Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I know.. I know...

ACK!.. life is moving so fast that I have had very little time for quilting for just little old me, but that has not stopped me from thinking and doodling  free motion quilting ideas or for that matter obsessing about tracking down Katie Jumprope fabric.

Mind you this quilt did not help.. this one was spotted at the Sisters Quilt Show  which I am Oh so hoping to go to next year!

But tonight I quilt... its just me and the Bunny Bum Quilt( thank you Erin, it now has a slightly more refined name!)  I am thinking of doing a rather new stitch.. so watch for photos tomorrow!

Friday, August 27, 2010

BFF - 2.5 inch Strip die and Ruffler = love forever!

It's easy... take the Accuquilt strip die, 2.5 inches.. and cut a nice long strip of wonderful straight fabric then add this

A ruffler for your sewing machine

and what you get is this!

Oodles of wonderful ruffles!

The special trick is that the widest a ruffler can deal with is the center of 2.5... so the AQ die is perfect for churning them out by the yard!  Love that!

I see some seriously ruffled quilts in my future!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Videocast #1

Here we go!!... make sure to make it to the 7 minute mark when my cat really gets in on the act!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's all about the Fabric

New fabrics totally drive my inspiration when it comes to quilting and right now I don't think we  have ever lived in a time with more fabric or choices. < insert giddy sigh>

Anybody who knows me knows that I am  HUGE supporter  of local shopping but sometimes you just can't get what you need locally so you turn the the wonders of the World Wide Web to find what you need.

Online I am looking for the same satisfaction that I get in my local store and have found it at Hawthorne Threads.   I could not be happier since  I just found a great deal on the colorway of Meadowsweet 2 that I was looking for  ~happy dance~

I am going to quilt myself a chair... stay tuned!

Also... I am looking for a full fatquarter collection of Katie Jumprope.. anybody  have a lead on that?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Playing Dress up with my Accuquilt Studio

I have been saving this fabric forever.. and no, I did not mug Marsha Brady to get it.  It is a cheery little island of color in my white walled studio.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All Bunny Butts, All the Time!

With a bit of time between charity quilts I wanted to do something fun and fast. A snowball quilt fit the bill!  Using a layer cake and 1 yard of solid fabric I was able to quickly put together a "charming" little quilt.  Charming = a quilt with whimsical bunny arses all over it!

The one problem with any pre-cut is that in a larger print it can be catch-as-catch-can when it comes to what you see in your 10x10 piece of fabric.  I happen to have been ~blessed~ to get a layer cake pack chock full of the tail end of  many silly rabbits...  not a full rabbit in the bunch and as it would happen my quilt will feature not just 1 but 3 rabbit butts!!!!

  1. I know you are jealous, please try to contain yourself!

Fast cutting of the corner pieces courtesy  of " The Mother Ship". 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Number 2 is done and out the door!

Guess I am quilting faster than I am living these days since this quilt is already done and out the door. It was the number two quilt sent in by the wonderful Ms. Ebony Love.  It was the first time I had worked with quilting batiks.. they respond differently than other fabrics.... where other fabric heal ( close in?) around the needle hole the batik had a little tin punch look to it due to the stiffer nature.. I suspect that will change when she washes it so I am anxious to see how it behaves for her. 

I also had my first brush with the dreaded eyelashing when making curves on the batik but not on the yellow sashing... anybody want to explain that to me???

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Quilt is DONE!

I racked it up this evening, then rocked out to some great music while I added my own touch to Erin's most wonderful quilt!

A playful ~snail-trail~ freehand design makes it's way across this darling eye-spy style quilt....LOVE the fabric with the glasses and the colors are so happy.. and the bestest part?  the back is a road and hill theme play mat!...how cool is Erin?

As an extra surprise for Erin, I have quilted  3 random hearts into the quilt.. 1 to represent each one of her darling toddlers.. yes.. three toddlers.. she is a super-mama!  So while her little sweethearts look at all there is to see.. mama can search out those hearts :)

Erin, your quilt will be back on it's way home Monday morning!

Next quilt... Ebony Love's

I can't tell you how nervous flattered I am to be able to do one of her quilts
She is one rock'n quilter that is for sure!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Singing the Praise of a Good Needle.

