Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Design Wall

Hope everyone is doing ok this morning.  We had a pretty loud storm about 2:30am which dumped 1 3/4" of rain.  Plus, Saturday night we had a smaller storm that left behind 1/4" of rain.  The ground is saturated.  I am so glad we have a basement system or I would be really worried about flooding in our basement.  Out my front window there is a good size limb laying beside the street out of our big maple tree due to wind.
It was a busy weekend around here.  I worked Saturday and Sunday at my mall job.  While I was home I was working on this lovely Carpenter Star quilt made from embossed fabric.
I walked over to my north flower bed and my dark red lilies are blooming.
Next my pink lilies will bloom.
Here's my little flag pillow.
I finished it Saturday night with a scrappy back and a collection of buttons. 
Ready for the 4th of July!
One more flower picture, our clematis is blooming happy.
I am headed down to my studio to try and finish the Carpenter Star quilt before the next thunder storm arrives. 
Happy Monday and today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Finishes

First things, first.  A big thank-you to Cathy Kieser for my adorable watermelon pin cushion.
Cathy gifted me this pin cushion in this wonderful pink gift bag.  Its become a little joke in our households.  We leave the gift bag after we gift something quilty in it, on the counter until the husband comes home.  It peaks your husband's listening skills when he suspects something special is inside that infamous pink bag.
Aren't we cruel?
The pin cushion is only four inches long. 
Along with the pin cushion came a box of selvages.  I am working on saving enough selvages to make a quilt.  Again, thank you Cathy!!!
This is the queen size quilt I finished this week.
Sorry to say these are the only pictures I have as the customer picked it up before I could take pictures.  The pattern is Field of Flowers by Handi Quilter and the thread is 27251 Peach Glide. 
Next is this fish quilt finished last week with my friend, Kathy O.
We quilted it with a dusty blue Omni thread that just disappeared.
The quilting pattern was continuous waves.
The backing was blue and white chevron Shannon.  This quilt was gifted at a baby shower last weekend to Kathy's niece.  I assisted Kathy with setting up the quilt to be quilted and she did the work.  Congratulations on a beautiful finish!
The next quilt is a double wedding ring (92" x 108").
The quilting pattern is clover edge to edge.
The thread is Barley 3043 by Omini. 
Here are the end of my beautiful roses my husband sent me for our 27th wedding anniversary last week.  They have been a bright spot in each day.
Have a great weekend.  Today I will be quilting on a Carpenter Star quilt.
I am linking up with the following.....Confessions of a Fabric AddictLink a Finish FridayFreedom Fridays, and Crazy Mom Quilts
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Tip - Shop with a List

I love going to quilt shows but particularly like the big ones. The Covered Bridge Quilt Guild hosted a bus trip to the Chicago International Quilt Show at the Rosemont on Thurs., June 19th.
Tuesday Tip:  Keep a small note pad next to your sewing machine and keep a running wish list of needed items.  This helps when you run to your local quilt shop or a quilt show.  When I arrive at a big show I become overwhelmed with all the booths, new gadgets and fabrics.  So now I shop with a list so I get the items that I really need.
First on my list were Omni Threads by Superior (in the back row.)
I bought navy, maple, light tan, haystack and firey red.
In the front row are Magnifico threads in teal, dk sage, dk red, silver and off white.  I have heard other Handi Quilter owners comment on how much they like this thread, so giving it a try.
I have been wanting to try the Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the Crosses paper piecing.  I also found a teacher for our guild's workshop.  I bought the supplies and I am ready to stitch. 
When I bought thread at the Superior booth, they gave me Bob Purcell's DVD on Thread Therapy.
I have been told he gives a great lesson on thread and need to find an hour to see down and view this. 
On my wish list was Aurifil thread.  Just replenishing my favorite piecing colors. 
Again, shop with a list so you buy the things you really need and enjoy the rest of the quilt show.
You can see what I have made HERE, from a purchase.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Design Wall

Oh my! Where to start.  I have been off the technology grid for two weeks.  This is one crazy busy summer but I wouldn't have it any other way.

First, while I was gone, the first week I was busy Spring housecleaning and working many hours(which is very unusual) at my part-time mall job.  We are having a semi-annual sale and therefore more hours due to the increased business.  As for the Spring cleaning, I was trying to whip the house in shape in about three days.  I was the host of the PALS group (Peoria Area Longarm Support group) on Friday, June 13th.   Yikes, I worked day and night when I was home at cleaning, organizing and re-arranging about the whole house.  Don't want anyone coming through with their white glove, now do we?  This also meant the sewing studio had to be done.

The host of the PALS meeting also plans lunch at an area restaurant.  The girls were coming from an hour to an hour and a half away.  Some arrived early to visit Princeton's businesses, like Hornbaker Gardens known for their hostas and beautiful garden landscaping, and Quilter's Garden Quilt Shop.
We enjoyed lunch at Myrtle's Café & Pies.  Then the sixteen (16) ladies came to my home to see my sewing studio.  I had two charity quilts loaded on my longarms, Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen and Handi Quilter Avante.  We talked about how we load quilts, how we baste or if we baste quilt tops once loaded.  Many of the ladies brought quilt tops and we puddled thread on the tops discussing what thread color to use when quilting.  They have show and tell as well as helping each other with any issues we are facing with customers or difficult quilts.

After leaving my home, we travelled about 15 minutes to Cousin's Quilting in La Moille, IL.  Doug and Lou Tuntland opened their shop to us for shopping.  Doug and Lou are dealers for Nolting Longarms, Legacy batting and many brands of threads.  Again the quilt tops were layed out for puddling thread and choosing colors.  It is so nice to be able to view the thread in person and not have to depend on thread cards.  The thread looks different when layed out on the actual quilt top compared to just looking at it on the spool.  Buying thread in person also alleviates the cost of shipping.  All in all it was a very successful day, with the largest turn out to date.  Thank to all the PALS gals that made the trip to Princeton and La Moille.  I collapsed when I got back home.  :)
On the downside of last week, my son and girlfriend of almost two years broke up.  He is in the process of buying a home and thought things were going along well.  So now, we are dealing with his disappointment and broken heart.  He has been keeping himself busy with plans for the house, spending more time with us, and being the DJ at weddings.  It is so hard to watch your children suffer. 
Last week, I worked at my mall job almost every day.  I have been retired for two years, so all this working certainly getting back in shape.  I did get Thursday off to go to the International Quilt Show in Chicago.  Our guild took a bus trip to the show and it was lovely to sit back, visit with friends and enjoy the day.
At the quilt show, my friend Maribel bought each of us an American Flag to make the pillow pictured below.  The flags are available from Country Threads in Garner, Ia.  This is a picture of the pillow in their booth.
So below is my version.  First, I auditioned creamy colored fabrics for the background.  When I found that the print didn't show through the flag, I chose it.
Next, I dug into my stash of triangles for making HST. 
Next I spray basted the quilt top to a piece of batting and just stitched in the ditch. 
That's as far as I got last night.  I will work on putting a back on and stuffing the pillow.  Hopefully, I can get it done for Friday Finishes.  This is the first piecing I have done in about month.  It was good to sit and sew again.
Join me again tomorrow.  I will be sharing what I bought at the Chicago Quilt Show.
Today I have linked up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Finishes

I am back in business with my computer.  The wonderful tech, David, at BC Tech has my computer all tuned up.  You ask, " How did you know you had been hacked?"  I got a warning message from my Microsoft Essentials that a website may have problem to back out of it.  I did that right away.  Microsoft Essentials notified me that I had possibly been hacked and to change my passwords and to run my Malware software and a total scan of my computer.  I completed all these steps and though I was doing well.  I then received a call from someone who said they were from Microsoft and wanted me to turn on my computer.  I said, "no, thank you" and hung up on them.  Next I called BC Tech and asked for help to be my computer was clean and healthy.
I purchased this computer from a local business instead of a big box store.  It was important to me to be able to just run up town to get it fixed and not have to drive an hour to a big box store.  I received next day service and I was treated very courteously.  Thank you BC Tech!!!
Now on to Friday Finishes.  I finished my design wall from Styrofoam insulation.  You can see the steps on how to make one HERE.
I complete the quilting on this antique quilt.  The blocks are antique, the border is new.
The owner of the quilt could tell me stories of what the fabrics were used in previously.
She remembered that one of the fabrics, her grandmother has used to line a basket for her babydoll's bed.
I think the lavender part of the star is a feedsack. 
Oh, don't you wish quilts could talk and tell us their story?
Here's a little tip taught to me by my mentor.  If you are working on quilting a quilt and you find a frayed or open seam, you can use Fabric Tac to glue the damaged area.  It dries clear.
I went to Peoria on Wednesday night and heard Doug Leko, the 20 year old quilt phenom, talk.
His pattern company is call Antler Quilt Designs and he is now a Bernina Ambassador.  Today (Fri) he is teaching in Peoria.  He will be a Bernina Educator at Pine Needles Quilt Shop in Cedar Rapids, IA.  He made me chuckle during his speech stated, " when I turned 16 instead of buying a car, I bought a Bernina."  I liked his designs and the patterns seemed to be well written. 
Yours in quilting,

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tech Thursday

I am writing this blog post early as the computer might be in the Techie Hospital.  My email was hacked last Friday.  I have done what was recommended but I got a strange phone call today and I don't believe the call was legitimate.  I have called my computer store and they recommend that I bring the computer in for a check-up.

