Sunday, January 29, 2012

Handquilting update and feedsacks

Hooray! I finished that roll of the frame...
 and turned the quilt in the frame
 and now I'm ready to start quilting here.

 Nice feedsacks in this section-here are some that just turned up :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Postage Stamp Quilt's first 4 rows

I've started sewing rows on my postage stamp quilt! I've just sewn 4 rows so far...
 Looks a little skinny, doesn't it? but its a start. You can see the fabrics a bit more in the next two close-ups and also how I'm not being particularly careful about placement and repeats. LOL! Its just too much-too many little squares- I tried and failed!
 In postage stamp quilt tradition, I've got some novelties in there. (The red torch fabric is from the LA Olympics...been in the drawer a while! :)
 This is this wonderful batik that I always throught looked like people-I can't believe that I got this square just by strip cutting! What luck!
 All this strip cutting has cleaned out my "strip drawer" of all the dark fabrics! Yippee!
 Now I've started on the pieces drawer...some of these are the ends of fat quarters so I should get at least 2 1 1/2" strips from those...others have been more heavily depleted and all that remains is a rectangle of fabric.
 Here's what my work table looks like...lots of cut scrap square strips ready to be counted and added on to until I get what I need for each row. I'm hoping the rows will go a lot faster now with all this prep behind me. I'll keep cutting strips and sewing strata as I sew rows . I'm thinking I should sew some rows from further along in the quilt so I'll have a mix of fabrics all through it...I can't bear the thought of cutting everything now-way too boring! I need the satisfaction of seeing rows growing. 

I'm linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times. Hop over and see what's new.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 2 Progress Report on Handquilting my DWR

Here's what I got done this week:

 I have to remember to outline quilt 1/2" at the outer edge so I won't just cover the quilting with the binding later. (Actually I'm not sure if I'll add a binding or do a knife edge but there's plenty of time until I get to that.)

So I've now finished half of this roll! Yeah!

I've started a new project-what I think of as the ultimate scrap quilt-a postage stamp quilt. I spent the week figuring out the sewing scheme-I'm doing it in rows-and cutting directions.
I'm using unbleached muslin and quickly cut that up. I needed 1 1/2 yards and I had a uyard and some large scraps so that was taken care of.
 Then I started on this mess of strips from my scrap strip drawer. I'm going for a dark quilt so I'm also sorting out the lights. Trimming them to 1 1/2" wide took a while.
 When I got tired of cutting, I started sewing some of the strips together in groups of 4 or 5. I'm going to need anywhere from 7-21 scrap squares sewn together in sections so I thought this was a way to get some strip piecing to speed things up and still have a lot of variation in those sections.
 Next I went to work on the smaller strips, squares, etc. Some of these were long enough for strips and some I just cut into 1 1/2" squares...again it will help with the variation though I don't want to sew all squares.
 I started to get a bit more creative in sewing the strips. From this weird bit, I'll get some 4s and some 5s, and at the end some 3s and maybe even a 2.
 See its working...some sections ready to be sewn together and some "strata" read to be ironed and cut and some strips to be sewn into strata plus those individual squares
I hope to have some rows sewn today and something to show soon. If you know the pattern, I've decided against using focus fabrics around the muslin-I like the look but since I'm using dark fabrics, dark focus fabrics didn't show up and I don't think I'd like the look of light ones.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge: Funky Doll Quilt

Sometimes having a closet with plenty of odd blocks, unfinished doll quilts, etc. comes in handy. I took a peek in there and found a little dolly quilt whatever all sandwiched and pin basted and ready to be quilted. I think I quickly put it together from leftover blocks from a baby quilt DIL and I made together for her nephew as a "sandwiching" sample for a class.  
Pretty funky, huh? Makes me think of a rather wonky insect. (I'm reading Micro by Michael Crichton right now so I may have bugs on the brain.)

Here's the back: you can see the quilting better...3 pix.
This first one I removed the color so it is "black and white".
 This one shows just the free motion center. Notice this one is yellow...
 This one shows a close up of one of the leaves...notice it is blue. The back was unbleached muslin but I took the picture at night-no flash- so the quilting would show up so I understand the yellow but blue? Where did that come from? I have to say the blue is a lovely shade and the quilting looks quite nice on it...I seem to have a very talented camera.
About the pattern: I enjoyed doing it. I found it was easier for me to do the center "vein" in the leaf first as an extension of the stem. I just curved it and then sewed over it and  up to do the curve of the leaf. It just felt more natural for me. I think this would look really nice in a border.

