Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dusting Off The Quilting Machine

It has been months since I've sat down at my quilting machine.  Thanks to the frigid weather and having three newly basted quilts, I enjoyed a lovely afternoon playing with my neglected machine and enjoying the view.

Quilting with a large meandering (or stipple) stitch will keep the quilt soft and has the added advantages of being really fast to quilt and, honestly, so relaxing to stitch.

I don't believe I have shared with you my current set up for my quilting machine.  Here is my very special Sweet 16.

Even though the throat space on this machine is significantly larger than under my regular sewing machine, managing the weight of larger quilts is still a challenge.  After doing a little web searching, I saw a few people who have successfully used these dog grooming arms.

These clamps are amazing.

Unlike other clamps I have used in the past, these do not depend on the strength of your hands to squeeze the clamp close or open.  They easily close and have a release to open the clamp (note the red handle).

What a lovely way to spend a beautiful, cold day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Quilter's Planner Cover

I love my new Quilting Planner!  So of course I needed to make the cover to protect it from the physical abuse associated with being with me constantly.  A pattern for the Zipper Planner Cover came with the Planner.   You've probably seen some beautiful covers like this one or this one.

Now to plan my quilting time for the rest of the week!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Busy Basting

I love almost everything about quilting.  Selecting the fabric and pattern, cutting, piecing, pressing and, most especially, quilting are so enjoyable and rewarding.  Basting, on the other hand, is a hurdle that needs to be overcome before I can begin quilting.
Basting used to involve crawling around the floor.  A painful process for my knees and hips and one that often required serious furniture movement to find adequate floor space.

But since I discovered a method for basting on a table (choirs of angels), my quilting life has dramatically improved!

Over the last few days I have made all the quilt backs and cut batting to size.  In one session I basted both of the bunk bed quilts and the one old carryover quilt.

Now, I have to decide how to quilt all these!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pillows Post

In addition to the finishes I shared in my last post, I also finished a few fun pillows at the end of the year.  Do you remember the very adorable Tucker and his pillow that I made in connection with Lorna's Dog Gone Cute blog hop?  Well, I had to play with this pattern more for the other two special pups in the family. This is Winnie and Holly.
Of course I couldn't overlook the cats, that would be rude and they would never forgive us!  Meet Meg and Jack.

Their colors were chosen to match the quilt that was gifted to their humans last year.  I look forward to making more of Elizabeth Hartman's Kittens.

Last fall I decided a small project would be a good way to reintroduce me to my sewing machine. These two pillows allowed me to play with some of my favorite scraps in the green and blue scrap bins.

The tufted cushion is Vivika Hansen Denegre's pattern from the Spring 2013 Modern Patchwork magazine.  I love the shape of this pillow.

The quilting can be seen better from the inside (of the cake).

For the rectangular scrappy pillow I used Malka Dubrawsky's pattern in the Winter 2014 issue of Modern Patchwork.

New techniques from this little project include a new way to install a hidden zipper and binding on a pillow.

These two are going to the designer who did an amazing job squeezing everything on our wish list into the renovated house.  It also happens she is a big fan of limey green.  Very brave of me to give something handmade to a professional designer don't you think?

Now, off to baste two or three quilt tops!

Linking up with Amanda Jean's Finish it Up Friday.

PS  As an extra bonus here are some pictures from our trip to Maine yesterday.  First my mother-in-law's spectacular amaryllis plant.

The gorgeous sunset as we drove the backroads of Maine and New Hampshire.

And finally, quilt blocks decorating the porch at the charming Cornish Inn (highly recommend by the way for the cozy Lincoln pub).

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Hello 2016!

And hello quilting friends!  Life has been very busy (all good!) since my last blog post.  Our days have been full with travel, guests, holidays and getting to know our new town.  We crossed off three more states in our quest to visit them all:  Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Thirty-three states done!  To review, our criteria for crossing off a state:
  • Visit together 
  • Stay over night (drive through's don't count)
  • Do something (granted a subjective criteria but this has not been a problem with the exception of Delaware where we decided surviving an awful hotel dinner buffet counted).
I also traveled to Illinois to attend my niece's graduation from Navy basic training, the most patriotic event I have ever experienced.
2015 was another big year for us: emptying out our New Hampshire house for the renovation, preparing the Massachusetts house for sale, all the reno decisions, emptying out and packing up the sold house, moving back into the "new" New Hampshire home and beginning the adjustment to living full time in this beautiful northern region provided for very little sewing time.  I did manage to squeeze in a few finishes!
The exciting news is that I am going into 2016 with only one quilt top that needs quilting.  And, ironically, it dates back to 2012 when I started quilting.  This is from the 2012 Craftsy Block of the Month.
I'm looking forward to spending more time in my lovely new sewing room in 2016!  I have a long list of quilts, window treatments, pillows and other fun projects that I am prioritizing with the help of my new planner.
And I'm off to a great start!  The quilt tops for the bunk beds are completed!
Looking forward to a productive sewing year!


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