Wednesday, May 28, 2014

End of the Month Update :)

Well it's been quite a heavy couple of weeks here in my world!  :)  Just an update and the things going on here.  I'm still working hard and putting long hours in on Barbara's quilt.  Moved a little slower than normal this month with all of the birthdays and parties and end of the school year activities.  Yesterday I worked on this from 9am to 9pm!!!  I took a few breaks for dinner, pick up the kids, put away some laundry and light housework.

Making my way through the mid-section though even with the extra hours I anticipate I may be working on this into next week.  We are getting there though!  :)

In other news my "big changes" blew right up in my face - so it looks like not much will happen for several years!  :(  Some insight as to where that is coming from - we bought our house on the cusp of the housing market we have been paying for the last eight years to get no where as we still owe just about what our house is now valued at.  We don't plan on moving anytime soon so it's not that it matters terribly, except that we had planned to do some renovating when we bought the home that we will now have to wait likely another 5-10 years to do.  We will do some small things but we had wanted to put on a new master bedroom, build a new garage and add a second bathroom.  With three girls let me tell you, we need a second bathroom sooner than later!  LOL  So we will live, we do fine enough to make ends meet and still get to visit Disney World and do fun things.  But boy was I excited about the possibility of having some of those things now rather than waiting!  Boo!  Isn't that just how life goes though?

So back to work for me!!  The sooner I finish this quilt the sooner I can squeeze in a little time to make princess dresses!  :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Method for Piecing Batting

I wanted to share a new method I discovered for piecing batting scraps or splicing together two large hunks of batting.  This is a common request as my business is small so often I carry one or two sizes of batting on charity quilts often come to me with pieces of batting that need to be joined or sometimes a client wants to use my batting but needs several cuts to fit their quilt.  To date this has been the easiest way to join batting with the nicest flush invisible results.

To start I lay two hunks of batting right over each other - you want about two inches or so to overlap.

Next, You cut through both layers of batting with a curving line - super easy - I slide a mat under the hunks of batting and just use my rotary cutter.

Now you have this perfect line to join your batting - this is what prevents any seam line from appearing on the finished quilt.

Butt those pieces up to each other as close as you can get them - feel free to pull just a tad and stretch them into place - so long as you don't distort the batting or rip a hole.

Then just lay strips of very very light fusible interfacing over the seam line - using a pressing cloth - press to secure seams.  Because the fusible is so light and white, it is completely invisible when stitched into a quilt.  This is the same extra lite fusible I use to stabilize but prevent bulk for t-shirt quilts.

The finished result is a very flush join that cannot be seen!  I love this method!  Quick and easy and great results.  I just thought I would share as this just works so well for me!!  :)

Much has been happening here in my little world, but not much I can share on yet.  In any case big things will be happening for us in the near future - and while we have some weighty decisions that have just recently been put before us, the end result will be good no matter what we choose.  I am feeling really excited about the next ten years of our life.  I think my Husband and I have just been so used to working ourselves crazy with no sight of relief in site - the idea that there may be a payoff for all our hard work is just...amazing.  :)

While big ideas and thoughts float around the house I'm still making way on Barbara's quilt.  Birthday parties and the busyness of the early month are now over and I can just focus and finishing this up.  I say finishing - but I'm only hoping to be working on the center portion of the quilt by the end of the day!  LOL  The borders will be lovely when finished but boy - they are huge!!!  :)

Happy quilting!  :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry - Spring 2014 - Small Quilts Category

Being so busy with long arming this past year I haven't had a lot of finishes - still - I thought I would enter my "Little Gem" quilt into the Blogger's Quilt Festival this year!  This is always a fun blogging event that I look forward to each spring and fall.  The Festival is hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side - if you haven't checked it out in the past you must!

