Friday, June 24, 2016

Recent Quilts and Update

I cannot believe it's been an entire MONTH since I last posted!!!  That is really unusual for me, and I have been updating this blog for years.  I think the biggest delay in sharing has been because I do share so regularly on Facebook, but also because I've really been actively trying to make time to enjoy my family.  I still work, and work a LOT, but I also try to be present for my children.  The income over the years has been a blessing, more than most can know, so I'm extremely grateful for the steady and continued business.  I don't plan to slow it down until Olivia is in school full time, and then I think I may explore a permanent studio outside of my home for teaching.  I've been toying with ideas and we'll see which one sticks.  Luckily I have some time still before I make that leap.

Recent quilt finishes, that's what you really want to see though, right? 

Here's Kathy's Glacier Star...this one she requested lots and lots of pebbles and fancy quilting.  I used black metallic thread for the feathers in the open black spaces which adds just a bit of sparkle.  I used Super Threads metallic.  Two layers of Hobbs 80/20 batting and Bottom Line Thread in the top and bobbin. 

I photographed this in the house and outside of the house too - I think the first one taken indoors gives better detail of the quilting.  I do love these Judy Niemeyer quilts very much, but they can be a challenge for long armers to quilt!  LOTS of time consuming ditchwork and it can be difficult to be creative.  Kathy had lots of requests for what she wanted in specific areas so I tried as best I could to accomodate her wants.  I think we ended up with a really lovely quilting job.

I always try to emulate a photograph if someone sends me one and recreate the look in my own personal style as best I can.  I do avoid copying exactly from another quilter.  The thing is, like handwriting, all quilting will be a little different.  I cannot quilt just like your favorite long arm quilter - but I can give you the feel that you like and incorporate elements similar in style or taste.  My feathers will never look exactly like anyone else's...but if you like the feathers you see that I have done, well I can certainly do more of those or elaborate on them for you!

Here are a few more views of the same areas but from different angles so you can see different portions of quilting:

I do really like how the center turned out.  Kathy's color choices were gorgeous.

I was very excited to finally quilt a Judy Niemeyer!  This was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to more that are scheduled to come my way.

The second quilt that Kathy sent me felt very primitive...and as a matter of fact she told me all of the fabric is Primitive Gatherings fabric!  I channeled Linda Hrcka and attempted some designs I hadn't done before. 


The sort of plaid/checkered border was the biggest design element that was new to me here.  I used Linda Hrcka's straight edge rulers and the markings on it were an immense help.  If you haven't checked out her rulers yet and you are a long arm quilter you should!  I tend to do a lot of traditional work and her rulers are fantastic:

Again we used two layers of batting - I used Glide up top and Bottom Line in the bobbin for this one.  I think the combination worked well but I'm still a fan first and foremost of thin threads on top for this kind of quilting.  I am still thrilled with the look.

I believe Kathy had said this was a free patterern found on Moda's website to advertise the Primitive Gatherings fabric line, but she made some additions to it that really added a lot to the piece.  Check out those stars too - the checkerboard centerpieces were NOT paper pieced...she fussed with all of those 1" squares!!  This woman has much more patience than I do!

 Though I of course adored the Glacier Star I think the primitive quilt was my favorite to work on...but I did enjoy them both.  I love when I have the opportunity to experiment and play!  I have two more customs I'm hoping to have finished up this week and I'll post some photographs for you.

In other news I have really been interested as of late in garment sewing!  One of the things I've been looking at is purchasing a dress form.  I asked sewing friends on Facebook for recommendations and one that I really liked was this one from The Shop Company:

It's a little pricey but looks as though it has all of the features that are really important to me.  Gertie from Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing did a great review on it here:

I just love her.  I'm really obsessed with all things 50's right now...and sewing wise, reproducing some of those fun old vintage patterns.  She totally inspires me!  I have done a little bit of garment sewing in the past from pattern, but I'm really exciting at the possibility of playing and creating my own designs too.

So far all I have been able to squeeze time in for are these cute little reversable peter pan collars!  I added hook and eye clasps to them but they aren't secure enough so I'm going to go with metal button clasps instead.  My 14 year old has decided they aren't half bad and wants me to make a few for her too.  I did start  to make a little octopus appliqu for a shirt that I know my Husband will tease me endlessly about...but it's adorable.

I will really try not to let another month go by before posting again!  Certainly I have plenty of things to share!  I hope all are doing well out there in blogland - speak on up!  I do love to interact with you and reply to comments!

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie