Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Baltimore House Finito!

What a great day! Have really been enjoying this 'Baltimore House' quilt project for Colleen. If you want to see the entire quilt, or much of it, there are more pics on my web site....Phidgeit. As you can see, she completed the quilt in 2006, and I was happy to quilt it in 2012. Had a great time with all of the applique, my very favorite thing to quilt around AND in. Liked her swag border too. Figured out a way to do the 'piano key' border lines without having to stop and start again. If you notice, there are two parallel lines running about 1/16" apart, one would be the advancing line, the other one the retreating line. Finished this up tonight and finally saw my husband for the first time in quite a few days:) Life is good!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

give it a wrist wrest....

Leaving town today for a week or so. This is a good thing, I need a rest(or at least my wrists need a rest as I am wearing these silly wrist stabilizers since they say I have Carpal Tunnel..... I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!!!) Actually, this is the very first time EVER that I have left for a vacation and have taken neither sewing nor knitting project with me. Just my Kindle and some jigsaw puzzles this trip.

I finished up the two kidz quilts for two darling nieces. Will deliver them to their Grandma this week, and she will deliver them back to England.

Unfortunately, I don't get to see these darlings very often, typically once a year.

When I return, all rested and ready to go, I have a wonderful applique folk quilt that I am working on for a client. Enjoying it immensely. Hopefully, I can learn to self-moderate so I can ease out of this dang wrist thing. No computering for a week will be EXCELLENT for it as well, not to mention no cleaning, get the picture. I'm a happy camper.
Enjoy the rest of the week...BTW, the Plow Guy would ask you to pray for snow:)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Kid's quilts

I am working on two baby quilts for nieces... one is actually a baby, the other a very active toddler. I don't get to see them often, as they live in England, but they are very dear indeed. Baby quilts have changed dramatically for me... no longer am I using the sweet, the pastels, the traditional. My colors are much bolder, brighter, less conventional. I have been putting Minky on backs of baby quilts, since I found a terrific resource for fun and funky Minky, but I did have some great flannel to use up. After all, I am STILL trying to give away my $100K stash. Today was challenging, as I am trying out wrist splints for carpal tunnel. I HATE the restrictiveness of them, particularly when using Ethel(longarm), but I really feel that this is the lesser of two evils. I actually started to get used to them. I think of the hours of applique and rotary cutting, productive work. Then I think of the hours of solitare and computer crap, wasted work.

I did two 'tot' quilts for my granddaughters last summer, loved every minute of it. Lots of reinforcement since they are typically a fraction of the size. My 4 year old granddaughter however, got a queen sized one for her bed. Aren't kid fabrics great now? I didn't have a pattern, just started drawing out a plan. Then I saw some blocks made by my friend Linda, and just had to incorporate them into my granddaughter's bed quilt. Then there was a twirling tirt(skirt) to be made as well out of the scraps. Very fun stuff.

Friday, January 6, 2012

trial and error

Last month was a busy month, holidays and all.  I had the pleasure to quilt a most wonderful Civil War memorial quilt by a very well respected(and rightfully so) quilter.  The blocks, color choices, fabrics, applique... all exquisite.  As is her custom, my client reduced the block sizes to 6", making a very interesting quilt top.  My challenge was to marry the front thread(paper bag color) with the back(barn red), making an acceptable tension stitch on both sides.  For the most part, I thought it went well, but there was a great deal of tension manipulation involved.  I totally underestimated the labor intensive stitch in ditch, which was an integral part of this quilt, allowing highlighting of each specific block.  I did some research and found that gridwork was very popular during this era, so I added a large amount of half inch gridding in many of the blocks.  I think the overall effect was splendid and I believe that CR really enjoyed the results.  Have a peek.  Note that the last picture is indicative of the quantity of threads that needed to be knotted and buried. A great learning piece... keeping track of each quilting element's time. A pleasure to do, labor intensive and all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What a difference a year makes! or not...

