Monday, February 29, 2016

Teaching Weekend

This past weekend I was in Swan River, MB at Fabriculous teaching two longarm quilting classes.  This was the first time I have taught a group of ladies on the longarm so limited the class size to 4 students per class so I was able to give them individual attention.  This worked out great as the shop has two longarm machines.  I set it up so that 2 students shared one machine so when one was on the machine the other one was busy drawing designs on Plexiglas sheets to build up muscle memory.  I had drawn out about 20 different design for them to trace so they had a feel for what they were going to try on the longarm.

One thing that surprised me about teaching a group is that even thought I was teaching the same class both days the experience with each class was so different.  The first group was extremely focused on their tasks as they all had goals they wanted to reach with their longarm skills. They all had a quilt they wanted to be able to longarm so once they tried all the beginner designs I was able to help them focus more on the designs they had stronger aptitude for.

The second group was just as eager to learn but it had a more laid back feel.  There was more discussion, more time drawing and they enjoyed watching what the others were quilting.   I learnt a lot from those two classes from a teachers perspective as I think it is important to be very flexible with what your goals are for the class. The students needs are what dictate the direction the class takes.

I had both groups work on solid fabric for most of the day but towards the end of the class I loaded a real quilt on one of the machines.  They each had a turn using a straight ruler to try Stitch in the Ditch and then I asked them to each fill one white chevron row with the design they felt most confident in.  By switching from a practice piece of fabric to a real quilt I wanted to show them they are ready to move to the front of the machine and that they didn't have to wait until their stitches were perfect to start custom quilting there quilts.  You need to just go for it as you learn so much with each quilt, no point in waiting!

It gave me great joy to watch my students develop their skills throughout the day and see their confidence build.   My confidence as a teach also improved as well because of all the nice comments after the class was done.

Thank you to Wendy and George for inviting me to your shop to teach and for welcoming me into your home for the weekend.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Quilter's Garden of Friends Quilt

This is Audrey's "A Quilter's Garden of Friends" quilt and she made it with blocks our guild members gifted her after she finished her term as president.  I asked Audrey if she wanted to say anything about this quilt and here is her response.

"The quilt comes from a picture I took of a quilt many, many years ago but I don't remember 
where or when. Let's just say the picture has been mellowing in my inspiration file for quite a while. I was drawn to the on point design as it reminded me of flowers on lattice work. Since the nine patch
blocks were gifted to me by my guild friends the quilt had a name long before a seam was sewn. It is called "A Quilter's Garden of Friends". The biggest challenge was to decide what size I wanted the nine patch blocks to be. I am glad I decided on 6 1/2" as my guild friends were so generous that the quilt grew to a size much larger than I anticipated."

This is a very large quilt, 94" x 110" and once I decided on the quilting plan ,which took a bit of sewing and picking as I wanted it to be just right, the quilting was a lot of fun.  I started with the setting triangles and asked my friend Desley for some advice on how to design and stitch the curved cross hatching as I had never done this before. I love how it turned out!!  I'll share Desley's tip...use a double curved line between the cross hatching and the feathers, it really makes the design shine!

I used 3 different sizes of the The Quilted Pineapples curved templates, just love those rulers!  Linda as come out with a new set of straight rulers which I ordered today, check them out here.

I used Quilters Dream Blend Batting. For thread I used soft green So Fine thread in the blocks ( with a light beige Bottom Line in the bobbin) and a light grey in the setting triangles ( with a light grey Bottom Line in the bobbin).

All the CC's and feathers are free hand and the longer curved lines are ruler work.

The backing is a wide Grunge Creme fabric by Moda and I love how the quilting as a whole cloth feel on the back!

I was very happy to have finished this quilt yesterday as I'm getting ready to head to Swan River tomorrow.  I'm teaching Longarm quilting at Fabriculous on Friday and Saturday.  Should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thimbleberries Quilt

This is Sheri's Thimbleberries Quilt and I'm not sure what it is called but I also made this one many years ago and hand quilted mine!   This was our guilds first BOM project and I would guess that was around 1999.

