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July 9, 2020
Spirit Song Progress: Blue HSTs Nearing Completion + Tentative Plan for Background Fillers from Cheeky Cognoscenti

Good morning, and Happy Thursday!  I have been doing a pretty good job of squeezing in at least an hour or two at my long arm machine each day, so my Spirit Song quilting is progressing.  

I am starting to really enjoy this little motif in my little blue HSTs that I think of as a "lollipop flower."  Of course, the first couple I quilted didn't look this cute, but every time I start a new design I see it progress from "Oh, ick" to "maybe it's okay from a distance" to "meh" to "hey, NOW it's ...

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July 7, 2020
American Beauty table runner fnish from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

I finally made time to quilt and bind my American Beauty table runner and now it's gracing my dining room table for the summer.
This is an old UFO that started with these patriotic Blackford's Beauty blocks for the Celebrate Red, White and Blue blog hop way back in July 2012.

Almost 8 years ago to the day I put the blocks together and added the borders for the blog hop photo shoot.  Sadly, this wasn't my oldest UFO.
I even got my little helpers to hold it for a pic.  They were soooooo little then.  Jammer ...

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July 5, 2020
One (Or Two) Monthly Goals for July: Finish Quilting Spirit Song + Launch New Long Arm Learning Linky Party from Cheeky Cognoscenti

Can you believe that the year 2020 is officially half over already?  My brain is still stuck back in February, before the whole world came to a screeching halt and we all woke up at the Mad Hatter's tea party with Alice in Wonderland...  

I know the whole idea of the OMG "One Monthly Goal" linky party is to focus on ONE main goal for the month, but I have two for July.  One of them is a quilting goal, and the other one is a blogging goal.  And the two goals are interrelated, with the blogging goal supporting ...

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July 3, 2020
A 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Ellis from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

My longtime blog readers know that I started quilting because of the ancient Chinese 100 Good Wishes Quilt tradition and because of that, I've been able to make a number of 100 Good Wishes Quilts for the daughters of friends.

This one was for Kris' daughter Ellis and it was a birthday gift this year.
It's always the layout for these quilts that takes me the longest to do in order to have the colors spread nicely across the entire top.
Once the sashing was sewn between the blocks, the blocks sewn together and the outer border added ...

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June 27, 2020
I'm Thinking About Launching a NEW Long Arm Linky Party! Would YOU Participate? from Cheeky Cognoscenti

Good morning, my lovelies!  Before I share my custom quilting progress on my Spirit Song project, I'd love it if you'd take a second to give me feedback on an idea I've been kicking around for a new linky party.

When I tried to link up my last quilting post with Karin's Ruler Work linky at The Quilt Yarn, I was disappointed to read that she has decided to discontinue hosting her link-up due to low participation levels.  Like many of you, I already participate in quite a few linky parties (One Monthly Goal, Design Wall ...

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June 24, 2020
Susan's Blue and Green Log Cabin from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

My good friend Susan always brings me great tops to quilt for her.  This one is for her youngest daughter.  Since the older two sisters were recently married and received wedding quilts, the last daughter also asked for a quilt. Susan just happened to find this completed top that she forgot about from many years ago waiting to be finished.
The "Before" shot.
This is the "After" photo.  What a difference!
This time Susan chose the Tickle Too design to soften the edges of all the straight piecing.  I think it worked well.  Glide thread in Khaki was used for ...

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June 19, 2020
Pink and Brown Rail Fence Quilt for Guild from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

This is the Pink and Brown Rail Fence quilt that I stitched up for my guild's Comfort Quilt program.
The before picture (when I remember to take one) is always a great way to see just how much more the quilting adds to the top.
The stitching brings the whole thing to life.
The fun part of doing charity quilts is that I get to pick the design I use and for this one I chose the Cascade panto.  Glide thread in Pink Lemonade was used on the top and So Fine 402 Pearl was used on the back ...

