Sewing Room Dropcam

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vintage quilt center is done

I am finally done with the center applique block for the Vintage quilt.  It always takes me a long time to get applique work done and this was no exception but I pushed through yesterday and today and got it done.  I used a yo-yo method to do the berries, gathering them into a circle around a little piece of cardboard and ironing them.  I don't think anyone would notice, or know, that there were supposed to be 9 berries on each side instead of 7.  Who says there can't be 7 of them?

I haven't washed the border fabric yet and today I wondered if the scalloped design would line up with the triangle pattern of the outer blocks.  Wouldn't that be cool to have a scallop at each one?  It will be one more thing to check on when doing the borders and mitering.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Joined a guild today

Fellow quilter Rachael and I went to the Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County show today and we both joined the guild.  I've never joined a guild before and I hope this is a good one.  I've heard both good and bad stories about other guilds.  Constructive criticism and help is good, not good is some of the snarky remarks I have heard of people making at guilds.  The people make the guild what it is.

I bought a feathered circle stencil at the show.  I wanted one specifically for the blue and beige quilt.  I almost put it on the frame last night but I need to really figure out how I'm going to quilt it.  I want to do the feathered circles in the large HST blocks but haven't decided on anything else.

A Vintage Quilt progress

After working a little bit yesterday and this morning I got the two pieces that go on either side of the center applique done.  The first red checked triangle on the corner of a Birds In The Air block had to be done three times before I got it lined up well with the Jacob's Ladder block.  The third time I measured out from the sides of the red triangles 1 3/8" instead of measuring in from the corners of the block.  The next ones went together just fine.

I have the top row and the two bottom rows left to sew together (all the blocks are done) and finish the applique.  It's about time to get the border fabric washed and ready.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A few changes

I ordered the fabric for the French Braid quilt today so I made the changes to the EQ6 design.  With the help of the nice people on the quilting message board I was able to get a jelly roll strip of all 139 fabrics in the Fusions collection.  It's in two jelly rolls, lights and darks.  I also ordered one of the large floral prints from the same collection as the framed flowers for the border.  Since the background of the border is black, I ordered Moda Marbles in Charcoal for the ends of the braids.

After importing all 139 Fusions I re-did the colors.  This isn't exactly what it will be since there are 12 braid strips on each side of the center square.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Flowers In My Braids

I'm still working on the Vintage quilt, or will be working on it again after finally getting Starred and Feathered totally completed but, there are always new ideas crowding in and I find that if I get it down, figured out and planned, that I can put it away until I'm ready to get to it.

I have been thinking of doing a French Braid and I received a book today on it that I ordered. When I was looking at the braid patterns and the one with a block in the middle I started thinking about what could be added interest there? I saw this fabric and... light bulb! The floral fabric has 4.5" framed flowers, 2" ones, and a 2" wide tiny floral strip.

I did this in EQ6 and ordered the floral fabric. I'm still looking for graduations of the colors in something like Fusions.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Starred and Feathered

The quilt is totally done!  I am so happy with it (except for that one major mistake).  This is my first time doing a feathered star too.  I will see about entering it in some shows if just for the experience.  Eventually it will go to my daughter, who it was made for.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Boy, am I tired

I've been working all day on getting this quilt finished and still have a lot of work to do.  I got it washed and blocked during the week after a hair raising trip to Home Depot to get the foam board insulation.  What was I thinking?  Obviously, I wasn't thinking that they weren't going to fit into my Escape.  A man came up to me in the parking lot and offered to tie it down on my roof rack.  I should have done it myself.  I'm a quilter, I know what it takes to tied something down. :-)

Anyway, I wasn't even out of the parking lot before it started to lift off like a parasail.  How do I know this?  Because I had the sunroof open and was holding onto one if the strings tying it down.  I stopped and who comes running over to help?  Five men from the group that is always hanging out in the parking lot at the home store.  Another 10 minutes and I was off sailing... uh, driving home again.  I don't even want to know what people were thinking about the woman who was creeping down the road in a little SUV with these huge pink things on the roof.

I layed them out on my bedroom floor because it was the only place big enough that I could also keep the cat away from it.  I pinned it down and let it dry for a few days.

This morning I trimmed it square (I hope) and made the binding.  The rest of the day was spent sewing it on the front and I'm now on the second side of the hand sewing on the back.

On the sunny side... or wherever the sun is shinning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pin Cushion

I made a few of these pin cushions, they are so cute and really easy.  I have a stash of old CDs that I use for them.  I added links to some pin cushion patterns and they're quick little projects for giving or collecting.

