Friday, November 24, 2006

Southern California T-Shirt Quilt

T-Shirt quilts can be very scary. They always make me a bit nervous. Let me explain.

  • Although there is always fabric in them, the fabric is not the Star of the Show. The T-Shirts represent memories or special events for an important person in your life.
  • The shirts are frequently one of a kind since people do not normally buy or earn duplicate T-Shirts. You can't repair or replace a block.
  • Mistakes that require frogging from any T-Shirt fabric is a nightmare. Finding and pulling thread out of a woven fabric is the worst.
  • The T-shirts are bonded to a stabilizing material that keeps them from stretching but also makes them somewhat stiff. In the old days, you would hear stories about how that stabilizer gummed up needles. I don't think that happens much now but the stabilizer does slow down the normal glide of the needle.
  • And then there is the bulk of those intersections where T-Shirt, 2 or more fabrics, stabilizer, batting and backing come together to make a bump .

Knowing all this, I accepted the T-Shirt quilt job. The customer was referred to me by her best friend, a quilt shop teacher. No pressure there.

Then I got the quilt. The piecing was perfect and it was pressed so well that stitch in the ditch was a piece of cake. It was a pleasure to quilt. The T-Shirts are of hot rod events and some southern California local highlights, like the In-N-Out Hamburger Drive-In. The back was a very bright yellow flannel.

I used Superior's So Fine 402 Pearl thread on top and APQS yellow poly in the bobbin. I SID'd around all the T-Shirts and then hit the highlights or echoed inside the T-Shirts. I did not want to take anything away from the T-Shirts themselves so I stopped, took the photos of the quilt and packed it up to return to the customer.

Then I decided that the sashing looked a bit barren. So I added a palm tree and some suns. I mean, after all, this is southern California. I took it off the machine again and packed it into the quilt bag. But it still needed something so I put it back on the machine and added some surfing waves along the horizontal sashing. OK, that's it. Now, I have to wait for the customer's reaction to my work.
The front:

The back:

A close-up of one of the blocks.

Random Circles

Black, gray and lime green were the color choices for this quilt. I used the same in thread. The back is black with concentric circles. That was my inspiration for the quilting. I quilted random circles over the entire quilt. I used the Circle Lord but it was still a lot of stops and starts. The quilt was rectangles with a few pieces of embroidery.

Sally's Crazy 9 Patch

This stack and whack used the most beautiful fabric from Cornucopia Sampler by Moda. It has beautiful peach, corals, greens, very yummy.

I used So Fine by Superior thread called Peach Tart.
I used a new panto named Country Garden by Keryn Emmerson.

I did freemotion loops and flowers in the outer border and SID the 2 inner borders.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Asian Fabric from Norfolk, VA

Take a look at these 2 1-yd cuts from Norfolk, VA. If you want these
pieces for your Geisha fabric maybe we can work a deal with your butterfly fabric. Send me an email.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Oma and Poppy at the Pumpkin Patch

Halloween, my DH and I offered to take our two grandsons to the pumpkin patch. They have lots of activities to interest young boys, pony rides, pick-your-own pumpkin, hay bale maze, inflatables to jump around in and a petting zoo with baby farm animals.

So we gathered up the boys and off we went to the pumpkin patch in Lakeside. We had to park quite a ways off because there were some soccer games going on at the nearby recreation fields in Lakeside. My DH carried Gavin, the baby, he's 15 months old. I walked with the 3 1/2 year old, Hunter. He chattered all the way up the road, asking questions about this pumpkin patch place. This boy did not speak until he was 2 and a half years old. Now he jabbers all the time. And he speaks full grammatically correct sentences. I think he was just learning and then one day just decided that it was OK to talk now. Or he was waiting for his brother to show up and then he had to speak up to get attention.

The punkin patch was pretty crowded. This is southern California, there was no autumn nip in the air or leaves changing colors. It was 85 degrees. The boys did not know what to make of the place.

Oma: "Look at the ponies. Would you like a pony ride, Hunter ?"

Hunter: "The ponies smell bad, Oma."

Oma: "Let's go into the petting zoo and pet the lamb"

Hunter: "No, I don't like it in there"

Oma: "How about jumping around in the big red house? (inflatable)"

Hunter: No Oma, Gavin can't go in there. He's too little"

Hmmm, who is the child here and who is the Grandmother?

Next was the hay maze, the hay was scratchy. Then let's find a pumpkin for each boy. "You can pick your own pumpkin" I said trying to revive this outing. That was fun until he picked up the one he wanted and the stem was scratchy and icky. I carried the pumpkin the rest of the way.

So we were standing in line to pay for the pumpkins for the 2 boys. There were pumpkins, corn, winter vegetables, animals and hay everywhere. And what was he interested in? You can see it in his picture..... Can you guess??

He said "Oma, can I have some Cheetos?"

"Of course, my angel" I said.

The moral to the story. Go to the grocery store to pick out your pumpkins and deliver them to your grandsons.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Animals Galore

Isn't this a sweet quilt for a little girl. Grandma appliqued ducks, chickens, pigs, mules and cows complete with milk bag. I put some butterflies and flowers in the blank blocks. I think her grad-daughter will love this token of a grandmother's love.

Arizona Wildcats Football

A football flag for Arizona Wildcats. It was a challenge to quilt this poly-nylon flag. I outlined the wildcats face and the word "Wildcats". The customer put the San Diego Chargers fabric on the back.

Cars Quilt - My First Stipple

So I have been longarm quilting for about a year now and have never done a stipple. It isn't because I haven't tried. But everytime I tried, I would always cross a line. The puzzle piece ended up being a loop. The customer just wanted her grandson's quilt "nailed together" so I decided to give the giant stipple another go. And it came out surprisingly well. The biggest surprise was how fast I was able to finish the quilt using this all-over freemotion.

I normally SID the border. My philosophy has always been if the customer took the time to put a border on it, then it warrants some attention. But the customer just wanted it to hold together. So I decided to run over the border with the

stipple. I didn't want the border to stick up so I 'hit the mark' (Sue Patten 101) running over the edge of the border in a couple of places. I hope she likes it.

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

About Me

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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Books I"ve read lately

  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks