Saturday, October 30, 2010

More quilting

I am taking a break from the  Warm Wishes quilt while I think about what I want to do in the border and the dark blocks.
These are two of the blocks from my QAWM quilt. See the top here. I quilted in the ditch around every block and I am starting to quilt around all of the V shapes.  That is a lot of quilting with lots of starts and stops, 128 V's. I thought of going back and quilting a diagonal line across each block but I felt that the little V shapes should be  emphasized. So it will take longer but I like the way the three blocks look that I have finished. I often take the easy way just to get  something finished and then ask myself what was the reason to hurry. Well, sometimes there is a reason but most of the time that is not the case.

I do a lot of stitch in the ditch quilting and a lot of straight  line quilting with my walking foot. I think that the quilting should bear some relationship to the piecing if there is a definite pattern and my free motion skills are not up to doing something intricate on something large. I have done my share of meander quilting but it is not my favorite. Instead of meandering I prefer wavy lines randomly spaced usually following along the pieced seams as a general guide. I like to avoid marking if I can.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Progress - kind of

We hung the wall quilt over our bed and I am not sure I like it there. I was informed that it is there and it is staying there. OK....... I can go along with that for now. The truth is it was a big production to hang.
Jack chose not to move the bed and get behind it but instead to lean over the bed from the side. I was afraid he was going to fall and fussed around till  he  was tired of me. He took all kinds of measurements and drove the nails  and we hung the quilt but I never really had a chance to hold it up there and see how it was going to look. It is hanging nice and  straight and just where it was supposed to be but to me it looks like the whole wall is out of balance. I like the quilt but I am drawn to a lighter and brighter palette now and the dark quilt seems oppressive.  I couldn't get a  photo of the bed and the wall at the same time because our room is small but the quilt on the bed is the plaid "Jack's Quilt". what you see here are pillows I made with leftover  plaids.

This is the Warm Wishes quilt I have been quilting. I got all  the straight line quilting done and I put the binding on even though I have more quilting to do. We'll see if that was a good idea after I quilt the border. I also have to quilt the  dark squares.  My reasoning was that quilting the dark squares was not going to be any different to do if the binding was on or not. Same reasoning for the border only I think my reasoning was colored by the fact that I had enough thread to do the binding but need to get thread to quilt the  border. 

When I made the top I wanted to get away from using black in my sample for  quilt camp as I have used it  for the last three years. I  didn't quite make it but I have decided that I will not be  buying large amounts of black yardage but instead I will buy white or cream so that when I want to put something together  I don't choose black by default because that is what I have the most of. I have one more quilt that is layered up and ready to quilt and I will finished that but am going to take a look at what I have left and decide if I want to quilt them or give them away for someone else to finish. I  will do the same  with all  the pieces and parts that I  just went through and sorted out. If I want to work on something now, I will keep it. If I think I might want to do something with it someday I think it needs to go. Maybe someone  else will  do it "someday".

So you suppose all the black I have been working with lately has had a negative effect on my attitude?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting and quilting

This is the back of the quilt that is going over my bed. The hanging sleeves are sewed down and the wood strips are in the sleeves and it is moving around from here to there to keep it out of the way till it is hung. I am still waiting for Mr Spontaneous to be redy to put it up. I would  do it myself but I never get things hung straight. It  is worth waiting for.
I had this border print  for a few years and I liked it but never found anthing to do with it. I  purchased it at a LQS as a "Flag fold" which was 3 yards folded in a triangle like a flag. There was also another flag fold in the same print only larger scale and not a border print. (click on the picture and you can see where I used it for the hanging sleeves. I had used some of both  pieces recently for backs and  now that it is all gone I am very fond of it and disappointed that there is no more. That happens  to me all the time.
I am currently quilting a  Warm Wishes quilt that I made as a sample for last summer's Quilt Camp. this photo shows the Hera marker, my favorite marking tool for straight lines.  For years I had it and didn't think it was much good because I had tried to use it on a quilt that was in the frame  and it has to be marked with the quilt on a hard  surface. I love it because the lines stay visible for a long time so I can  mark the whole top if I am going to do it all in one or two days. The best part is there is nothing to erase, or take off. Probably the one step I dislike the most is removing the marking. If you enlarge the picture you can see the marked lines.

