February 10, 2014

Handmade Christmas

This year, I decided to make quilts for my family for Christmas. Today I will be sharing two of those quilts that I made for my brothers. I wanted them to both be large quilts that would fit well on a couch. 

The first was for my brother, Jonathan. This quilt used a variety of navy prints that I cut into 42 strips (2.5" x WOF). I used Kona White for the neutral strips. I followed the directions in this YouTube video to assemble the quilt top. I quilted this one with my usual wavy lines. 


The second quilt I made was for Isaac. This quilt was made using my Arrow Quilt pattern from Quilty magazine. I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids for the quilt top. Again, this one was quilted in wavy lines. The three middle arrows look to be the same color in this photo - but they really aren't. I guess I should have taken pictures in better daylight!


I really loved making both of these quilts and am happy that both of my brothers have a large quilt to use in their apartments :)

January 30, 2014

Quilty Magazine

I have been excited to tell you about this for a very long time. This past June I came up with a quilt design that I thought was modern and good for a beginner, which fit the criteria for quilts accepted to Quilty. I decided to take the plunge and submit my idea as a submission to the magazine. And guess what? They accepted it!! My original design looked like this - super simple! 

When I was contacted by a staff member at Quilty she had asked me if I would be willing to make the quilt using Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids. Of course I said yes! If you have never had the opportunity to feel these solid fabrics, I suggest going to your LQS or jumping online to buy a few yards right this minute. These fabrics are glorious!! The solids feel almost silky and have a shine to them that I have not seen on other solids. Trust me, this is something you want to snuggle with!


So, I received all of my fabric, stitched up the quilt, and sent it off to Quilty Magazine. ...and then the waiting began. It takes MONTHS for a magazine to be developed. I have learned so much about the process and about all the work that goes into making a magazine successful. All the waiting was totally worth it when I finally received my copy. I can't believe one of my patterns is in print!


Go grab yourself a copy of Quilty and flip it open to page 62!!




January 29, 2014

Well, hello there!

I'M BACK!!! I cannot believe I haven't visited this space since September. But don't worry, I have been busy sewing and writing patterns/tutorials for other websites. 

Look out for upcoming posts detailing what I have been up to :)















September 18, 2013

Handi Quilter - Day 2

There are fun quilting-related quotes all over the Handi Quilter headquarters! This would be such a fun place to work!!

I spent yesterday back in the technician classroom. Some of the material covered yesterday was definitely over my head. We talked a lot about the mechanics and the computer system inside the machine - and I have absolutely no background in these topics. I'm not sure I will ever feel comfortable taking someone's machine apart and replacing parts, but I do feel confident that I know enough to run a successful rental program at the shop. I feel confident in trouble shooting issues and in explaining why certain steps must be taken in order to run the machine successfully. 




This is the C-Pod that is installed on one side of the machine. This controls the computer system. On the opposite side of the machine is the P-Pod that controls the power supply. That black bracelet on my left wrist is keeping me grounded so my body did not supply a surge of energy to the machine while I was working


I had to hook the C-Pod to the machine by attaching wires to their corresponding receivers.


I learned a LOT about timing!! I have always heard sewers talk about issues with their machine timing, but I had no idea what that meant. I know understand the theory behind timing and I know how to check (and fix!) the timing on a Handi Quilter!! Essentially, timing controls the stitch formation and is essential to the sewing process.


In the afternoon, we put together the frame that is used with the Handi Quilter Avante. Honestly, I didn't help! Oops!! I was too busy picking the brains of a shop-owner who is already running a successful rental business in her store. I love learning from others!


And today's quilts....









September 17, 2013

Handi Quilter - Day 1



Yesterday was my first day of training at Handi Quilter! Handi Quilter is a Utah-based company that makes longarm quilting machines. For those that aren't familiar with these machines, they have at least a 16" harp space between the needle and the section of the machine that houses the mechanics. The orientation of a quilting machine is different than that of a standard sewing machine. The Handi Quilters come in either a sit down model or a stand up model that is mounted on a large frame that hold the fabric layers tight and makes basting unnecessary. The first quilt I ever quilted was done on a Handi Quilter and I have loved these machines ever since! I do not have the space in my current apartment to hold such a machine, but I know that someday I will have one of my very own. ;)

I came to this training as a staff member at Capital Quilts. At the shop we sell Handi Quilter machines and will be starting a rental program so that customers can rent time in the shop to work on their own projects. I am very excited because I will be teaching the introductory certification course for this program! During this three day training I am learning about the machines, how they work, and how to service and maintain the machines. 

