Sunday, February 12, 2017

Finished & Entered.....

This past week marked the "receiving" days for our upcoming quilt show and I was happy to enter 6 pieces.

It was a sprint to the finish to get labels and sleeves on all of them.....



And especially a hurry to get the Pineapple quilt ready but it was fun to see the finished product hanging in the photograph room.....


This isn't a great photo, but I really like the back that I made for it as well.....
One of my goals for this quilt was to use fabrics that I had on hand and, except for the purple border fabric, I accomplished that.

After I got everything ready, I spent a few minutes cleaning my studio.  It doesn't often look this way so it REALLY needed to be immortalized with a photo.....

I had the fun of working in the photography room for show receiving.....

....and it was such a joy to see the quality and creativity of the quilts that were coming in.  I think that our show is going to be a GREAT one and I cant wait!!!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Whole lotta quiltin going on.....

This past week I have tried to find time to work on quilting the Queen size Pineapple.

I enjoyed quilting the long, straight lines leading from the edge into the red highlight area....



...and as much as I tried, they ended up being basically symmetrical around the quilt.   It just looked better that way!!!

I wanted to highlight the red area and Michael suggested circles, so circles it was.....


You cant see a LOT of the quilting, but may be able to see the blue lines where I marked the concentric circles.....



The final step was to decide on a design for the borders.   Once I decided WHAT to do, I decided that this was a good time to try using a ruler.

When I bought the machine, I purchased a Ruler Foot as well.....


A ruler foot is different because it has a deep circle around the needle which bumps up against the ruler.  The needle is a perfect 1/4 inch inside the circle.

When I first got the machine and had played with it, I had trouble with skipped stitches and was NOT happy with the results.   After a bit of Googling, I discovered that the problem was that the foot was not sitting close enough to the fabric.  AND, after examining the foot, I discovered that there is a screw (just above the spring) that pushes the foot down.   After making this minor adjustment, I was ready to go.....


Since I wanted the grid to be 1 inch, I am placing the 3/4 inch line on the previous line.   When the 1/4 inch on the foot is added, I have a wonderful1 inch grid.  Although I marked the grid on the first set of lines, future marking has only included extending the corner lines into the border and adding the perpendicular line that marks where the line makes a 90 degree turn.


I have finished 1/2 of the border and, unfortunately, ran out of thread, but a trip to the store on Tuesday will fix that!!!

More to come!!




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Next......

Now that my quilt is finished and hung.....

...it was time to attack the huge job of cleaning my studio. I tend to not worry about what it looks like while I'm working, knowing that I will clean it up after each finish. 

As I sorted through the fabrics I counted 132 different fabrics that I had pulled in making this quilt....

The big trick now is to get them all back into the boxes. Some of these fabrics have been out of their storage containers for over a year and other things have taken their place so it was a bit of a struggle to get everything in. But after 20 minutes or so of pushing and pulling I was able to get all of the boxes closed (well, sort of) and on the shelf.

I set up my quilting area, starting with my the table leaf and then adding another small table to the side just to give this big quilt enough support......

I spent a few minutes cleaning my machine and oiling it.....

It has been a long time since I have had a machine that needs oil so I am having to get used to remembering to do it.  One of the reviews that I read said that it was a thirsty machine, and I think that's a good description of it. While I was oiling  the bobbin case area I noticed a thread that had gotten tangled in there, so I spent about 30 minutes trying to remove that thread. It was finally accomplish with the use of a pair of needle nose pliers from the garage.
As I was cleaning, I also noticed this hook on my machine.....

For the last 5 months I have been carefully threading the thread THRU the hole without realizing that there was this guide that meant the thread can be slid into the hole rather than threading.....OY VEY!!!!  This makes threading SO much faster!!!
The next project is the queen size pineapple quilt that I pieced a couple years ago and I've been waiting to quilt. I had some time to work on it in December and played with various quilting ideas.   The one that I liked best was quilting long lines leading into the red highlighted area. I first marked a series of lines and quilted those so the quilt was well held together. Then I started adding additional lines leading from the outside borders in as well. I marked the entire quilt and started the quilting process but felt like things were being too even and maybe I wanted a little more non-symmetry with it.

So I sprayed it down with water and removed all of the blue lines that I had already put on. I then started re-drawing the lines but again they still seem to be very symmetrical.   So I have now decided to draw some of the lines, quilt a little, draw some more lines, and quilt some more, and just see how it turns out. 


My gut feeling is that I will end up with symmetry!!!

