Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kaleidoscope Quilt Progress

IMG_8935It has been over a month since I posted an update on the status of my kaleidoscope quilt.  It is coming along in fits and starts, with steady quilting over several days followed by total neglect then back to steady progress again.  I have to concede that it will not be finished by Christmas as I had hoped but at least I am making progress, despite my fitful efforts.

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In between my quilting sessions I have been pondering what I will quilt in the black border space.

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It would be a good place to highlight feathers, but I suspect the feathers would not quite suit my teenage son, whose quilt this will be.  I think I have come up with something I like if I can figure out how to make the design turn the corners.  As you can see from my progress chart, I have quite a bit of quilting I can do before I start on the borders, so I have lots of time to sort things out.

I’m going to go get the fruitcake out of the oven and settle in with some slow stitching.  I hope to get a few more triangles colored in on my chart by the end of the evening.

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy’s Quilts

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Snowflake set

I bet you thought I was done with snowflakes for a while!  Yes and no.  I don’t have any new ones to share but I wanted to show you the completed snowflake runner.

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Well, maybe now it’s a chair-back runner instead of a table runner!  I tossed the runner over the back of the chair temporarily when I was tidying up. I rather like it paired up with the pillow, and it makes a nice pad for the back of the chair.  I think it might live there for a little while!

I quilted in the ditch all around the snowflakes and borders and the long ”fringe” piano keys on the end.  My plan was to stop there, but the side borders rippled because there was denser quilting in the middle than on the sides.  Hmph. OK fine then!  I freemotioned some freeform loopy stuff (highly technical term) with silver metallic thread and love the result.  It reminds me of the path of light fluffy flakes blown about by the wind.  Plus it took care of that waviness in the border.  It’s nice and flat again.

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If you’ve been following for a while, you probably know that I’m more of a marking kind of gal and I like symmetry.  Freeform was a bit of a stretch but it came out fine.  I did chicken out before adding some in the background of the snowflakes though!

Also, I’m glad I didn’t throw out that metallic thread when I was trying to make more room in my sewing storage and thought I’d never actually use it again.  I had bought it for a class about 12 years ago and hadn’t liked the results then at all, but it was just the right thread for this runner.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Feeling thrifty

I forgot to share this project when I finished it recently.

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I’m feeling particularly pleased with it because it is entirely made of leftovers. The center is made of bonus HST units generated in the making of Starlight WishesThe borders and backing are scraps from the same quilt.  Even the batting was a narrow strip left over from other projects.  I’m feeling very thrifty indeed! 

Even the binding was thrifty.  After I used the green fabric for the back I decided I wanted it for the binding as well – but of course that bit on the back was the last of it!  I thought of using the trimmings from cutting the backing even with the front, but they wouldn’t have been wide enough for a separate binding.  So, I expanded my quilting techniques toolbox and learned how to bind  by folding the backing over to the front.  I’ve seen it I called “self-binding” or “back-to-front” binding.  I looked at several tutorials online and took bits and pieces away from each.  Perhaps I’ll write a tutorial showing what combination finally worked for me.

I may go back and add a bit of free-motion quilting to the borders, as they aren’t quilted as densely as the center, which results in a slight ripple in the borders. I stitched in the ditch quite a bit, then decided I wanted to actually see some quilting so added some outline quilting 1/4” away from some seams.

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This reminds me of confetti, so I’m calling it the Birthday Runner.  We’ll test it out at a family birthday this weekend.  Note to self: don’t get chocolate frosting on the white bits…

Friday, November 14, 2014

With a couple of weeks to spare

I have finally found time to sit at the sewing machine and quilt the latest version of my Stretch table runner for Thanksgiving.  I get to keep this one!

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I showed the completed top and backing almost a month ago here. It took very little time to make those, but then they sat waiting to be quilted.  I put it at the front of the queue since it is in lovely fall colors and would look good on the Thanksgiving table.

When I made the previous two versions I did some elaborate free-motion quilting in the background spaces, but this time I opted for simple outline quilting and I think I like it even better.  It adds definition yet lets the pretty fabrics hog the spotlight.

The fabrics are prettier than they seem here.  The colors seem washed out.  The background is actually more of a rich golden color.  Let me get another picture…



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Better.  The flash washed out the quilting, but the color is closer to the actual color.

Now, onto quilting the birthday runner then the snowflake runner.  I’m clearing the decks before I start something new, pondering what the new something might be as I clear!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Snowalong Week 6!

Snowflake 7 cropped squareThis is it folks!  Here’s Snowflake 7, the last snowflake block pattern in the Snowalong series.  I’ve included 4 versions for this one.  Again, all the versions use the same set of paper piecing templates.

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This pattern and last week’s combined pattern for Snowflakes 5 and 6 are available free in my Payhip store.  Snowflake 7 will be free through November 16.  Snowflakes 5 and 6 are still free through next Monday.

There is a change in plans concerning the Snowalong linky parties.  My Linky Tools free trial subscription is coming to an end and while I was happy to pay for a subscription to enable sharing in the Snowalong,  I’m less inclined to do so when there isn’t much sharing happening.  So, I’ve updated the Snowalong page to reflect that there will not be any more linky parties.

HOWEVER!!!!

Some of you have let me know that you plan to make some blocks in the future but just can’t fit it into your busy days right now.  I know how that goes!  (Let’s not look at the list of projects I want to start.)  I’d still love to see what you make when you find time to make them, so please leave a comment or send me an email (address is on the sidebar) when you have a flake to share, and I’ll be happy to share a link to your post in a post here on my blog.  Also, the Facebook group will remain, and you can post there anytime.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the snowflakes I’ve shared as much as I’ve enjoyed designing them!