Saturday, December 29, 2012

Over the Top Quilt and Design

Over the Top
Quilt and Design
Long Arm Machine Quilting, Design, and Finishing.
Welcome to Over the Top Quilt and Design

  A family run long arm quilting business. Run by Evelyn Willms and her daughter Serena Parasz. We have a new Gammill Statler Long-Arm Stitcher and would love to help you create the finishing touches to your quilt top. We have hundreds of designs to choose from including edge to edge pantographs to your one of a kind block by block designs.

  Hi, I'm Evelyn and I have been sewing for years and years. I started out sewing my children's cloths, all seven of them!! When they grew too old to appreciate my efforts, I fell in love with quilting. My retirement dream of offering professional long arm quilt finishing, has become a reality.

  Hey, I'm Serena. My mother got me into quilting years ago and quilting is a wonderful hobby we do together. Now that my mother has her longarm I have found a whole new way to love quilting.
Services and Pricing
Pantograph or Edge to Edge: $0.016 - $0.020 per square inch(depending on pattern size selection)
Custom Finishing:
Block by block or just about anything you can imagine. $0.030 - $0.040 per square inch
(depending on intricacy of design)
To calculate quilting cost:
multiply the length and width then multiply by the price/square inch.
Example: 60 x 80 = 4800
4800 x $0.018 = $86.40
100% cotton, 100% Poly, 80/20 cotton/poly blend. (prices vary)
The charge is based on how many bobbins used.
$1.50 / bobbin used, solid colour cotton
$2.00 / bobbin used, variegated cotton
$2.50 / bobbin used, specialty threads
$0.12 per running inch. I will make a double binding from your fabric and stitch it to the front of you quilt with mitered corners for you to hand finish.
Minimum charge:
$50 per quilt
All prices are subject to change at anytime
1. Please keep all layers seperate. The backing and batting should be 4" larger on all sides and should be squared.
2. Both top and backing should be carefully pressed and all loose threads should be clipped.
3. If you have pieced borders, please stabalize the edges by stay stitching 1/8" from the edge. This will ensure that the pieced seams do not pull apart during quilting.
4. If you are using sheets as backing, please keep the thread count no more than 200, and wash to remove sizing.
5. You are welcome to bring your own new batting. I have 100% unbleached cotton, 100% poly, or 80/20 cotton/poly blend available. I do not pre-wash the batting. There will be a 5% shrinkage rate on the 100% cotton, which will give you the antique look once washed. If you would like to avoid this you will have to pre-treat your batting.

or Serena at

  Our turnover right now is 2-3 weeks. Check out the picture section of the blog to see some top stitching examples.  Or go to

Monday, December 24, 2012

One Block Wonder Part 2

  I cut out my one block wonder quilt a couple weeks ago and thought I'd start putting it together.  I was really excited as to how it would turn out.

I would always lay it out in front of me to get the best design before I started sewing. I also kept in mind that I didn't want too many repeats, so I tried to make it different every time. 

  I started out by taking each bundle of six and sewing it together in threes.  I would do three or four bundles at a time so I could whip more through my machine at once.  You just need to be careful not to mix up your piles, I wouldn't do more then 4 bundles at a time. 

   Try to mark your fabrics or just be careful to keep the pairs together. You can even safety pin them if you transport them a lot.

  After I ironed the sets it was time to lay them out.  You really need a design wall or in my case I used the spare bed at my father in laws.  I laid them out and bang amazing!!!! Since the beginning I knew I should have had more fabric, even though the quilt looked absolutely gorgeous it was too small for my liking.  I went back to my scraps and mustered up 6 more blocks, to make another row and fill in my missing hexagon.  It's fun laying them out, fiddling with them till you get the layout you like.  For this one since it's so small I just did an all over design.


   Now it was time to sew my rows together.  It's nice to have your sewing machine close to where your quilt is laid out.  I would do one row at a time but would reference back to my design a lot.  I have sewed hexagons together and it is much easier doing it in the rows. 

