Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saturday Sumation

Another week has whooshed by, but I do have a few things to show for it...
These are the blocks for the Tuesday night class quilt.

I always make several blocks as I'm writing instructions, but I don't always get all of them done. The girls are really good about being my guinea pigs  pattern testers, but I have an embarrassingly large stack of class PhDs (that's Projects Half Done)

Sheri's quilt "Gypsy" is hot off the machine today


Tera's Ribbon Stars quilt went home on Tuesday- No one does "bright" like Tera.

And Pat's Jamestown Landing that she did in class last semester. This is a Bonnie K. Hunter Quiltville pattern, so there are bazillions of pieces. But they look so good when they are done.


I have officially started the quilt for Mikey and Becca (my nephew and brand-new niece-in-law). The first four blocks are done. I have until their first anniversary to get it done, right? 


And I even got to release my inner Martha a bit. We were celebrating a birthday at  our Thursday night quilt group- Quilt-a-rama- and as the February birthday, I was in charge of the cake. Well I couldn't decide what type to get so I went off to the local bakery and got an assortment of goodies.

And what is a quilter to do with a bunch of squares in different colors?

Who says you can't have your quilt and eat it too? Happy Birthday Brenda.
Have a good weekend everyone.




Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!
leslie@theCraftyUnicorn.com
http://www.thecraftyunicorn.com/

Blog Hop Winner



It's Saturday morning and I am happy to announce that the winner of the Superior Threads gift certificate is Jodi who says:
"I've been doing an applique BOM and I get to buy lots of different colors of thread"

Well now she can add to that collection. Congratulations Jodi!

I hope everyone had fun on the blog hop. Thank you for all your comments and thanks to Michele of Quilting Gallery for sponsoring the party.





Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!
leslie@theCraftyUnicorn.com
http://www.thecraftyunicorn.com/

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Signs" of Spring

This past week was an incredible few days of warm (some would say hot) weather. A high of 85 degrees is rare in July or August let alone March. But this Florida-born girl will take that kind of weather whenever she can get it. Next week is supposed to be more seasonal temperatures and it feels like it. I'm back in a t-shirt, flannel shirt and sweatshirt, but spring is definitely on the way.

Here in Maine we have several sure signs of spring:

Small sprouts of green and purple crocuses (crocusii ?)

Mud...



Crazy motorcycle riders (no pictures but you know the type)

But this year I got a different sign of spring.
This is the "Open" flag for the shop,


Yep, it's in rough shape, but it was my first one, I was so happy to put it out and feel like a real business. That was several winters and lots of sun and rain ago. Some of the girls have been kidding me about getting a new one, I said "in the spring, since the winter can be so hard on them" Well last Tuesday night at class, my good buddy Faye told me it was time and gave me this


A brand new, hand-made open flag. How cool is that? Of course, now I will have to bring it in when it rains or snows. Thanks again Faye!







Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!
leslie@theCraftyUnicorn.com
www.TheCraftyUnicorn.com

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quilters Blog Hop Party

Hello to everyone hopping around the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop Party! And thanks to Michelle for setting it all up. My name is Leslie and I do hand-guided longarm machine quilting. It's almost the 7th anniversary of starting to quilt professionally so what a great time to celebrate with a party and my first give-away. When you are done here, keep hopping along and see what all the other great blogs have to offer.

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways 



Quilting got into my blood back in the early 1990's when I took a beginners class- hand piecing, hand quilting, scissors and *gasp* cardboard templates. I really enjoyed it- very relaxing and satisfying, but not quick. 



 

Fast forward to 2000 when my husband's first grandson was born. I really wanted to make a baby quilt, but wanted it done before the child went off to collage! Thanks to Alex Anderson and Simply Quilts I became much more comfortable with machine piecing, rotary cutting and all the amazing quilting that could be done on your home machine. Diane Gaudynski made it look so easy! I quilted three baby quilts on my DSM and knew there must be another way. That better way arrived in April 2005 (wow how is it 7 years already?)



 

 

After a 2-day workshop from a local dealer I was hooked on longarm quilting! I needed a second job that would be flexible around my "day job" and this would be perfect. That's not to say it has all been easy. I have picked out an insane number of stitches, worked until 2:00 AM to meet a deadline and had to deal with some "creative piecing" by customers. But I learn something new every day, and don't regret my choice for a minute. I have met wonderful people, both in person and online, made friends all over the world, and gotten to work on a variety of quilts that I would never have had the skill or the interest to make for myself.

Like Carmen's Kaffe Fassett quilts...


 
Or Mrs. Foster's traditional ones 
 
This is a detail
 
And I may have gotten carried away with the quilting, but I love my job...
 
