No pain, no gain

No pain, no gain

As a PT,  I used to say that all the time: no pain, no gain.  But this is the first time I’ve said it as a result of quilting.  Holding that ruler steady while doing all the back and forth matchstick quilting, for hours…yea, my left arm hurts.  But who cares. I looove how this came out. It seems so elegant.  Which is what I was hoping for. This was pieced by my Angel Fire friend, Jan.  She went with wool batting – so perfect.  So Fine #50 thread, except for the gold metallic thread on the flying friends.    I’d be no where without the handiest rulers from Linda Hrcka at quiltedpineapple.com That’s the last customer quilt for while. Next up….a week with my little Ruby Lou!!!!!  So psyched!!  She’ll be turning one in just a few weeks.  Thanks for looking!...
Jenn’s Quilt

Jenn’s Quilt

My friend, Jenn, created this crazy cool modern quilt. We all have our skills, and creating quilts that just make you think, “Dang, that’s good” is hers. Then she sends it to me.  With not a lot of rules.  Playtime!   I wish I could say I planned this out before I loaded it, and had a clear vision of what I wanted to do.  But I can’t. I did TRY to make a plan, but it just wouldn’t come together.  I decided to just jump in and trust that I’d figure it out as I went.   I did decided on a few motifs, with input from Jenn, that I wanted to sprinkle throughout the quilt top. But how to fill the spaces in-between those was just done on the fly.  The hard part was refraining to adding too many different motifs.  I tried to stay in within my notes.  I had to keep looking at my sketches and finding places to put them, instead of adding more and more and more and more….. Anyway… not much else to say about this one, other than I need to make a quilt top like this so I can KEEP it.              What fun.  Thank you, Jenn.   Thanks for checking! Debbie...
Playing in the Negative Space

Playing in the Negative Space

I’m changing up the first couple sentences of this post.  I had made an assumption about this quilt top that was incorrect.  Turns out, Linda has been eyeing this top for a long time at the shop where she works.  Wishing it would go away and stop pulling on her heart strings.  But ultimately, when it went up in the window for sale, fate had its’ way and the top went home with Linda.  So the appliqué artist remains unknown, but greatly admired.  It adds a bit of humbleness to have quilted it. This is the first quilt that I marked, completely, prior to loading it onto the machine.  I used a fine, white chalk pencil. That took a while, but it made the quilting a million times easier. I just followed the lines.  When I was done, I used a damp kitchen sponge to wipe off the chalk marks.  When trying to come up with a quilting design I can live with, I use the app You Doodle on my iPad. There are others, I’m sure, but I don’t want to take the time to learn them! This is what I was wanting the whole time I quilted this:     Looks pretty good on my bed! Maybe Linda won’t like it…. Thanks for checking in! Debbie  ...
Not My Quilt, but I wish it was…

Not My Quilt, but I wish it was…

This week, I had the pleasure of quilting a Dresden Plate quilt made by my friend, Sue.  She said she wanted me to ‘go all out’ with the quilting.  Music to my ears…. I will admit to stalking Pinterest and Google images for ideas on this one.  But that’s what they’re for, right?  I started by drawing the circles before loading.  I did this as taught by Kathleen Riggins in her Patreon classes. Circles first… Then one phase at a time…   I used two layers of Quilters Dream batting:  80/20 on the bottom, wool on the top.  So Fine 50 thread. Sue used Indie Folk Fabric line for all the prints in this quilt. Lastly, the border.     And cuter than all that…RL!   Thank for checking it out!...
The Rio Grande

The Rio Grande

Terrie Hancock Mangat is, well, … now that I think about it, hard to describe. For one, she is a fabric designer.  As have many others, I love her fabrics.  They’re crazy wild.  When it comes to embellishing fabrics, she is a leader in the quilt world. She is a spectacular artist when it comes to fabrics and fibers and textures and paints. She is also a resident of Taos, and a guild member here. I have accumulated quite a stash of her stuff, much of it in the form of large scraps. I finally got them all out and with no plan, as usual, started putting them together in a way that hopefully would have some sense of cohesiveness in the end.  I don’t usually post photos of the processes I go through, but I will here. That busy fabric behind the diamond shapes…it’s now part of the backing. Didn’t work on the front. I like busy, but that was too much. I made the little circles using the piece-lique technique, solids and Alison Glass fabrics.  AG fabrics also in the middle column. The large diamonds were made to provide a focal point for the many clever designs in Terrie’s Rio Grande fabric.  (Hence the quilt name.) Then I thought I’d hone my wedge skills. Ay-yi-yi.  They still need work.  Each wedge has strips ranging from 1/4″ to 1.25″.  It was nuts.  Then I made a template to go around the wedges.  Lots of wasted fabric figuring that out. Still not pieced together for the most part, I tried that stuff on the outer edges. I was trying to use up left over pieces from a previous quilt.  They did not work AT ALL.   86 all the hours spent making those.  At this point, I moved the columns with the piece-lique out to the sides. Things started coming together once I did that. Those round template things, though…ugh. I suspect I will try to avoid those in the future. The rest of these photos are just close ups.  Enjoy! Here come the EIGHT diamonds, fair warning. The top border… The Bridge over the Rio Grande:   The wedges…. And my attempt at creative camouflage….I accidentally tore fabric while moving my longarm hopping foot – not once, not twice, but three times.  So that was a depressing 24 hours.  It was impossible to hide these flaws so I decided to accentuate them with hot pink embroidery thread. and just for fun… This quilt, along with 11 other of my quilts, and a bunch done by two other local quilters are currently hanging in the Trading Post Italian Restaurant (now there’s a contradiction in terms) until May, 2018.  Stop in if you come to the high desert! Thanks for the look! Debbie      ...
We Didn’t Start The Fire

