Yes, I Am Still Alive…

HI everyone,

Sorry that it has been over 6 months since my last post. LIfe has been busy

and I have neglected my blog. I’m hoping to begin posting once again.

I’ll make this my one and only New Year’s resolution. I hope you had

a great Christmas and New Year. Here are a few photos from last year to

wet your appetite.

Figo

This is one of the modern quilts that I quilted for Northcott’s modern department,Figo.

I can’t remember the designer and pattern name but I promise to keep better records

from here on in.

Sea Shell Quilting

Christine, the head of Figo, wanted sea shells all over the quilt. I think the design came

from Urban Elementz. They carry alot of digital and paper quilting patterns.

The backing

Here is the backing of the quilt. I really love this fabric, so soft and pretty.

Modern Quilt

Another quilt for Figo. I used a monofilament thread on the top and a soft Omni

grey thread on the backing.

Karlee Porter Quilting design

The quilting is designed by Karlee Porter. It is a square with a slight curve but it

stitches out in a really cool shape.

The backing

This fabric is a new line that Figo launched this past fall. It deals with the Zodiac.

Modern Quilt #3

A Close up

The quilting on this modern beauty is a simple wavy line. Again, I used a clear

monofilament thread on the top and a light cream Omni  thread on the backing.

The backing

Another close up

I hope you liked the  pictures. Hoping to be back next week  but if not, in 2 weeks for sure.

Have a great week and keep stitching.

Ruth

My Ode to Florida

 

Florida has been on my mind lately, as I am sure that it has been with everyone.

Connie is from Florida and sent me her quilt, called “Rowdy Library” quilt

this past spring.

It was completed and sent home to Florida but Connie didn’t see it until this

past week. With all the weather tantrums occurring, she was concerned, and so

was I, about the condition of it when she got home.

I know and understand how important people are and I constantly have

Florida in my prayers;  yet I was also thinking about this quilt. Wondering

if it had made it through the Hurricane as well.

Connie contacted me this past week and let me know that it was ok. A huge

sigh of relief on both of our parts. I also want to mention that Connie is

a nurse and has been out helping people who are needing help in

areas around her home. Thanks for being so kind and helpful Connie.

As you can see by Connie’s quilt, there is alot of detail in this quilt. And the

colors, fabrics and applique are outstanding. I so enjoyed just looking at this

quilt while I was working on it.

When I begin a quilt like this, I use a monofilament thread and SID around all

the applique shapes. Yes, it does take a long time but it is well worth the effort

in that it helps to hold everything down and nothing shifts, most of the time.

I also used 2 layers of batting:  Hobb’s wool batting on the top, next to the

quilt top and a 80/20 cotton batting under that. This combination gives

tons of loft and makes all the applique and quilting ‘puff” up even more.

There is some shifting sometimes, but most times, if you do stabilize the

quilt, it works out in the end.

After all the SID is done, then the fun begins. Even before I begin stitching,

I like to have a road map of what I am going to quilt  on the top. This

can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on what

type, size,and budget that I have. This is both fun and mind boggling sometimes.

When the design is done, I can begin the stitching. If I am unsure of an area, I

usually work on what I know I want to do. In this case. lots of straight lines and

swirls.

The back of the quilt. Here you can see the stitching more. I also used

cream Bottom LIne thread for the background fills, on both the front of

the quilt and on the backing as well. It helps using the same thread

color so you don’t have to worry so much about tension issues.

A thin thread such as Bottom LIne gives a lot of texture without the

thread build up.

I had a lot of fun adding texture to this quilt. As I mentioned

before, this is my Ode to Florida, after all that they have been

through. I also wanted to show this quilt all on its own, as you

have been getting bits and pieces along this quilt’s completion.

Now, you can enjoy the full show in one blog post.

More texture and sunlight.

I had alot of fun with this quilt. Thanks Connie for

your quilt and all the help you are giving to people at

home. We are  praying for you all.

 

 

The Last One & Merry Christmas!

This is the last quilt that I will be completing for 2016. Yes, I am

cutting it close but at least it is finished and before the end of the

year.

