Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Basting - no, not the turkey!

People are always asking why I baste quilts.  And by baste I mean  B-A-S-T-E -- the entire quilt, not just down the sides as I go.  In the very (yes VERY) near future I'll be filming how I load a quilt and perhaps I'll make it a not-so-square quilt so I can share why I baste so much.

I'll start here... I don't load the *usual* way.  As in, I don't use the roller to attach my quilt top.  No, I don't really float my quilt top either.  I temporarily float it.  I load my backing fabric just like everyone and then I load my quilt top, basting across the top and down the sides.  I then baste across the quilt usually twice, this gives me about 8 inches between the basting lines.  I then roll the backing fabric forward a full advance and again baste down the sides of the quilt top and across the quilt top dividing the advanced area into approximately 8" segments.  I baste at every 2.5".  The baste feature on my Gammill makes this super easy.  I continue to do this until I reach the bottom of the quilt top.  Now the entire quilt top is attached to the batting and backing.  I can roll back and forth as much as I need to, nothing is laying on the floor, life is wonderful.  And.... the best part of basting a quilt top is there are NO surprises.

This post all started because today I'm loading Donna's Spring Bouquet quilt.  I started to baste and there was this

Whoops.  Not perfect, also not the end of the world.  Contrary to what many people will say, this can totally be fixed while on the frame.

First, start with oodles of pins.  Space out the excess fabric evenly.  Remember that the excess may go beyond the area in front of you.  Also smooth the fabric as best you can in the border areas and pin accordingly.

Then, grab your machine and slowly baste the edge.  I have my basting mode set at 1/2" and I slowly and carefully go down the edge over all those pins easing the fabric as I go.

I then, baste back and forth across the entire border area about every 2" smoothing the fabric as I baste.  Now please realize, there is still excess fabric, it is just dispersed evenly over the entire area now instead of waves on the edges.  This will still require some pretty serious background fills to suck up the excess, pebbles always work great.

Remember before I mentioned about the excess extending beyond the area in front of you?  See, there is still a small amount of excess in this border.  Follow the same procedure as above:

Pin like a mad person:

Baste edge, then baste entire border area:

Then remove pins.  When quilting time comes, this will most likely be quilted with one hand pushing the machine and the other hand smoothing the fabric between basting areas.

And that is it.  Clear as mud right?  It just takes a little time and effort, but I would much rather do this than cry over a tuck or pleated fabric.  And no, I would never tell the piecer to come get her quilt -- not when it can be corrected so easily.

Aren't you all glad during the basting it started rumbling and I unplugged.  Just enough time to share all of this with you!  Now waiting for the rumbling to end -- stay tuned for beautiful after pictures -- well, once I finish the quilting.  Hopefully I'll be starting soon!

Sondra's Super Secret Quilt

This weekend I worked some overtime on a super-secret project. My super talented friend Sondra Millard, also known as ShesGotMojo, is writing a book. Yep, I totally can't wait for this book - it will be awesome! I am also honored to be quilting one of Sondra's quilts for the book, the quilt is called Joyland, and it is super cool! Unfortunately I can't share any pictures of the quilt top, but I sure can share pics of the back!!! Ooohhhh... and it is awesome!

Here is Sondra's backing as I was loading it on the Gammill:

Sondra dyes these amazing backings, or fronts, as they are beautiful all on their own.  For those that follow my personal blog, you already know about these amazing backs, I own three now... I guess I'm a collector!

And here are some amazing afters, showing only the quilting on this beautiful backing.  You'll have to wait for the book to see the quilt!

Amazing right? Yep, told ya!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kathryn's Confetti Quilt

I managed to finish Kathryn's Confetti quilt tonight. Yay! The pattern is by Judy Niemeyer - Quiltworx (don't you just love all her patterns)! Soon one of the quilts I quilted for Quiltworx as a new cover sample will be digitzed and available for sale! But enough of that, back to Kathryn's quilt:

The front:

A detail pic:

And the back:

An awesome quilt!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Catch up!

So much is going on, there has been a lot of stuff happening on my personal blog.  Some craziness going on in regard to my latest competition quilt.  If you're curious, check it out here.

I've been quilting a few client quilts, trying to balance myself between both client and personal.  Here are a couple of them.

First we have Shay's Tree of Life quilt -- some beautiful embroideries

And then we have Danetta's Vintage Tin (pattern by Crabapple Hill):

Next up on the frame is Kathryn's Confetti Quilt.  I'm so far behind, but slowly catching up!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jane's Crazy Baskets

Here is Jane's Basket Crazies (pattern by The Buggy Barn) - a super cute quilt!

And the border - fun whimsy feathers with some scrollies thrown in the mix:

So ditching around the stars and baskets with some fun loopies in the block background.  And can't forget my favorite scrollies in the sashings:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hurry up and wait...

