Sunday, March 18, 2018

Longarm meeting

In my last post I mentioned I was hosting my local longarm group at my house yesterday, which also happened to be National Quilting Day.  Several of you were curious what we did at the meeting, so I thought I would just do a short post on it.

So mad at myself as I had planned on taking a couple pictures but we were so busy that I forgot!  The hostess provides a main dish, beverages, plates, cups, napkins etc.  The members bring side dishes and lots of desserts, LOL.  There is never a lack of food.  I made a Rigatoni hot dish this time and it turned out yummy:)

The meeting starts at 10am.  People start arriving 20 minutes early sometimes as we have members that drive for an hour or more to get here and it is very hard to plan for traffic, weather etc. so that is expected.  I was ready when the first lady arrived.  We have about 36 members and usually half of them come.  Yesterday there were 16 of us including myself.  There have been several new members join in the last year or so.  We go about the room introducing ourselves and tell what type of longarm we drive and then there is a roll call question that the president comes up with.  Yesterday it was how do you show your customer what options you can quilt for her.  There is always a variety of answers and gives us food for thought.  Some answers were just drawing designs on paper while the customer is present, some take pictures of the quilt and then email the customer a drawing of what they think should be done, some customers just say do whatever and lets the longarmer decide.

Of course we have a few business things to discuss, right now we are in the process of deciding what instructor we would like to hire for 2019 to come in and teach us for a couple days.  Jodi Robinson is being contacted. So excited as she is very inspiring in her modern work.  We are also having a bus trip to Quilt Expo in Madison this fall.  Then the fun begins with show and tell!!  For me it is a no brainer, I talk about being an Island Batik Ambassador, here are my IB projects I showed this time.

Everyone loves show and tell but not everyone brings something for various reasons.  Sometimes they don't want to haul that gigantic customer quilt they just finished, or the customer already picked up their quilt.  Most of the ladies quilt for hire, but a couple just do it for their own selves, and then the odd ball me, quilting for the craft shows!!   There are always thoughts and ideas we share too.

Then the meeting is done and true socializing and eating lunch begins.  Everyone was out the door by 1 p.m. already.  We covered lots of stuff in our 3 hours.  We meet every other month in someones home. Although we take July off, as so many are very busy during the summer.

And there you have it in a nutshell of our longarm meeting!  Since it was National Quilting Day I went in and sewed a bit after they left.  Here is what I am working on-a new quilt.  I am loving it!!!  I'll tell more about it in a later post.  Although I am using a fat quarter bundle for this you could certainly do this with scraps and I may just do that in the future.

Linking with Oh Scrap, MMC

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Jelly roll waves

This quilt has been patiently waiting for me to get time to quilt it.  The fabrics were 2 half jelly rolls from  this site that I picked up a couple years ago.  I was just waiting for the right pattern to hit me;) And speaking of patterns this one is Jelly Roll Waves by Myra at Busy Hands.

 Just came off the longarm.  I used Glide thread in a medium gray as I didn't want it to stick out too much on the white and still show up on the prints.  The pattern I freehand quilted is a dwirling design I learned from The Pajama Quilter.  I love doing this design as it never comes out the same twice. 

 These fabrics remind me of the Caribbean waters and the quilting design represents the waves;)

I got creative with the back-I had a few leftover partial strips from the front that I really wanted to use up.  The peacock fabric I found at JoAnn's last week and snatched a couple yards and then had to come up with a plan, I ran a bit short therefore I added the green from my stash and it was just the right size.  Binding time-I just happened to have a solid blue that worked perfectly, it is an advantage to have a rather large stash!  My Jelly Roll Wave measures 49 x 68 and is now listed in my Etsy shop.

 And I better get back to cleaning house as I am hosting my local longarm meeting on Saturday.  So far 12 say they are coming, sometimes we have 20.  Everyone brings a dish to pass for lunch, but the hostess supplies a main dish and drinks.  I am going to do a Rigatoni hot dish this time.  Hope you all have a fun weekend.

