Monday, February 28, 2011

More quilty progress this weekend.  I completed the third section of quilting on the nine-patch quilt.  It's done with free motion machine quilting in a Baptist fan pattern.  I created a template which was a good idea for this.  I don't think I could have done this without markings; especially around the edges of the section in the center of the quilt where the pattern only covered a portion of the block.  I thought I might be able to do the quilting on these curves using a straight stitch, but I would have had to twist the whole quilt around too much.  Free motion was easier to move around.

I'm also nearly done with the applique on Florabunda block 10.  I have 4 more leaves, 6 flower centers and the double center of the patch to complete.  I'm looking forard to getting this top together, but I'll be sad when it's done because I have really enjoyed working on these blocks.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A little bit of light, Holywood style snow today (you know, the kind that has big, fluffy flakes that don't really look real).  But it was less than an inch and melted off the driveway before noon.  I do love my brick walkway, but the snow rarely just melts off of it.

Got a bit more quilting done this weekend.  Spent Saturday afternoon with my applique group and got all of those pesky stems sewn on.  Spent Saturday evening basting all those petals (60 of them) and the centers (12) to get ready for ironing.  Spent over an hour starching and ironing 8 leaves, 12 centers and 60 petals.  Now they're complete and I get to do the fun part - sewing them down.  Always a relaxing thing to do in front of a roaring fire watching a movie.  And that's just what I did last night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

With the temp nearly 60 today, I went out for a walk through the neighborhood.  It's funny how warm 60 feels when there's still two feet of snow on the ground.  But I did see a robin hopping on the snow and some actually bare patches of grass.  I know we still have cold weather ahead of us, but this is the promise of spring that can help us over that.

I worked on Florabunda 10 again and have the stems for a second flower completed, all the leaves, petals and flower centers cut out.  The last 3 will have to be starched and ironed.  And the petals and centers will need basting before ironing to make them.  As much as I hate to admit it, they will look better using that method rather than just needle turn.  I've got a gathering of quilting ladies tomorrow afternoon, so I'll probably do the rest of the stems and all the basting there.  At least it won't be so boring if I have company to sew with.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I've been working on block 10 of the Florabunda pattern published by Erin Russek (check our her blog here  I've gotten 3 of the 12 stems appliqued down and am having a mental block that I just need to work through.  Stems just aren't fun to sew down.  They should be uniform in witdh and the methods used to achieve this are the parts of applique that I dislike.  The thing I really like about applique work is that it need not be exacting. Flower petals aren't necessarily all the exact same size, shape and color.  Actually, varying the size, shape and color slightly makes the whole piece more interesting.  But, stems are generally more uniform, which means they would be better if prepared by sewg and ironing before sitting down to sew.  And, I just don't find that part of the process relaxing and I am doing this project as evening relaxation.  So, I need to make the time to do the prep work so I can take the time to do the relaxing part.  It's all just part of the process.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

OK, so here it is.  A brand new Blog.  Sort of like starting a brand new journal with pristine white pages, no marks, no doodles, no ideas. 

I spent about an hour today working on the machine quilting for my 9-patch quilt.  All the blocks are from internet exchanges that I particated in between 1993 and 1994.  I think therea re 132 blocks in the quilt.  This is what my quilting station looks like at the moment.

My space is rather cramped, but I can manage a full sized quilt like this with little problem.  Right now I am just doing straight stitching so I don't have to worry much about spreading the quilt out. 

To make the quilt more interesting, and to make the quilting more interesting for me, I've divided the quilt into quadrants and am quilting each quadrant differently. This first section is getting all stitch in the ditch in the blocks and sashing.  I have about one more hour of work until I complete that.  Another section will also get straight stitching, but something more interesting.  A third section will have some sort of curved pattern in each block and the last will have an over-all corved design that covers the entire section.  I'm planning to have this complete by the end of February. 

I find that I can only sit at the sewing machine for an hour at a time because I hunch up my shoulders and get a stiff back.  I have to constantly remind myself to relax and enjoy. 

Time to relax with some hand work.