Monday, June 26, 2017

#MachineQuiltingBlogHop Week 9 - Migration

machine quilting blog hop

Welcome to Week 9 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop!

migration christa watson angela walters negative space free motion quilting square spirals wavy lines walking foot aurifil 12wt 2410 lineup

Today we are working on Chapter 10 of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Migration.


migration christa watson angela walters negative space free motion quilting square spirals wavy lines walking foot aurifil 12wt 2410 lineup

Once again I pulled out an orphan block from the Modern Blocks hop. Line Up by Angela Yosten is one that I always liked, but wasn't sure how to use. 


migration christa watson angela walters negative space free motion quilting square spirals wavy lines walking foot aurifil 12wt 2410 lineup

For this block, I decided to use a heavier weight thread so that the quilting would really show. I had this perfect pale pink 12 weight spool that I won at QuiltCon in the Aurifil booth. 


migration christa watson angela walters negative space free motion quilting square spirals wavy lines walking foot aurifil 12wt 2410 lineup

I learned a couple of things about this thread. First, it really does make the quilting stand out. In this case, I think it's a good thing, but you would have to be really careful and rip out any mistakes. 



Before you think I am somehow magical and managed to keep my stitch length perfect all by myself, let me tell you the second thing I learned. Free motion quilting with this thread is not really a thing. I tried but could not get it to work. It's really meant for sashiko and embellishment.

migration christa watson angela walters negative space free motion quilting square spirals wavy lines walking foot aurifil 12wt 2410 lineup

I ended up doing the whole block with my walking foot. This took longer and would have been nearly impossible on a larger piece, but since it is just a 12" block I made it work.


migration christa watson angela walters negative space free motion quilting square spirals wavy lines walking foot aurifil 12wt 2410 lineup

I'm so glad I did because I love how this turned out. My square spirals never look right when I use FMQ, but these created a texture that makes me so happy!


migration christa watson angela walters negative space free motion quilting square spirals wavy lines walking foot aurifil 12wt 2410 lineup tension

Getting the tension right was tricky. I think I'm going to make this into a small pillow so you don't see the back. Sneaky!

I hope you're hopping along with us and improving your machine quilting. Just in case you don't already have the book, Martingale has generously donated a copy of the book for each of us to give away. You can enter in the Rafflecopter widget below. Be sure to visit Vicki, Kristin, and HollyAnne to see what they did this week and enter their giveaways as well.

Next week is the last week of the hop when we will revisit Chapter 4, which is whole cloth FMQ. I have some ideas but haven't started quilting yet, and I'm trying not to be too anxious about it. You'll have to check back next week and see how it all turns out!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Quilt Shop Visit - Keepsake Quilting


Y'all, there are lots of good men out there. There are kind, funny, handsome, smart men in the world and I know you hang out with some of them. But me? I've got the best one!


new hampshire live free explore discover experience relax play

Can I just tell you about it? He planned this beautiful, amazing trip to Boston and Cape Cod for our 25th anniversary. He found two quilt shops on the Cape to visit while we were there. And then, when the rain made our plans for the last day in Boston a little less appealing he said, "You know, New Hampshire is only another two hours from here. I've never been to New Hampshire." 


keepsake quilting new hampshire quilt shop fabric

Then he proceeded to drive me to Keepsake Quilting. Sign me up for another 25 years!


keepsake quilting new hampshire quilt shop fabric

When you walk in and see this place that you've only imagined from the pictures, it's completely overwhelming. There is so much fabric! But not in a bargain bin, sort-through-the-old-stuff-to-find-a-rare-gem kind of way. No, it's like a very nice quilt shop only WAY BIGGER. 


keepsake quilting new hampshire quilt shop fabric batik
This is just one shelf in the batiks room.
I couldn't get a decent picture to show all of them.
The rooms keep going and going, with fabrics mostly sorted by color but with some special groupings. There is a whole room of batiks and several walls of their famous kits. 


keepsake quilting new hampshire quilt shop fabric kit

At one point I was just wandering and couldn't even decide where to start. The Pit Boss said, "I didn't drive all this way for you to not buy anything, so get busy." See what I mean?


keepsake quilting new hampshire quilt shop fabric sale clearance bargain

And then there's a sale room! Which literally had more fabric than some small quilt shops I've been in. 

