November 29, 2008

Practicing on the DSM

Since I started using the longarm, the quilting I did on the DSM was like doo-doo, I was all thumbs. Yesterday after attaching two bindings (which is a job I can't stand doing) I practiced a little on some scrap pink fabric. It took awhile, then I ran out of bobbin thread and stopped. I don't have stitch regulator on this machine and it was hard to get back into the grove of moving the fabric. I do rely quite heavily on the SR on my longarm. All in all I was happy I spent the time practicing. I may use this little piece for an eyeglass case or another cell phone purse for someone.

I don't like to use quilting gloves, although, if I have to I find Machingers are the best. I prefer to use Lickity Grip and was happy to find a replacement box of it. It is a sticky substance you can put on your fingertips and it allows you to get a good hold of your piece without wearing anything on your hands.
Posted by Picasa

November 26, 2008

Charity Challenge

These beautiful fabrics arrived the other day and I haven't stopped thinking about them since. They are luscious and silky feeling from the fabric designer Marianne Elizabeth of Benartex. I signed up for the MQX 2009 Charity Challenge which is in support of the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham, NH. The Challenge kit and entry fee is$25 which goes directly to the charity. I have no affiliation with the charity or MQX, but saw this as an opportunity to challenge myself while supporting a good cause. I love the fabrics and know exactly what I'm going to do! Go here and find out more how you can sign up!

I have a little collection of fancy items to add to my piece. Stay tuned and I will show you my progress....
Posted by Picasa

November 25, 2008

Somewhat Vintage

I have a customer who has purchased several vintage quilt tops. The tops are old, but not really old. She is not a quilter herself, so she has asked me to make them larger, quilt and finish them. This Irish Chain is made completely of 2" squares, including the center of the chain and the green border. The fabrics are some type of poly or poly blend so the seams do not press completely flat. This causes an unusual gray/beige shadowing across the quilt top. To combat that look which made the top look dirty, I used a taupe colored thread and quilted a feather fill across the entire quilt.
She wanted the top made slightly larger, I added a pink, paisley, mini border and a creamy, floral, print outer border.
I'm still unsure on which fabric to use for the binding. Either the floral border fabric, or a green tone on tone that coordinates with the chain and is used in the corners of the border.
Posted by Picasa

November 23, 2008

Something about Nothing

This really doesn't have to do with anything other than the fact I thought it was pretty cool to look at. We have a man made pond in the back with a water fall. It has been cold the past few days and the water coming down the falls did not freeze, but a sheath has formed over the falls. It was neat to watch as it formed, almost before your eyes if you watched closely. As the water came down the falls the splash off first fell to the rocks on both sides, soon that became the sheath. It grew bigger towards the center of the falls as the water splashed on the now existing ice sheath. Both sides eventually met in the center. Man made nature at it's best.

The birds love it. The past few days they have hung out at the top of the falls bathing, splashing and drinking. The Morning Doves line the rocks and actually will lay down spreading their wings. They look dead, but are sunbathing.

It's fun to watch, although, can be a huge source of a time waster. Life is short, so why not?
Posted by Picasa

November 22, 2008

Holiday Cards

While I should have been doing other things like binding a customer's quilt or cleaning my own house, I was making more post cards. These rich fall colors will be some of my Thanksgiving Greetings. The photo is not the greatest and I added the antique keys to fill in some of that white space. I 'spose I was trying to be kind of artful with my photography; not sure it worked... I had fun making the cards none-the-less.

I'm going to have the kids help me make some Holiday cards, tomorrow. We will plan to send them to the United States Service men and woman. You may find more about it here. I will add an address on the bottom of this post if you would like to participate. But please read the guidelines on the link, first. Or, you can check your local newspapers in your area as I have seen drop off stations listed in my own papers.

Once you've read the guidelines, mail your cards before Wednesday, December 10, to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
P. O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
Posted by Picasa

November 19, 2008

The Cello Quilt

I was able to obtain a picture of my friend Shari's Cello quilt. (That is is Shari standing with the quilt.) Isn't the quilt amazing? (well- Shari is too, but we are here to talk about the quilt) It is created with log cabin blocks. The outer log border Shari stitched a continuous musical staff. On this staff she painted the notes of four favorite songs of the retiring WCS Strings director, for whom this quilt was made. Songs include the first song any student entering into the strings program would learn and A Mighty Fortress is our God (which the quilt was named).The songs were played at the final concert of the year when the quilt was presented. On the light cream blocks including the cello, each strip has a date and signature or printed name of every student who ever participated in the strings program during the director's 27 year term. If that was not enough: faculty members, family members, concert dates, competition dates, competition tours/ trips, passions, inspirational and Biblical phrases were included. Nearly each white and cream strip has something written/printed on it. The dark side of the log cabin blocks were made with rich brown and black fabrics, both to represent the beautiful wood of a string instrument and the traditional black and white dress of orchestra participants. Many of the fabrics were musical themed or had some special meaning which related to the director's passions, interests etc... No detail was forgotten and the construction was impeccable.

