Monday, August 29, 2016

Adventures in Books Written by Karen McTavish

Well, I could've kicked myself.  I really should've kicked myself.  In the move, I lost my book, "Custom Curves" by Karen McTavish.  I foolishly thought, "Oh well, it's a popular quilting book, when I need it, I can just buy a new one, right?"  Uh, wrong!  It is out of print and its cost on ebay and Amazon is about $600.00 (not a typo). AAARGH!  I'm not making this up.  I was too far in shock to I tore my new house apart looking for my copy and could not find it anywhere!!!!

So....I bought a very expensive, but not quite THAT expensive copy of "Elemental Quilting" by Karen McTavish, and told myself that since these books are worth so much now, I'd better step it up and learn some of these techniques (although customers I have would never pay for it).

I decided to follow her Trapunto method on a diamond wedding ring quilt top I had.  Here are some pictures of the process:

The first steps were to draw the element using a water soluble pen.  You could use an air-eraseable pen, but I didn't know how long it would take for me to complete the element and needed the time the water soluble pen provided.  Then I loaded the quilt onto the frame WITHOUT backing (a tip from Karen McTavish's book -- I thought it was crazy, but she was right) and 8 ounce polyester batting.  This is the thickest my quilting machine will handle.  Some people use wool batting, but that won't work if the quilt will be washed as wool felts -- and using a water soluble pen makes washing the quilt necessary to remove the markings.

Quilted the elements in the marked squares then removed the quilt from the machine.

In the book, Karen McTavish says to use wash-away bobbin thread and you re-quilt the motif the second time you load the quilt.  My machine wouldn't run the water soluble thread, so I had to make the first time quilting count -- and get those thread-paths correct.

The next stage is to use embroidery scissors to cut right up to the stitching and removed the 8 oz. polyester batting outside of the element (or motif).

More trimming.....

At this point, my mini-me Princess decided to load her own quilt and did her very first quilt for her baby dolls!  So proud!  What a cutie pie!

Then I re-loaded the quilt using backing and "Warm 'N' White" batting.  I chose to do McTavishing in the melon units and pebbles around the Trapunto filled elements.

Work in progress, the pebbles are  really getting the elements to pop out.

Freshly unloaded from the frame!

A close-up.

Another close-up.  I'm loving how this turned out and I may just start doing all of my personal quilts this way.
As this quilt was a practice quilt, I added an old style "Humility Block" -- where I could practice whatever I want.  In this block I in-set a diamond and surrounded it with continuous curves that I had learned from my lost book.  I love how this too turned out.  Now....I just need more work on my pearl borders as they're not quite circles....practice, practice practice!

Oh...and good news!  After searching for the book "Custom Curves" by Karen McTavish for over an hour at every single mom and pop quilt shop that I could find on the internet, someone HAD one last copy in their inventory -- so I bought it -- at the cover price! collection is complete, and no, I won't be sharing that book anytime soon.  (Ha ha!)  Now...the real question...when am I ever going to bind this quilt?  It's okay, my daughter hasn't bound her quilt yet either!  I am a slacker when it comes to doing the binding.

Happy Quilting!


Monday, August 22, 2016

More Customer Quilts

Although I have not taken time to post on my blog recently, I have done some quilts for customers this summer.  Here are some pictures of 3 recent quilts.  This customer simply wanted an edge-to-edge echo style and then wanted each quilt personalized for its recipient -- by either adding hearts or flowers depending on whom she was giving it to.

As you can see, the busier hte fabrics, the less the quilting shows.

Monday, August 15, 2016


I have been doing some quilting and mostly working on enjoying my children for the end of summer.  School starts next week.  I made some pioneer bonnets for singing time in Primary.  I used the Sew Chick Free Printable Pattern Bonnet (hyperlinked to the free pattern) to create it.  There are many wonderful, vintage patterns on the Sew Chick site.  Here are some pictures of my bonnets. I made 6 total:

This one is my favorite!

Hey folks!  Here is your chance to share your work in the home arts.  This linky party is for you.  Enjoy!  I am going to keep this open for the next two weeks and think I will do this party on a bi-weekly schedule as I don't have as many participants as I would like.  If you post more than that, feel free to share your link to all of your posts.  I'd love to see them!

Modern Tradition Quilts

Friday, June 10, 2016

Monday's Keep It Simple & Make It Fun! #45

Hey Folks!  It's Monday!   Time to share your projects in the home arts.  What have you been doing to 'Keep It Simple, Make It Fun!".  Please feel free to share anything in the quilting, sewing, cooking or home arts.  This is for you...enjoy!

Now it's your turn to share!  What have you been working on this week?  I'd love to see any of your projects and blog posts relating to the home-arts!

Modern Tradition Quilts

Finishing Up Some Loose Ends

Today I am simply finishing up some loose ends.  When a pattern gets published by a magazine or fabric company, they ask for "exclusive rights" to sell that pattern.  Sometimes they are only for 6 months and sometimes it is for a year or more.  These patterns were first published in 2014 and now have passed their exclusive time-clause so I can make them available to the public through my normal selling venues.

Today, "Under the Nordic Sky" and "Punky-Wunkin Quilts Pattern" are now available in my ETSY and CRAFTSY shops.



Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

You Know You Are In Trouble When Your Husband Says This!

You know you are in trouble when your husband comes home and says, "So...I was on Pinterest you know how to sew a placket?"

Me: "Ummm...yes, why?"

