Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Binding Vacation

We're headed out for a few days of camping. We're going to northern PA and camping on the shores of Lake Erie...we're hoping for some cooler temperatures and a little relaxation! We'll probably take a little side trip to Niagra Falls too!

Of course a quilter never goes anywhere without taking a project or two to work on, right? I'm making this a binding vacation! I have THREE quilts to bind and my goal is to finish them while I'm away. Think I can do it? I think so....I hope so!

And yep...that is another quilt you see there on the left. It's the I Spy DNP that I made a few weeks ago. It's going to a sweet baby boy that was born on Sunday. I did an all over meander with grey thread.
Those are my goals for a long weekend getaway....what do you have planned for the weekend?

Happy Quilting!
Friday, July 22, 2011

Longarm update....

Some of you have been wondering how I've been doing with my new longarm. One thing for sure...I'm having a great time!! I thought I'd share a few pictures to show you my progress. I was tempted to wait until I had binding on the things I quilted, but I just won't have the time to do the handsewing part of the binding for another week or two and I didn't want to wait that long to show you what I've been up to!

This was my first attempt at a pantograph or edge to edge pattern. I can definitely see some bobbles and I stumbled quite bit, but I think some little boy or girl will love it just the same.

Here's a close up...the pattern is Stars and Loops.

The second quilt I finished is this wallhanging called "Stitchin' Time" by Patchalot Patterns. You might remember this post where I mentioned I bought the kit from Millstone Quilts when my friend and Irene and I went on a road trip. I actually made it to give to Irene as a going away present. She's been my quilting buddy for the last year...but the Air Force called and they are on their way to their next adventure. :(
I quilted this one with a freehand meander. Oh and the best part? The kit was so generous, I have enough fabric to make a second quilt!! I'll just have to add some additional fabric for the background of the pinwheel blocks. I plan to make one for myself to commemorate the "Stitchin' Time" Irene and I had together. :)
For my next project, I decided to hang with the big boys and just go for it! It was time for a "real" quilt. This is a quilt top I finished sometime in the last year or so and it seemed perfect for me to try my hand at another edge to edge pattern. This one measures 65"x 82".
The quilting pattern is called Bountiful Feathers and I feel like I did a much better job on this one, if I do say so myself. :)
Here is a better picture of the quilting. I used a thread color called "Maple" and it's just so perfect for these Thimbleberries fabrics. In fact ALL THREE of these quilts were quilted with Maple!! I happened to pick it up at the shop when I was there for my class...and who would have thought it was just the perfect color? I've already used about 1/2 of it, so I think I better order another spool!

Hmmm....what to try next??? Before my machine arrived, I spent quite a bit of time assembling tops and preparing backings. But guess what I didn't think about? THREAD! I've acquired a couple of spools that I picked up here and there and a couple came with my machine, but I'm really limited with the colors. It didn't take long for me to find a good online source to order some!

Hope you all are finding a way to stay cool in this crazy heat!! Today our "feels like" temperature is 118!! I'll leave you with this picture....this is what happens to your camera when you walk outside into what feels like 100% humidity. LOL

Monday, July 18, 2011

A new member of the family!

We have a new family member...Isn't she cute?? :) She weighs in at 70 some-odd pounds and is 30" in length. teehee... Seriously...this baby is a dream come true! I've dreamt of owning a longarm for many years and in the "grand plan" we always talked about getting one after retiring from the military. A few weeks ago, my wonderful hubby said he didn't want me to wait any longer. :) When is he going to retire anyway? LOL
Here is the room before set's not a huge space, but it will do for now! This was my sewing room and I've had to disperse my shelves and cabinets to other parts of the house. I do still have my regular sewing machine in's just off to the right in the picture, you can see just a corner of the table.
It really is at least a two person job....
It's coming together!
There she is! She likes her new home. :)
A few more adjustments....
And we have lights!!
Finally she was all ready to go! Believe me when I say I jumped right in and got her up and running! I loaded some muslin and zoomed right off! Please don't look too closely! I need lots and lots of practice!
After a couple of days of practicing on muslin...I decided it was just time to jump in and get my feet wet with a "real" quilt. This is a charity top you might remember from an earlier post. By now you might have realized why I was assembling all those tops over the last few weeks...I was getting ready for my big arrival!! I quilted this one with a stars and loops edge to edge pattern and I'm actually really pleased with it!
I'm so happy with my new toy and so excited to be able to quilt my own quilts and eventually quilt for others too!
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer adventures....

