Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quilting Petals

I thought I was going the minimalist route on this piece... ie minimum thread on the petals but changed my mind for a couple reasons.... First... this piece unlike my own versions of this magnolia blossom is a friend's personal piece....completely unlike my samples on which I purposely minimize quilting as mine are 'painting' samples. I can use a bit more thread work but I'll try not to quilt the heck out of it. Secondly... the owner of this piece intends to mat it, frame it... and a bit more quilting will show better behind glass. By the way... if you ever frame one of your quilts, IF you can afford it and want the stitching to be viewable, purchase museum glass in the framing process.
So here we go... first simple neutrals (tan,white)
I stalled doing this til the very end of quilting... but kept thinking all along I'd like to add a bit of pastel pink/coral for warmth. I auditioned the thread ... then quilted.
A little was all that was needed.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Must I change that needle???

I am admittedly hopping back and forth on projects depending on which house I am at. I'm prepping a quilting for hire piece at my mountain home. It's a small piece and can easily be done there... So I have a painted by a student piece to quilt with the eventual plan of it being framed for hanging. There is a bit of 'light value work here that I don't want thread to again take center stage so monofilament on top will be my choice to secure all the outer edges of petals of this flower.

BUT... I just finished quilting a piece (using a 70 sharp needle) on the machine to be used here.... so I planned to change the needle to a NEW 70 sharp so little to no evidence of needle holes are noticeable. I thought this would be an opportunity to show the difference of used vs. new... so note that the following pic is a bit larger than life.
It may seem like overkill if one were quilting with 40wt thread or heavier.... but for this effort on a delicate flower... it's definitely worth it.
A few notes about monofilament as top thread..
1. Use a 60 or 70 sharp needle ( 60 is even better/smaller)
2. Lower top tension ( when I have mono in the bobbin too.. my top tension is near ZERO on my Bernina)
as bobbin thread
3. Wind bobbin slower than normal to avoid stretching which can cause breakage when quilting.
4. Don't bother to fill the bobbin 100% full. It's harder to get a full monofilament bobbin in the bobbin case. Besides you have plenty of bobbin thread even when it's half to 2/3 full.
Good Luck.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When You Don't Want Thread Center Stage

I was hopeing I might get to leave the sock monkeys without much more than the securing stitches around the edges, but I should have known better, This first pic. is how the sock monkey's looked when I took the quilt off the long arm where ofcourse the monkeys were perfectly flat and looked great.
A bit of foreshortening here based on the camera angle.

I never wanted thread to compete with the sock monkey material which represents a knitted sock texture. So monofilament will help here.... by using simple wavy lines following the "knitting" pattern.
I think this will do the trick.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mar 26.. A Day of Final Rest

Today..Monday Mar 26th, my hubby's Mom will be laid to rest. After a long life and the last few years of physical hardship, Earline Hughes passed away last Tuesday.

Seen above in better times, Earline leaves 2 grown sons. My hubby Ray , the eldest, has been a loyal and loving son managing her care, spirit, and finances for years. Every mother should be so lucky to have a son like Ray.

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day--and not only me, but also to all those who have longed for his appearing." 2 Timothy 4 6-8

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm a Monkey Quilting Fool!!!

Sometimes we just get too many things on our plates. I showed my (to be gifted) sock monkey 'top' just finished a couple weeks back. Now it also needs quilting. I got it loaded on my longarm before I left for The Beaumont Texas Guild I just returned from.... now to get with it. I need to get this DONE so am not spending tons of time coming up with wholly creative quilting patterns. I plan to fill the open space within the 9 different sock monkey blocks with a whimsical leaf and meandered circle fill.
I must admit I love this little monkey dude.

I will use hanging leaf /vine strands in sashing and in border. Since I'm not stenciling... I first doodle the leafy plans on paper to get the feel of the pattern. If I can easily do it on paper, I can do it on fabric. By the way... I lay this paper pattern on the quilt top for quick reference /reminders as I work. Sometimes I space out and need a reminder of the plan. The ONLY marking I did on this piece is a straight line ( an air disappearing purple marker) right down the middle of sashing and border. Helps keep things.. STRAIGHT!!!!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Binding with a Tucked in Message

