I spent most of yesterday sewing with my quilt club, Country School Quilters. I'm working on putting all the leftover Rainbow Quilt blocks together into a twin size and baby quilt. Yes, I got a little carried away making those blocks!
My one goal for the evening was to get this quilt basted and ready to quilt.
That normally would be a quite simple task except that I picked this for the backing. It's a quilt back that I dyed (and then didn't use) for another project and it just happened to be big enough for this queen sized quilt. That was very convenient but it meant that I needed to center the quilt on the back.
If you want to know how I do this you can check out my Centering a Quilt Back Tutorial.
It's a lot of extra work and starts out with this kind of mess but it's all worth it in the end and after a couple of hours effort I had it done.
The quilting is going to be all ruler work and I might be able to start it tomorrow evening. I think I'm going to use this grayed purple thread. I want the quilting pattern to show but not be as stark as black thread would be. I'll quilt a little and see how I like it.
But first there's another sewing day at quilt club and I should be able to finish the other 2 Rainbow tops.
Almost 2 years ago I wrote an article on my old blog describing my experience shopping for a new longarm and showing why I selected Innova. But more than my opinion, the article has a list of things to test drive when you are shopping for a longarm.
I bought my Innova because of the stitch quality and control that I have to place every single stitch exactly where I want it. A Birds of a Feather this weekend I found out that people are still going to the old blog to read that article. So now I've moved it over and it's with the Longarm Tutorials. If you want to read it you can find it here.
Meanwhile back at home, I took yesterday seriously as a Sunday and basically only did laundry. I had my physical this morning and plan to work on my applique this afternoon.
The antibiotics are kicking in and I started feeling better yesterday and started wading through an endless list of chores that need to be done around here. But I had to have a little creative time so I decided to finally start planning to quilt one of my Crystal mandalas. Since I have nothing else to share today I thought I'd share how I plan quilting for any quilt.
I picked this one a few months ago and I picked it specifically because it doesn't have a defined star pattern. I don't particularly like it so that gives my the freedom to not agonize over it. I just need to get one done!
I work on quilting designs by printing the image on a piece of paper and I use page protector sleeves for my drawing surface. I only need one print out and I can draw on both sides of the plastic sleeve. Fine point Sharpie markers work best for me for drawing. I usually try to make myself draw at least 3 options just to give myself a challenge. This was my first try.
In the second iteration I decided to force in a star and see if I liked it. Then I put it aside for several weeks.
Yesterday I decided to pull it out again and without looking at the first 2 I drafted this. Then I realized how close it is to the first one and that was my sign to go with it!
My next step is to print off a larger image of one corner to start working on detail idea. I'm not one to spend a lot of time on every detail. I just want to get the bones in place and I'll decide on everything else once I get it loaded. I will use a Crayola washable marker to mark the bones on the fabric and then I'll be ready to quilt.
Boy is this a happy sight. Zippers off means no more quilting! I'm going to attempt to get it blocked this afternoon, If not today, then tomorrow. As I was finishing up I kept finding more areas to fix or add something to.
The unquilted section of the pale stars was way too puffy so I added a couple of arcs bordering the smallest quilted arc. It helps. It's not perfect, but it helps. This would be a good time to answer your burning question: What's up with the squiggle quilting? I have no idea what got into me to do that dense quilting in the pale stars and the orange stars. In fact, it was after doing that I the quilt got taken off the machine and set aside for over a year. The problem is that once I started that I had to continue with it so I added that element in all of the star points. It wouldn't be my choice now but I have a saying that I teach beginner longarmers that applies here. That saying is "Crappy quilting, when consistent, looks good." It's meant to motivate quilters to try a new motif and do it all over a quilt. If you are bad at it just be consistent and it will look intentional and look good.
Well, that's what I did in the star points of this quilt. I just continued on with the crappy quilting. It's not that the execution was crappy. How can you screw up scribble after all? It's the idea that was highly questionable.
Then I needed to do something with the narrow sashing around the center on-point section. It was way too puffy and wrinkly because all the other quilting had drawn up the quilt so much. I decided on 1/4" lines from each edge.
That didn't do it either so I borrowed the hook from the inside of my pebbles and stitched a hook chain on the center of the sashing. Before I added anything else I quickly removed it from the machine, checked the back to make sure I didn't need to repair anything and removed the zippers.
It was time to move on!
Yesterday I started dyeing the fabrics for the piping and binding. Hopefully I'll have some finishing photos soon.
Next on FloMo will be some refreshingly easy veterans quilts. These are quilted 2 at a time and I hope to get the first pair loaded today or tomorrow morning.
I finished all of the pebbling this weekend. It took a lot of sessions but once I had a rhythm going it really didn't talk all that long.....not that I accomplished much else all weekend.I do love the effect and I'm really good at the swirly pebbles now.
So, now that the pebbles were done it was time to bring it upstairs to see what else it needs. I really hadn't intended to invest this much time into it but in for a penny, in for a pound.
You can see in the first photo that I need to add something else to the green spikes ad the pale border needs something too. It's too wrinkly now that the pebbles drew in the fabric so much.
I also needed to bring it up to see it this way to decide how I want to bind it. I"m considering a piped binding and originally thought orange but I'm now leaning to the pale mottled fabric. I need to decide by Wednesday morning because whatever I choose has to be dyed.
I also need to add a little to my pale stars. You can't see it very well on this photo but those 2 open half circle spaces are way too puffy.
I don't think I'll have any problem getting this done by the end of the month. I never intended to show this quilt when I started it but I may enter it now that I've put so much work into it.
Time to get off the computer and back to quilting!
