Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quilting the HSTs

This week I started quilting this small project without any plan. I couldn't design anything that had an over-all appeal, but has designs that I liked for some of the parts. So starting with that, it is coming along. This photo shows a partly finished area and some of the ruler tools that I'm using. Rulers are for people who cannot draw a straight line :-) !

The on-point squares on the right will have some oval flower petals in the center, as well as the triangles on the right side. I've not yet figured out what to do with the HSTs under the yellow ruler, but am taking my time. The experts tell that the ideas will come.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sewing but not quilts

I've two new tops that need to be quilted, but am taking a break. I've a closet full of fabric that needs to be sewed into clothes or find a new home. Sunday I made a pair of slacks. Today it was a blouse.

But before that happened, I went for a walk in the trees. We have a wildlife refuge park practically across the street. The leaves are starting to turn and the sun was shining. One leaf jumped out of the busy background and I had to bring it home. Its colors are like Christmas, but nature says read and green need not be restricted to December!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Thangles for a table

At least a year ago our LQS had a competition or something using Thangles and pre-cut strips. Each made 28 HST that would finish at 2". I didn't want to get into the contest or whatever it was, but liked the Thangles (supplied) and the batiks, so bought a bunch of them. Yikes, what a thing to do!

But they are cut, sewn, designed into a medallion looking table topper which will be about 37" x 42" and now that it is this far, I'm kinda glad for persistence. I will look okay.

This is after they are sewn into vertical strips. A few on the left are sewn together. 

This is just the squares precariously stuck to my design wall. I was so scared of brushing against them and knocking them off to the floor that I pinned each row so they would not be out of place no matter what happened on their way to the sewing machine! A narrow border might be nice, but finding the material (any of the umteen batiks) could be a challenge. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

One-block wonder, still no name

I'd wanted to do some sort of dangling zentangle on the top part of this quilt. After much thought and the purchase of many possible do-dads to put on it, I found a double rod (at 10,000 Villages) and just started. So far, this is what it looks like. There are dozens of iridescent beads in the strips, plus knots with yarn, ribbons, torn fabric strips, and tulle. I've a couple packages of blue crystals to cascade down the sides and to the bottom so that is next.

The color is darker than this photo. I had the flash on auto and didn't notice until cropping it. Next time... :-) Also it needs a name. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Still Practicing

Here is the full panel that I've been practicing on. Besides being a good way to play with my HQ Avante, it is rather cute. It will likely go on the back of a door as I can't think of anything else to do with it! It needs a few more stitches and maybe that ribbon will stay and I'll add a few buttons besides those printed into the design.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Practice, practice, practice

Matt Sparrow, the man-quilter, says he practiced 10,000 hours on his longarm machine before hanging out his shingle. I might not live that long, but am learning the value of practice. For me, the best way is to use a panel. Then if I mess it up it is not a huge waste of time and money like it would be if using a pieced top... but it is also useful when finished, unlike using a big hunk of fabric with no plan for it other than scribbling stitches.

This is the current practice panel. I wanted to use contrasting thread because it is easy to see. However, it doesn't show up much on the lighter areas, so I did lots of texture stitching in those. This has helped with confidence to do the fancy quilting I want for Cobblestone Lane. I'm particularly happy with the zig-zag as I did that freehand. It has a few squiggles, but far less than the last time I tried it. One key: stop telling myself that I can't do this and just do it.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Hint of Ocean -- Finished

"Hint of Ocean" is quilted and on my table. The label is not done, so I'll have to whisk it off to sew that on the back. I tried putting a few white shells on it and was not as happy with them as one shell and a piece of driftwood. This glass top table has a strip of black down the middle, making the runner seem longer. 

Also, the window screen in the background is discolored by the window blind behind it. The blue is actually the same blue in the runner. I had to leave the blind down due to the blinding sunshine coming in on this lovely summer day!