Friday, April 18, 2014

Off the Wall

I have been on a finishing binge. I have so many quilt tops and piles of blocks in the basement just waiting to be completed. This is the year I plan to reduce that pile! I have finished the 6th UFO for this personal challenge.

Ta Da!

Close up of quilting

View with the back
This convergence quilt top was made about 2004 or so. I added the border sometime last year. I don't normally do much pink, but the fabrics just seemed to want to play together.

The latest to get under the walking foot is my top from last year's block of the month from the Wales quilt group. I had a lot of fun with sewing these blocks last year. And I was pleased with myself for getting the blocks together into the top and pin basted promptly. I am not counting this as a UFO.

This year's Blocks
I was asked to design this year's Block of the Month for the Wales guild. It is a star sampler. I am pleased with the way my blocks are turning out. I am also really pleased to see how many are participating and getting their blocks completed every month!

Last week I talked about my problems with printing out mirror image. I was able to get it worked out with the help and advice of my Brilliant soon to be Sister-in-Law! I will have get back to this project after I finish the block of the month quilt.

Getting ready for class!
I am really excited, I am going to California in a week to take a class at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar! I love that place! I can't wait to see the ocean!  I am taking David Taylor. I am getting my supplies together, so far I have just a few things set up. I have my photo printed out and also the enlargement made. I still need to pull fabrics. I will also stay a couple of days longer to visit my friends in the Sacramento area.

This is my off the wall post for the week, check out what everyone else is up to at Nina-Marie's blog.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Design Wall Monday


Next up!
I finished quilting on the Trip Around the World Quilt! I am getting a lot of UFO's done this year! Next up is a Convergence quilt that was pieced sometime about 10 years ago. I am auditioning threads.

My daffodils finally bloomed! They are planted on a North facing slope, so are always later than anyone else's in the neighborhood.

This is my Design Wall Monday post for this week.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

It shouldn't be so hard!

I have been on a finished UFO binge.  Well, it ground to a halt. I enthusiastically was quilting on this little Trip Around the World quilt when my stitches started to mess up. Picked out the line of stitching and tried again. Ugh! Then my eagle-eyed spouse spotted these two other skips and I throw the quilt in the corner so it could think about its bad behavior.  (I know, the quilt was innocent, but it made me feel better)

Skip 1

Skip 2

Trip Quilt

So a couple of days later I decided to get back to work on my Utah Rainbow quilt that I had designed in December. When we got back from our trip there was a stay put in place and the piece was no longer current. I was at a loss whether I should finish the piece, revise it or what. I had some good advise from a fiber artist. Yet I still stewed about the piece. Last month at the local guild meeting a friend demo'd Trapunto and so it put this piece back in my mind. Originally I had intended to do "stuffed work" (as it was called by my first quilting mentor) putting the #18 in the center of a cutout of the shape of the state of Utah. Since it is possible another state could be the real #18 I decided to change my design. I got out the atlas to get the shape correct and drew on my rainbow fabric the outline of the state. Then I drew two bars to signify the equal sign that has become the symbol for the marriage equality movement.

Chalk lines
 I cut out the outline of the state, adding a quarter inch seam allowance. I then put a layer of batting behind the equal sign and pinned it in place.
I put the water soluble thread  in the bobbin and stitched around the equal lines. I just left the thread that was already in the machine, brown, since it will come off when the piece is washed to dissolve the bobbin thread.

Equal sign stitched
 I trimmed the batting just to the stitching.
Stuffed work on the back

Outline of the state
I pressed the seam allowance under on all sides and added a thin fold of black as a shadow. I pinned it to the background.

Pinned, ready to stitch

Stitching down the applique to the background
And then I started to stitch, using a rainbow colored thread. Here I ran into trouble. The stitching was giving me fits. I would stitch 6 inches and it would mess up. Ripped it out and stitched again. The needle fell out. No wonder I had trouble with the Trip quilting, the needle wasn't in properly.  Put it in correctly and finished stitching around the state. The needle was thunking like crazy so I replaced the needle and found that was the problem all along. Duh! It hadn't been used much, but I do know that there are defective needles and that should be the first thing to check (after rethreading the machine and the bobbin).

Background cut away
I cut away the excess background from behind the state applique. I basted the piece and then did some quilting. And it worked! The stuffed equal lines show up perfectly!

Now I want to add text to the top and the bottom of the piece.  I planned to write "Utah #18 for 17 days" at the top and the dates underneath. I remembered that I had some TAP from a class that I took a couple of years ago. I went into word and then printed out my text on TAP. Shoot. I messed up, the text needs to be printed out mirror image. I wasted quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to mirror image the text. I am not very skilled at Word. I finally was able to figure it out later in the day with the help of my soon to be sister-in-law.

Oops, backwards!

This is my off the wall post for this week. Check out Nina-Marie's blog to see what everyone else is up to!