Almost done with all the blocks

The Vintage quilt blocks are almost done!  I have the parts of the last 3 basket blocks sewn together and ready to assemble but couldn't resist sewing a few of the completed blocks together.  It looks so pretty, if I may say so!  The colors are clear and bright and I can hardly wait to see what it will look like all together with the center applique and the scallop design border.

I have one bird body, one wing, two legs, and the berries left to do on the applique.  I started that first because I knew it would take me a long time to do.  The last time I did a center applique block, it was the last thing to get done and the whole top assembly was waiting on it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I was floored

After completing the first Jacob's Ladder block for the Vintage quilt I pressed the seams opened and checked the size.  I am totally shocked at how precise it is!  Every single line and diagonal lines up and it doesn't need to be squared up at all. 

Is that all because of pressing the seams open?  Nested seams very likely would not be that perfect since the nature of nesting them offsets the pieces. (clicking on the picture shows a close-up)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Not up to shows

I got out the star quilt today and was looking it over, thinking about the blocking and binding, and I noticed something that is unacceptable.  The dark border around the center star is showing through the lighter fabric around the edges. 

Because of the precise measurement of that border, and that I was sewing the row of stars to it in a fussy cut manner, I marked where the row needed to be sewn.  I had gone over the quilt to make sure I was ready to have it quilted and I didn't see that I hadn't trimmed the excess dark fabric.

It's a nice quilt with beautiful quilting.  It's not perfect by any means, some star points are cut off, and this major flaw weighs on the side of  not showing it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jelly Roll quilting done

Finished the quilting on the jelly roll quilt tonight!  I really like this quilt, it's cute and old fashioned looking.  It's not really "girly", it has more of a fresh garden look. I haven't decided whether to bind it in white or the colors (if I have any left).

I have so many quilt tops to be done but I should get some fabric on the frame and do some practicing next.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Tools

I ordered some tools to help me be successful in long arm quilting. I have trouble with control of the arm and making it do what my mind sees.  That will hopefully come with time but having some guides will be a good thing.

First is a cross hatch guide from Long Arm University. I figure it will do double duty for straight lines so that’s a good value and I ordered the 1 ½” cross hatch grid stencil that goes with it. I ordered a clear plexi-glass extension table for the long arm so there is a stable base for using templates and rulers. I also ordered an Appliguide from Deloa's Quilt Shop for tracing around appliqué and for tight control with small work.  There are a couple of quilts to be done with center applique that this could help with.

Lastly I ordered micro-handles for the long arm. Unfortunately they don’t make the ones with the electronic controls for my machine but if I have to I can probably zip tie the control box to the front of the micro-handles where the built-in controls would normally be. Or maybe Velcro straps so I can move it. Come to think of it, the straps is a good option and that gives me another idea… stick a piece of loop Velcro to the back of the box and put pieces of the hook side in various places that I want to be able to move the box to.

Jelly Roll Quilt

I have a couple of jelly roll quilts made with the Nature's Chorus fabric collection and decided to put one on the frame last night.  I chose to do cross hatching because I think it goes with the lattice look of the design and I need to practice doing it for the Vintage quilt.  I want a diamond cross hatch in the center applique area that will go with the vintage look of the quilt.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pressing seams open

I decided to try pressing the seams open on this quilt and I'm not liking it.  I read that some quilters do that in order to improve accuracy.  I just don't see it.  The seams are not crisp and sharp, it's difficult to get a sharp press when pressing the seams open.  I also don't get the same accuracy that I would with nested seams.  Now I know that it's not for me.

I have two rows sewn together on all of the birds in the air blocks and started on the third and final row.  These 6 blocks are done so far, 30 more to go, but it's time to quit for tonight.  Pressing the seams open has REALLY slowed things down in terms of ironing and piecing.  It will probably be a couple of more evenings to get these done.

More work in progress

After working many, many hours on it yesterday, the rows are ready to sew together for the blocks (they still need to be pressed). 

Maybe someday I will keep track of the time spent on a quilt but, for right now it doesn't matter very much.  I have never sold a quilt so it doesn't equate to paying for my time.  I don't think that most quilts can really be sold for an amount that compensates the quilter at a reasonable hourly rate.  An example is the Starred and Feathered quilt.  It took me 2 weeks to do the center star and a month at least to do the whole top.  That wasn't working on it full-time, of course.  Add the cost of the fabric for the top and backing, the batting, and the quilting and it would be thousands of dollars for me to even consider selling it.  If that.

Another quilt I did that was all jelly rolls only took 3 days to complete the top.  This was a very simple design and probably more along the lines of something that could be sold.  I think of these things because I would like to do this someday if I am able to retire "early" in 9 more years.