Sunday, June 29, 2014

Heart Quilt

Well, after my dad and husband dissed my rail fence quilt--"it isn't the best quilt you have ever made"-- I did some thinking and blog reading and thanks to Adrianne from On the Windy Side and Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches, decided to do a heart instead. Thank goodness Jolene's design is done in squares instead of rows. I also used five inch squares because I wanted a larger heart and wasn't going for a pixelated look.

Here is the drawing I did before I started so I could see how big the quilt would be. In the drawing, you will see colored squares on the corners, but I decided they looked funky, so I eliminated them. I am only going to have one row of gray at the top and bottom and one to the side. I machine quilt on a good, but small-throated machine, so large quilts freak me out.

Here is the partial quilt on my design wall--a plastic tablecloth tacked to the wall - :-)--. I am beginning to wonder how in the world I am going to make points match, but that is an issue for sewing/glue basting. I will prevail somehow.

I have added a red square in the middle to represent love for the wedding quilt. I may make it a heart or add the names and dates of my friends. I don't have an embroidery machine, so the names will be SMALL, but I have a set to try it on first. I am surrounding it with Kona Ash fabric because grays, blues, and greens are favorite colors of the wedding couple. 

I have to say that I think I would like white better, but this quilt is not for me and the gray looks fine. How I am going to quilt this baby is another story all together. I will worry about that later. I sometimes really feel like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind when I quilt--worrying about things tomorrow. I guess I could plan the quilt out, quilting design and all, but that is not as much fun as the "figure it out later" process. I do know I am NOT going to FMQ this quilt. I am still learning and I don't want to totally destroy the quilt.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

WIPs for the Slow Blogger Link-up

Knotted Cotton

So, I am linking to the Slow Blogger movement monthly doings from Weekend Doings, introduced to me by Knotted Cotton. Now, I love Martha's photos of her knitting. My photos are truly terrible in comparison, but I have four WIPs and one completed project to share.

First up, my attempt at free motion quilting from a class I took. The class was offered by the Hickory Hills Quilt Shop in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The class was great. I, however, will need a LOT more practice before I can even be considered an "acceptable" FM quilter. I don't have a stitch regulator, so I am trying to make consistently sized stitches as well as handle the FMQ. The center flower is an absolute mess (hence no closeup of it). Practice, practice, practice. That is what it takes.

Next, a bag that I really would like to make, but trying to make it made me realize why I avoided sewing for so many years. I cannot read the instructions. Quilt patterns are much, much easier to read and at least I can look at the finished quilt and sort of figure it out. The bag is currently a mess as I figure out how to finish the lining--the instructions are impossible!

Then we have a table runner from a quilter's meeting at Hickory Hill Quilts. I used Sharon Schamber's gluing tips (she demonstrates for binding in the link). NOW, AT LAST, I have points that match. I simply have been unable to get matching points when I use pins. Glue, I love you. I just need to quilt this and I am done. Using some Anna Maria Horner fabric in matching colors on the back.

Sharon Schamber's Glue Binding

Now, the big quilt that scares me to death. I have a good machine, but a tiny throat space - Bernina 350. I love my machine, but it took forever for me to baste this quilt (501 basting spray). I am following Ann Petersen's Crafsty class-- Quilting Big Projects on Small Machines -- to do this. Fingers crossed I manage. I swear I did what she said and set the glue with an iron, getting the wrinkles out, but the photo with my dad holding the quilt - I could not get him to go outside and it is Father's Day, after all - looks just awful. My husband helped me make the quilt sandwich, but I am not quite sure we did such a great job.

The quilt is a memorial to my mother that will go to my dad. She was killed in a house fire on Feb. 1 and this was a quilt we had picked out together for me to make for her. My dad won't care if it looks terrible, but I will. Fingers crossed I manage the biggest quilt I have made to date.

Finally, we have a quilt I am making for a friend's wedding present. Per norm, I am late getting it ready. It is a rail fence and I like it, but both my dad and my husband think it is fairly ugly. My husband said, "It is not the best quilt you have made." Hmmm. I am thinking of adding 2.5 inch gray borders to each 10 inch block, then quilting the blocks. I will join them with an inch binding strip of batik, a la Ann Petersen's class. I'm so freaked out about my dad's quilt and my small machine, that I need an easier way to create the wedding quilt throw.

If you have managed to get to this point, thanks for reading! I meant to post before this, but just never got around to it. I am so glad that I saw the post about the Slow Blogger link-up. Got me motivated again.

