Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring Quilt Market

Normally Spring Quilt Market and MQS conflict.  This year they were both in Kansas City.  YEAH!  Market is so inspirational.  It is so much fun to see what is coming out.  Attending is a great why to see what customers will be doing in the coming months and start planning how to quilt those quilts.  After spending the last 2 days seeing all the new fabric, designers and notions my head is just swimming with ideas! After taking classes, and walking 2 vendor malls I am ready to head home!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Another MQS has come to a close.  It doesn't seem possible.  The classes were fabulous.  Jamie Wallen is such a wonderful teacher.  Dawn Cavanaugh is always wonderful! Angela Walters taught for the first time this year.  If you get a chance to take a class with her, DO IT!  She is fabulous! 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Road Trip!

I haven't done a road trip since I was in college.  This week I am reliving all the fun.  My friend, and fellow longarmer, Sheri decided to Road Trip to Kansas for MQS and Spring Quilt Market.  We left NC and drove to ....


If you have never been to the National Quilt Museum, drop everything and go! NOW!  The quilts were incredible!

After touring the Museum we drove to Overland Park. I am not afraid of bridges.  They really don't bother me.  But the one we went through out of Paducah was awful.  It was long, the driving bed was grates the whole way across and it was like driving on ice.  

Along the way I took this picture.  Good thing Sheri was driving.  

She offered to stop and let me go up in it, but I really just wanted a picture.  Plus we wanted to get all the way to Kansas City.

We pulled into our hotel at 11PM.  We were so revved up we actually unpacked and organized.  I really hope there was no one in the room next to us.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tech Post

Long before I started quilting I did computer Tech Support for a large financial software company.   At that point if you had told me that 10 years later I would be a longarm quilter I would have laughed.  I still love the technical world, but my small world has changed dramatically since then.  

So not surprisingly I am loving being able to blend my too worlds.  I still love all things computer.   My life is buzzing with a plethora of electronics.  And before you ask, no, I have not ordered a computer system for my longarm.  I may someday, but I am still in love with freemotion quilting.  For now, there will be no computer added to my beloved APQS Millennium.  

I started thinking about how I use technology in my business.  When I started I was fine with my laptop.  Then it crashed and I decided that maybe I should put my financial software on my desktop.  I got a new laptop and I did use it daily, mostly for websurfing and blog posting.  When Matt gave me my iPad that changed, I really only use my laptop for blogging, because it is painful to do on my iPad.  My iPad has changed the way that I quilt.  I now do my design work on my iPad.  I have a couple apps that I love to work with.  One is Adobe Ideas.  I can take a picture of the quilt top with the camera  bring it into Adobe Ideas and draw on the picture.  This has truly changed my creative process.  I also like Evernote and Skitch.  I have been working on drawing all of my fills in Skitch and importing them into Evernote.

This way I can show my customers a sample of what I am thinking about using on their quilts, on the go.  Evernote has become my digital sketch pad.  

Plus I can email out of any of those programs so if I am working with a customer that is not local we can send ideas back and forth.  This came in really handy for a recent quilt that was shipped to me.  The customer emailed a photo of the quilt.  I was able to do the design work before the top even got to my studio.

Another plus with Evernote is that I can log onto it from my PC and smartphone so I can get to those pictures from anywhere I am.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

Kathy's Saturday Sampler

When Kathy showed this quilt at our Bee meeting, I really wanted to get my hands on it.  The blocks were done at Bernina World of Sewing's Saturday Sampler.   Before I show you the front of the quilt, here is a picture of the back. 

I laugh when people say that if you put a busy print on the back you will not see the quilting.  That is not really true.  true, it is easier for me to hide my starts and stops, but even on this busy batik, you can still see the quilting.  And you can see it from quite a distance.  Granted this is partial due to the double batting, but when quilting at this density you can usually see it on the back even without double batting.   I used Quilter's Dream, Dream Cotton Select on the bottom and Hobb's Tuscany Wool on the top.  

I love the stitch definition that you get with Wool batting.  Kathy had told me that she wanted to use this on a wall so I knew I could get away with double batting and dense fills.  

I used 7 colors of So Fine! thread by Superior Threads on the top of this quilt.  I LOVE So Fine!  It is a 50wt. thread so it is thin enough that I can use it when I have to back track without looking thready.  Plus it hardly ever breaks and it easy to get my tension just were I want it.  I also love that it has a cotton look to it.  On the bottom I used some bobbins that I wound, and other were Superbobs prewounds.   I may have even used some of the So Fine! prewounds.  

Since I had the wool in this quilt I used dense fills to make designs in both the inner board and the sashing.  I love how the wool puffs the areas that are not densely filled. 

It really does make the quilting pop.  

This quilt just makes me HAPPY!
Thanks to Kathy for entrusting me with her quilt.  This quilt is sure to always be on my list of favorites!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Double loading

My Mom has been in a quilt production mode.  In February I quilted seven quilts for her to take back to Florida with her.  There were 3 that I realized I could load on one piece of wide back.  So I thought I would show you what it looks like when I double load quilts.

In this case I loaded 2 side by side and then loaded a 3rd one below these two.  Since I did a basic meander on all of these it took me the same amount of time to do 3 quilts as it would have to do one queen size.   And I got seven quilts out of my closet and on their way back to Florida with Mom.