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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Some Finishes

Here are some UFOs that I have finished in the past month. This one had a seam that wasn't sewn properly, which I only noticed while I was quilting it. This little froggie agreed to sit on top of it so nobody could see it.

I quilted this one on the frame and hated it so spent several frustrating hours ripping it out again. Lesson learned: Don't try straight lines on the frame without using rulers. I re-did it on the regular machine. I don't enjoy it much though because I see where I had problems ripping.

This one was not really a UFO because I only started it a couple of weeks ago but it is finished completely.

This is the last quilt I finished before starting on the wall hangings.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Adding Dodads

It is mostly sewn together. I haven't decided whether the two outside strips should be above or below or even with the middle section. I'm thinking it will be the way it is right now but I want to think about it for a bit before I sew in down. The two dark blue strips are folded under and they may end up hanging a bit below the middle section. The middle bottom block seems a bit too light colored to me. It might just need a dark strip on the bottom. The light colored one on the right was too light until I outlined it with dark brown. I'll try that on the bottom one before I take it out and make something darker.
I strung some beads from my new stash to use as dangles. I might also make some tails from fabric.
Looking at the two posts side by side, I think I prefer the original configuration a bit better. I like the more square shape. I'll be keeping that in mind for the next one.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Series or Obsession?

Yes, I think it could be called on obsession. I made this one this morning. I will still do a lot more to it. I love the pink and blue block on the far left. It was an accident really because the blue and pink strip wasn't quite wide enough so I added more pink to the sides. Suddenly it had those nice pink squares in the corners. That type of block is made according to Quilting Outside the Block. I made a small quilt using those techniques last year and thought they'd go well with the ones from Quilters' Playtime.

I scored again at the thrift shop yesterday. Somebody got rid of all their beads. I didn't take them all but grabbed all the nicest ones. They were in pill bottles at 20 cents a bottle. Nothing wrong with that!

Monday, January 26, 2009

When is it Done?

The big question when working on this type of project is when to call it done. You could keep fiddling with it for weeks. I decided today that it was done. I quilted it and enveloped it. I just have to hand sew on a hanging sleeve. Our sunroom has yellow walls and I think this will look really nice in there. It would look even better if I'd finish and put away the big pile of hand work that is sitting on the table in there.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Playing Around

Today I added some more bits to my latest quilt game. Not many of the larger pieces are sewn together yet so there will be lots more playing with it before I call it done. I want more pieces hanging from the bottom and the left side is totally undecorated yet.
In the end, I think I prefer the darker ones but I'll decide when this one is finished and they are hanging side by side.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Wall Hanging

I started another wall hanging using some more of the techniques from Quilters' Playtime. I bought that striped fabric awhile ago and have been eager to use it. I also got lots of dangly earrings from the thrift shop and they really go well on the tail pieces. The bottom row with the blues and pinks is just pinned on. Who knows where this one will go from here!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quilting Playtime

I finished piecing the wall hanging and quilted and backed it. I spent some time sewing on beads and dangles. I moved the black tassel from the right and cut off one of the mauve pompoms. It was too squished to the side. I wish I had two more of the black teardrop beads. I'll have to take those off and put something else on I think. Adding the decorations at the end is half the fun of this style of quilting. I have a big cache of thrift shop beads, necklaces and trims that come in very handy when I start doing this job.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quilt Game Updated

No posts for three days and now two in one day. Strange, I know.
I'm still having thread breaking issues on the quilting frame so I read the wrapper that was on the thread (following instructions, always a last resort!) and it said to use a top stitching needle. I guess it will now have to wait until I get back to town.

Meanwhile I did some more work on the Quilt Game. I'm still not satisfied with the bottom right part. I may add some of the green that is on the top and left. So much fun!

New Qulit Game

All Shook Up is quilted and the Nine Patch quilt is on the frame and well started. I got different thread for the top of this one since there are large patches of light color. I bought some Bottom Line thread in variegated beige to brown. It is a lot thicker than what I normally use and I had problems with breaking thread until I put in a new needle. I like the way the quilting looks with this heavier thread.

