Saturday, May 11, 2013

Quilters Favorites Link Up

I have linked up to Geta Grama's site today for this fun LINKUP about Quilter's favourites. You can go to Geta's site to read about the other quilters. And While you are there, have a look at some of her fabulous Quilts!

Just a short note about me...
I love to quilt. I have been quilting since I was 16. For a few years in the middle I sewed clothing for my kids but my love of quilting brought me back after the kids were grown and out of the house.

My favorite thing to do is share with other quilters. I have taught for years and loved every opportunity to see  new quilters progress through a project and their excitement when they learn a new skill.

I was a longarm quilter for about 8 years until I lost my hearing and suffered through  many bouts of vertigo. I still have my machine but only quilt for myself

 A few of my favorite quilting notions:
  • I love my Clover seam ripper. I have about 10 of them scattered all over my sewing room. They get dull over time especially if you use them a lot, like I do...LOL but in the beginning they are very very sharp. I love the ergonomic handle. It fits nicely into my hand.
  • I am really pleased with the new Frixon pens. I try not to use them on quilts if I plan to keep them in the fridge, (the marks do come out in the cold) but for the most part, once you heat set the marks they are gone.
  • I also really like my Cheryl Anns Portable design wall. It is a great tool to have for retreats or any away from home sewing event!
  • Finally, I have so many favorites (hence the NotionNanny) it was hard to choose only a couple. You will have to follow my blog to hear about them all...
Colour Schemes
  • There is so much chatter about scrappy quilts right now that of course anything goes in a quilt. I think scrappy quilts look more like what a quilt should look like to me! But if I had to choose 2 colours it would definitely be blue and yellow.
My Daisy Fresh Quilt
Some thoughts about thread and needles, batting, fabrics.

  • I use Superior So fine #50/3ply for all my piecing.
  • I like the other weights as well. The Sew Fine #30/3ply filament polyester is great for top stitching and blanket stitch. 
  • I always use Schmetz needles in my machine for regular stitching and piecing, but I also use the Superior titanium needles when I am using metallic or other decorative threads, for machine quilting or decorative stitching.
  • My go to batting is Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20, but I have fallen in love with their bamboo batting as well.
  • I only use 100% cotton fabrics for my bed quilts, but I do tend to stray a little for wall hangings and art quilt projects.

Tips for Easy piecing
  • Accurate cutting and perfecting your 1/4 inch seam allowance will always give you good results when following a pattern I am a bit of a sloppy piecer so I rarely am concerned about that, because I am consistently sloppy. LOL  When I teach, I tell my students be as careful as you can as long as you are consistently the same.
Machine Quilting tips
  • Practice Practice Practice. I have a Gammil longarm and I find it very difficult to quilt on my domestic, but I have been practising. I am making mug rugs and practising techniques on them. It is great to see the practice pay off and each time it gets easier!
Sewing machine.
  • I just did a post where I listed all my machines that I have owned. Up until this past year I would have said my Pfaff was my favorite. but I love my new Bernina 830. It has everything on it that anyone could ask for in a sewing machine, and it embroiders beautifully.
  • I tell my students that the majority of quilters use only a few stitches on their machines. Straight stitch, zig zag and blanket stitch. If you are just going to piece quilts and maybe machine quilt the little ones, look for a basic machine with needle down, blanket stitch, and the capability to drop the feed dogs. but... if you ever think you might be the type of person that would like to be super creative with your stitches, that check out the top of the line of every brand till you find the one that best suits your creativity. And lastly... buy what you can afford

Bernina 830
What about modern quilting tools?

  • I love notions, gadgets and anything that makes quilting more fun and easier to do. 
  • I own EQ7 and Quilt Pro software and wouldn't be without either of them. They are equally as good for different things. I design most of my Quilts in EQ, but my blocks I do in Quilt Pro.
  • I have a Accuquilt GO! Cutter and about 10 dies that I use all the time for different things. 
Tips for organizing:
  • When I first read this I was going to skip over it, because I am not a very good organizer. 
  • But I can say that I go to my sewing room and clean every Monday. I refuse to sew in a room that is cluttered and where everything is all over the place. That is the day I find all my seam rippers and out them in one place so I can start losing them for the rest of the week.
  • I keep all my fabric folded (no, I did not say neatly) and in one place. My notions are all over the room as I keep things at each machine, (did I tell you I have at least 3 machines set up at all times) and I have scissors and seam rippers at my ironing board so I don't keep stealing them from their machine homes.
  • The best hints for organization I have ever seen come from Sew Many Ways blog. Check it out!
Quilting Bible!
  • I have lots of books but my go to Is the Fons and Porter's Complete Guide to Quilting. There is a digital download which I just found. I definitely need it in my IBooks Library. It is my go to for everything and I think it is a timeless book. (Did I mention I get easily distracted...LOL)
Favorite quilt Bloggers. My top 5 in no specific order...
My Favorite quilt

  • In 2002 I took a course from Alice Wilhoit and while I was there I bought all her patterns that she had with her. In 2007 I got Mono (at 54... It was awful!) and spent 4 months barely moving off the couch. While I was sick I decided to do one of Alice's Patterns. I am not really good at following anyones pattern, so its not really the same as hers, but her inspiration. I call it Monologue!

Monologue made by me 2007

My Favorite quilt designed by one of my friends.  - Sorry thats not on the list but I wanted to share!
  • My friend Aimee designed this quilt for my birthday last year. She gave me the instructions and I made the quilt.  I love it. but this is a terrible picture. I will post a better one when the sun is shining and its not raining!

What would be the perfect gift for my best Quilting Friend
  • I quilt with so many people, it would be hard to pick a best Quilting Friend. I would buy my friend Aimee a notebook so she could design more quilts, and everyone else I would make a bag for. 
My Advice to you...

  • I picked the questions I wanted to answer, but the post is already very long so I am going to stop here with this final comment.
  • Quilting should be fun. When there are too many rules you have to follow, its not fun anymore. If you quilt for fun, keep it fun by quilting with others and showing off your work as much as possible. Everyone likes to see what others are doing, but there is nothing better than the feeling you get when people say WOW to the work you have done!
  • If you quilt for a living, pace yourself so you don't feel like your job has taken over your pleasure. learn to say no!

Enjoy your day. Make sure you come back on May 15th for my turn at the "It's for the Birds Blog Hop"


Julie C. said...

It's nice to meet you! Thank you for all of the tips. I love my Bernina too and Hobb's Heirloom batting is the best (wool is a close second).
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

MooseStash Quilting said...

Your so right about quilting. It needs to be fun, and forget the rules. Be a rebel and enjoy. Love all your tips and tools!

Karen in Breezy Point said...

Thanks for all the tips. I don't really follow patterns too closely either--it's more fun to make it your own!

NotionNanny said...

My friend Aimee and I read patterns and always say "well, I am not doing it that way"... Sometimes it backfires, but mostly we do just fine!

Carol said...

Yes. Free motion on your machine takes a lot of practice.But one day it will just click and you will zooming along:)

Geta Grama said...

Thank you for linking to my party and sharing your favorites.

Denise Russell said...

Great tips, and fun blog!

Silvia said...

Thanks for sharing your tips and thoughts. Quilt for fun, this is truth indeed!