Educational …

HPIM2667.jpgTo say the least .. With fits n bursts of working on the main part of my kitty quilt, I did manage to get that part quilted today. I didn’t work on it constantly – but thru the day.

I decided to try using the whole sheet for the quilting part of it – I can totally recommend AGAINST using the whole sheet for several reasons .. First of all, if you aren’t exact in having your motif repeat on your tracing, your pattern will be off on the tissue sheets when they are all combined. You won’t notice that you are off until you are into the second row of sheets (in my case sheet #4 – middle sheets). The top row went just fine .. no issues, problems – nothing .. the top right corner is me checking how the thread looks with this quilt .. I’ll have to wait until daylight to get a better pic (yes it’s 4am again :/). I didn’t realize that there was going to be a problem until the middle sheet (#5 – the one that looks like it went thru a cuisinart) – that’s when I noticed that my pattern was off and decided to try to ease and work it ..


"repair" on Section / Sheet #5

But the time I got near the bottom left sheet (corner) – it was hair pulling frustration time! I battled thru that with tissue ripping, pins going thru the tissue getting lost (I’ll find them when the tissue comes off), and things just not lining up at all .. I was beyond frustrated – here I am more than ยฝ way thru the quilt and it’s getting ugly. I could have just cried! Nothing was lining up at this point and I could see all my work going for naught. But then I just decided to “piece” it as it were .. cut the rest of the middle section into strips and make it fit between the two outer sheets .. Thank God! That worked quite nicely .. I was able to get back on track and things started to go very quickly from that point on ..

As for the bottom, I pieced that one deliberately to have a full pattern fit with no excess bits between the borders. (Note to self – do the bloody math you twit to have full motifs from edge to edge – BAH!) Another reason why you really don’t want to use a full sheet, you are leaving to much of your quilt unbasted (even with pinning) for comfort .. the risk of things shifting is way to high .. I would hate to see how this would have ended up if my batting wasn’t cotton! **shudder**

So from now on, I’ll be printing out my motifs (to ensure accuracy), AND using smaller sheets.ย  I was saying to Carmen .. Even if your quilt is square – exactly how square is it – do you have a measuring tape that measure micrometers?? And exactly how square are your sheets!??! Nope not going to use a full sheet again .. I’ll be limited to the size that my printer will accept which is 8ยฝ x 14″. Least this way if something is off, thenย  adjustments can be made over smaller areas that won’t be as noticeable as adjustments over a huge 20 x 20″ area .. nor as frustrating!

I’ve updated the tissue paper tutorial as well for this ๐Ÿ™‚ Tomorrow the border motif printing – then the quilting .. I hope ๐Ÿ˜‰

Design Daze


I think I’ve finally figured out why my kitty quilt has been waiting for me so long .. I had no bloody clue on what to do for the main body quilting .. that realization rather smacked me in the face over the past few days .. the borders were easy peasy .. but the main body .. EEEEKKKKKKKKK!!!!!

Nothing I found seemed to please me one bit! Some was to busy, other’s too loopy, other’s to blah, other’s to fussy .. But I finally found the purrfect (hehehehe) motif. So I went to work cleaning it up, resizing it and tracing it .. it was only AFTER I got all the sheets traced and my quilt ready to go, that I realized I hadn’t done a mock-up to see how it looked :O oops .. LOL ..

HPIM2664.jpgI know this sounds relatively simple .. and believe me it is .. but the right motif isn’t always that simple **sigh Rather like finding just the right fabric or thread or what-have-you .. oh speaking of thread … that was the easy part .. I was going to do white, but then this variegated thread spoke to me and asked to come home with me .. I won’t go into the whole story of that adventure .. Reg is still shaking his head at me .. he does that a lot …

HPIM2663.jpgMy machines all set up, the first tissue sheet is pinned into place (and yes my basting stitches are out) – I was going to start tonite, but I hit a wall of fatigue then started to watch TV with reg and woke up .. **sigh. But I’m not going to start quilting tonite .. The good news is, that the motif is large enough on this so it “should” quilt up pretty quick and this just might be a one day quilting .. for the main part at least .. I’ve not traced out the border motifs yet, so that should take a bit longer me thinks as the tissue needs to be cut to size still and I’ve rather had enough of that today all ready .. oh this is the first time I’m trying a full sheet method .. so we’ll see how that goes .. should be interesting .. for lack of a more polite word ๐Ÿ˜‰ SO tomorrow I begin on my kitty quilt – FINALLY

The border has already changed – nope that didn’t take long at all .. i’ll be using nothing in the wonky narrow border, but paws n meeces in the outer border … it’s just wayyy to cute for words!!

