Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some Long Arm Action Shots

Because my family have been asking to see some pictures of the long arm machine, I finally got some action shots taken today.  As you can see, it fills up the room quite nicely.  This particular quilt is one of my own done ages ago that I am finishing up to give to a friend of mine.  It's 107 inches square and will probably take the entire day to stitch out...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Second Customer Quilt!

Yay for another customer finish!!  Actually, this is another free quilt done for one of my guild ladies.  She happens to be one of the nicest ladies, very generous and friendly to me since I arrived in Australia so I was particularly pleased that my quilting turned out so well on her quilt.  She didn't know who this quilt would be for and wanted the ability to keep it masculine enough for a male so I chose an allover fern design.  I thought this was also fitting in that she is a member of the local garden club so hopefully it suits her as well.  I really like it and feel I did a good job with it, I can't wait to deliver it to her on Tuesday.  I know she will be pleased!
I am up for working on some more tops if anyone out there wants to send them to me!!!  I am only going to be offering edge to edge all over quilting for at least the next year or so because I am confident I can do a good job with that.  And, I am starting out with a very low rate too---all the quilts tops I receive before the New Year I am offering to do for you for just $2.00 per square foot.  Email me at   thequiltingplatypus(at)gmail(dot)com  if you are interested.  I'm likely to be fast too as I am just itching to get quilting:)
By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!  We are in the middle of shearing and when that is all over next week we will have our celebration as well!!! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Charity Quilt

So, in my last post I talked about the quilting group ladies that I used to sew with on a regular basis (before I had the boys) and I wanted to tell you a little bit about the history of this quilt and why it has to do with them.  When I first arrived in Australia nearly 6 years ago now, (!!!!) I had been quilting for only about a year while I was still living in the States.  I didn't have much of a fabric stash and most of what I had was still in Michigan.  I was itching to sew but had little to sew with and no quilt shops close by.  Ha!  Imagine that, no stash!!  The ladies at the quilting group had a cupboard of community fabric that anyone could use and they kindly offered me the use of whatever I wanted.  In addition, my mother-in-law also let me go through her fabric trunk from the days when she used to sew clothes for her own kids.  So, that is how this quilt came to life.  I got the inspiration from one of Kaffe Fassett's earlier quilting books for the pattern.  This quilt is probably full of a mixture of polys and cottons and whatever else I have no idea.  I wouldn't normally do this, but I also felt that everyone should try a true scrap quilt at some point and so I just went for it.  It somehow developed a nautical theme along the way with the anchor fabric I had from my MIL.  So, anyway, it has also served me to be one of my first practice quilts on the long arm.  I thought the anchor pattern fit perfectly for it.

Now, I have given it back to the ladies in my quilting group to use for the local show as a raffle quilt.  Every two years they have a quilt show to raise money for the local old age home.  I hope that by adding my quilt as a raffle they might make a few extra dollars for the cause.  It felt like the right purpose for the quilt as the fabric started from there in the first place!  I actually do like this quilt a lot even though it is a mixture of polyester and cotton, old shirts, etc.  I hope someone enjoys it as much as I do. 

First Customer Quilt

So, I have to tell you that I have plenty to share with you over the next few weeks or so.  I've already started quilting my 7th quilt, five of my own and two as my first customer quilts.  I am trying to sew down bindings as fast as I can so that I can show you all my finished quilts, but you know how that goes!  Very slowly sometimes...  Mind you, depending on whether my boys are in the mood to jump all over me or not, sometimes I can now just be in the room with them while they play instead of constantly running and jumping to them.  So in theory I could spend some time binding down quilts during the day.

Anyway, I am posting some pictures of my very first customer quilt.  This particular one is from a friend who attends the local quilting group that I use to go to more regularly and now just stop in to say hello from time to time.  The ladies from the quilting group are very friendly, mostly an older crowd who are not necessarily the most advanced quilters on the planet (we don't have quilt police in attendance) but who are all amazing sewers.  That is something that I have found here in Australia.  Most women have amazing sewing abilities having grown up sewing clothes or learning from mothers and grandmothers and have a great understanding of it in general.  When it comes to quilting, my ladies are still proficient, just lacking in modern techniques and tastes.  I love to visit with them and to see how they approach quilting even if it is different than the way I go about things.  I am not a discriminating person, I just love for people to do what makes them happy and to have a go at things without fearing what the outcome may be.

So, most of my ladies still hand quilt, a few have tried to quilt on their domestic machines and one lady has tried out free motion quilting this past year.  I offered every lady in my group to have me do one free quilt for each of them.  I am happy to say that some of them are already taking me up on the offer!  Last week I received this quilt top from Caron, who did not think she would ever get this quilt done.  She was no longer interested in finishing this top with hand quilting and thought it would be her opportunity to have this quilt finished.  I picked out this bow edge to edge design to compliment the bouquets wrapped in ribbon in the center panel.  The quilt was not square and it was somewhat challenging to get to lie flat, but I enjoyed the process of learning how to deal with that.  I was quite pleased with the end result.  She was very happy as well as I delivered it to her today!  It was a tad bit messy with the black fabric and the bamboo wadding, but that all came off quite easily.  I was unsure whether or not to trim it for her or to hand it over to her untrimmed.  I left it untrimmed and after I saw her cutting it down with the scissors I showed her how to use a rotary cutting blade!  I love that!  I could happily teach a quilting class, I think--I didn't realize that I have learned so much over these past years!!!

