Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Wind-down

Today is a wind-down day as tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I must say, I have so very much to be thankful for -- first off - my life, along with my family and friends, and all that they contribute to making my life what it is! In addition to that these past few weeks have been wonderful in the quilting part of my life! Oliver took Third Place, he was accepted into the 2011 Road to California show, AQS choose my blog as winner of their Blog of the Week! It has definitely been a wonderful few weeks and I must agree with my friend Kathy when she said, "I hope the ball keeps rolling"!

This past week I worked on Betty's "Latte" Quilt (pattern by Kerrie Hay). I had a lot of fun as it was all heirloom work -- here's the before and after photos:

And here are some detail photos:
I hope everyone has a wonderful and completely restful Thanksgiving. Enjoy doing what makes you happiest with the people you love the most!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mancuso's World Quilt Show - FLORIDA Competition

Wow, what an exciting and event-filled weekend... I can finally stop and breathe.

This past weekend was the Florida Competition of the World Quilt Show by Mancuso Show Management. I must say, Florida certainly has many talented quilters! On my facebook page I have an album of many of the quilts from the show, including several exhibits, and also quilts from the World Quilt Show. If you already use facebook, you can view the album here, otherwise, you'll need to sign up for facebook.

I am thrilled to announce that Oliver took Third Place in this show... woohoo or hoot-hoot!! Wow, I am super proud of myself! Yes, I am tooting my own horn (finally)!! Here he is in all his glory - I waited until he was home for the winner photo -- much better lighting than in the Convention Center.

I had the honor of meeting Mark Sherman, who took Best of Show with his amazing quilt "Tree of Life" - such workmanship and detail, it is beautiful in pictures but awesome in person.

Second Place was "Phantom Phoenix" by Sylvia S. Clary, another amazing quilt. Here's a picture...

What a fantastic show and congratulations to all who entered! See you all again next year!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Houston Hang... almost

Wow... International Quilt Festival - the quilt show of quilt shows! I have yet to enter a quilt at Houston... perhaps 2011 will be my year, not sure, we will have to wait and see. But, I have officially "hung" at Houston this year... not in the show, in Fil-Tec's booth. Previously, I had made a quilt for them to use in their booth at shows -- who knew I'd make it to Houston! In my little world this is a big thing!!

Here's a picture of Fil-Tec's booth with my quilt in the background (white with appliqued flowers).

Thanks so much to Kathy for snapping the picture for me since I wasn't able to attend! Check out Kathy's website when you get a chance. And as always, check out Fil-Tec's website and try Glide thread!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Judy's "Flowers for Our Lady of the Rosary"

It all started with a class...

a class that Judy signed up for. The class was for the "Passion Flowers" quilt in the book Applique Outside the Lines by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins of Piece-o-Cake Designs. Judy took this class. This red quilt is the quilt in the book. Very pretty if I say so myself. Judy marches to the beat of her own drummer, very similar to myself. And she decided to uses deep blues, turquoises, and aquas for her background. WOW... a simple color change can make such a dramatic difference.

Here is Judy's finished quilt:

And here are some detail photos:

Okay, I bet by now you are wondering where Judy's title for her quilt comes in...
Judy was working on this quilt, and working on it, and working on it some more... she finally finished it on October 7 - which just happens to be Our Lady of the Rosary Day. Cool huh... it gets better! Judy had no idea what she was going to use for a backing for this quilt. Then the fabric found her... it is a rose print. Even though it is multiple levels of pinks and whites it works with this quilt -- so neat, I just love things like this!
So... Judy wanted this quilted special! I decided to take her title and attempt to interpret her thoughts and how the title came about and translate all of that into stitches on the quilt. In the center I stitched a mod-cross and placed circles all around to resemble the rosary and filled them with feathers and little pebbles or beads... so while you were looking at the quilt you wouldn't actually think cross and rosary, but knowing the entire story the quilting shows the meaning and is perfect. Or at least I think so!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Zentangle… Obsession or Addiction

What is Zentangle? Squidoo states “In a word, a doodle. A structured, contained doodle.”

