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Blog Reader’s Quilts: Becca Babb-Brott’s Quilt

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Blog Reader’s Quilts:  May 2015

Becca Babb-Brott’s Quilt

Becca is one of our Coastal Quilters members.

I love, love her work.

Here’s a quilt she made by using all the “modern” neutrals combined with contemporary warm and cool colors.

I am so drawn to all the neutrals that are around today–and have a stack of them I need to start cutting up and using.

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Becca also has an etsy store where you can see the kinds of modern fabrics she likes:  SEW ME A SONG.

http://www.sewmeasong.etsy.com

Enjoy!

Quilting Information: MQX, Manchester, NH–Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson Quilts

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Quilting Information:  April 13, 2015

MQX, Manchester, NH–Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson Quilts

I appreciate modern quilts, but am not drawn to making them.

However, the Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson (sisters) display of quilts at this spring’s MQX show was really fun to see.  And I certainly enjoy the sense of “style” and the lovely quilting seen in modern quilts.

I attempted to take a picture of most of the quilts shown.  Or pieces of these quilts anyway.  Those of you who have ipads or iphones can enlarge the pictures to see the fine detail of the quilting.

And, there is at least one book from these two amazing women.

Note that modern quilts often play with the juxtaposition of straight lines and curves.

And note the use of grey here, which is very “big” right now.

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Here’s my favorite:

 

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These quilts are GRAND!  So fun.

Written by louisaenright

April 13, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Quilting Information: MQX, Manchester, New Hampshire, April 2015

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Quilting Information:  April 13, 2015

MQX 2015

I am just back from the Machine Quilters’ Expo, held in early April in Manchester, New Hampshire.

I took four classes and really learned so much.  The teachers were Judi Madsen, Judy Woodworth, and Angela Huffman.

I used to free-motion on my domestic machine a lot.  But when I got my long arm, I settled into making the kind of quilts I love the most:  big and scrappy.  Those quilts really look their best when quilted with an even, overall pattern.  Thus, I’ve been using pantographs most of the time.

However, I do not want to lose my free-motion skills.  And I do make some quilts that would look great with more custom quilting.

So, I have a goal of improving my “front of the machine” skills this year.

Angela Huffman does it all.  She spent her time teaching us how she works.  She uses free-motion and templates.  She taught us so many patterns that I will definitely be able to use.  Her web site is http://www.quiltedjoy.com.

Modern quilter Judi Madsen’s work is so beautiful.  Here are some examples–which she broke down and taught us to do.  (Of course it takes practice.)  Quilting at this level often involves layering two wool battings to get the trapunto effects.  AND, lots of marking on the quilt, a straight ruler, and MATH.

 

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Judy Woodworth is more of a traditional quilter, but I think she can do anything she wants to do.

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Here she urges us to just have fun and experiment.

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Written by louisaenright

April 13, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Blog Readers’ Quilts: Judith Brill’s Quilts

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Blog Reader’s Quilts:  February 4, 2015

Judith Brill’s Quilts

Judith lives in New York.

We met on my blog, and we chat back and forth on email.

Judith sent me these pictures of two quilts she will be hanging in a quilt show in Cooperstown, NY.

The are so pretty…

I thought you’d enjoy seeing them:

 

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Thanks, Judith!

Keep up the good, good work!

 

Written by louisaenright

February 4, 2015 at 11:34 am

Quilting Information: Long-Arm Practices That Work for Me

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January 26, 2015

Long-Arm Practices That Work For Me

Last year in April I took several classes at the Machine Quilters’ Expo in Manchester, New Hampshire.

What I learned there–and also what I’ve learned from the long-arm quilters on Bonnie Hunter’s Facebook Studio for Quilters–has helped me so much.

So, I thought I’d share…

Make sure your bars are level.  Get or borrow a four-foot level and check them.  If they are off, tinker until you have them level.

This apparatus below involves suspending a curtain rod over the bars and bringing the side fasteners over it.  AND, see the long rod with the blue ribbons?  Underneath is a plastic piece that the rod snaps into.  This arrangement gives the sides of the quilt a great deal of stability AND prevents you from quilting off of it.  (There are several forms of this kind of stabilizing rod for the edge of the quilt.)

