Friday, July 30, 2010

A Very Handsome Fellow

I have thought of the bride as the star of the Civil War Bride Quilt, but it is probably really this guy. The tail is eye catching. I thought it would be difficult to get the freezer paper out of each tail feather but I clipped the basting threads and had them all out in about 15 minutes. I much prefer back basting then messing with freezer paper and glue, but for this block it was the best method. The blocks are looking so good all together : )

My package from Glorious Color arrived this week with all the fabric for Roseville Album. It looks so pretty on my cutting table I may just enjoy it like it is for a few days. This is only about 1/4 of the fabric, folded in each one of the fabrics showing is three more. I have not ever used Kaffe Fassett or do I have any fabric like it (my fabric stash is small but mostly batiks, Aunt Grace and civil war reproductions, and a few left overs from previous quilts) so purchasing the fabric kit seemed like the most economical option. How fun is all this bright fabric! I am seriously thinking about machine appliqueing this quilt, I like to balance hand and sewing machine projects and I have a lot of hand things going one right now.

On the long arm front, I did manage to get in a McTavishing class. It was a wonderful class and gave me a lot of self confidence that I might actually be able to do some free hand quilting like I
do on the Bernina with the long arm. I really enjoy the long arm for pantographs, but I am much more confident to do custom quilting on my Bernina. The class pretty much followed the book by Karen McTavish and you can do these quilting techniques on your regular sewing machine or a long arm. It is fun to be in a class room setting and see everyone else's interpretation and style.
Happy Stitching All...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Pushed the Button

I have admired Kim McLean's new quilt Roseville Album since I first saw it out in blogland. I have visited the website several times to see it and the close ups of the blocks. The folk art aspects really appeal to me - love those animals and birds. I am a very traditional quilter, it took me forever to accept batiks, so Kaffe Fassett is way out there for me, but this seemed like the ideal quilt to get me to stretch in new fabric directions. I have had my shopping cart filled at the Glorious Color website for several weeks, and each time I visited I just could not quite push the "proceed to checkout" button. I have two large album quilts I am currently in the middle of: Civil War Bride and Ladies of the Sea, and I do not want to stop my progess on these two quilts. If I start another new quilt I feel like I will be cheating on my bride.

Back to Glorious Color website I go, shall I "push the button"?

My goal is one CWBQ block a month and this month I am going to get two blocks done, I could get one CWBQ and one Roseville Album block done a month couldn't I?

Shall I "push the button"?

And surely I can fit in one day a month in the sewing room to get another Ladies of the Sea block machine appliqued...

Shall I "push the button"?

Along comes a new blog: much like the Civil War Bride Quilt blog, it is dedicated to those who are working on Roseville Album or just admire it and Kim McLean's quilts.

I "pushed the button"!!! Yea! I love the inspiration from other quilters in blogland, I love reading about quilters from all over the world. I am going to enjoy every stitch on this quilt as I enjoy them on the other quilts, there is no hurry. I can not wait for my package from Glorious Color to arrive.

In the meantime, the oppressive humidity has lifted out of Nebraska, my place this afternoon is my front porch with the Bird of Paradise block from the Civil War Bride. I love to sew outdoors because I can just toss my thread snips off to the side, I am sure some bird can use the threads for nest building.

Happy Sunday and Happy Stitching All...


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bird of Paradise Assembled

Piece by piece I got the Bird of Paradise assembled. I basted each tail feather over freezer paper and then glue basted them together. It is pretty sturdy now, I hope I can stitch thru it to applique it all together and then get the freezer paper out.

I had wanted to use the back of the red striped bird body fabric, but I ironed it onto the freezer paper backwards and decided to just practice basting the bird beak. It basted pretty well and I decided not to mess with success and just leave it.

The poison green with black has been a favorite since I got it but it would never go well with others, so in this block it can be the only leaf fabric.