I will admit that I never gave much thought to needles.. I either had one, was looking for one.. or had to go buy some. When I had to buy I just grabbed a pack at my local sewing mecca store, as to size I guessed, getting it right more often than not, but with no real rhyme or reason.

But after being introduced to really really good needles all of that has fallen to the way-side. I am a firm convert to the good hand ( and machine) needle in the way I am a convert to good fabric. Once you have had it good.. it's hard, if not impossible to go back.

My new love is the Straw Needle, long, thin and perfect for sewing binding onto my quilts. I was turned onto these Straw needles by a quilt pusher woman at my favorite quilting store.  They GLIDE through he fabric making binding a dream.

The John James needles can be hard to find but the ladies at my quilt store would be happy to send you some.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Here we go...... Quilting for the Cure

The first quilt is in the door... and ready to go on the longarm. Sorry for the rather crap-tastic photo.. I pulled it from my Facebook so not sure what's up with it.   It's an adorable quilt and I can't wait to get it on the machine!  More BETTER photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To keep you distracted....

To distract you from the fact that I am going to spend the day playing with my new STUDIO fabric cutter I give you an awesome site for inspiration with your quilting.  This gal does not do longarming that I know of but her free motion work is the stuff of inspiration.  As I watch the videos I use my Freestyle doodle sheets to take note of techniques I want to replicate using Sir Lancelot.

Have fun!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Mother-Ship has Landed!

My Accuquilt Studio Arrived this evening so not much else was done but open all the boxes and put it together ( easy) and take her for a spin!..

My first offical cuts on my own Studio were made using the Rose of Sharon die and some Kaffe Fassett fabric. I can totally see these being the fodder to the back of the jean jacket I am working on for the Fall... so keep an eye out for that!

I got a BUNCH of dies but can already see that i am going to want more.. they are so wonderful and so well made.. I was really blown away by the heft of these dies and of the machine.. it's a monster.. but in a good way!

Everything was packed just right and Beth my customer service rep gave me good advice and made sure that my dies and my plastics mached up just perfectly!  I made some video while I was opening the boxes and hope to get that into edit sometime tomorrow...in the mean time.... I think I am going to go cut some fabric!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Quilting for the Cure!

Once again I am partnering with my husband as he runs the Susan Komen Race to help fund finding a cure for Breast Cancer. To help him meet this goal this year I am offering to longarm quilt up to 10 quilts for a minimum pledge for $20, but more will gladly be accepted!

Please read the details carefully and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. This opportunity is only open for 10 quilts and I will be assigning numbers as the pledges come in and posting updates on my blog as I near the total.

I will accept quilts no bigger than 60x42 and you must include the backing fabric and the batting with your quilt top. The quilt top and back must be pressed and ready and the batting must be either cotton,wool or thin poly ( no puffy stuff!) I will select thread for the project from my selection of King Tut or other Superior threads including monofilament. The backing thread will be a solid color offered in the SuperBob collection. I will edge to edge quilt in a freehand all-over stipple, floral stipple, or twirly swirl depending on the style of the quilt top. I WILL NOT put on biding (I am crazy, not insane)

If you are shipping the top/batting/backing to me please enclose a check for equal postage so I can send the quilted piece back to you! My goal is to have each quilt in and out the door in less than a week, but depending on how many quilts I get in it could be 2 weeks so please be patient and I do promise to keep you updated as to the status of your quilt.

To register your quilt in the que contact me at maddie6@bellsouth.net and I will assign you a number, you will then log on to my husband's race page to fund your donation ( remember $20 or more) to my husband’s run at which time I will send you your confirmation and form to fill out and send/deliver with your quilt.

Questions? Feel free to call me at my studio 423-364-2971 or email me at maddie6@bellsouth.net

Don’t have a top to quilt but have an embroidery machine? Check out www.freshstitches.blogspot.com for my other fundraising efforts this year!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stick it to me - Longarm Pinchushion Tutorial

Wow... so many different ideas to explore!  I am loving all the intense learning I am doing with my new HQ18, it's been such an exciting adventure so far.  I will have to say that the machine has behaved like a champ and anything that has gone wrong ( very little) has been totally operator error.. I have my 7th quilt done and will soon be taking a the leap into a bit of art-quilting!

Like most new longarmers I am feeling my way through  different techniques for racking my quilts, and while am am dabbling with alternative methods, pins will most always be around in one form or another so keeping track of them is important!   I have one of those handy wrist pincushions but that was not feeling quite right so I had been messing around with other ideas, when like all really great ideas this one came to be when I least expected it!

