Archive for the ‘Experiment’ Category

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35.7 Dancing Ribbons corner quilting not turning out

June 24, 2014

Okay I have been living with some darker fabrics next to my dancing ribbons quilt, trying to make the fabric decisions on what will work best for the corner blocks.

dancing ribbon fabric choices 2

And then on a whim this past weekend, I decided to start cutting up and using an even lighter fabric for the corner fabric, making my lightest color fabric on the left in my picture above now become the darker of the 2 blue fabrics.

Then I have everything cut out, and all my sets of pieces cut out, sewn together & trimmed.

dancing ribbons corner blocks trimmed up ready to piece.

This means all the paper pieces are trimmed and all the fabric is sewn together in groups of 2 trimmed.

But you know the old saying “Measure twice, cut once”? Yeah, I don’t think I did that.

dancing ribbons first too small corner

See how much smaller my completed corner is from the size of the quilt? I forgot to double check my measurement of my quilt block before printing out the EQ7 paper piecing.

I had put in the center block to being 20 inches instead of the 23 inch finished size. I was hoping to go large and then cut back, not the other way around. :(

Sad trombone.

Also, seeing exactly how bright I went with the brighter fabric now this “way lighter” corner thing looks really out of place.

If I manipulate the one corner I have done in photoshop to see the quilt as it may appear (with the too small corners) it will look kinda like this.

dancing ribbons first too small corner copy

I don’t mind lighter corners, but this seems too light. I think I may rethink this redesign. I may go with the original darker fabric to tie it better to the original colors. I was “this close” to using the darker fabrics Saturday, but then “on a whim” (which sometimes works) I said that I liked this lighter fabric too much and I wanted to use it.

Since I have to redo the corners anyway for being too small, I will switch back to the darker fabric & purchase more of the ‘medium’ I have in this piece.

The dark from the corners of this piece will become the light in the next part of the fabric. The time I spent working on this quilt, there were limited hours for in-person fabric shopping. So this quilt will sit another week during the thinking stage.

The yellow bright corners may be too bright for this quilt, I have a duller version of the yellow. Possibly, I am going to rethink the actual corner colors.

I did have a thought about adding borders to the corners to make them fit better, but I don’t really want to try to mess with that.

I don’t mind too much about this setback. I DO really like the four corner colors that I have created.

So much that I decided to complete the four corners as a small quilt of its own. With a minor change with the inner star which I will highlight with the quilting stage.

blue faded star four corners

This is a cute little happy blue quilt. I will have a quilt plus the reverse of the same thing in the corners of the Dancing Ribbons quilt. With different colors.

Just not destined for this quilt at this time. Very pretty!

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35.3 Starting to plan Dancing Ribbons Options

June 7, 2014

The quilt that has been finished f or a while – I recorded the end of January of 2013, is playing up in my mind for updating with a medallion setting.

I haven’t got incredibly far with options for this quilt, but I am thinking a couple of things already.

First I have a psuedo-star option which I like – don’t worry about the fabrics being a little busy, I will take care of that later if I chose this option.

dancing ribbons medallion choice1

I may need to go in and edit this block a little bit to make it more intricate. I don’t really like the off-balance I am attempting to do with the light & dark of the magenta, purple, and turquoise in the corners, but I think this may play off well with the alternating blues on the edges.

I do like this next design as well, which sorta mocks the dahlia look of the center ribbons quilt.

dancing ribbons medallion choice2

I like the circular look of the turquoise border, and there is a good color sense for the thin strips against the dark blue background, but maybe the points in the corners are not my favorite either.

The next design to share uses my good old friend applique in addition to piecing. And I haven’t found the right color balance with it either.

dancing ribbons medallion choice3

But it’s kind of cute. A cute way to frame the quilt without going too overboard. And I could always double ring the applique with a lighter or darker frame as a form of a shadow, which could give a different look.

Or I could do this pretty nice balanced block in the corner, but again struggle with how many of each of the 3 colors hit each corner.

dancing ribbons medallion choice4

Something to think about.

