Thursday, September 7, 2017

What's Next?

 Well, I don't know about you but I feel like a Whirling Dervish.  I keep telling myself that things will settle in once -insert event- is done but there just always seems to be something else following it. I guess it's good, I don't think I'd enjoy boredom.  

This is a quilt I made a few months ago for a co-worker's baby.  I may have shared already... not sure.  Chad's a volunteer fireman so the piggy fireman was perfect!  I love it!

I had made a bag for another co-worker several years ago for her to take on vacation to Hawaii.  It lasted at least 5 years but she commissioned me to make a new one for her.  She said it could be any fabric that I wanted.  So, I made this cute red, green and blue bag.

What she meant to say was that she wanted purple and bigger.  So, I made another one.  She kept both and gave one as a gift to her sister.  I really enjoyed making them!  It's a pretty great bag if I do say so myself.  I should have taken a close up of the button on the purple bag.  It was fabulous!

This month we had 2 BOM from the guild.  I love this deer but I may have to use a different thread for his antlers, they're pretty pale right now.

The second one might be my favorite so far.  It's so delicate.
 I've managed 1 more block for Hungarian Heritage.  This quilt is stunning but I don't enjoy sitting at the machine, stitching around all those pieces.  It's on my UFO list, so it's GOT to get done!!

Speaking of UFOs, 'Roberta Anne with an E' is quilted.  It took FOREVER.  The struggle to find thread that my Pfaff likes, other than Aurifil continues.  On my way to Peoria, I stopped in at the Quilt Corner in Morton.  It's a lovely shop, especially if you like primitives and wool.  I bought some Presencia and King Tut quilting threads to test.  They worked with the right needle.  So, I may invest further.  I'm not aware of a store locally that carries the Presencia, so that may be what I go with.  I wasn't too keen on the idea of buying a case of every color I needed to quilt these blocks.  My machine refuses to quilt with the transparent stuff...
Last but certainly not least, I finished a store sign for my vendor booth!  I blew up my logo and machine appliqued it.  It's surrounded by pink rick rack and quilted with meandering hearts.  Aaahhhh... right?

But wait, there's more!  While in Peoria, I started a family tree!
What's next you ask?  Well, next week I'm going to the fall Padukah show for the first time!  Just as a visitor, mind you.  Then the weekend of the 23rd, I'm headed to the Sweet Inspirations quilt show in Elk Grove Village!  I'm busily prepping new inventor from a new distributor, store samples and dinner plans with my nephew and his family who live in Chicago!  Can't wait!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finally Got Some Inspiration

Recently I ordered Kathy Shaw's new book "Fancy Seam Designs" and it was just what I needed to get inspired for my CQJP.  I had really stalled on this because I find the monochromatic theme so limiting.  Or should I say, CHALLENGING.  I finished my June block, then went back and re-did a few things on previous blocks.

 It also helped to a little shopping on Etsy.  I got a few brass pieces to add.
 I took out some chunky beads and replaced it with embroidery.  The more delicate seam is much more to my liking.  I also tried a smidge of goldwork.  The bottom bee hive... meh.
 This is my favorite so far.  The white button is made of bone.  I picked it up at a gem show last year that Ethan drug me to.
 I'm excited to share that I've been giving quilting lessons to Sierra's 1st grade teacher!  Barb has her first grandbaby and couldn't wait to make a baby quilt!  She's a little farther than this already.  She's added some applique borders top & bottom.  It's super cute!  I'll share another photo when she's done.
 I worked on our guild's BOM.  It's an alien, right?  Something was really bothering me with the coloring.  It seamed so faded...  only to realize I'd attached the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric.  So, since I had to do it a second time, I changed the stitches around a bit.  Still looks like an alien that's flipping me off with it's leafy hands.  I sense much anger... don't let the hearts fool you.

 Last but certainly not least, I made a bunch of these cuties.

 I don't know where her smudges came from.  Must have been on the wood...

 And this girl, will do the worrying for you.

I think that's enough for now.  I've got a bunch more but I've been slacking with the picture taking!  Next weekend I'm off to Peoria for my next quilt show vending!!  If you're looking for something to do 8/26 & 27, come over to the Peoria Convention Center!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Quilt Storm Dead Ahead

I've been quilting up a storm lately!  I hung this wall hanging in my bathroom to cut down on the glow from my insane aqua paint.  It's Tisket A Tasket by Bunny Hill Designs.  It was one of the very first applique projects I ever did by hand.  I think #2, in fact.  But, I never quilted it properly because I hadn't tackled that particular skill yet.  So, having it in my throne room... made me realize it was past time to finish it properly.
I did flowers and loops in the outer border, fat loops in the inner border, ribbons for the sashing, hearts for the setting squares and swirls in the main block background.

I really enjoyed revisiting this old friend.  At the same time it was nice to see how far I've come in my applique skills.  Not that I'm admitting to anything but, dang, some of it's pretty rustic.
 Weekend before last, I was at our Mascoutah retreat again.  Always a good time!  My focus was to finish Bethany's graduation quilt Shoe Shop Girl.  And, I did it!  I'm either 2 years late for high school graduation or I'm 2 years early for college graduation.  You decide, I know which one I'm claiming...There were still 3 blocks to make, then assemble and add borders on the first day.

 Then, I took it home and stayed up all night to quilt it.  I tried to do a different pattern for each of the different blocks.  I also ended up using several different threads.  I had LOTS of breakage until I came to accept that my machine just really prefers Aurifil 50 thread for free motion.
 Ballet slippers because she was a dancer for so many years.
 Ribbon flip flops.
 I used applique paper to do the turned under applique by machine.  It seamed like a good idea at the time... not so much.  There are some really tiny pieces that a sane woman would have just done with Steam a Seam.
 I designed the Go-Go boots myself.  We weren't crazy about the fur-lined boots that the original pattern had.  I tried to make each shoe something that Bethany would actually wear.
 No, she wouldn't actually wear these Grandma pumps but I was out of ideas.  I may add shoe laces to the orange striped tennis shoes.  They don't seem quite done.
 For the inner border, I did loops and daisies, the outer is just loops.
 I'm pretty happy with the end result.  You can find the pattern at  It's a fairly small lap but a good size for my tiny Bethany.  This will be my first entry for my guilds UFO challenge!  I didn't pick my UFO's very smartly.  I chose 5 which is the max number, but I only have until November to get them done.  One quilt a month?  Come on Heather, reality break.  Some are NO WHERE NEAR being finished.  Well, at least I got one done.  Then, when my card gets pulled, I'll win all my money back... heavy eye roll.
I also made a money belt for my vendor booth.  Didn't think to take a picture.  I'll try to get one later, maybe.  Talk to you soon!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Design Board Tutorial

First, you'll want a big area to work with.  Your supplies will be: foam insulation board, Gorilla Tape, straight pins and king size flannel flat sheet.  The foam board was purchased at Home Depot in the insulation section.  It's 4ft wide and 8ft tall, 2 inches thick, purple and had the Pink Panther on it.  I used the board for a year with no cover and it worked just fine but I wanted to be fancy.

My Large Work Area

 I draped the sheet over the foam and used straight pins to keep the sheet stretched and straight.  Please note how I managed to keep that print fairly straight.  I took some effort.  Pin on all four sides.
Pinned into 2" side

 Once all four sides are pinned, I flipped it over and transferred the pins to the back.  I used the Gorilla Tape to secure the edges down.  Duct tape will also work but when I consulted the expert (Rich) he said this was stronger.
Pinned and taped on back to keep stable.
Here's where I thought I could have sewn it into a pocket to make the whole thing removable.  But, I don't think trying to slip that giant board into a sleeve would have been a good time.  I was afraid the king sheet was over kill but I really needed it for the height.  8 feet is pretty long.

Once everything was done, I decided to do a second round of tape just to make sure.

Tape overkill, just to be certain.
My finished design board.  I have it propped up against the wall.  I am considering attaching it to the wall but honestly, it's pretty stable.  It's held it own pretty well all year without the fancy cover.  It would be easier if you chose a sheet without a print but at the time, I couldn't find one.  And, yes, I bought it a year ago certain that this was going to get done right away.  Yep.  Do you have a design board?  What did you use? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Time For Some Change

Oh my goodness, it's been a busy, busy month over here at Mantz Manor.  I may split this up in installments.  Don't want to take up your whole day!  When Hunter came home from Australia last month, he announced he'd be moving out with his lovely girlfriend Carmen.  Parenting is so strange.  I wafted between being upset that my son was leaving to being excited about the extra room.  Constant wafting!  Not to mention not having to do his laundry...  He got the keys to his new place on the anniversary of our move to Iowa and Illinois, if you can believe that.  What is it with the first of July that makes our family want to make big changes?  Any who, we've been furiously cleaning, rearranging and painting since he left and I'm exhausted!  Hunter's exit made room for Bethany to have her own room, ie) leave my studio.  Which made room for me to complete my studio!!!!  What.  What?!

You've seen this bit before, I think I'll keep it as a To Do list.

I asked Rich to move the cabinets from the loft to the studio and this happened.... I cried.  He claims that it was impossible but I say he was being dumb.  The jury is still out on who was right.  But, we all know I was...

And, because he loves me and doesn't know what to do when I'm crying, he bought new cabinets.  These are actually better than the old ones.  The others had weird little drop doors underneath that was basically wasted space.  Rich hates doing these things.  HATES.  He also hates painting.  He's done a lot of painting this month and I'm pretty sure he's about to leave me.  Just kidding.  Not really.

The girls' bathroom walls had a pencil mural that Bethany had done in middle school, I think.  It was time for a change.  Then this aqua was so bright, it blinded you.  So, I put Tisket A Tasket up.

A view of my sewing station.  I had some pink file cabinets on order through  I received an email stating their delivery would be by a certain date.  The date came and went, when I contacted Walmart, I was told to contact the third party.  Then it turns out that the order was only placed through Walmart, not the third party and that they didn't know anything about it.  What I'm saying is, don't order through   I still want to raise the table a bit, I think it'll be better for my back.  Then, I wrapped some batting around an old cork board to make the small design board.  I had to ask Rich for help getting it up on the wall.  It was too soon, he wasn't pleased...

 I finally finished my big design board!  Next time, I'll share a tutorial on how I did it.  I'm really pleased with it.  I've got my clam shells on it now.  I have since filled in that open spot.  I still have about a hundred more shells cut.  I think I'm going to do one more row of shells that will require about 15 more shells than what I've already got.  I did the math but I can't remember exactly now.  Of course we all know what happens when I try to do math.  Each block is 6 wide and 8 long.  What I have so far is 2 blocks wide and 4 down.

 I will leave you with my guild's new BOM.  LOVE IT!  I used all Caron threads, available in my shop!

****This just in**** Rich and I just got back from our first couples pedicures!  It took me 10 years to convince him he'd like it.  I was right again!  He loved it.  Enough so that I think he's forgiven me for the paint and the cabinets.  He actually offered to raise the sewing table!!  LOL.