Monday, November 30, 2009

the dog ate my homework

Okay, so it is the cats, not the dog. I don't even have a dog! I put this quilt sample on the table and by the time I looked through the viewfinder it was covered with cats!

I have been busy planning a wall hanging that I am very enthused about. I was inspired by a line of poetry and designed something simple with a pine tree at the center. The machine quilting will be a strong element in the design.

Here is a mock up of the design so that I could practise machine quilting. The blue rectangle and blue shapes represent the tree. I really wanted to be sure I could machine quilt around the "tree" in a flame pattern before committing to the real quilt.

I have been looking at Leah Day's 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Designs. If you haven't seen it take a look! She has short You Tube videos every day showing her design of the day. She inspired me for this quilt.

The middle photo (orange thread) is the back side of another practice piece for this wall hanging. On the "front" I fused several layers of fabric so that I could tell what the stitching would be like on my final piece. I started with a wavy line of leaves then just tried all sorts of stitching. Can you tell I was having fun? I really like some open space in machine quilting like this piece has. However, my tree quilt will not have any open spaces, just different types of quilting. I hope you can click on the images and really see my quilting.

I used Misty Fuse for this project. I used it once before at a workshop and was less than thrilled with the result. I have heard so much praise for this product that I decided to try again. Now I am a big fan, too! I thought you needed a teflon sheet to put between the iron and the fusible, but I found using parchment paper works just fine.

Got to make a trip to the store to buy thread, then I will get to work on the real quilt. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! Here is a picture from the quilt retreat I went to recently. I sure am thankful for all the good friends I have met through quilting.

While you are counting your blessings today, take a look at the Kiva link in the sidebar. Make someone happy today!

Love and Blessings to all!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring."

- Elizabeth Coatsworth

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Machine quilting

I have so many completed projects waiting to be quilted. I was tempted to start something new this weekend, but decided what I really wanted to do was try some machine quilting on my new Janome. I've done allover meandering on a few big quilts on my old Pfaff, but when the thread kept breaking I just gave up.

Quilting on my new machine is so much fun! I borrowed a Ricky Tims DVD from the Back Road library and got inspired. I reviewed a couple of books I have on machine quilting and away I went. I started with the sashing. The first thing I did was free motion leaves and vines. These came out okay, nothing special.

Next I tried a "wave" pattern from the book Quilting Makes the Quilt. I traced the design onto freezer paper, cut it out, and used it as a stencil. Wow, how easy is that!

I decided to quilt each block in a different design. This quilt is the sampler we did together in our Tacoma Lakes chapter. Sampler quilt blocks, so now sampler quilting! I tried Diane Gaudynski's clamshell motif described in her machine quilting book. I penciled in the first or bottom row, then did the "bunny hop" as she describes it for the next rows. A few wonky bits, but my goodness, it all blends in and the overall effect is marvelous. Yummy!
Still working from Diane G's book, I tried this design on the pinwheel block. The design is based on a grid. You make a curve from one point on the grid to the next, making a vertical line from one side of the block to the next. Then you sew up the other side of the same vertical seam, making the oval shape. When the vertical lines are done you sew the horizontal seams. Quite effective, although my ovals are not exactly regular that is what practice is all about!

Three blocks done, six more to go! Stay tuned for more.....

p.s. 3 blocks you say? Yes, I forgot that I don't have a picture of the third. You can see a glimpse of it. he he