Thursday, March 23, 2017

Quilting on One of the Mandala Quilts -- Almost Done!!

This is a picture through the Live Oaks at Ft. Fisher without the sunset!! That is the Cape Fear River in the background.  We live with this river on one side of us and the Atlantic Ocean visible from our porches!

Almost all of the quilting is done on this mandala quilt.  

There are some closeups.  Around the inner panel here is feathers.  I just did a free hand bit of quilting in the mandalas. Once I decided I didn't have to follow the lines of the mandala, they became much easier to work with.  I did try to follow a little bit of what was happening in the middle mandala.

Here is the detail of the quilting in the middle mandala.  I kind of did a giant flower in the center and other natural elements around the outside with the feathers repeated in the darker areas.

This is the quilting that I did in each of the outer mandalas.  

I used no flash in this picture so you can really see the quilting!!!

Before my guests came, I whipped up a bunch of these snap bags from some fat quarters and half yards that I rarely use anymore.  They were great fun to do!!

This is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that was visiting my daughter's new house.

Our Bluebirds are starting their nests and there are always nests down at Ft. Fisher.

A Snowy Egret showing his plummage down at Ft. Fisher.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Hexagon Quilt is Done!!

Here is my company while I work on finishing up the hexagon quilt!  I have had two kitties keeping me company almost all the time.  One did inhibit my progress a bit!!  But I got lots of purrs to compensate for sitting on the sewing machine.  This whole quilt was done on my FW.  I had ordered a new 1/4 inch foot from Amazon and it was perfect for this.  My FW, since being worked on by my Mennonite repair guy, is almost as fast as my Juki.

I got it finally all put together yesterday and it was really quick as everything fit nicely.

Here I have added the first border, a hand dyed blue just slightly darker than the triangles in the blue.

Finally got it all done this afternoon and quite pleased.  It measures 82 x 82.  I hadn't intended a square quilt but it just worked out that way with the seven rows of six blocks per row.  They are slightly wider than they are long.

Here is a closeup showing the whole border.  The outermost fabric was one I purchased on my cross country trip last summer and it was perfect for this quilt which called for a patterned border.

Not a very exciting bird, but a Ibis I encountered on a drive down to Ft. Fisher.  The background was a little different as you don't usually see the hunkering down in the woods!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Progress on the New Quilt from the August Cole Class and Egrets, Egrets, Egrets!

A blog would not be complete without the introductory sunset of the day.  This day was definitely a little different.

Here all the full sized blocks for the hexagon quilt are completed.  I haven't decided at this point whether to do the half blocks or just fill in with the lighter color I am using.

 This was testing the lighter color block and decided a definite no.

I decided on a different set from the one that August used, adding the darker blue triangles as well as the lighter color beige ones.  I had originally intended to do a pale yellow but my dyeing resulted in one that was far too bright and I didn't have enough of any of the lighter yellows.  I wasn't crazy about this beige batik so sacrificed it!!

I did the half blocks by literally doing half blocks.  It was a little tricky for the first couple of rows and I made sure I had both right and left hand sides by sewing two opposites at the same time when chaining.

I again tried the beige as the first order and didn't like it at all so found some blue that was close to the triangles, will add a thin strip of the turquoise and then this lovely batik which I had.  I knew I had to have  patterned fabric around the outside.  I think it will be about 82 x 86 when done.  Should be enough for a queen sized quilt!  Probably won't get it quilted until after GVQC quilt show though and am definitely contemplating having it long arm quilted unless I have a brainstorm soon!

The ladies nd I did some dyeing the other day.  They were working on doing batiks and I decided to just do some gradation dyeing.  This was a gradation of 7% Boysenberry with equal amounts of  Strong Orange added equally to each "pot".  I was a little unscientific this time and didn't weigh the dyes but measured so there was 1TBSP of the Boysenberry and 1 TBSP of the Strong Orange.  I figured the 1 TBSP was equivalent to about 15 grams of dye.

 I have seen very few birds this year but the other day I was surprised by an amazing sight.  There were between 40 and 50 Snowy Egrets crowded on the rocks next to the docks at Ft. Fisher all in their summer plummage.

 Here are just about 20 of them.  They sat there and then flew off a couple of times and then flew back gradually with even more birds constantly joining them.  I had never seen Egrets doing this!!

Here is a closeup of just one of them.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Some Show and Tell from our QBTS February Meeting

There are a lot of quilts from our February meeting which I will post without much comment.  Unfortunately I don't know people well enough to name who had all of the quilts!!  The above are the different blocks which will be in our next raffle quilt.  The group doing this quilt hopes that all the members of the guild will do a block  I got a traditional log cabin block to do.  Really curious how they are putting this altogether!

The next three were all either inspired or started in classes at the guild.


I know Miranda did this one!!

Another  view of that beautiful sunset that I viewed on the way to quilt club.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Lesson for Me -- Rework of Finished Quilt

We've had a couple of glorious sunsets since my sister left (sorry, Gail and Bill) so of course I ran down to get pictures as they are always different.

This blog post is dedicated to correcting a mistake on a quilt I thought I had done yesterday!  It was driving me crazy last night in bed so this morning I took out all the quilting i did in the border and removed the whole border!!  It took longer than doing the quilting to begin with.  I had closely quilted the background of the mandalas and so the borders were just oversized and wonky.  I had hoped quilting them would reduce their size but it didn't do it enough.  The quilt actually shrunk 4 inches due to the close quilting!

I have been pin basting by pinning the quilt back, batting and top on my design wall, putting 6 inch by 24 inch rules behind them and then pinning.  This works pretty well for smallish quilts.  I have no good basting surface down here.  You can see the pins here that hold the ruler in place.  I am going to use basting spray instead for the next bunch as I think that will be even easier!!

This is the quilting I did in each of the smaller blocks.  I was pleased with how it looked.

This is a closeup of the quilting I did in the center 22 inch square.  I am finally not afraid of quilting the mandalas now that I kind of have a routine.

Here is a picture of what it looked like after it was completely quilted.  You probably can't see all the pebble quilting that fills the white area.  The border is now "baggy" and after all the detailed quilting I did on this quilt, I couldn't bear to have it look so ripply around the outside.  Today I spent the day taking out the quilting and removing the whole border.

It is redone and you can see that the border is different as well.  It had always bothered me that I hadn't repeated the turquoise somewhere else so I used it as the first border and then cut down the other fabric so that I wouldn't have to do any more quilting in the border.  It is nice and square now and quite a bit smaller!!  I was okay with leaving out the thin green border as I didn't feel the need to repeat it.  As this shrinking has happened to me before, I am serious thinking of not putting on any borders until after the centers are quilted.  The last quilt top I finished will be an additional candidate for this process.  I HATE redoing things but am a compulsive finisher.