Wednesday, February 29, 2012

QA # 8 Quilting a real quilt

Hard to believe we are on Quilt Along week 8 already!  Time flies when you are having fun :) 

This weeks challenge was to complete a UFO quilt.  This was the first time I made this "Twisted Quilt" miniature pattern.   I was liking it until I twisted the pinwheels, that is when I realized the center of the quilt colors were blending in with the sunflowers.  Now there was not enough contrast to really notice the twisting of the pinwheels, so there it hung on my design wall unfinished!  

So, for this weeks project I decided to finish it, and when completed I put it on the dining room table with a centerpiece on top, and you no longer notice the center I do not like!   I might try couching some threads around the center pinwheel tonight.   I now have a great table runner for the fall.  I tried a technique for mitred corners from Sharon Schamber, that worked great.  I will try that again on my next quilt and see if I still like using that method.  For now, I am pretty happy with the way this technique for the mitred borders fit, but not a method to use with large sunflower fabric.... more lessons I am learning as we quilt along.

Thanks Leah, glad to have another UFO done :)

Added a double chain stitch around center to help the center pinwheel pop, while thinking if I should  make it a stacked attached chain?  and what color to stack it with?  Green? Gold? or leave it alone.

Which color next??? Black, Gold or one of these greens?

Double Stacked Chain Stitch

Maroon on bottom and black thread on top...
Took a small piece of fabric and handstitched a new arm of the center pinwheel that had too much dark color that kept the center pinwheel from showing is improving and boy have I learned a lot on this project.
  Now to think of some technique I can do to the yellow sunflowers on black that touch the arms of the center pinwheel....huh,  I might try some spot tea dying to tone down the bright yellow flowers in the center...needs to be washable as will be on the table.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quilt Along #7 Connected Quilted Pieces

Quilt Along #7
Connected Quilted Pieces

Enjoying quilting each week with Leah Day as she challenges us by sharing on Wednesdays
what she is doing this week in FMQ and then on Thursdays answering our questions! 
 It has been educational and fun :)  

My quilting samples that I have connected for this weeks FMQ project is
a few more of the Teddy Bears. 

(front of one quilt row)

 For this project I had completed a dozen samples of the teddy bears, and have connected these quilted samples with strips of  fabric into four rows of three bears each,
 creating a very small quilt center.  

(back of one quilt row)

I stitched 1" folded binding onto the front simultaneously with 1.5" folded binding on back (back binding was set 1/8" away from the edge, to give me enough binding to later cover the front stitching).  I then folded the front binding over and stitched the edge down by machine.  Then, I folded over the back binding and hand stitched it in place covering the machine stitching.

This FMQ project will later become a baby quilt for a grandchild
once I add on borders increasing its size and bind it.   

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Valentine Feathers

"Valentine Feathers" is a 24" x 24" Trapunto Wall Quilt I free motion quilted on my domestic machine.
I adapted this pattern and used techniques I learned from Sharon Schamber on her "Trapunto" You Tube;
I also applied techniques I learned from Cindy Needham called "Sunshine and Shadow" stippling.

The fabric and batting is cotton, the trapunto work is a polyester batt, and the thread work is rayon.

Cindy Needham is going to be one of the FMQ experts on the 2012 FMQChallenge later this year. 
This challenge is free to all who participate, and if you would like to join the 2,000 that have already signed up to participate for the year, you can find the link on the left side of my blog.  
Happy stitchin!

Monday, February 20, 2012

FMQC February Feathers

The 2012 FMQC has been fun this month as we are
 learning feathers from quilter, teacher and author, Diane Gaudynski ~

Although this challenge has been fun, it has also caused some of us to learn so much more than FMQ, as we learn more about computerized technology, the homebase of the challenge:   blogging, uploading, downloading and linking up! 

Then there is the camera work, in capturing a photo that is worthy of display.  Here are some photos of this months challenge as I attempt to capture photo's of white on white feathers. 
Not giving up, but learning along the way, is all part of this quilters journey. 

Here is a photo of a sample of my work. 
The piece of fabric I quilted feathers on is about 7 feet long.  I was having a hard time getting the right lighting for the photo in which the feathers would show up,
so I moved the photo shoot outside.

I found on the porch I had trouble with shadows from the posts!  So I moved the piece to the yard.

