Special Preview of the latest quilt, only for weblog friends!

Grasping Reality: Fifteen

I’ve posted a picture of the quilt I just finished this week, Gransping Reality: Fifteen, just for my weblog readers. It is mostly finished, though I still have to put more Swarovski crystals on it. Stay tuned for more information about the quilt, how the idea was born and it’s design and construction. Enjoy!


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!

Eye on the Machine: On the Edge

Here’s the view from my sewing chair today:

Appliquilting on the edge

This quilt has been an interesting exercise in following the line, but not quilting on the line. Let me explain. See, I’m quilting right on the edge of all the appliqué pieces, so that means following the edge of the piece, but not quilting on the line that I’m following, which requires a bit of an adjustment. When you’re used to watching a marked line just ahead of the needle to machine quilt, it’s a bit weird to have to watch to the side a little to get the needle to go where you want. I think my quilting could be better quality-wise, but it gets better as I go. Of course, I’m just about done with the “on the edge” parts anyway now, and ready to start the background quilting, so hopefully I can have this done by October 1st. Always a deadline…

Eye on the Machine—Quilt of Many Colors

Here’s the view today:

Lots of different colors of thread!

I was looking forward to using many different colors of thread on this quilt, since I wanted to match or coordinate with the appliqué pieces for the quilting. I have been collecting threads for a while (variegated threads are just as hard to resist as fat quarter bundles for me!) and getting to actually use them on something was exciting. So, all that being said, changing the thread color every few minutes is somewhat painful, as is winding a bobbin with every different thread. I’m running out of empty bobbins! I used a white Fairy Frost fabric for the backing, and I wanted to see the quilting on the back in all the different colors. I’m hoping the back will look sort of like a line drawing of the front when it’s done.

I really didn’t even consider using just one color of thread on the back (which would have taken care of the bobbin problem), because I would have had pop-throughs of different colors of thread on the back, as well as bobbin thread on the top, no matter how well the tension was adjusted on the machine. That’s just the way of it when free motion quilting in all directions, you’re always going to have a spot where the tension doesn’t behave just right, and it has nothing to do with how good your machine or your technique is. My standard rule is to always match the threads on the top and backing to avoid this problem.