Thursday, 21 March 2019

Just A Bit Of Freemotion Quilting

My wholecloth is finished! Now it's a matter of washing it, blocking it, then the binding and getting it ready for show (yes, decided to put it in the show after all this work). I will show you a picture when it is hanging up! As usual I am not sure what it looks like...after months of stitching I tend to loose all perspective.
At the moment I am struggling with a title...I really find it extraordinary hard to name my quilts...just cannot think of something other then 'frilly' or 'lots of thread' or 'simplicity'. This is going to be painful.

Took a break and watched the Handiquilter Live video with Jamie Wallen and Vicki Hoth. This was all about feathers and how Jamie fits them into a block, about 50 min. long. Really worthwhile watching as he explained the different types of feathers and how you can practice them and then he moved on to the blocks. Really enjoyed this video and today stitched out one of his designs. I think he called it a lotus flower in bloom. 
Really like the look of this, particularly the thread build up. Was actually not too difficult to stitch out. Like he suggested I drew it out first, but had to go back to his supplied PDF to remind myself how it was done...but once you done it a few times, it all makes sense. Very enjoyable little exercise.

Then I continued on my Challenge Quilt...already running 2 months behind. This time it was a grid with a cathedral window design inside which will be surrounded by some swirls (which I am yet to do). 
I regret getting the grey version of this kit as I am having lots of problems seeing my stitches on the black fabric (even with new glasses). Should have gone with my usual thread choice which would have called for contrast but everybody else is using blend-in colours so I thought I just go along with that. Well, all you can really see is the texture, so this is a great choice when you are trialling a new design because you won't see a thing!
Machine is working well...I have done about 2600000 stitches! Hard to believe...booked her in for the recommended service in May so will need to get some stitching done before that if I don't want to fall further behind.

Karin

Friday, 15 March 2019

Progress on Wholecloth

I get a bit obsessive from time to time ๐Ÿ˜†...I am used to it and know that I just have to run with it. If I don't, then I get stressed about not being able to follow my compulsions, bit of a vicious cycle really or, at least for me, the workings of the creative mind.

I have been stubbornly working away on my whole cloth border, beginning to doubt my own sanity. This was incredibly challenging and I was quite proud of myself to let many, many imperfections go. 

Here is the very last section to complete, pounced on and ready to go
Must admit that I was utterly amazed at this point that this actually had worked out, looking very pretty and frilly...just like I had imagined it.

So, onto the next slightly crazy idea...pebbles
Given that I had an unplanned 1/4in space I had decided earlier to fill that with pebbles and make it part of the overall plan. Turning out to be a bit of an additional challenge as I am quilting directly against the border which is pieced. So have to concentrate a fair bit to not go over the seam into the border...on the dark material that is very noticeable and distracting. 
Also, notice that space in the corner...still have not found a proper solution for this. The motif itself does not fit in the corner unless you cut it off half-way (how on earth did I not think of this beforehand!). Did not like the look of this and have tried to come up with an alternative which is proving to be a bit tricky. Have to still try out a few different ideas, however if they do not work,  then will just have to echo it. 

All in all though, very happy with my efforts...from UFO in my cupboard to completed vision, albeit slightly different. Will need to order some more of that charcoal fabric as I do not seem to have enough for the binding and then it will be done!

Will post some pictures of the completed quilt once it is washed (it's full of chalk) and bound and hopefully looking very pretty from at least 2m away. Still debating whether it should go into our local quilt show, but we shall see.

Karin

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Vision Sort Of Accomplished!

I had a vision for this quilt and when this did not exactly go to plan I abandoned the project. Well, it has been resurrected and I have definitely been reminded why it became an UFO in the first place.

I have been working on the border for the last 1 1/2 weeks. What a hassle this was!

My initial thought of stitching this out using Golden Threads paper proved too difficult...the motif is just too frilly and to my horror I also had not taken into account that the borders were all slightly different, so it was back to the drawing board for me. The motif comes from EQ8 - Quiltmaker, Vol.8 and is called 'Curly Plume'.  Went back into the program and tried to adjust the sizing to my border. This proved very difficult indeed. While I could manage this on paper (and within the program obviously), getting this to fit my actual border was starting to become a nightmare because my measurements were a bit off to start with (due to compaction of the whole piece) and EQ8 is very precise. My border is 42 1/2in, give and take a little...after my first attempt to print out and glue together the whole border and it then not fitting my border, I started again, this time thinking this through a bit better. I sectioned the border into 4 equal parts, this time though making one of the motifs in one section a tad smaller in width (even though according to the program it should have fitted my border perfectly) to account for variation in my measurements (and to be able to have one section smaller to make necessary adjustments in the other borders).
Hard to see but I think you get the idea...painstakingly put together, section by section...allowing for adequate space at the bottom and top. Unfortunately for me this border relies on the correct placements of the motifs, particularly in the corners. Does not help that this is not a continuous border but individual motifs! You would think that this makes it easier but it did not as the beauty of the border relies on the correct placement of the motifs. After this I took one section at a time and made myself a stencil with Golden Threads paper, i.e. tracing it, then stitching it out without thread and then using it as a stencil with the chalk pounce.
Ready to stitch and hoping for the best

