On to the next …

HPIM2617.jpgAfter posting last nite, I opted to finished up the Michigan Left. It was just a simple matter of doing the hanging sleeve, measuring the quilt for HPIM2614.jpgbinding, cutting it, stitching it and putting it on πŸ˜‰ After all I had accomplished yesterday it just seemed like a small little bit to finish this and get it put on the binding pile … So it’s there now … waiting for the binding to be sewn on with 2 other quilts. You soooo know that feels good to get this quilt to this point! Almost a year later and it’s ready to be finished. I’m going to take advantage of this finishing streak while I’m in this mode .. Maybe with luck I’ll get all the WIPs in my pile to the finishing stage.

I was all geared up to do my Case 128 big fan quilt (not basted) or my kitty quilt (basted), but I remembered another quilt that’s been oh so patiently waiting for me .. Back last January, I finally got a quilt top done for Kyle’s bed – after border nightmares and everything! And Kyle’s been so patient about it as well .. so I figure his is next .. and it’s NOT basted, and larger than my current table that I use for basting so life is going to get interesting to say the least πŸ˜‰ heh .. for my bday, kyle bought me the batting for this quilt LOL .. what a kid .. and he got high loft poly **groan

I pulled out the backing I picked for this, and the quilt top – I’ll be pressing both tomorrow and start to baste – I’m going to use Sharon’s method again – but because this is larger than my table, I might have to use tape to keep the back taunt, which is okay … as long as I’m not crawling around on the floor getting crippled for a week! Kyle even asked if I was going to have to do that when I said it was bigger than the table, and I’m like not on your life!!! I’ll make this work.

I’ve been looking thru quilting motifs for most of the afternoon to find just the right one … I have a few plotted out, but need to decide if I’m going to do an allover / continuous pattern or a block pattern .. No frilly fru fru allowed for his quilt, but I’ve a ton of stuff bookmarked and have narrowed it down to about .. oh 50 or so LOL .. Anywho .. the fun begins and my next finish is on the horizon .. Then I’ll treat myself to a new project maybe .. I’m already eyeing one πŸ˜‰

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Michigan Left Quilted

HPIM2610.jpgPlan B worked!! Granted I have a few fine tunes to add to my previous lists of things I’ve learned, but would you have expected anything less from me πŸ˜€ All in all I’m pleased with this – VERY pleased! I was beginning to think I would never get this quilted as it wouldn’t speak to me – or it wasn’t saying what I wanted it to say .. take your pick .. I know I wanted to do a continuous quilting pattern on this, I just had to find a way to do it – and thanx to Val for her timely hint for using quilter’s paper, I did find a way.

HPIM2613.jpgI’ve been mentioning in my posts that there’s a Plan BΒ½ .. well if you notice here, the full sheet of tissue paper, covers most of this quilt – I ran into issues with 2 – 4 pieces of paper overlapping and it not tearing easily off .. another issue I ran into was the pattern repeats and the tissue i wasted with the overlapping and cutting off .. what occurred to me AFTER I had already gotten the pieces all printed out last nite, was that I could have used a full sheet of tissue paper and traced the whole design (repeats included) on the one sheet + and not had so many layers to contend with, and it would have been easier to keep my design lined up in the quilt top .. I was off a smidge in the corner when I first started and the result of that is my quilting pattern climbs up from the top right corner … not so bad that you would notice, but it created some havoc for me when I was quilting it as my path fell off the map so to speak .. Even cutting this sheet into 4ths, would reduce the chance of it being off-kilter .. But I know for next time.

Tracy’s comment on yesterday’s post about giving the quilt a tug with all the tissue on, was spot on .. made this so much easier to take off (excluding the 2 – 4 layers) and it prolly took hours off the tissue removal .. not that it jumped off the quilt, taking the paper off will take time .. I passed the time by watching tv (actually listening) with Reg.

Now I’m going to take the quilting out for the top and bottom borders (some minor puckering there), and put in my hanging sleeve .. I knew I was going to take the top border stitching out for the sleeve all along .. I just didn’t want to have to worry about if I was quilting the sleeve where it shouldn’t have been – And for the borders .. I’m not thinking of quilting them .. i’m just likely to leave them as they are to create more of a frame around this quilt.

