MQX Midwest 2018

Last week I went to MQX Midwest and took five classes.  I took a hands-on class with Julia Quiltoff. The classroom we were in had small Gammill machines.  It's funny how different every machine is. I did like the large screen it had, but I felt like I had to work really hard to push the machine, and I found the buttons on the handles a bit confusing.  I would think the machine was off and it would just keep stitching!  I also felt like I could see better with my machine than this one.  Anyway, Julia does beautiful work.  You can follow her on Facebook to see all her beautiful work, or she just started a Patreon page too. She uses a Juki just like me.  Here's my little sample piece.  It looks a lot better in this picture than it does in real life! 😆  I was glad I had this little "quilt" for my bed in the hotel room.  Brr.

The next day I took two classes with Natalia Bonner, feathers (my nemesis, along with swirls) and then a more modern one about seeing beyond the seams.  If you've ever watched any of Natalia's videos or Craftsy classes, you know she's a good teacher and makes everything seem so easy and attainable.  Natalia quilts on a Gammill.

Later in the day I took a class with Clem Buzick.  She had her daughter, who owns a quilt shop, with her.  They both quilt on A1s.  In this class we talked about different ways to quilt tops.  Some of us had brought tops to consider.  I brought my 365 Challenge top.  They suggested some ways of quilting my top that I would have never thought of.  It was fun.
Clem demonstrating various densities of quilting on different battings.
Someone brought this really cute dog top.  The ears are all loose and floppy.
Various quilting suggestions for my 365 quilt.  I MUST learn how to do those loose feathers!
Friday morning I took a class with Dorie Hruska of Forever Quilting.  The topic was making connections (just like her book).  It was nice to see the visual demonstrations of the concepts in the book.  Dorie currently quilts on an APQS.  I have learned so much from Dorie's videos on both Facebook and YouTube and I highly recommend following her.
Dorie showing how she quilted one of her quilts.

The majority of my teachers use Superior threads and Quilters Dream batting, especially So Fine thread and wool batting.

I walked around the vendor floor several times.  I bought one ruler from Gina Perkes, a few different weights of Superior Thread to try out, refills for my chalk pencil, and Dorie's stencil set.  I also tried out a few different longarms.  I tried out one of the newer HandiQuilters (still adversely reacts with me--I feel like I'm being shocked), the Bernina (I found that it vibrated much more than I expected and I was disappointed by that), and an A1 (really super smooth; I'd like to try that one again sometime).

We'll finish up today with some of the quilts that were on display.
I think this was quilted by Dorie Hruska, but there was no label on it.


Best of Show winner.  There was a lot of sparkle to this quilt that my camera didn't pick up.



This is the back.

By Clem Buzick 
Quilted by Clem Buzick

Oh, we picked apples Saturday and yesterday I made four quarts of applesauce from half of them, which was 30 Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples.  It took me over three hours.  Every time I can something I think about how difficult life must have been for women when they were reliant upon canning for survival.  I'm hoping to get the other half processed today or tomorrow.

Next week I'll share what I made for the Woppet swap.


I finished binding my son's Nessie quilt this morning.  The pattern for this quilt by Elizabeth Hartman is free on the Robert Kaufman website.  We purchased the top and binding as a kit from a local quilt shop.  I found the matching backing fabric at another small quilt shop.  My son had very specific quilting instructions for me:  clouds in the sky, scales on Nessie, but they couldn't cross into the black face details, and waves in the water, all with matching threads.  I can't draw or quilt clouds, but I am pretty happy with how the scales and water turned out.

I have made one Woppet bucket so far.  I used a very light weight denim, navy Cotton + Steel plus fabric, a really fun Dear Stella print, and a solid orange accent fabric.  I made an economy block for the front of the bucket.  That, along with trying to figure out how to place it and modify the front of the bucket, was the hardest part.  I wish I'd moved the block up about 1/2" more. I haven't yet decided if I want to sew the lining down or leave it as is, looking like a binding.
I made this tiny flying geese strip using a pattern by Michael Ann Made, available on Craftsy.  The pattern is very easy to understand.  It is supposed to make a key chain, but I am using this as an accent piece on another Woppet bucket.  Anyway, I highly recommend this pattern.  I will share the finished product soon.
We have made some progress on my daughter's dressing table.  The table itself is completely finished.   We still need to get new mirrors made.  We ordered an unfinished chair from Target and that is supposed to arrive today.  It will get painted white to match.  We also ordered a rug from Target to protect the carpet under the table.  It has arrived and she is happy with it.

Other than that, I'm just trying to keep up with life.  It has seemed incredibly overwhelming at times lately although nothing really major is going on.

Linked to Crazy Mom Quilts

My Quilting & Sewing Agenda

I mentioned last week that I was pattern testing for Megan at Tiny Orchard Quilts.  I finished my quilt top over the long weekend.  Once you get all the initial sewing prep finished, the actual block assembly and top assembly goes really fast.  Another nice thing is that there is very little waste (it is a very efficient use of fabric). This top is 72" x 96". I used Tula Pink's Spirit Animal fabric with Kona Snow for the background.  My daughter picked all the fabric combinations and selected the block layout.  
I selected Tula Freefall wide back fabric for the backing and my daughter chose one of the Spirit Animal prints (purple with birds) for the binding.  In case you couldn't tell, she has claimed this quilt already.  She wants custom quilting rather than a pantograph.  This is in line behind the Nessie quilt my son has claimed.  He also wants custom quilting and he was very specific on what he wants done on each part!

You may know that I maintain a pretty extensive UFO/WIP list here on my blog.  It seems really overwhelming to me at times, so I made a shorter list to help me focus on things I'd like to get done sooner.  Currently I have 13 quilt tops ready to be quilted, eight quilt tops in progress that are relatively close to being done, and five I'd like to work on but haven't started yet.

I also have three cross stitch projects in progress that I'd like to finish.

And I have fabric to make eight shirts for myself.  I really need to get these done because I could use some new shirts!  Many of mine are too big or are worn out.

Plus, I really need to work on my Woppet bucket swap.  This will probably get to be first in line since it has a firm deadline and firm check-in dates.  I think I know what I'm doing for my partner, although it isn't what I initially planned.  I want to make one as a test before I cut into the actual fabric though.

I also need to resize some of my doll clothes patterns.  Speaking of dolls, be sure to click on the My Friend Doll link at the top of the page.  I updated it with photos of the amazing outfits my great aunt sewed for me as a child.

I'm pleased to say that I currently have all of my flower gardens and vegetable garden under control.  I've done everything I can do right now for my sewing room (waiting on others for things I can't do).  My daughter's dressing table has the paint on and just needs a clear coat to finish.  I do need to have new mirrors made and we need to find a chair to go with it.  The rug to go underneath is on order.

Looking at this, things are going better than I thought.  That's always nice!  I do, of course, have the time drain of the FLL season for the next few months, but my weekdays are primarily free, so maybe I can get a move on and accomplish something?  One can always dream!