Posts Tagged ‘fmq’

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33.6 Completed Fans & Bows Quilt

January 4, 2014

I completed this quilt ON New Year’s Day. So technically I have a finish for 2014.

According to someone … other people … what you do on New Years will be what you do the rest of the year.

So I guess this year is the year of the quilt finish. LOL.

Well, you’ve already seen some of the in progress pictures for this quilt. Here’s the completed thing.

finished fans and bows quilt 2014

And now you can see why it’s called Fans & Bows.

The red corners mimic bows, but I did hand tie some bows to go in the middle of the quilt at each border.

The lace is really pretty, I stretched it to get around the corners and with the bow & lace embellishment, this will be more of a ‘look at me’ quilt than a “let’s sit under me” quilt. But that’s ok.

The evolution of this quilt from the VERY start – March 15 2009, the second weekend of my quilting journey, I designed & pieced this top.

fans and bows quilt top sewn together

And I saw all the white, and thought, cool – quilting space. But not yet.

So the following National Quilting day 2010 I made up some fans I had in the back of the butterfly book I bought back then.

fans and bows initial sketch

Well the design was from a month earlier. Here are the fan pieces.

fans and bows layout

And after I first stitched them down, this was my first fusible applique project.  That I used a ‘decorative stitch’ to sew with my brother.

fans and bows initial stitch of fans

All four fans changed the look of the quilt quite a bit.

fans and bows fans stitched down

The next few months in 2010, I decided on the blank corners that now needed something.

fans and bows deciding on the bows

I spent some time making the back out of pieced fabrics. Strange, but I was excited about the back. This was Feb of 2011.

fans and bows back of quilt

And then I fused the quilt and set the whole thing aside.

With the exception of finding some lace that I thought would compliment the quilt perfectly. Bought the lace in 2012, when going embellishment crazy for my periodic table quilt.

And once settling down on my cabinet machine Aquata, I decided to quilt her – finally. In early December of 2013.

The momentum gathered by free motion quilting her, lead me to sew the lace once I had time.

fans with quilting and lace

Here is a better picture of the center quilting (before I attached the lace)

center of quilt quilting close up before lace

Another picture of the corners quilting pre-lace.

quilting close up of corner of quilt

And the back side of the quilt with the quilting and a few thread nests that I decided not to pick out.

up close quilting fans and bows of back of quilt

And the quilting showing up on the corner design on the back.

back of quilt after quilting corner

And a few more quilting with lace pictures. center.

quilting with lace attached

Corner with lace

corner quilting of quilt after lace applied

Hope you enjoy. Most of the quilting was done with similar colors to the top, but not all. I know I could have done a steadier job if I had sketched out beforehand a little bit on the FMQ, but I was excited with how it was flowing.

I was really glad to finally not do a pantograph or an overall design. Currently, I am thinking I need to work on custom work more, but when using the long arm, I don’t – because my time there is limited.

I can’t believe how old of a UFO this quilt was, and I am so glad to get it finished!

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33.5 More custom Free Motion Quilting on Fans And Bows

December 10, 2013

I have been working towards quilting this red and white quilt top of mine for over the past week.  I have done a little each day, worked on a little every day, trying to figure out what to do on each section each day, getting a little further in trying to make the designs symmetrical.

I have not finished, but I have been doing an okay job at the FMQ on this red and white quilt.

DSC05757

I have these antennae guys in the corners between some of the red white 9 patches.

You already saw the corner arches, but I decided to go over the tops in red.

DSC05768

and I have some more red quilting in some of the other sections. Like on my fans. Here was the first day. Red on red if you can see.

DSC05764

The design on the fans becomes more evident when I quilted the red on the black.

DSC05767

And there is some overstitch of red on the quilting next to the fans. So I have a few more plans to cover over with red in places, and probably have some more white areas to do once I figure those out.

The back taken at some point really shows the quilting since the back is more black in nature.

DSC05765

And I haven’t yet made up the stitching in the brown sections of the border.

