Tuesday, April 24, 2018

machine feathers


 It's about time I posted something.  I've been sewing - stitching away on current projects.  I have not started anything new although the temptation has been very great.
I had a week at home in early April.  Our furnace quit and we heated the house with the woodstove for a week until a part could be acquired.  I had to stay home and feed wood into the stove...  One day I made the best of it and basted this enormous quilt on the floor of my dining room.  I used all of my basting pins and still didn't have enough so I thread basted the border just to get it done.
It was my plan to free motion quilt this - hoping it would go fast like my son's quilt.  But as I considered it I decided to use my walking foot to anchor the blocks before I tried free motion quilting. Then I flipped through an excellent book "Visual guide to Free-motion Quilting Feathers" by Natalia Bonner and found this feathered design that fit into a square.  

My quilting is far from perfect but I am pleased with how this design fills the blocks without being too dense.  The design doesn't take over the block like it may appear in this picture.  If I turned the lights on as usual you would hardly see any quilting at all.  I still need a plan for the zigzag sashing.  Straight lines are all I've thought of so far.  Any suggestions??

The design works well for the half blocks too - here it is from the back.  By the last block I will be a pro - lol!
I'm also working on appliqueing my 7th block of Radical Rose and Reel.  I was so surprised to see that I had placed these two pieces in the same fabric side by side.  I didn't notice until it was sewn on.  I usually try so hard to not let this happen.  However, scrappy antique quilts often have blocks in the same fabric grouped together and yet I try so hard to scatter them evenly across the top?!  I love antique quilts!  So even though I know this will bug me  - I'm leaving it. 

Happy Quilting!!

Monday, March 19, 2018

winter progress

On the weekend I finished block #6 of Radical Rose and Reel.  I had to lay them out together to see how it's coming along. Three more blocks and then borders to applique - so many hours of happy stitching to look forward to :0)
 Here's the 6th block. 
 I've also made considerable progress on handquilting my Lily quilt.  I'm halfway around the wide border with a feathered vine. 
 I just love quilting feathers!  The border will need a background fill of some kind to go with the feathers.  I'll figure that out later - lol!
 On Saturday I pulled out my 36 patch blocks.  I had set them aside months ago to make a quilt for my son.  At that time I decided to put sashing between the blocks but had a difficult time finding the "right" fabric.  I thought I was going to love it with this blue stripe...  Once I got 2 rows together I was sure I had made a mistake.  I posted it on Instagram and received a lot of feedback  - people liked the sashing.  My husband also mentioned that he liked the sashing - that cinched it!
 Sometimes a little advice is all I need.  Thanks if you were one of the advisors :0)
 There has been a bit of skiing going on in the past few weeks. We had some exciting visitors from Ontario and we went downhill skiing
 and cross country skiing.  Both days were just picture perfect and fun!
Of course exciting visitors deserve exciting dessert!  My DD#2 and I had been wanting to make a Baked Alaska cake for awhile and it was a fun and tasty experiment.

Happy Quilting!!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

a BIG finish


I finished my Bird of Paradise quilt!!  Appliqued and quilted by hand - only the assembly of the blocks and basting was done by machine. 

 I started with the Threadbear Civil War Bride quilt pattern.  I made 10 of the blocks just like the pattern, 4 blocks slightly altered and the remaining 6 blocks I drew myself using some of the flower and leaf shapes from the pattern and my own drawings.  For my borders I took inspiration from the original 1862 Bird of Paradise quilt pictured in The Quilt Engagement Calendar Treasury.  I wanted the horses for sure to be included - they add so much energy to the quilt.  I also really liked the top border from the original so I sewed mine to be similar.  The sides and bottom are of my own design. 
With the horses racing along the bottom you'd think I'd have been racing to a finish.  Actually I started this quilt in September of 2010.  Quilting began in May of 2016 and finished in Sept of 2017.  Yeah - September.  It took me 5 months to trim and bind this quilt.  It was like an anticlimax.  And, I'm not sure why.  I loved working on this project so much - I miss working on this project.  It's a fairly large quilt and I really don't have anywhere in mind to hang it.  I'm really happy with how it turned out - I'm just not really sure what to do with it.
 Here are some close ups.  I love the squirrels :0)  They've been so busy hanging upside down off of our bird feeder eating seeds all day today.  (I was less happy with them when they were digging up and eating my carrots in the summer though)
It's a large quilt to display.  I'll find a spot for it somewhere I'm sure.
 It was a tremendously fun journey.  I learned so much about applique and designing blocks and borders while working on it.  Honestly I'd love to make it again. 
It is fairly densely hand quilted.  After I saw Hilda's beautifully quilted Civil War Bride quilt I wanted that look as well.  I learned a few things about marking while I worked on it too.  There were challenges :0)
 