Thursday I started Sallie's quilt with every intention of having it finished for Saturday morning (just before Sallie was leaving for vacation).  Well... when things go wrong it usually ruins the plan.  And something went wrong.  No, nothing tragic, just me.  I was quilting along and it happened.  That moment when you know something isn't quite right, you're possibly making a mistake so you hestitate. You might even stop like I did, look at the quilt and say to yourself, no, it'll work out fine, just keep going.  Yes, that moment.  It happened. I kept going.  I finished almost the first half of the quilt.  I went to roll forward and BAM it hit me... the mistake.  There is was bigger than day.  None of the lines I was quilting would line up, not one.  Ahhhhhh!!!  I should have stopped and listened to that voice in my head -- the one that knew this was going to happen!  It was then that I stopped quilting, released the tension on the quilt and started ripping...

So we'll fast forward to yesterday at around 2:30.  Yes, yesterday was Saturday!  I finally finished ripping out all the wrong stitching.  I was ready to get quilting and get this done for Sallie to take with her on vacation to show all her Michigan quilties.  I start quilting, maybe a half hours worth and then, BOOM... thunder.  Of course, it's the rainy season, every afternoon is thunder, lightning, and torrential rain.  With my history I don't even try to quilt.  It all gets unplugged and waiting happens.

It's now Sunday, it's also my wedding anniversary, I woke up super early and started stitching away.  I was going to finish this quilt before Sallie left!  I had about an hour left to finish when BOOM... again! Of course, its the rainy season -- I check the radar and we're under a giant red blob.  The good news is there is a big break between the blob that's above us and the next blob that is on the way!  So I wait for that break between blobs, and I finish!

So here is Sallie's quilt:

Beautiful isn't it?  But, this story isn't quite finished.  I called Sallie to let her know it was done and she had just left.  I missed her by minutes!  Noooooo.........

Fate, it is an amazing thing.  Sallie just  happened to have forgotten something, returned home, and got my message.  She ran over and picked it up on her way up north.  You've really gotta love when things work out!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tuxedo Cats

I've been so busy in my little world I almost forgot to post the pictures of Jan's Tuxedo Cats quilt.  

This is a super cute quilt.  My quilting is just simple as most of the stitches disappear into the wool.  I'm also posting detail pics as I'm sure you will truly enjoy Jan's embroidery work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tere's Log Cabin

Tonight, after multiple storm delays, I finally managed to finish Tere's quilt.  It is the Spring Log Cabin (Kaffe Fassett) and it turned out super cute!

And a detail pic:

Large feathers in the pink areas and scrollies and squiggles in the yellow areas -- fun and cuteness! This gets shipped off to Tere tomorrow -- hope she likes it!

Next up is Jan's Tuxedo Cats.  It is all wool -- I can't wait!  Some of you might remember when Jan did the wool bunnies quilt, if not, check it out - it was one of my favorites - so much going on and such fun.  I have a feeling the Tuxedo Cats might just be another favorite!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Donna's quilt and some upcoming...

Yesterday I managed to finish Donna's scrappy quilt.  I'm not sure of the pattern, but it sure was a super cute one!

Some swirls, ribbon stitching, and squiggly piano keys - just what it needed!

Up next on the frame is a log cabin in Kaffe Fassett fabrics by Tere - thinking lots of feathers, ruler work,and maybe some swirls (you know how much I love them).

Then a wool kitty quilt by Jan.  For those that don't remember, Jan did a wool bunny quilt back in 2010 that was awesome.  If you get a chance, check it out here.  Can't wait to quilt this one!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wendy's Red & White Quilt

I finally finished Wendy's red & white quilt!  I've had storm delays almost every day -- that's because it's the rainy season and my quilting hours just happen to fall during the storm times.  Either I'll adjust or I'll fall further behind -- I'm hoping to adjust!

The studio is such a mess right now, this is the best full-view picture I could manage:

And some detail:

And the back, of course, you know me and solid backs - fabulous!

What a beautiful quilt, hopefully Wendy will be pleased.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sallie's beauties -

First we have an awesome quilt belonging to Sallie.  It is called Rainy Day (pattern by Laundry Basket Quilts/Edyta Sitar).  This turned out super cute, I love adding free-flowing feathers to just about anything!

And then Sallie had another Edyta Sitar pattern, Friendship Spools (it's from the Friendship Strips & Scraps book).  Again, a super cute quilt:

On this quilt I did a simple looping meander.  The background fabric Sallie chose (which looks like needles and pins) is great -- it is what I call a forgiving fabric.  It doesn't really show the quilting as well as other fabrics - it forgives any mistakes.  This is why I chose to keep it simple here - if you can't really see the quilting, why would you spend hours and charge more money to the client to create it?  Just one of those things I believe...

Anyway, two awesome quilts from an awesome client!