A place for me to journal and post pictures about my quilting adventures.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The last of the HeartStrings Chinese Coins - done, done.

This is the finished product of the red, white, and blue Chinese Coins project. This is the last one I pieced, and the last quilted. I used Circle Lord Baptist Fan templates to quilt it, and put Hobbs 80/20 Batting in it. The pillowcase has a matching cuff on it made from the last few of this group of coins. The backing shown below is some decorator 100% cotton that should look nice if someone doesn't like the front.

This is the last funky caterpillar, along with its pillowcase made from the same fabric as the backing. Both quilts will go to Alycia for her Quilt of Valor project whenever I can remember where her address is located.

I was so glad to finally have some finishes. I am so easily distracted that I start half a dozen projects, and then berate myself for not finishing them. I've started on two sets of blocks from a fellow HeartStringer that I want to set and finish for the Quilt Relief of Nashville. Their devastating flood did not receive much media coverage because of the oil spill, but their need is great. You can read more about it here. My mother was in the Missouri flood of 1993, and I remember her bringing out a package she had received in the aid boxes that were being distributed - it contained a new pillow, sheets, and a light blanket. She was so amazed that someone would send her that, and they were pink, her favorite color! I'm hoping I can finish enough for one family.
Happy Quilting,


Monday, July 5, 2010

How Leadergrips look

Bonnie asked me to post some pictures of my Leadergrips. Here they are.
The above picture is of the leadergrip dowel inserted into the casing I've sewn on the new leaders. You may note that I have straight stitching until about the last 5 inches, and then it is wobbly. That's because the Nolting machine doesn't reach to the end of the leaders, so you have to loosen them and "fudge" to finish the casing. This works fine.
This second picture shows the leadergrips in place (I took these pictures when removing a quilt). It doesn't always work out exact like it did in the picture. For a 12' table, I have 3 lengths of the plastic things, 2"starters, 6 mid-size and 6 long ones.

I left extra space at the top when loading this backing so I could just turn the backing of outing flannel over for the binding of this polyester double-knit "quilt". This project is for me to practice line dancing on something that doesn't matter. I bought the quilt off ebay for a pittance, and it will make great dog beds for DD's 2 black labs. They will be washed to death - I cut the quilt in two and will make 2 of them.
The leader grips just pull off. I pull on the backing to start it, then just go down to the other end.
This shows the imprint over the dowel - this takes up about 1/2" of fabric.
I just store the leadergrips in their mailing tube that sits in the corner of the room next to the long-arm.

The dowels for the leadergrips come in 3 sections and are put together with this shrink wrap tubing. Others have noted that they had difficulty heating the tubing high enough for the shrink to actually grab. You can see from the picture how close my long-arm is to the desk my DH uses for building model trains and such.
In the drawer of that desk is this hot air gun. It shrinks the tubing easily, but keep your hand out of the way! If you are wondering, yes, I share worn out cutting mats with DH. I introduced him to rotary cutters, rulers, and mats (he already had a 6" square one), on our first "date". I visited him in LA after not seeing him for 35 years, and he took me to 2 quilt shops. When my quilting friends were debating his pros and cons, one said "But he took her to quilt shops!" They decided he might be a keeper (he is).

Happy Quilting,


Saturday, July 3, 2010

QOV, Baptist fans quilting, snow crystal top

Today I finished up quilting the last of my tops made from HeartStrings Red, White and Blue Chinese Coins. With all the straight lines and squares in the top, I decided to borrow Baptist Fan templates for the Circle Lord, and use those. I like how it softens the quilt. I used a decorator 100% cotton sateen on the back. I even took time to match up the pattern when I seamed the backing. This way it is more reversible. This one will be traveling to Alycia's QOV project whenever I finish the binding on it and on the Funky Caterpillar one.

This was supposed to be the end of Chinese Coins for me; I had given the rest of them to another piecer at the HeartStrings Nebraska Sew-in who was making them into QsOV from that area. However, when I was cleaning the quilt room, I found a box that had some more that Susan had brought over with a lot of other fabric and blocks. I'm not sure if I will sew these up, but there are people in my guild that will be happy to work on them to donate locally.

I have another challenge which I would like some advice on, please. These are pictures of some of the snow crystal blocks in a quilt top I was given to finish up. It was made by a now deceased quilter from New York. The picture on the left has a spool of thread that I put through the hole in the center of the block. The right one shows the "B cup" that is present on a lot of them. The whole top is made of polyester blends. Does anyone had any ideas about quilting this without having to remake every center? Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Happy Quilting,

Vacation - Colorado 2010

Balancing Rock, Garden of the Gods, near (or in) Colorado Springs (above and below).

Soda fountain in Fair Play - buildings c1890s.
Red Rock canyon, looking up to amphitheater.

What do these pictures have in common? They are all in Colorado. We had a good time seeing different areas of the state. I had only been on I-70 or US40 or 50 on previous trips. It was a drive-thru state on the way to California. This time we were off the interstates. We followed several old train routes through the state, finding road beds, roundhouses, mines, and quilt shops! We rode the loop narrow gauge railroad, but were unable to ride the one through the Gorge because of forest fires.

I found out that breathing and moving (at the same time) at 9,000 feet and above is difficult. I loved the moment we drove over the crest of mountains and saw South Park. I had no idea there was that much area in Colorado that wasn't mountains. We were in a cauldera when we visited Cripple Creek and Victor, old gold mining towns. They were having Donkey races the day we visited!

The only part I really didn't relish was driving across Kansas, both coming and going. We stopped at one KS quilt shop on the way to CO, and had planned to stop in one on the way back, but it was closed by the time we reached Salina, KS. I was very, very glad to cross the river into MO, and to sleep that night in my own bed! Hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts are fine for a while, but "there's no place like home". It was, however, beautiful scenery!

Happy Quilting,