Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Free Motion Quilting gone Awry!

Luckily I did some free motion quilting at the first of the month!!!  Since I did that--and I did that with the intention of trying it again with colored thread--my machine has been on the fritz!

I started a quilt at the first of the year with the intention of using it as a donation quilt, so my FMQ included the word love.  It doesn't show up as well as the October lesson, but I got some practice and I wanted to try it on a piece of designer fabric in my stash given to me by my sister.  But alas, this is my entry for October.

This was a fun exercise and I wanted to do a lot more of it, but it will have to wait for my machine to get back from the shop.  I picked up my machine last week and it was purring along like a kitten while I finished up these blocks for donation
 and then it just jammed up again, so off to the shop again.  My piecing is still a bit unfinished as I was trying to get my odds and ends of black and red and lots of Dr. Seuss used up.  These blocks will go to Sunshine Quilt lotto which will eventually find their way to either Wrap a Smile or Wrap Them in Love.  

I have a beautiful piece of Hand-Marbled Fabric, by Linda Moran waiting to be used for a Bonus Tutorial--it came the day my machine broke.  

So, I'm anxiosly awaiting the return of my machine.  It looks like I'll be busy in November! 

Linking to the Free Motion Quilting Challenge Here 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2012

        Welcome to the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  The Show is found Here at Amy's Creative Side 
                                                          My quilt for this show:
                                                    Finished quilt measures : 110 x 110 inches
                                Special techniques used : strip piecing on a foundation
                                             Quilted by : Judy Stuhlman
                              Best Category : Bed Quilt, Professionally Quilted, Scrap Quilt
                                                                Entry Number: 36
This is an amazing quilt show and I've enjoyed it along with many others for years.  It just seems to get better and better.  I'll share again, one of the quilts I've made this year and blogged about earlier.  It is one of my favorite quilts. 

Serendipity!  I started this quilt as a way to use my African scraps and the quilt just kept on growing.  I checked with my son to see if he wanted it as a bedspread as he didn't have one in his new home.  

"YES!"  was his reply.  His only request was that it needed to be big enough so that he didn't need a bedskirt to hid the box springs.  This quilt measures 110" by 110".  I'd say that is big enough to not need a bedskirt, wouldn't you?

I love string quilts and the black strip in the center seems to set it off quite nicely.  I had purchased the Drums of Africa from two different suppliers when I could see it might go out of stock, so luckily I had plenty to finish the quilt.  I did need to make a rush purchase of a bit more reddish African fabric in order to keep a bit of red in most of the blocks.  This quilt's history spans back to 2003 when I started collecting African fabrics.  I've made several African themed quilts and was ready to use up my stash to make room for another area of concentration.  I also had plenty of black Kona cotton which I used for the strips and the inner sashing.

I even had enough for some pillow cases, to complete and ensemble that I hated to part with:
It's a guy friendly quilt that my husband really favored and would like me to come near to another in making one for the room that now seems to cry for this quilt. 

 The quilt seemed to get heavier and heavier as I put it together.  I didn't want it to be too heavy so I separated the bigger squares with tiny strips of fabric that added the size of another strip of blocks without adding the extra weight.  I like how they defined the blocks better than if I would have just sewn all the blocks together.  I chose a light polyester batting that I don't normally use for that same reason--trying to keep the quilt from getting too heavy.  I think it worked out well and if it isn't warm enough for Utah's cold winters, a blanket can be added underneath this quilt.

  but this little guy grown up got it!
Nate found this photo for me in the scrapbook I gave him, I only had one copy of the picture.  At the time, it was shot with just a small brownie camera, but I loved the tones.  It doesn't show up all that well when compared to today's lovely digital images, but it holds a special place in my memory bank of a cute little lad wearing his dad's felt had while wearing overalls--pausing just long enough for one photo! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oh My!

If you've quilting for long, you know that the scraps can get the best of you---and then there's all those projects that you've got waiting that never seem to get a start...  This past week I've made a dent in both!  With my trusty Bernina 180 in the shop for repairs, I've been doing some small piecing on my Singer Featherweight and some cutting--lots of cutting.  I tried sewing borders on a small donation quilt and I really don't like doing that on the Featherweight, so I've limited myself to piecing and cutting.

I've got the basics now for an autumn quilt and I'm going to go through my stash later today to find sashing possibilities:
The block at the lower right is a donation block and it may not fit the quilt--I may still send it off to Sunshine Lotto for a November lotto of fall colors.  I started making blocks for that lotto and came up with 12 which is enough for a donation quilt, and I may make a top myself or just send all the blocks on to Sunshine.  After scouting around for sashing, I'll decide.

I've laughed over this quilt,
found in 
notice it is a FAST quilts edition.  Well nine patches of 1.5 inch blocks to me isn't a fast quilt.  But, that said, I liked the quilt and started making nine patches from my projects.  1.5 inch squares are the last resort, so it's taken me awhile.  Besides I've used a lot of them in other projects.  I planned to make the quilt as shown, but that would mean I'd need 148 nine patches and I don't have that many.  I'm playing with the basic pattern and altering it for my needs.  I will be sending this as a donation quilt, so I don't need a 66.5" x 88.5" quilt.  

This is the bottom strip I finished yesterday
These are the parts
...well there are some HST's in there that I used last night for my last fall fabric block, but you get the idea.  The B block needs a bit of adjusting as the corners were cut off in trimming and I've figured out how to do it on this machine and things may change when I get my other machine back.  I've learned that piecing seems to be different on each machine used no matter how careful I am.

