Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quilting Mystery Quilt

As a Longarm quilter, I spend a lot of time and money each year learning new things and growing my skills.  I subscribe and read several quilting magizines, I am a member of 3 quilt guilds, I subscribe to multiple quilting video channels and attend quilt shows every time I can.

Well this New Years Day, I will be participating in a quilting mystery quilt through Longarm Unviersity and designed by Cindy Roth.  She gave us the instructions to complete the top and have it on the frame ready to quilt on New Years Day.

Of course, all the pieces were cut using my AccuQuilt GO! fabric cutter.  Made this go by so quickly.

Every two hours she will release a clue of quilting instructions to finish the quilt.  That is where the mystery is.  :)  This will all be free handed and will stretch my skills so that I can make my customers quilts even better!

Happy quilting and Happy New Years!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Part 5 - Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt

Another week has come and gone with the mystery quilt.  This weeks clue was very quick.
I can't wait to see what the final reveal will look like since most of the units are very similar.
The picture has this weeks clue as well as some of the previous weeks.
You can see other people progress at the weekly link up.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Jacob's Ladder Complete and On The Bed

Well, after two years, my Jacobs Ladder quilt is complete. 
You just done know how excited I am to have this finished and on our bed.  It was a pattern that I fell in love with but got so busy with customer quilts that it just didn't make it to the priority list.  
I have thought of re-writing the pattern to make it GO! friendly.  We'll see how that works out. 
I also wanted to share the label.
It is so important to add labels to our quilts.  That way future generations or future owners will know it's history.  I first read about this method on Bonnie Hunters blog.  (  This method offered a beautiful smooth finish and I just started in the upper left hand corner of the label, stitched down the open "pocket" and continued with my binding. I have made a few without labels and want to go back and put labels on them.

Hope you have been as productive as I have these past few days.  :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Quilting In Progress Update...

The quilting is complete on my Jacobs Ladder.

I was trying to decide how to quilt it.  I first wanted to do a custom quilting design but with all the patchwork you would have never seen it.
As that leaves an all over design but which one?  Thought of all over feathers but knew that would take forever.  Thought of vines and leaves but just wasn't feeling it.  So, in the interest of getting it finished, I used a tried and true meandering.
I love it.  I have decided to do the binding by hand so it may not be on my bed tonight.  We'll see!

Quilting In Progress....

Today's quilting in progress is all about a finish.  This is my Jacobs Ladder quilt that I finished the top a few years ago.  
It is 100" x 108" and I want it in my bed by Christmas.  Well guess what, that's tonight.  
Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Part 4 - Grand Illusions Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter

It is all coming together beautifully but I still have no idea of where we are headed.  I guess that is the whole point of a mystery quilt. :)

Having AccuQuilts GO! Cutter has really allowed me to stay on track even though my work and customer quilt schedule has been hectic.  

The 2-1/2" square die will cut 54 squares with each pass and the 2-1/2" half square triangle will cut 72 triangles in each pass.  Plus, to make it easier, if you run the half swuare triangles through the cutter with right sides of fabric facing, you can take it straight from the die to the machine and not have to fumble through stacks. I know, that's awesome isn't it.

Anyway, on to this weeks clue.
Here are the units to this weeks block.  The link and Aqua were assembled with clue 1 so that made this quicker also.  A little planning goes a long way.

This is the pile behind my machine as I am piecing these together.  Sure doesn't look awesome yet. :)
And here is this weeks clue all finished and pressed.

