Friday, May 10, 2013

Quilters Favorites

Recently I stumbled upon an amazing quilt made by Geta Grama and was immediately smitten. I began reading her blog and decided to participate in her link party of quilter's favorites.
She asked us to write about as many subjects as we wished from her list of questions. So here is my take.

I am answering three of the questions posted by Geta:
If you enjoy other quilt techniques than patchwork, could you share some tips with us ?  
List one or two of your favorite quilting techniques and a tutorial/pattern/book where you learned about them ?  
Do you have free tutorials on your blog? Share the link. 

Oh before I start, I want to mention my favorite tool. That is machingers, which are gloves that help you push your fabric around under your domestic machine. The site I have referred you to is that of Leah Day's. She is an amazingly talented lady in North Carolina who freely gives you videos on how to free motion quilt. I love this lady, she has helped me immensely to try new things and to become more confident in my own work.

I will start with the tutorial link to my blog that gets the most hits of any. It is a tutorial on a mitered corner for receiving blankets.  

I love all sorts of quilts and have done everything from my first one, a Log Cabin done in jewel tones, which took the Sweepstakes prize at the county fair, to Cathedral Window, but most recently I have begun to enjoy making the Stained Glass quilts.

Back when I only had eleven grand children (I now have 20), my oldest was about to turn 8 years old and was to be baptized into our Church. I wanted her to remember this day, so I set about to make her a quilt. I thought long and hard about this decision, because I knew my children weren't done having kids and I have six children myself. I knew I was setting a precedent and needed to make sure I would be able to follow through to the very last grandchild with the same quality of quilt for all. I realized my age would continue to proceed, and I may have poorer eyesight, but I just couldn't help myself. The first quilt I made was from a pattern by Nancy Halvorson called Be Attitudes. The technique required a lot of applique and I managed to complete this quilt in time to attend Madelyn's baptism. It was a tremendous effort and thus began the pattern of quilt-making for grandchildren. Two years later I had TWO grand daughters who needed a quilt, and this time they were only a week apart, so not only was I frantically sewing another BeAttitude quilt for Calise, who was the first daughter in my second son's family, but also for Lucy who was the second daughter in my first son's family. So Lucy required a different quilt from Madelyn. I had to come up with something else, so they wouldn't all have the exact same quilt in the household. And so I came up with another plan, this time I derived my picture from the first quilt I had made, a picture of Jesus getting baptized.
Since I couldn't find a pattern, I ended up making my own pattern. I called the quilt "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus". This was the stained glass method. I had found a beautiful Stained Glass pattern for a banner with the word Joy on it. I had made this one year for Christmas and decided to try my hand at it again, this time a complicated and intricate pattern I made up.
I first enlarged the picture to about 2.5' by 3' and made two copies, then I traced over the lines with a sharpie so I could see through muslin. I numbered both patterns, then cut one into pieces Then I placed muslin over the uncut pattern and began to cut out the pieces of fabric (with a Steam-a-Seam backing) that belonged on the quilt. I started with sky, then moved to the water and mountains. I filled in the trees next, then the leaves and the figures of Jesus and John the Baptist.  When all were carefully in place and ironed onto the muslin I made some black bias tape with a Steam-a-Seam backing and began to iron on the "leaded" part of the stained glass. When all was ironed on, I then proceeded to stitch one side of the black bias to the muslin. After that I placed the rest in a sandwich of a backing and batting. and stitched the other side of the bias. Then I built the rest of the quilt, with the sashing on all sides. The reason I didn't sew the whole quilt top at once was the difficulty of stitching all those black bias lines with all that sashing fabric my tiny domestic machine.
Once the sashing was in place, I sandwiched the rest of the quilt with the backing and began to machine quilt. I wanted a message Lucy could read on her bed, so I tried to sew that message in the blue part of the sashing,

If you look carefully, you can see the writing in amongst the bubble quilting. It says: "I'm trying to be like Jesus"  The other sayings around the picture say "Read your Scriptures, Go to Church, Say your Prayers", suggesting that these are ways to become more like Jesus. You can see my blog on the process and the rest of the quilt in this post.

After six hours of quilting, I realized that these sayings just didn't show. I was so disappointed, but I wasn't going to let this stop me, because the baptism was only hours away. So I took a crayon and colored the letters, then took a paper towel and heat set the crayon.

