Month: October 2016

Almost a Quilt!

Well, actually it IS a quilt, just not quite finished. The weekend was a long one, and I had sore shoulders to prove it after man handling this thing around all day Saturday and part of Sunday!  Saturday marked 7 sewing days until the big event, so I was definitely motivated. Friday afternoon was spent sandwiching the quilt, so the only thing missing by late afternoon was a plan for the quilting phase.

During my visit to The Quilt Connection to purchase the backing fabric, I also picked up binding fabric and some sulky embroidery cotton in “Autumn.” It looked a little scary with all those colors, but I really thought I needed a little more pop in all those neutral squares. I had lugged the quilt into the shop to be certain of my color choices, and the ladies there were great help, but were split as to whether the variegated thread  was the way to go. All I could do was go home and try it. However, before I could try anything, I had to practice my design, with a pencil. A lot.

Multiple repetitions. It was ugly. Don’t believe me…I have proof! Actually, I don’t, the picture here was my best page out of about 12, front and back, some with a second round using a different color. This is why I love counted cross stitch. If you mind the details the result is expected.  I slogged away throughout the evening, and early Saturday morning, I took my practice piece, and went for it, AFTER a super duper machine cleaning with the lint brush, etc. I had no intention of suffering through another round of tension catastrophe with this baby! I was surprised that things went so well. In fact, I was shocked!  It was a long, but productive morning, and here’s a preview of how things turned out….


Part A accomplished, on to the sashing, which I probably should have done first, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I settled on loops to go with the main blocks and then called it a day, because I didn’t know what to do for the outside sashing.

Sunday morning I woke up with a plan! I wrote all the way around the quilt, with some loops added here and there:  “Meghan and Tyler wed November 6, 2016  For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.” I still had room so I finished it with “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother  and the two shall become one.  That got me all the way around the outside.  I did all the sashing in dark maroon thread, so if you know to look you can just make it out. NO way my stitch writing is ready for close inspection!

That problem solved, I was ready to meander my way through the appliqué, using neutral thread, all the time wondering what on earth to do with the last two borders. I finally settled for stitch in the ditch on the triangles, and decided to revisit my little flower motif on the last border.  Whew! For me, the most stressful part of a quilt is designing the quilting …but then, maybe you noticed that while reading some slightly obsessive quilting post……:)

So, as of about 8 pm last evening, the quilting was complete. On to the binding!

 

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Disaster is a Matter of Perspective

Wednesday morning I was nearly in a panic! My orderly, traditional quilter self was sorely tried because changes I made in my borders created this little challenge.

Several of you, along with a colleague at work, provided much needed sanity and encouragement, and here is the result.


I will admit that I second guessed myself while stitching, but since I was committed under deadline….I stuck it out.  I took the day off today to make sure I actually start quilting by tomorrow, and as of lunch time, I have a completed top ready for sandwiching once the backing is dry! At this point, I am pretty pleased with the outcome, and I think the bride will love it, since fall colors are her thing. I lost my sunshine so the color is showing on the dull side, but I’ll get some more when the quilting is done.

Appliqué Disaster?

This week was all about appliqué. I wasn’t 100% happy with the patterns I found earlier on line, and then realized that I hadn’t searched my old American Patchwork & Quilting magazines for something. Sure enough I came across an issue with several flower options that were the correct size and scale for what I had envisioned. I pulled out my well used leaf templates and went to work. I added some fall colors to the leaves, and I was pretty happy with the first panel.

Things sped up quite a bit on the successive panels; I cut everything at once and then glue basted the first layer down before putting it on the machine. Fast forward…the panels are done, and I have attached them to the main quilt. Now my LACK of artistic anything comes through loud and clear. My corners are an asymmetrical mess! 

