July 23: The quilts arrived.
July 24: Karen agreed to come help me with these two quilts when she returns from a trip visiting family. We'll work a bit on the purple border and then longarm both of them. Since they are small & there are two of us, we just might get them back to Celia in a day. Time will tell.
Pinwheels for a Baby Boy
Love the delicate colors.
Celia makes small colorful
quilts that sale!
Aug 18: This is ready to load and quilt after a quick pressing. Got this one longarmed without any problems while Karen worked on the border for the Terrain quilt.
This looks familiar!
Celia used the charm pack
while I used the layer cake.
The purple border really
pulls it all together.
Aug 17: I removed the borders. It is ready for Karen to use her expertise to reattach them without waves.
Aug 18: Karen did an amazing job with Celia's borders on this quilt. Karen got this job because she just happened to email me information on how to attach borders so that there were no waves. I asked her to come apply her technique to this quilt for Celia. Dare I say it took her about 4 hours!! Worth it though because now it will quilt nicely.
Wow, Cathy. This is gorgeous!
That is a whole lot of four patches, 11 * 11 = 121 to be exact. The accent fabric has dogwoods, daisies, humming birds, butterflies, chickadees and more.
Immediately Donna Kleinke's IQ patterns come to mind. Hmmm.
July 14: Quilt arrived.
July 18: Since this quilt came, Cathy and I have been exploring the possibility doing a custom layout. Lots of emailing going on. Late at night when all was quiet I did the EQ7 rendition & overlaid an initial drawing I did to show Cathy the general idea. I am thinking of using the center of her quilt like a "whole cloth" with some complex and beautiful block work to really dress this up. A border of two and we are done. Though custom work, this should not be all that time consuming or all that technical. Cathy was originally thinking of using the beautiful Butterfly Garden panto & it would work but I just feel this quilt is calling out for something more. We shall see where we end up!
July 19: Between intermittent phone and internet service today, Cathy & I finally managed to have a phone conversation & agreed on a tentative plan. Cathy loves the whole cloth sample I did for Joan what seems like ages ago but was just last year. I want to draw it up in IQ this evening and see how it looks on her quilt (too intense).I still have other ideas cooking in the back of my mind too.
July 20: Oh the possibilities! I worked through the night and all day today devising a layout for this quilt. At day's end, we have a solid plan including thread.
July 21: Couldn't leave it alone. Had to do one more. All three are posted here but we are going with the last one. This design will take no more time to sew than an average pantograph but more time is needed for all the stops and starts and tying off the thread from one block to the next. It does take a lot more time to plan & program IQ but programming of any flavor is playtime for me. I love doing it especially when a quilt calls for it.
I have to applaud Cathy. It is a tedious & intensive process (not my dictation) to get a good plan. The last customer I tried to do this with couldn't handle the process so after more than a week of working on it, we ended deciding to just return the quilt top. Not good but it happened. Cathy understands I do this for fun and the other dear woman just couldn't get past the time it was taking for she was so focused on the money aspect.Hear me! I am not hung up on making money but on making beautiful quilts! This was NOT Cathy's request but my idea which she has embraced. That's what makes it fun & worth the time and effort!! Now if I can just pull it off.
Aug 05: Ready to iron and load the backing. As I iron the top, I will double check the dimensions I programmed into IQ to be sure the pattern will fit within the corresponding quilt top areas. If I get this done today, I will be happy. We shall see.
Aug 06: The quilt is prepared and it is time to start pinning. The top is perfectly square with consistent measurements throughout. What I hope to do should work beautifully. Well, my programmed dimensions are too small so I am making adjustments. IQ pattern is ready now & I am loading...Didn't get far--only top of the backing. Went to get the batting out to cut what I needed. In the process I dropped the edge of the box of batting on my toe. Didn’t think any more about it except “oh well, another bruise” until I stretched out the batting along the rail and then went back to grab the tape measure to mark off 90”. I saw huge blood drops everywhere I had been walking (none on the roll of batting at my feet thank goodness). My toe nail was black & red. It felt loose to the touch so I disinfected it, wrapped it to stop the bleeding and called to see if I could get to the FastMed Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic in time. Just barely. The nail is still in place for now & no pain since the blood could (and did) get out from under it. Antibiotics and keep it clean and wait to see whether the whole nail falls off or reattaches. I feel fortunate … and silly that batting battled my toe and won! Not exactly. It was the box full of 40 yards of batting that did. I live to walk and quilt another day.
