Posts Tagged ‘15 minutes’

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43.8 More Ruler Work Observations from Beginner – MAL 2019

March 9, 2019

I am staying as true as possible to the quilt for 15 minutes challenge for the month of March – aka March A Long. The only date that might have been missed was Friday. Even on Thursday when I was feeling a little under the weather, I looked through some designs in books that have been sitting on the shelf for years.

I have been staying on my free motion / ruler work for quilting working on my practice project.

Last week I did some cross hatching, this week, I tried out the football curved ruler.

A little bit of practice every day. One day was the outline of two footballs offset on the same row, the next day was the pebbles.

I filled in the corners with this weird gap thing set aside for something and the swirls that I almost see as my default traveling pattern.

I have found that instead of a generic meander, I tend to go with swirls as a “I don’t know what filler to go next with” filler to get from place to place and to speed up.

As you may notice I have a strange red thread design in the center of these white patches.

I did this with the marking pen around the ruler for the center of the design. This was to practice using my marking pen. I am not known to do a ton of marking or registration marks on my quilting. The pen took a while to get used to being used again, but seemed to do decent with the initial design.

This was before tackling any of the “rulers on the machine” work. Then I echoed it. Three times. Uhhh… two echoes, three lines.

Anyway, I am mostly happy with the work I did on the first pass, but my echoing skills leave a lot to be desired.

I am wondering what about this is hard for me to do correctly. Is it that I go too fast, or I can’t see well enough or I just “lose where I am” a little, or am a little careless, or I try to “make up for previous passes” by making a change the next echo and then actually make it worse.

Granted, this would be better if the thread color actually matched the background.

This is a small issue I have to work out on my own. This quilt has both light and dark patches, and for some reason, I have decided to make it all symmetrical. Same shapes in each corner, same threads. Sometimes it means that the thread color contrasts, the other times it blends. More or less.

I am finding myself feeling moments of “rush” with this quilt. It is practice, I did not piece it. I do not see it hanging in my house, or given to someone else. I don’t know if it would be “good enough” to donate to the local hospital or not (for a lap quilt), I am mostly going through the motions on this quilt to really use as practice.

So I am periodically “speeding up” through some of the quilting.

When I first started, I was having lots of shredding thread issues. Because of that, I lowered the tension “way down”. So what did that cause? Eyelashes.

I went through the entire corner blue section with this rushed, low tension top which caused the back to eyelash incredibly badly throughout.

I am finding it hard to make myself stop and figure out what I am doing wrong, just getting through the section of practice without doing as much learning as I “could be.”

Since I was needing more practice echoing, I decided to use the curved rulers to help me out on echoing this.

And then finding a fill that works too. This worked well. I am amazed at how much I get confused or frustrated when turning the quilt around to the the other side of the design. Somehow now doing the same shape, in the same way, on the same kind of quilting background, I feel more frustrated on the 2nd half than the first half. Almost every time.

I am finding myself hitting the ruler on the machine, or getting it stuck behind where the foot gets in the way.

At least I figured out that the more I can do on the machine in one direction, the better off I seem to be. The first few circles/loops, I was turning all the way around instead of working “just the tops,” or “just the bottoms”.

I think if this machine was a higher shank machine with more throat space, this task would seem way easier at the moment.

Which I have to use what I have at the moment. I need to start a fund for getting either a Juki or something bigger like a sit down 16 HQ. But that, being down the road a bit, will have to wait. It’s hard to say, because I do really like piecing a LOT, and designing a LOT, and for those activities I only need the machine I have now.

I hate to come away from this post feeling negative about the whole experience. I am not feeling that way necessarily.

This is fun, I might need to figure out how to move on to my real projects pretty soon though. Keep my tension in check. Watch for my foot slipping off the screw and falling down – something that happened this morning and caused issues trying to get through some of the tough seams on the underside in particular.

This is really nice, and I am glad I am working on this, and I know in a few short weeks I will be piecing again.

This is my stopping point at the moment. I need to get on and do a few other things this weekend. I have a plan for the other four corners in this section, and I have three of them to do still. I really hope this practice quilt doesn’t take the entire month of March to quilt, but as long as I March-A-Long and keep at it, I will eventually be done! And I will have a nice reference too!

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43.7 First Weekend of MAL 2019 Free Motion Ruler Work – Beginner’s Perspective and Setup

March 3, 2019

I love March for many reasons, none of which is the snow that fell last night. March provides a good jump to get me in the blogging mood, in addition to the quilting mood.

For the uninitiated or new who lost/missed my last two posts, today, March 3rd, is the third day of March-A-Long. A monthly sewing celebration of working on quilting for 15 minutes a day during the month of March to see how much we can get done with a tiny bit of discipline.

