Showing posts from October, 2008

Feather Photos

As Karen from The Quilt Rambler mentioned in a comment, the feather photos from the previous post are easier to see the quilting on if you click on the photo. They will pop up in another window in a larger format. My photography skills aren't the best and I'm a bit limited by my studio lighting so the photos are not great quality. The thread I'm using matches the fabric pretty well, too, and that always makes the quilting harder to see in photos. I've finished the borders of the quilt as well as the outer cornerstones. I don't have updated photos yet, but will post them (if they come out) in a few days. Susan

Quilting Lessons

This is a photo of a Twisted Square quilt I made several years ago on a day when I wanted immediate satisfaction from my work. It's a small wallhanging and used fat quaters. It was fun and quick and a pattern I had not used before. My oldest daughter is starting a chapter in geometry in her math book this week. Since I love to inject hands-on projects into homeschooling whenever I can, nothing will do but to design and make a quilt! Even though this Twisted Square quilt is a great quilt for reinforcing the properties of angles, we are going to start with a quilt using squares and rectangles for ease of sewing. We'll get to the Twisted Square next. I brought home a book from the library that has a really fun set of blocks that should be easy to sew together into a top. It's "Wonder Blocks: Stack, Cut, Sew and Go", by Terry Martin. She gives the patterns for 7 different blocks in her book and directions for using them in 4 different quilts. My daughter and I desi

Cleaning House

I'm dedicating most of my time this week to cleaning my house. This is my deep cleaning where I steam carpets, etc. I have a white carpet in my living room and dining room that is really hard to keep clean, so I end up cleaning the carpet at least once a month-ugh! That carpet will be history soon as we are installing hardwood floor sometime this winter, but in the meantime I still have this compulsion to do something to keep it presentable. So I'm taking a short break from quilting today. The girls and I are visiting the library for more books for school, then I'm tackling the carpet. Here's a photo of a quilt I completed back in 2002. It's from the book Rose Sampler Quilt. I hand appliqued these blocks using Eleanor Burns method of stitching interfacing to fronts of the applique pieces and slitting the interfacing, turning the pieces, pressing them and securing them in place on the block. My interfacing was a bit too heavy and I didn't like the results, but


This afternoon I worked on the Simplicity layer cake quilt. I knew I wanted lots of feathers in this quilt and since I'm best at freehand feathers as opposed to commercial pattern feathers, I decided to just "go for it" and started quilting. This first photo is of a feathered heart. I cut a heart template from a piece of printer paper and traced around it in the center of the upper outer border with an air soluble marker. Then I freehand quilted the feathers using 40wt. Signature thread in Parchment. The feathers extended out from the feathered heart were a bit more difficult. I quilted and ripped out quilting 3 times before I finally got a feather that I liked. This border is 10 inches wide and I needed to add more extensions on the spine of the feather in order to fill up the space. I think it turned out well inspite of the 2 hours it took me to do one side of one border! The other 3 sides of this border should go faster now that I have this first one done

Studio Changes Part 2

Yesterday afternoon, I moved things around in my studio again. I moved the metal shelving unit onto the wall next to the cutting table to give me room to move the ironing board to the right of the sewing table. The idea is to use the flat-panel door (propped up behind the ironing board in this photo) as a "big board" on top of the ironing board. I have to get some cleats attached to the door before it will be used, or get some sawhorses to use as legs for the door to make it more stable. I was trying to press 5 yards of 102" wide backing fabric on my regular ironing board yesterda-ugh! What a disaster! I did finally manage to finish the pressing job and get the fabric cut and loaded onto the machine. You may recognize this quilt. It's the blocks that I had pinned up on the design wall for months waiting to be sewn together. Once I got the folding table for the domestic sewing machine I had the incentive to get the blocks stitched together. I dec

Quilts & Fall Colors

Above are the quilts I have finished for Quilts of Hope. They'll be mailed out to Karen early in the week. These are the flannel kids quilts. I wanted to finish them quickly and after doing a panto the first one, I decided I needed to switch to a large meander in order to get them done quicker. The binding took longer than the quilting on these quilts. We're starting to see some fall colors here in mid-Missouri. The area I live in has lots of oak and cedar trees so we don't get the same colors as areas with large amounts of maple trees. I thought that we were going to get all brown colors this year, but it looks like we'll get some reds and golds yet - just not as vibrant as if we had maples. We do have one kaple tree in our front yard, but it hasn't peaked in color yet. I'll have to remember to get a photo of it this year. These photos are taken off the master bedroom deck that looks out over our backyard. The cottonwood trees are all but

