Saturday, April 28, 2012

Major Happy Dance over here...

I'm so excited.  This is on its way to me from sunny North Carolina:

Can't accuse me of impulse buying!  I was at Sweet Peas near Wake Forest Carolina where I discovered this beauty and hummed and hawed then walked away without the purchase.  By the time I got home about 5 days later I was pining away for it.

I called the storekeeper today and it's still there! I gave her my credit card number and told her someone would pick it up for me.   And my dear friend Michelle, who hosted our reunion, is on her way right now to pick it up for me!  I can hardly believe my good fortune.  This wonderful art piece will have a wonderful forever home with me.  I truly love this quilt and am overjoyed that it's mine.

Blissfully yours,

Quilt Marking Tutorial...the good, the bad and the ugly

As per my previous post, I am working on quilting a medium sized quilt to hang in our quilt show next weekend.  I had said I would quilt it on my domestic machine, the 'old' way, rather than load it onto my frame.  But I had basting issues and eventually threw up my hands like this ... \o/ ... in frustration.  I pinned my back onto the carpeted floor in my sewing room, sprayed it with 505 temporary adhesive, which I normally love, and then proceeded to lay down the batting and the quilt top.

Frustration point #1 - how come the back suddenly wasn't wide enough when it was when I measured?  Dunno, but I'll put down to fatigue and eyeballs not working.

So I added some width to the centre and sides of the quilt in coordinating fabric (no pictures at this point...maybe later if I'm happy with it).

Frustration point #2 - that wasn't fun pinning to the floor and I have a hard time basting that way, on hands and knees with some physical limitations, so maybe I should load it onto the frame and just work with it the best I can and then fill in what I need to on the domestic later.  I have a Janome 6500 on my B-Line frame so I am limited by the throat space of the machine but it sure is a lot better than struggling with a large quilt without a frame.  I'm really not complaining! :o)

Then I was waiting for an aha! moment to figure out how to mark the quilt.  Then it came to me...the bridal tulle method!  And no, I don't think it was because I've got 'wedding' on the brain with my niece's wedding quilt not done and the wedding being today...that's another story for another time.  So, for those who don't know about the 'bridal tulle' method of marking a quilt, I've taken some photos along the way to share.  This is the 'good' part of my blog post title.  The 'bad' and the 'ugly' will come later but don't despair, it's not about marking the quilt...I don't want to lose you now.

Quilt Marking - Bridal Tulle Method:

Step 1 - Draw, print, or photocopy your desired quilting design onto paper.  I used my Quilting Designs disc and found this one.

Step 2 - Cut a piece of bridal tulle the same size (or just beyond the same size) as your quilting motif/design.

Step 3 - Spray some temporary adhesive to the front of the paper.  Press the bridal tulle down (like you would the batting on the wrong side of the backing of a quilt).  This stablizes the tulle.

Step 4 - Using a PERMANENT sharpie (I use a medium tip, not fine) draw on the tulle, tracing over the quilting design.

Step 5 - Once finished, rinse the tulle in warm water and towel dry.  Do NOT iron it.  It will melt!

See how the image is now on the tulle (faint but there).  This is why you use a wider tipped marker and not a fine tip.  It would be even harder to see.

And here's the image totally traced onto the tulle and ready to transfer.

Step 6 - Choose your quilt marker.  I have a chalk wheelie thingy (Clover brand I think), I have chalk pencils, but I also have washable Crayola markers.  After a discussion with a quilting friend of mine on the bus ride home the other day, she assured me that Crayola markers wash out just fine (except blue) so I went on a hunt in my daughter's desk drawer and VOILA!  Orange. 

Step 7 - Test your marker.  Here is my orange tested on a piece of neutral batik fabric.

Phew!!  And here it is after a quick rinse under the tap with warm water and a bit of scrubbing.  It has passed my test and I'm ready to mark my quilt.

Step 8 - Okay, now you're ready to transfer the image to your quilt top in preparation for stitching.  This assumes that you've already got your quilt sandwiched whether on a frame or by hand with pins, spray or your favourite method.  But you can also pre-mark your quilt top first and then sandwich.  I loaded mine on to my B-Line frame before I marked it because I still wasn't sure what I was going to do for quilting it until the last minute.

This is the tulle laid over the quilt top before transferring the image:

Step 9 - Take your marker (whichever one you choose) and proceed to trace over the faint black line left by the sharpie on the tulle.  Because the tulle is a bunch of holes, the ink from your quilt marker (in my case, orange crayola marker) goes right through onto the quilt top.  See? 

No top marks for drawing but there's enough to follow and it won't fade or get brushed off (as with chalk) until you wet it.  I would caution you against ironing the quilt top with the marker on.  I'm not sure what would happen but I would suggest avoiding that.

