Good Morning Everybody

Hey Kids!

No – that’s not a picture from my garden, my friend Terri took it yesterday over in Israel, and it is so beautiful that I just had to share it with you.    🙂     

Wow – I didn’t realize it had been 5 weeks since I’d last shared anything with you! Sorry about that, it’s been rather crazy around here lately.    🙂    

Anyways, I have lots of things in the works right now, and hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more about some of them shortly.  The creative juices have been flowing pretty well lately (by the Grace of God), and I just finished up designing 8 new patterns, and have a couple of other projects in the works as we speak.  I’ll keep you posted.    🙂   

Niki over at Stitchin Heaven is hosting a great fabric exchange for those of us on a self-imposed “Fabric Diet” this year.  I’ve been blessed to be partnered up with Melissa over at Wide World of Quilting . She is an incredibly talented lady, who has a great site that you will definitely want to go take a look at!  So drop by and be sure to tell her “Hello” while y’all are there.    🙂   

The lovely Ms. Pat Sloan is also having another U.F.O. Busting Weekend over at her Quilt Mashup  forum (and Lord knows that we all have a few of those to deal with).  If you have any U.F.O.’s that you need to get finished up, this is a great place to hang out! You’ll get the motivation/ideas you need to finish up your own – and maybe even a few ideas for new projects to start! Just make sure to say “Hi” to Ms. Energizer Bunny (that’s what we all tend to call Ms. Pat, LOL) while you are there (or on her blog), she LOVES to make new friends!!    😉    

Well, that’s all for now. I’ve got to go head off to “the day job”, so y’all have a great day and I’ll talk to you some more soon.

Promise.    🙂

Quilting Confessions

I have a confession…… I am a bit of a quilting snob    😦   

Now, not of the Quiltzilla variety mind you. Just of the quilt pattern/layout variety.    😉   

Imagine, if you will, a local Quilt Club-type gathering……

“Hi! My name is Shady and I’m a quilty snob.”

“Hi Shady!” the people reply.

“I’ve never liked scrap quilts…” I say.

Gasp“, “NO!!” they reply in shock and awe.

“Yup – it’s true. The overall chaos randomness of them with their color choices and pattern design is just not for me.” I state.

Well!” replys Quiltzilla in a huff, “We are sorry, but you just can’t be a member of our club then!! You don’t fit in here. Maybe you should try the club down the street. We  revere our foremothers accomplishments with such beauties, and strive to emulate them in our quilting today! You are just not welcome here!”

“Goodbye”.

I don’t fit in. I like continuity, color compatibility, ratio and flow in my quilts. I don’t want to feel exhausted from trying to “focus” on a non-existent pattern in a random scrap quilt, where there is no resting spot available for your eye. To be brutally honest – they remind me of those color-card samples that companies produce, showing you a “chip” of every fabric/color available. Kinda like your stash throwing-up on your quilt top!

They are just not for me. Now, don’t get me wong – I very much appreciate both the workmanship and skill involved in piecing one of these creations (while not going blind in the process)! I especially admire (no – really, I do) the ornate antique Crazy Quilts that are made up of silks and velvets, containing thousands of gorgeous hand stitches joining the scraps of fabric!! I am just not “drawn” to the random designs, and color schemes, of scrap quilts. Nor do I have any desire to ever make one.    😉   

While the previous “conversation” listed above may seem pretty far-fetched, a form of it did actually take place a few years back! That was the first time I ever met a real Quiltzilla! Needless to say, I didn’t join that quilting group/club/cult.    🙂   

The reason that this whole thing came to mind is because this morning I was selecting fabrics to “alter” a scrappy quilt pattern into something with more “Flow”. I love the pattern – just don’t care much for the fabric choices that they made.    😉   

So, the moral of this story is this:

Be Yourself! Trite as this may sound, if you have to change who you are to fit into someone elses “box”; then their “box” is too small for you anyways – and you will break it sooner or later! Why be/do something you hate, just to be “accepted” by someone else? You will just be miserable, and you will not end up liking them very much in the end!

Be Happy!

Be You!    🙂   

You are the only you God ever made – and He did it for a reason!!

Have a great day!

Tiny Pieces

So, how do you pull together a glaringly purple and green star sampler quilt?

Add some buttery yellow…..

 

And some teeny, tiny pieces…..

LOTS of teeny, tiny pieces…..

Like 1/2 inch teeny,tiny….. (look at point tip)

And you keep on sewing. And adjusting. And sewing. And sewing….

And then you sew some more little, teeny, tiny pieces!     😉

Spray Basting Your Quilts Tutorial

First off – Disclaimer alert!!!

