Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Finish, Two Hearts, and Progress.

Stardate 2016.182.1

It’s been hot here in Colorado, and with the heat comes the retreat to the basement where the air is cool.  Of course, all that hanging out in the cool air lends itself for some quilting time, until the sun starts retreating and we can pop our heads out of our prairie dog holes and be outside without crisping up like a strip of bacon.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been diligently trying to get at least one quilt finished for entry into one of our local county fairs.  Being part of 4-H as a kid, I still have an enjoyment for the county fairs and to see what others have been busy working on. Plus, you get comments back on your judged quilts, so you can continue to improve your quilting skills.

My finish is the quilt for a wedding, happening in late August.  All complete (well, except for a tag on the back), this one is ready to enter into the fair.  I really like how the border/edges came out in this quilt.  We’d gotten the invites for the wedding and the colors were pink and teal…so, I think the quilt colors will fit in nicely (whew!). 
Finally a finish!  The wedding quilt is ready to go...all it needs is a name and a label on the back.  
A close up of some of the quilting.  I was pretty happy with how the quilting turned out.

With the shooting in Orlando, I’d seen on others' blogs that the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild has an effort to collect either quilt squares or an entire quilt to give to victims & their families and possibly have enough to give to first responders.  The incident was a horrible event that we shouldn’t have to keep reliving in this country…so I was inspired to work on some heart blocks, and see if I could make enough to get a quilt made by their deadline of September 15, 2016.  If you’re interested, you can check them out at their website

So, here are two blocks I managed to get made.  They’re my own design, using my favorite quilter’s technique (Ruth B. McDowell).  I have to admit, when I made the first one (the red one), it put quite the smile on my face as it felt cheerful.  So, I’m trying to make one in each colorway (red, blue, green, purple, etc…).  Hopefully I can get enough made to get a quilt done for the guild.

And now for progress on the purple & green quilt…I’ve managed to make a fair amount of progress and with a deadline looming, some of the holiday weekend will surely be spent doing some quilting.  You know, some days when your heart just isn’t in it, you just shouldn’t force it.  I forced it not long ago – went down to quilt when my heart really wanted to something else, and the universe let me know it.  I had nothing but tension problems and issues.  Ripped a bunch out and decided to walk away.  After a break, I think I’ll be ready to tackle the rest.  Here’s my current progress…almost done…

Whatever your cause, or whatever your purpose, enjoy what you do and let the smiles warm your face and heart.  It really is amazing to see how much the quilting world puts forth their hearts to so many.  That alone gives me some renewed faith in mankind.  I'm linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts...Ciao!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Quilting Progress - Slow but Steady...

Stardate 2016.159.01
Gosh, things have been busy lately.  Between trying to plant the garden, hail storms, rainy weekend weather, and other general life challenges, I haven’t been doing as much quilting as I would like.  Things slowed down (somewhat) over the Memorial Day weekend and so I was able to spend some time sandwiching a quilt and now I’ve begun the quilting process. 

All pinned together and ready to get quilted.  Yep, I use straight pins to hold the quilt together and no spray basting.  In fact, I don't baste at all.  Never have liked it and just didn't get used to it...

I like the actual quilting – it’s fun, albeit challenging at times to try to figure out what you want to do, get the machine tension correct, and keep your free motion in good motion so stitches are similar in size.  A lot to juggle, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? 

Here’s the progress so far on the quilt my sister and I are working on for our niece.  My sister left the quilting part up to me (no pressure there!), so here’s where I’m taking it so far. 

Let me just say, white stitching on white fabric is hard to photograph in artificial lighting.  The lighting doesn’t really do the stitching justice, but you can at least get the idea. 
As I remembered a conversation my sister and I had about what would happen if our niece decided to take the quilt with her as she went off to college, and so I decided I would personalize the quilt in a subtle, but hopefully effective way.
Can you see her name in the quilting?  I had fun designing and quilting this.  May be hard to see, but it's a pale green thread. The other thread, for the rest of the quilting, is white.

I had seen this type of quilting done as I cruised other blogs – Devoted Quilter (Leanne) calls the type of quilting “flow quilting” and I’ve also heard of it referred to as “graffiti quilting”.  I saw another blog which talked about quilting around words to get the words to stand out in a quilt.  I’d swear it was Studio Dragonfly, but my brain escapes me now.  At any rate, I put those two pieces of the puzzle together and quilted our niece’s name in the quilt using a light green colored thread.  Then, I finished out that row of quilting with white graffiti or flow quilting, in part because I felt then the Dresden plates would carry their own weight and the quilting would secure all of the open-pressed seams – make that area stronger.

So, now, I’m working my way through other parts of the quilt, and I’ve learned a few things so far:
  1. ·       Straight lines are just tricky on a sit-down machine, but with continued work on mastering that skill, the lines will get better.
  2. ·         Graffiti or flow quilting is fun!  It’s very free-form and who cares if you change things up – that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
  3. ·         With straight lines, slow and steady wins the race.  If you go too fast, you can get off track real fast and spend more time ripping out stitching than actually sewing.  Keep calm and stitch on. 
     And, just for fun, here's another quilt I've started on (ha!  started a good year ago) ...but more on that next time.  Have fun in your quilting adventures! 

Linking up with Let's Bee Social! @ Sew Fresh Quilts...