Quilting Quilting Quilting

It’s all about the quilting at this Bee!  In addition to hostessing Niemeyer Wednesday (from yesterdays post) I also hostess a Longarm Bee each month.  This Bee is no longer just for longarmers it is for mid-arms and short-arms too!  We also gladly invite the sit down quilters using the oversize machines and the folks who love to quilt on their “domestic” sewing machines.  We usually have a topic that we cover, show and share my favorite “How Would You Quilt This?!”  We usually meet the 1st Monday of the month at Pinwheels and Posies from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

Merridy stops by our Bee each month to drop off a quilt (or 2) that she has made for the Soldiers at Brooks Army Medical Center - for one of quilters to take home and quilt.
Merridy stops by our Bee each month to drop off a quilt (or 2) that she has made for the Soldiers at Brooks Army Medical Center – for one of quilters to take home and quilt.
JoAnn quilted this one for Merridy last month - JoAnn is a new longarmer and she is having fun mixing computer and free-hand designs in her quilting
JoAnn quilted this one for Merridy last month – JoAnn is a new longarmer and she is having fun mixing computer and free-hand designs in her quilting
A close up of JoAnn's freehand
A close up of JoAnn’s freehand
Our topic for May was Top Anchor Templates
Our topic for May was Top Anchor Templates
Debbie demonstrated how they work and the tips and tricks she has learned
Debbie demonstrated how they work and the tips and tricks she has learned
Some move of JoAnn's "practice pieces"
Some more of JoAnn’s “practice pieces”
And look at the back of the quilting on the snowballs quilt
And look at the back of the quilting on the snowballs quilt
I love the border quilting design!
I love the border quilting design!
Laurie brought this quilt - it is old and hand pieced.  She has a computer on her machine and after ideas were tossed about we think Laurie may be using a large snowflake quilting design on this 7 Sisters Quilt
Laurie brought this quilt – it is old and hand pieced. She has a computer on her machine and after ideas were tossed about we think Laurie may be using a large snowflake quilting design on this 7 Sisters Quilt
A fun modern quilt - lots of ideas were tossed around for quilting on this one - I hope we get to see the final decision!  The ideas included an overall design or my favorite was to highlight the grey "steps" through the quilt to make the design stand out more!
A fun modern quilt – lots of ideas were tossed around for quilting on this one – I hope we get to see the final decision! The ideas included an overall design or my favorite was to highlight the grey “steps” through the quilt to make the design stand out more!
Another community service quilt to practice on - there is some great opportunity for ruler work here!
JoAnn asks for ideas for quilting on this community service quilt – there is some great opportunity for ruler work here!

I love this group – they are so inspiring!  I hope I inspire them too!

Go be inspiring today!

If you would like to join us we meet this coming Monday, June 2 at Pinwheels and Posies in Dickinson, TX.  Leave a comment for more information.

Jamestown – Stonehenge Style!

One of our local quilt shops did Stonehenge Meets Jamestown as their Saturday Sampler this past year.  Now those quilts are starting to roll across my long arm frame.  Sandy and Sheryl each made the brighter version of this quilt.  They called me last fall to secure quilting spots for February of this year.  Then they frantically worked to complete their quilt tops for the reservation dates.  This pattern is designed by Patti Carey; to see more of Patti’s designs click here.  You can also search for specific patterns once you are in her blog.  In fact, one of my own quilts made it to Patti’s blog, see it here, scroll to the bottom once you are in the link!

So back to the quilts – when the girls called for reservations they loved the quilting on the shop samples, I explained that I had not quilted those.  But they wanted me to quilt them.  I contact Patti Carey, who then put me in contact with her long arm quilter, who happens to be in Canada.  Not a lot of help for us down here in TX.  I contacted the quilter, Sandra Reed, who was very kind and sent me a photo of the poster of one of the quilts, but had turned the 2 quilts around for Patty very quickly and she did not have photos of the quilting.  (And the samples had already been shipped back to Northcott so I was unable to photograph them myself. )  If you would like to see some of Sandra’s work click here.  Well, no problems, eventually another call came in for a reservation and this savvy piecer had taken several photos of the quilting.

While this quilting is similar to Sandra’s original quilting, I did feel the need to switch it up a little bit, not much though because her quilting was fabulous!

Here are a few photos I took to share with you.  Click on the photo to see a larger version!

