Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Starry Night for Betty and Birds for Beth

This is my favorite block, love how Betty fussy cut this mum fabric :0)
Betty made this quilt from her green fabrics set with black and white nine patches.
It's a donation quilt made for a fund raiser to fight breast cancer.
Love how Betty pieced the back

A second finish, this one is made by Beth for her daughter
 It's twin size with a cream minkee backing. 
 She added applique birds to the borders with some couched stems with little leaves.
Above at the beginning of the stitch out, the birds are upside down, they go all around the perimeter of the quilt. Here you can see the layout better...
and how the pocket works for large quilts. This had allot of weight with the Minkee!
Quilted with birds
This is Beth's first quilt! She made the center in a beginning quilt class. Wanting a larger quilt to fit her daughter's bed, she added the borders and then appliqued the birds. She did an outstanding job! She learned allot from the class and it paid off as her top was square and flat :0)
Great job Beth!

Betty and Beth both picked up their quilts yesterday.
Thank you

Friday, April 11, 2014

Judy, Judy, Judy

Can you just hear Cary Grant (OK dating myself again ;0)

I had the best week! Several quilts completed this week, making progress and most important, a dent in the number of quilts waiting to be quilted. Yipee!!! A few pix... these are quilts made by Judy P, a guild member and we share the same birthday!  :0)

A baby quilt that will be traveling to Alaska soon. Judy picked this one up this week along with a second quilt she made for big sister that will also go to Alaska...
These prints are so cute and very much Spring. Don't know it for a fact but I bet she picked up these fabrics from Honey Run Quilters in Chico. Theresa made a store sample I quilted for her from these prints. Love them! Here are some close ups of Judy's quilts...

Quilted with Summer Buzz e2e

Little one is quilted with bubbles, as requested by Judy, is backed with pink Minkee and the second she left up to me. I quilted a mix of bugs and flowers called Summer Buzz.

Something I promised to share earlier are pix of the mermaid Judy made... 
 Isn't she wonderful! Her name is Shelly!
Here she is sitting on a small sample quilt I made with a batik print backing with seahorses. They were meant for each other! Both of these items will be traveling as well, very soon to Texas.

Judy was a vendor at our guild's last quilt show. That is where I found Shelly among many more gorgeous dolls that Judy makes. Shelly had two mermaid sisters that went home with Jill and Brandie. Thank you Judy! Enjoy your weekend with family :0)

Also finished Carol's quilt, made progress on the Kim Diehl quilt, one for Beth in Oroville, a breast cancer donation quilt for Betty and another store sample for Theresa at Honey Run Quilters. Pix later. Blogger is not playing nice and photos are taking forever to download. For now will leave you with a pic and progress on Amaretto Cottage.
Can you see something I goofed on the layout?

Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A little bit of custom

Adding a post with some pictures of some of the quilts I am working on with the Innova

This is a little quilt made with a Kim Diehl pattern. A Mum quilting design is set in each of the snowball blocks with a feathered scroll design around alternate blocks to break up the small block pattern layout. 
Next I did some outline stitches around the appliqued leaves
using the steady edge ruler from Quilts on the Corner
Happy so far, I started some hand guided scroll fill design in between the outline stitches. 
After doing one border, checked the bobbin tension and it was way off.
Removed it from the frame to pull out those stitches :0( and loaded another quilt...
This quilt is made by Carol. She started hand quilting this large quilt several years ago after it was basted. The light straight line stitches are the basting threads. She brought it in to have it machine quilted. It's beautiful with some very busy prints so both the hand and machine stitching doesn't show allot. I left her stitches in and incorporated them with the machine stitches. We discussed adding butterflies and flowers so I am quilting feathers that look like butterflies :0) It's a work in progress with block designs and some ruler work.
Below is MidWinter Blues that I made with Lori's QAL ~ Humble Quilts
A good one to try out a b2b (border to border) design and lay out a border with corner designs around it. It's finished off with some SID along the border using the Steady Edge.
This is the back where you can see the stitching better.
Not too bad for my first one :0) yea

Hal and I are getting along pretty good today. Mostly I figure out ways to fool him so he ends up doing what I want him to do :0) and Harley is back to stitching beautifully!

