Saturday 28 February 2009

Straight line quilting and a garden visitor

Diane Gaudynski is always right and this time even more so. On a patterned background the only quilting which shows up is straight lines and grids.
And as much as I hate doing it, this is the only way to go with the background fabric. I could use the walking foot and do lots and starts and stops but I'm freemotioning it all and taking the stitching and taking the thread along the outlines when I need to start a new line.

DH captured this woodpecker this morning on camera. They visit the garden quite often but not normally when there is a camera to hand.

Friday 27 February 2009

Double Dumbo

Remember how I said I had all but finished the in the ditch quilting? Duh, I totally forgot going round the appliqué of the twisted border and the swags.
So OK, I got that finished and thought I'd just do the inner of those circles on the swags. I did a couple with the Masterpiece thread but the cream thread didn't look so wonderful. I decided I would undo those two and switch to invisible thread on the top. The stitching looked fine until half way through I looked underneath. I know better than this.... Why didn't I check it at the time. So tonight will be sitting in front of the TV undoing all those inner circles.
On another note, one of the budget airlines is thinking about charging for using the toilet on flights as these are a discretionary service. Now there's a bit of me that thinks this is just a way of getting more publicity on the grounds 'all publicity is good publicity' so I haven't named them. But just in case it isn't, may I suggested that all passengers wet their seats in protest? (grin).

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Some quilting done

I've been quilting this for ages and don't have much to show for it. It's all stitch in the ditch quilting which I hate doing and it takes time, lots of it. The worst part is it hardly shows on the front at all...
Never mind, tomorrow I'll go round the edge and then I'll have to make the big jump and finally decide on the quilting for the more fun parts of it.

Sunday 22 February 2009

Yes you can!

For those who think you can't quilt a 97½" quilt on a normal sized domestic machine, you can and here's the proof.
The batting is Hobbs wool. Half the quilt in in the harp of the machine. Can you see some of it is above my right hand on the right? Click on the photo to enlarge. When I want to do the other side of the quilt, I shall turn it upside down.
The quilt is 'puddled' round the needle so when I move it, there is no drag. The weight of the left hand side of the quilt is supported by an old dining table to my left. (I had a piece of glass cut to fit so the quilts will glide over it)
Sorry the photo is a little blurred, DH took the photo. Love him but he's no photographer....

Thursday 19 February 2009


It took far longer than I thought and we didn't close the safety pins. I folded it up ready to go in the car when I realised I hadn't taken a photo.
So closing of the pins and then I have to figure out how to quilt this beast (with that extra navy spot border, it's now 97½" square). Whatever I do will not show up very much against that background fabric.
My friend tried to persuade me to grid the whole background.
I have a life and it just isn't going to happen.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Frustrations of a quilter

I wish I could show you what I've been working on since last night but it is a secret.
I have photographed it from one stage of the disaster to the next.
I tried plan a. Failed
Plan b. Failed
Plan c. Haven't given up on it yet but might if it presents just one more unhappy ending. (or I just might scream and scream)

Tomorrow I'm going to a friends house to pin the giant feathered star, hopefully I will get it all to fit in the frame for a photo.

Tuesday 17 February 2009

Close ups of appliqué

These might look like two of the same photos but one has a really clear image at the bottom of the shot, the other is quite good all over.
I was asked about how I manipulated the fabric whilst it was attached to the top. I only had to go one side at a time as I mirror imaged the stitch for the inside of the appliqué pieces. This did mean each piece had two stops and starts but it would have been almost impossible otherwise.
Click on these to see them at full screen size.
The thread I used was Sew Art invisible in both top and bottom. I have found I can use it in the bobbin if I wind it on very slowly and only fill the bobbin ¼ full.

Sunday 15 February 2009

Applique ALL Finished

For those of you interested in such things, I use a blanket stitch on my machine for the appliqué. That's a stitch one to the side and one stitch forward. I mirror imaged it and did all the appliqué of the inside if these circles, then I did the outer edge without the mirror imaging.
All that's left now is to add another blue spot border and remove the freezer paper before pinning on Thursday.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

There is nothing cheesy about one dozen long stemmed red roses. Love it, love him, always!

Friday 13 February 2009

Quilting Vegas Style

After I prepared these, I just thought they look like piles of fancy gaming chips.

It all takes longer than you think

Yesterday I spent all day cutting away the fabric behind the appliqué

And preparing the new circles for the bits between the swags. This morning I dipped both borders into warm water to remove the glue and pull out the freezer paper. That water isn't dirty, it's just the glue dissolving. I won't wash it out entirely until it's all quilted.