Some years, I focus on a specific project, some years I just work to further along all my projects.

This year, I have decided to focus on Free Motion Quilting, and finally learn some quilting ruler work.

To start, last week was basting a bunch of small quilts with the goal of getting the stained glass quilt quilted by the end of the month.

Then I purchased from Amazon a roll of Oven Liner.

Wait?! What? What does that have to do with quilting or ruler work?

A comment from a FB group by someone I don’t know said the word Oven Liner, and since I didn’t already own a supreme slier, seemed to be a cheap way to experiment to see if I would like to try smoothing down my surface for free motion quilting. I could cut it to length I needed, I could make cutouts on it.

So the roll of oven liner is now on top of my sew-ezi table and “heirloom (aka inherited)” table next to it.

I cut a 2nd piece of the oven liner to serve as a “bridge piece” behind my sew ezi table. Behind, I have a machine in a cabinet (Aquata) that hasn’t seen the light of day since I got my magnolia machine. MMMMMM

I set my tv on top of the aquata cabinet, and it sits (higher, sadly) behind my table. And then proceed to watch Craftsy/Bluprint videos from the tv while quilting.

The oven liner is really helping to bridge my quilts up to the higher level without fuss or problem. I do think I am putting a tiny kink in the oven liner. Oh well.

I cut a small hole for the needle and used the oven liner all day. Used blue painter’s tape to keep it secured to each surface needed.

This DOES HELP the quilt slide fairly well! I was impressed with how well it worked! Cost me half as much as a supreme slider, was versatile and helpful.

What I did not realize that to change the bobbin, I was making things worse.

No one has ever accidentally sewed up their supreme slider to the back of their quilt and then ripped out the stitches, have they?

I would lift up the right side of my tape to get all up underneath to change the bobbin.

I started having bobbin tension issues. First, I had different thread in top and bottom. Then I kept having the issue where the bobbin thread wraps around the wrong way (though I thought I did it the right way every time). Lots of different times. Changed tensions, tension on the top seemed super tight even just threading and re-threading the machine.

Tension on the top is now down super low, which seems to be “on par” for this machine specifically.

Cleaned up inside the machine as much as I was able to dare without hurting the machine or doing anything too rash like taking it apart.

I realized I really need to get this professionally cleaned. Ugg. Not this month.

The cleaning and tension and changing the bobbin threads seemed to help.

I have been watching Free Motion quilting videos (already said that). By virtue of the idea that I could lower my feed dogs, which I only discovered in January of this year because I was supposed to have a workshop that got cancelled due to weather, I was able to get the ruler foot on the machine – correctly and without hassle – and place the ruler in front, or to the side of my foot.

My ruler foot is one of those aftermarket ones instead of one of the Janome ones. Some time ago, I bought a ruler foot, had problems with the ruler hitting the back when trying to use the ruler, had a poor ruler with very low markings on it, and frustrated with the entire idea of ruler work and put the whole thing away for a year or so.

I am realizing now that this low shank machine is why I was frustrated. And my aftermarket foot is why. And my feed dogs.

I had always gone by Leah Day’s idea that “it’s ok to keep your feed dogs up” and just worked around that idea in the past. I couldn’t predict the height of the feed dogs with the non-hopping ruler foot, I was used to my hopping free motion foot.

In the past, I really didn’t spend a ton of time working on this problem.

Watching the videos now, I realize that a common problem of these aftermarket feet is the space between the foot and the “foot holder post thing”.

Angela Walters said that you try to use rulers on the front or left for some machines, and Amy Johnson said some rulers have different thicknesses and that the low shanks like what I have is just going to give problems getting the ruler to go around back.

Here are my (now growing) list of rulers for quilting.

The ruler on the farthest left is probably an ok ruler, but it has only one marking vertically, and one marking horizontally. I do believe this ruler, I was trying to use in a way that wasn’t going to be successful (in the past), and even after I had done some practice, at the end of the day yesterday, I was still trying to use the ruler just to see, and getting frustrated. So I think this ruler is not for me.

Next to it, is an “s curve” ruler, also with minimal markings.

And the spiral, which is either going to be really long from now when I figure out how to use, or just going to be available as a “marking-type” ruler instead of a “quilting-up-next-to-the-foot” ruler

I also put onto the backs of these rulers just this morning were these dots.

You might be able to see on the s type ruler two purple blotches. This is a cheap version of “invisigrip” in the form of purple colored Hugo’s Amazing Tape, which I got for board games and use to keep my board game cards together in a group. Not really feeling the groove of this ruler either, maybe it is the gripping, maybe the size, maybe the lack of markings, maybe it is something else.

When I did put the Tight Grips product onto the backs of my other rulers, I could tell a distinct difference, these rulers stay put. Or seem to.

