Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stars and Stripes is FINISHED!!

This quilt started months ago... It is my first "Commissioned" quilt.  Back in February, my boss announced that he was going to retire.  I had seen this quilt and immediately knew it would perfect for him, and so I approached my fellow managers and proposed that they pitch in to cover the material costs, and I would to do the quilting work.

Jim is a retired Marine who entered the business world many years ago.  He is a very patriotic man who loves his country, his God, and his family.  I have worked for Jim directly or indirectly for 19 of my 26 years since High School.

I have learned more than I can even begin to tell you while working on this quilt.  It has been a learning experience.  It has been a major pain in the neck.  (Literally, as I had to cut and re-cut so many triangles and squares.)  But it has also given me great Joy, and a huge sense of accomplishment.  This is the largest quilt I have done thus far, and large quilts no longer scare me.  I have realized the importance of fabric choice and color matching.  There are 29 different fabrics in this quilt.  It took a long time to find them all, but it was time well spent.

So, here it is, "Stars and Stripes" FINISH number two this week!!

My shadow makes this look smaller than it is!  It is 80x80.

A close up of one of the stars.
I chose to quilt the bottom with tan thread and the top with thread
to match.  This "hides" the quilting a little bit, or at least the quilting
isn't highlighted or emphasized this way.  It's not that I was concerned
about my meandering, but I didn't want the quilting to take away from
the impact of the quilt as a whole.  I think I accomplished that.

Another view of one of the stars.  Note the bottom left corner of the star,
and the half square triangle above it... Same Fabric!  Darn it.  I tried to
never have the same fabric right next to the same fabric.  I made this
mistake three times.  Oh well, there were 1,152 triangles in the top, I guess
3 mistakes isn't too bad.

Again, same colored thread means the quilting isn't too pronounced,
however, you can see that this thing has a LOT of quilting on it.

The Binding that you might think was custom ordered for this quilt!
It took me several weeks to find it, but I nearly jumped for joy when I
did, as it is perfect for this quilt!!

I didn't think to photograph the process of attaching this, but is
a double sided fusing with the edges hand sewn.  I do not like hand
sewing.  Mostly because I am not good at it.  I would have loved
for this to be blind stitched, but I can't blind stitch to save my
life, so I didn't even try, I just did a neat little over and under stitch.
 I can't wait to give it to Jim on Thursday.  I want those who contributed to be happy with my work, and I want Jim to like it even more.  We'll see...

Until Next Time,

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jonathon's Quilt is FINISHED!!

Jonathon's Quilt is FINISHED!!  Woo Hoo... I love completing a project.  While I had completed the top, the back, and did the quilting last weekend, I had not yet chosen a binding fabric.  I was going to go to the store and find a fabric with black and colorful stripes or polka dots, but then I decided to do something I've never done before, but I have read of others doing.  I decided to use the excess backing.  I always make my back at least 3 inches larger than my top, so I should be able to cut 2.5" strips from the excess backing.  One of the short sides didn't have quite 2.5", so I added some red fabric to get the length I needed.

Without further ado, here are some photos...

I love using these hair clips to hold down unsewn
bindings... If my daughter ever discovers them, I may
need to padlock my sewing box!!

The traditional "Rolled Quilt" shot...
There she is in all of her colorful glory

A close up of some of the quilting.  A simple
meandering pattern with Rainbow Colored thread
on the top.

There is some of that Red fabric added to the binding...
I like how the rainbow thread shows up in some places and not
in others, if the thread happens to blue while quilting over a
blue block, it just disappears, but in other places the colors contrast
well, and it pops out..

The back... My first misc. pieced back.  And I like it.
More importantly though, Jonathon loves it!
I used black thread on the back, and since most of the back is black, it
just kind of blends in.  Against the yellow however, it is very visible!
The Red binding in the corner.  This is the front of the quilt.
and this is back of the quilt in the same corner.

 After the photo session, it went into the washing machine for a good long cycle wash, and a long rinse cycle with Lots of Downy.  And then I presented it to Jonathon.  It did not take him long to snuggle up under it.  He loves to snuggle under a blanket while watching TV and this is what he plans to use this quilt for, watching TV.

First it was used as a pillow.

Rainbow had to give it a try...

Then Jonathon got a chill, and he snuggled up
under it.  I have to admit, I like seeing it being used!
While Jonathon was enjoying his new quilt, watching a movie on TV, I was sitting and hand sewing a label onto the "Stars And Stripes" quilt (Finished Photos coming tomorrow for that one).