One of my favorite things to do is hunt down new quilt shops! I've done a lot of driving across the country, either because of our military reassignments, or because we are traveling to see friends and family. Anytime we go somewhere new, I do a "google search" for quilt shops along the way. My husband is very accommodating and never complains about driving off the route in order for me to stop at a quilt shop (he usually uses that time for a nap). :)

This week, a friend (no blog) and I traveled to Richmond, Virginia, for a class, so of course I had to scope out local shops. I found three that seemed worthy of a stop, based on their location and the time we had available. The first two were just okay...nothing really notable. But the last shop we stopped at was INCREDIBLE!! It is Millstone Quilts in Mechanicsville, VA. In fact, this shop will be in the September 2011 issue of Quilt Sampler Magazine! If you aren't familiar with that magazine, twice a year they publish 10 "must see" shops from around the country.

I wish I would have taken some better pictures....the outside was soooo beautiful. The setting was so quaint...this shop is out in the middle of nowhere. LOL There are a few more pictures on their website. Of course, Miles had to sneak into the pic. :)
I wish I had taken more pictures of the inside too! I thought I did...but I guess I was too busy drooling to realize I wasn't taking pictures. :) The pics are taken with my phone, so they aren't the best quality.
The shop had an entire room of Civil War type fabrics....their displays and kits were just amazing!

Their displays were awesome, incorporating antiques and old wood workings from the mill that used to exist on the property.

I did come home with a small purchase....a kit for Patchalot Patterns "Stitchin Time" pattern. I love Marcie's patterns, so when I saw this kit, I knew I had to have it! I picked up two extra FQ's to add to the kit too. :)
If you are ever in the Richmond, VA, area, you MUST stop at this shop. :)

Happy Quilting!
p.s. stay tuned in the next couple of days for some exciting news at Michelle's Quilts & Stuff!!!
Thursday, July 07, 2011

Wool Candle Mats (and charm winner!)

True Random Number Generator

Congratulations to "Needled Mom"....she is the winner of the charms!

Needled Mom said...

I was reading this and thinking that that tapestry quilt would look awesome using some of the charm squares. I.d love to give that a try with the charms.

I posted before about a new monthly program I joined for candle mats or Penny Rugs as they are called. Each month I receive a kit with the wool and a pattern designed by Buttermilk Basin. These are awesome! And so quick and easy to assemble. This is's not extremely summer-y, but the pennies look a little like sunflower colors. Some of the months are definitely seasonal or have a holiday theme. This one could stay out all year!

Here is the mat for June. I am in love with this one...I just have to pet it every time I walk by. :P The wools are just soooo nice.
I love the detail on these little projects...easy and simple, but just the right touch.
I don't remember what the theme/design is for August. I could look ahead on the website, but I think I'll wait and just be surprised when the kit arrives in the mail. :)

Happy Quilting!
Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Got tops?

Quilt tops that is! I have more than my fair share, that's for sure. I'm adding a few more after the last week or so of sewing too! I wanted to take the pictures on the grass, but it's sooo humid outside this morning, the grass is too WET! My camera lens kept fogging up the pictures seem a little cloudy to me. :/

The first one is a layer cake kit called "A Morris Tapestry." It was quick and easy to sew together, with nice results!
I also made a couple of baby/charity tops. I bought this Sock Monkey fabric a few months ago and have been wanting to try it with a pattern that didn't cut up the monkeys too much. I found this Quick Strippie pattern on MaryQuilts. I'll definitely be using this one again! I'll bind this one in brown too which I think will finish it off nicely.
Aren't those monkeys the cutest!!
The blocks for this patriotic star came from a birthday swap a couple years ago...I received just enough blocks back to make a good size toddler quilt.
The last one is a DNP made with I Spy charms...these charms also came from swaps years ago! I've made 3-4 quilts so far with these and still have a stack of charms. I used a black polka dot in the center square of the 9patch, but it doesn't stand out as much as I was hoping it would.
Speaking of those charms...this is what I have left and honestly, I'm done with them! LOL I'm going to do a quickie giveaway and if you've read this far, you are lucky enough to enter to win these! Disclaimer....I've picked through these for 3-4 quilts, which means I think I've taken the best ones out. :) What's left is the bottom of the barrel so to speak....but if you still want them, just leave a comment on this post and I'll pick a name later tonight. That stack of rectangles will be thrown in too! Good luck!

Happy Quilting!