the local quilt show, and while I would like to, the deadline is in four days and I have a mess of beading and embelishments that will still be added to this so I just don't think I'll make the deadline.  I have dreamed since I started machine quilting of entering something in one of the MQX shows so that's what I'm hoping for.  The deadline is February 1st and I have a slew of things left to do, plus customer quilts, so - fingers crossed!  I do really want to put this out there to share and there are lots of really great shows out there looking for entrants so when it is done it will go somewhere.  LOL!  ;)

I've got only 6" at the bottom of the quilt left that as soon as I'm finished with some other priority work I'll finish up and finally be done...

Here's the center.  I literally cried over this.  LOL!  The pressure got to me a little bit and the lack of sleep too I think.  The first time I'd marked off that center square it was TERRIBLE!  It was off cneter and wobbly and just terrible.  I marked it again and stitched it out and - wheew - it turned out really pretty.  :)  The stripes are's looking a little like a popcorn box though so I thought beads - BEADS SOLVE ALL PROBLEMS!  LOL  I thought maybe I could do something creative in there...  :)

Up close in the sun yesterday afternoon of the bottom left corner...almost there!

Today I got brave and took a shot of the back.  There is no mercy with white thread on a mauve backing.  Every hiccup shows but, at the same time, I've learned many lessons.  :)

So I'm very very happy, despite the years this may have taken off my life!  :)  I am already thinking about my next project...