Sunday, December 30, 2018

My Q20

 Each November Jody, the owner of Raintree Quilting in Juneau Alaska, and her Bernina technician Amy come to Petersburg to service machines and teach classes.  Petersburg has a large group of quilters and each has at least one machine that needs an annual checkup. They rent a space and welcome the all quilters to come in and work on projects.  It is a fun time for fellowship and learning.   They also bring the latest Bernina machines so locals have a chance to upgrade or at least drool over the lovely machines.

This year while Amy and Jody were in town, I made a spontaneous purchase.  Don't even ask me what I was thinking but I always say, go with your gut.  While sewing away and visiting with one of my fellow quilters I learned about the Q20 for the first time.  What?  A quilting machine that you don't need a rack for!  It is a remarkable machine that you can thread from the front and it has a bobbin winder right on the machine.  It can be a sit down machine or a long arm machine.  I went home and talked to my always encouraging husband and he said get it.  I bought a Q20.

I have been thinking about quilting machines for awhile.  I looked at a Gammil long arm machine a local woman was selling, but decided it was too scary for me.  The 12 foot rack and large machine take up a lot of room and I would have to rent a space for it.  I also felt I would have to eventually quilt for other people to justify the cost of the machine and I really don't want to do that.  In addition, we don't have a Gammil technician in our region and the expense of bringing someone to town would be prohibitive.  I have been quilting on my Bernina 430 for years, and I feel comfortable with the sit-down quilting process.  If I decide to purchase a long-arm frame from Bernina, I can do that at a later date.  The price of this new machine is less than half of the used, older Gammil and it takes less space.  I am sure I made the right decision in my purchase.

Note to self...the machine doesn't make you a better quilter, practice does.

Linking to:  Monday Making, Moving it Forward Monday, Linky Tuesday

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Ti Leaf

I have always admired Hawaiian quilts because the designs showcase the beauty of the islands.  Hawaiian quilts are made from one piece of solid colored cloth, folded and cut to create design that represents the flora and fauna of the Islands.  The whole cloth design piece is then sewed to a solid colored background using the needle-turned appliqué method.  The quilt is then finished with echo quilting.  The project is very labor intensive.

This example is from Eleanore Burns' Quilt In A Day Shop.

For centuries the Hawaiian people made bedcovers by pounding the inner bark from local trees into a soft cloth like substance called Kapa Moe, which were then decorated with geometric designs.  When cloth became available, the Hawaiian people developed their own unique style of quilting and these beautiful works of art replaced the traditional bedcovers.

This is an example of Kapa Moe from the Ho'okuleana blog.

We like to visit my husband's brother in Hawaii and each time we visit,  I think about learning the Hawaiian quilting technique.  This year was the year.  I purchased a pillow top kit at the Kapaia Stitchery shop, which included a ready to appliqué pillow top, a needle, thread and a book with instructions and many more patterns.  I am not a fan of appliqué so I hadn't done needle turned in my 40 years of quilting.  I was a little intimidated but the shop owner reassured me that I could do it.

I love the beach and swimming in the ocean so we logged in quite a few beach hours during our trip and my new project kept my hands busy while I lounged in the sun.  This activity didn't get in the way of visiting or listening to a good book on my iPad.  It's good to have hand work to pick up when you find yourself sitting around twiddling your thumbs.  Call me old fashioned but I'd much rather get something done than aimlessly surf the web on my phone.  By the time I am done with this block, I will be a master needle-turner and have a lovely pillow too.

 Linking to:  Let's Bee SocialMidweek Makers, WIP, Finished or Not Friday , Off The Wall Friday, Can I Get A Whoop, WhoopSaturday Sparks, Show Off Saturday, Slow Stitchin Sunday, Oh Scrap, Creatively Crafty, Inspire Me Monday

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Kauai is for Quilters

     If you've never been to Kauai, Hawaii you may want to put it on your bucket list.  My husbands brother lives in Kapaa and we just have to visit him often, smile.  Kauai has lovely beaches, great hiking trails, fun shops, yummy restaurants and yes...sun!  There are also 3 fabric shops on the island and they are close enough to each other that you can visit all three in one day.  Vicky's is in Kapaa, Discount Fabric is in Lihui and my favoite shop, Kapaia Stitchery is also in Lihui.  They are all great to visit and all have their own unique character.

     Generally when I visit Kapaia Stitchery those chairs on the porch have men sitting in them.  One man cheerfully showed me a picture of his wives sewing room which included her amazingly organized fabric hoard stash.  

Sorry about the glare in the window, but it was unavoidable and I had to share a picture of this amazing Hawaiian quilt.  It is all needle turned applique.

