Monday, March 30, 2015


While not perfect, this is delightfully pleasing.  Having used this fill before, I know how nice it looks after the cotton batting shrinks.

Official time ripping my soul from the quilt.

On a bright note, the quilt was only 1 of 20 accomplishments on my day off "to do" list.  OK, really, I can claim this fabric as 21 & 22 as I went to the fabric store to by canvas or twill for motorcycle saddlebag overnight bags (not on the list, but the fabric store is between the post office and the wine shop). I was reminded that I was about to buy a head wrap/balaclava at a motorcycle event last week, except that she wanted $20 for an 18" square of fabric with one serged seam and raw edges.  So I was looking for some great lycra knit...This looked like great headband material.  Until I decided I needed enough to make a bikini.  And a t-shirt.

What?  You would have thought the same thing.

It was half price.

I bought the rest of the bolt. (It was only 2 yards).

Saturday, March 28, 2015


I am almost done removing the offensive stitching.

I was planning a "finished" post.... but I stopped for a quesadilla. And a glass (or 2 )of wine.

And now I'm stalling.
A special thanks to those of you who took time to leave a comment.  I had posted this on my FB account for friends who were following my progress.  Having non-quilters say "it looks great to me" after you've been ripping your heart out for 5 hours is not what I needed.

So I want to publicly thank Catherine who aptly described this as "soul destroying work".  Sarah Liz, I did indeed need a sympathy card.  "I'm sorry for your loss" would be appropriate.  As Barb noted, I Really, Really, Really hated how it was looking.  And yes Amy, I've been watching lots of Netflix.

Speaking of Amy, The fill I'm planning on is the serpentine stitch with a walking foot that I used for the quilt that she won. (see below).

And speaking of awesome long term followers, Julie Fukuda, did you know you are currently a "no reply blogger"?

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Sad First

I was on the homestretch on the fill and laid it out to look at it as a whole.  And I realized that I absolutely HATE how this fill looks.
I have liked this fill on smaller bits of background, but disliked some of the odd long line sections that turned up instead of the grid.  At first I though it was me being picky.  But the more I did, the less I liked it.

I have been ripping stitches out for the past 4 hours.

I have never been so unhappy quilting ever.

I have never before considered taking the stitching out.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Learning Curve" Finished!

This quilt is officially finished and renamed from "Fall Stripes" to "Learning Curve".  The original plan had been to quilt a variety of leaf themed motifs.

Instead it became random fills.
And failed concepts.

(This winged Warrior just looks like a Harry Potter Golden Snitch to me.)

I am still mystified about how I ended up with a parallelogram with one seemingly straight edge and one stair-stepped.  But I decided to just bind it that way as though it was an intentional part of the design.

My favorite supportive comment on the crisis was from Archie the Wonder Dog who noted "Very odd!  Still, people aren't rectangular so why should quilts be?!"

Sadly, washing it a second time in hot water did not shrink up as much of the slack as I had hoped. And it faded out one of the very cheap green fabrics that I unwittingly used abundantly throughout the quilt.
 In many ways I like the back even more than the front.  I always considered this the "Spring" to the "Fall" theme I started on the front.

So, it's off to my friend Carol.  Perhaps a metaphor for your new diplomatic mission?


Making progress.  Nearly finished with the straight stitching along the outer edges.  Then I'll switch back to the free-motion foot and do the fill on the right and left box section as well as the background of the logo.  I can't wait to wash this and see the magic the cotton batting will do to the texture.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Today, I am doing the fills for the background squares,  This has not been without a lot of swearing and quite a few tears.  Oh, and lots and lots of seam ripper action.  All kinds of tension issues (thread tension I mean...though my stress level is rising).  Some of which I have fixed.  Others I am ignoring.

 I got cocky when I picked out a light backing fabric.  So every blip and tension issue shows.   But I really want people to identify that the background of the EMS block is an EKG.  (Sorry, the photo posted about 120 degrees off)  From the right side every other line is normal and every other is AFib.  Why? Because AFib is symmetrical so I could sew it right to left.

After spending a couple hours this morning trying to get a tire tread pattern I like, I gave up and decided to simplify the background fill.  Using Matrix for the center background, and some straight-ish lines for the outer border.

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.