Monday, August 31, 2009

Strippie Quilt #1

Last night I started working on a quick charity quilt, based on the Quick Strippie quilt at . I'm using a cute cartoonish kitty fabric in medium purple and yellow-orange, adding strips of bright orange and dark purple--all from stash. I'm adding borders in the dark purple, as well. The strips are cut and tonight I should have the top sewn.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Between Quilts

Now that I'm finished with On the Ocean Blue, I don't know which quilt I'm supposed to work on next. I usually get prompted by the next quilt a week or two before finishing the current project. But now and then, I enter this limbo time.

I have several WHIMMs (Works Hidden in my Mind) to choose from, as well as a few WIPs (Works in Progress). But none of them are begging for my attention at the moment.

I may go ahead and do a quick charity quilt top just for something to do while I wait. A cute cartoonish cat fabric has been wanting to become a quilt for a while. I usually do Turning Twenty style quilts for charity, with lots of fat quarters. But I have yardage this time, and I'd like to make the most of it. Last night I looked through some quilting books, hoping for inspiration. Not there yet. I'll keep trying.

Meanwhile, I need to clean up the debris left over from the last quilt, make a new pair of pants, and catch up on some bookkeeping. Hopefully I'll be quilting by early next week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sailboat Quilt Finished

I finished the sailboat quilt today. There's a twist: The quilt is not for Joann. It is for my daughter-in-law's mother Nell, and I've been making it for her all along for her birthday this month. Joann Sets Sail was a cover name, in case Nell happened to look at my blog. There really is a JoAnn; she is my co-worker and my daughter-in-law Laurie knows her. JoAnn and Laurie both knew about the quilt and its true recipient. Aren't we sneaky?

The quilt has been re-named On the Ocean Blue. I gave the quilt to Nell today at a family get-together celebrating several August birthdays. Nell was very surprised and happy with her quilt. Enjoy the quilt, Nell! And enjoy reading about it on the blog!

On the Ocean Blue (formerly known as Joann Sets Sail)

Quilt back. Sailboat theme fabric used as backing for the outer border.

Another WIP done!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Joann Sets Sail Quilted

Here is Joann Sets Sail quilted and in one large piece.
For details, please read on.

Right half of quilt top, batting and backing.
I used 505 spray to hold the layers together.
I did not spray the center seam area (left side of picture), to allow me to open the layers easily later. Safety pins are holding the center seam area together.

Batting and backing trimmed, leaving an inch or two of excess on the edges.

Quarter inch masking tape marks the boundary for the quilting.
I'll leave the quilt's center area (left of the tape) unquilted for now.
The crooked boundary is to fool the eye later, hopefully blending
the left, middle and right quilted areas together into one big whole.

Freemotion quilted with loop de loops and sailboats

Close-up of the back. Can you see the sailboats?

Next fold back the right side's batting over the seam, keeping the right side's backing out of the way. There will be quite an overlap here. Carefully trim the batting even with the left side's backing so the edges just meet. Be delicate with the scissors, so the quilt top or backing doesn't get cut.

I just discovered this tape last week. It's WashAway Wonder Tape by Dritz.
One quarter inch wide, double sided, water-soluble and won't gum up needles.
I'm giving it a try for the next step instead of using pins.

Place the Wonder Tape at the edge of the left side's quilt back.

Bring the right side's backing toward the tape, turn the backing under a quarter of an inch, and lay it on the tape. No pins! Take your time with this to make it smooth.

Here is the front of the quilt, all ready for the final quilting. I rolled up the right side of the quilt as much as possible, and pinned the roll. We'll see how that works out.

Here's what the center looks like after the quilting. I'm not entirely happy with the result. There are gaps where the quilting did not cross the center seam. The seam is holding now, but once the quilt is washed, the tape will dissolve and the seam will gape open, exposing the interior of the quilt, fraying, etc. My solution: I did a wide curvy zigzag over the seam. The seam is stable now, and won't fall apart after washing. I can barely see it on the back
or on the front, and I know it's there!

The curvy zigzag is barely visible...except on the blue border. Oh, well...

Close-up of the center area

Center area back

And once more, Joann Sets Sail--quilted

Next, I'll attach wide borders in burgundy, apply binding, and it'll be done!
Fold one side (I chose the left) of batting/backing over the just-sewn seam. The edge of the batting/backing should overlap or cover the seam.

