Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quilting 202 - the top


Looky, looky!  Diane is making real progress.  I was hoping we could have the whole top done today but there are just so many choices and possibilities to think about.  She does have the top all sewn together and the red inner border attached.  The 2 side outer borders are just pinned and waiting for some attention.  Her next big decision is to decide on the 4 cornerstones, make them, attach them to the top and bottom outer borders and sew the border on.  Then we will have a top folks!  We also planned the back so she has her instructions and her work cut out for her.  After the top is finished and the back finished, she can sandwich in the batting and be ready to machine quilt this puppy.  We also got the binding made and it is ready to be attached as soon as we are ready.  Stay tuned. . .she would like to have this done by Christmas but that is only 4 days.  I say she goes easy on herself and enjoys the process.  After all, she said the Grandson's birthday is in February.  Sounds like good timing to me!!

And we have a surprise planned for the back!!!  Stay tuned for the finished project.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quilting 202 - the Top!

Diane finished all her flying geese units and was ready to start assembling blocks for our class today.  She got the six main blocks sewn together and we just couldn't wait to start laying out the pieces.

Smart girl that she is, Diane is taking pictures of the layout so she will have something to reference as she assembles the top at home. 

We also decided that this quilt needed a small inner border of red.  We went shopping right outside the classroom in the Joann's Fabric department and found just the right fabric.  Nice to have an entire store of fabric to choose from.  Now if I could just get my stash that big. . .  I'll have to work on that!

*Finish sewing all the 'road'/flying geese units.
*Lay out the quilt top on the floor or on a bed and make sure you like where all the cars and trucks are.  *Sew the blocks together - row by row.    Then sew each row together.
*Also, cut out 13 2 1/2" WOF strips from the new red fabric.  We will use this for the inner border and for the binding.

Next week, we will attach the inner border, decide what keystone blocks will be in each corner and sew on the outer border.  We'll also take our final measurements and plan, if not sew, the backing.

Looks like we'll have to meet an additional time to get the layering done, the machine quilting done and attach the binding.  This is certainly becoming a charming quilt.  I can't wait to see that red hit the mix!  Some very lucky little boy is gonna be very happy!!  Good job, Diane!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quilting 202 - the block!

Diane got so much done today in the second of four classes.  She assembled all her 4 squared focus blocks and started on the flying geese.

Look at the chain piecing - whoa!
Here is a close up of Diane stitching an 'ear' on one side of a flying geese block.  She is so precise and does careful, perfect work.

We jumped ahead a bit and she assembled one of the focus blocks.  Sometimes delayed gratification is no fun at all!  We just had to see where we were going!
Isn't this the cutest block?? Each of 8 green trimmed squares has a different car or truck or plane in the center.  The navy fabric has cars and trucks and road signs scattered about.  This quilt is going to be so bright and fun for her grandson.  Can't wait for next week!!!

Finish all of the flying geese blocks. Press them.  Trim off the excess fabric behind the 'ears' on each flying geese.  When you come to class next week, we will assemble the other 5 blocks, add the linking blocks and then put the top together.  Yes, I think by the end of next class, we should have all the blocks sewn together and be able to add the borders.  We will audition a red inner border to see if we like that.  You are doing really well, Diane.  Keep it up!!!!

Snow Comes to Middle Tennessee!

Ok, not much, but you have to remember that I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the least little bit of a change of season gets me all excited!  It's not much snow and it won't stick, but I appreciate Mother Nature's effort!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quilting 202 - And then there was one!

A new Serene Shores Quilting 202 class started this week.  We will meet 3 more times.  And, I have just one student!  Bless her heart - there is no one to share me with - she has to put up with only me!!!  Well, if anyone can handle it - Diane can!!!
 It looks like we have made a mess out of her fabric but we 'fussy cut' trucks and planes out to be highlighted in the middle of some of her blocks.  This is going to be the Serene Shores pattern, but she is using novelty fabrics for her grandson.  I am so excited about this quilt.  It is going to take on a life of it's own as it comes together.  With Diane being the only one in class, we just might get this puppy done in time for Christmas - THIS YEAR!!!
In today's class, we got most of the fabric get out, bagged and labeled.  We were lucky enough to meet before class and get all the big placement decisions made and fabric selections made.  She washed, starched and pressed all her fabric before class.  We did a lot of work today, too.  She is a natural with the rotary cutter - only made me nervous twice!  That's a record!

Cut the navy print fabric into 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares.
Play with the color layouts to see if maybe we can use red for the inner border.
Get ready to sew!  We will hit the ground running next week and see how many of these blocks we can get done.

Remember, quilting is just cutting, pressing and sewing.  You will learn a smorgasbord of techniques but they will all fall in one of these topics.

Charity Quilts

The Murfeesboro Sewing Ladies are at it again - or more to the point - Denni has been busy!  Look at all these wonderful quilts she finished.  They are delightful!!! 

These fabulous quilts are warming the hearts and the tootsies of children in the area by this time.  How wonderful to see a talented woman share her gifts with children in need.  You are indeed an inspiration to us.  And you have inspired me to pop some of the blocks I have laying around in the studio into a quilt top and get it to a child!  Doesn't do any good laying around in the studio at all!!

