Oct 21, 2010

Time for my monthly check in....

Seriously, I just can't get this blogging thing down. I think it would be easy to document what I've been doing at least once a week, but preferably twice. I'm actually doing stuff to blog about but I have a hard time documenting. Right now, I have a horrible cold so I'm sitting back in my comfy chair and finally updating. Nothing like an illness to make you sit back and reflect on what you'd rather be doing. (my sister just Tweeted me they had this last week right before we visited them)

Quilting: Now here is where I'm actually making progress. I've worked on it quite steadily for a while but then my allergies started sucking the life out of me. I've been sitting around reading blogs and  message boards for the last week and a half as my allergy medicine just doesn't seem strong enough anymore. I've found a lot of great inspiration and I'll be ready to get back at my current WIP as soon as I'm well from this cold.

Here's what I've done on my quilt thus far: I broke the center of my quilt up into four sections and pieced each section together, 2 blocks X 3 blocks, 3 blocks X 3 blocks, 3 blocks X 4 blocks and 2 blocks X 4 blocks. This is according to one of the plans in Marti Michell's Machine Quilting in Sections book. I layered the first section, 2X3, with the batting and backing making sure there will be enough to lay the border over on the left and top side and very little where this section will join with the others later. I pin basted it and then rolled up the sides with the exposed batting. The Free Motion Quilt Along has been going on over at A Few Scraps Blog, you can join anytime. I had been keeping an eye on it because she makes it look so fun and easy but I hadn't decided to join in because I wanted to make this quilt. I realized after basting I could use this quilt for the quilt a long after all. Now this quilt is truly a sampler in technique and quilting designs. I've been quilting the curvy designs in the blue and the straight line ones in the red with the yellow catching the others. Here's a couple of pictures:



I'm amazed at how the FM quilting has taken a plain quilt and given it so much texture! I'm in love with what I can do!



This is the back of the same section. I love all the texture! I've finished 3 so far with the 4th basted and ready to go before I got sick. I started by stitching in the ditch along the zigzags. I like to do it because I can take out most of my pins as I've moved along and it makes the blocks show up on the back. On one section I got so excited to quilt I didn't stitch in the ditch and I had to keep stopping to remove pins and when I turned it over it looked odd because it had too much open space and didn't flow into each other. My straight quilting isn't very straight and I don't have as much fun with it as the curvy stuff but I'm still practicing. I'm also afraid that i got very tired of quilting the same thing over and over. I can't imagine stippling an entire quilt unless I was on a tight schedule.

The next step in this quilt, after quilting the last section, is to sew all four sections together with strips to cover the seams on the back. The book says this can be done with a blind hem foot but I've never used it so I may finish the strips off by hand this time. Then I need to cut the borders and sew them on, quilt the borders and bind, I've already made the binding.

I like this technique for making quilts because I don't have to do everything at once. I like going back and forth doing steps in sections. It suits the way I work and keeps my attention which should lead to more finished quilt tops. I think maybe next time I'd use a pieced border so  I don't have to add them after joining the sections together. Then I could just join the sections after quilting, trim and bind and be finished.

So this may be it for me for another month. With the holiday season coming I don't know when I'll post again between working retail and sewing. I just hope I don't feel as run down this year as last. I'd better start taking my vitamins!