I do want to squash one little rumor I heard. Someone told me that Keepsake Quilting was going to close their store and go to online sales only. I asked the woman who helped me and she said this rumor goes around every so often, but the store is a destination and there are no plans to close it. Judging from what I saw, it really is just a rumor.


keepsake quilting new hampshire quilt shop fabric sunday stash

I did finally pick out a few things (left to right):



One more thing: if any of you live in New Hampshire and can answer this for TPB, please do. He's dying of curiosity. How does New Hampshire have no sales tax and no state income tax? How do they pay for anything? Inquiring minds want to know.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Quilt Shop Visit - Tumbleweed Quilts

As I mentioned in my Sunday Stash Report, The Pit Boss and I visited a couple of quilt shops on our anniversary trip. The first one we went to was Tumbleweed Quilts in West Barnstable, Massachusetts, which is on Cape Cod. 


tumbleweed quilt cape cod west barnstable massachusetts shop

When you pull up, it looks like a little cottage. It's deceptively small. I wish I had taken a picture of the outside so you could see how amazing the inside is! 

tumbleweed quilt cape cod west barnstable massachusetts shop sample sea horse

Once you go inside, though, the rooms just keep going! All the way in the back was a classroom area where a group of women were sewing and chatting. I don't know if it was a class or a bee group or what, but they seemed to be having a lovely time. There are samples hanging all around, with some ocean/Cape Cod types of things (I love the sea horses above) but plenty of "regular" quilts as well.

tumbleweed quilt cape cod west barnstable massachusetts shop color


I went from room to room, trying to narrow down the choices. There were whole sections grouped by color. This was a glimpse down the aisle with greens on the right, neutrals on the left, and pinks in the distance. 


tumbleweed quilt cape cod west barnstable massachusetts shop fabric polka dot

There were so many awesome groupings of fabric, including this gorgeous wall of polka dots. Don't you love the fish hanging out on top of the shelf? 

tumbleweed quilt cape cod west barnstable massachusetts shop fabric solid

And there was a whole room full of solids. I really wish this shop were closer to me for when I'm looking for something specific. They have so much!

tumbleweed quilt cape cod west barnstable massachusetts shop fabric

Eventually I settled on four cuts (top to bottom):


I have no idea what I'll do with any of it, but it will be a fun reminder of our trip to Cape Cod! 

Tumbleweed Quilts is worth the drive if you are in the area, especially if you are on the hunt for a specific color or type of print. 



Monday, June 19, 2017

#MachineQuiltingBlogHop Week 8 - U-Turns

machine quilting blog hop

Welcome to Week 7 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop!


Today we are working on Chapter 8 of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, U-Turns.



For this chapter I went back to the Halloween/Autumn UFO that I worked on in Week 6. A lot of the designs in this chapter are ones I've already done, just in different types of spaces. I hadn't really tried ribbon loops yet, and thought they would be perfect for the outer border of this little quilt.

True confessions: I didn't do a lot this week because The Pit Boss and I just returned from our 25th anniversary trip. Also, I dropped my machine off for service before we left and just got her back. Sorry for the lack of quilting!

The book is available for purchase at the Martingale site, and we have some exciting news coming up at the end of the hop. Only two more weeks!  Don't forget to visit Vicki, Kristin, and HollyAnne to see how they handled the designs in this chapter. 

Please jump in and join us on your favorite social media channel using the hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop and post pictures of your progress. No blog required! 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Stash - I Get Around

Note: This is part two of Sunday Stash. Click here for Part 1.

The Pit Boss and I just returned from an amazing 25th anniversary trip to Boston and Cape Cod, where I ate a crazy amount of seafood and walked a ridiculous amount of steps. Probably not enough steps to offset the food, but still a lot.


lobster roll cape cod provincetown pellegrino

I dropped my machine off for service a few days before we left, so no fabric was used this week.


provincetown red inn anniversary dinner 25th

However, since I married the most amazing man ever twenty-five years ago, I did take in quite a bit on our trip. I also managed to fit it all into my suitcase despite fears that I would have to ship it home.


cape cod quilt shop

I'll write more about each shop this week, but we visited two quilt shops on our trip, and tried another one that is closed on Mondays. 


tumbleweed quilts cape cod crab whale state fabric

First we visited Tumbleweed Quilts in West Barnstable, Massachusetts. This is a shop that looks smallish but keeps going on and on! I got lost in there for about 30 minutes before deciding on these mementos of our trip. This added 4 yards to my stash.


keepsake quilting new hampshire fabric shop

Then, on Friday when the rain came in, The Pit Boss suggested a drive to New Hampshire to visit the Mecca of quilt shops, Keepsake Quilting. Is he the best or what? I picked up about 7 more yards of fabric there.

Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
Fabric Used year to Date: 21.5 yards
Fabric Added this Week: 11 yards
Fabric Added Year to Date: 38.5 yards
Net Fabric for 2017: -17 yards used
Used for Charity Year to Date: 2.5 yards
Percentage Used for Charity: 12%

I'm linking up with QuiltPaintCreate to track my Sunday Stash Reports. Visit the blog and link up so we can keep the link party going!