Meanwhile, because I can only machine quilt for a short time without getting tired or bored, I started another wall hanging from the Quilters' Playtime book. I will not be using the large green piece. I put it up there to see how it would look and don't like it at all. I'm thinking of several long strips of different colors but I'm not sure exactly what yet. I really enjoy building the piece as I go with nothing pre-planned .

Saturday, January 17, 2009

All Shook Up Pieced

I finished piecing All Shook Up this morning. Now I have two quilts to put on the frame and quilt. The next order of business will be to make the backing for both of them. I was short one piece of batting but I got that yesterday so there is nothing stopping me now.

This is the book that we got the pattern from. It is called Six Halves Make a Whole by Susan Knapp and Mary Jane Mattingly for Quilt Branch. There are a couple more patterns in the book that I want to try eventually.

Friday, January 16, 2009

All Shook Up

Yesterday I was faced with a decision: Iron a mile of fabric, cut a backing from it and load the quilting frame or start the last kit. Well what would you do?? Here are some of the blocks. I have made 4 out of the 6 sets of 6. The most complicated part was cutting. There are so many pieces of similar size that I was stressed about mis-cutting. I'll know if I did when I get to the last blocks. The four on the top left are placed according to the diagram. I think it will be a very nice quilt when it's done. It won't take long to sew it all together once I get the last 12 blocks assembled. Then I'll cut the backing for both quilts. The backing piece is a tiny bit shorter than I thought and I may have to piece one of the backs with strips from the front. That always adds interest to the back so it's not a problem.
This quilt is called All Shook Up. I'll have to get the book from my studio before I can let you know the designers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I have the new brown border sewn on. I used the same fabric as I will put on the back. We bought enough for all three quilts and there was quite a wide piece left over on the side of the Mocha quilt. It looked fine as a darker border. The piano key border is not sewn together completely but I do like the looks of it. I'll do the binding in the same brown as the inner border.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pillow Cases

Here are a couple of pillow cases I made from the left over fabric from the quilt border. Please excuse the strange lighting. I wanted the striped border to be much narrower but I was about 4 inches short of the dark brown so the stripe had to be that width.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On the Bed

Here is the Mocha Quilt in its new home. They are going to get a brown bed skirt but it's hard to find the right shade of brown. The pillow shams ended up fitting perfectly and the quilt is extremely warm and light due to the wool batting.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Moving Right Along

I had time to do a little sewing today before heading out to Winnipeg. This one goes very fast. I haven't sewn all the strips together yet but they are ready to go. I think it might look better with a wider inner border. It also needs to be a bit darker in my opinion. The pattern calls for 1.5 inches on the sides and 2 inches on the top. I think that looks a bit skimpy. Some of the browns from the previous quilt might work for a wider border. I'll audition some when I get it all sewn together.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Nine Patch

I have started an on point nine patch from a kit. This is my first experience with a kit. I hope I don't make any serious errors in cutting. If I do though, I could probably get some similar fabric locally so I'm not too stressed out. It's quite scrappy so lots of fabrics would do. So far no big mistakes. There are 18 nine patches so it's coming right along. It will be a couch quilt so it shouldn't take long to put it together.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pillow Sham

Today I made a pillow sham. I'm not totally happy with it though. I forgot to take into account the shrinkage due to quilting and when I added the cording around the edge I lost some more. Also I'm afraid it's a bit wonky. The edging looks good but it's a bit stiff and I had lots of problems putting it on. I used the quilt binding and inserted some cording. I can't discard this one and make another because I used up almost all of the binding and most of the border fabric. Hmmm... maybe something completely different. I'll finish the other one and see how they fit but I'm not hopeful.


Here is a close up of the binding cut on the bias. I really like the effect of the stripes on an angle. The designer of this quilt thought of everything.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ready for the Hand Work

Here is the Mocha quilt just off the frame and trimmed. After I took the picture I sewed the binding on and now I only have a couple of miles of hand sewing to do. The meander goes really fast and would have gone faster if I hadn't threaded the machine wrong at one point (the thread was not between the two tension plates) and had to rip out half a row because it was all loopy on the back. I'm quite happy with how this has turned out. I'll be making a couple of pillow shams to go with it. I'll try to get a picture of it in it's new home when I deliver it.