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 Bยฝ .. 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ that is going to be soooo cool!!!

Success – Plan B

It’s always nice when something works out ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.ย  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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

  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 costย  .. 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??ย  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 .. When I get the exact link, I’ll share it with you ๐Ÿ™‚

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

3 quilts done :| WOW

Here I was thought I was being slick and ready by getting bindings on the doll quilt, Seascapes, and my Spats Kitty quilt to have hand work ready so I can watch baseball or any TV. What i didn’t count on was sitting down to watch a movie and being on a stitching tear that I got it all done :S .. well that’s good as I have now have 3 quilts off my projects list, but I don’t have hand work .. well I do, those little hex coasters that I’m doing by hand – but just not in that mode last nite. Don’t get me wrong, I am sooo happy to have these little things done, but now what am I going to do when I watch tv???

This quilt is one that Joy made for me. It measures approximatly 24 x 24″ and is the cutest thing. We had been talking about sea critter quilt blocks so that inspired me for the quilting on this one. I quilted in fish, seaweed, shells and waves in this one. I originally planned to a pieced binding for this, but the idea of seams in my corners had really put me off .. (I got that with the other 2 I finished yesterday), so I dove into my stash and came up with a dark blue with purple flowers and green leaves motif fabric and it accented it just right.

This is a panel that I can’t even remember where I found it at or even if I bought it, I’ve had this in the works that long. Measures 14 x 17″. What I did with this one was use a thin low loft quilt batting and hand quilted it with pink thread. Originally this was supposed to be a gift for a friends little girl for her dolls, but we fell out of touch YEARS ago .. i didn’t really do anything special with this one, just outlined the ‘boxes’ and the borders. I did a single-fold binding on this and the binding is finished by hand. The binding and the backing are the same material; pink “stitch” lines on the diagonal, with country pastel stars with buttons sewn into the middle of them. Can’t remember where I got it from, but it does match the quilt colours almost perfectly. I think that I’m going to sell this on my website – even tho it’s small .. it is 100% cotton and hand quilted and finished .. so not sure on the price – maybe $15 – $20????

This is my first attempt at watercolour quilting .. I did this before I had any wc stash to speak of so the effect isn’t quite what I envisioned. I had kitty fabric (shock suprise) that had a cat that looked almost like my Spats!! I cut out the kitty head and appliqued it down with roses near the bottom. I first named this quilt Kitties, Bugs, n Bears Oh My, but as I was working on it, it took the name Spats Kitty Quilt in my mind .. It’s a nice memorial to him me thinks. I hand quilted this with butterflies, flowers and a cable design in the border with peach coloured thread. I used fabric that I had hand-dyed for the borders.

I almost had a serious issue with this quilt that nearly devasted me. I have kids markers that I use for quilt marking as they are all water soluable, but this quilt had been marked 8 years ago! Well yesterday my washer finally got fixed and when the guy hooked it back up, he got the hot and cold water hoses mixed up (not his fault – plumbing here is interesting to say the least), and before I realized that it was HOT water in the drum, the quilt was already soaked thru – the lines came off a bit in the first washing, but I think that can be attributed to the fact that water doesn’t come out hot instantly. I washed it 3 more times and the lines had faded a LOT, but I could still see them. What I did was soak it over nite in a bucket of cold water with an oxidizer and that seemed to fade the lines a LOT more. I ran it thru the washer one more time and while I can still see the lines, they aren’t near as bad as they were, and only in 2 or 3 spots, not the whole quilt.

You can see in the close up the kitty the lines I am talking about. Those are the worse lines in the whole quilt – just wished that it wasn’t in the spot it was ..

Ah well .. now to figure out what to do for hand work while watching tv, but before i do that .. I’m off to pick my fabrics for our civil war quilt ๐Ÿ˜€