My First Longarm Quilts

I have been busy quilting!  (I do have all those UFO/WIPs, right?)  I decided that to start I would do a pantograph design. After some fits and starts and a lot of frustration, I finally figured out how to run the longarm machine.  I must say, I think I'm getting fantastic results!  And I'm learning a lot.  

I made this quilt top in the late 1990s.  I honestly had forgotten all about it.  It was one of the first quilts I made and that was really obvious when I pulled it out of storage.  The seams were really wavy and some had holes where I hadn't lined up the points properly.  Plus, the blue fabric is denim and the white borders are really cheap muslin.  I fixed all the holey seams but there wasn't much I could do about the wavy piecing unless I redid the entire thing.  No thanks!  My son took a liking to this top, so he helped me pick out backing fabric.  For this one, we used an inexpensive print from JoAnn.  I used the leftover backing for binding.  I machine stitched the binding, which is something I don't usually do since I love hand-sewing binding.  I used a polyester batting that I've had in my stash forever.  You can see the fold lines in the quilt already with this batting.  Good enough for this project though!  The thread I used is So Fine 50 wt. by Superior Threads.  Lovely thread! 

My second longarm project is one I'm really excited about!  This is a quilt using Bonnie & Camille's Bliss fabric line from around 2010.  It was their third line for Moda.  I was really thrilled when I found not only the top, but also matching backing and binding in my stash!  I used a cotton batting by Pellon for this one and stuck with the So Fine 50 wt. by Superior Threads, just in off white instead of the white I used for the first quilt.  I highly recommend Superior Threads!  Great thread, great customer service.  Anyway, I'm hand stitching the binding on this one, so I'm not quite done yet.  This is a selfish sewing project--it's for me!!

Lori Holt Mini Quilt Swap

The first quilt swap I ever signed up for was a Lori Holt swap.  Her fabrics and her patterns were the subject.  I greatly admire Lori--I think she's a marketing genius and her fabric and pattern designs are so cute.  Look at her blog and follow her on Instagram @beelori1!  By the way, Lori herself participated in this particular swap, which was hosted by The Quilt Ranch.

Even though this was the first swap I signed up for, it was the third one I received back.  My lovely quilt arrived while I was on vacation.  Although I fear I caused the sender to worry since my mail was being held, I was so excited to have it waiting when I got home.  Here is the quilt I received from Kristen--isn't it cute?  She managed to fit so many of my likes into here--the colors, Ball jars, apples, pears, the chick.  I really love the little pink bird on the yellow square too.  I think I will hang this in my pantry above the work table once we get it finished.

Here are the extras Kristen included for me.  She did a great job.

I made a sampler quilt for my partner using blocks from the Farm Girl Vintage book by Lori Holt.  I wasn't for sure of my partner's tastes, other than she likes Lori & red. I guess I did okay--she wrote me a nice email to thank me.  Here is my finished quilt (about 24" square) and the extras I sent:
I made a mug rug/ultra mini that finished about 5" for one of the extras.  I scaled down Lori's Granny Square block for this.

Next is a series of close-up shots of the blocks.  I used almost all Lori Holt fabrics except for the two yellows you can see in the pear block and the white on the mug rug.  This quilt was hard to send away. I've been saying that about all of the swap quilts!

Here's a little closer view of the extras I sent.  That 2.5" ruler is a handy size for making 6" blocks (such as those in Farm Girl Vintage).  The red button on the tag is a needle minder.
I used printable fabric to make the tag.  It's a tiny tag because that printable fabric is pricy!  I like how it looks when I got it all done.
I used one of the panels from the Modern Minis line to make the back.  Didn't get it quite straight.  Oops! I need to buy more of this fabric because I love it and used most of what I had to do the back.

Honest Sewing Room(s)

I've been seeing a lot of photos on Instagram lately that are labeled as #honestsewingroom or #honestcraftroom.  Many of them are quite pretty and not messy at all.  Although I would love to always have a photo-ready space, in my world, a clean sewing space is an unused sewing space.  Anyway, in the spirit the hashtag, I am showing you my current sewing spaces.  {I think I may be oversharing lately!}

Here is my cutting and pressing area, which is in our office.

Here is my machine area (in our living room):

I keep my notions cabinet, embroidery machine, and coverstitch machine in the kitchen.  This area is usually a little cleaner than this.

My design wall is in the laundry room.

The longarm is in the unfinished basement.

The majority of my stash is also in the basement.  Technically my stash is in my sewing room, but, as you can see, it is currently unfinished.  I jokingly say that it is my ongoing quest to take over the whole house with sewing stuff.  Seriously though, my goal is to have it all in one space so that the mess is contained.  I can't wait until this room is finished!

Funny Things #18

Saw this dead cardinal hanging out in a car at Sam's Club last summer.  Gross!

What's On Your Quilt Bucket List?

Are there some projects you would like to accomplish in your lifetime?  Things that seem challenging but that you'd still like to try?  A few things come to mind for me:

  • a Quiltworx pattern
  • a Hawaiian quilt
  • a Farmer's Wife quilt
  • a McKenna Ryan quilt--hmm, have a kit, have only done two blocks

Wow.  That doesn't really seem like a lot, making the assumption that I'm only halfway through my life.

I think my larger goal is just to finish everything I've started.  (Remember my UFO/WIP list from last week?)

Have you ever seen this list from  It's a list of 100 things every quilter should do.  I guess I'm fortunate, because I've actually done more than 70 of the things on the list.  There are a few I'd like to do on the list that I haven't yet, especially go to the International Quilt Festival in Houston.  I would also really like to attend a quilt market, but not sure how I could make that happen at this point in my life.  If it weren't financially risky, I'd love to have my own shop too.  

What are your quilt dreams?