Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. I am a longarm quilter who can work for you. I enjoy any style, from pantographs to all-over to full custom, ranging from traditional to modern. I love bringing vintage tops to life and am willing to work with a challenging quilt top. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jan UFO and More Report

Yes!!  I just made it! My January UFO #10 is quilted!!

Linking for the January UFO Challenge report. This is also an item on my 18 in 2018 list, so linking on the January page for that. Double happiness!   

My poor "Bohemia" top was pieced exactly 4 years ago, and has hung in my flimsy closet since then, waiting for the day I'd finally get a longarm and start through the closet in earnest.  

I'd hoped to have it 100% finished by tonight, but I lost a couple days of quilting time due to machine troubles. Turned out to just be a burr, so that was easily buffed and things were back in business at the frame. 

I do have the binding and rod pocket ready to go. (This will be really pretty hanging in either the piano room or the family room.) I'll get those sewn up tomorrow and be able to start in on the hand-finishing of the binding the next time I get to watch TV.

January seriously rocked in terms of quilting accomplishments. I put together a really ambitious list, and actually finished almost every single goal on it. Pretty amazing. I'm not working that hard in February.  ;D

Sapphire Stars QOV for Sterling - completely finished. (That was my January OMG and on it I learned how to do non-linear ruler quilting.)
Bohemia - quilted (My January UFO challenge as well as an 18 in 2018 item)

Daisy Days - now a flimsy
Listen With Your Eyes - all the star circles were assembled, and the green checkerboards sewn together

Wind in the Whiskers - the entire top portion is completely set up and fused
Down the Rabbit Hole - while I didn't get the rabbits for the big applique border prepped, I did get the twisty border sewn and added on, and I did figure out how I'm augmenting this quilt to a good King size

NETYs - I got two kits out of deep storage, washed and ironed the fabrics, and cut them all out for future easy piecing. Winter Woodlands and Primrose Paths, I believe they were called.

Valentine for Scott - Wildlife Trio is pieced together and its applique fused on.

Stash Rehab - I found a block that will be great for this, but have not worked out a plan

Additional to list: 
Nicole's Mountains - a mini quilt for my sister's birthday, mostly assembled.
All Thru the Night - a Sue Garman pattern that I really want on my bed for Christmas. Augmenting to king size. I have the applique panel ready to prep.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

BOMs Away - Bring in the Nutcrackers

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Where we share what we're doing on a BOM-type project 
so they don't stall out in UFO-land!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Sue Garman gave us so many fantastic patterns. My Ruffled Roses quilt top was one of hers. Her Classic Nutcrackers BOM is another good one in an entirely different style.

This pattern holds personal signifance that touches a deep vein of unfulfilled love, continuing familial dysfunction, and admiration for the talent of a mother who died in her mid-fifties, all balled together. My mother made many exquisite nutcrackers in the classical Seiffen manner. I don't have a portion of that legacy. I've wanted to make Sue's applique nutcrackers, yet shied away from them emotionally for a very long time. For some reason, it seems that it will be cathartic now to do these.

So this past week I went through the fat quarters and yardage and cut 12 backgrounds (they finish at 9 x 16 inches). Today I pulled out the lightbox and traced four of the patterns onto their panels. (I do backbasting applique any time I do hand work.) I'm almost finished with all the block 6 pieces on my Fiesta Mexico, and will rotate the first Nutcracker - The Little Soldier - into my applique tote at that point.

My intention is to have this quilt finished for Christmas 2019. I'll probably use a different layout with fewer pieced blocks, as this one works up to queen size and I'm looking for a large throw size.


Have you done any BOM work lately? 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Finish Report!! - "Sterling's Sapphire Stars QOV"

Wahoo!!!!  The final stitch has been placed for the label of my January OMG quilt, also on my Q1 list!  :D 

This is the Quilt of Valor I've made for my father-in-law using Kevin the Quilter's Sapphire Stars Mystery that he ran the second half of last year. The design actually stitches out a wee bit larger than the official QOV size limit, but as it's custom made for a specific person, its 72.5 x 96.5 inches will be fine.

It's a heavy quilt, even with a single layer of Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 batting and a wide backing to make it easier on myself.

Scott and his dad, Sterling, enjoying last year's eclipse.

Sterling Caulkins served for almost two years in the Army National Guard before transferring to full active duty in the Air Force. He served as a supplies personnel for 20 years and 21 days before retiring in 1976, putting in deployment time in the newly post-war Korea arena as well as the Vietnam arena a generation later.

When I called him to ask him when he retired and when he started, he perked right up and immediately gave me a full rundown of each base he'd been stationed at with the dates, even, of the changes. I was astonished. I would have to take a good bit of time with each transfer to run our list of PCS's, deployments, and their dates. 

