Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Longtime Gone Quilting….

There is a “promise” of some sunshine later today! It seems so long ago that our sky was blue….yes I know it’s blue above the clouds!! I am more than ready for some sunshine, less wind and oh some green grass, leaves and flowers.

Spring will come!!!

In the meantime, life has been so full and busy with both quilting and with life!

I am so blessed in both departments, I am so fortunate to be entrusted to quilt so many quilts for others which is a true passion for me!

Every once in a while though… it’s time to quilt one of my own! If you have been following my blog for a while you will know about my Longtime Gone Quilt (pattern by Jen Kingwell) and the fun journey it has been!

Well I finally slipped it into my Que and it’s quilted and trimmed. It will hanging in our upcoming quilt show if you are interested in a close up and personal look. I hope that it inspires other quilters to challenge themselves with a scrappy sampler!

I am waiting for brighter days for more pictures and will share more about this quilt soon.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Life and Quilting and Health

I woke to rain this morning! We have woken to snow several mornings this month and I think that I speak for almost everyone I know in Thunder Bay…enough with the snow already!!

It may be our stage of life, but on the life side of things several friends have either passed away or had serious diagnosis this year. It does cause one to take stock and in my case rethink a few things.

Life can get so busy or so routine that it can be easy to overlook taking the best care of our most valuable possession…ourselves, our health and wellness. I have always for the most part been mindful of self care and as I age the value of diet and exercise becomes even more invaluable!

I love meal prepping and all of the amazing information and ideas that are at our fingertips!!!

Long gone is the mindset of exercise equals fitting in those blue jeans haha now it’s so much more about muscle tone, balance, flexibility and of course health!

I am sharing the link below only because I enjoy doing many of her work outs, maybe you might as well.

Long ago when I first started Longarm quilting for others, I was working in an office where I learnt the importance of ergonomics and applied what I learnt to my quilting life as well!

My Dad who is an amazing wood carver, pointed out years ago the importance of breaks, exercise and diet in order to keep quilting…crafting long term! Such excellent advice! Thanks Dad!! By the way my Dad will be 86 this summer, while he is still busy carving…he is active walking daily, exercising mind and body and enjoying life!

I can easily become so engrossed in a quilting project that hours can go by without taking breaks, I am however very mindful of the need to move and stretch! I encourage you to consider it as well.

It’s been a very full month, with quilts coming and going as usual. April means taxes of course…nice to have that one checked off the list!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Quilting and Life

First of all, how exciting that the Superior Quilt Show returns next Month. This is the Thunder Bay Quilters Guild Quilt Show that is normally held every second year! Of course the last few years haven’t been business as usual so it is even more exciting to have the show return!

The response of the membership has been fantastic and while normally there has been a call for extra quilts over and above the limit of three quilts per member this year the number has been capped. So I will have 3 quilts in the show along with any of my customers who have chosen to enter their quilts.

If you are in the area I hope that you will not only come and check out some of the incredible quilts and quilting that are done locally!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

April 21st Spring and Quilting

I believe that most people who live in North Western Ontario are longing for spring as we do every April! However our reality it seems is that winter isn’t over until it’s over and spring storms dumping fresh large amounts of snow in April is not uncommon… but still!

I am ready to put our winter gear away, but I know better so will wait!

My morning view

I will be back to showing quilts regularly again, life has been busy and as usual so have I and my APQS Millenium Longarm.

Just before Easter and our trip to Cuba, I quilted this sweet little quilt with Minkie fabric for the backing. These digital panels are amazing and this one with the giraffes appears 3D.

When choosing a quilting design, I wanted something that would look like it was in the jungle but also would have enough stitching to hold this fun quilt together for the long run. This design was the perfect fit!

It was a little challenging as we really wanted to use this piece of backing and it was a little small…I had a half inch on both sides of extra backing fabric. Yes I do require 2” as that does seem to work best but I can and do make exceptions and in my 18 years of quilting professionally I have learnt a trick or two.

The best part of this particular quilting job is this!

The recipient loves his new quilt!!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Flower Power

The Instagram Quiltfest 2023 is nearing the end. It’s been a fun adventure and I hope to play again. Thank you to Amy at https://www.amyscreativeside.com

The prompt favourite finish had me reminisce a little and I chose my Flower Power wallhanging.

The pattern caught my eye and I knew I needed to make it! https://www.getasquiltingstudio.com/quilt-patterns-new

Now this is a project from over ten years ago…it taught me faux trapunto and raw edge appliqué on my Longarm. I used fabrics from a Kaffe Fassett charm pack and for the most part just allowed myself to play! the back ground fabrics had just enough dye lot difference to make the circle truly pop off of the first background.