We had a heavy fall of snow again last night. It didn't settle but the weather is too damp to dry it outside so it's on the table with the underfloor heating turned on and a fan.

Today I hope to appliqué the smaller circles to the larger ones and do the first layer of cutting away.

Thursday 12 February 2009

Oh dear

I hate it when I know everyone is right. I knew before I started that this double ring was the way to go, I just didn't want to put in the extra time. I've done it these with the pale blue spot and the darker one.

Yet again the camera and reality don't show the right blues, without the camera the pale dot is more the right sort of blue but neither are far off....

I've stitched the swag label onto the backing fabric but might live to regret it if the seams on the back coincide with those on the label. I've not done this before, but I think this is a more secure way of adding a label.

The other thing I've realised is all that careful marking of the parallel lines in the border will probably disappear when I wet the top to remove the freezer paper. Duh!

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Three sides done

Just to show I haven't been sitting on my backside (well actually I have but at the sewing table), I got three sides of the swags sewn on yesterday and some of the circles prepared. I've laid them out on top of the swags but now I see them in the photo, I'm not so sure. I might end up doing them in the red dot fabric instead.It now measures 96½" square.
I need a bigger house so I can fit in the whole quilt!

Monday 9 February 2009

33 swags and evidence of night time visitors

It wasn't until this morning and the snow started melting away, all these foot prints became apparent. It even looks like the foxes had a scuffle in the middle there.

And the swags for the borders are prepared for appliqué, 32 for the front and one as a label for the back
We're expecting more heavy rain tonight possibly turning to snow again later. When you think what's happening in Australia, more snow is nothing, nothing at all...

Saturday 7 February 2009

Floral eye candy

This one is incredible, this is the fourth flower stem it's had since Christmas.And this one is on it's first stem (there is another one coming) and this one was planted a couple of weeks before the first.

Friday 6 February 2009

Finally some work done on the feathered star quilt

I made some time on Tuesday to cut the final borders. DH was home due to the snow, he came into the sewing room whilst I measured and cut the border fabric. Big mistake. I cut it seriously too short so the grandiose plans for the border have gone out the window and this simpler version will have to do.
Can you see, I've marked the quilting parallel lines for the border. It makes sense to do this before the swags get appliquéd in place as the border lies flat.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Remember this quilt from last year?

I was really excited to see someone else had done the same pre-marked quilt and done it 'her' way. Apparently there was another one there as well all hand quilted but I didn't notice it. I hand coloured mine.

Sue Sapsed treated hers entirely differently to great effect. She is a longarm quilter and quilted the whole piece in variegated thread. She over- stitched the motifs to make them stand out more, she handled the grid work by using curvy lines and she filled in the outer border with stippling to make the border stand proud. I think hers has turned out to be a very elegant quilt. I wish now I still had mine as I'd like to see the three of them side by side.

Thank you Sue for your kind permission to publish your photos here.

Monday 2 February 2009

Finished quilt and snow and fabric

Before we left the house on Saturday, these arrived from the US. They are Moda offcuts. You don't know what you're getting but there will be 40 pieces, each 32" long and between 2 and four inches wide. I was lucky both of my sets were 4" wide, one of repro prints and the other fresh spring like fabrics. At Ardingly I couldn't resist buying more of these Lunn dyed panels. (a lot more)
We've had snow. They are saying this is the most for 18 years but I don't think we've had it this deep since the 70's (or at least if we have I've been in a different part of the country whilst it happened). I love it and the excuse to have an open fire burning away in the sitting room.
Yesterday we met Luca Antonio Monaco. I really wasn't prepared for the emotion of holding this little chap. Tears rolled down my face and my body shuddered so much I thought it would wake him up. New people are very special aren't they?

Sunday 1 February 2009

What must be done

I hate lists, mainly because once written, I can never find them again...
So my list of things to do, are going on my blog.

Finish the feathered star top (and quilt it before the end of Feb)

Paint the new bed (and order superking mattress)

Finnish the white wholecloth before the end of May.

Take back the new camera (the flash exploded the first day I took it out, hence the bad 2nd photo yesterday)

Take back one pair of new jeans (too big, how cool is that!!)

Deliver quilt and pressie to Luca Antonio Monaco.

Enjoy having Fliss here unexpectedly for the weekend.... (this one is the MOST important)

I have tried three times to change Finnish to Finish and each time I republish this post, it has come out with the original mis-spelling. 3rd time lucky? Yeah! It's finally worked!