Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

Blue Moon Magic Quilt

After a year and a half the raffle quilt for the Genesee Valley Quilt Club (GVQC) is finally complete! Okay I will back up a bit to tell you why I care. So please grab a cuppa as this is a long story (I said it took 18 months). Okay I won’t blame you for not reading everything, but at least humor me by scrolling down, looking at the pictures and Oohing and Aweing and telling me how beautiful it is. 😉

A year and a half ago the president of the GVQC approached my mother and I and asked if we would be interested in creating the raffle quilt for the 2013 GVQC Quilt Show. We told her we would discuss it and get back to her. Well you know how it goes, someone asks you politely to do something and it can be hard to refuse. We thought that since we would be working on it together it wouldn’t be too bad right? So of course we agreed to do it.

Center Squares

Center Squares

Designing quilts from scratch was not a strong point for either my mom or I. We got together a few times and discussed the types of quilts we like to look at and searched through quilt magazines and past quilt calendars for inspiration. My mom said that she liked New York Beauty blocks and would like the quilt to have some of those in it. We found a couple of pictures of quilts that we liked the layout of to use as a starting point.

Sunrise Beauty block from EQ7

Sunrise Beauty blocks from EQ7

I was fortunate to be able to purchase Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7), a quilt design software, to help with creating the design. It was challenging to look through all the quilt blocks available in the EQ7 software to pick out the one I wanted for our quilt but I finally settled on one called “Sunrise Beauty”. I didn’t want the quilt to be just beauty blocks so I added some palm and crazy pineapple blocks.

Palm & Crazy Pineapple 6from EQ7

Palm & Crazy Pineapple 6
from EQ7

The final blocks to add were the border. I wanted something that would have a similar feel as the beauty blocks without distracting from them. I added a one inch border first and then chose the “Staccato Border” and “Staccato Corner” blocks.

Staccato Border blocks

Staccato Border blocks

The next step was to choose the colors I wanted to use. My mom and I used some fabric catalogues to choose a pallet that we liked so I started from there. The colors that show up in the EQ7 software for each of the blocks is very different to how I colored them.

First try

First try

I started with the beauty blocks, then the crazy pineapple (remember I wanted them to look like roses) and then the palm blocks. The final blocks I did were the borders. I just made sure that I repeated the colors from the rest of the quilt in the border and only added the white in the border.

Second try...getting closer

Second try…getting closer

With the colors in place we took a trip to one of our local quilt shops to pick out samples of fabrics we wanted to use.

We liked this one

We liked this one

We needed a dozen different fabrics for this quilt and only purchased a fat quarter of each fabric. We still needed approval from the board of directors on our design. My mom took the fabrics and created a few samples of the blocks we wanted to use and I scanned the fabric into my computer and added those fabrics to the EQ7 design.

EQ7 design with actual fabric scanned

EQ7 design with actual fabric scanned

With printouts and sample blocks in hand the board didn’t hesitate to approve our design. After all nobody else was going to jump in with a new design any time soon.

The EQ7 software gave us estimates of the amount of fabric we would need so we hurried back to the fabric shop and picked up the yardage we needed of each one. When we took on this task we had no expectation of sewing the quilt together by ourselves. We chose paper pieced blocks for the quilt since they would allow for the most accuracy when sewn by many different people.

The next project was to create kits to hand out for our club members to assemble. This required writing instructions, creating guides so the right fabric went in the right place, printing the paper templates, cutting the fabric and bundling it all into kits. We had a fun cutting party at my house (I was so busy keeping everyone working that I didn’t get any pictures) to put the kits together and then handed them out at the next GVQC meeting in May 2012. We asked everyone to bring them back no later than the September 2012 meeting (the club doesn’t meet in July and August).

After all the blocks were returned we sorted through them, fixed a few problems and created a few blocks that we were short on. It was time for another party to assemble the quilt.

