MCM #110 – Geese in the Sewing Room

So, things have been wild around here and there’s been miniscule progress made in the sewing room. However, tiny bits of progress is still forward movement and no one can be upset about that!

I finished one of my deadline projects, and you’ll get to see the full quilt on Thursday. Until then I can share the binding – it’s so cool! You might have seen this pic on my Instagram feed but if you missed it here it is:

Striped Binding Flower MillI love that striped print! Stay tuned for more details later in the week.

I am also in the middle of writing a new pattern, and have been making test blocks. These blocks include flying geese which is a bit unusual for me. I’m not the best at making flying geese – they always look so wonky to me and I have to do a bunch of trimming to get them sized right. So what do I do? Design a quilt that uses lots of them! Guess I’ll get better at making them by the time this pattern is finished. 🙂

Do you find flying geese difficult to make?

I’m using the ‘four at a time’ method, along with the Wing Clipper ruler by Studio 180 Designs. I’m generally not a specialty ruler kind of girl but using the wing clipper, along with very careful stitching, allowed me to achieve perfectly sized FG units. I’m finding that I’m not as bothered about making flying geese as I used to be!

This week I’ll be traveling to Lancaster, PA to attend the AQS show with my sister and a couple of our girlfriends. I’m excited to go, but snow is in the forecast so I’m a little nervous about it. We may be stranded at Sis’s house – but I guess we’ll just have a few sew days if that happens. No matter what, we will have fun!

I hope you have a great week and get to work on your projects. I’ll be taking some things along with me to work on, and I’m crushing big on the quilt show and sewing time with Wissa. What is your crush for this weeks Main Crush Monday? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Small Friday Finishes

I was able to sneak in a couple of small finishes this week. It feels good to check these off the To Do list and see that list shrink!

Mom asked me to quilt this little lap quilt for her. It is the third quilt she’s made. I also have her second one to quilt, but I quilted them out of order. 🙂

I like getting Mom’s quilts because it allows me to practice quilting designs or techniques I’m not entirely comfortable with. For this one I wanted to work on another pantograph – I’ve only ever done one – and see if it would be easier/better the second time around.

Good news…it was easier!

Pantograph Design on QuiltThe first time I tried a pantograph I was the very new owner of my longarm. Freddie (my HQ Fusion) and I had not been together long enough to find our quilting groove. It took me a while to understand the movement of the machine and to be able to stitch a decent curve. While my curves sometimes still look a bit squashed, they are definitely improving and I have much better control of the longarm.

Which all translates into a better looking stitched pantograph. Free motion quilting and ruler work is my first love however, I feel it’s important to be able to offer pantographs as an option to my customers.

One of the things I did differently from the first time I tried a pantograph was to slow down.  Breathe. Hard to do, because I want to just zip right through, but for me it was necessary so I could stay on track. I actually started thinking about the longarms we run at the quilt shop. They are computerized, and when they stitch a digital design they move at a slow and steady pace. So I consciously tried to keep that in mind when I was quilting and as a result I got better results than I did the first time.

I tried to capture the texture and design in the pictures below.

Quilting Texture

Panto DetailThere are places in the design that may be a little off track and some of the curves look a bit flat, but once the quilt was finished those places were difficult to find. After washing, all that will be left is all that yummy texture. I’m pretty pleased with this finish, and I hope Mom likes it too. But of course she will – she’s my Mom!

If you like the panto, it is called Gusty and I purchased it from Urban Elementz.

The second finish I had this week was this fun shamrock table topper by Emily. She asked for a quick meander using green thread and it was an easy project.

I had this one loaded, quilted, and trimmed in less than 30 minutes. These kind of quick projects are so satisfying!

I’m sharing these finishes on Finish it Up Friday and Finished or Not Friday. Be sure to visit for some great eye candy and inspiration!

That’s it for me today. I hope you have a happy weekend and make time for cooking up a quilt or two! 🙂


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MCM #109 – Free Motion Frenzy

Hello, all you Monday Main Crushers! (Ooh, that sounds strong and fierce! I like it..) It’s been busy here in my part of the quilting world, and I have a couple of pretty things to share with you.

But first, let me ask you a question – if one’s computer is still in the shop after a week, does that mean it has pretty much died and gone to technology heaven? Hmmm….I think so! Thank goodness for this little laptop!

So last week I finished three customer quilts. I thought I would get to show them to you on Friday – you know, for a Friday finish – but it rained so much here I couldn’t get them out for a good picture. Instead they will be a Monday finish and a huge crush that they are finished.

First up is Karen’s colorful quilt. Karen was a student in one of my Beginning Quilting classes less than a year ago. She also took my class where we made Floating. She recently retired and has been having a lot of fun making her quilt tops and it shows. I love all the wonky boxes and the vivid colors in this quilt. And there’s Grunge!!

Not only is there Grunge on the front, the wide back she used is Grunge. It quilted up beautifully, and I can already tell you some of that wide backing fabric is going to find a home here with me!

We used the floppy feathers design to keep the quilt soft and give it texture. It was fun, and fast, to quilt!

Next is Robin’s scrumptious scrap quilt. I tell you, this one is difficult to give back! I love everything about it – the design, the colors, the texture, everything!

