Hexie Hummingbird Quilt Finish!

Hexie Hummingbird Finish

Super excited to share my last quilt finish – the Hexie Hummingbird! This was a super fun project – especially trying to make-do with the fabric I have on hand. It’s a smaller quilt, finishing at 34″ wide x 39″ tall, perfect for a wall hanging.

Hexie Hummingbird Finish

When I last blogged about this project, I was trying to decide on a background fabric to appliqué the Hummingbird to… well, I think I found the best thing hidden in my stash. This is Petals in Violet by Alison Glass, and I think the hand-dyed nature of it makes the Hummingbird look magical. I also thought it was neat to use a hand-dyed fabric for my hand stitching work!

I had a small piece of Tula Pink’s Free Fall backing fabric that just barely covered the back of this piece, it was very dreamy to hand quilt. I only hand-quilted the Hummingbird itself – the background was free-motion-quilted with my Juki. I really loved how the hand quilting made a neat pattern on the back.


The hummingbird idea came to me while I was having cranial sacral work done, and I feel it has a deeper meaning than just an idea for a quilt. I know it’s a sacred totem for certain native tribes, but I do not know what exactly it symbolizes to them. For me, right now, I’m just seeing it as a good sign that I’m on the right path forward – where ever that may lead me.

Finish Closeup

I was able to finish up the binding at our PMQG monthly All-Day-Sew yesterday, which was really fun! I got to meet up with a quilter-fried from Minneapolis who is here visiting – we have many mutual friends, so it was really sweet to catch up. It also felt a little like worlds colliding, talking about people and experiences from years ago, all while happily quilting the day away. It was really grounding for me, and that is a good thing.


Lately, I’ve also been thinking and dreaming of making a yellow quilt, so I recently came up with a new design. At first, I wanted to try to make it monochromatic, but I decided it needed a little grey, white, and cream to make the yellow pop. The design is done and ready to go, but my yellow fabric supply is looking orange. Funny how yellow is… and then isn’t – as soon as you change the shade! I think it’s one of the hardest colors to work with, but I’m plugging forward. More about this quilt to come!




Getting Close To Another Finish!

Earth Energy binding

While it’s been a while since posting, I have been getting a lot of sewing done! I’m very close to my 3rd quilt finish of the year. As soon as this binding is on, and we get some sunshine, I will be taking (and sharing) photos!


Earth Energy binding

I also wanted to share that I have 3 quilts hanging publicly right now… and I’m so thrilled!
First, I had entered two quilts to QuiltCon that were rejected. I had expected as much as my photos were not that great… I was not disappointed either as I understand how these things work. Luckily, Modern Domestic decided to show the quilt rejects from our area, so my quilts get to show publicly anyway… and in a local quilt shop! I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. So if you’re in NE on Alberta and 14th – go check out MD and see my quilts along with some other stunners from our PMQG!
Second, I have one of my small Green Cross Series quilts hanging on display at: Quilt Making: A Modern Practice in Wisconsin at Madison College in the Gallery @ Truax.
I’m very happy to have this quilt in this show… times are certainly changing, and it will be interesting to see how this quilt is received by the public in the Midwest.  There is a reception on January 28th where you can meet some of the quilters.  The show runs until Feb. 19th, if you’re close to Madison – you should go check it out!
I finished the last two quilts in my Green Cross Series, making four smaller Cannabis quilts altogether. Two are spoken for, one is in the show in Madison, and the last one will probably be a gift for one of my friends. I feel good about getting so much done already this year… I hope to share (good) photos soon!

Behind Schedule…

Cannabis Leaf Quilting

You know how sometimes, when you set goals for yourself, and then something happens that pushes back your timeline… ? Yeah… that’s happening to me right now.

I’d figure I’d share since I’m sure this is something we all struggle with.

I’m excited to be working on a few quilts to enter into QuiltCon – it will be the first time I’ve submitted to that show and I’m working hard to finish three quilts to enter. Although, at this point, it might just be two…

Part of my excuse are my teeth. I won’t go into detail (because it’s all so lame and I’m sick of this story) but I have to have some removed so I can live (relatively) pain free again. Dental pain gets you in the head and makes it so you have a hard time thinking straight or expressing yourself, and so I’ve been making all sorts of bad decisions – even in quilting… and it’s dragging out the time necessary to finish my quilts. Uggghh.

In fact, I’ve been working on a series of smaller Green Cross quilts (about 40″x40″) because a few people have requested them… and the first small quilt I made, I made so many bad decisions, I ended up having to pull most of the quilting out and start over… however, I AM enjoying the process of sewing similar improvisational quilts. Look how different these two look:

Green Cross Series #1
Green Cross Series #1
Green Cross Series #2
Green Cross Series #3

… and yes, they both have a leaf quilted into them… just not so obvious.

Cannabis Leaf Quilting
Free Motion Quilting on Juki 2010 – Cannabis Leaf

I plan on two more small Green Cross quilts to add to this series, and I plan to make them all a bit different. Should be interesting 🙂 But I won’t be able to get to those till January probably…

I had another finish last week: a pair of pajama pants for my husband.

pj Pants

I think they came out pretty good – they are a little big on him, but with an elastic waistband, it really doesn’t matter. I used a pair of pants he wears already to try to pattern from. I made a few mistakes, but in the end it all worked out. He loves them. He picked out the fabric when he came to pick me up at Fabric Depot one day… I think he’s found a new affinity towards kitties lately 😉

So now I’m back to work. I have work work to do today – it IS Monday after all. But I’m hoping to get to some quilting this evening, and depending on what I can get done today will determine how many quilts I enter to QuiltCon. Wish me speedy sewing skills 🙂

A Screen Printed Quilt FINISH!

Orbital Spotting Front


Orbital Spotting Front
Finished Front

YAY! I have finished the screen printed quilt! I’m considering calling it “Orbital Spotting” but I’m open to suggestions. *wink wink*

Super happy with this one! I made the blocks based on “Anita’s Arrowheads” technique by Anita Grossman. You cut all your pieces for one block with just a few rotary cuts. It’s a really fun technique – try it out sometime, it makes for nice clean looking blocks with pretty accurate points.

The top sat while I worked on the back. The back actually took way longer to make than the front, but I did use up all my scraps from the front! I even used an older creamy/brown calico-ish type of print to punch up the more modern fabrics. I kind of like the back better than the front… but that’s just me.

Orbital Spotting Back
Finished Back

I worked with my husband on this quilt as a collaboration. He is a screen printer, and he did the decision making as to what to print and where. He used discharge ink which releases the dye of the fabric rather than laying a layer of ink over the fabric. This means that after it’s washed, the printed area is just as soft as the rest of the fabric – and you can iron over it!

Here are some screen printing process pics:

Film positive for printing
“big ring” film. The black of the film is opaque and can block light.
Mixing Discharge Inks
Mixing discharge ink – 3 part chemical process that needs specific measurements
Screen printing screens
Screens are made by using light-sensitive emulsion, opaqued film, and a light source
screen printing onto quilt top
‘pulling ink’ over the stencil or hole in the screen and onto the quilt top

Printing over seams can get messy, and there are a few spots in the printing that are not perfect, but all in all, it came out beautifully! It sat for another long bit while I was saving up for my new Juki 2010Q. Now it’s the first quilt I’ve quilted on my new machine!

It worked so well! I used a walking foot for some parts, then switched to free-motion-quilting for all the fills. I ‘eyeballed’ all the lines – I don’t like taking time to mark up the quilt, and I don’t really care about perfection. As long as it is sewn well and will hold up in the wash, I’m good.

After it was all quilted I had a big decision to make as to what to used for binding… but I found this darker grey Peppered Cotton that I think works so well. It ties all the other colors together – so fun! Now that it’s finished, I can bring it to show and tell at PMQG tonight! Hope to see you there!

Pretty New Machine

New Juki

Oh my. I am in love…

New Juki
My new Juki <3

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently bought a new sewing machine. This is it! It’s a Juki 2010Q and I am really loving it!

It has an automatic needle threader, a thread cutter, knee lift, and needle up/down lock. So many new things to get used to. I think my Singer is getting jealous.

So this is what I’ve been working on the last few days – the quilt in the machine. It’s the screen printed quilt that I’ve been slowly working on for over a year. Now that I have a machine to do free-motion-quilting on… any quilting really -the throat is 9″ wide and tall too – it’s so easy to get a quilt through!

Other than that, I’ve been working on healing a toe that I deeply cut in the shower the other day… I dropped my razor, had my eyes closed to rinse shampoo from my hair, and accidentally stepped on the razor. It was pretty bloody – luckily my daughter was home and patched me up! It’s still pretty sore – so I’m slow moving these days.

So now my toe is all taped up and ready for more sewing – the best part is, is that I’ll have a quilt for show and tell at the next PMQG meeting! YAY! As I’m working on this quilt, I’m thinking of my friend Veronica who I saw at the PMQG All Day Sew yesterday – she was working on a quilt that had some fantastically bright colors in it. I loved it! We were talking about how certain colors can appeal to some and not at all to others. Since we have similar color likes… I think she’ll like my quilt too.

Ygritte – Game of Quilts!

Ygritte Quilt

I recently entered the BadAss Quilters Society‘s quilt challenge called “Game of Quilts”. I finished my quilt last week and sent it in, and now I’m ready to enter my online submission. You can see all the entries here at the Game of Quilts Challenge! Squee! There is even going to be a physical show in Chattanooga Tennessee in September – if you’re close by, check it out!

The challenge had two colorways to choose from in the Peppered Cottons fabric line by Pepper Cory. I chose: “Blood, Stone, Steel and Fire” and received these 4 fat quarters to use in my quilt. The challenge was to use ONLY these 4 fabrics for the quilt front.

I spent a week working on a line drawing. The hardest parts were the facial details, especially the eyes. For inspiration, I referred to a photographic illustration by Ania Mitura and to stills from the show for the facial detailsAfter the drawing was finished, I printed paper templates to use for tracing for each color. I also printed out a scaled guide for placement. I used the paper templates to carefully trace the images onto Wonder-under then started fusing them to the fabrics. The light grey and dark grey were the first two pieces to put together.

Then I put my husband to work and had him screen print the words “you know nothing, Jon Snow” in the upper right corner. The quilt can have up to 20% embellishment added, so this was my ‘bling’. We used a discharge ink process which releases the dye from the fabric – no layer of plastic-y ink! You can even iron directly with no smearing.

Next, it was onto cutting more detailed shapes. I was recently gifted a set of Kai scissors – boy did that help! Thanks Rachel 🙂 Even though I tried really hard to make big, simple areas of fill in the design, they still seemed like very detailed pieces.

Using Wonder-Under was pretty fun… didn’t really feel like quilting, it’s more like fabric collage! It was really easy and now I have a few more projects in mind to put this to use!

Once I got the main red piece down, it was only a matter of placing all the little pieces of the burgundy color in the right places…

I did the face last so I could make sure the piece placement was correct. Just a hair off and it wouldn’t look like her! I stitched a straight-stitch around all the edges.

Once I had the top done, it was onto quilting. I quilted this using matchstick straight lines at the top and more dense lines in the dark red.  I used a squiggly fill for her fur coat. I thought I was done:

But as I was looking at the finished piece, I really felt like the face was just too puffy. In the wrong light, it didn’t really look like her, so I decided to quilt her face as well.

Ygritte – Game of Quilts by: Gail Lizette Weiss

I went super dense… wasn’t my plan at first. I had wanted to quilt in nice contours that helped define the face, but after a few lines of quilting, I started questioning my decision because it was looking puffier and worse than before – so I went off and quilted the shit out of it! I like it better now.

I also made a label for the back…

What do you think? I love the end result! I’m looking forward to getting it back and hanging it in our living room. The Game Of Quilts will open online voting from September 16th – 19th, 2015.  Don’t worry… I’ll remind you 😉

Quick project: Laptop Cover

I’m starting to check things of my “to do” list. I even got to a non-quilting project: a laptop case! One of my best friends wanted me to make her a cover for her laptop using very old felt she had gotten from her grandfather. Thick green felt… and I was clueless as to what to do at first.

I started looking online for a pattern and found a few, but landed on this one by Amy a la Mode. I liked it because it was lined and good for thick fabric.

We have a very similar esthetic, so when I found some orange plaid wool in my scraps, I had to use them somehow and came up with a quick little appliqué flower.

Appliqué test

I fused some interfacing on the back of the fabric to keep the edges from raveling, and sewed them on raw-edge style with a zigzag stitch. My friend really liked this flower so I had a direction to go in, but it still seemed a little bland on the green felt, so I pretended it was a quilt and free-motion-stitched all over:

back of laptop cover

The curly stitching really made it fun and look pretty nice!

front of laptop cover

This is the front – instead of buttons, I used a strip of felt with seam binding on the edges to make a loop for the flap to fold into – I put a couple wool circles on there too – just too cute not to.

This cover is fully lined with more of the green felt, so it is pretty sturdy and thick… AND it fit her laptop perfectly!

Now I can work on some quilting without this little project looking at me all the time. 😉

Time Slip

Wow! I just realized it’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything – Happy Belated New Year!! Lots of things happening, but not much time to write about it all, let’s see if I can recap a little bit.

One great thing I’ve been able to do this month was go to Just Quilting for a longarm class with Nancy Stovall. What fun, I loved it completely. Now that I have a class under my belt, I can rent time on the machine whenever I have a quilt top/back finished!!

Sam Hunter put together a pretty quilt top for charity, and when I said I wanted to practice on the longarm some more, she promptly handed me a bag with that top, a back, batting and pre-made binding in it and said I could use it for practice! FANTASTIC – Thank you!

So I went back to Nancy’s studio last week and worked on an actual quilt. I got the whole thing quilted in my 2 hours on the machine. I had so much fun!

One thing that is a little daunting is picking a pattern to use. This particular quilt was one that my husband was really attracted to, and while I was thinking of doing an all-over floral pattern, I thought that might be too ‘girly’, so I changed my mind and took an idea from Christina Camelli’s new book: Step By Step: Free Motion Quilting.

Mind you, I’m a total beginner, so there is a lot I want to work on in the skills department, but I’m still really happy with how this turned out:

I came home after doing this quilting with a million new ideas in my head for quilt designs and patterns that would lend well to longarm quilting… hopefully I can get rolling on those soon.

Another HUGE thing that happened this month was that my little brother has contacted me! My mom & dad had just found out they were pregnant for the 5th time right before I was kicked out/left home. So, after all these years, I had never talked to him.

Fast forward to two weeks ago and I get a message on Facebook that just says: “Hey Sister”. That was it… I responded right away, and we have been in contact everyday since!! He has also left the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the family is no longer speaking to him either… so we really connected. He is 27 now and is in a whirlwind of emotions. He lives in CA, and he has plans to come visit within the next few months – SO EXCITING!

It seems like it could almost be like reconnecting with a child you gave up for adoption… I don’t know… but it’s strange (to say the least) to get to know a stranger (basically) who shares the same parents. It’s kind of neat to find similarities between us, and I’m elated that I now have a bit of my family back.

Last week was my birthday… and we got to go to the coast out by Cannon Beach for the weekend. It was a long-needed break, I don’t think Gregg and I have taken 3 days off together in at least 5 years! The best thing was that it was above 60 degrees and super sunny! At night the sky was so clear you could almost touch the stars… and they came all the way down to meet he waves on the horizon. Just beautiful!

 …and we also got our 3 new trees! They are incense cedars to replace the big firs we recently had to take down. They are so cute and green – and they help fill the yard and that makes me happy.

I’m still working on the quilting of the Jellyfish – right now I have about a quarter of the “water” left to quilt… and then I’ll be ready to add a few more French knots before putting the binding on. I’m planning to hand sew the binding too so I can say the whole quilt is hand stitched!

There are a few more projects currently on my plate right now, I’ll tell you about them in the next post.
What will you be working on next month?

Log Cabins With Susan Beal

At the last PMQG meeting, I was a lucky door prize winner. One of the awesome goodies was a 3-month subscription to Creativebug which is an online education site for all sorts of crafty-ness. It’s super cool!
One of the classes offered is taught by my friend Susan Beal. It’s all about log cabin quilting. This first class centered on making a pillow… and here’s what I made:

My log cabin block

Close up of my center block using the new Brambelberry Ridge by Violet Craft

Finished Pillow!

I think it took me about 2 hours from start to finish… including picking fabrics. I used some Violet Craft’s new line Brambleberry Ridge. The metallics make this a really fun pillow.

I followed Susan’s direction up to the quilting where I wanted to just play around with echo quilting – I think it gives it more of an organic feel which I like.

It was nice to take a break from hexies. I got a little frustrated with my layout the other day… so I just picked up all the blues and will start over. Since this is the most important part, I want to make sure I get it just right. I will also be making more blue hexies and pull aside some of the ones I don’t like. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets frustrated and starts over… right?  😉

Pulled all the blues… starting over.

A Little Quilt Finish

Wow… feels great to say I have finished a quilt! It’s been a while! Here it is:

Rosetta Baby Quilt Front

I’m really loving this little quilt.  The piecing was done fairly quickly a few months back when we were packing and getting ready to move. I used fabrics that weren’t packed away yet, and this is the improv I came up with.  I particularly love the quilting on this, I just made a flower and echoed it adding more flowers here and there.
I used some super nice fabric for the back that my friend Rachel gave me a while back ~ it’s so soft and luxurious… makes the quilt super special.

Rosetta Quilt Back

In fact, Rachel has been an inspiration to me ever since I started going to PMQG meetings.  She has been there every time I needed help with quilting… and even in some social settings.  She recently wrote a bit for “Quilting Happiness” that wasn’t included in the book, but is published here.  It was such an inspirational piece about volunteering in a women’s correctional facility, the difficulties these women face, and how quilting helped her bridge a major communication gap with them. I highly recommend reading it. Now I understand why she has always had such patience with me, she’s had practice!!

Ready to go…

I want to donate my new little quilt! It will be a first for me… I usually make quilts as gifts for friends and family, or just for myself.  I’ve never made one to give away to a charity before. (I know, I know… I should have been donating quilts already) Anyway, I want to give it to a family shelter because I was given a quilt many years ago when I was pregnant and staying in a shelter, and it really meant a lot to me… and to my daughter.

Baby quilt given to me at a shelter 23 years ago

There are some holes, and the binding is worn completely through, it’s only string tied… but I’ve loved this quilt, and still do.  I hope the one I made will be just as loved by someone who needs it as much as I did! As Rachel always says:  Quilters Rock!

New Quilt In The Works

Rosetta Quilt In Progress

YAY! I have finally started sewing in my new sewing room!!  I’m so excited ~ I pieced together this front while we were packing to move, it was made from fabrics that were easily accessible, not really thought out much… but I think that made it a better composition.  I struggle with color and value, so it’s what I’m focusing on personally.

I started quilting this quilt at the old house, I was out of thread and started using grey. It was too dark of a thread color for this quilt, plus the tension on my machine was all messed up so bobbin threads were on top of the quilt.  I still quilted a good size chunk of the quilt before I decided to stop being lazy, get my butt to the store and buy off-white thread to quilt this with.  Of course I had to spend a few days taking all the grey quilting out… but I’m so happy I did.

Echo quilting with flowers

I got thread at Modern Domestic when I was there for Christina Cameli’s Book Release Party – the book is all about free-motion quilting, and she did demonstrations… it was so fun!  You should check out this book ~ it’s full of quick little sewing projects to practice new FMQ techniques on. 

Awesome new book by Christina Cameli

I usually use Gutterman polyester thread for quilting… but my machine has been acting up and it hasn’t been working so well.  Lupine at MD showed me Mettler brand, and I got it… and it ROCKS!  At least on my machine it does 😉  I’m still working on my stitch length being more consistent… but look how nice this thread is working out on the back of this quilt:

Back of the Rosetta Baby Quilt
I’m even happy with my quilting pattern.  I started with a flower in the center of the quilt and echo-quilted around it adding another flower every so often.  It’s totally organic and turning out really cool.  It’s fairly dense quilting… which I like.  Ready to do a little more quilting here soon.  Maybe I’ll have it ready by the next PMQG meeting!

So Much…

There is just so much to write about.  I guess that’s what happens when you don’t blog for as long as I have.

We are now in our new home, working from our new studio (we print t-shirts), and I even have a new sewing space!  Everything is still in boxes, so no great ‘new house’ photos today.

Instead I wanted to tell you that my Wood Dragon Hexie Quilt was accepted into the NW Quilting Expo which is happening next weekend 9/19 – 9/21 at the Expo Center here in Portland.  I’m so excited… and a bit nervous.  It’s really hard to let go of that quilt.  It felt like leaving my daughter at the airport to go to Europe by herself… but at some point you just have to do it and move on.