I've got a few projects cut and in a big container so that when the mood strikes, most of the preliminary work will be done.
... and starts of 2 inch squares
sorted and bagged blocks
and a couple of more cuttings ready for bagging
This on started my use of some pink I didn't think matched anything and a part of a jelly roll I won on Roll, Roll Jelly RollShe's got some fun ideas for using some strips and I still have lots of unused ideas and the biggest part of a jelly roll left.

It seems like no matter how much we get done...

we make more scraps...

and come up with more ideas...

which make more scraps...

Crazy huh?!   Gotta love quilting!

Linking over to Patchwork Times


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I've Gained a New Admiration for my Grandmother!

While my regular machine is in the shop, I've been using my Singer Featherweight.  No one wants to argue its durability!  It is a regular workhorse.  But, I'm so used to speeding along while piecing, having my needle stop in either an "up" or "down" position, or having the ability to machine quilt, that I've felt a bit out of sync!  My grandmother made some beautiful quilts on a treadle machine which is even one more step away!  Although while at the shop, I stopped by the brand new sewing machines with the larger throat space, I didn't allow myself to shop as it just isn't in the budget right now--no sympathy here--we're just living with our decisions--one being a new carpet--and yes!!! I love it!

My grandmother was a perfectionist!  This included piecing, pressing and quilting---and I won't even go into the way she prepared food!  But, this week, I've certainly gained another scope of how she managed her sewing in that bygone era!  

On another note, I finished the top I was working on.  I broke all the rules in Bonnie Hunter's Bricks and Stepping-stones quilt pattern found here:   I had the bricks already cut and saved from other projects and they weren't all medium or dark fabrics.  I had other stones blocks saved from other projects too and then I cut and sewed more and put together this quilt top which I'll send to the local Project Linus. 
The overall effect isn't as stunning as Bonnie's, but I'm trying to use some of my older fabrics and fall colors in the same go 'round!  In real life, the darker bricks and the black and yellow stones don't stand out as much and blend into the quilt quite well, and when quilted, I'm sure it will be fine!

When my machine went out, I called our local Project Linus director and lamented my broken machine and all the unfinished tops in my closet.  I asked if there was anyone who would finish my tops.  She said, "YES!  Send them on."  So I packaged up the 8 tops in various stages of finish and dropped them off at the drop off place locally.
I really like to experience the finished quilt after it's washed, but the closet was full and with the new top just finished, I'll be filling it up again, soon.  

For now, I'm trying to decide just what to do today, and I'm sure I'll find something!

Linking to Freemotion by the River

and Whoop Whoop Here 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

All Geared UP...

This morning with a quilt halfway finished with free motion quilting, the gears in my machine just jammed up--froze up or whatever!  Boy am I bummed.  There's a cloud cover and it's cooler and just a perfect day to quilt.  

I've spent the week piecing and cutting and had made lots of progress through my autumn colored scraps.
 I had even finished up the nickel charms in yellow and purple that I got in a scrap bag last year, and made them into a small top.  I used up all the purple and it just about came out even--just one block is out of sync...
I was going to put that purple and yellow top on and send it on its way as a donation, but now it is in the closet with all the others.

I'll take my machine in today and hope for a miracle.  My little Singer is one I can piece with but it is so much slower to use than my Bernie.  My Bernie has been overhauled twice in its 10 years with me--once under warranty.  Little did I know I would be using it "sew" much when I purchased it.  It's been chirping a bit, and I kept thinking to myself, "I'll take it in after this quilt."  

But then, I've been saying that since March when I thought that it should go in for an annual check up.  Guess I better listen to those thoughts in my head a bit more!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just Wanting to Piece!

After quilting this quilt and getting it off...

Here's a close up of some of the quilting.

I posted last week Here about the friend I sent it to.

I puttered at my machine a bit and read a few lessons I've missed from the Free-motion Quilting Challenge
I played around with the lesson from October and found that I do so much better on the quilt than on the paper.  I filled in a square on my quilt
Since the quilt will be given away I doodled around the word "LOVE"  I used all the same color thread and I'm not sure if I like it.  I'm thinking I'm going to look through my silks and make a little quilt with different color threads and use my name.  Since there's plenty of time left in the month to play, I can play, but this will at least count for my entry if I don't get any more playing done.

After I did that, I just wanted to piece.  I found lots of pre-cut squares and I started sewing and just playing.

So far, I've got one block done and in the midst of several more.
For November, the theme for the sunshine lotto is fall colors and I think I'll be sending a lot of blocks, or maybe I'll even get a quilt done myself.
I'm a bit foggy today--don't know why and I'm not making lots of progress, but I figure there's no time line--except that I did tell a friend I'd be giving her children some quilts.  I have three done and then realized that she has five children, not four, so I've got two more to quilt, but I'm not in the mood now.  It's the quilting that needs to be finished as the tops are complete.  Quilting is something that I just have to be in the mood for.  I'm also finding that I hate to start a pattern.  I love just starting to sew blocks and then see where they take me.  I do have a stack of fine hand dyes from Ricky Tims, but again--just not in the mood yet.

Tomorrow is Whoop Whoop day and here in Utah a cold snap will hit us and drop the temperatures to the 60's!  I think most people are ready for that change.  We're just hoping that the days will return to the 70's and then stay there for awhile.  Link over to Whoop Whoop Here

Freemotion by the River Here