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9 Dec 2007

On Saturday night I found myself with a free evening (yeehaa!) and made a set of fabric coasters to give my mom for Christmas.


I was inspired by Julie Hirota's article in Quilting Arts Gifts for fabric coasters and how Julie manipulates her photos in Photoshop, then prints them on fabric. I adapted Julie's technique a tad, and started out with a hand-dyed graphic print I bought from Wendy Richardson. I wanted to add more color to the fabric, and thought to fuse a sheer fabric on top with a print on it. Knowing my mom has a love affair with butterflies, I used Photoshop to manipulate a picture I'd taken last January of a butterfly.


After I played in Photoshop:


I printed the new image on ExtravOrganza, fused to the hand-dyed print, a piece of felt, and a backing fabric.  I then free-motion stitched parts of with gold metallic threads and sealed the edges with Lumiere gold metallic paint.


Hopefully she likes 'em.


Quilting Arts Giveaway

If you've made handmade gifts for the holidays, I'd love to post some of them to this blog. Please email me a low-resolution jpeg or gif file of one of your handmade gifts, explain in one to two sentences (max) what it is, and I'll randomly select 10 gifts to post to the blog and also give those ten artists a plastic bag of fabrics and bits of yarns I'm giving away as I clean out my studio. (Warning, most of these discarded bits are in a sad state and could use a little TLC in the form of stamping, screenprinting... you get the idea!)

What to do:
-Email me one picture of a handmade gift you are gifting for the holidays.
-In the subject write QA BLOG.
-Give a 1-2 sentence description.
-Give me your full name and mailing address in case you are one of the lucky 10.
-Attach one low-resolution (72 DPI) image of your piece.
-Deadline to email me the above is Wednesday, December 12th, 12:00PM EST.
-Check the blog next Sunday, to see if your handmade project is posted and to see if you get a bag of goodies.

Lastly, we're conducting a little research at Quilting Arts on sewing and long arm machines, and would love your feedback in the comment area. What type/ brand sewing machine do you own, and what are the top tasks you use it for? (i.e. Free-motion stitching, digital embroidery, straight stitch, etc.) If you have a long arm machine, please share what brand/model you have and what you love about it.

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Sequana wrote
on 9 Dec 2007 9:19 PM
I own two Janome machines. One small one that I use mostly for piecing and other crafts. I just purchased a Janome 405 to use with the Flynn Frame for quilting. I mostly free motion, but sometimes use more abstract quilting patterns.
Phyllis in Sonoma wrote
on 10 Dec 2007 9:13 AM
I own 2 Bernina machines, 1080 (which is retired for now) and 185E. I use the 185 for all my pieceing and most of my quilting and free motion projects. I also recently inherited a New Joy quilting frame with a Babylock Quilt Pro machine. This machine sews a straight stitch only at 1500rpm and stays on the frame. I've only quilted 2 quilts on the frame so far.
Marie wrote
on 10 Dec 2007 11:54 AM
I use two Berninas. A 180 that I use forjust about everything. I also have a cherished ORANGE 153 that goes traveling with me. I generally keep the Bernina felting attachment set up on this machine. I also have three Featherweights that I keep clean and use for come classes. I DREAM about being able to afford and A-1 quilting machine !
Beverly Hart wrote
on 10 Dec 2007 2:32 PM
I own a Bernina 1130 that I bought new in 1990, and I love it as much as the day I got it. I use it for piecing, machine applique, anything that requires fancy or zigzag stitching. My only complaint about the machine is the small harp area. To take care of that issue, I bought a Juki 98Q, which I have set up in a large table built to my specifications. I can handle large-ish wall quilts on this table without a problem. The Juki has been great for improving my free motion skills- I couldn't believe how much difference the additional space under the harp made.
jenny wrote
on 10 Dec 2007 5:10 PM
hi, My legs dont work so I use machines that are iadated for me - a Janome decor and Janome embelliisher with hand controls. I also have a Designer Se and a Bernina 630, both of which I adore. Jenny
Marilyn wrote
on 10 Dec 2007 5:26 PM
The two machines I use the most for quilting are my Bernina 380, which I dearly love and my Janome 4014, which is my "traveling" machine. They both have wonderful stitches and like just about any thread I want to use.
Donna Funnell wrote
on 10 Dec 2007 10:18 PM
I have 2 Pfaff machines that I definitely love for its differential feed. I use my old machine now mostly for hemming pants etc. I use my relatively new Pfaff, Quilt Expression 2048, for free motion quilting, embroidery, applique and piecing. For a beginning quilter, this machine is a dream for meeting all those corners and points. I would never buy another kind of machine. I am definitely a Pfaffie!
Jillian wrote
on 11 Dec 2007 6:26 PM
I love vintage sewing machines--my primary machines are treadles (one is an industrial) and a 1970 Kenmore that has a few decorative cams! I love the precision and beautiful stitch of people powered machines. (I'm new to machine quilting, but a friend who is a professional quilter exclusively uses her treadles for FMQ.)
audrey h. wrote
on 12 Dec 2007 11:35 AM
I don't have a long arm machine but maybe one day. I am a beginner and am practicing on my little kenmore sewing machine and having lots of fun. I did send a jpeg of what I made my sister for Christmas. Have a great day!
Debbie wrote
on 14 Dec 2007 7:21 PM
I have a Bernina 125. As it is the only machine I have, I use it for everything. I sometimes wish I had a machine with more stitch options, but as most of my work is free motion, I figure I wouldn't use them that much anyway (at least that's what I keep telling myself). My machine sews beautifully!!
Edna/Atlanta wrote
on 14 Dec 2007 11:52 PM
I'm still using my Singer XL 5000. I do mostly straight stitching, some zigzag embroidery on the appliques, when I'm not appliqueing by hand, and I use the utility stitches when doing crazy blocks and tops. I, also, have a spare Kenmore sewing machine that I rarely use. Would love to own a longarm. NOTE: Some of my sub-photos are still missing on my website, due to a cable overhaul. I am in the process of restoring the missing photos.
Robin JB wrote
on 16 Dec 2007 11:44 PM
I have the Vikiing Mega Quilter and frame. I am new to it, but just love it. I have made one quilt on it. I intend to use it for background quilting of my fiberart pieces. Now I can go larger.
Liz wrote
on 18 Dec 2007 12:37 PM
I have a Bernina 145 and do just about everything with it. Fairly new to quilting, but my machine has handled it beautifully, as well as the free motion embroidery and cloth doll stitching I do. Don't think I want a longarm just yet, but I could sure use something to tell me when the bobbin is almost out!
Laurel wrote
on 20 Dec 2007 1:34 PM
I have a Brother ULTD 2003. I use it for everything (piecing, quilting, garment sewing, etc.). I have the embroidery attachment that came with it but haven't used it since I first got the machine.
Deb Geyer wrote
on 22 Dec 2007 9:00 AM
I use a Viking 400 for all of my piecing and appliqué. It is about 12 years old now but still stitches along great. For my quilting I use my Prodigy on a 12' table. I believe the Prodigy has the best stitch regulator on the market. The stitches that I get are wonderful. And that is what quilting is all about!