Showing posts from May, 2009

National Star

This is a customer quilt I am currently working on. It's a preprinted wholecloth that I'm quilting with faux trapunto. I believe it is called "National Star". It's a beautiful design. I'm currently hand-stitching the binding to it and should be done tonight!

Up, Up and Away!

The other day my youngest DD came running down the stairs yelling "BALLOON" and she proceeded to run out the back door. DH and I followed her out and we saw this bright yellow hotair balloon floating near our backyard. I just love watching hotair balloons. Eons ago when I lived across the highway from Forest Park in St. Louis, I would watch the hotair balloon festival that was launched every spring. Then there would be dozens of balloons of every color and a few with unusual shapes. Two years ago when we still lived on the farm in SW Missouri, a hotair balloon landed in our pasture - luckily it wasn't the pasture that housed the bull! Were the kids ever excited! I've never had the desire to ride in one, but I sure do love to watch them.


Thank you to all who have commented on Arabesque and the colored wholecloth quilt. I appreciate them very much. On reader asked me how long it took to color the wholecloth. I didn't keep track of the time, but the class was 4 hours long, and that included instructions and a trunk show by Irena Bluhm . I had completed about 1/4 of the quilt by the end of class, then finished the rest of it later that evening. I'm guessing it took about 6 hours all total including applying the textile medium after it was colored. This is a small project quilt 10.5" x 10.5". The process did get faster the more I worked on it and had decided what colors I wanted to use.

Colored Wholecloth

This is the project I completed after taking Irena Bluhm's class at MQS last week. This is a wholecloth quilt (miniature sized) made by Irena. We added the color with colored pencils and then treated the colored areas with textile medium. I was sooooo much fun! I'm hooked.

A Ribbon!

I returned home from the Machine Quilter's Showcase (MQS) on Saturday evening. It was a long, tiring week, but loads of fun and lots of new techniques learned. My quilt "Arabesque" even won a second place ribbon for Wholecloth Traditional! I'm thrilled to say the least! Arabesque is my first national contest winner. My brain is stuffed full of ideas for future quilts - if only I can find the time to try them all out! The class I took on longarm machine maintenance was really good. My poor Gammill has been asking for help for a while now, but I couldn't figure out what it needed. Now I know! This past winter I knew that my old bobbin case was needing replacing and I had bought a new one, but it didn't seem to fix the problem. After taking this maintenance class I found out that I had purchased the wrong case :( I've bought another new case and hopefully that will solve the problem. At least I'll find out today when I get back to quilting. I could hav

Longarm Maintenance Tip

While quilting on my longarm the other day I noticed my machine wanted to pull to one side when I was pulling it toward me on occasion. I also heard a scraping noise when I pushed the machine back to clip threads. So I pulled the machine into the parking position and started checking things out. First thing I did was to clean the tracks and check the wheels for lint build up but that was fine. So I pulled the machine back and forth a few times to see what position it was in when the scraping sound was heard. Putting my ear close to the machine I could tell where the sound was coming from. The culprit is pictured below! The bracket holding the magnet for the channel lock evidently loosened up enough to drag the magnet on the machine frame. Looking closely I could even see where it was dragging. A quick fix with my hex wrench to reposition the bracket and we're back in business! When we moved to our new house, we set up the machine in the basement. Unfortunately the floor isn&

Mitering a Corner in the Binding

I received a question on how I miter the corners of my bindings that I thought was really good. The question was does my method leave a hole since I don't stitch to the end of the corner. The answer is no it doesn't leave hole. The folding of the miter takes care of that. I find I have more leaway to get a perfect miter if I don't stitch to the end of the corner. I will handstitch that miter together when I handstitching the binding to the back of the quilt for the most part anyway. Especially for show quilts, judges want to see the miters handstitched together. On the other hand, there are many different ways to do a mitered binding. Another method is to stitch up to a quarter inch of the end of the miter, turn the quilt to a 45 degree angle and stitch off the quilt through the corner. You are ensured of the binding staying intact without gapping. I find that I don't have as much control to get the miter perfect on both sides of the binding that way, but I do kn

Longarm Binding Tutorial

I just finished a quilt today where I applied the binding with my longarm machine and decided to take photos while I worked. I learned to apply binding with my longarm several years ago after lots of trial and error. Over time I've fine-tuned my technique and thought I would share. I start about 12-15 inches down from the top right corner of the quilt. The binding is cut 2 1/4" wide and folded in half and pressed. I pressed a 45 degree angle at the starting end. Line up the raw edges with the raw edge of the quilt and pin in place leaving 4-6 inches free at the top. This is where the opposite end of the binding meets. The photo below shows how I pin the binding as I go. This is the left edge of the quilt. The pins are facing towards the center of the quilt to keep them out of the way of my ruler. I pull pins out as I stitch. This photo shows me using my Arch Angel ruler as a guide for my hopping foot to assist in attaining a 1/4" seam. I stitch within 1/4" of t