Small Quilt Auction

23×20, Untitled

I got a little busy this afternoon and finished the beading on my small quilt.  I don’t have a name for it yet, but I’m open to suggestions.  This was done with the same process as Autumn Pathways: first a design on graph paper, then transferring that design to the quilt top.  The fabric is Pfd (prepared for dying) 100% cotton.  It is layered with two batts, a Hobbs Heirloom Bleached Cotton and a Hobbs Polydown, then quilted and then finally painted with pastel chalk.  After all the color is applied I mist it with water and then (here’s the magic ingredient) spray it with Aqua Net Hairspray (because I’m an old-fashioned girl at heart).  By the time the beads are applied, all the extra bits of color have been removed, and the quilt is quite soft.  The last step is to block it, just lay it flat and mist with water to return it to square shape.

Closeup of the Flowers, with gold beads

Here is a closeup of the feathers, showing the bead clusters:

Remember you can click on the photo to enlarge it

I just happened to have a collection of blue beads, left from a project I did about eight years ago!  When I started looking for beads for this quilt, it took me just a moment to look in the bead box and see that these would do the job.

Curved Cross-Hatch Diamond, with very small pink beads at each intersection

I am so happy to have this quilt finished, just ahead of the deadline for submission!  It will be auctioned off on Saturday, September 29, at the Emerald Valley Quilt Show.

The very next thing I am going to do is clean up the studio.  I’ve been working pretty steadily on a number of projects and things are getting a bit cluttered and scattered, so it’s time to clear the deck!

Back to Work

This week I’ve been working on a quilt belonging to my good friend and client Bea.  It is an especially beautiful pineapple quilt called “Pineapple Rings.”  Here it is:

The quilt measures 77×102, just right for this double bed

As you can see, there are lots of straight lines.  So I stitched in the ditch in the areas that have bold color and put spiral feather wreaths in the circular light areas.

Here’s a closer look:

Spiral Feathers. Remember you can click on the image to make it larger

Of course, the front is interesting…but the back is where I live:

I really like the pebble spiral in interior of the feathers

And one more that just shows some of the smaller feathers I put in the “football” shapes:

These little flippy feathers added some contrasting motion to the straight lines of the pineapple shape

Oh, I just have one extra photo, so I may as well use it:

This is my favorite one

So this has been a very good week for me.  I finished quilting this project and also have been beading the small quilt that will be donated to Emerald Valley Quilters for their Small Quilt Auction.  I’ll post some pictures of that one as soon as it’s finished.  Now I think I’ll collapse on the couch.

It’s Finished!

Autumn Pathways is completely finished and on its way to its debut show, the Northwest Quilting Expo in Portland, Oregon, September 20-22, 2012!I took this photo in my studio just after I finished over 40 hours of beading.

Autumn Pathways, September 7, 2012

Remember you can click on the image to see it larger. There are approximately 10,000 beads on the quilt

Here are a few closeups so you can see what I’ve been doing:

Shows the beading on the feather border

Closeup of the bead clusters

Leaf vine, with each leaf beaded through the center

My favorite fern spiral

This is my favorite of the falling leaves. The color variations look just as I wanted them!

I’m estimating the total number of time spent on this project at around 300 hours.  It is easily the most intense piece I’ve ever worked on, and I’m very pleased with the results.  After Northwest Quilting Expo, Autumn Pathways will be shown at the Emerald Valley Quilters show, “Legacies In Thread,” September 29-30, and then MQX West (Machine Quilters Exposition), also in Portland, October 17-20, 2012.  I’ll let you know what happens in those events.

IN THE MEANTIME, I am working on another piece that will be submitted for the Small Quilt Auction at the Legacies in Thread show.  The auction will be Saturday, September 29, at 1:00 pm.  If you’re local to the Eugene, Oregon area, come see what our members have to offer.  There are always wonderful pieces to purchase!

Thanks for reading!

Robin

DoubleWeddingRing!

I started this quilt in April of 2010, piecing by hand.  I had decided to make a series of blue and white quilts to give to my son Michal and his wife Rebecca.  I had to look around quite a bit to find templates I was happy with, and finally found them in a book belonging to my friend Debby.

This is the first block…

And this is the completed quilt top

Debby and I had claimed a mission of collecting blue fabrics for a planned series of blue and white quilts.  I wanted to place darks and lights to create a bow or flower type effect in the block intersections, and when I saw the quilt coming together, I was very excited.

