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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Dragon

I finished quilting the dragon this morning and made the binding. This time I remembered to label it on one of the borders. The first black border has all the information quilted right into it. I just have to cross the t on Manitoba. I'll do that with my regular machine because I forgot to go back and cross the t's and dot the i's while it was loaded on the frame.
The other K quilt is all pieced together and awaiting inspiration on the borders. I'm going to look for black and gold fabric or else stamp some with gold fabric paint. I have decided against the braid because I want to be sure it's completely washable and the braid could shrink a lot. It would also be a bit of a problem where the ends join.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting There

I finished sewing the strips this morning and am now sewing the strips together.
I have started thinking about the borders. I want fairly narrow black borders. I was thinking of inserting a gold strip but then I tried a gold braid and that looked great. Too bad I haven't got enough of it to go all the way around. My question is, if I go with the gold braid would I add it after quilting or before? I may be able to find a gold fabric that would work as well but I don't have anything on hand that I feel would suit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Look at what I scored at the thrift shop today. 19 pre-wound bobbins. And you can see the price of $1.oo for each package of ten or so. Unfortunately there were no black ones so I still had to go and pay $7.99 for a package of black ones.

It Came!

Yesterday my signed copy of Gwen Marston's new book came in the mail. It is just what I wanted. Lots of ideas but no repetitive directions on basic quilting skills that you can find in nearly any other quilting book. I don't have a huge stash of solids but the ideas will work with any fabric. Maybe the dyes will have to come out again soon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quilting the Dragon

I started quilting the dragon this morning. As you can see I'm not very good at following the lines. I think it will look ok when it is washed and the white lines are gone. I did the two dragons on one border and started meandering but then ran out of black thread. The hard part is done now and as soon as I get more thread it will go very fast.
Meanwhile, I have started sewing the other K quilt together.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Back to the K Quilt

The K quilt is back up on the wall in yet another arrangement. I might go with this one. You could spend your life re-arranging these pieces. Right now it's looking like a black border but I'll have to see how much black I have left when I am finished the dragon. I have drawn the dragons on the border and am ready to load that quilt and try something new with the big machine. I've never quilted anything nearly that complex on it.
I finished quilting Alison's circles this morning. I learned that if you are going to do raw edge applique, glue the edges down before trying to quilt them. It would have saved a lot of trouble. I was holding the edges of the circles down with an awl while trying to do a nice meander with my left hand on the machine. Elmer's glue would have been a better solution.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Backing Done

Here is the new Saturn and it even has a couple of moons. I like this one much better than the old one. I had planned to make the rings of the brown and orange stripey fabric but forgot in the excitement of creating. I like this one is fine too.

We made the back for Alison's quilt today and I am saying that it's almost too nice for a back! We are going to put some white hand prints on it when we get some white fabric paint. There is a slight mistake on this one. The two side strips are reversed and we will exchange them when we go back out to the studio after lunch. The reason we want to change them is to keep the inset look on some of the blocks.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Circle Game

I got this big stack of goodies in the mail from Mary Anne. We signed up for Quilt Pixie's swap. I am really happy with what I received. I just hope Mary Anne feels the same when she gets my parcel next week.

I have finished the first round of embellishing and started to sew the blocks together. I think I will re-do the Saturn rings one though. It's too big and too dark to show up well. Also the rings are not quite the right shape. I do like the way the lower right block turned out. I put black rick rack around the circle and in real life it blends into the background better so that the orange circle really looks like a sun.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Going in Circles

I could see that I was going to be bored doing all the same stitch so I started embellishing and didn't know when to stop. I also put a set of Saturn rings around one circle . I'm still not sure if I should keep the square with the egg shape on it.

Circle Game

The big blue dots are gone and I like it much better. I finished sewing backing and turning all the circles this morning. I sewed the top left one with a buttonhole stitch and I think I like it better than the stars. That means I'll have to redo the middle one with the star stitch but it has the only oval so maybe I'd have to do that anyway.

Here is the one with the blanket stitch. The other options are satin stitch or couching around each circle. I thought the brown and orange swirly fabric would look good couched with fuzzy yarn so it would look like flames or heat coming off it. I may try that just to see how it looks. I'm not a huge fan of satin stitch unless it's perfectly executed (not my forte, that perfection stuff) so I probably won't do that one. Any other ideas?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spraying Hands

Alison wanted to have hands on the back of her quilt so she got out her diffuser and I supplied the Procion dyes. Here are the hands with the star quilt (which I finished on Saturday) faintly showing through. I hung the hands on the railing over the star quilt where it is residing until it goes to its new home.

Here she is spraying my hand with the dark color. As you can probably see, she has already done her hand with a red background.

Here's how my hand looked right after spraying. Nothing a little bleach can't cure.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Games Continue...

