Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Free-Motion Quilting Challenge - Done in the Nick of Time

At the beginning of the year I joined SewCalGal's Free-Motion Quilting Challenge.  Each month a different tutorial on free motion quilting is going to be posted on her site and the goal is to complete the project by the end of the month.  Please note that today is the last day of the month and I just finished mine.

Not happy to just take two pieces of fabric and some batting to practice on, I decided that I could kill two birds with one stone and make a mini quilt to be donated to the Cobblestone Quilt Guild's Silent Auction that will be held at our show in March.  And then to make it really interesting I decided that I would use the painting technique from a DVD I had recently acquired (Dynamic Quilt Design by Susan Brubaker Knapp) and use up some of my scrap fabric for a border (I have a hard time throwing fabric away and have numerous plastic shoe boxes - sorted by color - full of small scraps of fabric.)

So I started with a drawing I made of a violet type flower and then started painting:

I then added a border of purple fabric:

And then at long last I was able to do the free-motion challenge of a heart shaped leaf.

I struggled a little bit with the tension going between the painted fabric and the border - I should have used a smaller needle - a learning experience.

And finished in the nick of time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Something New, Something Old

The something new is my socks - finished at last and worn today.

I had to get them finished or I might not have been able to wear them until next fall.  This is the mildest winter I think we have had since moving to Charleston.  Yesterday and today were both in the 70's and I saw a saucer magnolia in full bloom!  Although this is an early blooming tree (and often hit with frost) they don't usually start appearing until late March.  I wish I had a picture - it was gorgeous - but as I was driving at the time, photography was out of the question.

The something old is the demise of a well loved shirt.  Almost as old a my son (20 this April) and worn often, it was finally to thin to be worn again.  All that is left is the buttons.

Friday, January 13, 2012

To the Heel and Beyond

Along with lots of quilting and cross-stitching this last month, I have been making steady progress on my socks that were frogged on Halloween.

I am avoiding second sock syndrome by knitting both together.  I have successfully turned the heel (without following the wrong size and having an off-center heel - my usually problem) and have knit the gusset.  Now to just knit (and knit, and knit) the foot. 

I know from my previous socks that this is somewhat mindless, zen knitting that goes very fast.

We have had a very mild winter thus far - today is one of the coldest yet and I still didn't need a coat to run errands.  I need to get these done before it is to warm to wear shoes - let along socks. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Irish Jig

I finally finished the quilt I will be teaching at Stitch n'Sew Fabrics starting next week.  This is a beginning quilting class and I start with the basics of fabric, tools, and getting that ever important 1/4" seam.  The class works through rotary cutting, piecing, borders, layering the quilt, very basic machine quilting, squaring up a quilt, binding and last but not least labels.

This quilt is a variation of an Irish Chain and was given its name based upon the focus fabric.

Irish Jig

I would have had this quilt done earlier but when my daughter was holding it up for me to to take pictures a few days ago - I realized that I had put the sleeve on the side!  Although this is a 42" square quilt and the position of the sleeve should not matter - with the vary directional fabric used in the border it did - a lot.  Music staffs look much better horizontal than vertically.

The quilting is very simple and is done with a regular foot and with the feed dogs up -

I have found that if you pin baste your quilt well that a walking foot is not always required for straight line quilting.  Also if you use gentle curves, a free motion or darning foot is also not needed.

I like to do special labels for all of my quilts, mostly printing them on fabric from my computer (my handwriting is not always legible).