Tuesday, February 21, 2012

States Quilt

Back in October I had a post about quilting with my Mom.  She has early dementia/Alzheimer's and had recently moved into assisted living.  She was having difficulty with her sewing machine and the decision was made not to move it to her new home, but she still enjoyed hand sewing.  We started making the states quilt together and she has completed all 50 embroidered blocks.  I am preparing  for my annual quilt retreat with my small quilting group this weekend and I am planning to dedicate most of the weekend to sewing these blocks together.


It is quite time consuming as each of the blocks has set in corners, but I have worked out a system and they are going together quite well. 

I also am all caught up on the Just Takes 2 blocks.  My wall of blocks is starting to look very interesting :)
Happy Stitching All,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Appropriately enough I have some little hearts to applique.  This is a 6 inch block in the Just Takes 2 quilt (see the link on the side bar).  I am doing the needle turn applique by back basting and have loved every stitch.  I have missed having a hand applique project and not done one since I finished the Civil War Bride last year.  I just can not seem to find the right pattern.  I have sort of been looking at Aunt Millie's Garden and the Circuit Rider Quilt, but not committed yet.  I am trying to be more careful at choosing quilts, they are such an investment any more. 
In the meanwhile I am truly enjoying every block (okay- maybe not so much the Y seams in that house block) in the Just Takes 2 quilt.  After I finish the heart block this evening I will have the January blocks finished.  Tomorrow more blocks will be published but I will soon catch up because...

TA  DA  Bella Garden is finished!!!

I hope you all have a good Valentine's Day.  February is my month professionally, I am ultrasound technologist in the Heart and Vascular Lab at one of the medical centers here in Omaha.  We always do some sort of health screenings on a Saturday in February and this weekend we are doing carotid artery and aorta ultrasound screening.  We have been overwhelmed with interest - YEA -  and will be screening over 120 this Saturday morning!!!

Happy Stitching,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice

This month's free motion quilting challenge is presented by Diane Gaudynski. I admire her quilting so much, and her style of machine quilting is always my goal when I quilt. Her lesson this month is Echo Feather Plume.  The things I learned were that I am definately a "racer" back to the spine and tend to make a straight line and need to train my brain to "think curve or heart shape" and curve that feather back into the spine. The other great tip was to quilt in colored thread (I tend to like clear mono filament in my quilting) because you can actually see your stitches and see if you are making even stitch lengths.
I did a couple of practice pieces and then even did a little sample applique quilt and did some feathers and echoes and whatever else came to mind to fill in the background.
Diane's tutorial is packed with good tips as is her blog. I have owned her book Quilt Savvy for a while. I have lots of areas in the book highlighted for quick reference and I go back to this book frequently just to brush up and remember all the great techniques.
The one thing I learned most from the book is what a difference the open toe foot makes. Both of these feet are good, but the open toe makes a HUGE difference in being able to see where you are going. I think my echo quilting improved 100% when I bought this foot.
The quilting continues on Bella Garden (by McKenna Ryan), I have finished the center.

I did not put in any feathers but I did quilt in a couple swirls, a butterfly and a lot of echo quilting.
Happy Stitching all from snowy Nebraska.