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May 29, 2020
Happy Birthday to Me! 47 Is Gonna Be My Year of Fearless Free-Motion and Ruler Work Quilting from Cheeky Cognoscenti

I am finally having fun with free motion quilting on my long arm machine!  Yay!  The chalk pounce stenciling is imperfect, as it smudges and disappears while I'm quilting, but all I really need is a vague guide anyway for spacing and the angle of the curls.  If I mark just one motif with chalk at a time and then quilt it right away, it serves its purpose -- and I have zero fear that the chalk won't come out of my quilt, since it's all bouncing right off the quilt without settling into the fibers in the ...

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May 24, 2020
The Tension Wrecker Apprehended: Pigtail Guide on M-Class Bobbin Case Increases Bobbin Tension! from Cheeky Cognoscenti

Good morning, friends, and happy Sunday!  I've just returned from "Drive By Communion" in my church parking lot!  I kid you not -- Crazy times.  We watched the live streamed worship online this morning as usual (or, as has BECOME usual since early March), but this is the first Sunday since early March that they've offered in-person communion in the parking lot, served by masked and gloved pastors.  We are blessed at Christ Lutheran with church leadership that is faithful, creative, and prudent.  We didn't see a lot of cars when we went for Drive-By communion following the ...

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May 21, 2020
Stencils for Long Arm Quilting, Part Three: None of the Magic Tricks Are Working from Cheeky Cognoscenti

If you've been following along with me recently, you know that I've been experimenting with the use of homemade stencils and chalk powder to transfer quilting designs onto my Spirit Song quilt.  My DIY stencils are made of 24 pound vellum paper that I've stitched through with an unthreaded domestic sewing machine to perforate the design lines, and since I've already completed all of the SID (stitch in the ditch) quilting on this quilt, it's already loaded onto my long arm frame.  In case you're wondering, there is absolutely no way you could use ...

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May 19, 2020
Spirit Song Ruler Work and Free Motion Fills from Cheeky Cognoscenti

And the beat goes on...  Here's what I accomplished in my studio after dinner last night:

Quilting Progress as of Last Night
I'm feeling a little better about it than I was a few days ago.  As you can see in the photo above, I decided to fill in every other rectangle in that "piano keys" design with bacd-and-forth scribbles.  That makes my diagonally oriented quilting design stand out more, like I wanted, and I'm also finding that I like the way the 50 weight So Fine thread looks better when the quilting stitches are denser rather ...

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Joanne's Forest Floor Quilt from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

My customer Joann made this fabulous Forest Floor beauty and brought it to me to quilt.
 This is the "Before" shot.
 I love this view!
 Here it is all completed.  Isn't it just gorgeous!  She didn't add the final border that the pattern called for as that would have made it even bigger.  As it is, it measured 97" x 97".
 Such pretty texture.
 The Falling Leaves panto was her choice for this one and it suited it well.  So Fine Olive thread was used on the top and So Fine Nutmeg was used on the back.
 Speaking ...

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May 17, 2020
Stencils for Long Arm Quilting, Part Two: Because There is No Such Thing as Being "Ready" from Cheeky Cognoscenti

Transferring my DIY Stencil with Pounce Chalk
After a week of avoidance behavior, I finally started quilting again last night.  Ta da!

Hopefully This is the Ugliest Quilting On This Quilt
This is where I started, with that orange polka dot triangle in the top left.  It took all of the will power I could muster to leave those stitches in the quilt and keep going!

I ran across this quote by British actor Hugh Laurie this morning, and it's EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now.  Well, that quote combined with an amazing AQS video interview of ...

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May 14, 2020
JoAnne's Sawtooth Stars Quilt from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

I just love seeing the fun quilts that my customers bring me to longarm for them. This is JoAnne's Sawtooth Stars quilt.  Can you believe that this is her very first quilt?  Her piecing is spot on.
 I try to remember to always take a "Before" photo.
 JoAnne chose the Whirlygig panto and it's perfect for this quilt.
 The transformation always amazes me...from unquilted to quilted, the difference is magical.
 Signature thread in Camel was used on the top and Glide Light Tan was used in the bobbin.
 Her backing was a small Light Tan print that ...

