A Place to Share Sewing & Quilting Experiences

Posts tagged ‘BSR quilting’

Let’s Play Catch Up – It Has Been Way Too Long

This post is going to have a lot of different types of projects.  It has been so long since I’ve posted and many projects have come and gone.  Let’s rewind the clock back to August 2014.  I’m getting ready to send my one and only sweet daughter off to college and emotions are running high.  One of our co-workers was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier.  We wanted to make her a comforting quilt to get her through the hard days ahead with surgery and treatments.  We made simple blocks with a place in the center for everyone in our company to sign well-wishes and prayers to her.  Here’s the quilt and a few close ups.

Pat Signature Quilt

Pat Signature Quilt Close UPPat Signature Quilt Border Close UP


Second project, before my daughter went off to college, she wanted to make a rug for her new dorm room to match her comforter set.  We went to our local Goodwill store and bought up a bunch of t-shirts.  She cut them into strips and rolled them up in balls.  Then she took three colors at a time and braided the rug.  My job was to sew together the braided rows into a circular rug.  It turned out really cute and she used it her first year of college in her dorm room.  Here’s the photo!

Abby Dorm Rug


Fast forward to the fall season.  My daughter and I had started a Halloween quilt together many years and due to crazy schedules, it got put on the shelf.  After she went to college, I wanted to finish it for her dorm bed for Halloween.  It was emotional dragging it back out, but I’m glad I did.  She enjoyed it during the Halloween season.  I also made a Halloween pillowcase/sham to go with it.

Halloween pillowcaseHalloween Quilt Close UPAbby Halloween Quilt

Another fun Halloween project was this machine embroidery free-standing lace coffin.  Lots of pieces, but way fun to put together and even more fun to decorate with!  This design was from OESD!

Free Standing Lace Coffin

For our annual Fall Fest meeting, I finished a quilt top of the raffle blocks I’d won at a previous full chapter meeting (I think it was the previous Spring Fest).  I may have already posted some of those blocks, but here’s the finished top.  It is on my “UFO to do List” that I plan on finishing this year.  I just need to decide if it needs a border to pull it all together and we’re off.

Raffle Block Close Up Raffle Block quilt

Prior to our Fall Fest our chapter got together to make pillowcases for charity (the chapter hosting the above Fall Fest event asked for these).  Our chapter made all these great pillowcases.  They took little time to make and were so much fun.  Plus it is always fun to have an excuse to get with your quilting friends and sew, sew, sew!

My pillowcases My pillowcases 2 Moonlighters Pillowcases More Moonlighters pillowcases

OK, enough for this time.  I’ll start up next time with the Christmas projects of that year.  Until next time, Happy Sewing & Quilting…




Bright Stars Quilts #2 & #3 – More Charity Quilts

OK, so I’m cheating a little by posting two quilts in the same post.  We had 10″ of snow today so I was rushing to beat the “electricity can go off at anytime” deadline.  I finished machine quilting and binding my third of four Bright Stars quilts before my May 4th deadline.  Guess I shouldn’t call it a deadline when the task is so much fun.  I was able to try out a few more free-motion quilting techniques learned in my Craftsy.com class “Free Motion Quilting A Sampler” taught by Leah Day.  She is a fantastic teacher and isn’t all caught up in everything being perfect (although you wouldn’t know that to see her finished work).  Quilt #2 was a fun Alphabet Sampler panel that I’ve had for a while.  I free-motion quilted around the alphabet blocks and around the animals in each block, then stippled in the border area.  Here’s quilt #2.

"Bright Stars Quilt #2"

And here’s a block close up so you can see the cute animals and my not-so-perfect free-motion quilting, but it was fun.

"Bright Stars Quilt #2 Close Up"

Quilt #3 is another panel I’ve had in my stash for a while.  There were lots of animals to practice free-motion quilting around, and I did my basic stippling around the open areas.  For the blue border, I decided to try one of Leah’s lessons.  Square spiral, it was a lot of fun even with all the travel stitching.  It was good practice for me.  The outside border was just regular stippling.  Another fun quilt.  Not sure what new stitch I’ll try on the last quilt, but we’ll see.  Here’s quilt #3.

"Bright Stars Quilt #3"

I tried to enhance this image in Photoshop so you could actually see the square spiral stitching.

"Bright Stars Quilt #3 Square Spiral"

And here’s a close up of the rest of the quilting.

"Bright Stars Quilt #3 Close Up"

I’m going to be sad to see this project come to fruition.  I might just have to raid my stash even further and make more Bright Stars Quilts.  I want to tackle another t-shirt quilt next.  I found a great pattern at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt show that I’m anxious to try out.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!


Rhododendron In Bloom – AAQI Project

Well, here we are at post #50.  I never thought when I started this blog, that I’d be at posting #50.  With this milestone, I decided to post a project that was the theme of my blog when I started it – Charity Quilting.  Since then it has evolved to a forum for us to share quilting experiences with each other.

I recently joined our local quilt guild and one of the projects they are working on is the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.  http://alzquilts.org/  I decided it would be an interesting challenge to add a quilt to our guild’s collection that will be mailed in soon.  This organization sells/auctions quilts donated to fund research for a cure for this disease.  I have many friends and co-workers who have loved ones affected by this disease.

