Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer catch up

Life is getting caught up and back on track.  Thank you for your good wishes and thoughts.   It was a difficult time -  very surreal, and I'm not sure if it has hit me yet.   Not sure how to explain it.  But I'm keeping busy, and that tends to get me through the ups and downs of life. 

I've been behind, very behind in my quilting, and with kids on summer vacation, I'm trying to juggle time with them and time to finish up quilts.    Getting there!   Had a few beauties to share with you.   I always feel so lucky to hear the stories behind the quilts, and also just the creativity of the piecing.
This one is a beautiful wall hanging -  on its way now to Burkina Faso in West Africa.  
I got to play a bit on it, so I added swirls and waves to the background..
and individually quilted each house.   

I adore this one...the colours are striking and I love the centre panel.  The person who pieced this just wanted me to quilt it however I want.  These are dangerous words for me.   I love the freedom, but I do not like not knowing if my quilting represents the taste of the owner. 
I used the outlines and paint strokes of the centre panel to quilt it.
I used continuous curves on the bright squares of the borders, lighter quilting.  
This one was very fun to quilt.  I loved outlining the tree and the leaves to give them some pop!
This one is just so beautiful in person.  You know when the colours and image just 'speak' to you and represent you?   This is one of those for me!
Tree of Life panel quilt

The piecing and colour choices in this next quilt are just stunning.  I love how the flying geese are 3 dimensional.  I auditioned a few designs using Concepts app on my iPad.   This app has been invaluable to me -  you take a photo of the quilt top,  draw on the photo (using any colour you choose), erase, enlarge areas, etc...and then you can email the photo!  Perhaps I will do a post one day on how I use this app. 
Simple diamond/zig zag border.
Curvey triangles with tear drops inside,  and some feathers in other parts.   
I love the brights in this quilt.  

I've done a bunch of other quilts as well,  free hand edge to edge designs which I will post another time.   I always post an 'in progress' photo on instagram if you are interested in what I am working on!   My tag name is urbanquiltworks.  Or just click the button on the top right of this page to take you there!
I find I enjoy the quick photo and post on instagram - it is quick and easy, and I don't have to be as creative in thinking up a blog post!     First world problems, I know.   

Next up is a quilt which I am 'baking'  a design for.   My goal is to get it done in the next 2 weeks, so that I can enjoy some vacation time!  Stay tuned!    

After vacation,  I really need to get that "First Year Longarm Reflection" post done, as well as reprioritize my schedule and get something that fits in fitness (what??) dog walking, quilting,  groceries, cleaning,  errands,  and time for ME quilting!   Any ideas on how to do that?   
I think I know.   Disconnect my cable and internet.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My dad


It was sudden, but peaceful.  He was 82.
I didn't know a lot of his early years, as life in the 30's and 40's in Prague and Germany was not something he wanted to talk about.  

 I learned he was a police officer before he came to Canada.
I learned he traveled by ship on the Neptunia to Canada to start a new life of adventures.

My dad was a very patient and kind man.  A hard worker and a love for the Canadian wilderness.  I remember him taking off on canoe trips and hikes in the middle of nowhere.  I remember camping in canvas tents with rivers of rain flowing through them in the middle of the night.  He taught me to whittle wood and make campfires.   I remember his love of animals and mother nature.  His absolute love of dogs....sometimes we wondered if the pets ruled the house.    Weekly trips to the library with stacks of books in his arms.   He seemed to be able to fix anything and everything.   His artwork, which he never showed off and kept it tucked away.    His love for his family, and his grandchildren.   A skeptic,  a man who questioned everything,  

My dad was a great father and a really great opa.   I am so glad I got to know him in his later years and had lengthy conversations with him - sometimes they drove me nuts, and sometimes they really enlightened me.  I would learn little snippets about him that made me appreciate him more.

Losing a father is never easy.  I take some comfort knowing that it was quick and painless.  That there was no long term suffering or loss of mind. He was still able to drive.  He was planning his next cruise.  He was aging, but he was still able.  


















Losing a father is never easy.  I take a little comfort thinking and believing that he is with my mom now.  I miss him.




Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt

This beauty was made by a first time quilter!
totally honoured to quilt this one.... It is just full of happy and cheer!
 I called it the beast as I was quilting it.   It is approximately queen sized, and because the colours were on the diagonal,  the quilting was requested to be on the diagonal too.   That means, that I had to do a lot of rolling up and down the quilt, back and forth to quilt in those diagonal spaces. Hence,  it was a beast to quilt.  But it sure turned out beautiful!

 I quilted spiral swirls and plumes up each colour way.

The piano key borders were done in a whimsical feather shape.   The small dark border was a simple loop de loop. 

Thread:   Superior Magnifico in Yolk
Batting:  Warm and Natural

Monday, June 02, 2014

Straight line quilting and Channel Locks


One thing that I really wanted with my APQS machine was the ability to do straight line quilting.   I love the look of it, and was hoping that it would be fairly easy to use.   Last week I got to finally try it out.

