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Posts Tagged ‘freemotion’

Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Ella Bella's Funky Monkeys

Just in the nick of time.  I completed Ella’s quilt around 1:00 in this afternoon.  Her birthday party is tomorrow so I was cutting it pretty close.  I have mentioned previously in this blog that her quilt was actually a companion quilt to the one I’m making for her dad.  He loves sock monkeys, which I just recently discovered, so I made him a quilt using sock monkey fabrics.  Her quilt was made using one of each of the monkey fabrics in her dad’s quilt, along with some black and whites that I had.  Unfortunately, her dad’s quilt is still at the LA quilters but since it was her birthday, I gave her the one made for her so I guess that will make her dad’s the companion quilt.  He doesn’t know that he is getting one so I couldn’t even till him the story.

The back of Ella's quilt

The back of Ella's quilt

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

Ella Bella's Funky Monkey label

quilting patterns completed on DSM

quilting patterns completed on DSM

I’m especially proud of this quilt as it was completely my design, inspired by Project Improv.  I traced the patterns onto some iron-on paper and did all of the quilting on my DSM.  The biggest problem is pulling out all of the paper once the quilting is completed; very time consuming! One of these days I will attempt the quilting completed freehand.  I just have to work up my courage and not worry about ruining anything.

This is the first quilt that has been my own creation but I made a small wallhanging years ago that was also my own design, made from some leftovers from one of my first wallhangings.

Leftovers Again

Leftovers Again

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Well, it’s been a long time since I actually finished a project.  I don’t remember when I started this one but it’s done.  Actually, there are a few loose threads I need to take care of and I need to add a hanging sleeve.  I had prepared a sleeve but it was not wide enough so I’ll do another.  For all practical purposes…it’s DONE.

Oriental Flower

Oriental Flower

Close-up of echo quilting

Close-up of echo quilting

Because it’s my wallhanging and I can do whatever I want (it’s really Bill’s), I decided to quilt a “ghost flower” in some of the echo quilting.

"ghost flower"

"ghost flower"

I spent most of the day on Thursday working on the companion quilt for Ella.  It has one square of each of the Funky Monkey fabrics that are in her dad’s quilt.  I added the black and white because I know small children see them better and she is only 9 months old.  I used the improvisation technique which I really enjoyed.  I started to sew on the borders but didn’t like the fabric choice, AT ALL, so I took them off.  I’ll have to search for a different fabric to use as the borders.

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Ella's FM quilt w/o borders

Yesterday Bill and I took a little trip in the car looking for a quilt shop that I have been to a couple of times.  I knew it was quite a drive and I knew the road but I didn’t know exactly where it was located.  We drove more than “quite a drive” and never found the place I was looking for.  However, we did come across another little quilt shop so we stopped there instead.  I didn’t find any of the FM fabric I was searching out but I did manage to find some bee fabric along with a pattern (POORHOUSE Quilt Designs) for a cute little tote that I may be able to sew together fairly quickly and put into my Etsy shop.  I like it because it has a lobster applique on the front.  There are also patterns for a crab and sand dollar. If I get it done, it may be the first item in my shop, which is currently set up but empty.

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"quilting bee" fabric

"quilting bee" fabric

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

tote bag pattern by POORHOUSE Quilt Designs

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

photo of starfish tote bag (from pattern)

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When I make quilts or wallhangings or bags or whatever, I can’t give them away.  Unless I make them specifically for someone I usually keep everything.  I don’t know if I’m selfish or if I spend so much time (rather anal) working on a project that I just can’t bear to let it go.

Either way, today I let go of two items.  The first was a quilt that I started many years ago in a class at Portsmouth Fabrics.   The fabrics were supposed to be Kaffe Fassett but I really wanted to do something different so I bought all nice, bright colors.  The result was The Bright One.

the-bright-one-quilt5the-bright-one-close-up-side-view-rosy-posy-design1

I took this to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH for sale on consignment.  They do it a little differently.  Rather than taking a percentage of your selling price, they add 25% of your price to calculate the total asking price.  At least that way, the seller gets what they want and the shop gets what they want.  They will keep it for four months and then return it to the seller at their expense.  They do not care if you send it in again at a later date.