And I have a black lace that I have been wanting to add to this quilt for almost 2 years now.  But that will be added after the main base has been quilted.

I always wanted this quilt to have a lot of quilting. Glad that I waited until I could be “good enough” to quilt this, but not perfect.

I have used a lot of inspirations (no feathers as of yet), I have used a few techniques that I liked, double outlining things, doing rows of beads / a.k.a. pebbles (stone bridges). And swoops.  Now that I’ve started this, I need to keep inspiring myself to finish so I can knock off one inspiring quilt that has been on my list for a really really long while.

I have to start & stop sometimes due to the heat of my plug-in. Which also works out good for my shoulders too. This thing is one of my larger ‘wall quilts’ so it is probably considered lap size. I could consider quilting something bigger on Aquata, and maybe after this, I will do just that.

 

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33.4 One machine, one purpose

December 5, 2013

I have joined up with a vintage machine group on facebook, despite the fact that my Necchi is from the 80’s & broken, and my Sewcraft is a Singer 15 clone and not an actual “Singer” machine.

Repeatedly, daily, hourly sometimes, there are facebook posts about this craigslist ad, that ad, this treadle, that cabinet, & so on.

I am sorta overwhelmed by it at times, but also sorta encouraged at times by this group.

After a comment about metal polish, I decided to take my saturday ‘strange cleaning project’ as the little metal plate on my Singer 15 sewing machine.

aquata sew craft deluxe shiny

Here’s a close up of my hard work.

de-luxe shiny

For comparison, here is the machine when I first oiled her this past summer.

old blue sewcraft with 'new light'

I used some Brasso I forgot we had that had been sitting for years untouched. A toothbrush & Q-tips, and a soft microfiber cloth to polish up the metal seal.

And of course I oiled her & started thinking about using this machine more. But the name – “ol Blue” was cool, but not quite good enough yet.

And then also prompted from a comment about the machine name on the same vintage facebook group, I made a name decision. Exciting, I know.

I was mentioning I liked the idea of water / ocean with “old blue” and someone said – Ariel.  Which feels / felt almost right.

So I remembered the very annoying song where they sing ‘We are the daughters of Triton, great father who loved us & named us well …” in the original The Little Mermaid movie – something I watched obsessively growing up.

And yes, watching the video will mean the song will be stuck in your head for two weeks too, right?

And I started looking up & researching the Disney Little Mermaid Ariel’s sisters.

Did you know there were 2 other movies made about TLM? I didn’t. But did you know there was a Disney wiki about the sister’s of Ariel?

I used the knowledge from that site & fact that my sewcraft is ocean blue to name my machine after the blue brunette of Ariel’s sister who is a little OCD.

So meet – Aquata!

aquata and aquata cartoon small

And after all this thinking & cleaning, I decided to use this machine for what its best purpose – it’s a great FMQ machine.

So I got out my very “oldest” UFO. and This thing has been ready for a while – even spray basted 2 years ago, just waiting for FMQ.

And that’s what you see happening here (if you can – white on white doesn’t show that much.

some white on white quilting on the corners in the bows

And there are some circles in the center. I am kinda making this up as I go along.

white on white arches and single paisly

And I wish I had made this orange peel done in red instead of white. I may over quilt the orange peels in the center of the red squares with red & see how they look.

white on white quilting center close up

I find the FMQ very fun to do with Aquata. I go rather fast on the ‘knee pedal’ and so my stitches are tiny and will be a bugger to remove if I need to, but it quilts so smoothly that way. Faster foot, slower hands right?

One more thing I thought about with my cone that I’ve been using to quilt. The cone thread sits so much higher than the top of my machine, and it likes to “jump the track” on my singer 15 clone.

So I came up with a solution. A strong magnet & a small binder clip!

binder clip holding thread in place

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30.8 I understand why Carlotta was kicked out of the opera

July 7, 2013

First off, many thanks for those of you who responded to my last post where I decided to step away from podcasting.

