Another Blog Worth Reading and Day #5 of the 8 Days of Patsy’s Birthday Give-Away!

December 15th, 2010

I didn’t make much progress on anything “quilty” today, but I did get back to my sewing room to shoot a better photo of those gold feathers inside the heart:

These are raw-edge appliqued using Wonder Under as the fusible web. Truthfully, I feel somewhat torn about the best way to free motion embroider these feathers. A part of me wants to go nuts and stitch all kinds of fun hyperquilting kinds of designs, but that really wouldn’t go with this traditional-looking quilt. So, in the end I just did a basic in-lining stitch just inside the perimeter of the plumes. To me, this stitching here is more functional than decorative, so I went with Bottom Line thread in my top needle and bobbin with the goal being that the stitching really wouldn’t be a focal point:

I’m hoping to get a bit of time to sew again tomorrow, so maybe I’ll have more pics by then. In the meantime, one nice thing that happened this week was that I found a new blog that’s really cool. It Leslie McNeil’s blog and you can find it here. Now I’m not referring you to this blog because she wrote something nice about me today, but I’m referring you to her blog because she’s got some great photos of detailed stitching shots and she’s taking the time to explain how to use these techniques! Don’t you just love blogs like that? I haven’t yet gone back to the very beginning of her blog, but what I’ve seen so far by scrolling backwards has been great, and her work is loaded with all kinds of texture. Way to go Leslie!!

And now for today’s give-away… Tonight we’re offering up one copy of our Hyperquilting book:

If you’re interested in thread work and learning the joys of thread play, then this baby would be loads of fun for you! To enter the give- away, just post a comment to this blog posting by 12:01 on Monday, 12/20/10 and you’ll be in the drawing!

Quilt for a New Class and Day #4 of the 8 Days of Patsy’s Birthday Give-Away

December 14th, 2010

I’m kind of running out of stuff to blog about during this daily blog give-away, so I’m going to have to show you some pictures of stuff that’s not very far along in process and you might find this stuff kind of boring. Here’s what’s been on my machine bed today:

This is still just a quilt TOP and it’s for a quilt that will be the basis of a new class I’m developing. The whole point of the class will be to introduce quilters to how quickly and easily you can create a fused applique top using dies and a fabric cutting machine. I’ve just barely begun embroidering the edges of some of the applique shapes:

Now you are probably saying to yourself that this top doesn’t quite look like a Patsy-quilt because it’s got fairly subdued colors, and you would be right! I will probably make this quilt (or one somewhat like it) in more saturated colors, but I’m trying this out here. Sometimes you gotta mess around in unfamiliar waters, ya know?

Because I wanted to finish the edges of the heart with a satin stitch, I ironed a tear away stabilizer on the backside underneath the heart. This way, I can avoid any puckering and that finished edge will look nice and smooth once it’s done:

(You can kind of see that I used gold thread to outline those bird wings in the area above the stabilizer.) The heart came out really nicely:

…and so did those feathers inside, except the close-up shot of the feather stitching came out really blurry so you’ll have to wait until the next time I work on this top to see a clear shot of them. Sorry about that!

And as for today’s give away…Have you seen the new 2011 Quilting Arts Calendar?

It’s really very beautiful and has quilts from many great quilt artists like Susan Brubaker Knapp, Maria Elkins (who I actually got to meet earlier this year!), Diane Marie Chaudiere, and many others. This lovely and inspirational calendar could be yours and you can enter the drawing just by posting a comment to this blog. Good luck!

Quilt Finished, Wait Til You see What Kelly Just Got, and Day #3 of the 8 Days of Patsy’s Birthday Give-Away Marathon!

December 13th, 2010

“Sprouts of Sunshine,” (name courtesy of my friend Nancy Bruce), measuring 52 inches H x 47 inches W is done!  This quilt was pure joy to create, from the beginning to the very end.  Here’s a close up of the center section:

I used the “Loaves of French Bread” background fill design for the main center section (sorry, I accidentally referred to it as the “Igloos” design about a month ago):

Here’s a shot of butterfly #1. His feathered flight path was trapuntoed, so it’s more prominent than the other butterfly flightpaths:

…and here’s butterfly #2 and his flight path:

and not to be forgotten, butterfly #3:

I worried long and hard about how I would quilt those daisies…In this next photo, you’ll see that I outlined them with invisible thread (Monopoly by Superior Threads) and only tried to catch the very tip of each petal with my thread line. I figured that way, I could make sure the petal couldn’t come off down the road but I didn’t “clutter up” the daisy with thread work that might be noticed. That’s the one downside of invisible thread…it has a sheen that draws attention to it. Maybe someday Superior Threads will invent a matte finish Monopoly…a girl can dream!)

The only thing left is to sew on the label, but as you can see here, even the label has been made:

(That’s Wright’s prepackaged piping that you see me sewing onto the outer edge of the label.) In case you forgot, almost all the applique on this quilt was cut using my Sizzix machine. I used many, many different Sizzix dies and had a total blast doing it. (If you want to see specific dies that were used, keep scrolling backward and there’s a really long post showing pics of the dies used.) But, now we need to switch gears because I want to direct you back to Kelly Jackson’s blog here. We talked on the phone this afternoon just after she’d opened up her new Sizzix Vagabond machine and she is on cloud nine with excitement about it! Be sure to read her post and she’s working on making a video right now to show how easy it is to use! You should all know that neither Kelly or I work for Sizzix; we’re just 2 very happy customers who’ve fallen in love with this product! If you have trouble with arthritis and turning the handle on a fabric cutting machine, then the Vagabond is for you and Kelly is taking pre-orders on it in her IHAN store!