Chris, Anne and Claire(left to right)

Chris, Anne and Claire
(left to right)

A couple of the ladies from the club joined my mom (Claire) and I to sew the blocks together. I pinned the rows up on a huge piece of cardboard and each one took a row. I pieced all the border blocks together.

There were a ton of seams to press!

There were a ton of seams to press!

We did the sewing in my dining room and pressing in the kitchen. I have a huge table that easily fit all of us and our machines. After a few hours the top was completed! Now to find someone to quilt it. Every time Claire and I stood up in front of the club asking for help we emphasized that we would like to find a member with a longarm quilting machine to do the quilting, but no one stepped up. Finally when we were collecting the blocks in September Karen Kiener of The Cottage Quilter finally offered to do the quilting.

Quilting detail

Quilting detail

If you click on the pictures above you can see what a fantastic job she did to enhance our quilt. We really had no ideas regarding the quilt motifs to use and left it all up to Karen.

Back view of Center of Quilt

Back view of Center of Quilt

She did an amazing job and we couldn’t be happier with it.

Hand sewing the binding while Millie supervises

Hand sewing the binding while Millie supervises

Last, but not least mom and I added the binding under Millie’s watchful eyes. All totaled there were about 70 ladies that helped to create this quilt. It really was  a group project and my mom and I want to thank all of you for your help. We certainly couldn’t have done it without you.

Very soon you will be able to purchase raffle tickets to win this quilt. If any of my readers buy a ticket just remember that if you win you have to give the quilt to me 😉 !


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Flannel quilt parts

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Mom and I with Ricky Tims

I don’t really know where to start telling you about the Ricky Tims’ Super Quilt Seminar that was held at the RIT Field House from July 12 – 14, 2012. The first thing I want to say is thank you to my mom and dad for giving me the gift of this seminar. It was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity that I would not have wanted to miss.

If you are a quilter and you are anywhere near where one of these seminars is being held run, don’t walk, as fast as you can to sign up for it. I guarantee that after the three days of presentations you will not only be exhausted, but you will be exhilarated by everything you will learn.  During the day at the seminar I didn’t really feel tired at all, but when I got home each night my mind was full and I crashed in bed and after three days I slept for about 12 hours straight.

The attendance at this seminar was the largest he has ever had, but it never seemed crowded. While waiting in line or wandering around at break time I met people from all over the Northeast.  One very fun group of ladies came by bus from Ottawa Canada. All totaled there were about 740 attendees (with 140 of them from Canada).

There really wasn’t a bad seat in the venue either. The large display screen was used for both PowerPoint presentations as well as live video for demonstrations.

Libby Lehman teaching

All three of the presenters were very enthusiastic about their topics and not once gave you the impression that they didn’t want to be there.  Ricky himself gave about two-thirds of the presentations over the three days and was as fresh and funny as ever for each one.

Alex Anderson Teaching

Each session was an hour and a half with 45 minute breaks in between and a little longer for lunch.

The line waiting for Ricky Tims’ autograph during break

During each break all three speakers were available to sign autographs and have pictures taken with you.

Alex Anderson Signing books

Libby Lehman Signing Autographs

The syllabus that we received was easy to follow and will be a great resource to go back to while trying the new techniques we learned.  Most of the time you didn’t need to read along, but it was good to know where in the book the information you were learning was.

Quilt show of quilts by Ricky, Alex, Libby and others

A small quilt show was available to peruse during breaks that showcased the techniques being taught as well as showing off the speakers skills.

Ricky Tims – Bohemian Rhapsody quilt

I uploaded pictures of some of the quilts in the show to Flickr if you are interested in seeing a few more.

Ricky Tims – Dad’s Lone Star quilt

These two were among my favorites of Ricky Tims’ quilts.  The one directly above is called “Dad’s Lone Star” because his father did all the piecing on the large star in the center of the quilt. This one was hanging so you could see the back of the quilt too.  The quilting is stunning and all done by Ricky on his domestic sewing machine. There are lots of pictures of the quilting on the back in my Flickr set.