I have listened to many of you, and I know that a lot of what I said in the episode I posted was about (my) hurt feelings and that is a portion of the reason to step away. There was a little something else though. A constant feeling of “oh you’re not recording this week, why not?” that was constantly playing in my head.  A solution to that monologue would be to record every week, but the time & effort I wanted to take to do that would have been too great.

I was very calm when I recorded, but by the end of the day last Sunday I was sad & weepy about the whole thing.  I have listened to myself in the episode and the calm reassurance is there that it was the right decision at this time.

What’s funny is that since last sunday, I’ve been really wanting to “audio journal” things, say them outl0ud, get myself sorted through. And I think I am going to do that anyway, and just journal them for myself and keep them for myself. Strange how that happened that I want to go back to the mic to get away from the mic.

I’ve purposefully waited until the (virtual) dust has settled before posting a new post (this one!)

***** sweeping away the dust for now *****

Okay, the title of the post is about Carlotta. My sewing machine.

necchiinaction

Now this is totally my fault for not getting it taken care of sooner, I had a whole two months where I wasn’t quilting anything at all, just sitting around playing Sims video game.

So during THAT time (middle of May until end of June) I should have either taken Carlotta in to get serviced, or the hand-me-down Bernina that I have had since Christmas time which is old & has all the parts, but I haven’t wanted to use until I get a nice cleaning and good bill of health for.

Did I do either of these? NO. Of course not.

And guess what is coming up, slamming itself faster and faster towards me?  The biannual quilt show.

For which I should have gotten a few more of my larger projects done, but I also HAVE to finish my charity quilt to give away.

There is something wrong with the sewing machine’s take-up lever.  The part that has a spring on it that lets the thread travel back toward the top of the machine. This helps to balance the tension on it, I would assume that the spring allows the thread to be able to handle a change of tension on the bottom and can help the thread adjust accordingly by reducing tension through the spring in the lever.

Well the take up lever is not really moving or acting very springlike anymore.  For the life of me I don’t know what it looked like before I noticed it, but now it’s either stuck too low or stuck too high and nothing about the whole thing is very springy.

So the top which I already had to set the tension to pretty much zero BEFORE the tightening spring problem is way too tight on the top now.

Sometimes it works. Carlotta is temperamental. Like the opera star in the Phantom of the Opera. Very beautiful voice when working, but otherwise, just good at being a B@TCH, and being stubborn.

Which is why I named her what I did.

So I was on the path to microstippling the auction quilt.

I finally had a plan. Last weekend through the 4th of July I worked on the middle section. I put Carlotta in time-out and got out Molly, my original machine that I haven’t touched in the last two years.

And Molly is gone. Her motor started up “okay” when I started and within 3 minutes the motor was not running at all.  I need to properly ‘bury’ Molly (aka throw her away somehow), and as you can see she can be easily & cheaply replaced.

brothersewingmachine

I got Carlotta back out & swore I could deal with the broken needles (broke 4 just trying to slowly microstipple before putting Carlotta in time out).

And on the 4th I was able to sew straight lines (with my darning foot, pretty straight and great practice for control I might add) on the outside of the quilt for the auction.

hexadaisy quilted inside outside one sectionAnd Carlotta cooperated long enough to sew the microstippling in the middle of the quilt.

microstippling in the middle hexadaisy

And I wanted so badly to continue this look of microstippling bands on the outside of the quilt, to mimic the center and the outside to tie the thing together. So I got these three lines done with only minimal birds nests (3 I think).

microstippling in corner on hexadaisy

Yesterday morning (saturday morning) I sat down to do this on all the other corners of the quilt, in addition to the two sides one section of microstippling.

And NO was the answer I got back from Carlotta. Not only NO but “H@LL NO”. Birds nest after birds nest. Rethread after rethread, cleaning out the bobbin area after recleaning, switching types of needles, switching bobbins, putting the magic genie washers in the bobbin area, taking them out of the bobbin area.  Broken needle after broken needle.

I went on an hour walk to calm myself, came back and still the thing wasn’t cooperating. Still, still, still.

