Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

January Blues … and a big finish!

The 3rd Monday of January is considered Blue Monday and if you google it you will find…

“The term Blue Monday was coined by psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall, who worked out a formula to show how the third Monday in January is especially bad. It takes into account factors including the average time for New Year’s resolutions to fail, the bad weather, debt, the time since Christmas and motivational levels.”

Winter is long in North Western Ontario and we often go without sunshine for days on end and when it does appear it means colder weather. There is always so much hype and build up coming into Christmas and yes a few weeks past and being back in routine can cause many to feel down…. A good time to have coffee with friends and to touch base!

I spent my Monday at the Rec centre with quilting friends, determined to finish my Longtime Gone quilt top… also known as long time to make as it’s taken a couple of years to complete…

The borders took some consideration and once the decision was made it didn’t take too long to complete. I was able to get two borders completed and attached at the centre and the third when I arrived home.

Early Tuesday morning I decided to just finish it up. There was one section that bothered me two matching pieces in the checkerboard and a few threads off in my piecing…

I decided not to leave it and found a fun addition to my quilt. This was not my first time replacing a block in the centre of a quilt and my advice is to take your time and be patient…

Much better!

One last step, was the victory lap! With a pieced border such as this it is a really good idea to stay stitch about an 1/8th of an inch around the perimeter of the quilt. This will prevent the seams from separating.

I am fortunate to spend so much of my time in my studio, where I use really good lighting to keep my space bright and also try to have bright fun personal project to work on when time allows.

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

November/December Life and Quilting

November has sure been a busy month in the studio and the next weeks now that it’s December will be as well. I really consider myself fortunate to be able to spend my workdays helping others complete their quilts!!

There hasn’t been a great deal of personal piecing time and I haven’t felt overly motivated either which in a way is a good thing … I have been percolating different border ideas for my Longtime Gone Quilt. This has been a long-standing project that I had been hoping to quilt over the holidays.

Well, after finishing quilting this customer quilt last night…

I spent some time in my studio puttering and playing with left over blocks in the LTG (longtimegone) bin and looking on Pinterest for inspiration and it’s finally come to me. I have also decided on the quilting design and backing.

Just to remind…here is one of the more recent sections completed for LTG. It’s been such a fun project and I am excited to see it completed.

Also some of the blocks on the design wall. I actually have the top pieced and ready for the final border.

I have a tractor quilt ready to load this morning…Stay tuned!

Contact me about having your quilt top professionally quilted, my services include free piecing of your backing fabric along with trimming your quilt if desired so that it’s ready for binding.

All tops and backings are pressed by me prior to being loaded on my longarm. I am happy to assist you in deciding on the design for your quilt or as many people do I can decide for you.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Quilting

My quilting life continues…of course. The summer has been busy and I have taken a little break from posting my work…I like to wait for quilts to be picked up before I share pictures but thought I might give a glimpse of a few…

This is the fourth scrappy queen that I have quilted, it’s been such a privilege to work on these quilts!

This one I was asked to buy the backing for, which I did and bought from Donna of Fuelled by Fabric. She really has a fantastic shop and is so friendly and helpful.

I found it hard to capture the true backing colour, it’s a beautiful cream.

A fun camper quilt…

A bright fun quilt with one of my favourite fun colours for the border…

This one is now finished…

I haven’t had as much piecing time as I would like but have been working away on my Longtime Gone quilt…I have completed another section since taking this picture. I have two log cabin blocks to make and then the border.

I love how this quilt has so much variety in it. It’s been a good project that has taken time to make, a fun quilty journey!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Longtime Gone Plus a Star Block

This block took a little time to play with. My quilt will have a whimsical tone to it. I have tried to tuck fun fabrics here and there that a child may delight in finding. Well maybe an adult as well.

I have 3 log cabin blocks to make and have begun sashing the blocks. There is still a fair amount of piecing left to finish this quilt as there are additions of rows of four patches and flying geese and then the border.

This quilt for all of the piecing involved only finishes around 65”s so I began to contemplate growing it. There is a quilt on Pinterest that was grown to be a queen. After mulling that over for a while I have decided to finish it at 65”. I hope to finish piecing it and maybe even quilting it this summer.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Long Time Gone Jacobs Ladder Block

Do you find piecing is a little like eating potato chips? once you start it’s hard to stop? I do and as a bonus it’s so much healthier. I rarely allow myself to have my ironing station beside my sewing machine. It’s so important to get up from your chair and move. In my opinion anyways.

