Showing posts with label long arm quilting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label long arm quilting. Show all posts

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Photo Roll of Longarm Quilting by Julie Stocker

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts and More Quilts!

One evening as I sat contently reading a book, yes, about quilting, my husband turned to me and asked, "Don't you ever get tired of quilting?" I didn't think that deserved a reply other than the look I gave, but I did think about it for a few days. I never tire of the world of quilts. I love it, and I love what I do. I like old, torn, well-used quilts as well as crisp new ones. I love simple designs as well as complex, and all the technical jibber-jabber as much as talking about my favorite new fabric lines. How does one get sucked in this deeply? Again, a rhetorical question which should not be considered too deeply. I just accept that quilts chose me, and not the other way around. 

Enjoy the montage. Owners/makers and some information may be listed as I remember, but this is all for your eyes more than your brains. This work started sometime in late June, and doesn't include everything I've done. I've been busy, but very happy as my husband will attest to.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Judy Neimeyer Prismatic Star Finish

Prismatic Star

Judy Neimeyer quilts are iconic within the quilt world as complicated rights of passage into the upper tiers of experienced piecers. But like every new pattern we attempt, our first shot might not go as well as we wish. Learning is not always linear. That doesn't mean the quilt top is terrible, but that we would have a leg up the next time.  So what happens when we finish, and there is a little puffiness here and there, or a slightly wonky, wavy border, or the many other construction swamps we get bogged down in? It happens to me. It happens to you. But what can you do about it when it comes to quilting?

First, be honest with your long arm quilter, and have faith that, yes, some of it can be concealed with quilting.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Modern Heart Quilt & Bluprint

Piece & Love Solids Day Dream Quilt

I was saddened by the recent news that Bluprint would be closing in the near future. I was pleased with, and well served by the Craftsy company that later became Bluprint. In the past years, they offered a way for indie, or independent designers, to get their foot in the door by selling patterns through the platform. I watched some of these quilters rise up to greater renown within the community, and it was exciting. Retail stores compete with online quilting supply websites, and some are happy to see Bluprint go. But I worry that with our unstable economy in the light of COVID-19, and the number of companies filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is this a sign of things to come for our smaller stores? Many have been in decline, and the number of closures over the past decade is alarming. I'm not sure I want to foresee that future.

Surely thinking about all this spurred me to dig out a kit I'd purchased this winter from Bluprint. The Piece & Love Solids Day Dream kit by Cloth Parcel was bought with the notion it would be a quick make. It was, but I will be very honest with you--I was not happy with the pattern. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Quilt for a Hard Rocker Finish

Quilt for a Hard Rocker

Done. I love that word right now. Along with the constant stream of customer quilts, I'm plugging away at ones I've promised to family. So with little fuss, here is today's finish sans tag, which will be added.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Custom Quilting Creative Borders

AKA When Things Don't Go As Planned

I never start a long arm quilting job without having a planning session with the maker, client, or client who is also a friend. Sometimes we talk on the phone, and other times in person. But this quilt and another were dropped off ahead of our meeting, and I had time to live with them. In the very beginning, this maker/client/friend thought this quilt should be custom or semi-custom quilted. I was on board with something a little more special. It had grown on me.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Spin Drift: 13 From Quilts to Socks

Scattered, Yet Focused

Everyone is saying the same thing. "Focusing is hard right now, and I rip more than I sew." We sit down to do something, and our mind wanders. Is our family okay today? Should we check in with a friend we haven't heard from in a few days? Our phone pings. A text, an alert, a message about someone we know who might be sick. We want to keep on top of what is happening in the news with the spread of Covid-19, but we also need to stay occupied. Some of us have hopped on board with free quilt-alongs, but it's not for everyone. It's terribly hard to follow through, and even with a plan we feel lost in our typically sacred work spaces.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Domestic & Long Arm Collaborative Quilting Process

Inspirational Embroidery

A very good friend of mine showed me this project in its earliest stages. She'd found this center block, a beautiful piece of vintage embroidery, from over the pond. She was working on a way to incorporate it into a quilt using some Blocks of the Month, and her batik stash. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Long Arming Christmas Quilts

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"

While most people spent the last months of 2019 thinking about how to decorate their homes for the holidays, my decorating thoughts have been all about how to finish my customers' holiday quilts! Stacks of quilts big and small passed through my studio these past 2 months. I felt like the Head Elf after so many marathon sessions, and all--but my own--were finished as promised. You know how the cobbler's children always go without shoes. Mine will get finished, but perhaps not in time for Christmas this year.

