Monday, January 30, 2017

Bernina Q24 Longarm

Meet the new addition to my craft room/studio:  a Bernina Q24 Longarm quilting machine.  Technically, this is my mom's machine, but it has come to live at my house.  She traded in her Handi Quilter Fusion and we decided that it might be better for her new longarm to be at my house instead of in her unfinished storage/furnace room.

After we decided to keep it at my house, I set up my room with a couple tables to see how I would like it with such a big item.

My Tiara moved closer to the door.

And my sewing cabinet moved closer to the quilt hanger/design wall area.

I am really enjoying the new layout in my room, especially because it means I can play with the longarm.

I loaded it up with some Kona White and Warm and White batting to give it a test drive.  I will be sharing the finished quilt later this week.

There are a lot of really nice features on the Bernina longarm, but my favorite is the completely adjustable handles.  I can move them very close to the quilt top so that it feels a lot more like when I am quilting on my sit down machine.  It is pretty awesome.

My mom did get the compterized quilting to go with it, but we still have to learn how to use it.

Even though this takes up a lot of space in my room, I still plan on hosting my little quilting group.  Most of the time we will sew at the kitchen table and use the island for a cutting table.  It will be tighter than before, but there is still room for 1-2 people to sew in my room with me.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Mom's Lone Star: A Custom Finish

It turns out that once I started hand quilting my mom's Lone Star, I just couldn't stop!  Instead of eight weeks of hand quilting it was four days.  It was wonderful quilting through the wool batting.

I searched around on the internet for star quilts with feather quilting and found this beautiful one quilted by Jan of The Secret Life of Mrs. Meatloaf.  I based the background feathers off of her quilting design.  I first took out the thread basting stitches.  Then I made a paper template for the arcs and started quilting on my Tiara.

Pretty soon I had some feathers.  (I can hardly believe that I actually quilted them,)

I decided to just stitch in the ditch around the inner borders and quilt a simple feather in the wide border.  (This is much easier to see on the back.)

I was amazed that after it had been thread basted and sitting in a bag for years that there were still no tucks on the back of the quilt.

My mom and I got together to work on the binding after I sewed it on by machine to the front.  She sewed about ten inches to the back by hand before her hand started cramping.  So I ended up finishing the binding for her as well.

This quilt turned out so pretty.  We are so happy that it is finished and can now be used instead of hidden in a closet.

It finishes about 91 x 91 inches and is now on a guest bed in my mom's house.  Start to finish this quilt took around 20 years.  It definitely deserved to be finished.  I guess I still need to figure out my next WISP.

Check out my previous two posts for more details on the quilt.  (Here and here.)


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out to see what others have been working on.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Quilt that Started it All

This is my mom's first quilt, or the quilt that started it all.  Without this quilt I wouldn't be the quilter I am today.

My mom picked out the fabrics and started it when my oldest brother was engaged.  (I was seven years old.)  She finished it three years later.  She cut it out with scissors after marking the pieces with plexiglass templates.  Then it was hand quilted on a Grace Frame.

It has been used and very well loved.

My brother brought it to my mom asking if it was possible to repair it.

I was thrilled to see it again.  The center of the quilt is in pretty good condition.  We may just need to trim off the borders and add a new binding.

When my mom finished her first quilt she became hooked on quilting.  She tried to pass her love of quilting on to her daughters.  While two of my three sisters have made a few quilts, I am the only one who really caught the bug.

And no, the grass at my mom's house is really not that green right now.  I took these pictures a while ago and am just now sharing them.  My sweet mother and her early quilts have been on my mind while I have worked on her Lone Star quilt.

It turns out that once I got started on this quilt that I just couldn't stop.   (I could have named this post "No Longer a WISP or UFO.") All of the hand and machine quilting is done.  I will have a finish to share later this week.  Here is a sneak peek.  My mom is so excited.

I am so grateful she started quilting and that it is something we still continue to do together today.  This is a picture of the two of us at the Handi Quilter Retreat we went to in March 2015.

I know that she hand quilted at least six queen size quilts and a few smaller ones.  I have pictures of one more of her early quilts.  This one was made for my second oldest sister.  It is a Heart and Home Log Cabin.

Isn't my mom amazing?


