Sonya "claims" this is her first pieced top so I have to believe her. I would never have known it.
It takes eyes to see this as it really is but I have tried to give an reasonable representation using close-ups. You'll have to use your imagination to "see" the whole top.
Aug 29: Quilt top arrived.
Sept 24: After talking things over with Sonya today, I have been working on thread options and IQ pattern overlays.
Sept 26: Sony has decided to use a simple dragonflies panto stitched medium density using King Tut #910 Bulrushes which is a variegated brown-light sage-tan-dark sage. I'll pick a bobbin color that doesn't overpower the top thread. The dragonflies should show up nicely and accept the neutral and border fabrics but will hide in print fabric. Should be a very nice effect. We shall see soon enough.
Sept 27: Where did the day go? Well, I did reprogram IQ with the final plan, cut the batting (using white instead of natural to keep the whites in the quilt as white as possible), loading the thread, set the tension and tested the color on similar shades of scrap fabrics. Double checked the quilt & backing measurements. I'll leave preparing the fabrics, loading and quilting for tomorrow. I hope to have this finished and shipped on Saturday. If not then, definitely Monday. I'm excited now to see how it looks once I start quilting.
Sept 28: Got everything ready to load & loaded the backing and batting.
Sept 29: Got the top loaded.
Sept 30: Quilting. And finished. Will ship tomorrow.
Earlier this year, Celia Gayle Gwaltney promised to send me a bandana like they send to men in service. I got it this week. Immediately, I wanted to design a quilt with it as a center focus.
CODY'S QUILT PART 2: PIECING
CODY'S QUILT PART 3: QUILTING
Hoped for Cody's input but that was not feasible. Finally decided to just stitch the pledge in gold thread around the outer black border.
Aug 27: Received the bandana. Stopped by the quilt shop but it was closed.
Aug 28: Early in the morning I did the first design. When I got up, I did the second design.
Aug 31: in town anyway so stopped by the local quilt shop again. Immediately found some fabrics that I though would be perfect. Bought a yard of several of them including black Very close but off just a bit. Personally I like the solids better than the prints I picked up.
Sept 01: Going back to the quilt shop with the bandana this time.
Sept 07: I hoped to have interest from others who visit this site but none was shown so that idea is off the table. I will proceed to make this one & let Celia give it to the wounded warrior in her community-Cody Stanton. Really looking forward to it this once.
Sept 21: Decided to proceed with the "R&R" (Round & Round) version. Figured out how much fabric I need. Something isn't right with my plan...hmmmm.
Sept 22: Found the error in my plans so I am all set to proceed with cutting.
HA! Now I know how long my strips need to be. Used Excel as graph paper.
8/25: Quilts came in. These are the first quilts pieced by Laura Luke to grace the cabin. Not only beautiful but also ... well, you check out her piecing.
The backing is the same dragonflies fabric we saw on Jen Froio's quilt AND we will be using the same panto.
Sept 17: Quilted
Postage Stamp quilt
Sept 17: Loaded
Sept 18: Quilted
Blue & Black bargello design quilt
A beautiful quilt with soft flannel backing.
Sept 25: Quilted. For some reason I am having a terrible time trying to photograph this. Perhaps in the morning.
Sept 26: Perhaps not but I tried. That's okay--I know how beautiful it is.
Which Came First
Will be enjoying the day in Greensboro at Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shoppe owned by my CPA & business genius daughter, Joanne, & her master longarmer husband, Kelley. In the evening I will finally celebrate my grandson's late July birthday with him. Yum & fun.
The class is learning raw edge applique technique using McKenna Ryan's kit Which Came First. Something very different for me.
Sunday 8/26: Well, I didn’t know Joanne was teaching so that was a nice surprise. She told us it took her 6 hours just to figure out how to read a McKenna Ryan pattern. She taught us the whole process in less than 2 hrs. We had the rest of the time to work. Getting organized (20 fabrics & 87 pieces) & doing some of the tracing is about as far as I got. My Steam A Seam separated from itself (Joanne says that is due to humidity) making it harder to handle but we still managed to get a few pieces fused.
