Saturday, April 28, 2012

Doing Over the Do-Over Quilt

I really didn't mean to wait a week to post again--it really wasn't because I was grieving over the quilt.  As a matter of fact, I took the opportunity to point out to my family just how mature and stoical I was being......I also pointed out that eye-rolling was not only rude, but also dangerous to one's health.  Instead of grieving, I got busy deciding the best way to re-do the quilt.  I didn't have enough fabric from the first one to do the quilt, so I played with what I had and looked at options.  As it turned out, I wound up with fabric combinations that I think are better than the first quilt.  See what you think:

If you have been following along with this quilt, you know that the design for the quilt came from QuilterGeek--it isn't a pattern (yet), but the idea, a diagram, and a few instructions.  I changed the size of the blocks and made a few changes in the colors.  Then I cut out the whole quilt, salvaged the backing from the first one, made the binding, wound a bunch of bobbins, and was ready to go.  The UPS guy brought the new fabric Tuesday evening, and by Wednesday evening I was sewing.  I finished sewing the last of the blocks late Saturday afternoon.  What a good thing that the shortcut for quarter square triangles makes them quick and easy---and almost fool proof!    The blocks are up on my design wall, and I'll start assembling them tomorrow.  Graduation, however, is Friday, May 4, so I'm not going to make my deadline....but a good quilt is worth waiting for.  :)

And just look at all the lovely scraps (and lots of leftovers
                in my fabric closet)
                                                 .....the possibilities are endless!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Post Mortem on a Quilt

Here's how the Tetris quilt story is playing out.....yesterday evening, I finished taking out the quilting stitches (100x140 square inches of quilting = a lot of stitches).  When I took apart the quilt sandwich, the back of the quilt top was white with the residue from the batting.  I've had occasion to take apart QIPs before and have never seen anything like this.  I can't help but feel that something had gone wrong with the batting.  Next step, rightly or wrongly, I washed the top and backing in my washing machine, which has a really, really gentle delicate cycle. 

When I removed the quilt top from the dryer, the situation actually was worse than ever---the batting shreds had rolled up in the seam allowances, apparently having latched on to the threads in the cut edges of the blocks.  At this point, it was obvious that this quilt top was a lost cause.  Even if i could remove the batting/thread rolls and balls, I feel that the integrity of the quilt--it's sturdiness--would be so compromised that I couldn't be confident it would hold up to any wear at all. 

And I'm sort of sick of the sight of it.....I would include a picture of it, but I feel too sorry for the poor thing.

Next over.  Tell you about it in my next post!  It really is true that ordering fabric IS a universal cure for sadness.  :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Not So Warm Fuzzies

Today has not been a fun quilting day.  It should have been---I finished quilting the 140 blocks of the Tetris quilt last night and got started on the border, but I realized I had a problem when I was quilting the last few rows.  This quilt has three rows of black blocks at the top and then black outer borders.  I had been dealing with a lot of lint and fuzzies on the quilt, but I assumed that they were just from the exposed batting at the edges.  But as I quilted the black blocks, I found I had a white quilting line--the batting was coming out as I drew the thread through.  I had been using a lint roller, but it wasn't working.  This is what it looked like:

Quilters are a great bunch--I asked for advice from some really busy quilters, a couple who are nationally known ones and some not so well-known.  Bottom line--once this happens, it's going to keep happening.  Washing the quilt won't help, and a lint roller will just continue to pull out more batting.  So out comes by trusty seam ripper......looks like it's going to get a lot of use in the next few days. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Quilt Faster! Faster!

I am trying to turn myself into a speed quilter right now---I am quilting on a deadline, and this is no time for dilly-dallying around, stopping often to admire my stitching, look for a magazine with a picture of a quilt I thought of, or take a break to cut up and sort a few scraps.  I have a graduation quilt to finish, and graduation is less than a month away!  Last night, I was doing elaborate math problems figuring out how soon I could finish if I did X number of blocks each day---I had to stop because my math skills tend to involve fingers and toes, and I needed both hands to keep quilting.  Here's the quilt last Monday--

Here's the quilt Wednesday--I use my Grace Z44 to baste my quilts.  I do the actual quilting in my lap using a Q-Snap frame, a square made from PVC pipe.  I like being able to turn my work this way and that as I quilt.  I keep saying that one day I'm going to try quilting in the frame, but then again, if it ain't broke. . . . .

Today is Easter Sunday, and I am plugging away at it--37 blocks in three days, and still a few more hours until bed time!

One of my guild friends shared a treasure with me this week--one that had been given to her at some point in the past by another quilter, and I'm fascinated by it.  Take a look:

These patterns, and others in the box, all seem to have come from Progressive Farmer magazine, which is still being published (and also has a very up-to-date website).  They don't seem to have any quilt patterns included any more, which makes me long just a bit for those "good old days"--until I think of all the riches a quilter can find on the internet. 

 Here's one more of the designs in the box:

Isn't this design adorable?

I remember when newspapers would have sewing and quilting patterns advertised in the classified section of the paper.  Sometimes they offered the iron on transfers by Aunt Martha, I think.  In fact, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a column on sewing in the Sunday paper for a good many years after I got married.  When I see my mother tomorrow, I'm going to ask her whether she has any patterns or newspaper clippings tucked away somewhere--maybe there's another treasure like this one, just waiting around the corner, ready to jump on my quilting "to do" list!

I hope you were blessed today by remembering that He is Risen!  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!