Thursday, January 17, 2019

Quilting and Birding!

I am well into the quilting of the Blueberry Bagel quilt as it will be forever known.  I knew I was going to do a lot of quilting on this one and had envisioned early on how I would do it.  Of course I have done this before and then changed my mind.  I always test my idea out on a side of the quilt in case I change my mind and figure one area slightly different will be okay.  However, this was just right (for me).  I am doing feathers in all the pointy areas.

My only problem has been that the tension spring for the bobbin winder on my Juki is kaput so had to resort to one of those separate bobbin winders.  I had a lot of problems with loose thread on the bobbins which caused headaches when quilting but back on track now although this quilt will take some time to finish as it is large and this is a lot of quilting!!  I did finish all of the darker areas though today and started working on those light colored spots.

This and the next two are further areas of quilting -- this one and one other are along the side of the quilt  The edge is always a little tricky as you have to make sure it is taut.  I am impressed with my little phone camera which I have been using to take pictures in my sewing room these days.

This was near the corner.

I did finish the quilting on the Mystery Quilt and sewed the last of the binding on last night.  It looks pretty good if I do say so myself!!

In addition to all the machine quilting, I did take the time to head down to Ft. Fisher one day slightly after low tide and was amazed at the plethora of birds I found!  This was my best find and the first time I spotted it hiding next to the dock.  It is a Virginia Rail and they are very very elusive and don't like their picture taken.  It immediately went into hiding when it spotted me but I was very patient (there were other birds to photograph) and waited him out.  He wondered out and in from the pier and I was able to get quite a few pictures although the light was not ideal (very very bright day which makes for bright on one end and shadows that are dark on the other end of the bird).

Here is one of the times I managed to get a pic before he started running again.  He had caught a fish but a crow came swooping down and stole it.  All I have is a blur for the photograph, he was so fast.

Back to his hiding place once again.

I was watching this Snowy Egret when my eye caught the Rail on the other side.  There were quite a few Egrets hanging out that day.  Usually I see the Great Egrets (with the yellow beaks) so seeing a lot of Snowy Egrets was a little different.

There were a lot of Hooded Mergansers hanging out as well.  I didn't realize their size but they look small compared to the Gull!  They were diving for food

There were a lot of Forster's Terns diving for food as well.  This one decided to stop and rest a bit.

A majestic Great Blue Heron was hanging out as well!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Blueberry Bagels Top Finished and Quilting on Mystery Quilt Begun

All 90 blocks are finally finished and all sewn together!!  Someone on Scrap Enthusiasts (a FB group) said it looked like blue doughnuts but I decided it was more like a blueberry bagel.

The weather was so warm the other day that I could take my 3 30 inch by 72  inch tables outside and spray baste this quilt and the mystery quilt.  These are both really good sized quilts but the tables made it easy.  I used clamps to hold down the quilts in halves as I did the spraying.  It was still pretty back breaking but it was gorgeous outside and it's done.

We are having the unveiling of our mystery quilts in our January QBTS meeting so onward to doing the machine quilting.  I don't have my nice table down here but took two of the above mentioned tables and made an "L" with one in front of the machine and one next to my left side.  Has made life much easier!!

If you look closely, you can see the stitching.  I stitched in the ditch around all these giant blocks to stabilize the whole thing.  I then stitched in the ditch around all the green and added a row of stitching between the two outlines of green.  Then I outline stitched the remaining sides of the yellow and did the machine equivalent of 1/4 inch of hand quilting.  I did a double row of this around all the yellow pieces.  I haven't finished all the yellows yet and then onward to the purple.  I am doing something simple here as well and just doing a double row of stitches outlining the star.  I am keeping the quilting fairly simple here.  This way I won't have to do any more quilting in the light background.'

I will still have to do some quilting in the outer border though but will probably be one of my old standbys as it won't show anyway!!

I already know just how I am going to quilt the bagel quilt which will have more quilting.  

I bought some new rulers for cutting down blocks and was very impressed with the brand which I hadn't seen before -- Arteza.  They were fairly inexpensive and came with sticky dots so they wouldn't slip.  After using a gigundo ruler to cut down all those kaleidoscope blocks, I decided I needed some smaller square rulers which I got on Amazon.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Only 24 Blocks to Go!

Quilt definitely progressing despite holidays and general business.

Well, after making 66 of the blocks which did take some time, decided to do some trimming.  I actually developed "rotary cutter thumb" and only did half before calling it a day.  I hate trimming and had a big square ruler which was unwieldy so I promptly ordered some smaller square rulers which will make the job easier as I definitely have enough triangles to make a couple of charity quilts maybe using some different patterns as I get bored easily!!  You can begin to see really how it is going to look.

Had to finally sew some together to see how they would look.  Despite all my careful cutting and steps I still had to pin and pull to get them fairly even.  I have learned a trick with these kinds of blocks.  If there is no quarter inch from the edge to match with another corner, just match further up where the dark and light meet.  You will never notice that the darker fabric doesn't have a nice point to it.

Here are the first 64 blocks that make up whole roles done.  I will be adding enough more blocks to make it 9 blocks wide and 10 blocks long or 85 x 95.  I am thinking I am not going to put a border on this one although a narrow blue one might work.  Didn't seem to look great when put up on the design wall.  I even know exactly how I am going to machine quilt it and bought the batting today!!  Now to get it done, glue basted and under the machine!  I still have the "mystery quilt" in the queue so this will have to wait.  I know how I am going to quilt that one as well.

