Friday, December 25, 2015

And MORE Practice!

Merry Christmas!

I am killing time EARLY this morning before the festivities begin. I thought I would mention to any of the gals that have quilted my quilts for me that I have a MUCH greater appreciation for your skill set at this point. Spent the last couple of days doing ruler work on my little lap quilt, and finally got to the fun (and fast!) part. Half of the blocks have the background pattern in them now. The sun came out yesterday, so hopefully you can see the quilting in these shots.  Not sure what I am going to do inside the stars yet, but I would guess there will be some kind of echo quilting in there. Curiously, sometimes the background pattern is inside the lines of the stars and sometimes it is not. The back shot shows one of the blocks where it is NOT contained in the proper space. Fudging my starting points down seems to shift the pattern to the left, which makes no sense at all to me. Guess I will put the rest of my start points in the "correct" position and just live with it...

Friday, December 18, 2015

Practice, Practice, Practice...

Okay, so I guess I need to get some practice in before starting to quilt mom's beautiful purple top. I don't get too many chances to work on mom's long arm, and by the time I get around to my next chance I seem to have forgotten most of what I learned....

Worked on a little piece of muslin yesterday to refresh my memory.  Did some ruler work and tried placing the block pattern I chose for this star quilt in the space. After a couple of blocks, my ruler work is acceptable and there were only a couple of little places where the design stitched over my lines. Which I should be able to fudge with, I think. I should be able to work on this for the weekend...

So here is a little top that I had put together a while ago.  I had picked this kit up at the Dallas quilt show back when I lived in Texas.  This is yet another lesson in "I should do what I know works, and not what the instructions say..."  Not that you can tell from this picture, but most of the points are mismatched on this quilt. I MUST press my seams flat.  Every time I am persuaded to iron the seam to one side, I end up with big lumpy issues. Forget that the seams are supposed to "lock" together. It just doesn't work for me. I do like the pattern of this quilt, though, and it is busy enough that my "practice" quilting shouldn't show too badly....

And the warm spell will likely break soon- I will need a lap quilt!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The sun finally came out so I can take a picture or two...

Why do you suppose there are always feet in the picture? Either mine, or the dogs...

There are still issues with the points lining up... I think if I make this again, I will have to make a new template. This design is lovely, but it is extremely finicky in the way it gets put together... So now I wait for mom's current quilt to be finished until I can get it on the frame.  I picked out the Acanthus leaf design from Digitech to put in the white spaces. You can find it here:

I am excited to see what it will look like on the quilt!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

OMG What have I done?

This is turning into a serious nightmare!

Okay, so the purple fabric I picked out shopping with my buddy Beth is perfect. It sets off the quilt beautifully. I got down to one row of blocks left to make and I couldn't stand it any more. I just had to start putting the thing together...

I knew that the way I assembled these blocks was probably going to cause me issues, but this is ridiculous.  When each block was finished, the white hemispheres were touching for the last inch or so at each corner. After sewing the blocks together, the seams separated so that the red show thru all the way to the corner. And NONE of them are consistent in how they pulled apart.  Also, the points on the scallops of the border seem to have shifted in the same manner.  So this morning I spent ripping the thing apart and trying to adjust all of the blocks so they line up better. I had already decided that I love the way this looks so much that I was going to have to make another one of these for me. If I can't find some better way to assemble it, I may have to rethink that decision....

Here is the quilt still on the wall before all the trouble started...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Purple progress

Do you suppose there is a biosphere for quilters? How do I sign up?

Slow progress,but can manage to get almost a row done on the weekend. So I am up to six now! Shopping with Beth tomorrow for the border fabric!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

No quilting at all this weekend... Spent some quality time with my mutt touring the covered bridges of Indiana. It's just as well though, the temp was 36 degrees when we went out and my joints (elbows and hands mostly) are cranky. I mean creaky. They are not digging the cold weather.

I do have half of the top done so far. This might be in competition for my "favorite" with the Unblue Quilt.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Making Things Complicated

So- at a time when things are at their most busy and complicated in my life, I have chosen to make the most amazing and complicated quilt. Go figure.  But this one is for mom, who is basically the queen of precision piecing. The quilt that I picked out for her is Mary Ann Keathley's Hidden Circles quilt (1989). I found it in Leisure Arts Great American Quilts 1993 book.

I have been looking at this quilt and have been putting off making it for a number of years now.  The problem is the instructions are pretty generic and I don't see any way to assemble this without piecing it together by hand.  So I have cobbled together a procedure that I hope is going to work.  First, the little triangles are paper pieced. Then I put together a template on a piece of scrap canvas that was used to build my ironing table. Each piece of the block is cut, clipped and the edges ironed over like my birds have been built.  Then I glue the pieces together on the canvas template and sew them using a decorative top stitch.

And you know I absolutely cannot follow instructions... So my quilt is not set on point, is not oval shaped and there is no appliqué on it. Also, I have changed those four sort of triangular pieces in the center of the template so that there is a secondary pattern of blocks behind the circles. Because what this quilt needs is to be MORE complicated. (Yeah, right!)

So here is my first block-

Luckily, this quilt only needs to be twin sized so there are only 29 left to go...

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Purple Warms my Heart

Ok, so have completely blown off this blog thing for a long, long time.  Apparently I am not smart enough to figure out how to write something on the iPad and attach a picture from the device.  So I am finally giving up and loading the pictures to Picasa to be able to find and attach them to a post. Apple does a lot of things well, but this is not one of them.  Why can't I see the pictures I took on the iPad?

Mom got diagnosed with lung cancer about a month ago. I am very, very fortunate to be able to be here to help take care of her. Next week she will be halfway through her radiation treatments and she seems to be doing very well.  The beginning was a little rocky, but she has been chattering like a magpie for the last 4-5 days. It is very heartening to see.

Anyway, in the midst of all of the bad news when this started, I realized that I have never made mom a quilt. Panic! (Dumb, I know, but I did not know I was on a deadline). I have had a pretty complicated little quilt picked out to make for her for years, but it is a hand pieced quilt which is beyond me at this point. There is too much arthritus in my thumb for me to consider it. So after some serious consideration I decided I would try to put this together with an overlaid decorative stitch. I am a little worried about the thickness of the seams, but we will see how it goes.  

Here are the purples I have picked out, having raided mom's stash for about 1/3 of them. A couple of these I love. Have you ever had a fabric that you liked so much that you didn't want to risk cutting it?