Friday, January 30, 2015

Joan's Oranges...

Joan first came to Spruce It Up last summer with her sister who had convinced Joan it was time to finish this project. You see, it was a long time in the making. Don't we all have WIPs (works in progress) hidden somewhere? I know I do and some of mine are older than this one! :(

Joan needed some fabrics to match in order to finish this top. This was her first quilt... she is a stickler for details, a common trait among computer programmers so it's no surprise that the piecing is perfect. 

It was fun to see some of these prints with which I was quite familiar. Joan quilted the Easy Peasy pantograph using FilTec's Glide in Bronze color, a bright shade of orange and used 80-20 batting...

She mastered pantograph quilting quickly; besides great concentration, she had good control and smooth moves. A death grip on Lolah is hard to miss... we all do it... why? perhaps we're afraid of letting Lolah go her own way, perhaps we feel the need to hang on for dear life, but she really doesn't need such a tight grip... I promise you can move her with one finger or perhaps one hand. Easily!

It's always interesting to watch the progress from the first row of stitching, to watch the curves become rounder, the points sharper. By the time the quilt is done, you realize: HEY... I did it!!! And it looks great! Forgotten are those times when you said OOPS... can you find them? Perhaps YOU can but it's not necessary to point them out.

After all, we aren't perfect... Friends will look at the quilt and say: Great JOB!!

The feeling of accomplishment at doing it yourself is a powerful "drug"! 

This is a lovely quilt; Joan you did some amazing work; just the binding to do and you can call this WIP done! 

How cool is that??



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Next Day... Lise returns!

Lise returned the next day to work on her very first quilt, a Hunter Star! She chose this one as her first quilting experience in a class at the Fabric Cupboard taught by Patti Paddock. It's big... 90 X 110" as we will discover!

Lise chose Chantilly Lace for her pantograph, and King Tut #986 which is a blue and yellow variegated thread. The quilt was loaded vertically.

The pattern turned out to be an easy one for Lise; she has great control of Lolah and quilts at a steady speed. Lolah likes that.

Hollie was on hand to help out. We both love to watch the progress on a quilt... We're there to "spot" throughout the day. Spotting involves helping advance the quilt, monitoring the beginning and ending of the rows to make sure the fabric of the top doesn't get turned, tucked, or puckered; we watch for tension issues, both in thread and quilt layers. Extra fullness in certain blocks is dealt with by using what we call "can of beans" treatment where the spotter applies a little pressure on both sides of the needle.

There was no need for the can of beans on this quilt; this was an accurately pieced quilt... it lay flat and square! 

Did I say it was a BIG quilt? 90"X110"... Chantilly Lace might be a 6" pattern but the repeat is only 4 inches because each pass nestles into the previous row. We used a chalkboard to count the rows for bobbin changes... it took 27 passes and 9 bobbins...

It was close to the last passes that Hollie came in from sewing on the porch and asked how big was the quilt. It was then that I realized the backing wouldn't be long enough! OH MY!!! You see, Lise had purchased the backing before Christmas and we didn't measure the top when she arrived. What to do??

Well we removed the red snappers from the belly bar. We were lucky to have more of the same backing so I cut off a 10" piece...

we pinned right sides together adding the new piece to the underside of the backing matching the selvage edges...

Then we sewed in stops and starts along the edge moving Lolah a little at a time...

It was a group effort...

Once sewn, we trimmed off the selvage edge and reloaded. It delayed the finish by perhaps 20-30 mins. 

and what a finish...

Hollie took the photos... can you tell it was during the hockey championship??

What a gorgeous quilt Lise! You did an amazing job quilting this beauty.

Lise has since bound the quilt and informs us that the extra backing added fit inside the binding and doesn't show! Now that was close! It's an experience we don't want to have happen but if it does, it's good to know how to do it.

Spruce It Up Quilt Shop January Sale is over. Thank you all for your support and encouragement! It was a great week to meet new people and see some great friends. We didn't EMPTY the shelves but they are quite a bit lighter. 

DH has been busy emptying the van trailers and moving the contents to the barn storage. Once there's heat in the building (new thermostat installed yesterday and working!) he'll be working on some new shelves for Lolah's room.

Look for some new fabrics... 64 bolts are awaiting those shelves... perhaps we'll add a few bolts here and there!

Did you notice something new on the side bar of the blog?? We have registered for the 2015 Row By Row Experience! Look for more information soon as we develop our pattern and prepare the sample. 



Monday, January 19, 2015

New Year! New Lolah Friend! SALE SALE SALE!