Anyway, the other thing I worked on this morning was fixing the main problem of loading my bobbin from the top underneath the oven liner. I cut out, again with exacto-knife, the area around the bobbin area. Because I happened to look up when Amy was showing off her supreme slider and by golly there was a hole in hers around the bobbin area.

I hit my head with a “do-ooohhh-innng” kind of realization that I could do that too.

Only took an entire day of stitching and messing with and being slightly upset about having to change the bobbin.

I keep thinking I am going to actually stitch this morning/afternoon, but I might not. I have been working on this blog post, fixing my area around my machine, fixing my oven liner solution, moving some of the furniture in the back around slightly differently, going out to scoop the snow for tomorrow.

I have found it easier to get started quilting when I have a plan, and right now the parts I have on this practice quilt, I don’t have a plan for. Yet.

Anyway, that was the very tinsey itsy bit of my March-A-Long. Join in, tag #marchalong or #sqmarchalong or something similar, reply here or FB. Let me know you’re up and doing this! We can all get more quilting done together if we work at it, little by little.

I didn’t get to show off my crosshatching, which was done with the curved westalee ruler I got with my foot. The half feathers at the top of this picture was done some time ago.

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42.5 Trimming up the last week of March A Long

March 23, 2018

It’s been a sorta boring month during the March A Long. I have been dutily trimming up these leftover squares every morning all month long.

I never knew that I had so many pieces to trim!

It’s been fun motivating myself to get to work as of late. I am glad I am finally taking care of this!

But, you guys, I came up with a cool round for the medallion quilt I am working on! So this is incredibly motivating me further. A little bit of YouTube video in the morning, a timer, and enough timevto squeeze in 12 + minutes before work, and some times the full 15. I even have been trimming when I get home if I felt like I was shorting myself out.

 

All the grey and orange pieces shown have been trimmed during the month of March. Plus another 96 pieces of other orange pieces not shown here.

Calculating all the pieces, I have trimmed since March:

The grey / grey border pieces are 6 X 9 X 4 pieces (one side not pictures for sewing purposes), or 216

The middle orange pieces are 7 X 4 or 28

The orange pieces on the side are 33 + 1 miscut piece

The grey / grey pieces 2.25 inches are 77

The grey /grey pieces that were sewn too small measuring 2 inches are 35

The original orange pieces not shown here are 96 I believe.

So, if I do my math right, I have trimmed up during the 15 minutes of sewing in March: (drumroll please)

 

486

 

Wow! That’s a lot of trimming, about 500 pieces trimmed up in March! Dang! This doesn’t include the light grey pieces I cut up to go with the half square triangle pieces.

Now to go through the task of sewing these pieces together. Maybe I will work on that this afternoon. See what motivation can be found in getting a large task off your back if done in really really small chunks! This was (mostly) with all “found time” that I wouldn’t have been sewing — okay I admit to probably doing a little more on the weekends, but dang! That’s a lot of trimming up!

What have you been doing in March A Long? Have YOU been doing the 15 minutes of sewing? Can you get a monkey off your back as well and work out something you keep putting off and putting off and putting off just like I have?

Or can you accelerate your thinking about your own quilting project even more than you already have?!

Thanks so much for playing along guys! I am very proud if you do for 1 day or for all 31!

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42.4 Pi Day in March A Long 2018

March 14, 2018

I finally have time to sit and write a blog post. The sun is finally shining for the second day in a row, the weather is nice, and it is 3-14 otherwise known as 3.14 or pi day as of late (American date style, I guess).

For March A Long, (or is it March-A-Long or is it March Along?) we are encouraging each other to sew for 15 minutes every day!

Anyway, I am so excited for the many people who are joining in sewing for 15 minutes every day, or at least trying to! When I first put up the post, I got a quick comment about how someone couldn’t make themselves ONLY do 15 minutes a day!

That’s super inspiring!!! Super unrealistic for me personally, but I am so stoked that I have at least one person I know that sews for more than that every day!! Probably more than that one person, in actuality.

I have heard more than one person who started setting up their 15 minutes and then kept going a little bit for several days in a row!

You are all inspiring! Check out by doing a quick search of the word #marchalong or #sqmarchalong on your favorite social media sites, and see what everyone else is up to!

For my part of doing March A Long, I have gave myself a rather boring and uninspiring task.

Trimming.

The little grey pieces in the picture on the design wall. Yeah, I’ve been trimming those up to something resembling square.

I decided to go with 2.25 each half square triangle. The most interesting I first thought to do was to put them on my wall like the picture above.

But then because I started working more on trimming the dark parts, I started putting them up in the design and I like this idea better than just plain diamonds.

So now I am going to try to make this work for a round on my medallion quilt.