What I might do is to do some sort of celtic knot in the corners instead. I have a couple of books on celtic knots, and perhaps that will give me more of the look I am dreaming about for this quilt. Need to research & plan and design & think about it.

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In other somewhat related news, my first round of a round robin was sent off to the next person on our round robin today. I am happy with my portion of the block I received and I hope Daisy will be too. Of course when Daisy sees it, it will look completely different than it does now.  I am curious to see what I am getting next, but I am so far, deciding to avoid my “Round Robin Flickr group-A” because I am uncertain if I want to see my block progress or not. DON’T click the above link if you want to see your block and you are in the same group.

In other news there are two other groups as well. Group B & Group C. The idea of this round robin is fun. I hope the other two groups get more pictures up – currently there are only 3 pictures and 6 pictures. I just put my hand on the screen to be able to post the link to group A, so I don’t know for certain if there are more pictures or not, but I know a few weeks ago we had 6 or 7 and I just posted one more (without looking). Hoping to see the progress in the other two groups I am not part of, but it’s slightly early for this round as of this time.

I really liked the inverse of the block I created, it would have also been a really cool applique center of a round robin quilt. See? (sorta) – small snippet only is available for you.

small snippet of inverse of daisy round robin

Was going to post the entire inverse block here, but that would be too revealing to what I actually made. Or it could be. And of course these don’t actually line up, I wasn’t being incredibly accurate when placing them down on the sides of the block as those sections are in actuality on the opposite corners of the quilt.

It’s a darn good thing I have weekends to sew. Not getting a ton done the rest of the week. Having a happy time sewing & designing today!

Take care!

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35.2 Gimme Quilt Bling aka Make it Shiny

May 31, 2014

I have spent the greater part of today either researching free motion quilting (fmq) or actually practicing/doing free motion quilting.

Once I get onto Pinterest boards, I jump from board to board to board and see many examples of beautiful, exquisite, intricate free motion quilting designs.

Here’s mine. Depending on what date you check it, there will be more things here. Currently at 349 pins, but it’s MY fastest growing Pinterest board, so I expect to be at 500 shortly.

The more I look, the more I see that catches my eye. The more I know what I like on quilting and what I don’t.

And the more I want to quilt and free motion quilt.

A while ago I bought some shiny metallic threads. I think many of them came from Fabric Recycles. I had never metallic threads until this past month of quilting.

My soft Scrapitude started it, being so springy-springlike-pastelly.  I have been looking at my light verigated metallic thread for a while so I had to try it out.

metallicthreadonsoftscrapitude

 

This was a picture from last week, I decided this week to add to the metallic and I decided on the design to be able to do it. I don’t know that I got any other better pictures of the bling, but here is the “hopefully finished” (I will explain this qualifier in a second) Scrapitude wall hanging quilt.

scrapitude with lots of fmq

There are many different areas and quilting threads on this quilt. I had more that I had wanted to do on the outside, but for now I decided to stop.

Here’s the very center that has a storm-at-sea feeling, surrounded by vines, surrounded by orange peel types, surrounded by boxes of pearls.

center of crapitude fmq

And a close up if you centered on the box of pearls.

circularblock with vine and peas surround fmq

I added on the left side, a block that I am calling the Pea Pod block, as that is what it reminds me of – pea pods, and I like eating peas.

And there are two shiny triangles, and a vine on the top and bottom, and I found a really cool circular swirl design that I really liked for the center. The design was modified by a pantograph design that I saw online this morning. The circular swirl is also done in shiny variegated metallic, but it is hard to see the metallic flickers in this light.

I had put this quilt aside for a portion of the day, before making some final decisions about the center blocks.

And noticed a couple of things.

I am not finished with some finished quilts.

I am noticing a really nagging feeling/desire to undo-refinish two quilts.

This does not imply that I am ripping (that I know of) any more than the binding on one quilt, and maybe resewing the sleeve on the other quilt.

I can’t recall if I ever posted this little scrappy quilt before.

