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Sisters cropped rectangleWhat a busy two weeks! First the grand opening of our new APQS longarm studio in Cedar Park, Texas for all of our Central Texas clients. Now Quiltcon at the Austin Convention Center – Thursday, February 19th through Sunday February 21st.

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QuiltconPlease come visit us at booth 211. We like to see you and hear your experiences using longarms in unusual ways, from assembling quilts, quilting quilts, to creating quilted fabrics for so many uses. And having fun doing it. We’d love to hear what you think we should be doing, now that we’ve expanded our services for you. Chris and Susan will be there along with a number of experts from the APQS family.

We’ll have 3 APQS longarm machines for you to see and experience.

We were mentioned in the Austin American Statesman article on Quiltcon and modern quilting. We think that’s pretty cool!

See you at Quiltcon?! We hope so!

Terri's Horse Ribbon Quilt

Terri brought us a very packed box of ribbons she and her horse had won over the years and asked that we create a quilted wall hanging from them.  She had already done some research on Pinterest looking for a design but when she walked into our studio and saw a wall hanging we had created a few years ago, she knew she had her design choice.

Each ribbon had to be disassembled from its rosette, cutting through the wires and cardboard that held the winning ribbon together. Using the simple flip and sew method on a foundation of muslin, we set about using as many ribbons as possible in each block.  The challenge came in the ironing; these ribbons are made of acetate and therefore, melt pretty quickly under a hot iron.Center Rosette

Once the quilt top was completed and a simple meander done using our APQS Millennium, we tackled the rosettes. Choosing the biggest one for the center position, we added others to the block intersections and carefully spaced some more in the borders.

Voila, a lovely, colorful, vibrant wall hanging filled with memories of decades of horse competitions. Unfortunately, since Terri had ribbons in her box from 1976, we had to send her home with lots of  leftovers.   She was a very accomplished horse-woman! Maybe there will be another quilt creating challenge in our future.  She surely loved the one we made for her!

Susan

Forever classic

Baptist Fans on a simple striped piece quilt. Loopy figure 8’s on a modern quilt. Each are ‘forever classic’ in their own way. To the maker of the quilt the quilting designs fit perfectly. Although one is a very traditional quilt with a very traditional quilting pattern, once the quilt maker paired it with some shams in her newly decorated room, it looked fresh and up to date.

Baptist FanThe second non-traditional, that is, modern quilt, was made specially to showcase the fabric. (it was commissioned as a way of highlighting a new fabric line). Since the fabric was modern, the design needed to be so too. Loopy eights it was!

Both patterns were executed using our APQS Millennium and the computerized feature, Quilt Path. It’s so delightful to work with high quality fabrics, highly interesting quilt designs and superior tools!

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Lot of excess fabric right where the points come together Lots of excess fabric right where the points come together

What do you do when you are asked to quilt a top that is filled with 30 blocks, each of which creates a C-cup’s worth of extra fabric?   Return it to the customer undone?   Quilted with lots of pleats?   resew each block before quilting in order to make them lay flat?    Or attack them in a brute force way with TOOLS??   We chose the latter.

Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points

The cause of the problem is the lack of ironing of the seams and intersections and well as just a general unevenness of seam construction.  By the way, this is an old ‘found’ quilt, resurrected from an abandoned family truck.   The fabrics are probably from the 1950’s or 1960s.

Mallet, spray starch and iron Mallet, spray starch and iron

Although we tried ironing the entire quilt top, hoping it would eventually lay flat, we had to resort to the heavy hitters of tools and techniques.  Out came to rubber headed mallet, a full bottle of spray starch and the hottest iron possible.   Working from the wrong side, we opened the seams, swirled the points as much as possible, beat the intersection into submission with the mallet, and starched and ironed the heck out of it on the from and back.

A lessened C-cup.  Maybe now barely an A? A lessened C-cup. Maybe now barely an AA?

All that hammering and ironing paid off!   The excess fabric was tamed into submission and now the probability of introducing pleats into the quilting was lessened.    We have not yet quilted the top so I can’t tell you the whole story but we know it will be easier than before we used the tools.

 

Update:  These tools made a difference and we were able to create a really useable quilt with a minimum of lumps and bumps.

Susan

20131203-201814.jpg
Lot of excess fabric right where the points come together Lots of excess fabric right where the points come together

What do you do when you are asked to quilt a top that is filled with 30 blocks, each of which creates a C-cup’s worth of extra fabric?   Return it to the customer undone?   Quilted with lots of pleats?   resew each block before quilting in order to make them lay flat?    Or attack them in a brute force way with TOOLS??   We chose the latter.

Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points

The cause of the problem is the lack of ironing of the seams and intersections and well as just a general unevenness of seam construction.  By the way, this is an old ‘found’ quilt, resurrected from an abandoned family truck.   The fabrics are probably from the 1950’s or 1960s.

Mallet, spray starch and iron Mallet, spray starch and iron

Although we tried ironing the entire quilt top, hoping it would eventually lay flat, we had to resort to the heavy hitters of tools and techniques.  Out came to rubber headed mallet, a full bottle of spray starch and the hottest iron possible.   Working from the wrong side, we opened the seams, swirled the points as much as possible, beat the intersection into submission with the mallet, and starched and ironed the heck out of it on the from and back.

A lessened C-cup.  Maybe now barely an A? A lessened C-cup. Maybe now barely an AA?

All that hammering and ironing paid off!   The excess fabric was tamed into submission and now the probability of introducing pleats into the quilting was lessened.    We have not yet quilted the top so I can’t tell you the whole story but we know it will be easier than before we used the tools.

 

Update:  These tools made a difference and we were able to create a really useable quilt with a minimum of lumps and bumps.

Susan

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Cooper's Cubes

 

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Cooper's Cubes We immediately fell in love with this quilt top. The simplicity of the design, the inventive use of color and the great proportions made this very attractive. But when we heard that it was designed by a 10 year old boy, we were floored. Although his grandma Lynda sewed it together, she did so under his direction.

The batiks were richly combined and made a perfect canvas for some wonderful quilting on the front. But when we discovered that the backing was Minkee, it was even more fun! Using a deep pile fabric on the back allows the bobbin thread to really sink in and make wonderful shadows.

I used my brilliant APQS Quilt Path on my Millennium to quilt it using Anita Shackelford’s design. Modern Snails, which I just love for it’s playfulness and depth.

We learned that Cooper really enjoys manipulating fabric and in particular, shows real talent as a designer. He is someone to watch as he grows up. Remember his name; we may be enjoying his quilts in a few years to come.

Susan

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