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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Peacock quilt for Rhonda.

Last week my darling husband called me from work to ask if I could make a quilt for his managers, it seems that she doesn't have any heat in her office. I said I would and set out to make this quilt. I played with the layout on EQ7 until I found something I liked and then got to work, it took me just one day to put together. 
I had a lot of fun making the quilt, and deciding how I was going to quilt it. I needed something fast and easy, yet elegant to match the beautiful peacock on the panel. 

 So, I decided to do a simple swirl type fill with tiny peacock feathers in the black, stitched with black thread so not to detract from the print.
 Then in the pinwheel blocks I had a feather party! Each half square triangle got a peacock feather!
I needed to make this a super warm quilt (due to the lack of heat) so I opted for Minkee on the back with Warm and Natural as the batting. I love how the quilting shows on the back of the quilt.

Stuart took the quilt to work today and by all reports she loves the quilt!

Now I think I will make another one, for me! And I am going to add some hot fix crystals to mine!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What I've been working on.

I have been a busy busy girl! I wish I could say that I have been working on personal quilts, but nope that's not the case. Oh don't get me wrong I am certainly not complaining! I have been getting more and more customer quilts and that makes me very happy. Plus I am now doing at least two classes a month over at the shop and that is a good thing too.

I have just finished piecing a beautiful quilt top that is due to be quilted this weekend, it is for Stuarts boss. She doesn't have any heat in her office so he ask me if I could make her a quilt... this is the results!

 I have finished 4 customer quilts since Thanksgiving. Here is a snippet of what I have been working on, each is very unique and had it's own challenges.

 This is a gorgeous quilt! It is all embroidery. She wanted just a simple stitch in the ditch with a monopoly thread. So that's what I did.

 A jeans quilt, this was a fun on. A simple meander, the customer used a fusible and fused the tree material on top of denim, I was a little worried about the weight and my machine handling the denim, and knit and fusible. She did good though and I had no problems!

 This was a quilt made by my friend Carol. I purchased several new leaf templates at MQX in October and was telling her about them, she "donated" her quilt for me to learn on! I have to say I LOVE the templates, the leaves stitch out beautifully and really surprisingly fast.
 The back of the quilt, I like it!
 A close up of one of the leaves.
 And a big ole feather on the border.
This last little quilt is a baby quilt for another friend from the shop. This was a super fast and easy quilt done with a sweet heart pantograph. I do love Ann Bright Pantos!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Just popping in to wish one and all a very happy halloween!

               A quick blast from the past....


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy fall, a trip through the maze.

 It's that time of year again, fall... The leaves are turning, the nights are cold. We have fired up the pellet stove so the smell wood smoke now fills the air. This fall is bitter sweet to me. This will be the last fall that Torrie will live at home as my little girl. I keep coming back to that reality. It pops into my head at the most unexpected times. That at this time next year she will be off, living her life separate from us. She will be an adult and in college. I have been making a point to not slack off on some of the things that have become tradition for us, one of those thing is the yearly trip to the pumpkin patch.

 We have made this trip every year since the girls were little. There is a bit of a ritual, Morgen always jumps from the straw pyramid, we always get caramel apples and of course we get our "perfect pumpkin" and as the years have slipped past and the girls have grown so have their pumpkins. The winner for the biggest pumpkin this year was Morgen. Hers weighed in at
40 lbs.                                                                                                
 The there was the leisurely stroll through the corn maze. Oh and for those who don't know I am NOT fond of corn mazes. I guess I am to much of a control freak, I don't like the feeling of being lost! After about 2 miles (yes I had the pedometer going) we finally found a "shortcut" out. I told them they cheated. No one listened.

My two pumpkins, so grown up yet so very young!

