Archive for September, 2007

Am I the only one that saves leftover binding bits?

I keep a bin just for these leftovers and every now and then I go into it to make a scrappy binding. Obviously I add to the bin more than I subtract. One of the HeartStrings quilters is making quilts for the homeless and I have an opportunity to sew these bits together and send them on to her to use to bind her quilts. It feels SO good to use these up. I’ve sewn a bunch together tonight but I’ve got plenty more and will finish up tomorrow.

Sharon Schamber Network

Stephanie mentioned a video by Sharon Schamber. She’s got a bunch of video’s on her new site and although many of them are high speed previews for her classes, you can still pick up some great information. I also ordered a CD from her recently – it’s not a demonstration video, more like a book on CD but it had some great background fills I’ve been playing with. Sharon quilts on a longarm but these background fills could certainly be done on a domestic machine.

Here’s the link to the CD Stipple Basics

Here’s the link to the videos


Tutorial? Maybe you all didn’t read my post closely where I said this was the first time I’d used them in a quilt!

I’ve read several books that show how to quilt these and this is what works for me. They are surprisingly forgiving and I think it’s because you quilt around the circles 2-3 times.

I start in a corner of the space I want to fill, I usually go around my circles 2 – 2.5 times so I end up where I want to make my next circle – Fig 1.

I continue to make circles, filling the space and trying to vary the size of the circles. I don’t want them all the same size – Fig 2.

Here’s the part that threw me – as you make the circles, you end up with odd shaped spaces between them – Fig 2, highlighted areas. I found that if you just put a circle in that space even though it’s odd shaped it works. See the second photo where I’ve filled in the space. Of course, you do these as you come to them – I only left them in my example so you can see them occurring.

Fig 3 shows the space filled with pebbles. My sewn examples look just like these circles, I’m not usually exactly on the line when I’m sewing around them.

I did match my thread to my fabric. You can see the sew examples here or here. Click on the drawings below to see an enlarged view.

Thanks for the comments, compliments, and encouragement

I appreciate the comments and encouragement! I’m working my way around the borders of donated top now, I’m just doing a simple feather with an echo (and a wobbly echo at that!) – I’m sure as Mereth suggested on the hearts that by the time I’m done with the quilt these will somewhat perfected too (hopefully).

This is the first time I’ve used the pebbles on a quilt and I love them. No matter how poorly I feel like I’m quilting them, when I’m done and step back they look great! I think it’s because you quilt around them 2-3 times so they don’t have to be perfect.

I was second guessing using the heart fill. I loved what Mereth did on her banner so maybe next time I have a large open space I’ll use a meander that includes a variety of shapes.

I’m bored!

I finished the blocks for the Half Square Hearts, quilted a couple hours on the doll quilt, worked on the quilt on the longarm, finished my book, watched some TV and since I had a little nap this afternoon after getting just 2 hours of sleep last night I’m not ready for bed yet.

I think I’ll go look for something to play with for an hour or so in the sewing room and then start a new book.

Here’s the quilt I’m working on. You all know how much I struggle with my freehand quilting. There was tons of white space on this top (donated by Sandra) and I didn’t want to run a pantograph across the links so I’m pebbling inside the links and using the hearts as an overall fill. It’s more dense than my usual quilting but I’m trying to reserve judgement. There are some feathers on the outside edge triangles that aren’t all that great but they’ll do.

Labor Day

I was whining today to Keith that one of the things I miss is getting together with family on holidays. He’s heading out in the morning – to Tampa and then on to Denver and won’t be home until Friday so I’ll be on my own. I hope you guys have some fun plans for tomorrow!

I’ve made a good start on my to do list for the week. I finished binding and labeling another HeartStrings quilt, this one a top donated by Fran that I quilted with “my” hearts; pin basted and started hand quilting the new doll quilt (I know it’s kind of boring but I love simple scrappy quilts); loaded another donation quilt on the longarm; and machine stitched the binding on the Purple Project #2 quilt – I’ll hand stitch it down over then next night or two.

As I was loading the top tonight on the longarm I wondered how the rest of you deal with tasks that you tend to procrastinate on. I was sitting there pinning and telling myself that I *had* to finish piecing the blocks for the Half String Hearts this week before I allowed myself to do more quilting on the doll quilt. I guess that’s a remnant of my upbringing – finishing the chores before allowing myself to do something fun.

Starting and finishing are my two favorite things about quilting – its the stuff in the middle I have to discipline myself to finish.

Why do I need lists?

I need lists so I don’t get sidetracked! I had a little while this afternoon to work while Keith was on the computer so what did I do? I made another small doll quilt.

My intention was to use more of the Drunkard’s Path blocks and then quilt free form Baptist Fans. (Tonya uses these on her quilts and there’s a very good description on quilting them in the book that Lucy led me to Quilting with Style by Gwen Marston and Joe Cunningham.) But I decided I’d hold off on doing another Drunkard’s Path and I pulled out another book that had a checkerboard table runner that was quilted very simply in a grid 1/4 inch on either side of the seams.

I had leftover beige strips from the green Double 4 Patch pieced a few months ago and leftover blue fabric from a table quilt for my sister. So here it is, a scrappy blue/beige checkerboard that will be finished off with a blue binding. Keryn’s doll quilt started out as a checkerboard too but she added borders to hers.

Had there been a list it would have looked like this:
Bind 2 quilts
Load donation top from Sandra on the longarm
Finish piecing string blocks for Half Square Hearts
Finish piecing my July QFAH top

I guess I’ll add layer and hand quilt Checkerboard doll quilt and use this as my To Do List for next week.

Key West!

Keith’s taking me on an unexpected trip in 2 weeks (did I mention we’re celebrating?)! Key West is one of my favorite places to visit but we haven’t been back in a number of years. Cross your fingers that there will be NO hurricane’s heading for Florida!

Doesn’t the B&B he booked sound wonderful?

The Heron House, a Florida Keys bed and breakfast, is located in the very heart of island’s historic district. This Key West B&B offers the intimacy of a guesthouse with all the style of a romantic inn. Bask in the sweet scent of orchids wafting through our exotic gardens. Take an afternoon dip in our quaint swimming pool, surrounded by tropical plants and comfy wicker furniture.

Heron House, a four-diamond inn, prides itself on the small details, such as fine woodwork, tropical stained glass artistry, intricate stonework, and the elegance of etched glass panels. Every morning, guests can enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast by the pool or indoors. Every weekend the innkeepers present wine and cheese.

Each of the 23 rooms at our bed and breakfast in the Keys is uniquely designed and may include woodwork artistry, private decks, balconies, tropical plants, and custom interior lighting. Nevertheless, all rooms have air-conditioning, private bathroom, bathrobes, morning newspaper, telephone, and cable television.