Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Creating from what you have....part 2

Goal Accomplished!!!
Got all strata's sewn and sub cut!

I Put them in 4's then put them in piles of 5's so that I could keep count!  (Let me jump ahead of the story for a minute.... All that prep and I still had too many blocks).

I'm using one jelly roll and gray yardage with 8 strips of printed fabric that blends with the jelly roll.  This quilt has very little waste!!  Bonus!
Not bad!!  Some of those pieces are big enough to save!!

Ok back to the project....

I took each 4's and layed them out with seams opposing.... First one up, second one down, third one up, fourth one down.   That way they will be easy to sew with the seems nesting. 

Once I sewed the first to the second, and the third to the fourth.... I sewed those together and.... Ta Da.... A 16 patch.
(Note the sad looking plant in the background.... It's not an easy life for a plant in my house.... Green is my favorite color..but no green on my thumb...)

I should interject here that I just let the colors fall where the may.  The only time I changed out a strip was if my printed fabric showed up twice in a block.

I really got into a good rythmn with chain sewing!   It went pretty quick!

Next thing ya know all blocks were done and ironed!!

So now the decision turned to the solid block between..... Do I go light..... Or dark... Hhhhmmmm



Got the hubby to weigh in on his opinion.......

And the winner is......


I cut my squares and set the stack of pieced blocks next to the solid blocks and I'm ready to assemble the top.

No laying it all out, moving blocks, second guessing layout..... Nope none of that..... Just let the chips (or blocks) fall where they may!

I took one of each blocks and with right sides together, I sewed together.  Without cutting threads I picked up two more blocks.  First pair I had the pieced block on bottom, next pair I had gray block on bottom.  That way, the top will end up with alternating blocks.  This quilt is going to be 9 across and 11 down.  So I continued chain piecing pairs til I had 11 sewn.

Basically I now have row 1 and two sewn.

Here's a picture after I sewed all 11 pairs.  Pairs are held together by the threads between each pair.

So back to the top to add the alternating 3rd block to each row....

When ya get to the last row.... Back to the top ...  Add next row... Making sure not to snip the threads holding the rows together.

And in no time......

Top is half done!!

Notice the vertical seams are done and the horizontal rows need to be sewn.  What makes this easy is that by not snipping your threads you just fold each row right sides together and sew the cross rows!

This goes so quick!!  I don't press until it's all done but I still nested seams by making sure the seams nest by finger pressing them toward the gray blocks as you get to each intersection as you sew.  Nope no pins either!!!

Ta Da.......

Quilt top is done!!  

I enjoy this method.... It's quick and easy but stunning results!!  

Ok.... Part 3.... The quilting will be in a few days.

For New Years Eve day/evening. My bestie and I will be doing our traditional sewing the current Bonnie a Hunter Mystery quilt!!  I haven't started mine yet so I'm hoping to get a fair amount done!! 

New Year's Day, I will be quilting a special project.... Can't give ya more than that right now.   

Then back to the studio on Friday !!

Happy Sewing!!


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Creating from what you have....part 1

I had a customer stop at the studio with her children and asked if I could make a quilt for her sister.   I said sure, what would you like....

She replied "I don't know"....so I decided to ask a few questions.....  What's her favorite color...green and purple.  Ok.... Does she have special interests.... The kids got excited and said she loves her cat.   One added gray cat.   So that's what I was charged with...

I love this process!   Taking a few tidbits and creating a quilt!!  

I found this jelly roll by Robert Kaufman

Greens and purples..... Check

Now for the cats.... Well I have, on the Autopilot, a block I can quilt that is a cat. I will use gray thread.... I was listening... The cat is gray!!.. Check

So now I'm left with the blocks.... I've decided to do a 16 patch with the Kona solids (plus I added a few prints).

So I'm laying them out in 4's so I can make stratas.

Now to sew them together!

Got a few strips sewn so I'm pressing them ....

I am pressing my seams all to one side... 

Trimming off the beginning so I can cut into 2 1/2" segments....

Once I'm done with all that, I'll lay out 4 segments so that I will have my 16 patch.
Notice I layed each strip out so that I have my seams going in opposite direction .... That way they will nest when sewing.

