Monday, March 26, 2012

Bella Ties

Bella has taken over the silk tie quilt.   It has been delivered to the original owner of the ties and the pooch immediately took ownership.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Executive Woobie Finished

Pull out the smelling salts.  I've finished another quilt.

I've finished 1 quilt since October and now 3 this week.  I guess that makes sense given my 6-8 quilts per year average and the fact that at any given time I have about 20 projects part-way finished.

You can read about the evolution of the project here: washing the ties, making pinwheels, hating the border, coming up with a solution, and using the leftovers.

This silk tie quilt was a finished top and I spent yesterday quilting it onto a soft fleece backing.   It was pin-basted in place then the top and backing (no batting) stitched with a walking foot.  (Grey on the top, black in the bobbin)

I trimmed the fleece to 5/8" from the edge then flipped it over the edge and stitched the raw edge down.

Because of the stretch in the fleece and using cotton thread the top did not stay flat at all.  If you click to enlarge the first picture, you can really see how the pinwheels bunched up.  I actually quite like that.  It picks up more of the sheen of the silk.  And I'll just ignore the wobbliness of the edges.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

$2.25 Plus Tax Finished.

Please don't faint.  I actually got another project finished.

In case you forgot (or weren't around), this quilt was started in January 2011 as the result of reading blogs about the rising price of cotton fabric and suggestions to upcycle old shirts into quilts.  I paid $1.25 for a queen sized cotton sheet and the 2 plaid shirts were part of an "all you can fit in a bag for $1" deal at another thrift store.   It's a gift for my brother Dan.

By February, I had cut the shirts into blocks and started making HST, with a technique that sounded stupid, and it turns out really was a bad idea. 

The technique of making 4 HST at once sound great until you realize it puts all the edges as bias.

Not a big deal if you are making pinwheels.

But a royal pain in the tush when my vision was a whole quilt that was going to look like this.

I changed my design and got the top pieced last December and even started quilting it.

This morning as I was finishing the straight line stitching using the walking foot, I came to realize why this project was a UFO.  I lose interest when I get to the BORING part of the project.  Utility quilting is flat out boring.

But the pillow case that I made as FMQ practice in January was fun.  You can see more pictures at this post.  My favorite part was that I used the collars on the pillow case opening.

I'm working on the quilting on the Executive Woobie - the silk tie quilt.  It's being stitched to some soft minkee style fleece.  It's going to feel yummy!  Stay tuned for my next finish!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Finally Finished!

This afternoon I finished the binding and washed the double wedding ring quilt.   The finished size is about 70x80.  It's taken me 3 months to do the hand quilting.

The bamboo batting combined with limited density of the quilting makes the drape of this quilt extremely soft.

I had to really fight the urge to do more quilting.  I opted for "just enough" quilting, where all the rings are outlined with some echo quilting inside each "square".    This is before washing.

And this is after.   I was hoping for a wee bit more shrinkage, but even this adds some of the texture I was hoping for.

I still need to embroider a signature on the back before I can really call it finished.

Now it's time to decide which of my many unfinished hand-work projects will take it's place.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Citrus Squares

After a month of evenings sewing half-square triangles, I finally had a stack of about 350 sewn, pressed and trimmed by Sunday afternoon.

Here's my long awaited Citrus Squares quilt.  The inspiration for this layout was a quilt that I saw on Jackie's Blog: Canton Village Quilt Works. (Hurray! I finally remembered who's blog I saw it on)   The inspiration was smaller, and I'm quite proud of myself for not over-thinking things and I just randomly added on to the original pattern with small, med, or larger squares.

I have 4 rows stitched together and hope to have the top finished by the weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A little piecing

I had a long list of quilty things that I wanted to do on my day off, of which I accomplished very little.

I did trim up a large stack of HST for the Citrus quilt.  I'm trying to clear out some old fabrics and decided that I really enjoyed the last 2 projects that I made with yellow.  And I found some orange that didn't really go with anything.  And this fabric that has fruit names written all over it.

