Wednesday 28 September 2022

To DoTuesday - 27/9/22: Minimal Marking - Feather Wreath

Here we are again...another week has gone!

My goals from last week were:
📌Make a sleeve for the show quilt ✖
📌Finish the feather quilting in the rose quilt above ✔
📌Baste another charity quilt 
📌Design a Mini Wholecloth for another workshop or at the very least have started that process (have about 3 weeks to do this). 

This past week I worked on just one thing on and off, i.e. finishing the Rose charity quilt. The busyness really has not slowed down at all, so I am fitting the quilting in where I can.
When I first saw it, I thought that this would be perfect to practice quilting a feather wreath or similar freehand. I did an online feather class with Bethanne Nemesh earlier in the year and that was one of the first things we did. While I could do it, the beginning and ending of the wreath were always a bit of a hit and miss situation freehand, so I undertook to look a bit closer at how I could build in some sort of scaffolding to make that appear more consistent as the wreath on this quilt would be centre stage.

So I starting practising a bit...amazing what I found in my sewing room. I once bought a Westalee Design kit at a quilt show many years ago consisting of a wad of design grids out of paper and an acrylic square with the crosshair lines marked in. Have looked at this over the years and actually almost threw it out some time ago. Well, this became incredibly handy for this task.

Placed the acrylic square over the grid paper, lining up the crosshair lines with the paper underneath and just started drawing with a whiteboard marker on the acrylic square.

First one: did not like the inside and decided to make that circle guideline larger
...another one: better, but odd shapes on the inside

...and another one (and several others after that)

Tried to achieve some sort of consistency where I could use some of the lines as guidelines when quilting. This one above was actually not too bad and I could have oriented myself on the red lines, i.e. drawn those lines in in addition to the crosshairs and aimed for 4 plumes per section. However, comparing this to how I actually quilt my feathers showed a marked difference. I have quilted feathers for quite a long time and like with everything you develop your particular way of stitching feathers, i.e. I will stitch them at a particular angle and height/width in a mostly consistent manner. When I placed the picture above over a practice wreath I had stitched out earlier you could see the difference, i.e. my plumes were a little bit smaller in width, hence my nicely worked out picture above would likely not be replicated on the quilt. I likely would start quilting and not be able to keep to the guidelines set and end up with the last feather being weirdly squished in. If I was doing a quilt with several wreaths or where they were maybe not as prominent (i.e. matching thread) I would not have worried about it as much. In this quilt however, with the one wreath in contrasting thread, that is really the first thing you see, so it had to be somewhat consistent.
So, I needed to think of some additional scaffolding that I needed to build in. Had a look at my feathers again and saw that the rounded top corresponded to an approximate 5 cent piece, so put that into my drawing and that seemed to do the trick in terms of avoiding that awkward odd shape that you get at the end when closing your wreath. So I tried that with just the normal crosshair lines and the rounded tops marked in (a little bit of fudging here and there to fit them neatly in the space was needed but nothing too drastic). Marked my starting point which was on the 45 degree line on the right and off I went...
Tada...that worked well

Now it was time to go onto the quilt...fearless and confident! It's amazing how nervous one gets even after all those years. But I really did not want to do this several times, so one go it was!

Happy with that...maybe ever so slightly longer on one side (I swear I kept to my outside guideline!). Could also be the photo or maybe my angle in the plumes was slightly different as I went around.... but in any case I am not a computer and it is looking consistent enough.

Then came the setting triangles. Again, did not want to fuss too long around this and chose a very simple design which needed a curve (did this with one of Bethanne Nemesh' Lily Line rulers) and the eight shape marked in. For the markings on this quilt I used a Bohin pencil...I find that the chalk comes out just brush it off and it's gone.
This is how that turned out
And finally, the center of the quilt all done
None of this is exact or absolutely consistent for that matter, but overall it reads consistent which is what I was aiming for. Very simple, clean look about it. In terms of time, this took me one afternoon to complete. Once I had my scaffolding worked out, it was rather easy going, just following my markings on the wreath and in the triangles I was aiming for the same amount of feathers on the curve which was not that difficult as I quilt them the same over and over again. Overall really happy with my efforts and keen to try other things that we learned in that online class.

So what's on my goal list for next week...pretty much everything that was on my list the week before😄

📌Make a sleeve for the show quilt
📌Finish the charity rose quilt above (thinking of just putting some small feather border in the black space, attach the binding and it's done)
📌Baste another charity quilt
📌Do some work on designing a Mini Wholecloth for another workshop  (have about 3 weeks to do this).


Thursday 22 September 2022

To Do Tuesday 20/9/22

Misleading title as it is Thursday here already. However, I missed last week's Tuesday and do not want to fall off by the wayside again.

