Quilt, Quilt, Quilt

I have been busy in my studio since we came home from our holiday in Alaska this fall. I have quilted 9 quilts for customers and 4 quilts for myself (Fall Warm Wishes, Daffodil BQ2, Rooster Strip Twist, and Dryer Sheet Diamond String).

Most long arm quilters would not feel that quilting 13 quilts in 3 months is that big an achievement, but keep in mind I have a full time day job on top of my quilting.

These are pictures of the customer quilts.

All quilts except one were quilted using Circle Lord’s templates.

The squares on this quilt were quilted in the ditch using my Bernina dsm.

I still have some customer quilts to finish, but thankfully, everything that was required to be completed prior to Christmas is now finished! I am now working on deadlines for after New Year’s.

Moving Projects Forward

I have had a couple of fabrics lately that have decided that they do not want to keep all their dye. One of the fabrics was a deep blue batik and the second was a red cotton. Both fabrics can be bad for bleeding, but really, after 6 washes? I tried vinegar and salt and had to luck. Finally, I found a source for Retayne locally. After one wash with Retayne, the fabrics stopped bleeding. I could not believe it. I did a test wash with Color Catchers after the Retayne treatment and the Color Catchers came out of the wash as white as they went it. I will be using this product a lot more often now that I know how well it works! Friday, I spent my time making a Mother’s Day present for my Mom. This is the table runner that I made for her.

Today, we started the day with breakfast out at a local restaurant–my DH, DS, Mom, Dad, and myself. After presenting my Mom with her table runner, she took it home and put it on her coffee table and took this picture for me. I was worried that I had not made it long enough, but it looks like it works on her coffee table.

Saturday, I finished putting the last of the sashing bits on this quilt top and then added the inner and outer borders. The outer border fabric is suns on a black background. I loved this fabric. I had enough backing fabric and batting in my stash so by the end of the evening Saturday, I had this quilt loaded on the long arm and had started the quilting.

This afternoon, I was able to finish the quilting on this one.

I used a new to me batting on this one — Soft and Bright by the Warm Company. This batting is 100% polyester. It is needled to hold the batting together without glue, resin, or hard coatings. This batting has a bit of loft to it which shows off the quilting perfectly. Because the fibers are needled, they stay in place and the batting doesn’t shift or go thin in some places like other polyester battings do. My long arm did not object to this batting at all and unlike other polyester battings, this one did not slip or shift. Because this quilt top was heavy from the weight of all the seams in the string blocks, I really did not want to add more weight to the top by using a cotton batting. I also have intended this to be a utility quilt so I expect it to be used and washed frequently. I am hoping the polyester holds up to the frequent use I expect the quilt to receive.
This last picture shows the gold thread i used to highlight the Wave quilting design.

My plans are to bind this one in black. The binding will have to wait for another day though as I am short of black fabric in my stash. Running out of stash fabric is a good thing though–it means that I am using up what I have on hand!

Move It Forward

I spent Good Friday on line with Linda – Moving it Forward.

We have decided that once a month we will take at least one day and move some projects that have stalled or aged as UFOs far too long forward to the next stage. That may mean getting a top to the flimsy stage, moving a top from a flimsy to a quilt, or completing some binding. What Move it Forward is not is a day to start something new. It is all about making progress on something we have already started previously.

Before I could work on anything, I needed to clear my work surface from the project that I was working on the night before. In between passes of the long arm on customer quilts, I piece string blocks onto used Color Catchers (that is the white rectangle you see in the upper left hand corner of the picture). I had 11 blocks partially finished – they needed a strip or two and they would be finished. So before working on anything else, I finished off those 11 blocks. On the previous weekend, I took some of the blocks I have made previously and pieced them together into this colourful scrap top. This top needs the sashing finished off on the right hand side and bottom, then it will be ready for borders.

The next project I had to finish was a customer quilt that had already been loaded onto the long arm the night before. There was only about 1/2 hour of quilting left.

This is the finished customer quilt. It is a Nine Patch Pizzazz quilted with the Wave.

The next project was my Bento Box. It had stalled at the borders. I typically stall at this point so this was a great project for Move It Forward day! Also, I had the expertise of my good friend Linda to assist in deciding on which colour to use in the inner border……….green….

….or red?

After discussing options back and forth, the red was chosen. And this is the finished flimsy. This one is for me so I am really excited about getting this top to this stage. I now need to go on the hunt for just the right backing.

The next project up needed binding. This is the fabric that was picked for binding.

I made 1/2″ wide binding for this quilt. An extra wide binding serves dual purpose as an additional border and binding. Strips of binding for a 1/2″ wide binding are cut 3 1/4″ wide.
Binding was machine sewn to the quilt after supper. This top is now waiting for a quiet evening or two of hand sewing in front of the TV.

The day was busy and my quilt inspector/supervisor played out.

After the flash picture, he did open an eye to let me know that he did not want to be bugged further!

I know that both Linda and I made great progress today so we will be looking forward to the next Move It Forward Day to move yet more projects to the next stage.

Customer Quilts

Once again I find myself not posting for two weeks. I have been busy quilting–just not for myself.

I quilted this first quilt for a customer to give as a wedding gift to a special couple that are her neighbours. The flower blocks were embroidered with her new embroidery machine. She asked for hearts in each of the floral blocks with waves between the blocks. This is a picture of the back of the same quilt. This picture shows the heart and wave quilting a little clearer.
This is a quilt that I quilted for an international friend. This quilt was pieced by a perfectionist and was a delight to quilt. I enjoyed looking at all the fabrics as I recognize many of them–some were in my stash in the past and some are still in my stash now!
The next three quilts were pieced by the same person. This lady is busy “using up her scraps”. How wonderful to give such colourful scraps new purpose.

This quilt showcases a wonderful collection of prints. The piecer of this quilt intends to gift this quilt to a very special friend.
This quilt was pieced by a new quilter–her first quilt! The woman who pieced this quilt is also an expert seamstress and her skills shine in this quilt–there are no mismatched seams in this one!
And so now that the backlog of customer quilts has been caught up, I can breathe and spend a bit of time working on my own projects……until the next wave of quilts arrives anyway!

First Finish for 2008

This is my first quilted finish for 2008–Mexico Strings. I quilted this quilt on New Year’s Day and put the last hand stitch in the binding on January 9.

This quilt finished 47 1/4″ x 62 1/4″ and will be making its way to Pam for her Quilts For Mexico project. Pam will be taking the donated quilts to an orphanage in Mexico later this year. I encourage you to make a quilt and donate it to Pam’s project to help her reach her goal of 200 quilts!

The blocks for this quilt were foundation pieced onto used color catcher sheets. Once the sheets are covered with strings, I trimmed the blocks to 4″ x 9″. The sashing is cut 2″ x 9″ and cornerstones are 2″ square. The outer green border is cut 6″ wide–no special reason other than that is the width of my ruler (6″) so strips are easy to cut.