Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

No quilting this weekend ... spent WAY too much time at the Blogger's Quilt Festival ... oh and there are some GREAT quilts over there.  What always amazes me is that there is something for everyone ... we all have different tastes, styles, patterns and color choices.  Amy's festival lets all of us bring forward the best of what we love!

We are out at the cabin this weekend ... our view this morning ...

So needless to say ... didn't even get any Quilt Festival viewing today ... but the garden sure does look a bit tidier before we head back home this evening.

Hope you and your families had a happy and safe Halloween.

All the best

Love the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Bloggers Quilt Festival from Amy's Creative Side and all of her sponsors!  I saw the Festival was back last night on when I was on Little Island Quilting's blog (who ... by the way has THE best headline photo on her blog ... take a minute some time to head on over, it will put a smile on your face ;-). 

My choice of which quilt to put up this time was easy ... it was a quilt that I designed and that I really, really struggled with sending to it's intended recipient.

This was a birthday present for my sister-in-law who lives back east.  It started with an email to her older daughter asking what her mom's favorite colors were -- green and grey.  After I bought the material, I started thinking about what pattern I wanted to make (I know ... that's not exactly the right order of things, but more often than not, that's what I seem to do).  I decided on half square triangles and then got some inspiration from this, this, and this.  But after considerable playing around with the potential options, eventually landed on the Envelope design.

At first I was worried that it was too blah and was thinking of doing something on the binding or back to brighten it up.  My husband casually commented (which is unusual for him) that he thought it was very serene and he really liked the continuity of color ... all of a sudden, I saw it in a new light.

So instead of spicing up the back, I stayed true to the front and kept it in the green family with my favorite standby ... Kona Sweet Pea (my favorite mostly because I really like the color and how versatile it is, but partly because it's sold at JoAnns and I can use a 40% off coupon to purchase it).

The back is fairly simple with just a little bit of piecing to break it up.  And just a little bit of spice on the binding. 

Pertinent facts:  Front a variety of FQs from my LQS.  The white is Sateen from JoAnn's, as I mentioned the back is Kona Sweet Pea and the dimensions after washing were 66" x 52".  I used a white thread to quilt it in a meandering pattern.

What I learned?  Until a quilt is complete ... it's just not complete.  Several times I questioned whether it was really working for me.  And in the end ... it turned out to be my favorite quilt that I have made.  I will make this quilt again ... I love it too much not to!

Enjoy the quilting show and don't forget to visit Amy and the Flickr Pool.

All the best

A wedding present

Friday, October 29, 2010

A wedding gift for a former colleague and his new bride.  Matt and Astrid were married on the beach in Hawaii back in May of this year (yes ... I am definitely a little late with the present). 

This is actually the 2nd of two 9-patches that I made at the same time.  The first one was also my first attempt at straight line quilting on a lap quilt (I had only done pillows up to that point).  The first one turned out OK ... there were definitely some learnings in it; I am much happier with how this one came out!

The washed quilt meausures ~50" x 61".  My inspiration was their ocean-side wedding ... with greens, browns, sand and even a little light blue to represent the ocean.  The finished squares are 2" for the smaller squares and 6" for the larger off-white squares. 

The straight line quilting went about twice as fast this time.  In part because I just got better and in part because I used my cabin machine with the built-in walking foot instead of the add-on.  I am really happy with how the 'grid' came out on the back.

I used Kona Sweet pea for the piecing on the back and for the binding.

All the best

Process post ... straight-line quilting

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time to remember I took the process pledge!  This is my 2nd straight line quilt ... and second 9-patch as well!  My first one was a couple of weeks ago.

I started by stitching a 1/4" on either side of the block seam.  The blocks are 6", so this allows me to remove the basting pins.

Then I used my fabulous washable pen to draw in lines for the white blocks so that I can continue to ensure that I keep straight lines when quilting there.

My first straight line attempt came out OK, but I am really glad that I persevered as this time it came out SO MUCH better!!  The lines are much straighter and you can really see the "grid" on the back of the quilt.

I also found I love the built-in walking foot on my new machine ... it works even better than the external  one that I bought on eBay!

Oh ... and I have I told you about the best quilting gloves I have ever used?  They are Atlas gardening gloves and I picked them up for $4.99 at my local True Value.  I love them, the palms are 100% rubberized and they really make it easy to grip and move the fabric through the machine.  By-the-way ... they are also my favorite gardening gloves ... but no worries ... I have a different color of those to make sure they never get mixed up!

Hope you're having a great week!
All the best


Sewing machine's en masse

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Update:  it's "Allsaints Spitafields" in Soho on Broadway between Spring and Broome.  Thanks to Cindy @ Handpicked. 

From our vacation in NYC last week ... I'm not even sure what the store sold (I think clothing), but wow was it a display that caught my (and everyone else walking by) attention! 

The vacation was grand ... I'm  happy to be sleeping in my own bed again ... and my slightly more modern machine got a real work out this weekend !

All the best

One down ... one to go ...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I completed the quilting last night, washed it this morning and sat down at the dining-room table about an hour before I was supposed to leave to meet my aunt to trim the extra threads off the back.  I am embarassed to admit, the dining-room table appears not to have been dusted for awhile ... and the white front of the quilt made a brilliant dust cloth ... ugh ...

So another quick run through the washer and dryer left me <5 minutes for the photo shoot (so that meant a lot of shadows) and we were out the door.

This is my first attempt at straight line quilting (my walking foot arrived about 2 weeks ago) and it was an interesting learning experience! 

I started by quilting on either side of the "ditch" every 6" which put boxes around the 9-patches and the around the 6" white squares.  It quickly became clear that there was entirely too little quilting on this quilt, so I went to JoAnns ... spent an obscene $5 for a washable ink that I could use to draw the lines across the white squares.  Then after another 2 nights of quilting ... I finished!  The $5 pen became a real bargain once I realized that it REALLY DID wash out!

The lines aren't perfect, they go a little close at times and a little far apart at others ... but I thought it was pretty cool how the 2" squares really pop with the straight-line quilting. 

A couple of mistakes lessons:
  • The quilting lines clearly show that the piecing on the back is not straight ...if you look at the yellow and green fabric seam on the left, you can see the seam move to the right as you go down the photo and the quilting remain straight up and down ... I know this means I need to make sure the back is straighter next time, but have to admit I'm not 100% sure how to do this ...

  • I also learned the hard way that it's easy to miss a line and that it show up so easily when you're done ... the verticle line that is 2nd from the right is a single line ... not a double ... oops ... 

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