Friday, July 29, 2011

Bamboo Batting ...

I purchased some fusible bamboo batting a l-o-n-g time ago.  Maybe a year or so.  It was on sale and I was interested in giving it a try.  At that point in history, I did all my quilting on my sewing machine, so the idea of skipping the pin basting and later removing all those safety pins seemed pretty promising.

I had some problems.  It's probably user error.  I tried to fuse both the quilt top and backing at the same time.  Since the fusible adhesive was hot on both sides, I wasn't sure how I could fuse one side at a time.  Wrinkles on the back.  Lifting the backing and reapplying.  Wrinkles on the front.  Repeat.  Again.

Finally, I had it where I could live with it.  Nowhere near perfect, but close enough to move on.  Using the walking foot, I stabilized the quilt sandwich around the blocks.   Then I put the project in a closet, unsure that I wanted to ever see it again. 

I do really like the top.  And since it's hard to pack the longarm on the trip to the beach, I decided to pack a few threads, a fresh needle, this project, and my sewing machine.  Then I practice drawing one of Leah Day's free motion designs on the back sides of my DMIL 's(that's Dear Mother-in-Law) shopping lists and various email messages she'd printed to read or share.  It's called Swirling Water.  She ended up sharing my drawings with her friends instead of the messages.  Too funny!

Quilt Top with Swirling Waters quilting in the dark blue sashing

So the overall design is made of 4 patch blocks which a cut to make simple kaleidoscope style shapes.  I like this fabric and found a terrific Aurofil variegated thread which has the same selection of colors.   Only the sashing has been quilted so far.  I'm still deciding what to do on the blocks and the aqua frames.

Here's a few close-ups of the quilting and one of the backing.
I think the quilting makes it looks like the block is floating on water.
Each block has a different kaleidoscope. 

Dark blue bobbin thread with the dark blue batik.  I may use the variegated thread in the bobbin for quilting the blocks.  

It's time for more house updates soon.  The quilting studio has lights and it's painted.  Our rec room upstairs is also (mostly) painted.  Now for HVAC and floors.  So I'll take a few new photos and share them with you.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Just for Fun

I could have loaded the Twister top to start quilting, but instead, I put a solid white fabric on the top and a solid black with a strip of gray for backing.  I'll alternate tiles with black threads and white threads and use gray for the border.  There may be one tile that ends up red too.  This is when I'm reminded of how nice it would be to have those Micro handles to do small work. 

My kids and I spent time last night Zendoodling on paper.  We ended up chatting instead of finding that meditative zone, but it was fun (and very cold) in the basement as we sat around the "quilting table" which will one day be in our dining room again.  The idea with this quilting project is to take some of those Zendoodle ideas and put them into the stitches. 

I'll end up outlining the tiles and securing the top to the edges and removing it from the frame while it's still incomplete.  No zipper leaders here (yet), but after a few days, I'm guessing it will be time to move on to another project for awhile.  It's nice that most quilters understand that ADHD / multi-tasking sort of mindset.

Here's another photo of one of the tiles.  As always, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.
(Hmmmm.  Looks like Blogger just decided not to accept my photos again.  I'll try again later.)

I just noticed this morning that my spam filter has been keeping some of your comments from me.  They don't always show up here on the blog either.  So I do apologize if I've been ignoring anyone's comments.  I'm learning that it's polite to respond to blog comments from my fellow bloggers who lead by example.  We'll see if I can tweak the spam settings to allow all of your comments to make their way to my in box.
Thank you for so many encouraging words!

Here's the Twister top that's finished and awaiting the quilting frame.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Friday, July 8, 2011

Another Twister in the works

Twister Top in progess

If I remember correctly, this is from Moda's Blush charm pack.  I used the leftover squares in the center to frame the twister blocks.  Next, I'll add another border of the off-white, then the brown polka-dots.  The pink on pink dots will be the border.  I did add a few extra non-Moda fabrics, including the outer brown and binding.

Backing fabric next to the top.
These pink flowers will make the backing fabric.  I think the pink dots binding will work well for the back side too.

While I waited for an hour near the high school during Driver's Ed class, I worked on the binding for Morgan's quilt and drank McDonald's coffee.  It was very difficult not to crack up at the country music they played in there.  Sorry Mom and Tamara, this is just not my kind of music!  For some reason, it just strikes me as funny.  There were 3 songs in a row which describes the mountains, trees, rivers and their home town.  It reminded me of the "formula" for the perfect country song, even though they didn't sing about Momma, trains, prison and dogs.

Enjoy your day!  Ours is cooler and the clouds with a light sprinkle make everything so green and vibrant!
- SeeingStars

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Morgan's Wedding Quilt is ready for Binding

The color looks gray instead of blue, but the quilting shows up well in this photo.

I'm excited with the quilting on Morgan's quilt.  It adds such a nice texture and adds a nice feminine touch to the straight lines and squares.  As promised, I've gathered a few of the practice sketches to share with you also.  If you're looking for a good free motion teacher, I feel I've learned so much from Myrna Ficken's DVD's called Just Do It 1 & 2.  You can visit her video classes at this link.

These colors are more accurate on the backing.  It's pieced with a band of orange,etc, but mostly dark blue.

Here are 3 of the doodling pages I played with before I started with thread.  There is another one somewhere of different leaves because I was struggling with what I'd do to the inside of the leaves - veins, feathers, inner repeat of the leaf, etc....  I started with a swirl, then backed out of it, drew the leaf and finally, made the petals.  Smaller swirls and sweeping shapes filled in the gaps.
Veins inside the leaves.

Leaf shape repeated inside.  This was my final choice.
Feathers inside the leaves.
Time to pick up my teen from the first Driver's Ed class.  It should be interesting to hear how about it and about the other students in this session.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

Patriotic Birdhouses for the 4th of July
I hope you and your family are enjoying this day and every day of freedom.  We haven't spent much of it as family time (yet).  Instead, Hubby and I went to our house to make a new list of concerns for the contractor.  We tried this last night, but it was 120 deg in the attic.  Mornings are much better for touring the house with clip board in hand.

Kids are still feeding / walking the neighbors' puppies.  They'll be home soon and everyone will be ready for lunch.  So this will be a quick blog post and then I'll scramble to serve something edible.   Maybe I can use some of our yellow tomatoes from the garden.

Here's a peek of the quilting for Morgan's quilt.  I'm really excited about how it's progressing.  Once I make time to play with our new camera and figure out lighting, I'll be even more excited to share photos with you!  For these, I did my best to force a sidelight from my TinLizzie so the quilting would be more obvious with shadowing.

This is free motion swirls with petal outlined 2 or 3 times and leaves.  I have a sketch or two that I'll add to this blog soon.  Do you doodle quilting designs before quilting them?  I usually fill up several pages to make sure my brain and hands agree on the design. 

Enjoy your Independence Day!
- SeeingStars