Would you like to see some of the Lovelies I've been working on?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hurricane Stars on the Long Arm

New Name to Be Announced Soon!

While summer officially blows in today with cooler air, I am still trying to beat the heat while working in my second story studio. The pale, blue setting triangles above are getting some free-handed, ferny feathers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Doing the Quilting Shuffle

An Embroidered Beauty

One day early this winter I visited my friend, Irene, and we put our heads together on different ways to finish up some of her numerous 'outstanding' projects. I saw this top across the back of her chair, and asked what she was going to do with it. It was headed for a local longarmer that only did pantographs, she said. Hmm. I thought and I wavered. I was not taking any customer quilts at that time, but I positively could not allow someone to quilt over top of that embroidery either. On the way out the door I told her I was taking it, I was quilting it, and that was that.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ice Dyed Mandala Flowers Quilt


The first theme presented by The Endeavourers  is Nature. For two long months, I let the word roll around my brain. Such a broad topic needed narrowing, and so I asked the question, "What mental image do I see for the word nature?" Weather? Mountains? Animals? No, when I close my eyes I see flowers both wild, cultivated, and magical. Newly opened, allowing these eyes the first glimpse of  seductive blooms--never ceasing to amaze me with spectacular color and detail beyond the imagination of the greatest artist. And no matter how I pose the question, "Who could dream so vividly?," I am brought back to a divine creator. Therefore, I've titled this piece, "Divinity."

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jenna's Most Glorious Scrap Quilt

Almost Too Pretty to Say Scrap

A very dear friend was making a quilt for her granddaughter patterned after one she had seen hanging in a local restaurant. (Yes, in this part of the country we are surrounded by quilts even in restaurants. Most definitely works of art.) She first studied the quilt, searched for the pattern, then modified parts of it to make it her own. And as the Queen of Scrap, this project would make good use of her vast kingdom of scraps.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Longarm Quilting "Moda Modern in Print"

Loaded Lengthwise: The Starting Block

"Moda Modern in Print"

Long on my list to quilt, Moda Modern Building Blocks is finally in the frame. You can see above that I was all "anti-solid" fabrics, and substituted my beloved prints. 90% were from my stash, but a few odd ones were picked because they matched the shade in the pattern. You can read about individual block construction (and errata) below. This was a fun quilt, but shockingly begun nearly 2 years ago to the day!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Jen & Jan's Mini Blog Hop QAL

The Little House On Daisy Street

I stumbled on Jan & Jen's QAL a few weeks ago, and though I said no more extra things for a while, this little house block spoke to me. It was so darn cute I said, "Count me in." From the first moment, I saw it in the 1930's reproduction prints on my shelf. I set to work, and it was a quick make, though my chimney found itself on the opposite side. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

How to Talk to Your Longarmer & Eerie Nights Hop

"Quilt it however you decide."

Those are five words that stop me in my tracks as a longarm quilter. It's like telling your beautician or barber to cut off as much of your hair as they choose. How much is too much?

I will tell you it is often just as hard for a longarm quilter to make a decision about the quilting as it is yourself. Being able to share some ideas--even if they are what you don't want, will go a long way toward a good plan. It is likely you have some kind of idea about what you think your quilt needs or what you value most in fine quilting. Do not be afraid to tell your longarm quilter your thoughts.

Monday, August 29, 2016

What I Did Last Summer

Pinned and ready for many glorious 
evenings of hand quilting!

Summer's Accomplishments

I feel like I've spent my summer as a true holiday. Not R&R, but catching up. There are still many things on the long list, but we've powered through some Herculean tasks. Tree removal from the Emerald Ash Bore--6 mature trees, house and property restoration, and so on. Nothing that was neat and tidy, and it all spilled over onto the rest of lives. Piles of things in the house were designated by project, and that was disruptive in itself. I'm happy to report the chaos is about 80% contained now.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Meet Axel, My Avante!

My Big Secret has arrived, and it seems fit to make it this week's Friday Finish. May I say I never dreamed this day would actually happen? I'm bruised from pinching myself.

Axel , my new Avante by Handiquilter, was delivered Wednesday. I had to name it after all my friends with machines had given theirs names. Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon has an Avril, so I stuck with the "A" names. Axel suits it.

