Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Quilt Designs

I received a quilt this month that is to hang in a hospital in the area. It's not very big but because of the attention and potential to be viewed by so many people, I wanted to put some extra work into quilting it. So this small quilt took about 6 hours to quilt! Way to much work to make much profit on it. I'm very happy though, with the results. I tried some new ideas with a focus on circles. Designing a quilt for a couple quilt shows this year is my motivation for trying new quilting ideas. Hopefully some if these ideas will appear on a quilt, that as of now, only exists in my head. I have not been into designing quilts very much. Probably this is because I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to quilting. I can appreciate all the quilt art that is out there but I still prefer traditional blocks and traditional quilting.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January Quilts

I'm almost finished with January customer quilts. This last one I'm doing will hang somewhere at Meridian Park Hospital. I hope some day I see it, but not as a patient! I usually do approximately 2 quilts a week for customers. Sometimes that is 10 or more hours of work and sometimes it is less. I'm glad this is just a part-time business, there are so many other things to do. I love to work in my yard, crochet, read a book, read online blogs and other news information, cook and just be with my family and friends. Life is good and it's even better as a machine quilter!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Thing Lead to Another

Most often when I start a quilt that's more of a custom job, I have only a few sketchy ideas on what I'm going to do. Usually as I roll down further into the quilt more and more ideas take shape or just seem a natural fit and the quilting all comes together by the end. I prefer it that way, though sometimes I can get really stumped over what to quilt. Not this quilt. I could see so much potential right from the beginning. It was just a matter of one thing leading to another and then another and finally it was done. I'm very happy with the result and think it is an exceptional quilt. If I can convince this customer, it should be put in a quilt show this year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leah's Quilt Being Published

I'm so excited! A couple weeks ago I sent photos of Leah's Spring quilt to a quilt magazine and today received an email saying they wanted to publish the photos with a short article on the quilt. It's so exciting. The best part is just being able to tell her story again! I miss that little one and each chance to share the blessing of her life is still a miracle. I don't know what issue it will be published in and they want new better resolution photos of the quilt, but when the article comes out I'll try to post a link or take a photo or something.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Being Creative and Having Fun

Just before the new year began, I bought a new planner. I have used a notebook for many years, but decided I didn't want to carry the notebook around anymore. There was way too much stuff in the notebook that wasn't used. So I went hunting for the perfect planner. I finally found one I really liked. It has a page where you can see the whole month at a glance with a space down the side for lists. Then it is divided into weekly sections, with the days of the week on one side and a 'to do' list on the other side. Each page has a sidebar with either menu or grocery list. That's pretty much exactly what I need in my planner. The inside was perfect, but the outside -- never had I seen a more unattractive cover. Even several of my daughters made a comment on it. There was also the need to have a cover that closed so whatever gets stuck inside remains there. So into my fabric stash I went and pulled out some coordinates from a Paris line. I made my own piping for the trim, quilted the cover on my longarm and then spent a couple hours trying to figure out how to get it to go together! That was a task that required several times of ripping out stitching. But in the end I'm very happy with the way my planner looks. The button is an antique and the pink loop adds a spash of color. Now I can plan away!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Quilt of 2010

I think it will take awhile to get used to writing or typing 2010. For some reason my fingers just don't want to adjust to that pattern. It also seems like 2010 is a bigger jump in numbers than say going from 2008 to 2009. I still vividly remember it turning 1980 and feeling then like life was going by too fast.

So here it is, a new year and now my first quilt of 2010 is done. It was a fun one to do once I finally decided on the quilting pattern. The design was quite simple. I added a new twist to the feathered wreaths in each block by alternating each feather full size and then half size. I like the way it looks and will use it again. Many times when doing a feather block I put a different design in the center rather than the inside row of feathers. It's hard to make the inside row look perfect without using a template and that adds so much time on to the quilting that if I'm going for a less expensive way to do a customer's quilt (per their request to keep the cost down) I usually find another design to do inside the feather wreath. This design allowed me to only have one stop and start in each block. I followed the seam down to the center of the block with SID so it would be hidden. Start to finish this quilt only took about 4 hours.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting a New Quilting Year

2010 has arrived. I have now done over 1,000 customer quilts. That's a milestone and quite an accomplishment. Now it's time to start a new year. I have a pile of quilts stacked up waiting their turn on the longarm. Tomorrow the first will be loaded and then it's off and running. I still need to do some annual maintenance on the longarm. The bobbin case and check spring need replacing. I'll also clean and oil it really well. My machine has run very well for almost 10 years. When I first got the machine I tried to think of a clever name for it, but nothing has really ever stuck, except maybe mac (short for machine). Mac has needed very little maintenance over the years and has only once been retimed. I'm impressed with the sturdiness and dependability of the Gammill machines. I don't think I'd trade for a different brand. I've thought of upgrading to more bells and whistles and that day may come, but right now I'm content with the way things are. My mac and I work as a team. I can hear when the bobbin is running low; I know when it needs oil or when the needle sounds a little dull. Familiarity is a good thing. So Mac and I are ready for 2010.