Which goes to show just how much this quilt will mean to him. So I listed his stationing places on the label - too bad there wasn't room for the dates. The pocket's functional, though, so he can have us type up some of his stories and put them in there if he wants. (He is mostly blind from macular degeneration, so all the details of this quilt will be "seen" in his mind's eye.)

Sapphire Stars was made from scraps. It has a lot of fond memories of my own pieced into it. It is a huge learning piece in terms of longarm work. Plenty about it is far from perfect, but everything about it is perfect.

When Kevin revealed the finished design, the rows in the borders immediately called to my mind the ribbon boards on military dress uniforms. So I knew from the start that I would quilt oak leaf clusters and stars recalling the devices placed on ribbons to signal that a person has earned a given ribbon more than once. 

Don't ask me what the difference is between an oak leaf cluster and star. It's a military mystery. They like those. This quilting was put in using Glide 40wt honey gold. It was the last quilting to happen even though it was planned first. And marked first. I used blue quilter's pen and white chalk pencil to trace stencils I cut out of a cereal box before I loaded the top on the frame.

The background was easy for me to figure out. That would be inch-wide single lines to match in with the SID between "ribbons" around the device motifs. Those were made in 50wt. navy Aurifil. [Can you imagine how super-slow I went between those light ribbon colors?? I put in the SID lines before I quilted the motifs, wanting the travel lines in the navy to be under the gold highlighting thread. That worked really well, exactly as desired.)  I liked how the straight-line background quilting made it look like the central and border fields are all floating on that single-fabric navy background.

I had no idea how to quilt the rest of the quilt's designs. After playing with my acrylic overlay panel, I decided to put feathers in the star points and faceting in the gemstone centers. The feathers were easy for me. Glide 40wt navy thread. (many brands in this quilt - my longarm thread stash is still meager, so I used what I had)

I wasn't happiest choosing the meander for the stars' background, but I haven't worked at the longarm yet with the McTavishing I would have preferred. This worked fine and met the need for a finish in a timely manner. Superior Microquilter in Lace White. I put in SID and a 1/4" echo line around each star as I did the fill in each section. (To stabilize the quilt at the beginning, I SID all the sashing and the diamond centers of each star with that Microquilter thread.)

The faceting in the star centers started out more detailed, but when I got the first one put in, I could see that the effect was going to be slightly jarring instead of playing with the whole. 

So I picked it all out and went with the wisdom that sometimes less is more: I stuck to some simple echo lines inside the gem areas, done in an Affinity 40wt. variegated turquoise.

I needed this to be an Air Force quilt, so I made letter stencils to mark in the USAF's on the sashing. I took the extra time to do individual triple lines on either side (start and stop for each one of those suckers, and I'm a tie/tucker. . . so much work, but the effect I wanted for this). The Lace White worked great here, blending right in on the gray. This quilt has a lot going on, so I didn't want to add extra contrast at the letters. I oriented these the same way around each star - so half the stars have the letters facing them all around, and the other half are the other way.

The cornerstone patchwork on either end of each sash got chevrons radiating from the star points. (also done with the Lace White microquilter thread)

That left figuring out what to do in those vibrant, criss-crossed yellow and red diamonds around the stars. I needed something that would play nice with the rest of the quilting, and wanted to somehow play down the fracturing of the diamonds. My curved ruler came to rescue with some crossing arcs in 40-wt Isocord red or yellow that vaguely made me think of something wing-ish. And therefore somehow AirForcy-ish. You probably had to be in my mind to get that. :)   

So that's all the quilting. To finish the quilt, I obtained an authentic Vietnam-era uniform shirt with Sterling's rank on it. His own uniforms were destroyed in a fire, so I had to find one elsewhere. Thanks to Tech Sgt. Simmons, I could make a flanged border with the uniform fabric my husband associates with his father's active duty days.

I could also sew the correct rank patches onto each corner. 

And I could make that cool Air Force shirt pocket label. Thank you, Tech Sgt Simmons, and thank you Sterling, for your service during a very difficult period in our military history.

I'm looking forward to this quilt being presented to him. I'm sure he'll keep it on the sofa in his man cave downstairs and show it to everyone who visits.

~*~  Linking up at:

TGIFF Thank Goodness It's Finished Fridays at Sandra's this week
Whoop! Whoop! at Sarah's 
One Monthly Goal (OMG) at Elm Street Quilts 

2018 Finish-A-Long Q1 at Sandra's

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday Doings - A Quilter's Tip for smoothly sewing down binding corners

Can't believe it's Wednesday already. 

Let me share a tip about one of the most awesome tools you can have around for occasional use.

I'm doing the finish work on the Sapphire Stars QOV for Sterling, which includes a flanged binding that is made from a Vietnam era uniform shirt. Which is basically olive colored heavy denim.

