Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Another sister act . . .

Two more sisters - Charlene and Cheryl - brought quilts in for me last month.  Charlene is an avid quilter - and she's helping Cheryl to become the same. 

I think this is the first (or one of the first) quilts Cheryl ever made.  I really like the beautiful autumn colors she chose!  I quilted it using Glide Thread - medium brown, and Fallling Leaves panto by Dave Hudson; Hobbs 80/20 batting.

Cheryl's Quilt

Cheryl's quilt - close up
Charlene had two quilts done.  The first one is a pattern called "Framed Coins" - Charlene used black and whites in the centres, and purples for the frames.  It took on a totally different look once it was quilted with "Classic Weave" panto.  I had to reduce the size of the panto as it's pretty big - it was perfect!  Glide Thread - Wisteria; Hobbs 80/20 batting.

Framed Coins

 Char's next quilt was paper-pieced using a pattern called "Ziggy Stars" - it's so colorful - I love Blues and Yellows!.  Char did a fantastic job of piecing this quilt - she wanted a simple over all pattern, so I just meandered over the whole thing.  The thread color was perfect - Glide Bright Gold; Hobbs 80/20 batting.
Charlene's Ziggy Stars

Another sister quilt - my sister!  She goes big when she makes quilts . . . actually, this quilt was finished in December as a Christmas gift for her daughter . . .  Yellow Brick Road Pattern; El Passo panto; Glide thread.

Janice's Yello Brick Road - King Size

Janice's Yellow Brick road

Next post - "Facing my Fears - Stitch in the Ditch"!

Cheers - from the Little House . . .

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Swoon and her sisters - Flower Girl and Round & Round . . . and bolts of batting!

Heather and Becky came to pick up their quilts this week - all Thimble Blossom patterns by Camille Roskelley. 

Heather's first quilt is the Round & Round - Orange Peel Panto; Glide Thread; Hobbs 80/20 batting

Her second quilt is another Camille Roskelley pattern - Flower Girl . . . it's just so girly!  Roses and Ribbons panto; Glide thread (coral); Hobbs 80/20 batting.    Heather did a fantastic job piecing both these quilts . . .

Flower Girl hangin' with Freeda
Becky is Heather's sister-in-law . . . she put together an awesome Swoon quilt!  I had it finished and hanging for a couple of weeks - lots, and lots of customers saw it - and loved it!  Great job, Becky!
Glide Thread; Taro panto; Hobbs 80/20 batting

Becky's Swoon

Becky's Swoon

Swoon and Flower Girl - love those big block quilts!

.... and speaking of Swoons - mine is almost (what's with that word - almost?) finished and ready for quilting . . . I made two strips of scrappy pinwheels for the top and bottom of the quilt using the leftovers frim the half-square triangles . . .no wasting good fabric here!  It'll be done soon . . . almost there ;)

 Batting - there are so many types!  I keep a stock of Hobbs 80/20 - both 96" and 120" as well as Hobbs Tuscany Wool - 106" - I am really happy with the way the Hobbs products quilt up as they give that little extra loft so the quilting stands out a bit more.  Last week, I ran out of Hobbs 80/20 - 120" - yikes!!  I have a king sized quilt to do - and like it was meant to be - I got an e-mail from Twisted Willow Quilting & Design Ltd.  . . . They are located in Red Deer, Alberta and sell batting by the roll to Longarmers like me!  For me, taking a trip up to Red Deer is WAY less stressful than battling the traffic in Calgary, so yesterday I did a little road trip to pick up a roll of Hobbs 80/20 - 120" and a roll of Hobbs Heirloom wool.  If you're in the area, and looking for batting at a reasonable price - contact Conny or Frank at Twisted Willow - twistedwillow@shaw.ca - I'm sure you'll be pleased with their service - I sure am!  Maybe even a group of quilters can do a shop hop and make a  day of it - there are great quilt shops in the area!

Tomorrow I move Freeda to my home studio - I'm all ready for her arrival  -  now hopefully the snow will stop so we can have an easy move.  Yes, I'm serious, it's snowing - again . . . still!   Not sure how my goose is doing - all hunkered down I imagine keeping those eggs nice and warm. 

Yes, that is snow streaking across the screen . . . until next time - cheers from the Little House.

I need a glass of wine . . . .

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Wild Flowers Applique Quilt

Nicole came to see me months ago to discuss quilting for her hand appliqued Wild Flowers quilt . . . she did a beautiful job of the applique!  The difference with this quilt was Nicole's choice of batting - she purchased wool batting from a woolen mill not far from here.  The batt was less processed than anything I have worked with - but hey - worth a try!  I asked Nicole to bring me a sample of the batting so I could quilt up a practice piece to see how it quilted up. 
OK . .. pretty poofy . . .

Nicole wanted "loft" with the quilting - so we talked about quilting designs and what the focus of the quilt should be.  Nicole of course wanted the flowers to be the focal point, but didn't want the flying geese to be lost in the quilting - after all, there is a lot of work in those flying geese!  She also wanted to maintain the loft of the batting, so we decided to use a less dense type filler design.  Here's a photo of the wool batting . . .

I had to McGyver a hammock to hold the batting as it tended to stretch and lose it's shape with any type of pulling - such as hanging from the bar - it worked!