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

MQX West and a Class with Dusy Farrell

So, I mentioned how much fun I have been having lately and my trip to Portland for MQX, I could rave for days at how awesome the show was. One of the coolest things I got to do was take the echo puzzle filler class with Dusty, he is an interesting instructor, very free form and easy to talk to. You get the feeling that he is just an nice guy! Any how I jumped at the chance to take his class because I love his quilting style but just could not wrap my head around echoing those swirls. Well three hours later I was rocking the swirls! Plus very quickly picked up one of the flower designs I have always struggled with, on and a curly feather. Yep pure inspiration, that's all it took!

So, I get back home head full of swirls and curls and spirals, had to finish a quilt for a friend. When I got it done I threw a narrow piece of black on the extra backing and played for about 20 minutes... This is what I did!Yeppers I am super proud of myself!!! And now that I have the feel for it, I know I will get better. So what do you think? Pretty wild huh!
Oh and I love the new thread I got. It is Superior Thread, from the Rainbows line, called "the quilt show" Oh and a close up of that feather at the bottom.
Did I mention that my Crown Jewel stitches like a dream...

Well that's all for now.
Thanks for stopping in again,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Candy Mountain Quilts.

Well, two posts in one day I think it is a record! 

I finally got some work done on my Candy Mountain Quilts site. It took me a while to get everything written up. But I am now set up to take customer quilts via the internet! My pricing guide is there, quilt prep, and photos (not many yet) of  my quilting. I will be posting more photos as time allows. I plan the page to be kind of a photo album of sorts, so not a lot of chatter. (I will leave that for here.) So stop by Candy Mountain Quilts and let me know what you think. If you find errors please let me know. And if you like what you see, then pass it on!
Thanks for your support!

MQX and Eagle Scout

Not sure why I have been having such a hard time keeping up with blogging, I just can't seem to find the time to write. I keep saying its because I a super busy and that really is the reason! Between my customer quilts, my own quilts, donation quilts and now Garrett's Eagle Scout project I hardly have time to breathe!  I am going to keep this post fairly short and just talk about two things.

I got to go to MQX last weekend, Oh my did I have a blast! Stuart and I spent two days at the Expo! This was my first time ever at a longarm quilting show and all I can say is WOW!!! The quilts were stunning (I didn't know you could add that many sparkly crystals to a quilt!) The vendors were great (I spent a LOT of money) The guest speaker was hilarious, the classes I took, well the one with Dustin Farrell was awesome, the one with Karen McTavish, not so much so, and I am absolutely going again next year!!! I will be signing up for more classes, there were just so many to choose from and I was on a very limited time and money budget. I have already started saving for next year and have told the daycare parents I am taking the week off!
I you ever get the chance to go to either the east coast or west coast show DO IT!

The other thing that has been keeping me busy is Garrett's Eagle Scout, Garrett is Torrie's boyfriend and a really nice young man. For his eagle scout he is donating at least 10 quilts to the cancer center. I agreed to be his adviser. It is an easy job, but I am having to teach him about quilting as we go. He has been a good learner and seems to be enjoying the learning. Here is one of the quilts that he will be donating.
 Torrie and Garrett cutting out fabric to go into the kits for the ladies.

Garrett at Quilt Party telling about his project and handing out the kits. Out of 10 kits he found takers for 9 of them.

Well that's about it in a nut shell, Oh I have been doing a LOT of other quilting but unless you want to read a minor novel I will keep it to this.
Happy quilting,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Snow Hook Kennel Quilt, Plus some!

Good morning, and what a glorious day! The kids are now officially back in school, and I have been busy busy busy quilting. I spent labor day weekend working on a couple of baby quilts and I finished not one, not two but three customer quilts! I think I am back in the quilting groove. I did quilt this summer but not as much as I usually do.

I wanted to share my latest customer quilts with you. These were made by a friend that I have been teaching basic piecing to, when she first started bringing me her quilts, well her piecing was less than perfect.... I started showing her how to cut her fabric more accurately, and that worked into piecing... before I knew it we had become very good friends and we now meet a couple of times a week to quilt together! Anyhow she decided she wanted to make a couple of quilts for her brother who is raising money to fund his run in the Iditarod. These next two quilts are what she made.