Then, I had to quilt it. The stress!.... The quilt played it's own music, it needed nothing. My job was to stick the layers together and let it shine without interrupting it's beautiful music. It took me awhile to decide how to quilt it. Finally, in the cello I stitched a feather fill, the brown sections I put a tiny winding feather vine and in the cream area a large heart vine. A basic stipple completed the outer edge. This is probably my favorite quilt to have stitched to this date.

While the quilt is no longer Shari's as she has gifted it to the now retired Mrs. Kuder, I have encouraged Shari to borrow it back and enter it into some shows for 2009. It really is one of those quilts that needs to be seen, it is striking in a photo, but up close it is quite fabulous and inspiring.

Posted by Picasa

November 17, 2008

Diamonds are Together

This past weekend was the Guild get a way. It's a fun and inspiring time to share with fellow members, I think there were approximately 50 women who attended. It's neat to see every one's projects in various stages of progress; some old, some new. I was finally able to get all of my diamonds together. Now that they are together, I'm thinking I will change my focus a little and run them horizontally rather than vertically. Willy Nilly as some will say. I'm okay with it, for now.

Tonight I plan to stitch some squares together for the border. I shall use my beloved Featherweight as a tribute to a dear lady, Caroly, who lost her battle with cancer one year ago.

While I was gone a fellow blogger tagged me with a fun award. When I have some minutes to do some blog housekeeping I shall pass the game along. It will be fun!

Hope you are having a nice day. It is sunny and crisp in New England where most of the leaves are down and the sky is a beautiful blue.
Posted by Picasa

November 13, 2008

Domino Books/Cards

Because I touch fabric all day, sometimes I have to try new adventures when the quilting part of the day is done. These Domino books are so fun to make. I checked out how to make them from Carol Murphy on She also has a really cool website where she shows her work using different altering techniques. The dominoes which have the gold ties are finished, the others don't have the page or tie yet. I have a tiny key to attach to the tie of the lavender one with the lock. I attached a loop on the book which is opened, it can be hung as a Christmas tree decoration.

Posted by Picasa

November 12, 2008

Quilt of Valor Quilt

After a few cancellations due to illness and prior commitments, last week the kids finished the QOV top. My hope was to be quilting it yesterday on Veterans Day. (I am a little behind.....) The kids wrote a sweet letter which will be used as the label.

This weekend the Guild (Thimble Pleasures) I belong to is heading down to the Cape, for what we call a Get A Way weekend. These weekends away always prove to be fun and inspiring and very productive. I'm amazed at what gets accomplished. In addition to our own projects we work on several items which we donate to local hospitals. I hope to bring the Quilt of Valor quilt and stitch on the binding as one of my projects.

Posted by Picasa

November 9, 2008

Sharing the Excitement!

Went to the Quilter's Gathering this past weekend where one of my sistahs, Shari, was awarded the Publisher's Award for her Cello quilt: A Mighty Fortress (from the song A Mighty Fortress is Our God). My description of this quilt will not do it justice without a photo, so I won't even try. Once I get a photo I'll post it. It's an outstanding quilt which is beautifully crafted and has the best story. Shari is an amazing person and quilter and she stitched her heart and soul into this quilt. To share her excitement was the best! I cannot wait to see what her new adventure will be!

The Scrap Basket quilt which I posted about earlier was awarded the Founder's Ribbon. I'm again humbled and honored and anxious to get the quilt home and retire it to the wall in the foyer.

There were beautiful quilts in the show. Something for everyone and every style and technique. It's so inspiring to go to shows and look at quilts and read their stories. Quilts are meant to be shown!

November 1, 2008

The Empty Nest

As I walk through my house I hear the sound of hollow, empty space. Approximately 30 of my quilts are out on display. Without all that cloth hanging around, the house feels cold and empty. I'm honored to be the Featured guest at Charlton Sewing Center where over 20 of my quilts will be on display for the month of November. The Charlton Sewing Center is( a must see quilt shop if you live or are visiting in or around Massachusetts. Charlton is a stone's throw from the historic Village of Sturbridge. The Sewing Center is housed in an antique church which boasts all of the charm of New England History. Not only is the shop bursting with charm, but you can find just about any fabric, notion or embellishment you may need (or want). If you are a threadaholic, you will love the extensive collection of both sewing and quilting threads, I think is the best in the area. Also, on display are several antique sewing machines and if you hit the shop just right, you may get to hear Cathy Racine, (the shop's proprietor) play the organ which is original to the antique church.

Three of my quilts will also be displayed at The Quilter's Gathering (aka EQA Eastcoast Quilter's Alliance). The show is November 6-9 at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, New Hampshire. One of my quilting Sistahs: Shari, also has two of her beautiful quilts on display.A few of the sistahs plan to attend the show and we are sure to have a great day. (We will need some Wingman stick-to-itiveness at this show....)

The quilt you see posted here is The Golden Chain of Friendship, and is one of the quilts displayed at Charlton. This remains as one of my favorite quilts which I made for a quilting sistah. She was kind enough to lend it back to me for the display.

Now, to try and get back into some quilting focus. I put some stitching into a quilt that I don't care for, instead of buckling down and removing it.... I've found countless other things to do. Posted by Picasa