Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Bouquet Quilt Finished

Yesterday was a great day.  It was the day I finished the Edyta Sitar Spring Bouquet Quilt.  This quilt was pieced and appliquéd by a local guild member who commissioned me to quilt it.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into...for real.  This quilt was A LOT of work and my biggest job to date. I'm super proud of the final result and I can't wait to give it back to her.  

This will be a show quilt so the quilting is a way more intense than normal.  I really wanted to give her something special.  I micro-quilted all the background fabric which really helps the appliqué pieces to pop.

The quilt measures 73" x 73" and the appliqué pieces are machine stitched.  I used 100% cotton batting (Warm and Natural) and So Fine #50 by Superior Threads.  I think there's at least a full cone of thread in the quilt.  Yikes!  That's a lot of thread.  All quilting is freehand done with Roscoe {my Gammil}.  He's a non-regulated machine so the micro-quilting was a fun challenge.

The quilting took almost 6 days which includes about 6 hours of picking out stitches because I wasn't happy with the tiny checkerboard border.  

I have tons of pictures to show so you can see all the details of the quilting.

 A close up of each of the 9 blocks

The orange circle appliques in this picture measure no larger than 1.25."  The smallest one is about 1/2."  Super tiny pieces.  

The squares in the checkerboard border measure in at 3/4."  

Sorry for bombarding you all with so many pictures.  I'm just super excited to have it finished I wanted to share all the details.  This one was definitely worth all the work.  Too bad I can't keep it....    

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Bouquet Quilt

The last couple of days have been filed with lots of quilting.  One of the local guild members asked me to quilt her Spring Bouquet quilt.  This is an Edyta Sitar {Laundry Basket Quilts} pattern.  The quilt is filled with hundreds of tiny appliqué pieces and it's simply gorgeous.  I'm not going to lie, I was super nervous to quilt this one.  It's been my biggest challenge to date.  

I'm far from finished but I have some pictures of my progress.  After two days of working, I've almost finished the border.  Whew...this one is going to take some time.  I'm hoping to have it finished by the end of the week.

Keep in mind this isn't an everyday cuddling type of quilt.  She's planning on entering it local quilt shows.  So the quilting is pretty dense and intense.    

I hope you enjoyed the preview.  I wish I had a fast forward button.  I'm anxious to see this one finished!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Patriotic Rail Fence Quilt

Last month I was talking to a fellow guild member and she happened to mention that she was working on a quilt for a lady that goes above and beyond to support our troops.   She also mentioned that she was under a time crunch to get it finished and she was worried about quilting it on her home machine.  The little hamster on my wheel started doing overtime. I had to volunteer to quilt it for her. I knew I could load it and quilt it much faster than pin basting and quilting on a domestic machine. She was super happy with the idea so it was meant to be.  

I initially told her I would stipple it.  Here's the thing....I just couldn't bring myself to stipple this quilt.  I wanted it to be special since the recipient goes above and beyond to take care of our troops. After all, my hubby is one of those troops.  

I pondered a few ideas and finally decided on a plan of action.  I only had 1.5 days to get it finished so I didn't have a lot of time to ponder. Good thing my hamster was still working overtime because I like to ponder things for much longer.  

Here's a look at the finished quilt.
I quilted feathers in each rail fence block and alternated the direction of the feathers.  The directional feature is much easier to see on the back.    
Originally, I planned on using red thread in the red fabric.  Roscoe had other ideas.  He was shredding the red thread faster than I could thread him.  So, I gave up and used white thread in the red and white fabric and blue thread on the blue fabric.  
A close up of the feathers.
I love doing swirls in the borders.  

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of this very special quilt.  I really enjoyed quilting it and I hope she loves it.  I know my guild friend was extremely happy with the quilting.  And she was pleasantly surprised since she expected stippling.   

I'm on a roll...I've blogged 3 times in a week.  Woohoo!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

Are you all ready to find out who won the magazine and charm pack from our Worldwide Quilting Day giveaway?  
The lucky winner was number 37!

37. Terry@ a quilting blog said...
A fun fact about me….I went parasailing with my husband and the boat's captain lowered us down so we could 'walk on water' LOL!!! Thanks for the sweet giveaway :)

Congrats Terry!  I've sent you an email.  I just need a little info from you so I can ship off your goodies!