I was ready for our dinner!! Two hours home & I went straight to bed. Today I created a spreadsheet pairing up the fabrics and pieces, fused what I traced Saturday & cut out everything I had fused. Still have eggs & chicks & hay & the flower stem to go.
This morning I came very close to giving away this little project but just couldn't. Will give a kit instead. It is just too cute & it may just be the only applique I ever do.
Aug 28: Class at Ye Olde Forest Quilters in Greensboro.
Aug 29: Got most of the pieces fused and cut out
Sept 05-07: Fusing and cutting final pieces as I have moments to do so.
Apr 08, 2013: Finally packed this up and shipped it to Celia.
I do not and will not choose a quilting pattern for anyone. It is not a service I provide. I'll give a thumbs up or down on your pick, discuss, suggest/offer options, educate, call, email ... but never decide. It is bad business. The same goes for thread & density.
I will share all I know & answer any questions after which you will know as much as I do. I understand it is a bit scary. It is for me too & I often run my ideas by others. You are not my customer but my partner when it comes to your quilt.
When needed, I do try to give you--and me quite frankly--the best idea possible of how a particular pattern will look on your quilt. The BLOG has numerous examples of this. Often I will sketch a quilt to size in Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7), program the pattern into Intelliquilter (IQ) and then overlay the pattern on the quilt rendition. It is a lot of work that I really enjoy doing. If I can't do all that for a particular quilt, I will do the best I can.
Read these PREPARATION instructions: Squaring the quilt back is your job, not mine. It must be square to load and quilt correctly. Pressing the seams flat is your job, not mine. My job is to remove the inevitable creases due to folding & shipping so the quilt will load flat & stitch without avoidable puckers. These are time consuming but necessary jobs--your jobs--that someone must do. I would hate to have to start returning quilts that are not properly prepared or to start charging for these services but am strongly considering it. Or I could charge a surcharge & then issue a refund to those who properly prepare their quilts. You would hate it if I quilted what too many of you send the way you do. More & more often it is taking me a whole day just to prepare a quilt for proper loading. That is not fair to me. That is not fair to anyone waiting in the queue for their quilt to be done.
Please If your borders do not lay flat, fix them before you send them to me. They must lay flat to make a nice quilted product. Usually this will mean removing them and smoothing out any puckers or gathers. If I have to do this, I am going to charge $50. Otherwise, I will have to take ugly tucks to flatten the border in order to quilt it. Yuck!
Surely you realize that the time I spend blogging, emailing, photographing, overlaying, preparing quilts for loading, etc. are free services to you. I love doing it. I love quilting. However, frankly, I am often tempted to give up quilting for others because so many abuse my services. Be kind to your longarmer. Do your part & let's enjoy making beautiful quilts together. I need you as much as you need me. Thanks for reading my rant.
Oh, one more thing. When your quilt is top in the queue, be as available as you can via email or phone in case I have any critical questions. And check your post often as I post progress notes and photos.
Now breathe & laugh out loud. I am. I realize we all have better intentions than we live up to. Unintended "Oops" are allowed. I sure make them frequently. Gone quilting!
Answers to Frequent Questions
I get some questions quite often even though PREPARATION & PRICES cover many of them. Who has the time, right? I am posting this list so I can email a quick reference to it in the future.
Donna's latest quilt.
Nighttime is not the best time
for photographs but I
wanted to get this posted.
This makes quilt #13
to grace the cabin.
Aug 18: I think this quilt arrived today but it may have come in yesterday. Found it in the mailbox late this evening. I want to get this done for Donna before my trip to Greensboro next Saturday (Aug 25).
Aug 21: Everyone in the queue ahead of Donna agreed for me to go ahead with this one today. So far I prepared the backing for loading. While preparing the top, I stopped to do a bit of work on a seam. I spent ages & ages looking for a panto & offered Donna a 1000 choices. Leapin' Lily Pads it is. Loading...loaded...basted. Ready to quilt in the morning.
Aug 22: Quilting. And finished.
Jackie says: You may recognize this pattern. You did one for Michelle Binder previously. I loved her quilt so much that I asked her to help me to locate the pattern. My daughter helped me to enlarge it a bit so this is probably slightly bigger than Michelle's.
Aug 13: The quilt has arrived and has the top nicely marked.
Sept 14: Prepared the backing for loading.
Sept 15: Loaded the backing. I am using Quilter's Dream Cotton batting which is softer and thicker (more loft as they say) than Warm & Natural & supposedly has better "drape". Next I will press the top & load it. Oops. Think I'll program IQ first so Jackie and approve the density while I work on the top. And the quilt is loaded. And basted. And quilting the first row of 10 15-minute rows. I am quilting this much smaller than ever before plus this is the version that takes the longest because it has a double tip on the flowers. No more pics until done. Got more than 1/2 the quilting done. Will finish tomorrow.
Sept 16: Finished.
This is Cathy's second quilt to grace the cabin. She already knows she wants musical symbols quilted on it...but which ones? I have the first one but saw the 2nd one on Donna Kleinke's site recently. Hmmm.
Aug 11: Quilt arrived. I immediately spotted some fading on the backing at the fold line. Left it up to Cathy whether to live with it or seam the fold out.
Sept 05: The backing was a bit narrow. Since there is plenty of length, I decided to cut from the bottom and make a strip for the side. Before I attach that, I will cut along the faded fold lines (2 of them) and then re-seam them. We decided a seam would look better than the fade line. This is a large quilt that maxes out my 10' table. The backing is now ready to load...almost.
Sept 09: Since the 5th, I have been dealing with one issue after another with the quilt back and top. Nothing major. Just has to be dealt with & lots of communication with Cathy. For once, I will spare all of us the details. Still plugging away with both & hope to finally load tomorrow. I will say this is a large quilt & once again maxes out my system. I did get the IQ programming done so that is ready to go. Will be using white thread top & back.
Sept 10: Loading the back. Trimmed and loaded the batting. The top is ready to load. Very clever that the keyboard is always right side up on the quilt top. Whew! Glad I noticed that before I quilted it upside down.
Sept 11: Got the top loaded and everything basted ready to quilt.
Sept 12: Quilting at last. Got 7 of 12 20-minutes rows done. Will finish tomorrow.
Sept 13: Finished after another long day. I think 9 days on one quilt is a new record.
Elizabeth has made two French Rose quilts, one for each granddaughter. This applique style leaves the 1/4" edges raw so they will fray.
The challenge for computerized longarming is how to prevent the rapidly moving hopper foot from getting caught on those loose edges. Elizabeth found some sticky paper that dissolves in water. Each flower will have to be covered with paper to hold down the edges, stitched over and then the paper removed. I have tested it and it should be fine but removal is a bit of work. Instructions say it is best to trim as much as possible & then wash off the rest. I am definitely leaving the paper removal to Elizabeth who pulled a fast one on me. All along we explored how to do one of these quilts. At the last minute, I found out we were really dealing with twins. Yikes!! Hmmm. So beautiful & vibrant in person.
Mack's Quilt - Pink - Finished 09/05/2012
Jun 26: Received pictures from Elizabeth.
Aug 08: The quilts arrived today & I have re-dated the post.
Sept 03: Working with Elizabeth on an IQ pattern. We have a plan, a modified version of Bramble border where I removed the leaves & left just the flower. I will quilt it as large as possible with whole rows (6) and up to 3" between the petals. I will be using Dream Orient batting which is a blend of silk & bamboo.
Sept 04: Time to prepare & load the backing. Next I will press the top and apply the cover over the flowers. Once the top is loaded on the longarm, it will take very little time to do the actual quilting. Nice way to spend a very rainy day in the Blue Ridge. Okay, backing is loaded, batting is loaded, quilt top is pressed and Sulky is applied. I'm too tired to load the top and quilt. Maybe later. After a nap, I loaded the top and started quilting. The first picture don't show the pattern well but perhaps the next row will.
Sept 25: Elizabeth has been thinking for some time that a custom touch on this one would be nice. Something in the blocks and something different for the sashing and borders. Hmmmm. I get to play until we come up with a plan Elizabeth likes. Email, phone calls, now go to work.