I sweet-talked my daughter into taking a few pictures. It's all real here. Five huge boxes and two small were on that truck for me, and they were heavy!

We lugged most of them up the stairs ourselves, but 2 of the heaviest were more than we could handle. I was going to have to wait all afternoon for someone stronger to come home and help. I figured out that key parts were in those 2 boxes, and begged another daughter to help me. I think the adrenaline helped, because we got those up, too!

Most of the basic table was together by the time my more mechanical half got home. We worked together until I said I could finish on my own the next day. This was where I started in the morning.

Bungees, velcro, leaders. Finish adding parts to the machine itself, and all threaded. I was ready to load a practice piece. This is when I realized I hadn't raised it to fit my height.

Carefully remove 2 poles. Take off the machine and the carriage.

I will tell you I had a smaller person there with Herculean strength, and we raised that table up with the aid of packing tape to hold the catches open. I don't recommend this method.

This is where I hit the wall. I had no idea how to load a quilt, and I was so tired by this point that I didn't remember to watch the dvd's that contain everything you need to know. My quilt store was so understanding when I called half a dozen times with little questions including this one, and was wonderful at sending me PDF's to help. Even so, I pinned and repinned leaders 5 times before I could make it all work in my mind, and on the machine.

My first go at it. I had lots of tension issues at first, but the shop had already given me good instructions on how to remedy this with both bobbin and machine adjustment. Several phone calls to a good friend with an HQ Sweet Sixteen led to much better results. Beth at Cooking Up Quilts heard it running on the phone, and you would have thought we were cooing over a new baby between us! Seriously, we are adult women, but it just purrs!

I didn't buy this on a whim. I started looking at longarms last fall when I used one in a local shop. I was just new on the quilting blogger's scene, and it really wasn't something I needed. I investigated all the brands. I talked with and ran an APQS, Gammill, and Tin Lizzie. I looked for a used machine for months, and made many, many phone calls. Longarm University is a good source to look for all kinds of used longarms, if you're looking. When so many friends talked up the Handiquilter products, I decided there had to be something to it. The warranty is the best I've found, and we had many shops within 2 hours.

Sue and David at Quilt Trends in Columbus, Ohio were the best I found on price--they were running a sale along with an HQ promotion, and have been excellent in training. The day I travelled to actually look at the Avante, I spent nearly 3 hours with them in the store, and going over the machine. In home training takes place in a few weeks for me, and I hope to have some good experience before then.

After all the waiting and heavy lifting, and in spite of the fact it might not be the most flattering, can you see the Joy on my face? No buyer's remorse here. While something such as a longarm is a tangible thing, I see it as a way to express Joy in thread and cloth.

Did you ever have anything that was just so exciting, and you weren't sure why? You couldn't quit smiling, and when you woke up at night and remembered, it made you smile again? I'm a little speechless, and that's rare.

C.S. Lewis wrote some powerful words on his pursuit of joy,
and may help me express my feelings. 

"All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still 'about to be'."
--C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

Linking up with~
Crazy Mom Quilts
A Quilting Reader's Garden
Quilt Shop Gal
Confessions of a Fabric Addict


This might be the best time for me, and YOU, too, to browse Craftsy tools and supplies. There is a BIG Weekend Sale with very tempting deep discounts on supplies through Sunday, June 21st. Up to 70% off! 
(I'm there already!)

Monday, May 11, 2015

What's Next? Dealing with It.

An artsy friend sent me this card last week, and 
I'm stuck on it. It pushes me to think. She 
would never call herself a great motivator, but 
she has a way of dropping Thought Bombs 
that stops me in my tracks.

Neither of us are empty nesters, but it's on our

 horizons. (I'm laughing because we have 11 kids 
between us. Will either of us ever be?) But we are 
mentally preparing for the next season of our lives, 
and it comes up in our conversations a lot. I know 
many of you who visit Pink Doxies blog are 
thinking this, too.

So, we ask ourselves, What's Next?

Which Road are we Taking?

How will we Know when we've Arrived?

 I got back into quilting because it fit easily 

into my life, and made me happy. Now I get 
my color fix, make neat things, and meet the 
most wonderful people through blogging. 
Sounds so cozy, doesn't it? Then what? 
What if I want more than that?