And Doris brought in a CAR LOAD of quilts and throws.

Can't you see the smiles these funny Halloween panels will create!  How fun!!
 Jill helped unload Doris's car.  These throws are made of fleece and then hand crocheted all around the edges.  They are very popular at the VA hospital and in local nursing homes.  They are very light but really warm and cozy.  They are very easy to toss in the washer, too.  My, my, my, Doris!  You have been busy!!!!

Quilting 101 Class

I'm a bit late in posting these pics of the recent Quilting 101 students.  Sorry about that ladies - better late than never!  Look at Kristen's wonderful block!
She had never sewn with a sewing machine and wasn't scared a bit!  She is a natural!  Look at the placement of her hands on the machine bed.  She fed the fabric thru like an old pro.
Kristen is learning to quilt to honor her Grandmother who was quite the quilter.  Grandma has passed and Kristen is taking up where she left off.  Kristen is going to hand piece her blocks and then hand quilt them.  She has a beautiful hand stitch and is very patient and organized with her work.  She has a boatload of projects planned and is well on her way to being a quilter.  I am sure Grandma is pleased.  You know how us quilters are!!!

Darise picked really pretty fabrics for her block.  We had a great time putting this one together.  Her fabric selection really worked well.  She did very well keeping a consistent 1/4" seamline.  She has a lot of quilting in her future!  Very well done, Darise!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A little late for Halloween. . .

. . . but I am finally getting around to posting the picture of my Haunted House!
It is a Cindi Edgerton tissue paper piecing pattern.  Of course I had to add a bit of glitter!!!  Happy belated Halloween.  I'm working on the Thanksgiving surprise NOW.  We'll see if it can be posted by turkey day!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Helpful Quiltmaking Links

I promised my students I would post some links about finishing their quilts.  We practiced applying a binding and free motion quilting but it helps to have the instructions (or better yet-a video) right in front of you!  Hope these help girls!

Click here for tips on how to achieve that perfect quarter of an inch!!!!

Click here for the directions and math of making half-square triangles.  Remember, I suggest cutting the squares LARGER and trimming down to the correct size!!!

Click here for great instructions for applying a quilt binding.  I prefer the mitered one.  I think THAT one is easier!!!!  Click here for a video of someone actually doing it!!

Click here or here or here for some tips on free motion quilting.

Happy quilting!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

November and December Classes Scheduled

Just got the schedule for the classes that I will be teaching at JoAnn's in November and December!  Remember, if you sign up for a class at an Open House, Nov 6th or Dec 4th, 1-3pm at JoAnn's in Murfreesboro, and you can take that class for half-price.  What a deal!!!

Quilting 101:  Basics
Wednesday - November 3rd - 9:30am-12:00pm
Friday - November 19th - 6:00pm-8:30pm

Quilting 202: Serene Shores Quilt   (4 classes)
Tuesdays - November 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th - 9:00am-12:00pm
Sundays - November 28th, December 5th, 12th, 19th - 1:30pm-4:30pm

Quilting 201:  Applique Giftables
Wednesday - December 8th - 4:00pm-6:00pm
Tuesday - December 14th - 9:30am-11:30am

Look what Betty FINISHED!

Even though a project has been in your hands for years, it is always time to celebrate when it is DONE!  And look what busy little Betty has been doing BESIDES keeping secrets!

Betty has had this little Halloween triptic partially made for a while. When we were together in October, she finished the applique, sewed on the buttons and binding and of course I made her add glitter!! The tree branches are couched metallic thread. These are so darling! And done in time for Halloween, too!

Also, in October, we both made this cute Haunted House.  Mine is at work so I'll post the pic Monday night.  We bought this Cyndi Edgerton pattern years ago at a show.  I love her site but LOVE, LOVE, LOVE shopping in her booth at a show.  I just want one of everything and Betty and I are working on making that happen!  lol  It went up so quick and I love the way Cyndi does her patterns - she prints them on tissue paper and gives you enough to make several projects.  I have always done paper piecing on regular printer paper and this was the first time I have used a tissue paper foundation.  I am a convert!  It was a lot stronger than I thought and did not tear easily while working with it and it was soft enough on the back that we just left it in the piece!

The next two cross stitch projects were bought MANY years ago!!!!  We found these cute EXPENSIVE kits at a little store in Helen, Georgia.  Betty fell in love with the clay buttons and bought several.  Well, she is finally done with two of them!  Bought some frames at Hobby Lobby and wha laa - she is ready to go!  I just love the black frame with the crystals.  It is perfect for this piece!!!

 And what do you know, she is actually a head of time with this little snowman!!  It did get cold in Michigan this weekend, but snow is not in the forecast!!  The frame just makes the piece with it's swirly, windy design.  Very well done, Betty, and you are done with this one way BEFORE time.  What's the deal with that?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I don't like surprises. . .

. . . and I don't like people doing things behind my back.  But this time is the exception!!!  Look what Holly, Jan, Cody Anne and Betty did to celebrate my new job!  They just had to brighten up the cubicle walls and, boy, did they!!!

