Longarm quilting templates and specials

I’m excited to share that I  have started to carry templates and specialty rulers for long arm machine quilters!  I have been doing more and more ruler

long arm quilting templates

Nested Hearts

work and finally found a supplier for the templates.  They are 1/4″ thick clear acrylic and while I only have a few instock at the moment I will be bringing in more soon. One product I have heard good reviews for is the Crosshatch tool by Westalee Designs out of Australia.  I have a project coming up that I will be using it on and I will be sure to add my own opinion on the ease of use when I do.  I have done cross-hatching before by marking each line and this system eliminates the need for marking and you can stand in front of your machine making this very popular quilting design much, much easier to quilt.  Check out my shop for more info.

washable fabric adhesive

Lapel Stick for quilters

I’ve also brought in a new product called Lapel Stick.  It is a non-staining temporary fabric adhesive that washes completely out and can be used on almost any fabric:  cotton, silk, leather, linen, blends and wool.  While they market it for household use for tacking hems or collars in place it is fantastic for quilters and fabric artists.  Anywhere you need to temporarily bond fabric together – applique, binding or the stubborn seams that just will not line up – this is the product.  It comes in sets of 3 for $15 so you can have one in your quilting room, the kitchen and your purse!

And now for my specials.

  • For the rest of July, all orders of $100 or more from Bailey’s Quilting will receive one tube of Lapel Stick to try for free!

  • Leave a comment here on the blog until the end of July about Lapel Stick (if you have used it) or what projects you have on the go where you could use it and your comment will be put into a draw on August 1, 2010, for a free tube of Lapel Stick!

Good luck 🙂

Kaleidoscope Stack & Whack Quilt #5

At least I think it is number five.  This customer is a beginner quilter and although there are a few pressing techniques I want to go over with her on the quilt I think the colour choices she made were bang on!  This is a very pretty quilt and suits her to a ‘T’.  A rose and mint green floral fabric was used for the kaleidoscopes and one border and she picked a lovely soft mint green blender for the sashing and accent borders.  The contrast fabric for background and outer border are a beautiful mottled  deep rose.  I know the pictures don’t show the colours right.

Kaleidescope Stack n Wack Quilt

She will be keeping this quilt so we wanted to do something a little special.  She wanted feathers so after outlining all the sashing, borders and stars I did a mini fantasy feather around the stars for background fill.  First time I’ve made this technique this small and I really like it.

Fantasy Feather background fill

On the other quilts like this I’ve ‘stitched in the ditch’ for the 9-patch corner stones but this time I only outlined them.  I used the high-loft Dream Puff Poly and they look like little 9-patch pillows!

The first rose border I did a meandering rose bud and leaf vine.  The first mint border is left so it puffs up like the mint sashing.  The quilting wouldn’t really show clearly in the rose border so I did a simple leaf meander.

Now, the outer border caused a little bit of a problem as I hadn’t made a note of the fact that the side strips are wider than the top and bottom strips.  I had a vague memory of talking about it with her but couldn’t remember whether she was going to even them up after or just what.  So a phone call was in order – hate to do that because I think I sound scatter-brained (I may be but no sense in letting my customers know it too!) Sure enough the C curl feather border I had planned and started to chalk wouldn’t work because there would be no trimming as she needed the different sized strips so it would fit her bed.  Back to the drawing board.

different sized outer border

The side strip was 7.5″ and the top and bottom strips were only 5.5″.  I had it locked in my head the C curl feather and it took a few hours of trying different ideas and chalking it out before I had to accept that I had to do an overall design in here or the scale of the quilting would end up smaller on the top and the bottom.  I through feathers and leaves and rose-buds all together into a ‘doodle’ type of meandering and while the C curl feather border would have formalized the quilt this pattern looks good too.

feather, rosebud, leaf doodle meander

The outer mint border was done with a simple C curl.

I’ve included a picture of the back because, as usual, the quilting shows up much better LOL

back of quilt

I used So Fine! thread on the top that matched perfectly and let the quilting show instead of the thread.  Of course – the Bottom Line in the bobbin as always!

Another Kaleidoscope Quilt

Just a few quick pictures of the latest customer quilt.  This must be my fourth or fifth kaleidoscope quilt so far.  When the local quilt shop has a class I know that I will be seeing a few of the finished tops!