Originally, I was going to outline each flower piece very close to the applique, then loosely fill the blocks with swirls right up to the flying geese pieces, but when I did that with the first block, I soon realized that to make those flying geese "pop" , I would need to stitch-in-the-ditch (SID) around each one.  So that's what I did - LOTS of SID!  It gave me an opportunity to try out different rulers that I have . . . and the winner for  doing that small size SID is  my Itty Bitty - it just seemed to have the right feel for this type of work.

Now, having said that, I also decided to SID around the inner border to make it lay better - and my choice of ruler for that type of work is the Mystical Mini from Quilter's Apothecary.  I particularly liked the way I could move it along the ditch as I went . . . maybe if I had the bigger version of this I would like it too, but I don't have that one - yet ;) -

 BTW - 288 Flying Geese; 80 squares = cramped hands!

and then there is the ruler work in the bead-board border - my choice there is Deloa Jones Castle - easy to maneuver, nice markings and just feels good in the hand.   . . . what I would give for Channel Locks (!)

So there you have it - three different rulers for three different uses - those are my choices for now anyway.

I also outlined each flower, leaf and berry in each of the squares and setting trianges . . .

Here is the finished product.  The photos don't really show it, but the flowers almost have a 3-D effect!  Nicole is going to do some hand stitching in the leaves of some of the blocks to give them a bit more definition.

 Nicole was very pleased with the end result . . . it is a beautiful quilt!  Thanks for looking!

Cheers - from the Little House . . .

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Spring is in the air! . . . finally!

It must be spring because my little goose couple has returned to the hay bales at the top of the road.  The female has been there for many days (maybe two weeks) but honestly, the weather has been so poor and winter like, the opportunities for picture taking were scarce.  Today, the sun is finally shining so I stopped on my way home from Addies to check her out.  I'm not sure she was impressed . . .

..... but, she has a "million dollar view" don't you think?

(our house is about mid point on the right side of the picture - we, unfortunately, do not have that million dollar view)

I don't normally post pictures on my blog until after the customer has picked up their quilts.  I have six sitting and waiting to go to their rightful homes, but all of the following have been picked up and most likely bound by now!

This first quilt was #1  on my to do list after coming back from Mexico.  You might have a bit of trouble figuring out the front from the back of this quilt - Linda pieced the back using 2 1/2 inch strips.  I admit, I was a bit nervous when I was loading the quilt on Freeda, as I wanted to be 100% sure that it was straight.  Even one cm difference would have shown in the backing - but thankfully, Linda is an excellent piecer, and the strip on the bottom of the quilt backing was as straight as the first strip on the top!  Whew!  (Glide thread; Flirtatious panto; Hobbs 80/20 batting)

Linda's quilt - front

Linda's quilt - close up of backing strips

Linda's quilt - backing
I put together a little baby quilt to practice my 3s and e's using the eazy peazy method called "Strip and Flip"  by Cluck Cluck Sew - if you want more information on this technique, go here .   My 3s and e's are OK, but have a ways to go to compete with Nancy or Andrea . . . I'll need more practice, practice, practice . . .

Strip and Flip baby quilt

Strip and Flip baby quilt - close up of 3s and e's

These next two quilts belong to Stacy - who has been a busy mother with a new baby and a 3 year old!  Somehow she still finds the time to quilt!

Stacy's quilt - Hearts in Bloom panto

Stacy's Deloa quilt - backing

Stacy's Deloa Quilt - Starburst panto

Spring in the Little House . . .

You've seen quilts done by Louise before . . . herehere, and here . . . she's one busy quilter.  These two are for her granddaughters.  One of the great things about Louise's quilts is the beautiful choice of fabrics, but another feature are the innovative pieced backings that Louise puts together!  Pieced backings can sometimes cause a problem for longarmers (don't ask me how I know this) . . . but Louise's backings are beautiful and square and add another dimension to her quilts.

Louise's quilt - appliqued

Louise's quilts - hanging with Freeda (excuse the out of focus pic)

Louise's quilt - backing close up

Louise's quilt - backing
and just one more for this post . . .

Another repeat customer, Eleanore - this quilt is made from a selection of tan/gold/brown flannels.  It is for her son's fiancĂ©, so she wanted it to look a bit more feminine - I think we accomplished that! (Glide thread; freehand swirl/feathers; Hobbs 80/20 batting)

Eleanore's quilt - backing

Eleanor's quilt - hanging with Freeda

oops . . . one more!  Joan is a new customer who made this quilt for her for her daughter.  It is a "Around the World" type pattern made from a beautiful selection of blue/grey batiks.  I used my favorite freehand design - swirl feather - using Glide thread - Graphite color.  I love that color of thread!

Joan's quilt - hanging with Freeda

Joan's quilt - backing

Well, that's it . . . for now!  I finished a stunning hand applique quilt today, and have six quilts being picked up in the next couple of days - so will be posting more soon!  - OK, here's a sneak peak . . .

Now for news from the Little House - I have decided to move my Freeda back home and continue quilting for my customers from the comfort of my own home studio.  I have gained a ton of experience and exposure being at Addies over the past year and am so thankful for that - not to mention the great people that I have had the pleasure of meeting.  The decision to move my machine home has more to do with my lifestyle than anything else.  Also, I want to concentrate more on improving my custom quilting skills, and to do that, I need to have a more flexible schedule to practice, practice, practice.  And, did I tell you I spent two days at Sparrow Studioz learing from Judi Madsen (Green Fairy Quilts) - a wonderful experience.  I'll post pics later . . . So for now . . . Happy Spring from the Little House!
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