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Posted in Batting, Quilt Stories, Quilting, Threads, Uncategorized

“Quilt As Desired”

 So you’ve finished your quilt top.  And the last line in your pattern says – “Quilt as desired. Bind. Enjoy!”  

“Quilt as Desired.” – I remember finishing my first quilt and those were the dreaded final words in the pattern.  What did that mean?  I didn’t know what I desired or what would look good, let alone how to quilt this top.  Geezzz…  That was over 18 years ago and I’ve been helping quilters with “Quilt as Desired” ever since!

I provide customized, freehand quilting.  That means I’m  drawing on your quilt with a needle and thread, using a huge machine. My longarm machine quilting is not computerized. I quilt freehand using designs  which I’ve  developed over the past 18 years.

You’ve decided to have your quilt top quilted – what’s next?

  • Schedule an appointment. Call (814 883 8708) or email me (barbara@alleycatquiltworks.com)
  •  My shop is in downtown Victorian Bellefonte, near the Centre County Courthouse at 107 East High Street.
  •  We’ll need about 30 minutes.

 How to prepare for our appointment.

• Bring your quilt top, batting and backing you have for this project. No need to baste them together.  You can also use the batting I have on hand. (I carry several types of Quilter’s Dream batting).

• What do you have in mind for how you want the finished quilt to look?

• How will the quilt be used? Is it a gift?

• What is your budget?

 At your appointment, we’ll discuss:

• How the quilt will be used and what you want it to look like. Is it a wedding gift? Or for a special someone heading to college?  For your bed?

• Your budget.

Based on those answers, I’ll recommend:

• A quilting design. These range from light quilting to custom designs for the quilt body, borders, and sashing.

• Thread color. I use high-quality threads designed for long-arm quilting machines. You may want a color that either blends with the colors of the top,  contrasts or accents certain elements . I will help you decide.

• When you leave – you’ll know what quilting design we will be using, which batting and thread and the exact cost. I will call you if there are any changes (which rarely happens).

 Here’s a link for more info:

http://www.alleycatquiltworks.com/quilting.htm

 Not to worry if this all seems a little overwhelming. I’ll guide you through the entire process

I’ll call you when your quilt is finished to set up a convenient time to pick it up.  Take it home and enjoy your new quilt!

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Posted in classes, Piecing, Quilting, Studio 180 Design tools and techniques, Uncategorized

It’s always the last one………

I bought 26 fat quarters of Alison Glass Chroma fabric to use for my next project.  Yummy, right?

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And then the dilemma.  I need background fabric.  Lots of background fabric.  Do I choose white – safe but not a wow background?  Maybe black – I always default to black.  Tried both and blah, nothing exciting there.

So off I go to see Cynthia at Stitch Your Art Out for some inspiration.  We spent an hour trying various shades of blue, yellow, and gray.  Nope – all were ok but not “it”.  Then Cynthia pulled a beautiful dark brown and it looked great with the fabrics.  Made them pop and I liked it.  We continued to try a few repeats just to make sure brown was the one.

And then Cynthia said –  “Let’s just see how this purple looks.”

WOW!  I knew right away that was it!

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Here are some of my blocks so far:

Bubble Gumblock 1

Boutique Shimmerblock 2

Babbling Blueblock

Thanks, Cynthia for helping me choose a not boring background!  More blocks to come!

Do you have a go-to background or do you like to try lots of fabrics before deciding?

Happy Fall!

Barbara

 

 

 

Posted in classes, Piecing, Quilting, Studio 180 Design tools and techniques, Teaching, Uncategorized

Four Patches

Four-patches look like the simplest piece to make, right?

But getting them to be perfect isn’t all that easy.

Even after careful cutting, stitching and pressing, these units may not quite line up. That can be frustrating.

I’ve probably sewn thousands of four-patches over the years, and the truth is mine weren’t always spot on.

In fact, they were always a little wonky. But I was able to make them work by lining them up with the trimmed V-Block (or whatever) unit I was stitching it to.

When this tool was first introduced I wasn’t convinced that most quilters would need it. Then I started using the right tool for the job and it made a huge difference for me.

The Four Patch Square Up Ruler works like all the Studio 180 Design tools: You’ll make the piece a little bit bigger than needed, then trim it to perfection with the tool.

Here is what my four patches looked like before. Not quite big enough and not quite square.

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Here is what my four patches have looked like ever since I started using the Four Patch Square Up Ruler every time I make a four-patch.

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Being a little off here and there is no big deal. But if everything is off, all those mistakes start to snowball. After all that time, effort and money, the last thing you want is to be unhappy with your finished project.

Everything won’t always be perfect, but this tool is going to get you pretty darn close.

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GALAXY is a class favorite and one of my favorite quilts!  I love a quilt that looks difficult to make and it’s not!  Many Four Patches and V-Blocks create this stunning quilt!  And there’s no curved piecing! Would you like to have this class at your guild or quilt shop?

All the info is here – CLASS AND LECTURE INFORMATION

Have you used the Four Patch Square Up tool?  Do you struggle to get those
Four Patches perfect?

Until next time –

Barbara