Not a great picture, but you can see more in the close ups....

 Moose.... I did a snowflake design in the window sashings, and then outlined the main features in the block.
                                                 This is what it looks like on the back

 This is the other quilt, another attic windows, but this one has pictures of the race team and the dogs. the center block says Snowhook Kennels. That is the name of her brothers kennel. If you want to learn more about this team and maybe interested in sponsoring them in the next race please stop by their blog!

 Another picture of the wildlife quilt, just because it was so much fun to quilt!
Kelly's last quilt of the day, this is a queen size quilt, she learned how to applique! I quilted it in a pretty butterfly panto.
 Now on to the baby quilts I worked on this weekend... The back story..... I have not seen my niece Amanda since she was 6 years old, last year we found each other on facebook. That 6 year old little girl now has 4 children of her own! She ask me a while ago if I would make a Minnie Mouse quilt for her baby. Took me forever to find a Minnie fabric that I liked. Well, after an afternoons work this is what I put together. Now to quilt it (thinking ribbons and bows) and send it off to her!

My other baby quilt for the weekend it for one of my daycare kids. Her mom came to me and ask if I could use her old crib bedding... (the one seen in this picture) to make her a new quilt. Oh goodie a challenge! so I said sure. She brought me this huge pile of bedding... bumper pads, dust ruffle, baby quilt and sheets. I proceeded to start un stitching.... spent a day with my seam ripper and away I went.
After un stitching, I then took pictures of each fabric and imported them into EQ 7 so I could start the design process.
Now, I knew I didn't have any really large chunks of fabric so piecing the new quilt was going to be almost impossible, Mom wanted a quilt that will last until she is a teen, so it has to be a pretty large quilt. So the plan was to add borders, lots of borders... this was my first draft. I NEVER go with my first draft! Oh and Mom wanted minkee, so I was able to add other fabrics into the final quilt!

 So a little more tweaking and playing around and this is what I came up with for the final design! It includes all of the salvaged material, plus a black cotton and black minkee for the final border. Oh the bright green strip, that is a velvety stuff that was actually the TIES that held the bumper pad in place! I used EVERYTHING!
And, finally, all pieced and ready to quilt! I am not entirely sure how I will quilt this one, please feel free to share if you have any ideas!
 Well, that's it for today. I have another new project I am starting on, stay tuned!
Happy quilting,

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

So as you may have noticed it has been a while since I have updated my blog. I confess I have been a bad bad girl ;)
With summer here and my work load increasing making time to blog always takes a back seat. School I am happy to say starts up again in a week! So with the start of school next week I should be able to write again!

I will say that a lot has happened this summer. In my last post I mentioned that I had to replace my old computer after the hard drive failed. Well that was a two week process just to get back up and running there.

One of the other things I had mentioned in other posts was the problems I was having with the Homesteader. Well, shortly after my last post I made the decision to sell the Homesteader!!! I had had enough! It sold the last week of July.
also in that time frame we waited on pin and needles to see if Stuart was going to be laid off, his company got rid of over 1,300 workers. When layoff day came, my darling husband called me and told me that I could use my money I had saved, and the money  I had gotten from the sale of the Homesteader and I could buy a ...... Brand NEW Babylock Crown Jewel!
One week later.......
This was delivered and set up in my quilting studio!
I am just about over the moon with happiness. I have done three quilts on it since it arrived (Gosh that was only two weeks ago!)

One of the quilts I did was for Wendi's daughter Kendra. Kendra won a set of blocks from Craft Warehouse as part of their block lotto, she put them together to make this beautiful black and orange top, then she let me have my way with it!

 I was totally happy with how the quilting turned out on this quilt!

Well, time to make dinner. I will start blogging again soon as I still have much to share!
Happy quilting,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

blah blah blah.. :)

Wendi says I am being a slacker and need to blog....
Whew that was hard work, glad I could cross that off my to do list!!!