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Sherri’s Modern Quilt

Sherri brought me this quilt and told me” Play! Do what you want,”

Those words struck both fear and exhilaration in me. Fear because

I had no clue about what to stitch on it and exhilaration because I

felt that I could try something new.

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To be quite honest, I kind of went nuts on this one. At one

point, I was waiting for a customer to arrive and I got so

involved in what I was doing that I didn’t hear her come in.

My son opened the door and let her in while I was quilting

away. I started complaining about how I didn’t like what I

had just stitched out; thinking that my son was in the room

with me but was ignoring me, I said it again. When I looked

up, to my horror, there was the customer. She said’ You

looked like you were really concentrating on what you were doing.”

The whole thing made me laugh uncontrollably.

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Pebbles and straight lines

Sherri only gave me one stipulation, I had to use pebbles and

straight lines. To be quite honest, I love pebbles and straight

lines so my only thought was “how many ways can I stitch out

pebbles and straight lines?”

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These pictures give you a small glimpse of that.

Usually, I like to design or come up with 3-5 designs

of what I will stitch onto the top, even before I put one

stitch into the quilt.

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Sometimes though, I fly by the seat of my pants. I start with all the

SID work . By the time this is completed, I have stared at the

same quilt so long that some type of inspiration hits me. I prefer

the first method instead of the second one; it is less stressful and

I know what the end result will look like.

 

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I chose to cut loose, play, and have some fun. Because there

were so many circles on the printed fabric, I knew that I had to

incorporate some circles into the stitching. And the piecing

depicted boxes or squares, so I had to add some of those as

well.

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Because the background is white, the stitching would show up

really well so I decided to place these shapes randomly, all over

the quilt.

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The inside “crosses” all received the same treatment and the outer

border was stitched using pebbles and boxes/squares. I thought that

it would help calm the quilt top and stitching down a little.

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I do have alot of pictures of this quilt. I apologize for that but

there is so much to look at. Sherri hasn’t seen it yet so I hope

that she likes it.

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Some of the designs were taken from several of my favorite

long armers: Judi Madsen, Jodi Robinson, and Cindy Needham.

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The middle section

I used monofilament thread for all the SID work and a thin

Bottom Line for all the quilting. It is so thin that you don’t get

alot of thread build up and the texture is amazing.

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I love, love, love the texture of this quilt. With all this stitching, the

quilt does get somewhat stiff but it does soften up eventually.

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The prints were so graphic that I knew I had to make the

stitching match and support it.

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More texture and matchsticks.

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I think that the circle on the right looks like a  pepperoni

pizza to me. I must have been hungry when I stitched that in.

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The overall quilt.

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More pebbles.

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And who can forget the back?  Again, more graphic fabric;

this is a great choice if you don’t want to see the stitching and

all those stops and starts.

On a different note, here are some Christmas fabric postcards

that I received. I love getting these in the mail.

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Hope you are ready for Christmas Day. I only have to pack

some Christmas cookie tins and wrap some presents.

Have a Merry Christmas!  Maybe I see you again this year

but definitely I’ll see you next year.

Christmas is almost here…

Christmas Day is almost here and I am not ready. Usually I am

pretty organized but this year, I am behind. The funny part is that

I am not stressing about it- yet. Maybe when the kids get out of

school, that will be my wake up call. Until Friday, I am ok.

Janate saw this Nancy Halvorsen pattern hanging on my wall

last year. She fell in love with it and asked me to make her one.

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Somehow, I did manage to complete hers while my own

wallhanging is still hanging on the wall- uncompleted. Anyone else

feel my pain?

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Santa

You have got to love how cute this pattern is. The cheeks

are embroidered onto Santa’s face and the moustache is added

once the whole thing is quilted.

I tried to quilt in lines that resembled the wind blowing in this

block. And Santa’s beard was quilted to resemble wavy hair.

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Cardinals on the mistletoe.

The cardinals have their beaks embroidered  and their

eyes consists of French knots.  I quilted in swirls in the

cream background, straight lines in the gold sections

and wavy lines in the aqua background.

