Thursday, October 30, 2014

Progress on Mom's Quilt

I have some good news!

Remember the quilting project my mom and I started back at the beginning of April?

Well...we are reaching a critical point in the process. She is currently working on the last block that we NEED to do in order to make this quilt. I have some others that are made just in case we don't like a particular block for some reason...color or whatever.

I made a design board some time ago using those huge sheets of insulation/styrofoam that they have at Home Depot etc. I covered it with flannel that I got at JoAnn's on sale.  It's big an awkward right now because it's living in my living room, not my studio. But it will allow us to lay the blocks out so that we can determine the layout of the quilt.

After that, I will begin to sew the blocks together, using the method I found in Georgia Bonesteel's book.

We will still need to choose some border fabrics and attach the borders.

A couple of months ago I made my mom a table topper using (I hope) all of the various methods that I will be using on the big quilts. That let me work out the kinks a bit.

I still have a tremendous amount of work to do on this quilt and mom still has many blocks on the other one she is working on, but it's nice to see light at the end of the tunnel.

I will for sure post pictures when we get the layout figured out.

Monday, July 28, 2014

So, I have a new little sample to show you. It's about 18" square, and done on some hand dyed muslin that I dyed about 100 years ago. I did the quilting using several threads, including Floriani polyester, Superior Threads Masterpiece, and some Sulky rayon. I used Superior threads Bottom Line in the bobbin.All three required some adjustments to my top tension. This was stitched on my Pfaff Performance 2058.

This was really fun to do! one day soon I am going to make a proper...something! I still need to bind this off, as well as all my other practice things...I don't mind binding really, so I don't know why I put this step off!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Greetings everyone! I apologize for not posting for a bit (ack! a whole month!!!) but things have been kind of busy around here - which, while I don't subscribe to the idea that the busier you are the better a person you are - sometimes that is how it is, and things get away from you.

Anyway, I don't have too much to report - not much quilting from mom going on right now - summer is not conducive to hand quilting apparently - but I have been practising endlessly on my free motion machine quilting.

After a slight mishap with my Pfaff - it's presser foot motor died on my and wouldn't even turn on!- we are back in business and I am in the process of making some note and sample and stuff about what threads I am using, the tension I used that worked best, and so on. Fussy stuff, really, and not the kind of thing I like to do much of, but I think it will be helpful in the long run. At least, I hope so.

I got a message that my mom's vintage Kenmore 19410 is back from the spa, so I will be going to pick that up tomorrow I hope. I can hardly wait to try free motion on it, just to see what it's like. I did a wee bit before I sent it in for a tune up and what was most interesting to me is that you don't use a foot at all on it.  Also, I can say that you get REALLY used to the automatic needle-down feature of computerized machines.

I've been searching in vain for fellow users of the Pfaff 2058 like I have, but so far to no avail. Apparently my machine is 'old'.  As in, it's 6 or 7 years old. Sheesh. Still, it's what I have, and I like it just fine. And if I ever get another machine, I will keep this one. I don't know that I want to do all the research that a new machine would require.

So, until I can post again, here are a couple of pictures to tide you over (or is is tie you over?)

Those two heart shapes were inspired by the class I just signed up for on Patsy Thompson's far so good! I have learned a lot from my Craftsy classes and am so glad I have that option! getting to actual classes is so hard for me! yay for the internet!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Gifts for my SIL and an update on my free motion progress

So much for my well intentioned plans of not letting my blog slide too much.

I did want to share a bit of what I have been working on though!

First, my SIL Rebecca had her birthday recently and my mom and I made her a few things.

I made her these bowls - the pattern is in a book called First Steps to Free Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli:

I also made her a set of pincushions, because, you know, a girl can never have too many:

My mom had quilted these placemats some time ago and I finally got my act together and finished the binding:

By the way, My SIL Rebecca Peacock took the pictures of these. she's so much better at taking pics than I am!!!

And then there are my endless (ok, not endless) samples of practice free motion quilting:

this is not all I have, but it's all I have pictures of at the moment. enjoy! More to come!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Is blogging dead? And...a new quilting project's been a few days! I am determined not to let my blog fall by the wayside...again.

I have been getting a few things done though, so that's feeling pretty good.

After a few posts and comments on facebook, I suppose I have to accept that it's possible that the personal blog is dead. Sigh.

I hope that's not true but I fear it might be. I go to all kinds of blogs when I am searching for information - I love some them! I never really noticed if they were something that was sponsored, or had a lot of followers...I just know that there is a wealth of information out there and my hope is that maybe someday one of my posts will be of use to someone.

At any rate, I find this is a good place to share what I have been working on and thus retain it for my own benefit. I'm not really a journal-keeping type of person, although I have tried in the past.  Just not really my thing...although I love seeing other people's journals!

Anyway...on to what I have been working on...

My mom and I have been working on making little quilted things for MONTHS now. She loves to hand quilt. She has macular degeneration and so we all know that she will not be able to do this forever, but until that day comes, I am making every effort to provide her with little projects to work on. Some months ago we decided we wanted to try making a proper quilt - you know - for a bed or something! Revolutionary!!!

Only one problem....

I had never pieced anything much, and because of my mom's eyesight she wanted to be able to quilt using no hoop or frame of any kind. She's had great success doing this with our small projects. And I can tell you that I wish I had known about spray basting MONTHS ago!!! I just bought some and lo and behold she LIKES it!! woot!


There is NO WAY that she is going to be able to quilt a big quilt using no hoop or frame. So...

I put on my Trouble_Shooting Hat (I wear this a lot).

After much thought and research on the internet (for all it's faults, I love the internet!!) we have decided to try doing this quilt in sections. So I will piece, mark and make small quilt sandwiches (probably around 18") and she will quilt them and then I will put them together. I found some terrible quality youtube videos of Georgia Bonesteel's method for doing this and I think that will be the method we go with.  I am going to continue to do research and we are currently working on samples to make sure that she can do that size with no hoop etc. (it's possible we can go bigger, which would be great!) and then we are going to do some samples where I actually try to put them together....

We'll see how it goes.

I spend a lot of my time trying to make my mom's life a little easier and more pleasant by figuring out projects for her to work on. I ALWAYS have to keep in mind her vision issues. I always have to think to myself, 'will she be able to see this? is the fabric too dark/light/patterned? are the marks dark enough? Too dark?' and so on... Macular degeneration is not like being far sighted or near sighted. It's completely different. and hard to understand. I do the best I can, based on her descriptions... It's a tough one and my hope is that someday there will be a cure...

I promise to post pictures as I go - because...who knows who might benefit from my screw-ups?!?!

Now, a picture or two for your enjoyment:

this is a little quilted thing I made for my mom's table - in celebration of us finishing the most TEDIOUS embroidery project EVER. Really!

this was a tablecloth we put together some years ago (yes, years!) and it was so annoying to do, that we kept putting it away and would get it out on occasion and then put it away again.  It was SO GRUBBY from being handled for...I don't even know how long...5 years?

But while I was cleaning my studio she got it out and was determined to finish it. And she did! Well, I did a little bit of work on it, and I certainly helped by threading needle after needle for her, but really it was 90% her! Iput the little binding edge on there after it was done.

I wanted to make a complete vignette - a lovely table setting for her - I had to go several places to find the right flowers and we already had the vase...


OK - that's enough for now... I should go back and check this for typos but am too excited to share! maybe later!