I had a bit of a break between the next baptisms. But the next year, I had two more baptisms, this time not a week apart, but six months. To my horror, I had filed away that pattern in a VERY safe place and could NOT find it! So I proceeded to make another pattern of Jesus and John the Baptist.

I added more colors to this one. It was way more complicated, so to rescue me from 6 hours of quilting, I cut out the letters this time and appliqued them onto the quilt.
I think this one turned out better, and maybe it was a blessing in disguise to have lost the original pattern.

I did the same procedure as the original, quilting the center panel before adding all the rest of the sashing and backing.

The final quilt I just completed in December was another Stained Glass. I purchased this pattern online. I pretty much copied the colors, but I think my background really made it pop.

This was a much simpler stained glass quilt to  make because the pieces are so much larger.

I hope my grand children think of Jesus as they look at the gift I have given them. That is my purpose in making these. I will be making another one of the Jesus and John the Baptist quilts and because the next child to be baptized will be the first boy in his family. The other one will be the fourth girl in my first son's family. I have yet to design this one. I'm thinking Christ and the little children picture. There are several pictures out there that I love, but I haven't started designing it. I'm also thinking of the Christus Statue surrounded by the universe and planets

This is probably a long enough post. But I wanted to add one name that has really changed my life. That would be Sharon Schamber. She is a Master Quilter from Payson Arizona. She has won many quilting contests, and the first quilts she did for years were quilted on a domestic machine. She said she would have continued to quilt on the domestic machine but she has a condition which causes her hands to tremor

She has many videos online, but two of my most favorites that have changed the way I quilt are the one on basting and the one on joining pieces together.

The basting one makes it so much easier to machine quilt on your domestic machine. She recommends you baste with 2 strands of DMC embroidery floss. It has made all the difference in handling the quilt. And the two pieces stick together through all kinds of handling.

The other video on joining pieces together teaches you to glue your pieces together with school glue. She has you put on a special tip to make the glue line very fine. Then you press your two pieces. School glue is just starch, so when you wash the quilt, the glue washes out. It has made the sewing process so much easier because nothing shifts like it would with pins.

As I began this quilting journey, I had no idea what I was doing. I began searching online for helps and basically spent five years watching videos and learning from blogs on how to quilt. Most people around here either pay someone to machine quilt all their quilts or they own their own longarm machines. I can't afford either, which led me to the internet to search for helps. I am grateful for people who are kind enough to share their talent and tips.

I hope my humble blog helps you in some way. I'd love to hear from you who visit me.

Thanks Geta for linking us all together.


Sailor said...

Hi Dear Friend,
That was a wonderful post. It must be even more wonderful for the quilters, but I enjoyed looking at the quilts that you put so much care and love into. You are a special mom and grandma, and I'm glad you are the mom of my kids and grandma of their kids. It has been a fun ride. ML, Dave

Scrapatches said...

Thanks for all the ideas and links. Your quilts are beautiful ... :) Pat

Emily C said...

Wow, those stained glass quilts are awesome.

Geta Grama said...

Annie, thank you for liking to Quilter's Favorites and sharing your beautiful stained glass quilts.

Brenda said...

What beautiful quilts and a wonderful story! You are doing a great thing by making the grandkids these special quilts!
hulseybg at gmail dot com

KatieQ said...

Thank you for sharing the story of your beautiful quilts. I'm sure your grandchildren treasure them.

Alexandra said...

This is beautiful, your stained glass quilts are amazing! I really love that you found inspiration in religious scenes! Thank you for sharing all these wonders with us!

Calicojoan said...

Beautiful quilts and story. Your creating some very special memories!

Karen in Breezy Point said...

Good tips and a wonderful quilt story!

Debbie said...

Beautiful and good tips. Thanks.

Carol said...

I'm amazed by the process and the finished quilts are wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

Jodi - usairdoll said...

Great post! Your quilrs are beautiful! I've made one stained glass quilt, they make lovely quilts. Thanks for sharing about what you do.

Pieced Brain Quilt Designs said...

Beautiful quilt! Thanks for the tips...

Silvia said...

Thanks for sharing your tips on Geta's party!

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Anonymous said...

Hello sweet fiend - Oh may goodness this was very interesting post and filled with info.. thanks so much.. I am still in awe over the baptism quilt- totally a blessing for the lucky one..


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