Monday, October 25, 2010

quilt repair

This is what I found when I got out Jack's Quilt to put on our bed. I have one square repaired by covering it with another square of fabric which I appliqued  using the needle turn method. I knew this needed to be  done but I had forgotten about it.

The second picture shows the repair to all four squares and the little bit of hand quilting.  The quilt is now on our bed and I will start on stitching down the hanging sleeves on the wall hanging.

Before I do that I am going to dismantle my cutting table. We stopped at the store to get some celery and stuffing for dinner and I bought another Lifetime adjustable height 2" x 4" table.  My cutting table is to hard to move around with the carpeting on the floor in my sewing room. I used to have a flat rug with no padding and moving things was easy. I have been debating about what to do and tried out cutting on my other table and it works well. . The great thing is I can store both tables in a space behind my desk. I can use them side by side for one big table or use only one of them. In the low position they are great play tables when my great grand kids come. I have plans to re-purpose the parts from the cutting table.

Right now I am  set up with one in front of my machine and one to the left both at the same  height as  my sewing  table  and I am all ready to machine quilt the next 2 quilts. Let the finishing  frenzy begin!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A finish

I have not exactly gone into a quilting frenzy but I started quilting this yesterday and it is ready to hang as soon as I get the hanging sleeves stitched down. The quilting is simple, in the ditch throughout. This photo is one I took when I finished the top last February. It was my second QAWM piece using the dark blocks that didn't work in the other quilt. I liked the blocks as they were and decided not to divide as for the suggested QAWM block. I plan to hang it above my bed, the big white space is looking very bare.

The quilt below is the one that stays on our bed in the winter. It is king size and hand quilted in the ditch to outline the star points and then a plain crosshatch grid through the center of  all  the 4 ptches. I quilted close to the seams (almost in the ditch) for the piano key border. I made this for our bed about 17 years ago when our previous quilt would not cover our new fat mattress. It is about 116 inch square and all four sides are the same. All of the  fabrics are plaid except for the black star points and the  background which is a tiny open floral background type fabric.  If I remember correctly, I cut too many small red plaid squares and didn't have enough fabric to do what I wanted. Of course the fabric was not to be found in the quilt shops ever again so I had to improvise and what I made was much more interesting than my original plan. I named it Jack's Quilt because when I finished it I asked what he thought and he  said it was nice. I was a little huffy about "nice" and told him I thought he would say it  was WONDERFUL. He said "Well it is wonderful." I accepted that and told him that since he thought it was wonderful it was his quilt. He always  refers  to it as "my quilt".

I will post a photo when I  get Jack's quilt on the bed and the  QAWM wall hanging on the  wall.

PS. You gotta love this spell checker.
I had left one of the  r's out of correctly and fixed it before I turned  spell checker on. It always wants to correct words that were originally wrong even if they have been fixed. The suggestion for correctly was rectally.  Isn't that a bit much?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Up on the wall

When I said I had to move my desk so I could put my quilts up on the wall Jack said he would do it. The desk is hard to move and he is able to reach the wall. I think he was worried that if he didn't do it I would be up on the ladder.
We put them up using thumbtacks. Yes I KNOW that is not the way to hang quilts. These are both small and they are not heirloom quilts and I have no room to have things sitting around waiting to be hung properly. Besides that, I have a hard time putting off my gratification. Eventually I  plan to have a large piece of Homasote on the wall so I can pin to it but for now this is it.
I cleaned off my desk for the photo and then I put almost everything away except the things I am going to work on. It has been several days since I actually sewed something and I am so ready to sew.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Productive week at home

