Tuesday, January 27, 2015


The Syracuse University basketball game was really good even though they didn't win, so I didn't end up trimming the quilt until this morning.

Once I did that it was time to tackle making continuous bias binding.  Missouri Star Quilt Company has a YouTube video which gave me the gist of it but it was early days for them and I couldn't see how and where Jenny D. was "crossing" the marked lines, so I poked around briefly and found  text and photo tutorial which I really found helpful: Generations Quilt Patterns . Also look for the link on the page to part one of the tutorial - that has some great charts regarding the amount of fabric you need to create the size and amount of binding you want.

I found the cross-hatch marks to be particularly helpful when I was pinning the "tube" prior to sewing the seam.

This is what the tube looked like after sewing the seam -
Then it was a simple matter of cutting on the line and... voila! continuous bias binding. After lunch we moved my sewing table and my Janome out to the sunroom and I basked in warmth and sunlight  (the outside temperature was about 14 °F) while I slowly stitched the binding to the front side of the quilt. It's real progress! :)

In peace and piecing,


Monday, January 26, 2015

For better or worse...

Hooray! I finished the quilting on the DWR this morning. There were some glitches along the way, most notably on the 23rd when I thought I would be finishing my last three pantograph areas. I had taken a break for about an hour and a half. That doesn't really seem like enough time for the metals to have changed temperature and therefore tension, but it had. I, of course, didn't check the back...just merrily zipped along doing all three. Then I checked my stitches on the back. The tension wasn't even and the stitches looked really poor (front looked great). Well, no one to blame but my lazy self, so I spent some more quality time with my seam ripper. After that I just needed some away time. Visited with some family on Sunday, and today I zipped out the last bits of quilting with no issues,  and with absolutely no adjustment to the tension on the machine. Quilting gremlins, ya gotta love 'em!

So, here we go - more pics of my first DWR as it nears the end of the process:

This is the pre-trimmed top

The "pansy" pantograph. I bought this and several other flower pantos from Urban Elementz several years ago. 

Used one of my curved template tools to do the "leaf" shape on the little green squares.

And free motion leaves in the little melon shapes.

Tonight while I'm watching S.U. basketball I'll work on trimming the batting and backing to match the front scallop shape. Tomorrow - deciding which fabric I'll use to bind it, and getting that cut, ironed, and sewn to the front. I almost always stitch it to the back by hand. I just like that process and how it looks. Every now and then I do attach the binding strictly by machine...but not on this one!

In peace and piecing,


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Get a grip, let 'er rip

Yesterday I started quilting the DWR. I'm very happy with the color of the cream colored thread and how it looks on the quilt. I was not, however, happy with the pink I chose to use on the arcs. Not the thread company's fault...I just did not like the color and how it looked in the areas where I had thread buildup...not to mention all my wobbles which could not be missed on the white backing. I know I should just use a busy fabric on the back, but I also love the convenience of wide backing fabric so I dont have to piece it. Plus, I just really like the look of the "reads as a solid" back on this.

So here was my mess:

I had really wanted to use that pink thread on this, so created plenty of ripping activity. What a fun way to spend hours of the day...and to think I did it to myself! Well, after that I got to do more ripping this morning when a small bit of thread hung up in the bobbin case area. Fortunately, that created a loopy tension issue so even though I didn't realize it for a few minutes since the top tension looked okay, the time it took to rip that wee bit of mess took much less time. Then I was off to the races, although since I'm doing a lot of stitch in the ditch work, and then a panto in the larger cream colored piece,  it's more tortoise than hare speed. ;)

In peace and piecing,


Monday, January 12, 2015

While I was waiting...

While I was waiting for the Fil-Tech trilobal poly thread to arrive for the DWR I decided to get going on a donation quilt for Project Linus. I love a nine patch on point and wanted to actually piece a quilt on my "new" old girl, so I was off and running. I used my Accuquilt Go! to cut the 2 1/2' squares (I hadn't yet received my 2 1/2" strip die from Accuquilt which I had asked for as a Christmas gift), and I already had the 6 1/2" large square die so it was very quick and easy to get my initial pieces cranked out and ready to piece. I belong to Four Seasons Quilt group in nearby Scriba, and we were gifted lots of donation fabric last year with the stipulation that it be used for charity quilts. Charity/donation quilts are common within that group so it certainly fit what many of us like to do. I had waited until others had had a chance to pick out fabrics they wanted to work with...I sometimes like the challenge of having to work with fabric that might not be my first choice. So if you look at some of my other quilts from 2014, you'll see that with this one I'm once again working on using up the striped fabric. There was a whole bolt of this in 100% cotton, and it's nice, not flowery, so it could work well for a generic boy's quilt as well as girl's. Project Linus is a favorite group for me - I like that they donate to a variety of service organizations - and they're always indicating that they have a special need for teens and boys, so for the past year or so I've shifted to making teen sized and try to choose fabrics and colors that would work for a boy as well as a girl.

Well, in just a few days of  a bit of treadling, I got the nine-patch to the flimsy [68 1/2"X 51 1/4" pre-quilted] stage:

In the meantime, the thread arrived for the DWR, so I finished up this donation top (my Fons and Porter tool for setting and corner triangles made it fast and easy to cut the correct sized triangles) and now have that to go on the quilt frame once I have DDL's DWR quilted.

Oh, we also have a monthly Take-N-Make project in the Four Seasons group. It has to be quick and easy to make. Although our January meeting date got postponed because of nasty weather, I did actually get the project done before that scheduled meeting date. This month it was a fabric "box" from American Patchwork and Quilting December 2013 issue:

At first I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but I picked fabric and colors that I like just as an incentive. I have found it very useful! My thread cutting scissors when I'm using the "old girl" since her thread cutter isn't very sharp anymore, and my seam ripper lean at just the right angle and stick up just enough to easily grab whenever I need them...more often than I'd like some days! ;)

SO, in the early days of this new year I've already finished a small project, and have a flimsy-in-waiting to be quilted once the DWR is done and off the frame. Not bad, especially for me. Right behind those, I have committed to making a queen size Native American Star/Lone Star quilt for a good friend. 

Yesterday I spent a lot of time figuring out how I wanted to quilt the DWR. As a kid in junior high school, there was a test that everyone had to take that showed your apptitudes...you know, to help you decide your career path. Well, it's funny I ended up as a quilter, because I scored in the lowest possible percentile for spatial skills. You know, the ability to "see" and manipulate images in your mind's eye. It means that while most folks can have a sense of how something might look, I have no clue. I do use a piece of vinyl to try sketching out potential quilting, but most often I still end up actually trying several different things and ripping out what I don't like. That was my day yesterday. I didn't take any pics, but I tried serveral different options on the pieced arcs. Ultimately, I decided to go with plain old stitch-in-the-ditch on the arcs. I'm using a pansy panto (square) that I've reduced down to fit the larger off-white areas. I'm *thinking* I may do free motion leaves in the little off-white pieces...the jury is still out on that.

In peace and piecing,