Since the quilt contains every color in the rainbow spectrum, I am quilting it using variegated Maxi-Llock thread in each of the colorways.....



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Now comes the critique!!!

 

Now that I have finished the quilt.....

.....I wanted to look back and critique the process that I used. 

 I was excited to try Susan Carlson's technique and I really like the flexibility and spontaneity that it allowed. However I am not super happy with the raw edges that it leaves. Perhaps I should have used more glue but am glad that I didn't because, when I started quilting, the thread would shred when I hit spots that had more glue. 

Since this is a very organic structure I am not too worried about the thread but I wouldn't want to use the technique on certain other pieces. The bottom line is that I think I will continue to use the technique but will mix it with a fusible web at times. 

On the positive, the hand of the fabric is better than with a fusible. 

I also enjoyed using various paints to slightly change the color of the stones and REALLY enjoyed using sponges to apply those paints.   As a matter of fact, without having done this first, I would never have thought to use the sponges to paint the trees on the "No Fishing" quilt.


 So the question is what to do next.... 

 I am in the middle of quilting my Queen size Pineapple quilt and want to have it finished for the upcoming show so that will be my next project, but what after that??

 I am pretty sure that I want to pursue more of these pictorial quilts from our travels. Michael suggested doing one based on the fishermen pulling their nets in....


 I am drawn to the way that all of their legs are in the same position. 

I also thought about this photo of our trek guide, Badri, making a water buffalo very happy.. 


The look on the buffalo's face is one of pure enjoyment!!! 


I have also thought about the pack horses that we saw on the Nepal trek.....


 The sound of the bells around their necks will stay with me for a long time.


 Then there is this photo of Chinese women enjoying their morning exercises....

 I love the positioning of their bodies and the parasols 


So I will now head off to quilt and ponder what will come next.


Michael is also going to be looking for a new project soon.   Today he finished all of the leather work and just has the staining to do......

....and yes, he does have his next project picked out!!!




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fun With Flags!!!

Frances M. Arnold

Presents

FUN WITH FLAGS.....

 If you are a "Big Bang Theory" fan you will understand this....if not, well you should be!!!!

As I was nearing the end of my quilting, I started thinking again about the prayer flags that I wanted to add.   If you remember, my original idea was something like this.....

And, although I like the look, I really wanted something that provided more perspective.  As I was showing my friend, Anita, the quilt, I noticed that one of my inspiration photos, hanging next to the quilt, had a wonderful series of flags.



SO.....the original flags were taken off of the design wall and I started working on how to work these new flags!!   The first step was to get a pattern that was the right size.   I did this by making a line drawing of the flags.....


.... and then enlarging them using my printer.  When I pinned them up, I knew that I was on to something.....


Hmmmm....this definitely shows promise!!!!

I really wanted the flags to be 3 dimensional (at least the larger ones) so I fused two pieces of fabric together, cut out the flag and then painted the edges with Fray Check.  The smaller ones were simply fused together.


To attach them to the quilt, I put a small strip of Wonder-Under to the top of the flag and then fused it in place.

I found a bit of yarn that worked for the string and finished off the display.




I put the finishing touches on the opening......



After adding some grass quilting around the base of the monument and squaring it up, I could declare it finished!!!!



Tonight as I am finishing the binding, I have to admit that I am sad to see the journey over.   It has been so much a part of my life over the last few months that I feel a  big void.   Michael's answer was to pick another scene and start another one!!!

Speaking of Michael, his leather work is going well with him finishing the outside flap......

.....as well as the main pocket......

He will soon be thru with his project and I have already encouraged him to take his own advice and simply start another one!!!!



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dueling Hobby Saturday

Yesterday Michael and I both had fun days working on our respective hobbies, in our respective "studios".  

I spent the day upstairs continuing with quilting the monument quilt.....


I love the texture that you can see in this photo!!

Michael, on the other hand, was in his workshop doing some hand work......

.....and learning how to perform a saddle stitch.....

At day's end, we both had achievements.   I had completed the quilting (except for the sky....cant decide what to do there)......

....and Michael had finished sewing the flap on the "Possibles" bag that he is making.....

Such a fun day!!!   And, more dueling is expected this afternoon after Church!!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2017

He's Using WHAT???

Michael has been doing some leather work and recently needed to draw out a strap.... a long, straight line and then another line that was two inches away from the first.   Guess what he used.....


That's right....it is a QUILTING ruler!!!!

He said that it made him a little uncomfortable having it in his shop but he guessed that he could put up with it!   😀

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