Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happy Sunday Quilting

Some quilting, some piecing for a happy Sunday ... the quilt on the frame is an 'early memory' quilt; the bargello is the first twelve rows from "Cosmic Twist" (along with strip sets and strip bits).

Still deciding if I will put something in the swags on the border

First twelve rows of "Cosmic Twist"

I added ten rows to the length of the design, and twenty rows to the width, to create another arc - so the quilt would be big enough for the wedding couple's bed :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quilting while watching curling

This has been a terrific week to quilt and watch curling - the Scott's Tournament of Hearts (Canadian Women's Championship) has been on all week.  

The 'Early Memory' quilts I've been plugging away at have moved to their next stages - Keiran's is off the frame, binding on and needs the hand-stitching for the binding and sleeve, and the label. Soraya's quilt has all of the applique leaves and goodies applied and is on the frame!  Pix of them in the next couple of days.

Cosmic Twist Bargello
And today was a huge day for the next quilt coming up - a wedding quilt for a delightful friend of my middlest.  The pattern decided upon is a bargello 'Cosmic Twist' (from Eileen Wright's book, "Twist-and-Turn Bargello Quilts").  Colours are mostly blues with white, and a little yellow and earth tone to co-ordinate with a 'Dr Who: Exploding Tardis' poster.  Decided I wanted to do this one in batiks. Lovelies found at my local quilt stores and some in my stash, and another handful from a delightful shop we found during our recent getaway in Phoenix.

Dr Who - Exploding Tardis poster
Supplies gathered -
fabric, iron, starch in spray bottle, rotary cutter & ruler,
numbered pins, fabric chart, cutting and placement chart 
Twenty fabrics - blues, yellow, whites and a bit of earth

Strips cut

I've extended the design to add another arc so it will be big enough.

One of the frustrations with this project is that I bought the book as a Kindle book, using the desktop app, and you (well, I can't find it!) can't print from it. Having to cut/paste into Word and print from that is a painful nuisance.

Something wonderful I've been seeing on social media - a #NoMeanGirls campaign.  Prominent quilters lifting up and praising other quilters.  Fabulous! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Redneck encoder tension device

My Pfaff Grandquilter 18.8 has been misbehaving - missing stitches.  Checked all the usual - tension, needle, levels of the quilt and bars, ensuring the rails were spotless.  The missed stitches were not consistently at one area across the quilt - sometimes near the left, sometimes near the right end.  Always on the left/right axis, not the front/back movements.

Talked to my local vendor, and the new encoders have a spring-system that holds the encoders down on the rails.  Also discovered that there are 'tires' on the encoder - 4 o-ring-type-thing-ma-hooties. Brought home new 'tires' for the encoder if mine looked damanged.

Back home, we took some bits apart to get to the encoder, took the encoder off.  Examined the 'tires' - don't see any lint, threads or damage.  But as he's taking it apart and then putting it back together, decides that maybe a low-tech solution might work ... something is needed to add downward pressure to the encoder to keep it in firm contact with the rails.  
I had seen a spring kit on the interwebs that someone was selling a few years ago, no longer in stock and can't find any other references to it.  The dealer is going to check to see if she can get some.  In the meantime, we rigged up an elastic to try to keep the encoder with just a bit more pressure.

After everything was back together, stitched for two hours, not one single missed stitch!  

Hooray for engineer farmer husbands - finding a way to fix stuff :)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Early Memory Quilt II

I've been working on a pair of 'early memory' quilts for a friend.  Have the little guy's on the longarm.  Alternating between that and doing the little gal's.  They are very different - the little princess quilt is a stylized tree - with the leaves taken from outfits. 

For this one, I wanted the background to sort of sparkle so I picked a variety of batik FQ's and made a chevron background. Appliqued the tree trunk on today, and am auditioning the 'leaf' placements.  So many very cool and fun outfits! I'm doing a lot of "oooh-ing" and "ahhh-ing".

Sneak peek ... the 'leaves' will show up better with they get appliqued to the background - will use contrast threads to jazz them up.  So far really just throwing them on the wall, will move them around to balance colours and shapes.

Quick getaway

We had been trying to get away, letting our lives get put on hold for others' schedules.  But we did it!  Got away!

And how do we do get-aways?  Sometimes we drive across the country. Phoenix was our target this trip.  Four days there (google maps says 32 hours, but it's better to fly!).  With all this time in the car passengering, I decided it was a perfect opportunity to 'skin' a quilt I quilted when I first had my longarm.  It was OK, and would have been loved by someone.  But there were puckers and looooong stitches and ungraceful designs.  I liked the fabrics - which is weird because I really didn't think pinks and greens (which were in "Nebula") were in my comfort zone, but this quilt is exactly that!!  A couple of pictures of the terrible stitching ...

And it's all unstitched!  Ready for some fluffing and to be reloaded and requilted.  Filled the car with lint from the thread!!  Even managed to not slice through any fabric while 'reverse sewing'!

Of course we found snow, being January and all.  In Texas and New Mexico. Not sure how they managed it but traffic was at a standstill for miles and miles - somehow they had gigantic swaths of chunks of ice on the highway.  Shakes the vehicles to bits to go over very slowly - can't imagine what would happen hitting these at high speeds.  Lumpy, bumpy spots.  They had plowed but somehow ended up with a mess.  Interstate 40 has many stretches of long, straight, straight, straight stretches.

We took a break at the Meteor Crater park between Holbrook and Flagstaff Arizona.  We had started seeing blobs of very different kinds of terrain - turns out they were what the meteor threw out of the crater.  Very nice museum and tour.  Nice break from all the sitting in the car.  

We spent a few days in Peoria, played a round of golf even.  Fortunately the fellows who got paired with us were patient!  This was our lunch - mine was a delightful caprese salad sandwich with garlic-parmesan fries, Don's was a southwestern wrap.  Very yummy :)

Later in the week we treated ourselves to this sinful dessert - skillet chocolate chip cookie with ice cream.  Looks like we liked it!

Nebula delivered

"Nebula" was successfully delivered to its new home - hopefully wrapping my Mom-in-love when we can't be there.

I worried - she's an expert sewist, I'm not! - too big? too small?  I should know better than to worry so much - she loved it, fit perfectly, it was all good.  

Secret Garden BOM 2016

Secret Garden Flimsy I participated in quite a few of Pat Sloan's challenges and quilt-alongs in 2016! This one, " Secret Garde...