Sunday, February 17, 2013

UFO Sunday

So, I am still basking in the glory of having finished Winter Wonderland.  I have photos of it taken and am getting CDs ready to send to see if it will get juried into a show...  I don't think it will, but this is the first quilt I've ever made that makes me think I really ought to try.

This weekend, I did the sashing on the Mario quilt, and now the top is all finished up.  Don't look too closely- there are lots of mistakes!  It will be awhile before I quilt it.  For two reasons: first the gajillion seams every inch really scare me, it is going to be a pain to quilt; second the sashing isn't perfect (this is why I never sash!) and it bubbles up a bit.  I think that I should be able to handle that though.  Third: I need to find backing fabric.  I would like to use video game fabric, but the only one I've found so far is Pac Man, and my husband vetoed that.  A friend in Korea is going to look for Mario for me, but otherwise, I will probably just use a solid or marbled fabric.

I also started quilting the words onto Express Your Love.  I've got to say, at least close up - it isn't too pretty.  I'm not going to do any of the other 'ribbons' until Leah demos some other methods (she says she plans too...)

I've also started designing another art quilt.  Our guild challenge is art quilts, so this will take priority over EYL, as I need to have it done I think by June.  I'll post about that as time goes on.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

FINISHED Object Alert

Yes! You saw it right here: The snowflake quilt, Winter Wonderland, is DONE.

The quilt as you go was not easy, because I really wanted it perfect.  It isn't perfect, but I think it looks great.  I did the binding by machine, but incredibly carefully- I pinned and pressed each step of the way, and I took 8 attempts to get the 'seamless' (diagonal seam) finish to the binding so you don't know where I started applying it (I usually just go straight across and it isn't very pretty.)  My corners look pretty good, if I do say so myself.   I took all this care because I really want to try to send this quilt to the state fair, and possibly other shows.  I know the quilt isn't good enough to win shows, but after the AQS judge came to our guild meeting I have a thought that maybe it is good enough to get into a show? (And of course, the state fair is open).

Anyhow- want to see a beautiful quilt?  AAAAGHHH!  So excited!

Where is the quilt right now?  In the bathtub....  There is A LOT of starch in this thing, plus I think some water soluble thread is still hanging out from the initial step, and I don't want buggies eating it.   You can see here how bright the pink fabric I used was. The organza really pales it out, not to mention the mounds of white thread.

And of course, label your quilts.  I put a little message on this quilt to remember the stage of quilting I was in when I made it. Really, I was a beginner.  I took my very first free motion stitch just a year before I made this quilt, and I certainly didn't spend the entire year quilting!  This quilt was me saying "you know what, I'm going to get good at this!"  And doing all these designs and all this quilting- I think I can say pretty firmly now: "I'm good at this."

I want to thank Leah for the fabulous pattern, and the 365 project which inspired me to do this (and where I got a good number of the designs from.)

Posts about this quilt:
Starting the quilt
First steps

Snowflake 1, 2, and 3
Snowflake 4 and 5
Snowflake 6
Snowflake 7
Snowflake 8
Snowflake 9
Snowflake 10 and 11
Snowflake 12
Large Snowflake
Beginning Assembly

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The end is near!

Today I spent pretty much the entire day quilting.  I finished stippling the outside of the center (large) square.  I did some pebbling, some spirals, and some lines to fill the rest of the middle of the snowflake.  And magically- all the quilting was done!

Up next was assembly, after a few false starts (sewing the strips to the wrong sides) I had the blocks all assembled.  Um, this quilt is big.  I've laid it all out before, but for some reason I kept thinking it would shrink once it was put together.  Nope- big, big quilt.  I'm not sure where it will go in the house, maybe it will have to go into my office.
I started putting the sashing on the front.  I tried to do the wavy sashing, but I couldn't figure out how to make it curve- I even made sure to cut bias binding, but I kept getting ugly wrinkles, so mine is just going to be square.  I need to sew together the LONG strips now- they will have to be seamed, although, since I'm not doing waves, maybe I can cut on the cross grain and do a 55 inch long strip?  I don't know if that is the best use of fabric, the seams aren't generally that visible.
I'm also trying to decide if I want to do some decorative stitching down the middle of the strips- I think it will give them a bit more weight and prevent the quilt from folding along the strips.  I could do it in white and it would be pretty much invisible, only seen by someone who admires it really closely, or I could do it in pink and pull the color out from the blocks (but then my stitching needs to be perfectly straight...)   I only have a 5 mm machine, this is something that would be really great with a 9 mm.

Before I can do the binding, I need to make a label on my embroidery machine and get it onto the back of the quilt.  I also need to decide if I think corner triangles will support the weight or if I have to do a proper hanging sleeve. The problem is- those require hand sewing, and I can't do that!

But OMG! the quilting is done!  I took this project on with just about a year of experience under my belt, to prove to myself that I could quilt.  And you know what- I can quilt!  (I'm thinking about entering it in the state fair this summer.  It isn't show quilt perfect, but I think it is pretty darn awesome (though once I get the binding on, that may not be true anymore, I suck at binding...)