Once they are sewn together.... A quick press and........

TA DA......

It's a 16 patch!!

My goal today is to get all the stratas sewn and hopefully sub cut....

Stay tuned for part two!!

Happy Sewing!!!!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Who's got a T-Shirt??

Yesterday I taught a T-shirt quilt class.   As I prepared for they class, I thought it would be a couple hours of teaching and helping students get their projects started....Wrong.....

Why I said wrong was..... I didn't put any thought into what we would really learn in class.

First lesson..... It's a small world.   Laurie, it turns out, had met Chris before.  Chris, Rachel, and I work together and Laurie works at a similar non profit.   So Laurie also knows several of our co-workers.

Second lesson..... What great memories this T-Shirts have!!!   

Rachel has a ton of her dad's shirts from all the runs he's participated in.   You could tell she was very proud of him and wants to give him this special gift for Christmas!   For not having any sewing experience, she is a quick learner and went to town!!


Chris told us about her daughters dancing experience and all the t-shirts that went along with it!!   Chris's creative side kicked in and wants to incorporate her daughters dancing costumes into her project..... What a great idea!!

Laurie's project was about her son's shirts and she was working on a wall hanging size t-shirt quilt.  Football fan and Irish heritage....what a greatcway to capture his personality!

It was very nice hearing all the stories and helping these great ladies with their projects!!

Me, Laurie, Chris, Rachel.....new friends at the beginning but feeling like old friends at the end!!

As I went through my bag of shirts I've saved from my wardrobe and my kids.... I got flooded with all the memories of times past.

What a great idea some one came up with to take something that may be a little worn, doesn't fit anymore and turn it into something to cuddle with and smile all over again!!!

Hope this sparks some of you to drag out those shirts or start saving them to turn into a memory quilt someday!!!

Happy Sewing!!!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Welcome to Winter

Ugh......That's the best (polite) word I can come up with at this point....

They say timing is everything and I'm sure glad my Open House was before the snow hit!!! 

Of course we could live a little further north and this weather would be inviting.  It's all in the perspective of where you live!!  I'm wishing all those in Buffalo, NY (and surrounding area) are safe and the snow goes a way quickly!! 

I kind of like the snow.....what I don't like is temperatures below 35 degrees.  I prefer them to be higher...but as long as it doesn't get below 35 I'm ok with winter.  

My husband and I try to ride our motorcycles at least once a month.  Yes you heard me right....once a month, that means all months.  Normally November isn't hard because the beginning of the month may be cold, but never snowy.  We will take advantage of the first nice day because you never know!!

December through February can be a challenge, but we have made it so far (since 2009).  I have to add at this point, I'm not as dedicated as I once was, but hubby hasn't missed.  Although, I have been known to take the ice pick and pick a path out of the driveway the width of the tire.....just to go for a ride.   We both so enjoy those bikes (ok some could call that  crazy and I guess I couldn't disagree) and it's hard to wait til spring. 

Heidi found these snow bikers and gave them to me as a present...I turned them into a quilt....I think this one could be me.....

I did name my longarm W. Harley, W standing for winter.  Handle bars are handle bars and I can honestly say that I'm happy whether is nice or yucky out!!!

Ok....back to the present.....Since the open house,  I've been settling into my new digs and loving my Studio!!  I'm pleased and excited from all the new people that are stopping by to "check me out". 

Having 3 machines is awesome!!  I'm getting to know my new Autopilot and it's able to make short work of my customer quilts!!  My bestie has named him Ka-Chow after Cars Lightning McQueen.  It has Lightning Stitch.  

I call him my best employee!!  I still get to load hand guided quilts on my other two machines, which makes me happy....hand guiding is what I fell in love with....so now I feel like I have the best of both worlds!! 

I don't know if I mention to you all....I'm renting my hand guided machines.  I am so excited about this program!  It gives everyone the opportunity to do their quilts themselves if they want. I wish I would have had the opportunity to rent a machine when I first became aware of longarms!! 

Today, I'm working on....this blog, and Kathy's quilt!  It's a beautiful bright quilt.  I love Kathy's color choices.  I've done a few of her quilts and love her use of bright colors and fabric design choices!

