Friday, August 14, 2009

Progress (or lack thereof)

I haven't worked on my quilt since last Wednesday. My in-laws came into town, and then Sean and I both came down with virus after they left. So, I've been feeling out of sorts. I managed to finish one block this morning. So far, I'm 20% of the way from finishing...maybe less. But, I'll keep chipping away at this. Stars are not my strength. It's challenging to line up the points without clipping off the tips or not distorting the fabric because of the bias-cuts. I actually threw away the last star I worked on (it's the one on the bottom, left); and started a new star this morning. The dimensions were just way off. My husband said people will not notice the mistakes, but *I* will know they are there, and that will bother me. I think quilters can be quite neurotic, but that is part of the territory. If you're 1/16" off here and there, you'll find yourself off by one whole inch (or more) before you know it. This hobby truly teaches one a whole lot of patience!! Thanks for stopping by, today!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day Four

Something a little different this time. I'm not sure what this block is called, but there is a pinwheel block in the center. It measures 16" x 16". I saved the blue fabric for this specific block because I like the detail of the 'branch and leaf' print on the fabric. Here is a closer look of the fabric:

Family is visiting today and tomorrow, so I won't have time to work on another block before the weekend. I'll start again on Monday, and will post more next week. Ciao!! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I attended my first machine quilting class, yesterday!

LOL! Let's just say I need more practice with free-motion quilting. It's really a good thing that I have a sense of humor, and this class was not about getting a great (much less, a good) grade. My straight-line quilting was pretty good. I was able to figure out the path the needle had to take to create a continous stitch line. I learned so much. I learned about the relationship between fabric choice, thread density, needle choices, batting choices, quilt pattern choices, stitch length and tension in relationship to fabric and batting choices...... how all of these factor into the finished product. I also learned how to clean and oil my machine (I could've failed the class simply from how dirty my machine was when I came to class that morning.) A good rule of thumb for ALL seamstresses (and quilters)... CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN your machine after every eight hours of sewing. Who knew that I had giant dust bunnies living in and around my bobbin case? I met three fellow quilters: Gordon (a beginner quilter but an accomplished tailor); Mary (who was the most studious out of the four of us); and Judy, the class clown. I sat next to Judy, not knowing she was the class clown. She had me in stitches (excuse the pun) and the class instructor was threatening to separate us. Needless to say, the class was fabulous. It was the best $45 I've spent on an art class. Now, off to practice, practice, practice!!!

My first attempt at free-motion quilting:

The front of the straight-line 'quilt.' When you look at a quilt, with all of the various patterns and fabrics, most people don't really see the 'quilt pattern' on the front (sorry about the glare from my window):

The back of the straight-line 'quilt.' When you flip a quilt and look at the back, the quilt lines are more evident:

Thanks for stopping by! Despite the tornado and lightning warnings, it was a fun, fun day; and I hope to be able to take more quilting classes down the road.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day Three

Another day....Another block!! The first day, I worked on a 16" block; and yesterday, I worked on some 8" blocks. This one is 12". All of the blocks on the quilt vary in size; and it is a really neat sampler quilt that will fit together beautifully in the end. The handsome 'model' posing with this block is my darling Casper. He's lost some weight since the last few times I've taken pictures of him. We have Casper on a strict diet because eventually he'll need knee surgery. Without the surgery, he may tear his left ACL (he tore his right ACL early last month).
Well, I'm off to my machine quilting class, this morning. It'll be an all-day class and you bet your behind I am planning to listen to every last word the teacher speaks. This class is my birthday present to myself. I am so excited. I know what I'll sew in class will look 'crappy' but that's OK. I hope to get better as I practice.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day Two

Four eight-inch squares. I hope these don't get boring for you as the days go on, and as I post a few blocks at a time. When I first see a large quilt with a ton of blocks, it looks overwhelming. Just like the Around the Block quilt that I made this past Spring. When you see all of the houses, it looks daunting. But, when you break it down, it's a really simple quilt to create. This is how this 'star' quilt is shaping up. Breaking it down, block-by-block makes it easier to take on. After all, that's how ALL quilts are created...... just block-by-block, piece-by-piece. I can't wait to show you the finished quilt.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day One: Americana

I am starting a new quilt. I have a smaller, batik quilt that I'm working on, but I've decided to switch gears on that one. This is a quilt that I'm trying to piece together before the end of October. If my progress continues at the current pace, I can actually see myself finishing this quilt before mid-September. But, factor in the start of school (and whether or not I'll be employed soon), I thought I should probably get started on this now, rather than later. Why the end of October, you ask? I have an appointment with Katydids Quilting to drop of the 'top.' The gal, there, is going to quilt this for me on her longarm. For this quilt, I am using a pattern that I found in McAll's Quilting "America Loves Scrappy Quilts" Spring, 2009 issue. I probably would've started (and finished) this quilt before 4th of July, but there was this 'little thing' called a military move that kinda got in the way. Anyway, each day that I work on this and finish a block or two, I'll post my progress on my blog. Hopefully, this will keep me on my toes about updating this blog more often. Thank you for stopping by! As always, have a terrific day!