I have always doodled. There is always paper, notebooks, sketch pads, you name it, they are all over my house, everywhere -- there are even a few Magna-Doodles if you look hard enough. If you open any of them you will find a myriad of doodles, drawings, quilting ideas, new motifs, background fills, etc.

About a year ago I stumbled upon Zentangle’s blog – I would read the posts, doodle and enjoy. After following the blog and doodling my own tangles I noticed there was an awesome connection between Zentangles and machine quilting. I noticed that I was actually drawing little background fills. Now I realize that not all of these are “quilt-able”, but tangling puts your mind in such a creative zone it is almost scary. Be warned, doodling a tangle can take a few minutes, or few hours, depending on the size and fills.

Here is a picture of my latest tangles...

Drawing, doodling, sketching, tangling, whatever name you choose to call it, it is fun, relaxing, and almost meditative. Try it!

The Zentangle® art form and method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. Zentangle® is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick catchup...

Wow, a full month and no posts. I knew that I was behind, but didn't think it was that bad. Part of it is because I update so much on Facebook that my brain thinks I've posted here also... wrong! I wonder if I set an alarm on my phone if it will remind me to post to the blog? We'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best! Anyway, here goes the super-quick rundown...

Margy's quilt... ooh la la! This quilt turned out awesome!

And then there was Jeri's "Ramblin' Rose of Jamestown", pretty soon I'll be able to quilt one of these blindfolded... maybe I'll try that when I get to mine!

There were a few other small items and a LOT of work on my next show quilt. Sorry, no pictures of that for now -- it is much too early in the design and layout process. But one day, maybe soon.

Oh, almost forgot... this afternoon I worked on stitching out some feather designs that I had been doodling on paper for awhile. Here's a peek at those...
Okay, that's about it for now -- I promise I'll post again before too long!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oliver is done!

Wow, this moment has been a long time coming. I have finally finished my owl project from the week long Design and Construction Retreat I participated in last September taught by Sharon Schamber. I beat my deadline by just a few days! And I must admit, I'm not completely done. I still have to square it, block it, and then bind it! But I am close enough to say woohoo it is done!

I would have already started blocking it but, I want to take it to guild tomorrow night for show and tell! I hardly ever have show and tell -- perhaps because it takes me forever to finish things! But I must share Oliver -- I think he turned out awesome!

The last post about Oliver was back in April, you can find it here. Once you're at that post you can also view 9 other posts if you want to follow Oliver's history.

Oh, I almost forgot... for those that follow on Facebook you have already seen oodles and oodles of in process photos. But for those that only follow here if you want to see more of the in process photos, you can click on the Creative Longarm Quilting Facebook fan page logo to the right and that will take you there. Then under Photos, click on Owl Project (aka Oliver) and you will see all of the photos.

Either way -- thanks for following along and watching Oliver's growth from just a photo to a beautiful art quilt. Here is the original photo next to the finished quilt...

Again, thanks for following along!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Studio Redo...

Who knew that in a mere five years one could accumulate so much... Yes, I must admit, I am a collector. No, not anything in particular... I just collect! I am about to share pictures with you of an awful mess -- those who are neat freaks and/or offended with messy chaos should turn away.

The studio redo all started with a request for extra lighting. Perhaps I should start with... a five year old request for extra lighting. Oh, and by the way, my husband is an electrician. That would explain the five year wait right? Yep, shoemaker's kids never have shoes and electrician's wife quilts in the dark! Until now...

I do have to mention that since installing the lights the fan has requested a raise. The high-hat lights add just a wee bit of extra heat along with the extra light; so the fan runs just a little faster than normal now.

Okay, on to bigger and better adventures. Next is the true mess. Joe decided that since the room was in total disarray why not paint! Why not? Did you know that when you paint everything (yes, everything - even things you didn't know you had) must get piled up somewhere?

