Friday, May 31, 2013

Linda's Round Robin

Linda sent me this absolutely adorable round robin to quilt for her.  The geese are sort of three dimensional, and it is loaded with prairie points!  I just love the way it turned out, such a sweet sweet quilt, and I'm happy to report that Linda was also very happy with the quilting results!

I took just a ton of pictures since I know that I have to send this beauty home!   I absolutely love this kind of quilting, thank you Linda for allowing me to work on this for you!  :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gutermann Silk Thread Review

I feel like I've used Gutermann silk thread long enough now that I can finally do a solid review on it.  Well, I should say, this is more of a silk in general review than a review on Gutermann.  I can say that I have used a LOT of Gutermann thread and always been pleased but as far as the silk goes, I have not yet tried any other brands to compare it in that respect.

I have heard for years how wonderful silk is for applique, and I was finally sold after a good quilting pal of mine did some work with it this past winter yielding beautiful results.

I have been stocking up on this thread when it goes on sale for 40% off at Jo Ann fabrics (and it is on sale right now by the way) as it is pretty pricey at regular cost.  It's $4.19 for 100 yards, but with the sale running I only pay $2.51 per tiny spool.  I broke down and purchased some small cotton 100 yard spools (also from Gutermann) to compare the two to each other, and it I discovered that it is really amazing how invisible the stitches are with the silk.

These leaves and flowers I am showing here have NOT been stitched down yet, but if you click the photo and look at the gold bias tape - it was stitched with silk!  I used a matching gold color and the stitches are nearly invisible.

This Celtic knot that I shared a few posts ago was also stitched down with silk thread.  The stitches are so invisible that a quilting pal of mine thought that I had only fused it on and not sewn it down!  The funny part is that the thread I used was much darker than this brown knot fabric, and I was really nervous that it would show terribly.  But the silk blends in so well that you don't have to use the exact same color, just as similar of a shade as you can find.

Now, you'll have to  click on the image below for a better look, but this crow with leaves shown here is applique that I stitched with a cotton thread.  I used very closely matching colors, so it does blend, but it's not invisible.  If it doesn't bother you that your stitches show then by all means, use whatever you like for applique!  I personally find that I enjoy hand applique much more than machine, so for me, it is important to find a thread that I can hand applique with and get as good as or near as good as using mono filament.

Here are two more hand applique projects using can really see the difference on these...

Below - just one more example of some stitching using silk - and the purple silk really doesn't match very well either!!!  But that's what I love about it.  As long as you're in the same disappears.  :)

I'll share some more progress pictures with you soon on my newest quilt.  It is almost entirely hand applique, though there is some piecing, and it is all being stitched down with silk thread.  My Jo Ann Fabrics has a very limited color selection of silk, and that might be particular to Gutermann or simply because I live in a small town and there isn't a huge market for it here.  But often I find that I have to use as close as a color as I can get and sometimes a totally different color all together.  The leaves I'm stitching now have all been sewn in a dark khaki color because there isn't a green close enough to match.  You'll be surprised when I show you - even with a totally different thread color the stitches can just very barely be seen!

Edited to Add:  Here are a few additional pictures showing how nicely the silk blends.  This is my current project, the leaves were actually stitched using a khaki color because there wasn't a green close enough to match.  Look how great the stitches look despite the off color!

Feel Free To Take This Button!  :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It Just Goes to Show... ugly quilt can turn to a stunner in the blink of an eye.  I almost chucked this Celtic knot project out today!  I'm glad I didn't.  It's going to be - different.  I kind of melded two distinctly different styles together and when you do something you've never done before...well sometimes it's hard to decide where you stand!  Hopefully those reading can share a little of my vision.  Negative spaces will be quilted and beaded for interest...I need o get to the store to buy thread so I can start stitching these down but life just hasn't allowed me time.  (Read - my two year old is cranky and there's no way in heck I'm taking her out in public.)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Perfect Points - Freezer Paper Glue Stick Applique and Video

   I have been making progress on my celtic knot applique quilt and thought since I was making 100-150 leaves for it that I might share some of the process!  I won't go into extreme detail here but at the end is a video where I show how I make these.  The tricky part for me was always trying to achieve that nice neat point at the end without exposing any raw edge.  I have tried a dozen or so methods of applique and this is so far what works the best for me, with the most readily available materials.  If I have to, I do order supplies, but I would prefer to work with what's available to me locally.  Such a pain to have to wait for things in the mail!  :)

Above are the leaves still waiting to be turned.  I do this usually late at night while listening to the tv.  I traced my leaves onto the dull side of a big sheet of freezer paper, cut them out, then pressed them shiny side down onto the wrong side of the fabric I planned to use for my leaves.  I usually cut my fabric into strips just wide enough to give me a little extra for a seam allowance.  It makes the pressing and cutting go much faster.

Watch the video to see how I use a glue stick to hold the edges under while I stitch my leaves down.  When I'm done sewing them down I clip the fabric behind the applique just enough to give me a little hole to pull the freezer paper out.  If it's a large applique I will remove much of that extra fabric to reduce bulk.

I've been assembling some flowers, roses, little buds.  I have many many more to go.  Since taking this photo I have stitched those celtic knots onto my quilt top.  I had to remove one as it seemed to go down all crazy and wonky looking and make a new knot to stitch on.  I'll take some pictures once I begin adding the flower appliques.

These roses were a bit of a pain to assemble, but they sure are effective aren't they?  I think this is going to be so pretty when finished.  I really love hand dyed fabrics for making flowers.  Batik's are a bit of a pain because of their tight weave, but I find the cotton hand dyes are really easy to stitch through and they give you those fun color changes that add depth to the flowers.  Fingers crossed that they don't run when I block this quilt.  Eep!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Voting Has Begun!!! Bloggers Quilt Festival

Yay!  Voting has begun for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!  I'm so excited to participate this year!  Click below to see my quilts in their category, and vote!!!

I'm #19 in the Wall Hanging category:

I'm #5 in the Professionally Quilted category:


The quilts are fantastic this year, I'm so inspired!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


It's getting a little bit of a wedding quilt feel so today I'll play with some new flower shapes.  I think I'm going to be making these stinkin' flower appliques for the next six months!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Celtic Knot Progress and A New Applique Stabilizer

I'm continuing to work on this quilt though I'm not sure how I feel about it at this point.  Do you ever have a project like that?  I used a lot of muted colors so I could even the quilt out with heavy quilting, but the colors at this point are kind of losing my interest.

I'm going to try and force myself to applique some flowers on tonight.  I think that bit of color and visual interest will help keep me motivated!

I started to applique the small celtic knots on yesterday.  I discovered that the knot I had chosen for the center portion of this quilt was too tightly woven for the size bias tape I am using so I found a new knot - it is triangular instead of round so I think it might even be a better fit.

These are the fabrics I pulled for applique.  I may add to this - and certainly I will take away some.

OH - and I have been asking around about Sharon Schamber's  applique stabilizer.  A quilter that I follow on Facebook was asking about applique and someone recommended Sharon's stabilizer...and it really intrigued me because it is paper packed but wash away - and from what I understand it leaves a fabric behind after washed that helps to fill out the applique.  It's a little more than I wanted to spend on an experiment for now, so I looked for some sort of alternative while shopping on Monday.  I found this... Pellon Stick-N-Washaway.

It's not quite the same thing, but it does wash away - and what I like is that it has an adhesive back.  The adhesive is paper backed, so you can run it through your computer (so Electric Quilt users, this would be great for you).

What I don't like so much is that it's just not stiff enough.  It's more like a sticky fabric.  I attempted a few flowers...meh they kind of turned out bad, but I wanted to see if I could use this.  I might, I haven't decided for sure.  I like that it's soft so I can needle through it.  My trouble is with accurately appliqueing small flowers like these...closer to the size of a penny or dime - maybe smaller.

Ahh well, I'm going to try and fit some quilting time for me in today.  My Husband is umpiring a few days a week and we like to watch him at the field, and my daughters have decided to join Girl Scouts so we've been busy with those things.  It's summer now so I'm not couped up in the house from snow or bad weather so the chores are stacking up!

Just a reminder I am still looking for quilts to long arm!  I have just a handful lined up so there is virtually no wait - I should be able to begin work on your quilt the day it arrives!  

Click image below to enlarge.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Professionally Quilted Entry

I decided to also enter this quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the professionally quilted category.  This quilt was made for my daughter and quilted on my APQS long arm machine.  My machine has no stitch regulation and all of my quilting is hand guided.  This quilt measures 50 by 50 and was my very first true custom quilted quilt!

Here is a shot of the back - I used Superior's Bottom Line thread so it's truly very subtle.

Some shots in progress...

Thanks for looking!  Check out The Blogger's Quilt Festival, participate, and VOTE!  :)

Jared Takes a Wife Finished!

So thrilled to be done with this quilt!  I've got an incredible stack of quilts that need binding - so I'm going to get working on that in the next day or so.  This took me particularly longer because I had to re-time my machine.  I'm so glad I did because my stitching is SO much better.  On to the next!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Wall Hanging Quilts

I have followed the Blogger's Quilt Festival over the years and never participated...this year I thought I would!  I am really proud of my small whole cloth so I thought that it would make a great candidate for sharing.  It's not quite a lap and most appropriately considered a wall hanging, so I have entered it into the wall hangings category.  If you haven't visited before, go check out the other quilts by clicking here, and at the end of the week vote for your favorite!  There are wonderful sponsors and prizes, and most importantly really wonderful quilt inspiration!  :)

This quilt measures 33" by 44" and was quilted by hand on my long arm.  I did spend about 8 hours just marking the top with water soluble marker.  Below are a few in progress photos and a few in the sun so you can better see the detail.