Aug 07: Everything is loaded. The consistent measurements I so carefully checked while preparing the top for loading are different now that the top is loaded. I worked with it awhile tonight as I hoped to do the top two borders. Decided this is a challenge for tomorrow!
Aug 08: Re-sized everything again. After quilting the hummingbird & flower border, I added a very simple border above it to take up the slack. (Stars would not look good here. LOL.) Tomorrow I tackle the quilt center with those beautiful blocks.
Aug 09: A day packed with threatening thunder storms, I nonetheless started on the center blocks. It is going to be a very tight fit when I start rolling the quilt. Since the loaded dimensions were larger than before, my plan is stretched to the max I can quilt in one roll of the quilt. Maybe for once I will get lucky but I am afraid I will have a nightmare on my hands by the time I reach the bottom rows of the center. Guess I could unload and load it upside down it spacing is too tight. HA! Where there is a will strong enough there is a way. And so I have finished the the first of 5 center rows. Yes!
Aug 10: Completed the center of the center of the quilt which is row 3 of 5. All the rest is repetition from here on. I will certainly be shipping this quilt Monday. (Knew I shouldn't have written this.)
Aug 11: Took the day off from quilting.
Aug 12: I really want to finish this today. We shall see. Gone quilting. Finished row 4 of the center. One more to go. I know now for certain that the pattern will fit. Will the thread hold out is the next concern. The center is completed.Bottom borders are done & I have unloaded the quilt. Next I will turn it 90 degrees and reload it to do the side borders. Shouldn't take long.
Aug 13: Reloaded and got the main left border done when I ran out of thread. I had already ordered an over night shipment early this morning. I have used a lot of King Tut since ordering a spool in every color I didn't already have. Only problem is that a spool is just not enough for large quilts. At this rate, I will soon have a cone of every spool I have used on a quilt. LOL. Such is longarming. Also explains why I don't charge for thread--it is just too hard to know how much is needed.
Aug 14: The thread came in on time & I finished all the side borders. When I checked the back, I simply was not satisfied with some of the tension. I am redoing that now.
Aug 15: Redid 5 of the side borders & it looks far better now. Not satisfied with the bed pictures so will try again in the morning light. Should be a bit better. Clearly this is not a double bed size quilt & that doesn't help. I'm tired.
Aug 16: I posted so many pictures because each one shows something different depending on the angle the lighting.
Robin Tuttle called me this morning from W. Jefferson which is just up the road. She just brought a lap quilt top to the cabin. It is basted and ready for hand quilting so that will have to be undone.
When Robin comes up in the queue, she will come help do her quilt. It is so much more fun that way!!!
July 14: Robin brought her quilt top to the cabin. We agreed on white thread. Robin's next task is to select an IQ Pattern.
Aug 07: Turns out Robin is not available to help. Her quilt goes to the top of queue.
Aug 13: Separated the quilt layers. Without Robin's help, I need to add a 3" border to the backing so I can load it and clamp it while quilting. Added the red side borders.
Aug 17: Better than safe than sorry, I added teal top and bottom borders to the backing too & ironed everything. Just too tired to load and commit to finishing this today.
Aug 19: Loaded. Will quilt in the morning and get it in the mail in the afternoon. So I say now.
Aug 20: Every time I came in here to read my email from Robin to be sure I did what she wanted (white thread, right pattern, etc.) I got distracted by all sorts of things. Then again this is such a sweet quilt, I seem to be savoring it like a piece of precious dessert not wanting it to end. Not fair to Robin though so here are the first quilting pictures at last. And finished! Pure delight to do this quilt. Thank you, Robin.
Beautiful warm batiks in greys, blacks, creams, tans & browns. Window borders around half square triangles. Very nice indeed.
Karen Gulliford is the piecer and this is her second quilt to grace the cabin.
If you remember (or don't), Karen is the local gal who came up and helped with my "For a Baby" quilt.
July 13: Quilt top arrived. Karen picked her IQ pattern. We'll pick a thread when she gets here.
July 22: Karen is here & we are quilting away! Everything went smoothly and we finished in a day! HA! It took us from 11:00 to 6:30 to do the first half of the quilt & from 6:30 to 8:30 to do the second half & until 9:00 to take & post the photos, fold & bag the quilt and load the car. Cathy was home by 10:45. Even with two of us, it took as long or longer to prepare & load the quilt as it did to longarm it.