To catch up, in 20 words or less.... got my machine, quilted lots, posted web site, peeps are coming, same mistakes from 20 years ago!

What I (re)learned today.  1)The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.  All relearning today was done today under the guise of my husband returning home tomorrow from deer camp and I still had his Christmas present on the machine.  2)You would ASSUME that I would by now have mastered the skill of making certain the batting and backing were of adequate size.  Last week's quilt saw the ravages of getting to the very last of the 30 hours of quilting and running out of backing.  New skill mastered:  adding additional backing while on the frame.  Check.  New skill mastered today:  adding additional BATTING while on the frame.  ARGHH!  3) Turned the quilt allowing me the ease of continuous lines across, and what did I discover.... that I had loaded it wrong on the leaders.  And that Red Snappers are extremely tight with flannel.  And that Red Edges are extremely hard to manipulate when new and in a hurry.  4)Okay, now this one is ridiculous.  I have made over 200 quilts and put binding on each and every one of them.  My favorite part.... like bonding with a child before it grows up.  I learned today to pay more attention when attaching the binding so that I don't put it on the BACK OF THE QUILT!!! 

It's been a very educational day.  Life is good!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

waiting, waiting, waiting

Checking several times a day to see if Ethel has been shipped.  She doesn't appear to have left Salt Lake City yet.  In the meantime, a thorough cleaning of my studio 'annex' is taking place.  One just doesn't find a spot for a 15' x 8' utensil.  But in the meantime of waiting for Ethel, the Henz came to stay for 3 days and we solved all the problems of the world, inspired one another, did some soul searching and fond remembering of projects gone by, and we each made great strides toward accomplishing our individual quilting goals for the weekend.  I am personally committed to finishing my dear niece's wedding quilt (6 months overdue).  Have just the outside border to finish, then bind.   BE WELL, LIVE HAPPY across the top, lots of applique.  Found a great piece of printed fabric - BLAH BLAH BLAH, which I added in a couple of spots on the quilt, something fun.  Pictures next time. 
Ah, the excitement mounts ..... never really knew this new world existed. 

Phidge - don't let a day go by that you miss telling someone how much you love them, because someday you might not get any more chances.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

eating my words

If I have said 1 time, I have said it at least 100 times.... "I will NEVER have a quilt that is quilted by a long arm machine".  I'm not really sure what the catalyst was, but yesterday, I ordered 'Ethel', my new 24" HQ Fusion long arm.  It could have been my dearest Henz who, after showing off their achievements that had been quilted by LAs, that said "Phidge, you could do this".  It could be that I have seen the quality of the stitches done on a LA have improved.  It could be watching many of my dearies actually finishing a number of projects by sending them out, and knowing that in reality, I will never finish some of my beauties because there just isn't enough time in the day.   But truly, I think it is that fact that my beloved Bernina 1090, purchased in 1990, is feeling the strain of the weight of some of my massives quilts, as am I.  I will really be sad when I have to say goodbye to my Bernina, so I want to nurse her through so she will be with me to piece, but will be dismissed from the heavy quilting. 

At any rate, after weeks and weeks of research, talking to people, driving machines, and inner talking, yesterday was the day.  Ethel will be delivered about November 22, just a few days before Thanksgiving.  I have a purpose now.  So much to do before she arrives.  Henz arrive Saturday morning for our tri-annual Hen Layover.  This will give me a good chance to finish up my darling niece's wedding quilt, only 6 months late.  Henz leave and I'm off to Florida for the wedding of my namesake aunt.  I arrive home the day before Ethel appears at my doorstep. 

Where do I put here, ah, there's the rub.  Space needed is roughly 15' x 8'.  I would really love to put her in my studio, but that is definitely not going to work, so this is the time to use the finished portion of the basement.  Just needs some rearranging and the carpet cleaned.  Guess I know what I will be doing between Hen departure and airport departure. 

God is good!