After an evening and morning, "The Wild Life" panel is all quilted Yeah. I had a graphic fabric with every color in the world in my stash and it made for a colorful binding so thanks to some TV time last night... the binding is done with a little extra something sewn in the binding seam. A friend (Wendy Price) has a small business selling binding tags with all kinds of special messages. In this quilt, I added a tag on the back in the backside binding seam... 'sayin Sweet Dreams"
There are many choices... some shown on photo for a closeup. Our philanthropy friends group is ordering a bunch of "Somebody Cares" tags for veteran quilts.
I often see little packets of these tags at quilt shop checkout counters. Click here to go to
All done but the Baby's arrival!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh..Baby Baby "The Wild Life" by Hoffman of California

Here's the story... You're in a shop, see a really cute panel and think, I could quilt that up in no time. So home from a Montana trip I came with this piece perfect for a gift. What I didn't consider when purchasing is that every single image is so different and unless I was just doing a stitch in the ditch look, I had some mental and physical quilting time ahead of me. But this was fun.... I did chose a variegated cool medium to light blue thread for the center of the quilt.
I purposely stayed off the printed black lines that outline every image. It dispersed the quilting a bit within each block too.
There are too many cute images to show.I liked this zebra.
I switched to a smoke monofilament for the all around alphabet border. I just didn't want to see any thread here.
I photographed this with the selvage still on in case this looked like something you'd like. The panel came from The Quilting Hen... a full service web store in Carter, Montana. Click here to go to
Now to bind!!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quickie Baby Gift Project

I know , I know I am an art quilter and this isn't in that vein at all... but I saw this is a shop in Texas and thought it was a great baby shower gift to go with the other things I am planning for an upcoming arrival. Check out the clever use of a diaper as a 'burp' cloth.
The one above was bits and pieces of colorful scraps pieced together, then stitched down the 'thick' center channel of the diaper. In the case above... the maker rotary 'pinked' the long edges and stitched them down with a colorful rick rack.

New diapers are less than $1.50 in 10 packs so I'll make a bunch and plan to use fabrics and rick racks I already had 'stashed.'
First the only time in this diapers life... it will be pressed it flat.
Then comes a piece of fabric (I chose preshrunk flannel).. cut 5 1/2 inch wide by 1 inch longer than the diaper.
Fold and press to the back side 1/2 inch on both sides and ends.
Flip over to have right side up.. pin additions of any embellishment in place and prepare to stitch. This bargain table soft rick rack is perfect for a baby's face.
These are so cute.... I had a couple types of flannel so used both.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Incredible Muchas by Joyce Saia

(Gosh I hope I spelled Joyce's name correctly)... An absolute treat was offered me after class on Friday. Cathy Lempa took me to the home of guild member Joyce Saia for a private trunk show of her some 23 interpretations of Alfonso Muchas circa 1900 work. WOW... just WOW!!! Over the years Joyce's art quilts have won many awards including Sulky's National Grand prize, a Bernina competition, and countless others I'm sure. Her street address alone suggested even before arrival that this might be a spectacular visit. Joyce's home is on Avenue of the Oaks in Beaumont, TX.
Joyce has been doing these for many years creating one or 2 per year. Photos alone cannot begin to show the incredible detail in Joyce's work She has sooooo creatively used fabrics and embellishments. Her work is sheer perfection.
and this is "Ruby"...
Joyce is most inventive..
Click on photos for closer view.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beaumont's Golden Triangle

Traveling into town knowing that I had arrived a bit early, my car somehow on it's own found it's way to "The Fabric Store" in Nederland, TX.
Very friendly employees were working that day and I had a great visit.
I was intrigued by these clever uses of strip sewing.
LOVE this quilt!!!
One more...

The Golden Triangle Guild is loaded with gracious and talented quilters. Mighty sweet visit. The one photo here is from their show and tell.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Home To Being Snowed Off Our Mountain

What strange weather patterns we are having. Finally home from Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas with great memories. 2 days of travel, 2 lectures, 2 classes, MUCH visiting, and resulting great artwork by students.
Was a bit like visiting my roots of Oklahoma. First day of travel from Houston Airport to Beaumont found me at a roadside cafe for a late lunch. There I was seated by Elrena Fontenot , a maybe 80 something BEAUTIFUL woman I swear must be a an unknown distant relative. She made me so comfortable, sounded so much like my Okie family speaks, that she brought me to happy tears. So... we took one picture but the camera was set on closeup so enjoy the blur... I bet you can see her great spirit through the fuzzy image.
Eldrena MADE MY DAY!
Thought you might also enjoy this little " Think You Can Speak Southern Test " I came across on this trip...
Match the correct numbered phrase to the alpha labeled phrase
1. As easy as sliding off a greasy log backward
2. Be like the old lady that fell out of the wagon.
3. Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then
4. Go to bed with the chickens
5. Too big for one's britches.

