Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Sneak Peek at Pentaflora

So it's Quiltweek in Paducah and I have two quilts in the show.  I must admit to being a bit disappointed that neither one placed, but upon further reflection I've realized that having two quilts in the show is an accomplishment in itself and I need to get over it.  When big disappointment hits me it tends to take 24-48 hours to get over.  So I'm getting there.  It helps that my newest show quilt will debut next week at the Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace (formerly HMQS).  So for the next few posts I'll be showing you the process of creating this beauty.

When I design my applique quilts I always do a test layout of fabrics and then use mirrors to see if I like it.  Then I can change color decisions before the sewing starts.

This quilt was started back in 2014.  It's hand applique, so it takes a while!

I tried to take photos at each stage along the way so here we go.

Layer 1:

And a closeup for Layer 1.

Layer 2:

And a closeup for Layer 2:

Come back for more later this Saturday.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Random Inspiration

Here are a few random pictures of inspiration from restaurants/museums.  Enjoy!

A fun bench outside a train museum.

Some etched glass.

I love the railing on the top of this mock building.

Ceiling decor. I love the juxtaposition of the straight lines and curves.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Quilting away!

I've been working away on quilting Floral Kaleidoscope.  Here's a sneak peek.  I did a whole series of blog posts on this quilt linked here:

I decided to do some feathered spirals interspersed with a few other filler designs.  Some of these tight spaces simply needed pebbles because that's all that would fit well.

Here's the closeup of the corners:

And the whole quilt.  Now to figure out what to bind it with.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Furry Friday with Island Batiks!

Today's Friday post is a special post about our furry friends.  Furry Fridays have two purposes, one to help shelter pets get adopted and the other to provide kennel quilts for animal shelters!  This week's Furry Friday is sponsored by the Petfinder Foundation

Surf is the dog of the week!

Lola is the cat of the week!
Image may contain: cat

Find out more here at the Petfinder Foundation at

And get making those kennel quilts!
Here are the guidelines:

  • Materials used should be 100% cotton (biodegradable).
  • Pre-wash fabrics (pets can have allergies just like humans).
  • Finished size should be 12" x 18". This fits the most commonly used small kennel used at shelters.
  • When piecing, use a small stitch length (e.g. 14 stitches/inch).
  • Do not use binding as it can be hazardous to pets if it becomes loose. Layer, sew around the edge using a small stitch length, and turn quilts pillow-cover style. Whipstitch the opening with small, tight stitches.
  • Use only simple appliques that are secured with tight stitches along the edges. Avoid using fusibles.
  • Keep the quilting simple and use small tight quilting stitches that won’t catch on pet claws. Do not tie quilts as the ends can get caught in claws or chewed off.
  • Do not use any metallic threads or other embellishments (e.g. beads, charms, buttons, ribbons, lace, trims, etc.) of any kind. Do not add handles or loops to the quilt.

Here are two I've made:

I hope you get to quilt today!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Peacock Part 2

Last week I told you I'd started stitching around my Peacock applique quilt.  I finished all the stitching.  It's unusual for me to use single instead of double blanket stitch, but I decided to on this project because I didn't want to draw my eye away from the design.  
Here's the top so far.  You really can't see the stitching at all and it lets all the fabrics shine.

A close-up.  Look how tiny those stitches are!  They're done in 50 weight Aurifil cotton.  It has no sheen which is what I wanted for this project.

And the back...

I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Clock Inspiration

On of my favorite restaurants has a wall of clocks.  I find them very fun and inspirational.  Enjoy!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Start of Peacock

I decided to try appliqueing a circular medallion I designed.  I traced out all the pieces and had a blast picking out the fabrics.  You can see below that I laid my light fabric on my table and you can see the thick black lines right through without any trouble.

Instead of my usual layering I decided to put all the pieces for this quilt on at once since some pieces when over and under others.  

I also decided to do a tiny single (instead of my usual double) using Aurifil 50 weight thread.  It worked wonderfully as always and since it was single blanket stitch I was able to get all the stitching done in an evening!

Can you guess from the picture above why my son insisted this quilt is called Peacock?  We had quite a chuckle over it.

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Triple Arc Circles

Today's new free motion filler was another I doodled during my son's violin lesson.  It's a circle that can vary in size with three arcs inside which I'm calling Triple Arc Circles.

Start by making a circle 3/4 -2 inches in diameter.