Thanks to everyone who participated!  I think we can all agree we're pretty interesting people!  I had so much fun reading through all the comments.  You all are the best blog friends ever!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Worldwide Quilting Day plus a Giveaway

Well it appears that I've quickly turned into a once a month kind of blogger.  Unfortunately, I was pretty sick for most of February which really sucked all the energy right out of me.  But I'm finally healthy again and back to work.  

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!!  
How will you all be spending your day?  I plan on quilting as soon as I get finished writing this post.  I have several charity quilts I need to work on for my local guild.  We're trying to donate at least 75 quilts to a local children's shelter.

I've been playing around with Roscoe and some new thread.  I thought I would share a couple pictures to possibly inspire you all to go quilt on Worldwide Quilting Day.  By the way, the variegated thread is Superior Threads So Fine 40 and it is awesome.  Seriously.  It's my new favorite thread.  


Since we can all agree I'm a terrible blogger lately, I thought you might like to follow me on Instagram too.  You can click the little icon below (I've also added it to my sidebar).  My Instagram ID is ruebelv. 

I haven't been on Instagram long but it's a great way for me to easily share pics of current projects.  It's fast and I can snap pics with my phone as I'm quilting.  Works out great for me because deep down inside I'm a little lazy.  However, I AM going to make an effort to blog at least 2 to 3 times a week.  I know it should be more but let's face it, that's probably my limit.

Do you think I forgot I mentioned a giveaway in the post title?  We can't celebrate Worldwide Quilting Day without a giveaway.  But what should we giveaway?  How about an awesome Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 8 and a charm pack of Barcelona by Zen Chic?  And I might even throw in a little something extra.  

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment and tell me a fun fact about yourself.  Here's one for me...I was an exchange student my junior year of high school.  I was lucky enough to spend a whole year in Norway! I would love to go back someday.  

If you would like another chance to win you can follow me on Instagram. Make sure you leave a separate comment telling me you are now following me.

I'll use Mr. Random to pick a winner on Monday.  Good luck!

Now go quilt something on this special holiday just for us!        

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Diamond Devil

Have you ever had a quilt that was out to get you?  A quilt that might jump off the frame at night and strangle or smother you in your sleep? Well guess what...this quilt was out to get me.  I'm sure it was plotting against me the whole time I was trying to quilt it.  Hence, it's name...the Diamond Devil.  I can think of much worse names for this one but I'll be nice.  

This is one of my original designs.  I put the top together several months ago but just got around to quilting it.  This quilt is a prime example of having a plan and then throwing said plan out the window.  I would've thrown myself out the window but it wouldn't have helped end my misery.  We have a single story house.  What's that saying?  "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." 

The first thing you might notice is that it's super hard to see the quilting.  I discovered black thread on black fabric sucks {in my humble opinion}.  Don't worry, it's much easier to see on the back.
Ahhh...much better.  You can actually see all the hard work I put into this devil!  You might be wondering why it's a mish-mash of a million different quilting designs.  Remember those lemons I talked about earlier?  

I originally wanted to do lots of straight line quilting to help define all the diamonds.  That didn't work so well.  Turns out Roscoe hates to make straight horizontal lines, especially from right to left.  Who knew? Not me.  My top thread kept shredding and fraying.  I was on the verge of a major melt down.  For real.  

Hence, the change of direction.  No more straight lines.  I went with a mix of a million different designs and this quilt will now live in my home and serve as a sample for customers.  Lemonade. 

I'm loving the peacock feathers that I quilted in the diamonds.  I think they are a new favorite. 

I was also going to quilt these lovely peacock feathers in all four corners of the black negative space.  But I was having so much trouble I forget to do them on one side.  Duh!  I figured that out after I had already quilted a bunch of stuff where the feathers were supposed to go. Rip it all out?  Heck NO!    

I love this design.  I have no idea how it happened.  I just started quilting and this is what happened.  Not too shabby for a filler.  

These little wavy flowers are another pretty cool filler.  And who doesn't love swirls?  

Here's another new favorite of mine.  I love the look of these lines.  It could almost be woodgrain or water.  

Isn't my helper handsome?  

You know what else I figured out about black fabric?  It's hard to photograph and it shows every little piece of lint.  Yuck!  I tried to go outside my box but it didn't work so well.  I really like white or other lighter colors better.  Not sure I'll work with black again any time soon.  

So what can we all learn from this post?  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Because although chopping the quilt up into a million tiny pieces might be gratifying {very gratifying!}, we can learn something with each difficult project.  I learned ripping out black thread from black fabric sucks!  

What have you learned from difficult quilts?   
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