When it was time to go to bed, Jonathon folded his quilt neatly and laid it on the hearth.  I asked him if was going to take it to his room and he said, "No, I want to use it here watching TV, and besides, I want a label on mine too."  My wife said, what do you want your label to say, "To Jonathon, Love Dad".

Jonathon immediately said, "NO, I want it to say Made by Paul Perger, June 2011 and stuff."  "Why not 'Dad'?" Trish asked.  "Because someday when I give it to my son, I want him to know who it was that made it.  And the date is important, because after it has been passed to my Grandkids and their Grandkids, they're gonna need to know who made it and when!"

I almost fell off my chair.  My 14 year old son thinking generations ahead...  Sometimes (when they are not making us want to pull out every strand of hair we have) they say something that makes us believe everything is going to be alright...

Until Next Time,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Morning Update....

Last night I got caught up with the blocks for my Civil War Block Of the Month Club Quilt, now I need to do the sashing for them and quilt them.

I have done so many HSTs in the past few months
I think I can do them in my sleep!!

Month 2 & 3

Month 4 & 5
I still need to put the 3" 'Star Sashing' on each of these, but that will have to be done another night.

And I prepared the Binding for Jonathon's Quilt, that will go on soon.

Binding all ironed and wound around a Spool, Ready to be clipped
and sewn onto the quilt...

I picked up the label for Stars and Stripes today.  I will finish it tomorrow, and I will also bind and label Jonathon's quilt, so I will have two completions for the week.  Which is perfect timing because I just received my Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Book and I am ready to jump in and get caught up...

Book Cover

Button I am displaying...
I chose this button because it is a little
more modern than the others.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stars and Stripes is Bound...

Well, I got Stars and Stripes bound last night, and it feels good to have that behind me.  I machine bind, and I still hate it, I don't know why, but I do.  I should pick up the label that I am having embroidered for this quilt later today.  So, it is 99% done... 

Tonight I will affix the label and then hopefully tomorrow will be sunny and dry and I'll be able to get a few photos of the completely finished product...

And Inch Worm Fabrics is hosting a book give away... Go HERE to check it out.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Long Arm Saturday!!

Well, today I spent the day at my LQS (QuiltTrends) using their HQ Fusion Long Arm.  I always enjoy quilting at QuiltTrends, the ladies there are so friendly and helpful.  David and Rhonda, if you read this, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help.

I was having trouble with some thread breakage and they helped me until I was no longer having trouble with it.  David (Shop Owner) even went and found a new thread holder to change the position of the thread which helped reduce friction, and while it was better, I was still having thread breakage.  Rhonda suggested another means of friction reduction and her method worked!  I went the rest of the afternoon with no thread breakage.

Before going onto the long arm I had to put the quilts on leaders.  I have my leader centers marked... Notice anything wrong in this picture?

Leaders NOT centered... I still don't know what I was thinking.
Actual center is that fold on the left... I was more than 3 inches off!!

I marked my center on the quilt back, but then when I went to put the leader on, I completely ignored my mark!  What was I thinking!??  Well, I wasn't about to undo all those pins to make the quilt center and the leader center match, so I grabbed my water soluble pen, and I marked a new center on my leader...  It worked well, and saved ma at least 30 minutes.

So at the shop, I started with Jonathon's quilt.I used a fun colored thread on top and black on the bottom.

Then I quilted the Stars and Stripes quilt for my boss.

Mission Accomplished... Fully quilted, but from a distance the
quilting is not visible, allowing the pattern to fully take center stage.

Next step.  Binding.  Have I mentioned that I HATE binding.  It is BY FAR my least favorite part of each project.

Oh Yeah, one more thing that I have to share...  When taking the Stars and Stripes quilt off of the long arm, I failed to cut my bottom thread!  I pulled the quilt off the frame, and I walked to the back of the store where I could toss it on the large tables and fold it... It was then that I found thread still attached to the sewing machine over 50 feet away!  It wound through aisles, around an FQ table and around a sewing machine.  Rhonda exclaimed, "Paul, it is never a dull place when you are in the store..."  (I'll take that as a compliment...)

I only took this one photo, but trust me, I am at the
back of the store taking this photo, and this thread
runs all through the store....

More next week.  I'll get some good photos of both quilts after they are bound and washed.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Charity Quilt # 2... June 12,2011

I created this quilt as part of the CMQG Robert Kaufman KONA Solid Charm Pack Challenge.  To me summer represents a break in the patterns that rule the rest of the year.  The colors in and of themselves were "Summery" in my opinion.
I will be donating this quilt to Bama Bound Quilts who is distributing the quilts to victims of April Tornadoes.  If anyone knows of an organization giving out quilts in Joplin, I'll donate one or two there as well.
So, Here it is, "Broken Patterns of Summer"