Enjoy your weekend, hope you have as nice a weather as we have today
and find some time to get in a few stitches

Friday, April 4, 2014

S-l-o-w-l-y making progress and a name

To all my wonderful customers, a few read my blog, I'd like you to know that I feel allot more frustrated than anyone at how long this transition has taken. Again, thank you so much for your patience!

Innova is really good about training, which is included with the purchase of each of their machines. I am looking forward to hands on training however it may not happen until the middle of May! Due to a training center in Utah that closed, two other dealers are in the process of setting up new training centers. One will be in Yuba City, which is great except it's not open yet. Jim and the Sew So Shop are in the process of moving into a new building with the space to set up a training center. Jim is now the Innova dealer for all of California and the West Coast. Renea at Quilts on the Corner is covering Utah, Nevada and Arizona. I am hoping to get into her 'Boot Camp' in May. 

Meanwhile I am plugging along learning thru trial and error, some days more error, while practicing on my quilts and fabric from my stash. I have pantos mastered and have completed a few of those for customers. B2B and individual blocks, got that down. The last two weeks I was working on several levels, hand guided and computerized and have come to the conclusion that it would be best to narrow the scope in order to move forward. Even tension is different on this machine, it's like I am starting all over from square one. As on any machine, it's practice, practice and more practice even on a longarm. 

I joined two Innova groups, watch lots of Innova UTubes and have a manual I ordered from Nancy Wick that has helped a whole lot. Being a visual learner, those training sessions are going to be invaluable! I am making progress. This whole process has taken me by surprise and my expectations and time frames just didn't work out :0(

Aside from how long the process is taking, the most frustrating part is learning the software. There are actually two computers, one for the stitch regulator and a separate one for Auto Pilot. AP is VERY different from the Statler system I used on the Gammill. Plus AP runs on Windows 8, another aspect. Which brings me to the subject of names for my machines. 

HAL is what I decided to name my Auto Pilot because, it really does have a mind of it's own! 

The Innova deserves it's own name since it is a separate entity and thankfully is able to run independently from Hal. A unique item on my Innova are it's handle bars, they are chrome. I have not seen or used another Innova with chrome handle bars! There are older models with black bars and all of the ones I have seen in pix, and used at shows and dealers have grey metal bars. The chrome bars remind me of my motorcycle. After a conversation with Nancy at Cathy's Honeyrun Quilt store, we came up with Harley!

Harley and I are taking an early lunch today, we start pretty early most mornings. It's raining this morning, a nice Spring rain and very welcome to this part of the world.
With this long post without pix I went back and found these photos of the bike. It was the last build by/for my late husband, Mark. I say 'for' because my son and I finished the the build in his memory after his death eight years ago yesterday. There is my German Shepard and much younger Crystal in the background. Thought you would get a kick out of this photo... many moons ago
Enjoy your weekend, Jo

Just now got a call, Mom is not having a good day so I am headed over to coax her into getting up, showering, eating and taking her meds. There goes the rest of my day. Oh how my life has changed!

Friday, March 21, 2014

The good, the bad and the ugly!

The good, I made progress getting a few more items made for the studio. With the Innova set up on the other side of the room, the sun comes thru the window and shines directly on the machine and any quilt that is loaded on the frame. Fix: New sheers! I made this panel yesterday...
Working on a second pair for the other window once I pick out a rod that will fit. Eventually there will be a quilted roman shade/valance to top this window.

Another item finished is a "pocket" I made for the longarm. Also to protect quilts while they are loaded on the frame. I do a "full float" which means I don't attach the top to a leader. The top ends up hanging off the frame with the batting and is held in place with magnets. With this new pocket (that's what we call it in the drapery workroom world) both the batting and the quilt top will be safely off the floor, protected from feet and anything that might be on the floor (lots of thread :0) I vacuum each time I load a new quilt but it doesn't take long before there is new thread on the floor.
In the picture above you can see how much sun was just starting to come thru the window with the  cafe panel that used to cover half the window.