On another note, I am thinking of making a quiltshop hop in Missouri before I head back to Tennessee. Would go to Tula Pink's mother's shop in Stewartsville, Missouri (MO) (Country Expressions). I am not sure her mother is still co-owner or that the shop is there, but I will be close because I would definitely go to Hamilton, MO to Missouri Start Quilt Company! I will also stop by the Albrecht-Kemper Museum in St. Joseph, MO to see the Tula Pink and Luke Haynes exhibition. Too bad none of my friends are quilters or I might get some company on my journey!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival Entry
Okay, I've decided to take a deep breath, ignore all the mistakes on my quilt--my third one--and enter my Hoot Hoot Owl quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the small quilts category. Thank you, Amy, for hosting the Festival. I have seen sooo many beautiful quilts

I love my Hoot Hoot Owl quilt despite its mistakes or maybe because of them. I have learned a lot making this quilt and with each quilt, I learn more.

I had the help of one very unhappy cat (because I kept trying to move her) while making this quilt, which is why I have diagonals and not diamonds for the quilting. The process was quilt, move cat, quilt, move cat. She now has her own quilted cat pad, which I would enter, but all the points are off center--it was for the cat and she didn't care. You can see the cat pad here if you are interested.

The pattern is from the makeitModern 2013 BHG magazine. Lots of great quilt patterns in that magazine. I just changed the color scheme because this is for a little girl who likes pink. I stitched in the ditch (getting better, but not great) around "most" of the appliqué, which was done by machine. Then straight-stitched white window panes in the blue and diagonals in the pink. 

For the first time ever, I buried my threads--shocking to me that I did that. I machine stitched the binding using an embroidery stitch with a multi-colored Mettler thread. For the rest of the quilt I used white Aurifil, 50 wt.

Looking faded out in the sun--I have to work on my photography skills also.

The back of the quilt. I swear it is much prettier than it looks in this photo--see the note above re my photography skills.

Thanks for looking at my entry. Here's to seeing new quilts and getting new inspiration!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Quilted Cat Pads

While I realize it may be a little strange to title a post "quilted cat pads," I have made a cat pad with leftover cutouts from another project. I made the cat pad because one of my cats, Willow, loves to sit with me while I quilt. The problem is that she sits ON whatever it is I am quilting. If you know anything about cats, you will see that Willow is NOT happy about me nudging her off the quilt.

Talk about tiny stitches when you are trying to quilt with an 11-pound cat on your quilt. Because she is normally a very sweet cat, I decided to make her a cat pad. It had to be quilted because she only sits on the quilted parts--a picky cat.

At first, she didn't seem that enthused about her own quilt, but seems to have warmed up to it. I will really see if it is going to work when I quilt another largish quilt on my machine and stretch it out across the table.  Below are two photos, unfortunately on a cloudy day, of the cat pad--based on monochromatic napkins designed by Rachel of Stitched on Color for her color theory class. I learned a lot in that class! I love these colors and have to get back to my LQS to buy some more fabric before it is gone. Once I buy more, I will post the fabric information.

Jaspyrr just totally ignored the quilt, so it is a good thing I didn't make him one! Please ignore the weeds in the photo. I really have to get out there and plant some catnip or something prettier.

Tallulah, on the other hand, wanted to make the quilt her own. I guess she gets the next quilted cat pad.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hoot Hoot Quilt Done!

YEAH! I finally finished the Hoot Hoot quilt that I started on so long ago, and I actually have a little time to blog about it. I learned a couple of things on this quilt.

  1. If you have a large applique and use fusible web to add it to the quilt, cut out the big parts and only fuse the edges. The owl is stiff.
  2. I think I know how to bury threads now, BUT do I need to knot the threads before I bury them? I didn't, so there may be a problem down the line.
I did the binding by machine using a decorative stitch. I am pretty sure you will be able to see the basting stitches if the edge puckers up. I thought about adding a straight stitch along the edge, but this is for a little girl to nap with, play with, and generally do whatever with, so in the end I don't think the edges matter so much. :-)

Hope you enjoy the photos.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sashing Choices - Color or Neutral

Finally, after more sewing more hours than I thought I would need, I have almost finished the largest quilt I have ever made. With each additional row, I am slightly freaking out as I wonder how on earth I will quilt this. With the help of Ann Petersen from Craftsy (Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine), I am going to give it a shot.

I really like the piano key and blue borders and I guess I could stop here, but I think I want a final 3-4 inch border to round it off. I may make the top/bottom pieces about 2 inches longer so I have a rectangle instead of a square. Still pondering that one.

Now I am trying to decide what the last border will be. If you have a preference, please let me know in the comments. I am leaning toward the red, but I'm not sure I have enough of the red fabric. Of course, that means I have a reason to go fabric shopping.

So, if I have readers, what do you think?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bad Ass Quilter's Seam Ripping Tip

OMG! Did this post by the Bad Ass Quilter on her Facebook page come in handy. I suggest all newbies follow her on Facebook. If you don't Facebook, you can follow her blog, but the tutorial isn't there yet.

I had no idea what that little red ball on the tip of my seam ripper was for. Now I know.

On a side note, I know I am ending sentences with prepositions, but I've decided I don't mind that either.

Post by Spool.