Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
This next one has very bright dolphin and fish squares. It's basically the same idea - 4" blocks with borders.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Here's a closeup of a few of the animals...
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Here's a monthly update on the hand quilting of Sophie's quilt. At just about 5 weeks from starting, I am now working the quilt's borders. I am doing a somewhat wavy floral pattern in that green stripe. In retrospect, it might not have been the best choice, as because of the fabric's print, the quilting is not overly obvious. I have done 11 of the 15 sections with this quilt pattern. It takes about an hour, so I rarely do more than one section in an evening.
The corners have little flowers. I also tested a quilt pattern yesterday for which I made a few templates - for the inner area of these swags. It's overlapping 'leaves", intended to look somewhat like a half of a dahlia. And of course, both sides of that hot pink stripe are stitched as well.
I was busy the latter part of this week, despite having a cold. I have another Linus top quilted, learned a ton about needles (thanks, ya'll!), and thread breakage, learned a few new dirty words too that I like to use when this happens. I pieced the top for a spring table runner for myself. It's simple, and is a good example of when perception and reality don't entirely match up. More about this at another date. I made my label for my 4SQS5 piece, and hope to mail this in the near future. I also (phew, as if that's not enough for a sickly gal) cut out the upper part of an Easter dress for Sophie, and partly pieced it together. I didn't have the zipper until today so I couldn't get too far.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
- check thread load and bobbin direction
- tried new needle (90/14)
- rethreaded (sometimes alleviates all issues)
- stuck voodoo doll a few dozen times
The frustrating thing here is that this is a thread I use regularly. I think I ditched the original needle that was replaced, and am not positive what size it was (but it worked!!!). It seems as though the thread was in fact breaking AT the needle eye. Incidently, earlier in the week I was doing a lot of string piecing and was also having some breaks (with old needle), but I disgarded it to string piecing. Yea, I know this is stupid. I string piece all the time w/o issues. I cleaned out fuzz from within machine that day, quilted another top, and assumed my problems were behind me.
My question to ALL of you. WHAT SIZE NEEDLE DO YOU USE FOR QUILTING (WITH A STANDARD WEIGHT MACHINE QUILTING THREAD)??
I plan to order some today if I get a good concensus.
many thanks on all the very helpful comments yesterday.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
machine quilt thread, new bobbin, new needle, machine cleaned 5 days ago, sewed another quilt top 3 days ago without incident
30 thread breaks today!!! This is more frustrating than a 4 year old (and this is my daily relief from said 4 year old)
What's a girl to do??
...any pointers from the gallery?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Finishes for the last few days...
I have quilted and bound the "Love" quilt. It turned out well. It has just a simple large meander quilting pattern. This becomes number eight for my 2009 Project Linus donations. Not too bad...averaging right at one a week. At this pace (which will most certainly fall off soon), I'll nearly double last year's donation count.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Mine aren't nearly as artistic as some that are shown on the flickr site, nor are they from great designer fabrics. But they all have a story to tell, and some child or individual will love the quilt that they are made into.
Here's my story (and you may have to double click on the 2nd picture for a better look)... Two years ago when I started making the Project Linus quilts, my sister-in-law donated some blue fabric with red bows to me. I told her I thought it was about the ugliest thing I had seen, but probably could use it anyways. She went on to tell me that it was bequeathed to her from her sister-in-law, some years after this woman had stopped trying to have babies. She lost a couple babies inutero on account of a birth defect, and also lost at least two babies after they were born to the same diaphraghm defect. The ugly blue fabric (as well as others she gave me then) were selected by this ever-hopeful mother when she was planning the 3rd or 4th baby's nursery. Because she had already lost two previously, she was apprehensive, and was waiting to decorate the nursery after the baby was born safely. This sadly never happened. So, you might think, this is a horrible reason to use a particular fabric. The first Linus quilt I made using it, made my sister-in-law cry. Each that I have done since, and there have been 3 or 4, have made me think how tremendously lucky I am to have wonderful living (though occasionally bratty), but loving kids. I had a few scraps of this fabric left and decided to use them as the centers of these blocks. The red bows symbolize hope, which these people desperately need now.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Now I am definitely NOT a fan of the improvisational quilting...never will I succumb to the wonky houses or free-form letters. They are sloppy and just as tedious as making them neatly. But, there is something fun and youthful about the colorful log blocks. And I find the black, red, white and green combination pleasing and happy.
Monday, February 09, 2009
I've seen a pantograph pattern done lately that is similar to what I attempted - large loops/petals. I am quite pleased with how this one came out. Except for a number of thread breaks, which I do not typically have to deal with, it went rather quickly (for me!) - about 3.5 hours to sash, sandwich, quilt and bind. The binding is done on machine. I know...it completely violates all of my own principles of "Never, but Never sew down a binding on machine". But, these are donation quilts that will be used and washed so I think that the machined bindings are OK for that purpose.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
But as soon as I saw the colors (I am totally in love with orange & pink together!!), I knew I what design I wanted to do. I have been eyeing this pattern for a while, but after seeing Jeanne's 4SQS5 mini, I knew that this was next on my list of to-do's.
Thanks so much Michelle; it is really a nice treat.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Now, I don't think that I have a super killer stash like the awesome 1km Emma, but then I don't have the time to measure mine. And part of me really worries how much is here. I am in the process of another round of organizing of the scraps into bins. There are 6 more bins awaiting my attention. There's one for each color, one for strips for log cabins, etc - mostly left overs from cutting borders and bindings. The fabric cubbies need some tidying as well, removing some of the smaller pieces.
This box is all 1-1.5 yard cuts that I was bequeathed at a Project Linus function in November. They are all nice fabrics, and there are 2-4 pieces of several fabrics, which is awesome for the backings. That said, many are not ones that I would personally select for my projects, but I am using them for my Linus quilts quite happily. The shelf off to the left has precut blocks, some extraneous blocks from all of my projects, unfinished flimsies, etc. The shelves to the right have a 6 yard section of fleece for backs and the Linus quilts made this month (6).I also acquired this box of fat quarters. Some are bold and very kid-like, some are flannel. Again not really my choices, but good for many uses.
And one last thing...I am tentatively hoping to enter a quilt in the Maine State Quilt Show this summer. I may enter Sophie's Little Dresses (assuming the hand quilting is done before the entry deadline) and another (which I need to design and sew). The second one will be a big fat orange cat, since that is after all, the quintecential cat to me! I beefed up my brown, orange & amber batik stash a little with 12 measly fat quarters. That one on the right is clearly the wrong color. Oops...
Monday, February 02, 2009
This grandmother's fan is for Randi (group 3). I have not added any trim or lace, but still may before I send it across the big pond.