Thursday, May 26, 2016

a start

Spring is just too busy!  I've been scrambling to find time to get started on my new applique project.  I want to make Radical Rose & Reel a pattern from Collector With A Needle by Dawn and her daughter.  It was a big decision to settle on what to start next and I deliberated many choices. I went over to Dawn's website to consider Harrison Rose that Hilda is making and as soon as I saw Radical Rose & Reel it was love at first sight :0)
I ordered background fabric - I love appliqueing on Moda Bella Solids and they can be hard to find where I live.  I settled on Eggshell - I feel it is a bit of a gamble to order fabric online but I'm really happy with how it looks - not as stark as white but not yellowy either.
Then I chose the other fabrics.  I love, love antique red and green quilts but I just couldn't picture myself appliqueing the exact same block 9 times with only 3 fabrics so I decided to go scrappy with prints.  I think they are all similar enough to pull off the look of the antiques I love.

I usually applique with the freezer paper-on-the-top method but I thought this pattern might work better with backbasting.  For that I had to draw the pattern onto the back of the fabric.  The 24 inch block is BIG!  The only window large enough was the livingroom window.  (the pattern has a full size 30 inch drawings too)  I am finding the pattern to be fantastic - it has the quilting lines marked on it too! Of course I can't wait for that part either!!
Today I started with some backbasting... prepping for it goes really slow... I hope I like it.  I can always switch back to my freezer paper-on-the-top if I don't.  Maybe tonight I can take my first applique stitches :0)
There has been a very little bit of machine sewing as well.  I am following along with the Thimblecreek mystery quilt and I have my 40 -  six inch blocks ready for the setting instructions.  Shown here is one of each of the block patterns. Anyone following this mystery will notice that I didn't make the house and tree blocks - I'm pleased with the blocks I substituted them with.  I hope I like the setting!
 I've been quilting away on my Bird of Paradise quilt.  Outline quilting goes fast and is so relaxing.  So far I am very happy with the basting - don't miss the vertical lines at all.  I will try some background fill quilting when I get 4 blocks outlined.
I have about 3 1/2 blocks done now so it should be soon.  Every once in awhile I feel a little bit guilty about abandoning my 1/2 quilted Lily Quilt - I tell myself I will get back to it when the novelty wears off of quilting this one.  I wonder when that will be?

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

long arm basting

I did it!  With the help of a very patient friend/instructor I basted my Bird of Paradise quilt with a long arm machine.  It was fast, it only took an hour. It was fun!  The cost was very reasonable - $30.  I will definitely do this again.  It was so much better than my usual, horrible 3-4 evening ordeal down on my knees on the dining room floor.
The long arm machine was so fun to use. 
I will confess it seemed bizarre to see this top loaded up on the machine - I almost forgot to take pictures.
We set the stitch length to 1 inch and all I had to do was guide it across in a straight line.  The lines of stitching are between 2 - 3 inches apart going in horizontal rows.  I debated reloading and also basting vertical rows as that is how I baste by hand but the instructor thought this would be secure enough. 
It was a wet, rainy day so this afternoon I sat down to start quilting so I could see if the basting was going to work out. It's good so far. Lots and lots of outline quilting will come first and then some kind of background fill.  So far so good!! 
I love the backing fabric.  I found it on sale 4 years ago and I love that its the perfect color, a beautiful print and it has birds on it as well.  Happily I bought enough :0)
I finished all of the applique for this other project.  I guess I've been calling it 9 patch flower.  It was fun and relaxingly easy applique to do.  Next it needs 105 uneven nine patches to make a couple of pieced borders. I'm making them as leaders/enders so it could take awhile.  There's no rush to get this together. 
In the meantime I have selected a new applique project to start working on.  I'm very excitied about it!! I ordered fabric and it hasn't come yet but I am looking forward to sharing more soon.
Happy Quilting!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

an early finish

I finished quilting and binding my Zigzag quilt.  It is ready to deliver to the 2016 outdoor quilt show.  Usually I am snapping quick pictures the morning I take it in so to be done 2 weeks ahead of time surprises and delights me :0)
 The pattern is from a quiltalong that Lori hosted on her blog Humble Quilts in 2012.  She called hers Mountain Trails.
I still wanted to use more of the red and white polka dot fabric so I used it for binding. 

 I free motion quilted feathers all over this quilt - it went SO FAST!  I got the idea for this after reading this post by Barb on her blog Fun with Barb.  She quilted a very large quilt on her home machine with a cable design across the width.  I got thinking about what kind of design I could use that could go in rows across a quilt. 
My quilt is much smaller than the one she quilted but the across the width idea worked out very well. 
I took this shot of it on the back of the couch in the sunshine -I thought the texture of it was cool.  The thread I used practically disappears into the scrappy top so it doesn't overpower the piecing.   I will look through my ufo bin to see if there are any other projects I could quilt this way.  I could not believe how fast it went.
So I'm going to try something else that's new to me.  I have an appointment next Thursday to learn how to long arm baste for handquilting.  I'm taking my Bird of Paradise quilt - so excited! 

Happy Quilting!