Thursday, January 19, 2017

My New (to Me) WISP

I have missed having an ongoing hand sewing project since I finished my last WISP (work in slow progress).  So when my mother asked if I would finish her lone star quilt, I happily agreed.  She started it about 20 years ago, but it has sat untouched for quite a few years.  Her arthritis now makes it difficult for her to hand quilt.

She started out quilting just the outside tips of the diamonds a quarter inch in from the seams.

The entire star was quilted like that.  But then she decided she didn't like how unfinished it looked, so she started quilting the other half of the diamonds.

She did get a lot done before putting it away.  Wedding quilts for her children and baby quilts for new grandchildren took precedence.  This quilt is for her.

I told her that my goal is to finish the hand quilting the star over a period of eight weeks.  One week to hand quilt each of the eight big diamond making up the lone star.  That seems doable, right?

I have counted and there were 258 half diamonds for me to quilt, and I have already started.  :)  I am usually too tired for sewing in the evenings, but some hand quilting may be just right.

I will machine quilt the rest of the quilt after the hand quilting is all done.  My mom wants lots of feathers.  I better get sketching!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Alissa's Mom's Quilt: Custom Quilting

This is the second quilt I helped Alissa make for a Christmas gift last year.  This one was a gift for her mom.  I shared the one she made for her dad last week.  I helped her make four others in 2015.

She saw a quilt with similar blocks online, but didn't see a pattern.  I drafted it out and did the quilty math for blocks finishing at 11 inches.  The quilt finished about 55 x 77 inches.

We purchased the fabric, cut it out, and decided on a layout together.  First we tried a random layout.  Then we tried a rainbow layout.  (Forgive the awful phone photos, but I think it helps to see both ways.)

You can see which one we liked better!  The rainbow layout made the colors sing.

Alissa did all of the piecing and I quilted it with an open feather design on my Tiara.

She decided on a pink minky for the backing.

She chose the bright blue for the binding which we also worked on together.

She was thinking about wrapping it up like a big Tootsie Roll for fun.

It was so much fun helping Alissa finish this quilt.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Another Stash Busting Finish

This is a stash busting quilt made using my Calculations for Race Quilt Variations.  I sewed the pieces together randomly, but cut it in half before sewing the last seam.  That way I could rotate half of it and keep the darker fabrics more evenly balanced.

The strips on this quilt were cut out at 5.5 inches so that it would be 80 inches long.  That made it so I could use an old four yard piece of fabric I had for the backing.

I just cut the piece in half and sewed it together.  The pattern was so busy that you can't really see the seam.  I like that it makes the quilt reversible depending on which side the recipient likes best.  The floral really is prettier up close.

I quilted it with an open feather design on my Tiara.

I used an older polyester batting which was more difficult to use, but I wanted use it up for this donation quilt.  It sure does make the quilting stand out.

My mom had the perfect dusty purple fabric for the binding.  I like the subtle color it adds to the top.

This will not be the last chunky race quilt I make.  I already have two more planned for more stash busting.

Quilt Stats #197
Name:  Ivory Race
Pattern: Race Quilt Variation
Fabric Used:  Creams and light tans from old stash
Backing:  Old Hoffman floral
Amount Used:  9.5 yards
Batting:  Medium loft Polyester
Size:  About 70 x 80 inches
Date Finished:  January 2017

This quilt will be donated to the local women and children's crisis center.  They like receiving twin sized quilts.


P.S.  I will be linking up with some of the fun parties on my sidebar.  Check them out for more quilty inspiration.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Alissa's Dad's Quilt: Custom Quilting

I had so much fun helping my friend, Alissa, make this quilt for her dad for Christmas.  We purchased the fabric together, cut it out together, and decided on a layout together.  She did all of the piecing and I did the quilting on my Tiara.  Then we did the binding together.

It is made using the Falling Charms pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company, but instead of precuts we used yardage.  We used a different number of blocks to make the quilt finish about 59 by 84 inches.  It was harder than expect to find sixteen different medium/dark masculine blues, but I think we succeeded in keeping it masculine.

I quilted it with a loopy spiral to soften all of the geometric angles.

She chose a gray minky for the back.

I always love how the quilting shows up on minky.

The binding was one of the dark blues.

I think it looks great in my living room, and I almost didn't want to let her take it away.  ;)

I always enjoy helping my friends finish quilts.