Bingo! See that white line on the left...I needed it exactly there, not close to it but exactly where it ended up. The first trial I did run into trouble on this very first line by being slightly over which made the placement of the next few sections too difficult, i.e. my other corner motif would have been misplaced.
So, I continued... and am happy to report it worked out.
Had some trepidation re the left corner but ended up in exactly the right spot with not a millimetre to spare. Writing this now, it sounds so very simple but I must say this nearly did my head in and the project was in danger of going back into the cupboard.

This truly must be the most crazy thing I have done for a long time and I definitely will not repeat this, just too labour intensive. But I had this vision of this quilt and it obviously needs to be completed. Not sure actually what exactly this will look like as I had a few issues. For example, the corner motif did not work out at all and I am now leaving that blank, probably just going to echo the space. Will have to wait and see. Also, there is a 1/4in space separating the border from the centre...that was also not part of the equation! Not sure whether I like the look of that, but it is what it is...will fill this with pebbles after I finished the border.
A word on the motif...very easy to stitch out but a hassle to keep consistent. You have to stitch this with some gusty to make it flowing and sometimes that works better than other times.
As I am not a machine and I am stitching on charcoal, you can see every little wobble and hesitation but I think , that is just too bad...it is, after all, done freehand, and this is as good as it gets.

Hopefully I am not running out of steam on this!

Karin

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Just For Fun

Today I played around with the new 3in HQ Square ruler. Did not use it that much as yet as I had to wait to exchange the one I got in the Ruler Club. If you look at the bottom left side, mine was a bit mis-cut as if the cutting machine missed the corner. Since then I picked up the replacement.
I should really be doing something else today, but this is what I ended up with.
The lines were done with the 1/4in HQ Line Grid ruler and as I discovered the other day, it has a 1/8in line scored on it on either side of the gap. So, had to try how useful this would be, so set about doing 1/8in spacing. Worked really well for me other than the fact that I was doing it on white fabric and sometimes could not see my lines. Overall though, nice and straight and somewhat consistent. Useful when you have those spaces that are too large to do neatly freehand.
The 3in Square ruler was handy...I liked the way I could echo my box with the outside of the ruler while I was there and was happy with the look of the echoes. Either I am getting better at this or this ruler is particularly good. 

Enough playing for now and back to my designing nightmare! (Struggling at the moment with my resurrected UFO and have been reminded that there was a reason why it became a UFO)

Karin

Friday, 1 March 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long: Fourth Finish

The word for this year is 'Focus' and so far I am doing really well, going through my list one by one.

My fourth finish for this quarter is the Ruler Practice Quilt which I started when I joined the Handiquilter Ruler of the Month Club 3. You can find my list of proposed finishes for the 2019 Finish-A-Long HERE.
Please visit Leanne's blog She Can Quilt for more information on the Finish-A-Long. You will find  detail on how this link up works and also find the list of bloggers who are hosting this great event. The Link up for the First Quarter Finishes is on April 10th.

I had a packet of Bali Snaps that I did get in one of the Fat Quarter Shops Flash sales, so I used them up for this, just setting them in an irregular sashings setting.
The quilt measures 37in x 44in and there are a lot of weird and wonderful examples of ruler work on this. I did a fair few grids to practice them a bit more and liked using the Petal Pusher ruler which just gave you a simple floral motif which I thought was perfect for using with charm packs. In the end though I ended up trying all sorts of other rulers on this to practice particular designs. Did a lot of arcs with the newly acquired Pro Echo curves from Lisa Calle...absolutely love using them!
In addition, I used one of Cindy Needham's Border designs from her Border Stencil Collection. Love the way this turned out! The zigzag design was easy to mark onto the quilt as her stencils have registration dots and stretching the zigzags out a bit to make them fit worked really well.

I only used a single line of zigzags and put some pebbles in that...you could, of course extend this and add a 1/4in echo to make the border even more prominent. Lots of options!

Karin

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