I chose Wildflowers for the panto as it goes well with the fabrics.  Quilters Dream Blend batting and medium beige So Fine thread.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Kitty Cat Charm Quilt

This is Eileen's Kitty Cat Charm quilt and it is a pattern from the October 2000 issue of McCalls Quilting Magazine.  She used just scraps to make this quilt top!  Since this is a gift for her great niece to go on her bed we chose a light density panto called Popcorn and Quilters Dream Blend batting.  The thread is a light beige So Fine thread.

Guess what I've been doing out on the lake again this year?  :)

I just walked in the snow on the ice to create the swirls and the snow is knee deep so it's a good work out!  Only had the energy to walk about 6 and hope to add more over the next few weeks.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Nova Quilt

This is Sheri's Nova Quilt and it is a pattern you can find in Kim Brackett's book Scrap-Basket Sensations.  Sheri made this quilt out of her batik scraps and I have this one on my 'to-do' list as my batik scrap basket is starting to overflow too!

I chose the pantograph Taro for this one and used Quilters Dream Blend batting.  The thread is a light beige So Fine thread and the backing is a beige wide Stonehenge.

It can be quite tricky getting pictures of quilts on the snow after a fresh layer has fallen and every time you try to lay the quilt down the fluffy snow flies into the air and covers the quilt.  Not to mention all the marks you leave in the snow as you try again and again to get the quilt to lay flat. Well I guess this was my lucky day as when I went to lay the quilt out the wind blew in just the right direction at the right time and the quilt gently floated down on the snow without disturbing anything!! It was a 'Magic Carpet" moment with a perfect landing!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Arcadia Avenue Quilt

I am so excited to finally be able to share this beautiful quilt with you, I have been working on it all week and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen a few work on progress pictures.  This quilt belongs to Megan and the pattern is called Arcadia Avenue. This is a very challenging pattern to piece and Megan did a fantastic job.  She asked for custom quilting and shared some pictures of quilting designs she liked for inspiration. 

 The first thing I sketched was the diamond design as it would be the focus in the background fabrics.  I knew the rest of the background should be clean lines as the piecing is the main focus and my quilting should enhance the piecing and not take away from it.

I used So Fine white thread in the background and Invisible MonoPoly thread in the blocks. The backing thread is was white Bottom Line.  Megan sent Warm and White 100% cotton batting.

I'm so happy with how flat this quilt lays after quilting!

Here are some close up picture of the blocks so you can see some of the quilting designs.   I used the quilt the pattern designers had made for Quilt Market in 2014 for quilting inspiration, you can see it here.  Some blocks I quilted very similar and other very different.  The are all a mix of stitch in the ditch, echo lines and free motion designs.

Sorry for the picture overload but since I haven't posted in a week I thought I better make up for that!

We had a lot of snow fall this past weekend and it was-26'c with a -32 windchill when I was out taking these pictures this morning. Brrr! We have been having a very mild winter this year so I'm not complaining!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Critters Quilt

This is Rhonda's The Critter Quilt and the pattern is by Brandywine Design.   Rhonda claims she is a beginner quilter but I wouldn't have know that by the wonderful work she did on this quilt.   All the animals are fused appliqued and then the edges satin stitched. She made this quilt for her second grandson.  He has been watching this quilt come together for 3 years and was starting to worry his new baby sister might get it.   I'm sure he will be thrilled to finally have it to cuddle under!

Rhonda just wanted a simple panto design and suggested Raindrops or Ebb and Flow.  I picked Raindrops as it really suited the quilt and the outer border fabric has concentric circles that look like water drops on the surface of a lake.  The batting is Quilters Dream Puff and the thread is light blue So Fine.

 I noticed a 'critter' trail in my yard to had to take a picture by that!