At the time talk was that only quilt shop quality fabric should be used for backings and definitely not sheets…I never liked to be limited to “creative rules” and chose to use a vintage bed sheet from the 70’s for my backing. The bedsheets from my child hood were so much fun!!

I absolutely love this quilt! Yes I have made many others and for many reasons they are also favourite finishes however this one might just be the most fun!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Cathy’s Spectacular Quilt

In this case Cathy brought me her Nebula Quilt designed by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts and fabric by Tula Pink. Cathy made some changes to make it hers.

I really do love quilting for others! It’s so much fun to help other quilters bring their projects to completion.

Cathy chose the pantograph Nemesh Feather Grande which is such a pretty design and perfectly suited to this gorgeous quilt!

The backing really showcases the beautiful feathers, curls and swirls of this gorgeous pantograph!

Cathy also supplied the prepared binding, so not only was her quilt trimmed but the binding was attached and pressed and ready to be hand stitched when she picked it up.

Cathy will be entering her quilt in the Thunder Bay Quilters Guild Quilt Show May 26, 2023- May 28, 2023 if you would like to view this and many more beautiful quilts in person.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Binding Quilts

Are you a fan of binding? What is your favourite step in quilting?

I really don’t have a favourite step though I really do enjoy hand stitching bindings, I like to take my time to keep my stitches close and hidden as best as I can. I love the look of a really well stitched corner on both front and back. Somethings take time but to me some things are well worth the time it takes to do it right.

Part of my Longarm Quilting Services does include binding. I am often asked to prepare the binding, attach the binding and occasionally to hand stitch the binding so when the quilt is returned it is completely finished.

This is the back and binding on my granddaughter Romee’s quilt, yes it takes more time to hand stitch but why race through such a special project 😊

Of course machine stitching a binding both front and back does make for a more durable quilt especially if it will be laundered often so it’s a valuable skill to have. I do use the technique from time to time but still prefer hand stitching.

Oh and of course how do you choose the binding? I rarely make that final decision until the quilt is almost finished. I love how the binding adds that final touch… it took some time to finally choose the binding colour for my Sunny Quilt and I am so happy with my choice of orange!

Applying binding to my Sunny Quilt

Todays project is to attach a customer binding. One thing that I always do and highly recommend is to take a little time and lay the binding around the quilt so that you can adjust it and avoid having binding seams in the corners.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Mid March

Well it’s a little past mid March and I woke up to snow…again. Thankfully my morning commute is only a short stairway away!

A peek at what’s under my needle…though it’s almost finished and will be done before lunch break. I am really enjoying the changing colours on this quilt with every advance.

Todays Instagram Quiltfest post prompt was favourite quilt which I can truthfully say that I don’t have one.

I love quilts and their stories some are so exciting such as for babies and weddings…some have brought me comfort the ones made for friends that are at the end of life or struggling.

This is a customer quilt from early in my Longarm career, I love the beautiful appliqué and the quilting added. I wish that I had better pictures of it!

Another custom quilting job that included a lot of freehand stitching, it really is a spectacular quilt!

This one was a Victory Quilt made to commemorate the end of the World War in 1945, it was brought to me top and backing and binding to complete.

Another long time ago quilt, made by Margaret Bliss for her Grandson, that shows my custom Quilting.

My friend Alva and I decided to play with the disappearing hour glass pattern shown on Missouri Star Quilts…mine was made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics and hers with Batiks.

My disappearing hourglass quilt

This was Alva’s last quilt, I quilted so many quilts for her and this final one was the only one that I put the last stitch in for her in the binding.

Many of my personal quilts have been made just for fun, playing with different ideas, patterns, fabrics and colours. Many quilts are my favourite while I am making them!

Oh one last picture…I was asked to be quilter of the month early on in my Longarm quilting career the memory came up this week on facebook

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Dreaming of Summer Quilt 💐

Are you ready for spring? Summer? Depending on where you live it might already be spring but here in North Western Ontario spring is weeks away dare I say months…

One of the quilts I had the privilege of quilting this week made me think of a pretty little cottage by a lake….

What a fantastic way to use a floral fabric stash!

I chose to use the Pantograph Garden Frills as it adds an almost Lacey feel and such a soft flow of stitching.

I really like the affect of laying a corner of the quilt top over the backing for the above picture as it was really hard to capture the true white backing and the soft pretty floral prints. This picture is a really close match.

This queen sized quilt is now trimmed and ready for binding!

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!