Here I have re-arranged the blocks to go from light upper left to dark lower right. I have moved some of the circles right out of the block and overlapped some seams. I've made some of the small circles round and added a couple of colors. I'm still not decided on the star sewing but I am going to back all of them with iron-on stabilizer and turn them so they won't be raw edge.
I seem to find the large blue dots rather annoying for some reason so I might change that fabric to something a bit more subtle.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Circles

Here is the latest circle game. I'm still not satisfied with the way it is arranged and will be working more on that. For starters I'll exchange the black one on the bottom right with the middle top yellow one. Or I might go from dark upper left to light lower right. It is also possible to make a few more blocks and make it much larger. The blocks are 10 inches square. Also, I'll probably make the orange border quite a bit wider. Suggestions are welcome.

These ones are faced with iron on interfacing, turned and then sewn on with a star stitch. I'm not sure if I like this, or a more invisible machine stitch or raw edge.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Circle Game

Here is exactly the same pattern in different fabrics and with the circles arranged more off center. I made the largest circle slightly smaller so I could offset the smaller ones more and not lose them at the edge of the square. I am trying for more of an outer space look. I think it needs more blocks to get enough variety. I am also thinking of adding more embellishments to this one. I thought of sewing iron-on stabilizer to the back of the circles and turning them so they wouldn't be raw edge and attaching them with decorative stitching. I'll try one before I decide. There is a lot of scope for arrangement in this pattern. I can already see that some of the circles get lost because there is not enough contrast. I'll be playing with this one for awhile.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Circle Quilt

Here is Alison in front of the quilt. We have it all sewn together and were auditioning borders. We're going to go with 4 inch dark brown with orange rick rack. We'll quilt it with an all over meander and probably add the rick rack at the very end over the meander. It will finish at about 65 inches square.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Circle Quilt

Yesterday we finished the circles and sewed them down. Now we have to assemble them. We are thinking of doing some dyeing for the background. We tried out a brown border and it looks pretty good. We are thinking of a line of orange rick rack down the middle of the binding.
Here is a link to Alisons' Website.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Start

Alison, our friend from Australia bought some fabric on our trip up to Cranberry so we thought we'd try one of the games from my new quilting book. This is the relult so far. Alison is not a quilter but she is an artist as you can tell by her fabric choices. I told her to beware of going into a quilt store or she might get infected with the quilting bug. Looks like it happened!

The kaleidoscope is resting in a box for the time being and the star quilt is on the frame ready to quilt. I have decided to do a meander since the pattern is already so complex and I want to be able to avoid sewing over the points where there are so many layers of fabric.

Friday, October 10, 2008

We're Baaaaack!

We got back yesterday evening. It was a long drive but well worth it. We had a wonderful time as usual. One of the highlights was a pickerel dinner and a moosemeat stew. This is one of the many, many gorgeous views.

We went on to Flin Flon the day we arrived. I had heard that their fabric store is closing down and of course smelled a sale! Sad news for the many quilters of Flin Flon but good news for me. Everything in the store was half price. I bought the books shown above. The middle one is Quilter's Playtime by Dianne Hire. It is my favorite because it shows several techniques for making improv quilts.

These are the fat quarters I got. It was hard to chose only these but there is a limit!

These are one yard cuts except for the dark brown and the stripe. I got two yards of them because I think they will be wonderful for borders. The green in the middle has butterflies and dragon flies on it. The top green shades from the dark shown to a very light green on the width of the fabric.

This ruler has tiny spikes on the handle that go through holes in the ruler and hold the cloth in place. In theory, no more ruler slipping out of line while cutting. The store owner really liked it so I thought I'd take a chance on it.
Now, to get our big Thanksgiving Dinner over on Sunday and then back to the studio.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Cranberry Again

We are leaving this morning to go up to Cranberry Portage again. We'll probably be gone for most of the week and I don't think I'll be able to get online up there so it will be pretty quiet on my blog for a few days.
If you like entering give away draws hop on over to Zana Ninis and check out her fall give away. She'll give two prizes if she gets 100 comments. Unfortunately I was only 99 so I hope somebody else enters so our chances will be doubled.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Second Arrangement

Here is the second arrangement of the kaleidoscope blocks. On this one I put the lightest blocks in the middle. Now that I see it in a photo, that gold box on the right will have to move over near the gold blocks on the top left.
I tried a black border but it looked too strong so I think I'll go with a dark brown that I have. It has a very subtle gold design on it and I think it will just suit. I hope I have enough of it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

How to Get a Kite Down

Thinking Thigs Over

Somewhere on the blogs I saw the idea of placing some plastic over the quilt and trying out patterns . I happened to have bought a piece of thick plastic at the thrift shop and I have some dry erase markers. They work perfectly on the plastic and are easy to erase. I still haven't come up with a design I like though. Part of the problem is that with my short arm system I am limited to about three inches deep. I can't do the whole star with one pattern because it's more like six inches square. I went out an measured. They are 7.25 inches square. A rather odd size I thought.

Here is the first layout for the K quilt. I'm sure it will undergo many changes before I sew it together. I also need to make a few more boxes. And decide what color to make the borders.
Now that I look at it in a photograph I see several changes I want to make. I have already made several since I took the picture.