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.