Saturday, March 28, 2015

At Last, Another Quilt Quilted

Where did March go?
I finished quilting this today, but that's about all I have to show for the month!
 This is one of Ruth's half square triangle quilts.

 I tried something new for me.  I treated the four adjoining white half square triangles as if they were a solid block and quilted a wreath of hook feathers.  Last night I watched the hook feather tutorial by Lisa Calle.  You can find it here in her free video tutorials.

 For a little relief from the feathers, I quilted swags along the inner borders,

 but I quilted more feathers in the sashing between blocks.

The colored half square triangles were filled with variations on another design that I think it's fun to quilt.
The pretty floral border got a scrolly interlacing feather that doesn't show up well either in person or in photos--but it was good practice, and I like knowing it's there.

I really enjoyed watching Lisa's videos and listening to what she has to say about learning to quilt on a domestic sewing machine rather than a long arm.  My mind doesn't see much difference between long arm quilting and domestic machine quilting, because what my mind thinks about is the the needle going up and down and catching the thread and moving to the next stitch.  Therefore, with a sit down machine, I think the challenge is with having to move a big quilt through the machine and making sure it is supported for the greatest ease.  I'm thinking the challenge with a long-arm quilting machine is more in becoming familiar with the machine.  I do think using a ruler platform and rulers is probably easier on a long arm.  Of course, the challenge of a long arm is affording it and having adequate space for the frame, but for some people those aren't challenging.

My school is on break for the next week, so despite a whole lot of other things I need to do or catch up on, I do hope to get more quilting done.  It's lovely to have a creative activity that makes my heart sing!

Happy quiltmaking...and knitting,

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Snowy Day: Quilting Finished

I finished the quilting on the "Round-up Quilt" for my cousin who had a heart attack and by-pass surgery.  Long day.  Lots of snow and ice outside but lovely quilty fun inside.

 No pattern, just improvised as I went along.  Most of the strips were cut two and half inches wide.
 The panels were cut 7-3/4 inches tall--somewhat unusual measurement.
 The panes were lots of different widths.
 Panels almost always present a quilting challenge--they need to be quilted enough to stay in place but not so much as to detract from the pictures.
 The pairs of strips created nice five inch borders for quilting.

 Some rows needed additional strips to expand them to a consistent width.
 I've been watching lots of quilting You-Tube shows and am recognizing that in order to increase the amount of quilting I do, I have to get over the fussy double spines that I've done for decades and be willing to retrace spines multiple times as most longarmers do; not constantly tying off saves lots and lots of time.

 This was the first time I'd been successful with this kind of flip-flopped curved feathers.

 It did take a bit of thought to make sure the curves would work out as I wanted in each corner.

 The lasso quilting was a great idea for some of the panels, and it was also a lot of fun to do!

When I was a child, I spent hours and hours trying to learn to lasso.  Never succeeded.

These are just as much fun and will last a lot longer!

The four patches are okay, but I think I need to work on them in some future quilts.  (Of course!)

Now, to select fabric for binding.  I used a woven railroad strip on the back because it seemed to be a little tougher and aptly suited to the theme of the quilt.  I'd like to go with a red or brown binding--or one that alternates between red and brown.

It would be really difficult to explain the joy I feel when I'm quilting--probably a lot like what a lot of toddlers feel when they are dancing and singing!

I'm linking to Sew Many Ways

Update: 3-6-15
I've not managed to quilt any thing more this week, so I'm sharing this link over at Sarah's.

Happy quiltmaking....and knitting,
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