Category Archives: Quilted

No interruptions (except Finn)

Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on No interruptions (except Finn)

It’s much easier to accomplish something in the sewing room without a bunch of interruptions ….

Happy Blocks for Maine were made, fabric for another Strippie was pulled, a top was loaded, quilted, and the binding is on and ready to be hand stitched.

I was tempted to do a pantograph but decided some overall freehand hearts would be easy enough even though I can’t remember the last time I’ve done them.

This top is backed with a flannel fabric and does not have any batting. I used a heavier weight muslin and I felt like it would be too heavy with batting but it’s not too cozy as is … I’m hoping it softens up significantly with washing!

Kind of lazy

Published / by Mary / 4 Comments on Kind of lazy

I debated doing some freehand continuous curves on this top but in the end went with a pantograph. I’ve gotten kind of lazy about my quilting in the years the longarm and I were separated. I had a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time when I was in GA and didn’t do much experimenting with new freehand quilting designs. I want to change that this year but first I have to have things settle down around here so I can focus.

I loaded the Dutch Pinwheels yesterday and got it quilted today – the pantograph is another old one, Surf’s Up by Dave Hudson.

Piecing some Quick Strippies will help with the quilting experiments later too as I originally drafted that quilt just so I could practice my quilting when I got my first longarm back in 2002.

This is better

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on This is better

The Carpenter Star top is quilted – finishing it was the first thing on my agenda this morning. I’m lucky that there’s just enough space in front of the machine to trim these donation size quilts. I’ve already got the binding machine stitched on and am sitting in my chair ready to start hand stitching it down once I finish this post. Normally I don’t quilt with a dark thread in light areas but I was definitely going to use a pantograph on this one and didn’t want a lighter thread showing in the star. I knew the leaf motif would look fine in the darker thread and I love how it turned out. 

I forgot to mention that my troubleshooting from the other night was effective and my stitch regulator is working now. 

I also managed to make and sew the binding on the HeartStrings quilt so that one is ready for handstiching too. While I don’t make my bindings when the top is finished, I always cut and set it aside in my binding bin so it’s all ready for me to piece and use once I’ve quilted a top. 

Instructions for the Carpenter Star are on my website although I used my GO Half Rectangle die for the top and bottom border on this one. I didn’t have that die when I made the first pink and brown one. 

You can also find instructions for the HeartStrings quilt there too.  


Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Quilted

I’ve been busy unpacking and setting up the sewing room all week but haven’t sewn a stitch since Tuesday – I’ve had terrible sinus like headaches all week that have gotten progressively worse – I thought they were caused by allergies but maybe stress because they have migraine like components too and I don’t have the congestion and drainage that are typically seen with sinus infections. Keith got me a hot pack today and I used that most of the evening while we watched the Vikings game and surprisingly, I felt up to sewing some after the game. The headache is still there but it’s been tolerable and I hope they’re on their way out because I don’t have time for headaches!

I loaded a HeartStrings top on the longarm but couldn’t get my stitch regulator to work so I sewed in manual mode – not something I’m fond of but my first top of the year is quilted. Some freehand dwirling from the Pajama Quilter DVD. 

And in even better news, after finishing the quilting, I pulled out the manual again and was able to figure out what was wrong with the machine – I think! We’ll see when I load another quilt which may be tomorrow.  Since my goal is to quilt one top each week I’m home, I’m already a week behind since I didn’t get one done before the movers came last week. I’ll do a second one this week and then will be caught up. 

And speaking of football, I’m thrilled the Vikings won tonight but will admit I’d given up on them. They don’t typically come up with great game saving plays but they did and I’ll be rooting for them to beat Philly next week!

Another pantograph

Published / by Mary / 9 Comments on Another pantograph

One last top quilted before closing the sewing room down! Another one of Mom’s. 

Deciding on a pantograph….

I chose the one on the left – Happy Times. So far so good…

And done! This one has a minkee backing so I’m going to have Mom send me the binding and take it back to FL to trim. I’ll machine stitch the binding on and leave it for her to hand stitch down. 


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on Quilted

Mom’s poinsettia top is quilted. There are going to be big red buttons in those flowers so I did not quilt in the applique. Once they’re sewn on, the flowers should pop nicely against the background. 

This is #7 of 9 and Mom’s queen size top is up next so there might not be a #9 depending on how long it takes me. 


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Quilted

After Keith and Rae left this afternoon I had a homeowners meeting – ugh. I’ve been the secretary for a couple years now and will continue for another. It’s better than taking on the other board roles!

I was very, very tired when I got home but forced myself to go downstairs and quilt Mom’s 30’s quilt. This was a kit that I gave her and I think it was from Craftsy. 

Pantograph is Cotton Candy – very simple and quick. 

This is #6 of 9 that I’ve planned to quilt this month although I’m wondering if I’m going to hit that goal with all the time I’m spending with the kids. 


Published / by Mary / 6 Comments on Quilted

The beast is quilted (#5 of 9 to be quilted this month) … of course I still have to trim and bind Becky’s quilt and there are a couple very small places I want to go back to and potentially restitch but I feel relieved to have this one off the machine. If I do have to restitch a couple places, I’ll use the clamps to hold it in place on the longarm or will use my home sewing machine. 

I mentioned that I was having some stitch quality issues at one point during the quilting – I’ve been doing this a while so I ran through my troubleshooting list but I always check online to see if I’ve forgotten to try something. This article by Dawn Cavanaugh is a good overall review of tension issues. She calls what I was experiencing direction tension trouble most likely caused by needle flexing. I’d done all the correct things to minimize it and but really slowing way down was the solution after changing to a larger needle, loosening the quilt in the frame, and decreasing the stitch length to 11. 

I won’t get another one quilted this week because we have Rae coming to stay for a couple nights tomorrow. She called all excited tonight because they found out the sex of the baby today. I forgot to ask if I’m allowed to tell yet so I’ll leave you all in suspense for now!

Getting started was the hardest part 

Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on Getting started was the hardest part 

I had very little sleep last night and was tempted to take a day off – a day off quilting and a day off hiking but instead I decided to go downstairs and just get the next top loaded. Then I decided to just start the quilting. Then I was halfway done and decided to just finish the quilting. And then I decided to take it off the longarm, photograph it and fold it up. It will go back to FL for binding and is quilted with the pantograph Ebb and Flow. 

The quilt was based on a vintage quilt and made of simple rectangles. I have the quilt details on my website. 

So after finishing this quilt (#3 of 9) I decided I might as well go for that hike too. 

Finn will have me up between 5:30 and 6am tomorrow morning so maybe tomorrow will be my rest day!

It’s a good day!

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on It’s a good day!

Top #2 has been quilted – my log cabin quilt. Thanks to a backing provided by Tish, it was quick to load and quilted with freehand swirls. This one will be donated when it’s bound. 

Next up was kayaking! All set to launch …

Out on the lake…love seeing the mountains surrounding me!

Finally, dinner at home, the Tour de France, and Sangria!

Warming up

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It’s been 4 months since I’ve quilted on the longarm so both the machine and I needed to warm up. 

I chose an easy pantograph, Happy Times and my first of 9 tops is quilted.  This is my blue/brown HST top that I pieced for one of VickiW’s challenges and I love how it turned out! I’ve mentioned it’s hard to get a view of the quilting here at Big Canoe because I don’t have lighting coming from the side of my machine but this gives you an idea of how the quilting looks. 

There’s a full view of the top and some brief instructions on my website. 

Two machines

Published / by Mary / 8 Comments on Two machines

Having two sewing machines set up in my sewing room has long been a dream of mine and it’s been every bit as great as I imagined it would be. Today, I worked on assembling the green 5 star quilt on the Elna AND quilted the blue/green rectangle quilt on the Babylock Jane. 

Did you notice I moved the Stella Two light next to my machine? I really like this light! I posted a coupon code for a $25 discount and free shipping in a previous post and that coupon code is good for a year they tell me so if you’re in the market for a new light I do recommend this one. I’ve refused compensation from the company so I don’t get anything if you order it but I’m very happy with mine. 

While I was trying to avoid re-creating a stash here in FL, between my bargain buying and a slow migration of fabric from GA, I found the perfect flannel backing and a fabric that works for binding this one here. I love having this stuff on hand so that when I’m ready to sew, it’s all here! Aren’t those Dino’s cute?!

This simple rectangle quilt might just be my new favorite leftover quilt. Quick to piece, quick to quilt with straight lines following the piecing. I also have the binding already on and ready to stitch down tonight. 


Published / by Mary / 7 Comments on #9

My scrappy Bargello top – quilted with the pantograph Fern Gully. I love the texture this one gives a very scrappy quilt like this. 

I’ve organized the pile in the corner going home with me and there’s just one more to quilt tomorrow before I can pack up the car. I’ll hike a little later today and then Finn and I will have a quiet evening .


Published / by Mary / 5 Comments on #8

This one is a UFO from 2014. My Coffee quilt was a grown up version of our HeartStrings Happy Blocks and it’s quilted with the Leap Frog pantograph. 

The pile going back with me is growing … 2 more working days and then Sunday I’ll clean and close everything up, pack the car, and hike before heading home on Monday. It’s been a productive trip.