Travel along the lines to where you want to start your arcs.  Sew three arcs about 1/8 inch apart as shown below.  Then travel along the outside of the circle to where you want to start your next arc.

Here are a few arcs all stitched out.

And the final pattern in this section of my Adventurous Applique Challenge for Island Batiks!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Island Batik Ambassadors Adventurous Applique Challenge!

April's Island Batik Ambassadors Challenge is named Adventurous Applique.  As it's the same title as my blog I was quite excited to get started.  I had this gorgeous set of Glowing Embers to play with, so the only limitation in design was keeping the pieces narrower than 2 1/2 inches.

I started with a flower pattern I doodled during one of my son's violin lessons.  I then decided to put a whole set of four in the middle and sets of three in the corners.  If you look carefully all of the flowers in the upper left corners are the same, upper right are the same, etc.  So there are four different colorations of the flowers.

Above you can see the strip of fabric I am going to use for my orange peel style sashing.  Below you can see lines I've drawn with my white Clover Iron off Pen to help put the orange peels in the correct places.

And here it is with all the orange peel pieces added!  Some are 1 inch pieces and some are 1 1/2 in pieces.  

And here's the back once all the stitching has been completed and the stabilizer ripped away.  

And the final quilt!  I decided to add a fat binding since I already had 2 1/2 inch strips.  I created 6 unique free motion filler patterns for this quilt which I have been revealing in my Free Motion Friday posts for the last two weeks and for the coming four weeks.  It's quilted with my favorite Aurifil 50 weight cotton thread.  Be sure to come back and check them out every Friday or join my Machine Applique Adventures Facebook group so you never miss a post!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Old Building Inspiration

On our way home from Missouri Star Quilt Company we stopped at The Quilted Forest in Forest City, Iowa.  Across the street from it was an old building with some fantastic architectural detail.  Enjoy!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Tuscany Silk Batting Musings

I love Hobb's Tuscany Silk Batting.  You can read more about it by clicking on the link.

Here's what I had to say about it the last time I posted about batting:

Silk - silk batting is something I started using a year ago as well.  I've found Hobbs Tuscany Silk to be a fabulous alternate to cotton batting.  The batting is 90% silk and 10% polyester.  I find that since the silk is a natural fiber it has the "stickiness" of cotton and lays flat like cotton as well.  I enjoy using it in my quilts.  If I want my design to really puff up, I would not chose silk as it doesn't have the puff of wool that I like.

Now, since then I've learned a couple of new things about the Tuscany Silk Batting I want to share.  The first is that it is slightly tan in color, not dark, just light like their 80/20 batting.  Not a big deal for most quilts, but I wouldn't put a white quilt on top of it as the white seams show through...ask me how I know.  Look carefully at the quilt below.  If you look just around the edge of the the colored ring (This is done is Island Batik's Drizzle pretty!) you can see a white line where the seams overlap.  If I'd put this quilt on a white batting this would not be noticeable.

So here's the finished quilting. Can you tell?  Not really, so I didn't and don't worry about it, but it's something to think about when considering batting choices.

And now time for my next discovery.

When I was working my Pocket Watch quilt I used a small piece of silk batting.  This quilt was different for me in that I actually washed it.  I don't always wash the small things I make for this blog when I'm finished (I do prewash ALL of my fabric).  However, all those gears in the background were drawn with a blue wash-out pen and it had to be washed.  

I used my usual method of soaking in cold water, then wringing inside a rolled up towel.  I must admit I did then iron it dry from damp as I wanted to start painting it.  What I discovered when it was dry is that it has an INCREDIBLE drape.  It reminds me of my great-grandmother's quilts that have been used since the sixties with the nice draping cotton batting inside.  I wish you could feel how nice it is though the computer...

I will definitely use this batting again soon!

I hope you get to quilt today!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Free Motion Friday - Pokeballs

My oldest son is totally into Pokemon cards right now.  I was looking at them with him the other day when I realized that the Pokeball would make an interesting quilting never know where inspiration is going to come from!

Here's the finished design and a sneak peek of a post coming next week!  (This is the Glowing Embers collection by Island Batik)

Start by making a circle between 3/4 and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  

Then stitch a small curve, then a circle, and then another small curve to connect to the other side.

Travel back over the outside circle to where you want to start the next one.

Here are a few of them all together.

And the final design in more correct colors....

I hope you get to quilt today!