Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Center Motif Completed

The center of the Amish With a Twist is completed!

Ta da!

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Time to quit. Making mistakes. I have the feathers going the wrong way. Ribbit, ribbit.

I hate when that happens!

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Amish With a Twist

I got the Amish With a Twist loaded on Lucey. When I checked my stitching on a sample at the side of the quilt, I noticed that the cotton batting showed on the back. I had to make a decision. Either I would keep the cotton layer, or I would take it out while I had the chance. I had only done the basting at the top and down the sides. I took the cotton batting off the frame.

The Amish With a Twist is now only loaded with the wool batting. It has taken me a couple of days to get my photos posted.

Curly Twirly feathers in the border. Navy thread on navy border.

Corner blocks. Red thread.

Light gray Glide thread on remaining blocks. Ignore the thread build up in the log cabin blocks.

Continuous Curve

I got all mixed up in the center red square. Now I have to repeat that design throughout so it doesn't look like a mistake.

I hope to get some more sewing time today.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

December Update

I have not had much quality time in my sewing room in the last month. Every weekend seems to be filled with grading and department reports. I have been able to snatch some small bits of time, though. It has been my intention for quite some time for my next project to be Polka Dot Bikini designed by Sharon McConnell. I keep getting distracted.

My first distraction: I signed up for a quilting class from Judy Madsen through She is a great teacher. I learned as much from her comments about her planning process and how she decides which section to quilt next as I did from the quilting designs. The project for the class demonstrates how the same design can look very different depending on the quilting. Here are my results.

The first two are the modern version.

The next two are the traditional version. It was harder to take photos than it was to follow her process in completing the project.

Another distraction was getting a baby quilt finished for our cat sitter. The unfortunate part of this is that I fear she will no longer be available to watch our cat when we travel. I made the Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt kit. I made this same quilt for a gift once before so it was fun to revisit it.

I am also trying to always have a quilt loaded on the Lucey. That way I can make the best use of small amounts of time. I am in the process of loading the king size Amish With a Twist.

I have two batts on the machine: one layer of cotton and one layer of wool. I have read that this gives a nice puffy look to the finished product. I'll see. I have to keep them flopped over the machine because the cat won't leave them alone if they drape to the floor.

I spent several weekends trimming up loose threads on the back and repressing all of the seams. That job is done.
Now I need to get marking done before I load it. I want lots of feathers. I have some patterns that I want to use, but none are the correct size. I need to either go to a copy shop and get them re-sized, or free hand them while looking at the pattern.

I hope to have some quality sewing time over the winter break.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Swoon 2015 Finish

Swoon is done! Bound and labeled. I finished this top in 2013.
Finished size 80x80.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dresden Doll Quilt

Here is an update on the Dresden Plate doll quilt I am making for Little Missy.
As I look at it, I think I need to make the centers smaller. They just overwhelm the Dresdens. I used the template that came with the Darlene Zimmerman ruler/template. I am sure it looks better with larger sized plates. That is what I am going to work on today.

Update: Aha! I was right. Look at this. 
This is much better with the slightly smaller center. I couldn't make it any smaller because of the hole in the center of the Dresden blades. Moving on.

Here is a look at my design wall today.

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Progress on 2015 Designer Mystery BOM

I have completed block #5. It is called the Library.
Cute, no?
Here it is in its place on the design wall.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

In My Humble Opinion

This morning I read Amy's review of the Top Anchor Rotating Baptist Fan Ruler. (You do read Amy's blog, don't you? If not, you'd better start.) Even though I gave up trying to FMQ on my domestic machine, she is amazing to watch. I invested in a long arm, not for a business, but for personal use.

Coincidentally, I had just loaded my Swoon quilt onto my Lucey. (It had mellowed just enough to be ready to quilt.) I have been anxious to use the Top Anchor Rotating Baptist Fan Ruler on this quilt. I love the traditional look of the Baptist Fan quilting pattern and couldn't wait to give this ruler a try on a real quilt. I had it on my Christmas list for 2014 and DH ordered it for me. I had watched the YouTube videos and decided that I wanted the ruler rather than a pantograph that would give the same old-time look. In the meantime, I have done several practice panels with it, but this is my first attempt on a full quilt.

