Thursday, March 24, 2011

I am so Excited!

First of all, today is the last day of chemotherapy for my wonderful husband. He's done very well with it, but we're both glad to have it done.

And on Saturady I am going on my very first ever sewing get away!!!!! Squeal!!!! I'm not getting away too far, just to Quilted Expressions in Lynchburg, our closest big (biggish) city. They're opening their classroom for up to 12 quilters and providing 3 meals and snacks from 7am to 10 pm for $50. No dishes, laundry, or kids. Just sewing away- heaven for a day.

Now I just need to figure out what stuff to take and how to haul it.

I'm hoping to finish the wall hanging that I'm donating to the cancer center. I'll save the binding for doing at my neighbor's house. I like to go to her house for the hand-stitching of the binding and talk with her while I do it. She's a wonderful lady, having helped us with some financial needs during Eric's treatments. She thought the sewing get away was such a good idea that she gave me a little spending money for the day. She is so encouraging of my quilting. I am still in that "aw, shucks, if I can do it anybody can" stage.

I got an order from Superior Threads yesterday with some Brytes thread, which I am planning on using Saturday. Several of them are very bright and I'm going to thread sketch/FMQ with them on a black fronted, white backed sandwich. I think it's going to be so fun! I sure hope QE has some 100/16 needles, since that is what is recommended for this thread.

Have you done any retreats or such? What are your favorite things to take?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pics and Rips

I am talking pictures and ripping stitches out, rip it, rip it: frog stitch.

First I noticed that in the pictures yesterday, there were several areas of need on those projects. Don't worry, that's not the ripping I'm doing. Rather, I think that taking pictures of works in progress might be an excellent way to notice areas of design or stitching that need attention. Much better to notice them early on then after you've finishe the quilt.

And then the ripping. Actually this is good ripping if there can be such a thing. As my free motion stitching improves, I find I am ripping more. Yep, not a typo. More! That's because initially I was just working on practice pieces and there seemed to be way to many bad areas of stitching than I could stand re-doing.

Now that I am improving little bit by little bit, if I make a mistake, I want to fix it. Especially like in areas where the stitching is OK, but the pattern is out of proportion to other areas. This is especially true in the plumes on my feather border on my current quilt. I am not very consistent yet with plume size and shape.

I also saw some coments by very talented longarm quilters in which they talked about ripping out entire areas of quilts they are working on including Karen McTavish and Irena Bluhm. Makes me realize the ripping is just part of the stitching!

Amy

Saturday, March 12, 2011

WIPs

First a shot of the guy who keeps me away from my quilting the most. Isn't he adorable? Totally worth it. We finally had some sun and warmer weather, so I thought I'd take some pictures of some FMQ pieces I've been working on lately. Unfortunately, we also had some wind so I needed a little help to keep the quilts still enough to shoot.
Introducing Leah, my assistant and beloved daughter.

These black on white urn pieces are for pillow tops. I'm not too crazy about the first one with the flowers nor my attempt at McTavishing for the background filler. But practice leads to improvement. The urns are fused and machine blanket stitched. The black thread is Mettler cotton 40 wt, which I found to be very linty. The white background fill is done with Bottom Line in white. I think I really like Bottom Line. Think I might trade lusting after fabric for lusting after Superior Threads!



Below is a wholecloth that still needs much work; finish the feather border and do the background fill. But I love this one so far. It was a lot of fun! In the shot below it is on the grass.



A closer shot while on the clothesline. I think maybe I ought to go back and put veins(?) in the feathers with the mauvy thread.
The thread is King Tut in a mauvey nearly solid tone-on-tone and a varigated brown/tan. I love the colors on this quilt, but I'm not sure of the Tut. I like a little more sheen and while varigated threads sure look pretty on the spool, I'm not so sure of the bolder color variations.


This has been so fun! I used very little marking,mainly just for the 'frame', the feather spines, and to figure the placement of the flowers which I tried to place in roundish splashes of color. I think from here on out, I may do a lot less piecing just so I can get to the quilting faster.

I love this fabric. Unfortunately I was only able to get another 1.33 yds. when I went back for more. It's just splashes of colors, not really a batik.

Every photo assistant should have Hello Kitty boots.

After I took these shots I realized the side of the old wooden shed in the back yard would be the perfect place to hang project to photograph. After I do some mowing.