Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting better!

My client, S, brought me two stunning quilts to try my beginner magic on.  I'm so thankful for her trust in me. 
I used Aurifil polyester thread in a magenta variegated colour, and quilted using a pantograph called Jessica's swirls, by Digitech

click on the photo to enlarge
This quilt is just so gorgeous in person, the choice of fabrics and colours...sigh.  Too bad she picked up her quilt.   I thought she might forget it.  ;-) 
This is the one aspect I know I will love about longarm quilting - I get to see so many beautiful quilts!

 This one in beautiful neutrals/blue  was done using freehand swirls and spirals.
See?  All of that white board practice works!!!  
 I purposely used a variety of sizes, small, medium and large to add interest.
 This lovely queen size quilt was quilted using Wonderfil Tutti thread in Ocean

Thank you, S,  for trusting me with this project.  I was nervous, but I loved quilting for you!

I've been trying out a wide variety of threads so far.   I am really enjoying using the Wonderfil line of cotton threads, and would highly recommend them for piecing and quilting.  Some lint produced on my longarm, but I'm thinking at the high speed, this is inevitable....I just blast it out with air.   Worth a try if you are like me and shipping costs to Canada are outrageous.  This company is based out of Calgary, so shipping costs aren't so crazy.  They have a huge range of threads to try -  I will be trying their poly for quilting too.  Maybe I will be a complete convert one day.  :-)

 I used the Aurifil polyester thread in the above quilt and love love loved working with it, but sadly,  I don't think there will be any sources around here or ones that at least ship to Canada for a decent price.   :(   (I received it as a sample with my longarm)

Friday, May 24, 2013

My new design and business cards!

Look at my new business cards!  I feel all important now.   

Urban Quiltworks is starting to blossom and become more real.  I'm taking things slow, because my goal is to maintain being a mom and wife first,  keeping some of the work/life balance going on.  I can already see dust bunnies surfacing, laundry being forgotten in the dryer, etc and I'm not even full time up and running my studio!  Ha!  

I have been very fortunate with many things -  family support and cheering squad,  time, no pressure, no unreal expectations from others.  I also have had someone contact me if I would like to work together for a business logo/design for my blog.   Knowing absolutely NOTHING about this kind of stuff, I was all over it.   I am so glad I got to work with Kim!  I  love the many options she came up with, the revisions and the formats she gave me.   I have business cards,  a blog header, stationary header, and a facebook page header now (when and if I decide to go there)!     Don't my cards look cool!?   

I was so flattered and excited that she approached me that I wanted to share some more about her.  
Here is a brief introduction to Kim:  

I’ve been a follower of Andrea’s blog for a while. When I saw she was considering a longarm quilting business, I asked her if she might be interested in a new logo/banner design for her website. Lucky for me she agreed!

While I have done graphic design in the past, I wanted to formalize my skills and so enrolled in a design program. It is my goal to be able offer a complete package ranging from branding/identity, print, web design, and social media graphics. I am also a quilter and a supporter of small business, so it is my hope to be able to offer something affordable to this type of client. I discovered while making quilts for customers that I really enjoy working with people, taking the time to make sure they received the colors and fabrics they had envisioned. I look forward to doing the same in my new career. With my school commitment running through late 2014, I am focusing on small projects as time allows (ask me how patient Andrea has been!)  Until my new website is complete,, you are welcome to contact me through my quilting site, where hopefully I will still find time to write about sewing (as well as actually sewing). Thank you to Andrea for working with me! 

I didn't need to be patient -  I was not in a rush, Kim!  She was a pleasure to work with, easy going and receptive to my ideas and changes I had.  She also gave me some guidance as well - I have such a hard time making final decisions... I am glad I had this experience, and now can show off my pretty business cards.  Now I need to find a shiny business card holder!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thoughts and shots.

 It was my birthday this past weekend and I thought to myself that this year would be the year of bold and beautiful things....
This shot represents everything I love about colour and graphic quilts. I love this. I love that my name is shouted out in this photo in grand colour.   Only,  I live my life so not like this at all.  My house is neutrals, I wear black and white....and like to blend in and not stand out.    
I could totally drive a VW bus....
 I love the creativity of my friend....she gets me the coolest gifts.   She has the gift of finding unusual things, like these note cards with my name featured all in different photos.

