Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Fabric Storage and Stash

As I have mentioned before I have had a love of fabric and scraps for as long as I can remember, collecting fabric for quilting can very easily get out of hand and overwhelming.

I admit that I don’t have all of my fabric perfectly organized but I do know where it is and how to find what I need. Though sometimes I come across fabric that I have forgotten about and am so pleasantly surprised!

I have three big totes that I store under my Longarm that are full of not being used right now fabrics… it’s truly fun for me to pull them out when I need something.

Stash that is either in use or will be soon is stored in smaller stackable totes from the dollar store and kept in a few places in my sewing room.

Years ago I bought two laundry cabinets from Canadian Tire, one in my Longarm room that has a cutting mat on top along with often needed supplies when I am working. Underneath I store totes of fabric sorted by collection and work in progress…

The second cabinet is in my sewing room, I have a wonderful large board that I covered with batting and Teflon fabric and use as my ironing station. Underneath is more storage for fabric that is currently pulled for projects…

I have several bins devoted to my solids, most are organized by projects that are from the Color Collective… my sewing room has a very large closet where more fabric is kept… but we won’t go there today 🥹

And then there is the basket, a pretty white basket that I found at the dollar store that hold my scraps, the bits and pieces that I keep to just play with and share!

Oh my it sounds like I have a lot of stash and I suppose that I do, I used to buy to build my stash and I am thankful for that fabric as I love to pull from it for scrap quilts as well as when I am learning a new to me technique.

I do my best to keep my fabric and quilts away from sunlight as I have seen what the sun can do to the folded edges of fabric on display. So it’s not as pretty as a quilt shop but it certainly serves me well!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Scrappy Goodness!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Quilts!

Todays Instagram Quilt Fest post is about scrappy finishes, so I spent a little time looking through my pictures and look what I found!

My adorable Granddaughters enjoying a summer day last year! I had forgotten about the quilt that they are on!

It was made using quilters candies from a once upon loved quilt shop in town called Patchworks! The owner had a candle jar of charms folded into 1” squares with a stitch to hold them together. When I shopped with my girls the owner Diana would pour them onto the floor and my girls were allowed to pick one to add to the collection…

I remember making the quilt to practice Longarm quilting when I first began my business.

One day last December we had a day with grands which always makes for a grand day! Kaija asked me if we could go to my sewing room and make something. Music to this Grandmas ears!!

We made a pouch with scraps and when I dumped out my in use scrap basket I was reminded of my initial love of scraps! She filled her little pouch with scraps and has had hours of fun!

I have made and quilted so many scrappy quilts and my customer quilts continue to inspire more…

I have an early memory of my Mom taking taking me to a neighbours house and this lady had a sewing room full of Raggedy Ann dolls all in bright dresses she also made Barbie clothes…that room was so full of inspiration that never left me I was probably 5 yrs at the time!

Hopefully my sewing room will grow inspiration in my granddaughter’s hearts and minds as well.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Todays Instagram Post lesson learned

This mornings IGQuiltFest post was about lessons learned. I chose to post a couple of pictures from my design wall the lighting wasn’t the best for sure. However my point was that we should enjoy our quilting journey!

Samplers are a great way to try new techniques and to build new skills! I have made a few designer mystery quilts from the Fat Quarter Shop. (See Centre Quilt) this was made with supplied fabrics and a finishing kit and I really like this quilt. Sometimes though if you don’t like the finishing kit…it’s perfectly ok to change it up and make it your own!

The first picture above is a stage of the journey of my Longtime Gone Quilt (pattern by Jenn Kingswell) my decision to make this quilt began with a ruler by Creative Grids to make the pineapple block. It was during Covid and I wanted to PLAY and use tons of different fabrics with only two rules tons of variety of low volumes and any bright fabrics that caught my fancy!!! Making this quilt even more fun was the addition of scraps from friends…this quilt has so many stories and is right now a most favourite project!

This one (to be quilted soon) was my most fun to piece. It really stretched me at times but it brought so much joy into my life! Oh and the backing I chose has a story as well. I plan to have it ready to hang in our upcoming Quilt Show in May.

The third quilt in the gallery is my version of a Moda Blockheads quilt. I made almost all of the blocks but also chose to add some such as the sister hood block and made this quilt more of my own.

