Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Yes, I'm Still Here, Working On Baby Quilts...

 Hello, my lovelies!  It felt good to step away from the blog for a few days.  

We brought our 19-year-old son home from college for the weekend so he could cast his very first vote in a Presidential election during Early Voting rather than having to change his voter registration to his college address.  My 17-year-old son has strong opinions about the election that he believes we're all entitled to hearing, and he is not pleased to be the only nonvoting member of the family.  ;-). Hah!

I made more progress on my baby quilt version of the AQS "Letter Home" September QAL:

Monogram Baby Quilt In Progress

Those are 8" finished blocks, center monogram block that I added is English Paper Pieced, and the finished size of this quilt with narrow borders will be 42" x 42".  None of the blocks are sewn together yet, but I'm nearly finished piecing all of the blocks now.



I did get my Modern Baby Clam Shell quilt finished -- COMPLETELY FINISHED!! -- a couple days ago, but haven't taken the final photos of it yet.  Still debating whether or not to wash it first.  And, since my October goal is to completely finish BOTH of these sibling quilts and get them mailed off by the end of the month, I figured I might as well wait and photograph both of them together.

Final Stretch of Binding on Modern Baby Clam Shells

As usual, I'd be farther along with the baby quilts if I hadn't been busy working on other things.  I spoke with a potential new client about a vintage quilt made by his grandmother that he's looking to have restored.  I've been researching and crowd sourcing about quilt battings in order to finalize which ones I want to stock for clients.  I also worked on a Double-Top-Secret Surprise design for a friend in EQ8 and sourced special fabrics to bring that idea to life.  The fabrics I needed showed up in yesterday's mail and they are AWESOME -- it is going to be SO HARD not to show you this one until after I surprise my friend with it!  

I have also been working my way through all of the IntelliQuilter training videos provided by my dealer, all SIX hours' worth, covering both computerized edge-to-edge as well as computerized custom quilting.  I am SO excited by the possibilities!  The system that I ordered in late August is finally ready to ship and install on my APQS Millennium, and I finished the last of the training videos last night so I'm raring to go.  I absolutely cannot wait to start putting everything I've learned into practice on my quilts!  My IntelliQuilter should be up and running by Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, my furry little beefcake puppy Samwise will turn one year old on Halloween!

Samwise Turns One Year Old on Halloween!

That's all you get for today, folks!  I'm linking up with the following linky parties:

WEDNESDAY

·       Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

·       Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

THURSDAY

·       Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

·       Put Your Foot Down at For the Love of Geese

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

LAL#11: The Season Finale

 Hello, machine quilting friends, and welcome to what I've decided will be the last Long Arm Learning linky party.  I have so appreciated those of you who've been linking up with me here for the past 11 weeks, and I've learned a lot from all of your posts.  However:

  • I enjoy lots of other aspects of quilting besides the actual machine quilting part.  Even though that's my strongest focus these days, I'm finding that I struggle to come up with a long arm quilting themed post every single week.  Some weeks I've been exploring English paper piecing or quilt design or hand stitching and would rather write about that.  So the linky party focus is feeling constraining to me as the host.
  • I enjoy visiting and being inspired by a wide, varied range of quilters, whether they are hand quilters, machine quilters, or masterful appliqué artists who "quilt by check."  If I'm going to host a linky party, I'd rather cast a wider net and include EVERYONE in the party rather than just those who've written about machine quilting in a particular week.
  • Finally, I'm noticing that a lot of us -- myself included -- are linking up the same posts in several different linky parties that we all participate in.  It's like we're all on the same linky party bus doing a bar crawl together!  So I'm wondering whether there is actually a need for me to be hosting yet another linky party here on my blog at all?



Where Can We Link Up Together Going Forward?

These are the linky parties where I currently enjoy linking up on a weekly or monthly basis, where I see a lot of you linking up as well:

SATURDAY

·       UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland

SUNDAY

·       Frédérique at Quilting Patchwork Appliqué

·       Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework

·       Slow Stitching Sunday at Kathy's Quilts

MONDAY

·       Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

TUESDAY

·       To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us

WEDNESDAY

·       Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

·       Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

THURSDAY

·       Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  

·       Free Motion Mavericks with Muv and Andree

·       Sew and Tell Thursday (on BerninaLand Groups.io)

FRIDAY

·       Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

·       Peacock Party at Wendy’s Quilts and More

·       Finished Or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts

·       Off the Wall Friday at Nina Marie Sayre

·       TGIFF Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, rotates, schedule found here: http://tgiffriday.blogspot.ca/p/hosting-tgiff.html

 

MONTHLY:

·       One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts. Link up your goal at the start of each month and link up your finish during the last 6 days of the month 

·       Tips and Tutorials on the 22nd, open 22nd through end of each month: Kathleen McMusing

The easiest linky parties for me to participate in are the ones that are pretty open-ended, where I can link up any kind of quilting project, in any stage of completion.  The goal setting linkies are helpful as well (Roseanne's To-Do Tuesday and Elm Street Quilts' One Monthly Goal) although I don't always get my goal post written up in time and I'm not great about finishing the goals by the end of the week or month.  The "finished" linky parties are ones I enjoy visiting to see what others have made, but I don't crank out finishes fast enough to have one to share at the end of every week.