This one is done a deep rose pink with mint green sashing.

Kaleidoscope Quilt

I outlined all the mint green sashing with MonoPoly clear thread including the little 9-patch in the sashing and the stars.  This monofilament thread from Superior Threads is soft and a dream to work with on the long-arm and my Janome.  A topstitch needle and a bit looser tension is all that is needed.

kaleidoscope close-up

A large meander around the stars, a little continuous curve in the stars and some fantasy feathers using King Tut #952 Wild Rose in the border completed this quilt.

OK – now only 14 more tops to go!

border close-up

Mosaic Magic Quilt

I’ve added a poll at the bottom, please take the poll and share how you load a quilt!

I wanted to share the latest quilt I had on the frame.  The pattern is called Mosaic Magic and is from QuiltWoman.com.  This pattern has now been added to the rather large list of my ‘must do one day’ patterns.

Mosaic Magic

This pattern can be laid out many different ways.  My customer chose to lay it out as individual blocks rather than the centre medallion pattern shown here.  The person she made the quilt for wanted a white quilt and I suggested that she make sure that there was enough contrast that all her hard piecing work wasn’t in vain.  I think her quilt top turned out stunning.  I love the beige and white together; it is so subtle.  Classy and elegant come to mind.

Mosaic Magic loaded

She supplied her own wool batting and I was excited to be able to finally try wool batting.  I have some of my own but, of course, I don’t have a top made where I can use it!  She didn’t want to go into a lot of custom quilting and wanted something all-over and soft so we planned of a free-hand feather.  I call them ‘Fantasy Feathers’ and they are based on the Pajama Quilter ‘s(Dawn Ramirez) Wonky Feathers.

As you can see, I float my quilts as I find it so much easier and quicker.  For the longest time I would load the backing and batting and then lock the machine so I could sew a straight line across the width and use that line to make sure the top was loaded straight.  I found that not all my customer’s quilts are as straight as my frame LOL.  Now I usually line the top up visually and straighten the

stabilizing the top

top so any seams are running parallel to the rollers.  I use a temporary spray adhesive to hold it in place and stabilize the top with a basting stitch all the way around and about a million pins throughout to keep it in place!  You can see in the picture the one roller going across the quilt.  Typically that would have the bottom of the quilt top attached to it.  Instead, I move it out of the way when I’m loading the layers and put it back to help hold the sandwich down level to the machine.

I’m always interested in learning how other long-armers do things.  Please take a moment and take the poll and let’s see how we all do things.  If you don’t like my 2 choices please choose ‘other’ and share!

More tomorrow of the finished quilt.

Guild Challenges

Most Guilds have a challenge (or two) that they offer to the members to participate or not.  In my Guild, Timberlane Quilters Guild, we are given a challenge at our first meeting in September and have the entire Guild year to work on it.  Our last meeting is in June of the following year and at that time we show off our creativity, skills and hard work.

This challenge was a simple paint chip challenge.  In September we were given a paper bag with a paint chip card and we were to use at least one of the colours on the card in our quilt.  A pretty simple challenge but the creativity it inspired in those that participated was unbelievable.  We had our year end party last night so I don’t have the pictures yet but as soon as I do I will post them here or at least the link to the Guild’s site so I can share with you.

Paint Chip Challenge

I can share mine though.  When I opened my paper bag last year the paint chip I received was of the ‘denim’ sort of blues.  That was when I realized that the challenge wasn’t necessarily in the colour we got but in what to do with it!  I spent a couple months just thinking about it and decided to make something playing off the word ‘blue’.  Hmm – blue suede shoes, blue lagoon; nothing.  Feeling blue… feeling a little blue…that was something I could work with.  Now, what to make.

I liked the idea of “feeling a little blue” and could picture something with just a small spot of blue in it.  To feel it I’d have to have a hand in it so to speak ;).  I looked around online to see if I could find a paper pieced block of a hand but decided that I would rather it look more realistic.  I enjoy doing trapunto, not that I’ve done a great deal, but I figured that was the only way I could make something that looked real.  I took a quick picture of my hand with my finger out as if I was touching something and printed it out a little bigger than life-size, one in colour and one in greyscale.