Sure enough, yes he had another project for me to try.  It all began three weeks ago when he had a staff meeting at work and the ladies recommended advertising using Pinterest.  He asked the the staff, "What is that?"  The ladies told him to "Go home and ask your wife what it is."  So... he did -- and liked it.  So far, he has made more projects that I have pinned from it than I ever have!  Watch out ladies, the men are invading our world!  (Just kidding, I guess men can use Pinterest too.)

At any rate, with all the business of finishing the master's degree, quitting my job as a school teacher, cleaning out the classroom and doing the high school's graduation, I did not have time to sew my now 14-year-old a Pioneer Trek shirt this week.  Thankfully, my husband had noticed this and used Pinterest to find a quick tutorial (as I had borrowed all 7 of my Mom's historical patterns and stressed my 14 year old out choosing a shirt -- and hadn't gone shopping for fabric yet -- they leave tomorrow morning).  The tutorial and link he found was from Home Delicious Blog.  

Their tutorial is great, you simply take a men's woven shirt, remove the collar, sew the center closed and seam a placket.  Done!  I can do it -- and yes, it only took me 15 minutes per shirt.  The only change was that the 12 inch measure down from the collar, length of placket looked too long on my son so I shortened it to 10 inches.  Great tutorial!  Check it out!

I am excited for him to go on Pioneer Trek this year, but somewhat bummed out.  It is the first time in the history of our marriage that neither my husband nor I were needed/invited to go and serve.  I guess we've been spoiled in the past.  They hinted that our horses could go...but our big thoroughbred hit his head in the trailer and won't load.  So... this year wasn't meant to be...we'll see what happens in 4 more years.  I hope our buddy can handle it without us.  Okay, I'm sure he can...I'm just a mom.  He's stronger than most...he plays football and basketball....he'll be fine.  I'm just a Mom....and that's what we do....worry.  It is amazing how the Holy Ghost can teach the youth exactly, precisely and individually what they need to learn on these types of trips.
My son's two Pioneer Trek Shirts.

Thankfully, he let me take a picture of him in his Pioneer Trek shirt.

A close-up of the dress shirt turned into a Pioneer shirt by creating a simple Placket and removing the collar.  Genius idea!

Yep, no kidding!  I really did graduate (this is my Regalia), and my administration asked me to wear them as a teacher for the High School's graduation.  It was a fun day.  I laughed at all of the Senior pranks.  They slept overnight in the parking lot, put a  trampoline on the gym roof, put "Class of 2016" business cards in every classroom, dumped from the veranda a lot of Ping Pong balls into the lunchroom, handed the Principal marbles as they walked, handed the school board more "Class of 2016" business cards as they walked, inflated two beach balls, and one inflatable Shark!  It was very entertaining -- and very satisfying to see your students graduate school.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Latest Publication

I designed this for MakeModern Magazine Issue 8 and it was published.  A good friend of mine, R. Cottongim of A Quilter's Chaos did the piecing for me.  It's great what comes about when friends work together.

This photo shoot was a lot of fun!  Our horses really liked the colors of the quilt and kept checking it out -- much more interesting to them than their saddle blankets that mean "work"!  I had no idea horses liked color as much as I do -- or that they knew how to "Photobomb!"


It is true...."Quilting makes the quilt!"

If you would like for me to quilt for you, quits can be scheduled at {gsmower[at]netzero[dot]com}.

Or...schedule on Facebook:

I also have a Facebook page where I can be easily contacted for quilt scheduling.

Modern Tradition Quilts on Facebook

Happy Quilting!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Latest Customer Quilt

Here are some photos of my latest customers' quilt.  It was a very interesting quilt, with very 1970's colors and very bold African-style prints.  We chose to do my Mix'N'Match style of quilting on it.  It is a simplified custom style -- but without the heirloom cost.  What is the difference?  Well, the back-fills are not as tight as in heirloom quilting...but it still gives a custom effect.

The leaf vine quilted in the sashing gave it an organic feel.

I choose to let the fabrics dictate the quilting.  While you can't see it very well in the pictures, printed rectangles were quilted using the "dot to dot" technique while motifs such as the bird and diamond were outlined.

This is the same picture without my drawing thread-paths on it.

I still love backs more than tops!  They are the "surprise" present of the quilt.  It shows the real detail put into the project.

The leaf-vine was outlined from the fabric prints on the front of the quilt.

It is true...."Quilting makes the quilt!"

If you would like for me to quilt for you, quits can be scheduled at {gsmower[at]netzero[dot]com}.

Or...schedule on Facebook:

I also have a Facebook page where I can be easily contacted for quilt scheduling.

Modern Tradition Quilts on Facebook

Happy Quilting!


Monday, April 25, 2016

Edge to Edge Quilting


Well, I did it!  I chose to put my family first and my teaching career on hold.  I was offered a pretty fancy teaching position then decided that my children still needed their mommy at home.

After studying my church's teachings on how important it is to be a mom, I left the teaching profession.  When the doors of the high school I teach at close in June, I will be out of work.

That means...

I have time to quilt!

I decided to do free-hand edge-to-edge only (for now, perhaps adding Pantographs and Mix'N'Match later).  My services begin at $0.015 per square inch.  If you need mail-order, it is a $30.00 return postage.  Also, my minimum charge is $30.00 (for wall hangings and et. cetera.)

I also have a Facebook page where I can be easily contacted for quilt scheduling.

Modern Tradition Quilts on Facebook

Here are some photos...