To steal a term I have heard before…the unused blocks now reside in the parts department for future use. This quilt took me a little out of my comfort zone using a colour palette that didn’t really rock my boat. Still I am happy with the result!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Instagram Quiltfest 2023 first week

I decided to take part in #igquiltfest this year hosted by Amy at:

https://www.amyscreativeside.com

It’s been a fun opportunity to first introduce myself and then to share my first quilts. My first quilt made in 1985 was a very simple quilt pre any quilting tools just a strong desire to make a quilt for my first baby.

My first quilt was made using a simplicity pattern and fabric purchased from Zellers… I had a lot of sewing experience by the time I was 23 however the binding stumped me and I never completely finished that quilt. I did however use it and as more daughters came along I kept using it.

So now all these years later I began wondering if I should now finish the binding…part of me said no, it’s such a special memory. I have decided to bind it and maybe one day it can be shared with another baby or just kept as a special memory.

Would you bind this quilt?

The next prompt was favourite sewing machines, while I love all of my machines My Juki Haruka is my current favourite domestic machine and of course my APQS Millenium is my favourite Longarm.

Todays prompt is creative hands and I shared this picture, introducing my Granddaughter to my Longarm. I have taught my Grandson Liam to quilt and I hope to share my love of quilting with my other Grandchildren as well.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Comfort Quilts

These quilts were pieced as gifts to be used for the beds at a local addiction recovery residence I offered to help with the quilting.

I chose pantographs to add to the beauty and love of these gifts adding enough density to the quilting to withstand a lot of use.

Rodendrum Pantograph
Here and There Pantograph
A Little Bit of This Pantograph
Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

A Quilt Shop Visit

A friend and I spent yesterday morning on a fun outing to Donnas quilt shop in Pass lake yesterday. He shop is called Fuelled By Fabric and I have written about her before.

I was on the lookout for a backing for quilt top that I made last year as part of the Color Collective by Tara Faughnan and Sewtopia. The quilt block is named flock and I wanted an interesting backing that would work with both the colours in the quilt top and also birds of some type.

This print is perfect, really so close to what I had in mind!

Last night after turning off the Longarm, I laid the fabric out to see how it would match up when I seam the two pieces needed. Sometimes it requires quite a bit of extra fabric to Mach the print, however not this time! ( this picture actually shows the true colours in the print!)

I have been a quilter for many years and the passion for both quilting for others and for making my own quilts only grows!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Mid-January update

For some reason so far anyways this winter seems to be milder than usual. We ended up with more snow in December than either of us can remember having and this month’s temperatures have not been nearly as cold as most winters and the forecast continues with milder temperatures.

The deer have begun their trails across the yard looking for food of course. It’s always interesting to see the new tracks in the snow each morning.

This week I spent time with friends at the Rec centre quilting, it’s always fun to see what other quilters are up to as well as having time to devote to my own project. As soon as I got home I laid my longtime gone quilt out to see how my borders look. I finished the checkerboard sections and all of the other blocks just need to be joined.

I have always loved the whole process of quilt making, and this quilt project has been so much fun with all of the variety of both blocks and fabrics.

My dolls are now in the safe loving arms of my granddaughter. She told me that she would take very good care of her new babies and her Mom has told me that she really is.

Liam told me yesterday that he really likes going to school…for the most part because he and his friends play soccer at recess. His report card reflects that he is also doing well in his studies. While I am thankful for all of the bonus time we had together during the school closures I am happy that the children now have the normalcy of in classroom learning and time with their friends as it should be.

And of course my days are filled with quality time with my Longarm! This beautiful modern quilt will soon be ready for binding!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Wrapping Up 2022…onward and upward!

Thank you Yvonne @quiltingjetgirl for hosting the 2023 Planning Party Linkup!

After a very busy year Longarm quilting for others and fitting in a little piecing and Longarm quilting for myself… it’s time to reflect on the last 12 months.

My APQS Millenium arrived at my doorstep December 2004! I was so fortunate to have joined a Longarm chat group of others who were also pioneering in this new adventure! Together we shared and taught each other so much.

I began longarming for others that winter and haven’t stopped! In thinking about a word to claim for the year… Gratitude keeps coming to mind.

I am so grateful for the honour and trust others have placed with me to help them to complete their projects! I am thankful for my quilting skills and I love to support and encourage other quilters and to share the skills that I have acquired over the years.

I have completed 2 personal quilts and have some tops ready for quilting.

My favourite finish is the quilt that my Daughter and I collaborated on and made for my sweet Granddaughter! Baby quilt

I loved the fun back of her quilt as much as the front.

