Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lovely Long Beach

Another beautiful day in long beach, CA. I'm here for International quilt festival's summer show. Preview opens at 5 pm tonight.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Design Wall Monday July 23, 2015

Finally got an applique' block done so I could finish joining all the 2nd quarter Just Takes 2 blocks together:
Now I have 4 blocks to make for the July 15 set.  Those 2 weeks fly by and the next set will be out August 1.

I'm off to Long Beach, CA for the International Quilt Festival's Summer Show there.  I work for the Education Department and look forward to these trips so much!  Long Beach is a phenomenal venue and you can't beat the weather--I'll leave a sticky, hot Alabama and enjoy the 70 degrees  with balmy sea breezes, climate of Long Beach!  I'll try to post a few shots from the show--you should join us!

Check out what others are working on at Judy L's Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday page.

Let's quilt!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Joy of Quilting

I have finally made time to get back to the 2011 Block of the Month from, Ruffled Roses, designed by Sue Garman.  The last I took time to work on it was March 2011.  Adding the swag border would take some time, and as it was tax season, I let it go for "awhile".  Last week I jumped back in and got that swag border done and can move on--this quilt makes me happy!

The applique' method I'm using is new to me--I call it turned-edge machine applique'.  While I can do very nice hand applique', it takes me a while--the last applique' quilt I made took 7 years!  So I decided to try this method.  The prep time is lengthy, but the sewing time is a very fast. 

Here are my tools:

The Wash-Away Applique' Sheets from C&T Publishing are the secret to this method.  They have fusible stuff on one side and can be easily run through an ink-jet printer.  Since the patterns are downloaded from website to my computer, it is a snap to print the patterns directly onto the sheets.  No hand-copying necessary.  Here are the steps I used after printing the patterns:

1. Carefully cut out the pattern pieces directly on the line
2. Fuse the pattern pieces to the reverse side of the fabrics
3. Carefully cut out the fabric pieces, using about a 3/8" seam allowance
4. Using a washable glue stick and a stiletto or other tool, turn the fabric edges over the paper.  I found the best tool for this step was "That Purple Thang", a plastic pointy tool I've had for years.  For a clean work surface, I ironed freezer paper on an ironing mat.  When it got sticky, I replaced it.
5. When the shapes were nicely turned, I pressed them, glue side down, on a washcloth, to dry the glue and make a very nice piece. 
6. Now you could hand applique' but I wanted to machine applique'.  I used a very narrow, short zig-zag stitch.  The thread was Superior's Masterpiece 50/2 color # 132, a gray-green that blended well.  In the bobbin I used a light beige, same thread.  Some people use mon-poly in the top thread, I was more successful and happy with the cotton thread.  I used that same color on all the pieces, purple flowers, yellow centers, green swags, etc.  The stitching goes fast!
7.  The applique' sheet will stay in the quilt until it's completely finished.  Then I will gently wash it and the sheet goes away.  The package says "Sheets disintegrate into tiny fibers that leave no residue".  I tested it using the same fabrics and found this to be true--the test piece has a soft hand and will quilt beautifully.

Here is a PITCH: is the best investment I make with my quilting dollars.  Every 2 weeks there is a new show and I always learn something, even if it's not from the featured guest--there are tips each show.  The most recent show has an art-sy focus but Alex had a segment on how to draw feathered cables for either hand or machine quilting.  There is a block of the month each year, free for just being a member.  That is the source of Ruffled Roses above.  To buy these 12 patterns costs $80-100 but are free for members for the year they are featured.  There are classes on all kinds of things.  There is a wonderful forum where I have gotten to know many quilters, from around the world, and have been able to meet up with some in Houston.  Consider this your online-quilt guild!

Why you should join right now--there is a special deal, $39.95 for a year (a $3 discount) and from now until September 30, 2012, the C&T video of Sally Collins' Precision Piecing is available FREE!  This is a 75- minute video that shows how to improve your piecing.  Sally is one of the most professional teachers I've ever had the pleasure of taking a class from and now you can learn from her in your own home.  I've taught beginners how to quilt for 25 years--the tips Sally provides here would be so valuable to them.  If your work isn't as precise as you'd like, watch this and find out why.  I've watched twice this month and will watch it at least once more--learning tips that make me a better teacher as well as quilter.

