Saturday, 30 November 2013

It's official - Brenda is the quilting queen!

Brenda works at Addie's Creative Fabrics, and if you want to know the truth, I think she just works for fabric (sound familiar?)

For Christmas this year, Brenda made almost everyone in her family a quilt . . . can you believe it? !!!  I've quilted 6 quilts for her just this month, and I think she's got a few more to go . . . do you want to be in Brenda's family????  Who wouldn't!

 Way to go, Brenda - your family is going to love these.  (and by the way, I have one more that I didn't get pictures of, and my studio partner Betty Anne quilted another for Brenda AND . . . she's putting together at least one more before Christmas!)
Have a great day - from the Little House . . .

Feel good quilt. . .

Celeste's mother was an avid quilter - in fact, she left many completed quilts for her children and grandchildren to enjoy.  She also left unquilted tops  - this is one of them.  Celeste wanted it quilted so she could use it - and honour her mom's great talent.

I quilted it CC (continuous curves) - throughout . . . it just looked great when it was all done.  Sometimes less is more . . . Filtec Glide Thread; Hobbs Tuscany Wool Batting .

Celeste's quilt hangin' with Freeda

Continuous Curve - close up

Celeste's Quilt (with binding added) ---- studio's looking good!

and . . . sometimes less is more . . . this quick and easy charm quilt is quilted with a simple meander - that's all it needed to look great!  Do you agree?

November and December are busy months at Little House . . . I'll post more pictures for you when I can . . . and then I'll be away February and March . . . aaahh - the sun and sand are calling me!  Wait til you see the "flip flop" quilt I'm doing tomorrow . . . .!

Friday, 29 November 2013

In defense of the Pantograph ,. . .

Sometimes pantograph quilting gets a bad rap . . . I mean really, a bad rap! 

Yes, pantograph quilting is predictable, and yes, it can at times be down right mind-numbing . . . BUT, it's an efficient and economical method of turning quilt tops into their intended purpose . . . a useable quilt!

And, there are so many different pantographs . . . the choice of design and thread is part of the creative process!  My customers and I decide on the quilting together - based on budget, piecing elements, use of the quilt and personal preference.

I know many, many quilters (piecers) that want consistent, predictable quilting - at an affordable price . . . and that's what pantograph quilting can offer for them.  Don't get me wrong, I love custom quilting, and exploring the endless possibilities of free motion designs, but there is a place for the pantograph, too.

OK, I feel better now!

Happy Quilting!

Student comments . . .

Our long arm rental certification classes are going well!  Here's what a few of our students have to say . . . .

Student comments . . . .  

Thank you, ladies, for an enjoyable day – and a great class. The two-on-two format is more than one could have hoped for! You’re both so relaxed and open and giving – and it showed in the day. …... It was worth every penny! I look forward to getting to use the machines better and make my stitching far better!”


“Thanks again for a great day today”


“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the class and I hope to get in for a session at the beginning of December”
Go the the Long Arm Rental Services tab at the top of the page for more information and photos!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Here's what I did yesterday . . . .

Yesterday, Andrea from Urban Quiltworks and I braved the elements and headed 300 kms up the QEII to Edmonton to take a class from Jamie Wallen at Sparrow Studioz - actually, my DH did the driving, Andrea and I just sweated it out as we drove through blowing snow and icy roads. 

Why???  Well, to doodle - yes, doodle . . . like this . . . .

and this . . .

and more of this . . . .


The goal here is to doodle, doodle, doodle . . . and then incorporate these design elements in my quilting - a lofty goal - but it can happen!  We did a lot of drawing in the class, and a bit of practice on the APQS machines - and then a lot more drawing.  Like Jamie says, this is just the "bones" of the designs - each quilter will add their own unique style - I'll let you know what I come up with!

I also picked up a few new colors of thread . . . because I REALLY need more thread . . . ;)

..... aren't they beautiful!  I can't wait to use them on a quilt!

This week I also learned how to make clothesline baskets - another obsession!  It's a great way to use up scraps, and make something useful.  Really, you can never have too many baskets, can you?  I figure I'll make a basket with each quilt I piece - you know, something to go with the quilt . . . sounds like a very good plan to me - what do you think?  And . . . you can use the same technique to make hot mats, coasters, placemats, purses, beach bags, shopping bags . . . the possibilities are endless!

Fabric Bowl - from the top

. . . it's just the perfect size for my new threads!

 Until next time . . . . I'll be doodling and basket making at the Little House!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Ricky Tims Convergence . . . and Dresden Plate

Last fall, before I left for Mexico, I put a certificate in a silent auction for a fundraiser for the Alberta Children's Hospital.  Sue won the bid, and unfortunately we weren't able to connect with the quilting . . . until now.  Sue has fallen crazy in love with Ricky Tims convergence quilts - click here to get an idea of the convergence quilt technique (I'm going to have to try this . . )
Sue made one smaller quilt/bed runner for a friend at university, and two small wall hangings.

Convergence Quilt on Freeda

Convergence Quilts

Convergence - wall hangings
 The green tones and batik fabrics for this wall hanging really compliment each other.  I used Glide Thread - light olive; Wandering Jasmine panto.  You can't see it in this photo, but in one of the borders is some hand writing in Mandarin.  This quilt has a very peaceful aura to it.

