Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘long arm quilting

Turkey Tracks: Quilting Celtic Solstice and UNBROKEN

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Turkey Tracks:  July 26, 2014

Quilting “Celtic Solstice” and Unbroken

I spent most of Friday and Saturday quilting “Celtic Solstice.”

On Friday I had a perfect storm of problems with thread breaking and tired and discouraged, I walked away and wrote to the long-arm quilters on the Facebook site dedicated to quilters making this 2013 mystery quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter.  (See earlier posts on this whole process.  Bonnie releases a mystery quilt design every year the day after Thanksgiving, and I’ve had such fun making this quilt that I suspect I’ll make this quilting with Bonnie every year.)

Anyway, the long-arm quilters came back with a host of suggestions–some I knew, some were new and very helpful.  And, on Saturday, with renewed energy, rested, and ready to go, I started again.  I did not have one bit of trouble and finished the quilt, trimmed it up, sewed on the binding, and cheered.

Here I am starting out–before the perfect storm.  I listen to music while quilting as I can’t always hear words over the noise of the long arm

Here are a few blocks quilted–with a medium green.  I didn’t want a thread color that took away from the quilt itself.


Above you can see the two blocks that make up the quilt.  Bonnie designed the one on the left, and it’s in a book of 100 blocks published, I think, by Quiltmaker magazine.


While piecing or cutting, I am now listening to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken.  It’s the story of an Olympic runner (1938 in Germany) who is a bombardier on a B24 (flying coffin) in the Pacific theater.  I’ve learned so much about this plane and about running in the 1930s in the opening chapters.  And about Pacific sharks and the men’s terror of being captured by the Japanese.  I’m pretty sure both of these “guns on the wall” are going to make their appearance shortly.

My father–Jammie Mendall Philpott– flew B17s over Germany and was a decorated pilot.  These men were so brave…  And, often, such sitting ducks against enemy fighter planes or ground fire.  The crew loss in the Pacific–just to accidents or plane failure, not the enemy–was a shock.  And unlike Europe, the vast stretches of open ocean and little tiny islands made finding a downed crew a miracle.

Turkey Tracks: Quilt in Progress, September 2011

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Turkey Tracks:  September 18, 2011

Quilt in Progress

September 2011

Here’s a peek at the quilt I’m working on these days:

And, here it is coming together on the design wall:

This quilt is such a happy quilt.  I’m so enjoying working with it–which hasn’t been often enough since I’ve been so busy processing harvest food.

The fabrics are all Kaffe Fasset prints, which I love.  And though it can seem jumbled a bit at this stage, I’ve seen it made up, and I really like it.  I bought the kit from Marge at Maine-ly Sewing in Nobleboro, Maine.  She sells online too:  http://mainelysewing.com/

It’s on Lucy the long-arm now, being quilted with lime green thread, which is looking quite pretty, and with a “sweet pea” pantograph.  The backing is a lime green print I got on sale at Quilt Diva’s in Rockland.  It has a linear print of leaves whose panels were QUITE hard to line up properly in order to get the right width.

I haven’t decided what to name it yet.  Happy Quilt isn’t quite right.  Layer cake isn’t either.  It will come to me…

Turkey Tracks: Prudy’s Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  June 15, 2011

Prudy’s Quilt

My friend Prudy Netzorg is incredibly generous!

She gave me two quilt tops last fall:  a smaller child’s quilt featuring dogs and a lap quilt of bright, lively colors.  (Prudy has a wonderful eye for color.)

I loved both, but knew that she, too, loved one of them especially, but had just lost energy around finishing it.

I had gotten the long-arm just before Prudy’s generosity, and there is a HUGE learning curve for long-arms.  So, Prudy and I agreed that we would go together to buy backs for her tops, and I would pay for those in return for using the quilts as learning tools.  Prudy would bind them and give the little one to a local fund-raising charity for auction and would keep the other.

I tried a pantograph pattern on the smaller one–and learned a lot–to include that I didn’t especially care for narrow patterns.  They repeat too quickly.  I did think the pattern looked like a dog’s footprint and a group of balloons rising–both motifs in the print.

I just finished the larger, bright one.  I think it mostly came out looking pretty good, but it is not perfect, and I like perfect.  I did, however, learn a lot, especially about using templates.

Here’s the quilt finished without the binding, which Prudy will do.  I remember a hot pink binding…


Here’s a detail of the border.  I special ordered a hot pink thread, which I think came out nicely.

Here’s another detail:

Another thing I learned is that it is necessary to take a picture of the whole quilt or draw a quilting pattern–especially with a pieced quilt like this one.  Once the quilt is rolled up on the back roller–which happens as you quilt the length of it–you can’t see what you did at the other end.  I got confused on which way I quilted the pieced blocks, for instance.  I put the loops on the pinwheel blocks in two different places.  And, at one end, I forgot what I did at the other with two blocks.

I did walk away with a new comfort level with templates, and the quilt is lively and fun.

Thanks Prudy!!

Written by louisaenright

June 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm