Just For the Fun of It!

August 27th, 2014
One thing that happens when you turn your love for quilting into a business is that you find yourself spending most of your sewing/quilting time/effort at meeting deadlines for the business part of things and don’t have much time/energy left over to make things just for the fun of it.  I’m talking about making something that has no goal in it other than for the pure joy of loving the process.  This used to represent 100% of my sewing/quilting time, but I digress…
About a year ago, I made the top of this quilt pictured below  that I’m calling “Just For the Fun of It.”
 
JFF1
 
The top portion is one huge MEA pattern; I think I did  it in 13 hoopings but it was very easy to align everything moving from one hooping to the next. I had already stitched out that border panel, so I threw it on the bottom.  Honestly, I just wanted to start quilting it so badly that I didn’t put any time into whether or not the final quilt would be aesthetically pleasing.  (That’s my way of saying that I would do it over differently if I could!) Anyway, I started quilting it but then it just kept traveling back and forth in my suitcase from OH to NC to OH, etc but I never got back to it because I had so  many deadlines for other projects that were being made for a specific purpose.  I finally finished her up and she is bound and actually has a quilt label sewn on!  Here are some shots of it:
 
JFF2
I made each bird’s headdress a little bit different:
 
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(I’m still mulling over whether I should go back in and hyperquilt those plumes on that 2nd headdress-they look pretty plain to me.)  That big heart towards the base is pretty wild:
 
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This shot of some swirls gives you a good idea of the main background quilting in the upper section:
 
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I quilted some feathers near the appliqued tail feathers to augment that tail feather theme:
 
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The lower section holds 2 types of birds.  I like the first bird’s tail feathers best:
 
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…but I like the other bird’s tail feathers as well:
 
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There are 4 border or sashing areas and each one has a different quilting design in it. The first one is what I call “capsules” because it looks like a row of capsules lined up one right next to the other:
 
jffcapsules
The next one up is a basic loop-d-loop with the base made angular instead of curved:
 
jffloopdloop
The next one up is in a much wider border zone; I believe it was 2 3/4 inches and I like how this one came out:
 
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…and the last one was simply a loopy outline of the stripes that were printed on the fabric:
 
jffloopy-outline
All the applique shapes were cut using Appli-K-Kutz dies (click HERE to see the dies) and the shapes were cut using my Sizzix Big Shot machine.  Isn’t it the most wonderful feeling to finish a project that’s been dangling for a long time?  Better yet, now I can make something else just for the fun of it!
 

Huge Sale on Craftsy Classes!

August 7th, 2014
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Today begins the Dog Days of Summer Sale at Craftsy!  All classes are up to 50% off, so this is one of the biggest sales that Craftsy holds all year.  Follow this link to see all the classes that are on sale from now through 8/11/14.  Don’t miss this chance to sign up for all those Craftsy classes that are making you drool!
 
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More Block Play

August 3rd, 2014
I’ve been playing around some more, coming up with a few more block options for this group of blocks that stem from my original Pennsylvania Amish block concept.  These are blocks of varying sizes that all work well together in that shapes are repeated in different ways, so there is a common theme.  As I’m coming up with new block options, they are done in different colorways, so all these particular blocks are not intended to be used together in the same quilt.  This has been a fun thing to play with from my end.  This first group of blocks are derived from PA Amish Block #1.  Let’s call this block the PA Amish #1Parent Block:
 
PA-Dutch-final-whole-thing
This next block is child block #1:
 
PA-Dutch-1-Sub-block
 
Child Block #2 is the same as child block #1 except that the block design is set differently on the block:
 
PA-Dutch-_1_sub-block-2
(I don’t know about you, but I much prefer child #2.)  And last but not least, here is grandchild #1:
 
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Now this next set of blocks are derived from a related but different block that I’m calling PA Dutch Block #2 Parent Block:
PA-Dutch-2-rev1
 
Child #1 is:
 
PA-Dutch-2-sub-block-1
 
…and Grandchild #1 is:
 
flirty-flower-quartet
 
 
That last block is much prettier in real life than in this photo.  The flowers are all made in purples and blues but the photo doesn’t distinguish between these colors.  (The background is grey, too, my new experimental color.)  Do you see that blank space in the center of the block?  If you know me, you know it won’t stay blank for long!  The nice part about the way I do MEA is that it allows me the freedom to “drop” any design into whatever place on a block that I wish.  in this case, it would be very easy to plop a trapuntoed quilt design (stitched on the embroidery machine) right into that empty space…stay tuned!
Anyway, I am having some fun with these and a number of quilted projects are in my head.  Wish I had more time to just play wound like this…

Merrily Quilting Tote Bags

July 30th, 2014

Remember back when I posted about making a quilted purse/tote that featured machine embroidery applique for Babylock Tech:

 

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I needed to make a few more samples in different colorways/fabric styles, so my first one up was in traditional fabrics and in pinks:

 

Springtime-Bouquet-Purse-in-Pink

I am really liking this notion of “framing scenes” as in that center section.  I used the new Hobbs Tuscany wool/cotton blend batting for this one and I am in love with the texture it creates.  Here are some close ups of it:

 

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I love all that texture!  Since I was trying to create a variety of styles/colors of purse/totes, I made one in yellows/greys/blacks.  Here’s what the front section looked like:

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Here’s what it looks like from the backside:

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…and then I went back in and hyperquilted those side feather things:

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My next one is my current favorite.  It’s a grey background with purple flowers and I think this quilting came out the best:

SB-purple-1

Here’s what it looked like with just the bare bones of a frame started:

SB-purple-empty

…and here are what the lower corners look like:

SB-purple-bottom-corners

…and the upper corners:

SB-purple-upper-corner

And this is the whole center section:

SB-purple-center-section

Grey is a very popular color now and it has never been a favorite of mine.  Working with this grey and purple has been fun, though, and I may be a new convert!

My Craftsy Class Has Launched and Here’s a Discount Code!

July 23rd, 2014

 

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Whoo-hoo!  My Craftsy class “Ultimate Free Motion Quilting,” is now live!  Please join me for a fun and informative class to crank up your free motion quilting another notch!  If you’ve got some basic free motion quilting skills, I’ll walk you through a few different trapunto techniques to add texture and dimension to your quilts.  I’ll take you through the basics of hyperquilting, and then walk you through some progressively more complex hyperquilting techniques.  To top it off, I’ll show you how to couple trapunto and hyperquilting together to create a jaw-dropping trapuntoed feathered wreath!  Learning these kinds of skills will take your free motion quilting  to a whole new level. 

Hyperquilting can be used to create some “over the top” kinds of effects like:

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…and it can be used for more understated looks that add rich thread detail but in more understated ways like this:

 

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If you’re not a person who can stitch feathers, don’t think this class is over your head because hyperquilting can be used in all kinds of motifs:

 

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There is SOOO much you can do once you start playing with hyperquilting and trapunto!  Don’t talk yourself out of being able to do “ultimate free motion quilting…” jump in with both feet and life will never be the same again!   Better yet, click here for the discount code to save yourself some $$ on the price of the class! See you in the classroom!

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