Thursday, November 11, 2010

UFO's Incentive Update

I am pleased to report that I have finished all 6 items I had on my UFO list as of January 1st. The one quilt which I wasn't sure I could finish was a double-bed size quilt I was hand-quilting for my friend, Debbie, in NY. I had been working on it for 5 years, and the hand-quilting was only a little over half done.

In July I got an invitation to visit my friend later in the summer. I counted up how many stenciled patterns I had to go, and then set a goal for myself of doing at least one a day. I had about 3 weeks before my visit. I finished and got the binding done before I flew up there! It helped that my husband was away during part of that time on a business trip. I was able to watch old videos and just keep stitching away!

In my guild down in Forsyth, MO (Calico Cut-ups), I am the only one who has finished all their UFO's. I guess writing things down really motivates me!

Selling my Quilts

I signed up on this year in hopes of selling some of my quilts. If you are interested in seeing most of my quilts, go to the site. Look up by SELLER, and go to momcat5200. So far I have sold only one quilt ( the purple Stained Glass French Braid featured on this blog). It was bought by a man in West Virginia for his 15 year old daughter who is in boarding school. She needed a new quilt, and purple is her favorite color!

I have one current commission to make a t-shirt quilt for a friend's husband. Some one else is thinking of having me make a table runner for a newly engaged cousin. I'm trying to be good and stay on top of my projects so I don't fall behind.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lancaster, here I come!

I received notification from the AQS (American Quilters Society) that my purple French Braid quilt (Stained Glass French Braid) has been accepted into the new show they are having in March at Lancaster, PA. This is a case of "It's an honor just being nominated", because the quilts are actually juried into the show. This is the same quilt pictured in my post from January about custom quilting.

I plan to fly up to Amish country, hopefully with a friend, and wander around the show floor wearing my contestant ribbon on my badge! This quilt took a blue ribbon at a very small show down here in Branson, MO back in September, so I've got my fingers crossed that it might place in this new show.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

UFO's Incentive

I belong to 3 different quilt guilds here in the Ozarks. The biggest one is the Ozark Piecemakers Quilt Guild located in Springfield, MO. Another is the Calico Cut-Ups located down in Forsyth, MO close to Branson. The third is a very small group called Candlelight Quilters which meets either in my home or next door at my quilting buddy's house. Two of the groups have decided to start off 2010 by having each member make a list of all UFO's (unfinished quilting projects) they wish to complete in 2010. For each item on your list you put one fat quarter into the guild's basket along with your list.

As you finish projects on your list and bring your item to Show & Tell, you may cross off the completed item from your list and choose any fat quarter from the basket. This is kinda like a New Year's resolution for quilters! I have 6 things which are in the works right now that I would love to complete this year. I also have a bunch of brand new projects sitting on a shelf tempting me!

My husband is also putting pressure on me to make window treatments for various rooms in our house as we continue to paint room-by-room. Obviously, any time I spend sewing curtains is time taken away from quilting! Life is full of choices.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quilt It Myself, or Pay Someone Else to Do It?

I really love the process of piecing the top of the quilt together. One has to measure and cut accurately, then sew the pieces together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Any points or intersections should be precise, and one has to be careful not to cut off points by taking too large a seam. Little details like these can make the difference between a 'nice' quilt or a 'great' quilt.

When the top is complete, then the quilt sandwich (top, batting & backing) has to be quilted together. I have done a couple of quilts by hand with needle and thread. This is a slow, laborious process which I really don't care for. Another option is using my regular sewing machine to do the quilting with some sort of design or pattern. I do this occasionally on small pieces which will fit under the arm of my sewing machine without too many manipulations. Straight lines or grids aren't too complicated here.

The third option is to have someone else do the quilting on their long-arm quilting machine. Some people have computer-aided machines and can do a very nice allover design over the entire top. This is a not-too-expensive option, especially down here in the Ozarks where there are numerous long-arm quilters. I have used this type of quilting on a number of my smaller, less complicated quilts.

The final type of quilting is "custom quilting" done by a professional on a long-arm machine. When I have a top which I feel is show quality due to the fabric choices, pattern, and time & effort involved in the piecing, then this is the choice I make for my quilt. The extra cost for this is worth it to me.

Here are pictures of one such quilt with a detail of the custom quilting done on it by Bill Fullerton, Branson, MO. This quilt is called "Stained Glass French Braid". Bill did some beautiful feathers down the 'braid' sections of the quilt, and he emphasized the green bands running the length of the braids with a flower design done with purple thread. If you look closely you will notice that each flower is just a little bit different. This indicates custom work versus computerized.


I have decided that my wealth of quilting projects merit their own place in cyberspace to be viewed by more than immediate family and friends. I will be posting pictures of finished quilts and also projects in progress (or UFO's as the quilting world refers to them!). My fervent hope is that people will be inclined to purchase finished items from me, or to commission quilts to be made.

Although I began sewing around 12 years old, I only started quilting in the fall of 2002. I signed up for an adult-ed class offered through the local school district in Northport, NY. Joan Papa was the instructor and she emphasized accuracy in cutting and matching seams. From the start my color selections elicited comments and excitement in our class. Soon my classmates began referring to "Becky Colors" when someone would add some especially bright or bold fabrics to their quilts. My friend, Debbie Cuneo, helped me immensely in learning about color value and hue.

My first quilt was a small crib-size nine-patch done in Halloween colors of black and light orange. The hand quilting design featured a cobweb done from a stencil. My second quilt was a much larger one done in bright colors for my older daughter, Rachel, to take with her to college.