This is how it has been hanging on my wall for at least 5.5 months.

scrappy jewel tone quilt

 

And the quilting on it is okay, but I keep staring at it, and thinking – this quilting needs more…. Needs More…. NEEDS MORE….. NEEDS MORE!!!

See …. nagging feeling …. I have been screaming inside my head like that for a while now, but until Scrapitude and the shiny thread, I didn’t know how much this jewel toned quilt wanted bling of its own!

And granted, in the above picture, quilting isn’t easy to see, but it was verigated pinks, and pretty, and a nice pattern (something I decided on a quilting pattern like 2.5-3 years ago, but never finished the quilting until last fall today.

All this searching & quilting lead me to put in some ovals in spots and to do some metallic echo bling (name of a band, right? – here’s Metallic Echo Bling ;))

And this was requilted-overquilted-blinged up-shinier today during quilting sections of Scrapitude.

scrappy jewel bling

Here’s the center echoed out.

center bling echo

And the sides of the ocean waves more echoed. In addition to the ovals inside the arches.

metallic ocean wave echos

Only problem I forgot is that I had already attached the sleeve. So now the quilting I did today has tacked down the sleeve and will now have to be sewn down again or find another way to hang this quilt.

And I also want to take my dancing ribbons and put it on point as a medallion quilt.

Dancing Ribbons Quilt

I could leave the sashing as the light blue, but I keep thinking I need to add corners on this quilt, so I will consider ripping out the binding, repurposing it for sashing or not using it at all, and adding something lively on the corners of this quilt. Then the quilt will be bigger and I will see it more the way I want to see it.

I think the round robin is helping me think about dancing ribbons in a new way, which is VERY YAY.

But also means that now I am “attacking” two finished & bound quilts to work on – the scrappy jewel that I posted that is now blinged out, and the dancing ribbons which is back on the design wall again. Crazy.

I may even try to find some blue metallic thread. Or not. I will have to really watch the Craftsy class again about “Sewing Big Projects on a Small Machine” by Ann Peterson, as there will be the best tips to making this thing go from finished quilt, to on-point quilt center.

So now I am not sure if I am finished even when I am finished. I know “editing down” has always been my weak spot (just ask anyone who used to listen to my podcast) but I will be glad to work on this quilt again, it’s been telling me for months that it didn’t like being finished the way it was, and I am finally in a position to figure out what to do about it – in theory.

But that’s how a good experiment goes. Just when you think you’re done, a new question pops up and throws you right back into the beginning of the scientific method all over again!

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34.2 Kings puzzle borders cometh

February 23, 2014

The very exciting Kings Puzzle quilt was brought out again last week.

The quilt guild was lucky enough to receive a presentation about “something blue” by a local quilter – Barb Eikmeier.

During that presentation Barb showed a blue & white version of the King’s Puzzle quilt by Lois Hattleberg. Lois & Barb are friends.

Lucky me that I was able to show my red and black version of the same quilt top at the meeting Barb attended, so she got to see the version I made.

royal red kings puzzle shown at guild 2

And I opened my mouth & said something about making borders at the retreat the following weekend (last weekend from this time frame).

So I brought the top, and an assortment of deep red fabrics, and my graph paper.

The first evening of the retreat, just doing some drawing & some thinking I think I figured out what I want to do for borders for this top that will compliment & hopefully not detract from the wonderful piecing of this top.

kings puzzle border plan and ispiration fabric

Since the Kings Puzzle quilt in a bargello style quilt, mimics the style of an orange peel design, I looked at the red fabric with orange peel pieces that also reminded me of a cathedral windows quilt setting.

And I have made a cathedral windows style quilt with the 10 minute block method before!

So I came back to this quilt on the last day of retreat (had a few other things on the ‘had to do’ list first), and started thinking & playing with scale & design.

I have cut the center pieces of the cathedral window blocks, I actually am going to make a change to my first cuts so I can border the cathedral windows differently on some blocks, but I am still using the bright red fabric in the centers of the blocks.