More Tops for Quilts of Hope

Yesterday evening I worked on more tops for Quilts of Hope - quilts for the survivors of Ike. I used a pattern designed by Anita Grossman Solomon called Super-Sized 9 Patch. It's quick to cut and quick to sew. I made 4 of these tops in less than 2 hours. You can download this pattern from I used only 2 different fabrics in each quilt instead of 3 like the pattern directs. All of these quilt tops are made of flannel and will have a flannel backing fabric. I love the speed in which these tops go together. What a great way to make a quilt for charity or a quick gift. These quilts are a good size for kids to cuddle under or to make a large baby quilt. This afternoon I'm working on organizing my basement. The storage area next to my studio is starting to creep in on my studio space and has to be contained before it gets out of control! Wish me luck! Susan

Ike Quilt Number 1

Here is the first of the quilts I'm sending to the victims of Hurricane Ike. It's a one-patch quilt made with 5" squares in shades of pink and cream. It's a twin-sized or large lap-sized quilt. I quilted it with a pantograph pattern from Cheryl Barnes' Dot-to-Dot Quilting book. Here's a shot of the back. Iused unbleached muslin for the backing and 6.6oz poly batting. The binding still needs to be attached at this point. I have 2 more tops ready for the machine that are smaller - kid-sized for cuddling. I hope to get to them later this weekend. Susan


Jerri's star quilt is finally finished! I spent yesterday stitching the binding to the front while the quilt was still on the machine. After all the debating on what to quilt on this top, the pattern I finally chose was one of my own. The pattern doesn't have a name yet - it is one I have been working on for a couple of weeks and have just gotten it to the point where I felt it was ready to use. I have 3 more quilt tops ready for the machine this week and I'll be trying out a different pattern on each one - all from the book I just purchased. All 3 quilts will be going to the people of the Texas gulf coast who sufferred through Hurricane Ike. If you would like to donate a quilt or 2, see Karen's blog on where to send them. There is a tremendous need for quilts for people who have been displaced and those who are sufferring from the damage of Ike. Susan

Book Review and Quilt Donations

I've been contemplating the quilting design for Jeri's star quilt and couldn't make up my mind what to do with it. Once I had the quilt on the machine it didn't look the same and now I'm not so sure about the custom treatment. My inventory of pantos didn't spark my imagination, so I spent my Joann's coupon and bought a copy of Cheryl Barnes' "Quilting Dot-to-Dot". Ahhhh, now we're cooking! I've chosen 2 patterns I think will go well with the quilt and just have to chose between them. Hopefully I'll get some time tomorrow to quilt. Today was a busy day with appointments, so no time for quilting. Once I get this quilt done, I want to finish a quilt or 2 for the people affected by Ike. If you are interested in donating a quilt, check out Karen's blog for details. The people on the Texas coast need a lot of help and quilts. Please help out if you can. Susan

First Things First

Here is the first step in remodeling my quilting studio. We bought a folding table and a student chair on wheels so I now have a place for my sewing machine! I'm so excited. No more running up and down the stairs to sew, press, quilt, etc. Everything can now be done in the studio. My youngest can also play with her playdough on the table instead of on the cloth cover of my ironing board :o Of course I still don't have finished walls, but I can work in comfort all in one room until we get to that point. My DH and I priced drywall and other options for the walls this afternoon. Drywall is still our number 1 choice at this moment, but I wanted to see if we could find something that I could handle by myself and yet still be cost effective. Drywall sheets are too heavy for me to lift on my own and hang on the walls. Hubby's job is too hectic these days for him to take any time off to hang drywall and I'm getting anxious to complete the studio, so I thought we should

Seeing Stars!

Here is the quilt top I am working on now. It's a star quilt that my aunt pieced. I'm still debating on how to quilt it. Her instructions were to do "as you see fit". I'm leaning towards a custom treatment that will highlight the stars with something subtle in the background, piano keys in the outer border and perhaps some continuous curves in the sawtooth border. These photos are the embroidered pillowcases that I brought home from my mothers garage. The top 2 photos are of pillowcases my mother or her family embroidered. The last photo are cases that I embroidered as a teenager. Most of them are well worn, but a few are in exellent shape. I have 3 sets of 2 and the rest are singles having lost the mates to them due to wear years ago. Susan