Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Quote to Integrate into a Sewing or Quilting Project

“I try to carry books with me wherever I go. Their weight has become like ballast against the churning sea of modern life, where so many real things are vanishing, and so many beautiful things are being made invisible.”

Flowering Meandering Stitch

I filled this quilt sandwich with a free motion stitch called flower meandering and I like it! And so now I want to find some free motion stitch patterns that look like clouds and waves. It's rather helpful that I can quilt on my domestic sewing machine and that this practice lends to using a long arm when I can find a half day to rent one.  These practice quilt sandwiches can also become a dust rag as well as filler for SPCA pet beds.

Happy Lotus Quilt

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Summer Piecing and Winter Quilting

Hanging in my coat closet are the quilt tops I've sewn, ready for quilting.  But I'm scared.  I'm not very good at coordinating my hand with the speed of my domestic sewing machine, and so my stitches are so not consistent, nor pretty.  Free motion quilting is much harder and physically demanding than the long arm with its steering handles and stitch regulator.  However, I'll never get any better at quilting if I farm it out to a long armer, and renting the long arm is kind of pain in the ass, schedule wise.  And so I played mechanic today and brought out my extension table and changed out the presser foot to a darning foot and just free motion stitched a sandwich with just straight lines.  Ai yi yi.  I had eyelashes or bobbin thread hanging outside the top stitches.  Out came the books.
And the beginning machine quilting book offered sage advice.  After looking at my sewing machine manual, re-threading and re-inserting the bobbin--no more eyelashes once I figured out a sewing speed which of course I couldn't maintain.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Girl Blankie

This is my grandniece, Dani, and her mommy took this pic with her holding the stuffed whale I sewed her.  She's so adorable that I always want to sew just for her.
And so I did!  I had sewn her already a twin sized quilt with her family tree that's really more suitable for hanging on a wall, but every child needs a blankie that she can drag around and tuck herself and her dollies under.  I've always loved nine patch, and these blocks I actually pieced years before she was born.  I'm so happy to have finished this just for her:)

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Free Motion Quilting Practice

I've been wanting to break away from the meander stitch and matchstick quilting with my walking foot though I love both and both are such necessary stitches when it comes to quilting.  And so I've been practicing pebbles, swirls and then resorting to my wishbones when frustrated.
Yesterday's Pebbles

Today's Pebbles

What I was neglecting to do with pebbles was to reverse direction in making the next pebble.  I improved by being conscious of where to go next and just rounding my motions.
 Swirls.  I love 'em but I'm not very good at them.  Practice practice practice!  It'll come in time I know, but I've also slowed my machine speed to medium rather than fast which has seemed to improve my stitches.

And here's my practice block which I've over quilted but is helping me to figure out how much quilting and what stitches to use on my stash busters sampler row by row quilt.