Monday, February 27, 2012

Two finishes this weekend.

The first is my long-anticipated (by me) crib quilt for my sister's new baby daughter Addie.  I think I started this quilt in mid-November, working on it bit by bit until it was ready for quilting a few weeks ago.  I encountered a frustrating problem of my machine skipping stitches, and thought I had made a complete and thorough mess of the quilt- ready to throw in the towel.


These are actually not the worst of it- it got a lot uglier, but I will spare you the horror!  A few readers gave me some advice which alleviated the problem somewhat, but I still wasn't getting a consistent stitch.  Anyhow, when my wife's good friend came to visit a couple of weeks ago, she connected me with her mom, who's best friend is a quilter, and she suggested I try using a Stretch needle instead of a Quilting needle in my machine.  Magic!  Not a single problem after installing the Stretch needle- Thanks Sandy!!!

So I went back and ripped out many many stitches on the quilt and re-quilted maybe 25 stretches of quilting.  I didn't have the patience to re-stitch EVERY skip, and the re-quilting stitches aren't perfect, but at least they don't skip now :)

I took this Whirlygig to the local playground for a few late afternoon pictures.  It was really windy yesterday, so those pinwheels were really blowing in the breeze!


Here you can see some of the quilting, which was larger-scale.  I wanted to maximize the softness, and many suggested that tighter quilting can sometimes compromise the quilt's cuddly feeling.

I did a pieced binding using some of the leftover fabrics, and machine bound it, as I have on my last few quilts.  Perhaps just laziness, but I like to think that I am anxious to get it to its new owner as soon as possible. :)  In either case, I like the look, and that's time I could be working on my next project!

This next one barely counts.  I did some FMQ practice on a quilt sandwich while I was in the doldrums of FMQ problems on the above quilt, and decided it came out pretty well, so I bound it and made a little doll quilt/blanket for by daughter's doll.

The batting is "pieced"- I took 4 strips of scraps and used it for my practice sandwich.  You can see the seams running lengthwise ( I guess if I do that in the future, I will stitch the pieces together).  Really, only the binding is pieced, but my daughter doesn't seem to mind :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Quiet Week

It has been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon.  I took a class at NYU this past weekend, so I am a little behind on my Supernova Quilt.  I finished a second block

I have to say that I continue to take solace in the fact that I am just starting in the quilting world, and that each new block is a lesson learned.  I am really happy that my piecing skills are coming together better and better (pardon the pun), but know that working with colors is something I have room to improve.  The hope is that when all is put together, it will make more sense, color-wise, but we'll see.

Also, check out the archive pages I recently published, with Finished Quilts from 2011 and 2012!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another new quilting adventure!

I have been working on my Supernova project for a few days now and here's the first of my Supernova blocks:

Ever since I first stumbled upon the Supernova design on Freshly Pieced, have been itchin' to make one!  I love the symmetry and movement of the block, and the design is modern, but yet still retains a "classic quilt" feel.  My quilt has these yellow and green fabrics as well as teal-ish and violet-ish color scheme (see previous post).

All the fabrics were very budget-friendly.  Most all were purchased at for under $5/yd.  I think the gold one in the middle (not with circles) was $2.39/yd - it's called City Scapes from Quilting Treasures.  It's back up to $5.98 now, but still pretty reasonable- when I go through an episode of fabric hoarding, it's much easier to justify when I am buying stuff on sale :)

After a week of pouting, I have yet to return to the baby quilt stippling.  My good old Singer 301 needs some trial and error time with different needles, as this seems to be the consensus problem with my skipped stitches.  I think I'll wait til I have built up some patience by piecing some Supernova blocks.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Avoiding my Machine

The singer has been avoiding the Singer for several days now.  I was halfway through my big baby quilt when I just walked away!  More problems with skipped stitches left me blue, so I thought my machine and I needed a little time apart.

My wonderful neighbor has loaned me her Brother machine, which is sitting in its box in our hallway right now.  I read through the manual, but haven't opened it up yet.  Still debating about whether to give my baby a second third forth fifth chance.

In the meantime, I am working on my next project- a Supernova Quilt using Lee's Quilt-a-long at Freshly Pieced.  She's put together an easy to follow tutorial, and lots of finished quilts are linked up for inspiration!  I chose a color palette of yellow, green (I especially love the top fabric from Robert Kaufman's Imperial Collection 7, called Starburst Linen) and violet-ish

This is my first quilt-a-long, though I'm not really quilting along, since they finished last April. It's one of Lee's original designs, and it's a really fresh and modern layout.  I have finished picking fabrics and cutting 3 of the 9 blocks, which seems to be the most complicated part.  My soon-to-be quilt doesn't yet have a target owner...we may keep it as a cozy lap quilt for the couch or we may gift is to a special couple- it just depends on how generous we feel when completed!