Posts Tagged ‘CIndy Needham’

The Hum-Purr of My Machine….

GeckoBorder4Color

Thank you, Cindy Needham, for talking about the hum-purr your machine makes when you are in the groove! And I have been in the groove this past month – another quilt under the presser foot, this one a  16-year-old top that I am giving to my yoga instructor. I haven’t done anything with the top prior to this, because there was an area I really wanted to do feathers in, and I wasn’t willing to hand-quilt them. So now that I can do feathers in free-motion, sounds about right to finish this top…..except the area I was thinking really needed something else…..so I did a grid pattern, and I LOVE IT! It makes the traditional top look much more modern.

Waffle1

Below is the quilt being basted – my safety pins have gotten quite the workout in the last few months! The quilt top originally ended with the blue wave border, but it wasn’t long enough to cover a chilly body. So I added another black and wine border – lots of ideas for quilting those – and yes, I will have feathers somewhere on this quilt!

Waffle3

Before I started in on this, I continued with the BOM from our local quilt store, four months to catch up on, and I’m pleased with how they look. Based on progress I’ve made with the amount of sewing over the last couple of months, I would probably do some colors differently in the original blocks. Here’s the new ones:

DSCN0673

Photography really isn’t doing them justice!

DSCN0674I love the green and orange one!

Up after this quilt is a lap quilt for my great-niece who turns 13 in August, and I would like to have it done for when we see them in May. I’ve made the commitment that all 8 of my great-nieces and great-nephews will get a lap quilt from me when they turn 13. This means lap quilts for the next 11 years…….

Works in Progress….or Works That are Finished….

Yes, I am finishing things, some of which I can’t show yet, but I do have an “oldie but goodie” from the far past, from at least 25 years ago…….this is an afghan I made of a teacher colleague for her first child. She sent me a picture a few weeks ago, and I can picture exactly where I was in Phoenix making this little bear. The bear has now been passed on to a grand-child, so it’s good to know Bear won’t be lonely. I didn’t have a picture of this, as it was WAY before I started documenting my work. So thanks, Ann, for sending him along to me!

Also completed and never photographed (and needs to go under “early quilts” on the website) is my purple quilt – a really original title. This quilt happened in several stages. First, I did the basic blocks as part of a different quilt I was trying to design. There were 9 blocks, 5 of one design and 4 of another. Probably five years after originally making the blocks, I sashed them and then added a very geometric print for a border. This was the first time I actually started mixing some prints with the marbled fabrics. I did some beading, but I probably need to go back and re-do because I certainly didn’t do the beading well. What I particularly like is the secondary design in the blocks, where the marbled fabric actually looks like it is swirling.

Another completed project – the dresser scarf for hubby, based on what I’m learning in the Craftsy class with Cindy Needham. I may decide to take the serged edging off and replace it with binding to eliminate the curl on the edges. But it has been a great practice piece. Now I need to finish mine…….

I love how the cathedral window quilting works with the hand-dyed fabric.

This next is a work in progress, a type of self-portrait, but my own distinct version of it. Think of “marbled end pages of a book.” More to come the end of January……

This is a snapshot of a quilt completed for a customer, where the quilter did this A.MA.ZING. quilting. I can only hope to aspire to this level of free motion quilting….from Green Fairy Quilting. You have to check out the blog and see all the close-ups……drooling…….

Work in Progress Wednesday – More FMQ

In order to cope with the depression that has settled, I set a goal of sewing for a couple of hours every single day. It is helping. I’m taking Cindy Needham’s Craftsy class and getting LOADS of ideas. Plus, the FMQ challenge has a great tutorial on borders. So I started experimenting with both. I’m using the dresser scarf (one of two) to practice on. This middle section doesn’t really coordinate with the first one (or the soon-to-be last one), but these are for practice.

I am maintaining the circle stencil motif in the center of each third of the piece. Then I started with some of Cindy’s “sunshine and shadows” in the center, and then a round border of some pebbles. Then I took some ideas for borders from Patsy Thompson’s  tutorial. Even added a paisley corner from Leah Day. LOVE the back – I actually managed to get the tension to work. I used Bottom Line in both top and bobbin, as I was trying Cindy’s suggestion to use that to add texture. I used the freeform feathers from Leah Day that Cindy talked about to unite the two sections. Liking the freeform there! This center part is about four hours of quilting – incredibly therapeutic. There is definitely a whole cloth quilt in my future!

Here are the free motion feathers…could have done more in the blank spaces, but I was running out of steam……….

A look at the center, with the edge of the circle, first, second, and third borders.

More of the center section.


Love the paisley corners!

Some pics of the back – LOVE it!!

Work in Progress – More FMQ

Sewing sewing sewing…lots of thinking and planning and actual sewing. Loose ends galore, but I am slowly working through them. I don’t have enough projects, so I took apart a second Christmas quilt I made when I was practicing rotary cutting and piecing from either Better Homes and Gardens or American Quilting. I pulled it how for the decorations, but the quilting is appalling, given what I know now, so I took it all apart one night. This time I was smart enough to take a “before” picture. The lighting is off, as the top portion is as white as the bottom part.

One of the things I learned in doing this quilt is that we have borders for a reason. When I did the layout, I was surprised to see that I had unwittingly planned the stars on a white and a beige, and everything went together perfectly. It looked fine to me, I didn’t think I needed a border. Once I got the binding on, the quilt just looked so unfinished. Since all the Christmas fabrics are out again, I know I can get some more of the red and green that will be the same tones. I also don’t like the backing – too “dull” in color, and doesn’t really work with the reds and greens. So this goes on the list.