That was fun! I can’t wait to use this on my case #128 big fan quilt πŸ˜‰ that is going to be soooo cool!!!

Success – Plan B

It’s always nice when something works out πŸ˜‰ As you know from yesterday’s post, Plan A wasn’t very successful at all! Matter of fact I spent prolly 3 hrs picking the stitches out :\ .. Let me digress a bit here .. I usually use my Singer 15-91 for free motion quilting as it’s always spot on for me. When I got the urge to do this experiment, I really didn’t want to have to change over machines .. I remembered that I was given a feed dog cover for this machine and that I hadn’t tried freemotion on it since BEFORE I was mis-threading my machine – so I thought, why not try it out .. well Glory Be! The bloody thing works like a charm πŸ˜€ no having to swap over machines for this .. but of course I’ve never done free motion on this machine and was still getting a feel for it . normally i prefer to do a longer stitch when quilting – and believe me … these stitches were anything BUT long .. I was going beyond cross-eyed picking them out … they did get picked out tho

HPIM2597.jpgSo today, I start by printing out on tissue paper the quilting motif I wanted to use for this quilt – went pretty good, the paper folded a bit on the way the way thru, but I wasn’t going to toss it for that .. So with a few dabs of my glue stitch I attached it to the quilt and load it up on my machine ..

HPIM2598.jpgWhat I decided to do before I went to far with it, was to do one ‘row / column’ of the pattern then check it out .. you can see that the tissue paper didn’t get all tore up like yesterday and that was even going back and forth over the tissue .. I did keep my eye on the back of the foot just in case. Oh, I discovered something else too .. once the first bit is stitched on, it’s pretty well attached and stabilized so you really don’t need to be adding more glue (I found this out later and learned a few more things .. share in a bit ;))

HPIM2600.jpgChecking my work after I got that first section down … not to shabby at all me thinks! I would have preferred to use a green thread for this, but damned if I could find one!! And I ripped a few places apart (no I didn’t check my closet – I prolly should have tho :() and no dark green thread that i was looking for … (altho I did find the blue I was thinking of using for my case 128 fan quilt ;)) I find the tissue came off fairly easily – I used the back of me seam ripper to weaken the paper a bit more since I was using a longer stitch. You can see in a few ‘points’ where there’s some paper (I also went a wee bit cross-eyed picking the paper out) I didn’t quite get right to the edge while starting this and I will extend the spots I miss later – that will come with time and practice using this method.

HPIM2602.jpgI went really cross-eyed here picking at the paper after I had done about 2 rows / columns in the design. I wanted to see a more overall look than the itty bit that I had pulled off earlier .. again the back of my seam ripper to weaken the paper, or using the flat of my seam ripper to lift the paper and it came right out! Oh for variety you can also scratch the paper away with your nail ;). There’s a few bits n pieces still in there, but I was going cross-eyed at that time and I’m really hoping that what I miss paper-wise, the washer will take care of ..

Repeating patterns can create a stack of paper you didn’t really want .. I need to do more than just see the repeat, I need to print just the ONE pattern out – else it does create many lips of paper that you have to watch for and more to pick out of the stitches later – less is better in this case ..

HPIM2603.jpgSo after checking the first column I got busy and printed out what I hope will be enough tissue for the rest of this quilt .. if not, i can print out some more .. what I do want to do is maybe skinny out the lines on this or even use 20% black for the ink instead of 100% .. it doesn’t really need to be that dark or big.

I wanted to have this done today (and I still might), but watching a movie and a repeat of a weekly show I watch but missed last week over rode my quilting time .. I’m almost done the 2nd column – since i have the hang of this it shouldn’t be all that much longer – and tomorrow will be a busy day with the tier championship happening.

I learned a few more things today (shock surprise right?? Course I did – that was the whole point!)

  1. reduce line weight of pattern, use a lighter ‘black’
  2. avoid overlapping to many pieces of tissue paper
  3. Keep a steady pace – mach one will tear your papers – slower is better
  4. glue isn’t necessary after some of the pattern has been done
  5. watch your repeats in the pattern!!!

