Monday, March 29, 2010

Bedford Quilt...

There's something about washing and drying a quilt that makes it even more amazing than before. After I had finished machine quilting this, I was not liking it at all. You see, I used larger needles as was recommended by a Juki expert on yahoo groups. I experienced alot of shredding and thread breakage, even with my new favourite thread, 50wt Aurifil And it made holes in the back of my quilt. Topped with the gray thread, it just looked kind of icky.

And then I washed it:
Even my uneven circles, my wobbly lines were rescued. My doodling curvey filler in between the circles even start to look cool.

This bottom brown block is my favourite colour block of the quilt:
From the distance, I LOVE love love the effect of the circles. Next time, I would do all of the circles dense spirals...
I'll even let you look close at my crazy filler doodles.... because on the white backing, the entire quilt looks oh so cool. If you are a long armer and reading this, or have your machine on a frame - do not judge my work. I just have fun with it. plain and simple.

I placed a small border on it. I was fiddling forever on what to do with borders. I didn't have enough fabric for my first idea.

Measures approximately 46 x 56 after washing...please excuse the unevenness of the quilt in this last photo - I realized I hadn't stretched it and shaped it after taking it out of the dryer. In this photo, you cannot see the hint of the contrasting dark binding colour I used...but it's there.
It's called Bedford because, well, the colours remind me of Martha Stewart land, and one day, I will have a vegetable garden just like hers so I can stuff myself silly with okra.

Pattern is a basic rectangle in rectangle - no pattern used, so if you're interested in measurements, just contact me. The circles are 12" diameter - I cut out a piece of cardboard and marked the circles randomly on the quilt - then I just machine spiralled inwards from the outside edge of the circle.

Things I learned in this process and want to pass on to you (what I can think of at the moment):
  • Dense quilting makes it difficult to handsew binding on - get a thimble handy.
  • I find the Konas fray quite a bit. With the white sashing - trim your frayed edges, as when you baste/sandwich, those little buggers show through and then you have to take it apart because it bugs you.
  • when cutting and piecing your whites, make sure you really look carefully that you have all of the same lot of white. White is not all the same. I have two kinds of white on my sashing...if you look carefully in person, one is a creamy white. shhh, don't tell.
  • when machine quilting, look ahead of where you're travelling to with your machine, not directly where you are. Higher speeds often help the motion better (at least for me)
  • doodle with continuous line drawings on paper to practice your fillers. I used to do this all over my algebra books in highschool, except I didn't realize it would come in handy 20 years later!
  • when you are doodle filling, try and do this all in one sitting. I did it in two sittings, and found the 2nd time, it took a bit to relearn the doodle pattern groove I was in at the first sitting.
  • holes made from your needle will close up after washing.
Kona Colours used:
Candy Green
Bahama Blue
O.D. Green (what does O.D. mean anyways?)
Old Green
Sweet Pea

**at this rate, it's doubtful that I'll meet my "all" konas used goal by the end of the year...but I'll sure have a fun time trying!

Backing - a white cotton that I get from the drapery department of my fabric store. It's affordable and a nice weight, and it's super duper wide.
Thread - light grey Aurifil 50wt 100%cotton
Basting/Sandwiching - I spray basted and once again, loved it.

Something new to me..

I picked this up from Craigslist for a whopping $35.00. I don't have time this week to figure it all out, but for 35.00 I jumped at it. It also came with a box of thread! A lady was downsizing her home and moving into an apartment, and her eyesight couldn't deal with sewing anymore. :( I was pretty excited. Now to find the time to figure it out.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Been awhile..

Life has been busy.
Lots of catch up at home. DH had hernia surgery on Thursday so routine has been a bit off this week.
Kids started Spring Break this week so I should be able to get some more quilting time in...unless we decide to go away for a couple of days to the rockies.

My solids quilt - finally finished machine quilting it, and just finishing hand sewing the binding on. Should have a final reveal very soon. I'll definately post the gory details (things I've learned about machine quilting, needle size, machine speed, thread, holes, whites) about the process. I'm just sneaking into my one a month (solids) deadline here!

I haven't even purchased fabric for my next quilt. Any suggestions for colours? I've scoured the paint shops, big box reno stores, etc for hunter green colour card combos. There's NOTHING...except cognac as the complement to it. I'll put hunter away for a later date.

I've been seeing lots of solids quilts popping up everywhere - seems like everyone has the bug to work with solids! Very cool! I love looking at people's work and getting ideas from it. The only thing is - my motivation starts to dwindle when I see everyone else doing it. Does that happen to you?

I have another project ready to start - here's some fabric I requested for my next Moda Bake Shop project...the colours are gorgeous.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

No quilting today...

Yesterday I stumbled across a topic of Geocaching. I had no clue what it was. Now I do. And now I do it with the kids. It's a blast!
So yesterday I spent all day researching GPS related stuff. Today we went out and bought one (but am taking it back to upgrade to a better one tomorrow) The kids really had a great time and it was so much fun to get out and explore. There's little geocache sites all around my town, in little parks, big parks and forests. Very cool.
It's the thrill of treasure hunting. There's no big monetory value treasure. It's the thrill of hide and seek. We seeked 3 today.
We will definately be out there again.

