To the Binding Pile with you!

HPIM2700.jpgNow I can do the kittyhappydance!!!!! The kitties are in the binding pile now!! I should take a pic of that pile before I start to do the quilts – but at least pile is the almost finished pile! Anywho .. last nite I finally got around to do the heads and tails of the fan kitties appliquilting them down – I wanted to try something with this considering they were kitties and furry .. (and believe me, there is enough cat fur on this quilt for it to qualify as a 3rd cat in this house) .. **sigh Anywho .. I used my pinking rotary cutting to cut around the kitties, and instead of using a zig zag stitch, I just did a straight stitch – i want these kitties to ‘fur’ up a bit as it were. I think it’ll look really awesome with actual fuzzy cats! I did a generous-ish ¼” seam – for the most part and just free motioned around the edges.

HPIM2697.jpgAs for the fru fru that I hinted at .. I designed this quilt with the spaces in the middle and sides just for these shadow kitties as I’ve been calling them since the idea clicked. I wasn’t going to do any embellishment on them and just leave them be .. there is quilting under them – so that wasn’t a concern, but the sleeping cat at top and bottom just looked so – naked – sooooo she got a wee bit of stitching to ‘dress’ her up The purple variegated thread is just great on these shadows .. as well as the fuzz and cat fur ..

HPIM2703.jpgI started this quilt back in January 08 after I finished Kyle’s bed quilt (Frankenquilt), so this has been a bit coming .. I really can’t wait to get the binding finished so I can actually use it!! I think it’s going to be just awesome! I’ve learned a lot, tested out a new technique and refined it, and also almost finished a quilt that has been in the design and planning stage for 9 years when I finally started to work on it. I think I’ve just about every technique (or a variation of) for piecing this quilt. Inset seams (Y-seams), paper piecing, templates, appliqué and appliquilt, frogging LOLOL ahem – Quilted with kitties, butterflies, meeces, and cat paws .. definitely learned a lot and WOW .. it’s done ..

**kittyhappydance

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Now for some fru fru

Wow .. the quilting on these kitties is DONE .. but I can’t do the kittyhappydance yet. Just a few more things to do .. There’s my 2 fan kitties that are still minus their heads and tails that need to be appliquilted on .. I know where the heads are, but I think that I’m going to cut out new ones as I’ve gotten a new idea that I’m going to try .. that along with a few other little things I want to do is going to be done tonite, then it’ll be time to cut the binding 😉 WOOOO HOOOOO – A year later and it’s almost done .. how cool is THAT!

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Butterfly Border

HPIM2679.jpgOriginally I wasn’t going to do any quilting in the narrow border, but on looking at my motifs and the spacing from the edge in some cases, I thought it would be better safe than sorry .. so I wanted something that wasn’t to fussy for there and fairly easy to free hand .. that border is 1¾” – not to much you really want to do in that small of a space .. So, I decided upon some really simplistic butterflies in a continuous line .. no marking for these or tissue paper .. total freehand – and you can tell, but that’s okay .. they all look the same (for the most part) I’m good with it and pretty pleased too! I turned the butterfly on an angle to put in the corners of the borders for easy joining from each side.

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Meeces n Paws Outer Border

HPIM2690.jpgThen the outer border – that one I used tissue for and I printed them out instead of drawing them .. it went OOOOOH so much faster! And considering my scotch tape is still MIA (course NO ONE has seen it GRRR), I opted to use a dab from a glue stick for sticking it to the regular paper for running thru the printer. For this border I used a cat paw and the cutest mouse alternating in the border. They are almost the size width so it was easy math wise to work them in .. I didn’t use the original paws I had picked out as it ended up just being wayyy to busy .. maybe for the main quilt part .. but not the border – well maybe a wider border, but these are 3½” – and why not keep a good thing going, I used a paw in the corner to connect the sides. My original plan was to use white thread for quilting this and I am glad that I did find this variegated and decide to use it .. altho, it doesn’t quite make the statement that the white would have, it still does the job and I’m pleased with the overall results so far ..

Now I’m off to do my fru fur and appliquilting – then binding.. wooo hooo then I can do the kittyhappydance!!

The heads and tails are appliquilted on as well as a few surprise elements .. I did take some pics, but nite pics are not good for showing the finer details .. I’ll take some better pics when I get the binding on this quilt 🙂  **half a kittyhappydance

Catching up; baskets, candle mats

It’s been in interesting few days. I’ve been going a wee bit nuts trying to figure out exactly what I’m going to do for the show coming up. I had a whack of ideas; but felt like a one-eyed cat watching 10 mouseholes. 😉 I think it was just a case of nerves and just needing to settle on what items I was going to start on first.

