Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

This is such a great idea....Bloggers Quilt Festival!,
Check out all the great entries Amy's Creative Side.  The only problem  is you can spend hours and hours looking at all the amazing quilts and other much inspiration!

For my entry I have to pick one of my favorites....

I made this quilt for a wedding present for a good friend. It is from a Jelly Roll of "Sunkissed"

and the pattern is from the book "Jelly Roll Inspiration" by Pam and Nicky Lintott...

I found what I thought was the perfect fabric for the backing... It was the perfect yellow, and had the words "princess", "castle", "once upon a time" and "castles" written across the fabric....Perfect!

Then, ...when I was preparing the backing, I noticed in small letters...fairly faint....the word "kiss the toad"!!!!!!   If you look really closely you can see it just under the crown. I had a moment of second thought....could I give this as a wedding present???

Well...I decided...yes I could! Hopefully the new groom won't look too closely at the back of the quilt!! LOL

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday finishes

yup...I got one...a finish that is!!  One incentive is Amanda Jean's Finish-it-up-Friday over at Crazy mom quilts!  It is nice to say I actually got something finished !!

Also, I made a writing....that I would not buy anything new, or start a new quilt until I finished at least 3 that are already in progress!

And here is the first of those 3... "Oasis"

It is made from a Jelly Roll of "Origins" by Moda.
The pattern is actually Between the Lines by Sweet Jane, which was the inspiration for this quilt.

I usually dont piece the back, but was a bit short of the green fabric, so had to use up some of the other bits to make it big enough. I think it turned out ok, though.....

For the machine quilting,  I was trying out my little daisy pattern....

OK, the binding is matching the borders....I know......boring maybe, but I had already cut the binding out, a long time ago when I cut the borders, so it was ready to go. I have been trying to be a little more adventurous with my bindings lately, but this was ready to go and I couldn't bring myself to waste it.
The labels were printed at Spoonflower

All and all, I am happy with this little quilt. It finished at 56"x78"

Now only 2 more  finishes to go!!! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Feed Dog dilemma

I have been getting questions about why I leave the feed dogs up when I am FMQ, so I thought that I would give a fuller explanation.

First let me say, I am no expert!! I am a relative beginner at quilting and FMQ. When I first started I was having a lot of problems with the tension, little "eyelashes" on the back,  and thread breaking. It is VERY frustrating....enough to make you want to quit FMQ!! So I started doing a lot of reading and asking questions.

There are actually a lot of web pages that have "trouble shooting" ideas for problems.  And I have tried them all !!  I had a checklist of things to try...and tried them all!

Here is what Leah Day ...the FMQ guru, from  The Free Motion Quilting Project has to say. Check out THIS PAGE about dropping feed dogs.

Things seem to be working well right now, and here is what I am doing at the moment......
I am using this attachment on my machine (Janome Horizon)

You can also adjust this up or down so that it is not too tightly touching the fabric.

  • I have a "topstitch" needle size 12., although I have also used "quilting" needles that seemed to work too.
  • I have tried different threads..Gutterman, Mettler, Coates & Clark....not sure that I have a favourite right now. I have also tried 100% cotton, 100% polyester, and blends, and really don't have a favourite on this either. 
  • I often need to adjust the tension of the top thread, so do a little test patch first and check the stitches. They should be even on the top and bottom, not pulling right through on either side. 
  • I do not drop the feed dogs, and set my stitch length to zero.
  • I feed the top thread under the spool while threading the machine. (this may be just superstition on my part LOL)
  • change the needle on a regular basis...I think they suggest about every 10 hours of sewing, or at least at the start of every new project.

If I have any issues, I rethread both the top and bobbin thread to reset the tension. Or sometimes, just like my computer, shut everything off and then start again!

Right now things seem to be working well, and that makes FMQ fun!! So hope you have fun too!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Well....I am making progress !!!

And NO, I have not purchased anything new this week!! : )

I wanted to try a different FMQ pattern because I have used the same one several times, and although I am getting more comfortable with it, I would be nice to see something different.  So I started sketching with paper and pencil, and kind of liked this...

So off I went and tried it out....

So far so good! The machine is working well, (touch wood) no breaking or skipping.
Details? I am using Mettler thread. I have the tension set at normal, did't have to adjust it this time. I have a "top-stitching" needle in there. The feed dogs are NOT LOWERED, but the stitch length is set to zero. And I am wearing my little blue "surgical gloves".

I am afraid that I am going to run out of thread though, so will need to venture out to get more. I hate when that happens!

.....but for now, I am going to link up to both the Work in Progress over at  Freshly Pieced
and also to The Needle and Thread Network.  So much fun checking out what everyone else is doing! Lots of great inspiration there!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Inspired !!

I am inspired !!

After seeing all the beautiful quilts at our quilt show on the weekend, I feel the need to get some of my projects finished! I have made myself a promise (again !!!) not to buy any new fabric ....unless it is for borders or backing.....until I get at least 3 of these finished !!  Really !!!

.......but that wasn't counting Saturday, because I had a 40% off coupon from the quilt show for our local store Periwinkle, that was only valid during the quilt show!! Had to use that up !!

OK, though, ......NOW ...I will not buy anything else until I get 3 finished...promise!!
So lets get quilting !!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saskatoon Quilt Show

Well, I have spent the good part of 2 days at the Saskatoon Quilt Show. The first day I was working most of the time, and pretty tired by the end of  the day, so went back again to attend a couple of the guest speakers etc.