The quilt top was fully pieced by August of 2010, finishing at 96″x101″ , then stored for later quilting.  I had always planned to machine quilt it on my longarm quilting machine, and had visualized several different quilting designs over the years.  But there wasn’t a single design that I was intent upon placing on the quilt.

I am a member of The Pioneer Quilters, a handquilting group that meets weekly to quilt on each other’s quilts.  We host an annual quilt show that benefits the Lane County Historical Museum in Eugene, Oregon, and we also demonstrate at the County Fair each year.

PioneerQuilters Workplace

To my pleasant surprise, my name came to the top of the list to have a quilt in the frame at the County Fair!  I had only two weeks to prepare, but when I was asked if I had a quilt ready, my immediate answer was “Yes!”

The quilt that came to mind was the hand pieced Double Wedding Ring quilt that was sitting in the cupboard waiting to be quilted.  So I scurried home with plenty of advice in my ears and began to plan the quilting of my Double Wedding Ring quilt.

I did pre-baste my quilt, which is a little unusual for loading a quilt into an old-fashioned quilting frame.  But I knew that because it was a DWR, it had scalloped edges and might load a little wonky.  And I also realized it would sit for a while after the fair before its turn came up to be quilted upon steadily.

We’ve already rolled twice at the time of this photo, but it shows most of the quilt

This is how our club works:  we quilt on three quilts at a time, each in order.  So Quilt No. 1 is the first quilt one would go sit at when you first get to the meeting.  When that frame fills up, then members would begin to sit at the frame of Quilt No. 2, and so on.  For the Fair demonstration we will start a brand new quilt, which is basically the next quilt in turn to go on the floor.  After the fair, it waits in storage until a quilt comes out of the frame, then the fair quilt will go on the floor and be Quilt No. 3.  So…I knew my quilt would be stored for a time after the fair, and decided a pre-baste was a good idea.

Since there was no border on my quilt, we immediately started quilting the “meat” of the quilt.  First were a row of the ovals across each side of the quilt, then into the interior of the rings.  Each ring was stitched in the ditch and each seam was stitched in the ditch…so there’s a lot of quilting that isn’t visible, but makes the quilt design really pop.  I used a Hobbs Polydown bat and a very nice lightweight white tone-one-tone wide fabric for the backing.

Examining the quilt design and discussing the approach on the very first day

As we quilt, fair-goers come by and watch what we’re doing, ask questions and tell us their stories about quilting.  It is an extremely enjoyable time to share quilting.  We quilt from 11am to 5pm for the five days the fair runs.  That’s a lot of womanpower at work!

The first day we rolled the quilt two times on one side and one time on the other side.  The Pioneers facing front in the photo are on the rolling edge, just beginning the quilting.

The first block!

Here is a photo taken in the afternoon of the second day.  The light really shows the quilting shadows well.  Each oval has three ” echo” ovals inside it and the interior of the ring has an elongated oval, echoed in the same way, with feathers coming off it.  Of course all seams are stitched in the ditch.  If you look closely at the rings, you can see some of my basting stitches, just temporary stitches to hold the layers together before it’s quilted.

This character came in for a few hugs and kisses, and pretended to quilt with us for a bit!

We quilted until our fingers were ragged!  Over five days we quilted 1/4 of the quilt.  During that time most of our members came and spent at least a few hours quilting and the frame always had a core of a half a dozen quilters at it.  We also consumed copious amounts of ice cream and other Fair food, shopped at the fair and enjoyed the atmosphere.  One day was extremely hot but the rest of the time it was very comfortable.  And yesterday afternoon at the conclusion of our demonstration, we rolled my Double Wedding Ring quilt up and I have it at home now.

Just a personal note:  I will be keeping this quilt for our bed at home.  Since all my very close friends have had a hand in finishing it, many memories have been created that I will cherish through the years.  I am planning to make a replacement quilt for Michal and Rebecca, and of course they will inherit this one…

Many people wanted to know how long it would take us to finish this quilt.  I am making an estimate that my quilt will be on the floor in January of 2013 and perhaps be done by June of 2013.  The quilting seems to go very quickly, and if it does the quilt will be finished in time for next years Lane County Fair.  I hope so, anyway!