I did find some really neat patterns and ideas on Freepatterns.com – it was just a matter of settling on what to do first. I found a really neat quilted basket there called Mexican Star Basket. It’s the neatest thing – it’s basically a 9 patch style 12″ block that is folded and tucked at the sides to create a basket. I found a neat pattern called fancy flowers that is a traditional block so i am free to use it according to her terms and conditions. I cut out enough pieces for 5 blocks and rather outsmarted myself as I was going to cut them all out at once .. I made notes in the margin and ended up cutting wayyy more than I needed .. ah well .. I gots lots of pieces now :S I put the first one together and it looked really great.. so I started on the second one … I realized that this was a 5 patch block – bloody hell! Well I had them cut, I was going to piece them .. i had all the sections of one block ready to put together and then I took a look and wondered how would this look without the sashings??? – welp i put it together and it looked great .. and what do you know .. i got my 9 patch block back 😀 😀 😀 I have 4 others like this but in different colourways waiting to be basted and quilted.

I decided to get going on my candle mats and pot holders to meet a challenge that one of my lists is holding. I need to have my mats done by Thursday at midnite. Well since my machine is still sick, I needed to use mum’s. I’ve asked my friends to pray for me with this. I didn’t care of they prayed, danced naked in the moonlight, or waved burning feathers .. I needed all the help I could get .. well I cleaned and oiled it this AM. heh .. only jammed once and broke a needle. I’m off to a GREAT start!!! I let it sit for the rest of the day so I could finish piecing the blocks for the baskets. I pulled it out and needed to make a bobbin .. heh .. you got it .. jammed on me again .. *Hellasigh Well I redid the bobbin again, double-checked to be sure that it was all in good working order and tried again .. so far so good .. i managed to piece 6 fans and it didn’t jam again. I need to use this machine for the applique part of these fans. It’s going to be a pain to have to swap machines around, but I don’t have a walking foot for this machine and the speed is a wee bit tetchy for me to be wanting to quilt on it.

My house isn’t as odorous, but Reg is sick and managed to get me sick as well .. oh well .. I started to hack and cough this am. I’ve got the itchy inside of the ear and the raw-ish throat. I’m hoping he and I start to feel better soon .. it’s hard to concentrate and my temper gets frazzled more quickly right now.

But starting was the key – i’m not feeling so overwhelmed right now – matter of fact I can’t wait to get a few things to the point where I can quilt them so I can see actually how they will work out. I’ll be quilting stuff tomorrow .. it’ll be busy for me tomorrow .. I have to go pay for my table at the show, reg’s quarter finals for his bball team are tomorrow nite so I’m going – not been all year – would be nice if the coaches wife showed up .. I went to a lot of games last winter. Then that will leave me tomorrow nite and Thursday to get the candle mats done 😀 .. I can’t wait to see how they’ll turn out

Extremes / Seascape Quilt / Kitty borders


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Today was a day of extremes for me. The right side of the bed did NOT exist for me today. Might have been due to the fact that Kyle managed to wake me up after 2 hours sleep – and he wasn’t watching the dog when he let her out this am. She managed to get the gate open and escaped (didn’t go far, but not the point – she was after cats down the block) she’s about to go into heat and he wasn’t quiet about opening the doors, slamming them, yelling for the dog .. woke Reg and I both up .. Okay .. so Reg wakes up to a pin dropping on carpeting .. i DON’T!

I knew I needed to center myself, I was frustrated beyond all belief by not being able to find a rotary cutting pattern for a mouse (!) (and i started last nite). Even getting my DSL back today didn’t make me feel better for long. I was ready to cheap out on my kitty quilt and just do fish. BUT .. I stepped away from it and worked on my Seascapes (Sea LIfe???) quilt that Joy gave me. I could’t start it until after supper tho as my table can’t come away from the wall to accomodate the boards I use. I did Sharon Schamber’s basting method again and this time it worked VERy well for me. I took shorter stitches, longer thread, had the quilt on my cutting mat and really really really paid attention to the tension i was putting on my stitches .. I believe that might have also been a larger part of the problem for me the last time I tried this method.