Convergence - wall hanging
 A brighter version of the convergence quilt wall hanging.  Quilted with Glide thread - marigold; Freehand echoed teardrops.  I was really pleased with the way the thread shows in the reds and greens, but blends in the yellows . . .

Convergence wall hanging - close up

Jacquie did a wonderful job on her Dresden Plate quilt.  Each one of the Dresden petals (not sure if that's what you call them)  is hand appliqued onto the background fabric.  I used Wonderfil Invisifil (smoke) thread to outline each petal in the Dresden (lots of stitch in the ditch practice!); then Glide thread for the denser background fill in each block to make those dresdens "pop" forward; feathers in the sashings and outer border.

I hadn't used Invisifil thread before, and really liked it for SID work.  I had to loosen off the top tension quite a bit as the thread was breaking, but after I got that worked out, it was smooth sailing for all the ditch work. 

Jacquie\s Dresden Plate

Dresden Plate - close up of Stitch in the Ditch; feathers in sashing


The quilts in the que are stacking up . . . I guess it's because it's getting closer to Christmas.  I think I have 15 to do in the next few weeks.  Unfortunately, after next week, I'll have to close the intake for this year.  The new studio space is working out extremely well and both Betty Ann and I are getting plenty of work done.  The rental certification classes are filling, and we expect our machines to be purring along with renters on a pretty regular basis - but, I have to remember to save space for me to finish my customer quilts!

It's a busy time at the Little House . . . next up, Brenda's Christmas present quilts - she's been a busy quilter!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

My charity . . .

Most quilters have a cause that they quilt for . . . there are so many worthwhile organizations . . . but my charity of choice is Hospice Calgary - a not-for profit organization that does amazing work - lead by an amazing team of dedicated professionals.  I made this quilt for a fund raiser for Hospice Calgary. 

The pattern is Starlight by Marilyn Foreman and uses a selection of Timeless Treasures fabrics.  The centre "Tree of Life" is a panel surrounded by 24 star blocks.  I quilted it using an all over design, with continuous curve quilting in each of the blocks.  The backing is Northcott Stonehenge Gold - perfect!  Glide Thread - Sand; Hobbs 80/20 batting.

I hope it did well at the silent auction . . .

Tree of Life

Tree of Life - close up

Tree of Life

Tree of Life - backing close up

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day - if you can't remember, think . . .

Monday, 4 November 2013

Heading into winter . . . .

Hallowe'en has come and gone, and we have experienced the first big snowstorm of the year.  We put the suet blocks up for the birds - which made the blue jay and some of his friends (woodpeckers; flickers; sapsuckers) very happy.  They should be heading south soon - today I saw a huge flock of geese waving their wings goodbye - they'll be back next year.

I learn something with every quilt I do . . . this one, for example, taught me to ALWAYS measure the backing carefully before loading.  Sylvia did a beautiful job of piecing her quilt - and she added extra fabric to the backing to ensure I had enough to attach to the leaders on my machine.  When I started on the top, I should have snugged it up one more inch - because when I got to the bottom I was 1/2" short on the backing - argh!!!  It meant that Sylvia will have to cut the bottom border by 1/2 inch - which isn't a really big deal - but I could have prevented that in the first place - so sorry, Sylvia.  :(

Starburst panto, Hobbs 80/20 batting, Glide thread - celery
Sylvia's Floral Quilt
I also learn many stories about the quilts people bring for me to long arm - who they are for, why they are so special, etc.  Jessie made this quilt for her yet-to-be born very special granddaughter.  She needed it for the baby shower - and with the move, my trip to Newfoundland, a few tension issues and other commitments, I just about didn't get it done for her .... but here it is - it may have gone to the baby shower unbound - but it made it there!

Freehand feather/swirls; Hobbs 80/20 batting; Superior thread

Jessie's quilt - hangin' with Freeda

Jessie's quilt - close up

Jessie's quilt for her grand daughter - heart quilted in the yellow square

Becky made this quilt for her mom - another special quilt for a special gift.   I love the way the batik 25 patches are framed with the brown fabric.  The gold thread just adds a little bit of pizzazz to that brown fabric - and works very nicely with the batiks.

Antique Lace panto; Glide thread - Military Gold; Hobbs 80/20 batting

Becky's quilt - close up

Becky's quilt - hangin' with Freeda

Carolyn is going to put this beautiful blue strip quilt on a guest room bed.  It is huge - 94 x 115!  She pieced the top of the backing so that when it's folded down on the bed, you see the pieced backing - what a great idea!  When she picks this one up she's got another one for me - just as big and I imagine it will be just as nice.

Glide thread - Cloud; Antique Lace panto

Carolyn's quilt - hangin' with Freeda

Carolyn's quilt - to folded back to show the pieced backing

Carolyn's quilt - close up

..... and last for this post - Cheryl's "Good to Be Square" quilt.  I used one of the patterns in the blocks as the inspiration for the panto design.  Cheryl used Minkee backing which really shows off the quilting design - and don't you love the pop of that red inner border?

 I wish I had taken better pictures of it - because it really is a great quilt - but I wanted to get home quickly the other day as the snow was coming down fast and furiously so I just needed to pack up and get on the road - it was a white-knuckle trip but I made it home safe and sound.

Glide Thread; Wrought Iron panto

Cheryl's Good to be Square

Snow tires are on, snow brush in the back seat - extra gloves, blankets and candles in the trunk - all set for winter driving in Alberta!  Until next time - stay safe on the roads . . . from the Little House

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