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Here’s another view:

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I load my quilt backing in the normal way.

But after being encouraged to do so, I float my top, just like the batting.  See?

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I  sew a plumb line on the batting (using my channel blocker piece), then line up the top of my centered quilt on that line–and sew it down.  THEN I measure both sides of the quilt from the frame on each side and as I move the quilt forward, I make sure that I keep those measurements constant along the length of the quilt.  I sew down the sides every time I roll the quilt forward.  Every time. Especially if I am using a pantograph.

BIG TIP:  If I were to roll the top onto the top bar, I would try to place the quilt (and the backing if needed) LENGTHWISE–which minimizes the bulk of side seams being rolled up over and over on top of each other.

At the end of the quilt, I roll forward to expose the end and sew that down before making the last pass.

I make a lot of scrappy quilts that seem to do best with an overall, even pattern.  So I use, mostly, pantographs–sometimes I free-motion a pattern, but less and less so as I like the patterns in the pantographs.  I place the pantograph UNDER this grid that fits the length of my table–and mark on it with a wet erase marker that can be erased with water.

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I estimate the amount of thread that one pass will take–and whether or not a whole bobbin will reach through two passes.  On a large quilt, it will not.  So, I estimate the number of passes I will be making and load that many bobbins–from 2/3 to 3/4 full, depending on what I think the pass will need.  The leftover thread gets run off onto bobbins for my domestic machine and/or just used up piecing scrappy quilts I’m making.  There is no thread waste.  (I also use Signature thread, which is sturdy, has a good range of colors, and is way cheaper than that other brand that is so pricy.  I do have to order it online and bought a thread card showing all the colors.)  Here are leftover threads.  More importantly, there are NO thread joins in the quilt body.

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One of the BIGGEST TIPS I got last year was from Sue Patten (quilter extraordinaire):  “Let the right hand steer if you are right handed.  The left hand doesn’t like to steer!”

I was having some trouble with thread shredding at the needle site, and with the advice of the long-armers, I went up a needle size.  As I do very scrappy quilts, there are a lot of seams, so I try to keep my backings pretty plain–which does not add to the bulk of the quilt sandwich.  The thread shredding involved both the expensive and the less-expensive threads…

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Before quilting, I put three lines of Sew Rite down the length of my thread cone.  Magic!  No more shredding.

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If things do start to go wrong, I turn off the machine and walk away.

I think my own personal goal for next year is to try to use more of the speciality rulers I’ve purchased for the long-arm.  Maybe I’ll see if there are some hands-on classes at this year’s MQX show in April…

But, I won’t put any pressure on myself, because, truth to tell, what I like best to do is to piece a top that will be used and loved and washed–so a lot of fancy quilting doesn’t draw me.  I’m not sure that I have the patience for it!!

Interesting Information AND Quilting Information: Cotton + Steel

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Interesting Information:  January 21, 2015

Cotton + Steel

I love stories, and this one is fascinating.

Five “bad ass” women.

Start a business.

RJR Fabrics LOVES THEIR WORK.

And let’s them do whatever they want.

Cotton and Steel — THE BITTER SOUTHERNER.

Even if you don’t sew, this story is really fun.

Enjoy!

Written by louisaenright

January 21, 2015 at 9:59 am

Turkey Tracks: Megan Brun’s Quilt-In-Progress

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Turkey Tracks:  January 16, 2015

Megan Brun’s Quilt-In-Progress

Megan came over this week for a breakfast, and afterwards, we sat and visited and worked on our hand-sewing projects.

I LOVE the quilt Megan is making.

She is making neutral panels with appliquéd circles:

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Here’s a close-up:

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As I understand this project, she will now add some half-as-long-panels with neutral circles.

The quilt is in the “modern” vein.  The panels will be only part of this queen-size quilt.  Megan plans to move out to other shapes, like big rectangles.

Here’s Megan:

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I will show you my hand project soon!  It’s getting borders now…

 

 

Written by louisaenright

January 16, 2015 at 5:25 pm