A Lovely Year of Finishes – March Goal

1 03 2015

So far, I’ve done fairly well in keeping up with my monthly goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I’m pleased that I’ve managed to keep myself to the goals I’ve assigned myself – that’s not typical for me, when it comes to quilting. I usually let myself work on projects as the mood strikes. Maybe I’m just in the mood to actually have some new quilts in the house!

Anyway… My goal for this month is to recover a project from failure, and make it into something that I’m happy with:

Failure

This is From an Unquiet Mind I: Semi-Phores. I began piecing this from scraps when my father was in the hospital over this past summer. I couldn’t be with him daily, but I could find some solace in making something. I couldn’t fix everything that was wrong, but I could make something whole out of things that might otherwise be discarded.

It quickly reached a point in which I felt it was complete, so I thought I’d make a small wall hanging from it, and turned to quilting it.

UGH.

I decided to attempt using my Janome with a walking foot for quilting, because my Brother PC210 doesn’t like quilting anything. Despite alternating the directions in which I quilted, I ended up with an undeniable wave to the quilt sandwich.

Initially, I thought I’d throw it away, but by this time, Dad was temporarily living with us, and he convinced me to set it aside. Now, I think I’m ready to return to this project, and try to salvage it. We’ll see how this goes.

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Embers – Photographs

28 02 2015

I got a chance to take photos of Embers after the end of my shift today.

Embers - Front

Details for this quilt:

Measures: 76.5″ X 76.5″ after washing and drying.

Swoon block was re-sized down to 16″, and no yellow, orange or pink fabrics were repeated in the top. Kona Coal was used in the background.

Embers - Back

I’d ordered three yards each of the same print in two colors for the backing. However, when I opened the package, I discovered that the red print was in two separate cuts. Rather than mess about with matching the pattern, I opted to insert a yard of the Matilda chevron print in orange.

Embers - Detail

I attempted to evoke the idea of flames in the quilting. Halfway into the quilting, I realized that it would have worked better if I tried to do a sort of cartoon candle flame – it would have made traveling easier. Regardless, I think the quilting worked out well, and I’m getting more comfortable with machine quilting on the frame. I might be ready to try something more complicated than the all over designs I’ve been working with.





Embers – Finished!

28 02 2015

Embers - Drying

I spent Sunday the 15th quilting up the Embers top at Sandi’s. I’m mostly pleased – the batting proved problematic, and I’m not thrilled, but resolving it would be more work than I want…

I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Black Batting for this top, as I was concerned about bearding through the Kona coal background. One of the first things I noticed about this batting was that it was very clingy. Which wasn’t a problem for the first half of the quilting process…

Then I realized that the batting was pulling more of the backing fabric off the roll than needed. I ended up having to release everything from the bottom rollers and then re-roll the backing fabric to get proper tension again. I thought I managed to avoid any pleats, but I was so, so wrong.

AFTER getting the thing off the frame and back home, I discovered that about two inches of backing fabric had pleated, pretty much in the middle of the quilt.

*sigh*

With the entire thing quilted, I elected to simply call it a learning experience, and attached the binding. I finishing binding the thing three days ago, but finally had a chance to wash it this morning. Very necessary, as the batting is fairly stiff.

It doesn’t seem as if the washer in the building laundry is working properly… The thing came out soaking wet, so I suspect the spin cycle didn’t run for its full time, or didn’t run at all. An hour in the dryer left the quilt still wet, so now it’s hanging over the shower rod in the bathroom until I’m done working today, and can run it through the dryer again.

Proper photos of it tomorrow, I promise!

Linking to a Lovely Year of Finishes, for February!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Also tracking this for the 2015 Finish Along. This makes three of my five goals for the quarter completed!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side




A Lovely Year of Finishes – February Goal

6 02 2015

Last month was an excellent month for finishing thing! I’m determined to keep the momentum up, so with that in mind, my goal for February, for A Lovely Year of Finishes, is to get Embers to a completed quilt:

Swoon Top

Embers has been a completed quilt top for a long time… Since November of 2013, in fact. I’ve got the binding fabric and batting furnished. I need to figure out a backing fabric. The batting I have is a dark batting to prevent white bearding through the top, so I need a backing that is sufficiently dark colored enough to not show the batting.

A Lovely Year of Finishes





3xS – Finished!

29 01 2015

I’m sort of on a roll!

I finished 3xS (Stars, Squares, and Scraps)!

3xS Completed Quilt Front

I’m enjoying the way some of the squares and HSTs disappear into the backing fabric. There’s unexpected depth to the pattern because of that.

I used Sandi’s mid-arm frame again. As I’ve said previously, I’ve given up on the Janome, and after quilting this top, given up on the Little Gracie II frame entirely. It’s just too limited for what I want to do, for what I’m capable of doing.

3xS Quilting Detail

Anyway, the details! The entire thing was quilted on Saturday, the 24th. I used a pale aqua-ish thread in the top, and the same light grey Bottom Line in the bobbin. Rather than do an all-over meander again, I got brave decided to play a little. This time, I did three leafed clover shapes in varying sizes. Getting braver yet, I set myself a challenge to echo each of the leaves in one of the clovers, and discovered I could do it with a decent amount of accuracy. I then randomly spaced the echoed clovers through the quilting.

I wasn’t sure how the quilting would show up after washing – I experimented and used a wool batting in this quilt. I’d bought the wool batting with the intention of hand-quilting a different project. However, since this was my January goal for finishes, I figured I ought to just use the wool rather than buying more batting. This particular batting required quilting in every four inches – I didn’t see that as a problem, though I expected this top to take me quite a while to finish quilting.

3xS Completed Quilt Back

I can’t tell you what any of the prints in the backing are – I didn’t save the selvage for the lovely print on the left. The purple paisley was a scrap cut from Fat Quarter Shop. The purple floral print was something from Joann’s, and the smallest cut of fabric in the backing was something I bought ages ago and cut the selvage off.

To give this a really strong finish, I used up a yard(ish) of a fabric that had been in my stash for ages. I cut 3″ wide strips, and made sure I left half an inch of batting all around the top’s edges when I trimmed down the batting and backing after quilting. As a result, I’ve got a nice wide, and full, binding on this top.

Linking to A Lovely Year of Finishes, for my January finish!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Also marking this for the 2015 Finish Along! My list of goals is here!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
Also linking to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday and Devoted Quilter for Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday.




A Lovely Year of Finishes – January Goal

6 01 2015

As part of my goal to hold myself accountable and actually finish out some of my WIPs, I’ll be participating in the 2015 Finish Along, and the 2015 Lovely Year of Finishes (see sidebar for links).

For January’s goal for the Lovely Year of Finishes:

3xS (Scraps, Stars & Squares) Full Top3xS

This top is already on my quilting frame – I pieced together backing a few days ago. Now I just need to figure out the last couple of issues with the sewing machine, and this can be quilted up. I still have to identify a binding fabric. I have a couple of stash fabrics that I think might work well – I just need to get the thing off the frame to decide.

I’m due to have surgery to remove a gallstone (scheduling this today with the surgeon), so I’m hoping I can stick with this goal. If surgery is to happen after this week, then I’ll plan on quilting this up this weekend. I’ll also get the binding ready. Then I’ll have the binding to attach, as well as some hand-quilting to work on while I’m recovering.

A Lovely Year of Finishes