To the Moon and Back

Reposted from my other site

This is another quilt I should have put up on my design wall before quilting it, because the colors and the pattern are striking.

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Kathy called this her Universe quilt.  It has the 4 quadrants in colors.  Do you see the circles of color in the blues down in the lower left?  Those look like planets, too, and all the mottled batiks in the borders look, to me, like an Aurora Borealis.  So, how would you quilt this?

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The colors are so magnificent, that it’s hard to see the quilting, but I decided to stitch a stun into the upper right hand (yellow) corner with the 9 planets circling around it.  The orbiting circles are anything but perfect.  I hand drew them on with chalk and then stitched following the chalk lines.

In the purple down in the lower right is where I put Earth and its circling moon.  Can you see it?  The moon’s orbit is elliptical, so maybe if you find that semi-sideways oval, you’ll see the big circle inside, which is Earth.  I also drew the Big and Little Dipper with the North Star to the lower left of Earth.  Of course, my ADD brain struggled with which way to put those stars (they’re not in correct proportion anyway)…as I am looking at them on the quilt?  Or as I would look at them if I were on Earth?  I also put shooting stars and meteors in the quilt, but you can’t see them here.  The backing on the quilt did a good job of hiding them, too, which I’m always glad for, because my pea brain talks smack to me about my quilting abilities.

This particular quilt was a good example of some of the strategies I used for getting a quilt squared up as it rolls on the frame for the quilting machine.  And, since you can’t see the quilting too much, I thought I’d add some tips here.

First off, this quilt has lots of straight lines.  I use those lines to guide me to getting the quilt straight.  I’ll explain the tape measure in a bit, but for now, take a look at the lower edge of the picture.  That’s where the lower roller bar lies.  I use the lines in the quilt to help me gauge whether or not the quilt is straight going across.

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I’m sure I’ve showed you before the laser level I use to make sure the lines are straight as well.

I used to use these white clips on the rear roller bar to help me with placement of blocks and borders as I quilted, but, unless you find a way to make them stay put, they roll and move.  By the way, if you look closely at the edges of the quilt top, you will see a line of basting on the batting.  There are 3 roller bars on my machine’s frame.  The backing fabric is attached to 2 rollers; one at the bottom and one above this black roller you see in the picture below.  That roller is used to keep the fabric in place at it rolls. So, first, I attach the backing fabric to the canvases that are attached to those 2 rollers.  Then, I lay the batting on top of the backing fabric.  I use my channel locks to stitch a straight line across the top of the batting – it helps to have a dark thread for this so you can see it better.  That is my guide for where to butt the quilt top fabric up against.  I then pin the quilt top fabric in place and then stitch it down about 1/4 inch along the edge.  I’d like to make it 1/8 inch, but I’m just not that good.

As for the tape measure, I use that as a guide for where to stitch the sides in place.  When I get the top stitched down, I use my laser level to tell me where to butt the sides up to and then stitch the sides down to about 12 inches from the top.  Then I see where the sides hit the tape measure and write those numbers down.  I use those numbers for placement of the rest of the quilt along the sides.

A machine quilter’s job involves a lot more than just quilting.  The above tips are just a sampling of the many things we do when we work on your quilt.

I Spy

My final quilt for 2014 was an “I Spy” quilt for Charlotte’s grand-daughter.  What’s an “I Spy” quilt, you ask?  It is a quilt with lots of pictures to look for, using the quilt as a game board, of sorts.  Here’s a shot of the full length of the quilt.  Can you see what I am talking about?

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How about now with these close-ups?  Can you see some of the things you might “spy” with your “little eye?”

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I doubt you can see much of the quilting, but I added numbers and the letters of the alphabet around the borders.  Inside the borders I just quilted and Edge to Edge (E2E) of assorted drawings of things I saw in the quilt.  I hope Charlotte and her grand-daughter have a lot of fun with this quilt!  I know I did!

A Day Late and a Dollar Short… aka Merry Christmas!

Please forgive me.  The Christmas season is always crazy busy for me, and this December we had the added bonus of our daughter graduating from college as a doctor of Chinese Medicine.  Currently I am quilting one of my own quilts (on my holiday vacation) and I will fill you in on more details of my personal life then.  For now, let me share Diane’s holiday quilt that I quilted for her in December.

It is a BIG quilt, so this picture doesn’t give a good shot of the full length.

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Here’s a few more shots of close-ups.  Diane did a great job of piecing, embroidering and applique on the entire quilt. I enjoyed quilting it, and it sure helped me get in the mood for Christmas this year – just what I needed to get me out of the doldrums.

For the most part, I quilted holly and swirls throughout the quilt, but I added “branches” to the trees, which you cannot see in any of these pictures.  Diane chose a variegated red and green thread for the borders and trees and a cream color for the background.