Monday, June 12, 2017

#MachineQuiltingBlogHop Week 7 - Exploding Star

machine quilting blog hop

Welcome to Week 7 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop!

ultimate guide to machine quilting angela walters christa watson exploding star continuous spiral modern block turnaround

Today we are working on Chapter 7 of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Exploding Star.

ultimate guide to machine quilting angela walters christa watson exploding star continuous spiral modern block turnaround


I learned Christa's technique for quilting a continuous spiral in the class I took with her back in February, and I've been looking for an opportunity to practice it again. I thought this Turnaround star block from the Modern Blocks Hop would be just the thing to show it off.
ultimate guide to machine quilting angela walters christa watson exploding star continuous spiral modern block turnaround aurifil clover white pen

An Aurifil spool is about the perfect size to start this, and my Clover white pen shows up on the deep blue.


ultimate guide to machine quilting angela walters christa watson exploding star continuous spiral modern block turnaround


I chose a variegated blue thread, which I think gives the design some interesting movement. The only downside is that the wobbles are more pronounced, but I just keep reminding myself that this is practice. I didn't finish because my bobbin ran out, but you get the idea. I really do love the effect of this design, and it's not hard, although you do have to take your time and go slowly.

This book has been so helpful for me to see different ways to quilt specific areas and shapes, and it's still on sale at the Martingale site. Don't forget to visit Vicki, Kristin, and HollyAnne for their take on Exploding Star.

Please jump in and join us on your favorite social media channel using the hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop and post pictures of your progress. No blog required! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Stash - City Square Quilts and The Longarm Network

Note: this was supposed to be last week's Sunday Stash, but I didn't get it done before The Pit Boss and I left on our 25th anniversary trip. This is the first of two parts.

I took Wednesday off to run some errands, and quickly sent my stash numbers deep into the red. Since I had to go get my passport, and since the post offices near me are booked for the foreseeable future, I made an appointment in Winder, Georgia. Of course I did a quick search to find a nearby quilt shop, and luckily found City Square Quilts just about fifteen minutes away in Hoschton. 

city square quilt shop hoschton georgia

This is a nice little shop in a small historic main street area. There's a pizza parlor called Sliced on one side and a yarn store called Yarn Junkees on the other. Unfortunately both were closed while I was there.

city square quilt shop hoschton georgia

It was a beautiful morning and the door was open to let the fresh air and quilters inside. The woman working that day showed me a new ruler and mat collection from Alex Anderson called Quilters Select. I didn't get a good photo, but the rulers have a great nonskid back. The mat is reversible and is a lighter color on one side to make it easier to see when you're cutting dark fabrics. Let me know what you think if you've tried these.

city square quilt shop hoschton georgia

City Square Quilts has some great collections, including the beginning of a gorgeous shelf of batiks. They will get ten new prints every week (month? I can't remember!) until the collection is filled out. I just had to buy that green and purple one! 

city square quilt shop hoschton georgia batik

After my passport appointment, I headed up the road to Greenville, South Carolina so I could finally swap out the saddle I bought at QuiltCon. I don't if I ever mentioned that, once I got it home, it was too tall for my table. I mean, just barely too tall, but enough that I was not going to be comfortable. I didn't even realize my table was so low.


Luckily, when I called the shop, they told me they would happily swap it out. We promised to keep in touch, and if they were in Atlanta for a show they would call me. I could have shipped it back and paid for shipping the new one, but that seemed like a giant waste since Greenville is just a few hours away. This was my chance!

the longarm network greenville south carolina

The Longarm Network was easy to find and not far off I-85. They have a great selection of supplies and classes. I'm thinking of making a day trip up there to take a class. I was so excited to pick this gorgeous blue for my new saddle. 

the longarm network greenville south carolina innova extra wide back

Even if you don't have a longarm, this is worth a stop. They have the best selection of extra wide backs I think I've ever seen. I love the selection and that they aren't all off white, babyish or too feminine. 

the longarm network greenville south carolina omni thread

The selection of threads made me laugh thinking of Angela Walters's frequent refrain, "Quilting is my therapy and threads are my meds!

the longarm network greenville south carolina quilting

I loved seeing some great quilting designs on the wall. I couldn't wait to come home and try some of these!

city square quilt shop hoschton georgia the longarm network innova greenville south carolina

I made it out of The Longarm Network with just my saddle, but at City Square Quilts I bought 1 1/2 yards of this Choice Fabrics Supreme Solids lavender and a yard of Bella Solids baby yellow for my Strippers Knot quilt, a couple of pretty fat quarters, and the batik just because it really wanted to come home with me. Sadly no fabric used last week, so I'm deep in the red again!

  • Fabric Used this Week: 0 yards
    • Fabric Used year to Date: 21.5 yards
  • Fabric Added this Week: 4 yards
    • Fabric Added Year to Date: 27.5 yards
  • Net Fabric for 2017: -6 yards used
  • Used for Charity Year to Date: 2.5 yards
    • Percentage Used for Charity: 12%

I'm linking up with QuiltPaintCreate to track my Sunday Stash Reports. Visit the blog and link up so we can keep the link party going!


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