I have finished my Too Precious to Cut (But We Will) Challenge for the Modern Quilt Guild of NWA. This was a challenge put out by Paula Mariedaughter, one of our members. I was in a panic last week thinking that it was due for our September meeting (next week), but it’s actually not due till October. Ah well, it’s finished. Go here to see what else this creative quilter is up to. She’s always putting a new spin on quilt design and makes the best labels.
I faced this quilt using Susan Brubaker Knapp’s tutorial. Check it out along with her other free tutorials.
The only thing I do differently is Step 4. I don’t like to pivot at corners, so I sew to the end, and then cross the seam at the corner. I also use these little clips instead of heavy pinning–you don’t want the facing to show on the front and this helps.
I had a little trouble with the quilting. After doing all the straight-line quilting in the center, I went to free-motion quilt the lily fabric and ripped out this lily twice. Then I quilted this spot with regular stitching, which required a lot of pivoting, cleaned and oiled the machine AGAIN, changed the needle AGAIN, and free-motioned the remainder with no problem. Gremlins, I’m tellin’ ya.
I also finished my placemats. See my previous post for the Round Placemat Tutorial. And why does spell check always want “placemat” to be two words? Not doin’ it.
Well, it’s back to my studio. I am putting everything away so I can get back to finishing up the rest of my Christmas UFOs. And here is one of my favorite Paula Mariedaughter quilts from a local Q.U.I.L.T. Guild of NWA show in 2013–those wonky flowers and the colors just make me happy. Till next time, do what makes you happy for at least part of the day!
Symphony of Colors was a special exhibit during Quilt Week at Paducah this year. The quilts are original designs by Japanese quilt makers, often pieced and quilted by hand. Sizes are rounded off as these quilts were measured to the 7/8-inch (perhaps because of a conversion from the metric). Part of the official description: “Quilts came to Japan at the end of 1970, as a new hobby from America. Japanese women received it as an American culture and started making them. They studied about quilts in books and some advanced people started a school to teach quiltmaking. After ten years, Japanese quilters found their own way to make and build up the new category of Japanese Quilts, instead of copying American quilts… In this exhibit, some of the quilts feature a strong expression of the Japanese style, while others express it more quietly.” p.136, Quilt Week, Paducah Show Book.
Notice the subtle change in applique shapes from fish to trees to birds to triangles.
All of these circles have finished edges and are appliqued by hand!
This was my favorite, Autumn Sky.
Next time I’ll wrap up Paducah with some of my favorite quilts, no particular category. Quilt shows can be overwhelming and make you doubt your abilities and work. They can also be very inspiring and encourage you to try new techniques. My only disappointment was that I was looking for Japanese taupe fabrics to make some quilted household items. I think I will try to dye some fabrics myself as I only found a couple batiks at Hancock’s of Paducah (not to be confused with Hancock’s chain store) and some hand-dyeds at a little shop downtown. I was also looking for a small red and green stripe for the binding of my Christmas quilt–nary a one in this huge warehouse of fabrics. I can get back to quilting this now that I have more 75/11 needles, which is what I’m using with the mono-poly clear thread. I have quilted the center blocks and now can do the outside blocks. If I were really brave, I would free-motion the straight lines but instead, I do a lot of pivoting.
The other project which is taking a lot of my time is rebranding myself. I want to change my blog/website name but I’m having some domain issues. We’ll see how it goes after holidays are over. Till next time, be sure to keep an eye on your local weather and stay safe. Poor Texas is floating away again.
My progress on handwork is going rather slowly, so after the 4th of July weekend, and getting three rooms partially ready for new flooring, I put some serious time into quilting my Redwork Quilt. I did straight-line quilting in the center redwork medallion, then some free-motion meandering flowers and leaves in the red border, and then straight-line quilting on either side of the seam lines in the pieced border (scrappy 1-1/2 inch finished squares). See the previous post for photos. Then I added yet more quilting to the center medallion to help it to lie flatter. All that remained was the 4-inch black border.
There was a lot of lint from the batting on the black Kona so I used masking tape to clean it up and then pinned the edges to keep it relatively clean while quilting. Making a tube with the masking tape was fairly ineffective. Placing a long strip and running your hand across works much better. A large lint roller would be even better if you have one.
After practicing the same meandering flower design, and choosing a variegated black and red thread, I started and 6-inches in, decided that the tension was not right and the design just wasn’t filling the space like I wanted. Back to the drawing board. I took out my Pajama Quilter Reloaded book and found a design I liked: flowers, leaves and ribbons. I also changed to a solid red thread. It isn’t perfect but it is finished and the binding is put on. More handwork for my poor arthritic hands but for now, I still only machine quilt the binding on donation quilts and potholders. Because of the overstitching in the flowers and leaves (only two of each, thank goodness), it took me 2-1/2 hours of ripping and then the afternoon to quilt all the way around.
Here is part of the border, showing flowers, leaves and ribbons. I see the PajamaQuilter Reloaded and PajamaQuilter Rethreaded workbooks/DVDs are sold out. You can check out Dawn Ramirez’ quilts at http://www.sewdawnfun.com/. I like her idea of practicing on a whiteboard before stitching on a quilt sample–this is really helpful for a new or complex design and you can just totally erase what you don’t like at any time and start over.
Here is part of the outer border before binding.
Till next time, expand your horizons and try something new–a new quilt design, a new recipe, a new technique, a new skill. This will keep your craft more interesting, fight boredom, and perhaps, prevent dementia. If it’s frustrating, it’s good for you.