Thursday, September 24, 2015

Quilts on Thursday

Quilting has been in the forefront the last few weeks.  I have finished three quilts that would not have been possible on my previous machine.  Now I am not saying that machine did not serve me well.  It was a great machine... it is just that this new amazing Innova with a 26" throat is simply the best I could have dreamed about having.  I have also finished several smaller quilts.  I am having fun getting used to this new adventure in quilting.  

This quilt was sent to me without the backing because I have lots of fabric in my stash, and I just knew that I could find one that would work. 

What I didn't know was how perfectly this fabric would work.  The next question I got when she saw the finished pictures was... "what will I use to bind it?"  The very same day I was reading an article about alternative binding techniques.  I sewed up a sample then sent the link along with the sample.  My suggestion to her was to use the scraps from the backing, which I sent also.  I think it will work very nicely.

This is a facing binding.  I never would have thought of doing it this way.  Of course this binding would have to be hand sewn down, unless you didn't care if a line of stitching showed on the front side.  The beauty of this technique is nothing takes the focus away from the quilt.  So often the binding pulls your attention to the edge of the quilt.  It does not provide as much reinforcement to the edge... your seam is right there.  It may not be the best choice on many quilts, but it is definitely one that I will use now and then.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Late summer garden and flowers

It is amazing how quickly things can grow in your garden when the conditions are good. If you scroll down, it was just a few short weeks ago that these tomato plants were hardly visible, now they are popping out the top.  I added a bigger shade screen to all the beds because the sun really does get hot up there in the garden. 

I have beans coming along and bell peppers at the other end.  All of these beds were planted at the end of July. In a couple weeks I will begin planting my Fall and Winter plants. 

Moon flowers are beautiful.  Even though their blossoms last less than one day, new blossoms open almost every day.  This is a volunteer.  I'm hoping the seeds I spread closer to the house will take hold.

My Angel Trumpets have many of the same characteristics as the Moon Flower, but I have these in my flowerbed by the patio.

Shorty is trying to stay cool on a hot afternoon. Totally relaxed.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Where did August go?

Lots of things have been going on.  I guess the first and biggest event of the month of August was the arrival of Sara Jean... my new longarm.
I have already lost count on how many quilts I have completed on this new machine.  The whole process seems to move along much quicker, from loading the quilts using my Red Snappers to having to roll the quilts half as many times.  I can run at a higher speed without losing the quality of my stitching. 
 This quilt was more than 104" in both directions and it moved along very quick and smooth.  I had it done in time for the quilter to take it with her on our Jordan Ranch retreat to put the binding on.  She even was able to finish the two pillow shams she made to go with the quilt.

As I have been doing my quilting on this new setup Ron often observes and determines if there is any way to modify things to make the process move more smoothly.  Things are looking and working pretty good in the quilting room.

Jordan Ranch was an awesome experience.  This retreat is an annual event for a group of quilters from the Bellville area, and one of their former members now lives in my area and a couple of us were invited to join these creative quilters.  The Ranch is set in a rural area, away from almost everything.  A truly Texas setting. 
I started off my days there with a walk, and through the day I often had a couple ladies join me for a quick walk to get away from sitting at our sewing machines.  One morning MB and I saw a double rainbow.

I tried to keep my quilting fairly basic on this retreat. These quilts went together with minimal effort. Neither of them has a destination, but I think they both turned out very nice. I worked on a couple other blocks, but these two tops were started and finished while there. The invitation to this retreat gave me an opportunity to meet a great group of ladies and I look forward to joining them again next year.