Monday, July 11, 2011

Lowell Quilt Festival Entry

I was very excited to have one of my quilts accepted into the Lowell Images Quilt Show!
The show runs August 11-13, 2011. You can check out the details here.
Moda Flowers and Geese

She's a soft pink pallet of Moda flowers, with a splash of blue, green and yellow -
the pattern came from a McCall's Quilting magazine.
Just loved the pin tuck flying geese fabric and the
flower shaped button embellishments at the tip of each goose!

I had an "interesting" time doing the mitered corners
so they flowed together and kept the little green line
in the inside of the boarder print nice and straight !
I think all in all she came out just fine.
I hope everyone enjoys her soft sweetness!

If you do happen to go to the Lowell Quilt festival -
please stop by my guild's raffle table!
The Silver City Quilt Guild put together the most beautiful Crazy Quilt -
with TONS of embellishments!
The blocks were created and embellished by guild members
and then set on point with maroon velvet.
It is absolutely stunning!
The picture just does not capture it's true beauty!
Yes we are selling tickets!!!


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Try out Longarm Quilting

I am now officially on vacation from my full time job - Yippee! I started my vacation with something for myself ... a class on longarm quilting! I always like to try new things and pick up new skills - and although I have done my own quilting on my Bernina - I have never used a long arm. They seem so intimidating!!

My class was at  Mad About Quilts and found it to be ... FABULOUS!

Mary Ann and Dora are excellent teachers - very patient, soft spoken and knowledgable.  For a very reasonable fee they provide a 45" x 45" sample to work on (2 pieces or muslin and batting), 3 zippers to attach to their machine, 4 white bobbins (which they will switch out for other colors if you need them too) and 2 needles! Everything to get you started on your own longarm adventure!

First they showed me how to pin the zippers onto the backing and then the top ... thank goodness the zippers have directions printed right on the zipper tape!! Then it was time to load the sample onto the machine. Yikes - not sure if I could do that again ... but they assured me that when I come back to work on my own project they are right there every step on the way - just in case I forget what to do!! That little piece of information set my mind at ease .... now it was time to have fun!!

I started out with free motion quilting ... first I had a mind blank .. . "Oh No what do I quilt??" SO I just started with meandering, loops and leaves .... I think the meandering is the easiest and I like my leaves!

Here you can see the zipper pinned onto the sample.
I did find the machine has a horizontal and vertical pull and you really need
to get used to the flow of the machine....
some of my rounded edges got a little squared look to them ...
I need practice, practice, practice.

The water look was fairly easy, you just have to keep track of where
your going to make sure you fill everything in ...
and then I went back to my comfort zone of meandering loops!

My attempt at flowers and flowers with flames ....
again not being used to the machine my edges squared up a bit....

OK I've decided to stick with the meandering loops and an occasional leaf and flower!

The it was onto trying the other side of the machine ... pantographs.
One would think that tracing the little red dot over the lines
would be a piece of cake .... you would be so wrong!!!

It was tougher than I thought it would be - definitely something that I would need to practice.
By practicing you train your muscle on the design.
Dora and Mary Ann gave me two great tips...
1) get a white board from the local office supply store and practice drawing different
designs over and over and over ... this will train your muscles and...
2) with out actually stitching on your fabric just trace the red dot over the pantograph lines
a few times - this will also train your muscles ...
I need that Muscle Memory ... I need lots of practice.

Mary Ann was so nice - so told me I did such a good job my first time out -  she's so sweet!
But somehow I think my flowers look more like those small dinosaurs
with the pointy spikes that run down their backs!!!

So that was my adventure into longarm quilting!
I highly recommend you try it and I HIGHLY recommend Mad About Quilts.
They offer a great beginner class and reasonable rental time on one of there machines,
and they are right there to help you every step of the way!
I've put a button on the side of this blog to direct you to their site.
Give them a try - give longarm quilting a try - I think you'll like it!

I already have two tops ready to take back and quilt ...
and I'm sure for my first few I'll stick you what's comfortable ...
meandering loops and leaves!!