Monday, June 29, 2009

My Studio

Tomorrow I'll be back to post some Old Red Barn quilts that I have been working on this past week or so for the winner of free quilting services - Quilting Barbie, and another is a client I met through the Old Red Barn Flckr group!

I've been thinking you might like to see some photos of my basement studio. I know I always enjoy seeing others workspace and how other people organize their supplies. Here's how I currently organize mine.
The photo above shows my own to be quilted tops hanging in the order I want to quilt them in. The 2 quilts on the right and the quilt to the left of the pantographs are client quilts. My thread storage is to the left. I have 3 racks for quilting threads. I think I'll mount another rack soon as the 3 I have are getting really full.

Myself, in my longarm studio.

This photo shows my domestic machine. I sew on a Janome 6600P. This is were I do all my piecing.

This is my cutting island and my stash shelf. You can see about 1/2 of my stash as the island covers the rest.

Through the doorway there you can see my scrapbooking station. This is were I update my kids photo albums, make greeting cards, wedding seating charts, and all other paper related crafts.

This is my scrapbooking station from another view. It is actually in a hallway.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my studio.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Quilting Progress - Black, White, and Red All Over Vanity Square Quilt

Earlier this week I posted a sneak peek at Gloria's version of Vanity Square by Lorraine Torrence Designs. I love Gloria's version using Mark Lipinski's Krakow fabric line. Due to all the straight lines Gloria chose Feathers with a Twist pantograph designs.

Hanging on my back railing.

Last year Gloria brought my a Brown, Blue, and Green version of the Vanity Square quilt. I thought you might be interested in seeing it too. For this one, Gloria chose Fantasia for the pantograph design. I had so much fun quilting it and it was the first time I quilted with minkee on the back.

Farmgirl at Heart

Look at these guys, aren't they awesome? Yesterday, when I was waiting for my boys to finish their work at the farm, I decided to take pictures of these guys. Don't you just wonder what they are thinking. Everyday when I wait for my boys they stare at me and watch me when I am sitting in my car. I wonder if they are wondering what I am thinking when I watch them. Since I grew up, during my high school years, on a farm, I have an appreciation of their beauty and their contribution to this world.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Sewing Machine - Sew Mama, Sew! Meme

It's sewing machine month at Sew, Mama, Sew! and I couldn't resist completing their questionnaire and adding it to the list for people who are researching buying a new machine. What a great idea, Sew, Mama, Sew! Go check out their blog for all sorts of cool things about sewing machines this month right here.

What brand and model do you have?

Janome 6600P

How long have you had it?

3 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?


What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Quilts, handbags, home dec, mending, and greeting cards.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew almost every day, but I do baby it. I have huge respect for sewing machines, and once I have one I don't want to get rid of it. I have 3 domestic machines in my home. I have a Pfaff my dad purchased for me as a grad gift - I still love it, I have a lower end model Husquavarna which is put aside for my daughter - inherited from Grandma, and my Janome 6600P.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I like it, but I'm still holding out for my dream machine. I just can't name an object, I try to come up with one both for my domestic and my longarm machine but I am incapable of coming up with names for non-living items.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

I love the needle up/down positioner and the cutting threads button.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

Sometimes it eats up (pulls my work down into the needle plate) the beginning of my work, and the bobbin winder doesn't wind a completely full bobbin.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

No great story, my Pfaff's computer gave out and at the time I felt it wasn't worth fixing, I was better off buying a machine designed for quilting with a larger throat area. I traded this machine but have always regretted it. I'm still pining for it and have often gone back to see if it is still there and considered buying it back.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

For the price you pay it has a lot of quilting specific features that are really handy and make life easier.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

How does it sew when you sample it, does it feel like a Cadillac or an old clunker?

Do you have a dream machine?

I'm holding out for a Bernina 730. I love Bernina's BSR and when you sew on one it definitely feels like a Cadillac.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Black, White, and Red ALL OVER

This weekend was so busy. I woke up on Friday morning and decided it was time to make jam. My kids love strawberry jam so off I went to Neufeld Farms to buy 30 pounds of fresh picked berries. One of my girlfriends once told me she thinks strawberries are the most beautiful things in nature. There is something beautiful about the tone of red, with the green stem and crown that is very appealing, and they don't taste bad either. Strawberry red is one of my favorite colours, the other is apple green. I usually have one or both of these colours somewhere in every one of my quilts. Here is a picture of some of my strawberries ready for jam.

I had a very peaceful quiet day, washing, hulling and mixing freezer jam. At the end of the day, 30 containers of freezer jam later and 6 pints of ice cream sauce cooked, I wasn't thinking strawberries were quite as beautiful anymore but I still saved one to eat. See the one on the picture up there that still has the stem and crown, that's the one I saved for myself to eat.

I took a picture of the mess in my kitchen at the end of the day but I decided you probably wouldn't want to see that. My kids helped clean the mess up, so everything's good!

The rest of my weekend was spent working on a clients quilt in, guess which colour, RED. It is a beautifully pieced Vanity Square quilt in red, black, and white using mostly Mark Lipinsky fabric. My client chose Feathers with a Twist for the pantograph design. I'll show you the full version of the quilt later this week when the quilting is done. I thought you might like to see a sneak peak of the quilt, I'm sure liking it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Old Red Barn Co. Quilt-Along

I was trying to resist getting involved in another quilt-along but am so glad I didn't. Viewing all of the different quilts and fabric choices by everybody involved has just been so fun, and I find myself checking the Flckr group several times a day (my photostream: maripenquiltmom). As a matter of fact, I got so caught up in it I decided to offer free longarm quilting services to the first person from British Columbia that emailed me - Congratulations Quilting Barbie. I started about 3 weeks late but managed to catchup this past weekend. Here are some of my progress shots. I used Moda's Urban Couture by Basic Grey.

Week 2 - Choosing Fabric

Week 3 - Cutting strips and sewing into strip sets.

Week 4 - Cutting Blocks and Joining

Longarm Quilting Overload

This week I completed the longarm quilting on 5 quilts for a client. All of her quilts are beautiful and I will be loading them onto my flicker photostream but I thought I would show you my two favorites.

This is a Bento Box by Tracey Brookshier . Sandra did this up in a variety of batiks in chocolate brown, rose, and gold. I think it is a beautiful combination of colour; this quilt has a stunning graphical effect. She asked me to quilt this with Alfresco using a brown and rose variegated King Tut thread.

Here is a closeup of the Bento Box

This is a Magic Tiles by Kathleen Bissett quilt pieced by Sandra K. in animal prints - Kathleen has some other neat patterns too. This quilt has a very pleasant mixture of prints. The quilting design used on this is Inkblot.

Here is a closeup so you can see the quilting.