I also have one precious little piece of black ultrasuede and I am going to use it for the bird feet and see how that goes. You do not have to turn under the edges with the ultrasuede so I am just going to use fusable webbing and iron them onto the block and applique them as I would a prebasted piece. If it looks well I am going to use ultrasuede for the rest of the bird feet, strawberry tops, and possibly bird beaks - all those fussy little pieces.

It has been a very hot weekend here in Nebraska with high humidity - a great weekend to stay indoors and sew. I finished Linda's tablerunners, she has the cutest fabrics in these. I love the watermelon applique tablecloth, there is a matching tablerunner she plans to put on her bar, won't that be cute! Great decoration for the rest of this summer.

I used the new long arm machine for four of the tablerunners. It has been so much fun. Stitching in the ditch is still a goal with the long arm, it

seems very difficult, so for right now I revert back to my smaller machine for those projects.

Happy Stitching all...


PS: Happy Birthday cutest grandbaby in the world - not so much baby anymore, now cutest two year old in the world.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tablerunners and Tail Feathers

I have been pulling fabric for the Bird of Paradise block in the Civil War Bride quilt. I have been back basting the blocks in the quilt so far, but I am using a combination of techniques for these tail feathers, a little basting on freezer paper, a little glue, etc. It is coming together, I found some old Jo Morton fabrics with some great poison greens that fit in with the rest of the civil war era fabric I have been using for the quilt.
I started quilting 6 table runners for Linda, she has been very busy sewing since school has been out. I love this little block in the green quilt, it is so interesting, reminds me of puzzle pieces. The second tablerunner has some very interesting finishing techniques. The corners are folded in to make the points, and the batting is sewn in, so just quilt to finish, no binding. Very simple but very elegant tablerunner.

The ripping out of stitches I spent all last week working on is finished -YEA! - and the circle applique quilt is resting quietly on the "waiting patiently to be quilted pile". I am glad that is over and I am

Happy Stitching Again...


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Still Unsewing

There is nothing new here, not only did ripping out all the stitching take my whole 5 days off work last weekend (I did decide to rip out all the quilt stitches after quilting it a little further with a different thread color, I was just not happy with it - see previous post)- it continues on and on. No new pictures, no new projects, no further progress on the CWBQ, just sore index fingers from poking them so many times with the seam ripper and piles of little threads that have migrated all over my house. My only consolation is that this is a beautiful hand applique quilt, that my mother did a lot of the work on, and it deserves to be done right - I hate painful lessons.

Unhappy Unstitching...


Friday, July 2, 2010

To Rip Out or Not ?

This is the first day of a 5 day off from work weekend (YEA) and I can dedicate almost the whole weekend to sewing on the new machine. However, here I sit starting with a I spend hours ripping out this quilting or just move on. I started the quilting with invisible thread and the little pokies coming thru on the applique (from the white thread on the back) are driving me nuts. I am going to switch to white thread on the top and bottom - which I should have done in the first place but I did not want to use it on the applique edges. I must say the Avante handled the invisible thread quite well and on the background it looks fine, but the Type A personality in me wants all the thread to be the same. It is a learning piece, but it is a beautiful quilt top - oh what to do, what to do.

I have finished one quilt on the new machine. This is the quilt I call Sandbridge because I worked on the piecing during a wonderful week at a beach house rental at Sandbridge in Virginia. (Yes, I take my sewing machine on vacations- I wake up early and sew while the family sleeps in.) The white and beige fabrics reminded me of the sand I was surrounded by. I have since found a wonderful pantograph of waves
and beach shells etc which would have been perfect on this quilt, but I am a newbie at this. For my first effort I am pleased -even with my Type A personality.
Some of the curves are a little wonky but the spacing is good, tension was acceptable and there are no huge folds in the back so at least I have learned to load a quilt on the machine. All I need to do is hand sew down the binding. (Note to members of my small quilt group - these blocks started in my brown bag challenge a couple years back.)
Finally, a little note about the Civil War Bride, I am still on track completing about one block a month. I just added the bride to the blocks on the wall and it is coming together nicely.

Happy Independence Day weekend to all my American friends and Happy Stitching All...