I am going to make an outer border & an inner border of red that have some of those cathedral window blocks in between.

I wanted the very outer border to have a darker red border. I have two acceptable options.

Option #1 – the best option right now.

kings puzzle with first option border fabric

A close up of the same fabric (colors slightly off due to flash etc). This is what I like best right now still.

kp border solution 1

But this next fabric would be nice too, I think. I don’t have enough (yet) of this fabric, but I like the darkness of it more. But not so much the chevrons (doesn’t work as much in THIS design. Or the thing seems very purple to me too.

kp border solution 2

I have been thinking about next year’s regional quilt show, and wondering in the back of my mind if I can push through all the way to finishing this quilt to get it done before the deadline for that show. This is one that speaks to people a lot.

If not, I will try to enter my exothermic wonders quilt in the regional show. If they let me. The finish date for “Exothermic Wonders” was Christmas 2012 so by June 2015 it will be 2.5 years old which is .5 years out of the ‘acceptable quilt age’ for this particular show. So maybe not.

Better press on with King’s Puzzle.

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33.9 New Project Limbo

January 21, 2014

I just spent a bunch of time testing something and I am going back to my original methods of posting here.

I am going to see if the pictures from the test work out ok or not. We will see after this posts (a little wary of that right now).

I am in ‘project limbo’. I have a LOT of UFO’s, my new projects aren’t grabbing my attention, but neither are my old projects either.  Here are some samples & some explanations of some things that – yeah, someday I should finish, but currently haven’t ran to get stitching on.

2014-01-21_11-07-07_581

I was cleaning out my basket of UFO’s over the new year, going through & sorting things out. This little quilt-let I found the center with the hearts, birds and flowers all dolled up with my fancy embroidery stitches that I found over on NeedleNThread.  I also saw some of the pre-made pieces that didn’t’ make the original design – the red birds, the center red flower.

Well some weekend in the past 3 I added the green and then outer dark grey border, and elmers glued the extra applique pieces. Last Saturday, I glued & prepared the violet tulip pieces and everything is currently ready to stitch down. But, I have little desire to complete this beyond this. Right now. Perhaps I’ll take this with me & work on it outside of home.

Another thing I worked on during the long week I was sick (finally feeling closer to normal) was the idea of a jeans quilt.

2014-01-18_04-26-21_230

I have a lot of the dark blue, I bought that denim off the bolt, and I have a lot of the medium denim too. I really like the idea of this design, but I don’t think I am as in love with the design for my jeans quilt.

The stained glass feeling from the dark strips are supposed to break up the stiffness of the denim & keep the seams lighter. I have such a narrow stained glass strip that I have decided to paper piece these blocks to get them to look right, and that method is a mistake when it comes to denim – too many seams, too hard to cut down in between the narrow stained glass pieces.

Not that a basic stained glass quilt won’t work with the denim, but not in “this design”. Not now anyway. Or not without modifications.

The last thing I have looked at & found / re-found was a 4 block set I purchased at the local quilt show.

2014-01-21_10-52-42_404

Ok, so I did add the bright orange border on the blocks just today, but I am looking at this, I didn’t make the center block, but I could see this being an interesting base for a round robin quilt.

I’ve never done a round robin quilt. I wonder if I am unstructured enough to be able to enjoy joining a round robin. I think this would be easy for me to “let go” since I didn’t make the center block, but I would love a quilt built around this block.

Coincidentally, there is a round robin that is starting up with our #twilter group on twitter (of which I am a sometimes participant, but sometimes lurk & see all the fun the twitter quilters are having). Maybe that’s a good time to start a project, something I didn’t make myself, I have Judy Laquardia’s book on borders, have created a pinterest board with round robin quilts.

What do you think? Talk me into it? Daisy is hosting and has been chatting w/ me on twitter about joining up.

