Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cindy's Stunning Sampler

I just have to say - I love this quilt!!!  My quilting friend Cindy made this for her daughter - and I sure hope she is pleased with the final quilting results!  :)  It is soooo beautiful.  I love the traditional sampler blocks mixed with a very modern feeling is just soooo my taste in color and blocks all the way around!!!  :)

Cindy is known for making large quilts - and this one did not disappoint!  88" by 110" I believe were the dimensions?  HUGE.  :)


I was very proud of finding a thread that looked good on the front and the back!  Both the aqua and green blended right into the backing fabric.  I used Hobbs 80/20 batting for this and Glide Thread.


Wheew!  I have another heavy intense custom to work on next, but in my down time I'm hoping to make some progress on my next attempt at a show quilt and Disney dresses.  I have sewing sewing and then more sewing to do!!!  :)  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Progress on Cindy's Quilt - and GIVE AWAY WINNER!!!

What, you think I'm going to announce the winner that easy?  LOL  No way!  Let's talk quilts first!  :)

I have received a lot of inquiries from long arm quilting pals on how I created this design on Cindy's quilt.  Well - first I should explain that every quilt that comes to me for quilting goes through a stage of planning long before I load it up on the frame.  I use a graphic design tablet to doodle directly onto the digital photograph of the quilt - and I doodle away until something fun and exciting shows up!  For Cindy's quilt, the outer geometric sashing screamed feathers to me.  I had seen Renae Haddadin's arc ruler around the blogs and thought it would be great for creating the circular movement in this quilting plan.

For the pinstripe border at the top I just used your basic ditch ruler.  I bought mine from the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Cleveland last spring - but it is just a small simple ditch ruler that can be purchased from Quilter's Rule.  Truly - it is probably my most used ruler too.

For marking I use a purple disappearing ink pen.  I pretty much only use disappearing ink, blue water soluble markers, and white chalk for darker fabrics.  The only marking on this quilt was for the arcs, the curved cross hatching before I stitched it, and a few registration marks so that everything was neat and even.  The feathers are all free hand.
Here are a few more angle shots of the quilting so far...I'm about half way through and then this quilt will be ready to go home!  :)

This quilt has particularly fun to work on!  Of course - it has been a learning experience in design execution as well - but a joy in every aspect.  Some days I want to pinch myself because I cannot believe that I get to do what I love every day!
So - almost there!  I will ask you to endure likely one more photo shoot with this quilt once it is finished, and then a quick charity quilt before I load up Barbara's quilt.
Ok...ok....ok...would you like to know who won the give away? 
I thought you might!  :) 
I have to say... THANK YOU to all those who entered!!!  There were a few comments that really  hit home with me...many of you have been hanging around for years and watched the progression of my quilting journey.  I am SO very blessed...every day I am grateful for how fortunate I am to be home with my children, my wonderful family, and doing what I am truly passionate about each and every single day.  I am also SO VERY grateful to those of you who trusted me long before I had anything to show for myself...those first quilts that were sent to me with pure trust.  Thank you so very much!!!
With the help of a random number generator a winner has been chosen...a the winner is...
Jan E
Jan I will send you over an email and we will make arrangements for your choice of paper pantograph or free quilting!
Thank you all again for participating!!!  :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cindy's Quilt in Progress and Lara's Quilt

Happy day after Easter!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday and were able to spend some time with family.  :)  We had a fantastic day - the girls were up at dawn ready and excited for their Easter baskets...then an early dinner with the In Laws followed by dessert, coffee, and cards with my parents.  I have to say it was just a perfect day.

I have a stack of quilts and projects to work on - the one on the frame right now is my quilting friend Cindy's gorgeous quilt she made for her daughter.  I can't get enough of the quilting on this one!  I used my new Renae Haddadin 12/13" arc ruler to mark and stitch the is a long ruler so it took some fiddling and planning to get things to come out nicely...but I think we're doing alright!  :)  I'm really in love with how it is coming along...

I also wanted to share a photo of Lara's quilt that I finished up last week!  I have been so busy this is the first chance I've had to share her gorgeous twister...many compliments were paid to this Lara while it was on the frame!!  :)

I wanted to get a head start on work this evening but tomorrow I'll be getting down to business and back to work!  :)

**I will announce a winner to the give away next post!!  There were more responses than I am able to respond to - but I hope you all know it meant so much to me that so many of you went out of your way to participate!!!  Thank you for all of the kind kind words and I am excited to see who will win!!!!  :)

Linking Up with Connie!  :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My First Quilt to HMQS

I am so excited!  I just returned from the post office...I have shipped off my little whole cloth to HMQS!!!  I really sent it on a fluke - I just like it so much and happend to see that the HMQS deadline was extended until April 20th...and so long as I'd had it done to ship out today it should make it there in time.  It is little and I know there are a ton of amazing talented quilters putting quilts in this show - still - I am really proud of it.  I feel like it really is my best quality work, and I really love it.  I'm excited to think of my quilt hanging in the same show with some of my quilting super heroes. 

