Monday, August 25, 2014

Donna's Spring Bouquet

You remember my last post where I shared the wavy border on Donna's quilt... silly me, I never shared the finished quilt!

The pattern is Spring Bouquet by Edyta Sitar/Laundry Basket Quilts:

I wish I had better photo-taking places.  Thrown over the Gammill will have to do...
the border was wavy, it was corrected, and now the quilt is flat and even more beautiful.  I hope Donna is pleased with it.  Now I've got to finish two others for Donna's friend.  Those two right after the beauty I'm working on now -- see still behind, but stitching as quickly as possible to catch up!

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!!