Friday, January 25, 2013

I made a quilt!

Strip This Quilt1 
Okay, first off - part of my new "balance" and schedule for the year is allowing time for me to piece quilts.  I love to piece, sometimes people just think I long arm quilt.  But, I started this whole journey piecing quilts and that is what I crave to do in my free time.  I really enjoy cutting into fabric and sewing it all back together again. I am sure you know what I mean ;-)

Strip This Quilt2 
This quilt was made with a "Mama Said Sew" jelly roll and I used my pattern "Strip this Quilt. I love this fabric, I had to snatch this jelly roll before it was all gone from our shop. So, I have been holding onto this for the perfect project. This quilt is only mine for a minute before I ship it to friend who is having a baby.
Strip This Quilt3 
I am proud to say that no two same fabrics (color and pattern) are touching - I am slightly OCD about that. This quilt uses just one jelly roll and most of the time you can use the left over jelly roll strips to use as the binding, but I did not want flowers in this quilt and I had four flower pattern strips that would not work for this quilt, so I went to my LQS and bought the black binding.  I love it!
Strip This Quilt4 
My boys are always there to help when I pull out a quilt to take pictures of.
I love these little people!
Strip This Quilt5 
A free-motion swirl is just great for this baby quilt. I am sure the baby won't mind that I did not do a custom quilt job.

Strip This Quilt6 
Minky is the key to a soft and cuddly blanket and the black with white polka dot was hard to refuse! I love it! I used Hobbs 80/20 for the batting, so it was a little thick quilting, but I did not have any problems with the Minky on the back.  When you quilt with Minky, just remember to not pull the fabric too hard, because it can stretch a lot and bunch if you do. 

4 projects for this month - I feel like I am on a roll.  February will not be as productive because of a trip I have planned, but I will try to stick to the schedule as much as possible though.  I am super excited about the next quilt on the frames - it is going to be back breaking for sure, but so worth it!  I cannot wait to share it with you.  Have a fabulous weekend everyone! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another finish for Beth!


I am always thrilled to quilt for Beth, she is a long time customer of mine and I always love her quilts. She is the applique queen and the colors of her quilts are always so fun. I asked her to tell me about this particular quilt and here is what she said:

 This has been one of my favorite quilts.  It was a BOM called “Let’s Twist Again” by Sue Ross thru Material Obsession.  It was a great learning quilt.  It had everything from paper piecing to templates to appliqué. I hand pieced most of the blocks but of course added the machine when I could.  Material Obsession website offers several BOMs about once a year, usually starting in the late summer.   I am just infatuated with the Australian and English quilters.  The Australian quilters use color like I have never seen and the English for their incorporation of old techniques with new colors-the hexagons.
Okay, so I only used one layer of batting this time - Quilter's Dream I think, and I love that stuff!  I need to get some of my own.  I used Magnifico thread for the top and So Fine for the bottom.  I chose to use gold thread because I think it pulled in all the colors of the quilt together.  This quilt took me 23 hours to quilt and I quilted most of it last week.

I chose to do a "simpler quilting" design on this quilt because of the fabrics. I didn't want to take away from the quilt, just wanted to add to it.  It's funny that my simpler quilting designs still take so long, I have to constantly tell myself that it's okay to not add more detail.

A lot of stitch in the ditch, straight lines and a bit of marking went into the quilt.

Connecting curves always compliment the design in a quilt.
What I loved about the border was that I didn't have to mark it! Such a great border fabric and a simple crisscross pattern sets it off nicely.

Free motion feather swirl ;-)

Each one of these blocks are so unique and fun, what a great pattern this is.

Favorite block ;-)

Have I ever told you I love quilting?

The texture on this quilt just makes me want to sing! Sorry, getting a little cheesy here....


Wait, I think this was my favorite block!

Yeah, my favorite!

 And, it looks cool on the back too! 

So, three quilts done in as many weeks of this month. I am happy with the progress I have made with my quilting and I hope to be able to continue the schedule like the past few weeks.  Next quilt is going on the frames tonight!  Wish me and my back some luck - I think I need to start lifting weights ;-) 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

It's working...

the schedule that is! I got this quilt done last week, sorry I can't show you more. Plus, I already have another quilt on the racks and it is halfway done. Add in the mix two new designs, one already pieced quilt top and one ready to cut out and you might say that structure is the key to getting things done!  I wish I would have figured this out a long time ago.  On top of everything quilting I have had time to clean my house, including my bathroom (wow), do laundry, play with the kids and have a movie night with Clint every night.  So, it's looking up and I am happy with how things are going this year. 

I failed to tell you that I have a less active role as far as orders are concerned and I am thankful to my sister for helping with that - it has made it so I could do the quilting and designing that I love to do and more importantly be with my kids.  So, as far as balance, this year has been great and I hope to keep it up throughout the year.

One more thing, I wanted to thank all who donated towards our Charity - it has made a huge difference and soon we will be able to share Clint's trip and what your donations help with. I am not going, nothing is wrong, but Clint and I decided that I would go every other year - well, that was more my decision because I know he would love for me to come.  I am just the worry wart mom who doesn't like to leave her kids too often. I am sure you know the feeling ;)

Well, have a fabulous rest of the week and I will keep you posted on my progress!    

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Romania Charity Trip.....

So it's time again for our annual trip to Romania where we take donated quilts to orphans living on the streets and provide food and supplies to those in need in Bucharest.  This will be our 5th annual trip and we are excited to share your beautiful quilts with the less fortunate.  Clint is leaving in about a week and we are happy to report that we reached our goal for quilts, but we have had many of you ask how you can help with our trip next week.  For any of you who would like to still donate, 100% of your donation will be used by Clint in Romania to buy food and supplies, which he will deliver to the children and families that will also receive quilts.  Last year we were able to supply all this food with your donations -

This picture was taken in Bucharest last year after we finished shopping, and just before we set out to deliver everything.  100% of the travel expenses are paid for by Green Fairy Quilts, and 100% of your donation will be used for helping those in need.  Please visit our Charity page if you'd like to make a donation.  Be sure to watch for Clint's video of his trip after he gets back, you might see him handing your special quilt to a beautiful orphan, and you'll be able to see how much food he was able to give away with your donations.  There is a "donate" button on the top and bottom of our Charity page.  Thank you everyone!!

Have a great weekend!

Clint & Judi

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A new look, a new schedule, a new year....

If you haven't noticed already I have changed up my blog.  I am loving the new look of my blog and I hope you like it too.  It feels a little bit more like me and isn't the "cutesie" blog from before.  It's funny how our style changes as the years pass.  One reason for the change was that I wanted to showcase pictures of my own projects. So, each of the quilts pictured above is one of my own - own meaning designed and quilted by me. The green quilting background was based on my free motion feather swirl, big thanks goes to Kristin who did a beautiful job creating my background and putting together my header. I am happy with how it turned out.  I am still rearranging some of the side pictures, they were all shuffled with the update - so that is on my growing list of things I need to do. 

Speaking of things to do, I have come up with a quilting/life schedule that works great for me.  Actually, Clint came up with the schedule that I have been trying out for the past few weeks.  Let's just say that last year was hard for me.  I had to juggle a ton of things that I have to get done and quilting seemed to always take the backseat.  I am grateful for patient customers, but I still feel guilty taking so long to get their quilts done.  Along with that, I am happier when I have my own projects that I am working on.  So, the plan is to make room for all of it, while not letting anything take over my life - creating unwanted stress.  So, balance is the magic word.  I am learning to balance everything that I need to do and when I have a strict schedule it is so much easier.  I won't bore you with all the nitty gritty details, but I will tell you that I quilt 4 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week.  I wake up early and quilt from 6-7am before the kids get up, I quilt from 1-3pm during nap/quiet time, and finally I quilt from 7-8 pm when the kids are in bed.  I have pretty much kept to this schedule for the past few weeks, and it has made a huge difference!  I even had time to put together a quilt top, which I will show you when I am all finished.  The beauty about this schedule is that I no longer feel guilty if I make time to make some of my own things.  Designing, piecing and writing patterns has always been on my list of things to do, but without time management it wasn't happening. 

So, long story short - this year is all about balance and schedules. I didn't realize that I have to have a schedule to make everything else work - I feel dumb admitting that, but it is so true.  With this schedule I can walk away from what I have to do and be the wife and mom I want to be.  I still have time with Clint in the evening and I have time with the kids during the day.  It has made a huge difference.  The other part of my schedule is that I can not bring my phone into the studio - no Instagram to distract me while I am quilting. 

Well, thanks for listening - I have a lot of great things planned this year, I have designs I would like to get out and hopefully by the end of the year I will have "caught" up with the quilting.  By then I will be quilting custom quilts every other month and hopefully adding room for some allover quilting during the other months, I think I need a break from the total custom every now and then so I don't go crazy ;)

One more thing - I have added quick social media buttons at the top right of my blog so you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Flickr if you want! See you there! 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Kimberly Einmo's Quilt, my first 2013 finish!

Yeah, that's right - Kimberly Einmo, can you believe she asked me to quilt a quilt for her? I'm still pinching myself. Every time I showed this quilt to friends and family while it was on the racks, I pulled out Kimberly's books and showed them how awesome she is. She is an author, teacher and quilter extraordinaire! This is her design and she is offering a class on this quilt called "Modular Quilting" at the National Quilt Museum Retreat.  You can sign up for her class here.

So this quilt has two layers of wool batting.  It was the first time I used two layers of wool, and it proved to be a little difficult at first because of how bulky it was, but it turned out great and I am pleased with the results.

I have a few pictures in the line up, so I will try to keep the words short and sweet.  I used #2003 Magnifico thread for the white areas and a silver metallic for the blue fabrics.

I think the funnest part about this quilt was that I took each piece of white fabric that would normally just be a background fabric (not a focal point) and made it its own design.

Simple, but so pretty!

Okay, take a look at the diamonds in the center star block - I love them, but trying to free motion quilt at that angle was almost impossible. But, it keeps it real, right? not perfect ;)

This is the diamond quilting in the square block - tough, but worth it!

A theme in this quilt is 1/2 inch - I wanted to set designs out by leaving a 1/2 inch border. I love how it looks in this block.

The long rectangle strip section to the left of the star block is my favorite part of the quilt - no joke!
Holy cow!! - don't you just love this texture? It really is hard to give these quilts back.

I really love the pebbling in this quilt - it is fun to see how I have improved over the years with pebbling. It is just proof that practice really does make a difference - so all you newbie quilters out there - keep it up!

Half inch theme that sets the heart off perfectly. I also quilted along the fabric design in the heart which worked out great. I love being able to showcase fabric.

I love these diamond blocks ;)

I kept the quilting in the blue fabric simpler than the white to give balance to the quilt.

When Kimberly first shared this quilt with me and asked me to do some modern quilting on it, the thought came to me that I should pull the block designs out into the white borders - with no rhyme or reason as far as where the blocks should be quilted. So, this is how it turned out.

The border background quilting is awesome - and since I am slightly crazy, I went for difficult as far as marking is concerned - totally worth it though ;-)

The best part of this quilt, I never got tired of it. It was something that I had never done before and I was always excited to work on it. But, I guess having a Christmas season and a very sporadic quilting schedule can make that happen. This quilt took me 50.5 hours to complete. Well worth the time I sure. Thanks for letting me share!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A look at last years projects.

2012 projects 
Here are the projects I finished or started last year - can you believe 2012 is gone? Crazy. Anyway, some of the projects are mine and some are customer quilts. It was fun seeing what I finished, but I have a goal to get more done this year.  

6- Fat Eighth skirt - I totally meant to write up a tutorial for this one, sigh..
7- Leftover scraps, I wanted to finish this one too...
8- My first art quilt that I quilted ;)
11- My bag, made out of Jelly Roll strips using this pattern
12- Butterfly - a new pattern! Love this quilt. 
14- Pillows
16- Quilt top finished (9) - still needs to be quilted. 
18- All Grown Up - still a favorite!

Not pictured - this incredible quilt, I can't believe I forgot to add it to my collage!

Here's to a fresh start for the new year with lots more quilting projects - I hope!  Life is fun and crazy, but I think I have a scheduled figured out to help me meet more of my quilting goals. I'll blog about that later ;) until then, Happy New Year!