Have not been on the blog recently as I had been trying to finish off my Disappearing Four Patch...we are off to Europe this evening and I really thought that I would manage to knock this off. That was until I encountered the rippling effect in the inner border. Could not believe it!
Well, of course, I set about to fix this. Even worked out what the problem was. I had used the wrong bobbin thread with the Monofilament thread in the top which affected the overall tension. Yep, this is what happens when you try to do things in a hurry. Re-did the inner border and subsequently have to re-do also the outer border. This will now have to wait until we come back in the new year.
So, the quilt is still not finished...however I am much more happy with the borders.
Have still not packed...old habits die hard. I am one of those who packs in the last minute. We are going to Germany to visit my family. My blog may become a travel blog over the next month if I am able to upload some photos...we'll see. I have not been home for the past 23 years, so this should be interesting.
He is coming, as is the baby quilt...
Well, I better get going. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and great start to the New Year. Looking forward to joining in the various activities in the new year. This break might give me some time to sort through the various projects that I have planned for the year (which have grown to alarming proportions, as usual).
Have not been very active on the web, but got a lot done on my quilt. Life is hectic around here at the moment...moved offices at work and on the home front preparing for our big trip overseas.
Finished the stippling across the middle section and quilted around the borders with invisible Monofilament thread. All was going well. I then wanted to quilt a simple line in the inner black border and ran into major problems.
Yep, serious pulling of the fabric. I took this out and tried again. Also changed the thread from black to brown as I have a light background and the bobbin thread had a habit of popping through. I am now using brown on top and taupe in the bottom. Also noticed that I have bearding again...only on the black fabric though. I wonder whether this has to do with the quality of the fabric. I bought the black as an addition to the fat quarters that I had...while I did notice that it was not quite as luxurious than the other material, I thought it would be ok...I am now wondering, because this is just too bizarre.
Next step was to reduce the presser of the presser foot... have not really experimented with this before but It did make a little bit of a difference, but still some pulling as it went along. Tomorrow I will have another go at it...this time I pinned the whole strip down again to try to avoid movement. If that does not work, I will leave it, I reckon...this is just too annoying.
On the positive side, we bought a new camera for our trip...bit more fancy schmancy ...as you can see I am practising my photography (yep, even played with that manual button). The top photo is a bit underexposed and the bottom one is overexposed. I have even started to read the manual and I am hoping that I will be able to put up some better pictures in the future. This camera does some really good close up shots and has this screen that you can pop out and tilt, so that you can take shots from above without straining your neck...very handy indeed.
Let's hope this will work...I have got 2 more weeks left before our trip and I really need to get this done.
Finally tackled the FMQ on my disappearing Four Patch quilt. Decided to go with an overall meander given the business of the quilt top.
I chose a 40/2 Aurifil thread in light green. Usually I use the 50/2 Aurifil thread but I had 2 spools of 40/2 thread sitting around, so I thought that I would give that a go. I love this thread...works beautifully and is the right strength for an overall meander. I am using a 80/12 Denim/Jeans needle for this.
So, off I went and straight away the issue of scale presented itself...I practised a bit on a smaller practice piece but gave up on that as it just does not compare with the 2m monster that I am doing.
This is what it looked like under the machine to get to the approximate middle of the quilt.
Squashed under the throat of the machine with the bulk of half the quilt top placed in front of where I am going to start quilting. The side not under the machine to the left is just loosely folded over so it does not drag...
Well, had several starts as I was a bit out of practice but got there in the end. In terms of scale I aimed for about 1/2inch apart.
I started off a bit awkwardly and just managed to get back into the swing of things, warming up as I went along...when I stood back after I had done an entire quarter I noticed that I did much more sweeping movements later on, so my scale is slightly off...the lines had become longer and the shapes itself somewhat bigger (probably a bit hard to see in the photos, but believe me, it's there).
This annoyed me to no end until I got a grip on myself, hence the title of my post...no, I am not a machine and no matter how hard I strive this will never be consistent. I think I have this issue with every quilt top I am stippling...it takes a while to find a rhythm and settle into a particular scale and there will always be areas that will look slightly different and this will only become apparent when you are actually quilting over your quilt top rather than on those little practice samples. For example, now I have had an afternoon break from this and when I go back in the evening, no doubt, I will start off slightly denser and smaller again. I really had to remind myself in the end that this is the charm of handmade items, those little inconsistencies, odd shapes and all sorts of other issues in the execution of our work. As you can see, this gets me every time...
Anyway, I will stipple the middle section of the quilt and then probably do some lines in the black borders to de-emphasize that section....we'll see
This is probably getting boring as I have been showing the same thing at slightly different stages over and over again, but I am finally done with the quilt top!..(and what a bugger this was to piece together). Turned out a bit on the bigger side, i.e. approx. 62"x 70". It sort of evolved as I went along as most quilts do.
Now I only have to get some backing and I am on my way...looking forward to the quilting of this top. Still thinking that a general meandering design would look good as it is quite busy.
After I messed up my rows, I had to re-do some of my blocks which slowed me right down. I am glad though that I did persist with my original layout...this is exactly how I wanted it to look. Actually not that easy to get that organised 'thrown together' scrappy look where the colour distribution is just right. And while this might sound a bit obsessive, for me there is nothing worse than finishing a quilt with that sinking feeling of ...gee, I wish I had done this differently after months of working on it.
It turned out beautiful
This is the continuation of the borders that I will work on today. Again, the distribution of colour around it was a bit of trial and error to get it right. I design my quilts in EQ7 and while I had the body of the quilt all worked out in the program, for those surrounding strips I actually had to lay them out on the floor to see how this all interacts.
There will be another black border to finish it off. The effect I was going for was for the viewer to be instantly drawn to the fabric (as this is my very special fabric, that was so special it had not been touched for some years). I think that I might have achieved this. So far, my family has commented more on the fabric than the actual piecing of it all.
As for the quilting...at the moment I am thinking of meandering all over it but, who knows, this might change in a couple of days...
This is the first time that I ordered thread over the Internet...usually I buy it at a shop in the city, however their selection is limited. Was a bit sceptical on how well I would be able to match the colours to the Wholecloth quilt this is intended for.
Must say, I am very happy with this...the colour selection is good and should blend well into the background.
A bit of a trial....
Now I don't know which colour to choose for my Wholecloth quilt. The darker colour is a slightly different tone to the fabric...
in fact, have not decided exactly how to quilt the background, whether to just microstipple or choose a different kind of design.
Seems like an awfully big area to microstipple...should have really thought that through a bit better.