Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rudolph made it!

I tossed Jingle Patch out onto our 10 inches of snow for pictures on December 23rd before I got the red binding sewn on.  I wanted pictures before the snow was completely trampled by excited kids!  I finished stitching the binding on to my Rudolph quilt in the evening on December 23, so it was all set for Christmas Eve snuggling, but haven’t gotten around to taking pictures with the binding.  Christmas cheer took precedence!  I hope you all had a lovely day as well.

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I freemotioned swirls all over the body.  Quilting an allover pattern was new for me, and overall I’m happy with how it turned out.  I won’t show you a close-up though.  Distressingly many stitches are ridiculously long!  I need practice apparently, but I don’t enjoy machine quilting enough to want to!

The snowflakes are outline quilted in the green.  I tried some freemotion in the snowflakes but didn’t like how the white looked with needle holes in it.  I then tried stitching in the ditch but didn’t have a steady enough hand there, even with the walking foot, and it looked messy so that was picked out as well.  Wobbles didn’t show as much when quilting just a bit away from the seam, so that’s what I did in the end. Of course I quilted half of the flakes by turning the quilt at every point in a flake and wrestling the mass of the quilt through the throat space before I clued in that I could sew some bits in reverse and not have to turn everything completely around.  And yes, I know that if I freemotioned the outline quilting I wouldn’t be pivoting at all, but again, my hand isn’t steady enough yet and I just wanted this to be done and look crisp!

I believe this will be my last finish of 2012.  The pattern is “Jingle Patch” by Denise Starck and the Quiltmaker staff, in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Quiltmaker, with the borders from “Polar Patch” from the Nov/Dec 2011 issue.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rudolph progress


IMG_6356I’ve been spending too much time sewing up my Rudolph quilt and not enough doing chores, but it has felt very good!  I have pieced the borders but I don’t feel like pinning right now, so I’ll go make myself useful away from the sewing machine and attach the borders later.  I think mixing up a batch of Christmas cookies should keep me out of trouble (except for the part where I need to taste test and keep going back for just one more taste, in the interests of quality control, of course!)

Hmm, looking at this picture, now I’m not so sure about those red corners….  I’ll have to ponder while I taste test.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Early visit

Rudolph has come to visit a little ahead of schedule this year!

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I couldn’t resist a little “just for fun” sewing, and I’m really just a little kid at Christmas.  I have an “all grown up” style of Christmas quilt already but this one, even unfinished, is making the whole family smile and want to put on some Christmas music. Anyone for a rousing rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

This is Jingle Patch from the November/December 2012 issue of Quiltmaker magazine.  I changed the assembly though.  The pattern called for the body to be made up of small squares as well but I really didn’t want to cut 75 brown squares then sew them back together again.  I drew the design onto graph paper and sectioned the quilt in a way that let me sew chunks of brown together instead of small bits.

I am also changing the borders because I didn’t care for the squat little trees in the border from the original pattern.  There was a note that the borders on all the “Patch Pals” patterns are interchangeable, so I looked up the rest of the collection online and decided that the border from the November/December 2011 Patch Pal quilt (Polar Patch) suited me better.  I’ll be making the snowflakes on two different green backgrounds.

Those will be tomorrow’s project.  Right now I need to stop doing “just a little bit more'” and get to bed before I start messing up the piecing!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Clearing the design wall

Having finally finished Whimsy I wanted to reward myself with a simpler, shorter project but my design wall was occupied by my blue Kyoto Gardens quilt-in-progress (designed by Judy Martin).  I could have taken down all the pieces but decided to just plow through, finish up the stars, and assemble all the pieces I had before tucking it away.

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Finishing up the last 4 stars went much more quickly and smoothly than making the first 8 because I followed all the directions.  It turns out that when the author says she recommends finger pressing seams instead of using an iron to press as you assemble these blocks, she knows what she is talking about.  I was afraid I would stretch the bias that way, but I actually mucked things up using the iron.  Sigh.  Anyway, the last four blocks are lovely, flat and not distorted in anyway, all with the use of my fingers only.  Lesson learned.

I still need to add borders to this quilt, but it was in good shape to come off the design wall so it is back in a box while I play with Christmas colours instead.

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