Sunday, November 17, 2013

On the Design Wall

Here's the top half of this quilt I'm making. Last night, after this photo, I began trimming and sewing some of these units together.  It's exciting to see this one coming together.  This is going to be one bright quilt! 

Those framing pieces are a dark navy.  I think this will help tame and unify this design.  There will be piano keys in various batiks for a border, then most likely, that same navy frame will surround the piano keys and also will bind.

The large blocks for the bottom rows are on my pantograph shelf of my Tin Lizzie.  Their smaller surrounding blocks aren't all finished, but I'll need to arrange them on this wall to see which set needs blocks. 

I'm not a methodical quiltmaker.  I have yet to cut out all the pieces of a quilt before beginning to sew.  The decide-as-you-go method works well for me.  I realize that some might cringe at this disregard for details, but it works for me.  That spare lizard block near the buffalo didn't behave, so it will be disregarded for now.  Maybe it will become a throw pillow.

I have a Bernina Artista 440QE, which dropped a broken spring last month.  It just fell on the fabrics I was sewing.  I need to take a little road trip to get it fixed and as a result, this machine is tucked away in its travel bag.  Instead, I've been using two of my vintage machines that I have shared in previous posts.  The Bernina 830 Record (from the 1970's) has been helping me with satin stitching the fusible applique blocks and also couching perl cotton in the embroidery blocks.  I've used the Necchi Supernova Automatica (from about 1955) for straight stitching.  The main reasons for these choices are the feet needed for each task.  It's nice to set up each machine and not constantly change the feet.

I'll share more progress soon and maybe some close-ups of the couching embroidery, a new-to-me technique.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Little Humor for a Common Task

I enjoy finding ways to add humor to life.  Just ask my kids.  They have endured my corny jokes for their entire lives.  I think my husband manages to laugh with me (or at me) most of the time.

So when I found a panel of Pickles cartoons, I knew I could put it to good use.  These are the comic strips involving her sewing and quilting hobby, of course.  It's difficult to cut them up because the panel isn't perfectly straight.  Also, there isn't much black around each strip, so the raw edges turned under are only about 1/8th inch wide.  I added a little bit of black at each end to make it the width of the towel.

At our quilt guild meetings, we give away a few door prizes.  So I made 2 dishtowels for a door prize from the comic panel by starting with inexpensive dish towels and using a thick satin stitch to secure the comics to the towel.  I only took photos of the first one though.  I hope the winner and her family will enjoy these comics when they dry their dishes.

Our deer are coming closer.  The bird feeder hook and barbed wire fence are quite close (3 and 20 feet) to my studio window.  It seems the herds are merging.  Instead of groups of 3 and 4, I've seen 11 deer in the field all at once.  And then the stately buck joined them.  What a show!  He stirs everyone up and there's lots of kicking, leaping and running around.

Although I've taken several photos of the buck, I haven't taken any good ones yet.  It's a challenge now.  It's fun to watch them when I'm starting my day or later, when I'm sewing.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars