Sunday, March 1, 2015


I thought I would be posting a "finished" post on this quilt today.  But when I joined the final sections in preparation for the final row of hand stitching, I was completely horrified.  I had noticed a slight difference from one row to the next, but had written that off to math error and figured I would just trim off the excess.  I laid it out on the floor this afternoon and realized how bad it really is. (consider the flooring grain for comparison)

The edge that I have been considering the "straight" and "plumb" edge, is actually 7 inches different from one end to the other if the far (near in photo) end is considered "flush".

Apparently, each time I added a row, the variability in the quilting and loft, splayed out the lower edge.  There is about a 4 inch bow along what is the "top edge" in this photo.

This side can't actually be cut off as that edge is actually relatively square to the "upper" edge (minus the bow)

This means that the other edge is about 2 inches off on each connecting row.

So it's still a rectangle, though technically a parallelogram.

I am horrified as this was intended to be a gift.  For my friend Carol.  Whom I consider very Type A.  However, she has a weak spot for art.  After a couple of text message reassurances that she still wants the quilt, I finished the last connecting binding.

It is currently going through the wash/dry process in hopes that the magic of Quilting Shrinkage solves everything.Or at least something.

Calling it Texture

Sometimes things turn out better than planned.  That includes this section of the upper wing.  I love how the high loft batting and the pebbled outline fill in the gaps left from the applique.

This  section turned out as well as planned.  I love the loft filling out the helmet and shield.  It's hard to photograph but the shadows in this shot help.  I think that I may have to go back and quilt the chest plate to make it recede compared to the other parts.  OK, now that I think about it, it needs hand stippling so it looks a bit dimpled.

And here is this round of quilting from the back.  Quite frankly, from this distance it looks pretty cool.

Up close and with contrasting thread,  you can see how often my outlining dipped into the applique.  I originally blamed the beer, but that happened in the sober light of day, so it's an experience issue.  This thread is also leaving periodic slubs on the back.  I think the problem is with the thread.  It's Clarks & Coats "Machine Quilting & Crafts" 30 wt cotton.  Sewing with a brand new Schmetz Microtex (Sharp) 70/10 needle.  I didn't have this trouble the last time I used this thread. Even in the straight sections using the walking foot it happens.  This is cotton batting, and last time I think it was a bamboo blend, so maybe that matters.  But I am choosing to ignore this.  I will call it "texture" and keep plugging away.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Quilting Layout!

Just finished my least favorite part of any quilting process...sandwiching and prepping for quilting. Ready for some machine quilting... just as soon as I figure out where I put the applique pins to hold the tape firmly in place.

 I have a layer of poly behind the Warrior logo for dimension using a mock-trapunto technique that uses wash-away thread on the front.  After much debate I decided to not add extra batting behind the words.  Didn't want to draw attention to the fact that the "Mo" should have been an inch higher to match the "ub" on the right.  Planning to turn that upper line into a tire track.  Then will decide if I should do the same below, or add the V-twin and Crue'd Pig to the bottom corners.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Determined to Finish

I have finished joining the first 3 rows of practice panels.  This makes me officially 1/3 completed.
Yesterday, I finished quilting the last 9 of the 46 practice panels.  I trimmed all the panels to size and added the connecting strips to join 4 of the remaining strips.

Today's job is to watch TV and do the hand stitching on these strips.  And making the 2 and 3 color connecting strips for the last round of joining.

I have fast tracked this project recently because I admitted to the planned recipient who will be getting this quilt.  And she's moving out the of country in a few months.

Monday, February 16, 2015


I was going to get started on the IWMC quilt, but got sidetracked.

These are the practice panels that I've been using for FMQ.

I matched up the remaining sections with batting and background yesterday, and worked on finishing these up.  There are only about 9 blocks to go.

There has always been a master plan for all these little sections that I've been quilting on.  They were designed as variable width strips put together with a QAYG technique.

The connecting strips are 1.5" wide, folded in half and the raw edges lined up with the edge of the completed block.  There's a yellow strip on the back (all the backings are different shades of yellow or gold), and the front strip matches the block.  On this section, the strips are half green, half red. Then I butt the raw edges together and zig-zag.  The strip is then flipped over the joining stitching and hand stiched in place on front and back.

I like the way the finish looks with the hand stitching.

I am trying to repeat some designs that I tried early in the project to see if my progress is noticeable.

The red version was my first try.  The hooks are much more restrained and rounder on the right than on the left side of the spine.

The green version I did yesterday.  The loops are more flamboyant and the whole process felt smooth and flowing.

I guess I am getting better at this with practice!

Sunday, February 15, 2015


I have been trying to get back into the groove of FMQ with some practice panels.  Some things I am quite pleased with, particularly the EKG fill which will be background for an EMS block.  I am discovering that dark fabrics are much harder to see my progress.  This is problematic as the project I'm practicing for is a black background.  I am also wishing that I had purchased black instead of grey for the back of the quilt.  I thought the black on the back would make for an interesting whole cloth look.  But it totally shows any errors or thread tension issues.  Oh well.  Time to jump in and get it done.  I've been putting off the quilting for months.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Planning Quilting

I had stalled out on the IWMC quilt as I needed to decide on the background quilting.  I'm back on track having figured out a couple problems.

I drew out a cartoonish version of the very detailed Crue'd Pig logo.  It was not in the original plan, but is now my favorite bit for the background.

I discovered that they do, indeed, still make ConTact paper.  I was also pleased to discover that a dressmaking tracing wheel does an excellent job of transferring a design to the sticky backed paper so I can use is as a quilting template.

And a practice piece demonstrates that it sticks well for FMQ.

This is going to let me follow through with some of the ideas that I have that wouldn't work with my traditional marking methods since I'm quilting on a black fabric and have not had luck with any marking tools I've tried lasting long enough through marking and quilting on a domestic machine.

Once I finalize a tire-track pattern for the border, I think I may be ready to start quilting.