my creative pursuits with quilts and knits

How I Quilt

I have a Gammill Classic Plus longarm.  The Classic refers to the throat space…I think mine is 24 or 26 inches.  The Plus means I have a stitch regulator, and yes it is on all the time!  One of my quirks is that I “float” my top and batting.  I pin both the top and bottom edges of the backing fabric to the canvas leaders, then I layer the top and batting and only baste the top edge.  Some instructors have you pin the bottom edge of the quilt top to a separate roller bar, but I prefer to have access to all my layers as I go.  When I advance the quilt by rolling it up to a new, un-quilted section, I can flip the quilt top back and smooth out the batting and backing.  Floating is one of those things that I file under “Doing what works for me.”

Here are my thread choices for the Irish Chain commission:


I will match thread to fabric.  The outer border is blue, so that is what I started with.  I am stitching a simple feather in the blue border, and swirls in the blue squares. image I am also stitching in the ditch around all the blue pieces. (Another WWFM choice…some quilters hate stitch in the ditch!  I am not perfect with my stitching lines, sometimes they jump out of the ditch, but it does help to secure the top.)  I will work from top to bottom, stitching everything that needs blue thread, then I will change to purple and work back up.


I am saving the white and grey section for last.  If you noticed from the thread picture, I am kind of low on those colors.  My initial thought is to use the grey, just so the quilting can be seen.  I will start with the center designs, and then if I run out I can finish the outer squares with the white.  I am going to quilt the married couple’s names and wedding date in the center, and then some personal emblems, and the out squares might have heart or circular feather wreaths.

Have I mentioned The Fiber Factor?  It is a knitting reality show that I heard about a few weeks ago.  12 knit designers were chosen to compete in several challenges over the rest of the year.  They usually get about 3 weeks to design and knit their projects.  Friday June 28 will be the announcement of the Round 2 winner, and next week they will start on Challenge #3.  The contest is sponsored by Skacel, a yarn and needle distributor, most well-know for Addi needles.

Challenge #1 was “Knit your Life.” One of the designers, Rachel of Remily Knits, made a shawl called “Evolution” that progresses from a garter stitch beginning to cables and intricate lace borders.  She has graciously offered her pattern for free and is hosting a knit-along on Ravelry.

This was my first pick for yarn:imageUnfortunately, it is laceweight, a detail that I missed in my rush to order online.  The pattern calls for sport weight!  So I ordered some more yarn in the recommended Zitron Unisono, hopefully it will be here on Friday.  I though about sending this stuff back, but then I checked my Ravelry queue and noticed a lace shawl pattern called “Pretty as a Peacock.”  I am conveniently ignoring the fact that I have a half-finished lace shawl in a bag in the closet, which was started about 4 years ago!  SOMEDAY I will be ready with yarn and pattern, LOL.

I hope you are enjoying summer.  My daughter and her friend are picnicking on the front porch with ice packs and a squirt bottle to stay cool.  Such is life in Phoenix…we may hit 120 this weekend, yoowza.  Thank goodness for air conditioning!


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