I am NOT the worlds leading expert in the proper “approved/perfect” Spray Basting methods as set down by the “Quilt Police”. I am a self-taught quilter who specializes in the “make-do with what you’ve got”, totally unorthodox method of “save money/save time” quilting. I do what “works” for me – and if my method of doing things “works” for you, or if you can tweak them so that they work even better for you – then I am honored to share them with you.    😉    

That said –  here is the fastest, most efficient/easy way to secure your quilt sandwich that I have ever found! Basting Spray!!!!

I LOVE Basting Spray!!!

Why???

 Answer:  Because it is the ONLY method I have tried over the years that keeps ANYTHING/EVERYTHING  in the quilt sandwich from moving/puckering when I am pushing/twisting/turning/shoving/man-handling my quilt sandwich thru my dinky domestic home sewing machine for topquilting!!!! It also cuts my basting time way down!! How far down? I can securely Spray Baste a large quilt in under 30 minutes!!! Other methods (listed below) can take you HOURS!! I can better use that time doing something/anything else!!

Other benefits of Spray Basting:  There are no blood drops on your quilt top from pricked fingers (a given every time) from Pin Basting. There are no little plastic tacks (100’s of them!!!) to find, snip and remove from Tack Basting (think of the plastic thing that holds tags on new clothes at the store, and shrink them to 1/2 inch long for those of you unfamiliar with this method), not to mention the holes that they leave in your fabric!! There are no Basting Thread Stitches to make ALLOVER your quilt – and then search and remove from underneath all of your precious Topstitching/Topquilting (and DON’T snip and remove the wrong thread!!).

The Basting Spray holds securely for several weeks (important if you can only work on the quilt for a few stolen minutes at a time) and when I’m done – it washes right out, and you will never even know it was ever there! Pretty awesome huh?!? I think so. And since they are my (until gifting) quilts, that is all that matters!   🙂   

Now – how do you Spray Baste a quilt? I Spray Baste a quilt like so:

First – you need to gather your supplies:

Quilt Top, Batting, and Backing fabric.

1 can of Basting Spray (there are a couple of varieties out there – I recommend/use  Sullivan’s Basting Spray)

1 roll of Painters Tape (you know – the blue stuff, any width is okay) The reason I use Painters Tape is because it temporarily sticks to anything – but will not pull/distort your fabric – or leave any residue behind!! You will see what I mean shortly    😉   

Scissors (to trim off any excess Batting or Backing Fabric after basting)

A length of 3″ diameter PVC pipe (clean/new), or Carpet Roll Tube (the cardboard core that they roll the carpet up on).  These are both available at your local home improvement store – the PVC costs, the carpet tube is free. If you  happen to know any Construction Workers, you can possibly obtain either one of these things from them for free as well since they usually have “throw-away” pieces/leftovers from jobs they are working on.    🙂    Have them cut you a piece of either material in the size you will need. I keep a 6′ length for crib/throw size quilts, and a 8′ length for twin/double/queen size quilts. You want the tube to be at least a few inches longer than the width of the quilt you are working on. The 6′ tube stores nicely under the bed, the 8′ tube stores upright in the back corner of the closet, out-of-the-way!

You will also need to find an open floor space (I use my back deck outside – in good weather, and the living room floor in inclimate weather).

Step #1 – Lay out, and tape down (wrong side of fabric UP) your Backing Fabric. Smooth out any wrinkles as you go. ( Ignore the furniture in the pict – I moved them out of my way later, but since it was so windy that day, I used them to help hold the fabric down while I taped it in place)    🙂     

Step #2 – Lay out your Batting on top of the Backing Fabric and center it where you want it.

Step #3 – Fold your Batting in half (lengthwise – top to bottom), then fold it this way again. Now fold it into a quarter by folding it in half widthwise (left to right). Remember –  as you UNFOLD it, it will lay out flat on the Backing Fabric. (If you are working with a Full or Queen size quilt you may want to fold it top-bottom three times, since you only want to be spraying 3 foot sections of Batting at a time)

Step #4 – Grab your can of Spray Baste and spray the exposed batting (never spray the fabric – just the Batting) that you are about to flip over onto the Backing Fabric as you unfold the Batting.

Lay that piece over onto the fabric – bringing the whole piece of batting with you that was underneath the part you just sprayed (you still have to spray what was touching the Backing Fabric).

Spray the newly exposed piece of Batting that was brought up from the bottom, and lay it back down. Now, spray and unfold the newly exposed area of Batting, continuing this routine until entire piece of Batting has been sprayed and layed out flat. Then run your hands over to smooth out any wrinkles and reposition as needed.

