Dancing Daffodils: Final Sneak Peek

I was in a hurry to get this out to the editor, and only managed to snap a couple of shots.  But here is the final sneak peek of the quilt I would like to share with you…

This is my first time quilting all over the applique pieces – it was really fun, and I like the textured effects on the daffodil petals.  Thanks for stopping by.  I wish you stupendous day!  I have got to run as I have quite a few quilts I need to finish, QUICK!  Later!!

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Peppermint Parcels: Final Sneak Peeks

The quilt formerly known as “Presents” is now formally known as “Peppermint Parcels”. I appreciate all your suggestions – my husband and I had a fun time discussing each name, and kind of took everyone’s suggestion and melded them into “Peppermint Parcels”.

I like the happy look of this fun Christmas quilt:

The fabrics are from Henry Glass‘ Hip Holidays. You might want to grab the fabrics as soon as they come out… I have a feeling this will be a popular one:

A few more sneak peeks for you. All the quilting was done with very minimal marking and on my home machine. As a general rule, I avoid marking my quilts for quilting because I am simply too anxious to get to the actual quilting:

The tags are embroidered with “Merry Christmas” in different languages. My handwriting is normally a little better than what is embroidered. I wanted to give a childish look to the “handwriting”. :) I didn’t do the hand stitchery before sandwiching the quilt because I wanted the stitching to add to the quilting effect – thus, the chicken scratch you see on the back of the quilt:

This one is for Gloria in Italy (she proofed my translation):

This one is for Ellen. I really wanted to include the Russian version because of her. Ellen graciously sent me the Russian way of writing “Merry Christmas”:

That’s all the sneak peeks for now. It is off to the editor until the December 2010 of Quilter’s World hits the market. Thanks for stopping by. It’s always a pleasure to have you visit.

EVERY Quilt a learning experience

I had a hard time deciding how to quilt my presents block. I doodled on paper, and just couldn’t quite visualize how the block was going to look after being quilted:

Since I couldn’t make up my mind, I decided to go ahead and jump in with the quilting and see what happens —

Trial #1:

This was just downright disastrous – ‘nuf said!

Trial #2:

The echo-quilting drowned the ribbon streamers I have quilted. What really bothered me was it was hard to do a neat and tidy echo quilting around the different parts of the present.

Trial #3:

I quilted the present right on the edge of the applique, and just added ribbon streamers, with no echoing or any background quilting. I quite like the present look, so I think I will go with this one… EXCEPT that would mean spending an entire day just to take out stitches on the blocks I did trials #1 and 2!

I learned a few things:

1. It is okay to use the seam ripper taking out quilting stitches! See, Joan? You aren’t the only one taking out stitches! :)

2. It is perfectly fine to have a minimally quilted quilt block even though I normally go for the dense look.

3. The most important I think is, every quilt is a LEARNING experience! Having that thought helps me enjoy my quilts as individual quilts, not just another project to turn in. I have special and very personal attachment to every single quilt that I make!

Alrightie… gotta go! I will be back with some final sneak peeks before it goes to the editor!

More Presents!

Good day, Friends! I hope you are having a cheerful day! You have seen these presents:

How about MORE presents?! :)

This is a project I am working on for Quilter’s World. What do you think I should name this quilt with all these cute presents? I need some suggestions!

I will have more pictures for you. I hope to complete this quilt by the end of the week… so, it is yet another busy week.

Fleur de Noel: Final Sneak Peeks

Good morning, my Friends! I hope my post finds you well. Thank you so very much for your kind, assuring and encouraging words you have left for me on yesterday’s post.

I experienced machine issues when I was able to quilt my Fleur de Noel project. I brought Baby along when I took the machine to see my dealer. Fortunately it wasn’t something major. I was able to take the machine home the very same day and worked on quilting Fleur de Noel.

I find the black and red combination to be a very chic combination. These fabrics are from Henry Glass‘ At Home for the Holidays collection:

Instead of doing all free-hand designs allover the already busy fabrics, I decided to use a stencil design this time. The main reason is that I didn’t want to just stitch-in-the-ditch for the star blocks. I wanted to something different. I first stitched without the top thread through layers of vellum paper with the design transferred by pen on the top sheet:

Then I centered and pinned one sheet “perforated” with the design onto a block and start stitching (this time with thread) to quilt the block. The only thing you have to be careful is to be gentle when you tear the paper off so that you don’t “pull” the stitches loose:

Here are a few more quilting sneak peeks:

A quick view of the back:

This project is scheduled to be featured in Quilter’s World‘s December 2010 issue. Until then, I hope you have enjoyed these sneak peeks! :)

Till next time, tootles!