Any Australians game to have a go and send their quilt tops to me?  I am offering Extremely affordable pricing for edge to edge quilting and very likely to get it finished before Christmas.  Leave a comment or send me an email and we can talk:)

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Spotty Dotty Quilt

Ok, so here is a quilt that has been nearly finished for about 3 years now and was started nearly 5 years ago?  All I had left to do on it was to sew down the binding, but somehow that never seemed to get done!!  It was also the last of my "almost done but need to sew down the binding yet" stack.  I thought that I better catch up with that since I will have a huge stack of new "just need to do the binding stack" soon.  This particular quilt I actually had sent out to a long arm quilter who did this lovely all over bubble quilting design on it.  I wanted to have her keep in theme with the endless dots on it.  I was originally inspired to make this quilt from one of Kaffe Fassett's earliest quilting books.  He made one using 30's prints, mine was made with Judie Rothermel Civil War fabrics from a line I think was called Scrappy Dots?  Not everyone loves Civil War prints, but I do have a great appreciation for them.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Swaps Received and First Long Arm Quilt Quilted!!

Ok, to say that I have been busy lately could possibly be an understatement. Last Tuesday the machine was delivered, we witnessed an actual live tornado while unpacking the machine.  Thank goodness no one was hurt but it did take the roof of one ladies house in town and ripped up some trees.  Then, it was training training training all day Tuesday and all day Wednesday until my brain was so full I thought it might possibly pop.  Both boys have been sick, including rushing Alexander to the doctor's office this morning after throwing up three times.  I've also been concerned because he is starting to develop some asthma.  We will probably try him on some non-steroidal preventives soon and see if they help.  We are also at full speed here on the farm--shearing next week.  Yikes!  I can't wait for things to slow down a bit...

But, today I received not just one but two swap items!!!  The top one (from the SewHappyGeek Wallhanging Swap) is from Shannon who was participating in her first swap!  Ok, so I don't have feel I need to elaborate how amazing I think this quilt is that she sent me.  The bottom line is that my husband and I are fighting where it gets hung in the house as we both want to have it in our working rooms.  It is definitely something that inspires me to make an art quilt, I don't feel I will have the skills to make such an amazing piece for a long long time yet.  I love it and the picture does not even do it justice.  There is so much more depth in it when you see it in real life.  I particularly love the tree trunk on the right side.  She also sent me a pouch which is an amazing piece of work in itself!  I am the luckiest swap partner!! 

The second swap item was part of the Denyse Schmidt Quilts Doll Quilt Swap and mine was received from Elaine who sent this soothing quilt called "Across the Sea" with some awesome blues and greens.  She also sent a beautiful pouch to go along with the quilt.  I love them both!  Thank you so much.  I am hoping to participate in future doll quilt swaps and have a dedicated wall to hang them all up collage style.  This one will hang in the number one spot as it was my first time doing a doll quilt swap. 

So, I know that there are a couple of people (my dad for one) who is waiting to see some pictures and a post about my new machine.  Hopefully that will come soon and I can show you the machine in action:)  I did have a break down over the weekend, but a call to my dealer and some video Skyping, some elbow grease (not really, just some crawling around in tight spaces and messing around with tools and such) and we had it fixed.  Thank goodness!  I am learning and you can see a picture of my very first finished quilt on the long arm in the third and fourth pictures.  That is my Wonky Cross quilt I made with Urban Chiks fabrics from their Hullabaloo line.  I wanted something a little modern looking so I chose a quilting pantograph called Modern Mayhem.  Like it?  I think it turned out ok for a first go...  Stay tuned for more...

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Day Before...

Ok, so you've seen this part of the room previously, but now I'm going to show you the rest of the room... This is the sitting area/tv entertainment portion of the room.
Here is looking towards the area where the long arm will reside -- tomorrow!!!  Notice the empty shelves on the bottom, I have small toddlers...
This is my treasured sewing area...
I got these bins at Aldi last week as I needed a system to deal with my endless scraps!
Box for rulers and case for thread (at the moment).
Close-up of fabric
View towards future long arm...
View out of sewing room window.  No landscaping yet, but one day...  (soon, I hope--waiting for those grapevines)
One more look---I put up the design wall today (on left side), but still needs attaching to wall.
Ok, so this is by no means finished.  I still have a few more things I want to organize in here.  One more project to do tonight as well, if I have time...  Both boys are sick with flu and now I'm coming down with it as well.  Can't stop sneezing!!!  Could be allergies too as I built this design wall this morning with leftover foam insulation from building the house that was stored in the garage and I think there may have been too much dust near it.   So, tomorrow is the day!!!!  I hope the machine fits.  We'll see, I really am excited:)))))

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Calling All Quilt Angels...

Please read this post here and please let's all send a block and get this quilt made!  It may be just a small thing to do but the little things we do in life do make a difference...

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