Carefully press the seam open. Turn the quilt over and press the right side,
as well, to make sure the seam is flat.

Next, join the halves together at the quilt's center seams. Trim the batting and backing even with the quilt top's center edges. Fold back the batting and backing away from the quilt top, using safety pins to keep in place. Sew the quilt top halves together
(no batting or backing in the seam, please).

Close-up of the back side of left half
Back of the quilt. Note the unquilted area on the left, to be addressed later.

Left half quilted previously

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sailboats Quilting Sample

I finished quilting Joann Sets Sail tonight. I have a lot to say about how it went, along with plenty of pictures, but I don't have time to write about it tonight. I've been staying up till 2:00 the last couple of nights. It's after 1:30 now and I need to go to bed.

However, here's a photo of the practice quilting I did recently. The sample is about 9"x12". I used loop-de-loops like I did in Scrappy Stars, but I substituted little sailboats for the stars. The photo is a good representation of the quilting on Joann Sets Sail.

Sailboat Sample

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quilting in Progress

Tonight I freemotion quilted the left half of Joann Sets Sail. I did loop-de-loops and little boats. It's not perfect but it looks pretty good. I left the area near the center unquilted for now. I'll quilt the right half of the quilt tomorrow night, then join the halves and finish quilting the center areas. My idea is to sort of disguise the center seam with a wide swath of quilting.

I'll post pictures soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blue Border Attached

I added a blue border to the quilt top halves. The center vertical seam is still unsewn, as I will quilt the halves separately. I'll use 505 basting spray to hold the layers of the quilt sandwich together, leaving the center edges dry to make it easier to join the halves later. I need to practice the freemotion quilted sailboats on a scrap piece before I try them on the real quilt.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quilt Top Nearly Done

The fourth quadrant of the Ocean Waves blocks was finished a couple of nights ago. Above is pretty much what each block will look like. I laid the quadrants on the design wall and moved them around until I was happy with the look. Then I sewed the pieces together into two large sections, leaving the center vertical seam of the quilt top unsewn, as I will machine quilt each half separately.

The next step is to sew a narrow border, about 2" finished--in medium light blue to pick up the blue in the sailboat fabric. Then I'll do the freemotion machine quilting in a similar fashion as Scrappy Stars, with loop-de-loops but I'll substitute little sailboats for starbursts. I found some scribbly sailboats in the book Mindful Meandering which I bought a couple of months ago. I'll practice on scrap pieces before I tackle the real quilt.

Once the quilting is done, I'll join the halves together, then attach wide borders in burgundy, using the same method as Egrets.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Three Quadrants Finished

I've finished three of four quadrants of the Ocean Waves blocks. I'm nearly finished with the fourth quadrant. I had to re-do one section when I made a bad cut on one of the sailboat corners. I sliced off the good half instead of the "waste" half. Crud! I was able to put together another section with one of the leftover half square triangles and scraps.

The other day I went to Beverly's to pick up more sailboat fabric, which I needed to finish out the last quadrant, and to serve as backing for the borders. There wasn't much fabric left on the bolt, which surprised me since there was a lot just a couple of weeks ago. Who else would want my fabric??? Anyway, I needed 1 3/4 yards, and there were 2 1/8 yards left. I bought the whole piece. Whew, that was close!

I'll finish the last quadrant tonight. Tomorrow I'll play with the arrangement on the design board and start sewing together.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ocean Waves Quadrant Photos

The following photos show how I put together the upper left quadrants of the Ocean Waves blocks.

Using fabric squares instead of triangles

What I'm hoping to see after I sew on the sailboat fabric

Sailboat fabric pressed in half diagonally, then opened up and set in place.
Sew along the crease, top right to bottom left (follow the pin heads).

Fold back and voila!

Trim away the excess. Here's what the back looks like after trimming.
"Waste" (3 triangles) will go to Project Linus.

Here's what it looks like on the front.

One upper left quadrant of Ocean Waves, approx. 12" finished

All four upper left quadrants!
Similar to each other, but not identical. And quite scrappy.

Next I'll begin to work on the other three quadrants. Keep watching!

Ocean Waves Quadrant Finished

I've finished the upper left quadrant for the four Ocean Waves blocks of Joann Sets Sail. Pictures to be posted soon.