 


You may not know this, but longarm quilters have a secret. Besides loving fabric, and color like all quilters, we need thread...lots of thread...thick, thin, matte, shiny, solid, variegated, polyester, cotton, silk and metallic. There's always a need for one more color...one more cone or spool. Yep, my name is Leslie and I'm a Thread-a-holic. Once you try the good stuff, it's hard to go back. For me, the good stuff comes from Superior Threads. They have a great product and a wonderful education collection- Hints, tips, classes, videos- No, I'm not affiliated with them, other than being a happy customer. Superior is where I get most of my thread...and I can go through some thread. One year I threw all my thread cones in a bag as I finished them. This was the collection at the end of the year.



Those white cores are 3000 yards each, which is about 37 miles of thread. Plus the pre-wound bobbins and spools, and there were still plenty of open cones on the rack... See...



My main thread stash

And then there is the Glide thread that has it's own shelf, since it won't fit on the rack (for several reasons, like there's no room)



 
And the "back stock" of my favorite Bottom Line on another shelf. The little plastic boxes to the right are bobbins. I wind several when I start a quilt and if there are any leftover, I just keep them for the next time I need that color.

 
I realize there are people with much bigger thread stashes than mine, but I have hopes of catching up. I'm also willing to drag help others along with me. When I gave a friend a sample of the new Omni thread to try on her longarm she said "yeah, every good dealer gives out the first taste for free".   OK, maybe she has a point... one of the new opportunities here at The Crafty Unicorn Quilting is the Thread Co-op. Once a month we place a combined order and all the members receive 20% off most of the retail prices. Anyone is welcome, local or not, it's very informal and the rules are here Thread Co-op.

For this blog hop giveaway I really wanted to corrupt another thread-a-holic ... I mean help the winner expand their thread stash. And since I couldn't possibly decide what types or colors the winner would like, my prize is a $25.00 Gift Certificate for Superior thread to use directly on their site or through our co-op.


 

For a chance to win, leave a comment by midnight March 23 and 'fess-up... Do you ever buy thread just because it's pretty and you may need that color some day? Winner will be chosen on Saturday March 24 by Random.org. Please leave contact information in the body of your comment if you are posting anonymously.
Now HOP to it...(Sorry I couldn't resist)...


Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!



 
 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

This Saturday

This Saturday is National Quilting Day, and there's going to be a Blog Hop with fun and give-aways!
Check in here on Saturday morning for all the details.


Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways 
 
Meanwhile, this is what I've been working on recently:
 
Rebecca's Flowers

Char's Pink Circus

Dianne's Disappearing 9-patch

Nancy's Baby quilt
With all those pink quilts you think, maybe, everyone's ready for spring?
 
 



Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!
leslie@theCraftyUnicorn.com
http://www.thecraftyunicorn.com/

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Welcome to the blog-sale shoppers from the Quiltville Yard Sale.

Well, March is coming in like a lion here in Maine. Thursday we ended up with about 4" of snow and so far today has been wind and rain with touches of sleet. In a word...YUK. But that doesn't mean there aren't signs of spring. I saw a robin the other day, and Jordan's Snack Bar (a local fried clam take-out)
will be opening in 2 weeks so there is hope.



So, if it is spring, even philosophically, I should do some spring cleaning right? So here are a few things that can use a new home. If you are interested in any of them, email me at Leslie@TheCraftyUnicorn.com and let me know which ones and your zip code so I can figure shipping. I prefer Paypal but will take checks or money orders All are in good condition from my cat loving, but smoke free studio. And there's no extra charge for the dust.

Baltimore Beauties and Beyond Vol 1 by Ellie Sienkiewicz good condition.     $15.00  SOLD



Quilts! Quilts!! Quilts!!! by Diana McClun & Laura Nownes. One of the great introductions to quiltmaking. Includes template and strip piecing techniques for some truely timeless designs. $10.00 
SOLD

Quilts, Quilts and More Quilts by the same innovative ladies, this sequel adds applique and some more involved blocks and settings. $10.00  SOLD

Show Stopping Quilts to Foundation piece by Tricia Lund and Judy Pollard is just that. The mariners compas and New York Beauty combined with other blocks in unique ways.  $13.00
Spoken For


Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman. One of the great quilting reference books of our time, this is now officially out of print according to her blog. $45.00   SOLD!



Gypsy Gripper ruler handle. I have several. I bought one and recieved more as gifts. They are new in the box. $5.00 each and 2 will ship for the same price as one.

Not much, but it's a start. Enjoy the rest of your blog-sale hopping and thanks for stopping by.




Don't tell me not to burn the candle at both ends
Tell me where to get more wax!
leslie@theCraftyUnicorn.com
http://www.thecraftyunicorn.com/