Step 10 - Time for quilting!!  Here's some photos of the quilted blocks:

I've now pulled my quilt off the frame because I want to quilt the rest with 'stitch in the ditch' for the kaleidoscope squares (I think! ~ the jury is still out on the final quilt for those blocks but I know it won't be on the frame).  As for the border, I think I will  free-motion around the flower images.

Anyway, that method sure did the job!   I'm so glad I remembered that bridal tulle technique.  Who knows, maybe it was a subliminal message from the fact that we've got a family wedding this afternoon.  I'm just grateful for the inspiration just in the nick of time.

Now the bad and the ugly....and with this comes a warning.  Never use 505 adhesive on a quilt backing and then put it on your frame without washing it out.  Why you ask?  CREASES!

Imagine my horror after pulling this off the frame, turning the quilt over and discovering a crease sewn down on the back of my quilt in a corner.  WHAT??!!! @#@$(@)&@$~~!!  I thought the whole purpose of a quilting frame was to avoid this nonsense?!  Then I realized that it was the adhesive.  In my haste of the looming deadline, I guess I didn't hold it taut enough to unglue a fold that had happened while the quilt back was on the carpet. So, yes, last night I spent some quality time with my seam ripper uncreasing the corner on the back of my quilt to remove the fold.  I was aggravated but am hoping that with a gentle press of the iron (on the back, not on the front where the ink is) will smooth out the fold/crease and use the adhesive to my advantage to make sure it stays flat so that I can requilt that area without more aggravation.

So, that's my story/tutorial friends.  I hope you can learn from my mistakes and use the bridal tulle method to create beautiful quilts.  I'm going to refill my coffee cup and head back to the studio to get this quilt finished.  Oh more caution...don't leave Crayola ink on your quilt top for very long.  Time could set the ink so get it done as quick as you can and washed.  I'm having a bit of anxiety over that so I best get to my machine soon.

Let's get busy!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

What you working on??

Last night I started preparing to quilt this quilt:

I have committed to hanging it in the Victoria Quilters' Guild 2012 Quilt Show "Journeys"  and I'm struggling with inspiration for the quilting.  I've decided to do minimal quilting on the kaleidscopes because I don't want to detract from the effect of them, but haven't yet decided on a design for the lemony string blocks.  I was piecing the backing together last night and will spray baste it and quilt it  on my domestic apart from the b-line frame.  I want freedom to do whatever the quilt speaks to me in those lemon blocks.  We'll see!  The quilt show is the weekend after next so I better get busy!!

Until next time, let's go quilt!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

North Carolina report

I arrived back home after a whirlwind trip down to North Carolina to visit my dear friends as mentioned in previous post.

One of my desires was to visit the antique shops down there in search of antique quilts.  I even kinda thought one might find its way home with me. But I just wasn't feeling the urge to part with my money.  But I did find about 3 quilts that I loved and settled for these photos:

Lookie, lookie what I found!

Hand pieced and quilted.  Created in Texas about 50 years ago.  Not sure what it's called but loved it!

my friend Michelle holding a double wedding ring quilt.  It was all hand pieced and hand quilted.

and I found this Grandmother's flower garden and settled for a photo of it rather than bringing the quilt home

Then we had 4 wonderful days together before I flew back to the west coast of Canada.  I hope you enjoyed viewing these antique quilts. I sure did!

Michelle loved her birthday quilt and it blessed me so much to make it for her.

Jelly Bean Jubilee !!!

So tired and heading to bed.  I think the jet lag has finally caught up with me.

Until next time,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jelly Bean Jubilee!!

My dear friend Michelle is having a special birthday this Saturday.  We lived together as volunteers on a Kibbutz in 1984/85 together with a team of others from Canada, USA, England and South Africa.  Five of us girls have remained best friends and have had multiple reunions everywhere from San Francisco to Florida and have nurtured our friendship during the past 28 years.  Four of us are gathering at Michelle's house in Wake Forest, SC for a reunion/birthday bash.  Since it's such an auspicious occasion and quilters tend to do special things (read: quilts) for such occasions, I am taking this quilt with me as her birthday present.

As mentioned in my previous post here I had to keep this under wraps, but I'm going to upload this post to go live when I'm on my way down there.  As long as I don't share it on facebook, I think she'll be too busy to be surfing...the girls are comin' to town after all!  And she'll be on her way to Raleigh airport to pick me up.  :D

I used a batik layer cake (10" squares) and the "Delicious Dimes" pattern where you slice the stack (4 or 5 at a time) at 3 1/2" inches.  Shuffle and resew the two piles together then slice again at 5", shuffle and resew again.  For the layout, you change the direction of each block so that some of the resulting 'bricks' are vertical, and the next one is horizontal.  So easy and so effective!  I did have to square my blocks down to 9" when they were sewn together though because the original squares weren't quite square and they skewed off a bit when sewn together.  Once they were squared to 9", they went together beautifully and the quilt hangs nice and straight.   Back to the finished quilt and some more pictures!!