I am truly a disorganized pack-rat (and yes I can admit that I have a problem). What most don't know is that between the disorganization and my ADD I actually have mini panic attacks when attempting to organize anything. I hate the part of making a bigger mess while trying to minimize the original mess. This entire process was very difficult for me and thank goodness for my Mom (aka the Organizing Saint). She spent her entire visit here helping me re-find my studio!

Here we have some of my sample stitches, my mermaid, and most of the ribbons back up on the wall. I'm still missing a few ribbons and I also have to get my magazine interview up there. But other than that it's returning to normal.

My awesome husband made me custom thread racks to fit various sizes of thread along with a ruler hanging rack because I am always losing my rulers.

And here is the entire room

It still needs little bits of organizing and the curtains for the french doors are in-process (LOL), but it has come miles and miles in a very short time!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bad Borders Gone Beautiful!

Okay, here is the bad border post. Keep reading, it turns out beautiful in the end...

For those that know me... attaching borders properly is one of my biggest quilting peeves. It is much too easy to fix just about anything that is askew or un-square in your quilt if you attach the borders properly and it only takes a few minutes extra. Any pattern that tells you to cut you borders "x" inches and attach is wrong. Any pattern that tells you to sew your fabric on and then square-up the ends is wrong. The proper way to cut and attach a border is to take three measurements -- one down the center and one of each side. You then take the average of these three numbers and cut your side borders that measurement. You pin it at the center, and also at each end, then you ease the fabric between the pins -- sometimes you have to ease the quilt, sometimes you ease the borders. You then repeat this process with the top and bottoms borders, measuring each, and also across the center and then use the average of those three measurements for cutting your top and bottom borders. See, a few extra minutes will totally correct any issues in your quilt top and result in beautifully smooth non-pucked un-wavy borders.

So, I was working on a quilt... and guess what... yep, wavy, ripply, OMG borders. Here are some before and after pictures while I was working on the quilt:

And, after all that pulling, pinning, tucking, smoothing, and meandering, here is the finished quilt:
In the end the quilt turned out beautiful.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gammill dilemma...

The other day I was quilting along when... plop. Yep, just plop. My tension assembly fell out.

No, prior to the plop I did not experience tension problems, and the best part... the machine kept stitching away. It was I who stopped to scream and grab the oily assembly off the quilt as fast as possible. The only thought going through my mind was "oh no... it's 5:30 pm who can still Fedex today!" I called my longarmer friend Natalie to see if this had ever happened to her... Nope! But, good news... she happened to have a brand new tension assembly! YEAH, joyous news -- now I only had to wonder if this were the only problem...

Anyway -- two hours and a new tension assembly later the machine was back up and running smoothly. It turned out that the set screw that holds the tension assembly in place was worn and my assembly was still good, just "old" -- could use new pads and springs, so its new purpose in life will be the emergency-use assembly!

Needless to say, it was just another daily dilemma in the life of a longarmer. Oh, and not a single drop of oil got on the quilt - woohoo!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Long overdue...

Wow, it has been almost three weeks since my last post. I knew I was overdue for a post, but never realized it had been that long. So very sorry to my blogger fans, that was extremely rude of me.

Okay, a quick summary of customer quilts would go like this...
Jeri's "Grandmother's House" -- super cute!

Jeri's Santa Sampler -- another super cutie!!

Darlene's star quilt (it reminds me of summer and watermelons).
Penny's two Baltimore Halloween quilts.

Yes, I know... the studio walls have been painted... the details are coming in another post!

Mary's Feathered Goose -- an awesome pattern by Judy Niemeyer

Ruth's Baltimore Album (raffle quilt for the Blandford, MA fair)

Okay... that sums up almost everything. I say almost because I will have a separate post on another "bad border" quilt, a separate post on my latest machine dilemma, and also on my studio redo. I didn't want to overwhelm everyone -- LOL, no posts for three weeks and then bam! For those of you that follow on facebook this is all old news. But for those that don't I will soon be back to my normal posting schedule. Thanks for bearing with me!