Scrappy String Block

Last week I'd mentioned that I won some Bonnie & Camille scraps.  I decided to make a scrappy star block with some of the pieces.  I've had very little sewing time in the past week (which was making me pretty cranky), but I started on the pieces.  Although I thought I had too much fabric for each piece, as it is turning out, I don't have quite enough.  I will need to pull a few more pieces for the majority of the block components.
I finished binding the special quilt last night.  I just have to tuck in all the thread ends to finish.  I need a photo helper to get a picture of it and the other finish I've had recently.

Happy sewing!

A Surprise Finish & Other Odds & Ends

I received word that a guild mate's husband died Friday.  Another guild friend and I wanted to make a quilt for her.  We pooled resources--I had this twin sized top completed and she had backing fabric and batting.  We decided to add a row of hearts to the back--she is known for being anti-boring backs.  Plus we thought adding in a row of hearts would make it more special for the grieving friend.  I can longarm and bind.  She brought me everything Sunday night.  I made the backing and got the quilt loaded on Monday, I quilted it yesterday and am currently working on the binding.  I really love how it came out and I hope that the new owner will love it and know how much we care about her too.

The pattern is one I drew up years ago and taught as a class. The hearts on the back are available from Cluck, Cluck, Sew.  We used the 10" size.  The quilting pantograph is called Hubby Love; it seemed appropriate.

We're working through ways to set up my new sewing room and trying to figure out how to do the sewing table itself.  I would love for the arm to be at the table level for a smooth surface, but my bobbin is not top-loading and I need to be able to access it.  And what if I ever need to get a different machine?  The hole size could easily vary.  We thought maybe buying a Sew Steady table would be the answer.  I got the 18 x 24" size.  Right now I'm of mixed opinion on it.   I wish there was a size in between the large and junior.  This one is pretty huge for putting in a table.  My other complaint is that I have to lift it up in order to access the bobbin door.  Not a lot, less than 1/8", but it is sorta annoying considering this is supposed to be a custom-made piece.  I do really like the ruler that is mounted on it.  If you have a Bernina 440QE and are interested in this table, I'm willing to sell mine for $85 shipped in the US.
I won this bag of Bonnie & Camille tiny scraps from Sunshine Quilt Studio on Instagram.  I'm planning to make the block shown with the scraps.
The pink fabrics I was planning to work on last week did not work out.  I made something different for my swap, and it is finished, but I'll probably wait to reveal it until when it's received in December.

Have you ever seen the GetYourQuiltyWishesGranted hashtag on Instagram?  I haven't participated in it before, but I'm considering it this year.  


It's been a strange and interesting week here.  Without getting overly personal, let's just skip on to the cool stuff.  We had drywall delivered Monday and it was all hung yesterday!  It looks so different in the basement now.  It's been a long time coming.  I looked back on my Instagram feed to see when I'd posted pictures of the start, and it was in January 2016.  It's still a long ways from being done, and they won't come back to mud it until next week, but WOW!

I loaded up my Paradiso #2 quilt on the long arm, and by myself, no less.  I really wanted to test out the dampener plates by working on a pantograph.  What a huge difference!  The laser never bobbled off the lines I was following, with the exception of the points.  The points look really, really good though.  It was really enjoyable.  The only issue I had was that the power box and cord were falling out occasionally.  That may be because I was using a different extension cord and I had a lot more stuff in there in preparation for the drywall.  I will update my Juki post with the current information too.

After that went so well, I decided I wanted to try something new from the front too.  So I loaded up my snowflake quilt from Threadbare Creation's mystery stitch along a few weeks ago.  I tried to do the repeating flower design freehand.  It's far from perfect, but I got in done in just over an hour and while the mistakes really stand out to me, hopefully they aren't totally noticeable.  I bound the quilt that evening, and here it is.  Oh my gosh, now that it's completely done, I see another mistake.  Argh!  Oh well, too late now.

I also finished up this Luna cross stitch over the weekend.  I'm unsure on it.
Here's a view of my work table.  I'm working on a swap.  Not sure if my idea is going to work out though.   :(
I also saw a new bird this weekend.  It is a yellow throated warbler.   I saw two flying around, but this guy flew into the slider, so he sat for a long time.
We also had a lot of bluebirds hanging out on our feeders, which is odd.  They typically eat bugs and worms, not seed.
And, while watching the warbler, I saw this hawk overhead.  
Until next week.

MQX Midwest

I enjoyed my time at MQX last week.  I took two classes from Linda Hrcka:  one on feathers and one about how to use rulers, which was a hands-on (using a machine) class.  Both were excellent although I have a long ways to go on the feathers!  I also took a beginner basics class from DeLoa Jones and a trunk show with Teresa Silva.  Teresa showed us how to draw a lot of different designs too.  She showed us many of the quilts from her new book and I have to say that though the photos in the book were nice, I was so fortunate to see them in real life, because they were so much more amazing in real life.

Things I learned:  all three instructors use primarily Superior Threads and mostly So-Fine and Bottom Line.  They all prefer Quilter's Dream battings in most cases.  They use the Dritz blue and purple markers or Bohin (white only) chalk. Two of the three use Linda's rulers (The Quilted Pineapple) and they were sold out by the time I got to my ruler class with Linda.  Most of them don't change needles as often as you'd think.  Wondering which way the batting goes, or what is right side up?  The scrim side, which will look like it has an interfacing dot pattern on it and may be a bit shiny, goes down.  Trying out machines at a show?  Try making bumps, sort of like clamshell quilting, and see how the machine comes out of the valleys.  Make sure the stitching stays consistent (same stitch length) coming out. Also go from right to left in a straight line to see where the thread breaks.

I didn't find much to buy since many of the vendors were machine vendors.  I bought a few spools of thread, some extra pieces for my Leader Grips, and Teresa's book, which she autographed for me.
Linda Hrcka showing us some of her quilting.
Detail of one of Linda's quilts.
One of Teresa Silva's quilts.
Teresa's Lone Star quilt.
Teresa's business name quilt.
I took a few photos in the show.  The lighting was kind of odd, but it did really help the quilting texture show.  The way the quilts were hung, you could see many of the backs too.  I only had my cell phone with me, so these aren't great, but hopefully they are still enjoyable.

The special exhibit was the Cherrywood Lion King Challenge.  120 quilts were selected for the traveling exhibit.  The quilts are 18" x 18" I think.

Here are some other quilts I liked.  I unfortunately didn't get good enough pictures of the labels, so I've included them where I could.
Me:  "Is that George Michael?"  My husband's response to the picture of the quilt I texted him:  "Is that George Michael?"
Quilt is George Michael by Mary Menzer.
This is one of Margaret Solomon Gunn's quilts.
I don't know.
Ruby Splendor by Rhonda Stockton, quilted by Cindy Gravely
With Milk or Sugar? by Rhonda Adams, quilted by Jane Hauprich 
Galactica Supernova by Corrine Woodward
Soft Serenade by Suzy Webster 
I can't read the tag on this one.  :(  It was all black, white, and gray and really striking in person.
Blush by Cindy Seitz-Krug, quilted entirely on a sit-down machine.  Tag below.

Mini Wholecloth by Linda Read
My absolute favorite at the show--Birds Fly by Barbara Lies.
Back of Birds Fly
 Hope you enjoyed the pictures!