When we reach uncharted territory, it

gives us pause to think. The unknown can
be scary. We're now at the End of 
our Comfort Zone. I've been coming up
against this for the past few months. 

Where I'm At--One Place

I want to be able to create entire 

quilts from start to finish no matter the size. 
I'm making bigger projects now, and like this 
one, they don't fit in my domestic machine 
anymore--even my Janome with an 11" throat.

I felt like one thing I needed to learn 

was long arm quilting. It scared me, yet I spent
a lot of time looking into it. I visited stores, 
talked to friends, and even priced machines. I 
tried it a few times, but the learning curve was 
steep! I could do so many things on my domestic 
Janome, but it didn't transfer to a long arm. It 
was like riding a bike and rowing a boat--a 
totally different skill set. Was it a road I wanted 
to even go down? Was it worth it for me?

I have a neighbor just houses away with a
Tin Lizzie. She quilts commercially for clients, 
and was kind and willing to show me her machine
the day after my phone call. She even let me 
have a try at it. The next day my QST quilt was 
on her machine, and I was going to quilt it 
myself. She had faith in my skills when I didn't.

We drove an hour away to buy thread as she
does mainly Traditional quilts, and had nothing
in my color palette. We came home, pinned it
on, and after a few minutes we both knew the
color wasn't working. I couldn't see it enough
to follow the pattern. She happily helped me
rip out stitches for half an hour. At that point
I went home to sleep on it, but I kept waking 
up wondering if she'd be upset if I just wanted
to take it out of the frame. I was panicking I
would screw it up beyond saving. I loved this
colorful quilt.

The next morning, Mother's Day, she called
to ask if I wanted to try again. I had looked
at more patterns, watched some videos,
and drawn page after page with 2 hands
on my pen moving it at the same time.
I found this pattern on a porch chair, and
thought it was easiest enough to begin.

We re-evaluated thread color, and chose a
darker color even though I would have liked
a paler one. I needed to see it! This is a
lavendar shade, and she had a matching
So Fine for the bobbin thread. 

Away I went, down my first run, and by the end 
was in tears. Good tears! It was so terrifying,
and I had managed to do a passable job, 
and not ruined my quilt.

You might be laughing to yourself that I'm

being overly dramatic, but you have no idea
how afraid I was of botching this. I've done 
that before, and have the mess to prove it.

With the adrenaline rush going, I kept on.
Sandy helped to coach me by checking if
thing were in place after each pass, but she
stayed out of the way. I'm a good 7" taller
that she is, and I'm sure it was quite a 
sight with me scootching down to run the
machine at her height adjustment.

A quick break for lunch, a minute to smell 
my gorgeous Mother's Day bouquet, and I 
told my husband I'd be done by 3.

When I returned, Sandy took her sewing 
upstairs, and left me on my own. I managed
fine, and in my head kept saying,
"I can do this. I can do this."
It was an empowering moment for me.

My work was not perfect. Shoot, I
even ran over my design a few times
trying to see under the machine head, 
but the whole quilt was done
in one day. I'm so, so pleased with a
passing job this time.

The lavendar thread was a solid choice 
for the backing.

Effy had to have a quick try at it right off.

I still have the edges to quilt on my Janome.
I've chosen to use my sit down domestic

for the control it allows me, and then the
binding. All can happen this week.

I don't know if I'd ever have done this had
circumstances not been what they were.
It all fell into place when it did, and I 
didn't have as much time to over-think it.
Thank you, Sandy.
Fear nearly stopped me from this uber-
thrilling adventure. I'm totally wiped out,
and have come down with a cold or
something already, and I wonder if it's 
from stressing over it all.

As for my card above, I think I would 
rephrase it to say, 

"Growth begins at the end 
of your comfort zone."

Gardeners who start seedlings know it helps 
to brush your hand across them once a day. 
You're simulating nature brushing by them. It 
makes the whole stem structure healthier, 
I understand, when the seedling pushes 
back against the stimulus. In turn, it 
causes it to grow stronger

As for the biggest questions I have
above, I still don't know. Perhaps
I never will. My answer for today
is simple.

Let me grow.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's all go sew.

Linking up today with~
Freemotion by the River
Quilt Story
Blossom Heart Quilts
Late Night Quilter
She Can Quilt
Cooking Up Quilts
Monday Makers
Show and Tell with Bambi
Hug-a-Bit Quilts