Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quilt Con.....Still processing

Lots of fun to be had, that's for sure....but QuiltCon was so much more than that. I am on complete overload and need time to process.

Oh dear, the phone just rang and my new sewing machine is waiting in the lobby of the hotel (darn those interruptions).  Janome, gave us an amazing deal on the machines that we used in the class rooms....I couldn't resist.
I do have a really big birthday coming up next month. I know, I know....I'm a master at rationalizing.

Back to the topic at hand......
The friendly open climate amongst us fellow quilters was simply amazing. The ins and outs....  the ups and downs, I need to sift and process what to share with you. Controversy, inspiration, meeting friends, making new friends, frustration, disappointment, in depth discussion, laughter and was all there.

I'm committed to sharing my quilting journey with you and I was greatly impacted by Quilt Con....... a little simmering of my thoughts is definitely in order.

A wonderful, personal highlight of the week was seeing the current issue of Machine Quilting Unlimited on display.....with my QAYG article inside. This was the first time I saw the issue in hard exciting. 

Machine Quilting Unlimited

Friday, February 22, 2013


QUILT CON 2012 by MariQuilts

Does it look like I'm having fun yet. So nice spending a little time with  Jacquie. She's so warm and easy to talk with ......a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Bags are Packed....

 I'm ready to go.......
ALMOST that is IS!!! 

Why do I leave these things to last minute????? It's 10:30 pm here and I have to leave for the airport at 4 am. 

But, I had a slight interruption ...that threw me off my game, which is not hard to do since I get fairly scattered the minute I start packing.

I've been working on a two part article for Machine Quilting Unlimited......and here it is. I took a few quick shots of the digital version.

I'm beside myself with excitement. I was a little stressed throughout the whole experience because it involved my own photography and writing...not like Circles for Paige where the magazine did the photography and writing.

And I did manage to do a little quilting this week....  Isn't Ethne's Free Bee Block amazing???

And now back to packing, before I miss my flight to Austin....See you at Quilt Con and if not, I hope to keep you updated.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Going to Quilt Con....WHAT TO WEAR??? WHAT TO WEAR???

Off to Quilt Con next week and my biggest concern is WHAT TO WEAR

Does that tell you anything about me? I just might have mentioned previously, that my mind turns to mush when it comes to packing. 

 And on top of that, a Picture Link up!!!!! Like so many of you, I hate having my picture taken....there's very few of me sprinkled through out my blog, or anywhere else,  for that matter. So here goes......

Hmm, this isn't working all that well.....

Alright, a couple more....I think you get the picture.

Enough with the pictures.....Now, five things you might not know about me.

  • I loose my glasses twenty times a day.
  • I have no sense of direction.
  • I'm so visual that if someone gives me directions simply does not compute.
  • I've never taken any quilting classes before.....this is a first.
  • I was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to Canada as a little girl.
So, if you see an almost 60 year old blond, with a lost look on her face looking for her glasses.....that would be me. And if you try to give me directions and I give you a blank stare, really, it's nothing personal. 

Oh, by the way I don't read maps that well either..... good thing I'm travelling with Leanne (She Can Quilt) or I might not get any further than the airport.

The other day, I took this picture of my little, darling girl, wearing the new hat I just finished knitting for her. See all that snow????

So, just what are you all wearing in Austin this time of you can see, it's just a little cooler around here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sooo Very Addictive

 Once I get started, it's hard to stop....but tomorrow, it's back to the cold. So, I thought I would spend a few hours sewing, since I'm not into football the way a certain other member of my family is. 
I'll be leaving this project behind, as I go back to will be waiting for me when I come back, after Quilt Con.

Yes, I'm going...I better find a picture of myself and think of five things you don't know about me...that could be tough.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

There's More than One Way to Quilt a Spiral...

Quilting Spirals with a Walking Foot
When using a walking foot, I love the amount of control I have as I'm stitching, resulting in very even concentric circles. Don't get me wrong, I love the wobbly free motion ones as well but depending on the project and size of the desired's nice to have a choices. 
This particular method works best, if the piece you are quilting isn't overly large, since you are moving the quilt round and round in a circular motion. The larger the project you are working on, the more cumbersome that would be. Since I am an avid Quilt As You Go quilter....the blocks I'm quilting are usually no larger than 20 inches. 

Quilting Spirals with a Walking Foot
  •  This sample block is approximately 20" square.
  • Layer the quilt block, batting and backing together.
  • Baste the layers preference is to use a basting spray.

  •  When I was first learning to quilt spirals, I would start my spiral by drawing a small freehand spiral with an erasable fabric pen.
  • I've drawn you a sample. The key is to stitch the spiral in the same direction as your drawing.....
  • My preference is clockwise, which I'll be doing in this tutorial. 
  • Tip: Use an edge/quilting guide.
  • I will be using the edge of my presser foot because I only want 1/2 inch between my quilting lines...if you want anything wider, the guide works extremely well.
  • Note: I'm working on a Pfaff, for this tutorial, so it may not look like I'm using a walking foot but I am because the Pfaff has a built-in dual feed ( a fancy term for walking foot).
  • I love using variegated thread for my spirals.... my absolute favourite being Valdani because of the long colour changes and beautiful Colours.
  •  Wind yourself extra bobbins because you'll need them. On this particular sample, with the quilting lines being  1/2 inch apart, a full bobbin isn't quite enough to quilt one, twenty inch block.
  • Just to stabilize the block a little more, I stitch in the ditch on one or two major seams...I find the blocks lay a little flatter this way, once the quilt is finished. 
  •  I put the edge/quilting guide onto my presser foot, just to show you what it looks like want to attach it, to the left side of your presser foot....these fit onto regular walking feet as well.
  • It's hard to see my little spiral drawing, but it's there. Once you get experienced at sewing these spirals you can probably skip this step....but it's really helpful in getting started.
  • Put your needle into the beginning of the spiral....set your machine at a needle down position.
  • Set your stitch length at 1.
  • Put your presser foot down.
  • Start stitching very, very slowly in a clockwise direction....just follow your little drawing to get you started, gently turning your block as you stitch. I cannot emphasize the slowly part, enough.
  • Increase your stitch length to 3.5 as you stitch.
  •  After you finish stitching the center loop of the spiral, you'll  be able to use the edge of the presser foot as a guide or the edge/quilting guide if so desired.
  • Note: I have moved my needle position, to the far right, in order to get a 1/2 inch space between my quilting lines.
  • Slow and easy does it.....this is the most and only difficult part of the spiral, and just think, you get it over with right at the beginning.....I know, how amazing is that.
  • Now I could confuse you and tell you that you could do that difficult little center with your free motion foot, but that would mean changing feet midway....not fun. 
  • Tip: These handy dandy quilter's gloves are just the thing here.
  •  Now just stitch away....
  • The larger the circle becomes...the easier it gets, because there is less fabric under the arm, of the machine and the curve becomes less and less steep. 

I hope that was helpful.....this is truly one of my favourite ways to quilt.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Another Day...Another Spiral

Another day, another spiral....resulting in a ripple effect. 

Ah, the I love them. 
Would you believe each one of these blocks uses a little more than one bobbin....that's a lot of spiraling. 


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