Sept 26: I programmed the layout in IQ and added a few poor ideas so Elizabeth can see her options.
Sept 29: Finalized the plans.
Oct 01: Backing is ready to load. Top is ironed and ready for me to apply Sticky Fabri-Solvy by Sulky. I am short one 8.5x11 sheet but can use what I trim from the other 19 sheets. Tweaked the IQ design a bit too.
Oct 02: Rainy day. Great day to finish getting the top ready and the quilt loaded. The quilt is loaded & basted. Now I am reading and studying how to accomplish this plan. I think I know how but since I have never done what I am about to try, I am reading everything I can find.
Oct 03: Quilting. Finished all but the side borders. I will unload and reload turned sideways to do them.
Oct 04: I have reloaded the quilt sideways to do the side borders. And finished.
Stacy Gilbert is a long time quilter and collector of vintage quilt tops. She prefers authentic hand quilting but is opting for the expedient machine pantograph for these two anyway. Sometimes it is better to have a few quilts rather than just the quilt tops. She did not piece these but aren't they beautiful!!
July 31: I received the quilt photos from Stacy.
Aug 01: Staci has committed to sending her quilts. We are working on selecting IQ patterns.
Aug 04: The quilts arrived at the PO & I picked them up on the 6th.
Aug 23: Spent the day looking for IQ patterns and asking some pros in the business what they thought. Waiting for Staci's final answer. LOL
Quilt 1 - Orange & Purple Pansies - Finished 09/23/2012
This quilt has shamrock leaves with embroidered flower centers including lots of French Knots. The white fabric is thick and heavy almost like canvas.
This quilt has 5 rows x 4 columns of 16.5" blocks with a 4.5" white border.
Aug 24: Cut the batting, checked the backing size, had a million interruptions, talked to Staci so we have a final plan. IQ is programmed.
Aug 27: Change of plan. When a Donna Kleinke panto similar to Jumbo Pansy was given to me today just in time, we decided it was better suited for this quilt. Both are so beautiful. Hmmm. It is also much denser. This is because is so large to start with that I cannot enlarge it very much. The image below is at its max size. I give the quilting time only for comparison and no other reason. I also posted an illustration of the difference in density between the two options.
Aug 28: I worked with the new panto trying to alter it so it could be stitched looser. After repeated tries I gave up. Those pattern designer know how to get them to flow just right. Lo & behold during the night an elf came along and simplified my panto. Now it is perfect.
Sept 18: Prepared & loaded the quilt. Will baste & quilt tomorrow.
Sept 19-20: Well, I basted anyway. And started quilting but had to undo it.
Sept 21-23: Quilting. Finished on the 23rd. Will take morning photo and then ship tomorrow.
Sept 24: Final pictures are posted.
Quilt 2 - Two-Tone Flower Blocks - Finished 09/02/2012
Most of the flowers have yellow centers but several have dark centers. Beautiful applique. The white fabric is thick and heavy almost like canvas.
This quilt has 5 rows x 4 columns of 17" blocks with no border.
Aug 24: Cut the batting. I checked the backing for size which Staci thought & told me was in one piece with no seams (like on the other backing for quilt #1). This one has a very thick seam and it needed squaring. Talked to Staci & "ironed" out all the details. IQ is programmed. All is posted. And I am tired and hungry.
Aug 27: First task: replace the thick seam with a 1/2 inch regular seam and press it open. Now backing is ready to load. Ready to piece a few minor fixes on the top. And now the top is re-pressed & also ready to load. Quilt is loaded & ready to baste tomorrow.
Aug 29: Wasn't well yesterday .Quilting and all i going very well.
Aug 39: When I rolled the quilt to start the 3rd row, I had to stop and fix a seam to avoid an ugly pucker or pleat, i.e.seam it by hand with old fashion needle and thread. This kind of work delays the whole show & ought to be done before sending me the quilt top. That said, I did not catch it when preparing to load. This quilt is however worth it, I must say. Very special. Considering how long a quilt will last, I try to keep quilting time in perspective.