Ok in all seriousness, she is right, I have been a slacker! But in my defense I have been working, and I have been teaching, and I have been making customer quilts. I have been gardening, and enjoying quality time with Morgen (did I mention she got her learners permit...YIKES) I did enjoy a nice 4th of July with friends, and am doing a busy summer camp with the daycare...

I do have tons of pictures I want to share... and am still fighting with blogger I just can't seem to get a handle on the photo layout part after the change a few months ago...

Oh and my poor old Toshiba bit the dust.. quite litteraly, the dog knocked it off my lap onto the floor, boom fried hard drive, I have just now gotten the new machine almost set up, but for some reason everything I type on this computer is tiny, so small in fact that I have a hard time reading anything I type!

I do promise to get back to blogging soon. I hope!
Till then, may you thread never tangle and you needles never be dull!
Happy quilting,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A simple Customer Quilt.

Good Morning! I am happy to say that I think I have gotten my Tension Woes fixed. Wow what an pain in the Butt!!! After weeks of fighting with the tension, replacing parts, and then tweaking and tweaking I think we may finally have gotten things working. Enough so that I was able to work on this quilt yesterday for about 2 hours with out problems (well there were some frayed threads, but I can live with that!)
This is a very sweet quilt a customer brought to me last weekend, it is for her Mom who is undergoing chemo.
She ask me if I could add some borders and then when it is all quilted I will bring the backing to the front to form one more border, the backing is this soft fuzzy rosette material. (not minkee but similar)
This is a close up of the panto she picked, it is called Hearts a Flutter. And the thread is a bright pink! I think when it is done this will be one very cute quilt! I will be sure to post finished pictures.

Well, this was really just a short and boring blog today, possibly because I have a whopping headache this morning. I will try to post again later this week!
Thanks for stopping by.
Happy Quilting,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tension Woes...

Well, I just re read my last post.. first off, I need to work on my proof reading before I hit publish!!! YIKES!

I was also ready how optimistic I was when I made the statement " now with my tension issues behind me..." Sadly not the case! After I got done with the quilt in the pictures on my last post I put on a practice piece as I was still getting some loops and tension was still a little off... after three 4 hour sessions fighting with tension and timing, Stuart finally threw up his hands and told me to call Darrin.

Darrin is our sewing machine repair guys at the shop, I called and he spent almost all of mothers day working on my machine. He did get it about half fixed. The loops I was getting were due to the gap between the hook and the eye of needle, he loosened the bobbin assembly and moved it back just a fraction and that fixed that problem! Then he went to work on the tension.

Now let me start by saying that no matter what I did I could not get the tension to balance and stay that way, oh I could get it to balance for a little while then BAM loops on the bottom and flat lined bobbin thread! I ended up with the tension dial cranked almost all the way down as tight as it would go and still the same thing.

So Darrin starts working on it, and gets the same results he disassembled and reassembled and  changed springs, moved the check spring, and many more things... alas, tension is still way off. So here I sit almost a month after getting my machine back from it's "upgrade" and Darrin had my face plate at the shop either rebuilding the tension assembly or ordering me a new one. Needless to say I am less than happy.

The saddest thing about this whole adventure, with my old tension assembly I NEVER had these problems, I am still not sure why they replaced my face plate and tensioner... I did call to ask if they by chance still had my old one.. the short answer was no, and according to Her... the problem is not with the machine but with the thread... well then ALL of my thread must have magically turned to crap while my machine was gone.....

This is the first time I have been less than thrilled with the customer service from the Homesteader people... and right now I am very very sour.
Sorry about all of the negativity. Hopefully my next post will be happy and quilty.

Thanks for letting me vent!

OH and if ANY of you have suggestions on how to fix this damn thing, PLEASE feel free to share! :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Candy Mountain Quilts Open For Business... And a Prom!

So it has been a few weeks since my last post, and since I don't want to fall off the posting wagon like I did last year I figured I had better take a few minutes and throw something out here LOL!

