Dresden Drama on the road to completion–finally!

I’m making a virtue out of necessity, and since I still don’t have my thread for The Misery Quilt, I’m busily quilting up the last (!) of the Dresden Plate Drama quilt I started 11+ years ago! It’ll be done this weekend…maybe today!

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Another one bites the dust!

No, I haven’t started listening to old rock from Queen, I’ve just finished another UFO! Woohoo! I had a bad design moment with some fusible web a week or so ago while I was working on the Feathered Lone Star with the bird embroidery, and now I have to start the embroidery part all over again. URGH! But that’s another rant for later. I decided to put it all back in it’s little box for a bit, and finish up the Irish Chain quilt that I’ve been working on. It was getting close to done, so I decided I could use the “boost” that comes from finishing a project right about now. So here it is:

Irish Chain

A detail view of the main motif:

Irish Chain detail

And my favorite part of the quilting, the heart chain border:

Irish Chain border

That little border was super easy, and it looks so elegant. It fit nearly perfectly too, since the repeat lined up with the squares in the chain, with only a little fudging to fit at the corners. I still have to clip thread tails off of the back, and it needs a label. I have to think of a name for it before I can label it though, and nothing is coming to mind immediately here.

I did think in the beginning that I would stipple around the motifs in the large open spaces, but my friend Brenda said “don’t do it,” and I really didn’t need to do it, especially since this is just going to lay around the house and keep someone warm. This quilt was originally a class sample from years ago, so it’s good to have it finished finally. This quilt really became the “get used to free motion quilting on the Bernina 440” quilt. The Bernina and I are fast friends now, but I still pulled out the Pfaff to put the binding on. I just wasn’t willing to try to put binding on in my usual way without my dual feed on the Pfaff. And why should I? That is why I’m keeping both machines, after all…:)

Edit: Oops! Forgot to share the stats on this quilt: cotton fabrics, Hobbs PolyDown batting (using it up so I can switch to wool!), quilted with two colors of #100 silk thread on top, Aurifil 50/2 cotton Mako in the bobbin.

A new quilt!!

Aspens on my Mind

And it’s even mostly finished! This is the new project that I started so that I would have a quilt to use for the Swarovski crystals demo at the guild in March, and I do love the way it turned out. I think if I had to do it again, I would use a different batting, probably a very low loft cotton or something like that. I used a chunk of polyester that I had around, and it’s kinda over-puffy, which I usually like, but for an artsy quilt like this it’s not quite right. I think I discovered this once before, maybe, but as I usually don’t do these types of quilts, it didn’t stick in my head. Live and learn, again. That’s what I love about quilting: there’s always more to learn, and sometimes you even get more than one opportunity to learn something!!

My mom liked it so much, she said “Oooooo – I LOVE that one!” and “As a matter of fact, it would be perfect on a wall in the new house…” Since I had thought that I would eventually ask if my Mom and Dad liked it enough to have it, I took the “hitting you over the head with a brickbat” hint (as she put it!) and told her it was hers!

It really needed to be their quilt anyway, since it made me think of the aspen trees in Pine Valley, Utah, where my parents and I used to camp and hike when I was a kid. I do have some fond memories of those camping trips when I was little, even though camping wasn’t (and isn’t) my thing, and I’m positive that I was a complete pain about it all back then (and oh, am I getting paid back in spades by my own daughter now!).

I could hear the breeze in the aspen trees in my head when I looked at this piece, so I quilted tree trunks in the left border area, waving lines in the middle for wind, and aspen leaves in the right border. I will add a few Swarovski crystals to it before it becomes part of Mom and Dad’s collection. I named the quilt Aspens on my Mind. See bigger pics in the Gallery and let me know what you think!

Favorite Things: It’s hip to be square!

Stanley Laser Level Square

Okay, I realize this is not your usual quilting type tool, and no, I’m not taking up carpentry along with all my other hats that I wear. This tool is a borderline “must have,” though, even for us quilter types, and it definitely saved me the other day as I was finishing up my latest quilt last week. I’ve never really had problems putting on the hanging sleeves and getting them straight. I’ve always just pinned them on parallel to the top of the quilt and it’s been fine, and the quilt hangs straight.

Well with this latest quilt, the top edge was scalloped, and even though I measured from the tops of the scallops to position the sleeve evenly across the top of the quilt, when I hung it up on the quilt stand to take a photo, the sleeve was obviously out of whack somewhere. It was really bad, with a great big wave in the bottom. I could tell by looking at the quilt hanging there that the sleeve ended up with a big curve in it somehow as I sewed it on, but I really couldn’t tell by looking at the sleeve itself.

So I removed the sleeve to start over again, and that’s where the Stanley Laser Level Square comes in. Continue reading Favorite Things: It’s hip to be square!

Finishing a quilt!

After a couple of marathon quilting days, I’ve just finished my latest quilt. It’s always an interesting combination of feelings when you put those last stitches in: first you heave the big sigh of relief because you’re done, and then you take a big breath and hold it while you dump the quilt in the washing machine! Then you have to wait awhile to see if it lives through it’s first bath, and I have to wait even longer, since my German washer takes way longer to run a cycle than an American one does.

No matter how many quilts I’ve made, I still worry about that first bath; will the dyes in the fabrics run? Will all my machine quilting unravel? None of these things usually happen, and I don’t really expect them to this time, but it’s still scary! Anyway, I still have some things to do before the quilt is completely done, like add crystals and some other embellishments. I’ll post some pics as soon as I get them done!