I use my channel locks every single time I quilt.  But not for straight line quilting.  I use it to square up my quilt,  straighten seams and blocks, and make sure everything is falling into place the way it should.  The push of a button and I can guide my machine down a wobbly seam line and adjust my quilt top so that it appears straight.  It doesn't work magic, but it does help!

Sounds easy for quilting, right?    Wrong.
Unless your quilt and blocks are totally squared, precision pieced and straight,  
 straight line quilting will be tricky.  
Luckily I had a great quilt to try it out on.  

Tip -  if you do try straight line quilting,  just use your finger to push the machine along in the direction you are going.  Don't grip the handles -  just a simple push with your finger down the frame will ensure no wobbles or wonky lines. Yes, the machine is that light and that amazing that I can push it with my finger to stitch.

 If your borders or blocks are slightly wobbly or uneven,   the straight channel locks are unforgiving.  You line will be a straight line,  but it may not match up with a wonky seam line.      
 This quilt is just so cute.  I love the colours - so different.   I used a combination of spirals, straight lines and wishbone quilting in the teal and green blocks.   In the print blocks, I did a simple geometric maze to lightly quilt. 
The pieced backing is equally as cute -  it really shows of the quilting as well.
Batting - Hobbs 80/20
Thread -  Superior SoFine in pea soup green ( I forget the number and am too tired to go downstairs and look! )

Friday, May 30, 2014

More progress...


I told you my queue was growing... ;-)  Catching up on my photos of work completed.   I like to share the eye candy with you so you can be inspired by fabric combinations, patterns and quilting designs!
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This was a gorgeous batik, meticulously pieced....I used the Diamonds are Forever panto.


A super cute quilt by an incredible quilter - such a generous teacher to others!  She took panels and cut them up,  appliqu├ęd them into this neat design.   I quilted an overall 3's and e's loose, overall design.


By far, this next one is a favourite of mine.  So unlike me - totally girlie, pink and lavender.  But just one that I loved.   Very simple large squares sewn together, but such a beautiful choice of fabrics:



I quilted an edge to edge design I call 'Cabbage Rose'


3's and e's again!   One of my clients' favourite designs.  They like how I can make them tighter, more spiral and dense,  or enlarge and loosen them for a lighter quilting effect:



More 3's and e's....  This black, white and red quilt was a stunner.  I loved the choice of red thread on this quilt!

This is one of my first clients from last year, and she is still brings me quilts to work on.  She is the one who gave me that confidence when I was a newbie...she said something about everyone being a beginner at first.  That has stuck with me..


I'm feeling nostalgic lately.  Feeling really good and grateful about things.  It's been just over a year now since I got my long arm quilting machine.   I think I need to work on a post about that!  The good, the bad, the mistakes, the tragedies,  the triumphs, the aches and pains!

Progress..

My queue is growing....and I'm trying to keep up!
This is a new to me edge to edge freehand design, called Swirl feather...
It looked fantastic on this black and white quilt!

I've stalked...er... analyzed how to do it via Bev at Little House Creations - check out Bev's amazing work. 
Two table toppers, same pattern, completely different looks in fabrics!
I did continuous curves in the hearts, and an overall design in the background.

Love love love this Hawaiian quilt -  A King sized quilt for the cottage.  Lucky family!
I thought the Plumeria pantograph would look  perfect on this....
Plumeria Pantograph  - I enlarged it slightly (permission granted) and it turned out so beautiful!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Avignon Picnic gone wild...

Heritage Park Festival of Quilts....

First off...I forgot to show off my backing fabric!  Dots!

Heritage Park Festival of Quilts is held in May every year in Calgary.  Today we had glorious quilt viewing weather!
Quilts hanging from the railings, from the fence lines...
Quilts everywhere...
All over the place..
Look!! We found mine!!! And all the other Avignon Picnic offspring!  
I will never take a serious shot in front of one of my quilts - I will always have fun with it! My boys were up for it too!
This is what the Avignon Picnic grouping was all about....
(click on the photos to see more enlarged detail)

Our quilts were on display in the centre grassy area under the tents...

If only I could read this woman's thoughts on my heavy quilting....I'm pretty sure she would say something like 'those modern quilts have so much dense quilting!'  LOL

Here are photos of all the offspring produced by Avignon Picnic quilt pattern.  I did not take photos up close of the quilting, I was a little unsure if I was allowed to do that! 

Nancy Basserman left,   
Donna Leuw left,  
Joanne Middleton left,   Michelle Middleton right
Jane Goddard
Charmaine Walker
Joanne Middleton
Carol Weland
Lorraine Appleby left,   Colleen Hunter right
Colleen Hunter

Janet Madeyski
Joanne Glasswick
Nancy Basserman 
Bev Rinehart
Donna Leuw

Michelle Middleton

 Isn't it amazing how different colour placements, background changes - make the quilt so different!   I have a few favourites here.  I am so proud of how the group did!