The biggest challenge for me was making a quilt smaller than 9″ x 12″.  I’m usually a big scale kind of gal.  I was sitting on my back porch when my rhododendron bush was in full bloom and thought it would make a lovely art quilt.  Not ever having attempted an art quilt before, I wasn’t sure where to start, so I jumped in with both feet and made up my own rules as I went along…thus Rhododendron in Bloom was born.

I grabbed my camera and took a ton of photos.  Found my favorite “bloom” and went to work with Photoshop.  I used the photo transfer fabric that you can run through your ink jet printer for the applique.  I then used fusible interfacing for all the pieces.  I drew my own vase pattern, to which my artistic daughter gave the comment “lame”, but when she found out it wasn’t a dimensional drawing and only an outline for applique, she let it pass.  I had to keep cutting off the vase to make the whole thing fit into the size of the background.

Then the quilt sat for a couple weeks on my ironing board.  I couldn’t decide on the background colors.  I had some nice wood fabric that I thought would make a nice table for the vase to sit on.  My daughter helped with the color choices and I finally dove into the project.  Once it was quilted, I decided the wood fabric would make a nice “picture frame” for the binding.

I had originally wanted to do some thread painting on the flower, but the layout of the blooms didn’t really lend itself well to that (plus I’d never done it before, only watched it being done).  I just jumped in with my BSR foot on my Bernina 440 (the 830 had the embroidery unit attached and I was too lazy to disassemble it).  I went with my favorite King Tut threads for each of the colors.  I did the easy swirl quilting that I do on every quilt I do first on the table and vase.  Then when I started the bloom itself, I just started free motion quilting.  The stitches were really small (which I liked) and the overall affect was interesting.  Then I realized the BSR was turned off and that was my own free motion stitching.  I decided to keep at it and left the BSR off for the blooms and the leaves.

Here’s the finished quilt.  Love the bright colors and hope it will sell to aid research for this organization.

"Rhododendron in Bloom"

Here’s a close up of the bloom quilting that was done without the BSR.  For once I didn’t just do my usual swirls.  I need lots of practice with other “shapes” though.

"Rhododendron Close Up Quilting"

Just to put myself out there, I took a photo of the back of the quilt which was interesting.  I used matching colors for the front on the back to show some contrast.  I also learned a new technique called “fast finish triangles” for the “hanging”.  It is the method this organization prefers.

Here’s the back photo.  Only one small thread nest at the beginning of the leaves…so of course my perfectionism wanted to kick in, but I ignored it.

"Rhododendron Back Quilting"

We are helping to move my in-laws out of a house they’ve been in for 25 years in the next month to six weeks, so I’m afraid my massive week of quilting on the frame will have to wait until later.  It will make it that more fun.

I went with a couple friends to a quilt show on Friday and came home with more fabric and a few more fun projects to finish.  I made a small purse this weekend in addition to the AAQI quilt posted here.  It is so rewarding to get projects finished.  Helps me get back to the grind this week.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!


Longest Quilt Project To Date – 4+ Years

Ok, most of my quilt projects don’t take as long as this one did.  My buddies, Heather and Darlene, will probably remember when I bought this kit.  It was at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show either the first or second year I went with them.  It was when the show was will in Williamsburg Virgina.  I know it has been in Hampton, VA for at least the last 3-4 years.  It was a kit for a small quilt and I bought enough accent fabric to make it into a queen-sized quilt for my guest room.

The piecing didn’t take that long, but once that was done the quilt sat on my shelf for many years in the “top” stage.  I think it was a matter of getting up the courage to machine quilt it due to its large size that kept it on the shelf for so long.  With my Bernina 830, that excuse wasn’t that valid anymore.  I decided I was tired of the store-bought comforter in the guest room and was ready to “finish it up”.

I’ve only been quilting for about 9 – 9 1/2 years now, so I remember the novice days and still make novice mistakes from time to time (more often than I’d like to admit).  I made a big beginner mistake on this quilt that I want to share hopefully to keep others from experiencing my “pain”.    Some of the sashing and borders are on the bias and stretched a bit over the years of sitting on my shelf.   Machine quilting this large beast was difficult due to this stretching, but since it is going to be on a bed and not hung up for display it was a bit more forgiving.  After the quilt was finished, I didn’t notice some of the problem areas I was sure were going to haunt me every time I looked at the quilt.

There isn’t a really good way to get a photo of a quilt this big, so I just put it on the bed and went for it.  This is my favorite of the photos.  The other two views are on my Flikr account if you’re interested in seeing them.

I did free-motion stippling with my trusty BSR all over the quilt with variegated thread (my favorite Superior Threads King Tut).  The binding is sewn on by machine with a buttonhole stitch to match the binding to make the quilt more sturdy for machine washing.

Now I need to find a good coordinating dust ruffle and possibly pillow shams.  Right now the quilt goes over the pillows and works pretty good.

Here it is…the project that took longer than it did for me to attend and graduate from the University of Virginia 🙂

Lighthouse Quilt

Lighthouse Quilt

What to work on next?  Well I’m sure that will be answered for me.  It is time to start on Christmas presents.  I got the new OESD Christmas Embroidery Pack I and can’t wait to get started making the beautiful ornaments for presents.  Funny how I never seem to have any leftovers for my own tree.  Maybe that will change this year.  I can hope, can’t I?

Off to the big 50th anniversary celebration tomorrow.  Abby finished the cake and it looks great.  Will try and post photos of it soon!

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting.