Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey.

Welcome to my blog. I was inspired by the book, "Blogging for Bliss" by Tara Frey. My goal is to share a little about my life, and a lot about my longarm quilting business, Lone Tree Designs.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Stack it and Whack it!

  About 5 years ago, I started my first stack and whack quilt.  I decided to do a four patch stack.  I was scared to do a six patch because of the triangle shapes and the bias edges.  I chose a beautiful oriental print from Blank and took a class at the Quilters Cottage in Kearney, NE to learn the technique.  It was so much fun!
  In order to do the four patch stack, you need 4 repeats of your fabric. The size of your repeat determines the ultimate size of your quilt.  My fabric had a small repeat of around 12 inches, so I ended up with fairly small blocks.  I think they finished somewhere around 5 inches.  I added a little black frame and sashing to extend the size to a nice lap quilt.  Each block had four options as I turned the pieces round and round to decide on the look that I liked the best.  Again...FUN!  I sewed all my blocks together pretty quickly because that was the fun part.  Slowly, I added my frames, sashes, and borders.  Once the top was done, it sat in the closet unfinished for a couple of years.  This year, I am on a mission to finish, quilt, and bind a bunch of my quilts before I give a couple of talks/trunk shows next February.  This stack and whack was on my "to finish" list.  I am binding it by hand so that I can take it to the state fair next year.  It will probably take me that long to get the binding done!!!
  On my recent trip to Paducah, I purchased fabric to do a six patch stack--it is crazy fabric with all kinds of brightly colored lizards and tree frogs!  I can't wait to start sewing those awesome blocks together.  It's not on my "to finish" list before February but it will definitely be on my list for 2015!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My First Block Exchange Inspired by Liz Porter

Neapolitan by Liz Porter 
   On July 14th, I saw an episode of Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting that inspired me to try something I had never tried before...a block exchange. Yikes!  Liz Porter's directions from the website made it much simpler than if I would have had to figure out all the details by myself.  I absolutely loved the pink and brown quilts from the program that were made from the 100 little
4 1/2 inch churn dash blocks.  Liz had a group of 10 people who each made 10 sets of 10 blocks.  I decided to shoot for that number.
  To start, I issued an invitation to over 200 people in one simple post on a facebook group that includes quilters from all over, but mostly from Nebraska and Iowa.  From that invitation, I got an "I'm in" from 8 ladies.  I then asked a couple of my good friends from my guild, and got two more.  That made a happy little group of 11 ladies.  I decided that 100 was still a good number of blocks, so we will each make 11 sets of 9 plus one extra little block for ourselves.
  The final question was...what is a reasonable amount of time for people to make 100 little churn dash blocks?  We decided on 4 months, which makes it 25 per month.  So, our blocks are due on December 1.  So far, I have made 43 of my blocks.  They are soooo cute!  I am trying very hard to make sure that my blocks are consistent in size and have 1/4 inch allowance for the points on the corners.  They aren't perfect, but so far (thanks mostly to Triangles on a Roll!) they are all 5 inches, and, with a little encouragement, should be pretty easy to work with on the points.  At this point, I am still excited about the project and am trying to finish all of my block by the end of October, as I know from past experience that my longarm business really picks up in October and November for people who need Christmas gifts finished.  Hopefully, no later than this time next year, I will have a finished quilt to show you all.  I plan to set mine just like Liz Porter did hers because I absolutely love it!
  If you think this sounds like fun, just go to fonsandporter.com and search for the 2400 series and the show called Neapolitan.  All the information is there for you.  Find some willing friends, and create your own fun little exchange!