I took advantage of the sales on classes at Craftsy, and I bought two of them: Cindy Needham and Jane Dunnewold. I am five lessons through Cindy’s already, and it has been more than worth the money – learned loads so farm, and as I progress, I will have several quilts that I can practice on.

Including the two dresser scarves to complete the set in our bedroom. I started the long one  on one end, planning to do a lot of experimentation. So I used some Razzle Dazzle thread in the bobbin and did a complete stencil in the middle of that fat quarter. Not bad. Then I was thinking about how to finish off this one-third. I squared off the stencil motif and did a small decorative stitch around the stencil. Wasn’t happy with it, so I made the decorative stitch larger and went around again. It certainly stabilized the quilt. The I decided to do a variation of a tangle, with curved criss-crosses. Biggest lesson? Space the lines further apart…..this is going to take a while to finish….Here’s progress so far.

It will be good to use these scarves to practice all the FMQ patterns that Cindy will be showing. And then I have this “portrait” project to work on….and the pattern….and the list goes on…..

Top Ten Tuesday

Another week, and this time not as much time spent on line, as I really felt the urge to get back to sewing. Lots going on, and I have at least three projects to start. But I did find some interesting things.

First up from Cindy Needham, pictures of a quilt show she attended in Australia. Really amazing eye candy!

From Letters of Note, a wonderful letter about reading from the amazing Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird – one of the best books EVER. Toward the end of the letter, you find out how the title fits.

From Cool Hunting comes some interesting laser-cut wood vases.

from the 365 Project comes more great eye candy.

Deep Blue by Aaron

So today the Facebook account was evidently hacked, and as I was going through Google Reader, I found a post by wonderful Tara Reed about protecting your account.

Here’s the headline to Emily Hauser’s blog post: “The best video on human sexuality ever – my 13-year-old son. You can’t resist a headline like that….and it’s a great video.

Best quote from the video: But what’s really important is that we trust ourselves and we understand ourselves, and we love and respect ourselves, and we grant that same understanding and respect to the people around us.

From TEDx – we are used to TED talks, but this link takes you to 14 different TED presentations, all with movement. And here’s Anudori – a contortionist since age 6.

If you like TED talks, here’s a link to the 20 Most Watched TED Talks So Far.

And with the last entry you are bound to find at least three most talks to inspire you! Have a great week!!

Work in Progress Wednesday

I gotta say, I love being able to do some kind of sewing every single day. I am keeping track of what I am accomplishing during this second year of retirement, and I am on track to get A LOT done! I finished the table runner for my second mom, and I still hate 1970s polyester (I had the wrong year in last week’s post.) Each of these blocks is not going anywhere – I have to make sure there is no unraveling in the corners and curves because of this fabric. That said, it will go well with the other three completed for last year’s Thanksgiving. I think I have one more table runner in me, in August. It is just too hard on the one eye I have left; I quilt for 25 minutes and then have to take a long break to bring back my distance vision. We’ll see after the August runner is completed. So here it is:

My other project for the week has been working on the free motion quilting challenge for June. I love Cindy Needham’s quilting, and she’s got a great tutorial for this month. Lots of tiny, close stitching, some new curves. As I’ve been reading what others have done on our Facebook page, I am amazed. I tend to be pretty linear with some of this – got to do it as the examples show. But then I see some of these great photos, and I realize how people take these patterns and make them their own.

Things I’ve learned: I can get smaller in my patterns. I started on a piece of blue gabardine, with some left-over batting. I did a grid of squares with chalk, used Bottom Line in the bobbin, and played around with the Art Colors from Superior.  Now normally I don’t do any marking. I guess I always thought free motion was without any assistance. Well, on hubby’s quilt I redid, I marked some curves and liked the effect. This time I marked the grid, and I was very pleased.

You can see the bigger squares. Then I tried some curves in a few of the other squares, and then some stippling. I had no idea I could get my stippling to be that small. Love the effect. I started out being worried about the lines being straight, but as Cindy said, ultimately they all look straight, so I stopped worrying.

Here I have divided each of the 1-inch squares into half-inch squares. I wasn’t sure I would actually be able to quilt these, but I was wrong. I did the same pattern, and I even did some stippling in the smaller squares. I love the way the large circles really popped.

For this I practiced some echo quilting and swirls. Cindy’s right – you get much better with practice. And this is one of those pieces I just experimented with and practiced on, not worrying about what it would be when I was done. I was looking for where I get “puffies,” and where the fabric recedes completely. In the bottom right corner you can see part of my attempt to do more of a bird feather – not happy with it. I definitely need to have a grid to follow to do more curves.

Somewhat better curves in the upper left, but again, something to practice. I do feel like I have a lot more choices in quilting designs. Now to go buy Cindy’s books….

And if this isn’t enough stimulation, I’m getting caught up on a couple of The Quilt Show episodes. After watching Stupendous Stitches, I spent an afternoon seeing what else my Bernina 1008 would do – I can get 16 stitches, not counting differing lengths and width. Then there was Marvelous Miters and Prairie Points – great ideas there, and last night I watched RaNae Merrill, and now I want to try some spirals.

Best part? Now I have the time!

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