Of course, while there I couldn’t just walk out without buying anything.  I found several bee fabrics that I purchased for the quilt I will make for Wendy at some point.

bee-fabrics-from-keepsake-2091

The next quilt is the Birthday Quilt.  I called it that because I received the kit from Su for my birthday a few years ago.  After putting it together I used it to practice my free-motion quilting and it turned out really well.  I was putting the binding on one day at work last year and Sue (a different one) said I could give it to her since I didn’t know what I was going to do with it.  We both laughed but I decided then that I would give it to her for her birthday, which is tomorrow.  I think she will be surprised but happy.   The colors are a little off because the photos were taken at night with a flash.   I know I had taken some earlier but I couldn’t find them anywhere.  Guess they are hibernating in cyberspace.                                                                                                                                                                         the-birthday-quilt-209

the-birthday-quilt-close-up-2091

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Yeah, it only took a little more than a year but finally, I finished the butterfly wallhanging for Greg and Vanessa that was promised to them last Christmas.  By last, I don’t mean the one last week, I mean the one in 2007.

butterfly-wallhanging-1208butterfly-stitching1

butterfly beads & crystals

I did Diane-shiko in the background as well as some fill between the leaves.  It took me forever but I really liked the way it turned out.  Once all the quilting was completed, I added beads and crystals.  My biggest mistake was adding the border and binding before doing the background quilting.  I’ll know better next time.  As I said, this took forever but it took quite a while for the piece to talk to me.  I think Greg and Vanessa were pleased with the final product.

I also made a microwave heat pack for Su for Christmas.  It was very easy thanks to the tutorial on Carla’s blog.  The photo isn’t very good but you get the idea.microwavable-heat-wrap-for-su-1208 The fabric is a nice flannel with angels that I have been hording for many years because I was waiting for the perfect reason to us it.  What more perfect project could there have been?

I also finished another small bag made with Christmas fabric.  So, I actually finished three projects in the last month.  Wow, that’s gotta be a new record. I continue to work on the oriental flower as well as the blooming 9-patch.

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This was a beautiful weather week.  Temps were in the mid 60’s and Bill and I were able to ride our bikes and sit in the sun.  It always feels soooo good.  On Sunday we rode 14 miles from Bill’s house to the Dunkin Donuts in No. Berwick.  We checked out a craft shop but didn’t find anything we really needed to take home with us.  From there we rode back on Rt. 4 to Bill’s house.  It was a spectacular day and we felt blessed to be outside in October feeling the warmth of the sun.  Not only that, we are blessed to be healthy enough to exercise on a semi-regular basis (as time allows).  We spent another day with Bill picking up leaves with the tractor and I cleaned up the gardens.

On the down side, my best friend, Su has spent the week in the hospital after surgery.  She is doing well but isn’t expected to return home for another couple of days.  She has suffered serious illness for the past several years and this is another bump in the road.  I am considerably blessed with good health, even though I’m approaching 60 (yikes) which is the opposite of Su.  I am always supportive and attempt to help her fend off the overwhelming depression that accompanies another health problem.  I am also blessed to have Su as my best friend.  She is such a wonderful person and I consider her my soulmate.  It is difficult to understand why she is faced with illness over and over again.  I pray that this time the final news is positive and she can look forward to some good years ahead.

On the quilting front, not much time to sew; however, I have been doing some background stitching on the butterfly picture.  I am using a technique from Diane Guadynski which she has termed Diane-shiko.  It isn’t difficult but time consuming.  After 5-6 hours I have completed maybe 1/4 of the background.  ti doesn’t really matter, this wallhanging was for Greg and Vanessa last Christmas.  As they say…better late than never.

I also did a some border quilting on the red oriental flower wallhanging.  I stitched a flower in variegated black and white thread.  I still can’t get the hang of doing it without a pattern so I have traced the flower on tracing paper and use that to follow.  The down side is taking all of the paper off when I’m done.

Two other good things happened this week, I listed my condo for sale and Bill and I finished my sewing room at his house.  We painted the ceiling and I chose a very light blue for the walls.  Bill pulled up the carpet and put down a laminate wood floor.  It looks so nice, clean and bright.  I still need to decide on curtains and blinds but I bought a new 6′ sewing table and it is set up in front of the window.  We moved a small bookshelf from my house.  It is holding fabric right now but will eventually hold children’s books and toys for the grandkids.

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I couldn’t stand it any longer…I bought myself a couple of quilting books that I have been wanting for a long time. First of all is Diane Gaudynski, Quilt Savvy. It is a great book and I’m enjoying reading it. when I finish, I’ll start over again, there is just too much to remember after one time through.

Next, I treated myself to Karen McTavish, Mastering the Art of McTavishing. I have been wanting to try McTavishing for some time and the book, along with the DVD, will make it much easier. I got out my white board and practiced along with the DVD. There were a couple of tips that helped a lot. From there I went to the machine and started practicing on my quilt sandwich. It’s a little harder than I thought it would be but I think with practice (lots of practice) I’ll be fairly good at it. I’m using a DSM, rather than a longarm (my heart’s desire) so it’s a little different than the video but I will be presistent. I was thinking about using it in the background of the butterfly panel but I won’t be good enough to do that for some time.

Anyway, I’m a happy camper. In addition to the two books, I received my copy of American Patchwork and Quilting as well as the new Quilting Arts magazine. So much inspiration, so little time!

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