Mar 312012

Whoot! I finished FIVE [5] of my desired 7 quilts. Might have done more if I hadn’t been sidetracked by some new projects – story of my life.

This one was closest to done but still took me awhile to get to the last details. It needed blocking before I could put the sleeve on. I washed it, gave it a brief whirl in the dryer, then laid it on the floor to dry flat. Part of the reason for washing was to see how much the cotton batting shrank (which turned out to be just right), but I will never use that method for blocking a quilt again. One of the backing fabrics bleed through onto the white fabric on the front. GRRR!

I call it Moo-ry Xmas because the cows in the print are wearing xmas hats.

This one I used for trying out a viney leaf quilting design, I think it turned out pretty well. I don’t like the design I used in the border much, but it doesn’t really show either, so oh well, lesson learned. I named it Midsummer because I started it in midsummer (last year) and the flowers remind me of summer. It’s the first in a series of shoo-fly quilts.

This one, Take Us To Your Leader, is another shoo-fly. I thought the block on point looked like alien space-beings so I set them in a starry-sky background. The quilting is a bit too casual for my taste. I ended up using the walking foot when I couldn’t loosen the top thread tension enough for free-motion work. (The place I took it for servicing tightened the top tension too much, GRRR!) But it is done.

And I finished this orphan-block quilt, intended for charity, by using it for free-motion practice (good thing I finished the quilting before I had my machine serviced). It has no name beyond Orphan-block 1.

And I finally finished, with some very quick quilting, this drape for my office chair. It has ties on the corners, if you notice something funny sticking out there in the pic.

It really spices up my office, don’t you think?

 March 31, 2012  Posted by at 9:23 am Finishing No Responses »
Mar 192012

Maybe I should re-title this post sewing progress, as I have not done any actual quilting. I should be, I have three tops basted and ready, but got sidetracked.

I completed Round 2 of the Improvi-Robin, creating this:

I had a blast doing this one – slightly wonky log cabin blocks casually set in a pale tan that matched the pale tan in the Round 1 portion (the darker rectangular area). I love how the light background makes everything float, totally changing the look. Hard to believe this quilt started with this.

When that was done I put more strips around the horse blocks:

The picture shows my layout, but I stalled here. I need more strips, and I’m out of scraps. I pulled fabric from my stash but haven’t cut into it yet. Now I’ve taken the blocks off the design wall to make room for my latest project, which I will post about later because I haven’t taken any photos yet.

And I finally, after more years than I care to count, stitched a sleeve onto the back of this small wallhanging:

It started with a leftover block from the one quilt my grandmother made (actually, she only made the top). My mom removed the original flowers to use them to replace some worn-out ones on the full quilt. Then she gave me the block, which consisted of muslin square with four clusters of leaves. Some of the leaf tips hung off the edge of the square, and a few more were in the seam allowance.

So I carefully unstitched some of the applique, added a border, and stitched the leaves back down. Then a fellow quilter gave me the vintage GFG units. They are made from feedsacks, and too irregular to stitch together (maybe why they never made it into a quilt back when they were made), but perfect for applique.

I hand quilted it, but never did that last bit of attaching a sleeve. Until now. It proudly hangs on my office wall, cheering the place up.

 March 19, 2012  Posted by at 2:34 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Mar 122012

I’ve failed to keep up with the two quilt-alongs because – well, nothing major. I set my new-to-me Juki up for machine quilting, put my favorite cotton thread in it, and started on a practice piece. The thread kept breaking. Last time I had trouble with thread breakage, a worn foot was the culprit. After watching to see where the thread appeared to be rubbing and fraying, I peered really close at the throat plate (with a little help from my husband’s reading glasses – I couldn’t find my little magnifying glass) and it looked worn along the edges.

Then I priced new throat plates and decided maybe I should try a bigger needle first. I haven’t done that yet. Instead I moved the Juki to a different table and set the Pfaff (my preferred piecing machine) back up. But I haven’t managed to figure out how to jury-rig the Juki’s temporary table for an extended flat surface to free-motion quilt on, so I’ve been piecing instead.

I decided to ignore all the pending basted quilts and work on a snuggle quilt using these blocks I started 10-15 years ago. The center horses are cut from my childhood bedspread, which my mother made for me. I’ve been sewing strips on in a roughly wonky log-cabin style, using up scraps so far, though I’m running short.

Yesterday, as I was ironing the strips over, my iron gave a little phzzt noise that wasn’t a steam-fart, and released a little puff of smoke that smelled like burning plastic. I immediately thought “uh oh, my iron just died,” so I was not at all surprised when it cooled off and stopped steaming. I grabbed my reserve iron to finish ironing that set of strips, but it promptly reminded my why it has been my “dry only” iron. On steam it hisses and spits like it’s about to explode. I suspect an internal leak. What do you expect from Walmart anyway?

With no usable iron, I had to quit sewing for the day. Today we were at Costco and I bought another iron. They only offered one choice, and I’m not sure I like it, but it works, and that’s what counts.

 March 12, 2012  Posted by at 8:27 pm Uncategorized No Responses »