 If someone were to ask me to stay behind in the Caribbean and begin a new life with my family there...I  would consider it very seriously.

 Why does everyone want the perfect photo of a group of kids?  The hilarity of reality is much much better.
It's amazing that 10 cousins (2 babies not shown in this photo) can get along so well on a vacation with no strife or upset whatsoever.
 .....except when it was time to separate and go home to 4 different cities across the US and Canada.

Our vacation was a 7 day Caribbean Cruise with the family.  A family reunion of sorts with my husband's side of the family.  10 little ones, 10 big ones...grandparents surrounded by all of their grandchildren.  A dream come true for them. It was really really good.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Boxes of Colour - A Moda Bake Shop Tutorial

 I have a new tutorial up at Moda Bake Shop.  It is a baby quilt that is quick and easy using the fabric line Boho by Urban Chiks.

It was a super gorgeous morning when I took these photos, and this quilt just looked so beautiful in the morning light....

I just got back from a family reunion/cruise to the Caribbean and trying to catch up on everything....have lots to post!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Tacky Quilt things #217

Oh boy....  these were found in the 99cent bin.   I just HAD to have I could blog about them.  
I have this thing about too many quilty tchotchkes in our world.  I mean, I ADORE actual quilts and quilt designs,  design inspirations everywhere, but when I see quilting teacups, towels, curtains, carseat covers, t-shirts, bathroom accessories......or a quilting nail polish design I admit I rolled my eyes a little and giggled too.  And then,

I applied one.   

 And now I want to apply another.   Do you think hands and toes would be too much? 
Is this taking things too far????  

I am going back for more tomorrow.  

You too can own some -  they are called Sally Hanson Salon Effects in  510 - Mod About You.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Auditioning your machine quilting on your quilt....CHEAP

This is not my idea,  I've read about it in several places, but not sure if my quilting friends know about this trick.    Have you ever wondered if a certain style of quilting would work on your quilt?  Now you can rehearse your ideas directly on your quilt -  with a dry erase marker and vinyl table cloth.

 Purchase -  a clear vinyl table cloth. Mine was called a tablecloth protector, purchased from Walmart for $2.00.   Yes, look who stole the label when I was busy organizing the ideas for this post.  sigh. 
 This comes in different sizes -  mine was 52 x 70.  I cut this into FOUR large pieces.  Keep one the rest for next year, or  give to three friends (Cheryl? Lee?)
Tape the edges, like a fold over binding - I used masking tape, you can use duct tape as well.  This is very very very important.   VERY IMPORTANT.  Because your vinyl is clear, when you are sketching on the vinyl you want to see the edge so you don't accidentally sketch over onto your quilt!
TRUST ME! ahem.

Your vinyl may have a few wrinkles in it, but over time, it will flatten out nicely.  Lay your vinyl over top of your quilt and sketch your ideas onto the vinyl. 

 If you don't like your plan,  it's easy to erase -  with a cloth.

Isn't that the coolest thing??? 
 Another idea -  if you see a design you like in a book, etc.  Do the same thing...trace it onto the vinyl and place the auditioned pattern vinyl onto your quilt.  

I have some pantographs that I have organized in a binder.  A pantograph is a long pre printed pattern that you trace with a laser light...while your machine stitches.  I organized sample copies of the pantographs into my binder and put them in sheet protectors. 

  I traced the sheet protector with a marker and then if I need to audition the pattern on a quilt, I slide the paper copy out...and just use my clear sheet protector to try it out on the so. 
Again, these are ideas that have been in use for quite some time, but thought these would be really helpful ideas for domestic machine quilters as well!

Have you ever tried this?   What do you think?   

Thursday, May 02, 2013

practice makes near perfect

...or at least better than before.

I practice every night on my whiteboard....I focus on only one shape/design per session, and practice a path how to stitch, if I get stuck somewhere - how to get out, etc. and this week I have been practicing more on quilts.  
 I volunteered to do some quilting with Victoria's Quilts - a charity that provides comfort quilts to people going through cancer treatment. 

Longarm quilting has been slow the past 2 weeks as I finish up designing, piecing and writing a tutorial for a quilt.  It feels so good to get back on the longarm - I absolutely love it.