Yesterday was "dyeing day" and it was a late one because I got a late start. I had to finish up some class submissions for Birds of Feather so I didn't get to dyeing until after lunch. I finally got the last fabrics in to batch about 7:30. I had a quick dinner (that Chris prepared, of course) and a shower and then headed to FloMo. We haven't quilted together in a couple of weeks.
This quilt has to be done by mid-August so, clearly, the logical thing to do is a 1/4" bead board border around the whole thing. I still have all of the green spikes to quilt and lots of free motion fill work.
I've added the wide arc as a border demarcation and will do the bead board all around. I've only finished 1 of eight sections so far. This is what I'll be doing for the rest of the day and, probably week. But since I turned off the TV, especially the news, I have so much more time!
The "news" is really counterproductive now. It's all designed to agitate us. There's absolutely nothing constructive coming out of it. Facebook is another place where I've really cut down. ALL of the political post are either biased, mean spirited or both. I unfollow everyone that posts anything political and, frankly, my days and metal being are happier and healthier. Here's an example from yesterday: The post was titled "I'm not voting xxxx because I'm smart." That's just downright obnoxious. It was intended to be funny but let's call it what it is: low brow bullying.
That's my mantra these days and it leave me more time and better energy to
Listen to Books
You'll not see a political comment of any kind on my blog or Facebook page. I promise.
Today is the day I'm traveling home from Martinsville so I thought I'd post on last week's progress on my quilt. I've finished off the center section. This took me a couple of evenings to mark and quilt. (I'm so glad I use zippers to load my quilts because I've taken this one off 3 times so far to mark sections.)
This is how I tied it into the previous quilting.
Clearly I'm not a total slave to my marking. I used the marks as a guideline but stitched where I thought it looked best.
I'm looking forward to getting back to this later this week.
Last week I reloaded this quilt to finish up by August and I actually made a little progress this weekend.
Aside from 100 miles of SID quilting, I had done these 2 motifs the first time it was loaded. I'm not particularly happy with either choice but I'm sure not taking it out so I'm building on it. That kite shape in the corner of the orange spikes is something that I'm adding in other areas with quilting and I'm trying to continue some curved shapes into other areas.
Here's one place that got kite shapes. You know me. When in doubt do ruler work.
Then I built another cross-hatched section off of that random curve that I previously quilted in that pale orange section. I sort of had a plan but I'm ignoring it at this point and just building elements one at a time. When I'm done with that I'll likely do a bunch of fill work and call it done. I am seriously uninspired with this quilt but I'm getting in some great practice and it's going to be done!
This weekend I had 2 days of sewing with my Country School friends. I finished the QOV top that I shared Saturday and a veterans top from the leftovers. I was so excited to start my Rainbow quilt Saturday. I didn't get any photos but I'll pull the blocks out in a few days to share. But the biggest news is finishing this!
So glad to have this one done! Read all about it and see the surprise back in the gallery.
In other news, here are the Eastern Phoebe babies living above our front door.
Yesterday was mostly a day of chores and today will be as well. The big event is that we got our new wills and other documents all signed yesterday. That was one of my big goals for the year and it's not even July yet! We are also running errands to get Chris ready for a trip that he's taking tomorrow. He'll be hanging out with his best friend, Dave, and Dave's 4 daughters this week. They are all adults so it's a miracle that they will all be together and they do love having their "Uncle Chrissy" around.
What does that mean for me? 6 glorious quilting/dyeing/glass making days. (We have Airbnb guests so that's why I had to stay back. Looks like it's going to be chilly there anyway so I'm good.)
I did get the challenge quilt loaded on FloMo. It looks kind of ridiculous doesn't it? I was going to do it on my sewing machine but remembered that I wanted to test something on the longarm and figured this small project would be a good way to do that. I'll show you what I was testing when it's done.
I'm not going to go crazy with the quilting. I just want to get it done.
For those of you near Richmond here are some classes that I have scheduled for the summer:
I've been teaching the new owners training at The Longarm Network for a year or more and will be expanding to teach several other classes. These aren't on the schedule yet but will be soon.
June 25: Don't Fear The Longarm - This class is for beginner longarmers, people who rent time on a longarm or people considering purchasing a longarm. I developed my skills longarming by practice (of course) and by trying to learn one new skill with each quilt. This class will give the new quilter a path for developing quilting skills while still quilting beautiful quilts starting with the very first quilt. This is a one day class that's about half classroom and half hands on.
July 30 - Ruling Rulers - Learn the basics of using rulers on the longarm and then practice several ruler techniques including cross hatching, stitch in the ditch, continuous curves and lots of fun ways to use circles. This is a hand on class with students sharing a machine.
Contact The Longarm Network for information on registering for these classes.
I'm excited to be teaching at Visual Arts Center in Richmond again in the Summer. Their facility is fantastic and the people running it are the nicest you will meet.
My class schedule is:
Introduction to Fabric Dyeing
In this class I'll teach you the basics of fabric dyeing. You will learn how to mix dyes, the general process and techniques including: managing texture, making shades/gradients, color parfaits and color mixing to make a color wheel. You'll get 5 yards of cotton fabric and are welcome to buy/bring more for the second day. You'll rinse out and wash the fabric at home.
Sat, Sun Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm, Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm
Session 1 - June 18 - 19
Session 2 - August 13 - 14
10 Things You Need to Know to Sell Online (lecture)
This lecture is for people considering opening an online business. By the end of this lecture you will know for sure if it's something you want to pursue or not.
Fri 6:00 - 8:30, June 24
Successful Online Selling Workshop
Once you've decided to open your shop this class will walk you through the process of setting up a successful online business. We discuss various selling platforms, photographing your product, writing great descriptions, creating your business image, marketing and lots more.
Thurs 6:30 - 9:00 pm, June 14 - July 18
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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