Thursday, January 27, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Again with the Nicey Jane

It feels a bit odd to be back in my studio after a month of no quilting.  I had a couple of things left that needed finished off but while those are coming together I'm starting to imagine my next project(s).  Like a lot of you, this year I want to focus on thinning my stash or at least using some of the fabric collections I absolutely had to have.  I'm itching to cut into a Sunkissed layer cake but I've also got some lovely piles of Verna, Neptune, Aviary, Mendocino, Martinique... lying around my studio.  What I'm lacking at the moment are ideas and for me the best way to generate ideas is to just start sew something.  Back to the Nicey Jane stash box I went and came up with this.  It was mostly designed to fit a batting remnant I had that was the perfect size for a baby quilt.  I've got it basted and will just add some straight line quilting to finish it up. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What would you do?

This quilt popped up on my design wall a few times last year but I never explained what was going on.  I made this to donate to my kids' school auction.  It's more or less an original design using an Aster Manor layer cake with additional yardage.  I don't love it, it's a bit too red and country for my taste, but that's OK since it was intended to be given away. 

Anyway, I finished piecing the top and spent today quilting it on the longarm.  I rent time on a longarm machine which has pros and cons.  Since a longarm isn't really in my budget at the moment it's the only way I get to use one.  I think this is the 6th quilt I've done and I've been pretty happy with the results.  On the downside, I don't usually know how I'm going to quilt it in advance so I can't plan my sizing accordingly.  It hasn't really been an issue before but today it bit me in the a**.  Somewhere my calculations were off so I have three rows of feathers that should have filled the center of the quilt and left the borders empty and I would have added some filler at home.  Instead, on one side the feather  falls in to the border a bit on the other there's a 2" gap between the feather and the border.  Ugh!!!  I didn't notice it until I got home and started unpinning my zippers but now I'm totally freaking.  I don't want to donate it since I don't think it represents my talent.  I don't think I can live with it in my house.  It seems a complete waste to throw it away.  I've heard of people being unhappy with the way a quilt was quilted and ripping out the whole thing but I thought they were completely insane.  Am I that crazy?  I'm not going to look at it again until Friday, maybe it will look better by then.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Finish of 2011

This was going to be my entry in the New England Modern Quilt Guild's holiday mini challenge. I spent a lot of time on the design and figuring out the best way to transfer the design. Then I spent a lot of time practicing the quilting. My machine quilting has come a long way this year but it's still not in my comfort zone. Once I got to the quilting it went really quickly and I had everything done except the small tree and the hills which were just straight line quilting with my walking foot. Of course life happened and everything else I had to get done for the holidays and before I left on vacation took over. I knew even making it to the meeting was a pipe dream, the next day was our annual holiday cookie decorating party and I had to make cookies for 40-some families... and make teacher gifts, and pack for Florida... Surprise, surprise, it didn't happen!

So a month later I was back and this was my top priority. I was sure I could have it completely finished within 2 hours and I really liked what I had so far, it seemed like an easy finish. Except, I was worried about my shakey machine quilting skills after a month of no sewing and my faintly marked quilting design had all but disappeared. More practice but finally I decided I just had to go for it and now I can call it done.