Saturday, June 11, 2016

Loving the Workshop at Quilter's Studio in Loveland, Ohio.

When I first started quilting it was all I could do to cut fabric correctly and sew it together with that 1/4 inch seam. Along the way I discovered I loved piecing. Fortunately I had a wonderful mentor and friend who was also a long-arm quilter. That allowed me to focus on developing sewing skills and leave the quilting to someone else.

Over the last year or so that has changed.  I knew that I needed to take the responsibility of finishing my quilts, if possible. At the very least I needed to give it a try.  It was with some anxiety I took the long arm class at the Quilters Studio. I was intimidated by the computerized quilting machine and was sure I would ruin something, either my quilt or heaven forbid break the machine.  The staff assured me that neither would happen.  My worries where unfounded and it has been a very pleasant experience.  There are usually several months between my appointments, so there is a little relearning at each visit. The staff is so patient and ready to help.

I  recently spent an afternoon at the Quilter's Studio with the long arm machine. As usual the staff was so supportive and helped me pick just the right design. I was able to finish two quilts. I used Hobbs 80/20 in both quilts which results in a light and soft look and feel. I love the way they turned out.

My first quilt was my Scrappy Hexies. I made a scrappy binding too.

Scrappy Hexies

Quilting detail

I also finished and quilted Crab Apples. I used a vining leaf panto for that quilt.

This quilt turned out very different that I intended.  I was inspired to do this quilt because of a piece of fabric with barns and apple trees, but the inspiration fabric just didn't work. Instead I decided to just focus on the apple trees.

My Version of Crab Apples

Finally I bound my winter version of Bonnie's Celtic Solstice. It had been sitting in my sewing area for months. Now that it's complete it  will be put away for next winter (it has a flannel back).  Despite tons of mistakes on this quilt, I am happy with the results. I pieced it when I first discovered I had Multiple Myeloma. Just to finish it was a victory.  There where times I was not sure I would be able to finish it, but I was determined, even if I could only work on it for short periods each day.  And the mistakes don't show too much from a distance...
Friendship stars, instead of Chevrons

Detail of quilting.

I still need to do labels, but for now I have my, Must Get Done, quilts completed.  Bonnie's Cathedral Windows quilt in a work in progress. I am not feeling pressured to get it done. I still have my fabric for last year's Mystery Quilt in it's bin. I'm learning that we really never know how many quilts are in our future.  I have accepted that it's best to make the most of today.   I'm kind of in the mood for something simple.  I might just  use some of my blue stash and make a Ironi (sunken hearth) quilt that is in Japanese Quilt Inspirations by Susan Briscoe.  It seems to be the perfect summer project.

When I'm not working on the quilts you can find me in my shade garden. It's designed in the style of a Japanese stroll garden. It my refuge. And there is even a gazebo where I can sit and bind quilts. Who could ask for more? 

Coming events:  the return of granddaughter Jana.  Jana has been busy being a teenager and we have not had opportunity to sew together. However we are planning and working on a Tumbler quilt. She loves my Go Baby so I'm counting on her future help to cut out tumblers for a Christmas present for her Uncle. It should be fun....we will see if she can keep a secret.

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