Robin asked for a floral design since a lot of the fabrics have flowers in them. We decided on an all-over loopy flower, and it was the perfect choice.

The third quilt I finished is Diane’s second Labyrinth quilt. I quilted this one pretty much the same as the first (see it here). The purple and the teal work well together, and it was a lot of fun to quilt.

Quilting Detail

I wasn’t as successful last week with my own quilting. There has been no progress on the Card Trick quilt for my mother-in-law, and I’m still dying to start the quilting on my William Morris half square triangle quilt. Some quilts just tell you how they should be quilted, and that’s what this one is doing. Actually, I think it’s pretty much screaming at me! Both these projects have to be put on hold until I finish two more piecing/quilting projects with deadlines.

That’s it for me today. You are now all caught up with {most} of what is going on in my Cooking Up Quilts world. I would love to catch up with what you’ve got going on in your world! Tell us what you are crushing on and working on in your sewing space. You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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MCM #108: Technology Pains

Welcome to Main Crush Monday! I have to say, I am so happy we are starting a new week. Not that last week was bad. Not at all. But it was a challenging week, and I’m hoping this new one runs a bit more smoothly.

I have to apologize to everyone who commented and linked to MCM last week. I only visited a couple of the link-ups, and didn’t get to respond to any of the comments. Not for lack of trying, but for lack of internet service. You see, I have satellite internet service. If the weather is bad with crazy rain or heavy cloud cover or snow then the internet goes out. And we had crazy rain, flooding, snow, and gloomy cloudy days for almost the entire week. Not to mention the highest water levels and flooding we’ve had in a really long time.

Sounds aggravating, right? It really was. Then, my computer died. The tech I took it to says it is most likely a virus and is probably fixable. I’ll find out sometime today. Meanwhile I’m using an old laptop – let’s cross our fingers that it lives a long life!

All of that happened after I dropped my phone and shattered it. I did get a new phone, but still don’t have it set up to read my email or any of the other convenient apps I’ve grown used to. I would seriously love to have my old phone back.

Also, I recently discovered that some of my emails are not reaching the inboxes of the recipients. So, if you have commented on a post in the past and didn’t receive a response from me it may be in your spam folder. Lately several emails I have sent were found with their spam mail.

Technology and me, we are not friends right now.

But this is a new week, and things will be better. We have sunshine on tap for today and tomorrow, and sunshine always makes the day better!

Let’s move on to quilting! I had planned on having the last two borders sewn to the Card Trick quilt by now, but that didn’t happen. I did put on two sides of the first border but don’t like the way they look. The batik fabric is not a good choice, so those two strips are coming off.

Love the batik fabric, just not in this quilt.

It’s funny how a fabric can look so good when it’s stacked with others, but not so much when it is actually pieced. So now I’m going to change the plan a bit – instead of two borders, I’ll just make one larger one with a different print.

I’m suppose to have more time at home this week. I hope that translates to more time in my sewing room, and I can get this quilt top finished. I really need to move on to more pressing items on my To Do list.

On the business side of things, I only finished one customer quilt last week. It was the second labyrinth quilt (twin to the one shown below), and I quilted it almost exactly like this first one.

Labyrinth Quilt

Labyrinth Quilt #1

I currently have 12 quilts in the queue, so I better get on it!

I hope you have had a much more productive time in your sewing space than I have recently. I would love to see the projects you are working on – you can link them here. What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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MCM 107 – Pineapples Everywhere!

I know I don’t need one more thing to do. I don’t. But I absolutely couldn’t resist adding this particular project to my WIP list.  Here is a snapshot of what I’m talking about:

Please excuse the crappy picture – it was taken with my phone in the shop with bad lighting. But it gives you an idea of why I had to stop everything and work on these blocks.

This quilt is a class being held at our LQS. I immediately signed up for this one, even though I’m usually a teacher and not a student. I have to say, it was fun to be the student! 🙂

I have wanted to make pineapple blocks for a long time, and am envious of all the gorgeous blocks I see on the internet. Rebecca of Cheeky Cognoscenti is making a beautiful version of the pineapple block. I always love to see her progress.

The first session of the class lasted four hours. Here is my progress so far:

Pineapple BlockFOUR hours people! Actually, it was really more like 3-1/2 because there’s instruction in the beginning, and class got started a few minutes late but still – not even a complete block! I have to add the corners and then it will be done.

I know I can make these blocks faster once I have things set up my way in my own sewing room. It’s a bit discombobulating (is that a word??) to sew in another place. I kept losing my scissors which is just silly as they were always right there beside me.

This is definitely a long term project. I’ll keep you updated!

Before I took time off for the pineapple class, I was working on the card trick quilt. I am making good progress. Here are some of the blocks on my wall:

Card Trick quiltAs you can see, I decided to add the sashing after design discussion with hubby. I’m glad we’re using this blue. It’s a Quilter’s Linen, and I just *love* it. Since this picture was taken I’ve gotten all the columns sewn together with all the sashings. I will be adding two borders and then this one will be a finished flimsy. I am loving the colors.

So that is what I have going on in my world. Now it’s time for you to share your projects on Main Crush Monday. What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can share your projects – here’s how:

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