I learned a couple of really useful things on this project. First, I learned a lot about arrangement. It was set up in a way that I have never done but might try again with ultra brights and blacks. Also, I never use bias bindings, thinking it's such a pain to cut. I used a hint from Happy Endings by Mimi Deitrich and found it really easy to cut. Then, as a bonus, the ends are already cut at the right angle so it's super easy to sew together. Also, since this binding is a stripe, it looks great on an angle.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It's on the Frame

I have the quilt on the frame and have started quilting but today Blogger won't let me upload pictures. I am doing a loose meander. I had thought of doing some vines or leaves but decided to stay with what I know. The quilting won't show up much on this busy quilt anyway and it's probably better to try something new on a utility quilt. Hopefully I'll be able to load pictures later.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ready to Quilt

Here is the quilt with the final border on, hanging over the frame so you can see how big it is. It is about 95 inches square. I have decided that I'll be able to hide the corner problem with brown quilting in that area. I love the outer border on this one.

And here is the pillow all finished. I think it will look very good on the bed with the quilt.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mitered Corners

I thought this quilt really needed mitred corners but I have never done them on multiple borders so I made a pillow cover with two borders. The miters turned out ok but not quite perfect on the last corner.
It's a lot harder with a huge quilt and this one is already 90 inches square with one more 5 inch border to go. I got the first border done and the first corner of the second one. It's not perfect but I'm not sure I can make it any better if I try to re-do it. I don't know why the lace pattern doesn't meet quite evenly but the corner is square so it may be a trade off. Any ideas?
On looking at the corners again, I realize that the problem is with the lace pattern on the fabric, not the mitre. The curve of the pattern doesn't meet at the same part of the curve. Well, it's pretty close and I don't have the skill to make it any better.

I replied to comments for the last two posts and they all bounced back to me. This hasn't happened with regular email so I'm thinking it must be Blogger. Has anyone else on Blogger had this problem?

Saturday, January 03, 2009


If you wonder why I get so much quilting done, here is one reason. The snow was deeper on the hill leading up to this spot. The temperature today is only -18 but it is snowing hard and then expected to get very cold again.
I can't get the "new" sewing machine to work. The needle doesn't pick up the bobbin thread. Also the little wire on the tension disk is broken. It may get fixed some day or may just end up being an ornament. It is unusual in that it can be put on a treadle cabinet or used with the crank. I guess you could call it a transformer.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Do I Really Need Another Sewing Machine?

Probably Not. Today we went to a Coffee Shop/Antique store that just opened in town. After drinking our coffee we browsed the antiques and I found this old hand crank Singer. It's not pristine by any means and the top of the case is missing. It is pretty old. I checked the Singer site and it looks like it was made in Clydebank, Scotland in either 1910 or 1916. The instruction book is like new and according to it, this machine could be mounted on a cabinet to become a treadle machine. The slot at the right is for the belt to go through.

This is a picture of the crank on the end. I'm going to clean it up and try it out tomorrow. It turns quite easily so I think with a bit of oil, there is no reason why it won't work. There are also all the usual attachments with it too. I think it was quite a find for $45.

Back At It

I am back at the Mocha quilt after a very quiet and pleasant NYE and New Years Day. I have assembled half the triangle blocks.
Later: I just noticed that one of the top middle blocks is on sideways. Good thing it's not sewn down yet.
They are the most difficult to get right but I have been helped by a couple of new tools. I read on one of the blogs that Creative Grids rulers are the best to be had. They are also quite hard to find unless you order online. However, I noticed the lady at Rae-Bon was using one to cut our fabric. I asked her if she liked it and she loved it. They had them for sale so I got one. The bonus was that my SIL threw it in with the fabric. It is as good as I heard it was. It doesn't slip at all and has the lines in black and white so it's easy to read. It helped with accurate cutting which helps with accurate piecing. The Quilt Police would be proud!

I also invested in some Best Press, which I also read about online. It's easier to work with on all the bias seams in the triangular pieces than glue and much lighter than normal starch. The bonus is that it has a wonderful lavendar smell so I am getting aroma therapy at the same time as my quilting therapy.
In the background, you can see why I am working inside rather than being outside. At -25 it seems to be a good time to enjoy the studio.