The Misery Quilt progresses

I’ve been positively voluble lately. Maybe it’s because I finally feel recovered from the holidays or something. Today though, I give you fewer words and the promised pictures of The Misery Quilt in all it’s in progress, pain filled glory:

Inner border quilting, side center

I’ve hit a milestone: all the quilting lines that I marked with blue washout marker in October before I basted the quilt have now been quilted. Well, except for this little bit here that I missed, and didn’t notice until after I squirted the area with water:

background quilting around Sawtooth border

I hate it when that happens! That’s an easy fix at least. Now that all the marked lines have been quilted, I can mist the whole thing with water to dissipate the blue marker a little at least, since the quilt is isn’t anywhere close to finished, and I don’t want the marker to sit there on the fabrics any longer than strictly necessary. Continue reading “The Misery Quilt progresses”

Yes, I really do quilt

Lest you think that it’s all talk and no quilt around here, I took a couple of pics of The Misery Quilt yesterday so you can see the progress. This is part of the center of the Feathered Lone Star, quilted with a Diane-shiko design which I learned from Diane Gaudynski:

Misery Quilt Center

The Diane-shiko design is pretty easy to quilt, but it’s usually done on a square grid instead of this diamond grid, so that made it a bit harder, and being in the center of the quilt didn’t help much either. I was really glad to get that part done!

This picture shows the quilting around one of the birds which are in the setting squares around the center star.

Quilting around hummingbird

The blue marker is still on it unfortunately, but you get the idea! Take a look at these pictures to see the inspiration for the quilting designs. All of the quilting is done in #100 silk thread. I’m almost done with the “design” quilting; there are only three birds left to quilt around, and then I have to do all the background quilting. I’ve almost hit a milestone, but there’s a long way to go yet!

Short update: The Misery Quilt

Here’s a pic of some of the quilting in the border of the Misery Quilt:

Quilted Motif in Border

I’m pretty happy with the look, and a couple of really serendipitous things are happening. I’ve quilted all the large motifs around the outside border, and decided to experiment with a bit of echo quilting around this one to see how it would turn out. The first echo line was quited with a darker shade of thread than the design itself, and the second echo line was a shade darker than that.

When I got around to the third echo line, I got tired of not being able to see the quilting lines so well to follow them with the next echo line, so I turned the quilt over and quilted it from the back. When I checked the front again, the “puff” between the second and third echo lines was distinctly fatter than the the rest, so it created a bit of a textural ridged border around the whole motif!

I really have no idea why this happens, but on other parts of the quilt where I’ve quilted two lines of quilting from the top of the quilt that are really close together like this, the puff on the back is raised a bit like a little ridge. I suspect that it’s due to some flaw in the way I’ve basted the thing (not enough pins, not evenly basted or whatever), but as long as I can use this “flaw” to my advantage, who cares?

I plan to quilt more this weekend, because if I don’t that Christmas deadline is going to pass me by. There are shows I want to enter with this quilt next year, and one has an entry deadline of February or March, and if the quilting is done by Christmas I might just make that one. I say “might” because there’s a lot of other stuff I want to do to it after the machine quilting is done that will take some time, and February or March might be cutting it really close. And no, I’m not telling what all that other stuff is either, it’s my little secret for now. 😎 Stay tuned!

Focused

After a couple of extremely nonconstructive days Thursday and Friday dealing with plans for the Guild Quilt Show that I’ve volunteered to organize for next April (more on that big fun at a later date, when I can be a bit more positive about it all), I spent today tracing quilting designs on the outer border of The Misery Quilt. I think I put in about ten or eleven hours on it, and could probably do the same tomorrow, if my back will let me, before it would be ready for basting.

I can really use the life break that is a Quilt Retreat

I’m beginning to see the light at the end of that tunnel, but I know that if I break to work on something else, I’ll lose that focus. If I lose the focus, I may not make that Christmas completion deadline like I’d like to. So, despite the fact that this is a show quilt and I need to be able to concentrate fully on the machine quilting, I’m considering taking it to the Quilt Retreat next weekend to work on it there. The four solid days of quilting would be a great way to get a lot of it done, but I’m not sure I can do my best machine quilting in a room full of 25-30 other quilters and machines. Hopefully, I can be in sync with my Bernina like I was at the last retreat, but no guarantees. Hmmm. Have to think on that some more.

If I don’t take the show quilt to the Retreat, then I have to spend some time between now and Thursday morning whipping something else into shape to take with me to work on. Not that I don’t have enough projects in progress around to just pick one, but it’s a detour that I’m not sure I want to take at the moment. Continue reading “Focused”

My Misery Quilt takes shape, finally

Drumroll, please…I did get the center of the dang thing put together as I’d hoped to, and here’s the pic to prove it (click for a bigger picture):

Birds Quilt

The more astute among you will notice a distinct lack of curvy pieces anywhere. Yes, after all was said and done, the curvy pieces I had in my head never did materialize! And, the border pieces you see around some of the birds weren’t planned either. I had a really bad machine embroidery day, and things just kept going wrong. It was partly distraction and inattention on my part, and partly just the little hiccups that can happen with machine embroidery. It got down to the point where I was out of background fabric, and the bird I was working on right then was shaping up to be another mess, and I ended up going back to the first set of completed birds (the ones that were trimmed down to remove the fusible web and were thus too small to work). I stuck the too small birds in the corners, and added the border print frames to bring them up to size, and all is well. It looks better than it would have with the curvy pieces anyway.

Now, this is just the center portion of the quilt. I’m working on a Sawtooth border all the way around, and a very wide, 10″ or so, lighter border on the outside. There are still more design challenges to overcome though, because with the Sawtooth border and the 10″ plain border, the quilt finishes out at 77″ or something, which is just not a logical size for anything. I’m debating on an embroidered border, or a pieced and embroidered border or something like that, or maybe a curvy scalloped border around the outside. I’m determined to get some curvy parts in there somehow! I have three more hours until the family walks through the door after their weekend away, so I’m off to be creative!