Really I have good reason to have not posted much, I have been up to my ears in quilts and prom!
After I got my Homesteader set up on the new frame, and everything fine tuned...well almost fine tuned, I worked on a quilt for Wendi's daughter Jessica, some back story... Jessica is 17 and has had a bit of a heart problem since she was born, I won't go into a ton of detail because frankly it isn't my place to share her trials with the world... let me just say that Jessica is one of my favorite teenagers and I have a huge amount of respect for her, she has already had surgery once (maybe twice) on her heart, and has just found out that she will be having surgery again this summer, they have to replace one of the BIG arteries... (Wendi, feel free it fill in the details if you would like)  Any how, as a surprise during one of the medical tests...Wendi made Jessica a really cool Shrek quilt... it is adorable...well to get it done before they left for the appointment I threw it on the frame and did a bit of quilting...
 Not sure if you can tell, but the block in between the corners are made with onion fabric!

 Jessica also has a thing for zebra's, hence the zebra backing, I kept trying to convince Wendi that there are zebra's in the Shrek movies... I don't think she believed me!

 And then we quilted it in lizards! 

I did fight with my machine during this entire little quilt, I could not for the life of me get the tension to balance. Well, once I got it done (it turned out OK, not as well as I would have liked, but OK) I did put on a test piece and played. What I found.. I absolutely can not use bobbin washer in my machine anymore.. not sure why or what the change is but the tension jumps around so badly that I have had to remove them completely. So with my tension issues behind me and the timing where it needs to be, I was ready to tackle my first customer quilt on the new set up, so here it is...
Candy Mountain Quilts Customer Quilt #1! 
I am now officially (state licensed even) open for Business!!!

 This quilt was brought to me by a nice lady, this is a wedding present so shhh! The couple are both avid out doorsy types so this will be perfect for them. She wanted just a simple large meander...

 And she picked a nice rust colored thread, it blended so well in some places I had a hard time seeing where I had quilted!
The quilting shows up very well on the muslin backing, I have to say this is the first time I have ever quilted on a muslin back it actually turned out very nice. She comes to pick it up tomorrow night, I hope she will like it!

And just to show that my life is not entirely centered around quilting all of the time...let me share my other distraction this last week... Torrie has a boyfriend, and he ask her to prom... I have proof! LOL
Please let me indulge my proud Mommyness for just a few moments...

 Lets just say it takes a LOT of equipment to get 4 teenage girls ready for Prom.. Oh and a lot of time too, they all started showing up at my house at 10 a.m... The Boy didn't show up till 5 p.m.!
 Torrie was in charge of makeup, Hannah was in charge of hair.. the other two.. well I'm not entirely sure....
 We did discover two things.. you can fit 4 teenagers into my small hallway.. and it takes 3 girls to get Hannah into her dress... I just don't want to know why!
Julia, Hannah, Garrett aka "The Boy" aka Gavin...Torrie and Rina.
 So, once all the Magic was done, and "The Boy" arrived we took pictures, now for some reason, Torrie was the only one with a date... strange very strange since most boys are afraid of my daughter....
 The good news.. "The Boy" (who's name is really Garrett)  Was very nice and posed with all of the girls... they were having fun!
                                   "The Boy" and Torrie,
I am pretty sure "The Boy" is pretty Ga Ga over her... Smart Boy... :)

 Her dress is so pretty.. I am still amazed that we got it for $20! Of course the dress Julia and Rina are wearing are Torrie's also.. they were $20 each too! That was a great sale.
OK, so this is my absolute favorite picture (Torrie's too) She was sick and tired of getting her picture taken and had started to whine.. I grabbed then and ask for one more shot, she relented and let me.. it was the best one of the day! They had a great time at the dance, and are pretty sweet one each other. This is her first real boyfriend, I think she picked a nice kid, he is in Drama, and is smart, and she met his family... And if he breaks her heart.... well I will break his knee caps!

So that's it for today, Thanks for stopping by!
Happy quilting!