Lee of Lala's Lovelys blog is in town with her son this weekend. I missed her call today. She's eating at a restaurant 2km from me. I cannot dare interrupt her dinner though and crash her party. Or could I? (LOL) We were going to hook up for a quickie visit. I hope she understands my fun day with the kiddies and why I missed her call. Originally I had planned to be home most of the day, but the weather was warmish and nice and well, we had purpose to get out there today! Hopefully I can meet up with her tomorrow, maybe, if her son does well in his tournament. If I don't, Lee, I hope you made it to at least one of those two quilt shops I recommended!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Adventures in machine quilting...

No stippling for this girlie. No straight lines. No patterns to trace.
and you can tell. LOL

I'm doing circles - dense concentric ones and loose lazy ones. And then inbetween - filler doodling.

It's my doodling quilt. And there's uneven stitches and circles that are kind of wobbly, but it's fun and kind of therapeutic.

I'm not a perfectionist - I really enjoy process and the journey of learning something.

Here's what I've learned so far - when you are quilting a large pattern, don't worry about where you are, worry about where you are going in about 6 inches from now, that will give you smooth lines. Kind of a life lesson too - don't worry about what you're doing now...but where you are going.... deep huh?

Have a great day!
Juki and I are mending our far I've been giving alot more than she has, but so far things are improving. ;-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

me and my juki

after just emailing the other day it's previous owner and saying how much i loved it.... suki had a big tantrum today, and then of course i did too.

I find it very everything has to be just 'so' for it to work nice.

I love it's speed, I love the thread cutter. That's it for today.

Hopefully tomorrow we will get along again, and the stars will be aligned just perfectly.

Otherwise I'll threaten it.

A glass of wine is in order. It took me 3 hours to sew two borders today.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bee Blocks

Our group also decided to make signature blocks (our choice) for the back. Here is what I came up with:

Don't look too closely at my work.
1. I've never ever done a triangle block before, I'm a square girl.
2. I've never made a pinwheel before.
3. I've never embroidered my name before (all i know is thank goodness I didn't have my 13 letter maiden last name to do)

So, here's what I noticed when making a triangle block. I think it's called an HST (half square triangle) After I draw the diagonal line on my square, I need to stitch 1/4" on either side of that line. My quilting foot didn't like that (it has that fabric guide which wants to bunch up any fabric on the right of the foot) and I had to change presser feet and use the little guide line on my sewing plate. This was difficult because the fabric of the square was covering the plate markings so I really had to guesstimate.

Any solutions about that one? I'm thinking of yanking off the little fabric guide thingy on my juki 1/4" foot. I actually don't like the guide part of the foot either because it kind of distorts the 1/4" seam slightly larger (I think)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Colours You Avoid because...

In my quest to use as many Solids as I can this year... I've been looking at this hunter green colour that just frightens me. It screams 80's. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. My guess is that it will end up in some kind of last ditch effort in a Christmas quilt. LOL

So then I was thinking... what colour do you avoid because it's dated or ugly or too hard to 'go' with other colours?

My challenge is going to be transforming the unpopular colours and trying to combine them to make them a contemporary style quilt - make them in vogue again.

I'd love to hear what your colour fear or avoidance is!

Thanks so much for the kind comments on my ModaBakeShop appearance! I love how supportive we all are of each other - I'll never forget that. I hope I can be the same to you as you are to me....

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Check it out!

So, um this is me! I somehow snuck my way onto the Moda Bake Shop and did a project.

For the last 2 weeks since my project has been completed I have been losing sleep and having nightmares. Seriously. (dreams like....I received 3 comments total about my project and they were all negative. My instructions were garbled and formatting was all over the place and the font was some kind of weirdness too) The worst one for me was no comments. So go. Just comment and make me feel better.

The quilt is already in use and is getting fought over on a daily basis. Need to make another one. That snuggles fabric is gorgeous. All you want to do is pet it. And I want all of the polka dots from the Freebird by Momo.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Thrifty finds...

I'm terrible at buying things at the thrift shop. As in, I usually don't. I can talk my way out of buying anything. I'm a husband's dream.

These sheets were at my local shop on Saturday and I hummed and hawed ALL day and all weekend over them. They were 9 dollars each set. I said to myself that if they were there on Monday, then I'd pick them up. Monday I was busy, Tuesday I didn't get there. Today I did. And there they were.

See, here's the reason I was stalling - they are each KING sized sheet sets with 2 king pillowcases per set. In pristine condition. I know. What the heck am I going to do with that much? eep! But now that they are at home, I'm sure I can hack my way through them in the next year - and perhaps swap a few prints.

And the pearl cotton? Are those colours the coolest ever? A bargain at 25cents each!