Amy's opinion was that the ruler was tricky to use on a domestic machine, and in my humble opinion, the same is true of a long arm. There are several reasons why I do not like this ruler.

1. I have to have a hand underneath the quilt top in order to secure the pins for the pivot point. This is problematic. I quilt from the top of the quilt to the bottom. Each time I change the pivot point, I have to reach under all of the quilt top and all of the batting to reach the point where I have to insert the pins for the pivot point. I have to crumple up my carefully ironed quilt top and batting into a wad in order to reach the pivot point. Annoying and possibly a cause for distortion in my carefully squared quilt top.

2. Even though the directions describe a way for continuous quilting, I need to end and restart quilting with every move of the pivot point. The extended table is necessary for using any ruler safely on a long arm. It can't be removed during the quilting process.

 Maybe someone has a hand eensy weensy enough to get under the quilt top and between the extended table and the spot where the needle is down, but I certainly can't.
My seam ripper is pointing to the pivot point where I have to insert the magnetized pin and the needle where the next line of quilting needs to begin. Are you kidding?  I can't maneuver a couple pins in and out at that point so close to the needle.

3. The overall look is good enough, but the pivot point is not stable enough to create consistent arcs of stitching. It rocks as I keep my left hand on the ruler near the needle as I sew. My hopping foot doesn't fit perfectly in the hole and with the vibration caused by the needle going up and down, I am afraid that I will hit the ruler with the needle and throw off the timing of my machine.

4. Pin holes. I hope these will go away, but I have no way of knowing.
At every pivot point, there are  definite holes created by the pins.

My bottom line, I wish I had purchased a pantograph instead of this ruler. A panto would have been cheaper, and it would not have had the downsides that I am experiencing with this ruler.

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Down A Rabbit Hole

What have I started? I decided to make another doll quilt for Little Missy with scraps from the box of scraps that has been overflowing on my counter. Bonnie Hunter says that scraps should be cut into usable sizes after each project. Leaving them for later is like leaving dirty dishes in the sink. I have been guilty of that.

What was going to be a rather straight forward project is becoming overwhelming. First, I find it tedious to cut the scraps. Decisions, decisions. Is this scrap worth keeping (just in case I need a tiny bit for applique) or should I throw it away? Second, I just want to get the doll quilt sewn, but I have so many scraps to go through it is taking

 Some of these fabrics are from my mother's stash and some are from my projects. They all carry memories. Polyester? Seriously? Many of these fabrics are leftovers from when I used to make clothes. Those are being dumped. That does help speed the process a bit. Much more to go.

Here is the layout of the first row of the doll quilt. Dresden Plates with blocks that will form a secondary design.
One row laid out. Four more to go. There will be 13 Dresdens and 13 alternate blocks.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

2015 Designer Mystery BOM

I have had some extra sewing time recently. I have completed several of the Designer Mystery BOM series quilts. I usually wait until I have sewn all 12 blocks before I start putting the top together. This week, I opened the finishing kit for the 2015 Designer Mystery BOM and got started with it.
I am really liking the way it is coming together.
I am expecting block #5 any day now. I am ready for it. This will dominate the design wall for the duration.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ticket in Hand Table Runner

I received a discount offer from Fat Quarter Shop a while ago. I used it to buy this kit. The fabric is called Ticket in Hand. I love the travel theme.

I used a pantograph on Lucey to quilt it. This is the hardest panto I have done so far. The overall look is great, but on close inspection there are many blips. Another finish for 2015.

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Princess Tote Bag

I made a Princess Tote Bag for my favorite princess. This was a free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop.
I got the fabric at Hobby Lobby.

I know she will love it. She is very into princesses.

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Advent Calendar Finish

Chalk the Advent Calendars up as a finish.

I made a separate post so I could add these to my 2015 Finishes page.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Rabbit, Rabbit

I haven't posted since last month's Rabbit, Rabbit post. It's that time of year again. Heavy work responsibilities and not much time to sew.

My paltry accomplishments are:

2015 Designer Mystery BOM-block #4

Three Advent calendars quilted, bound, hanging sleeve, and labeled. Now DH has to get the 1/4" dowels for hanging. 
That is it. Hope to have more sewing time soon.

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