We Didn’t Start The Fire

My most recent piece was inspired by the LA Fires.  My family lives in Westwood, an LA neighborhood near UCLA, so they were very much on my mind.  Several years back, I bought some wild fabric at the Houston show, called Sumi-e, by Karen Kurka Jensen. I went in for the entire line, and that poor fabric has been languishing in my stash ever since. I just could not come up with a good way to use it all.  Until the fires.  I love this quilt.  It will NOT be in my Etsy Shop. Lots of photos because A: I love this quilt and B: I was trying out my son-in-law’s new camera.      Still into using older, unwanted fabrics to piece the backs. And just because she’s adorable…. Ruby Lou   Thanks for checking it out! Debbie  ...
Christmas Time!

Christmas Time!

 This little punkin’ is a whopping (almost) 7 months old already.  Sitting, teething, becoming her own little person. We are so so lucky that we get to see her & mom & dad this Christmas in Taos. But back to the quilting and sewing world….Knowing I would not be traveling for a full 2 months, I’ve been more than a little productive.  I’m committed to cutting/piecing/quilting/binding all the projects that I’ve purchased at quilt shows and quilt shops over the past 5 years, and then ignored.  It’s a long list, but I’m knocking them out.  Who knows what will become of them, but they are done!  And they’re just as cute as I thought they would be.  That’s  why I bought them!  Surely, they are destined for my Etsy shop. For our Texas friends who alway are so gracious to put up with us when we come to town, I made this cross quilt.   The wonderfully talented Nicole Dunn from Los Alamos, NM taught another class with our guild recently, on wedges.  I made two quilts out of that class.  One, SLYTHERIN, is a stretch when you think of wedges…they took on a rather unconventional shape: She is cute, isn’t she? The second wedge quilt is more obvious : WEDGES WITHOUT BORDERS Originally, I had 4″ red borders on it, but felt that really detracted from the quilt, so I took them off.  Hence the name, ‘Wedges Without Borders’. The back…. I had every intention of keeping in line with that borderless theory by not using a traditional binding, and instead using a ‘facing binding’.  BUT I neglected to review that technique BEFORE I trimmed the backing and batting.  Without leaving any excess backing and batting, you can’t do the facing business. So I made the skinniest black binding I possibly could. I had 2 little stacks of 6″ x 6″ squares, one with turtles, the other with giraffes.  The squares have been pinned to my design wall for YEARS, as if they would become something functional just by being there.  And to think they each took only a few hours to complete, it’s pretty stupid to have ignored them that long.  One is a wall hanging, Jungle Play, and the other a table runner, Turtle Trot.     This year, I made 3 quilts using 2.5″ postage stamps (2″ finished).  I made a bright one for my son-in-law’s mom, RUBY LOU This one for me, GOODNESS GRACIOUS and most recently, I used fabrics that looked vintage, but weren’t actually all that old. I hand quilted this one, since I was going for a vintage feel. A LITTLE BIT VINTAGE prepare to be overloaded…..I like this one. The back… The ridiculousness of my fabric hoarding has led me to the process of piecing all (almost all) of my backs with fabric that I have had far too long, and will probably never want to use in a quilt top.  It’s an awful lot of work to do this, sometimes a whole day. But my stash gets a trim, and I really love the look of these backings. I actually have a few other recent finishes.  But even I am tired of looking at these.  Thanks for looking and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy 2018! Debbie        ...
Green Chilis are here…so what happened to summer?

Green Chilis are here…so what happened to summer?...

I’m trying to think of things I’ve accomplished this summer.  Other than a boat load of customer quilts (which are posted here), not much.  I’ve only made one quilt, and it’s not done yet.  Oh, and then there was this little gem:                                                                                                           Ruby Lou And I did win Best of Show at the Taos County Fair with this quilt named Goodness Gracious.  That was a pleasant surprise. Mostly, I’ve spent the summer longing to see Ruby, and looking forward to taking care of the little tike when mama goes back to her other job.  Just for a month, but I’m so looking forward to it. This was the end result of a class with Nicole Dunn of Los Alamos. I love it, and of course someone bought it.  So it’s in the que for a remake.   A seriously bland summer…..but gorgeous.  Always gorgeous here! Thanks for checking in~ Debbie...