Sunday, February 28, 2016

Happy Feb 29th!

We get an extra Design Wall Monday this year! But I have nothing on the design wall as its down for a few days (maybe more than a few) while I paint the long arm room.  The jewel tones are going and making way for Vintage Linen.  I'll miss my color, but will be a refreshing change. I may have to compensate in quilts that are oozing with color to make up for the lack of on the walls.  Sure will be glad when it's done.  But I have a design table which has a few things on it. First up the next two blocks for Splendid Sampler.   I really am liking this mystery sampler.  I've been able to keep up and hey, we're 5% done!  I'm making blocks that I know I never would have done if I weren't participating and finding that I really do like them.  It's the adventure and going down paths that you might not have traveled otherwise.  Anyone doing the Splendid Sampler?  Here's blocks 4 and 5.  Block four I used the flower centers on the Accuquilt Round Flower Die, they were the perfect size and for fusible, cut perfectly!
Splendid Sampler Block 4
Splendid Sampler - Block 5
Look who came to visit this weekend.  He insisted he was a Dr in this picture.  I told him he really looked more like a quilter!  He loves fabrics, I really think he's my best chance at having a quilting buddy so far.  One thing we did agree on is who's car seat cover was on the table. We both agreed that one should go to Louis.  This is from a pattern Daugther #2 picked up at Joanne's.  Like the strategically placed strip of coordinating fabric? That's what ya do when don't have enough of one fabric, add more to it.
He looks like a quilter right?
Baby Carrier Cover for Louis
Calvin gets this one. I've had those fabrics waiting for a couple of years for the right project.  Just barely had enough to finish these to. Great to be able to complete projects with what you have on hand.
Baby Carrier Cover for Calvin
Hope you have a great week with some quilty fun.  Check out the linky parties on the side bar, lots of fun all around.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The last of the Feb Finishes

I dunno how it happened, but I have two more finishes for Feb.  Wow, what is going on here?  I've been stalled for the past 6 months or so and now the finishes are coming out of the woodwork. Well ok so I've been working on these for quite some time.....But a finish is a finish!!
Big Rigs for Big Boys 

Yep - where's all the crazy quiltin???

I"m guessing the back is going to get more use that the front, trains, planes, helpicopters, cars...oh boy
First up is the Big Rig quilt.  This little guy saw me working in the sewing room one day and asked what I was working on. I told him a quilt and he looked up at me with those big eyes full of excitement and said "For me???".  I asked him if he need a new quilt and he had no hesitation at all, very promptly replied "Yes".  When I asked him what he wanted on his quilt almost as quickly as the "yes" he said "Trucks". Here you have his Big Rig Quilt.  This guy had a sleep over this weekend and was so excited to see his quilt top done.  I think he was actually more excited about the backing (which is super cute for a 4 year little dude).  He was so excited to show everyone.  I wish I could have sent it home with him, but it just wasn't done before he had to leave.  No worries, he'll get it next week.  Notice the lack of detailed quilting shots?  Well that's cuz I only did stitch in the ditch and around the applique.  My goodness do you know how hard it is to NOT quilt something like crazy?  I caved and at least had to quilt a road for those big rigs but that's it.  Man took every ounce of will power not to quilt more and more and more. The ideas racing through my head.....This is  a twin size quilt for Mr Smiles twin size bed.  Hobbs Poly Down batting, and filtec invisible thread on top, So Fine in the bobbin.

And then there's this one.  I really want a broken dishes quilt.  I think I have a boat load of 2.5 in squares and I just just make one with them.  I tried with these Joel Dewberry prints and it was just too wild next to each other.  I separated them a bit and I think it calms it down a bit.  I did some custom ruler work on this one so soften up all the lines, but not too much.  I'm saving the crazy ridiculous quilting for the swoon quilt which is almost done.  Here's my broken dishes.  I think this will be my first Hands2Help quilt this year.  Check the side bar, it's starting soon. This is my favorite time of year!!   Ploydown Batting, Glide thread, size is 68 x 80, nice size, cozy flannel on the back.
Block 1

Blocke 2

Block 3

all three blocks

And I started the Splendid Sampler, we'll see how long I can keep up.  Three down 97 to go.  It's a challenge that's for sure.

Check out all the linky parties on the side bar. I think there might be a couple more this week.  Anyone know of any long arm linky parties?  I'd really like to join a couple of those.   

Monday, February 15, 2016

February is Full of Finishes!