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May 7, 2020
Using Stencils to Develop Muscle Memory for Long Arm Quilting, Part One from Cheeky Cognoscenti

My DIY Stencils, from Designs in Judi Madsen's book
No quilting to show you yet, but I've been planning and experimenting this week with stencils for my Spirit Song quilt, and I think this is going to work.  Woo hoo!  

Both of the designs on these DIY stencils shown above were resized and traced from quilting designs that were on the CD that came with Judi Madsen's Quilting Wide Open Spaces book, available on Amazon here.  

My Spirit Song Quilt, Waiting Patiently on the Frame
I know that some of you will look at this quilt and ...

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May 6, 2020
Longarm Quilting Services Available from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

Although I've been keeping busy, I've also been spending my early morning hours, while sipping my first cuppa, working on adding information about the longarm quilting services that I offer to this page.  I've had many requests from customers to be able to view the designs that I have available so they can see the options from the comfort of their homes before shipping me their top.

Each of the tabs above detail my quilting services:

Longarm Quilting Services
Quilt Preparation Information
Longarm Quilting Portfolio
Edge to Edge Designs - Levels 1, 2, 3, & 4
(The levels refer ...

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May 4, 2020
Charmaine's Pink and Gray Single Irish Chain Baby Quilts from Crayon Box Quilt Studio

My customer Charmaine regularly brings me baby quilts to complete, usually 2-3 at a time.  This time it was 2 simple Simple Irish Chain/Nine Patch quilts in Pink and Gray.

The first one was a lighter Pink.
 And the 2nd one was much more of a Hot Pink.
 She brought me one long backing and batting  for both so I was able to load the 2nd one right after the first.
 The outside lighting was a bit off that day so these pictures don't show their true colors but they turned out adorable.
 The quilting just finishes off ...

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May 2, 2020
Hey, Has Anyone Used Stencils for Long Arm Quilting? from Cheeky Cognoscenti

So today is May 1st, and I've not put a single stitch of quilting into my Spirit Song quilt since the rip-stitching I wrote about a few days ago.  Finishing the quilting was supposed to be my One Monthly Goal in the studio for April, so clearly that didn't happen -- but I'm not just going to throw a bunch of stitches into a quilt to meet an imaginary deadline.  

Sad Spirit Song: No Further Quilting Progress to Report
Since my original quilting plan didn't work for me, I've got to figure out WHAT I want ...

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April 22, 2020
Spirit Song Quilting Commences: Monofilament Invisible Stitching in the Ditch from Cheeky Cognoscenti

Good morning and happy Tuesday!  My quilting goal for the past week was to complete all of the SID (Stitch in the Ditch) quilting along the seam lines of my Spirit Song quilt.  I'm about halfway there as of when I switched off the machine last night.

Invisible Monofilament SID Halfway Completed
For the SID work, I'm mostly using my 2 1/2" x 6" Quilter's Groove ProMini ruler, with Nexcare clear first aid tape on the backside of the ruler to reduce the slip-and-slide action without sacrificing visibility.  I also have the larger 10" version.

10 ...

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April 16, 2020
Spirit Song On the Frame, ALMOST Ready to Quilt... Of Partial Floats, Frame Design and Texas Hold 'Em Brackets from Cheeky Cognoscenti

Spirit Song Quilt On the Frame, Top Fully Floated
Good morning, Happy Thursday, Happy Easter, and Happy Passover!  The Spring holidays have been different for sure this year, haven't they?  I got this far with loading my Spirit Song quilt on Easter Sunday before sitting down to dinner with my family, but then I had to switch gears and figure out how to sew a face mask for my son to wear to work at the grocery store for his 6 AM shift on Easter Monday.  I've been working on making more masks for the rest of my ...

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