I’m super excited to share this quilt with others.  It’s the best part about making a quilt… especially one that took 18 months to complete!!

I am getting the quilt judged at the show.  I had the squid quilt judged there last year and their comments were very helpful. I’m always interested in critiques by people “in the know”.  Seems there is a lot of judgement on quilts these days based only on design.  I thrive on learning more about the actual construction of the quilt and how to make it better, than on the design.  But that’s just me, and honestly, the design part comes naturally to me… it’s the actual stitching, piecing, and quilting that I stumble over and want to get better at.

Hope to see you at the show… and I promise new pictures next post!

Here are some pictures of my hexie process:

Lots of 1/2″ hexies… and notes to keep it all straight!
dime for size
Getting the layout right took over a month in itself!!
This is how I looked for about a year… my hexies were always a reach away.
My daughters’ long pillow worked great as a form to roll the growing quilt onto as I stitched.
Back of the dragon… my hexies completely covered the paper hexies making the whole quilt a little thicker.
Picking the papers out… good thing I punched holes in them before sewing – a toothpick made the work quick!
Finished Hexie Top
Fully quilted on my Singer after it was basted professionally by Nancy Stovall / Just Quilting
Super proud of my woodgrain free motion quilting pattern.
How to quilt the dragon?? French knots to the rescue!
Finished top.


I have some photos to share!  Here’s my caveat: these are home photos… when the sun actually makes an appearance here in Portland, I’ll get outside and get some decent pics.  I just didn’t want to make you wait much longer 😉

Details:  4,132 1/2″ hand-pieced hexies in this quilt.  Stitched from Oct. 2011 to Feb. 2013.  Partially free-motion-quilted on my domestic Singer sewing machine, partially by hand using french knots. 

Here’s a couple photos of the back too:

And one last photo of me and my quilt at the PMQG meeting on Thursday:

That meeting was really fun!  We actually did a hexie demo and everyone got to try their hand at them… it was great, and I think we may have a few more hexie addicts soon 😉  There were a lot of amazing quilts shown (as usual!), if you’d like to see them go here.  That group is just amazing when it comes to support and motivation ~ I love my guild!

Woodgrain – Check!

Since this is a Wood Dragon, I really wanted the background to look like wood.  One week of free motion quilting and 4 spools of thread later….

and I finally have the background all quilted!!  I was inspired by Angela Walters and her wood grain pattern she showed when she recently lectured at the PMQG.  She also was encouraging when it comes to dense quilting.  I LOVE how it turned out, it’s very textural and organic looking!  The only major problem I had was quilting over batiks ~ there are not many in this quilt (thank goodness) but where there were batik hexies, I had to readjust my tension, and even then I was breaking thread  often.  Also… since I do this on my Singer, the stitch lengths are not perfect ~ but the overall effect is great!

Now to start quilting the dragon proper!  I’m saving a full quilt picture for the final unveiling 😉

Quilting The Beast…

Yes,  I finally started quilting the dragon hexie quilt that I’ve been working on all last year! I’ve been quite anxious about it, especially since I quilt on my domestic Singer machine… it’s hard to maneuver the quilt in the machine to make smooth lines in my free motion quilting. 

So, I started with the border:

Straight-line quilting with the walking foot, super happy with how it came out… I even added another two red lines of quilting in the red stripe to make it stand down from the brown. 

Then I started quilting a wood-grain pattern in the background.  I was using the same brown thread I used on the border… and had to take it out, it was just too dark.  Got new thread yesterday, a lighter more golden brown which goes with more of the background fabrics:

With the new thread I sat for a full day before starting.  I was/am a little scared… but like my hubby keeps telling me:  “don’t worry at all, it’s a ‘Gail Quilt’ so anything you do will be perfect.”  I love that guy!!  So I jumped in yesterday and here is what it’s looking like:

I’m tightly quilting the wood grain background so that the dragon pops up off the brown, it’s going to look great ~ the quilting is FAR from perfect.  I keep breaking thread and having to start over… but I’m happy with it so far. 

So… Happy New Year to all you awesome quilters!!  Here’s to a new year full of goodness, friends and awesome quilts!