Overall, it was a wonderful ride :0)  What next??

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

On Ringo Lake mystery


 This week is the last link up for On Ringo lake - Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt.  I don't have my quilt finished - not even close.  I have 39 blocks made and I love them.  They go together quickly when you have all the block parts pieced.
 I especially love them set side by side.
 However, there are a lot of points to match up and those spots could potentially be pretty lumpy so I'm thinking about some plain sashing.  This pink is my favorite so far.
The On Ringo Lake mystery has sashing pieced from these parallelogram units.  A few people have used these units as a border and I really like the look so I'm going to save them for that.
 My border won't be exactly like this layout here.  I may still set the blocks on point like in the pattern.  Here is a link to go see other peoples' mystery quilts.  It was such a fun mystery project to participate in. 
 
We enjoyed a lovely family escape from winter to Hawaii last week.  It was beautiful!
Of course there was some stitching.  I could sit outside and watch for whales and enjoy the flowers with my stitching.  It was wonderful!
We came home to -25 temperatures and it just keeps snowing.  Winter is a long season here so it was good to take a break.
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, January 15, 2018

finished but not posted yet

I finished a quilt just after Christmas that I haven't posted about.  This quilt I've been calling Not Toasty is for my 13 year old son.  He was eager to start sleeping under it - mostly because I made it extra long so it will stay tucked in on his extra long twin bed.  

I really should have a picture of it on his bed but his room has been a little chaotic of late...  So, here it is in my room instead :0)
It's hard to photograph such a long quilt.  It was wonderful to free motion quilt this on my new (well it still feels like new) Juki sewing machine.  The tension was perfect on the back every time.  The extra harp space was wonderful for maneuvering this large quilt. 
I didn't want it quilted too heavily as I wanted it soft and comfortable for sleeping under.  The stitches might not be exactly the same length and a few awkward spots happened with my quilting designs but overall I am very pleased with the results.  He chose the pattern and colors.  It's Just Toasty by Betsy Chutchian in the Oct 2016 issue of AP&Q. 

With that finished I can relax and enjoy no quilt deadlines for awhile :0)  I laid out my 2 side borders for my signature quilt a few nights ago.  I think I can applique a few more flowers on the ends of these and still have room for some corner applique so I haven't started on the bottom border like I thought I would. 
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mystery link up

Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt was a fun distraction alongside all the usual busy Christmas festivities.  I was excited to see the final reveal.  I just love the blocks. I have most of the parts made but have only managed to get 4 blocks done so far.  Here they are laid out with the sashing pieces.  

 I actually love the blocks laid side by side without the sashing pieces shown below. I will make all the blocks before I decide how I will set them together.
It's a bit strange to have so many block parts made - its different to store them than completed blocks.  I have bags and containers and boxes full of parts so the blocks should go together quickly.
Here is a link to Bonnie's mystery link - up so you can checkout what other people made.
 

 
There had to be some applique to work on while I was away visiting family.  I prepped another block for my guild challenge project. I drew this Mexican Rose block and it was quick to stitch up (a little too quick - I hate running out of hand stitching)
 
Today the kids went back to school so hopefully I can get some other applique prepped now. 
Happy Quilting!!