And before we adjourn for the night, I want to introduce today’s give-away item. This time, it will be 5 yards of the fabrics of your choice from Nancy’s Halvorsen’s Tidings Collection, with the smallest cut being 1/2 yard. There are MANY fabrics in this collection, so you’ll have a lot to choose from and you can check them all out here. Remember, comments are open until 12:01 am on Monday, 12/20/10!

A Beautiful Quilt and Day #2 of the 8 Days of Patsy’s Birthday Give-Away Marathon!

December 12th, 2010

This is a photo of part of a beautiful quilt that is HAND-PIECED by Betty Field of Peoria, AZ-isn’t it great?!  She used 100% cotton ombre fabrics and when I show you the other photos, you’ll see how much that color variegation adds.  It measures 57 inches x 68 inches and it was machine quilted by her good friend, Terrie Ward of Surprise, AZ.  The batting is 100% wool and Terrie used rayon and trilobal polyester threads for the machine quilting.  Terrie quilted all kinds of different filler designs in the pieced blocks:

Do you recognize the irregular swirl design in that pieced block?  If you look just outside that block, you’ll see some lovely feather quilting that she did in the setting triangles.  Terrie did her feathers freehand, with no marking! If that doesn’t impress you, then I should tell you that Terrie did all this quilting on her Bernina 44o HDSM!   For the solid color squares, Terrie used our 10 inch square wreath stencils with interchangeable spine designs.  Here is the curly cue spine:

Wow, I just love that!  I also  really like how the ombre fabric gently changes color as you move across the block!  And here’s one more beauty…this is Terrie’s bicycle chain spine wreath:

Betty and Terrie really did a fabulous job on this quilt-thanks so much for sending me the photos!  If you’d like to learn how to stitch these feathered wreaths with interchangeable spine designs, here’s a link to a video tutorial that will show you how.

And now for today’s give-away! Since today’s post features a quilt with lots of feather quilting, I thought a copy of our Feather Adventures book would be a great give-away prize:

This book is all about machine quilted feathers and the fun you can have by playing around with them. Warning-feather quilting can be very addictive and cause many a sleepless night! Retail value is $29.98, but if you win this give-away, it will be yours for free! To enter, just post a comment to this blog post telling me why this book would hellp you, and you’re in the drawing! Good luck!

Two Blogs You Should be Reading and The Birthday Give – Away Marathon Begins!

December 11th, 2010

Today marks the beginning of the one week countdown to my 54th birthday, so today will be the first of eight days of give-aways on my blog!  But before we get to that, I want to tell you about 2 blogs that should be on your regular read list if they aren’t already there.  The first blog up is “May Your Bobbin Always Be Full.” This incredible blog by LuAnn Kessi is full of beautiful pictures of quilts in progress, step by step tutorials, and loads of inspiration. I met LuAnn online a few years ago when she wrote me and showed me some photos of quilts she had made that were oh-so-luscious! I started reading her blog and have been bowled over ever since! Trust me, this blog is worth scrolling backwards on to see all her old posts, but make sure you check out her most recent posts, like the one about making magnetic pin holders out of adorable plates (what an incredible gift idea!) and also her “challenge quilt” posts. I am in love with that challenge quilt! Isn’t it funny how you meet people online in this way? LuAnn, I REALLY hope our paths cross in real life someday because I just know we could have loads of fun together!!

The next blog you should be reading regularly is I Have a Notion by Kelly Jackson. I was a reader of Kelly’s blog a couple years back when we met at Checker Distributors and found out that we actually live about 20 minutes away from one another! I am here to tell you that Kelly is just as nice and funny in person as she is on her blog! The I Have a Notion Blog is hands-down THE place to go to learn about new products in the quilting world. Kelly takes thousands of pictures (no joke, she really does takes thousands of pictures) when she goes to Quilt Market and then she posts great summaries and tutorials of these products on her blog. Kelly is the one who introduced me to Sizzix and that has changed my life! Kelly also has a wonderful online store and has incredible customer service. (Hey wait a minute, this is just like Miracle on 34th street, when Santa sent people from Macy’s to Gimbles!). Bottom line, this blog will keep you up to date on what’s new and fun in the quilt world, and you’ll get some chuckles out of your visit as well! Make sure you head over there in the next couple of days, because she’s got a give-away going on right now!

And now for day#1 of the 8 days of Patsy’s Birthday Give-Away marathon…Our first give away will be:

Yep, it’s a package of 40 strips of beautiful Tonga Treat Sugarplum batik fabrics, ready for you to piece together to create the quilt of your dreams!  This assortment of fall colors would make a great autumnal themed quilt.  Retail value is $35.55 but if you win this give away, the package will be yours for free!  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this particular blog post telling me how you want to use these fabrics.  If you post a comment AND make any purchase in our online store between 12/9/10-12/19/10, your name will be entered in the drawing for that item 4 times! Can you enter the drawing for everyday of the marathon to be eligible for each give-away? Of course! Comments close at 12:01 am (eastern time) on Monday, 12/20/10 and the winners for the week of give-aways will be drawn sometime during that week.  (It’s a busy time, so you’ve gotta cut me some slack about getting that part done!)  Let the games begin!