Thursday, April 22, 2010

Almost Done

It's been a while since I wrestled with a big quilt under the Juki.  I've got 5 hours into the quilting so far and I'd say another 2 hours to go.  YAY!  I never mark my quilts.  I just start in the middle and work my way around, usually in one overall design when I'm working on a big quilt with busy fabric.  For this quilt I chose a loopy flower that I made up.  The flowers change in size and number of petals depending on where I am and how much space I have.  I get really excited when the quilt is at this point- so close and yet so far, too.  I always bind by hand and this quilt is 76" x 86" so it'll take me 5 or more hours to do the binding.  But then I will have my very own couch quilt.

I made Jay a couch quilt last January just after I got the Juki.  I have 3 machines now.  The Juki is a TL98Q and I love, love, love it!  It is a simple straight stitch machine, but it's super fast, at 1600 stitches per minute.  I do all my quilting on it, and occasionally some piecing.

Machine # 2 is a new Bernina Aurora 430.  It's got all the bells and whistles the Juki lacks, like fancy stitches, button hole choices, and a great zigzag.  I didn't get the stitch regulator.  For me, one of the best parts of quilting is the challenge of making stitches uniform in size.  It took me months of daily practice to achieve consistent stitch length, of which I am very proud.

As a backup, I've also got an old Pfaff 7570 that I purchased from a quilter that had bought a newer model Pfaff.  I actually bought this machine to replace my original Bernina 1090 I bought way back in 1994.  I got sucked into a "Pfaff Cult" and was convinced to trade my Bernina away for a Pfaff, which I did.  I regretted that decision the moment my old Bernina was shipped off to a lovely lady in Utah.  After months of trying to love the Pfaff I gave up, caved in, and bought the new Bernina.   I haven't looked back since and am happily a Bernina girl once again.

Since I've also been doing garment sewing I bought a Bernina Serger too.  So I guess I actually have 4 machines all together!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"S" Quilt Back is Pieced too!

I used a bunch of my lime and purple hand-dyed cotton sateen and paired it with left overs from the top to come up with 4 HUGE blocks  for the back of my yellow "s" quilt.  I made an 18" x 76" strip set, added some sashing, and presto, done!

I did get to do more dyeing over the weekend, as the weather was just gorgeous.   I don't have all of my fat quarter to show you, cause I SOLD them!! to a lovely lady from the Asheville Quilt Guild.  Yup, I sold some of my hand-dyeds!!  Woohoo.  Maureen is making one of the blocks for the Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary Quilt also.  She is doing a landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I whipped up a bunch of blues/violets, and some "fall foliage" looking pieces.  I managed to get some pics before she came by for them.

These are the blues/violets for the mountains in the background

A nice piece with oranges, greens, blues, browns, yellows

I played with a new fabric; a cotton/linen blend.  It may become my new favorite fabric.  I'm going to make a skirt and see how it sews up.  One of my new quilting friends, Carrie, turned me on to it.  She uses it as a base fabric for pillows and for sashing in her quilts, also.  

Pinks, purples, and reds on cotton/linen

Reds, golds, rust on cotton/linen

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Vera Bradley Fabric and 2 Easy and Quick Projects

I dyed up a bunch of lime and purple yesterday for the back of the "S" quilt.  I am going to piece the back with an 18" x 76" strip set of all the fabrics I used on the top along with giant blocks made from the lime and purple.

Lime and Purple with the strip set

It rained all day today, so I put more dyeing on the back burner.  I am excited that one of my fellow guild members, Maureen, has asked me to dye some special fabric for her block for the Blue Ridge Parkway Commemorative Quilt.  But the fun will have to wait till tomorrow when it's sunny and warm.

In the meantime, I whipped up a little pouch and matching pin cushion from some Vera Bradley 4" squares I bought eons ago on ebay.  My original intention for the fabric was to make something for Rachel, but she wasn't crazy about the fabric, so I made something for me!! WOW!
I used some fusible interlining and a juicy red for the inside.  I'm going to use it to carry my marking pencils and other small tools when I'm working away from my sewing room.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yellow "S" Quilt is pieced!

I really enjoyed piecing this yellow "s" quilt top, designed by K Fassett.  After doing such tedious piecing work on the lone star, this project was a nice reprieve.  The hardest part was figuring out the instructions provided.  Sometimes pattern writers try to save space by being cryptic, and this pattern was no exception.  If I didn't have the color photo of a finished quilt, I would've been lost.  I ended up counting the number of 10.5" strips I saw in the finished quilt to interpret just how to cut the strips.  And the cutting of strips took me longer than the piecing.  I think I spent almost 7 1/2 hours just cutting and cutting and cutting some more.

My Yellow "S" Quilt top