Cindy’s Seat – Break Time with Dorothy (on left) and Claire (aka Mom)

I have to say that “Cindy’s Seat” served me well. I was mistaken about the type of seating (I showed you a picture of bleachers previously) we would be sitting on, but even though the seats were individual seats and fairly nicely contoured I would not have wanted to sit there for three days without the cushion.

Cindy’s Seat

On the final day of the seminar, during the first break of the day, a group of ladies sitting nearby took notice of my fancy seat and apparently during my absence (while I wandered the display area on the main floor) were examining the construction.  When I returned to my seat I was swarmed by all the ladies asking me for the pattern! Lucky for me I had stashed a few brochures for my Etsy shop in my bag and told them that I would write a pattern and soon be selling it in my shop.  I also want to mention that I will also be adding the seats as a custom item to sell in my shop (since a few of you already expressed interest) so if you are interested and not handy with a sewing machine I will be taking orders in the future.

Ricky Tims

Alex Anderson

Libby Lehman

On a final note, I have to say a huge thanks to the Genesee Valley Quilt Club (of which I am a member) for planning and organizing this fantastic event. The ladies that volunteered to help did a fantastic job and received a standing ovation at the end. I can’t stress enough to all the quilters out there to check out Ricky Tims seminar schedule and sign up for one near you. You can also get on his email list so you will be notified when new dates are announced. And thanks to Ricky, Alex and Libby for a great weekend!

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Okay, I know that most of you are probably saying Ricky Who? Is she going to meet Ricky Martin, Ricky Gervais, Ricky Fowler? Well all of those guesses would be wrong. If you know anything about the world of quilting you may have already guessed the correct answer as, to the best of my knowledge, there is only one Ricky in the quilt world and that would be Ricky Tims!

The Genesee Valley Quilt Club has worked very hard to bring the Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminar to Rochester, NY. This amazing event (since I haven’t attended yet I don’t know for sure, but that is what “they” say) also includes, Alex Anderson and Libby Lehman for three days of seminars, fun and even a concert.

I am very excited to attend this event since it is really a once in a lifetime thing.  According to the club committee this is going to be the biggest Super Quilt seminar ever for Ricky and his gang.  I think Ricky is a bit excited too (and hopefully not just for the payoff) and on one of his recent posts to Facebook he said, “Farewell DC – Flying to Rochester NY in a few min – Hang on everyone – biggest Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminar EVER!!! 750 – WHOO_HOO!!!” That’s right, there will be over 750 attendees to this event.

My mom (I guess dad too) gave me the registration for this event as a Christmas and birthday present for this year. Three days of seminars by three world known quilters is not cheap so I am very glad to have this as a gift. Mom is going too so we should have a fun time together and will probably be exhausted by the end.

So you might be asking what do I have to do to get ready for this three-day seminar? There are only lectures and you get a notebook with lots of information and places to take notes so there really isn’t much to prepare except maybe snacks and lunches.  The seminar is being held at the RIT Field House and we’ve been told that the seating will be metal bleachers!

The bleachers we will be sitting on are similar to the ones pictured above so they at least have backs on them, but can you imagine sitting on those metal seats for 3 days?! Well I couldn’t either so I set out to make myself comfortable.

Cindy’s Seat – portable seat cushion

Here is my version of a portable seat cushion complete with embroideries and verbage to indicate who this belongs to.  I figure that if someone wanted to steal it at least it would limit the thieves to those whose names were Cindy or knew someone named Cindy 😉


I chose sewing themed embroidery from a set that I have.  I love how these look against the purple fabric. All of the fabric I used is from the Dragonfly Summer collection by Holly Taylor that came out last year that I just love. I still have quite a bit so you can expect to see it pop up from time to time.

I found a pattern in one of my books for a basic seat cushion with a zipper in it and worked from there. To pad the back of the seat  I used three layers of extra loft polyester batting I had left over from the dog beds I made for Nina.  It was tough to stitch in the ditch on, but it will feel nice against the bleacher. It took me a while to figure out how to attach the back to the cushion, but that is where it is great to be an engineer as it came together very easily. I also added some ties to keep it compact for carrying and also to be able to tie it to the back of the bleacher or a chair.

