Posts in Uncategorized

Colorado Quilts Shops and Disneyland

October 26th, 2017 Posted by Business, Design, Uncategorized 1 thought on “Colorado Quilts Shops and Disneyland”

I love to visit new quilt shops here in Colorado. Walking into them always reminds me of walking up Main Street at Disneyland – the thrill of sweet expectations is the same for me – and hey, Disneyland and I are the same age, I grew up in Southern California  and I’ve been to D-land approximately 50 times in my life!

Each quilt store has its own personality and charm. One day several months ago when we first moved to Arvada, CO, my sister and I visited the Golden Quilt Company in Golden. It was a toe tingling experience – Sooooo much vibrant color spilling all over the walls onto the bolts of fabric. I was in Kaffe Fassett heaven! It just made me happy to be there and I had to “touch” everything!

After leaving Golden we drove to Harriet’s Treadle Arts shop in Wheatridge, CO. What a contrast in style! Harriet’s fabrics were traditional and much more muted than what I found in Golden but ooooh, so wonderful, warm and, well, simply charming. Harriet Hargrave has since closed her store and moved to Missouri but I visited her store once or twice a week as she went through the closing process and bought a single yard of many fabrics “just in case” I might need them later.

We have an abundance of GREAT quilt shops in the Denver area and each time I go into one I try to discover the shop’s personality. It’s often easy to see and sometimes easy to feel. Try it for yourself. I can’t guarantee you’ll have a Disneyland experience but you might!!

Let me know your favorite quilt shops to visit and who knows, I just might see you there!

Quilts Without Creases

October 11th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 1 thought on “Quilts Without Creases”

 

Have you ever noticed when you unfold your quilts there are horizontal and vertical creases in the quilt? I have and I don’t like it! I have a customer who makes exquisite quilts who told me there was a way to avoid those creases by folding quilts on the bias, though she did not know the process herself. So, as in all things, I turned to YouTube and found this little video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-waYZSCyOA

I hope this will help you, I’m loving this method!

My Friend at Utah Valley Quilting

October 1st, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “My Friend at Utah Valley Quilting”

Last month I flew to Utah and spent a day working with my longarm mentor, Kerrie Curtis. I met Kerrie several years ago when I visited her home to get a baby quilt quilted. Kerrie and her husband had converted their garage into a quilting studio and had two Gammill Statler Stitchers going almost full-time. On that visit Kerrie took the time to show me around and answered about a million questions about the Gammill and her business. I was totally sold on the idea of becoming a longarm quilter and I told my family, “I want to be like Kerrie when I grow up.”

I returned to Denver and purchased a Gammil Statler Stitcher from Jukebox Quilts in Fort Collins. Just In Time Quilts, LLC, was officially started on July 1, 2015. Since that time I have quilted about 250 quilts and learned SO much about how to use my Gammill and market my business.

As mentioned above, I returned to Utah last month and spent a day with Kerrie. Since first meeting her, Kerrie and her good husband have purchased two more Gammills and moved their business, Utah Valley Quilting, from their garage to a new location in Springville, Utah. The move has greatly increased their space and has allowed Kerrie to open a small quilt store with many lovely fabrics, patterns and kits.

Kerrie picks up quilts every Saturday from two quilts stores in her area and has many, many walk-in customers throughout the week. Her four machines are in constant motion and it is wonderful process to behold! It takes a lot of organization to keep the quilts flowing and she has several women who help her not only run the machines but prep the quilts by cutting the batting to size, pulling the right colored thread, and checking the quilt measurements.

I was only able to work with her for one day but during that day I LEARNED SO MUCH! Since starting Just In Time Quilts, LLC my longarm quilting skills have been mainly self-taught through much trial and error (and unpicking!). Just by observing Kerrie and her team, I learned a new way of loading quilts, how to use the Relocate function on every quilt, some nifty tips on placing borders, that it is OK to speed up the stitching speed, and to always load a quilt the direction that will cover the most space before having to roll the quilt. Each of these techniques speeds up the longarming process and allows me to be a more proficient and professional quilter. THANK YOU KERRIE! I plan to go back to Utah and work with her for 2 or 3 days next month…just think what I will learn!

Kerrie says she “wants to be like Jenny Doan” of Missouri Star Quilts when she grows up which is just fine, I will be happy to be more like Kerrie as she becomes more Jenny-like!