A week ago I made this 15 inch little table topper centerpiece. I also made up some block kits  to make 12 inch fall blocks in case we had any new quilters come to our quilt meeting at church. The block kits can sit in the closet and be ready and waiting but I am going to quilt this sample and finish it and give it to my daughter. I made a table runner with the same fabric and give it to her and she has it on her coffee table. This will look  good on another table. The orange is a really nice, kind of bright burnt orange, even though it looks not so great here. 
They took down a  print that they had above the sofa and hung this quilt that I gave  her recently. It all goes together very well.This  was a  busy week in spite of not feeling up to par. I have had  a couple of rounds of vertigo and between that and a very productive cold, I  stayed home most of the week. In between wiping and blowing my nose and times when I felt like I was going to "hit the deck", I felt fairly decent at times and got a lot of stuff done. There is something good about not being able to go out and run around everywhere. I use the term "run" loosely, I don't run!
I spent the week going through everything in my sewing room.  Jack put my shelf back up and moved the telephone to my desk where I can't miss the flashing light on the answering machine. I finished my Gigi's room banner and  will  hang it above my desk when I feel it is safe to get up on a ladder.
I sorted squares that I had cut into various sizes  from scraps a few  years ago.  I am giving Betty all  of my 2 1/2 inch squares as I know I will never use them. I am also giving her a bag of odds  and ends. I am hoping this does not end our friendship.  I sorted squares  and rectangles for Donna Poster Scrap blocks and for triple  4 patch blocks. I know I will make those scrap blocks. I am keeping 3 and  3 1/2 inch squares to make  prairie points.  I recently decided not to put prairie points on something because I just couldn't face cutting all those squares and I found enough to make PP's for 2 or more quilts.
I consolidated and got rid of stuff and I have emptied 6 mailing boxes about the size that will hold a single 2 inch stack of printer paper and also 4 boxes 5 inches x 5 inches and  12 inches long.
There are two 10 x 15 plastic boxes with lids left over and also some empty spaces on my shelves.
I only have a few more things to put away and then I will set up my space for machine quilting and I will be  going  into a finishing frenzy. I may wait until tomorrow though for the frenzy.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Friends Quilt Together

Friends Quilt Together is the name of our group at church (it is a Friends church) and today was our monthly meeting. We are a small group and we get together once a month to sew and quilt. Today we were all working on something different. Debbie is a new quilter but not new to sewing. She is working on her 3rd quilt (? I think it is her third) It looks like a disappearing nine patch but she bought a pattern and is constructing it in a different way and doing a good job of it.
Below is a table runner Betty brought for show and tell. In the background is a scrap quilt that she made from scraps that people were throwing away. She says she is working at the end of the quilt food chain.  The overall impression is "bright" but there are many pieces of fabric that are not bright and some that Betty says are really ugly colors. I thought maybe I should re-think throwing out my really small  scraps . I thought about it and I am going to pass them on to  Betty along with some some so small..


Beth was working on an applique table topper with fall colors.
I didn't get photos of Dorine and Kim because Dorine had to leave early and Kim was just picking hers up  to work on it and I didn't get back  to her. As usual, I didn't get much done; only one block.

When I went home I took a nap and after dinner I decided I was going to hang my rulers before I break half of them moving them from place to place. I removed the shelf that was too high and put it away in a corner for now. You can see the 2 nail holes from one of the shelf brackets below and to the left the third ruler on the left.Then I worked on the layout for the rulers in EQ7 and hunted for some nails and hung my rulers. There are a few more that I never use that I have in a notebook file and there are a few on the wall that I don't use but they will  not fit in the file. I thought I had uploaded the photo that I cropped but here below my rulers you can see the mess I made moving stuff out of my way as I gathered up my rulers. I did get it cleaned up after I took the picture. This is definitely a giant step in getting things organized. Jack  said he will put my shelf back up  in the next day or two. I am not going to worry about it; it will get done when it gets done. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ta - da

I finished the letters in my banner and put them together. After I made the lower case g backwards I reread the instructions for printing and using the freezer paper templates and started over. I got the g the way I wanted it and I am happy with it but I am  not going to piece " the giggling gaggle of geese wearing goggles" anytime soon.

After I got it together I showed it to my husband and he thought the m wasn't right. He doesn't make a lot of comments about what isn't right so when he does I listen to him.  I was not about to take this letter  out and  do it over so I fixed it with a black magic marker. I fixed the upper case G in the same way because the left top and bottom corners were too chunky. If you enlarge the photo you can probably see it but it doesn't show in person and it will be OK after I quilt it and up kind of high where I will hang it.

 This photo gives you an idea of how I put these together with the freezer paper templates. It worked   OK for this but I would not want to do this for many more letters. For one thing I kept losing my pieces even though I pinned the ones I wasn't using on my design board so I would know where they were.  I am also at a loss to explain why I choose to use black  all the time now that my eyes have grown old.  As I am looking at it, I can see that next time I will make allowances in spacing for the letter I or i. All in all, I am  pretty satisfied with it, after all it is a funky alphabet, right?