   

  I did a little bit of ripping and tried resetting the stem to see if the would work better. I think I can make a decent looking curve with the stems, and join them, but they won’t be centered on the corner.  When I arrived at the office, a colleague that does quilting happened to be around for a meeting, so I asked her opinion. She suggests that I just run the stems off the edge, and embrace my modern quilting self (not sure I’ve met her). She suggested some random use of the three flower types with a leaf or two, making each corner different. It would certainly add a surprise element. Thoughts anyone?

A Splendid Start

All summer long I  watched enviously as people posted their blocks from The Splendid Sampler. At last, I feel caught up enough to begin my Splendid journey. It is a welcome change of pace, so  I am using them as a little break/reward for finishing sections of Meghan’s quilt! Here, for your viewing enjoyment, Blocks 1-10!

Blocks 9 and 11 needed some tracing, and since I have manged to lose my graphite paper, I had to make a trip down to the new fabric store in order to finish my embroidery embellishments…darn!

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Weekend Quilt Warrior

A productive weekend with big changes all around! Saturday I cut strips for the sashing and placed the blocks. I used my row numbers again, to help me keep things straight, then began sewing rows together. One long day of sewing and half the main body is together, along with a lot more triangles. I did the math…there are 384 of those little guys, but I swear it seems like they multiply in the night!

My big question now is how to do the borders…I was planning on the triangle border, then the appliqué, then another border, but there won’t be enough triangles to do a second round of them. I have a few ideas, but I’m not sure which way to go.


A. I could do the triangles first, then a scrappy pieced border using the left overs from the appliqué (I have one whole charm pack left for appliqué and the last border.)

B. I could do the triangles first, and hunt for the navy floral online, and use it as a border and binding.

C. There is another charm pack at our local store…I could use that and do 2 inch squares around the appliqué and bind it with the sashing material. 

D. Do something different for the first border and use the triangles on the outside.

TOO MANY CHOICES!!!  What would you do? Meanwhile, I have got to figure out this appliqué situation, especially now that the main body is together! I think I’ll have to go to work so I can rest!!😉

SAL Update Oct. 16

At the last update, I had forgotten to snap a picture of my office project, so you all had to imagine my progress. This round I did better on the photo, though I still wish I had made more actual progress. Work is finally settling to a dull roar again, so I think I will do much better during these fall weeks! I am pleased with my “drafting” thus far. I am not very good at drawing, so replacing Mother with Emily and reworking the poem has been a stretch for me.

There’s a lot of cool projects happening with this SAL, check out some of the other posts and get inspired!

Last documented progress (Sept. 9)

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And here we are now!

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Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Susan and Margaret.

Week #2: 48 Stars Done!

imageIt has been a productive week of piecing, and I am excited to share the progress!  I began by working on the flying geese units of my star blocks, which of course left all those tiny triangle scraps. I just kept piling them up, and once I changed to my 1/4″ seam foot, I started sewing a group of them with each block. I started out doing blocks in groups of two instead of chain stitching everything at once this round, just for something different. Doing a handful of these little tiny squares with each block kept  me from jumping up and down incessantly, and I’m hoping that by the time I have most of the blocks done, I’ll also have the first border well underway.

I have also been encouraged to find some appliqué options while perusing my American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I found a quilt with acorns and oak leaves that looked interesting, and when visiting the online area, I found another really nice idea for flowers and buds. 🙂 I am not any good at sketching so a pattern is pretty essential for me. I’ll play with some paper and see how it looks.side-dish

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When I finished sewing my tiny triangles into squares, I started chaining them together until I grew tired of that, and went back to sewing just blocks for a bit. I did take a break to run to the quilt shop and pick up the material for the sashing before they ran out.  It is a dark purple, and I think it will make for some nice contrast, especially since some of these blocks seem a little dull to me. I’m sure once they are mixed up a little more it will all work, but while piecing some of these tan blocks I began to wonder just a bit! As of this evening, all 48 blocks are completed, and I am cutting the sashing pieces and working on that pieced border.

This weekend may not have as much sewing as designing of the appliqué border, but that’s just fine with me!