Cindy’s Seat – tied to chair

I figure this seat cushion won’t go to waste either as it will come in handy when I go to quilting classes too.  Often the chairs are not only hard and uncomfortable, but not high enough for my vertically challenged self. The two-inch high cushion will give me a bit of a lift.

Cindy’s Seat – secured to chair

I’m really pleased with how it turned out and for those of you who were wondering, I did line up my stripes perfectly in the front and the back.  Yes, I am that fussy! I will be taking pictures during the seminar and will let you all know how it went, but probably not until Sunday!

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The Perinton Quilt Guild, which is the smaller of the two clubs I belong to, wrapped up our season with our last meeting on June 4th.  About a month ago we had our bi-annual quilt show and it was a great success! This year the show was held in the gymnasium at the Perinton Recreation Center. Except for it being a bit chilly for those of us that were there for extended periods it was a great location for the show.

View of the show from walking track above gym

The show was a great success with over 300 quilts made from members of our guild hanging. We had more visitors than previous shows and were very pleased with the reception we received from the town. Many people visited the show because they were already at the recreation center for another activity.

You can see most of the show from this view

I was responsible for signing up vendors for the show and they were all pleased with the turn out as well.

Handbags and other small items

In addition to the quilts there was also a display of some smaller items such as handbags and pillows.

Garage sale tables

The guild members also donated sewing and craft items for garage sale tables and we made a bundle of money from the sales. The show was not professionally judged, but rather was judged by popular vote from the visiting public.  I had seven quilts hanging in the show.  Three lap quilts that you can see below and four wall hangings.

Here are my lap quilts

Two of my wall hanging quilts were winners in this show.  My Lily Pond quilt won best small wall hanging and my Autumn Leaves quilt won second place in the large wall hanging category.

There were also a few special activities taking place during the show.

Last Minute Sales of Raffle Quilt Tickets

Tickets were sold for our raffle quilts and the winning ticket was drawn at the end of the show. The other special event was the unveiling of the Perinton Bicentennial Quilt the guild made for the town.

Perinton Bicentennial Quilt

You might remember when I previously blogged about the two blocks I made for the quilt. The church block is in the upper left and the Powder Mills Park block is in the lower right.  I am so pleased with how beautiful this quilt turned out.  All the ladies that participated did magnificent jobs, from the organizers to the quilt block makers and finally to the quilter that added the finishing touches.  If you click on the image you can see a larger view.  The border around the outside of the quilt has the names of local parks quilted in script writing.

Gail Mazur presents quilt to town leaders

About two weeks after the quilt show the guild officially presented the quilt to the town.  Gail Mazur was the coordinator of the quilt and she gave a small speech before the town supervisor helped to reveal the quilt in its display case.

Guild Members with Supervisor Jim Smith

Some of the ladies that worked on the quilt were able to make it to the presentation and posed in front of the quilt.

Some of us pointing to our blocks

Here are a few of us (that’s me on the left) pointing to the blocks we made. My blocks are so far apart I had difficulty pointing to them and looking at the camera at the same time.

The quilt guild season is now over until September.  I really enjoy both of the groups I belong to and will miss meeting up with all of these ladies until then. I hope you enjoyed checking out our quilt show and the beautiful Perinton Bicentennial quilt.

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Amy's Creative Side

I thought I would throw my hat into the ring at the last-minute for this springs Bloggers’ Quilt Festival hosted by  Amy’s Creative Side.  I wasn’t sure which quilt I would enter, but decided on my Lily Pond quilt since I haven’t done a blog post about it previously.

Lily Pond

This quilt is a small wall hanging that is about 28″ x 20″ and the pattern is from Ruth B. McDowell’s Piecing Workshop book. When I first received this book my husband, who I like to call my “Chief Creative Consultant”, saw the quilt in the book and said that I had to make it for our house. I agreed, but I wasn’t promising exactly when.

