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Thursday, December 29, 2005

It's done! All I have to do is stitch on the label which I made earlier with fabric pens. The edges are more rippled than I would like. I think I have to stop pinning it up on the design wall to take pictures. That probably stretches the sides. I love the pattern and the colors though.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Today I got all the centre quilted, some of it free-motion and some stitch in the ditch. The free-motion is very difficult in the centre but easier near the outside. I used Golden Threads quilting paper needle punched. That was quite successful for the most part. Once in awhile it would tear off before I was finished, but with practise I learned what direction to go to prevent that. I am going to try the same method for the border. I am thinking of hearts in the corners where the borders meet. It will match the hearts in the large squares.

I am happy with the motifs in the big squares although they don't show up very well in the photograph. I am not, however, totally happy with the free-motion quilting. I guess each quilt is a practice piece. I wonder when I will get to the point of being satisfied with my results.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Here it is pinned and ready to quilt. I am going to go around the white lattice and then do a design in each square and in the shapes around the squares. I have gone around the outside of two of the hexagons and it's no joke! The whole quilt has to be shifted in a complete circle before it's done. Good thing it's a small one!

I think I will do free motion for the design inside the squares and shapes . Instead of marking, I am going to use tissue paper templates that I will sew right over and remove after the sewing is done.
Will it be easier and faster than marking? Time will tell. Marking is the least fun part of quilting so hopefully this method will eliminate that step.

Here it is from the back with two of the large hexagons done. I still have to do a smaller one inside and around the squares.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I got Louisa's quilt pieced together today. It was surprisingly difficult to match the triangle pieces to the rectangles on the borders around the orange and green squares. Some of them fit perfectly and some I had to rip out several times and even then they didn't fit exactly.

This afternoon I dyed a large piece orange for the backing and I was planning to use it as a wide border too. When I pinned them up on the design wall the orange border seemed to suck the color out of the orange in the squares. I don't have enough of either the main orange or green to do a border and I can't imagine that a wide white border would work either. Maybe the gold that is in the middle of the trellis. I do have enough of that. I may try a wide border of that and a narrower one of orange. It's surprising that often what you think will look great doesn't and vice versa. So tomorrow I have to solve the border question. Any ideas?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Still no black dye to finish Cherie's quilt so on to Louisa's. I had great fun making these blocks from online, a source of hundreds of neat free blocks. This is the second one I've used.
I will probably not make more blocks than this. They are large -18 inches square - so if I put on a fairly wide border it will be big enough. I had planned to make all the blocks orange but didn't think I had enough fabric so added the green. Now I quite like it with the green.
Of course I still have the usual problem of what color to make the border and how to quilt it. I think the border wil be quite plain because the centre is so busy. In the photo I have the brown like in the trellis but may go for yellow, orange or green.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

This morning I finished hand sewing the binding on True's quilt . That is another one done! It turned out pretty nice but technically I still have a ways to go. Sewing the border in long straight seams distorted the corners a little bit so that they are not quite sqare any more. The quilting in the center of the quilt is my best yet though so I am pretty happy.

This is the back. The sewing is done with red thread in the bobbin for all of the quilt. The top has red thread in the middle and blue in the needle for the border. I thoguht the border was busy enough without adding red to it.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Today I machine quilted the center of True's quilt. I is incredible how much faster it is to do a small one. Besides there being so much less area, it is much easier to handle and not so heavy.
I had planned on doing several parallel lines around the outside border about 2 inches apart but now, as usual, I am second guessing myself. I will probably go with the lines but I keep thinking it would be cool to quilt around the suns and moons of the fabric. Not sure how that would look though. I will try a sample for sure before doing it on the actual quilt.

The border fabric is quite busy so I'm not sure that the quilting thread should be red in that area as it is in the center. Maybe blue on top and red on the bottom.

And here is the back. It doesn't show up that well on the photo that the quilting thread is red. Looks nice on the quilt though. The binding will probably be red too.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I still don't have any black dye, so Cherie's quilt is on hold for the time being. I looked around in Morden but only found yellow and pink dyes. I'll have to go further afield.
Today I got the borders on True's quilt. I decided to go with a narrow red strip instead of piping, partly because I had the red fabric on hand and partly because piping is really difficult to do properly. I did my first mitred corners and am relatively happy with them. It would have been easier without the red strip but I managed to get them matching to my satisfaction. Now I have to get the backing ready, mark it and pin it. Not my favorite part of quilting. If I manage to get black dye today, Cherie's will move to the front of the queue again. Hers will be a nightmare to quilt because it is so big but I guess that is all part of the challenge.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I ended up with dark brown dye but no black yesterday. I thought it would look fine but decided that the backing really should be black. Now I have to wait until I go back to town for black dye.
Meanwhile I have been working more on True's quilt. I made a few red blocks but opted to go with red piping on the inner border instead. Have to get some piping now but that is not urgent. I have the blocks sewn together now but not all the rows. The outside border will be fairly wide and match the inner squares. The back will be either the gold or large patches of blue and gold. I am not sure that I have enough fabric to do it all in one color. I am debating on red quilting thread to match the piping. That will put a lot of pressure on me to do a perfet job! The one in the magazine had wavy lines of quilting in the middle of the squares.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I tried to dye a large piece of fabric (thanks Jen) black, but it came out a dull gray. Tomororw I will get some Rit dye and try that. Meanwhile I dyed another piece yellow but it doesn't look as good as black. If all else fails I coulld buy some black fabric, possibly to match the background on the front, assuming there is any left at the store (unlikely).

Meanwhile, because I was stalled on Cherie's quilt (no backing, no batting) I started on True's. It's not really his turn but I want to finish his so I can send it along to Australia with the friends who are taking Carmel's. I am wondering if I should use the red squares. It looked a bit dull without them. I have enough red left from Carmel's quilt to make 5 or 6 of them. It seems to brighten it up a bit.

Have you guessed yet that piecing is my favorite part of quilting??

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Here it is with the borders on and on the bed. I am very happy with the look of the borders. They make it look sort of oriental. I think the back will be a brown fabric that matches one of the colors in the print. I plan to do a plain grid quilt because of the size of it. I may get a bit fancier on the borders. I will bind it with the black background fabric. The end is in sight!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

After a few days off for visiting relatives and guests I got the twelve blocks done that I thought would be enough for the center of the quilt. I put it on the bed and thought it didn't look big enough. It did seem about the same size as the center of the last one though, so I put that one on the bed and placed the new one on top. I thought it looked pretty good. I may go with this size and nice wide borders. I am not sure I have enough of the background color for another row of blocks in each direction. It would be a real drag to do about eight of them and run out. Also I would like some of that color on the border too. Now I have to decide on what colors to do the borders and in what order. There will be a narrow yellow strip for sure and both other colors but how wide for each and in what order??

The first photo has way too much light so I closed the drapes for the second one