My Uncle’s Quilt

April 4th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “My Uncle’s Quilt”

Several months ago my uncle sent me a quilt top he found in his attic. His wife, my mom’s sister, passed away about two years ago. My aunt made this Grandmother’s Garden quilt top approximately 40 years ago. I asked my uncle when he wanted it completed and he said “just before I die.” Well, fortunately he is in excellent health and I have not been in any rush to finish it. I have it on my Gammill Statler Stitcher but on the extra bar so I can pull it up whenever I have time to work on it. I confess that I’ve only done two rows of the pattern so far BUT I’m content to have it be a work in progress. Here are some pictures of it and I’ll post about it as I continue working.

UPDATE: March 2017.  I finally finished the quilt! I worked on it a little here and a little there and am so HAPPY to say it’s done! It was a work of love – my aunt was very dear to me, she was full of life, vim and vigor (to put it mildly!) – I hope she would be pleased with it. I ended up not binding the quilt but rather faced it, trying my best to preserve the hexagon detail on the edge. Here are some pictures of the finished product.

Additional Stitch Designs

December 15th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Additional Stitch Designs”

Hi there! On my site I have a relatively small amount of stitch designs to choose from, mainly because it would be totally overwhelming if I listed the hundreds that I have on my machine, and because I wanted to show examples of the different design complexities. I feature Anne Bright Designs but there are many other designers to choose from. If you google “quilt digital designs” you will a number of wonderful designers. A few that I really like are dawnasdesignthreads.com, Intelligentquilting.com, Wasatch Quilting at digitizedquiltingpatterns.com, and quiltscomplete.com.

Take time to look at some of these design websites and if you find a stitch pattern you’d like, send me the design name and designer in the Comment section of  my website. If I already have the design, perfect! I’ll use it to stitch your quilt. If I don’t have it, I’ll order it at no cost to you. I’m always looking for fun, new stitch designs!

Starch Anyone?

November 8th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Starch Anyone?”

Hey, I have been quilting for a long time (though apparently mainly “bless your heart” quilts) but every once in a while I realize I really don’t know much! Sure I have my moments of brilliance but they are just moments and getting rarer and rarer by the day) I have a sweet customer who is an absolutely fabulous quilter – really, I’m honored to work on her beautiful quilts. One day not long ago she was in my office and mentioned that she starched her fabric before she cut it out. DING, DING, DING! She explained that starching her fabric made it easier to line her points up and to get real definition in her quarter-inch seams. Many of your probably know this already but it was news (and joyously received) to me! So I tried it.

I went to Wal-Mart and got their cheap liquid starch (Sta-Flo), poured it full-strength into a spray bottle and liberally sprayed the back side of my fabric. I used my hand to smooth the starch around and then hung it on a little drying ladder I have in the office. After about 15 minutes I ironed the fabric with a dry, hot iron. Cover your ironing board or pad with something or you’ll get flakey starch residue on it. The fabric will turn of stiff and board-like which is definitely kind of fun. When you cut your pieces they will continue to be stiff which allows you to sew them together with more precision. The fabric relaxes the more it is manipulated and of course, the starchiness goes away when the fabric is washed.

This obviously adds another step in your quilt making but with more challenging pattern designs it is well worth it!

Just in Time Quilts for Kids

November 4th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Just in Time Quilts for Kids”

Our family has been blessed with beautiful and healthy children and grandchildren. Not all of our grandchildren have come easily but we wouldn’t trade the heartache and challenges for anything because it has exponentially increased our gratitude for the family we have been blessed with. Whether our family continues to grow naturally, through fertility treatments, foster care or adoption, we welcome every sweet child with open and willing arms.

Three of our six children have struggled with fertility and through their journey it has become clear to us that so many children are in need of comfort, a loving home, and someone to believe in them.  As a family we got together and dedicated our family service project to offering a little bit of comfort to children in our local community.  When a child is removed from their home because of abuse, neglect, or a lack of necessary resources, they are often removed by social services and the police.  This is a very scary experience at a fragile time in their lives.  They are given two trash bags to place whatever belongings they can find at the time and are taken to foster families who have committed to offering the child some hope.  We determined that no child should feel like their belongings are trash and when they need a hug the most we want to give it to them.

Each of our grandchildren picked a super soft and comfy fabric that we turned into large cuddle blankets for kids in need.  We partnered with several local charities to make sure these blankets went to those who would love them and who need them the most.   Integrated Family Community Services will distribute these blankets to social workers, police, and families just getting back on their feet.  We know we can’t reach every child in need, but we hope those we can will grow and make an impact on those around them.  We encourage each of you to do all you can to help within your community.  Please share your experiences and let’s work together to spread hope, love, and joy to those who need us most.

