Saturday, March 23, 2013

Studio Day At Cat Whiskers Quilts

I think that I've died and gone to heaven! Today was my first time ever trying quilting on a longarm. Wow was it ever fun!
My shirt reads, " I'd be a vegetarian if BACON grew on trees!"
Ellen Peters is both a quilting teacher and a public school teacher, too. About once a month, she schedules herself to host an open studio day at her home on a Saturday for quilter's to come and play. If you bring a machine or a project and work on it, Ellen is there to offer help and support without hovering. She asks $5 per person.
A couple of weeks ago, I had booked in advance to use the longarm. The longarm fee is $35 to load the machine, which Ellen mostly did for me as I'm learning, and then $6 per bobbin used (I used two).
Her studio is a beautiful playroom that is enhanced by two family dogs and cats! Yes, that is a cat sleeping in the middle of the work table, LOL!
Now, doesn't this picture lower your blood pressure just to look at it?
The project that I was quilting is a log cabin in coffee brown and cream using 2 1/2" strip set bought from Keepsake's summer sale. It has a brown and turquoise and magenta yarn-dyed plaid flannel backing. I chose a golden brown variegated top thread with a dark chocolate solid brown in the bobbin.
Ellen wisely counseled me against trying to do feathers on my first try, and I decided to do some basic swirling spirals. My eye knew where I wanted to go, but my hand would shake all around such that the spirals all came out sort of wonky. Nevermind, I LOVE them because I DID them. Wheeee!!!

It took me 2 1/2 hours to quilt this 58" X 87" twin allowing for one brief peppermint tea break made from Ellen's electric kettle.
One of my dear friends from the Sew & Sews, Cindy Brown, joined us, too. Cindy is in charge of all the 90 to 100 comfort quilts that the Belknap Mill Quilter's Guild gives out each year to charities. She has a heart as big as her smile and gives the best hugs! Cindy is on the left, and Ellen is further back on the right.
Boy, oh boy, was I ever tired! Shoulders, middle back, feet and legs were all crying out to me, saying, "Victoria, you never exercise, why do you suddenly think that you can put all these demands on us???"  LOL!

We had such a great time laughing, talking, and quilting all together, why, the sun even came out! Thank you, Ellen, for the chocolates in the candy dishes, the peppermint tea, and your never-ending patience when helping me!


Janet O. said...

Uh-oh, looks like the bug has bitten. So many people I know are saving up for their own long arm machines. Do I need to add you to the list? : )
Looks like you catch on quickly, and that looks like a very fun place to play!!

Helen in the UK said...

How wonderful to have that opportunity to play, even though your shoulders/back etc were not so keen!! I image there is a whole new skill set in long-arming. Fun to try :)

cityquilter grace said...

looking good there vic, i think you found a new plaything....LOL

Needled Mom said...

Oh fun!!!!

Kathleen Wilson said...

Goody! Goody! Goody! Don't you just love it? It's a good feeling to do it all from start to finish. Looks like you had fun. I'm glad.

Beth in MN said...

Another longarm convert!! Looks like you had fun and you will get better with time. Wow -- and chocolates were supplied! LOL

Maureen said...

Sounds like fun! Well done with the stitching. Congrats!

Nann said...

What a great way to introduce people to long-arm quilting. There is always such a crush of people at quilt shows and the demo pieces are just that, just demonstrations -- not "real" quilts. You did a good job on your log cabin!

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