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What do you think?  Would this put you in the mood for Christmas?

Quilting for a Guy?

What do you see when you look at this picture?

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Janet made this quilt as a Christmas gift for her grandson.  Her grandson tinkers with machines and vehicles, so when I looked at this quilt, I thought of wheels and gears.  So, I started with the borders and put gears in the corners and midway between the corners.  Janet also wanted tools scattered randomly in the borders, so I added those as well and then scattered tools throughout the quilt.

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As a filler, I added flames to resemble the “smoking hot & fast” work that her grandson does.  😉  Actually, I figured he might like fast cars, too, so the flames were to make it look like the wheels were moving fast.

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Here are a few more pictures of the tools strewn about on this quilt.  I must admit that when I first started working on this quilt, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, that I wouldn’t do a good job of drawing (with thread) the tools on this quilt.  But, once I got started, I had a ton of fun drawing on this quilt!

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And, what a great way to finish off a quilt for a guy!  Don’t you agree?

A Flair for Fabric

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

I was excited to do this book review, because the very talented Linda Lum DeBono is the one who compiled the projects from 15 different fabric designers with Henry Glass Fabrics that are in this book.  If you know of any of these designers, you will want to get your hands on this book: Leanne Anderson; Dana Brooks; Linda Lum DeBono; Kim Diehl; Anni Downs; Jill Finley; Amy Hamberlin; Liz Hawkins and Beth Hawkins of Lizzie B Cre8ive; Margot Languedoc; Janet Nesbitt and Pam Soliday of Buggy Barn; Vicki Oehlke; Heather Mulder Peterson; Jacquelynne Steves; and Mary Ellen Von Holt, Alice Berg, and Sylvia Johnson of Little Quilts.  Not only do they share their secrets for designing fabric lines, but they also show you how to mix and match your leftover fabrics with secondary fabrics for other projects.  An added bonus, if you choose to buy this book, is that the designers are donating the royalties from the sale of this book to the Red Cross; a notable good cause.

So, let’s take a looks inside at some of the information and projects.

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

And, last, but not least, a quilting caddy for hauling your quilting tools on outings…

Martingale - A Flair for Fabric (Print version + eBook bundle)

As you can see, there is a lot of variety in this book; variety of styles and projects.  It would make a great gift for yourself or for a fellow quilter!

Many thanks to Martingale Press and their photographer, Brent Kane for providing this book and the pictures for this review!

A “Royal” Occasion

For those of you who don’t know, I live in the Kansas City area.  The Kansas City Royals have been batting to make it into the World Series.  And, tomorrow night they play the San Francisco Giants – of course, I am hoping for another “Royal” win.  For whatever reason, this quilt made me think of the Royals.

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Okay, maybe it’s really a “pitch” for the Pittsburg Steelers (different team, different game, and on the other side of the country), but it’s cool nonetheless.  If for no other reason than it is blue – cool color, but also the color of the Kansas City Royals.  😀

Nancy always tells me to quilt what ever I like, but I knew she wanted a piano key border.  I should have just stayed with the piano key but felt compelled to embellish it somehow, so the piano key became a bead-board with lace.  I think I would have been more precise with a simple piano key border.

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I could have quilted feathers all over this, but I work at adding variety to quilting.  And, since she wanted straight-line quilting in the borders, I needed to think of something else to compliment the borders.  So, I came up with this for the insides of the blocks.  It looks kind of regal, don’t you think?

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I love Nancy’s choices of colors for her quilts.  This one is no less stunning than any of her others.  The different shades of blues, yellows, and whites really pop on this quilt.

Fabric Play

Fabric Play written by Deanne Moore is the perfect book for a beginning quilt-maker.

Martingale - Fabric Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

In her book, Deanne gives you a mock-up drawing of the entire quilt for you to play with different fabrics in creating your own quilt.

Martingale - Fabric Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

She also gives suggestions for using different fabrics with each quilt.

Martingale - Fabric Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Fabric Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Martingale - Fabric Play (Print version + eBook bundle)

Many thanks to Martingale Press and their photographer for providing the eBooks for these reviews.  You can find more information on this book here.

 

Table Toppers

Just in time for the season of giving, this book includes quick and easy projects, perfect for gift-giving.  Projects are from Fons & Porter’s “Love of Quilting” magazine and include patterns from Terry Albers, Debbie Beaves, Jodie Davis, Marianne Fons, Sandy Gervais, Sue Marsh, Kelly Mueller, Debbie Mumm, Wendy Sheppard, Edyta Sitar, Betsy Smith, and Karen Witt.  I found the projects to be colorful and cute with clear written instructions  for foundation piecing, machine appliqué, wool appliqué, etc.  Being a machine quilter, I also really liked that this book has suggestions for quilting after you have stitched the table topper together.