So I guess you can tell, I'm a huge fan of, with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson--no relation, just a very satisfied customer.  Check out all the things on the website--some are free for non-members too, and then give it a try.  I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Let's quilt!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Design Wall Monday July 9, 2012

A new week presents itself and I have several things to do away from the house but today I get to SEW.  Here is the second quarter section of my Just Takes 2 red and white blocks.  This will be joined today, except for the pesky applique' block I just can't seem to finish.  Of course, it goes in the middle row, far right. 

This is what I did yesterday:
  It's a sample for an X Block swap I've got going with a few members of my guild.   The block is from Sharyn Craig's book, Layer 'Em Up Vol 1 and you can see her video-demo this block here:  Sharyn Craig's Layer 'Em Up  This little sample is 16" x 24" and will probably become a doll quilt for the swap I'm in.  My plan is to practice free motion quilting on this.

Check out Judy L's design wall page to see what others are up to.

Let's quilt!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Here's to the Red, White and Blue

As a former Marine, I just love the 4th of July, when I'm likely to hear great military bands playing wonderful patriotic music.  Sure enough, the Air Force Ceremonial Band was featured on the Today show this morning, before they head to Washington to perform as part of the DC festivities tonight. 

The 4th of July holds especially sweet memories for me too--because I first met my husband-to-be on July 4, 1975, in Washington, DC.  It was a blind double date (don't ask how that came about) and I was with the other guy.  A few weeks later Will and I had our first date,  and he asked me to marry him--the first week I said "no", the second week I said "maybe" and the third week I said "yes".  That was a great story until we had teenage kids--then, I told them "Forget you ever heard that story--you need to know someone for YEARS before you can be sure!"    I was 21, going through Office Candidate School, on my way to becoming a Marine Officer--I had NO plans to get married--but sometimes the right thing happens at the right time and we both consider ourselves very lucky--the basis for a great marriage, if you ask me.

Today we will celebrate our nation's birthday, the day we met  and new family memories to be made--we're going to a picnic with our daughter-in-law's family.  In addition to the blackberry cobbler I am bringing, I thought I'd bring a small quilt as a hospitality gift for Lauren's mother.  I saw this cute little quilt the other day on Rogue Quilter.  As luck would have it, while looking for silk fabrics for the border of Tiny Silk Cabins, I found a great baggie full of leftover red, white and blue fabrics.  So, in less than 2 hours this morning I made the 18" quilt shown above.  I finished it with Ricky Tims' fast finishing technique shown on Show 905--no binding!  If you're not a member of The Quilt Show, with Ricky and Alex Anderson, you're really missing great ideas, tips, and so many free patterns and techniques.  No relation, just a totally satisfied customer!

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!  Remember, we are the land of the free, thanks to the brave.
Let's quilt!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Big and the Small

Yesterday I finished 2 quilts--the queen-size Peacock Love for my son Andrew and his new bride Lauren and Tiny Silk Cabins, 12" square. 

I quilted this with silk thread, kept the quilting very simple.  The colors are just so scrumptious!

Peacock Love is queen-size so it looks odd on our king-size bed but I wanted a photo of it finished before it goes to its' new owners tomorrow. 

Today I plan to get several red and white blocks done from the latest installment of Just Takes 2--it's time to asssemble the second quarter's blocks--that's incentive to get this batch done!

Happy 4th of July to everyone.   Fly the flag and celebrate family, fun and freedom!

Let's quilt!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tiny Silk Cabins

Here's my latest work,  tiny Half Log Cabins made from tiny silk strips I've been wanting to work with.  Each block is 2.25" so the entire little quilt is about 12" square.  I found the silk jacquard fabric in my stash--love how it suits the silks so well!

Today I will quilt it with silk thread, in the ditch so it stays together but the quilting in the cabins does not distract.  I'll probably do  gentle curvy lines in the border.

Be sure to check out Design Wall Monday with Judy L to see what others are doing as they keep cool.

Let's quilt!