Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas finish

I finished my mom's Christmas disappearing 9 patch quilt last Wednesday, but promptly jumped on a plane to spend Christmas weekend with family in Minneapolis, so pictures had to wait 'til I had some time and a nice backdrop to shoot.

I go back and forth between getting a headache from everything that's going on here and really liking it.  It's really busy, with all of those charms from the fabric swap, but framed it with a cool red, and backed it with more traditional Christmas colors, so I think that helps bring it together.  Binding was another Wrap it Up pattern from Connecting Threads.

I have provided straight-on shots so you can see the whole finished product as well as some "action shots" of the quilt!  I did a diagonal straight-line quilt, which went so much faster than fmq'ing, uses so much less thread, and looks so much cleaner.  Not sure if I am going to dive back into fmq'ing just yet...we'll see.

After my mom received the quilt, we headed down to the creek by their house, where most of our family photos take place, so I could get some new pics of my folks.  I brought the quilt out at the end of our photo shoot.  I think they thought me a bit strange, pulling the quilt out of a garbage bag and draping it over a park bench!   Here's a shot of my beautiful daughter showing you the diagonal straight-line quilting on my Christmas quilt.  I didn't have any red thread, which is what I would have preferred, but a tea green did the trick almost as well, I think.

Here's the quilt just hanging out.  Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas with friends and/or family!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Back is the new front.

OK, so I love the back of my Christmas quilt...actually more than the front.  I used 111 of my 112 charms from our Christmas charm swap, but I used over 100 of them on my disappearing 9 patch front, which, I have decided, is REALLY busy!  There just are not enough solids, and all of the patterns and colors (with almost no repeat fabrics) makes it look like a bit of a jumble.

The back, on the other hand, is making me feel very calm and satisfied.  Alternating strips of little green diamonds (Wrap it Up from Connecting Threads) and a cherry red with subtle yellow dashes (Morse Code from Connecting Threads) interspersed with the remaining charms from the swap make this a simple and understated celebration of the season (I think).

I briefly considered making this the front of my quilt, and putting a plain backing on it.  Maybe using the busy top for a set of placemats or something.  I decided to just go with what I have, and since this is a lap quilt, you will most likely see both sides often enough that the solid red and green theme on the "back" will anchor the all-over-the-map front.  Anyhow, I like this design and will probably use it again in the future (though not for Christmas).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Picking up where I left off.

Finished the patched top for my Christmas quilt.  Just waiting for my border fabric to arrive in the mail.  I buy all of my fabrics online, since the lqs is about an hour away by train.   Decided to pick up my sister's baby quilt and continue patching together the whirleygigs.  I have all the squares done, the next step is to trim them to 6.5 x 6.5 inch squares.  Actually, I lied...the next step is to iron that last seam on all 40-odd squares, and I am not in an ironing mood...ugh.

To give you an update on the repairs made to my Singer 301a, all is going very smoothly since I replaced the tension spring.  Stitching is just eaiser now that I have taken the free motion quilting foot off and replaced it with my regular foot.  I love to fmq, but that big bed quilt for my mother in law almost did me in!  So much fabric to deal with, it was a real pain in the butt!  I dont want to quit on fmq'ing, but maybe just take a short vacation from it and do some straight-line quilting for my next couple of projects.

Not that I get into the whole Schadenfreude thing, but I did enjoy reading about someone elses fmq blues at Summerfield Quilts.  Angie is an experienced quilter, and to see that even the experts get frustrated sometimes was encouraging to me.  Angie solved her problems by replacing the cheap batting she was using with warm and natural.  That's what I always use, so her solution won't help me, but knowing that I'm not alone will.