Back of quilt.   Thankfully no one walked in as I was laying on my back under table to get this picture   :)

I'm also taking this pile of fabric:

and turning it into:
I love Quiltmaker's Patchpal patterns!!!  This cute monkey is being made for a customer as a gift for her nephew who will be entering the world next month!!  

So....I need to end this blog and get busy sewing!!! 

Happy Sewing!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What A Journey

The last few months have been an incredible journey!!

What started out as what I thought was a funny idea....blossomed into a dream come true!!

Once my husband and I decided to create this studio.....the support and guidance we got from Valerie Schlake owner of Virginia Longarm Network, www.virginialongarm.com was unbelievable.  I truly admire and can't say enough about this woman!  Her business sense is phenomenal not to mention her talent and her willingness to provide help to others.  I have learned so much from Valerie over the short time I've known her....I always walk away with something new to use!! 

Next on my thank you list is Michelle Eno!!  Michelle is a fantastic teacher and is also willing to share her knowledge with you!  She has great insight on things and is very patient (I need someone who's patient.....lol).  She is always positive and never gets stressed!  She has taught me a lot, professionally and personally!!  Ok enough of that....this is the part when I start to get teary eyed and overwhelmed with emotion.....usually that's when people start to run.....  :)

Duane and I jumped in head first and once we found a location, we worked many long hours to get ready for our Open House!  Our friend Bruce also pitched in and showed up pretty much every day and lent a hand!!  Thank you Bruce!! 

On one day when we figured we should start adding the class room furniture....we decided to go to IKEA. I love IKEA.....it was a great trip and we got pretty much everything we needed.

Note the space between the tire and the fender......this was the Element prior to loading it......

Note the lack of space between the tire and fender....this was after we loaded it with our IKEA purchases.....

(a picture says a 1000 words)  LOL

We got busy putting our new purchases together.

Duane being quality control.....

Classroom all set up and ready for students!!

Windows done and we got to the big day!!!! 


Time to cut the ribbon!!  I love this picture!!  We all worked so hard to make this day happen and we were happy doing it!!  Can you say TA DA!!!

What a great turn out!!  We had a nice group of ladies to share in the ribbon cutting....

Shortly there after the place was buzzing with activities!!

I had so much fun and got to see a lot of people I know and got to meet a bunch more quilters!!

Every hour we had a give away.....

First winner was:
Sherry .....she came down from Angola, NY!!

Next up.....

Noreen.....from what I understand from several of her friends.....she always wins something!!  I'm glad she was one of my winners!! Noreen is a beautiful person and I'm glad she is in my circle of friends! Let me side track a second and say Happy Veteran's Day Noreen!!  Thank you for serving!! 

Third winner.....

Deby can run...but she can't hide....LOL  just kidding!  Deby wasn't at the studio when I drew her name...but I knew I'd see her at the guild meeting!   I look tired....LOL  well I guess I deserve to be a little tired ....but I'm getting my second wind back....watch out world!

Last but Never least.....Cathy is such a sweetheart!!!  Really fun to be around.....

See the ladies in the background....they were back there planning a retreat!!  Those are my life line buddies that I retreat with twice a year.....family and friends....but all are considered my family!!

I do believe all had a good time!

Here's my hubby getting caught with his hand in the cookie table...LOL  I have such good friends!!  They made such yummy treats!!  What a great bunch my friends are!!  And my bestie Melly....truly out did herself!!  She is not only a wonderful friend but she also bakes like nobodies business!!!  I'm so thankful she is in my life!! 

Annie and my Aunt took a turn playing with the Innova!

Annie taking a turn at Pantovision. 

I think Anut Martha was having a great time running the machine!! 

Another person I need to stop and thank........

Jeff Benedict from Accomplish Quilting www.accomplishquilting.com !  He is also a very important part of this dream coming true!  He stopped by to check out the festivities and I was so touched that he did!!  I know I'm thankful that I stopped by the Accomplish Quilting booth last March.....not sure he knew what he was getting into....LOL   Between Valerie and Jeff....I have learned so much and am so thankful....words can not express it.

But I do know two words that kind of says it all for me these days......

Hope to see you all at the studio very soon!!

Happy Sewing!!!