All in all, I’m pleased with this method – I learned a lot and will use this method again and again .. once i got a system down with printing on the tissue paper, it wasn’t all that bad .. i only had my printer eat 2 – and i needed an extra bottom of the repeat for the bottom of the column anyways, so that rather worked out πŸ˜‰ I’ve also got to get more comfortable with the edge, but i’ll put that down to first attempt as well as not ‘seeing’ exactly where the border was .. getting this down will come with practice – this is going to be quicker than marking a quilt as I perfect my own system for it.Β  I also won’t have to worry about marking lines not coming out – they normally do, but strange things do happen .. this is me we’re talking about afterall …

I hope that everyone who wants to try a technique does – even if it doesn’t go as planned, you will find ways to make it work – and always you will learn from it.Β  Hope you find my experiment helpful – Have fun with it!

Time for Plan B

You’re prolly wondering what was Plan A and also what on earth did I do this time?? LOL .. Life was interesting tonite to say the least πŸ˜‰ and very educational too(!)

Quilt Marking came up as a topic on OST last week, Val talked about how she did it .. She uses the quilter’s paper for her marking .. She told us that she would print out on one sheet the pattern, stack the other sheets together (which she cut down to size first), then would stitch thru the sheets and have a template to follow for her quilting .. well it occurred to me that maybe you could do it with tissue paper! Granted you would have to be careful, but i thought it would be possible .. so tonite I set out to test this theory .. I decided to try the Michigan Left as it’s basted and already has the borders stitched down. So this would be perfect to do as I didn’t have to do anything else with it πŸ˜‰ I LIKED that idea!!

HPIM2589.jpgI didn’t really want to bother with printing on tissue paper as that involves stabilizing the paper with card stock, and then running it thru the printer .. What I figured was that since tissue paper is so thin, I could trace it – Val reminded HPIM2593.jpgme not to use pencil so I wouldn’t permanently mark my thread or quilt. Good advice and one I hadn’t thought of at that point! I decided that I would bypass the whole thing by paper-clipping the tissue sheets (6 in this stack) with the original on top and then stitch that way .. coo it worked!!

HPIM2594.jpgAs you can see it’s pretty faint here but still seeable .. I put it on the quilt and it was rather iffy – but I figured that I went this far, I would test it .. I used a few dabs of glue from a water soluble glue stitch to stabilize the tissue onto the quilt top. That worked pretty well .. Now this is where things got a wee bit dicey … (this really shouldn’t surprise you should it?? LOL) First mistake .. I started on the bottom right which meant that the majority of the tissue wasn’t visible to me .. specially under the foot, so in effect, I was driving blind and couldn’t see where I was going. The other problem with that is that the tissue was caught by the back of my foot and tore – I tacked it down and was able to keep going – but again, I really couldn’t see what I was doing at all ..

hpim25951I decided to cut my loses at that point instead of pushing thru and give myself MORE ripping (I really HATE ripping out quilting stitches .. specially freemotion stitches) The tissue came off pretty easily .. getting it wet will get it off much easier too. So if there is any left, I’m confident that it will all come out in the wash – maybe even using a damp cloth would work too. This is a pic of it totally untrimmed with my threads still going every which way. As you can see this looks nothing like it’s supposed to – not even close!

HPIM1964a.jpgThis is my mock up of what it’s supposed to look like when quilted – my first itty bitty attempt isn’t even close to it .. is it going to look exact .. nope .. but I’m hoping that it will get pretty close to it!

I learned a few things from this and they are included in Plan B πŸ˜‰

  1. Get overy myself and deal with printing on tissue paper – resize the image to fit on a sheet of paper
  2. Do NOT start at the bottom right or left corners .. start at the top corners of the quilt and push it thru the machine instead of pulling ..
  3. Keep an eye on the tissue paper near the back of the foot, it will tear!
  4. Only have one piece of tissue paper on the quilt at a time (I already did this, but should state it anyways ;))
  5. Ensure you are using water soluble glue stick
  6. Check to ensure that your ink is NOT water soluble or else you will end up with it on your quilt if you use water to remove the tissue paper.

I can’t think of anything else to add to this list – I know my glue stick is water soluble, and I know that my ink isn’t water soluble as I print out my quilt labels. I’ll work on Plan B tomorrow and let you guys know how that goes .. I’ve some ripping to do first AND I have to print on the tissue paper .. that is going to be a pain!!