Wow, February is turning out to be way better than Jan for the finishes department.  Shoot, I've got two more on the books.  Now that the twins quilts are done, I put Til Death Star Do We Part (Moon Glow) back on the frame.  I tell you that quilt was on and off the frame more than any other quilt I have ever quilted. But it's off for good.  I feathers the half moons on the border and think it just fits so much better.  This quilt is far from flat, but those little love birds won't have any idea!!
Half Moons needed more feathers 
Done Done Done
Soft and cozy back

I also finished up Moon Dust which is Moon Glows simpler less flashy sibling.  I do have to say Jinny Beyer does know how to put a color palette together.  This was completed with the left overs from Moon Glow. That is a really generous quilt kit.  The Moon Glow quilt is a great size on it's own, but Moon Dust is 74 x 87.  I cut up all the scraps left over into charm squares and 2.5 in stripes.  Used all the charm squares with about 20 left over.  Makes me feel like maybe I left a few things out of Moon Glow!  Moon Dust has Hobbs Poly Down batting, glide thread on top and pantograph is Fantasy Flame from Urban Elementz.
Pantograph - Fantasy Flame Urban Elementz
Hobbs Poly Down Batting

Moon Dust
Moon Dust Back

74x87 - made with 5 in charms left overs from moon dust
I've got presidents day off today and have the hubs running errands.  I'll be spending some time at the frame with a ruler and maybe a little piecing.  I really should try to get that swoon quilt done now that I'm such a roll here.  Hope everyone has a great week.  Check out the linky parties on the side bar.  I added a couple new ones last week.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Graffiti Quilts - Not Planned and Planned

Two Graffiti quilts completed, but made from Shirtings from the twins Dad, Gramps and my shirt stash.  Doesn't everyone have a shirts stash?  The first one, the green one for Louis was inspired by Katy over at KatyQuilts with her Improv Quilt.  I tried the improv, it looks so liberating, so free, so fast an easy.  It brought be to a screeching halt.  When I have a plan, I can look at the plan and go.  I know what I need to do and get it done.  But this no plan stuff, oh boy I just don't know how to do it and do it without halting to a snails crawl.  So I got the green one done, it's a baby quilt not that big and I can just push through it.  I love the colors of this quilt.  I wasn't confident in the graffiti quilting so I chose a thread color to match the backing.    The grid on the shirting material is freehand grids, not measured, organic, ya that's the word I want!! More on the graffiti quilting at the end.  Glide thread, cotton sateen backing, hobbs 80/20 batting.  All make for a pretty nice drape of the quilt.
Unplanned Back 
The second one I needed a bit more of a plan.  EQ7 to the rescue.  I went with triangles, they look great, modern and a consistent patch, I used the accuquilt triangle die, even easier!  Then I just randomly decided in each row where the blue would end, threw in a couple of blue triangles like they were falling off, and it looks pretty unplanned right?  I think this took me even longer than the unplanned quilt above.  But it's done and I think it was worth the effort.  I just quilted the horizontal lines on this not the vertical, in the shirting material,  I got lazy.  I used a light blue thread on top went with 60wt  bottom line rather than glide, getting a bit more adventurous, but not overly confident, shirting material on the back and hobbs 80/20.  I like this combination a lot better, nice softer drape. More about the graffit quilting next.

The quilting, oh my this was way out of my comfort zone.  I had Karlee Porters Graffiti Quilting book, six of my doodles and my ipad with the internet close by.  It's really had to just change up the quilting pattern as you go and do what *feels* right.  Well shoot, feathers feel right all the time but I know I can't do feathers all the time.  I would almost literally do one collection of "things", take a look almost all are in either groupings of three or five, stop, check the book, check my doodles, check the internet and figure out what needed to  be quilted next.  It was definitely a learning experience and really stretched the way I had to look at quilting.  Oh and an added bonus, I actually did some ribbon candy quilitng, I was so happy, it even looked pretty decent a few time. Here's some detailed pics on the quilting.  I definitely recommend giving it a try.  I tried, and now I'm going back to my comfort zone and feather something ridiculously!

There were a couple of questions about dense quilting and softness.  Good questions. First, nothing is ever as soft and cozy as hand quilting, absolutely nothing.  I really want to do a blog post on this with examples, one of these days....There are other things that contribute to the stiffness or softness of the quilt.  I think you need to consider softness with air pockets and with drape.  If you associate softness with air pockets, then no dense quilting will never be as soft as less dense quilting. If you associate drape with softness then there are things that you can do to have a very soft drape.  Use a thin thread, the more dense your quilting the thinner the thread. There is a difference between the 50wt  thread  and the 60 wt thread with dense quilting.   Batting, use cotton batting if you want a soft drape, poly if you want a stiff quilt (which you will want if you plan to hang - one layer of cotton, one of poly and your quilt will lay very flat with dense quilting).  I think backing makes a difference too.  Minky is very pliabe, shirting material and cotton sateen all help keep that drape nice and soft.    I really do want to do a blog post with pictures and attempt to show the drape of different combinations of batting and dense quilting.  No it's not as soft and airy as less dense quilting, but drape, which does not have to be stiff and can be quite pliable very dense quilting.

Don't forget to stop by the linky parties, so much inspiration out there.