Cascade of Leaves “final” sneak peek #4

Good day, my bloggy friends! I hope you have had a good week. Mine was busy, and a bit dis-jointed due to a few unplanned happenings sprinkled throughout the week. I was able to finish and ship off my Cascade of Leaves quilt. The quilt will be featured in the October issue of Quilter’s World:

You remember these yummy fabrics I received a few weeks ago. They are from the Silk Road collection by Benartex:

I have enjoyed working with these fabrics in the Cascade of Leaves quilt. You can see some of the leaves here:

I wanted this quilt to have an overall textured look. So, I first machine-embroidered feather motifs onto the quilt at various random spots:


Then, I filled in with more feathers (done free-hand using my home machine without any prior marking) to give the overall textured look. The only thing is that the background feathers seem to have buried the embroidered feathers. Although I am pleased with the result, I didn’t know if I should have done something different for the background quilting:

Here are more pictures with different lighting:

Here are a couple of pictures of the back:

Thanks for stopping by this week. I have appreciated every one of your comment(s). I am running behind in getting back with you by visiting you back. But I hope to get caught up by this weekend. Take care!

Cascade of Leaves Sneak Peek #3

It would appear I was bitten by a tortoise, well, not literally. I had every intention to complete my Cascade of Leaves quilt this week, but that didn’t happen. For some reason, I have just moved really slooooooow this week. I am still quilting on Cascade of Leaves. But here are some previews. These feathers are done by machine embroidery. I am going back to fill in with my own feathers in the background:

For the first time in my quilting life, I quilted on the applique:

This has been a very fun project. I will have more pictures for you before I send it off to the editor. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend. I shall catch up with you on Monday!


Cascade of Leaves Sneak Peek #2

Happy Monday, Everyone! How was your weekend? We actually had a sunny day last Saturday. I enjoyed being out… at the local library! ;) Libraries are one of my favorite places to go. I love the feeling of being “drowned” by aisles and aisles of books… I also got some more work done on Cascade of Leaves:

Working on these fall-themed leaves is making my sense of the seaons really messed up! I feel a bit off working on these leaves in the dead of winter.  But I do like the look of the quilt so far.

The quilt is due at the editor’s desk in about 10 days. So, I’d better get busy and back to work! Thanks for stopping by. Have a productive week!  My new week will consist of work, work, and more work (okay, and some designing on the computer…)

Back to school means…

… back to work for me!  I received fabrics for my “Back to School” quilt to be featured in Quilter’s World‘s August 2010 issue:

I am done with my smocking, and am working on the accent stitches.  I will have more pictures for you in a few days.

Thanks for stopping by.  I wish you a lovely day!

Precious Baby Steps

The baby birth quilt was shipped out last week to the editor. If all things go well, it should appear in the April 2010 issue of “Quilter’s World”. Here are a couple of sneak peeks:

baby steps1

baby steps2

It was not easy stamping a 7-month old’s footprints on the quilt top. At first, the baby was really curious. But curiosity eventually killed the patience toward the end of this mad scheme of getting a 7-month old baby to cooperate in stamping her footprints on a magazine quilt top that really has very little room to mess up. But I think we all survived!

A surprise from an unorthodox practice

It was 3am in the morning. The last thing I wanted to do was to trim away the salvages of the fabric before piecing the quilt backing. So, I just pieced the quilt backing, with the salvage uncut. At this point, I was thinking that my quilting teacher Barbara is probably going to think I have totally lost it. But it was 3am, and I was on a deadline, and I really wanted to get some sleep before the challenges at daybreak descend upon me…

After the quilt was done, I gingerly turned the quilt over as I covered my eyes with my hand, and peeked through my fingers in an attempt to inspect my work as a result of compromise in a moment of fleshly weakness. Oh, just the sound of that word makes me cringe as I often regard myself a principled quilter!

But wait… it actually looks quite cool, albeit unorthodox. Keeping the salvage actually documents the details on the fabric collection for me! I am sure this is not the conventional practice for any show quilts, but I have to say my compromise did bring me a rather pleasant surprise!

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Here, you can see Sue one last time before she heads out the door to Maine for a few months before returning to me. If all things go well, she will be featured in Quilter’s World in Feb 2010:

sue6

Oh, another trick when you are on a pinch if you are one who finishes the binding on by hand! I use my #7 darner needle instead of the in betweens to sew down the binding by hand if I am in a hurry. The darner needle is at least 2.5 times longer #11 in-between needle I normally use. It is more substantial, and you can get more bite out of it even though the effect doesn’t look as fine. But, if you are in a hurry…. and the quilt is not a show quilt…. it is worth the speed! And really, I am a principled quilter — and you go, yeah right!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a special weekend. I will finally be able to get to all your emails and comments. My next quilt will be a commemorative quilt — easy but cute, stay tuned!

Free-motion quilting is like…

… doodling on a piece of paper, except it’s on fabric. You can go wherever your creativity fancies to take you. You can doodle and keep doodling on a particular design:

ouac4

ouac5

ouac6

Or, if you run out of design of your own to doodle, you can doodle on an obvious design printed on the fabric that is right before your eyes:

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EXCEPT, with free-motion quilting, it is not so easy to un-doodle because that involves much patience in taking out stitches. So, the trick in successful doodling on quilts is to think and plan ahead and while you are doodling.

I hope you have enjoyed some of the pictures of this Christmas Quilt using Once Upon a Christmas fabrics by Benartex. As always, pictures of the whole quilt will be revealed when the quilt is officially published. This one is coming out in the December issue of “Quilter’s World“.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy Doodling! :)