Oh you are wondering why I don’t use the quilter’s paper? I really can’t just run to the corner and pick it up; buying it here in Windsor is going to cost an arm and a leg likely .. quilty stuff just costs oh sooo much more here, and buying it on the internet isn’t going to work well me thinks. I’m sure I can find it at a GREAT price, but paper weighs a hefty bit – it’ll be in an non-standard size box – so those 2 factors together would likely bring the shipping cost to MORE than the paper costΒ  .. so no thanks .. I’m not even sure that I’ve seen it at joann’s either when I last went there .. now don’t get me wrong .. chances are I didn’t exactly see it as I wasn’t looking for it, but I still don’t remember seeing it and I do tend to remember all sorts of things that I see – or don’t see .. see what I mean??Β  heh … have you chased your tail on that one yet?? LOLOL

Okay so wish me luck for this tomorrow .. OH OH OH .. btw .. Michele says that my post will be this Sunday the 22nd at quilting-gallery.com .. When I get the exact link, I’ll share it with you πŸ™‚

So, did you learn anything new today / this week??? Have a great weekend!!

Be-MUSED-ed

If you can believe it, I finally got the Michigan Left basted! I did thread basting a la Sharon Schambers again – I’m still trying to work out ‘my method’ for doing this .. not that her’s isn’t great – but I think I need to fiddle with my stitch length .. I used a poly bat for this one .. not used poly in YEARS and still not sure if I like it .. but, with me selling this, and ppl not wanting to pay the price of something done in cotton bat, I need to find a way to bring my cost down so that ppl will be inclined to buy. I want to find thin poly bat – this one seemed thin enough, but in hindsight (after basting), I’m not sure it’s going to be thin enough to suit me .. it might just change my quilting pattern .. but I’ll know more when I start to quilt.

I designed Gran’s borders today .. I think it looks rather sharp!! All I actually need to do is create 11 more blocks and just use them by half .. altho a thought does occur to me – with the added 1″ narrow border, that is going to change my block size, so I’m not sure that I’ll be able to use the exact size that’s in the quilt .. I’ve not drafted this as of yet, so we’ll just have to see .. and that outer ‘border’ is in actuality, the binding – I like to get a visual of exactly how it’ll look when it’s done. I’ll be doing the borders scrappy as well with hopefully some of the same fabrics – if I have any left of them .. I’m sure I do – but we’ll have to see .. Instead of HSTs in the corners, I just might do squares instead. It does occur to me after looking at it, if I continue the borders all the way to the edges, then I shouldn’t have to do deal with any math, as the extended borders will ‘frame’ the sections nicely .. my version of quiltpro doesn’t allow me that sort of design license, so I’ll have to do this by hand on draft paper.

In response to a challenge that is still in our testers group, I drafted up this block for me – this isn’t the way it started out on draft paper – as I started to add the colours, I saw different movement and clicked away like mad. Well while doing this, I was thinking about doing a lap quilt for kyle for cmas. He’s using his quilts I made him for when he was in a toddler bed – so I think that he’s due for a new one (oh and while I didn’t find all the backing for his bed quilt, I did find other stuff I can use for backing .. so that will be getting pieced soon). I started thinking about how this block would look in a quilt and then started to play again ..

I want to do his team colours and maybe his teams logos like I did for Reg’s quilt – while this one won’t have them the way reg’s did, I can still do smaller ones for the corners or maybe 2 in the center of the quilt (UofM & Red Wings) .. I’m still thinking about it .. oh his teams?? UofM, Detroit Red Wings, Indy Colts – and well we won’t touch baseball .. I think he professes to be a Detroit Tiger fan to stop reg and I from ribbing him, but I think he’s still a Boston fan at heart .. Sports teams gets pretty nasty in my house LOLOLOL ..but that’ll be another post.

So his colours for this quilt would be yellows (maize), blues, reds, (his favourite colour!!) and white / neutrals .. and this quilt has all those colours in it!! Altho with hi being a 13 yo boy, I’m not sure bout white .. we’ll have to see .. These blocks are 21″ so that will give him a good size lapquilt for himself. What’ll be even nicer, I can get all the HSTs ready right under his nose – LOLOLOLOL There are times I love how sneaky you can be, being a quilter πŸ™‚

Colour Family Mystery – Clues 2 & 3

Quiltier today than yesterday .. I was rather blah yesterday and really can’t think of anything I stitched .. One of the little things I did today was clues 2 & 3 for Carmen’s Colour Family Mystery. Here is clue 2 & 3 for the mystery .. I wasn’t in the best of moods when I started to stitch these blocks and this poor thing was ripped apart more times that a little 4 Β½” block deserved, but it did help me to center myself .. Rather amazing how frustrating itty bitty piece of fabric can make you .. heh .. The red one on the left is the mini I am doing for the current run of the mystery; the purple one on the right is the test quilt from labour day weekend.