Wow, what a lot of quilts... This is the entry  way to the show! These are all quilts that have been made by "Serendipity Quilters" to be donated to various causes....

Amazing !! What a lot of quilts!

Because I am trying to continue with my FMQ, I spent a lot of time closely examining the work of others. Many of the quilts have been quilted by professional long arm quilters. A lot of them by  Debora Barlow, a local long arm quilter. Her work is truly amazing...

I must admit, I get a bit overwhelmed when I see all her fabulous work!!

But I also took a close look at many of the quilts that were not professionally done. This may sound mean, but  it gave me a bit more confidence to see that they were not all perfect! One of the speakers stated that she uses a "10 foot" rule....if it looks OK from 10 feet, you are doing all right!! So I think I might apply a similar rule to my quilting!!

One the quilts I studied was entered by a friend from our quilt guild, Cathy. Her quilt was called Bargello Waves...

I have never tried one of these, but I loved her FMQ pattern, it looked like something I could practice... and with her permission took several pictures so that I can study and maybe learn to reproduce this.....

Her quilting is so even and steady !! Maybe someday when I grow up I will be able to quilt like that : )

Friday, October 21, 2011

Quilt Show

This is a busy weekend here in Saskatoon....the big Saskatoon Guild Quilt Show..

Last night was the opening ceremony, what fun! And we got to preview all the entries.....WOW!
This is the first quilt show that I have attended since I started quilting. I must admit that I am a bit overwhelmed with all the different styles, techniques and beautiful work. Maybe someday I will have something hanging there!

You have to go check out the entry from Monika over at My Sweet Prairie. It is a wearable "My Sweet Prairie" ....quite amazing...and her first clothing attempt! She is a Superhero!

Anyway, I am off to work as a volunteer at the show. I will be "White Gloving" so I guess I get to walk around with little while gloves on and ask people not to touch the quilts without their gloves!
mmmm....white gloves.....maybe I should wear my little hat????

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday???

work in progress??  I think I worked myself out last week finishing the quilt for the wedding gift!
Not that I don't have a pile left to finish!!
1) Oasis (Origins)- basted and ready to quilt

2) Square Dance (Grand Finale)

3) Prairie Meadow (Origins...again)

4) Paris (Etchings)

5) Newfoundland Treasure

Not to mention the new fabric that I bought in Charlotte !!

But today is a baby shower gift sewing, not quilting but still sewing..
A hooded towel, see previous post for how I make these.

receiving blankets and a very cozy easy fleece blanket...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday finishes

It is done! finished ! washed and dried! wrapped and ready!

I cut this one close! I needed it finished by today to take on the plane with me, to my friends in Calgary. Their daughter just got married, and I wanted to take a quilt for a wedding gift. Of course I would have been done long ago except.....the one I started for them...I decided to keep for myself!! It was fabric that I loved, and just couldn't give it away..

So I quickly had to start....and finish...something new!
The fabric is "Etchings" by Moda. I am not sure what the dark navy fabric is, I just liked how it contrasted..

The backing is "Wordplay" by Benartex.

And the binding is my effort to get a bit more whimsical ....dots!

It finished at 64" x 72". ..lots of FMQ practice!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday

Well it is work in progress wednesday again!

And I am furiously trying to finish the quilt for the wedding gift....(seeing as how I liked the first one too much to give it away LOL)
I am getting more relaxed with my FMQ! Still lots of mistakes, and a few unplanned squiggles....but I put a lot faith in a good washing and dryer session!!

I used a wavy line for the narrow border, and  a repeating loop for the wider border...

In the triangles I used straight lines - zigging and zagging back and forth. I found that I do not do straight lines very well, and manage curves and loops much better.

The backing is a fun print with quilty words rambling across it....

and for the binding..I went outside my usual comfort zone of just using the border fabric and tried dots....

OK, they are really tiny dots....but that is a start, right???....Baby Steps!!

So I just have to hand stitch the binding ...add add the label, and it will be ready to go!! Has to get done before Friday!  Better get to work!!
But don't forget to check out what everyone else is doing over at Lee's blog...Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

workshop wonders

Well, I am home again, we had a great trip! Charlotte North Carolina is a beautiful City and everyone is sooo friendly and helpful.

Here is my group from the first day of workshop...

and the instructor Jenny with me...

and the view from the room we were working in...

Fabulous view, and bright and sunny!

This is my new Canadian friend that joined us for the second day of workshop...

Jenny brought some samples of her work to show ...and inspire us. Here are some pictures (with her permission). For more information on her work you can check out her website here.

Her landscapes are very interesting with lots of texture...

And then she does the fabric fantasy class...

This is all just folding and and she calls it "twiddling and fiddling"!

This is laying out my attempt at landscape..

As you can see ...I am not an artist, and have no imagination!! Also I travelled with a small ziplock bag of fabric, so was very limited in my choices for colour. That's my excuse...and I am sticking with it!!

And this is my fabric fantasy...

it is not finished yet, and has gotten a little squashed in my suitcase coming home, but I am pretty happy with it! There is a lot more detail added by tucking and tacking or I guess it would be twiddling and fiddling!!

All in all it was a lot of fun, and I met some wonderful people and learned some new techniques.