Friday, June 11, 2010

My Blog List, and Followers

Detail, OESD design for Mega Hoop

I do have a very short  blog list here.  When I started this blog about a year ago, blundering around in the blogger instructions, I added a few I knew about, and didn't think too much about it.  I like that it is there, that you can see what's going on elsewhere with exciting quilters. 

Although I don't spend a lot of time browsing the internet and other blogs at all, maybe once every month I see what quilt shops are featuring.  Or I might click on one of you Followers, because you have so many fantastic blogs, quilts, activities, as well as lovely information and photos.

Last night I clicked on our Miss Ivory Spring and noted she did a wonderful post about quilting with Aurifil #50 cotton thread and YLI #100 silk thread, my personal favorites for my particular style, but of course not the "only" choices for machine quilting.  Please go to her blog, now on my list at the right, and check out this entry and her beautiful work.  Thanks Ivory Spring, your quilting and designs took my breath away. 

Also related to threads to use, in an upcoming column for American Quilter Magazine I answer a question sent in by a reader about thread weights and style of quilting.  I even devised a chart for you to clip out and save.  I believe it is for the November issue, but will let you know.  Yes, we work way way ahead of publication dates.

Questions arrive all the time about thread.  It is such an important choice for you when quilting, as it determines the look and style of the quilt as much as perhaps the fabric choices and design.  Well, maybe not as much, but it is very important.  That's why there are zillions of threads out there now.  And more on the way.  There is the right thread for every person.

I'll be writing more on threads in the future.  Basically, you need to know what thread weight and color will express the style or mood of a piece the best.  Yes, you do have to get some experience, quilt out some prototypes, buy a bit of thread to experiment.  Believe me, some day even if you don't use a spool for that project, it will come in handy.

Back to my blog, and for some reason, every time I type that word it shows up as "blot" instead, maybe some subconsious thing I have going on, who knows.

Anyway, I was showing my husband my blog last night (he wanted to see Oliver on the book)  on his delightful new laptop, and showed him if you click on the squares by "followers" you get a nice big sample window of all the little personalized icons for each and every one of you.  It is like a patchwork quilt, just beautiful. 

You can scroll through and get a new "quilt" with each click.  It's beautiful, you are all wonderful.  I want to thank all of you for being a "follower" in your very busy lives, and for participating in the comment section.  It keeps things interesting!

Truly this creates an incredible connection, a 'web' of quilters and information for all to share.  Click on any one of you and a new adventure can begin.

Hope you have a great weekend, take some time for quilting if possible.  I love seeing what you are doing.

Keep quilting, your work gets better every day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book is Cat Approved!

Today as I was straightening things up in the bedroom/office, Oliver decided to read Ann Fahl's new book, Dancing with Thread.  When finished he put his "paw of approval" on it, plus I think he loved the colors on the cover, he looks maaaahvelous on these shades.

It's a visually beautiful book, and gets your mind going about new ways to quilt if you are experienced, and for beginners it is an excellent way to learn basics but in a creative way.  Lots of good quilting motifs, but more importantly, how and where to use them.

Ann's style is different from mine, but the methods we use are very similar.  Learn your machine, get the tension right, choose the right batt and needle and thread combo, take your time and let it all flow.  You will love being a free motion machine quilter!

Enjoy these beautiful June days too.  Here in Wisconsin it is one of the prettiest times of the year, everything is green, growing, blooming, reborn.  It uplifts you, and I know it restores our sometimes downtrodden spirits.

Keep quilting!  Your work does get better every day.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ann Fahl's New Book

If you think it is time for a new book about machine quilting on your home machine, then take a look at Dancing with Thread, by Ann Fahl.

Ann gave me a copy awhile back, and I have so enjoyed going through it, especially liking the beautiful photos of her quilts, great detail shots too.

This is a very complete overview of what it takes to put a big quilt in your home machine and do freehand quilting over it with various threads that make the top come alive.  It also describes the process of machine quilting so that you are relaxed and can do your best.

There is a lot of technical info that is helpful too, batts, needles and threads, preparing a quilt, blocking and finishing it.  The projects at the end take you from a beginning level up to doing wonderful work. 

I know sometimes it seems every day a new book on this subject comes out, but I always pick up something new from each author, a design, a problem-soliving tip, inspiration, and Ann comes through for us with this one.  Give it a look.

And keep quilting!  Your work gets better every day.