Sandy's quilt - 87x108, 35 total blocks
Sandy’s quilt – 87×108, 35 total blocks
Sheryl's quilt is 36 blocks, an extra border (checkerboard) and her other borders a little larger than Sandy's 110x110
Sheryl’s quilt is 36 blocks, an extra border (checkerboard) and her other borders a little larger than Sandy’s 110×110
Custom free hand quilting in each of the sampler blocks
Custom free hand quilting in each of the sampler blocks
Custom freehand quilting in the sampler blocks
Custom freehand quilting in the sampler blocks
Custom freehand quilting in the sampler blocks
Custom freehand quilting in the sampler blocks
Little curly sunshine designs as fill in the light half of the log cabins
Little curly sunshine designs as fill in the light half of the log cabins
Hard to see the quilting in the dark side, the outside logs have leaves, and the inside is a swirl with petals
Hard to see the quilting in the dark side, the outside logs have leaves, and the inside is a swirl with petals
Sheryl used some leftover blocks and fabric to make her backing, cool effect with the quilting
Sheryl used some leftover blocks and fabric to make her backing, cool effect with the quilting

I have at least 2 more of these quilts coming up this year on the reservation list!   I know at least one of them is done in earth tones and it is scrumptious!

Thanks for viewing!  Please leave comments!

A Busy Bobbin visits the Clearlake Longarm Bee

I may have mentioned that I host a longarm bee in our area (Clearlake,TX).  We meet at Pinwheels and Posies monthly and usually have about 35 participants.  Each month we have new members and it is such a fun bee.  We have a few experienced quilters and several newbies.  I love to see the newbies take the ideas they see at bee and bring back their show and tells the next month!  This month we had a special treat, Kim Norton, from A Busy Bobbin was our speaker.  I became familiar with her work through one of my students (who is also one of Kim’s friends and customers).

When I found out Kim had only been longarm quilting for 4 years I just knew she would be an inspiration to our group and SHE IS!  Kim has a website at http://www.abusybobbin.com  One of Kim’s sons is in the Navy stationed on a medical ship as a Medical Tech.  Her other son is in high school.  Kim’s husband is retired Navy and now works locally.  He is very supportive of Kim’s career choice!

This is Kim – she lives about an hour away from our bee and she agreed to speak at our bee in exchange for a dinner prior to our meeting!

Kim and her beautiful smile!
Kim and her beautiful smile!
An attentive group
An attentive group
Wondering if they can really do that - yes you can!
Wondering if they can really do that – yes you can!

Kim began by telling us a little bit about how she started, she bought her first longarm with the intent of having a business and had her first customer quilt on the frame within days of receiving her machine.  She now has 2 Innova machines so she can work leave a “custom” quilt on one frame and churn out other quilts on the other frame.

Kim loves templates and showed us how she uses these to design her quilting.  Sometimes she uses them for marking, but usually she guides her longarm around the templates.

Using an ARCH ruler to create a secondary design to the piecing.
Using an ARCH ruler to create a secondary design to the piecing.
2 lines will frame the work much better than one.  Just move the template approximately 1/4" and stitch the 2nd line
2 lines will frame the work much better than one. Just move the template approximately 1/4″ and stitch the 2nd line

How does Kim keep the template from moving and how does she “ditch” around her appliqué?

Sand paper dots.  She also does not put a lot of pressure on the template.
Sand paper dots. She also does not put a lot of pressure on the template.
DeLoa's Appliguide is her goto tool for "ditching" appliqué.  This ruler has a beveled edge and I can't wait to order mine!
DeLoa’s Appliguide is her goto tool for “ditching” appliqué. This ruler has a beveled edge and I can’t wait to order mine!

This quilt belongs to Kim’s mom and it was a block exchange.  Some blocks were pieced some were applique.  To tie them all together with a common quilting theme she used one of her “Gadget Girl” templates to add and additional frame around each block, then custom quilted each block.

Adding an inside frame of quilting to each block - these rulers come in various sizes at Gadget Girls
Adding an inside frame of quilting to each block – these rulers come in various sizes at Gadget Girls

Ok Kim we see HOW you do some of these techniques – but we want to know where do the ideas come from?  Kim uses her iphone and ipad to take photos of quilts that inspire her.  She keeps these ideas in folders on those devices to refer to later.  She also prints ideas and keeps them in a notebook where she can flip through them until “THE” idea jumps out.  She also taught us that we all have the same tool for conjuring inspiration – in fact we are born with it.

SAS – STAND AND STARE – she explained her SAS technique is stand and look at the quilt, put hands on hips, cock her head to the right, cock her head to the left, repeat as needed!

Once she has some ideas in her head she uses a reusable auditioning medium to draw the design over the quilt to see if it plays on the quilt as well as it did in her head.  She will also sometimes take a photo of the quilt and then using tracing paper audition designs over the photo.

Reusable audition medium.
Reusable audition medium.

This beautiful quilt was made by Kim’s mom – mom’s applique is beautiful!  And Kim really knows how to make it shine.  Kim used 2 battings on this quilt, a thin cotton against the lining and wool on top.  Kim reminded us that if you are going to do dense quilting in the blocks you MUST quilt those little sashings too – keep your quilting density consistent.