I had just finished making cushions for the long benches that go with our harvest table.. due to their odd size I ended up with some extra cuts of the Nufoam that were laying around my studio. One ended up sitting on the rails on Sir Lancelot and was so well placed that the idea seemed totally obvious that is would make a wonderful Longarm pincushion.  With it's dense makeup but light over all weight .. it's ability to hold it's shape but flexible nature it has proved to be perfect. 

If you would like to make one just follow along with this quick and painless tutorial.

Nu-Foam comes by the yard at most fabric stores ( find it back with the foam and the batting).. but you only need about 6 inches.. so you only need to buy 1/4 of a yard ( this is smallest size they sell the foam in a my shop).. and this will make you 2-3 of the pin cushions due to the width ( yeh.. it's ok.. make one for your longarm guild and give it so someone you like there!), you will need some tight weave fabric, thread and a needle.

 Cut your foam to a size that you feel comfortable, mine was already this size since it was as you will remember a scrap from making the bench cushions. For reference mine is 3.5 x 14 inches. Lay out a piece of really cool fabric and cut it in a way that is generous enough to wrap the foam ( if you can wrap a gift you can do this!)

Wrap it up just like a gift.. but instead of tape use a couple of pins to hold the fabric in place until you whip stitch it closed.

Treat the ends in the same way.. fold under the excess and whip stitch it closed.. easy peasy!

When in use it sets right on the rails pretty as you please.

When not being pressed in to action it sits on top of my machine with the help of two small velcro dots - simple and effective.

Now go make one! Then send me a photo and I will post it up!

Happy stitching.

Friday, August 6, 2010

All a buzz!

wow.... loving this ... so fanciful.... I saw it when watching a clip from a Jamie Wallen thread fusion Cd... anybody have any of his other cd's ?  I would love to know what you think of them.. I am very tempted to get some of them!
I would love some freed back on this.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Too much time on my hands.....

or yet another reason I need to get back to piecing another quilt!

Yes it's true.. I have taken to quilting my furniture!  and honestly I am tickled pink with how it came out. Currently we do not have a sofa in our living room but do have a very large bench which I padded and then have gone from there to make a quilted slipcover for it.  I just love these fabrics and it quilted like a dream on my sweet new HQ18.  It's hard to see but I freehand quilted around the large floral print and then I did pebble working that far strip that is hard to see under the pillow.

Officially the oddest thing I have quilted so far..

What is the oddest thing you have quilted???

Monday, August 2, 2010

Playing the waiting game...

Once again I am waiting.. this time for a phone call that my Handi Quilter accessories have come in... I am SUCH an impatient thing!  I ordered the ruler base, the versi-tool and some circle templates and I want them NOW! ( told you I was impatient :) but in the end I am not sure how much I will use them but look forward to giving them a spin.

Until then I am working on all my freehand stuff.. I feel a real affinity to a looser style of quilting.. very organic and free form.  It's weird.. but I feel it flow out of me.. like a connection between me and the quilt as to what it wants and needs.

My love is progressive ( modern) quilting which is not overly well represented in the longarm world at this time. It is gaining a foothold and I see more to come  ( yah!) as the modern quilt movement gains an even stronger fan base in my local fabric stores but for now.. I search and doodle.. make samples and even have already been asked about doing a quilt (yikes)...oh yeh.. and shop for fabric :)
My life is SOOOOO hard.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Longarm Virgin scrap pack

Sorry, late night iphone camera photo.. so not exactly something to overwhelm you with it's stunning color.. which in person it really does.  I hope to get it quilted today.. I have a swirling pattern in mind.. and loosely going around the leaves.. the maybe some veins... it's all going to be about texture so I am going to have to get Sir Lancelot set up to run monofiliment so this will be a new adventure that I will be sure to report on.

In the mean time I have a bag full of a BUNCH of extra leaves that are all ready with the fusible on the back ( just peel off the paper).. some of the trunk fabric.. well actually everything except background fabric.. so you could make a tree just like it.   and it's free to the first person who wants it.  Just leave a comment with a way to get a hold of you and it's yours!  I free hand cut everything so there is not pattern, but I am pretty sure Mother Nature is equally as loose :)