Cody Anne found this great collection of Maxine fabrics at Keepsake Quilting.  She gave it to Holly as a thank you for a recent girl's weekend at Holly's beach house.  (I just usually kiss Holly's feet. . .)  Well, I thought it was just the cutest fabric and vowed to get some of it myself when I got my first paycheck.  The girls beat me to the punch!!!!

Cody Anne made the perfect block to hang for New Year's.  Overachiever that she is - she made her block reversible, so when the tee-totaler boss passes by, I can switch it up to show my name.  Very cleaver, Cody Anne.  I can tell what kind of office you work in!  It should also be noted that in true quilter tradition - she did not sew the buttons - but glued them!!!  Nicely done!  xoxox

Holly knows my inner soul a little bit too well - enough of the chicken soup already! And she has my office pegged - all we do is eat!  I feel right at home.  The green border is out of fabric she used on her Japanese Sunflower Quilt.  Can anyone say 'AAAAAHHHH'.  I love it!  The back is done in 'blah, blah, blah' fabric and has a little note saying "No fabrics were harmed nor new strips cut during the creation of this project . . . blah, blah, blah."  What a hoot!!  oxoxox

Jan, of course, added ant fabric and even has an ant eater in her block!  How cute!!!  And I'm not sure what strings she had to pull, but she got the word bubble fabric - rock, sissors, paper just had to be involved.  You rock, Jan.  lol  xoxox

 Betty got the perfect Maxine saying for our office - "Talk is cheap".  Yeah, love the pink feather-y flamingo fabric and the black and white binding you stole from Holly's stash, and the fabric we bought together in Holland, Michigan, but you have been holding out on us with your newly learned satin stitching technique!  I thought when I first looked at the block you had done a teeny-tiny inner border!  Oh, and I do love the variegated thread!!! What else you holdin' out on us, Betty??? The whole block is great and I really like the way you machine quilted it.  You are in the over achiever club, too. xoxox

Well, girls, you did not make me cry but you have made me feel very loved and cared for and I will think of you every day as you brighten up my gray cubicle and my heart!  xoxox

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quilting 202 - Graduation Day!

I am so proud of the first graduating class in Quilting 202.  I'm gonna miss these girls on Tuesday morning!  I think we made a really good team and WOW! are the quilts wonderful!  Ok, not completely finished, but we have lives!!  We have all promised to meet again to show our finished projects or at least send me pictures to post on this blog.  Cross your fingers!  Time for SHOW AND TELL!!

Millie has just about all her blocks made and just needs to sew them together - and they are all just about perfect!!!  She is making the biggest project of any of the students and will end up with a queen size quilt.  She plans on sending it out to be longarmed and I just can't wait to see the finished product.  She is thinking of putting the blue sand fabric on the back.  That will look just fabulous!!! We've decided that Millie's quilt is the summer coast and Mare's is the spring coast!  It is amazing how fabric selection changes everything!!!  Beautiful Millie, just beautiful!!!

Look at the glowing Donna!  She got the inner border done, the batting applied and the 'quilt sandwich' pinned together.  She is going to bring the back fabric around to the front and finish the piece with the Beatles fabric as a border.  She is making up her mind about how to quilt it, but may use purple thread and a big decorative stitch - or maybe a machine stitch inside each block - or maybe just machine quilted.  She jumped right into free motion quilting and wasn't afraid a bit!  With a little practice, I think she just may be pretty good at it!! Choices, choices, choices.  Regardless of the final decision, this piece is a beauty and she is so proud!  I love it!!!
Diane is making a throw size quilt.  Because she had such a trial getting the fabric that she wanted, she has ended up with LOTS of fabric cut out to make this project.  So, she will probably make a sister throw to this one and maybe a tablerunner, too.  Her work is wonderful and I am so pleased to have had her in class.  She has inspired me to keep learning and growing.  She is including her whole family in her quilting journey and that just touches my heart!  Thank you, Diane!!!!  She is going to add a small inner border and a larger outer border.  I can't wait to see how she finish quilts it.  She may do this on her sewing machine and after seeing her practice today in class - this is gonna be exciting!!!! 
And this week's teacher's pet is Mare!  She pleased us all this morning by showing up with her top finished!!  She is going to end up with 2 throw/twin size quilts.  She has the cool, spring coast because of her use of the blue instead of the rust fabric.  I am so proud of her to have this top completely pieced.  She is thinking about machine quilting one of the tops and maybe tying the other one.  AND, she practiced free motion machine quilting in class today.  In spite of the machine not being set up to free motion, the tension being wonky and the foot being the wrong one - she turned out a pretty nice practice piece.  She may just jump right in a do some free motion on one of these tops.  I just can't wait!!!  And look at the smile on her face!  I thinking quilting makes us beautiful!  Sure has for these girls!!!
So, even though class is over, you girls have homework!
Finish up your projects - just keep working a little at a time.
If you have questions - call me!  I am lonely and need to talk to my peeps as much as possible!!

Thank you ladies.  You have given me much more than I have given you!   xoxox