A. Mind your own business
B. Go to bed early
C. It's really really easy
D. Eventually everyone gets lucky
E. Too cool for school

Kind of fun..... ;-)

Answers (1c 2a 3d 4b 5e )

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Heading To A BIG fire hydrant

On my way tomorrow a.m. to Golden Triangle Guild of Beaumont Texas, also the home of the worlds largest fire hydrant and happiest canines.
Texans have a good sense of humor!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Range King of Montana

A wonderful note and pic follows from my recent Hi Line Quilt Guild (Havre, Montana) retreat. Artist Brenda Yirsa attacked this media like a duck to water and created her "Range King" portrait of her a neighbors animal. Cool Dude, eh? She has finished the quilt (added Kudos) and was kind enough to share. Yahoo! I love it Brenda..

(c) click on image for closeup view

Brenda wrote:
Hi Patt:
I am taking my 'Range King' to the Western Masters Art Show and Sale in Great Falls next week and thought you might like seeing how he turned out. I am pleased.
Brenda Yirsa

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mar 16 - 18 Something Cool For Free

In late 2009, I had the honor of filming with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson for a segment of "The Quilt" Now Ricky and Alex are offering free viewing of many of the past segments. Here are the words coming from TQS.

Big news here! In honor of International Quilt Day (March 17, 2012), TQS will "open" all of our shows from the first nine series--that is, from show 100 through show 913--for the entire weekend of March 16 –18. That means that everyone will have the chance to view these 117 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE. (note from Patt: my episode is number 510)

It's a great gift you will want to take advantage of.

This is a win-win-win situation for us all. We at TQS hope that new viewers will like what they see and sign on for the current (series 1000) and future series. Finally, and most importantly of all, the entire worldwide quilting community will have the opportunity to experience three days of learning and fun without leaving their homes…all for free.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Some Traditional Stuff in Tehachapi

When I travel to Sedona each May (I can hardly wait), I do so with lots of 'stuff' to paint and quilt... but when traveling with my hubby as with this trip, I travel lighter and take advantage of that time to catch up on UFOs from family and friend projects.
First project to get to a completed quilt top stage is a sock monkey quilt. This actually is pretty fun. These 2 look so happy.
I had several of the individual blocks done before arriving, so I needed to create 3 more, this being one of them
I liked the variety of block and monkey sizes.
Now all pieced together..yeah! Backing and quilting yet to come.
I took a small license with the original pattern but not much. It's a great pattern covered in a book titled "Sock Monkey Quilt" by Cindi Jo.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Outside My Tehachapi

I know it seems odd... I just got home from the cold and wind of Northern, Montana, so why would I again travel. Frankly, I needed some down time so am using some unused timeshare banked time for a visit to Stallion Springs Seasons Resort in Cummings Valley in Tehachapi, California. What a lovely place to visit and be. Our unit overlooks an open area landscape including a lake, golf course, and a virtual 2000 year old forest of California Live Oaks. At 4200 ft. elevation, snow and frost is not uncommon in winter. This view in early morning is both beautiful and a bit eerie.
This is a view from my bedroom window: I'm told the oldest of the Oaks within this forest is no more than 500 years of age though the forest continues to grow and regenerate. The Oak limbs/branches are incredibly interesting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Old Town Charm in Fort Benton, Montana

Alas....en route from Havre to Great Falls, Montana, we made a side trip to the small historic and fascinating town of Fort Benton, Montana. This town and the Grand Union Hotel (built in 1882) resides beside the slow moving Missouri River ( yep in Montana) .
Fort Benton is an area where Lewis and Clark laid over a winter. Indeed a place of history and this hotel is beautifully restored. A grand piano welcomes guests at the front lobby. There are 26 reasonably priced luxury rooms in upper floors, some of which overlook the grand Missouri River.

Old world dining and modern day brews are available from the bar directly adjacent to the dining room.

and finally, before leaving town for the airport.... a visit to the towns pharmacy/gift /fabric /art/ hardware store revealed a lovely assortment of flat fold fabric at (believe it) $5.00 a yard. Ofcourse a bit came home with me.