Now back to customer quilts!  So let's GO! quilting.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

Today's quilting in progress is a sweet baby quilt with cotton chevrons and pink minky!
I just love the feel of minky and want to back one of my bed quilts in it but haven't yet.  :)
Anyway, I am just quilting this with a large meandering so that it will remain soft and not stiffen up.
Now let's GO! quilting!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mystery Quilt Part 3 - Grand Illusions Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter

I made sure to get all caught up and finish this weeks clue on time.  It is so hard to catch up when you get behind on anything.  For some it may not matter, it will end up as another UFO and they will finish some day.  For me, it is very important that doesn't happen.  I don't like hanging projects that make me feel bad because I haven't finished them.  So for me, it is to be finished on time.  ;)

Now this weeks clue went together easily but I have no clue as to where this will fit in with the other blocks we've made.  Can't wait to see how other do their version of the layout on the LinkUp.  It is fun trying to guess where we are headed. 
Unfortunately I didn't have a correct AccuQuilt die to cut these strips with my cutter so I had to rotary cut them.  Boy was that a drummer.  I have the individual square this size but no way did I want to do that method when strips are so much faster.  I would say I'm spoiled.  One thing that I do is if I don't have a specific die that I need, I go ahead with my project (or at least part of it) and make sure to order that die.  I just build my library slowly but make sure that next time I need it, it's there.  Yes, even though I'm a retailer, I don't have them all in my personal stash or my inventory.  I have to watch dollars just like everyone else.  
Here are all the units stacked on their little baking tray that I love to use.

You can still start the Mystery Quilt if you're interested.  Just to go Bonnie's site for all the clues.

As always, if you are interested in learning more about AccuQuilt GO! Fabic Cutters or growing your library, please contact us.  We have very reasonable prices and GREAT customer service.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mystery Quilt Part 2 - Grand Illusions by Bonnie Hunter

I'm running a little behind on this weeks clue. My normal practice is to finish the clue in the first day or two of it being released. My husband asked me to go to the hunting club with him last weekend and of course I said yes. As you know I also quilt for the public and I am in full-blown Christmas mode. Not complaining about either one of those because I am so blessed just sharing why I am behind.

This weeks clue was a lot of fun and easy.  I'm probably not even halfway through but should finish up today or tomorrow.

This picture shows the two units something together. Look at those beautiful point and how they line up.

And this picture shows my whole tray of work in progress for this weeks clue. (Plus a few leftovers from last weeks clue.  Might make the quilt bigger later so I am keeping them close by just in case.)

If you have never done a mystery quilt you should really give it a try. It is a lot of fun and Bonnie always introduces you to the new techniques to try. It's a great learning experience and stretches you out of your comfort zone.  Plus you end with a beautiful quilt.  BONNIE HUNTER GRAND ILLUSION

Of course you know I am an Accuquilt dealer so therefore I am an Accuquilt fan.  I haven't done a project in years that I have used my AccuQuilt GO! for at least part of the cutting and this is no exception.  :)  In this clue I was able to use a rectangle die and a half square triangle die to get the exact size pieces I needed. AccuQuilt cutters and dies are a huge time saver and allows you to spend your time doing what you enjoy which is piecing and quilting.

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

Or just finished. :). I'm not doing good with the "in progress" part lately.

This is a tshirt quilt just finished and it was a great project.
First of all, "mom" had held onto these shirts for her daughter who graduated in 2002.  She had always intended to have a quilt made but never did.  When "mom" dropped the shirts off, she made it a point to talk about some of them with me.  For me, that made this project very special.
I hope her daughter loves it as much as I do.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Managing and juggling my schedule but still finding some me time...

I know my personality and know what is important to keep me energized and productive.  I know that with customer deadlines, it is still important to find some time for my personal projects so that I don't loose site of the love I have for quilting and just turn business.  Without the love and passion I would not be doing my customers justice.

So how do I juggle it all and make it all work.  First I have a dry erase board (which I have shared before) to help keep things in focus.  Then I keep things moving in a million directions to keep it exciting.  And I'm being real here, not sarcastic.  :)

Right now I have a hand sewn binding going on in the living room that I am working on during my breaks...  (I finished quilting this the other day.  The texture of the swirls are just gorgeous and will only improve after a wash.)
Then I have a tshirt quilt laid out that I plan to get the stabilizer ironed on and the top sewn together.  It is also in the living room floor.  But granddaughters are coming soon so if that's not a deadline to get moving I don't know what is.  :)
Then there is my Talkin' Turkey from a Bonnie Hunter class I took back in the summer.  Tons of pieces and I keep it close by so that I can do a few here, there and anytime.  This is a personal project.
Then there is the new Red & White challenge from Evening Star Quilt Guild.  Red & white quilts are very popular right now and very beautiful.  I have 8 of my 20 blocks completed so far.
This is a block exchange that isn't due until February.  Again, I know me and know that I can't wait until the last minute so I have to manage that in with everything else.  So, as my admission fee to my quilt room, I have to make one block (only on weekends, remember I work a full time job also, week days are mainly devoted to customer quilts).

