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21  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Machine Quilting Class in Portland, OR? on: February 03, 2010 11:20:50 AM
I'm new to quilting, and would love to start learning how to machine quilt - but I'm just no good with reading instructions...  I am one of those people that needs to be shown, and then I try it and normally get it after a time or two.

I have been keeping my eye out for free local classes in my area (Beaverton, just outside of Portland proper), but I have not found any for learning how to machine quilt...

Is there anyone who knows how to do it, who is in my area, and who would be willing to sit down and show me how?  LOL...  I am more than willing to barter if that's up your alley (sorry - we're sort of poor at the moment...).

Please let me know?
22  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Whimsical Cats for Mom... **Updated* DONE! on: February 02, 2010 02:19:00 PM
My mother loves autumn colors, and has been adopted over the years by hundreds of cats.  I gave her a quilt about 12 years ago (and really need to take pictures of it at some point for my projects folder) that was a Japanese inspired full-sized quilt.  The front had squares of ink drawing cats, and the back of the quilt was double-cranes flying...  

Mom has insisted on putting the quilt into semi-permanent storage, wrapped in a plastic bag, and put into the closet.  She only pulls it out on special occasions, and doesn't let anyone else touch it.  

Obviously, this meant that I needed to make her another quilt.  That way, she could switch off as she wanted to.  Of course, this was NOT an excuse for me to go out and find adorably cute and cuddly cat fabric...  Absolutely NOT a way I could weasel my way into another fabric store and plan to spend more money on fabric. Tee hee!

This has to be the largest quilt that I've done to date - it's a Queen sized.

This is another view of the quilt.  The brown is flannel, making the frames super pettable.

One of the close-up squares

Another of the close-up squares

I haven't quite finished this one yet...  Am getting ready to sandwich and bind it this week.


As of this moment, at 11:37pm PST, the quilt is DONE!!!  And not a moment too soon, since Mum arrives early tomorrow morning.  My two gal-friends and I went ahead and set up the quilt stand and sewed buttons on it for a good two hours, and then I trimmed the edges off, turned the edges in, and sewed it together.

The back center of the quilt

A closer angle of the back

Random button - the theme was, of course, cats...  They were a mish-mash of different things, everything from a tuna can, to a whole fish, boned. 

The back was a little more wrinkly than I'd like it to be...  It was the first time I'd ever used the quilt spray.  Note to self for future - when using quilt spray, one must make sure that the back is just as straight and taut as the top of the quilt.  Tee hee.  Still, all in all, a fairly nice ending.

Thanks for putting up with me and looking!
23  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / 60 degree "Stack & Whack" quilt for my sister on: January 29, 2010 01:33:27 PM
Hi...  My name is Merripan, and I'm an addict...  It all started last year, when I went to the quilting group I'm a member of, and took a class they were offering.  Little did I know, that it was the beginning of an obsession.

Soon after, I found myself looking at some of the most unlikely patterns in the world, wondering whether a kaleidoscope pattern would work on it and make it look really cool...  Yes, friends - in short order, I became an addict. 

I'm not proud of ...  Ok, well honestly, I *AM* proud of the fact that I'm an addict.  Tee hee!  I love all the stuff that one can do.  Here's my first 6-sided kaleidoscope blanket.  I sized it down from a queen-sized quilt to a 5' x 5' throw.

My sister is very into the western theme, and is also patriotic.  But I didn't want to do something that was predictable.  So, I came up with red, blue and off-cream, and the hexagon shape lends well for stars.

This is tied with star buttons, and is also hand-quilted along the outside edge of the blue.  I hope you like it.

This was particularly challenging to me, as I had to build it on a diagonal, and was not used to it...  I am much more familiar with 90 degree angles...

A close-up of one of the hexagons, with its points...

The main body is done, now it's time to frame it out...

This is the final piece, completely sewn and tied.

And the back as well... 
24  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Illuminated Retirement Card... on: January 28, 2010 12:15:27 PM
Here's the back-story on this one...  I was working at a call center when our manager, who had been with the company for 12 years, decided (sort of) to retire.  I was requested (volunteered?) to make a retirement card for her.  Knowing that a simple card might be mis-placed, and knowing that she was the type to appreciate a nice work of art, I decided to make a larger card than normal, and one that if she wanted to, could be framed and placed on her wall.  I also allowed room for people to sign their names on the bottom.

The medium I used was watercolor.  The design was free-handed, then painted and gold-leafed.  The calligraphy was also hand-done.

So, here's the result.  Let me know what you think...

Detail of the upper right hand corner of the card

Detail of the lower right corner of the card

Detail of the lower left corner of the card

Detail of the upper left corner of the card

Detail of the upper left acanthus leaves

Close-up of acanthus leaf

Close-up of the 'S' with white-lining

Full shot of the finished card.
25  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Dress / Shirt made for my daughter on: January 21, 2010 04:19:43 PM
I normally make everything from a pattern, unless it's for middle ages re-enactment.  This was the first time I was able to make something from scratch - and it should fit her through the end of this summer.  I made it around June 2009, and it worked really well as a dress.

26  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Stack & Whack 45 degree quilt for Niece - Updated! on: January 21, 2010 10:18:15 AM
This was supposed to be a Christmas gift - I'm just now finishing it up...  I still have to bind it...  And take pics of the back.  BUT - it's the first time I've done the 45 degree one.  It didn't come out perfect, but it still turned out pretty...

This is the front of the quilt.  The pink is actually a HOT bubblegum color.  My niece LOVES pink, and currently is into the idea that she will be the next hot American Idol (she's 6).  The yellow print on the quilt is of limos, tv's, scripts, director's chairs, cameras and the like...

Another pic of the front of the quilt...  It's actually fairly square, and is about 5.5' long and wide.

Close-up of one of the squares.

Close-up of one of the squares.

Close-up of one of the squares.

Close-up of one of the squares.

Close-up of one of the squares.

The final piece, all the binding done and everything.

The back of the quilt.

The close-up of the back, showing the check pattern.
27  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / First quilted baby blanket... on: January 21, 2010 09:39:04 AM
I'm relatively new to quilting, but have found that it's so amazingly comforting to me - and relaxes me as well...  Almost as much as cooking (which is saying a lot!).  Here was my first on-my-own quilt that I did recently...

I know that it's off-kilter on the back.  I wasn't really going for an actual zig-zag pattern, I wanted something that was going to be interesting and draw the eye of the baby - something she could constantly find new things about...

  This is the first "official" baby quilt I've done.  A co-worker's sister-in-law had a super-preemie baby girl, so everyone got together to help with getting things for them.  I went through all my baby fabric, and found both cotton shirting and cotton brushed flannel, and strip-quilted...  this is also the first strip quilt I've ever done.  

 A close-up of the front of the quilt...

  I tied the outside of the quilt, and I hand-sewed around the two outer rectangles for stability.  The ties are ribbons, that have been sewn through the quilt, and then sewn together to prevent little fingers from untying them.

This is the back of the quilt.  I decided one side would be completely cotton shirting, and the other side would be flannel.  

 Close-up of the flannel side.  I had been making fashion diaper covers, but when that venture really didn't do well, I decided instead to use the fabric for quilting.
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