Friday, May 27, 2011

Quilt As Desired

Quilt as desired - the most dreaded three words in quilters language.  I recently finished a quilt made for a family member going through a rough time. 

Although I started out as a traditional quilter, now days I prefer make up my own patterns and doing my on thing, but for comfort and supposed speed a traditional, follow the lines pattern was the way to go.  The pattern is Four Patch ladder from Quilterscache.

Or so I thought.  First I had trouble keeping the cream and blue blocks in the right order - every now and then a blue one would show up were a cream one should be and a cream on in a blue spot.  Finally got that under control and finished the whole quilt.  Put it up on the design wall and stood back to admire it - and found I had reversed one of the yellow half square triangles!  Fixed that and then on quilt as desired . . .

I usually free motion my quilts to a point they can almost stand on their own - works great for art and wall quilts, not so much for comfort.
I quilted in the ditch around the large squares and the blue triangles - but then struggled with the inside of the large squares.  This was my first attempt and I hated it.  So out came the stitches.

I then decided to do a free motion swirl instead - not completely satisfied but a great improvement. 

I think one thing I truly dislike about quilting a quilt like this is the marking.  I have had problems in the past removing markings, so tend to just wing it.  Not a great plan if you want things to be the same in every block or border.  I was watching The Quilt Show the other day and Ronda Beyer demoed how she marks using the Quilt Pounce. 

A tool I had but never really used.  Out it came to mark the borders and it worked.  I could see the lines and they were easy to remove. 


Maybe next time quilt as desired won't be as dreaded.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lots of Visitors to the Marsh

Last week was a busy week on the edge of the marsh - lots of visitors (even the dang deer - but they come at night when I can't take their pictures!)

This Great Blue Heron appeared at dawn and spent most of the day hunting the pond for fish and frogs.  He was great fun to watch as he walked from one end of the pond to the other - moving ever so slowly.

It has been quite a year for turtles as well.  I snapped this one sunning on the edge of the pond and later that day another appeared in the neighbors yard moving really fast. 

We couldn't figure out what is was up to at first until it reach the edge of the house where it proceeded to lay eggs!

Not sure if they will hatch - but will be on the lookout.

Of course the lizards are everywhere - and truly enjoy just hanging out.

The other frequent visitor is one I have been trying to out smart - a tree rat (also known as a squirrel.) I have tried hot pepper flakes, barriers, running out and shouting and my latest effort - the guard squirrel.  As you can see from the photo its just as successful as all the other techniques.

Oh well - back to the drawing board.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Work Out Buddy - Finally Finished

I finished this quilt about two weeks ago to show at the Cobblestone Quilt Guild's April meeting as part of the Art That Works monochromatic challenge.  Judy Heyward is charge of our challenges this year and is also the guild Vice-President and has issued a guild wide monochromatic challenge and want us to show the results of our efforts.

I didn't want another square quilt - so I did a variation on a scallop for the sides and bottom and cut some of the leaves out.  I used a facing instead of a binding - but when I got to the leaves the curves were too severe for the facing so I ended up satin stitching them instead.

Not entirely happy with the results - so I plan to play with a variety of edge finishes over the next few months.

I also added my friend via thread painting.  All of the thread is green - but in the picture some looks more blue. 

Again not entirely happy with the results - so more playing and experimenting to do.