Oh and I almost forgot the new Bonnie Hunter  Mystery Quilt....  Clue one was released and in order to keep up and FINISHED on time, I start as soon as I can after release and make sure I finish before the next clue comes out. (Really try to finish same day).  While I was working on these, all I could think of is what a great "Sweet 16" quilt this would make for my granddaughter.  She is only 5 so better come up with something else to do with it.  :)
Things that makes most of this easier for my is having my dry erase board for project listed AND having my AccuQuilt GO! Cutter.  If I had to spend hours cutting out shapes, I would have hours less to do the fun stuff.

I still have several customer quilts due before Christmas but I know that these personal project keep my passion alive.  It is so important not to let that die and just become boring.  :)

If you want your own AccuQuilt system, I am happy to help customize a die bundle just for you.  Just give me a call or send me an email.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt - Grand Illusion - Has Begun...

If you are a Bonnie Hunter fan, well today is the day you have been waiting for.  The first clue if the mystery quilt is out and we are ready to get started.

I have already finished cutting the first clue thanks to my AccuQuilt GO!  If you have the cutter, you already have the basic die for this clue.  It is 2-1/2" half square triangles and 2-1/2" squares, both are on your value die that came with your cutter.  You can also purchase them separately to get more pieces cut with each pass.  (55001 & 55059)

Now to get these pieces sewn together in the units Bonnie instructed.

For more information and details on Bonnie's Mystery Quilt, go to her blog.  This is something she offers for free every year and I am very appreciative for that.

Well, now that cutting is finished, I am back to quilting for my wonderful customers until I take my next break.  :)

Here are my first units COMPLETE!  WooHoo!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quilting In Progress....

Loving this beautiful quilt and how it is coming along.
Sure hope my customer loves it too. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

Well, actual just took these three off the frame and ready for binding.  Customer ask for these three baby quilts to be quilted vintage since the fabrics are vintage look.
First one, meandering...
Next, stitch in the ditch around the blocks and corner to corner curves...
And the final, stitch in the ditch and corner to corner diagonal...
Not sure what other vintage options I could have used.  Please feel free to share your ideas and what you might have done.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Getting your blocks the right size...

As a quilter, we all know that having a finished quilt turn out square starts with great cuts.  When your cuts are right, your seam allowance is right, your block goes together right and the finish quilt turns out.... You guessed it, RIGHT!

AccuQuilt GO! Is a great way to make sure your cuts are right on the money, but if you don't have that luxury just be extra cautious with your rotary cutter.  You can do this.

Now, in this example I have two half square triangles which need to finish at 3" + .25" seam allowance on each side.  So once they are sewn together, the square unit should be 3.5".
If for some reason it measures differently, STOP right there and figure out why!  If it is a seam allowance issues, and more than likely it is, we could end up with out final block being .5" off and that is not good.
Next I want to share a board that I use often.    It is just a piece of foam board from the school supply section with a piece of spare batting glued to it.  I have these in many sizes and at least two per size.  It's like a mini design wall.
I lay out my pieces as the finished block will look.  This saves me so much time at the sewing machine.  When I get to my machine, I don't have to think about how the block goes together.
Once laid out on the board, I can determine which way I need to see my parts so that I can chain piece as much as possible.
In this example, I need to construct the center block first, the. Add the flying geese and remaining half square triangles.
Once the center is sewn, it is time to measure again.  Since this finish size is 12", I know that the outside rows should be 3" each and the center should be 6" + .5" total seam allowance (.25" each side).
Again, if the measurement is off, STOP and correct the problem before moving forward.  You can see below that the block as finished at 12.5" (12" block + .5" seam allowance).  That is exactly what we want to see.
When you get in the habit of checking your measurements, you will see a huge difference in how your quilts turn out.