I traced the outline on some white cotton and used my Derwent Inktense water soluble pencil crayons to colour it in.  If you’ve never tried them they are a blast to play with.  You can use them as is or with water or a fabric medium and the colours are beautiful.

Painted and stitched hand

Once the colouring was done I pinned a small piece of  Dream Puff batting underneath and stitched around the hand with Vanish Extra.  After trimming away the extra batting I used another scrap for the batting and some leftover muslin I had for the backing.  So far this challenge had cost me nothing 🙂

background fill

background fill

I decided to use the background for practicing background fills.  Because it was background fill I used So Fine! thread; any of the thicker threads would have been too heavy and just taken over the piece.

I did this on my Janome MC10000 and not the longarm.  Seeing as I teach machine quilting on domestic sewing machines at the local QS I need to keep in practice!  All in all it was a lot of fun.  I wasn’t sure how to finish off the wrist area so I went down to the thrift shop and picked up a blue corduroy shirt for $3 which became the total cost, besides my time, for the project.

more background fill

and more background fill

I'm Just Feeling a Little Blue

Topstitch needles

I had always thought that topstitch needles were extra large and used for heavy threads – you know – for topstitching.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  A topstitch needles almost looks the same as a regular needle but the parts that make a good needle have been made even better.  While these needles have been available for industrial and longarm quilting machines they were not available for the home market.  Superior Threads has now teamed up with Organ Needle Company to make Superior Titanium coated Topstitch needles for the home sewing machine.  I tried, I liked and I now carry them in my store!

Superior Topstitch Needle Diagram

The groove in these needles is wider and deeper and that allows the thread to tuck inside out of the way while the stitch is being made – less chance of the thread fraying.  The elongated oversized eye makes threading the needle a breeze and because of extra coating of titanium applied to the needle they will stay sharp 5 to 8 times longer than a regular sewing machine needle.

They are available in sizes 80/12, 90/14 and 100/16 to suit all of your sewing, embroidery and quilting needs.  Many thread issues can be solved by using the right needle and now the home sewer can have the right needle too!

I’m giving away 1 package of needles to 3 different readers that leave a comment on either why they like these needles or the reason(s) they think they had better try them!  Leave a comment below before June 15, 2010 and I will make a random drawing and pop them into the mail once I have the winners mailing address.

To learn more about these wonderful needles you can check them out in my shop.

What to do when your computer breaks down? Quilt!

My excuse for not posting regularly?  No computer.  I had no idea how dependant one  becomes on these darn things.  My whole morning routine had to change LOL  Anyway, long story short, after a month of having my Imac in two different shops they came to the conclusion that they really couldn’t figure out what the heck was wrong with it.  I had always heard that it was rare for a Mac to have problems but when they did it usually meant the computer was toast.  So – I sit hear typing away on my brand new replacement Imac free of charge thanks to Apple (well, more to the fact that I had purchased the Apple Care to go with it!)

Once I calmed myself from not having a computer I did manage to do more quilting than normal.  Lesson to be learned perhaps?

Kaleidoscope with Disney's "Cars" print

I’ve received a few Kaleidoscope quilts recently and this fun one was done with the Disney’s Cars print.  She supplied her own batting and it was a rather thick and heavy poly so I wanted to keep the quilting pretty light.  The Kaleidoscope blocks have a simple Terry Twist in the centre area only – takes up about half the block – and gave the sense of wheels (car theme fabric after all.)  I did the crossed flags in the large squares and single flags in the small on-point squares.  I simple open meander filled in the rest.

racing flags

floral kaleidoscope

This is another Kaleidoscope that I received.  A very pretty floral print. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it spread out.  This was for a young lady and the customer wanted it to look a little more formal.  Once again I did a very simple quilting in the kaleidoscope block with Victorian (formal, bumb…) feathers in the open green area around.

simple petal quilting in the blocks

Stitch in the ditch around the yellow border and more feathers in the floral outer border.  These ‘petal shapes were quilted in the kaleidoscope blocks and the plain green blocks.

I think it is important when the block is such a feature in the quilt that my quilting needs to compliment the block; draw your eye to the block and not overwhelm the quilt.

victorian feathers

feather corner