Friday, November 7, 2014

Red Poppy

I am Oh So Fond of this quilt. At first I was a little intimidated. I was unsure what quilting design would complement the fabric. As soon as I hung it up my husband took one look at it and said "circles all over". Sometimes it is a surprise where our ideas and inspiration come from. He was oh so right, I Love the circles. 
Ready, Set, Go..............
I like to start quilting inside the border of the quilt. 
First I Circled away,  I used 5 different size circles on this quilt. 
Then the Turquoise Feathers and straight lines.
 My straight edge ruler helped a lot.

 In the corners a cursive C was added. 
The quilt will be gifted to a lady that her name begins with C.

The Back is so Pretty 

Materials used 

YLIC Cotton 60 wt Stormy Grey for the Circles
Sulky 40 wt Rayon Turquoise for the Feathers

5 different sizes of Acrylic Circles
A good Straight Edge Ruler

Batting was supplied by customer but felt like a 80/20 Blend

Quilt Size
75 x 59

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pink and Cream

A mom I know made a Pinterest board for her little girl that went to Preschool with my son and the board is filled with Pink and Cream. Then I was determined to make a Pink and Cream Quilt with very dense quilting.

Here is the top before the quilting began

Design time: Luckily I had just received my ruler foot and rulers YEAH

Lots of curves and straight lines

but I would never ever forget to add some Free Motion Feathers

 Almost time to take it off the rails

 My attempt at a butterfly :)

 Now keep in mind from here on out all of the pictures are after a cold wash and then hung up to dry.

 Sunny Sun

 I love those sun rays

 What is she doing here????

 Sunny days

 Ready to wrap up

 Swirls formed into circles then echoed

I love my set up check it out @ Midarm like a Pro

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Southwest Cowgirl Quilt

It has been a busy summer. Now that school is back in I should have more time for quilting. The quilts are building up and it is time to get to work. I have a new ruler foot and a few new rulers to play with. I plan on going into more detail on ruler work very soon.

I was able to get one quilt done over the summer. A customer sent me a Southwest Cowgirl Quilt the pattern is Turning Twenty. It was the biggest quilt that I have tackled 102 x 102. I had to pull my frame out to king size which is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and this quilt gave me the reason. Now I can make those quilts for my king size bed.

Here it is laying over the clothes line. What you are seeing is only half of the quilt.

Here is the back

I decided to go with what I like to call a cowboy feather and some straight lines that are like hills and valley that are found in New Mexico.

The border has diamonds with e's and l's

Here you can see how pretty all of the colors are together

I had fun with all of the swirly feathers and straight lines. This was a allover motif that I free hand quilted. This quilt made me go outside of the box from other quilts that I have quilted. It is always good to open your mind to new possibilities.

Southwest Cowgirl Quilt

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Midarm like a Pro!!!

I have a Midarm Grace Frame it is actually the Original Grace Frame, which means it needed a bit of tweaking. I found it on Craigslist for $250.00 I was able to take it home for $200.00. The frame was already together as a queen size frame, it came with King extension, engraved quilting guides, and a wooden frame for my sewing machine.

What came first the Sewing Machine or the Frame?
For me it was the Sewing Machine.

Once home my husband helped me unload the frame and it was my job to finish assembling the frame. This took hours even though most of it was already put together. Directions drive me bonkers, I'm not the kind of person that buys patterns, I would rather make them up! Oh how I long for EQ7.  Once the setup was complete, it was time to figure out those rails and how to make cloth leaders???? YouTube helped, I had instructions too, but mostly Kathy Quilts showed me the way. As for the cloth leaders Grace Frame provided instructions in the directions. The amount of joy that I had was overwhelming. I HAD A QUILTING FRAME!!! and It worked Pretty Good? YEAH.......
gmq original instructions
This is what it looked like on the picture above, the frame for the sewing machine is wooden.

Here is where the journey began.
How could I get my Midarm to glide like a Longarm?
Google here I come!

1) I found some accessories like a metal frame to hold my Brother 1500.

2)Speed Control Box with a Pulse Button, On/Off Button and a Speed Dial.

3) Rails and Lithium Grease - Once I expanded my frame to a king size I went to my local metal supplier and purchased 2 twenty foot long 1/4 inch steel dows. I had them cut to 130 inches long (king size length of the frame). It is very important to have one full length so that you have a smooth stitch without skips. The plastic rails that came with the frame gave me skips and where very frustrating. As for the Lithium Grease you can get it at you local hardware store. Take some paper towels and wipe down the dows with the grease once the grease has coated the dows get a fresh towel and clean off the excess grease. A little grease is okay but not enough to see it.
I use clear tape on the back of the frame to keep the cord from catching on the grooves that hold on the wooden etched frames. Which I do not use I would rather mark my quilt to get a more accurate quilting. Do what works best for you.

4) Level -  If your frame is not level you will break your thread over and over until you want to scream or cry. Check all of the rails and the frame itself. My floor is not level so I added felt on the legs of the lower side.

Once all of these Items were in place my quilting was smooth!!!!!

 Here are a few smaller tools that I have added:

 Always use a good thread, I prefer to use Aurifil Cotton 50/2. It very rarely breaks, has low lint and a nice sheen. 

Another little tip is to always make sure that your presser foot is up when you are re threading your needle. This will place your thread in the right spot between your tension disk and reduce thread breakageAs seen below the presser foot is up.

 Below to the Right is the head of a rice filled dolphin, the weight will hold your quilt from wobbling as you are quilting which results in less thread breakage. I also use rice bags.

Remember the goal is to have a smooth quilting experience and to be creative. Creativity is hard to find if your thread breaks every two inches. This might seem like a lot of work at first but now it comes naturally to me. 

 Let's see what I have invested so far into my quilting frame.

  • Brother 1500 - used - $600.00 local sewing store
  • Grace Frame - used - $200.00 Craigslist
  • Metal Frame - new - $120.00 Overstock/Grace
  • Speed Control Box - new - $50.00 Overstock/Grace
  • Rails - new - $12.00 local metal supplier
  • Cloth Leaders - Muslin - $10.00 Joanns with a coupon
Total - $ 992.00 not bad :)
Some prices are a little more now, inflation. All of the other stuff like the lights and tweezers I had around my house. I am not saying that my setup is better than a Longarm because it is not. A Longarm has more quilting space and stitch regulators are nice. My Grace Frame is to hold me over until I want to invest more money and time into my quilting. Also there is a Stitch Regulator for the Grace Frame it is about $400.00 and I have not heard a good review yet. If you have a Grace Frame Stitch Regulator please leave a comment on how you feel about it. Can it be tweaked too? I would love to hear from you.

This is one of my first videos let me know what you think. Thanks and Quilt as you Desire.