Linking with Myra and Sarah and Tish Sandra this week.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Patriotic runner

Recently we took a drove to see if we could spot eagles over at the Mississippi river.  It's always a gamble if one will see them or not.  That got me to thinking of making a patriotic runner.  I pictured it in my head and then went into EQ8 when I got home.  This is what I came up with.  I have quite a bit of red, white and blue fabric in the stash so I got right to work on it.

We got really lucky and spotted about 25 eagles that day, this is a poor picture but you get the idea and have proof we saw some!!  There were about a dozen sitting on the ice near the open water. But only a couple of those had their white heads yet. 

I quilted a wavy line using a wavy ruler with white thread in the white fabrics and red thread in the red fabrics.  An allover loop design in blue thread on the blue fabric worked well.  After quilting and binding, I machine appliqued the white stars.  I didn't want the blue fabric showing through the white star so I put a soft fusible interfacing on the back of the star.  That also helps keep the fraying down.  Two sizes of stars were used, the smaller 2 near the red stripes and the larger in the middle.

 This is now listed in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A new technique-Island Batik

My March challenge from Island Batik started with picking a technique that I had never done before.  Hmmm at first I was totally stumped as I have done so many things over my years of quilting. Several of us ambassadors were chatting and others felt the same way and we started throwing ideas around.  And something triggered a memory of my seeing Jayne work with bias tape and I had also seen an episode of Fresh Quilting with Latifa Safir using bias tape.  I had not tried it so why not!!

Then before I got a chance to start on it, I was playing in EQ8 one day and totally by accident used the swath tool, EEEP-how cool is that!!!!!!!  Well I hurried and printed out the paper pieces, and closed EQ down.  The next day I did all the paper piecing, and then I went in to look at the layout and poof it was gone!!!!  So what I think happened was that I had edges of the swath geese hanging off the block and it messed with the program and it wipes out your designs in that file:((((   I had this happen before-when will I learn, LOL   All this to say I wish I could show you the actual layout.  But I can show you the paper pieces...

And the Island Batik stash builder rolls that I used, I pulled the brights from them, plus some neutral yardage for the background.

Let the process of bias tape begin.  I am using the 3/8" bias tape maker with a 3/4" batik cut on the bias.  I recently learned that holding the maker up at this angle works better;)

You can see I had to stop and quilt my background and backing first, I used 2 layers of Hobbs batting.  I used a pencil to outline where the geese would lay.  The quilting is called Wild Quilting, a Christina Cameli technique.  After all the quilting was done I began to apply the bias tape using Elmers Glue to hold it in place. 

After gluing down one set of geese I would stitch closely to the edge on both sides of the tape.  I recently read using a zipper foot works well to stay close to the edge, so I tried that.  It worked great!  If I could remember where I read that, I'd give them credit for the idea.   

I kept working my way through each set of geese using the above method, making sure that I did the sets that would lay under my last one which is the green one.

When it came time to bind it, I decided that a pop of color would set it off nicely.  My hubby looks at it and he says it looks I am calling this little quilt twisted geese.  It measures 19"x 13". 

 In the picture below you can see how poofed out the geese sets are, that is why I used 2 layers of batting.  The texture of this piece is incredible, I love it.  Thank you Island Batik for challenging us and helping us grow in our quilting.   Full disclosure...the fabrics used were given to me by Island Batik, the thread from Aurifil and the batting from Hobbs.

The penny for perspective.
So in the end I tried 3 new things with this little quilt,  the swath tool in EQ, applique with bias tape, and using the zipper foot to stitch close to the edge. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Flowers in the garden

Well I am still dreaming of spring and summer, and wow it feels like spring in the air today!

This floral table runner is made of Island Batik fabrics except for the white background. Aren't these just fun colors, I just love walking past it and thinking of real flowers in the garden-well they'll be there some day!

