Thursday, April 13, 2017

Diamonds Finish

I finally managed to finish the Diamonds Quilt.  It was made with the remaining fabric from the Teal Cat for an undisclosed recipient who will be receiving the gift this summer.
My original plan for the quilting was just parallel lines (I can't really claim they're "straight) with the walking foot.   I started with the dark blue background.  By the time I was finished with that, I was ready for something else.  And besides the feathers were actually easier than straight lines when it comes to bulk of fabric being shoved through my domestic machine.  And I fell back to my favorite square flower for all the centers. 
And the back is pretty cool looking on it's own as well. 

Thanks again to Jacki Kunkle for the design inspiration (link to her original quilt on my previous post) and Lori Kennedy for the square flower quilting idea. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017


This quilt moved along quickly, despite having to make 2 additional sets of HST. It's around 65" square.

To me "BEING A QUILTER" involves all aspects of the quilt, including the back.  I am very happy with how these strip look. However...
...there are some gaps

My solution was to patch that lower bit.  

And I got feed back from my inspiration designer.  
You can avoid all my frustrations and just buy her pattern.
Diamonds in the Rough

Saturday, March 25, 2017

HST Diamonds

I am working on a quilt for a secret recipient, using the leftovers from the Big Ass Teal Cat quilt.
Here's where I ended day 1. 

This is a do-over of the Citrus Squares Quilt that I did in 2012.  I borrowed the idea from Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works.  
I took advantage of the fact that my design wall panels fell off the wall and used 2 to help with this project so I could do it in the front room (where the TV is).  I'm sewing this project on the Singer 15-91 that I bought from my buddy Boomer.  Because it's too pretty not to.  It has some tension issues / attitude that I'm still working out.  But I totally love the heel activated presser foot!
The sun was shining this afternoon, so I had to take advantage for this photo - op in full day light!  This is about the 2/3 point.
And where I'm ending tonight is with the lay-out of the last section.  I completely mis-judged how many squares I needed, so this is the 3rd round of HST.  Despite that, I think it is not particularly noticeable that there are new fabrics in some parts.  (AAARGGGHHH!  I just noticed some bits on the lower edge I feel compelled to change...since I still can)

Will decide tomorrow if I'll add borders or just leave it lap size with an edge-to-edge design.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Big Ass Teal Cat Finish

 The Jenn Ski design cat is done.  There were some challenges with  different densities of quilting as well as doing all the quilting on my domestic machine rather than a long-arm.  This is the final blocking after the binding and second washing.  It is 100" x 75"

I tried to carry on the mid century vibe in the quilting.
I was not so happy with the outcome with variegated thread.  Which happens every time I use it.  It wasn't SOOO bad, but after this section, I used it only on the bobbin.
A little context on size.  (And yes, I think my cat looks a wee bit stoned)
The texture turned out well, but still variable enough from keeping things from laying completely flat.

Because I am counting on shrinkage as part of the texture, I do not pre-wash my fabrics.  Which means that I am a huge fan of Color Catchers.   The ones on the right were from the first wash.  I was expecting a lot of color as I'd used the brown, purple and pink markers for the quilting.   I trimmed up the quilt after the first wash before binding.  I was rather surprised at how much blue came out in the second washing.  The only added fabric was about a yard of batik for binding.

And for those who don't know... Here's my Big Ass Cat 1 based on the Charley Harper design

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wilson 1936

I have a new addition to my house.  A 1936 Wilson treadle machine.  

My buddy Boomer is a retired mechanic.  And he has discovered a new gift as an old Sewing Machine Whisperer.  He turns dusty relics into functioning machines.

This gorgeous machine was given to him by our mutual friend Joe.  

It now works as good as it looks.  He had to scavenge parts from a Singer 15-91.

As soon as I finish the giant cat quilt (almost there), and a piecing project I started on the 1955 Singer 15-91 I bought from him, I'll start learning on the treadle by making a thank you gift.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Still Quilting

The center quilting is finished

I used different patterns in this section to add more interest.

I spent most of last weekend hand quilting the cat's face.  I'll go back and do some machine quilting on the eyes.  

I may leave the nose unquilted.  And I really love the face texture.

My goal for today is the fish and background on the right side. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

More Quilting on Cat

I took the path of least resistance and just followed the patterns on the fabrics for the quilting on the cat forhead.

I am hand quilting the lower part of the cat face to add some extra texture.

I'm not a big fan of stippling, but I thought it was just right for the inner part of the cat's ears.

The big chore, though, is the background.  I am doing this fill on the upper, right hand section.  I was inspired by a sampler by Jodi Robinson where she showed several variations using one of her templates.  My version is double hers in size (6") and I am alternating 3 variations with dots, squares and open for texture variety.

Because I am FMQ this on my domestic machine, it means that all my stitching lines need to be drawn on first rather than any kind of ruler work.  This is my 3rd time using the Crayola Ultra-Clean Washable Markers.  I've had no problem with the lines washing away.  And the variety of colors work well on different background colors.

I'm now about 1/2 done with the sections I've marked, and am waiting to be inspired on what fills to use for the other sections.  60 square feet of quilt is a lot of quilting!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Feathers on a Cat

I couldn't resist adding feathers to the cat.  Now that I"ve figured out how to do them, they are a quick fill, and I was aiming for these circles to be spots.
For the lower 2 sections, I followed the print, filling in with leaves and swirls in the blank spots.   The upper section has nice flow with the paisley fill.
To add some textural variation, I went for some brick work to have a more linear element.

I think I've figured out my plan for the cat face, a mix of hand and machine quilting.
But I may need a couple weeks to sort out some of the variations I've considered for the  background quilting.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Big Cat Quilting

It was a challenge finding a place to lay out this 108x80 cat in order to sandwich it.  

I have the teal sections ditched using the walking foot, and now I'm moving on to FMQ.
For these first 2 sections, I'm trying to follow the printed pattern.  For the section above, that does mean adding some extra bits to fill the blank spaces.  This will likely take some time as the spaces are pretty big.  And I'm still deciding on some fills to add more textural interest.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Teal Cat progress

Like many of my UFO's, this one was shelved due to unplanned difficulties.  First was the fish, which I tried to match to the orginal mathmatically ended up half again as big as the original. So now they are salmon instead of sardines.  I realized that I had also miscalulated the pale purple background.  By about 3 yards.

I recently found a lavendar batik in the stash that I bought since the original purchase that coordinates nicely.  But even it was a bit short.

I tore 6" off the right side and spliced this piece to finish out the background.
The original plan involved sewing all the fish first then adding the cat.  But in the end, to get things to work out I will need to juggle a 100" x 80" for applique.   Fortunately, it's fast / non-fussy stitching so it shouldn't be too bad.  

This design was from Jenn Ski's Mid-centry Modern Animals coloring book.  Go check out her blog!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Flashback: Columbine

As I was traveling through Utah, I had this quilt returned to me.  I don't think that I ever posted it here on the blog.   It was designed to be 4 different views of the Columbine flower done as reverse applique.  It was designed to be part of a class series that I was to teach in West Yellowstone in 2010.  For some reason, I couldn't make it to the retreat so I didn't teach the class.  I had also made some of these patterns in yellow and red.  Not sure what ever happened to those versions.  The patterns were printed and kits at least considered.  My friend Anna designs quilts for a shop in West, but the owner was never convinced that this pattern would sell, so she returned the quilt to me this weekend.
I still like it.