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31.9 Changing Directions

August 4, 2013

Changing Names

I don’t know if I told you, but on Tuesday, I took my machines to see if either would be able to be serviced by the local Bernina place, and they will work on my inherited Bernina.

bernina machine

I had forgotten that I wanted to call this machine Hot Lips after Major Margaret Houlihan from M.A.S.H.. Which I really like as a name and I think one or two or several of my twitter friends (aka #twilter – twitter quilter) helped me name her.

Army green and all, ya know.

But lately, I have taken to calling her Lennie, short for Lenore, probably because I feel she is being ‘lent’ for me to use.

Change because I had forgotten.  But I can call her both. Hot Lips Lenore….

Changing Machines

Any event, I know that Carlotta was giving me so much trouble when quilting the auction quilt, and although I would have rather gotten her fixed instead, the Bernina shop is where I went for service this time, next time I’ll go to the other shop.

I have never used Hot Lips really other than once to thread her and get the thread through the (backwards mounted) bobbin area.

I was nervous to bring the machine in, I have heard horror stories from a few quilters with podcasts about their more modern machines and problems, but I did.

The lady who took my order was very nice, and we got to talking and such. She had went up to the Sisters quilt show (same weekend as our quilt show) and it was neet to hear from a quilter in person about attending that quilt show.

I have a 2-3 week turn around time on the machine, and they may even find something wrong with her.  Let’s hope not. But this means when she is done, she’ll be the fixed machine, and so she’ll be my running machine.

So there is new places to learn where the presser foot drops, new zig zag locations, knobs & buttons to learn & get used to using. Changing from Carlotta to Hot Lips Lenore will be something strange to get used to.

Lucky me I have the manual somewhere, and there is always You Tube.

Here’s someone’s demonstration video on a 540 Favorit (Lennie’s brand) done by someone else. Lots of humming noise, but you can see what she can do.

Changing Sewing Tactics

In the mean time I have started to come up with a list of things to do that do not involve a sewing machine.

Some of the things I thought of:

  • cut up the small ‘catch all scrap baskets’
  • go through the PIGS (projects in grocery sacks ziplock baggies) and see what I have stashed where
  • designing a quilt idea I’ve had for 2+ years
  • cutting out more paper pieces for a PIG that I haven’t cut fabrics for
  • hand quilt the very first large quilt I ever made (the ugly quilt as its referred to around here)
  • applique the hot air balloon quilt i’ve been working on (not shown yet)
  • work on the trim options for the periodic spiral quilt
  • measure for the 4 year old spectrum quilt idea
  • create black bias for a stained glass quilt kit I bought at the garage sale
  • learn EQ7 better, try to design something new using the book I bought a year ago

And more … folding & cutting & hand work & designing

Changing trims (?)

I have an idea for the trim for the periodic quilt that I rather like. Problem is that the trim consists of three separate strands that are twisted together.

The picture I have for this on the quilt is rather BAD, I was trying to take an in focus picture for facebook and nothing was working.

blurry pic of trim border

These three strands are twisted together and as I see the quilt, I was simply going to couch the trim directly onto the front of each of the black pieces, outlining them from the rest with a little bit of metal.

But the 3 strands keep separating. I asked FB peeps what to do to fix it, and I got the mostly overwhelming response ‘fray check’, which I had dabbed a little bit of Roxanne’s glue (stronger than fray check I think) on the ends and nothing was staying put, so I can try fray check, but am worried that it won’t be strong enough. I have only used fray check twice I think.

Here I finally got an ‘in-focus’ picture today of the separation involved with this trim.

trim separating pieces

My instincts told me to try clear fingernail polish rather than fray check. Anyone else had experience forcing three strands to stay together like this?

What has worked for you keeping strands together? Glue? Fray Check? Fingernail polish? other?

Daisy said she usually hides them in a seam, but as this is couched on top applique style, there are no seams to hide this under. Maybe I need to rethink the trim to something else??

I like the idea of having metals around with the beads since there are so many metals that are elements for the periodic spiral.

I also liked this other trim that mimics the style of the border around the spiral itself.

lanthanides border option

I do like this option, but two things.

