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Archive for the tag “Viking”

Almost but not quite!

If you’ve been following my attempts at quilting then you know that binding the quilts is one of my favorite things to do.  It is the ending, the completion that seems to make the whole process worthwhile.  I am by nature ambitious and set out this weekend to cram finish three quilt bindings in one weekend.  That was the plan…  I even had the hubris to say that I might try to do something else, like put one of the nursery quilts together as well.

Binding a quilt the way that I’ve chosen to bind my quilts is a stately process.  You really can’t hurry it along as I was trying to do and if you did, I don’t know that I would like the finished product at all.  It is a methodical, beautiful, measured, process and if I can be so bold as to quote one of my quilting friends, “neck down work”.

I started with the Christmas quilt since I had finished piecing it back in March, the my green Sage Garden Quilt since I am to surprise a friend with it tonight!!  EEEEK!!  The Arbor Lane quilt, which is by far the larger of the three quilts will have to wait until next weekend.

I didn’t even create the binding yet, let-alone sew it to the quilt.  It’s still on the couch mocking me for my overly ambitious plan.  I did take out one of the nursery quilt kits to see what I will have in store for me this week.  My plan (don’t laugh) is to try to finish it by the end of the week.

On a side note, I never did finish the mini quilt for the swap due to the fact that I sewed the first half at 3/8″ and the second half at 1/4″ seam…  but that’s a different story.  Until next time, happy quilting!!

Jelly Rolls and Persian Plum Block 4

At lunch I slipped out to buy something from the fabric store, not out of need but there are a lot of sales going  on and I just had to.  After almost an hour of trying to decide between fabrics I ran across some jelly rolls.  I used my last one that I received for Christmas for a quilt that my son absconded with recently.  As I have no other jelly rolls at hand, I wanted to get some should the mood strike me.  Let’s be honest, can you really ever have enough fabric?

On to Block 4 of the Persian Plum BOTM

So now onto the new block.  This was definitely one of the easiest I had the pleasure of putting together!  And the colors as usual were stunning and magnificent.  If you were looking for a beautiful block this one turned out rather well.  There is some cutting involved, so be aware.

And the finished piece!!  Block 4 of 12, hey that’s means we’re already 1/3 the way there.

The Bobbin Surprise

Among the things that give me pause while quilting is the sewing machine bobbin. It’s the red-headed step-child of the sewing machine.  It is busily doing all of these wonderful things behind the scenes and rarely (did I say rarely?) complaining. As much as I remember to check my top thread, I’m almost always surprised when the bobbin runs out. The thing is… it doesn’t even upset me when it happens.

While piecing together a top furiously… (can you imagine yourself in action?) Three times in a row, the bobbin ran out at the end of what I was sewing, so no inconvenience encountered. At times however, I am so intent on sewing straight and managing the fabric while it goes though the machine that I don’t realize that for the last yard and a half the bobbin was empty!

I HAD an excuse when I was using my Singer Brilliance machine. There was no way to know while sewing as it the bobbin is enclosed for that model. Using the Viking Sapphire though leaves me with no excuse other than I like to gamble. It is a top-load bobbin with a see-through window so you can check see the bobbin on the fly.

One of my other peccadilloes is to wind two bobbins at a time. I know that I’ll still have to stop and change it out when it runs out. It feels though like it will be quicker than having to wait to wind it every time it runs dry.  Do you have OCD about certain things while sewing?  You heard it hear first from my, mine is “The Bobbin Surprise”!  Happy Quilting.

A Million Questions

There are a million questions I had when I started quilting.  Some of the information needed was readily available, other info… not so much.  I still do not consider myself anything beyond a beginning quilter and find a VERY happy place there.  I’m still in the honeymoon stage of being delighted and frustrated over the simplest things at times.

While I was working on a quilt top two nights ago, my wife walked in on me staring at the two halves of my quilt top.  She asked what was wrong when she saw me staring.  The quilt top was one that you have to assemble diagonally and I was trying to figure out which side needed the piece of fabric that I had left.  Unlike some projects, having a piece left over when you know you’ve cut the exact number does NOT work in quilting.

This brought me to realize how many question I still have and how many I have had that I was lucky enough to find or be given answers.  Some of the questions I was faced with involved personal choice:

What scissors should I use?

How large of a cutting mat do I need

Which fabric brand do I buy?

Where is the best place to buy this stuff?

This evolved into more questions:

When using a rotary cutter should I try to stay straight, or cut at a slight angle?

Should I pre-wash my fabric?

How do I get the points to look good in this pattern?

No matter where I looked people seemed to avoid answering questions where personal preference was concerned.  My take on it is that if someone has asked, give them your personal opinion but do not be broken-hearted if they end up going a different way.  I had just wanted a place to start from.

I’m sure at any stage we all have questions that need answers.  Some of these answers we get from a book or a magazine, some we seek from our fellow quilters/mentors, others we plunge into headfirst and after our 20th redo, find the answer ourselves.  Wherever your answers come from, just remember that all of us at one time or another has had the same questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask the questions… and support those that are new and try to help with the answers.

If you are looking for answers, post comments, go to quilt shows, read magazines, examine other quilts, get involved in a quilt swap.  There are so many outlets for you to find out those burning questions.  Until next time, keep quilting…

Joann Fabric’s Persian Plum Block 3

I’ve just completed block 3 from Joann’s Persian Plum which is called the “Quartered Star”.  This was a little more difficult than the previous two, made more so by the fact that I put three pieced together that didn’t belong.  Isn’t seam ripping fun???

The block is beautiful when finished and I’m very excited to put all of these together to see what the whole quilt will look like.  Here are some pictures of the block going together.