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Rudolph received some buttons too. I really love his red button

nose, it has a swirl in it as well. Wind was the idea behind the

quilting for this block . And I love the snowflakes in the

bottom of the block.

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I wanted to create the illusion of the ornaments hanging on a

tree, so thus the reason for the branches.  And the bottom

ornament has the name of the family who will be hanging

this  in their home.

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Candy Cane

Strips add a bit of drama as well. And the 3D leaves add some more

interest to the overall wallhanging.

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The backing shows some of the quilting. Monofilament thread

was used for the outlining of the motifs in the blocks.  I did

use a fusible to attach all the motifs onto the background blocks.

I really don’t like Satin stitching at all and I didn’t have time to

do this so I put the top on the frame and stitched around each

motif with monofilament thread. Then, I added the backing and

the batting and quilted this wallhanging. It took longer than I

anticipated but is well worth the time.

After the top was completed, there still was alot of embellishments

to add and some embroidery that needed to be done.

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Now I just have to repeat it all over again. I am looking forward to

completing my own version of this wallhanging.

Have a great week and don’t stress too much. You will get it all done

by the time Christmas Day arrives.

 

 

 

 

 

A big mistake…

Last week was busy, as I prepared to participate in our local

Quilt Show, The Simcoe County Rug & Quilt Show. Due to

this happening, I missed posting last week. Now, I am catching up.

However, I did meet a few  people who are telling me that

they can’t see the pictures I have posted online. I really am

not that computer savy but I did figure out what was wrong.

A few weeks ago, I decided to delete most of the pictures in my

blog library.

This cyber housekeeping caused all the pictures on my blog to

also disappear. A big mistake indeed. Now, I have to go back

and upload 2 year’s worth of pictures and post them again on

my blog. So, I apologize for these technical difficulties and I

will try to correct this as soon as possible. Please be patient

with me as I do.

Here are some pictures of Shirley’s Barn Quilt. I totally love

this quilt.

BArnquilt

There are 9 blocks made up of different raw edge appliqued barns.

It was interesting in that some of the barns already have a

little bit of stitching on them.

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This is my favorite barn of the 9. How can you not love a plaid

barn?   Each block also has different fabric used for the

background too. Shirley mentioned that this was a BOM quilt that

she picked up several years ago.

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Because the barns are raw edge applique,

Shirley wanted an overall meandering stitch on the quilt.

She also didn’t want any color on the top of the quilt because

it would distract from the barns. What color would you choose

anyways?

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So, we decided to use a clear monofilament thread. It is

the size of one strand of hair so it is pretty fine. It usually comes

in two colors, clear and brown, for darker colors.

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On the back of the quilt, I used a green polyester thread

to match the backing.

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The clear monofilament almost disappears on the top and

it blends nicely with whatever color it is being stitched onto.

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I love the wheel on the side of this barn too.

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A pink barn-how is that for style?

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The outer border of this quilt is made up of a wonky Log

Cabin. It adds a taste of whimsical to the quilt. Well

done Shirley!!

Have a great week.

 

 

 

 

Friends of Baltimore-Part 1

This past week, I have been volunteering with the Barrie Fair; thus the reason

for this late entry.

All summer I have been working on this gorgeous quilt made by Kerry Burke,

over at Simple Bird Applique and designed by Sue Garman.

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I finally finished it this past week. Kerry hasn’t seen it yet, as she is picking it

up today.  Due to this fact, I will only show you several pictures that she

has seen and the backing.

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There are 16 blocks in the entire quilt and 4 borders, all of which

has been hand appliqued. Being OCD, I decided to quilt a

different design and background fill in each block.

In this block, I tried my hand at cross hatching,  in minature form.

I marked the lines with a pink air soluble pen and marked the lines

with a stencil.

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In this block, I mashed down (yes, it is a technical term) the background

and stitched in some feathers around the leaf vine for some added interest.

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Because this block has an anchor in it, I added rope around it for

added interest. A mariner’s compass (large version) was added

as well. I used McTavishing on the outside of the rope.

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The vase looks pretty ornate so feathers were screaming at me plus

Kerry wanted them too, so it was an easy choice for this block.