I am still working on my big quilt for MQX but I lost a little steam on it.  I had thought that MQX Midwest was sooner but learned today that the deadline isn't until August so I plan to have my big quilt ready for that show.  In some ways I feel like this is a test run with my mini quilt.  I am really looking forward to the judges comments...I suppose you think you know what to expect, but really who knows what they could say.  Fingers crossed for good words.  :)

I took notes from quilting super hero Cindy Needham and her beautiful linen quilts.  I added a little vintage lace to the hanging sleeve as I just thought it looked so pretty.  There are a few crystals back here but not as many as the front.  I tested it out on a hanging rack and it looks that if all goes well it will hang well.

Ahhh I'm just excited to have put my first quilt out there into a big show for people to see.  It's exciting.  It feels kind of like a birthday or a holiday.  :) 

Also my arc ruler came in the mail - so - pretty much best day ever.  :)  LOL!


Linking up with Nina-Marie!  :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Miniature Whole Cloth on Hand Dyed Fabric

I had a busy week and wheew!  I just needed to play.  So yesterday I pulled out a piece of fabric I hand dyed last summer and had been saving and just let whatever came to me happen.  This is how it turned out...

I used Robison Anton thread and quilted this on the Juki.  No rulers, but I did make a few freezer paper stencils to create the curved edges and also to mark the circular center.  It took me about two and a half hours to mark and maybe, eight or ten hours to quilt between yesterday and today.  I also used to layers of batting - Hobbs 80/20 with Tuscany Wool layered on top...while wool is a pain in the you know what - I JUST LOVE how it quilts up!!  :)

**Linking up with Connie over at Free Motion by the River for Linky Tuesday! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

GIVE AWAY and Two New Pantograph Designs!

Good morning!  I have exciting news and a give away!

There are now 8 designs available on my designer page over at Urban Elementz!  How amazing is that?  The two newest to be added are Felicity and Tahiti...

Tickled Pink
Deja Vu
Tea Lights

In honor of the amazing and fun opportunity to work on these designs, I would love to offer you this give away!   Because I know that some of you visit because you are avid piecers and enjoy having your quilts machine quilted by quilting artists like me, and some of who visit are fellow long arm machine quilters looking for inspiration and camaraderie, I have something to offer to both of you!

For this give away I will either quilt a top for you free of charge with your choice of pantograph OR I will ship out a paper copy of the pantograph of your choice for you to use if you are already a long arm quilter!

Comment below and tell me your favorite of all the eight designs!  A winner will be randomly selected and given the option of free quilting using one of the above pantograph designs OR the pantograph pattern itself!

This give away will close on Friday April 18th. 2014 at midnight eastern time.  I will announce a winner the following week, and that winner will have the option to choose a paper pantograph pattern or free quilting. 

IMPORTANT DETAILS TO NOTE:  If you choose free quilting I will cover the cost of thread and return shipping to US residents and Canada.  Winner will be responsible for shipping out quilt to me and any costs that may incur, along with sufficient backing fabric, and batting (or you may purchase batting from me).  For free quilting winner will be added to current schedule just as any other customer - quilts are quilted in the order in which they are scheduled to arrive to me.  Quilt intake contract will be required just as any other quilting job.  **Due to the high costs of shipping I apologize that free return shipping on free quilting for the winner as well as shipping of paper patterns will be limited to US and Canadian residents only.  If you are outside of the US or Canada you may choose digital download and I will make arrangements to cover those costs or give you the option of paying the cost of shipping prior to your quilts return.  Free quilting winners chosen quilt top may not exceed 100" on it's longest side.  Please note that this give away is offered by me, Valerie Smith, personally and is separate and apart from Urban Elementz.  Any questions or concerns should be forward to me personally - thank you!

