Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yes, I am smiling...

How many times does something that you thought was ruined or a waste of your time turn out to be so much fun? Well, that is how I feel about my 'experiment'. You know the quilt where I didn't measure twice, cut once, so it is wonky, because two sides of a square are longer than the other two :-).

Anyway, I quilted the pink square (the wonky one) tonight and it went pleasantly well. I feel as if I have found my groove on my 830. I know the right speed, I can hear when I am going to fast or too slow, and my foot doesn't get tired. I quess all that playing and practicing has paid off. Here is a close up of the pink round.

Then looking at the black, I sat wondering what to do. The bobbin play going around the 'sphlat' began to look like the spine of a feather, so I decided that I was going to do feathers in the black. Hey, I have been practicing them quite a bit. Well, I must say, I am pretty pleased with the first go round.

I have gone all around the quilt, with one row of feathers. Now, I have to decide, if I continue adding feathers mirroring the first round, do free form feathers in the remaining black area, or if I echo quilt the first row of feathers, or ???? But as usual, I will go to bed and let the quilt talk to me in my sleep.

Good night all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I knew it would tell me what to do....

Last night I couldn't tell if I had completed my experiment. That is until I tried to go to sleep. But, as soon as I laid my head on my pillow and closed my eyes, I knew exactly what it needed. I knew the top wasn't finished. So today, after entertaining my patient, by playing Dominos for a few hours and prepping Sunday's dinner, I sat down and followed my vision.

Exactly what did I see, when I closed my eyes? Two pink stars floating in a sea of lime green. That's right. I had added lime green stars on the pink background, but there were no pink stars. The first six stars had been made from variegated purple, green and pink thread. Then I added the four green stars, but without the pink it wasn't balanced. As soon as I added the pink stars, it said OK, I am Done! Since I had already picked out my backing fabric the last time I thought the top was finished, it was easy to get it pin basted and ready to be quilted. I decided to pin baste it, instead of my usual spray basting, because I knew it needed the gently easing as I quilted it.Well, here it is with the purple and lime green section quilted.

I am definitely pleased with the way this piece is shaping up. Especially for an experimental piece :-).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fill the Space Freeform Feathers

I haven't quilted in a while. First my studio doesn't have A/C, second work has been crazy and lastly, my son had surgery. So, I have also been playing nurse. But tonight, he wanted to watch the pre-season football game on the big screen TV, so that meant helping him into the basement. So of course, I stayed down and sewed.

First, I played with my experimental piece. I added some small stars in lime green. Again, no applique, just satin stitching to create 'thread applique'. They looked nice and added a real punch. The only problem is the piece hasn't said it is finished yet, so I will hang it up for another day or two and see if it say's it is done. I still haven't figured out how to get the waves out of it, before quilting. I am hoping some of the 'easing' techniques I have read about on the APQS blog will help me out.

Next, I took out a quilt sandwich and played with my free form - fill the space feathers. I watched a video on YouTube this week and it looked sooooo easy, so I thought why not? Well, of course, it wasn't as easy as it looked@!@!@!.I have to practice making the feathers uniform throughout the piece and a little more curvey. The only thing is if it is freeform.... how do you make it uniform? I guess that is why they call it practice!@!@!@!

Well, that is it. Have a good weekend and I will talk to you next week.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

On with the experiment...

So, I did get in a little bit of quilting while home on vacation. Not as much as I had hoped for, but unfortunately, the night we returned from Aruba, my son injured his knee while working with his football trainer. We have had x-ray's and know that there is no broken bones, but the Orthopedic said it is definitely NOT nothing. We are going for a MRI, but at this point, he says it could be anything from a severe sprain to a torn ACL. As you can imagine, we are praying for the former.

Anyway, with the hiccups of life, I did get some quilting in. I added stars to my experimental piece, using a variegated Superior Rainbows thread. I had to play quite a bit with the tension, to keep the bottom thread from showing through (got to go buy some extra bobbins for the 830... I am wasting much too much thread as I move from color to color). I have the tension set to 1, which seems to be my standard, whenever working with the Superior Rainbows thread on the 830. I think I when I quilt this piece, I will quilt stars inside of the thread appliqued stars. We'll see....
Next, I finished adding the highlights to the green ribbon segments. I got impatient and didn't wait until I picked up the light green Madeira. Instead, I just used white. I think it works fine.

Then I decided to figure out how to loosen the bobbin tension on the 830, so I could try Bobbin Play. Hey, this is an experimental piece.. right? Much to my surprise, after actually doing it, it is much easier than I thought it would be... the directions gave me a little scare. First, in the USA, not sure many of us know what a 'lug' is, screw, nut, bolt... yes, but a lug? So it took me a second to figure out what they were talking about. Once I did, I used the universal tool, moved the bobbin lug 2 spaces to the left and away I went.

I am not sure I like the look. It is a Superior Razzle Dazzle. While I like the Razzle Dazzle and the effect, I think this particular color may be too dark for this piece. But I will wait a day or two to decided before ripping it out.

What do you think?

Now remember this piece is wonky, because the pink piece was cut the wrong size. (If you missed the earlier post... I couldn't get the top squared to save my life. After ripping it out more than a couple of times, I realized that the pink piece is actually 1/2" larger than it should be. Of course, since the black was on, I decided to leave it.) The piece was not being made for any particular purpose, so instead, it became a learning or experimental piece. None of the thread play techniques had I done before. When it is finished, I will do a 'lessons learned' post, as I have learned quite a bit on this piece.

I am going to try to block it tomorrow. First to try and get it to behave a little and second to give me some time to think about how I will quilt it. I have been thinking about trying a square feather inside the center square. But who knows..... I know I am thinking about not making this a square piece... if I can at least get it to lay flat, I don't care it is a square, rectangle or ??????

OK... Good Night... it is back to work tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back from Aruba!

Hey everyone... I am back from a week in Aruba. It was wonderful! Didn't manage to do a bit of quilting... something about sand, salt water, pools, chlorine and fabric that doesn't work too well together. Anyway, heading out fishing tomorrow, so hoping to get back to quilting by the weekend.

Now it is time to check out all of your posts from while I was away....... Wonder what everyone's been working on... hmmmmmm ????