I had lots of fun custom quilting this on my Funquilter, using a combination of Glide, Aurifil and Isacord threads.  And Hobbs 80/20.

Disclosure: The Island Batiks were sent to me by Island Batik.  The colors are just so fun and vibrant.

This is now in my Etsy shop.  

Linking up at

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Dreaming of Summer

Yes I am 'dreaming' of summer already.  This is my DrEAMi for February. I am so over winter, LOL  we've had more cold snaps than usual.  We did get a little more snow yesterday, not as much as originally forecast.   Not that I have anywhere that I have to go but still.  It'll be good for sledding and perhaps the Grandsons will come over and enjoy it with us.

Anyway, here is what I was making while doing my dreaming.  A watermelon table runner.

Once again I turned to EQ8, I really am loving it now and find myself using it more than I did 7. Things seem easier to find in 8.   After designing and piecing the center section, I made a trip to the store to see what I could find for the border.  I think this red check is perfect for it.

A green fabric, cut on the bias and run through a tape maker, is what I used for the rind.  In the process of pressing it into the right curve, I discovered if you spritz the fabric before curving it works much better.  The reds are all strips from my scrap/string bin.  This is the second time I used bias tape in an applique process...March 1st you will see my first project with it!  Yep doing that a little backward.  But the first project is my Island Batik March challenge, and it isn't quite finished yet, not to mention it's not March yet!

 Now I step back into Spring with another bunny runner.  The hubster says this one is his favorite so far.

Actually it was 2 bunny runners as I also had an order for this one, at 65" long.  You can see how much longer it is in the middle.  He is hopping his way to her as we speak. 

Linking with Oh Scrap, DrEAMi and MCM

Friday, February 23, 2018

A shamrock for our door-Island Batik

Last year I started making mini quilts to hang on our front door, one for each season.  Well I didn't get some of the seasons done, so I will continue this year.  When I knew the second Island Batik Ambassador February project was to do something mini, I would get my shamrock one!  After finishing the piecing on a customer table runner yesterday I got right to work on the mini.

The first box that Island Batik gave me for this years projects had a bundle of Paisley Dots fat eighths.  I spied these gorgeous greens and the neutal background was from a previous box.  OK done deal these are perfect for my shamrock hanging.

The Block Lock half rectangle was used to create the spike borders.  Those along with using batiks made the process so easy!  My mini finishes at 10.5" x 15".  When making my door mini's they are not all the same size, just in the ball park;)   I layered and quilted it with Aurifil 3320 in a 50 weight.  I didn't realize this light green was variegated until I unwrapped it and was winding the bobbin that it became apparent.  It is so subtle of shades, perfect for this project.  This was also included in the box from Island Batik, Aurifil is a sponsor also.

Once again I quilted it before doing the applique.  Since this shamrock is also a batik and won't ravel, I just used Elmers Glue to adhere it and then satin stitched with Aurifil 2890 dk. green.

Don't you just love the dots!!

Since my door is steel, I hand sew little pockets to the back to slip a magnet in, this makes it so quick and easy to hang and leaves no marks.
Thanks Island batik for the wonderful fabrics and thank you Aurifil for the perfect thread for my project.  I have to admit before I was an Island Batik ambassador and received the Aurifil threads to go with our projects I never used Aurifil.  It's been wonderful getting acquainted with it!

Here is a list of all the Ambassadors so you can check out their inspirations for their Mini Love.

Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Mania at Mania for Quilts
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts

Sherry at Powered by Quilting  <— me!
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

Linking with Sarah Myra Amanda

Monday, February 19, 2018

Hippity Hop

Down the bunny trail I go...
I needed something in my Etsy shop for Easter. I got to looking in EQ8 for inspiration and there was this paper pieced bunny.  I enlarged it a bit and whipped him up.  He is as cute as a real bunny!  Maybe not quite as cuddly though, since he is for a table runner.