The pocket is attached by Velcro to the leader I don't use (intended for the quilt top). I used the Velcro so I have the option of taking off the pocked and use the leader when I need to. Once in awhile it is helpful, especially for a quilt top that doesn't want to play nice ;0) 
Velcro is sewn onto the leader and the top of the pocket where it attaches. I added a few small pieces of Velcro to hold the pocket in place when working on smaller quilts. 

The bad is that I made little progress with completed quilts. The hand guided sample I worked on turned out great! I am very happy with the Innova for that (forgot to take pix) This donation purple batik quilt is next on my frame to practice setting up a custom program. The learning curve for the software is pretty high which makes this time consuming. The good news is the features are wonderful and the design possibilities endless! I will be taking classes with my Innova dealer, tentatively the end of April. Wish it was sooner but I'm getting there! 
The entire design was planned out and up on the screen. With the quilt basted I was getting ready to stitch it out. I needed one more measurement (measure twice ~ sew once) and as I pulled the quilt top out of the pocket I felt a seam pull apart! 

This is the ugly part... all three of the borders and some of the blocks started pulling apart in one area of the quilt top and then a second area did the same.
I turned it over to see what was going on and saw scorch marks along the seams. Not sure what type of thread was used, it was a group project and I don't know who actually pieced and/or pressed this top. I suspect it was polyester because it looks to be melted.
Or not, it's possible that no thread could have survived this :0(  Thankfully I had only basted the sides and it was easy to take off the frame. Now to unload the backing. Wishing I still had zippered leaders like I had on my last longarm! Oh well, one more item to add to a very long to do list.  Calling this week done. Happy that it's Spring! Yea!!!

Enjoy your weekend
Spend some time in a garden and/or get in a few stitches!
I am planning to head up to the mountains :0)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Robert's 4H Quilts

A very nice young man, Robert loves quilting! Participating in a 4H program he finished two quilts. Last year's was a sampler he made out of denim. It's really good! This is Robert with his denim quilt made last year. Quilted by B&B, Robert brought this with him when he brought in this year's quilt ready to be quilted. I love how he fussy cut the pocket in the top center block of the denim quilt. Had to share this because I think it's wonderful!
Below is Robert's new quilt for this year. He paper pieced the half square triangles. Very graphic with neon green and purple colors set in black. Black backing. He requested a geometric pattern be quilted on this year's quilt and he picked out a dark purple thread. He decided on this geometric panto design... it's a very good choice. Well done Robert!
(I'll take some close up pix this morning once the sun gets up and up date this post later today)
Update: Here are new pix with a better shot of the whole quilt
and some close ups

 The quilting design ~ Geometric panto 1
Another update: When Robert picked up his quilt this afternoon, he told me he already has ideas for next year's quilt with applique! Nice!

Now that I have one method of doing pantos figured out on Auto Pilot, there are four different ways to do them!, I am looking forward to doing some custom. Last night I loaded a pre print and started playing with the new ruler, changed the foot to a special foot designed to use with rulers and started quilting hand guided. It's like budda!

I never intended to get into computerized quilting, it just happened when I purchased my first longarm used and the Statler came with. Now, five years later, that's where I'm at, learning new software! With Auto Pilot I have way more options and lots more to explore (learn :0) The biggest reason I made the change to Innova is how beautifully it handles hand guided and it does! Now I have a machine that can do both, computerized and hand guided quilting. 

The sun is just coming up and it's time to get my day going. I have several custom quilts lined up for some very patient customers, again, thank you! I have the best customers and keep meeting new ones! Yesterday Tina, new to quilting brought a very well made log cabin pieced with batiks to my studio. We came up with a design, thread choice and a plan right off. It's a wonderful feeling. Wish I could start on it right away but there are more beautiful quilts to do first :0)

Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate the company! Enjoy your day, stitching away!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

QOV for Janis

Second quilt finished on the Innova is a QOV quilt made by Janis. Binding is cut, prepped and attached today. Quilted with Stars and Stripes with a slight off white thread...
finished with binding

some close ups...

Thank you Janis:0) This quilt is well made and I love the star in a star blocks
Perfect pattern for Quilts of Valor

Enjoy your day