Step #5 – Lay out your Quilt Top (right side up) on top of the Batting and center it. Smooth out any wrinkles. Lay your tube or pipe on top of the Quilt Top, at either the top or the bottom edge of the fabric. (pict 5a below)

 Now tape the edge of the Quilt Top fabric to the pipe/tube to hold it while you roll it up. (pict 5b below) That tape is about to be your third hand!! (NOW you understand what I ment by I like this tape for no pulling/distorting/residue!!)    🙂   

Step #6 – Roll the fabric up onto the tube.

When top is completely rolled-up, tape the exposed edge in a spot or two just to hold it while you roll the tube OFF of the Batting to spray the starting point for securing your Quilt Top. (pict 6b below)

Step #7 – Spray the Batting all the way across the top edge in a 1 foot wide swath (where you will start unrolling your fabric tube); position your tube, remove tape, and start slowly unrolling – just to the bottom edge of where you sprayed the Basting Spray. Now, spray the next 1 foot wide section and unroll some more. Continue this pattern until you have unrolled the entire Quilt Top off of the tube. Smooth out any wrinkles (although you really won’t have any – THAT is what the tube is for!! Wrinkle Prevention!!).

Ta Dah!!!!

Step #8 – Since you will NOT be sending this out to a Longarmer for Topquilting, take your scissors and trim off any un-necessary Batting or Backing Fabric (watch out – its sticky!). 

*I tend to bring my Backing Fabric around to the front, miter the corners, and bind my quilts with it instead of Bias Binding (THAT”S a whole other tutorial – maybe, we’ll see)    😉   

Guess What?!? You just Spray Basted your first quilt!!! Woo Hoo! Now see, that wasn’t so hard after all! And the best part – No sore, bloody fingers!

Now for the fun part – go grab some of these…..

Or some of these…….

And start Topquilting/Thread Painting to your heart’s content!

Or, you can just go grab a beverage, take a break, and pat yourself on the back because you tried something new – and succeeded.   😉   

Good Job!!

🙂

Quick Quilt Along Update

Taa-Daa…….

Here are the latest three blocks I’ve done for the Quilt Along over at Bradie’s site  http://quiltcetera.wordpress.com       🙂  

Which brings us up to this:

Have a great day, and I’ll check back in with you later!   😉 

Shady

Stolen Quilty Time.

Okay – the past few weeks I’ve been SERIOUSLY neglecting my “quilting duties”, so to speak. I have a million and one reasons excuses why, but the reality is I just haven’t felt like actually SEWING anything.

Fabric acquisition/fondling = okay. Actual sewing = not so much.

About a week ago I decided that I felt like actually making something again….So, today I make amends for that, and will show you some photos of what I’ve been working on lately in my “stolen quilty moments” when no one was looking……

If you would like to play along too – click on the button on the right side of the page for the “Summer Star Sampler Quilt Along” that Bradie Sparrow is conducting over at her site http://quiltcetera.wordpress.com and join in the fun. (You should see some of the gorgeous blocks that other participants have made over on flickr as well!!)

Well, it’s time to go play out in the nastiness called our summer weather again today. Heat and humidity have kept it around 110 degrees here for several weeks now….. I’m ready to move to Alaska!!

Does Alaska have humidity??? Just checking  😉 

Have a great day, and stay safe, and cool!!!

Shady

Sands Thru The Hourglass….

Okay – Just a quick “Hi, How are ya?” to let everyone know I’m still here!  😉 

It’s Graduation Week for my son, so between that (and his Sweetie’s Big Birthday), things are a bit hectic right now!! Add in all the other parts of life, and I’m sure you can relate.  🙂 

So, right now, I’m working feverishly on a T-Shirt Quilt for “The Boys'” special graduation present (can’t show you pictures – sorry), and a long-overdue quilt for my “adopted” son. Sunday I finished up, and delivered a very special quilt for a very special young lady.

Ashlee’s Sweet 16th Birthday Quilt:

This response to receiving one of my quilts ALWAYS makes me happy!!!  🙂 

I think she loved the fact that the roses and vines I had fee-motion quilted on this one showed up even better on the back of the quilt – making it reversible….

Here’s some close-ups so that you can see them too…

Here’s a better view of the front….

She loved it – and I was really pleased with how it turned out too. The only problem is that it is one of those quilts that the photos just don’t do it justice. Oh well……

Anyways, I’m off to plant some Marigolds, Spray some fruit trees, and back to quilting for a bit. Next I need to hire some “house-cleaning fairies”, otherwise, I need to tackle some of that today too!  🙂 

Quilting and baking are more fun than cleaning!!  😉 

Have a great day!

Shady