If you are interested in donating to children in foster care or homeless shelters please visit any of these organizations we have found in our own search:

Together We Rise

Integrated Family Community Services

Stand Up for Kids

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A Good Hand

September 1st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “A Good Hand”

I’ve found that I am a very tactile person. I love fabric and I can’t stop myself from touching every bolt I come in contact with. A friend at Jukebox Quilts in Fort Collins, CO, explained to me that different fabrics have different “hands.” I guess it’s pretty self-explanatory, but when it comes to cotton quilting fabric you can feel the difference in quality by running your hand across a span of fabric. Some of them feel so creamy and delicious it makes my heart beat faster (OK, I’m a little weird!). Those are the fabrics I love to create my quilts out of. Try it next time you’re in a fabric store and you’ll see what I mean!

Bless your Heart!

August 15th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Bless your Heart!”

Last April I attended a big quilting expo in Salt Lake City and took three classes from Georgia Stull. I learned several new longarm quilting techniques from Georgia and heard her speak of “bless your heart quilts.” Bless your heart quilts are quilts that folks make with lots of love but maybe not lots of precision; the seams may be wonky, points not sharp, or one side is longer than the other. This description made me laugh and nod with understanding.

Often my customers come into my office and apologize for their quilts because they are not perfect. HA! I say, who cares? I tell them that the longarm quilting of their quilt is the frosting on the cake, but it’s not the cake. They took hours and hours of their time to choose a pattern, pick out fabric, cut the quilt pieces, lovingly sew the pieces together, press their tops, choose a backing, and THEN bring it to me to add the stitch design. Their hearts should be blessed for all their efforts! Quilts are touch-able, display-able, cuddle-able little gifts we give to those we love.

 

Comfort in A Time of Need

December 7th, 2015 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Comfort in A Time of Need”

Several months ago a new family moved into our community. They were a young couple, mom and dad and three children ages 5, 4, and 3. We soon learned that the dad had terminal cancer with just months to live. This little family happened to attend our church and so immediately caring church members and community friends looked for ways to help them during this very difficult time. I did not interact with the family very much but was continually impressed by the strength of the young woman who was about to lose her husband and become a single parent. She wrote a blog chronicling their ups and downs, her thoughts and fears, and the family’s gratitude for all that was being done for them. I struggled to think of what I could do that might comfort this little family. I finally determined I would make quilts for the children – just simple ones that would be cuddly and soft. I spoke with a friend who was a closer friend to the family and she suggested I put pictures on the quilts so the kids could remember their daddy when he was gone. With her help we located dozens of pictures and carefully chose which ones to use. My daughter arranged for all the pictures to be printed on fabric and for the next several days I arranged the quilts. Each child’s quilt had 9 pictures on it with sashing in between. I wanted to make sure most of the pictures were of the individual child and dad and a few with siblings and one family picture. I ended up making a larger quilt for the mom with 12 pictures. Her quilt included wedding pictures, pictures of them embracing and pictures of the couple surrounded by family.

Creating these quilts became a mission for me and during this project I grew to know and love this little family. Staring at the pictures as I sewed and quilted I could see the love they had for one another. One picture was of the dad asleep on a recliner with a little bundle of baby sleeping on his chest, another was of him painting his two-year old daughter’s toe nails, and another of his beautiful 5-year-old daughter standing next to him wearing a T-shirt that read “Best Day Ever!”. In the center of each quilt was the same picture of him, smiling, so handsome and sweet, at his little family. He died before all the quilts were done. I attending his funeral sitting in the back of a very crowded church and listened to people speak of someone who had become so dear to me. I had never even spoken to him when he was alive. The friend who had helped gather the pictures actually took the quilts to the new widow and I didn’t see the little family for a few weeks after the funeral. Then on a Sunday when I was leaving church the little mom came up to me and gave me a big hug. We were both sobbing and she told me how much she loved the quilts and how much comfort they brought to her and her children. She said when they sat down to eat dinner all the kids would bring their quilts to the table so daddy to eat with them too, and when they said their prayers the quilts were wrapped around them like a hug from daddy. This was exactly what I had hoped would happen.

I have learned once again that quilts have power to comfort, to warm, to sooth, and in a way, heal.

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