Today this quilt top that Dorothy has been planning and working on since early May finally arrived. She purchased the angel blocks that will fill-in the outer border. All that is left is to decide whether to outline the angels in one or two lines and whether to fill-in between the blocks with the same small angel panto I will use for the center of the quilt. Without printing 12 angel blocks, I am trying to give an idea below of how it might look.
This quilt is going to Dorothy's son's wife, Anne, who loves to decorate her church for Christmas.
July 11: Quilt top arrived. If you think matching a red and white thread is easy, think again.
July 12: Finalized the IQ pattern.
July 19: Backing arrived. It is loaded. Changed the thread and reset the tension. Everything is now loaded.
July 21: Quilting. I find it interesting how the photos come out different shades. I finished quilting this as planned BUT it needs more. As I was working on the last row, Dorothy & I were talking about how the space could be filled in around the angels. It is just too floppy like it is. We started brain storming. Clouds like under the angels? Stars? Did a quick sketch (below) to illustrate & Dorothy liked the idea. Have two quilts lined up the next two days so on Tuesday I will reload this quilt and complete it by adding lots of white stars of various sizes.
July 22: Added a few pictures showing why stars are sorely needed.
July 23: Took and added pictures of the back of the quilt before adding the stars.
July 26: Started programming the stars into IQ pattern.
July 27-29: Kept adding stars to the design work I thought it would work.
July 30: Prepared the quilt & reloaded it. Started quilting the stars. Not dense enough.
July 31: Finalized the plan at 3:00 AM. Very intensive & time consuming work creating what I am now calling the free style stars. Each one was drawn, sized, rotated & spaced just so. The goal was to create a density similar to the center panto. Along the way, I learned the technique for carving out no-sew areas, a skill that will come in very handy even though I will not use it on this quilt.
Aug 01: Did enough to know the stars will work now and then removed the trapped thread.
Aug 02: APQS gave me the tip I needed to make finishing this project much more pleasant. When ever my machine stopped, the bobbin thread was breaking. I had to remove the bobbin case from underneath the machine, pull the bobbin thread out some or completely re-thread it, re-insert the bobbin case & bobbin back under the table & continue. After every star, this was just toooo much aggravation. Now it just stops, a tap on the screen moves the needle to the star & a final tap starts stitching again. I go back clip the threads between the stars but will leave the ones on the back for Dorothy to clip. Seems fair to me!! Now if I just don't run out of thread.
I don't get defeated easily but I am stopping on this quilt for now. For one, I don't think I have enough thread so I have some on order. For two, Dorothy is going to be out of town for about a week so I can't mail the quilt even if I finish. For three, a week of dealing with just the stars on this quilt is enough for now. For four, the quilt will not be needed until November. So I am taking a break, unloading the quilt & going on to something else for now. So much for intentions...
Aug 03: Finished row 2 and going on to row 3 and as far as I can before unloading. Just needed some sleep. Finished row three but before I did the needle jammed in the quilt. Fortunately no damage was done to the quilt & I just happened to be close enough to the power box to be able to cut it off with my foot while holding the machine steady. Whew! Never ask what else could happen. Finished row 4 without excessive difficulty.
Aug 04: Finished row 5 and started row 6. Will the thread last? YES! FINISHED!! Posted 3 before & after stars collages. Was it worth all the work? YES, every quilt needs what it needs. Perhaps not by hand but still one stitch at a time. In this case, one star at a time until all 326 were in place. Anne, enjoy it & may it bring joy to many this Christmas and for many to come.
What you didn't know before...I will quilt stars any day for Dorothy's cookies!
Oh, that is a glass cutting board.
A 3rd baby bear is under the Pyrex bowl--the better to keep all the cookies
It I sound a little intense when you call,
it is the espresso powder in the cookies.
This beautiful star quilt just arrived from Jen Froio.
Needing more backing, Jen decided to piece up the back a bit.
July 05: Quilt top and backing arrived.
July 16: Loaded the backing and batting.
July 17: Prepared the top. Did an EQ7 rendition and an IQ pattern overlay. Loaded. Basting. I got interrupted to track down a thread shipment. Turns out I need to file a police report. I quilt this tomorrow and hopefully ship it too.
July 18: Quilting.