Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Some Unpaid Gigs

Last week, I happily took on six quilts from Quilts Beyond Borders, thanks to the coordinator, Susan Schmidt, who graciously dropped them off. This charity provides a 108"-wide piece of backing, wide batting, and two lap-size quilts for each project. If your frame isn't large enough to handle them side-by-side, you quilt one first and then the other right below it.

I've spent the past few days working on the first four quilts. It's been a great chance to test out some new pantographs and use up those partially-full bobbins.

Quilted with Avril E2E.

I'm a little disappointed with this next one. The thread color blended too well with the fabric, making the pattern hard to discern. A different thread color, perhaps a light blue, might have highlighted the design better.
Woodlands B2B

I was tempted to use a nautical-themed pantograph for this shark row quilt, but unfortunately since I was stitching it on it's side, it would have looked odd stitched perpendicular to the fabric's rows.
Quilted with Marion Rounded E2E.

The last quilt in this batch proved quite tricky. It was serged with mismatched seams and uneven edges—truly wonky, as we say in quilting. Despite its imperfections, I continued working on it because I had started the batch and these quilts are destined for refugees who might just be thankful for a warm blanket, regardless of its flaws.

I quilted this one with the Florence B2B because it had no backstitching and
would be pretty forgiving of my fabric-easing efforts.

This quilt required significant effort to manage, as it wouldn't lie flat. I had to carefully guide the long-arm to ease the fabric and avoid pleating, even sewing down a pleat along one edge to keep it square. It was the most labor-intensive quilt of the lot, but the outcome was satisfactory. I hope it brings warmth and comfort to its new owner.

I still have two more quilts to finish, but I'm taking a short break to recharge.

Monday, July 1, 2024

July One Monthly Goal

I keep trying to kickstart my Quilting Mojo and it just hasn't worked. I think I'm weighed down by the unfinished projects cluttering up my quilting studio so it's time to finish some of them. So, for my July One Monthly Goal, I'd like to finish binding the four quilts that are sitting in a pile waiting.

Flower Paths

Cosmic Cabin

Chocolates and Roses

Broken Bricks
Some of these quilts I finished more than a year ago, so it's time to get them done and out of the pile.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Some Paid Gigs

I've had a few paid quilting jobs during spring that I neglected to mention. Luckily some folks are still being productive!

Catitude quilted with Ada E2E
Quilted with Feather Garden B2B
Flutter quilted with Christmas Paisley B2B
Quilted with the Razor E2E
Quilted with Broken Glass E2E
Quilted with Tiger Stripes E2E
Quilted with Quick & Easy Stars 2
Quilted with Bread & Butter Swirl

Now that I see all these in one post, I guess I did quite a few. Since I've done nothing to promote my business, I'm not doing too bad.

I also took delivery on six charity quilts from Quilts Beyond Borders so I'll be posting those photos as well over the next couple of weeks as I work my way through them.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Making Stencils

I've been playing with creating full-size stencils from stencil catalogs dating from the early 1900s (the period my house was built). I would like to add stencils in my living room and dining room. I've been blogging about it over at my house blog if anyone is interested.

I've already stencilled all the bedrooms upstairs, and now, finally, I'd like to also stencil the main floor common rooms.

I think my current favorite for the living room is this one from the Excelsior catalog from 1924.

I've been enjoying making several different options and once I get started, I'm hoping I'll stencil the frieze in the dining room as well.

My current plan is to pull out my Cricut and see if it will cut the 7.5mil mylar. If it will not, I'll be sending the files to my brother who will cut them with his laser cutter. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Non-Quilting Project

I seem to have lost my sewing mojo. This happens every once in a while. I'm just taking a break and then I'll be back with more energy than ever.

A week or two ago I saw someone post a miniature sewing room kit (called Lisa's Tailor) they had built and I thought it looked like fun. I managed to find the kit (here it is) and I picked one up for myself. 

This is the manufacturer picture from their website.

But of course, it being my project, I'll be making a lot of changes. I think I'm going to turn my tailor shop into a quilt-making shop. I will definitely be changing all the fabrics. And I've started repainting nearly everything. Yeah, I want my woodwork to look like it's been stained. I'm using some copper mine paint sample paint I had leftover from our home remodel. I don't want blue windows and orange furniture.

I'll likely remove the pillows and dress form. I already bought a couple of quilt racks. I started out thinking I could actually sew a quilt that would fit and designed a couple little ones, but once those 1:24 scale quilt racks came it was clear that wouldn't happen. Wow, they are tiny.

Instead, I think I need to figure out how to print a quilt design onto a piece of fabric and finish it like a quilt. It really needs to be 3" or smaller to fit on that rack. Yes, I could make a 3" block, but I'm concerned by the time I turned it into a quilt it would be too bulky folded up to fit on that tiny rack. I can still use one of the quilts I designed, but it needs to be printed onto the fabric rather than sewn from pieces.