The binding was sewn on Easter Sunday night after dinner and this is the finished quilt all ready to be packed up and ready to go...I started off naming it Ju Jube Jumble, then Jelly Bean Junction, then Jelly Bean Jubilee because after's my friend's 50th birthday and what could be more fitting than a Jubilee quilt??!!  Should have seen that sooner.  But never mind, the quilt has a name, and more importantly, it has a new home and will be on its way on Wednesday.  Yahhoo!!  Better load the pictures and then go pack!

Presenting....JELLY BEAN JUBILEE !!

Until next time,


Monday, April 9, 2012

What's on YOUR bed linky party!!

This is the MASSIVE king quilt on my bed:

Celtic Trinity Knot (pattern by Deborah Cohen) machine pieced by me and machine quilted by Arlene McKenzie

My Jack Russell Terrier, Sara, LOVES my quilts!!

And here it is hanging outside on LAUNDRY day which is how this linky party started right?  Bonnie was changing her sheets and had a very good idea.
I did this quilt as an online sew-along.  Since that time, the pattern has now been published by Arbee Designs (Ruth Blanchet) in a simpler construction way.  Mine was done with a bazillion 2 1/2" squares and done in chunks.  I'm working on a second Christmas quilt for my bed, but for now...this is our bed quilt. to change the sheets and finish packing for my trip.  Thanks Bonnie  of Quiltville  for the opportunity!

Until next time,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Delicious Dimes...

I am working on a secret project at the moment that has to go on a plane with me on Wednesday.  Just in case the recipient of this quilt trolls my blog, I have to keep it under wraps.  But it's bright, made from batiks, uses a stack of gorgeous 'dimes' aka 'layer cake' which is basically a stack of 10 inch squares.  The Delicious Dimes pattern is a 'slice and reshuffle' pattern and I'm pretty excited about how it will turn out.  I PROMISE pictures soon, but for now, hope and pray that I can get this accomplished this weekend in between packing and tax prep stuff.

Let's go quilt!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Liebster Award!!

Liebster Award

What a wonderful surprise, I've been nominated to receive the Liebster Award.
Thank you very much Rhonda.  Visit Rhonda's blog at:  
Rhonda's blog
 I appreciate this very much. It is always nice to know someone is visiting from time to time. 

I learned the "orgin of the Liebster Blog Award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it means favorite or 
dearest to spotlight bloggers with fewer than 200 followers".

Bloggers give this award to one another and it comes with 5 rules:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award.
2. Copy/Paste the Liebster Blog award on your blog.
3. Present the Liebster Blog award to 5 bloggers who have fewer than 200 followers..
4. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
5. Let your recipients know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog.

And these are my 5 nominated Liebster Award nominees:

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Fling!!

We had a great turnout at our Victoria Quilters' Guild "Spring Fling" workshop yesterday.  My workshop was based on this book:

We created and used the 'ribbon' template using simple template plastic.  It was definitely a skill builder.  Here are some photos from the workshop (starting with my finished centre block):

I love my colours but my piecing...not so much.  I wish I had my starch with me as the angles really stretch very easily.

It's funny where we get our inspiration from.  I ride the bus daily to work and on this particular trip (2 days before the workshop) I was still thinking about colour choices.  I happened to be wearing a beige top and a black suede jacket.  I happened to look down, saw the combo and the decision was made.  Beige and black together!  I love it!!  AND the best part - I had lots of beige in my stash.  I added some black fat quarters with interesting patterns, and voila!

Most of the class participants used batiks.  Here's the teacher's sample (Mae Peterson):

Don't you just LOVE the movement in this quilt?  And the quilting enhances the curves.  Just gorgeous!

Here is my friend Terry's:

and more from the design wall, all done in batiks:

I'm finishing mine as a tablerunner.  I'm not sure quite how but the block will soon speak to me!   Terry is working on a quilt for her granddaughter and her block with be a centre medallion of a big-girl quilt surrounded by sampler blocks.  So much variation from one little template!

I spent the evening recovering from the workshop with feet up, wine poured, and glasses on.  I wanted to read through the book cover to cover, which I did.  I'm so guilty of buying design books and looking at the pictures and putting them on the shelf.  Case in point ~ as soon as the teacher showed us the book, I realized that I had this book on my shelf in my studio and hadn't cracked it!  So busted!  I want to master this technique of curved piecing from strip sets.  There is so much inspiration in this book.  It's time to try something new.  So besides wanting to finish 12 UFOs in 2012, I'm declaring 2012 "the year of skill-building!"  And I ended up ordering the second book in the series which I will be USING, not just ADMIRING!!

Until next time,