   I love the one block wonder!!! It's sometimes very hard to match up fabric when making a traditional quilt, for this quilt bang! it matches, and every hexagon is different and unique.  It's truly one of a kind.  My quilt ended up being 5 hexagons by 7 hexagons or 32x46, so I definitely need to add some borders.  But from 2 yards of fabric this ain't bad, and I have enough to add a 1 or 2 inch border as well.
  For next time... I learned from doing this one that I might not iron so that I can manoeuvre my fabric better and just let it fall into place as I go.  Oh and have more fabric :)  I actually have my next one all planned out and bought 6 panels to see how that will work.  It's a really pretty Michael Miller fairy panel, almost a shame to cut it up.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

First Apple Core Quilt

   So I love a quilt with a story, and this one starts with my husband being quite the old lady charmer.  When my husband worked at a grocery store he would woo the old ladies and they would bring him all kinds of treats.  One lady in particular a 90 year old baba, would bring him all kinds of Ukrainian treats like perogies and cabbage rolls. We became good friends and go to her house regularly to visit. She always stuffs our faces with all kinds of specialty baked goods.  I can't believe she's almost 91 and pretty much has a full time job making perogies and cabbage rolls.  She even makes specialty perogies like taco and pizza.  This Christmas I decided to make a throw quilt for her couch.  I thought it would be a nice gesture because she usually gives us tonnes of stuff to take home for free. 

  Since I have my accuquilt apple core die I thought I'd give it a try.  Traditionally you cut these out by hand, or around a template with a small rotary cutter.  It really cuts out a lot of work having my accuquilt.  I really didn't know what I was getting myself into when I took this on.  I'm not sure who came up with the design but it's really a frustrating quilt to put together.  On the accuquilt website it says it's a beginner quilt... I don't think so!!!  Maybe it was a little more frustrating then usual because I had to get it done before Christmas.

  The fabric I used was from a shop hop in Minnesota a couple years back.  My mother went on it but never used the fabric, so she gave it to me for my project.  The fabrics where a little old ladyish, which was perfect for what I was doing.

  Because I had so many problems putting it together I'll do a better tutorial at a later date.  The main problem was I was making up a design and like my husband always says "I rush things".  But I felt the pressure to get it done.  I screwed up on my pairing when I was trying to sew in bulk and had to rearrange the whole pattern so I wouldn't have to sit and seam rip for an hour.   It's really important to pay attention to your pattern as to which way the apple core goes, so it's not flipped the wrong way to connect to the next.  It might be a good idea for my next one to sew row by row. 

  Apple core quilts are known for using a tremendous amount of pins.  I started off by taking peoples advice and pinning.  The accuquilt die cuts the tabs or notches in your fabric which really helps.  I started off by pinning the center notch then the two sides and adding two more in between.  I found even though I pinned I'd sit and fidget at the machine anyways.  I tried just pinning the center notch and it worked out better for me.  Since the blocks are so accurately cut you could probably use no pins at all (maybe).  I even saw on one site the person used fabric glue and it worked out good for her. 

  After sewing my whole quilt together it was even difficult to iron!!!  I'm making kits to sell in my etsy shop so I don't want to discourage people from taking this on, because it really turns out great in the end.  All my sweat and tears paid off...Yay!!   You get a beautiful curvy quilt that's a lot different then your traditional straight lines and squares.

  After top stitching it I decided to make the edges straight.  In the future I would love to keep the curvy edges but more because of time restraints I just had to get it done.  It's really amazing what top stitching your quilt will do, it enhances it so much.  I chose a swirly rose, edge to edge pattern.  I love using my mom's long arm, it's my favorite part of making a quilt. 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Tumbler Adventure

  Now that I have my Accuquilt GO! cutter, I started making kits.  I thought I'd make one of the kits to show how I did it.  It took me about 5 to 6 hours, so you could get it done in a day, if your a weirdo like me.  It's a nice easy project, perfect for beginner quilters, and it looks awesome when it's done.  This is sure to impress your friends.