About a year ago I was let go from my job and needed something to fill my time. We also were having a couple of bathroom make overs done so that meant many hours spent sequestered in a couple of rooms on the first floor of our house while the work was done upstairs. I decided that this would be a good project to occupy my time while the work was done.

It may be a small quilt, but there are about 87 million pieces in it.  Okay that is a bit of an exaggeration, but there are a lot of pieces and some of them were very small.  My Chief Creative Consultant was very helpful with picking out fabrics and helping decide where to put which fabrics. Ruth McDowell uses a technique for piecing where you use freezer paper to create all the template pieces, mark them so you know where they go and how to match them up with the pieces next to them, and then iron the freezer paper pieces to the fabric and cut them out with a 1/4 inch seam allowance added.

The pattern is actually fairly easy to piece together, but you have to keep your concentration while you are working on it. I had all the pieces cut out with the freezer paper on them and pinned to my design wall. It is pieced together in sections that are marked on the pattern.  It was great fun to watch the quilt grow as the sections were pieced together.

For the quilting I used a variety of thread colors and design depending on which area I was quilting.  I actually quilted the water area twice as I over did the density of the stitching the first time.  I had to painstakingly pull out all of the stitches in this area and redid it and I’m glad I did. I had some fun with the quilting too and added a couple of frogs on the lily pads.

You can click on the images to see the details.

I like to finish off my quilts with a machine embroidered label.


My husband loves the way the quilt turned out and it is prominently displayed in the busiest room in the house, our family room.  On top of that I also entered this quilt in the Perinton Quilt Guild show a couple of weeks ago and by popular vote it won first place in the small wall hanging category!

I hope you like my entry for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival. You can hop over to Amy’s Creative Side to see all the other quilts entered in the show.

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WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This week I thought I would join in on Work In Progress Wednesday and show what I have been wrestling with lately.

I have started the quilting on my king sized quilt this past week.  Here is a picture of it laying on my living room floor before it was basted.

Dragonfly Summer Quilt before basting

It is a huge 114″ x 114″ and I am quilting it on my Pfaff Creative 4.0.  It took me a while to figure out what to quilt where, and I still don’t have a complete plan for the entire quilt yet, but I am figuring it out as I go.

Quilting the Star

I started in the center and have been working my way outward. I decided on doing mostly feather motifs with a few leaf/petal style patterns as well.

Detail of Star Center

If you click on the image you can see a larger view and see that I quilted some petals in the very center purple area.  Outside of that are three different feather motifs.  I used Photoshop to create the exact designs I wanted and then traced them to a sturdy plastic and cut out the plastic so there would be room to slide my chalk pencil between the feathers. Here are the three templates I created to use in this area.

Corner Feather Template

Feather Template

Small Feather Template

Using some quilt bloggers as inspiration I tried to think outside the star and not quilt by just stitching in the ditch.

Detail of Star Feathers

As you can see in the above picture (click to biggefy if you need to) I added an arc to the quilting to define where my feathers would end.  Between the corner feather quilting and the arc I added straight lines up to the inside arc line.

Detail of ripple quilting

Outside of the arc I did what I am calling ripple quilting where you quilt in ever-increasing partial concentric circles for three or four passes and then start a new one by changing direction. This pattern is similar to the Echo Shell pattern found on The Free Motion Quilting Project site.

The white and tan areas will be quilted with a leaf like pattern. You may be able to see the chalk marks I have made for that quilting in the above picture. I have since finished that quilting, but haven’t taken a picture yet.  The points of the star will be finished with more ripple quilting.

My next task for this quilt is to design the feather motif for the eight setting squares around the star.  I plan on also using the same quilting pattern for the corner squares since the blocks are the same size.  There will be more feathers and variations on that theme in the borders, but I am not quite sure what I will be putting in the diamonds around the outside of the star or in the large corners that are inside the borders.  I am hoping inspiration will hit me before I get there.

