Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Christmas Beauty

Home from "Quilting in the Pines" retreat this past Thursday - Sunday. Four days of nothing but sewing, chatting and eating food that someone else prepared and did the clean up for - a quilter's heaven. While on retreat I finished my New York Beauty project that I call Christmas Beauty. I have always wanted a special quilt to set out at Christmas and this is it, just have to get it quilted now. It measures 80 x 96 and although you can't tell it in the picture, the white in the quilt is a snow frost look that shimmers. This one will be a challenge to quilt, as I do like to quilt my own quilts and I don't have a long arm machine.

During retreat I also finished a Cathdral Window 16x16 inch sample for the class I will be teaching in the fall and started working on my applique for Tess's quilt.

Now retreat has come and gone and its back to reality.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How many ways are there to tie a knot????

OK..I have been a girl scout, cub scout den leader, girl scout leader, cookie mom and have been quilting for many years now and I thought I knew all the ways there are to tie a knot. Last night at my applique group meeting (As the Needle Turns - group name) I learned two new ways to intentionally knot thread. I say "intentionally" as I believe there have to be countless ways to unintentionally knot thread - especially silk thread.

The first new knot I learned was when you want to tie that knot right at the eye of the needle to keep your thread from sliding through - a must when working with silk thread. Using one of the handy dandy needle threaders, pull the thread through the eye - it is a loop. Take that loop and pull the needle (point end first) through the loop and it forms a tight knot right at the eye. Now how easy is that?

The other method is a little harder to explain but works like a charm when you are knotting off your thread. On the back side of the fabric, make a very small stitch, leaving the needle in the fabric. This only works if you are working with a single thread - not doubled. Take the thread coming out the right side of the needle eye and cross it over to the left side, going under the needle at the pointed end. Now take the thread coming out the left side of the eye and cross it over to the right side, also going under the needle at the pointed in. Then just pull the needle on through the fabric and you have a very nice flat knot.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lily's Quilt

Yesterday was a messy sloppy day with rain most of the day followed by a wet snow that was pretty much gone by the next day. We are thankful for every drop of moisture we receive though, regardless of the form it arrives in. I took advantage of a stay-at-home-and stay-inside kind of day to work on my new grand-niece's quilt.

This quilt was made using the basketweave pattern in the January/February 2007 Fons and Porter magazine. It was a fun one to make and I appliqued the little birdie in the corner to put in the borders, but liked it better as the label and decided to put it on the front of the quilt. I will be teaching this quilt pattern to my quilt club in March, so I better hang on to this one for a bit.

I will be going to quilt retreat on Thursday !!!! 4 days of someone else cooking and cleaning up after me and all I have to do is quilt and chat with my friends. I have already started packing - my machine and projects that is. Clothes can wait until the last minute - I do have my priorities!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rain rain, go away....

We want SNOW!!! The weather forecast had been for snow all day today and accumulations up to 6 inches, maybe higher. We got the snow boots ready, got my sewing all lined up, made a big pot of vegetable beef soup and cornbread, and all we have is messy sloppy rain! Guess I shouldn't complain though, as we desparately need the rain. Still a good day to stay indoors and could still snow yet. Supposedly started snowing in Atlanta about 2 hours ago, so should be on the way here too.
Today is Primary day in South Carolina. Hubby and I were up early and at the polls to cast our ballots. Voting always makes me feel so proud to be an American!
Woohooooooo..the snow just now started coming down! I love to watch the snow. Got to go and put some coffee on now.
My nieces (Joy and Cindy) came over for their first quilting experience today.

Joy arrived first and cut out her 56 nine inch blocks to make her quilt. She finished the top today and we got it all set for tying and off she went home to tie it there, just incase the snow did start to fall. Here she is, sewing away on my old New Home machine. I meant to get a picture of the top before she left here, but we were so excited to start tying it, that I forgot. She will bring it back to do the binding and I will get one then. She did a great job, and I think she is a natural when it comes to quilting.

Cindy wanted to make a tulip quilt, so her very first experience in quilting, including learing how to use a rotary cutter, paper piece, thread and operate a sewing machine. She did great. I also showed her how to design a quilt in EQ6 and she came up with her own quilt layout for the quilt. Today she finished one tulip block and put borders on it as a sewing lesson.
Now to sit and quilt and watch the snow fall outside my window.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Think Spring!