Here are a few photos of my Little Gem:

Still waiting for its return from HMQS - this little quilt was so much fun to make!  I quilted this one entirely on on my Juki TL 2010Q.  There are Swarovski crystals and beads on the intersections of the "pumpkin seed" or "wineglass" quilting design.  I love whole cloth quilts - probably more than any other kind of quilting because they are essentially drawing on fabric.  I had a lot of fun with this, my first finish of 2014!  LOL

Check out the other entrants if you haven't already - lots of prizes being given away and fun quilts to look at!  :)

Voting will be held on May 24th - 29th, and of course I would be honored if you voted for mine!  :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Little More Progress - Barbara's Quilt

I can hear thunder off in the distance - it sure is feeling like spring now!  Time to break and listen to the storm...

I'm just about finished with this border - getting late so I will finish it up tomorrow.  Hoping to get the next section of this border done in a day or two as it's mostly straight lines.  This quilt is a little bit slow going but as more quilting is added it becomes even more spectacular...  :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My "Seaweed" Quilt and Barbara's Quilt in Progress

There wasn't much time left over for long arming today so while my daughters watched a movie to relax I listened and did a little more stitching on my green feathers quilt.  This is on the Juki so I don't have to pull whatever is on the frame off to work on a different project.  This is my "relax" sewing.

Every time I describe this quilt to my Dad he says to me, "Oh yeah, that one that looks like seaweed?"  LOL  So guess what I'm calling this one? SEAWEED!  :)  I always feel silly naming my quilts but I have found it's a necessary part of creating quilts that are intended to be exhibited in some way.  So seaweed it is.

Also sharing a little of the stitching on Barbara's quilt - I have added a bit more to this but didn't have much time to take photographs.  This quilt is going to be off the charts awesome!!  It is already pretty spectacular without any quilting.

I hope all of you mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day!  :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Quilt is at HMQS!! :)

Just sharing a few photographs!  If you follow me on Facebook you have likely seen the pictures I shared of my quilt hanging in the show at HMQS this weekend!  If you are in or around Salt Lake City, Utah the show is at the South Town Expo Center and will be going on today and tomorrow I believe until 5pm.  My quilt is in the wall hangings category!  :)

My long distance friend Sonja volunteered this year to hang quilts for the show...she also agreed to take a few photos of my quilt hanging in the show for me since I'm all the way in Ohio and cannot make it to the show.  We kind of laughed that wouldn't it be awesome if out of the 700 or more quilts in the show that she might get to hang mine...and guess what?  She did!!!  It really was a needle in a hay stack type of situation!!!

Above is a photo of my friend Sonja and my quilt!!!  I was happy to read from visitors to the show online that it sparkled really nicely with all of the crystals and beads in the lights.

Here is a picture Sonja shared with me of my quilt hanging on the looks really  nice!  I'm so happy!!

What a fun experience this has been - and I'm looking forward to the valuable advice of the judges.  I am even that much more motivated to get my large quilt ready for MQX now!!!

I am working on Barbara's quilt today though I have been sucked into computer work the last few days and had wanted to be farther ahead than I am.  So today I have to buckle down and get going so I can share some progress pictures!!  Should have something later today!  :)

If you go to the show take a few more photos for me!!!  Never can have too many!!  LOL  ;)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Jaquard Lumiere Paints on My Quilts

My art quilting friend Nina-Marie Sayre asked me recently how and why I might want to paint on my quilts!  :)  I shared a few photographs on Facebook of this miniature quilt I'm working on as sort of a practice piece to work out some quilting I would like to do on a larger project I have in the works.

You can click on the photographs to see them larger if it helps - each plume has been lightly painted with an irridescent water based fabric paint to add a little shadow and dimension to the quilting.  I'll share a photo of what the feathers looked like before painting them:

There is a pretty dramatic difference between the two!  Of course I have added more quilting to the photos of the painted version, but there is still quite a difference when you stand back and look at the two.

Nina is an art quilter so I know she totally gets the need for creative experimentation...but I am more of a traditional quilter who fiddles around with art quilts.  So why might a traditional quilter want to paint her quilt?  Well I personally have a major love for whole cloth quilts.  When I began machine quilting I discovered that my ultimate joy comes from the quilting process.  But they totally stink to photograph!!!  I want to make whole cloth quilts where the quilting can be SEEN...and not just in good lighting.