Whew! Made the Deadline!

I’m just coming up for air this week after finishing Deanna C’s big quilt.  It was a joy to work on, everything was square, flat, even edges and the borders were exactly right.  It was just big!

Deanna C’s Wedding Star quilt

The quilting went very easily, I’m just going to post the pictures so you can see for yourself…

Closeup of the Star

This is a Judy Niemeyer Wedding Star pattern.  As you can see, I inserted a little feather bouquet in the background area.

The curved cross-hatching was an idea given to me by a friend when I was wondering what to do in that small space in the oval.  The rings themselves are simply stitch in the ditch, just let the fabric speak for itself.

Closeup of a ring

This beautiful quilt will be shown at the quilt show in Coburg, OR this next weekend (July 28, 2012).  http://coburgquiltshow.org/

It was quite a rush at the last to get it completed and bound in time to deliver to the show.

AND…

This picture was taken from my teaching post at the EVQ Schoolhouse Night.  In the yellow is Susan Rogers, one of my students, and in the background you can see the other teaching stations.  I believe we had nine teachers; our members could choose three topics, 20 minutes at each table.  It was quite a rush to do the presentation, but everyone seemed to love the pincushions!  I had kits, 15 threaded needles and a very hot glue gun at the ready.  I gave out 43 pincushion kits that night.  Super fun!

FINALLY — Almost Done

Autumn Pathways Photo by Jesse Shields

The painting is finished.  I am now working on adding beads to the piece.  I will bind it in gold, with curved corners; I think that will go nicely with this piece.  All the color was done with pastel chalk.

Closeup of Autumn Pathways Photo by Jesse Shields

So this week I’ve been working on the beading.   I also quilted a very small piece (24×21) to donate to Emerald Valley Quilt Guild for their small quilt auction at their quilt show September 28 & 29, 2012.  I’ll post some pics of that later; it will also be a painted quilt.  The next client quilt is loaded on the frame, and today I’m going to play with the grandkids in celebration!

WhatI’mWorkingOn

I have three things that need to be finished almost simultaneously, and I’m working on each of them quite intensely.

Petal Pincushion

I’m teaching a mini class on making this pincushion for the Emerald Valley Quilters next week.  So I’m preparing samples, handouts, and kits for the class.  While the grandkids were having some quiet time in the studio today, I cut out kits for the class.

Longarm Table as workbench…

Since Halie was using my ironing board and Nick was using my cutting table, I moved my center of operations to the back of the longarm table, which I found is exactly the right height for this type of work.  What you see are pincushion parts and a kit on the cutting surface.

Deanna C’s Wedding Star Quilt

Here is one block from Deanna C’s Wedding Star Quilt.  It is 115×115, and need to be finished at the end of next week.  Although it is a very large piece, I have enjoyed working on it and am very excited about it.

Quilting Closeup

Remember, you can click on the photo to enlarge it.

Quilted Bouquet Closeup

So that piece will be a big part of my day tomorrow.  Of course on Saturday I’m traveling to Sisters for the show (after all, it is a national holiday, isn’t it?) but I think by the end of Sunday I’ll be to the outer edges, which are planned to be a festival of feathers.

Autumn Pathways

After the grandkids went home this evening, I set my studio back up for work tomorrow.  So all my pastels are set out on the cutting table, with a nice clean cloth to test on, all the pencils put back in order..and of course the piece is in the background.  I have it mounted on my design wall, and I’m working on it there.  I have to stand on a ladder sometimes to get to the top.  The painting on this will be done next week.  For one thing, I can’t stay away from it, so it is worked on steadily.

Closeup

As you can see, there is still quite a bit of color to add.  But I feel like I’m getting the idea about this quilt.

Leaf

It feels very satisfying to have these projects that complement each other during this time.  When I am fatigued at the longarm, I am still able to work on the painting.  And when the grandkids are spending the day, I can still cut out kits and enjoy the day.

EZ Glide Wheels

EZ Glide Wheels

A couple weeks ago Dave from Boersma’s installed these new wheels on my Gammill frame.  What a huge difference this made during the next 35 hours of work creating the fill on my show quilt!  I hadn’t realized the physical effort involved in pushing my machine around.  The ease of moving the quilting machine easily doubled the amount of time I could spend quilting during one session.