  My kit had 10 different fabrics making up 121 tumblers.  For this project I had 5 flower designed fabrics and 5 polka dot/stripe fabrics.  This is good to get a good pattern going. I laid my fabrics out in the order that I thought the design should go... The quilt would be 11 tumblers across and 11 tumblers down.

This is the pattern that came with my tumbler die.  
Since I was using more than 2 fabrics I made a template for my throw quilt using 10 fabrics.  I assigned each fabric a letter, now I would have something to refer to.         
  If you want you can layout the tumbler shapes in 11 rows of 11 shapes (if you have room). Alternate the wide and narrow ends of the tumblers so they lay in a straight line.  Since I couldn't leave my quilt laying out for my daughter to throw around I just sewed according to the diagram.  A color picture is always nice to go by too.  Wherever possible I tried to look for pairs instead of going row by row, this way I could do some bulk sewing to cut down on time.  I started out by placing the tumblers beside my machine, then began to sew...A to B (x11), C to D (x11), and so on.

  Before I sewed each one I'd lay it out in front of me to make sure I was sewing it together properly. 
Another nice thing about the Accuquilt cutter is that it cuts the corners for you.  The notched corners should always line up.
  So I would just put each pair through the machine right after one another.  You end up with quite a pile but there's a lot less strings everywhere. 

  I ended up with 5 piles of 11, along with a pile of singles (2 of the green or A fabric)

      I laid the fabric out again, and continued on according to my diagram or pattern.  Again always looking for groups so I could sew in bulk.  This time AB could be sewn to CD 9 times, same with EF being sewn to GH.

Then I continued with IJ  being sewn to ABCD and EFGH according to the diagram.

I then laid all of my sewn runs on the floor and filled in the rest.  When your rows have been sewn together you iron them in alternating directions, to make matching up intersections easier.

   Now it was time to sew my rows together.  I went along and pinned each row to the one above it.

    It's important to get the intersections to line up nice.  To do this you snug together the iron folds, that's why it was important to iron the rows in alternating directions.

It usually turns out pretty accurate.

Then you just continue on, until all your rows are sewn together.

Just iron and there you go! A completed quilt top for a cozy throw.  It turned out to be approximately 50" x 66". 

Now off to Over the Top Quilt and Design to finish it.




Saturday, December 8, 2012

One Block Wonder

   I saw the most beautiful quilt on etsy, and thought "how the heck did they do that?"  So I investigated and found that it was a one block wonder quilt. This is my new love, I just had to try it out.  I thought since it looked so hard I would use big hexagons and just do a small throw... I was given some terribly ugly fabric that would be just perfect for my experimental quilt, even though it is a little too busy. 

  All your need is a big print with the colors you like, because believe me once you finish it, it looks nothing like the original fabric.  It's best to have a pattern repeat at 12" or 24".  Since I actually didn't have much of the fabric only about 2 meters, I knew the most I could do was a throw with maybe some borders to make it the right size.  I then cut what I had into 6 pieces of fabric so I could lay them on top of each other.  Please keep in mind there are books for how to do this properly, but I'm more of a quilting baker and sometimes it works, but sometimes I get green cookies. :)  After I carefully placed the fabric on top of each other making sure the pattern was exactly in line, I pinned it just to hold it together while I cut.  There is some fabric waste, you'll need quite a bit of yardage for a project like this.  I ended up cutting 4" wide strips.  Since this was more experimental then anything else I didn't want to fiddle with little triangles.

   Now that I had my strips I needed to cut the triangles out.  You should probably get a triangle cutter for this project but since I haven't purchased one yet I wondered if I could try using the triangle template on my cutting board. 

   Obviously using an actual triangle cutter would have been easier but since it's pretty expensive to have all the tricks of the trade, this worked fine.  From two rows I got 34 triangle bundles.

My triangles ended up being 4 1/2" on each side which is pretty big but I think I'll get the same effect.  I peaked at one of my triangle bundles just to see what kind of designs I'd get and I think its going to be pretty cool. 

  All three above pictures are from the same bundle. It all depends on how you decide to sew them.  So now I'm going to do some sewing, will update later.  But here's just one more picture I took.  This will be a really funky throw!