Friday, December 28, 2018

First 20 Blocks Completed

Had to do an update with the first 20 blocks almost done.  Then I had to take a break and start cutting the half square triangles that are needed in the corners.

To make these kaleidoscopes, I cut 5 3/4 in strips and then used a 45 degree triangle ruler.  (You could use the 45 degree mark on a regular ruler but I decided to do it this way as I did have one of the specialized rulers.)  I did my geometry and decided that a 4 sq in square cut in half would give me about a 5 3/4 inch hypotenuse triangle which seemed about right.  I tested it and it was a tad big but that was okay, better too big than too small.

I should note that the tricky part of this was always putting the the light colored triangle in the same position when combining the sets of two to make four.  The two fours should be identical before you put them together.  Also when finger pressing each set of two, finger press the light/dark pair to the dark and then make sure you finger press the dark/dark pair in the same direction.  Then they nest nicely and you get a crisp intersection.  After the two pairs are combined and it is best to back stitch at the bulky end where the three seams come together or it will try to come apart when you put the two pairs of four together, I cut off all the little triangle ends before finger pressing the seam open.  After I combine the two sets of four, I finger press the last seam open as well and give it a good press on the back and then the front.  The last step of course is attacking the corners.

I couldn't help myself but had to see what it was going to look like so I attached the corners to the first 10 blocks.  It took a long time to cut out the half square triangles.  I think I have enough of the 45 degree triangles to make half a dozen quilts though!!  This is par for the course for me when doing scrap quilts.  I always cut way way more than I need.

I know I am going to like this quilt a lot!!  I even have a pretty good idea of how I am going to quilt it!  Now to just get 60 more blocks done!  I like to have quilts big enough for queen sized beds.  I have a sneaking suspicion my older daughter will snatch this one like she did the first in the series shown in the last post!!

The weather outside has been frightful so quilting inside delightful especially with my new sewing machine lamp!  I have completed the first 20 and have another 13 partially done.  This is not as fast as some quilts and it is obvious now that I indeed have enough 45 degree triangles to make many more quilts!!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

QBTS December Meeting and December Sweet Charity Quilts

Our December meeting debuts our new raffle quilt.  I really liked it and the quilting was beautiful.

And then they turned it around...

And this was the akk which was as nice as the front!!  Very creative and I loved it!

The following quilts were all part of our Christmas party show and tell.  

I had a hard time getting pictures of all the quilts as it was quite crowded with the tables all set up for eating so there were quite a few more.  Still don't have the ladies trained to hold them up for a little while too!

This was the quilt that I showed which I did a number of years ago.  It is called Winter in Rochester.  It is based on a Paula Nadelstern technique although all my own patterns.  The all white snowflakes that are smaller are silk screened with paints from silk screens I made up. It was very scary to silk screen over a completed quilt top!! The smallest snowflakes are free hand machine embroidered with silver metallic thread.

We did the next three quilts in our Sweet Charity group.  We had a smaller group today so only got three tops done.  Dianne does the job by herself of putting kits together and giving us instructions -- a lot of work plus she does most of the machine quilting as well!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Progress on the New Quilt

Starting to see what the blocks will look like.  There are three that have their darker colors here.  Need to add the beiges.

I started putting completed blocks up on the design wall so that they were in the right places but needed to reorient them.

Here you can see the first ten blocks almost done (missing their beige corners).  I added some yellows in using the backs in several cases.  I also did that to get some lighter beiges too.  As I mentioned before, this is made from leftovers from a previous quilt which was done with leftovers from a quilt done as a result of an Augusta Cole class.  

You can recognize that this is the most recent previous quilt.

This was the original mainly blue and purple quilt.  You can see the progression and they are certainly all very scrappy which is my very favorite type of quilt.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Finally Beginning a New Quilt!!!!

Finally starting a new quilt -- one that I have wanted to make for awhile.  I saw it pictured on Pinterest and took me awhile to figure out how simple it was.  However, the cutting is definitely a bit tedious!!  I am using leftovers and all the greens, blues and purples I could find down here where I have a limited stash.  I vow not to buy anything except an occasional back as I don't have a lot of big pieces.  Those right in front (the greens) are leftovers from the mystery quilt done a couple of months ago.  Some of the purples were also from that quilt.  What is not shown is all the beiges and lights I am using as the contrast.  I may use some yellow/orange as well -- that is yet to be decided!  My quilts generally tell me what to do as I get going.  Even quilted jackets disobey me and make up their own minds.

I couldn't help myself but had to start putting some patches on the design wall.  You can see it is a simple kaleidoscope block.

I don't have a lot of pieces cut out yet but had to start building.

Here you can begin to see the design which looks like circles when completed.  The Kaleidoscope blocks disappear.

This is how the block is set up.  I made my strips 5 3/4 inches wide in hopes that I will have something like a 10 inch block when finished.  I may introduce a yellow/orange or yellow as the half square triangles either on the light pieces or the dark pieces instead of the beiges I am using in the kaleidoscope pieces.   I am using a 45 degree triangle for cutting the pieces which is a little annoying and I am sure by the time I am done I will have far far too many as that is what  usually happens with my scrap quilts.  I am trying to use up all sorts of fat quarters I have had as well as fabric used in many many quilts already.  If there is only a little left after cutting a strip, I then cut some 2 1/2 in strips or 2 inch strips using whatever I have left.  They make great beginnings or four patches or log cabin blocks.