I hope I can pick up my computer in time to post Friday Finishes.

Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Work in Progress Wednesday

I am working on getting caught up on customer quilts this week.  I finished one yesterday and loading the next another today.  This one has taken a fair amount of communication with the quilter.  We have been texting and talking on the phone to clarify the quilting plan. 

Yesterday, I spent sometime working on meals for the rest of the week.  The schedule for rest of the week is crazy at best.  I will be pushing to finish customer quilts each day until I have to go to my part time job and/or quilt guild meetings.
Tonight is raviolis and vegies.

Tomorrow night BBQ, then Thursday will be leftovers night.
Friday is our pizza night out.
Saturday and Sunday, Rod and I worked on all our flower beds. 

The squirrel were very curious.  They had to check out the hostas we had dug up.
 Rod went and picked up a whole truckload of gold mulch.  Hopefully, we have about reached the maintenance stage for our flowers.

Each day we had to clean up and attend a graduation or anniversary party.  It was a great way to cool down with friends after all that hard work.  Now we get to sit back and enjoy it!
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday Tip - Making a Design Wall

One of the quilt shops I have taken a class at has design walls made of foam sheet insulation.  So after explaining it to my husband, he thought it was a great idea to make me one.  We stopped in at the local lumberyard and bought 1 1/2" thick 4' x 8' sheet Styrofoam.  Because I am limited in space and wanted the design wall to be moveable from area to area, we cut the 4' x 8' sheet in half giving me two 4' x 4' pieces.

Then I stopped at the Staples and bought a bag of large binder clips. 
Next I covered the Styrofoam with flannel.  I used my "bent pin" from my pin cushions.  Just starting at the top securing the flannel with pins and then alternating from side to side pinned the flannel taut.
When I got to the bottom I just folded the flannel up on the back and pinned in place.  Now I took the binder  clips and put them on the top of the Styrofoam.  Space the clips however you need them so you can hang your design wall on nails or cuphooks.  The wall is very light so it won't take very big nails.
The backside is not pretty, but who is going to see that?
Now you are in business.  My flannel has a grid marked on it.
You could actually do this with a quilty friend and you could each have a 4' x 4' design wall.
I haven't decided what to do with my second 4' x 4' Styrofoam.  The costs were about $16 for the Styrofoam, $4.99 for bag of 8 large binder clips and I had the flannel in my stash.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, June 2, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Can you believe that I have not sewn for almost two weeks?  I must be sick?  No, just busy with my husband.  Rod was on vacation two weeks ago today.  We spent the time taking day trips and planning for a remodeling project on our home.

Last week I have been trying to catch up around the house and yard.  Also, my part-time job at the mall has been giving me more hours so I have been juggling with time management.  I went from having no hours at the part-time job to working about 20 hrs a week. 

I found time to run uptown to a fabric sale to benefit a cancer patient on Friday. A couple of friends of the quilter with cancer arranged this sale to help the cancer patient raise money for her medications.

 Maribel reminded me of the sale so we ran up to the Flour House Bakery and had coffee and bagels.  This gave us the energy to shop. 
This is a picture of the Flour House peach coffee cake and their speciality ice tea.
I bought 10 yards of neutrals.
Most of these fabrics will be used to finish the charity pillow cases I am making.
I also got a free bag of scraps to help finish my Roll, Roll Cotton Bowl quilt by Bonnie Hunter.
Headed down to my basement studio to get to work.  There is a rain storm coming so I may have to turn the longarm off if it starts lighting.  If that happens, I will start cleaning and organizing as I have a group of ladies called PALS coming to visit my studio on Friday, June 13th.  They are the Peoria Area Longarm Support group.  The schedule will include lunch at Myrtle's Café & Pies, visit to my studio and a visit to Country Cousins in LaMoille (a longarm supply store with threads, batting, rulers, and Nolting longarm machines.)
Are you working on the scrappy Block of the Month by Country Threads?

The Block of the Month by Quilt Doodle Designs.
I have fallen behind.  I don't have the May blocks finished.  There is a group of about 7 of us working on Quilt Doodle's BOM.  Its fun to see everyone's color choices.
Tomorrow I will be posting the simple steps I took to make my Design Wall on Tuesday Tips.
Today I am linking up with Judy at Patchwork Times.
Yours in quilting,