So after finishing up the Square in a Square Star block I moved on to the Jacobs Ladder block. I have always enjoyed working with small pieces and this quilt certainly gives me joy.

It’s fun to play with the layout. Can you guess which one I chose?

I am really looking forward to seeing this quilt come together and am mulling over the quilting design as I work on it. Often I choose a quilt to make knowing beforehand how I will quilt it.

As I was falling asleep last night I was wondering what will become of this quilt. I think a child might have fun with it as there are many little surprises in it.

Currently on the design wall is the Plus a Star block…more on that soon.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Summer Piecing

With so much of my quilting time taken up with Longarm Quilting for others…which I love by the way, it is very easy to neglect piecing time which is a major passion of mine.

I began piecing my Longtime Gone quilt a year ago last March! Being a very scrappy quilt I have loved the challenge but it also involves many bins of my scraps that can wreak havoc in my sewing room which often overflows with customer quilts and is also Liam’s favourite place to sleep when he is here.

The Color Collective also took front and centre stage this year taking up my precious piecing hours.

Well my scrappy quilt has been calling so I began puttering with it again.

Sometimes spending too much time planning a scrappy block isn’t a great thing… I was almost finished this block when I noticed too much of the same thing in the upper left of the block. I also should have made the outside geese scrappy.

I decided to leave the outside geese as they are at least for now but did make a change that I much prefer.

This block is the most subtle of the blocks…

I have more than half of the blocks finished for this quilt, and might just work on kitting up the rest of the blocks so that I can just pick up one as time permits and tuck the scrap bins away for another time.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

UFO’s also known as unfinished objects

If you have been a quilter for any length of time you most likely know about the above term and possibly possess one or more or several UFO’s.

I personally prefer to think of them as works in progress. For what ever reason some projects need the next step maybe a new idea, additional fabric or time to complete. Most of mine are waiting to be quilted and because I put customer quilts first that pile grows. One thing that I am careful to do is to choose and purchase backings so that they are ready for quilting. I also have binding fabrics on hand.

I usually do personal long-arming over the Christmas holidays which will be here before I know it. So it’s time to plan.

This was a kit, I purchased it after quilting a customer quilt and just wanted to piece it. It was a fun relaxing project.
I love this top and have a quilting plan and backing. Sometimes it is just nice to play with a familiar block and colour. I often piece for relaxation.
This one was a kit from Craftsy. I used to really enjoy that site and ordered fabric from them while it was offered.
I do have the 12th block pieced, it is from a designers mystery from The Fat-quarter Shop. I stalled on the finishing kit, it’s all neatly packed away in a box that I enjoy pulling out from time to time. It may resurface this coming year, time will tell. I stalled on it as I didn’t enjoy the suggested piecing technique, I now have a new ruler that will make finishing it a breeze.

Oh and there are more, thankfully I believe that they can become leader ender projects this coming year.

My Moda Block Heads top that I recently completed is also on my list for quilting.

It was with all of those projects on my mind that made me really think hard about starting the colour collective!

My Longtime Gone is still in process… I am still really loving that project and will continue to plug away at it it’s at the halfway mark. I completed the court house step blocks last week.

These blocks take more time in the planning stage than piecing.

So why did I decide to jump into a new project? Because piecing and colour play is fun and relaxing and eventually I will get it all done and if not I am having having fun trying!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Design Wall Update!

I have had so much fun piecing blocks for my Long Time Gone quilt! It is very scrappy and very bright. I think starting it before finishing my Moda blockheads might have been a mistake because these brighter blocks really drew me in.

My design wall is located in the hall outside of my studio which makes photographing a challenge.

A lot of the fabrics are from my stash but many friends have enhanced my scrap collection along the way which will make this quilt so much more special to me. This will be my 2021 quilt and I plan to have the top completed before I allow myself to begin the first Color Collective project…starting November 1st (more on that soon).

Longtime Gone quilt is a pattern by Jen Kingwell that really caught my attention early in the year. I love the variety in piecing and fabrics that are in the quilt.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Long time Gone update

My free time for piecing has been minimal for the last several weeks, I have made some progress on this fun quilt though.

Auditioning fabrics for the trip around the world block. I have decided to stick with the red and outer ring will be blue.
These sweet little churn-dash blocks were fun to make, I decided to use the same background for each block and not repeat any fabric. I absolutely love playing with so many bits and pieces.
I am on the lookout now for sashing fabric. I have scraps of the solid gray and hope to find some soon.