Thursday, April 17, 2014

My First Quilt to HMQS and Still Time to Enter Give Away!!!

I am so excited!  I just returned from the post office...I have shipped off my little whole cloth to HMQS!!!  I really sent it on a fluke - I just like it so much and happend to see that the HMQS deadline was extended until April 20th...and so long as I'd had it done to ship out today it should make it there in time.  It is little and I know there are a ton of amazing talented quilters putting quilts in this show - still - I am really proud of it.  I feel like it really is my best quality work, and I really love it.  I'm excited to think of my quilt hanging in the same show with some of my quilting super heroes. 

I am still working on my big quilt for MQX but I lost a little steam on it.  I had thought that MQX Midwest was sooner but learned today that the deadline isn't until August so I plan to have my big quilt ready for that show.  In some ways I feel like this is a test run with my mini quilt.  I am really looking forward to the judges comments...I suppose you think you know what to expect, but really who knows what they could say.  Fingers crossed for good words.  :)

I took notes from quilting super hero Cindy Needham and her beautiful linen quilts.  I added a little vintage lace to the hanging sleeve as I just thought it looked so pretty.  There are a few crystals back here but not as many as the front.  I tested it out on a hanging rack and it looks that if all goes well it will hang well.

Ahhh I'm just excited to have put my first quilt out there into a big show for people to see.  It's exciting.  It feels kind of like a birthday or a holiday.  :) 

Also my arc ruler came in the mail - so - pretty much best day ever.  :)  LOL!

Reminder - give away ends today at midnight eastern time!  There is still time left to enter!  Click here to go the quilting/pantograph give away post and leave a comment!  :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Miniature Whole Cloth on Hand Dyed Fabric

I had a busy week and wheew!  I just needed to play.  So yesterday I pulled out a piece of fabric I hand dyed last summer and had been saving and just let whatever came to me happen.  This is how it turned out...

I used Robison Anton thread and quilted this on the Juki.  No rulers, but I did make a few freezer paper stencils to create the curved edges and also to mark the circular center.  It took me about two and a half hours to mark and maybe, eight or ten hours to quilt between yesterday and today.  I also used to layers of batting - Hobbs 80/20 with Tuscany Wool layered on top...while wool is a pain in the you know what - I JUST LOVE how it quilts up!!  :)

**Linking up with Connie over at Free Motion by the River for Linky Tuesday! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

GIVE AWAY and Two New Pantograph Designs!

Good morning!  I have exciting news and a give away!

There are now 8 designs available on my designer page over at Urban Elementz!  How amazing is that?  The two newest to be added are Felicity and Tahiti...

Tickled Pink
Deja Vu
Tea Lights

In honor of the amazing and fun opportunity to work on these designs, I would love to offer you this give away!   Because I know that some of you visit because you are avid piecers and enjoy having your quilts machine quilted by quilting artists like me, and some of who visit are fellow long arm machine quilters looking for inspiration and camaraderie, I have something to offer to both of you!

For this give away I will either quilt a top for you free of charge with your choice of pantograph OR I will ship out a paper copy of the pantograph of your choice for you to use if you are already a long arm quilter!

Comment below and tell me your favorite of all the eight designs!  A winner will be randomly selected and given the option of free quilting using one of the above pantograph designs OR the pantograph pattern itself!

This give away will close on Friday April 18th. 2014 at midnight eastern time.  I will announce a winner the following week, and that winner will have the option to choose a paper pantograph pattern or free quilting. 

IMPORTANT DETAILS TO NOTE:  If you choose free quilting I will cover the cost of thread and return shipping to US residents and Canada.  Winner will be responsible for shipping out quilt to me and any costs that may incur, along with sufficient backing fabric, and batting (or you may purchase batting from me).  For free quilting winner will be added to current schedule just as any other customer - quilts are quilted in the order in which they are scheduled to arrive to me.  Quilt intake contract will be required just as any other quilting job.  **Due to the high costs of shipping I apologize that free return shipping on free quilting for the winner as well as shipping of paper patterns will be limited to US and Canadian residents only.  If you are outside of the US or Canada you may choose digital download and I will make arrangements to cover those costs or give you the option of paying the cost of shipping prior to your quilts return.  Free quilting winners chosen quilt top may not exceed 100" on it's longest side.  Please note that this give away is offered by me, Valerie Smith, personally and is separate and apart from Urban Elementz.  Any questions or concerns should be forward to me personally - thank you!

THIS GIVE AWAY IS NOW CLOSED - A WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED NEXT WEEK!  Thank you so very much to all those who took the time to enter!  :)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Modern Quilt for Pat - Lines and Geometric Shapes

I have finally finished my quilting friend Pat's quilt for her son Chris.  I cannot even begin to tell you how "full circle" quilting this was for me.  Chris was a close friend of mine who I spent quite a lot of time with in the years right after highschool graduation.  As life does with so many, we were pulled in different directions as he focused on schooling and a career while I was newly married and beginning a family and a new life with my Husband.  I have always been the type to hold on to those old feelings of friendship and when I see an old friend after many years, I still feel I know them as well as I did the last time we spoke!  So, I remember to this day the wonderful times Chris and I and our group of friends spent together, and what a great person he was when we were young.