Check it out: http://www.boersmas.com

Quilting Design Secrets

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When you go to a lecture and your speaker appears wearing a kid’s tiara, does it make you wonder if you’re in the right place?  

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Really?  She’s serious?

I was invited to be the Emerald Valley Quilt Guild’s “Mystery Speaker” for June, and gave my presentation last week to the guild.  Kudos to the guild members for staying in their seats!  One of my great hopes is that the many quilts tops now stored in boxes and drawers will be quilted so they can be admired and used.  The topics covered included design choice and inspiration, working out a plan for your quilt, and investing time in trying new techniques.  Leave no quilt unquilted!

My quilting journey began in earnest eleven years ago, and nine years ago I began longarm quilting for clients.  Quilting for clients uses my time, and a lot of my own quilts are yet unquilted!  To do this presentation I needed to beg, borrow and nearly steal completed quilts from my clients, friends, and my parents.  No quilt was harmed during this presentation (whew!) and all were admired.  The quilts on the stands behind me are my own, and are actually NOT the best representations of my quilting.  Most of my best quilts belong to other people!

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We did show this lovely quilt that I made and gave to my mom and dad.  For two or three years I was rather engaged in doing Trip Around the World quilts, hand piecing them.  This quilt started with four orphan TAW blocks that just needed a quilt to set them off.  As I built around the center I realized this quilt would look great in my parent’s home.  At that point it measured about 60×60.  I called my mom and was rather astonished to hear that the quilt would need to be 102×102 in order to work in their room!  The quilt was loaned back to me for this lecture on the condition that I apply a label documenting it…The quilting in this piece is a medium density, lots of ferns and feathers.  I wanted a very soft quilt for my parents.

This is a quilt I hand pieced, a Grandmother’s Flower Garden, using 30’s Reproduction fabrics.  I decided to make it a large hexagon instead of squaring it off.  I use it as a lap quilt on cold mornings and as a floor quilt for the gkids when they’re watching television.  This is the third GFG I have done.  Each one had a slightly different quilting treatment, but my favorite for this type of quilt is a simple continuous curve around every patch.  The magic in this quilt are the small patches, no need to over-quilt it.

“Love of Lavender,” pieced by Helen Andrews, of The Quilt Patch in Eugene.  This quilt is entered in the AQS Grand Rapids show this coming August.  It is a beautiful quilt with lots of quilting space.

Closeup of Love of Lavender

One more quilt from Helen Andrews that shows both of our work to great advantage is “Stars in the Garden.” The pic here is from my guestroom, where most quilts spend at least a few moments while I photograph them and admire them for a bit before I turn them over to their owners!

Stars in the Garden

Quilting Closeup

I enjoyed quilting this quilt immensely.  Since the background color and the sashing were very close in value, I just quilted over into the block backgrounds to create a flowing space around the flowers.

Border Treatment for Stars in the Garden

And finally I was every excited to share this densely quilted show winner.  I learned so much from making this little quilt, which is the point of the whole process!

Thanks so much to the Emerald Valley Quilt Guild for hosting my presentation. I hope they are inspired to transform their quilt tops into quilts!

Autumn Pathways Beginning

ImageThis is part of what I worked on today.  I’ve outlined all the major motifs in the piece, and now I’m adding the pebble fill.  I worked about five hours today and wanted to go longer, but I was gripping the handles of the longarm so vigorously, that my left hand began to ache.  I did take breaks and tried to relax my hands (especially the left hand), but finally just had to call it a day.  I know I have several more days just like this one to quilt all the background fill, so I need to be careful not to hurt myself.

This is a quilt that I’m intending to send to NorthWest Quilt Exposition and Machine Quilters’ Exposition this fall.

It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Quilting Frame

I just finished this wonderful quilt for Pat G.  She makes beautiful and interesting quilts, and adds extra touches to make my job easier.  For instance, she always marks the center of each side of her quilt and back with a few hand basting stitches in a contrasting thread!  And she stay-stitches the edges of the quilt top to help prevent stretching.

For this quilt she wanted some special attention to the circular shapes in the quilt but an allover design for the rest of the interior, to enhance the “background” those circles float on.  Then we added some very nice ferns around the border, as this quilt is destined to live with a man.

Closeup of the Quilting!

I used quite a few different quilting designs in the circles.  They were fun to do, and a challenge to think up the new ideas for each one.

And the back is good…

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