Sunday, June 29, 2014

Green and Purple - Finally Made a Decision

After critically looking at pictures in the last post, I knew the puffy pieces had to go!  I had hoped they would look like trapunto.  I had used wool batting, but they didn't look like trapunto, they just looked puffy!
While trying to figure out what to do, I noticed this little yellow flower.  I decided to copy that as a design element in all the square in a square blocks.  It meant changing thread color for each one, but it honestly didn't take too long and it made a huge difference.
You can't really see it until you get close, but overall this border looks so much better.
The second thing I fixed was the little purple border.  It's only 1 1/2" wide so there wasn't room to do much of anything.  I kept doodling on paper - I really wanted a design where I could quilt a continuous design without breaking the thread or back tracking.  In the end I went with little squiggles, horizontal in one triangle, vertical in the next.  That too went pretty fast and flattened that puffy border just perfectly.
The last thing I needed to fix was the center block.  It too was supposed to look like trapunto - but no such luck.  There was quite a bit of extra fabric where the center spikes were gathered, so there weren't a lot of options except to quilt some lines and try and calm it down.  I'm glad all these final decisions are made and done.
Binding is finished, final pictures coming next.
Happy stitching,

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blocking in the Afternoon Sun

The quilting is done (I think) and I'm blocking the edges so the binding can be added. 
When I walked by and saw it sitting on the floor in the afternoon sun, I could see all the texture and the different design - made me smile.
I used my walking foot in some parts, but that thing frustrates me sometimes.  I am so used to using the free motion foot and being okay with slight wobbles that I need to balance that out with the clunkiness of the walking foot.  But at least my lines in the outer border are straight.
The echo quilting in the purple triangles is "organic" for sure!!!  But it's staying as it is.
When I look at these pictures, I think I need more quilting in the smaller purple block border.  Any suggestions??
Happy stitching today,

Sunday, June 22, 2014

More Lost Weeks and a Little Green and Purple

Four weeks ago, my husband's only brother had a seizure.  The next few weeks have seen us bring him home from the hospital, hire sitters, get in home health nurses, call in hospice and plan a funeral. He fought a 6 year battle with prostate cancer.  Both the kids and their families were able to come for the service and spend a few days.  My DH is now the only one left in his immediate family.  Here we are after the service showing the kids where their great grandparents are buried.
The day started with a haircut by dad out on the front porch. :)
Kids have a way of making you smile even on a sad day.
And of course they wanted to climb the monument (hope nobody minded).
A trip for frozen yogurt on Father's Day was fun.
My beautiful girls - they wanted to be matching :).
I did manage to find some spare moments to try and work on this a little.  On one of the days when I didn't have to work, and the whole crew headed to Pensacola Beach, in a quiet house, I was able to finish all the stitch in the ditch and the vine and leaves.
I finally got my nerve and quilted the open spaces in the border.  In the end, I went with a meandering vine/feather free hand design. It's slowly coming together as I finish each section.  I've had to rip out a few times.  I think it's what I want until I do some and look at it and then I know for sure it's not what I wanted at all!!  I hope to finish this in the next few days.  Gotta work tomorrow so maybe Tues.  The grands are gone, my house is empty and quiet and I'm trying to find some sort of normal.  The last few weeks have been exhausting emotionally and physically and it feels so good to sit and sew for a few hours.
Thanks for reading and sharing in our family's loss.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

This is the Hardest Part for Me

I know I am not alone.  The pattern is chosen, the fabric is pulled, the blocks are made, the applique is done, the top is completed and then it's time to MACHINE QUILT!!!
After 10 years of getting comfortable with machine quilting on my domestic, I realize that this part of quiltmaking kind of still scares me!!  I just don't want to ruin all my hard work and it's so hard to rip out those stitches if I haven't chosen the right design. I've already auditioned lots of designs with an overlay and while I think I know what will look good, actually doing it is something else.
I am very confident of doing an all-over free hand design and I'm pretty sure that I can do a simple custom design on a simple patchwork block quilt.  But this vine and leaves applique and all this open space absolutely stalls me.  If I was hand quilting it would be no problem.  But I already know my starts and stops skills leave so much to be desired.
So the basting is done and I've been staring at it for 5 days!  I'm just waiting for the nerve to actually just start.
I've made a practice sandwich with some of the fabric to check my thread choices and then I'm going to just start.
Maybe tomorrow.....  I do kind of have a deadline on this so it can't stay like this forever.  
I'm off to work, have a great day,