Of course while I was working on this, I was doing my border for my Hopscotch quilt as a leaders n enders project .. I’m now to the point where I’ve 7 more strips to sew, then the block border units are done .. after that .. I just have to stitch them all together and put them on the quilt!

Finally I decided on borders for the Michigan Left **kittyhappydancing .. This is the pattern I found at quilt.about.com called Caroline Byways, split 9 patch, and I’ve had this sitting with no borders for a while now b/c I just didn’t know what to do with it .. I decided on green because there isn’t any dark green in this quilt .. and Michigan has some gorgeous scenery in the northern part of the state and the U P – I’ve enough to do the binding the same green, but might go a deep red to really offset it .. not decided on that part yet .. and if I said I was / did .. then you would be like ‘yeah, right’ .. you’ll change your mind 50 times before you get there πŸ˜‰

With this month being the OST Octoberfest Sew-in Retreat, I’m concentrating on getting some finishes done. There’s quite a few projects on my list that I’ve ignored, so they’re getting some attention .. I think what’s finally pushed me on this is that I’ve decided on the quilting for it .. so now I’m moving forward πŸ˜€ I’m half considering to baste this tonite so maybe I can start quilting this .. not to sure on this yet ..

But looking at the time, prolly not .. so this will likely happen tomorrow; I’ve also been eying Gran’s quilt and thanks to Mary and what she did for borders on some Heartstrings Blocks that were given to her – I’m plotting gran’s borders in my head πŸ˜€ .. I’m not exactly sure what post it is or I would link directly to it, but what she did was use a thin inner border and then cut some blocks in half to use as the outer border .. it looks soooo awesome .. I fell in love with the idea and can’t wait to try it .. so Gran’s quilt is the guinea pig for this – Thanx for the great idea Mary!!

split 9 patch – Michigan Left

With the kitties napping for a bit, I needed something else to do :S .. I pulled out my stars from the Sunny Swap that I did measure and sort by size; I even went as far as to pull out my blues and yellows for framing them. But the oomph to do it, just wasn’t there. I also have a pattern kicking around in my head for a little swap that I’m going to do, but the idea has totally gelled yet. I open QuiltPro and fuss and delete and add and fuss and delete – nope that’s not ready to come to me yet – close, just not quite there.

So I started to think about the Carolina Byways Quilt (split 9 patch) on about.com. Okay, I’m in – I’ve been itching to try this. So I pulled almost all my fabrics out and picked and pulled and decided on my first 6 colours (darks and lights). It went together REALLY fast! I really liked the look of it too. Only thing, this came out to 6″ finished : .. I like this pattern, but I don’t really want to do 37 of these things so it fits my king size bed .. I am going to fiddle with the math so i can end up with at least an 8 or 10″ block .. Each set of cuttings gives you 4 blocks. Makes up really quick this way as it’s all strip piecing and cutting. If you can work the seams to marry properly (I got 1 married – 1 not), then the final seam won’t be so bulky.

I orginally laid it out as as a variable star and only had 1 set of 4 left to go – so to take a break I sat on my table and started to play with my blocks .. I twisted and turned and spun, and this image started to resolve itself – I instantly thought Michigan Left (For those that aren’t aware of this anamoly, as Michigan is the only state in the nation to use them, please check out the link).
So, if this stays this way (won’t get bigger), that’s what I’m going to call this one πŸ˜€

I tried to have each block share some colour somewhere with at least 1 or 2 sets. I needed to do 24 colour choices, 6 per set (3 light & 3 dark). And I also got more string scraps out of this – naw – I don’t have a method to my madness ..

Heh .. i’ve already figured out how I’m going to quilt this based on it’s name .. I’m going to do a log cabin pattern that is tilted off canter πŸ˜‰