Friday, April 25, 2014

Studio Tour

The best thing about having friendships with people whose talents differ from your own, is that you can sometimes work out a barter and trade services!  A friend of mine has a photography business--Art in Focus, and in exchange for studio pictures, I will be making her a table runner for her table at vender events.

I'll blog later about the creation of Shauna's runner, but I really wanted to show off my studio pictures. 

My Grace king quilting frame and Janome 1600p

    My frame is in my garage and the backdrop is a quilt I did from one of the Pat Speth-Nickel quilt books.  The pattern is called Arlington square.  I am dying to get it on the frame and quilt it.
    I started piecing this quilt when my husband was in Iraq and I was pregnant with our first baby. Four years later it is still waiting to be quilted. I couldn't bear handing it over to a longarm quilter, and couldn't handle the bulk on my table.  With my new quilting frame...all I need is the right time to focus on this quilt. I can't wait!!

SEW much Fun!!

If only I could work with my quilt as a backdrop all the time.  It's a wonderful sun-catcher, if you don't mind my saying so.

Heading into my studio... 

For all of you Triangle Quilt Along-ers....I bet you are thinking that I'd better hurry up and start quilting.  I had to wait for these photos though!  I'm starting tomorrow. Really.

Love my workhorse.
My scraps have never looked cuter!

Thanks so much Shauna! I am terribly nervous about having my picture taken and I got through it alive. I couldn't have captured my space nearly as well.

 Hope you enjoyed the peek into my world.
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Grace Quilting Frame

Big News!!  After quilting the California King quilt on my Janome 1600p {smushed all up on my table}  I was able to convince my hubby that I am NOT spoiled enough and needed a quilting frame.

There were a lot of specifics, business related ideas, and eventually {after 2 minutes of talking}  He agreed!!

I ordered the Grace King Frame. It works with my Janome 1600p, so I didn't need to commit to buying a full longarm setup.   I didn't realize that the space commitment was the same either way.

 It came 2 days after I placed the order, which was impressive! I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee, put the kids play shoes on, and setup myself up in the garage for the build.

Kids and boxes are like cake and icing. Or something crazy like that.

So after about 5 hours on  Day 1, it was bedtime and dark and my thumb was numb from the allen key. This was how the parts pile looked.

The next day, building between preschool drop offs and Two year old naptimes, and we had this:

UM.  Where was the memo that 133 inches long meant the WHOLE garage!!  Its large and intimidating.  I was getting scared at this point.  I tend to jump into things like this without thinking it through.  Like the time that we had 7 fishtanks setup all over the house.

I think this will have a different outcome. Quilting is my passion. It's a business decision. It's super cool!!  This was my mantra as I built the rods and tried to figure out the leader cloths.

Sorry for the murky photo. It was dark by the time I was able to try out some practice quilting. There is a learning curve to getting the tension right. The height of the take up bar was giving me some issues. I will blog more later about the actual quilting on this frame. 

Here's a little preview of my practice quilting.  Don't mind the cats. They volunteered. ;)
It went pretty smoothly, until it didn't.  

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Furniture building and quilt Finishes.

This has been an incredible month of finishes for me and not just in quilting.  It's been a busy whirlwind, and so much fun!

My husband and I have been playing around with building our own furniture and we are starting to make things that don't wobble.  haha!  We made this cabinet for my sewing room which leaves me feeling pretty spoiled everytime I walk in here.  The blue paint is such tasty color. A friend described it as tropical ocean water.

Then we built this farmhouse table with benches.  My boys are little wild things and this setup allows our dining area to be tidier and easier to clean up. Plus we made it ourselves, nothing beats that!

I also finished my husband's Raiders quilt.  The best part is that he has been dragging it around room to room today like a baby blanket....only don't tell him I said that! lol

 I have only quilted crib sized quilts before now. This was a proud finish for me and I am ready to tackle my closet of unfinished quilt tops now!  I may be considering a Grace frame for my Janome 1600p.  Anyone have experience with the frame?

Thanks for letting me share my triumphs with you today!  Hope your projects are going well too!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Triangle Quilt Along wk #3

Joining quilt alongs could easily take over my life. They are so much fun, and seeing the different colors and quilting styles that everyone has is a wonderful learning experience. I am knee deep in the middle of the Triangle Quilt along, hosted over at The Sassy Quilter.

I worked on my Triangles this week and enjoyed the break from other pressures. It has been awhile since I pieced a quilt. The combination of bright colors is predictable for me, but we form habits for a reason. Happy bright colors make me smile. Period.

Last week was the fabric cutting week and I was left with this stack:

This week was dedicated to piecing the rows, though I did skip ahead a bit and joined my rows as well.  The Bloom Bloom Pow quilt along last year was all triangles as well, so I felt comfortable finishing the top.

I pinned the place where the triangle points meet in each row and made sure to carefully sew 1/4" seams.

I press my seams open on many quilts that I do, this one especially because of the bulk that can build in the places where six triangle points meet.
It lays super flat.  I have never had a problem, so far, after pressing the seams open.

I can't wait to see everyone's quilt tops and see how they decide to quilt.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Flirt Finally Finished

I am happy to finally be posting my Flirt Panel Finish!!  I started this project in February with hopes of finishing for Valentine's day, but any of you with young children will understand that deadlines like that are pretty hard to stick to.  Well, here we are, two months later...but I did it!

Practicing quilting on a panel like this is something I would recommend to anyone.  I played with designs that I had never tried before, made some mistakes, and had some moments I am very proud of.  I know you are really here for the photos....So enough talk.

I did a scribble in the border squares which is a decision I wouldn't make again. I may not have done the flowers in the four corners either.  It must have been an off day when I decided on those designs, but this was always meant to be a learning experience.  We gain more from mistakes, then from getting it right on the first try. It is still a proud and happy finish for me.
Thanks for letting me share this victory with you!!

Special thanks go to Leah @ Some of the designs ideas were found on her blog.

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