I'm not opposed to continuing to host a linky party, now that I've set up the account with InLinkz and figured out how to do it.  But if I start up a new party, it would need to be open to all stages and techniques of quilt making, all styles, so that I'm not stressing out about needing to come up with a post each week on a specific topic even if I'm in a different place creatively that week.  And when I look at my roster of other bloggers' linky parties, I see that there are already so many great linky parties like that going strong.  Go ahead and share your feedback and opinions in the comments, but right now my inclination is to call it a wrap and let other bloggers be the Hostesses With the Mostesses.  If anyone is disappointed that my machine quilting themed linky party is ending, I want to encourage you to check out Free Motion Mavericks, cohosted by Muv and Andree on Thursdays.  Whether you're on a domestic machine or a long arm, quilting with rulers or working on freehand designs, all of that is welcome at Free Motion Mavericks.  I'll be linking up with them there when I do have machine quilting to share!

And now, without further ado, here's your LAST CHANCE to link up with Long Arm Learning!  I can't wait to see what you've all been up to this week!



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, October 12, 2020

Tuesday's To-Do List: Still Slogging Along With Butterflies and Clam Shells

 Might as well just get to the meat and potatoes this week!  Last week's goals turned out to be overly ambitious:

✅ finish quilting Modern Baby Clam Shells, AND 

get it labeled and   

❌ bound, AND  

❌ get my Letter Home baby quilt top and ready to load on my frame.  

After quilting the pantograph design over most of my Modern Baby Clam Shells quilt and stitching in the ditch around my butterfly appliqués  a quilter who was more goal oriented and focused than I am would have finished up the quilting with some monofilament or color matched thread to machine quilt along the butterfly veins.  I decided to haul out all of my yummy hand stitching threads instead.  I ended up quilting my butterfly veins with Perle Cotton #5, which would probably have looked better with a longer stitch length, but I like it anyway:

Perle Cotton no. 5 for Hand Quilted Butterfly Veins

I like the idea of combining machine quilting with hand stitched details, and think I might explore more of that in future.  


Best of all, since my butterflies are turned edge appliqué with the backing trimmed away behind them and no fusible web or anything like that to add stiffness, they are super soft and smooshable and were very easy to needle for the hand quilting.


The purple butterflies got green stitching.  It's subtle, but I love the vintage hand stitched vibe it gives my butterflies.

All Quilting Completed, Ready to Trim

You know, I was really tempted to custom quilt this one, if I hadn't been up against a time crunch to get it finished.  But I have to say, the less densely quilted pantograph design makes this baby quilt SO soft and cuddly!  Custom quilting might have made for a stiffer quilt, and if I'd gotten too carried away with it, the baby's mom might have felt like the quilt was "too fancy" for everyday use and stuck it in a closet.  😱😱😱. Heaven forbid!  So all's well that ends well!

Attaching the Machine Embroidered Label

My bee group that used to meet in person Pre-Plague has been meeting on Zoom instead on Monday afternoons, and I used that time today to get this quilt trimmed and to attach the machine embroidered label I'd digitized and stitched out on Sunday.  I tried something new this time, using Aurifil 50/2 Cotton threads in the needle and also in the bobbin to embroider my quilt label.  I am really happy with how it came out!  That extra thickness to the thread (compared to regular embroidery thread and bobbin thread) gave the stitching more prominence, yet I had zero issues with puckering or thread breaks.  And although I love the sheen of trilobal polyester or rayon embroidery threads for other projects, I liked the matte lustre of the 100% cotton thread for this quilt.  I used one layer of water soluble topping, one layer of tearaway stabilizer in the hoop, with a second layer of tearaway stabilizer floated beneath the hoop.  I used my built-in basting stitch around the perimeter of the design as well, both to reduce the tendency of the embroidery to draw up and pucker, but also because the basting stitches form a nice, straight rectangle around the label design that I can use to trim the excess fabric and turn the two edges of the label that won't be caught in the binding.

My local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild will be doing its first in-person stitch-together next Saturday, in the parking lot of the church where we usually meet, with masks and social distancing in place.  I'm planning to get the binding machine stitched to my clam shell quilt tomorrow and then set it aside to be finished with hand stitching at my guild's outdoor gathering. I sure hope the weather cooperates!

And then I can turn my attention back to the baby brother's quilt, based on the AQS Letter Home QAL.  So, that's what I'll be up to for the rest of this week!

Rebecca's To-Do List for This Week:

  1. Attach binding to clam shell quilt by machine
  2. Finish piecing Letter Home blocks
  3. Assemble Letter Home quilt top
  4. Piece Letter Home backing
  5. Load Letter Home on the long arm frame

I'm tempted to put more on that list, but there's so much SHAME when I have to put red X's next to everything at the end of the week!  😉. Best to quit while I'm ahead!  I'm linking up today's post with the following linky parties:

MONDAY

·       Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  

·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

TUESDAY

·       To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us

WEDNESDAY

·       Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication

·       Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

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