Martingale - Table Toppers (Print version + eBook bundle)

Just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving…

Martingale - Table Toppers (Print version + eBook bundle)

Cute for Christmas…

Martingale - Table Toppers (Print version + eBook bundle)

Springtime…

Martingale - Table Toppers (Print version + eBook bundle)

Or just because…

Martingale - Table Toppers (Print version + eBook bundle)

There is something for everyone in this book.  Check it out at Martingale’s site here.

3 More Books

Book Review #1…Civil War Legacies II by Carol Hopkins

 

Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)

Carol Hopkins wrote Civil War Legacies, and this is the follow-up to that best-selling book.  Although she uses 1860s reproduction fabrices, this would be a great book for using up those scraps. Carol gives tips on selecting fabric for these projects. Many of the blocks are great for beginning quilters to learn, and the small scale make them perfect for gifts, wall hangings, doll quilts, table toppers, etc.

Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)

The red quilt below would make a great table mat for a tea or coffee bar, imho.  And, the one on the right has true primitive colors… kind of looks like the sun peeking through the night.

Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)     Martingale - Civil War Legacies II (Print version + eBook bundle)

 

Book Review #2…Stack, Shuffle, and Slide by Karla Alexander

Martingale - Stack, Shuffle, and Slide (Print version + eBook bundle)

If you’ve heard of Stack the Deck type quilt blocks or Stack, Cut, and Shuffle quilt blocks, you will find Karla Alexander’s latest book as another twist on those block cutting models. Karla takes the fear out of color combinations by showing you  how place the different values of the colors within the blocks.  She includes patterns for the different levels of quilters, so there is something for everyone.  Many of her quilts are made with the modern and carefree look.  The quilt below on the left (the darker one)  is for a beginner quilt maker (believe it or not! – it all has to do with color and value placement) and the one below on the right with the triangle flags is for an intermediate level quilt maker.

Martingale - Stack, Shuffle, and Slide (Print version + eBook bundle)Martingale - Stack, Shuffle, and Slide (Print version + eBook bundle)

Book Review #3… Fabulously Fast Quilts by Amy Smart

Martingale - Fabulously Fast Quilts (Print version + eBook bundle)

Amy Smart is a blogger who is having a blog hop this week.  She and her blogger friends are sharing tips and techniques for making the quilt process go quicker and smoother.  If you’ve got time, head over to her blog here.  If not, you will still find pleny of tips and techniques in her book.  You can find her book on Amazon or at the Martingale shop site.  If you’d like a signed copy of her book, go here to order one from her shop.  In her book, you will find 12 quilt designs with lots of movement and that will work with a variety of fabric styles.  Many of the patterns use precuts and scraps.

I thought this one looked interesting – I could use up one or more of my jelly rolls on this quilt, I think.

 

Martingale - Fabulously Fast Quilts (Print version + eBook bundle)

I thought this quilt below gave a new twist on the chevron quilt we’ve seen so many of.  This one is made with strips, though, instead of triangles.  Could be a Quilts of Valor quilt, a boy’s quilt, a Fourth of July quilt, etc….

Martingale - Fabulously Fast Quilts (Print version + eBook bundle)

Many thanks to Martingale for providing the above books and to their photographer, Brent Kane, for providing these pictures!  You can find any of the above books at Amazon or directly from the Martingale shop.

As a side note, I did not get the following book to review, but I thought some of the quilts in it were cute, so I wanted to share some of them with you.  I don’t have any little kids to make these quilts for, but I find the NEED to buy this book.  😉

Martingale - Animal Parade  Martingale - Animal Parade

Martingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal ParadeMartingale - Animal Parade

Book Review a deux

I am in between customer quilts that I cannot show you for “raffle” reasons, so I thought I’d try to get caught up on some book reviews.  I’ve got 7 books to share with you; I think I will break them up into 2 posts.

Book #1…  Uncommonly Corduroy; Quilt Patterns, Bag Patterns, and More by Stephanie Dunphy

Martingale - Uncommonly Corduroy (Print version + eBook bundle)

I was pleasantly surprised as I opened and perused this book. The pictures reminded me that my mother used to make utilitarian quilts with scraps of corduroy, denim, and broadcloth.  As I got further into the book, I felt it sucking me in as I noticed the texture and richness of the corduroy in the quilts and how the quilting popped against the corduroy. And, of course! Why didn’t I think of putting corduroy on my bags to make them stronger? There are several cute bag patterns that will suit almost any taste. She also has several quilt patterns, some of them mixing flannel and corduroy and some including embellishments for further texture.  I see corduroy in future quilting projects of mine.