     Kapaia Stitchery carries Hawaiian print fabric and Batik. There is also a smattering of fabrics with a beach theme for children from other designers.  They have yardage, kits, strips and bundles and handmade items.  I love the sample quilts hanging from the ceiling.  Last time I was in Kauai, I purchased a book and a fabric roll to make this quilt. 
   This is the only shot I have of my quilt from this pattern and it's already been quilted and sent to a friend in Hawaii.
Kapaia Stitchery carries bags made by Gerry's of Kauai, which I love.  I was using mine at the Road To California Quilt Show last year and met a lady in the restroom who had one too.  We raved about our bags and Kapaia Stitchery.

     These are Kauai's Row by Row patterns. All of these quilt patterns are available in kits.  Check out the link to Kapaia Stitcheries Facebook Page for information HERE about kits and fabrics.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Alaska Flowers and Berries Quilt Top

Yikes, it's been awhile since I posted.  I have no excuses.  I have another UFO finish.  This project was #7 on my list of projects to finish here.  It still needs a border but I think that will be the easy part.  My real finish should have been the OMG for November, but I am on vacation and I realize I don't have a photo of it.  Bummer. 

The pattern for this quilt top comes from Wildfire Designs by Alaska quilt designer Dana Michelle.  The pattern uses Hoffman Batiks and specifies the color number for each piece.  I It's a modified rendition of the pattern because I just wanted to do the flowers and berries from the Southeast Panhandle region where I live.  I also used the colors of the plants in our region.  The Indian Paint Brush is yellow in the pattern but ours are orange red.  The columbine in pink in the pattern but ours our orange.  Alaska is a giant state with completely different climates from region to region and different kinds of plants thrive in different areas.  

 I keep pecking away at my weekend finds and feeling very satisfied with my finishes.  I have also made time to work on a few new projects too.  I am having fun with my 10 inch square patterns and will post them as I finish them.  

Linking To:  Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, NTT

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Jewel Finish

     A few years ago, I put together a few quilt patterns, printed them and sold them at our local fabric shop.  The fabric shop closed so I decided to start a little home business and I sell fabric out of my home. I stock 10 inch squares, and people constantly ask what they can do with them.  My 2.5 inch strips sell like hotcakes but the 10 inch squares do not.  I started playing with pattern ideas for 10 inch squares because I like not being confined to 2.5 inch strips.  I put this quilt together using Kaffe Fassett's Collective Classics-Peacock 10 inch square collection.  I decided to make a pattern for it and publish it in PDF format.  So,  I'm finished with my first PDF published pattern.  The pattern is for the Jewel Quilt and you can find the pattern HERE.  

Linking to:  Show Off Saturday, TGIF, MCM, Monday Making,

Monday, November 12, 2018

You Have My Heart

A few weeks ago, I found some  UFO's in my project box that I wanted to finish.  I assigned each project a day of the week and for the first two weeks at least, I followed my schedule.  This was my weekend project.  Rosann at Home Sewn By Us suggested I turn the few Splendid Sampler blocks I'd made into a wall quilt.  I had 8 blocks sewn together so I needed 1 more.  I picked the pattern for the flower in the center bottom as my 9th block.  I have a new granddaughter coming on December 26th and this will be for her.  I really love the way this wall hanging turned out and I can't wait to meet the little girl it is for.

I'm not a fan of tiny pieces.  I like my points to match and the tiny pieces didn't come together easily for me so I sewed a few of these blocks by hand.  I am glad these little blocks have turned into something because I love them.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Stepping Stones Flimsy

Can I just say this top has been sewn together twice.  I did more ripping and resewing on this top than on all of my other quilt tops combined.  And all of this ripping after taking a class and following the directions.  The directions are very wordy and I like simple to follow directions with lots of pictures.  No excuses.  Would I make this quilt again?  Yes, now that I know the pattern I think the next will go together pretty quickly.  

I don't paper piece often so I forgot about making my stitches a little smaller, which turned out to be a good thing due to all of the ripping I did.  It did make removing the paper a bit of a chore, however.  It didn't take long to find the perfect layout for the blocks.  I put these sets of three down randomly and thought they looked just fine.  I did switch one, but if I had left it where it was, it would have been perfect too. 

I had several strips left after stitching the quilt together so I just sewed these together to make the border.  I don't think it's too busy do you?  I will bind with black.  I can't wait to finish this and figure out who to give it to.  

Linking to:   

Saturday, November 3, 2018

OMG November

This is my latest UFO, a Quilt of Valor for my son-in-law.  Joey served two tours in Afghanistan while in the Army.   I used the Jelly Girl pattern, designed by Joanna Figueroa for Fig Tree.  This pattern is made with 2.5" X 42" strips.  My goal is to finish this quilt by the end of November-at least the top.  

