Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

A quilt finishing story.

Sometimes a quilter with best intentions sets out to quilt their own quilt and for all kinds of reasons after basting their quilt decide that they don’t want to do the quilting themselves…

I haven’t quilted many quilts on my sewing machine, I really admire the skill of those who do. I had intended to devote some time to that this year…the race is on as the 2022 seems to be racing by.

Anyways, sometimes I receive a call from someone who has made the attempt to quilt their project…then time gets in their way or they realize that they won’t finish it themselves. Yes I can help! Yes I can and do undo stitches and sandwiched quilts and finish them on the Longarm.

This quilt top is a perfect example of a project that might have been given up on…

Instead it was prepared for the Longarm and quilted with a pantograph trimmed and prepared for binding!

Ready for binding!
Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Scrappy Goodness

While I enjoy my coffee, I love looking at quilting posts on blogs and Instagram. This morning I may have found my next scrappy project…though I am determined to finish up Longtime Gone before I can start another!

Joan, is a longtime customer of mine and I love all of her quilts. This last year she began piecing her scraps and had a lot of fun doing so and I think delighted with the results.

Mixing and matching and using low volume prints as background to showcase the fun prints is always a great idea! Half square triangles are pretty easy to make and can be configured into all kinds of designs!

How much fun is her backing choice, which will also be used for the binding.

Rhapsody was the chosen pantograph and it really brought this quilt together with both a perfect density and fun design.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Crumb Piecing Your Scraps

I have mentioned before that I have an almost lifelong love of fabric and sewing, as a child I loved nothing more than being given bits of fabric to play with add to that scissors and a needle and thread!

My early sewing years involved dolls and Barbie’s, later moving on to clothing for myself and a little later on for children. Discovering quilting changed my sewing world completely!

Being left handed, the rotary cutter made so much of a difference, as left handed scissors never really seemed to do the job well. My brain adjusted to the rulers designed for right hand people. Of course now there are rulers coming out for us lefties!

Could it be that a lot of lefties are quilters?

So having been a collector of quilting cotton for much of my life and having followed Bonnie Hunter from way back in her early blogging days….I recall her pointing out that we paid just as much per yard for scraps as full yardage. This is partially the reason that my studio holds a few special areas for storing scraps.

My LongtimeGone Quilt project is a scrappy quilt so one would expect the scrap pile would be shrinking…not so…it seems when the day is done and the lights are out the scraps get together and multiply!

Of course I still have some piecing to do to complete this project Longtime Gone and more scraps will be added to the top…still I keep anything that might fit into something else.

There are so many ideas online about how to deal with scraps, the one that’s pulling me in these days is Crumb Piecing and this morning a blog that I follow and have shared before on this blog posted a tutorial on her method.

Anne has many tutorials and shares so much information her site is well worth visiting.

https://agilejack1.com/2022/07/04/agilejacks-crumb-block-tutorial/

I am sharing this picture of what I made one evening while listening to a zoom meeting…it started out as a small baggie of scraps that a dear friend shared with me. For someone who just loves playing with her sewing tools sometimes, crumb piecing really fits the bill.

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

Fun Scrap Quilts

How much fun is this quilt…well it was for me. I love scrap quilts and this one made with the makers scraps from all of her other quilts just blended into a beautiful collage of colour.

Years ago I made a quilt by cutting a few strips each from many fabrics in my stash and divided them into dark and light piles and placed each pile into paper bags. My rule was…what came out was what I would use and made a log cabin quilt. That was a fun project and the result was a beautiful quilt that was fun to look at.

This quilt reminded me of that project…one I may just repeat sometime.

The swirl pantograph played so nicely adding to the fun of this project.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

May!! Spring and Cathy’s Quilt

Spring May finally be arriving! We still have a ways to go before the snow disappears, the ground is still covered the yard with more than a foot in unplowed areas and the bush is still heavy with the stuff.

The good news is the weather forecast is for sunshine and warmer temperatures and no overnight freezing temperatures.

Onto Quilting.

I have quilted many quilts for Cathy and always enjoy our visits. When I first met her she was still working as a community nurse and had been my Moms Nurse after she had cancer surgery. My Mom really liked her and it wasn’t long before they discovered their link of quilting. This led to Cathy meeting me.

Cathy’s latest quilt really helped to brighten some very grey days around here.

I have always loved scrap quilts, they are so much fun to make and to look at!

I chose the pantograph Helix which really adds motion to the kaleidoscope.

Cathy chose a very soft flannel for the backing.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Snow, Stellar, Quilting and Life

Well…yes it’s still snowing there is even more forecasted for Wednesday yet again! The trees are heavy with snow and an attempt to walk to the back of our property failed due to it being waist deep!

The good news is that it’s not too cold, the snow is wet and heavy to shovel but it did feel good to be outside this morning and the sun was trying hard to break through the clouds. hopefully the sun will shine tomorrow.

11:30 am April 18 2022

On Friday I spent some time pressing and started cutting the fabric for Stellar, the third quilt from Season 4 of the Color Collective. It is comprised of 2 paper pieced blocks that mirror each other.

Marilyn’s third half square triangle quilt left this morning. Theses quilts are full queen size and such fun to look at. Her stitching is so precise and her quilts are always square.

Folded in half

I am presently quilting a super fun 2 sided quilt that is nice and bright! I always press the tops and backs before loading, it’s worth the extra time in my opinion. This quilt like the Minecraft Quilt has a very pieced and fun backing.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Why Have A Large Fabric Stash

Do you remember those large boxes of crayons.. the ones that came with attached sharpeners? Now that was exciting! Maybe more so for some than others. I really don’t remember not creating and enjoying playing with colour.

Growing up, my Mom always had her sewing machine out and often was used mostly for making clothes but sometimes home decor. The visits to the fabric departments… were so much fun!

Seventh grade in Winnipeg meant a sewing class…that meant my very own set of new notions! The beginning of a love for sewing notions that still exists today. Oh and the fabric!

While it is true that styles change and that is very true in the quilting industry as well, and collecting fabric that may or may not get used isn’t the wisest use of money. Having a stash that has been collected over the span of many years has its benefits.

I have been Longarm quilting for others for 18 years, I have noticed that many of my customers who are ahead of me on this life journey have more time and the fabrics to make the most amazing quilts.

Marilyns quilt is one! I asked her if the fabrics in this quilt were all hers and she said yes all accumulated over many years of quilting!

This quilt is one of three queen size quilts that Marilyn has made for her adult granddaughters.

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Fabric and Scraps

As a small child I was always delighted to be given scraps of fabric! I think they were probably my most favourite plaything, add to that scissors, thread and a needle and I was set.

The quilts on the tv show Little House on the Prairie is where I recall first seeing or maybe noticing scrap quilts! I know that I always questioned the colour rules and just loved the look of all kinds of colours together.

One of the most fun part of the Color Collective I am participating in is receiving a palette of colours that I may not have chosen myself for a quilt.

During the break out portion of our local guild meeting last night we were encouraged to talk about how we store our scraps. Of course there are new quilters who haven’t reached the what do I do with all these scraps, part of the quilting journey. There are probably quilters who make a quilt and have very little left overs…I am not sure that I know those quilters, are you one?

So back to the breakout room… I love scraps and I have a lot of them. I love to use them to try out new techniques and ideas. I love to save them to use in future projects and I sometimes just like to look through them and reminisce or sort through them.

Do I need all of them? Maybe not but then maybe I do…perhaps I will have a season in life where I can really dive in and play and I will be prepared.

My Longtime Gone quilt is a scrappy version, I have had hours of fun playing with scraps. This is a quilt that I am savouring the journey…sone things shouldn’t be rushed.

So many quilts come my way to be quilted…thank you thank you to everyone who allows me to be part of your quilting journey! I am constantly inspired.

This is one of 4 quilts that is made up entirely of 2” finished half square triangles. So many fabrics I recognize but many I don’t because this quilter has been collecting for more years than I have.

The view out the window this morning is a little drab, winter has a strong hold right now with a ton of snow and many chilly and today windy days….. My sewing and quilting rooms will be my bright sunny retreat today!

Wendy's Longarm Quilting, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Margaret’s Tulips

What a fun and happy quilt! It was quilted with the pantograph ground cover. Margaret used fabrics from her stash to piece this quilt and like so many of us, she told me it didn’t make much of a dent in her stash.

I love the variety of fabrics in this quilt.
The backing was primarily the green but was grown using strips of some Kaffe