Although the snow (New England USA) was an appropriate setting for the snowman trim on this piece, there was too much glare, and many of the photos developed a pinkish tinge of color.

Back inside, I took a closeup of a section of the snowman edging and
found from the photos that in this room there was not good lighting either.

 I do believe I found the proper setting for this closeup of some of the feathers.

The finished project.... I turned the quilted feather fabric into a large appliance cover for my kitchen where I can enjoy the piece every day :)  Thank you for viewing my work.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Quilt Along # 6 Stippling in sashing and borders

Lets Go Fly a Kite ~ Quilt Along # 6
What fun it was quilting this baby quilt "Let's go fly a kite"!    I made two quilt tops when we were expecting our first grandchild.  We did not know if we were having a girl or a boy, and every quilting gramma has to get a few quilts ready for the new arrival, right?  Oh the joy when our grandson arrived, and his quilt top was finished right away. 
Quilt Along # 6 was the perfect assignment to finish this little girls quilt top.  There is small scale stippling around the kites that travels into the sashing.  I LOVED the pattern Leah taught us for working our way around the motifs and into the sashing and will use it again in my quilting.  There is large scale stippling in the swiss dot lavendar border.  I found I had a hard time going from the small scale, which is what I am used of doing with the cloth baby books and bibs I often make, and had to concentrate to keep it large and even.  Really enjoying quilting along with Leah each week, and it has been a pleasure getting to know her and the other quilters who are stitching each week with us.

Since they were infants, a favorite thing to do when I am with my grandchildren is to look out the window and talk about all the wonderful things the world has to offer as we wonder what plans God has for them. I remember the days of making kites with my dad from balsam wood, tissue paper and newspaper; you knew we were ready for the first test flight when we began tearing scraps of cotton fabric to tie on the tail and bows for balancing the kite.   I can still remember my small hands (appearing even smaller as I worked inside of dads hands) and getting all tangled in the long strings of freshly torn cotton.  There was so much laughter and joy flying those kites with my brothers as they twirled high in the sky till they spun so fast they crashed onto the ground.

 The center of the quilt has three kites, two motifs are stitched on either side of the kite, surrounded by the small scale stippling in the clouds which travels into the four colors of the sashing. 
The folded corner reveals the backing, adorable Precious Moments characters floating in the clouds. Do you see the three kites Now? These motifs were added to appear they were further away as you look out the window!
Close up of the colorful kite! 
One day I hope to fly kites with my grandchildren..

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Quilt Along #5 Stippling in the block

I am participating in Leah Day's Quilt Along FMQ classes each week as we learn more about the art of FMQ~ing.  This weeks assignment was to stipple inside the blocks.  The projects you see here are part of my quilt along 4 and 5, where we had to FMQ following a straight line (around the teddy, down the stripes and around the heart) and then stipple within the block in the area on the outside of the Teddy Bear.  I put my blocks together and made three little cloth books for our grandchildren for Valentines Day Cards and bound each of them. 

The cover of one book is the Teddy Bear with the striped head with FMQ in red that reads "Happy Valentines Day".  The back page of another book is the Teddy Bear with the gold, red and green shoelace tie.  And the third book is opened to show what is on the inside of each book.  The Teddy wearing a zippered vest on the right has the childs name written in thread above (underneath the book on top) and on the left side there is a red peek-a-boo cloth at the top that folds down over the words "we love you" and the teddy bears head can hide underneath.  As the children get older they will be able to undo the shoelace bow which is woven through buttonholes, as they learn to lace and unlace the Teddy and tie a bow. 

It is signed at that bottom in thread :) 

I love being a grandmother :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quilt Along # 4 ~ FMQ Stitch on the line

 Quilt Along  #4  with Leah Day.   Our assignment: to FMQ on a line using either pre-printed fabrics, pieced blocks, or a drawn design.  FMQ while staying on the line can be a challenge. 

These little Teddy Bear sample blocks are a few of my samples from this weeks assignment; some curves, some stripes, and some straight line sewing in the preprinted panels.  Next week I will stipple the backgrounds and then prepare them to go into cloth books for my two grandsons for Valentines Day :) 

Thanks Leah ~ enjoying the lessons; every week I learn something new about quilting, about technology, or sometimes just about myself!  Having fun all the while working through my stash!