Saturday sewing

Last time we saw this quilt it looked something like this…

DSC00140Minimal quilting officially meant one of last year’s Quilter and Child quilts was done but it was still in my “needs quilting” pile.

Today I am pleased to say its status has changed. I sat at the machine for a few hours this morning and now, with an off center spiral surrounded by straight lines, it is definitely finished.

DSC04920I washed it to give it that nice crinkly look. May be it will go in John and Joanne’s new orange room?

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Now it’s back to English Paper Piecing and my hexagons…

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These ones are 3/4″ in Japanese fabrics. I’m hand stitching them onto a linen background  for a bit of Modern Traditionalism. My design is very asymmetrical and there will be lots of negative space.  Not a project to be rushed…

Machine Quilting Samples… done!

After booking to teach my basic machine quilting classes at Quilters Quest later in the year I thought it was about time I made some new samples. New samples need new fabric so I did a little shopping…

Two pieces of Carrie Bloomston’s Collage collection for Windham Fabrics, a piece of Andover’s Textured Solid in ripple (teal) and some Pure Element solids from Art Gallery Fabrics went together to create a little quilt (18″ x 36″) ready for some walking foot quilting.

DSC04880Quilted with five colors of Aurifil #50, there are straight lines, some wavy lines (an adjusted lingerie stitch) and a spiral.

DSC04876 We move onto free motion quilting in Machine Quilting 2. For this sample I used some more of those Art Gallery Fabric Pure Elements and a piece of P and B Textile’s Close to Home by TS Post for that little square in the top left quadrant, surrounded by a narrow strip of Marcia Derse’s Modern Solid in gold. I put a strip of the Textured Solid in there too.

This one is 25″ square.

DSC04883 I used just one color of Aurifil #50 for my quilting but all kinds of filler stitches.

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I like the way they came out… and checking off an item on my ever-growing “to do” list is just great!!

The circle of life?

Last week started with me starting to stitch a little hexie piece for the next Naperville Modern Quilt Guild challenge. I was using the 3/4″ hexagon papers from Paper Pieces and things were going well, other than the little Diet Doctor Pepper spill… DSC03404I think it will wash off?

But a couple of phone calls later and my plans for the week had changed…

I made a little sample for a three hour Intro to English Paper Piecing,

DSC03461and quilted it,

DSC03466and set to work on a Modern quilt sampler

DSC03403But then I was interrupted …

By two very welcome visitors…

We went to the park where the see-saw called their names,

DSC03459and then there was the the climbing frame…

DSC03456 Ruby wasn’t for being left behind. She got to the third rung before needing to be rescued…

DSC03457 Fun!

Monday soon came around again and it was back to the sewing machine.

I finished the sampler… My favorite Michael Miller Cotton Couture grey with the pinks I bought at Gentler Times when they had 25% off for Valentine’s Day…

DSC03481DSC03493and made a You too can machine quilt sample, using 50 wt. Aurifil thread for a great result.

DSC03499Those all made and photographed I moved on to a little Taking wool appliqué a step further piece. The Village Quilters in Wheaton will be working on it next week in a little lecture/demo I’m presenting. It’s not quite finished but here’s where I’m up to.

DSC03487I’m thinking the completed piece will make a nice little needle book cover. That’s why there’s the gap down the middle.

Here’s a close up of those embroidery stitches…

DSC03490So today I’ll be stitching on the teal circle and might be able to move on to the ever growing stack of pieced hexagon blocks.

DSC03503or maybe I’ll be back to those pink and green hexagons I started last week with?

I have also been researching Coconut Cakes for Sarah’s birthday at the weekend…

After QuiltCon?

I always find it hard to get back into any sort of routine when I have been away. I can’t even begin to imagine having a “proper” job and needing to go to work at 8 the morning after I have returned from a trip.

So, last week I retreated to my fall back position of catching up on my recorded programs and knitting scarves for a few days.

Then I cleared up my “stuff” and did the laundry…

Fortunately Thursday was Naperville Modern Quilt Guild day and I had promised a hexagon demo so I had to work on that. Paper Pieces supplied us all with little kits to work on. I will look forward to seeing what people get up to with their new, or rediscovered, skills.

Svetlana brought her Single Girl quilt to share with us.DSC03191

Her sewing machine was at the shop so Svetlana had hand quilted it. Through flannel! She did admit her hands were a little sore. It was beautiful.

Enough sulking from me. It was time to return to my machine and I pieced a back for my log cabin quilt. Then I layered and basted it with a Pellon Legacy wall batt and I have started quilting…

A view from the back.

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and a little look at the front.

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I am half way through, but now I have to decide what to put in the negative space ? I am pondering the problem but I sent Steve off to work with my bag of Mini Eggs so I don’t have them to help me…

Staying close to home.

I hand quilted my first quilt. It was just a four block sampler and my stitches were not very small so it didn’t take long. I tied my next quilt. When I started hand quilting my third quilt in three months I realised that I was not going to be able to keep up with all the tops I wanted to make. I took a machine quilting class. It was OK but I knew there was so much more more I needed to learn if my quilts were going to look anything like the ones I was admiring at quilt shows. So I took more classes and practiced, a lot.

Now 14 years later I think I have come a long way. I might never reach the lofty heights of the heirloom quilters with their micro stippling and tiny stitches but I can finish my quilts myself and have them look quite nice, even if I say it myself…

Machine Quilting 1 is one of my favorite classes to teach. For some students it is the first class they have ever taken and Saturday’s class at Pieceful Heart Fabrics was no exception. We started by sewing some seams and learning a good pressing technique…

Then we had a discussion of the wonderful world of batting, threads and needles… that took a while.

Marking the quilt top came next.

And soon it was a very important part of the class… lunch!!

Fortified by some good food we basted our quilts together.

Finally, it was time to quilt… stitch in the ditch, free form curves and altered stitches were all demonstrated and then tried. Then all that was left was the practice!

My next favorite class is Machine Quilting 2 but that comes next month.

 

On Sunday I returned to Lisle Depot Days. We had enjoyed ourselves last year, spending the afternoon giving quilting demonstrations on behalf of Riverwalk Quilters Guild so we were delighted to be able to go back this year.

Yvette was demonstrating English Paper Piecing in front of our beautiful raffle quilt.

Sandy worked on a piece of hand applique and Nancy was paper piecing a miniature on her machine. Lots of people came through and stopped for a chat.

Heidi spent the afternoon hand quilting on a frame.

I stitched on an embroidery, so between us we represented many facets of our craft. We passed out general information on our Guild and invites to the  Small Quilt Auction. It would be good to see some new faces at next month’s fundraiser.

It was raining for last year’s show. This year the sun shone, so Sandy and I went on a little expedition to see what else was going on… There was a log chopping machine, which was fun to watch in action, vintage cars and even a petting zoo.

       

Altogether, a fun afternoon in good company.

 

On Monday I returned to the basement. First, I prepared samples for my Modern Mixx class that evening. The blocks are going to go into a Mini Modern Mixx quilt…  More work is  still needed on that one.

Then I started on my challenge piece for Naperville Modern Quilt Guild next week. When I was away last month (there was a wedding or something?) it was decided that we should all make a piece using tangerine, aqua and grey.

Watching Yvette and her English paper piecing reminded me I had been itching to stitch hexagons together for a little while so that is what I did.

Here is my piece, complete with quarter inch borders and a little straight stitch quilting. It is about 11″ by 14″. Sarah thought it would make a good place mat but it took me rather too long to allow anyone to risk spilling their gravy on it.

Here is a close up of those hand stitched hexagons, appliqued onto the grey background.

I’m rather pleased with the finished little quilt. Now I need to make a name badge, due last month but not started yet.

That’s something for tomorrow.