  • One I like the back side of the trim almost as much as I like the front, but it sorta looks unfinished. The back side is the sides that you can see the threads running back and forth in a zig zag pattern.
  • Two, to make the trim show all 4 sides correctly (not showing the back at all) would take 4 different separate mitered cuts and glues down on all four corners of each patch.  And that is 4 times the work, and I think 4 times the amount of potential ‘errors’ / flaws for this quilt.  And I would have to fray check all 8 edges for each group name.

Ideas on the guilded ric-rac trim to help minimize these issues? Or maybe I can live with the ‘unfinished look of the piece.

I do have some more, different, metal style beads, but to use them I would need to get a few more.

Which would be even another way to go on the trims than my original decision.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my change of pace this week.

Something tells me that the Periodic Spiral quilt will be put on the back burner again until I can make a decision (or two) here.

I suppose I should experiment and see what works, but don’t be surprised if next week I have a different quilting topic to share.

And I bet I will, I plan to go see something live next weekend that will re-inspire a quilt idea I’ve worked on this summer.  Also with the list of things to do if not machine sewing, may throw me off on another completely different tangent.

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29.4 Working on it Wednesday January 16

January 16, 2013

This quilt is getting SO SO close.

I do have my issues with my vintage machine – carlotta my necchi.

I was sewing the binding on the back to do my very first machine binding, choosing to do the zig zag finish stitch with the pretty multicolored thread. I got 1/3 of the way around and, ugg, I have to rip & start over, may need to press my binding down flat, but the stitches were being skipped on the binding.

sewing on bidning

And you may or may not be able to see the skipped stitches in this picture.

machine binding stitches skipped

I gave up for the day (and the next day) as soon as I saw that I’d be ripping out. NO STRESS for this quilt, and if I had ripped at this time, I would have stayed up late and stressed me out at work all day the next day. And today, was busy after work as well.

And tomorrow’s a sewing day, but a sewing at someone else’s house day, so I don’t have the luxury of sewing down binding due to limited space.

I DID think I didn’t know what to do tomorrow, but I think I inadvertently found a project. That was at the “piecing stage”.

I think I want to do the “Quilt It! Challenge” hosted by Jackie and Kitty, some wonderful ladies on twitter in the podcast universe community thing.

The premise is to take 1 quilt block and quilt it 3 different ways throughout a quarter.

Love this idea, very “experimental”.

Although I could see this being a quilt together and my symmetrical mind screams 4 blocks, 4 blocks, you must do 4 blocks each. So it’d be interesting to think about a 4th design. Let alone a 3rd or 2nd design on the blocks.

And the first 3 months are close to a design I was going to do anyway for the future, so tomorrow I’ll be piecing some blue & white blocks together.

And I will do my best to quilt it this year. I already have plans to quilt more this year to reduce the number of tops waiting to be quilts.

I wanted to show off something one of my quilting retreat friends/mentors/inspirators made for everyone at the last retreat I attended.

A beautiful stiletto.

stiletto gift

It makes me want to purchase a custom seam ripper. Maybe one day.

And today I got a book, and a few days ago another pattern. Want to see?

books and pattern

The book in the middle talks about color, and my friend is introducing a color workshop for our guild next month, and I am sure this may help inspire her, although at this point, it may be too late.

The pattern on the right is just a twister color inspiration. I will probably be making the throw quilt pattern out of this pattern as it has more colors to it than the others.

With the twist ruler I bought, I can be somewhat flexible on the size of the project, but I do have to keep in mind I’ll be making a quilt twice with it.

twistandstitchtool

And the book on the right is spiral quilts, which takes a shape, and shows you how to fractal the shape, and how to design quilts, color patterns, and math, and pretty, and triangles, and fractals, and pretty ….. swoon.

Plus I’m trying to get in a little bit of walking in, or cycling on a stationary bike type thing (pedal only), or something, which also takes chunks out of my days.

Busy busy. Always. I know how to stay busy. But the last half hour or 45 minutes of my day I do tend to rest.  Take care! Until next time.

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