Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Time Travel Tuesday

Since I'm working on a challenge quilt and cannot share photos of its progress, I decided to browse through some older photos for something else to share.  Today, we're traveling back to August of 2007.

This baby quilt was made from half-square triangles (also know as HSTs) for friends of ours who have had many babies.  I think this quilt was given to their fourth baby, or maybe it was their third.  I thought it would be nice for this child to have something especially for him.

I was in an online block swap in which every participant made a set of HST's with white-on-white fabrics on one side and a print on the other side.  These blocks were all mailed to the hostess and sorted so we would all have a nice variety of fabrics.  I used all the blue HST's and a few other colors to add interest and fill in.  Then the outer borders were made to continue those angles.

It was quilted on my home sewing machine with stars and loops.  A simple quilt that was meant to be used and loved and dragged around the house, not put up somewhere safe in a closet. 

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Off the Frame ...

... and on its way to a show.

This top was made by a very talented lady who loves the design process as much as the piecing.  It's the second quilt top I've quilted for her and I've been amazed both times.  Her creativity, use of color and design elements really shine.

I didn't have a good place to spread out the entire quilt to photograph the whole thing at once, so you'll have to admire it in stages.  I had fun adding some very non-traditional stitches to a traditional feeling quilt.

One of my favorite parts of this quilt is the chevrons quilted from the orange and navy borders.  I think it's really cool how they visually connect with their neighboring stripes.  The piecing is excellent and I didn't have to force the geometry to work out beautifully.  It happened effortlessly.

Love those flying geese!

I like the log cabins too.  Especially the ones which form a star around the central cabin.  My feathers are usually shorter and plumper, so I had to practice to make them long and slender.

Although I like the texture in the 9 patch areas, it really didn't show up well enough to make all that dense quilting worth the time.  I'm sure I've heard more experienced quilters tell me to be mindful of where the more detailed work will really shine.  I guess I learn better from mistakes of my own than from the wisdom of others.  I still like the texture though.

You can notice it a little more from the back side with the yellow threads forming intersecting lines.  The back is really cool too.  It's sort of a fourth of a log cabin block.  Of course, I didn't get the whole back either.  (Yes!  That's an AU for Auburn University ... this family has special connections there just as I do.  Go Tigers!  Hi Jenna ...  and Christopher and Clifton!)

I plan to squeeze in time to visit the show this weekend amongst other plans.  So if I can photo this quilt while it's hanging, I'll post a photo of the whole thing.

One last photo.  The borders were just as I practiced on my last post.  Again, the fabrics were a little to busy to let the quilting stand out, but they still had to be quilted and I enjoyed using circle templates to create that arc.

Until then ...

Enjoy your day (or in this case : night)
- SeeingStars

Friday, September 7, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice

When I first started machine quilting, I heard the same advice over and over again : You need to practice, practice, practice.   I didn't like hearing when I was in school, learning a new concept and felt like the homework was piled way too high.  And I didn't like hearing it years later, when I was eager to load a quilt on my new machine.

I know it's true, but I'd prefer instant success.

However, to build my flimsy character and to avoid ripping out lots of stitches later, I threw the old sheet sandwich back on the frame and tried a few new things.  The quilt I'll be working on is for a college student and I wanted to make the quilting  have a modern look.  Some of the designs that I'd like to do still don't look as nice as I'd like.  So there are several variations to see what works best.

border design

Rather than instant success, I found lots of places where I can improve.  I hope this exercise will help the quilt look its best.
Log cabin design
filler over some 9 patches ... I missed a spot

While practicing, I didn't worry with loose threads or removing stitches when I ran out of bobbin threads midway through a curve.  It was more of a messy play time.

I've also been working on a challenge quilt lately.  When the director says we're free to reveal our quilts, I'll share it here.  Until then, I'll work silently, hoping I haven't jumped in over my head.  My mind can imagine designs that my skills can't execute.  I guess it goes back to that old saying, "practice, practice, practice."

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars