Monday, October 16, 2017

First Show, More to Come...

Greetings and Welcome to all my new friends...

It is official that I am now selling my work. The craft show at St Rita's School was my first show to sell my quilted runners and wall hangings. I love being at shows with my work proving that men can quilt. Many people know my wife as a quilter and think that I am selling her work. I love telling them that it is all created by me. I also love encouraging others to get back to quilting. As I talk to people who have gotten away from their hobby it is a reminder of the connection to cloth. My connections in the future are to write patterns and teach the fun you can have with fabric.

For the past two years, I have been working on technique and getting more familiar with my machine. I received much encouragement at the show on the quality of my work. Now I can move forward to make it more of a business.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Fun with Vintage Santas

Here is my latest wall hanging. It features three vintage santas embroidered in green on a cream swirled background. Each santa is machine embroidered and the panel was quilted prior to final assembly of the wall hanging. This allowed me to add extra batting behind each santa for a raised effect. Free motion quilting, in the cream color backgrounds around them, imitates the swirling snow. 
The black fabric used for the half square triangle block has a beautiful gold poinsettia print.

 The finished piece measure 23 1/2" by 44 1/2" with hanging triangles on the back to hold a dowel at the top for hanging and an additional dowel at the bottom to provide weight.

 The additional photos show the wall hanging in process. The machine embroidery designs are from a the "Old World Santas" collection by Beth Dix at Primerose Lane. My wife has used their designs for hand quilting in the past and were pleasantly surprised to see that they offer so much of their beautiful work in digital format. We purchased disks for the santas and the covered bridges at the Lancaster, PA quilt show last year. These are so great to work with you will be seeing more in the near future.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I really need Deadlines...

The only way I get anything done is with a deadline. My posts were much more frequent at the beginning of this year. That is thanks to the challenges were I applied myself to make a quilt or wall hanging and had to post about it in a limited time frame. Thanks to Kim and all involved in 2017 Project Quilting Season 8.

Well my wife told be about a donation request, but didn't commit me to anything. As usual it started things turning in my mind. I had seen some scraps of fabric with fire hydrants and hoses along with some baseball fabric. After a while, I couldn't get it out of my head. So I had to make a quilt. They wanted lap size and I usually stay with wall hangings, so another challenge. I started making blocks then had to improvise to make it bigger and here is the result.

As for quilting, I love my Brother Dream Machine. I have the walking foot on almost all the time and get straight lines with the aide of the built in laser. For those reasons I do mostly linear quilting. Out the door this morning, I hope this brings support for JACK Foundation. It was a labor of love. Find out more about Just Acts of Caring and Kindness at the JACK Foundation website.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Time Challenge - "Time to Know Your Neighbor"

Strips ready
Today was a snowy day in Webster, New York so I was able to finish the quilt challenge based on time. I started this last night planning on a small wall hanging this grew to a size of 27" by 41".   

Blocks Ready
Project Quilting #8 Challenge 6 is to be something inspired by time. So this was a great time to go back to some earlier inspirations. Last year I started a wall hanging called Tempus Fugit, which I haven't finished yet. But I did have some left over strips of clock and watch pattern fabric. My Dad used to fix watches and clocks so I got this fabric for a wall hanging to remember him by.

From the strips of watch and clock fabrics I made some four patch blocks and found some fabric with buildings in a similar color range. I arranged these in three columns and added some extra spacers for a little improv.

Border added

I had a few different titles in mind for this project and settled on "Time to Know Your Neighbor." This actually will allow it to compliment another wall hanging I made with some of the building fabric that I called, "Who is my Neighbor?" (See companion piece below.) So after I decided on a title I got is ready to go back to the Brother machine. The really cool feature of the Brother Dream Machine is the built in camera to take a picture of the fabric in the hoop and audition the placement of the text on the quilt. I used a gold thread for the embroidery and then added a drop shadow on the lettering with a permanent marker.

Embroidery in process
Update: Note that I forgot to mention regarding the TIME theme. I worked on this wall hanging while watching "Time Tunnel" on Hulu. A TV show from my childhood, click on the title for more information. My final time expression in this wall hanging was to use an old flannel shirt from my kids as the batting. The good news about kids moving out... You get to use their old bedroom as a sewing room and their old flannel sheets for thin batting. In this one I used two layers of the flannel sheet for a little more thickness.
Who Is My Neighbor
Embroidery with drop shadow added

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

All Dressed Up

The latest entry for 2017 Project Quilting Challenge 8.5 - "Well-Dressed Man"
All Dressed Up

This project was to be inspired by mens wear or inspired by a man. Since I am a man quilting, everything I do is inspired by a man.
Black and White Base

Batting and Backing
But back to the real inspiration, pin strips, I have alway loved a pin striped suite and may years ago, when I was in high school, I had a red shirt with blue stripes that I loved. I think my mom had to cut it up for rags to get me to stop wearing it.

So on Monday morning, I did a sketch. On Monday evening, I cut strips of black and white to create the base. On Tuesday, I added the batting and backing in a pillowcase manner. Once it was turned right side out I stitched around to close the bottom opening and quilted up and down the stripes. I created the pocket squares and the pocket along with a tie. These were attached to complete the project.

Click here to visit my etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Look Up

"Look Up"
My entry for the third challenge is called "Look Up.' A study of texture is found wherever you are. I love to look up at buildings to see the beautiful ornamentation the used to be a standard part o buildings. The finished wall hanging measures 22" x 15" and was created in Webster, NY for the 3rd Challenge at Project Quilting. The description of the project is continued below. I also want to thank Kim and Trish for running the challenge. I was also a drawing winner for the last challenge and want to thank  Marcia’s Crafty Sewing & Quilting for the pattern that she donated.

Building Ornamentation, see below for building placement.
I wouldn't be a sewing husband if it weren't for my wonderful wife. She puts up with a lot. Some has been documented in previous posts. It wasn't until recently that I found out how nervous she was that I was organizing her sewing room while she was away on retreat. She wasn't thrilled to share her sewing room with me so life was better as the kids moved out and I got my own sewing room. Slowly I am getting tools of my own. She even bought me my own Martelli rotary cutter. It is my favorite cutting tool.

Button on campus at PENN
So another way my wife is wonderful, she started taking me to the Lancaster PA AQS Quilt Show. She also takes me along when she travels to Philadelphia each year for a meeting. While she is in her meeting I get to walk around the campus and streets surrounding the University of Pennsylvania. There are some interesting things on campus, like a giant button. I also like to look at all the textures and details on the buildings. I alway have great intentions of turning these things into quilts and wall hangings. So the current challenge gave me the push to get started.

I have collected a variety of photos over time. Textures from brick and tile along with building materials and perspective pictures. So many things are hiding in plain sight if you just look up. So for this challenge I looked above a doorway on the streets of Philadelphia. I cropped the photo and printed it a few different sizes. I created a freezer paper template from the printed copy. I ironed the freezer paper onto some starched fabric. Of course, what better fabric to use for the building ornamentation than my favorite Stonehenge by Northcott. The appliqué was added with 505 spray adhesive and secured with blanket stitch. Another advantage of the kids moving out is the single bed flannel sheets from their youth have become a layer filling to use as something thinner than batting. For this wall hanging I used one layer of flannel underneath the appliqué layer and then added some batting between the appliqué layer and the back.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hearts and Flowers for the front door.

Hearts and Flowers -  20" x 32 1/2"
Last week, I watched a tutorial with Jenny Doan from the Missouri Star Quilt Company on making a heart block quilt. Of course I did things differently, I didn't use any precuts and I did them a in a different size. I was going to make some smaller heart for the offset panels, but I like the idea of adding some flowers.

So here is my wall hanging ready for the front door in February. I call it "Hearts and Flowers." I made two of the blocks, a litter larger than the tutorial, put them together with a little offset, did some free motion quilting around and added the hanging sleeve last night. I went for high contrast around the hearts to show best from the road. I really hope the all the quilters out there share their artwork on the front door of the living space. It is a way to share what you do and tell who you are.

Hearts and Flowers, close up