Wednesday, July 25, 2012
These awesome flowers are just popping with life with the thread outlining. I am having such a great time working on this quilt! Still undecided about what to do with sashing and borders, but I am following a couple of expert quilters who have some great ideas. One in particular, and that would be the amazing Leah Day. So, you will just have to wait and see what design comes about on this quilt. Keep checking back…
Mark just finished knapping this cool little arrowhead!
Monday, July 23, 2012
“Lovely Lou” has presented me the opportunity to practice many of the basic fundamental skills of Free Motion quilting. Stitching in the ditch is harder than I thought it might be, but with this quilt I am working on that particular skill.
I just spent a few minutes on the phone with a friend from years ago. We taught school together way back in the 80’s. What fun it is to have enduring friendship with someone even though we haven’t seen one another in years. Laughter is good for my soul, and with this friend I can laugh. A treat, for sure.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
I believe I am seeing an improvement in my stitching. I am searching for that “Humm-Purr“ as described by Cindy Needham’s June Tutorial on SewCalGal’s awesome blog. I am still playing around a little bit with tension, but only in small increments on the upper tension. In all my years of sewing experience I have never had to adjust the bobbin tension. I usually wait for the sewing machine doctor to handle that when I have my machine serviced. That practice has served me well.
Outlining these awesome flowers has been like painting with thread. The thread is a beautiful soft yellow color and when the thread builds up, it appears a soft gold. I am liking the effect.
Recently I moved my plants to the end of my table where I work. They are happy campers and I am much more attentive to them while indulging myself in this “quilting habit” as Leah Day mentioned.
Another addition has been the treadmill, since Mark and I share the space we are encouraging each other to create a “walking habit.” Also, here are a few of Mark’s rock polishing endeavors.
Friday, July 20, 2012
I had done a Loopy Loop in the setting triangles around the quilt. The setting triangles are inside three borders. When I came back and looked, I was not pleased with the effect. So I have spent several days armed with my seam ripper and plenty of patience. I have replaced that filler design with simple stitching on the motif of the fabric. I am liking the thread build-up. I would love for this quilt to come out of the washer with that old fashion crinkled soft feel, but done with a modern twist. Designing the quilting aspect of this quilt or any other is a new skill set for me, and I am open minded about making changes—another “Leah Lesson.”
While ripping I took the opportunity to review many of Leah's fabulous videos to better enforce my grasp of the many aspects of FMQ. I must say once again, she is the best quilting teacher I have found on the internet. I have spent a considerable amount of time looking. I have years of sewing experience and even done some hand quilting, but those skills are not the same set as FMQ skills. No other teacher is willing to spend such dedicated effort emphasizing the basics and other wonderful techniques of FMQ so freely. Thank you, by the way.
The stitching on the back of the quilt is looking fairly cool. I am looking forward to seeing improvement as I quilt Lou. The print fabric on the back of the quilt is forgiving. I am not happy with the little pointy blobs where I hesitate to move the quilt, but experience will hopefully help with that issue.
I think Leah’s latest design, Branch Out with Bare Branches, will have a cool effect somewhere in this quilt. I would definitely like to use her Infinity Tree, but that may be beyond my current skill level. Although I have been practicing on scraps, I have yet to be pleased with my result. I will continue working on the amazing Leah Designs.
Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme is an incredible help to control those tails efficiently. When I hand quilt I use beeswax or other product to control my thread. It only takes a tiny bit and then before I put my gloves back on I use a bit more just so that it soaks in to my skin. After working for one of the large retail fabric stores I thought it interesting to learn that fabric absorbs the moisture from your skin just like a wick. So try out Burt’s Bees, and you will be amazed--you'll have experienced a super moisture treatment on those busy quilting hands!
Thursday, July 19, 2012
As much as I enjoyed getting away for a few days, I am ready to get back to my sewing machine. I love my early morning coffee sitting near my current project, anticipating a good day of quilting!