Monday, March 31, 2014

Solar Flares in the works...

Solar Flares 
You know when you have a crazy idea for a quilt and you just have to get it finished?  Well, that is the story with this quilt.  I have a lot to tell you about this quilt, it is something I have needed to get started for a while now, but just realized last week how it would look.  So, from drawing, to piecing, to quilting, I finished a good chunk of this quilt last week.  Then, my needle broke on my machine, ruining my rotary hook and I am waiting for a replacement hook to be sent overnight so I can finish this darn thing.  I hope you like it, at least what you can see of it now.  I will share the whole story behind this quilt when it is finished.  In the meantime, I will try and finish everything else that I am supposed to be working on since I will be leaving for Sparrow Studios next Monday.  Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Flower Pots finished. Picture overload!!

I am happy to say that I finally have another finish under my belt.  It has been a while.  I am busy, life is crazy, but I am happy to be able to finally share this beautiful quilt with you.  Gwen pieced and appliqued this gorgeous quilt using Kaffe Fassett fabrics, it turned out beautiful!

Here is what Gwen has to say about the quilt:

“The pattern used for this quilt top is “Flower Pots” by Kim McLean.  I primarily
utilized the freezer paper template technique that incorporates turning the fabric
edge with starch applied to the seam allowances, then I machine-sewed the appliqué
pieces down to the background.  Nearly all of the fabrics used for the appliqué were
designed by Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler.  Please note that my fabric selection was
directly inspired by Kim McLean’s beautiful quilt and artistry.  I started this
project in May 2010 after finishing piecing “Newfangled Jane” (Dear Jane), and
finished piecing this in April 2012 (with lots of projects in between).  To top it
all off, literally, I knew early on that I wanted this to be machine quilted by the
one-and-only quilt fairy goddess of them all, Judi."

 Thank you Gwen! 
The pattern is called Flower Pots and is designed by Kim McLean, you can order the pattern here

It took me a little bit to figure out what I wanted to do with the quilt as far as quilting.  I had a few drawings figured out, then I changed it up to what you see here.  I was thinking of doing something a little more difficult in the border with the circles, but I think this design sets the circles apart and makes them stand out. 

The big flower pot sections were the last to be quilted.  I was not sure how to tie it all in because of how large the background area is - originally the plan was to quilt everything else, then take the quilt off and turn it and put it back on the frames, then figure it out.  I was lucky enough to have a "light bulb moment" and I sectioned off the background with the rail fence design in the middle. I then did the same design background that was quilted in the center squares.  I absolutely love how it turned out. 

You can see more of the rail fence affect in the above picture. 

Diamonds, I love how these turned out. 

It's funny, I put my quilting pictures out where people can see and comment, like on Facebook and Instagram.  This particular part of the quilt I put online and had someone comment that I quilted it way too much and I was taking away from the applique. I guess they don't know my style of quilting ;-)  I can't please everyone, but I have to say that I feel like the time I take into going around the applique and creating a background for the quilt only adds to the beauty of the applique. 

I love this quilt, seriously. It is always hard to send these works of art back to their owners.

One thing that I find crazy is that I take so long to get things finished.  I start comparing what I get finished to what others get finished and then I feel like I am not getting a lot done.  I have had this quilting guilt over me, I feel like I have let you readers down with my lack of posts and completed projects.  But, then I realize that I take a long time to quilt because I am a detailed perfectionist and that is what I love to do - not to mention that my family always needs me, and I need them.  So, thank you for being patient with me as I get things done at a much slower pace than most designers.

I love the continuation of the background pattern with the squares to break it up and give this quilt some sweet character.   This picture shows off this particular part of the quilt wonderfully.

This quilt does have two layers of batting.  I used an 80/20 blend with a 100% cotton. I used So Fine thread for the top and bottom line for the bottom. I used the pre-wound bobbins and I am not sure I love those - more on that later. 

The colors in this quilt are so fabulous. 




This picture was taken with the quilt upside down, but I really love the details of the diamonds. It was time consuming going around all of the applique, but the end result was totally worth it.

The back. Oh my.


There is nothing more rewarding that taking a quilt off the frames and seeing this quilting texture come to life.  I had such a fun time with this quilt.  I can not wait to get another one finished.  In the meantime, I will be getting ready to leave for Canada - that will be here soon!  Wow, time flies - and I am working on a pattern that will be released shortly.  So, stay tuned. Also, I just received another shipment of my books, so if you haven't purchased your signed copy yet, you can do that here.

Have a fabulous day!   

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lexi's Quilt

lexi's quilt
 Clint's sweet and adorable cousin, Lexi was recently in an accident.  She was hit by a car on her longboard and the doctors basically gave her a 1% chance at life.  It was a scary time for her family as well as all of us who care for her and her family.  I can not even imagine the heartache her family has gone through, but they have been amazing and a lot of people have come together to support Lexi through their prayers.  She is a miracle and has survived, but she will need to go through rehab as she continues to improve each day and recover from her brain injury.

Clint's aunt contacted me and wanted me to help her come up with an idea on a quilt that people can sign and give words of encouragement to Lexi.  She wanted three inch squares and four different colors for the quilt.  So, my head started spinning, like it does when I want to piece a quilt and I came up with the design at the beginning of this post.  I wanted to group the colors together.  I love how it turned out.  Funnest part of this was picking out the fabrics.  As you can see above, the fabrics are bright and beautiful and I had a wonderful time piecing this quilt.




I used strip piecing methods to make the quilt come together fast.  It was really fun.  I had to put off quilting for a bit, but I felt that this was a quilt that needed to be finished.  I have to tell you though, it was fun to piece again.  I do not get to piece as much as I would like....
One of the things that I thought would be fun would be to incorporate this heart drawing.  I found out that Lexi would draw this on her friends arms and say - Wear your Heart on your Sleeve - so, I made sure to incorporate that into the quilt top.

So, through the magic of technology and freezer paper - I was able to print off this design onto fabric.

I had to set the ink, so the design went a little blurry, but I still think it looks amazing. The meaning behind the design is what is important anyway and I really hope that she loves it.

I love how the quilt turned out.  The top is so bright and cheery.
 And.... I had to make a cute backing for the quilt as well.  Thanks for listening.  I hope you like this quilt, it would be a great quilt idea for anyone out there who is having a hard time.  If you want to read more about Lexi, you can follow her Facebook page here.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

Did you see this?

Machine Quilting Unlimited has published an awesome issue recently.  I am happy to have a small part in it.

The long three year process of publishing my book has been worth the long wait and I never tire of seeing it in print.  I am so thankful to all of you for your support through words of encouragement, purchasing my book and following my blog.  I can never thank you enough, but I will just say it - THANK YOU!

And, don't forget to read the article about Scalloped Bindings that showcases mine and Gwen's Dear Jane quilt.  It is still the most beautiful quilt, seriously.  Best part of this magazine coming out now is that I am currently working on another masterpiece by Gwen, the timing could not have been more perfect.  I can not wait to finish.

I will leave you with one of my favorite pictures of this Dear Jane quilt.  It showcases the scallop quilting beautifully.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Family time.

Last week Clint and I returned from a trip to California.  We love being able to take the kids on these family vacations, we feel they are so important for us to keep our family close.  This was a trip full of discovery for the kids.  They have been to the beach before, but this is the first time I have been a relaxed mom.  Noah is finally old enough that I am not spending my time being anxious that he will run away from me.  I felt more relaxed and the kids had a better time, I think.

It is these moments that make all the crazy times so worth it.  Nothing makes us happier than seeing our kids playing together and getting along.  Seriously.

Noah was a little nervous of the cold waves at first and clung to my leg.  I wish he wouldn't grow up, but I promise to cherish each moment.

We were able to watch the sunset one evening while we were there.  It was beautiful.  I never feel more at peace with life and with God, then I do watching a sunset.

This pelican was a champ and posed perfectly for me at the pier in Oceanside.  I love this picture.

These people are what make my life perfect.  I am so thankful for each one of them.

We had a great time watching the waves come in.  The surfers were fun to watch too.

I am so thankful that I can capture these moments.

I could just squeeze him...and I do!

I spent my time capturing the moments behind my camera.  It was a great time.

So, as you can see, I am not getting as much quilting done as I would like.  I have added in teaching this year, so I am feeling a little stretched right now.  But, I try to keep a balance so that my priorities are never mixed up.  God, family, quilting - that's how I roll.  I do have a quilt on the frames and here is a sneak peek.  I hope to get it finished in the next couple of weeks. I hope you like it!

Gwen Sneak Peek 

One more thing, for my Canada friends - Matt and Bradie Sparrow convinced me of the need to extend my stay to Sparrow Studios in April, so we have added one more retreat for April 14th & 15th.  There are only a few spots left so be quick about signing up and I will see you in a few short weeks!

Have a great weekend everyone!