Oh boy, oh boy - snow is in our forecast. I just hope it is not ice instead. Living in South Carolina we do not see much snow and everyone gets so excited when it is in the forecast.
Two of my nieces are coming over Saturday for an introduction to quilting - or maybe I should say sewing, as neither has done much sewing. Joy is going to make a patchwork quilt of 9inch square blocks. We went on a fabric buying trip last week and she had fun selecting her fabrics, and she has a natural talent for color combinations. She is going to tie the quilt, so hopefully will be able to use it this winter. Saturday will be all about learning to use a rotary cutter, and how to thread a sewing machine and how to sew a straight 1/4 inch seam.
Now Cindy - she wanted tulips. So I got busy on EQ6 and designed the wall hanging for her to try out. The tulips are paperpieced and for now, she is just going to make one tulip to try it out. I like the wall hanging so much, I think I will have to make one for my office.
Here's a pic of the EQ6 drawing and I call it "Think Spring!" since we are in the middle of winter with snow and ice in the forecast.
I think our lunch Saturday will be a big pot of homemade vegetable beef soup with cornbread. Anyone care to join us?
I will be sure to take some pics of their progress!

Monday, January 14, 2008

I am so lost!

I have been reading a few blogs and trying to post comments, but I don't think they are going through. I need a lesson in Blogging 101.

I do enjoy reading others blogs though and seeing the projects they are working on. Its amazing how many women are quilting and all the beautiful quilts that are being made.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Woohooo..I got a post. Thank you May! My first one!

Here is a picture of a Cathedral Window quilt I have made. Its kind of in the shadows as it is hanging on a branch of an ancient oak tree. I am trying to come up with a nice picture to put on the front of my pattern. Not sure if this can be lightened up or not, but I love the outdoor look. What do you think?

I have been invited to conduct a workshop on my technique for making Cathedral Window quilts and am both excited and nervous. The workshop is not until October, so I have lots of time to fret about it.

Here's a close up of the quilt. My pattern shows how to do all the foundation sewing on the machine - including sewing the tabs down before you sew in the colorful patches in the "window".

I am currently working on a couple of applique border quilts and a New York Beauty quilt that I call Christmas Beauty because it is in Christmas colors. I have always wanted a special quilt just for Christmas. I am going to a quilters retreat at the end of this month and plan to work on the Christmas Beauty at retreat. I already have my project bag packed with the blocks arcs that I have already made and all the other block pieces. Can you tell I am excited?

Have a good day everyone!


Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10, 2008

I have been reading blogs from around the world and thought I might as well jump into this wonderful way of sharing thoughts and quilting projects with quilting buddies I currently have and many more that I will make in the future. I am not sure how anyone fines my blog, but hopefully some of you will!

My name is Teresa and I have been quilting for awhile now - maybe 15 years, maybe longer. I come from a family of quilters, in that my fathers mother and sisters quilt, and my own mother is a master quilter. I love all aspects of quilting from the design, fabric selection, cutting out the pieces, sewing them together, making the quilting sandwich, hand or machine quilting and finally binding it off. What a sense of accomplishment when you had the finishing touch - the label.

I enjoy doing my quilt design on EQ6 and even when I have a purchased pattern or one in a magazine, I like to recreate it in EQ6 just to play with the colors and sizes. I have three patterns published and my favorite is my Cathedral Window pattern, which I call "You-Can-Do-It" Catherdral Window. This is because I developed a technique where all the sewing can be done on the machine, with the exception of sewing the little color patches into the quilt "windows" which I prefer to do by hand. My technique makes a very sturdy quilt as well, but retains the look and feel of the quilts made the traditional way.

I work full time for now at a University in the research area, but am looking forward to retirement in a few years and then hopefully I can move into developing more patterns and conducting workshops. I love to teach quilting and introduce newbies to the quilting world.

I have two daughters, Jennie and Ellen, and both have become quilters in their own rights. My newest inductee into the quilting world is my neice Joy, and she and I went fabric shopping last night for her very first quilt. More on this later....

I also have a wonderful husband who lets me talk quilting, and never complains on how much fabric I buy or money I spend on my gadgets. He even encourages me to enjoy my hobby and I love him dearly for being so supportive of my passion.

I hope to hear from some of you and will try to post some pictures and other things once I know better what I am doing. Until then, Happy Quilting!