Even Seasoned Quilters Need Practice

I first started longarm machine quilting 8 years ago. I think it’s pretty normal for a quilter to develop a particular style, and people will start to recognize a specific quilter’s work when they see it. My thing tends to be garden/leafy/swirly thingies. Anything with curls, leaves, flowers, critters, etc. A couple of weeks ago, a friend gifted me with the book Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters . (thanks, Nic!) I’ve been studying her quilting ideas and finding that my excitement for quilting has been coming back. Today, I loaded a practice quilt sandwich, which I very rarely do. I’ve been going through the book and practicing the designs, then adding a little something of my own. I’m really enjoying learning some new ways of quilting! I have to remember that all of us need new ideas and a little practice time now and then! I highly recommend this book for anyone needing a little boost for new

 

quilting ideas!

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A Special Gift

Carie is a very dear friend of mine. We live in different states, but we talk and/or text almost every day. We’ve shared many ups and downs, tears and laughter, stupid stunts and sudden thoughts of genius (so we think)!  We’ve had many conversations about both of us wanting to get back into watercolor painting. I’m a dreamer. I can talk all day about the variety of creative things I want to do. Carie is a do-er. She doesn’t just talk about something, she gets busy! Last week, I received a hand-painted card in the mail from her. I hope she knows just how special a friend she is, and how much I cherish her friendship in my life.

I apologize if you find the red a bit distracting, but I wanted to show it on the wall where it hangs. It actually looks quite stunning against the red, and I can see it while I’m working in my quilting room. Thank you, Carie! I LOVE IT!

 

Quilt for Collin

Collin is my youngest son. He is just about to start his last year of college, and I’ve been promising him a new quilt since the beginning of his freshman year. He has a quilt that I made him when he was about 12 years old and only about 5’3″ tall. It fit him perfectly, at the time. He’s now about 6′ 2″! This quilt was not actually meant for him when I made it, but after I’d completed the top, he claimed it. Good thing he did, or it would probably have never been finished!

I’d never made anything completely out of solids, and I was fairly new to the Modern Quilt Guild movement when I started this one. I was like a dog with a bone, I tell ya! I was terribly excited to get it sewn together at one of our guild sew ins! As per the instructions, the quilt was uneven at the bottom and needed to be trimmed. My husband has helped me to square up many backings over the past 8 years, so he knows what he’s doing when he’s supposed to hold the corners together. He also has the attention span of a gnat! Armed with a fresh blade in my rotary cutter, I sliced off the uneven parts on the quilt top. When he handed me the end of the top that he was holding, I saw that he hadn’t lined up the corners! After feeling like I was going to toss my cookies, cussing a blue streak, and breaking down in tears, the quilt went into the closet. And there is stayed. On one of his trips home, Collin was poking around in my “quilt tops to be quilted” closet. He asked if he could have this poor, unevenly trimmed, neglected quilt. I showed him how awfully crooked it was, but he didn’t care. What he cared about was the fact that it was long!  After many more months of nagging, I finally decided to see what could be done to salvage this project. Measure, mark, measure, mark and measure and mark again! I finally got the nerve to trim it again, and ended up losing about 6″! Not quite long enough now, I decided to add borders to it. Adding borders to quilts doesn’t seem to be the “thing to do” in modern quilting, but I tend to favor borders. For me, it’s like framing a picture. Besides, it added 10″ to this quilt! I finally got it quilted and the binding attached. My personal goal was to start the binding on the first night of the Olympics, and to finish it on the last night of the Olympics. Slow and steady, after all, wins the race! I put the last stitch in the binding, just as the closing ceremonies were ending last night. I’m pleased to say that when I hung the quilt on the fence this morning, I got a little chill! I’m so happy with it! I know where it looks crooked, but it’s not nearly as noticeable now that it’s quilted. It will be even less so, once it’s washed. I need to remember that! Had Collin not nagged the dickens outta me, it would probably still be in the closet, never to be finished. I would have robbed myself of the joy I felt this morning.

The quilt pattern is called City Scapes by Cherry House Quilts. The quilting pattern is called Geometric Path by Kirstin Hoftyzer, distributed through Digi-Tech. The thread is Superior Threads Omni, with Superior Threads So Fine in the bobbin. The batting is Hobbs 80/20.