That means some very thick corner layers to sew through on the final round! Without this tool, stitches get slammed in together and thread nests erupt on bottom almost every time and even on top too often. With it - beautious sewing the way it's supposed to happen!

This is the angled shank plate that came in the accessories bag of my machine. It's intended use is for spacing to sew on buttons. Its real use at my house is to do thick corners! 

Basically, it's a Jean-a-majig doubled up and angled. A Jean-a-majig would provide the same service for you if you can't find a fancier shank plate. But the angled part is super nice to hold onto as you're working, and gives you two sizes of height control to best match whatever you're working on.

The first place you use the shank for sewing binding corners is in the back, when you've turned the quilt and are ready to start sewing the second side of the corner. Without the shank, the foot tips way up and can't provide the counter-pressure to the feed dogs like it's supposed to. This quilt definitely needs the thicker side of the shank for that back support (and you can see that the foot still tilts a good bit, but this help lets it do its job at a slow stitching speed):

Once a few stitches have moved forward, the foot's toe will want to tip down and it will no longer be able to do its job in conjunction with the feed dogs. So you move the shank around front and slip it right under the foot, with the gap leaving a needle path. (On this side, the thinner shank option is better.)

You need the shank arms to go in there past the needle, so position the gap around it.
Sew nice and slowly until the foot completely clears the fabric hump behind it, then you stop using the shank.

And, Voila! A corner is successfully stitched down with no skipped stitches, no nests, and no crammed-up stitches.  :)

This tool resolved so many binding headaches I used to get. I didn't know about it for a very long time, so it occured to me to share the knowledge when I had it out this morning, although it was "new to me" a while ago.

Now let me go sew the vintage rank patches onto the corner fields. . . 

~*~  Linking up at:

WOW - WIPs on Wed at Esther's
Let's Bee Social at Lorna's
WIP Link-Up at Brook's
"New to Me" at Celtic Thistle

Sunday, January 21, 2018

BOMs Away - Tons and Tons of McKenna Ryan Progress :D

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Where we share what we're doing on a BOM-type project 
so they don't stall out in UFO-land!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Monday morning edit:  As I needed my large work surfaces to make a backing and trim a queen quilt, I finished up this work now instead of waiting for my next BOM time.

All the leaves, little branches, birdies, blossoms, bee, and 3D butterfly are finished and fused on. It's all trimmed and squared up, ready for the addition of the lower row of adorable kittens at play. At this point, it is right around 40 x 55 inches. (That baggie has the clothing/kitten that will hang on the 3D clothesline that gets installed after quilting.)

Original post:

I  a-l-m-o-s-t  made it!  So very close to having this entire upper section of "Wind in the Whiskers" all put together (which is the lion's share of the work on this quilt)! This is all placed and fused:

There are only a handful of dogwood blossoms and leaves to add to the lower branches of the tree at the tops of the bottom 3 blocks.  (The open field in the bottom center block will have a 3D clothesline stretching across with an actual mini quilt and clothing pieces hanging from it - all made and carefully stored for now.)

So very close. But in the confusion of figuring this pattern out, there are three complex leaf pieces that I still have to trace and cut out. I'm just way too knackered to do anymore today. Oh, and I need to cut out the insect pieces for the daisies kitty.

Yeah, the last little bit of work isn't happening this weekend - The butterfly actually needs double placing and cutting and some careful topstitching, as it's a 3D piece like this one on the other side of the quilt. I forgot I hadn't done that prep work before I started assembly today.

But I am well pleased with this progress!  And aren't the birds just too stinkin' cute?  :)

How about you? Did you get any BOM work done recently?

Kate over at Katie Mae Quilts has joined me in hosting this meet-up,
and linking up from either end puts you on the party at both sides.

Friday, January 19, 2018

TGIFF never felt so sweet. Oh. My. Stars.

This border of stars 

which coordinates with the columns of oak-leaves

means I have finally - FINALLY - finished the quilting on my Sapphire Stars. 

Yes, I'm being a brat putting up just a teaser. This isn't 100% finished, as it needs trimming, binding, and a little tail-tucking attention. I'll share it "for real" next Friday.

Some of the middle again, just for kicks:

I can't tell you how very relieved I feel. The let-up is making me profoundly sleepy. I never keep a quilt on the priority spot that long unless it's a customer quilt. Without a paycheck, it sorely taxes my supply of mojo, and I have been chafing at the bit the last few days with this work. But this will be a special QOV for my father-in-law, so I wanted it finished and made it my OMG for January instead of alotting it 2 or 3 months of on again/off again attention. 

~*~*~ Linking Up:

TGIFF is at Vera's this week.
Whoop! Whoop! at Sarah's 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

One priority goal checked off. :)

I've been working hard on my quilting and piecing priorities (both of which are intense), and one has paid off this morning. 

