Friday, February 27, 2015

Finally Finished Friday

Have you ever looked through your stash and found something you forgot you had?  I don't like to admit it.  I'm not all that old.  That doesn't mean I don't find things I forgot about.  This quilt was one of those times.

I found this almost finished quilt top.  It is from a kit from a chain store.  I probably bought it about ten years ago.  I have no real idea when.  I added the last two borders to it and found a likely piece of backing fabric.  In this case, I had the last of 10 yards of wide flannel that was just about the perfect size.
The large frame is in my three-season room on the back of my house.  It gets great southern light but winters aren't often the best time to be out there.  When I peeked out the window and found that the temp out there was almost as warm as in the heated house I jumped up and went out to get quilting.
I loaded it all up and got stitching.  I didn't want to custom quilt this since it is just a kit that has been languishing in my stash for years.  I just wanted it done.  I decided that this great design would be perfect for getting it done.  I found this inspiration in my copy of Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters.  It is called flower power and I love doing this as an all-over design.  It is easy to fill in with the petals and to move from motif to motif.
Here is a shot of the back of the quilt.  You can see that there isn't any traveling, just a bunch of echoing of the petals.  The top thread is King Tut from Superior Threads.  The bobbin thread is Tailor Made 27 from Superior Threads (this thread has been discontinued).
Here is a shot of the top.  I still need to make and attach the binding.  Once it is bound and washed I think the texture will be awesome!

Have you found some long-lingring quilt top that you had forgotten about?  This is the year of finishes!  Get sewing!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tool Tip Tuesday: Fiskars Thread Snips

I always have to turn around and reach for my scissors when cutting threads on the long arm.  (I'm not going into the bury threads/don't bury threads argument.  Do what you're comfortable with.  I don't bury threads.)
I wanted a solution that would keep my scissors, or some snips, at hand without having to turn and search for the scissors.  It occurred to me that this could be easily accomplished with just a couple things.  I picked up the Fiskars Thread Snips on sale ($6-$9).  The badge reels ($3-$4 for a pair) were picked up at Office Depot.
I decided that I liked how the snips felt in my hand with the badge reel on this side (the top) of the snips.  I attached the snips and then stood in front of my long arm trying to figure out  the best place to hang the darn thing.  Reach is an issue as is keeping the dangling thing out of the way of high-speed parts and feeding threads.
I ended up clipping it onto the bottom of one of the thread holders.  I haven't loaded a quilt and tested this location.  I'll update this once I've run a test.  I'm pretty sure it will work out.

Total cost of the tool tip:  Less than $10.  I think this will work similarly if you're trying to keep track of the snips at your sewing machine.  Just be sure to keep them out of your normal operating area (I would never attach these snips to my person) because they are sharp and they do not stay closed due to the design of the snips.  Wearing open blades is never a good idea.

Do you find you're misplacing your cutting tools?  What have you done to keep track of them?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Charity Quilting: Teddy Bears

This is a charity quilt made by another member of my local chapter of Quilts for Kids.  This quilt is made using the basic 4-patch pattern Quilts for Kids offers for free.  No fancy quilting but this simple design doesn't need anything fancy.
There are loads of patterns they recommend.  Many of these are perfect for beginning quilters.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Charity Quilting Whirlpools

Occasionally I decide that the simple meander isn't always the best answer.
When I loaded up this quilt I wanted to take swirls in a different direction.  I bring you whirlpools.  (If you want to see a similar design stitched on a domestic machine I recommend checking out Leah Day's tutorial video on her site.  She has loads of great video tutorials that are great for both long arm quilters and those that free motion quilt on their domestic sewing machines.)  It is like a swirl but a little different.  I will have to play with this one a little more.  I like how it turned out on this quilt.
This is a charity quilt made by another member of my local chapter of Quilts for Kids.  This quilt is a really scrappy one made with leftover blocks from a few other quilts.
Isn't this a fun quilt?  I love it when an experiment ends up being the perfect thing.
I'll be dropping this one off at the next meeting.  If you're local you should join us for the next workshop.