Saturday, June 26, 2021

Studio Tour: Let There Be Light! And Also, Thread! Upgrades From My Sweetie

You guys, I am SO EXCITED about the wire cable track lighting that my husband installed above my new Bernina long arm last night!  I LOVE IT! 💕💕💕

Wire Cable Track Lighting Installed Above My New Q24

The Bernina Q24 has plenty of bright LED lighting along the throat of the machine head itself, but I wanted the entire length of the frame lit up from one side to the other so I can inspect each section of a quilt as I'm advancing it on the frame.  Bright task lighting enables me to find and remove any pet fur or stray threads before they get quilted in, and makes it easier to notice things like open seams that my hopping foot could catch in if I didn't see them ahead of time.

Bright Lighting Helps Me Spot Problems Like This Open Seam

That photo above with an open seam was my own kaleidoscope quilt, by the way -- I am not a perfect piecer, either!  (When I see something like that as I'm quilting, I like to mark it with a hand stitched tailor tack in contrasting thread so it's easier to find it later when I want to hand stitch that spot closed).

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Free-Motion Quilting with My New, Snazzy Quilt Beast: Meet the Bernina Q24!

Now that the vintage Corn & Beans quilt has been repaired and returned to its owner, I finally had a chance to start playing with my new Bernina Q24 long arm machine yesterday.  I am in Quilting Heaven!

First Free-Motion Stitches on my New Q24

This is a preprinted practice panel that I bought from Lisa Calle when I took her long arm quilting workshop in Paducah in 2019.  My Q24 was delivered with a full bobbin's worth of orange thread, so I threaded her up with a cone of So Fine thread, color Orange Julius in the needle for the maiden voyage.  I haven't done any free motion quilting at all for nearly a year, having been so focused on learning that IntelliQuilter computerized quilting system, so I'm a bit rusty -- but I just love how  this machine handles for free motion work.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Vintage Corn and Beans Quilt Repairs, Part 3

I made some more progress on the vintage Corn and Beans quilt repair project.  The second of the two blocks that needed to be completely remade and patched over has now been made, attached to the quilt, and requilted.  In case anyone is curious, it took me two and a half hours to piece each of these corn and beans blocks from start to finish, including cutting and pressing the blocks.

Two Blocks Replaced and Requilted

The turquoise and pale blue block was the one that my client's dog had chewed through.  The block next to it needed replacement because both of the fabrics in the original block were disintegrating:

Original Block with Disintegrating Fabrics

I could not find exact matches for these fabrics, but I did the best I could to replicate the look and feel of this block with new fabrics.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Olivia's Night Stars Baby Quilt AND MaryBeth's UFO Quilt That's Nearly as Old as I Am

I have two very different client quilts to share with you today, one that I was forbidden from posting until after the baby shower that happened this past weekend, and the other is one that I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago but forgot to share here on the blog.  

#1: Olivia's Night Stars Baby Quilt

The baby shower is over, so I finally get to share!  Y'all, I am just in love with this baby quilt that my client Olivia pieced for her sister in-law's baby shower.  The pattern is called "Night Stars," designed by Emily Dennis of Quilty Love (available on Etsy here).  

My Client Olivia's Night Stars Baby Quilt with Circle Melodrama E2E

My client shared that this quilt has much more extensive piecing than the projects she usually makes and it took her a lot longer to complete the quilt top than she anticipated, but she did such an amazing job.  

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Vintage Corn and Beans Repair, Part Deux: How to Patch a Giant, Gaping Hole in the Middle of a Quilt

You guys, I was so proud of myself at the end of the day's work on this vintage quilt repair yesterday.  I managed to patch the gaping hole in the quilt backing, fill in the missing cotton batting from the right side, and then patch the giant hole in the front of the quilt with my recreated block -- and I did it all by machine so the repair is strong enough to stand the test of time.  Moreover, the quilt lays perfectly flat through the repaired section and there are no unwanted tucks or pleats around the repair on either the front or the backing side.  WHEW!  Fools like me rush in where angels fear to tread...

More Obvious Than I'd Like, but Better Than the Gaping Hole

There was some damage to parts of the sashing beyond the edges of the missing block and there was also a good bit of distortion of the quilt around the chewed area, such that a perfectly square block would not work as a patch by itself.  The adjacent blocks in the quilt measure about 12 1/4" finished -- who knows what size they were originally, as they have probably shrunk over the years.  

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Rebecca vs the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: A Corn and Beans Vintage Quilt Repair In Progress

Just as I was about to type "Good Morning, Lovelies," my grandfather clock struck noon...  Ah, well -- good afternoon, then!  Today I'm sharing the first chapter of a vintage Corn and Beans quilt repair that I'm working on for a client.  

Client's Vintage Corn and Beans Quilt, With "Window" Added By Her Dog

Why, yes -- OF COURSE I can fix that!  😂. I am such a glutton for punishment, aren't I?!

This vintage Corn & Beans quilt is actually in pretty good shape overall, except for worn binding, a few small holes/open seams here and there...  and a giant window chewed right through the middle of it by my client's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel!  It's machine pieced and quilted by machine (minimally, by today's standards) and I've been mulling over how to fix it for awhile now, knowing it was coming up in my queue.

My Replacement Block, Next to the Original

When working on a vintage repair for a client, I'm charging by the hour and trying to stick as closely as possible to the agreed-upon estimate, so I start with the absolute worst damage first and try to work as efficiently as possible.  This area of the quilt needs to be completely reconstructed through all three layers, so that's where I chose to begin.