Onto the photos of the day!...

This is the sign that greets all those who enter the Handi Quilter headquarters. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement :)

















We were given a tour of the facility. This is where machine parts are made and assembled.



This is the area where they test each machine for 30-40 minutes. There are certain designs that are sewn on fabric to make sure the machines are of top quality before they are shipped out to customers.
This was my favorite room in the building - the classroom!! There are many machines set up in this room so that all classes are hands on and the students are able to practice the stitches and techniques that are being taught in the front of the room. I got to spend the morning here learning about thread, needles, and tension. 
My afternoon was spent in technician training. Talk about a lot of information!!


This is my machine after I took it apart. There are fewer parts than I was originally expecting to see! Also, check out all of my tools :)
No quilting based business would be complete without QUILTS!! There are quilts hanging on just about every wall in the building (except the factory section). All quilting styles are represented. Here are some of the quilts I found inspiring. Don't worry, I will share even more tomorrow!







September 16, 2013

I'm in Utah!!

Yesterday morning I boarded an early morning plane to Salt Lake City! I have been excited about this trip for a long time and I can't believe it is finally here. I will be spending the first half of the week at Handi Quilter training (more on that in the next post) and will attend Sewing Summit during the second half of the week!! This trip really is a dream come true :) 

We arrived in Salt Lake City early yesterday and decided to check out the city. And when you are talking about Salt Lake City this means visiting Temple Square! It is absolutely breathtaking!! There are many gardens covered in beautiful flowers, fountains, and running water.

And the temple isn't half bad either (joking-it's amazing!) Non-mormons are allowed to walk around the temple grounds, enter the visitor's center, and take guided tours of other buildings. However, there is a gate around the temple and the gardens that immediate surround the building.

we took a guided tour of the Church Conference Center. The building was amazing and has a large garden area on the roof. This photo of the temple was taken from the top of the conference center.

And a view of the mountains from atop the building. The mountains are gorgeous!!! It is my mission to get a good photo of the mountains before I leave.

Inside the conference center is a large auditorium that seams 22,000 people! It is a one-of-a-kind theatre that offers each attendee and unobstructed view of the stage. The church holds national conference in this space, hosts concerts and spoken word, and puts on lavish performances around the holidays. The tour guide was fantastic and was able to give so much insight into the faith, the Book of Mormon, and the building. I definitely suggest going on a tour if you are ever in SLC! This photo is of the giant organ at the front of the hall. It is massive!

Another view of the temple from the visitor's center.

I have no idea what this building is, but I really like it.

I asked the tour guide what percentage of the city practices the Mormon faith and she said less than 50%. This was a lot smaller than I had originally suspected. Many shops and restaraunts were closed yesterday in observance of the holy day. I can definitely see that the religion has a strong impact on the values within the city.

I'll be back tomorrow with another update!


August 28, 2013

Vacation and a Thank You Quilt

Way back in May I went on vacation and had a great time in Virginia and Delaware! Myself and three friends went on the roadtrip to celebrate two of us finally finishing school!! Check out the ice cream maker loaded in the back of the car - that was my other graduation gift :)

I went to Ocean City, MD for the first time and loved relaxing on the beach and eating lunch at a table in the ocean.



A huge thank you to this guy who made the trip possible!! And, of course, as a thank you I had to make a quilt.

I really wanted to use Washington Redskins colors but it is terribly difficult to find modern fabrics in burgundy and gold - so I ended up adding in University of Maryland colors as well. It is definitely not my favorite quilt I have ever made, but it came together quickly and is large enough to fit a double bed! This quilt was my first experience with extra-wide backing and I am definitely a convert. If you haven't tried this fabric I suggest giving it a whirl! Check out this photo below - don't forget this is a bed size quilt and I only have one piece of fabric for the back!! The photo was taken during the basting stage of the quilting process. Don't worry, I only did this layout to get a photo- I actually added batting between these two layers! 

And here are a few snapshots of the finished quilt. 



I sure am going to miss my old house and this beautiful fire escape in the back that is a great background for photos. ...or maybe I will still take my pics there ;)