These green checkerboards for my Listen with Your Eyes quilt were the second part of my January goal for this quilt. It is on my 18 in 2018 list, but I intend to finish all its piecing, so I'm not checking it off yet.

I was meticulous with the seams, so I'm hoping everything fits together happily in the end! Four more color sets to make, and then a bunch of black-and-white curved strips.

Getting the diamond/NYB star circles put together was the first part of my January piecing goal, which I shared last week:

Now that those two sets are all finished, I get to take a break from this quilt until February and work on other projects in the mornings. I have two gifts I intend to finish by month's end: 

Scott's Wildlife Trio, a mini for him to put up at work. It's already pieced (in a fashion that has already finished the edges) and fused, and you can see how little it is, so it shouldn't take too long to finish up:

First I'll focus on "Nicole's Mountains," a mini I just designed to do up for her birthday in early Feb. It catches my fancy, I think I'll make it in duplicate so I can keep one, too, assuming Scott doesn't steal it for work. He's really into minis at his offices!

~*~*~ Linking up at:

WOW - WIPs on Wed at Esther's
Let's Bee Social at Lorna's
WIP Link-Up at Brook's

Sunday, January 14, 2018

BOMs Away Monday - Down the Rabbit Hole

Welcome to the link-up for BOMs Away Mondays!
Where we share what we're doing on a BOM-type project 
so they don't stall out in UFO-land!
(Linky at the bottom.)

Seeing all the posts on Facebook from those who have finished their Down the Rabbit Hole tops has given me the kick in the pants I needed to get over my block on it and get this quilt going again. Also, this was a January goal to achieve.

And here it is! Twist border is cut out, assembled, and attached. I'm super happy and have high hopes of putting this one on my bed in April. Lots of work between here and there, so we'll see.

My problem last August was that I couldn't figure out what the heck color I wanted to use. Not being able to envision where I was going with colors on the next borders and how they would interplay with whatever I chose here froze me. Another factor was the fact that I want to augment this to a good king size, and didn't know where I would do that.

So I spent hours yesterday deciding where in the overall quilt I'll insert the necessary inches, and then laying out different color options to figure out what to do with this twist border. After discarding my first, second, third, and fourth choices, I landed on the pinks. 

Which was great! That meant I could use some of my backing fabric to fussy cut bunnies to include here and there. It's all about the bunnies, after all.  ;D

On the side, another BOM had progress recently. The next corner for the very complex Block 6 of Fiesta Mexico was finished during TV hand stitch time, so it's up on the wall with its companions. I'll have a pretty wall behind me while I'm quliting for another 12 - 18 months. Love it!

How about you? Did you get any BOM work done recently?

Kate over at Katie Mae Quilts has joined me in hosting this meet-up,
and linking up from either end puts you on the party at both sides.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Whoop! Whoop! Diamonds! Stars! NYBs! FLAT Circles!!

I am whoopin' it up all over the place, I'm so excited about these quilt portions! This is the stack of all FIVE twenty-inch diamond-NewYorkBeauty stars for my "Listen with Your Eyes" quilt (Jacqueline DeJong design). And I am in LOVE LOVE LOVE.

1. They're absolutely stunning!
2. The diamond sections have been waiting since 2010, and they're finally incorporated.
3. THEY'RE FLAT!!  The edges aren't wavy, the centers aren't bowls or molehills! The diamond pieces aren't skewed
4. All 80 Y-seams are perfectly happy!
5. All 120 match-points are spot on! 

I only had to unpick 13 times. Three of those were centers. I only broke two needles and killed one pin. I only drew blood twice.

I'm so happy to have these done up!

This project is on my 18 in 2018 list, and this amount of work certainly qualifies for cross-off. I'm going to wait, though, because there's still a ton of work left on this quilt, and I really really want to get it to flimsy status this year. If I let myself cross it off the list now, I probably will sideline it too much to accomplish that.

A super rare appearance of pressing open for me.
I don't like quilting options to be limited, and I don't like bearding down the road,
but sometimes open is critical for construction.

*Construction note: I put these together differently than the pattern says. Instead of first putting the diamond stars together, and then sewing the tiny joins between tops of NYBs and then setting a full ring into the full star, I constructed all the 3-part quarters of Diamond-Diamond-NYB, then joined them with the middling NYB to create halves, then joined the two halves across the diamonds, and then set in the final two NYBs. Lastly, I did the very easy task of zipping up the tiny top Y-seam edges of the NYBs at the diamond tips. 

I was suddenly worried while putting together the second set of quarter-sections that there was some important reason you should put the star together, put the whole ring together, and then set them together. But it turned out not to be the case. I think constructing it in quarter sections was a lot easier than setting a full star and ring together would have been, and reduced the handling/stretching of bias edges.

Linking up

Whoop! Whoop! at Sarah's 
UFO Busting Party at Tish's