Saturday, December 22, 2012

The finish is in sight

LIfe keeps getting in the way of my good intentions - or is it procrastination? I've loaded my GD's quilt and looked at it for several days. Finally, last night I quilted a row across the top border. I'd been practicing with a pantograph for awhile, but this particular design had no practice because my hand/eye coordination finally started to work. I discovered that if I squeeze my body with my elbows, following the lines and getting smooth curves is much easier. So I just jumped in and did it.

This turned out much better than I expected. It is not perfect, but neither is anything else (but God) so I qm delighted. This queen-size has a long way to go, but this border took less than ten minutes, so maybe this will be finished before the end of the year?? Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review: Build Your Best Log Cabin by Fons & Porter

Fons and Porter are offering a free .pdf ebook of 24 pages showing three examples of log cabin quilts plus a few variations of each of the three. The ebook also includes patterns and instructions for four quilts from beginner to challenging, several charts and illustrations, as well as some tips. It begins with a well-designed cover photo that hints at the many variations that can be done with the log cabin blocks.

While not a fan of vintage quilts, I found the photos and brief history of log cabin quilts interesting and thought it was a good idea to include these examples. 

The strength of this ebook is the detailed instructions and charts for each pattern. Directions are in simple, easy to understand steps. The block diagrams are numbered and colored as are the cutting charts. I particularly appreciated this for it makes it easy to substitute my own color choices. 

Another positive feature is the sewing tips added to the patterns. Some are brief but helpful. Others are accompanied by excellent step-by-step photographs.

Two things could be added. A beginning quilter would appreciate the insertion of a labeling tip on page 11 showing 1-2 ways to label cut pieces so as to keep track of them. Also, on page 15 there is a chart for “Chimneys and Cornerstones Courthouse Steps” but no photograph of a quilt using this block. I kept looking for it.

The instructions for binding with piping and for joining ends of the quilt binding are excellent, as are the photographs for these instructions. 

I am an art quilter, but occasionally do something pieced from a pattern to give the creative side of my brain a bit of a rest. This ebook has been printed and filed to use for that very purpose! Download it here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Progress on Japanese quilt

Life keeps interrupting my other plans, but there is progress in the sewing room! This top is ready to quilt. The backing and batting are also cut to size and ready. I'm practicing a panto for the main part and have to find a border and figure out what to do in the kimono, likely follow one of the designs in the fabric. 

I've also decided to quilt the background, then sew on the crests. It seems easier that way rather than trying to stitch the design up to the circles and keep the pattern straight. The photo shows a side view where I've placed them and marked the spots with chalk. Oh, how it hurts the knees to work on the floor, now that I don't have a ping pong table that will hold it. (We sold our house and left the pool/ping pong table for the new owners.)

I procrastinated working on this project for a long time, fearful I couldn't quilt it properly and not wanting to send it out ($$$), but dear Lisa encouraged me to practice using a panto. I'm a "scribble" quilter and love to make it up as I go, but wanted this one to be more precise. Amazing how practice makes it easier, and thankful for the confidence Lisa has in me.

One of my other blogs gets a new post every day. Is that my excuse for not posting here more often? Or is it because if I have to pick quilting or blogging --- well that's an easy answer. But I am reading others...