Lolah got a visit on Jan 2nd from Lise and they quickly became friends. Lise brought her Lucky Stars with her, a pattern by Anderson Designs. This was a Fabric Cupboard Spring 2014 Retreat project all done in Moda fat quarters. And what a beauty! 

Just as she was getting started, several of her friends showed up at the shop; Annette, Janita and Hélène.

Hollie was here also; she's a great asset to the shop as she loves fabric, designs beautiful quilts, loves to learn all there is to know about Lolah and is never at a loss for wonderful ideas. 

The batting is Hobbs Cotton, Flowers for Haley is her preferred pantograph and FilTec's Glide in Aqua for the thread. This is a big quilt and because of that we loaded her vertically; her backing was pieced in three rows sewn horizontally.

Throughout the day, we marvelled at the beauty of these fabrics... Hollie informed us she had most of these fabrics in her stash too. Now how come this doesn't surprise me? She has a great sense of color and these fabrics would very much appeal to her. A few days later she brought her supply in to show us. Lovely fabrics!

I was impressed by Lise's control of Lolah... she was consistent in speed and very quick to get in the "zone" which is what I call getting your brain in tune with the design. It's hard to explain to those who haven't tried it... you use the line as a guide but quilt the shape that you see. That's the zone! Once you "get there" it's sweet.

It's not a wonder she had such control... Lise holds a 2nd degree black belt in TSURUOKA style Karate which she practices in Cap Pelé. 

Flowers for Haley is a 12" design so the passes are wide but they take a little longer to accomplish. We like to time each row along the way to see how we progress.

I think we figured Lise cut 10 minutes off her first passes by the time she was in the center of the quilt.

This quilt was expertly pieced and it was square which makes this job so much easier.

This is the backing... fresh off the frame!

What a gorgeous quilt Lise! 

A work of art...

Stay tuned for more from Lise!! Oh yes! You'll be impressed when you see her very first quilt!

A reminder to all:


Beat the January Blues SALE!!

Starts today Monday January 19th until Saturday January 24th

ALL FABRICS are on sale!!

Stock up on Christmas fabrics and get a head start to 2015 holiday gift giving!



Sunday, January 11, 2015

Winner is Announced!!!

The WINNER of our first 60-Incentive $20 gift certificate is.....

Josanne Leger

Congratulations Josanne!! 

Remember the 60-Incentive program is going on all year (ending Nov 12th, 2015!) 

For every $60 you spend at Spruce It Up Quilting, you get 1 chance to win (excluding Lolah Time!)

You still have 5 more chances to win... 



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Three more for Hollie!

What can I say! I'm impressed with Hollie's enthusiasm and dedication to her hobby. She arrived with 3 more lap quilts to work on Lolah! She's hard to beat...

Her first quilt of the day was this beautifully pieced scrappy triple Irish chain. First order was to choose the thread and she fell in love with Teaberry Glide by FilTec. You see, she came after Odette had been here to work on the shirt quilt and we know that's the thread Odette used. It turned out to be perfect for this chain. Hollie also brought her own batting for today's quilting.

Again, she wanted the lights off, Christmas music in the background...

This is another quilt that was done in loop-d-loops, her favorite... she really does a terrific job of it.

We were missing a helping hand for the photo taking that day so we improvised...

What a lovely quilt...

she even added some personal touches... a little butterfly here and there!

Number one quilt done, Lolah was prepped for 2 of the same quilts. Hollie's quilting is a business venture and this is one popular design among the summer customers to the craft shop in Murray Corner. 

For these two nautical quilts, she chose FilTec Glide in Sea Green and her own batting and backing.
Friends dropped by for a look and some lessons... some shopping too...

Sally also dropped by... Hollie, Sally and Sharon (you have yet to meet Sharon!) have a history of quilting each other's quilts together when their boys were young. It's wonderful to see such close friends share this wonderful hobby.

I love how she transforms a panel into these awesome jewels!

It was hard to get a good photo of both of the quilts... the color in the photo above is closer to the true color; I really must get that light fixture and the bulb changed. Sorry Hollie! Blame the sun setting too early in December!

A close up of the center panel... how beautiful!

Hollie, you're a hard act to follow. Many will try... can't wait to see the next three! Thank you for your energy!

Have a look at the Show and Tell page for some reveals...

Here's a look at the barn progress... The doors are in on the north side, the plumber and geothermal contractors are nearly done, and the contractor is busy putting up the pine planks on the walls upstairs. We're hoping the electrician will be in soon. Not much else left to do... :)