Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Things are starting to settle down ..... finally!

 My guild's biennial quilt show was in October.  I had hoped to complete a new bed quilt of my own to enter, but that didn't happen.  Too busy!  I'm not complaining, busy is a good thing.  As I said in my last post, I had 2 customer quilts to do for the show, plus the Sedlak quilt for Canuck Place.  Here's a picture of the entire Sedlak quilt ... turned out pretty good!

I then got straight back to work on Wendy's quilt for the show.  Normally I can estimate pretty well how long it will take me to quilt something.  My average hand quilting speed is about a square foot an hour.  Wendy's quilt took about 4 or 5 times longer than that.  Crazy eh!  At first I thought I must be getting too distracted while quilting, so I put all my focus on it and it made no difference ... still very slow going.  It's about 90" square, and almost all applique.    Layers upon layers of applique.  So what appears to be just a flower is actually a bunch of layers upon layers.  The stems and flowers are 4 layers themselves, on top of the backing, batting, and background.  My quilting speed slowed to a crawl every time I got to a flower, and this entire quilt is flowers.

I didn't figure out exactly how many hours I put into it, but in the last 4 days alone of working on it before the show I put in 76 hours ... including 2 24-hour straight runs!

When I finally got it done I took it straight up to Wendy so she could gather her friends and put the binding and sleeve on.  She was really pleased with how it turned out.  We laid it out on her bed to get a good look at it and I have to admit, it looks great.  I didn't get a good picture of the entire quilt ... I took one at the show but the lighting sucked and it looks yellow.  I'll have to see if she got a good one.

So now I'm back to my own work.  It's a little strange to all of a sudden be able to quilt on anything I want!  Funny how the whole time I'm working on someone else's quilt I have all these wonderful brainstorms of what I want to make, then when I can finally do it I can't make up my mind.  For now I'm going to finish up some small (12" square) quilting samples to leave with a couple of local fabric stores so they have something to show people that may want to hire me as a hand quilter.  I've got one sample done, about half finished the other one.  Then maybe I'll get back to my own bed quilt.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quilt your fingers to the bone what do you get? Boney fingers!

It's been a busy, busy summer!  In early July I was hired by Dolly, from my guild, to hand quilt a lap/wall size quilt of hers.  It was about 48-ish" square.  I was hoping to get it done in 2.5 weeks, it took a few days longer due to the summer heat, but finally got it done and returned to her. With cream colored thread I quilted in the ditch around each heart and along the blue strips, then a 1" cross-hatch in the backgrounds of the heart blocks.

Right around that time I had heard on the news that chef Anthony Sedlak had passed away suddenly.  I had watched his cooking show on tv a few times but didn't actually know him or anything.  I've been volunteering at Canuck Place for a few months now and it turns out that his mother is a semi-retired nurse there.  The staff at the hospice wanted to do something for her, to show that they care and are thinking of her.  One of the girls in the office, Jen, does some machine work and decided to make a tree quilt and have the leaves signed by the other nurses and close friends.   She did a great job machine appliqueing the tree, leaves, and a few birds to the background.  Then she handed it off to me and I hand quilted radiating hearts.  I used a beige/tan variegated thread and just quilted the hearts freehand.  It took a total of 115 hours to quilt it ... the background was a beautiful batik, a little stiff as batiks tend to be, but so very pretty and looks great with the batik leaves in blues, greens, and tans.  I handed it off to Jen last week, she'll do the binding and then they'll present it.  I think she'll be very touched when she sees all the encouraging words and notes everyone wrote on the leaves.   

I had started hand quilting a king size for Wendy, also from my guild, just before I got the tree quilt to do.  Took a bit of a break from it to do the tree, so now that it's done I'm back to Wendy's.  She needs it back in time to get it bound and ready to go in our guild's bi-annual quilt show in October.  I think I have it about 1/3 to 1/2 done, it should be ready in another couple of weeks.  It's a scrappy red pattern on scrappy neutrals, so very pretty and fun to quilt.  I'll post some pictures of it once I'm done.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to quilt I go!  Until next time ....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hoffman Challenge 2012

I mailed my Hoffman Challenge entry about a week or so ago ... I should get notification that it's been received any day now.  They usually do the judging and notify winners by early to mid August.  I've gotten in the traveling trunk show every year so far, fingers crossed that this one gets in too!

The focus fabric this year is a huge pink and purple floral print.  I had designed a peacock quilt earlier in the year, intending for it to be the prototype for my hoffman entry ... then I saw the flowered print and wasn't so sure if that was a good idea or not.  Peacocks are usually done in blues, teals, etc, but I finally decided it doesn't matter what they usually are, this is what mine will be.

The quilt is 24 x 27½" in size.  I used both the pink and purple flowers throughout, coordinating with other prints to match.  I LOVE purple and teal together, so the background color was a no-brainer.  The Chinese character in the corner means "pretty".  I quilted it with variegated purple thread (sulky #4111 deep jewels) with a feather design filling in the background.  Click on each picture to get a more detailed view.
The quilt is titled "Pretty Pink & Purple Paisley Plumed Peacocks".  Wish me luck!

Friday, June 15, 2012

One of my favorite authors has finally completed book two of the Discovery of Witches trilogy.  There's a great contest available at http://www.lushbudgetproduction.com/2012/06/giveaway-shadow-of-night-signed-by.html
Can't wait to read this one!