I also really love whole cloth quilts made of bright colored hand dyes and tie dyed fabrics...but you often cannot see the quilting.  So that is why I started fiddling with paints to see what I could achieve.

I first heard about painting on quilts to highlight definition from Master Quilter Diane Gaudynski.  She uses Shiva Paintstiks - an oil based paint but in a stick form - and lightly paints her quilting to add defintion and shadow.  I LOVE the look - but when I played with the Shiva paints I had a really difficult time keeping it from looking grainy and controlling the amount of paint applied.  I tried applying it directly from the stick as well as with a paint brush. 

So after a few failed attempts with the Shiva paints I decided to try Lumiere paints by Jaquard.  I originally bought the paints to use with stencils - but the cool thing about these paints is they are water you can water them down and just use a touch for a hint of color and definition.  Also they are sparkly....and I like just about all things sparkly.  :)

Once heat set the paints are safe to wash when used on fabric - though the kind of quilts I generally make that are painted are rarely if ever washed outside of a damp cloth.

I love these paints!!  I love the way it turned out so much I am even doing some painting on my big white applique quilt...eep!  Pictures to come!  :)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

FMQ Video and Mucho Randomness!

First, let me get this video out of the way because I cannot think of an eloquent way to share it!!  :)  I don't have an entire post based around it, it is just a video.  :)  After a seriously intense week of quilty work I needed to be freely creative.  So I started a little quilt - because I like little quilts the way I like little paintings.  A couple of you asked me to video just me that's what it is!

This is all on the Juki.  I quilt on the long arm yes - and for some reason when I go to the Juki people start to wonder if I don't like my long arm or if I cannot do on my longarm what I do on my Juki.  Well, the truth of the matter is I am on my feet all day and I just like to sit down and quilt!  Also I don't have room or funds for two long arms, so the Juki is a way for me to have a personal project going and client projects going at the same time without me having to put one of the two away.  I'll work on a clients project during the day and mine at night and/or the weekends.

Here are a few shots of what I was working on...

Sometimes I'll try out a design on a smaller project on the Juki first and work out how I'm going to go about execution of that particular element.  Keeping in mind that the way I quilt it on the long arm is different than the sewing machine.  So these are winding curling feathers that I'm planning to incoporate on a larger quilt I'm working on.  This is Glide thread and Hobbs 80/20 batt.

Here's a shot of my current quilty project - crummy lighting from a 2am Instragram picture I took on Easter morning...I want to incoporate the above winding curly feathers and possibly some painting on this quilt.  I am realizing that quilts are much more organic for me if I build them as I go versus planning the entire thing out ahead of time.  I actually planned this quilt with a completely different border structure.  It was all paper pieced and sort of had a peacock theme.  But I got bored - fast.  So I started to build the borders freely and it was so much more enjoyable!  Also - lots of space for quilting.  :)

I'm all about loud colors right now after working on my giant applique quilt - which was mostly white or off white.  I had made the quilt to show but I am just so sick of it I cannot finish it right now.  I have a stack of quilts like that at the moment!  :)

In other news I had attempted to make a second blog with art related content and soon after realized that I don't have time to keep up with two blogs!  LOL  I may or may not elaborate on it - who knows.  I have creative ADD and limited free time so the mood may strike me to get going on it or I may abandon it all together.  :)  In any case  my art work and quilts kind of mesh together... 

Painting and art journaling!  :)  More obsessions.  Also making Disney dresses and scrap booking Disney.  There is not enough time in the day for my many projects.  :)

So that is the randomness that is going on in my creative life right now!  Client quilt-wise, I'm working this week on marking and loading up Barbara's quilt.  It will be intensely quilted and it is HUGE so it will be on the frame a while.  Likely next post will be a few inprogress shots!  :)