Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week in Review

I've had a productive week. I apologize in advance for the length of this surprised me just how much I've done this week. No wonder I'm tired. I took a day to recover after finishing the Glacier Star I quilted last month. I heard from Leslie that it won a second place ribbon in the Pine Belt Quilters show in Hattiesburg, MS last weekend! I was very pleased. It was really my first show quilt, and since Leslie also won first place in that category, I knew I didn't disappoint her with a second place finish! The Glacier Star was entitled "Mad Dash" and we were in the Team Pieced Large category (where you will see Leslie's name in the first and second place position).

One of our Greenville Quilters Guild members had given me this large (84x106") yellow, gray, and black quilt to quilt as I desired at our last month's meeting, so I popped it in the frame. I had a brand new design from Hermione Agee at Lorien Quilting called "Rustling Leaves" and thought it had a modern feel that would suit this quilt. I chose a charcoal gray thread for both the top and the bobbin. The quilter had provided a bright yellow backing fabric, but it was much too small (about 20" smaller in both directions!) for the quilt, so after a quick phone call, I dashed out to Hancock's Fabrics and found a lovely wide black cotton sateen to use on the back of this quilt. I really loved the back of the quilt as much as the front when I finished!

"Rustling Leaves" by Hermione Agee, Lorien Quilting, available at Intelligent Quilting

I quilted it in a fairly small scale for such a large quilt, but the texture was amazing.

Then I decided I had time to quilt one for myself. I am very pleased how this Warm Wishes pattern turned out, particularly since it's mostly from "scraps." You know, I need a better word for the fabric that is leftover from one project, but seems to match another fabric in your stash so well that you just go ahead and make a second project. Those aren't "scraps," are they? Overrun? Extras? Quilting Starter? It is kind of like baking sourdough bread. The leftovers from one project do often morph into a large doughy project of their own!!!

In this case, I bought the red and green, as well as the middle print, for another project (which is pieced but not quilted), when I remembered this piece of poinsettia batik in my stash and thought it might be a close fit. Voila! Unfortunately, the backing fabric I'd set aside for the pieced-but-not-quilted-project fit this one better than its original intent, so now I am shopping for backing again. Oh, well.

I went to the GQG lock-in day of sewing on Friday, and managed to get this one bound and finished. Only a label to go to gift this one for its lucky Christmas intended!

It's quilted in "Punk Feathers" (also by Hermione Agee of Lorien Quilting) with Maroon Glide on top and Christmaspine Glide on bottom. When will I learn to use a nice contrasting thread so the quilting will pop? It blends so well you can barely see the texture.

A friend from Community Bible Study brought me this wedding gift to quilt. It's a sweet small quilt (46" square) and we decided on Fantasy Feathers with Dark Brown on top, and Graphite on the bottom to give them a reversible quilt. Now there's that pop!

She nicely sent me a picture when it was bound.

Another finish for this week was this adorable "Perfect 10" inspired quilt for a baby boy, whose grandmother is a dear friend of mine. She commissioned me a few weeks ago to make this first, precious grandchild a quilt to match his nursery in the palette of "Chocolate Mint." I scaled down the Perfect 10 pattern to make the squares 3" or 6" as needed, and the quilt finished 44x52", just right for a baby.

A lot of the fabrics I chose had circles in the themes of the prints, and yet this pattern is very square and rectangular. So, I chose to quilt it with my favorite Pant-Circles motif, and scaled it way down to baby size as well. I used a thick, fluffy 80/20 batting fabric, and just loved the texture that emerged. The backing is a great flannel I found when I was on a Fabric Acquisition Road Trip with Dennis last summer in South Carolina. I was so happy to put it to the perfect use.

I pieced this one myself, so the borders were square and flat, but even so, I needed extra fabric in the backing for the motif-overrun at the end of the quilt top. If you are preparing your quilt backing for the longarm quilter, don't be stingy with backing fabric! You'll get any fabric unneeded returned in the end. As for me, I just have lots of nice flannel scraps.

I named this piece "Three" for the sweet baby who is the Third in his family with his name.

After I got "Three" in the mail (and UPS knows me by name!), I got to spend an evening with my little Gingersnap. We ate dinner, watched Sleeping Beauty, read The Grouchy Ladybug and other stories, and had a grand time!

On a side longarm machine raced away, sewing at a rapid clip, and shattered its titanium needle, just as I was finishing "Three." It necessitated taking the bobbin case assembly out, and retiming the machine. I am so fortunate that not only do I have a very mechanically capable husband, but I also have a fantastic group of professional longarm quilters who are so generous with their expertise and answer my questions almost instantly in our Facebook support group. I learned a lot about how my machine works, and even managed to learn some adjustments I can make to help it sew even better for me. I tested it out after repairs were accomplished by stitching a little name I love.

Finally, I am SO excited to have registered for "Birds of a Feather 2015," a longarm conference in Virginia Beach, VA, in February, 2015! I have in my five year plan to improve my education in my industry, and I'm going to take a couple of classes that should help me achieve my goals for next year.

Thanks for reading! Happy stitching!

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