At the moment, I'm just prepping the pieces. I'm hoping this can be a project my husband and I can work on together. His aunt and uncle used to own House of Miniatures in San Jose, CA and he would work there during summers, so I thought he might enjoy working on this with me.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Festival of Quilts 2024

Our local quilt guild hosted a quilt show this weekend, The Festival of Quilts. This is the first time I've ever submitted quilts into a show. I mainly wanted to be able to get good photos of my quilts hanging up because they were too big to get good photos by holding them up. LOL

I was successful!

Snake River Log Cabin
Morris Garden
I got a third place ribbon for my long arm quilting!

Bordeaux Violette
Look! I got First Place! Yay me!

I didn't take a lot of other photos and I'm not sure I should share those I did take because I didn't make them. There were some pretty quilts and I was surprised about my ribbons but I am so pleased.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Customer Quilt

I had a paid quilting gig today! I'm still new enough to long arm quilting that I always breathe a sigh of relief when I finish a project. I didn't get good photos because the customer was in a huge rush to get it back so I just took the photos I could while it was still on the long arm. She actually dropped it off at about lunch time and picked it up this evening, just as I was taking it off the long arm.

This is a very scrappy quilt and most of the printed fabrics were African prints.

I used the Tiger Stripes pantograph from Christy Dillon. (Yes, I know there are not tigers in Africa; the customer liked this pantograph the best.) It also looked pretty amazing on the back.

We used Quilter's Dream Green batting on it and I stitched it up with gold Maxilock Serger thread.

She said she was delighted with the finished quilt.  Yay!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Drawer Organization

I've spent the last couple of weeks working on house projects. I've sold some excess furniture and been deep cleaning, but while I've been working on these things, I ordered some drawer organizers for my sewing room table drawers. For this month's Friday Night Sew-In, I decided to spend some time organizing my sewing room.

Wow, I had a lot of stuff crammed in them. The drawers were full to bursting and I couldn't find stuff when I needed it.

As I sifted through everything, I found about thirty seam rippers and fifteen measuring tapes. LOL At least now I can find them and I'll stop buying more. Anyway, I'll probably downsize some of my excess supplies.

I bought some organizers from Amazon and they fit the drawers pretty well. I'm double-stacking the bins in the deep drawers.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Quilting Bag Canvas

I'm quilting up more fabric to make insulated shopping bags. My goal is to make three of them. Even though I still haven't been able to finish the last seams on the last one, I'm confident I found a solution to get them finished, so I am preparing to make at least two more bags. I quilted more fabric, this time light canvas. They're not the greatest quality as they were pretty inexpensive from JoAnn, but I liked the colors.

I had a long piece of the solid navy canvas for the backing and I quilted one of the printed pieces and then I added the second. This first piece is quilted with Let it Bloom! Edge-to-Edge 3 by Christy Dillon.

This second piece is quilted with a pantograph called Jacobean Flower & Vine by Jessica Schick. I really like it, but I may have shrunk it down a bit too much.

As for my solution for sewing these bags, I bought a new-to-me light-industrial sewing machine, a Pfaff Grand Quilter with an extra high lift of the presser foot. I got a really great bargain because the woman who was selling it lost all the accessories for it. She did still have the power cord and foot pedal to make sure it would actually work but she was missing the bobbins, feet, etc.

I've ordered the replacement parts and I should get them in the next week then I'll be able to take it for a spin, and hopefully finish my Ultimate Travel Bag.

Linking up with:

Finished or Not Friday
Friday Foto Fun
Whoop Whoop

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Ultimate Travel Bag Progress

I had a good time participating in this past weekend's online quilt retreat, offered by the Northwest Quilters guild. It gave me an excuse to sew all weekend and it was fun to hear other folks chattering away about mostly quilt-related topics.

I decided to work on my Ultimate Travel Bag during the retreat as I had almost everything ready to get started. I didn't take any in-progress photos, sadly, because I was determined to finish the bag during the retreat so I was quite single-minded in my focus.

But, I haven't quite finished. Everything is ready for the last step of sewing the pieces together
but there are so many layers my sewing machine can't sew it. On that final seam where I need to sew this bag together I need to sew through the 5 layers of cotton on the panels, 2 layers of cotton on the handle, 4 layers of batting, and the poly strapping. I had to replace my needle three times getting to this point and re-thread the needle due to broken threads at least eight times. 

I was thinking the new plastic machines just aren't up to it, so I actually bought a used older Pfaff machine with metal guts and it can't handle it either. It's just too thick to fit under the foot. 
I may try squishing the layers flatter with a tool, but I don't have time right now. This project will have to wait for the finish. I may also ask around my sewing friends and see if any have an industrial machine I can use.

I was hoping to make several more of these bags while the process is fresh in my mind, but I'm definitely going to need to omit some layers.

I also finished making quilt labels and binding my Morris Garden Quilt. I've submitted it to the Festival of Quilts for display so I'm looking forward to being able to get a better photo of it.
This coming week I actually need to work on some painting in the house, so it may be a couple of weeks before I post again. 

But when I have time, I would like to quilt up fabric for more of these bags. LOL I'll have to figure out how I can simplify the project because I want to make at least two more insulated shopping bags.