Great sashing treatment
Great sashing treatment
This quilt just makes me smile
This quilt just makes me smile
What is not to love about this border, love the applique circles and the quilting - they play so nice together.
What is not to love about this border, love the applique circles and the quilting – they play so nice together.

And here is Linda’s Quilt – yes I have included this quilt in previous blogs – but now I get to share some of the secrets behind the quilting!

Kim used small dots to mark start/stop points for designs.  This is the frixion pen she used.  Use the marking tool sparingly - but it does iron away.
Kim used small dots to mark start/stop points for designs. This is the frixion pen she used. Use the marking tool sparingly – but it does iron away.
Once again minimal marking to mark each side
Once again minimal marking to mark each side
Just a dot is enough.
Just a dot is enough.
Gadget girls "fan" template is the perfect tool for the curved cross hatch in this design.  Start on one side, use the lines on the ruler to space your quilting lines continue to the other side.  Flip your ruler over and now go back the other direction.
Gadget girls “fan” template is the perfect tool for the curved cross hatch in this design. Start on one side, use the lines on the ruler to space your quilting lines continue to the other side. Flip your ruler over and now go back the other direction.
Stitch your circles with templates, remember 2 lines of quilting is better than one.  Find the perfect template to add that spinning motion.
Stitch your circles with templates, remember 2 lines of quilting is better than one. Find the perfect template to add that spinning motion.

And of course the question we all wanted to know – how was the scalloping on the border on this quilt accomplished?

Linda explains her technique for the scalloped border - a bias flange that is tacked back like a cathedral window block.
Linda explains her technique for the scalloped border – a bias flange that is tacked back like a cathedral window block.

And now a little show and share

Cindy G made this quilt for the teacher of her kindergartner.  Cindy teaches middle school PE and she says she overwhelmed at the thought of teaching (25) 5 year olds.  It was her pleasure to make this quilt to thank the teacher!
Cindy G made this quilt for the teacher of her kindergartner. Cindy teaches middle school PE and she says she is overwhelmed at the thought of teaching (25) 5 year olds. It was her pleasure to make this quilt to thank the teacher!
Close up of the quilting.  When asked how much marking she did - Cindy said ZERO!!!
Close up of the quilting. When asked how much marking she did – Cindy said ZERO!!!
Look at this beautiful carpenters star.  Oh how I wish I had gotten the quilter in the photo so I could give you credit!  You did a fabulous job!
Look at this beautiful carpenters star. Oh how I wish I had gotten the quilter in the photo so I could give you credit! You did a fabulous job!
The back of the carpenter's star
The back of the carpenter’s star
Donna shows the FIRST quilt she quilted on her new frame!
Donna shows the FIRST quilt she quilted on her new frame!
Close up of the loops panto Donna used.
Close up of the loops panto Donna used.
Cindy B is working on completing quilts for all the family members.  She uses a sit-down machine.
Cindy B is working on completing quilts for all the family members. She uses a sit-down machine.
Cindy B. is giving this quilt to a brother and didn't want her usual flowery designs and so she realized she could figure 8's to fill the space.
Cindy B. is giving this quilt to a brother and didn’t want her usual flowery designs and so she realized she could undulating lines to fill the space between the straight lines.

Then we all put our thinking caps on for “How Would You Quilt This!”

Beautiful quilt - her husband informed her she could not give this one away.  It will hang in their home.
Beautiful quilt – her husband informed her she could not give this one away. It will hang in their home.
Kim suggests imitating the white flowers in these squares.
Kim suggests imitating the white flowers in these squares.
Kathie's Borders Quilt.  Made in a class taught by Winnie Fleming at Pinwheels and Posies.
Kathie’s Borders Quilt. Made in a class taught by Winnie Fleming at Pinwheels and Posies.
Kim shows us to create squares of quilting above the ohio stars in the blue/cream fabrics.  I like it!
Kim shows us to create squares of quilting above the ohio stars in the blue/cream fabrics. I like it!
Cindy G. was on task to give some wonderful ideas for adding modern quilting to this delightful quilt.
Cindy G. was on task to give some wonderful ideas for adding modern quilting to this delightful quilt.

I also brought a quilt top for ideas.  No photos because I was talking – but when I started to open it up Kim and Linda started chuckling – Kim had recently completed the quilting on this same quilt for the Peace by Piecing Quilt Guild.  She shared how she quilted theirs and then Cindy G came up with some really fun ideas – I think I will be doing a combination of both ideas.  But first I must finish this blog and get back to work!

I hope you enjoyed our meeting as much as I did!

Denise