Linking to: OMG November, Oh Scrap, MCM #137

Friday, November 2, 2018

Kory's Forest Quilt

About 10 years ago, my son asked me to make him a quilt out of  jeans.  At the time, I was making bags out of denim and I had a pile of fabric for the job.  I used patterns from Terrie Kralik's quilt book titled, A Forest of Quilts. I grabbed some batiks and and some denim and started cutting.  The animals and birds are done with fusible, which I sewed to the quilt.  My son is an avid outdoorsman and I thought he'd love the animal and bird motifs.  He is a commercial fisherman and this quilt keeps him warm no matter the weather on our frigid Alaska waters.  

Kory's washing machine was broken and he brought some laundry to my house.  I was surprised to see this quilt in the pile of cloths.  It is well worn.  It is always satisfying to know that something you made with love is loved.

Linking to:  Can I Get A Whoop, Whoop, Finish It Up Friday,

Monday, October 29, 2018

OMG October Finish

I finished my first Quilt's of Valor quilt this month.  This one is for my dad who served in the Army.  He doesn't know he's getting it and I think he will be very happy.  I started the month with this block. I was able to finish the top and quilt it this month.  

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Wednesday's UFO - Alaska Flowers and Berries

I'm spending most of my quilting time working on UFO's.  It has been a new challenge to work on one project and put it away at the end of the day and work on a different project the next day.  I like to work on something until it's done and each project is hard to put away for a week.  I am working on this Alaska flower and berry quilt on Wednesdays.  All of the pieces for the unfinished blocks were in a pile in a plastic bag.  Great storage-not!  I had pieces for 5 quilt blocks all piled together, so my first task was to find the pieces for each block.  

Some were labeled like this, what?

It turned out that all of the pieces had the label of the block they were part of, except one group and that group all went to the same block, the blueberry block.  

I separated all of the pieces into block piles.  This is the blueberry pile.  Look at all of those tiny pieces.

My next task was to lay the pieces onto the pattern page to see what I had and what I needed to cut.  They were all cut at one time, but who knows where the lost pieces went.

These pieces are for the lupin pattern.  I put all of my flowers and berries together and pressed them in place on my fusible applique' sheet.

Organizing, tracing, cutting and putting these flowers and berries gave me a bit of neck tension but they're done.  I will iron these onto their squares and they will join the rest of the bunch for top Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stepping Stones UFO

When I dug into this project, I almost put it back.  Thank goodness I'd posted it as a UFO I planned to finish or I would have returned it to the deep, dark UFO pile.  This pattern is called Stepping Stones by Judy Niemeyer.  I took a three hour class to make this quilt but you know only so much can be done in 3 hours.  There are 3 different blocks titled J, K and L, and you make 12 of each block for the quilt.   The teacher reminded us that we would sew one black strip to block K and I was sure she said to the beginning of the block.  Of course it was the end of the block, the last seam not the first!  I had sewn all 12 K blocks with the black strip first so I had to rip...grrr.  In addition to this mistake I had sewn an extra strip to all of the L blocks, so that had to be ripped too.  

You sew the J, K and L blocks together to make one unit for the setting.  I ripped and sewed to make this unit.  I had to have a little satisfaction at the end of a frustrating sewing day.
I decided on the layout and pinned the blocks together in sets of three.  You can see some of the K blocks have been ripped and just need to be sewn back together, and some still need to be ripped out. I will finish each set, one at a time, which includes more ripping and sewing.  I put this away until next Monday.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blue Table Runner Finish

Moving forward...

I have finished one of my UFO projects from the pile of weekend finds from last weekend.  I made this quilt a few years ago and it went into the UFO pile because I didn't like the way it turned out.  I used a fabric collection by Jason Yenter, whose fabric I love, but it turned out too muddy.  I wrote a post about this quilt back in 2014 and realized I had never written about the finish.  I had hoped the quilting would make it look less muddy but it really didn't.  The funny thing is, both my father and father-in-law really like this quilt.  They don't comment on my quilts very often but they went on and on about this one. 

This table runner UFO I found last weekend was made from orphan blocks.  It just needed a little quilting and binding and it was finished pretty quickly.

I also finished the quilting on the placemats and am filling my quiet time by hand sewing the binding.

Jenny from Romany Quilting suggested I place a number on each of the patterns and roll the dice to see what to work on each day.  While I won't actually roll the dice, I thought that was a great idea to schedule a little time each day to work on one of the projects.  This is my schedule:

Monday- Stepping Stones

Wednesday - Work on the Alaska flowers and berries and whale wall hanging.  I quilt with friends on Wednesday and I will bring these projects to our get togethers.

Thursday - Alaska Quilt

Friday- Splendid Sampler wall hanging

I will try for at least 1 hour per day for these projects.