So I decided to rip. Rip Rip Rip. I wanted some good break up songs to break up with my stitches.

But you know how long it takes to rip out microstippling? Or how long it takes ME to rip out microstippling? An hour a strip. To get all the threads off the thing, and catch everything. And I had to rip out 3 sections of good microstippling, and one section of bird nest microstippling.

stupid birds nest could not get rid of these

The bird nest parts did not take an hour, they took less time since there was so much mess. But I had to come back off and on to the quilt, it made me so frustrated!  If it would have worked the way it was supposed to, I would have done the original design by 8 or 9 in the morning, not taken me until 4PM to remove all the hard work that I had liked that I had done.

This AM I have worked on getting the binding pressed.  A light binding, but a fun one.

hexadaisy before binding

And now before I sew it down, I am going to make two sleeves, one for the side and one for the top, so it can be hung either way by the recipient, as the recipient chooses.

And yes I am giving this away to our guild, I have another version of this that is larger that I am keeping for myself, but I do not want to touch until Carlotta or my other machine has been in the shop. And I am NOT going to do either until after this week is over, I have TOO MUCH other things to do before the show.

If I get my act together, I may reintroduce you to the quilts I am hanging in the show at the end of this week (friday & saturday).

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28.2 Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2012 – Black Baltimore Beauty

October 27, 2012

It’s that time again to sign up for the bloggers fall quilt festival.

The quilt I am entering is a recent finish, but not a recent start.

This was my first ever applique quilt learned from an applique class. The pattern is in Mimi Didrich’s Favorite Applique book, and I didn’t have much of a stash at the time. I added the birds on the sides from the pattern she has later in her book.

It was never my intention to “make a balitmore album quilt”, but this was the pattern I needed for the class I took, so here it is.

So so glad I put the background as black instead of white.  I think my colors pop, but I do sort of wish I had a little variation in the flowers or even the swag.  But I still love this little quilt.

Here’s a photoshopped version of this quilt (not true colors).

Our class was to applique every week a different block or two or 3. I don’t remember exactly the class pacing, but I do remember doing all the borders at once, and there was only 4 class meeting times and the end was the quilt construction & mitered borders (which are appliqued over).

The teacher was really wonderful putting tons of tips & tricks about applique or other items (notions junkie – but that’s GOOD in a teacher, I got to see the stuff in use!).

This was supposed to be hand quilted, but when it took 2 years to just have desire to get the center of one wreath done, I decided that I finally needed to quilt this by machine this summer.  So I worked with the classic clamshell pattern freehand.

A little close up of the border quilting would be good to see too.

No quilting over any of the applique here.
And here’s a good picture of the progress I was making when I was working on this little quilt.

And here’s a flickr mosaic of these blocks that I made and put together.

1. black baltimore block 1, 2. black baltimore block 2, 3. black baltimore block 3, 4. black baltimore block 4

This is for the Bloggers Quilt Festival from Amy’s Creative Side

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27.9 Little Feather Fibonacci

October 17, 2012

This last little quilt of my “three little quilt series” is a second Fibonacci quilt, made with the same green Fibonacci fabric, but this is with a different border.

I am less in love with this little border than the cute bubble border on the last Fibonacci quilt but I am leaving it, I quilted it up a little more.

This is also the quilt that on these little borders, I unquilted what I had done, and I had also learned a valuable lesson about bobbin thread.

I am going to show you backwards, the “finished quilting picture” and then move back to show the changes and details.

I call this quilt Feather Fibonacci.

Lets look at the inside fibonacci feather first.

I have been taking the class “beyond the basics” over on craftsy.  And Ann Peterson has you do a ton of feathers.

Well I watched all through the video, of them drawing the feathers, and then quilting them, and I decided the spiral arm looks like a feather spine.

I actually have drawn a couple of times some feathers on my little graph paper notebook some feathers, working out how to move from one feather to the next without always going back to the spine the way Ann does.

