Sunday, July 31, 2011

Update for "Margaret's Garden"

I'm about 2/3 rds finished quilting the diamonds on Margaret's Garden. I must say, I'm liking the ruler work. It makes sewing the straight lines so much easier. Once I have them done, it's time for pressing.
You see, the half diamonds around the perimeter have bias edges, so of course they have taken a beating with all the handling.
That's why I left adding the borders until the middle is done. I'll add them in the "sew as you go" method. But first, I have some starching, and pressing, and easing, and whatever I have to do to get the edges to lie flat before I add the borders.
I might get it done by the weekend, but then maybe not.
You see, I just made arrangements to go to our nation's capitol and show my DS around the parliament buildings and museums. Followed by a few days at my little bro's cottage. Not even a quilt can keep me from that!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ok, so I can't sew a straight line, now what?

I started quilting the "Margaret's Garden" quilt. I was doing 1" crosshatching in the diamonds. I tried using painters tape to show me where to stitch. Since I was also echo stitching around the appliques, I was using my quilting foot instead of my walking foot. With my walking foot, straight lines are easy peasy. With the quilting foot, not so much.
Even doing my best to follow the edge of the painters tape, the results were terrible. Any area where I had to backtrack was down right ugly and worse on the back. So I spent an hour frog stitching.
I've seen videos of longarmers using rulers for their crosshatching, so I rummaged around in my pile of "stuff" and pulled out my "Add a quarter" ruler. I love this ruler for its intended purpose - adding a quarter inch seam allowance to a seam line.
Now, to convert it.
The thick edge of the ruler - where it adds the "quarter" is thick enough that it doesn't slide under the foot.

Then I used painters tape to indicate the width of my crosshatching pattern. By adding it to the back of the ruler, it also helps to prevent slipping of the ruler. So now I line up the edge of the painters tape with the previous stitching line, and stitch the next line with the quilting foot right against the thick edge of the ruler.

I'm proud to say - it's working. So I guess, with training wheels, I can stitch a straight line! Yay!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

FNSI results - Margaret's garden

Friday night I worked on "Margaret's Garden". I designed this quilt specially for someone. The background is alternating diamonds of the same value of sage green. The brown sashing is 3/4" to look like a garden trellis. The vines are appliqued on. First I made the bias tape and fused Steam a Seam strips onto the back - it comes on a roll in different widths so that was easy enough.
The flowers are individually designed based on the space they take up and to balance the yellow and orange colors throughout the quilt. Friday night I worked on adding more of the flowers and got lots (!) of leaves cut out and ready to go. The quilt will probably need another 5-6 hours before it's ready to quilt. When I do, I'm going to echo quilt around the applique vines and flowers, then do 1 1/2" crosshatching in the diamonds. I haven't decided yet whether to add borders to this quilt. I'm going to put a 1" brown sashing around the perimeter to identify the edges of the main quilt. Then it might depend on how much fabric I have left in the dark green, whether I add it as a border or not. The light green is out of the question. I have less than a fat quarter left!
I used an applique stitch # 52 on my Horizon for the flowers and leaves. I like how it gives the pieces a feathered edge. So here's a glimpse of how it looks so far thanks to my 10 yr old photographer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Ok folks, it is time for another FNSI. Thanks so much for Handmade by Heidi, and Crafty Vegas Mom for hosting this cyber sew along. I'll be working on "Margaret's Garden", a quilt that I've designed from scratch. I hope to get the finishing touches on the applique done so that it will be ready to sandwich and quilt! I'll post photos Saturday - just in case Margaret is watching!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Home again.

Do you ever have to take a vacation from your vacation? This time I do. After camping this week, with friends for the first 3 days, then another 2 with just my son, then unloading etc, I need a vacation!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vacation time

Well, it's time to disappear for a week. The campsite is booked, the plans are made. We are even going with DS's best buddy and his mom and sister. So look out. Here we come. Slap on the sunscreen and chop the firewood.
It's time for the vacation part of summer vacation!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dejunkifying !!!

I know as a quilter a stash is a necessity.
As a homeowner, a junk stash easily gets out of hand.
So, this week is dejunkifying week. I rented one of those "dumpster" style bins - bright yellow so ALL the neighbours can see that it's there - and hired a pair of my favorite student worker bees to help.
If I do this again in 20 years, remind me to get a bigger bin. The back yard is looking a LOT better - I had let the weeds take over so it took some work to see the flagstone again. The weed-wacker that I've had for 17 years blew up and died after 3 hours so I did go buy a new one. What a difference! It was like going from a bicycle to a Cadillac!
We also got some dead furniture out of the basement, and got a bedframe out of my son's room.
He's happy because now with just the one twin (instead of a twin over double bunk) he has a lot more room!
We're done for today, but the young men are coming again tomorrow at 8 am for round two.
No quilting today.... :(

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Now THAT'S slick!!

Yes, another sewing gadget. I have a Supreme Slider. I like it. I've sewn through it even (had to pick the stitches out so I could free it from my quilt.) But let's face it, it's expensive. And now there's a Queen Supreme Slider, it's 11 1/2" x 17", but it's $58 USD. So what's a frugal girl to do?
I was "shopping" at my local surplus store. You know the kind - anything from batteries, to tshirts, to gas masks all under one roof. Then I spied this. It's a Microwave Oven Liner. It's 16x16" and has a silicone upper surface and a really good, repositional adhesive on the back. At $5.95 I had to try it. It's FANTASTIC ! It's easily trimmed with scissors and stays stuck where you put it. I cut out the area to fit over my feed dogs and bobbin cover and it still covers the whole extension table of my Horizon.
I had to try it right away and ladies - it's a dream. I might just have to go back and get one for each of my quilting buddies for Christmas!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Can't keep a secret

We have a dreaded disease in our family. None of us can keep a secret in a brown paper bag!
So naturally, I can't keep the Margaret's Garden quilt under my hat until it's quilted like I said I would. I have all the vines sewn on. The vines that are supposed to go behind the trellis, I tucked in by opening the seam just enough to slip the vine through ( cut in the middle) on each side, then resewed the little seams and trapped the vine fabric in the seam.
Now I'm working on the applique flowers. I have to admit that I never found applique to my liking, whether by hand or machine. But this time is different. Maybe it's just that free motion quilting is something I love, and I wanted to do a bit of thread painting, so this time, the applique is allowing me to do just that. I'm designing each flower as I go depending on how much that area of the quilt needs a colour burst. I have lots to do still, but so far I'm liking how it's coming along. What do you think?