Earlier last month I was attending a quilting retreat and all these yellow and orange squares I was making for a mystery quilt (Charlotte Hawkes Quilts) I am working on and I had to show off my matchy-matchy colored snacky.

This was the set of blocks I made too big because I didn’t follow the directions. But No Pie here.

Last fall I attended a retreat and put together a pie quilt of watermelon pie. Well Not exactly, but if you squint or don’t think about it too much, this Dresden quilt can be considered to be made of pie with the coloration of watermelon (my inspiration)

Which is actually the only pi I got right now.

Last night I gave a “short presentation aka update” on the guild opportunity quilt which I have designed, and I showed them that I wrote the pattern a second time for these blocks I made last fall.

It was the first time that several of the guild members received the instructions. I don’t know what about it made me so nervous about it.

Did I share that I had so many water melon pie pieces left that I have enough pie for a whole other quilt?

I hope this update is much more exciting than just a small bunch of triangle blocks, which has been the true and real update of what’s been happening in my sewing room since the last time I posted at the beginning of March!

Anyway, I am inspired to keep on sewing! Here’s looking forward to another half of the month that we can get our 15 minutes in every day! #marchalong

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41.1 End of March 2017, Did you March A Long soldier?

April 2, 2017

Hey, I am going to keep this short. I did just accidentally erase another blog post just a moment ago.

It’s the end of March 2017, did you find yourself doing March A Long this year? #marchalong

This past week I worked on bobbins and getting these pieces cut down to 1.5 inches.

I am going to put plain black in between the double rows. I think it will look nice.

I ran out of pieces for it, so even though I want to make it bigger, I really can’t with what I already have cut.

Then one day I wrote up the entry form for my quilt going into the guild portion of the show. Quilt on the left below. 40 X 40. Grandma’s Footstool. It’s kind of a Grandma’s Choice block next to a Foot Stool block (from Quilter’s Cache).

Next to it is the 1.75 unfinished block quilt that will shrink to probably half the size when sewn together. Looks like I have 2 great leader and ender quilt projects.

But next, probably needs to be the quilting on the show quilt. Right now it’s only ditch quilted and I would like to do more. I found my drawing from a year ago.

Using this fancy thing called paper and pen. 😉

Anyway, I look forward to hearing about your month? Isn’t March Awesome? March-A-Long rocks!

 

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41.0 March A Long End of Fourth Week 2017

March 26, 2017

Well, today you’re going to get two posts from me. I had written and spoken the previous post last Monday night, but I didn’t post it. Then, things got hectic here – read – emotionally, and I really wasn’t able to deal with March A Long during the week this past week.

So today we are reporting in for both the 3rd week and the 4th week! I was just gonna skip the previous post, but, well it was already written and everything, it doesn’t take a TON to add the pictures up. And yes, I should have, could have posted on Tuesday when home, but …. eh …. not really.

Yesterday (Saturday) I put these up on the wall straight away once I awoke. They measure 1.75″ unfinished. Strange size, but as long as they ALL are that size, it won’t matter. This will look so tiny when done. Trying to decide if I am going straight black border on these.

I proceeded to cut some more of these, including a smaller version which prompted a different layout. There are lots of these too and are 1.5″ unfinished size.

I played around with layout of the stripies and I am liking the restriction of orange here. A couple of light greens are almost reading yellow/orange instead, but I think I gathered all the oranges and yellows otherwise in a pattern. The rest are very arbitrary.

Some other beauty that could also inspire quilts or be parts of quilts or are just pretty.

I also put up curtains in the kitchen, but regardless of my intent, I didn’t end up making them.

Anyway, I would like to know what you’re doing for #marchalong #march-a-long and #15minutesofsewing. I am missing hearing from everyone!

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40.8 End of Second Week March A Long 2017

March 12, 2017

I got this little 15 minutes of talking about our 15 minutes of quilting today, earlier than projected. Longer audio than originally planned.

Thanks to everyone who has posted already!

Yay, I got the paper removed from the ladders and bubbles quilt!

Boo, I wasn’t actually prepared to do that before the week was over!

I am waiting on more fabric to arrive by mail to figure out borders for it. Here’s some of what I already have. Most of the border will be darker, with hints of lighter, but I am still not sure on it yet.

My first inclination is to do this with it at this time.

I also might modify the spool block in here too since that would be a good compliment.

I was talking about donation quilts. Quilts for Cure posted a lot by String & Story. More info on the donation at the Quilts for Cure site. I am not participating, but several other people I know are and have been. These are the navy and yellow hearts.

I also wanted to share some beautiful henna and Moroccan style designs that reminded me of quilting designs. I wish I could do something this good. I put up a picture from an Etsy Store of an example of what I am talking about. Excellent work by LITDecor on Etsy.

 

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