Monday, May 30, 2016

Behind the Scenes

Another week of chipping away at things.  Unfortunately an hours progress on FM quilting does not lead to any dramatic photos!  Quilting the background area of a quilt with large "negative space" is rather daunting.  I started in the middle and have somewhat worked my way outwards... going around the stars.  I've even gotten to the outside edge of some areas.  So it was a real good feeling to spread my quilt out and inspect exactly how much was left of what can feel like an endless project.  Instead of doing actual sewing, I spent my sewing day cutting the pieces for my next VQR sampler block.  I am feeling really positive about things.

So in lieu of exciting progress photos... we have a new quilt on the bed!

This is an extremely large quilt... check out that overhang on a queen size mattress.

The fabrics are cheap and cheery Spotlight fat quarters... the colours loosely chosen from several large prints.  So greens, aquas, pinks, oranges just all flow together.  This quilt pattern was in a book about Three Colour Quilts (upsized and log cabins blocks adjusted to be irregular) - the stars one colour, the log cabins another, plus the background the third colour.  I approached it from a slightly different perspective, where the colour areas covered "all" colours, not just one colour.

What do I love most about this quilt?  Probably the soft, washed look of it - almost like a beach house style.  Comfortable, vintage... love it.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Baby Steps and Getting Back on the Pony

OK, so that is one mixed metaphor... but I knew that getting back into a routine, any routine, would mean finding a system that wasn't too big, too hard, too cold, too hot or too annoying.  So after doing some hard thinking, I decided Tuesday and Thursday afternoons would be my new thing.  Maybe FMQ on Tuesday and regular sewing on Thursday.  One hour each day, between 4 and 5pm.  Last week was my first try, and I'm happy to report - it worked out pretty well.

It has been ages since I've done any real FMQ work.  So pulling out my constellation quilt and getting back into the swirl quilting was funky at best.  I thought I would have problems maintaining stitch length from that lack of practice, but actually, the problem was achieving smooth curves/spirals. 

For anyone who has problems with their stitch length, I think your problem is probably with keeping your speed even on your foot pedal.  If you can reduce your speed on your machine to half, you will find that you can operate with the foot pedal fully depressed... so there is less variation.  You can control your movements better, and get pretty smooth stitch length too.  Anyway, I digress: We have Progress People!

On Thursday, I finished off my own version of the little Cross block

And put it on the design wall to make friends...

Monika's version of the block is different again...

But has no problems making friends...

It wasn't until after that I realized that the two blocks are on the same row, only one block separating them, so I'm going to have to do some reorganization.  Typical!

And on a positive note, I'm looking forward to doing some more FMQ tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Up to date

Well, the two weeks of school holidays went pretty fast in the end - week one was spent at home with no car... the sucky thing about living in the country is no public transport, taxis or the ability to walk anywhere useful.  Week two was spent catching up with everything I couldn't do in week one.  So we visited friends, went to another stitching evening at Charlottes (which Nadia called in a very lady like term a "stitch and female dog"), visited Spotlight in Whangarei and caught up with my Mum (and bought a roll of batting).

Returning to work after two weeks away is always a bit difficult.  Clearing the in box, the piles of clutter and just getting back into the headspace takes a while.  It is still quite busy at work, so the last two weeks at work have been like a mouse on a wheel... and just in case you've never seen me, I don't have the legs for running!

I caught up on some of my VQR Exchange blocks - where I have given Monika her copy, but had not quite finished piecing my own copy.  And finished a new block to share.  This is a fun block - not overly hard, and could be a good way to use charm squares.

And just because I could, I emptied my design wall of all the odd things I had hanging up there, and started laying out my blocks so far... the downside of having a small sewing space is that it is impossible to get far enough away to fit the whole design wall into your camera frame.

So standing on a wheelie chair... we have the left hand side...

... and the right hand side.
I think the colours have come up a bit more "punchy" than real life, but looking good so far.

I managed to get a few more triangles pieced for the next Sugar Club Exploded block, but damn... those triangles could kill me.  I just keep reminding myself that there are only nine blocks... but we've all been here before - sometimes nine is just the same as ninety nine.

I have resolved to try to get some actual FM quilting done.  Part of my problem with quilting (and or life) in general has been getting back into some sort of routine.  One thing I am aware of in my own makeup, is that once a routine is broken, I will never return to the same routine.  I have worked on my morning routines this year, and as we start term two, I'm pretty happy how that is going.  Now to work on something better for the afternoons.  I think that if I'm going to do any FM work, it should be on my Constellation Quilt - which is half quilted and really deserves to be finished
OK, now I need to click on the Constellation Quilt label at the bottom of this post, because I am sure I must have more photos than this unfinished one.