Martingale - Uncommonly Corduroy (Print version + eBook bundle)

The above picture makes me think of all the leftover corduroy clothing that could re recycled into a bag (like the one above or the one below) or something else; it makes me smile.

Martingale - Uncommonly Corduroy (Print version + eBook bundle)

Cute purse and matching scarf!

Martingale - Uncommonly Corduroy (Print version + eBook bundle)

For whatever reason, I love the black corduroy in this quilt and the colors that pop against it.  It would make a great quilt to drag around the house (for me!).

Martingale - Uncommonly Corduroy (Print version + eBook bundle)

 

Book #2…  Sweet and Simple Sewing by Jessi Jung, Carrie Jung, and Lauren Jung

Martingale - Sweet and Simple Sewing (Print version + eBook bundle)

This book is full of cute projects with a more modern touch.  It has luggage tags, a hand-bound journal, pleated clutch, makeup bag among other patterns in it.  A lot of these can be made with less than one yard of fabric in a short amount of time and as gifts.   Take a look at the table of contents.

Martingale - Sweet and Simple Sewing (Print version + eBook bundle)

Isn’t this a cute quilt?  I haven’t seen this design before.

Martingale - Sweet and Simple Sewing (Print version + eBook bundle)

Here is the curling iron “cozy” – great for taking on trips!

Martingale - Sweet and Simple Sewing (Print version + eBook bundle)

I love the quilt pattern below.  Who would have through to make a fan block into something so cute?

Martingale - Sweet and Simple Sewing (Print version + eBook bundle)

Another great bag for traveling…

Martingale - Sweet and Simple Sewing (Print version + eBook bundle)

And a cute purse for those special occasions…

Martingale - Sweet and Simple Sewing (Print version + eBook bundle)

 

Book #3… Sew Practical by various authors of Martingale

Martingale - Sew Practical (Print version + eBook bundle)

I especially liked this book because of the variety of projects, but I guess that is what you get when you have so many designer authors; Pippa Eccles Armbrester, Cassie Barden, Linda Lum DeBono, Barbara Groves and Mary Jacobson, Adrienne Smitke, and Janis Stob and Margaret Linderman for Fig Tree & Co.   In the midst of the variety of designers, they will provide you with a variety of sewing techniques from which to learn.  I’ll let you take a look at the table of contents.

Martingale - Sew Practical (Print version + eBook bundle)

I can see the knitting case below being adapted for someone doing embroidery or hand sewing, and, of course, crocheting also.

Martingale - Sew Practical (Print version + eBook bundle)

I hadn’t really thought of making a cover for my sewing machine (I use it too much) until I saw this.  Martingale - Sew Practical (Print version + eBook bundle)

E-readers seem to be everywhere now.  Wouldn’t this make a nice gift?Martingale - Sew Practical (Print version + eBook bundle)

I love this work apron.  I wear a gardener’s apron when I quilt, but this apron tempts me to make a prettier one than what I currently have.Martingale - Sew Practical (Print version + eBook bundle)

I thought these place mats were interesting, because of the “woven” design element.  I can see them as mug rugs also.Martingale - Sew Practical (Print version + eBook bundle)

 

And finally…

Book #4…  Simple Appeal by Kim Diehl

Martingale - Simple Appeal (Print version + eBook bundle)

Kim Diehl is one of my favorite designers, so of course I would love this book.  It is full of scrappy quilts.  Some of them are pieced and some are appliqued.  She will show you how to do invisible machine appliqué as well as wool appliqué on cotton backgrounds .  I don’t have a picture of the table of contents on this book, but you can get an idea of the 14 projects inside this book with the following pictures.

The 9-patch inside the log-cabin block is interesting to me.  Couple it with the appliqued border and you have a win-win quilt.

Martingale - Simple Appeal (Print version + eBook bundle)

Kim must have used scraps for the background on this one (creative!).  I like how this one looks so natural in its setting, yet it is scrappy.Martingale - Simple Appeal (Print version + eBook bundle)

Something small to make for yourself or as a gift.  The thought of mug rug came into my mind, but I think I would be afraid to get it dirty.  Maybe bright colors on a black background for a mug rug?

Wait!  Is that embroidery I see?  🙂

Martingale - Simple Appeal (Print version + eBook bundle)

Who would have thought to make a primitive pincushi0n using an old jar lid?  Only Kim…Martingale - Simple Appeal (Print version + eBook bundle)

And, finally, I thought these quilts hanging like this, if nothing else, make a great statement and a nice decoration for homey homes.  Brent Kane really knows how to set up the quilts for photography!

Martingale - Simple Appeal (Print version + eBook bundle)

Many thanks to Martingale for providing the books and their photographer, Brent Kane, for these wonderful pictures!  You can buy these books from Amazon or go to Martingale’s website here.