Click on the button on my side board to find out more about this challenge or visit SewCalGal

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hand Quilting on my Double Wedding Ring: A Progress Report

I need some help. I put my double wedding ring into the frame in 2010 and I have only just passed the half way point. I've decided that I will shame myself into finishing it by posting weekly progress reports. I took this photo last Friday-I had just turned it.
  I'm ready to start quilting this section: my needle is right there in the center of the melon and my thread, candle to wax my thread, scissors and thimbles (the bigger one is for when I'm quilting away from me-I wear it on my thumb; when I'm quilting towards me, I use the smaller size one on my index finger).
And here's my progress pix for this week:
I know it doesn't look like much progress but it is some. I can only reach to quilt half the design so actually I've done 2 sections here. (You can't see it but I'm patting myself on the back. ;)
Thought you might like some close-ups of some of the feedsacks in this section.
 The top wedge in the next photo isn't a vintage feedsack...its a regular fabric from the 1950s.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A bit of the mystery revealed and more embroidery blocks

Here's a bit of the mystery revealed.

I started piecing the mystery quilt.  This is the basic unit of the mystery quilt and I sewed 96 of them...48 are for around the embroidery blocks and the other 48? well, their role is still hidden.
Anyone good with flowers-is this sweetpea?
 This one I know-pomegranate. It grows everywhere here.

I'm really having fun with these stitcheries-mixing up stem stitch and back stitch is creating a nnice texture that I like and the french knots in the flower centers is helping. The stem stitch sticks up a bit from the background while the back stitch lies totally flat. 

You can see that I did all the fruits in back stitch while the flowers are stem stitch.
The Redwork Club is really having fun with these too.
I'm just getting used to the new Blogger interface-just when I got good with the old in comes the new to force me to learn. (I say force because I didn't make the switch until Google pretty much disabled the old :) 
This is what's on my design wall...not much I admit! I'm linking to Design Wall Monday at 
Patchwork will not believe all the work being shown this week so hop on over for tons of eye candy and inspiration.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Plaid Quilt Completed...2008-2012

Yes, this plaid quilt is finished: quilting and binding...all done! Hooray!
I started this quilt in 2008 and blogged about it here (includes cutting instructions for different size blocks), here and here. Why did it take me so long to quilt it? Well, when I finished the top in 2008, it looked like this:
The border bothered me-I had sort of run out of plaids (which actually include some stripes and even a tiny polka dot) and I had pieced the inner border...if you look at the bottom right border you can see how the "stripe" in the plaid is not aligned and doesn't look the top sat in the closet. Plaids don't show up in our LQS and I'd forget about this project when I was in the US. I thought about looking on-line but never did. So it sat...waiting for inspiration or a new border.
Finally inspiration came. In many antique quilts, the binding is simply the backing fabric folded over the front-why not use the the inner border as the binding and fold it over to the back. So I took off the outer green border, trimmed the corner squares and quilted. 

I folded the "border" out of the way and trimmed just as with a regular binding.

Then I folded it over to the back...its wide on the back because I liked it-I could have trimmed the border.
 Did you notice the football fabric backing? The quilt is going to DS the younger (he has his first solo-no roommates-apartment).
Here's the front-a nice 1/4" binding.
 I did simple straight line outline quilting-I thought it went best with this quilt design and to be honest, it was quick and I'm still treating my ankle a little tenderly.

Folded on the arm of our sofa-a great lap quilt rescued from the closet and much better looking than with the original border.

Stephanie at loft creations is hosting an easy does it challenge called PIPS to inspiring us all to finish those projects. My first PIPS finish!

I'm linking up to Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew and Tell at  Amylouwhosews. Stop by and see the first of 2012's fabulous finishes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Laundry Bag and some quilting goals

I don't make New Year's resolutions but I have thought about what I want to get done this year. I have several things that I want to finish, which means quilting...the silk ribbon star quilt, the applique poppy quilt, the plaid quilt and the embroidered bonnet girl top the list. 

DS has been asking for a laundry bag for a while now...well that at least is off my mental to-do list.  LOL! Note the buttons at the end of the cord-that's because I know my son (he  used to pull his bathing suit cords right out!)

 It looks pretty nice in the hamper...hope it stays put when he tosses clothes in.  I tried it and when I pulled the cord tight around the hamper it seemed to work. We'll see him tomorrow and bring the hamper and the bag to him...hope it will help organize him and his laundry.

Have you thought about what projects you want to get done this year? 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Its a beautiful New Year's Day here in Migdal...a little hazy on the hills but gorgeous.

Happy New Year everyone!