Other than that I have been designing some new bags that I have orders for and working on the 2013 Genesee Valley Quilt Club Raffle quilt design with my mother.  I think that should keep me out of trouble for a while.  What do you think?

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Warning – Long post with many pictures – Grab a Cuppa and a snack and enjoy!

As many of you may know Sandra and her family have received the Fearless Five Memory quilt so now I can reveal my part in this project. When I received the quilt top from Agnes (What’s Her Name from Dachsies With Moxie) I thought it would be better for the quilt to add some borders around the outside edges.  After getting approval for that from Agnes I proceeded to add that to the quilt top.  The size of the quilt top was now about 115″ x 93″!

The next step was to cut the backing fabric and batting (the middle layer of a quilt) to the correct size and then baste all three layers together.  I like to spray baste my quilts together which means I use a spray adhesive on each layer to allow them to stick together.  The process involves laying the backing fabric on the floor and pinning it to the rug to keep it stretched out.  Lucky for me our living room was just big enough for the quilt to fit.  The next thing you do is start to apply the spray baste and stick the batting to the backing.  This requires much crawling around on my hands and knees to smooth the batting as you go.  Then you repeat the process to add the quilt top to the sandwich.

Basting is complete!

I regret to inform you that there were no pictures taken during this process so you will just have to use your imagination regarding me crawling around on the floor.  And for those of you who were wondering where Nina was through all of this we put up barricades to keep her out of the room.  I don’t think I want her getting sticky paws by walking over the quilt as I was working.

Then it was time to start quilting.  I decided to use a variegated pink thread on the top and bottom and had purchased a 2000 yard spool.

Variegated Pink Thread

When I quilt I use a device called a Fab-U-Motion that includes a stitch regulator.  I hope some of you haven’t stopped reading yet as I don’t want to bore you with the details, but I think some of my readers might be interested so bear with me. In case you are wondering, a stitch regulator helps you to keep your stitches even while you are quilting.

Fab-U-Motion Set Up

With such a large quilt there is a lot of wrangling involved.  If you don’t know anything about quilting I will try to explain.  When you are working on the middle of the quilt you have to squeeze half of the quilt into the area to the right of the needle.  To do this you have to bunch it all up and still have room to quilt. This gets a little easier as you work you way out to the edges.

Quilting in Progress

The other thing you have to do is support the quilt so there isn’t too much weight on the needle as you move the fabric under it.  It is not a pretty sight and sometimes you have to wrap it around yourself to accomplish it.

Not trying to keep warm. Just wrestling with the quilt.

The motif I used over all of the quilt is what I call hearts and loops.  It is just as it sounds and meanders all over the quilt.

Hearts & Loops Quilting

Back of Quilt - Click to biggify and see detail

Here is a video of the quilting action.

I lost track of how many hours it took to complete after the third day of 4 – 6 hours of quilting, but it was not a chore at all.  This was such a labor of love for all of us involved and while I was quilting I was thinking of all the bloggers that contributed fabric for the quilt.  When I am quilting along it is almost like having a “runner’s high” and I don’t pay attention to what is going on around me.

Thread Usage

It’s a good thing I had a 2000 yard spool of thread to start as I almost used every inch of it.  In the above picture the spool on the right is a full spool I am using on my next quilt, and you can see there isn’t much left of the pink.

After I finished all of the quilting I had to trim the edges to make them straight and then attach the binding.  The final finishing touch was to add the label to the back.

Quilt Label and Extra Blocks

There were also a couple of quilt blocks on the back that I added before I did the quilting.  As I like to say, “better late than never” so these two blocks of fabric were added to the back after the front was completed. The label reads as follows:

The Fearless Five Memory Quilt

Made With Love From All of Blogville

Pieced With Love By Agnes P. Bullock

Quilted With Love By Cynthia Welch

February 2012

And here is the finished quilt.

The Fearless Five Memory Quilt

I am very honored to have been able to be a part of this wonderful project and I just know it will bring Sandra and her family years of comfort and love from all of Blogville.  Once again…Blogville Rocks!

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