Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From Fix-It to Fabulous...

Here is Joan's beautiful Latte quilt:

Before this beauty was finished, there were a few little dilemmas... Keep in mind that I am sharing the following pictures with you, not to show her mistakes or bad piecing. I'm sharing them to show you that a *good* quilter has the ability to correct them given the proper amount of time, skill, and patience! NO, not all mistakes are correctable and it does take some time and talent. Toot toot, yep, there's that horn!

Let's start with this little woopsie... satin, difficult to begin with, but when accompanied with a shy seam allowance this is what happens

You could scream, blurt out multiple curse words, grab a needle and some super fine silk thread and begin invisible applique by hand at an extremely strange angle (yep, I have done this in the past). BUT, in this case, we tuck it under, and stitch right over top, being extremely careful to keep it tucked under and not stitch through your fingertips. This method results in a beautifully perfect correction:

Next we have super poof... too much of that beautiful satin. This could have been corrected with a little easing of fabric while piecing. But, since it wasn't, it must be eased-in while quilting. You must push the machine with one hand while easing and adjusting the excess fabric with the other hand. Again, constantly watching that the fabric doesn't fold onto itself and also that you manage to keep your fingers away from the needle... VERY important, and yes, I have failed to do so multiple times.

if you manage to manipulate the fabric and keep your fingers clear, this is what results:

Beautiful and flat fabric - Yay! I must remember to make a video of this correction the next time I get a quilt like this. It would make it much easier to explain!

On to the mountains... really, sometimes you have so much excess fabric that you get mountains of fabric that have no where to go but up. Again, it is all about fabric manipulation. You can't just keep pushing the fabric with the hopping foot, it will distort the entire quilt.

So after a bit of manipulation, beautiful things happen:

And that is just a peek into From Fix-it to Fabulous. This will be a new and continual blog entry as I share my experiences with the not so beautiful side of quilting. Please, do not be offended, not one of us is perfect. This is why I am a machine quilter and my favorite quilt is a wholecloth - why, because my piecing stinks!!! Yes, laughing out loud, but it is TRUE!

So... to sum this up, it REALLY bothers me when someone is showing their quilt and I hear the words "see what they (machine quilter) did to my quilt". Ahhhhh.... boiling blood. Just remember, it isn't always the machine quilter that does these things. They just may not know how to correct the piecing problems. And we'll just leave that at that! Love and peace to all of you quilty peeps!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New email...

Yes, I have a NEW email (not to worry, I still have all the old emails).

After six years, I have finally set up my website email! It has come time to get all my ducks in a somewhat organized row and to contain all that is my business. I don't know why I have put this off for so long, it wasn't hard to set up, I just had to figure out how to access it, send and receive via my phone, and all those other bells, whistles, and goodies that go along.

Anyway, the NEW and PREFERRED EMAIL is:

So, if you want to be on my mailing list, send me an email with your name, address, etc., and put ADD in the subject line. THANKS!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BLOG-HOG and neglect

I have once again neglected my blog. NO, not from posting, just from posting my customer's work. I have been a BLOG-HOG... using it only for myself. Crazy you say, but I went back to check and I haven't posted about a customer quilt since July 2! WOW.... so very sorry!

So once again (apparently I'm a repeat offender), you're going to get the super-quick condensed version, with one exception. I will make a separate post about one of the quilts due to the before and after photos. Don't worry, I promise it will be amazingly interesting!

Here we go - it's going to be quick so keep your hands in the car at all times!

Super cute quilt by Donna - not her first quilt, but her first quilt made in Florida!

Lyla's super bright yellow brick road. Lyla thought this was really bright -- I on the other hand LOVE it, it screams happiness and sunshine!

Next we have Mary's sampler. This was a super-cute quilt before I quilted it, then it turned into WOW, one of those quilts I could just keep... oh Mary, you didn't really want that quilt back did you?? LOL NO really, after the pictures I did ship it back and Mary's loved it!

Now on to a darling beauty by Sally, entitled "Martha's Garden" -- an absolute stunner if I say so myself! Oh, and just want to mecntion -- see the beautiful things that happen when you bring me a solid/semi-solid backing! That is truly one of my favorite things, unloading the quilt and looking at the back -- it is like a different quilt!

And last, but certainly not least... one of my dear customers recently lost her son which is awful enough and my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family, but his two young children also lost their Dad -- much too early in life. I suggested to one of our mutual friends that maybe we could make a quilt or something from some of his clothing for the girls. She ran with it, made these two super adorable butterflies (the wings were cut from two of his shirts) and I threw in the quilting and two beautiful wall hangings were created. Hopefully when the girls look at these, they will be reminded of their dear Father.

I'm not going to promise to post more often, because it seems when I do that I totally neglect you... so I'll just leave it at HAPPY QUILTING!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Door Challenge - update

No, it is no where near done. But, it is much further along than my last post about it.

This morning I started with some thread work, but before I show you that, here's what you've missed -- don't worry, its only about a months worth of work (pictures) - not really, its actually only 8 days of work, and a few evenings here and there. We'll start with the brown muslin fabric that I painted using Shiva paintsticks and also Inktense pencils... okay ready - I HATED IT. Yep, agonized over it from the moment I took the picture. So, I slept on it, and... still hated it in the morning.

Which brings us to our next set of photos. I created a wash with paints, textile medium, and of course, water.

It was getting better, but I was still not happy about my door. Okay, several washes later -- I even added tea bags and coffee to the wash for better staining power, they stain teeth and ruin shirts so they could only help my door -- this is what we had:

Sometimes you learn things as you go right. I already know that I am extremely impatient. So, instead of waiting hours/overnight for the wash to dry I decide to hit it with a hot iron. Funny part -- as long as I slid the iron long-ways down the door it started to create this really cool wood-grain effect. Let me warn you, it also caused an awful smell due to the burning paint and the iron needed to be cleaned after each pull or else little burnt paint balls became fused to the next pull. But, the effect was so worth the stink and cleaning! So I continued to do this throughout the day and following day and my door made it to a happy place where it was loved!

Now, on to the hardware and signage... easy-peasy!

So if you've learned anything about me, you know when things are going good I like to question why, and for some strange reason I attempt to change them. I started thinking that my door was looking more and more like a room. So I went back and forth between these two pictures... even had a facebook poll... four rows of tile or three rows of tile. So the majority of friends and follows chose four rows, I also slept on it and kept telling myself to stick with my original concept. So four rows it is!!!

That brings us to Saturday and the afternoon of invisible applique. It does not go fast, but it does look like its not even there - I guess that's why they call it invisible!

And that brings us to today... thread work!

And that's it... for now!

Friday, August 5, 2011


three of my favorite words!

Two of my lovelies were out and about gallivanting around Hershey, PA at Quilt Odyssey. *Oliver* and *Clouds in My Latte* both made an appearance, and boy did they shine... one with yellow and one with red! Shiny ribbons that is -- *Oliver* took 3rd Place in Wall Quilt-Mixed/Other Techniques and *Clouds in My Latte* took 2nd Place in Wall Quilt-Pieced.

I must congratulate all the winners -- there were some amazing quilts hanging at the show. No, unfortunately I did not attend, but my awesome Mother and Sister went for me! They took some pictures and told me all about what I missed. I have to admit, I have an awesome, awesome family!!! I could go on for hours so instead of boring you I'll go back to the winners, one of my dear facebook friends, Claudia Pfeil, took 1st Place in Large Pieced and also Viewers Choice with *Fire and Ice*, one of my favorite quilts. If you haven't yet seen this quilt in person it is a jaw dropper, the quilting is amazing, and it is covered in over 55,000 crystals. I had the pleasure of standing in front of it back in November 2010 while it was at the World Quilt Show in West Palm Beach. Yes, I stood there for about 45 minutes drooling all over it! Claudia tells me wait til I set my eyes on her latest creation, *Magical Mermaids*... soon I hope, soon. I'm sure I'll be at a show one day and it will be there and I'll be drooling all over that one too! Here is a link to my Quilt Odyssey facebook album.

So hold on to your britches while I tell you the funniest story (NOT) about what happened to *Clouds in My Latte* while it was at Quilt Odyssey. The show opened on Thursday, a facebook friend was at the show and took pictures for me and posted/tagged me and there was a shiny red ribbon on Clouds, yeah for me! On Friday another facebook friend was at the show and also took pictures and posted/tagged me and guess what... no ribbon. Oh no, where did it go, what happened... I'm 1100 miles away wondering, worrying, and confused. So on Saturday another friend posted a picture and there it was, the ribbon was back! On Sunday my Mom & Sis were at the show and my Sister sent me a text with a pic of Clouds and the ribbon was there. So while they were picking my quilts up to ship home to me asap as Oliver needs to get his tushy to Houston rush-rush, the show people hand *Oliver* to my Mom, she mentions there's another quilt, they ask which one, she says *Clouds in My Latte* and the woman says, "that quilt gave us such a hard time, the ribbon kept falling off the entire show." So on Monday Matt from Fil-Tec sends me this picture:

and there you have it... the strange story of the disappearing ribbon!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


It's Thursday, not that it's important, just letting you know... every so often from now until January 2012 I'll be reminding you of a very important piece of information: tickets are available for the PSL Crazy Quilters Raffle Quilt!!! Awesome, amazing, outta' this world, I know, there just aren't enough adjectives... really, have you ever known me to exaggerate? hehehe

Okay, here's the details -- the raffle goes off on February 4, 2012 around 3:00 pm at the PSL Crazy Quilters Biennial Show. You do not need to be present to win, but you definitely can't win without a ticket! Tickets are only $1 donation, that is a small price to pay for a chance at such an amazing quilt and what better way to show support for our quilt guild. The guild will graciously ship the quilt to the lucky winner in the event shipment is required. Click here for ticket information.

For more information about the PSL Crazy Quilters, visit their website at

Here is the link for more info on their Biennial Show, "Quilting in the Garden".

In case you have forgotten what this beautiful quilt looks like, or if your new to my blog, here is "Bed of Roses":

"Bed of Roses" is our remake of the Moss Rose Quilt (1853 Susan Black Stayman). Hand applique by Marian M., Pat N., and Muriel K., trapunto and machine quilting by me, Karen Marchetti. The original quilt is part of the Spencer Collection at the Spencer Museum of Art (University of Kansas). There is also a wonderful write up on Barbara Brackman's blog. If you get a chance, check out these sites, both full of wonderful information!