I never in a million years would have guessed 15 years ago that I would be passionate about quilting let alone running a long arm quilting business!  These days I see Pat monthly at the local quilt guild we both belong to - and it just seems to me to be such a funny twist of life - I never would have guessed!  :)  In any case, Pat is a fantastic quilter and I really felt special to be given the opportunity to quilt this very cool, very special modern quilt for her...and I suppose I'll stop gushing and mushing all over the place and share the pictures!

This is one layer of Hobbs 80/20 - Glide Thread in a deep chocolate brown color and yellow.

I think it just turned out really cool and textural!  I tend to be a traditional quilter who dabbles in modern quilting and art this was just a ton of fun!  I think my eyes did start to go a little funny about 2/3 of the way through however...but I really do think the straight lines compliment the design.

I hope you are all getting some quilting done this weekend in blogland!  It is starting to warm up and behave like spring a little more in my neck of the woods - though I have been reading that some of you have been epxeriencing severe weather - so many prayers and be safe!

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie :)

Friday, April 4, 2014


I think I've mentioned once or twice that I love all things Disney.  :)  A few years ago we went to Disney World for the first time and I went CRAZY making dresses for my three daughters.  In case you missed it - here are a few of the dresses/shirts I made...

Well - we are planning another trip back to the World and I'm at it again!  This year I'm making another Belle dress, another Cinderella dress, Anna from Frozen, Elsa from Frozen, Mary Poppins...OH - and I almost forgot, Anastasia and Drezella from Cinderella and if I have time leftover...the Mouse Made Dress from Cinerella.  LOL  I seriously could make these things all day long...I love making them!

Today I'm finishing up Pat's quilt - I sewed late into the night last night but still have a little bit left to finish up today - and after dinner I took a break to start on one of the dresses for our next trip to Disney.  Here is the start of our Anna dress...

Oh I love it!  This dress has become soo hard to find ready made too that I'm thrilled I can sew it up for my daughter.  I watched yesterday as one sold for nearly $100 before shipping last night on Ebay.  CRAZY!  Princess dresses with lots of embelishments are pricey store bought any way - and I can usually get away with making one for under $20.  Oh exciting!  Alright I'm headed back to the long arm...I'll post some finished photos of Pat/Chris's quilt next!  :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pat's Quilt in Progress and Juki TL 2010Q Overview Video

Good morning!

It is April 2nd and I can hardly believe it!  Spring has creeped up in Northeast Ohio and while this time last week we had several inches of snow on the ground, I woke up this morning to the sounds of birds chirping and sunshine.  Finally!  It is supposed to reach 60 degrees today - so long as the rain says away I might make time to work out in the garden.  Fingers crossed!

If you follow me on Facebook you have likely seen a few shots of this quilt - it was made by the mother of my highschool friend Chris for a Christmas gift this past year - he is an artist these days and works with fine art as well as collects it - so can you tell I might feel a little pressure to meet his super high and knowledgeable standards?!  LOL  Not to mention you always want to ooh and ahh your friends.  :)

The quilt is ultra modern but not so modern that it couldn't be appreciated by a traditional quilter.  I am actually really in love with it!  He liked the idea of straight line quilting with the lines going in different directions creating a lot of movement and textural interest.  So this is what we have come up with so far - I got to working late into the night last night, or I should probably say early into this morning!  I will spend the majority of today and tomorrow finishing it up and then it is on to Lara's quilt.  :)

I also wanted to toss in another quick video here today!  I took this video yesterday but didn't get around to finishing up the editing until this morning.  I receive a lot of questions about my Juki TL 2010Q - so here is a brief overview of the machine and its functions!  :)  I hope this is helpful to those of you out there who are curious about my domestic machine.  I do have several machines - but I did not want a full on sit down long arm so this was my choice.  I can use it for piecing, free motion quilting, garment sewing, or I can frame it and use it as a stand up machine.

Keep watch as next week I will be announcing a GIVE AWAY!  :)

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pamela's Baby Quilt

I have sooo many exciting things to share, I'm going to have to space it all out within a few posts.  First, I want to share Pamela's baby quilt - she sent this to me recently for quilting and I just finished...I think it turned out so darn cute!

I am always very concerned with fusible applique - depending on the fusible you use and the method you use to secure it, quilting can damage it.  Fortunately Pamela's quilt was able to hold up to some additional detail.  Not something I can always do - but this time it worked out really well.  I think it added a lot of character to her already adorable quilt too.

I used my favorite Glide Thread in five or six different colors on this - and a single layer of Hobbs 80/20 batting.

Here is a closeup of the monkey with a little light manipulation so you can better see the quilting - I quilted that little belly button onto him and I just thought it turned out adorable!!  It was on a whim too as I hadn't included it into the mock up but I knew once I got into the quilt that it needed something else to secure that tummy down.  DETAILS are my absolute favorite part of quilting!

I also received some fun mail today!!!!  Four of the pantographs I have designed with Patricia Ritter over at Urban Elementz have arrived!!!!!  I will share them all next post...yay!

I hope everyone is getting some quilting done out there in blogland!!