My Sunny quilt was completed early in the year other than binding and that was that I just couldn’t settle on what colour I wanted…this month I not only ordered the colour that I decided on but took the last stitch on it yesterday. Sunny Quilt

My Longtime gone quilt is so close to being completed, I am working on the border and plan to have it completed in January. This has been a project that I have savoured and know that I will miss working on it when it’s complete it.

A fun project this month has been dressing my twin dolls. I find it hard to believe that they are about 55 years old. When my daughter said that she would love to have them for her girls I was delighted and happily found patterns and then added little quilts for both.

I was able to complete two goals with this project one was machine binding which went well and I can see myself doing that a little more often. I quilted the little boy quilt on my domestic machine and I will be doing that a little more as well.

Also for fun I started playing with making pouches and hope to add some bag making to my skills.

Moving into 2023

I look forward to another year of helping others to bring their quilting projects to completion.

My personal quilting goals include working on more of the Color Collective quilts that I collected in 2022. I have the second top completed and ready to quilt and the third partially pieced.

My challenge will be working with my stash and adding only what I need to complete quilts and projects.

I hope to get back into a regular routine of quilting with my friends at the Rec centre and hopefully finally plan a retreat there that a friend and I have discussed since 2019…

I will be upgrading this site in the coming year as it’s time to upgrade which should be fun and educational 😊

On the life side I do have some personal well-being goals in place… life can get so busy but as I approach a significant birthday in 2023 I plan to greet it at my best and enjoy the ride!!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Christmas Eve…my morning view

The blizzard warning has been lifted, the wind is still howling and we have a lot more snow than we normally do before Christmas. (Thunder Bay has been under a Winter Storm watch followed by a Blizzard warning for the last several days)

I really enjoy my early morning coffee and the reflection of our Christmas tree in my morning view.

Liam stayed the night last night. He is so excited for Christmas, we spent part of the evening working on this puzzle. Last year it was too hard and we put it aside for another time.

So much changes in a year especially a child and this year he was determined to complete it.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

A December Adventure

A few months ago we discovered that a Finnish comedian, Ismo that we have watched on YouTube was going to be in Duluth this month. So we ordered tickets thinking that we would just keep an eye on the weather. We also booked our stay at the Inn on the Lake Superior where we always stay in Duluth.

The drive down was nice and uneventful, we don’t like to race but instead usually a take our time to explore a little.

This time I explored a new quilt shop in Two Harbours…I was greeted at the door by the sweetest little white pup and of course then enjoyed meeting the shop owner and exploring her beautiful shop!

Her shop is full of a lot of variety of new lines of fabric. Also for those who have been quilting for a while and remember the quilt shop in Castle Danger…those fabrics have been relocated to an area of this shop at a discounted price.

After arriving in Duluth we spent a little time at Costco before checking into the hotel. One of the things we enjoy about staying in Canal Park is the freedom of walking around the area. We had soup at Grandmas before setting off for the Bentleyville Tour of Lights!

If you are in the area it is well worth the visit! It felt truly magical and I felt an almost childlike awe in it all!

The next morning, I had enjoyed a visit with my friend Megan at Hannah Johnson’s quilt shop… I behaved and only walked out with a little purchase this time. This is a shop that I could spend hours in and come out with bags of so much fun!!

After a day of shopping around Miller Hill and Herman Town it was time to return to Canal Park, with the weather changing and now blizzard warnings in effect we decided to drive to have supper at Lucé Pizza… we love their classic.

A fun picture of a store front where we parked…

And we were off to the show, it was held at the Masonic Lodge just up Lake St on the corner of Second avenue…Megan had told me how beautiful this building was and it is. The show was fun and lots of laughs!

Ismo and I

With the blizzard warnings in effect for Duluth and the north shore for our drive home day it was a little hard not to worry…we enjoyed a swim and sauna before bed as we made the decision to head home first thing in the morning.

Leaving Duluth Wednesday morning the roads were snow covered with the wet slushy stuff and temps hovering around freezing and snow blinding at times it was messy…we thankfully followed a snowplow just past Two Harbours and then a transport to Beaver Bay. By then we had managed to get just a little ahead of the storm, and the roads were wet but fine.

We stopped in Grand Marais to watch the angry lakes high waves crashing over the shoreline, thankful that we would miss the worst of the storm and soon be home.

After unloading and getting settled back home I was happy to be back in my studio! One of the things that I picked up was the binding fabric for my Sunny quilt!

We are home in time for more snow which is fine as I have a lot to keep me busy in my studio and preparing for Christmas of course.