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Here you can see the outer appliqued border too. I pulled 3-4 different

motifs from various background fills and placed them strategically

all over the border-just kidding!!

My daughter asked me: “Mom, how do you know where to  stitch

stuff?”

My answer: ” I stitch a design in an area, when I get bored with it,

I switch and  stitch in something else.” I get bored alot.

How is that for being technical?

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I love the sailboat. What is a boat without waves?  The boat

received tons of waves, on the bottom and  all around the border

and bottom of the block.

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This basket is 3D. You’ll have to take my word for it until next

week. The outside edge of the basket is braided!! It is really neat. And

I was surprised that I could stitch right up to the edge of it.

Kerry is an amazing appliquer. All the intersections of fabric and turned

down corners were flat.  No ridges at all. That is music to my ears

because the hopping foot on my longarm didn’t get caught on those

corners or bumps at all.

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This bird has beautiful feathers and lives amidst a bunch of berrries. So I

quilted in a background fill that looks like seeds, in my mind anyways.

The block reminded me of Fall so that is why I chose seeds.

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This is the outer border. Each border has 3 different vases in it. I’m

beginning to think that I am not the only one who is OCD here (sorry Kerry).

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Did I mention that I also SID around all of the applique pieces?

I  used 2 layers of batting: top layer-wool and the bottom-a blend

of cotton and polyester (80/20). It adds alot of loft and puff to the

applique pieces and the background fills.

I used a monofilament thread for all the SID because you don’t have to

keep changing thread colors and if you make a mistake ( and accidentally

quilt on the applique piece)you can’t really see it that much so you don’t

have to pick it out and fix that loose stitch on the back.  Yeah!!

Win -win all way round.

Next week I won’t be posting but I will show you the colored

pictures after that. This quilt is a work of love and art.

Have a great week!

 

Guess who I saw last week?

Guess who I saw several weeks ago?

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Yes, that is Judi Madsen. The picture of me is terrible but who cares

when you are standing next to Judi.  There were 2 days of classes at

The Quilting Bee, in Fonthill, Ontario.

It was  a fun 2 days and Judi is so funny and crazy when she teaches.

Besides that, life is back to normal. Here are a few of the finishes I have

had lately.

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Anne’s Quilt

This is Anne’s Elephant Quilt. She made it for a friend who loves elephants.

I think she will love it. Anne chose a  panto that was called “Elephant Safari” by

Anne Bright. And she chose  a rich browny gold thread  color for the front and

the backing.

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The backing is a very rich looking  as well.

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elephants on the backing

Although the print on the front is busy there are

elephants on the quilt; they may be shy and hiding but they are there.

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Arlene made this adorable Alphabet Quilt for one of her

grandkids. She bought the panel at Lens Mills and the backing at

Fabricland. Looking at both fabrics, you would think that they came

from the same place.

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The backing has a cream background color and has red children and words

written all over it. Perfect for this quilt. Arlene wanted  a light panto so she

chose “Happy Times”.  And we used a cream polyester thread for the front and

backing.

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Arlene cut up the panel and added pictures to correlate with each letter of the

alphabet.  Borders, in cream and red were added to make the quilt bigger.

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The backing

Overall, a very cute quilt indeed.

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Helene made this great 3D quilt. Can you imagine staring at this

while piecing it together?   Any teenager would love this quilt.

And look at all those pieces?  Wow!

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I can’t remember how many blocks were in this quilt but Helene

does deserve a medal for this one.  We used a monfilament thread for the

top and a black polyester thread for the backing. Helene didn’t want the

color of the thread to take away from the design of the top. Who could

blame her?  I would want the piecing to be the focal  point as well.

That is why we chose the monofilament thread. Usually, I use it for

stitching around applique so I don’t have to change thread colors

constantly but it works in this situation as well.

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We used a really open panto called ” Swirl” by Norma Sharp.

It worked well and the piecing does show up first. The monofilament

thread worked well and I had no tension problems at all.

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The backing was black and the texture looks good as well.

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back of Helene’s quilt

I have also managed to complete my July block for the

Oceans BOM,over at Quilt Art Designs.

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Enjoy your week and keep on stitching.