Thoughts of adding an applique funky flower in the middle had been there until I was all done with it.  I think most people have a centerpiece in the middle, so anything I put there would get covered up anyway.

The outer border I quilted with an oval template to represent Easter eggs.  Simple allover meander in the center and some outline quilting for the bunny.  The whiskers were done while he was still on the longarm, easy peasy.

He hopped right out of my Etsy shop, along with his identical twin!   BUT...

This cutie pie has replaced him.  I am so glad the fabric store is close to me as I am over there a lot!!

 This week I'll be making another color of this one, and much longer.  My customer wants it 65" long.  I made her a long shamrock one and when she got it she loved it so much she wants this Easter one.

 We had some leftover meat sauce from spaghetti last weekend so I cooked more pasta to go with it.    I used a small pan so I broke the pasta in half before cooking it.  When I took off the lid this is what it looked like.  A spaghetti donut!!

 Linking with MCM, Linky Tuesday, Wednesday Wait Loss,Midweek makers,Let's Bee Social

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy Galentine's Day!

Yep there really is a Galentine's Day, it's today.  It is to celebrate your friendship with your gal pals.  I made this little Galentine mug rug to mail to a friend.  One of our Island Batik challenges this month was to make something small to give a friend.  These fabrics were sent to me by Island Batik in the new box I just received.

 I cut 1.25" strips from my pink and red fabrics to make a strip set.  Then I cut 1.25" strips from the strip set.  I wish I would have remembered to take pictures of the next step, but I got caught up in the creativity and forgot!!   The background strip was cut 2" and I sewed the first pieced strip to it.  The next pieced strip was laid on the other edge of the background at an angle and sewn with a 1/4" seam.  I repeated until I had 4 of the colored pieced strips, then add whatever size of background to get your desired size mug rug.

This was quilted on my domestic machine, using my walking foot, with a wavy random line.  The applique was done after the quilting and binding.

Happy Galentine's day to all my blog followers and friends.  I appreciate your visits and comments more than you know.  We are all here to encourage and learn from each other.  When I started my blog several years ago I had no idea the amount of wonderful people I would meet through it.  And all the inspiration-you are the best!!  

Linking with Connie for Linky Tuesday, Susan for Midweek Makers and Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Petting and Fondling...

Fabric, yes I am petting and fondling my new Island Batiks that just arrived on Friday.  As an Ambassador for Island Batik they give me a box of gorgeous, delicious fabric twice a year.  I use these fabrics for a challenge project each month.  Aurifil and Hobbs batting partnered with them and sent along thread and batting for us to use in our projects.
 Friday I was camping out by my front door(inside the house!) waiting for this guy to appear with the 22 lb box of batiks!  Yes 22 lbs!   See how big this is:0 

OK here we go- Wow, Wow, Wow, is what I kept saying as I pulled bundle after bundle out of the box!

A fat eight bundle of Paisley Dots,  a strip pack and yardage of City Culture 2, a bundle of blender and foundations, 3 yards of purple(so pretty!!) and a twin size of Hobbs batting.  I use Hobbs 80/20 all the time and I love it.

 A queen size of Hobbs Thermore-I did use it once in a jacket, it's thin and warm so it worked out well.  Perhaps another jacket might be needed;)   There's neutral yardage, rayon yardage, a gorgeous rayon scarf, a stash builder pack, Galentines pack and look at all that wonderful Aurifil thread!  And little Island Batik pins.

Oh and a SURPRISE package-I peaked and I LOVE it, but I can't show you just yet.  It will be released at Spring Market so it's a secret until after that.

Did I say I just love the colors of the scarf-that's a favorite color for me to wear. 

I hope you will all come back and join me in the wonderful new year of Island Batik projects.  I look forward to sharing them with you.  This will be my third year and it just keeps getting better and better! 

I am an ambassador for Island Batik, the products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, Aurifil threads, and Hobbs batting.

Linking with MCM and Monday Making