After basting this quilttop, I felt soooo much better – Like I had actually accomplished something .. and while I was basting my mind was working away on my kitty border issue. They resolved themselves in the back of my mind. I printed out my quilting motifs, grabbed the sullivan’s and started to plot. I realized that i couldn’t try the appliquilt on this quilt after I had laid all the templates out as it would make it to busy i think. I have the whole quilt covered with a sea scene and I just think that that would be overkill. If you look, you can see the seaweed and fish in the bottom left corner, 2 bigger fish swimming around, shells in the corners and waves and shells for the borders. I really don’t think that I want to add anything else to this .. that does disappoint me tho as I would have liked to tried that method, but there’ll be other opportunities – if not, I’ll create them 😀

Now for the borders on my kitty quilt; I was at the point where I was just going to do all fish and be done with it. I did NOT want to do paper piecing, nor particularly applique at this point. I am so bloody close, that I want the top DONE NOW. well I almost short changed myself, but something kept me from doing so .. I have come up with what I think is going to be the perfect finish to this quilt .. All i’m going to say right now is it involves fish, meeces (appliqued) and kitties. Oh and it will involve math LOLOLOL But i’m feeling better about everything right now – borders are under control, Seascape is just about done .. I think that I’m going to see about using up the scraps that Joy sent me along with some other fabrics I have here and doing a scrappy binding.. I think that just might be the perfect finish to it

Border Dilemma / sea critters

Now the fun part .. i have decided that i want my border to be 3″ wide for the fish and mice .. not going to do the other things (milk jug, yarn) as i really do NOT want to do more paper piecing. So, I have a rotary cut pattern and I can speed piece for the fish .. just need to find one for the mice .. the fish are 3×3 which is VERY good – spot on!! heh .. here’s where the torture comes in .. do I want to do these with kitty fabric or other fabric .. i know i wanted JUST the kitties to be made with kittie fabric and the highlight of the quilt – The more I think of it, the more I am not inclined to use my kitty fabric for the border critters. They aren’t kitties!! okay .. i’m off the rack .. sort of .. what colours :S .. heh .. just kidding, i’ll likely go traditional colours for them .. but we’ll just have to see what speaks to me – I guess I’ve resolved this now .. I love my blog .. LOL

I’ve also got another project brewing :D. The quilttop that Joy made for me has spoken to me. That’s going to be a sea floor scene 😀 .. I have some really cute sea motifs that I am going to quilt on it; seaweed with a fish poking out, shells, and a larger fish, as well as appliquéing (appliquilt maybe?? see i told you i was inspired!) with various sea critters on it .. I have to decide on exactly what critters I want before I do the motif. I’m thinking of an octopus, a crab and a seahorse. I can’ put them on with embroidery floss over the quilting motifs. I can’t wait to get started on this, but I have to baste the quilt first. I’ll be doing that tomorrow – this should do up SUPER quick! I can’t wait to get going on this one

Kitty quilt top done!

The day has finally arrived. I was honestly thinking that it would never come. I finally got the top together and somewhat squared for my kitty quilt. I had actually got it all pieced last nite, but was so bloody tired that I just didn’t want to trim it for fear of destroying it. So it sat with ragged edges and all. heh .. this thing was a like a huge fabric puzzle for me. I had one row done and actually ripped it all apart as I moved some blocks. Not a day went by that these blocks didn’t migrate to other sections of my quilt. I need to read up on squaring quilt tops as this one as a few little waves in it – i will do this before I cut and baste :).

Quilting this will be pretty straight forward for the most part. I’m going to use freemotion quilting and outline all the kitties in the quilt, will do some other motifs in the blank spaces. Not sure exactly what yet, but I’m sure it will come to me .. for some reason I’m thinking of butterflies **shrug** Lord knows why .. could be Judi’s fault ;P.

The only offshoot for the quilting is to be the heads and tails for the fan kitties (notice they are headless and tailless now?? 1st row and 4th row). I’m going to use appliquilt for this. Meaning that they will be attached to the quilt and quilted at the same time. I’ll use fusible tape to turn down the edges of the tail and head (almost thinking of raw edge applique for the tails so they fray a bit), secure it to the top with either a dab of glue stick or fusible web and quilt them into place in one shot! I sooo like that idea .. I will do a practice piece first to see if I can do .. if it doesn’t work, you’ll not need technology to hear my scream.

While doing some research today joanne sent me a link from a blog, Mary Johnson has some phenominal quilts and ideas. I contacted her with what I proposed. She also seems to think it’ll work, along with most of the ladies from my quilt lists. BTW .. if you have a problem spot in your quilt she has a very ingenious method for fixing it, this could use for anything from bleeding colours to holes. She showed me a quilt that was all done with blues and she had quilted it, then added appliqued fishies to it afterwards .. gorgeous quilt! Be sure to check out her quilts, they are linked off her blog – it will be time well spent. Mary, Thank you!

I also pulled out an old blanket that I was thinking of using for Kyle’s batting. It might work-ish. I’ll have to trim a wee bit off the top and bottom to make it fit, but if I do do that, I can use those for my binding strips – at that point, I might as well take it from all sides 🙂