I Saw the Knee Socks block at Oh, Fransson! and decided it was the perfect way to use up the leftover strips from the QOV kits.  The measurements are kind-of what the directions called for, and I have great hope that it will at least have the same vibe, if not the same look.

And much to the delight of my younger daughter, I sewed the amazing llama panel into a new drawstring/backpack bag.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March FMQ Challenge

The March FMQ Tutorial is by Ann Fahl and has a ton of info on FMQ and a couple of doodley fills.   She offered a few variations and after drawing them on paper, decided that only 2 interested me enough to commit to fabric.

She suggested a stippling variation that alternates what she refers to as "loop & twist".  I would have called it loop & villi.  Well, at least my version of it looks like that.  My paper doodle had softer waves b/w the loops, but when I pulled out practice quilt #1, I decided to try the fill on a narrow green strip so I could use some Wonder Fill Egyptian Cotton, variegated green that I had in the thread bin.  I'm not loving it.  My thought at this point is that it's just awkward for a narrow strip fill.

So I moved to a different section and tried the spiral fill/flower variation.  I have always liked double loops that I refer to as "olives".  This idea added a couple more rounds then petals.  What I LOVE about this is that instead of trying to exactly repeat the spiral, or echo just take off after the swirl is done to another area.

I really had fun with this.  I made fat squat petals, and long skinny ones, big flowers, little ones, partial flowers.  It was really fun.  I like the variety.  I will do this again.

I moved on to practice using the leaves from my Ojibwe Bead work inspired quilt.  The last practice panel, the stippling detracted from the fancy leaf design.  So I decided to keep the leaf plain and fuss up the background.

I like it better, but I have now come to the conclusion that I don't really like stippling in general.

It's a fast way to fill things in, but I'm not convinced that it's really the fill for me.  Which just popped in my head to the tune of KT Tunstall " Black Horse in the Cherry Tree"

Whoo Hoooo, Whoo HOO.  No,, no, no! You're not the one for, no no! You're not the fill for me.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Feb at a glance

Lily's Quilts
One of the things that I love about Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts, is that it gives me a chance to reflect on the month of February and realize that I actually did get things accomplished.

My FMQ is getting better with feathers that look kind-of like they are supposed to.  I realized after making this that I don't actually LIKE feathers in quilting, which is probably why mine never look amazing.

My FMQ confidence is growing, and I'm really glad I decided on these practice panels that are designed to be a whole quilt later.  This piece, for example, I think I could have picked a better background fill, but I still love the leaf.  This leaf deserves better than becoming a pot holder!

One of my 2012 goals was to do trapunto, and this practice panel was my first attempt.  I learned a lot about background fill from the leaf panel and I was quite pleased with the outcome.
I finished piecing the silk tie quilt, which removes 2 things from my quilting bucket list  - upcycling and working with silk.  I learned a lot from this project, most importantly that I'm "totally over" the need to quilt with silk and I can move on.

But I am keeping the bonus silk woobie because it feels so soft.

Although I don't really enjoy piecing, working with someone else's yellow scraps for this charity quilt was a lot of fun.  I need to sew with yellow more often.

My only finish for the month was the Quilts of Valor quilt that was a collaborative effort from my quilt group and a chance for me to use another new-to-me technique.

And I am finally nearing the end of the hand quilting for the Double Wedding Ring.  This has taken 96 episodes of Cake Boss, and I've moved on to watching LA Ink.  Unfortunately the tatoos give me ideas for quilting designs so I tend to get distracted.

For March, I plan to continue to practice FMQ, finish the hand quilting, finish the Executive Woobie and $2.25 Plus Tax, finish piecing the Citrus HST top.  I also want to work on something to use up the blue scraps for another QOV quilt, and I need to get back to some applique on my Hearts Desire.