And after seeing some close up posts on feathers, I decided to use the method – Start one feather, branch that from the spine, connect to the first feather, then travel the tip of the 2nd feather. then branch off the feather end.

And continue in this way, feather, spine, trace over feather, feather, spine, trace over feather….

Which is an efficient way to quilt but takes some getting used to if you want plump feathers coming off instead of long skinny ones.

Not too terrible for my attempt.

Valuable lesson on this quilt #1.

You don’t have to match the backing fabric to the front, but don’t use a contrasting thread  in the bobbin from the front of the quilt.

Unless your tension is A-100% perfect and can always control your needle, that bobbin thread is going to show through.

Now I admit I wasn’t as ‘analytical’ (read the shortened version of the word) on getting the tension perfect before-hand, so I am not surprised. But I did it and kept going, even when I saw the red thread piling up on the green fabric.

Here’s the back.

Why I chose red thread for the back?  I don’t know.

Probably had more to do with the fact that I had red thread on the bobbin already and I did not have a dark blue on another bobbin.

You can see that for the pebbling practice (aka practice from Craftsy Quilting Negative Spaces with Angela Walters), I chose blue bobbin thread and this was no problem at all.

Only because I ripped out 5 pebbles that looked horrendous with red thread.

Speaking of ripping ….

Let’s talk borders.

The borders of this quilt are dark blue with lots of pattern. no issue with the red bleeding out. But I didn’t like the quilting done initially on the borders. It was my design and I did not like.

The long diamonds just didn’t work all that well for me. I couldn’t execute them well. They were sagging in the middle, and it kept feeling very ‘draggy’ making them.

So I picked them out, watching a bit more of the craftsy class. And then decided to remake them. Same design. Each one shorter Blue on both top & bottom.

Looking closely I still have some tension issues, but now I don’t notice them. And the design is tighter, it’s more coherent, and travels better down the quilt.

But it does blend in so much, it’s really providing texture rather than design.

So where do I go from here?  I think I will NOT rip out the feather despite the red thread showing through.  But I will play it up a tiny bit as intentional – provides some interest. The way I’ll do this I think is to have a very thin red line of piping around the side of the binding.

To make the binding dark blue or green (probably blue) and then a tiny bit of red, just a tiny bit, it will be interesting in color just enough, and then I can move on.

But … one issue. I’ve never done piping on a quilt before.  Next thing to learn. Although the kicker binding will give me some practice enough!

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27.8 Little Fibonacci Quilt – Minimalist Style

October 15, 2012

So the 2nd quilt of my three mini quilts that I’ve been working on this past week is one quilt in a set of 2.
I took a motif that I loved in a fabric that I really didn’t own a ton of.  I cut up the large portion of the motif and made a mini quilt out of it.

Then I framed the quilt.  I used little borders of coordinating fabrics that I thought I would like in a polka-dot apron.  You can tell these fabrics are part of a set.

I quilted this minimally.

Currently you can see the fold line on the quilt, there is so little quilting on the quilt.

Hopefully for this quilt, the minimal style quilting will win out in the end. The next one, quite similar, is much more heavily quilted.

Here’s a close up of the curve.

This is obviously a quilt where the design influenced the quilting style.  I could make one more spiral a little ways out from the fibonacci curve, but I want this to be simple, simple.

So I decided to do one quick little decorative stitch, all while I had my quilting foot on the machine.  Key is to go steady and you’ll be fine.

This quilt taught me to “hold back” and “go steady.  And that you can still quilt decorative stitches with the darning foot. And it’s simple and I just like it.

Which is all a quilt ever really needs to be. Something somebody liked at one time!

Currently the fabric you see on the back, an olive green with the same dot family, is on tap to be the binding on this quilt. I am joining the binding straight edge, so I’ll see what that process is like since I’m really not all “that experienced” on binding.

And I am considering doing a blog post and/or podcast on TaDa Triangles and kicker bindings since people have been curious about both of those items based off my last podcast.

But before that, the more heavily quilted partner to this quilt, the Feather Fibonacci (to be shown at a later date).