If you have any questions or if you are interested in purchasing your own AccuQuilt cutter to help you start strong, please let me know.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

Got one tshirt quilt finished and a sweet customer quilt that I didn't share.  So sorry!  My quilting room was a wreck from the TShirt quilts and I was not gonna post until it was back to normal.  :)

Today's quilt is one of my favorite... Sun Bonnet Sue!
A Grandmother started this for her granddaughter roughly 30 years ago.  Well, now that granddaughter has a daughter.  So what is now Great-grandmother and grandmother have finished this for a Christmas gift.  Precious memories!
Some freehand flowers in the borders and outlining Sue.  It's gonna be adorable.
Happy quilting!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

 Well, the quilting machine has been down for nearly a week over a 23 cent part.  Yep, I'm serious.  :). It cost a lot more to have it mailed.
So while I was waiting, I worked on a sweet tshirt quilt for a sweet customer.
Of course it isn't quilted yet but now it is ready to be.
Part arrived today so we will be back quilting tomorrow.  See ya then!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

Sometimes we just get so excited about a quilt and that is this one.  It is for a very special pastor and is a memory quilt from his fathers clothes.  There weren't a lot of colors to use and that made it a little of a challenge.  (Did you know I love a good challenge?)
Of course the quilt was made using my AccuQuilt GO! cutter and dies.  We'll talk more about that in a second.  
The quilt went together really nice and quickly but my husband and I both thought it needed some dressing up.  So I decided to outline the triangles to keep those simples but look at what happened to the hexagons.  
The hexagons are getting lots of swirls and details to dress up the quilt.  Now I can't wait to get it finished.  (Still haven't decided on the borders.)

Now the dies used:
Body of quilt
55429 - Equilateral Triangle - 4-1/2" Sides - $19.99
55438 - hexagon - 4-1/2" Sides - $44.99
55024 - 1-1/2" Strip - $79.99
55032 - 3-1/2" Strip - $79.99
55017 - 2-1/2" Strip - $74.99

If you'd like to order any of these dies to add to your collection, just shoot me an email or comment.  Remember, you don't have to add every die to make a quilt.  Just add a few each time to slowly build you die library.

Happy quilting.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

'Tis The Season....
Look at this beautiful Christmas log cabin quilt.
Penny did an outstanding job and I am honored to finish this for her.
I also love the scrappiness of it.  You can see in the big picture how everything just comes together, even though the fabrics are so different.
Well, back to quilting!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

So the latest quilting in progress is coming along great....
Darlene, you ask for a sneak peak so here ya go.
I chose the swirls to soften all the straight lines.  I absolutely love it.
The lime green quilting thread is blending in with the back so nicely.  That just amazes me EVERYTIME. :)
Hope you love it!  Now back to quilting.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quilting In Progress...

I just took this quilt off the frame and finished the binding.  I am a sucker for earthy colors.  

Beth is a fairly new quilter and I always encourage new quilters to make the same pattern at least three times in a row to capitalized on learning the new skill sets that go with each new pattern.  This is her second snowball quilt.
I'm so proud of her.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quilt Show - We are in the house...

We are all set up for the Lick Skillet Quilt Show in Oxford, AL.  Friday 9-5 & Saturday 10-4
Stop by and say hello and don't forget, we always have a great show special and free shipping if items are not in stock!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Quilting in progress....

Today's quilt is another one of those love, hate things.  It is a old polyester/knit quilt top made from old clothes.  The love part is helping to treasure the memories and of course the hate part is quilting something so stretchy.  :)
Thank you Bob and Alice for trust of me with this jewel.
Because of the stretchy material, I am just doing a simple stipple.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Quilting in progress...

Oh check out this little cutie....
Cute quilt made by a client from old clothes.  This would be an awesome idea for baby clothes or any type of memory quilt.
She requested minimal quilting so we are SITD around the dresses and squares and stippling in the sashing and border.

See ya next time...