Tuesday, December 12, 2017

High Strung…(the quilt not me!)

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This is Diane’s High Strung quilt and it is a pattern by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks ( Quilt Patch).    I knew right away I was going to cross hatch the squares and give it that traditional quilted texture.  I stitched in the ditch around the applique and stippled the background with Microquilter beige thread.   I used green So Fine thread on top and green Bottom Line in the cross hatching.  The batting is Quilters Dream Blend.  Diane said she was going to add some embellishments to the quilt, like small clothes pins to where the stockings are hung along the ric-rac. 

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Urban Winter

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This is Patti’s Urban Winter quilt and the pattern is by Sew Kind of Wonderful using the Quick Curve Ruler.  Patti had a wonderful story to go along with this quilt as it has a special meaning to her. She was on a Balkan river cruise and she meet a woman from Toronto who knew of a family who did indigo dyeing with dyes that have been used for generations in that Hungarian region.  They took a city tram underground and a train from Budapest to a small village and found the shop.  Patti bought fat quarters of each design in their hand dyed collection.  She carried it all the way through the 7 other countries on their trip on her carry on luggage! I think all of us quilters can related to finding that special fabric that is worth filling our luggage and hauling around until we get home!  And what a wonderful reminder of an amazing trip.

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Now to talk about the quilting!   I came up with a few designs and let Patti pick, she liked the simplicity of the feather wreath so we went with that one!  I also did a feather motif in the navy curved piece and did loops in the square design.   All the elements are stitched on the ditch and I used white So Fine thread on top and white Bottom Line on the back in the white fabrics.  In the navy fabrics I used Navy So Fine on top and Navy Bottom Line on the back.
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I love the texture of the quilting on this quilt at shows up using Quilters Dream Blend batting.

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I shared this next quilting tip on Instagram and was surprized at how many quilters didn’t know about this trick!   If you have a black light on your longarm, all APQS Millenniums have them,  you can use it to see  Pounce chalk on white fabric!  I wanted to use a stencil as a guide for my wreath but didn’t want to using a marking pen, that takes forever!  So I used the Pounce, turned on my black light and voila…I can see the white chalk on the fabric.  You might notice that the stencil and the finished wreath are quite different, that is because I wanted to quilt open feathers and just used the stencil as a guide, really helps getting those inside feathers even!

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This week I also made myself a design wall for the studio.  I bought 2 – 4x8 sheet of insulation board and covered them each with one twin batt of Dream Poly.

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I hot glued the edge of the batting to the back of the boards after pinning the batting in place, making sure the batting on the front was nice and smooth.

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Once the glue was dry I discovered that the two boards fit perfectly in my nook where I just put in my cutting area.  Just need to make a few larger bean bags to place on the floor so they don’t slip forward!  I tested it out by laying out my Scrappy City Slicker quilt and next thing I know I had the top sewn together!  Hope to quilt that one over my Christmas break!

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Friends for Christmas

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This is Rae’s Friends for Christmas quilt and the pattern is by Lynette Anderson Designs Australia.  Rae stitched down all the applique by hand using a blanket stitch.  I’m sure there will button and bead to go on once she gets the quilt back so it’s not quite finished!  I was so excited to see the snow fall the other day as the snow we had a few weeks ago melted.  I was able to get a few pictures outside but the wind is still so high I couldn’t keep the quilt still for long! 
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I quilted it with simple background fills and feathers in the border. SID around all the applique and used beige Invisfil 100wt thread.  Quilters Dream Blend batting.
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I also want to let you know that Lori and I were getting requests for our Fabric Basket that we made as retreat gifts in October.  So we wrote up a PDF and I now have it on my sidebar for anyone to download. There are many version of this pattern floating around the internet but ours differs in that it uses batting with no quilting, it's reversible, and you can get two baskets out of two fat quarters.  It's super quick to make for a gift basket for Christmas!




Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kira Quilt

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This is Angèle`s Kira Quilt and the pattern is by GE Designs.  She used beautiful purples, teals and blues along with a great ombre print fabric.   I used a light beige So Fine for other top, grey Bottom Line on the back and she brought a 100% cotton Pellon batting.    Angèle asked for a large curvy panto and she picked a few out from my collection and then left the choice up to me on which one to use.  I picked Bayside as it has great movement and was the right scale of design for the piecing.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

T-Shirt Quilt

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This is Lucinda’s T-shirt quilt that she was made with her daughter Taylor’s sports T-shirts.  They represent all the teams, camps and cross fit gyms she has participated in since she was 13 years old.  What a great way to preserve those accomplishments and memories!  She asked for simple quilting so I used Fascination for the pantograph.

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Lucinda brought a Navy Cuddle backing so I suggested we use Dream Puff batting to give the quilt a soft cozy feel and it would add less weight than the Blend batting.   I used Monopoly thread on the top and grey Bottom Line on the back. The reason I picked grey for the back was she added one extra T-shirt block to the back and I didn’t want the stitching to distract from the block by using Navy thread.  And with Cuddle you can never see the thread colour so it worked out great!

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The invisible Monopoly thread worked well across all the T-shirt logos.  There was some thread breakage due to the different thicknesses with the prints on the T-shirts but over all I would use that thread again on a quilt like this.  I have to be honest, this was the first T-shirt quilt I have ever quilted (and I have been longarm quilting for 9 years), so I was a bit nervous to finally quilt one.  But I was really lucky that Lucinda stabilized all the T-shirts well and that used sashing between the shirts. I have been told that T-shirt quilts quilt up nicely when they have sashing to stabilize the whole quilt.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Batik HST Quilt

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This is Diane’s HST quilt and it is made with beautiful batik fabrics!  She said she started with a pattern and then changed it a bit and made the HST blocks larger (finished 7”).     I quilted it with the Deja Vu pantograph using light pink So Fine thread on top and blue Bottom Line on the back. 

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She brought a beautiful blue wide backing from Up North Quilt Shop in International Falls , MN.  It is great having a quilt shop so close, it is only 30 minutes away, only down side is I have to cross the border to get there but I’m getting use to that!  The shop carries a large selection of Wide backings so I do not need to carry that many anymore and the owner, Missy and staff are so friendly!   So make sure you check out this quilt shop when you are in Northern Minnesota, you won’t be disappointed!

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This weekend Tim and I went for a drive to see if the local lakes had froze yet.  Its been getting above freezing all week so most of the snow is gone but still cold enough at night to start making ice.  I was happy to see that there was ice on the lakes but Tim wouldn’t let me venture too far!   I was just near the shoreline on 4” of ice and was able to get a few picture, just wish the sun was out!  Hope to be able to access this area when the snow falls as it would be a perfect spot for quilt pictures! 

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

I Believe in Snowmen

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This is Sandra’s I Believe in Snowmen quilt by Bunny Hill Designs.  Sandra does beautiful Redwork and her hand stitches are lovely!   I had a lot of fun quilting this one with feathers, loops, snowflakes, swirls and cross hatching.   I used a new thread to me, Microquilter by Superior Threads, and it is a 100wt thread so is almost invisible stitching across the embroidery with the cross hatching.  I’m very happy with how it stitched, no thread breakage and worked well with Bottom Line on the back.

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We don’t have a lot of snow left around here as we have had a warm spell, suppose to reach +8’c tomorrow so I’m sure there won’t be much snow left by the weekend.    But I did find a small spot with some snow left to take a few pictures.

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Here are some close ups of the quilting and redwork blocks.

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I have been told that Schist Lake has frozen over. I have really missed watching the lake freeze this year so I have been keeping on eye on the river each day to see when it will freeze over.  The strong current creates a lot of cool pressure ridges and I enjoyed listening to the sounds the ice was making.

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