Mettler Polysheen

I really like to quilt with the shiny polyester threads. I think most of these are called trilobal polyester.

I have been buying plenty of beautiful threads from Superior Threads, but it's much more appealing to buy threads in person. There are two places in my nearby big city (30 min. drive) that sell Mettler brand thread. So far I am not a fan of their cotton quilting thread, but the Polysheen is nice stuff.

It comes in a ton of colors, solids mostly, but there are plenty of varigated colors too. It's the perfect thickness for background fills but not too tiny for other work.

The only problem so far is the small spool size it usually comes in; 220 yds. If you wind three full bobbins, you will come to the end of the spool after stitching maybe 12 inches. Good thing I have another spool in the same color! My husband has given me the directive to buy at least 3 spools of the same color when I buy it. One store does carry it in the 875 yd. spools.

I need to sit down and do a price comparison of all the threads I like sometime.

Off to stitch!

I'm a Big Shot!

OK, maybe not, but I now have one. A Sizzix brand Big Shot Die cutter.

I am so stinking excited! But alas, I bought it to help cut applique shapes for fusible applique and I ran out of fusible web a mere 15 hours before it's arrival. So right now, it's quiet time here and I'm unpacking the machine and it's 3 dies in relative peace (one of the children is not to sure of the meaning of quiet.) and might just use some paper to play with and then, by golly, I'm loading the kids up and we're going to the city for some Wonder Under!

Painting a Quilt -Part 2

I am having a ton of fun with painting quilt sandwiches that I have already quilted a picture onto. It is easy and quick, and truth be told, I am a horrible piecer so this is right up my alley. I had to stop working on my Joyful quilt so that I could make a small piece to test wash. The fuschia flower above is my test piece and I've already washed it! It held up beautifully. I am itching to get back to painting the bigger piece, but this project is nicely portable, and on Friday I am having a meeting of my "Works of our Hands" group at church. This is a group I started as a fellowship of crafty ladies to chat and work with our hands on a creative endeavor. I'm planning on doing the painting there instead of doing something stitchy; less stuff to take.
I am using Delta Ceramacoat textile medium and Dewent Inktense pencils. I was first inspired by Irena Bluhm's method, but actually took up the "Colourque" method. A Google search will yield plenty of info on both of these methods.

And I am so happy that these pieces are on my newly installed design wall in my revamped sewing room!

Anybody else think I should redo the bulgy line of the bird's rear area?

Painting a Quilt

I am painting a quilt today and it is looking great! I am using colored pencils and textile medium. So far my only complaint is that the surface ends up pretty stiff, though this is going to go on the wall, so it's not a big issue. I was going to just make a little sample piece to try this on but I got carried away. I was intending on washing this piece to see how the color holds up, but now I'm afraid to! Pictures to come later today, I hope.

At the Quilt Retreat

I am so glad I signed up for my first quilting retreat! It was the most fun I have had in a room full of strangers in I don't know when. Of course, they were all quilters, so I'm not sure they qualify as strangers, in fact, I actually sort of knew one of them just from seeing her around town. The ladies in the picture below were my table mates and while they agreed to the picture, I didn't tell them about my blog so pics are at a minimum.
See that beautiful machine right there with all the sticky notes on it? That's mine and I'm loving it! (The notes say things like: Straight stitch plate ON, and my needle size and such) See that black thing with the neon green feathers? I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it is my handiwork. I'm not sure who this person is that is making these quilts through me, 'cause she likes bright colors and contemporary quilts while I am a traditionalist and wear pastel or muted colors. The machine behind mine is a Pfaff, and I admit to liking it too. It has more arm space for about the same price, but I had heard a bunch of negative comments online about Pfaffs so I didn't even look at them before I got my machine.
Above is the spread of food they had catered for us. There was a lot of it and it was good! Though I was so happy to get away for 12.5 hours (yes, from 9:30am to 10pm) they could have ordered in pizza or told me to pack a lunch! This was their first all day retreat the shop had offered, so it was a learning experience for us all and it sounds like all the ladies attending loved it. I don't know if I can make a habit of going, but I'd sure like to.

My hubby was asleep by the time I got back home, poor guy, recovering from chemo and watching the baby all day. I was so excited from the experience that I went over to my neighbor's house (I think she may have been staying up just to talk to me--sweet, wonderful lady) to ramble on about the day.

I was the only one not piecing or appliquing something. Everybody oohed and ahhed over my free-moting quilting and I think finally I might just believe them when they say I have a talent or something. Up til now, I've felt like this is easy, if I can do it anyone can do it, you just have to be brave and try. I mentioned several times that I couldn't piece or intricately applique like the rest of them though. There were at least 2 long-arm owners there, possibly 4 from the comments that were made. One said "I didn't think you could do that on a sewing machine." The other responded, "I can't do that on my long-arm!"

Wait until you see what my fabulous hubby made for me.....