Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Christmas, Y'all

Here's a Christmas quilt that I thought I'd show.  This was made a couple years ago, but I quilted it a couple months ago on my regular sewing machine.  I have a jar of pink buttons to sew on the trees as ornaments, but I'm not sure that's really going to happen.

The pattern came from a magazine a couple years ago and it was just reprinted this winter.  The colors on the pattern were traditional, though.

I'm not quite done with the binding, as you can see; however, I really need to get this posted because I'm way behind.  I still have about 3 or more posts to do.  Stay tuned!

My first long-arm quilt

The company is gone, and I finally have time to tell you all about it.  The long arm was set up before Christmas, but I had minimal time to play with it prior to leaving town the weekend before Christmas for graduation.  Oddly enough, the first quilt I did was a Halloween quilt.  

After Christmas, we did a little shopping in one of my favorite little towns, Castroville.  I dragged a couple quilts along and had my friend Morgan take some pics with her new Christmas camera while her mom and me cashed in on a major sale.  Morgan did a great job taking pics of the quilts.  Her first time doing this is much better than anything I've done so far!

I used three quilting designs in this quilt.k  I stippled the black background, did a modified mouse maze on the purple parts, and a landscape meander on the large squares.

I love this machine and can't wait to post some other pics of what I've done so far.  

Happy Graduation!

It's finally here.  And it's scary.  You know, I thought I'd get the machine and would be up & running in 24 hrs.  Nope.  This sucker is intimidating.  I've had it seven days, and I'm just now loading my first quilt.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas sewing

I just had to make another table runner.  These things are addictive.

I started with some squares and a cookie cutter (to make appliques).  I decided to fuse the squares to some interfacing to try this the way I've seen many people do it online.  I'll try to find the tutorial & post the link.  What a cool technique.  Ingenious, actually.  The only downside is that it was super thick, especially once I put appliques on there and then machine quilted it.

By the way, that's my favorite ruler shown.  The Nancy Crow Quickline.  Don't know why, but it just feels right.

And, of course, I stippled it.  Yep, it's what I do.  Soon that will change, though.

I wish I had a finished pic of the project; however, this is for my aunt for Christmas, and I had to get it there in time.  Since I was rushing, I never took the finished photo.  Maybe I'll convince her to take one of it on her table since she hosts a family Christmas each year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tranquil Moments

When I moved to San Antonio a year ago, one of my first stops was Memories By the Yard, my LQS.  I was trying to find a way to get quilting friends, so I signed up for one of their quarterly mystery classes.  They last from 4pm until midnight, and it's also a potluck dinner.  Y'all, I've been addicted ever since.  This last go-round, we had to bring a jelly roll and a fat quarter, so I knew this was gunna be a big 'un. (Have I mentioned I'm from Texas?)

I picked up my jelly roll and a couple yards of the feature fabric (which oddly enough is not in the jelly roll) when I was in Rogers, Arkansas at The Rabbit's Lair in March.  I've been admiring it ever since.  It's Moda Tranquility.  When I found out we needed the jelly roll for the class, all I had to do was order the layer cake, and I was done.

These classes are so much fun.  We crank up the music, share seam rippers, sing, and sew until we turn into pumpkins.  I wish we could do this monthly.  Most of the same people are still with us.  When we started, each mystery class was offered once, but now our teacher Martha has to offer each class three times and you have to get a spot way in advance. . . months in advance actually.

So, here's what I made this time.  Girls, it's huge.  It's the biggest darn quilt I've ever made.  I finished this top at the retreat, too.  I had the blocks done, but I did all that setting nonsense & borders the first retreat night.  The last couple of pics were taken at the quilt shop, the night of the mystery class.  Luckily, to the retreat I brought one of my friend's portable design walls that she had bought at Quilt Festival in Houston.  The design wall was so helpful, so a big thanks to Vickie, my best mystery quilt friend:-)

Treat & Retreat

This weekend was my second quilt retreat.  My first was about thirteen or so years ago.  When I started quilting, I was in a bee called the Night Owls in Bryan/College Station.  One of the ladies hosted a retreat at her lake house, and it was wonderful.  No phone, serene atmosphere, great friends, and time to sew.  Divine.

My retreat this weekend was nice also.  It was way out in the country near Salado (north of Austin) at Summer's Mill.  There were fifteen or sixteen women.  Rooms had two queen beds and a bathroom for two people.  Meals were down in the main house, but we quilted in the cabin where our bedrooms were.  There were tables and irons already set up, so all we had to do was arrive and start sewing.  We didn't even have to bring food or anything.  I'm already antsy about my next retreat.  Now I have to find one.

My friend Midge was driving through Salado and happened to stop in at the quilt shop where she saw there was a retreat in December.  She called me and told me that she had signed us up.  That's a friend, y'all!  Had it not been for her, I'd be doing the same thing at home-- only without someone to fix my meals, with laundry and dust bunnies glaring at me, with a darling child begging me to play pirates or knights every twenty minutes, and with a list of errands waiting to be checked off.  Yeah, not the same at all. Also, when I look out my window, I see the neighbor's house, not rolling hills and pastures.  I need to do this quarterly.

One of the quilt tops I finished was "perfect ten." I bought this pattern to help me find something to do with my antique hankies that I've been carrying around for years; however, I had a stack of pretties that I wanted to use that very moment.  And I did.  And I love the quilt.  When I selected the fabrics, I was thinking about Kaffe Fassett (but unfortunately, I was in the dollar bin at a shop in Newton, KS ).  I love that his fabrics do NOT go together.  Oh, but they do.  So, I was trying to create my own stack of fabrics that weren't made to go together but still looked right.  I think I did.  Well, what do you think?  The last gazillion quilts I've made have all been so matchy matchy that I just had to make sure I was still capable of selecting fabrics by myself.

I wish I had taken pics at the retreat, but guys, I was sewing like the wind!  On another note, my long arm was shipped yesterday!  I will have to tell you all about my lighting solutions (hopefully my idea will work) and table I found to put in the studio.  It's fab.  It's Ikea:-)

*Added note: yes, that's my DH in the first photo.  He visits the sewing room when he starts to miss me.  Also, he'd die if he knew I posted this, but I'm sure he isn't reading the blog, so what he doesn't know won't hurt him (or affect my Christmas gift).