Here is the finished block

Flannel

The first quits I ever made were flannel quilts.  Probably because the first quilt I ever remember having was one from my Aunt Clara and it was a patchwork flannel.  There wasn’t anything fancy about it, the pattern was blocks arranged haphazardly on the quilt top.  The underside was made from one piece of fabric with warm autumn colors throughout.  I don’t recall now if there was the possibility of batting between the top and bottom, but it already felt heavy enough.

I remember the weight of the quilt anchoring me down on those cold winter nights and in the spring when the rain would come and we’d tunnel into our quilt every time the lightning lit up the night sky.  When it got real bad we’d be called into the front room with our quilts in tow for a cup of hot chocolate to calm our nerves.

When my wife and I were discussing which quilts we were going to be keeping and which ones to send off to family members we realized something…  We currently have a springtime quilt and Kay is finishing a Summer one.  I’ve just completed an Autumn quilt which just leaves a Winter quilt to complete the set.  Much to my wife’s chagrin, I suggested that since I was the one to make it, that I would make our Winter’s quilt out of flannel.  She complains if the weight of our covers isn’t enough and I figured that having a flannel top and bottom with a warm and natural cotton batting in the middle would do the trick.  She was a little put off by this because it would be the only flannel quilt in the set.  I’m also worried that my long-arm quilt person will freak out with the thickness she’ll have to quilt through.

I’d love to hear you opinion on flannel quilts… where do you stand?

Finished with the Appliqué

Ready for the quilterI was under the impression that I would have finished with the appliqué on the Arbor Lane BOTM quilt and moved on to the double quilt I’m making.  Alas, I spent the entire weekend finishing up with the center block and the four side panels.  Then I spent most of today sewing the rest together instead of posting.  The good news is the quilt top has been assembled and I went out this weekend for Joann Fabrics sale and bought the backing for it.  Now it will be sent off to Candy who performs miracles with her long-arm machine.

Today, I get to start the double quilt.  No, there isn’t such a thing in reality, I just call it a double quilt because I’ll be making two quilts with minor variations for two different people.

Finally I’m able to show the quilt top for the Arbor Lane.  A skeptical decision regarding the backing fabric turned out to be a fantastic decision.  I really love how this quilt turned out.  I will be taking it and the schoolhouse quilt for some long arm quilting and I’ll post the pics after it’s finished.

My Struggle with Appliques

Applique sewn on with Husqvarna Viking Sapphire

Eating carrots as a child was always a chore at the dinner table. My parents knew they were good for me and would not injure me as I thought they would. Likewise, although quilts can contain any number of different techniques from paper piecing to string art, one of the most popular remains that of the applique.

I set my sights a couple of times on trying this out and it has been a disaster, my technique is horrid. I am okay (read not thrilled) with mistakes in the quilts that I make. But there comes a point in time where giving up on a technique seems really compelling. Luckily for me, unluckily for my wife, I’m stubborn. I will ruin 20 pieces just to become adequate at its creation.

Why would my wife become unlucky?  Because I will plead and beg her to stop her projects to work with me on mine, asking her questions nonstop, and criticizing our work until I’m satisfied with the result. She is a real trooper but has politely suggested that I join a quilting guild so I can learn more.

My confession… is that everything I do has been self-taught through trial and error, although at times (many times) I have come across wonderful people who’ve shared their videos of how to’s on the web. (Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!) I know I should be trying to work with more experienced quilters, but it’s difficult while working a full-time job. That doesn’t even mention that I’m a guy and a lot of experienced quilters in my area are women… married women whose husbands probably wouldn’t understand why their wives were spending time quilting with another man!!

Kay and I do go to quilting events when they’re in town and plan on going to the quilt show in Houston this October. that is normally where I am able to connect with other quilters and ask the questions that are giving me fits.

Until then, I would love comments from anyone out there on the best way to do appliques on quilts. I’ve seen them with a satin stitch, a zig-zag, and have seen them done by hand.  But would love to know what your favorite way is…

Until then thank you for all your support and keep sending the comments!

UFO’s and how to complete your least engaging projects

So many times I plan on doing a project and get caught up doing something else, like a site I read that had the same subject “buriedinscraps.wordpress.com.   So this evening I was looking at some of my unfinished projects and knew that I needed to get a move on to finish some.  I decided to start with my old block of the month project from Joann Fabrics Arbor Lane.

Has anyone else out there worked on a project and as it was coming together felt their stomach drop through the floor?  As soon as I started I realized that the measurements were all wrong.  I was texting my wife and letting her know how disappointed I was in this, but that I was persevering in the face of adversity!!

“I AM going to complete this quilt” I keep telling myself, all the while thinking about the quilt I really want to be making.  It’s not turning out horrible, but some of the blocks do NOT match up.

What do you do when things go wrong with your projects?  This UFO isn’t complete yet, but by the end of this weekend it will be.  I think the best way to complete these unfinished project is the same way you do anything else that’s overwhelming like eating an elephant… one bite at a time.  After all, it really isn’t the rabbit that wins the race, it’s the turtle.  Steady and with perseverance, at least that’s my .02 worth.

So as far as ease-ability of putting the Arbor Lane quilt from Joann Fabrics together??  2 out of 5 stars.  We’ll revisit once we’re completely done.

Persian Plum Block 2

This is the second block in the series for Joann Fabrics Block of the Month “Persian Plum”. This block was a little more technical and has you sewing triangles together prior to joining the halves to form a square.

While not impossible to get the tips perfectly lined up, I would suggest pinning for best effect.

At the end of the first round of sewing you should end up with eight half squares.

Joining these together forms your four multicolored squares.

The finished square is well designed and I’ll say once again a beautiful set of colors. Look me up in another week where I’ll be putting block three together.

 

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