On my list the previous Tuesday were these tasks:
📌Make at least one cat block during the week for my Elizabeth Hartman Kitten quilt ✖
📌Make a start on the charity quilts with the aim to get at least one done ✔
📌Make a sleeve for the show quilt 

One out of three...well, we had a family of four staying over for a number of days and afterwards things just got incredibly busy. Also ran the last session of my freemotion-quilting class last Friday, so all in all a very busy week. However, I did make a start on the charity quilts in between and got one done.
Enjoyed that one as the fabric appeared really quite old. Love how you can lift up a quilt like that with some very simple quilting.

Made a start on the second one today and almost done all of the ditching.
Interesting little quilt...the red roses are as red in real life as they appear on the photo. I am thinking feathers for this one in the black squares. Thought that I might practice what I learned in Bethanne Nemesh' Feather Fiesta class, i.e. quilting a feather wreath in the middle and some sort of feather arrangement in the setting triangles. Maybe also a simple feather border in the black sashing to lighten this quilt up a bit. As learned in the class that would be all mainly freehand with minimal marking. While I practiced this earlier in the year, this would be the first time doing that on a 'real' quilt. Normally I would have stencilled the wreath in. Hmm...a bit hesitant, but think that this is the perfect little quilt to practice on. 
Not sure what colour thread to use though. I usually go for high contrast but not everybody likes this. Mind you, if I go through the effort of quilting some feathers I actually prefer to see them. Thinking of a grey thread which will read as very light on this. Decisions, decisions...

On my list for next week:
📌Make a sleeve for the show quilt
📌Finish the feather quilting in the rose quilt above
📌Baste another charity quilt
📌Design a Mini Wholecloth for another workshop or at the very least have started that process (have about 3 weeks to do this).

My cat blocks will have to wait for a moment as there is too much going on, however they will be back on the list next week so that they do not end up on the UFO pile again.

Linking up to Texas Quilt Gal for To Do Tuesday 20/9/22 to  see what other quilters are working on. Always dangerous though as there is so much inspiration out there...


Monday 19 September 2022

Current Charity Quilt

Missed out on the To Do Tuesday post, but we had people over for a few days so I did not get much done. Will link up again later this week.
Made a start however on one of the charity quilts from the Orange Tree Quilters. Always a surprise...I don't open the packets of quilt, backing and wadding until I am ready to quilt them...always a surprise! This one is a Disappearing Four Patch quilt in green and purple tones. The blocks seem very old, so I ditched every single seam of this.

Then I did some ruler work on this in trying to keep the quilting to a minimum to keep it nice and soft.

While I liked it, I was not happy with the purple sashing. The whole thing looked kind of ...bla...! I don't think the fabric was 100% cotton so it bulged out a bit, even with just the ditching and the ruler work. Kept looking at it for a few days trying to work out what it needed. In the end I followed my own advice (just finished teaching a Freemotion-quilting class) and kept it simple with a wishbone design in coordinating thread.

That looks fantastic

It's funny how simple designs like that can really lift the mood of a quilt. Finished the quilt off with just some lines in the border to stabilise that a bit and it's done.

Now onto the next one!


Wednesday 7 September 2022

To Do Tuesday - 6/9/22

Well, here are last weeks' goals
📌Make at least one more cat block
📌Put up another listing in my Etsy shop for the second quilted baby panel that I made. Need to do some photos and work on the listing. Hopefully we will have a few sunny days so that I can take some decent photos. It has been very rainy over here.
📌Finish the quilting of the Elizabeth Hartman wall hanging 
📌Ambitious, but I should be making a start on the four charity quilts that need to be quilted. Maybe I could get one at least to the basting stage. Picked them up at least 3 weeks ago.
📌Prepare the sleeve for the show quilt.

...and this is what actually happened!

Finished the Elizabeth Hartman wall hanging

Turned out ok however not sure I would background quilt it like that again. I think I prefer to do just an allover design over all those open seams. But one has to try these things to find out...

Also managed to put up my listing for the last panel in my Etsy shop. Photos were a hassle as it is still quite rainy over here which means a lot of shadowing.

But here it is, all customary photo on the green bench beneath the kitchen window.
I have no more panels left which is great. My obsession with cutsey baby quilt panels is just a bit ridiculous. Luckily the next quilt show is not until November so no chance of getting any more panels if I manage to stay away from the quilt shops.

And that is all I have done for this week! Not much but at least I am working my way through my lists.

My goals for next week are:
📌Make at least one cat block during the week for my Elizabeth Hartman Kitten quilt
📌Make a start on the charity quilts with the aim to get at least one done.
📌Make a sleeve for the show quilt

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