Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reaching an agreement

This week I finally stopped moaning and groaning about the unquilted quilt tops.  Can you believe they just were not responding, not basting and quilting themselves?  I gave in, basted my blue Kyoto Gardens and started quilting.


Let’s not count up how many hours I’ve spent so far.  I have quilted in the ditch along the long border seams (but not the designs I’ll be adding in the borders) and some straight lines in the ditch in the sashing.  I still have to stitch in the ditch along the inside white parts of the sashing.  This was all done with my trusty walking foot.

At about 10:30 pm  I decided I needed a bit of encouragement to keep going.  Stitch in the ditch is pretty well hidden and I wanted to see some designs so I switched to the free-motion foot to work on a block. 

This is when my freemotion presser foot and I reached an agreement.  It is happy to assist me with curved lines.  It will stretch to accommodate stitching in the ditch in matching thread, where wobbles are camouflaged.  It will, however, refer me to its friend (and mine) the walking foot when I insist on wanting straight even quilting lines that line up at a very particular spot.  This of course means that I agree to wrestle the quilt into position to get it oriented just so for the walking foot.  Wavy wobbly lines with uneven stitches would just show up too much in these white spaces with this design so I’ll do it.

I suppose I could just have decided to quilt this differently, without the need for well-behaved, even lines but I’m not sure that would have helped much anyway.  I don’t have a large surface level with the machine, I don’t have the budget to buy a cabinet, and I don’t have storage to store a large makeshift extension between uses.  That means that a large quilt gets easily snagged on the corners of my short extension table, which causes jags and uneven stitches as the quilt gets caught or uncaught.  I think I grind my teeth less maneuvering the quilt under the walking foot than dealing with the random but frequent aggravations of the snags.  Until and unless I get set up better, I’ll save the freemotion for smaller projects or borders.

So for now, Freemotion, Walking and I are all agreed on who does what and the quilt will finally get done.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

It’s been how long?

I’ve been meaning to sit down and sew for a while now but somehow didn’t until tonight.  When I flicked the switch on the machine and it didn’t turn on, I noticed that it was unplugged.  Gasp!  Is that legal?  That is when I realized I have not sewn since I brought the machine back downstairs after quilting Love’s quilt upstairs on the kitchen table.  That was a month ago.  No wonder I was starting to feel a little out of sorts!


Here’s tonight’s dose of medicine.  I visited a new-to-me quilt shop with my friend Nettie last week and came home with these fabrics. I wondered how my Jelly Bean Stars quilt would look in a completely different style of fabric.  I figured 1800’s reproduction prints would be just about as opposite as I could get to the bright colours I used originally.

I think I like it.  I had planned to make just one test block so I could include a picture in the pattern I’m writing up to show how it could work in other fabrics.  Now I’m contemplating heading out to the local quilt shop to increase my reproduction fabrics collection.  I can see this made up as a whole quilt, looking warm and cozy next winter on my couch.  I could pull some gold tones from these fabrics for the sashing stars…  Oh yes, I’m afraid I’ll have to go for a stroll downtown, and the stroll just might take me past the quilt shop!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Look what I found…

IMG_6601Leftovers from the very first quilt I made, started in 2000 and finished in Dec 2002!  I had no idea I had any remnants of that project lurking anywhere.  I found them when I dug though a chest of miscellaneous, seldom used craft things in search of something else.  I forget what it was I was looking for, except for the fact that I didn’t find whatever it was. 

I was just tickled to find these though!  Along with the 4 paper pieced units I found a small amount of leftover fabrics, paper foundations and two tidy envelopes of fabric all cut and stacked in the correct order to make a few more blocks.  The paper foundations were traced by hand on tissue paper.  Half are numbered in my handwriting, and half are in my husband’s writing.  He was supportive of this quilting bug early on.  I’m sure he didn’t realize at the time how badly I’d been bitten!




This was the quilt, made as wedding gift and delivered 1 1/2 years late.  It took longer than I expected to quilt…as all my quilts do, even now.  You’d think I’d be able to estimate my quilting time better than that by now!

Copy of paul and shona's quilt

It’s interesting to look back at my first quilt.  There are definitely things I would do differently now than I did then regarding colour placement and block distribution, and I think I wouldn’t go quite as light for the light values, but I’m still pleased with my first effort.  I’m going to hold on to the leftovers I found as a souvenir for now.

As for current quilting…there’s not much going on.  I did get a bit of hand quilting done on the Canada Quilt, but my mind went blank trying to figure out what to quilt in the next section so that’s just simmering for now.  I want to piece something new, but I’m feeling guilty about the 3 unquilted flimsies tucked away on my shelves so my machine has stayed quiet.  I guess I need to start basting…

In the meantime, I’m getting a colour fix of a different kind.  I talked my husband into agreeing that the front door could use a pop of colour.  The paint came out of the can rather brighter than I anticipated but it is drying a little darker and I think will look great.  Sneaking a peek from the sidewalk as the first coat of paint dries, I started thinking about the odds of reaching a consensus about painting the shutters to match…Odds are slim, but I can be patient.  It took a year or two to agree on the door!