THIS GIVE AWAY IS NOW CLOSED - A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT WEEK!  Thank you so very much to all those who took the time to enter!  :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Modern Quilt for Pat - Lines and Geometric Shapes

I have finally finished my quilting friend Pat's quilt for her son Chris.  I cannot even begin to tell you how "full circle" quilting this was for me.  Chris was a close friend of mine who I spent quite a lot of time with in the years right after highschool graduation.  As life does with so many, we were pulled in different directions as he focused on schooling and a career while I was newly married and beginning a family and a new life with my Husband.  I have always been the type to hold on to those old feelings of friendship and when I see an old friend after many years, I still feel I know them as well as I did the last time we spoke!  So, I remember to this day the wonderful times Chris and I and our group of friends spent together, and what a great person he was when we were young.

I never in a million years would have guessed 15 years ago that I would be passionate about quilting let alone running a long arm quilting business!  These days I see Pat monthly at the local quilt guild we both belong to - and it just seems to me to be such a funny twist of life - I never would have guessed!  :)  In any case, Pat is a fantastic quilter and I really felt special to be given the opportunity to quilt this very cool, very special modern quilt for her...and I suppose I'll stop gushing and mushing all over the place and share the pictures!

This is one layer of Hobbs 80/20 - Glide Thread in a deep chocolate brown color and yellow.

I think it just turned out really cool and textural!  I tend to be a traditional quilter who dabbles in modern quilting and art this was just a ton of fun!  I think my eyes did start to go a little funny about 2/3 of the way through however...but I really do think the straight lines compliment the design.

I hope you are all getting some quilting done this weekend in blogland!  It is starting to warm up and behave like spring a little more in my neck of the woods - though I have been reading that some of you have been epxeriencing severe weather - so many prayers and be safe!

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie :)

Friday, April 4, 2014


I think I've mentioned once or twice that I love all things Disney.  :)  A few years ago we went to Disney World for the first time and I went CRAZY making dresses for my three daughters.  In case you missed it - here are a few of the dresses/shirts I made...

Well - we are planning another trip back to the World and I'm at it again!  This year I'm making another Belle dress, another Cinderella dress, Anna from Frozen, Elsa from Frozen, Mary Poppins...OH - and I almost forgot, Anastasia and Drezella from Cinderella and if I have time leftover...the Mouse Made Dress from Cinerella.  LOL  I seriously could make these things all day long...I love making them!

Today I'm finishing up Pat's quilt - I sewed late into the night last night but still have a little bit left to finish up today - and after dinner I took a break to start on one of the dresses for our next trip to Disney.  Here is the start of our Anna dress...

Oh I love it!  This dress has become soo hard to find ready made too that I'm thrilled I can sew it up for my daughter.  I watched yesterday as one sold for nearly $100 before shipping last night on Ebay.  CRAZY!  Princess dresses with lots of embelishments are pricey store bought any way - and I can usually get away with making one for under $20.  Oh exciting!  Alright I'm headed back to the long arm...I'll post some finished photos of Pat/Chris's quilt next!  :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pat's Quilt in Progress and Juki TL 2010Q Overview Video

Good morning!

It is April 2nd and I can hardly believe it!  Spring has creeped up in Northeast Ohio and while this time last week we had several inches of snow on the ground, I woke up this morning to the sounds of birds chirping and sunshine.  Finally!  It is supposed to reach 60 degrees today - so long as the rain says away I might make time to work out in the garden.  Fingers crossed!

If you follow me on Facebook you have likely seen a few shots of this quilt - it was made by the mother of my highschool friend Chris for a Christmas gift this past year - he is an artist these days and works with fine art as well as collects it - so can you tell I might feel a little pressure to meet his super high and knowledgeable standards?!  LOL  Not to mention you always want to ooh and ahh your friends.  :)

The quilt is ultra modern but not so modern that it couldn't be appreciated by a traditional quilter.  I am actually really in love with it!  He liked the idea of straight line quilting with the lines going in different directions creating a lot of movement and textural interest.  So this is what we have come up with so far - I got to working late into the night last night, or I should probably say early into this morning!  I will spend the majority of today and tomorrow finishing it up and then it is on to Lara's quilt.  :)

I also wanted to toss in another quick video here today!  I took this video yesterday but didn't get around to finishing up the editing until this morning.  I receive a lot of questions about my Juki TL 2010Q - so here is a brief overview of the machine and its functions!  :)  I hope this is helpful to those of you out there who are curious about my domestic machine.  I do have several machines - but I did not want a full on sit down long arm so this was my choice.  I can use it for piecing, free motion quilting, garment sewing, or I can frame it and use it as a stand up machine.

Keep watch as next week I will be announcing a GIVE AWAY!  :)

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie :)