Monday, November 12, 2018

Quilting Droid Quilt

I spent this week quilting the Droid quilt again.  I have now finished the characters - Rey and BB8 and the Death Star, so all that's left is the background and I've done some of that too. Most of these pictures were taken before the background was quilted.

I gave Rey some eyelashes, a chin divot, and a nose.  There are parts that are not quilted which makes her face wrinkled, so I am considering more quilting.   Sam had quilted strands of hair across her face, and it looked good when she did it.

Her torso follows quilting that Sam used, but more organic. I also outlined the whole shape, which helps distinguish her arms from her torso.

I gave her plaid pants. And fingers. Just don't count them!

Knobby knees. You can see the diamonds on the sword on this picture.

These are the thread colors I used.  The bobbin thread ran out as soon as I was finished with the variegated orange. I found the pretty blue but it looked like it was running out after I filled the bobbin so I had to use a different blue for the quilting. The background quilting looked much better in my drawn sample. They are just supposed to be straight lines and smooth curves to go to the next row, but alternated so they don't switch at the same place. I plan to practice drawing some more and quilt it using that design, and see how much this background bothers me when I am done with that. Right  now, it does bother me enough to want to rip out.

That lumpy space besides BB8 doesn't look that bad in real life. It just looks like that because there is unquilted space besides quilted space and I think it can be quilted down.

15 Minutes to Stitch Progress

This week, all of my sewing time was spent filling bobbins and quilting this quilt. I didn't quilt every single day. Daylight savings time requires adjusting time, but I made up the lost time on the weekend.

My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  262 out of 315 sessions
Success rate: 83%

Linked with:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Last Week's Quilting Progress and Beautiful Fall Colors

It's getting colder so the leaves of our trees are turning color.

I'm going to sneak in a post about my progress for last week before it is time to post this week's progress.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of quilting done.

I had an electrician come by on Saturday work on my porch light fixtures, but I figured I might as well have him check all the outlets while he was here, which meant I needed to rearrange things so he had access to outlets and clean the baseboards and under furniture, etc.  So my sewing time on Thursday and Friday was taken over by cleaning time.

Then Saturday, I spent my sewing time with the electrician. He got everything done on his list, which means I can check things off my list.  I finally now have light again from the front porch and the back porch,  just in time for daylight savings time.

On Sunday, I went to a cemetery tour to learn about the history of the city and the cemetery, and to look at the beautiful trees. I took a lot of pictures of individual burial markers we saw along the tour so I was able to sneak in some genealogy time. Even if it isn't my family, hopefully I can help someone else with their genealogy.

15 Minutes to Stitch

All of my sewing time was spent quilting Rey on the Droid quilt.  I am loving all the texture it is creating. I am not used to quilting in small time increments. I usually try to do it all at the same time, while I am in the same mood and frame of mind, so that my stitches can be consistent.  It isn't too bad though, since I am making different designs on the different sections.

My measly progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  2 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  255 out of 308 sessions
Success rate: 82%

Sunday, October 28, 2018

We Now Resume Regular Programming

I didn't take this picture, but on the way to the library with my sister, I stopped in front of this stack of cars and told her I wouldn't take her any further until she took a picture for me. I thought about using the analogy of crushing my squirrels*, but something doesn't sound quite right with that analogy so let's just drop it, shall we?

We'll just say the stack of cars is here to lure readers in and distract them from the dark and fuzzy pictures on the rest of the post.

Now that my three little quilts are out of the way, and all the doors and windows have been locked tight to keep any other wayward squirrels* out, I have returned to the projects that are spread out all over my living room.

I decided to start first with the quilt that is closest to completion. The end of the year is fast approaching and I have to make a good showing for the end of the year post.  The Droid quilt is already a top. It just needed to be quilted, but things came crashing to a halt because the back needed to be pieced.  The backing fabric was a quarter of an inch shorter (width wise) than the top.

A reasonable person would think adding a strip to the side of a piece of fabric wouldn't be any big deal, especially for someone who has pieced the front of the quilt, but for some reason, this back added just enough hesitation to let all those squirrels* in the house.

This week, I pieced the back. I added more than a quarter inch because you need to have excess fabric when quilting to avoid crying later.  It was no big deal as you probably figured, and I thought of an idea to add a little flap for the label when piecing the two oranges together, which took the drudgery out of piecing the back. I won't have to worry about the label now!

I finished piecing the back and basted the sandwich on Friday, and I was really surprised at how excited I am now to quilt this.  You know how when you are getting ready to go on a big trip, or have a first day of school or work, you have a hard time going to sleep the night before?  That mixture of excitement and dread of things to come.  I felt that on Friday night.  I quilted the Death Star and parts of Rey on Saturday, but I had trouble sleeping Saturday night too, because I was just excited to quilt more!

You will have to trust me that the basting is done right and smooth and not as lumpy as these pictures show.

I am pretty much copying how Sam Hunter, the pattern designer, quilted the characters - why reinvent the wheel? - but my lines are a lot more organic.

15 Minutes to Stitch

The days are getting shorter, and colder and darker, and rainy so the outdoor chores have been set aside for the week.

My stitching week was all about the Droid quilt - mostly cutting long strips, and cutting away selvages, and sewing long strips, and pressing the back and top all over again.  I then basted the quilt and started the quilting.

My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  253 out of 301 sessions
Success rate: 84%

*squirrels are those projects that distract you from your current works in process, and are especially pesky if you actually drop your WIPs to start work on them.

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Thursday, October 25, 2018

My Favorite October Pictures

It's not the end of the month yet, but Wandering Camera link up is up, and I have plenty of pictures to choose from, so I am going to post early.

I've started posting the stack of books I get from the library on my High Road Reader blog. It always makes me happy to go to the library, and I can expand the joy by commemorating the visit with a post. It will be a good way to list which books I may want to check out again.

I've made three small quilts this month. Here are two of them. This one makes me think of the Elephant Parade quilt since they are both facing the same way and there is an elephant.

The three small quilts temporarily interrupted my regular quilt-making, but it makes me happy to see this quilt when I walk by it. I need to add one more row before I can call the top finished.

I have to have a reminder that it is Halloween month.

We haven't had many trees change color this month, but some have already dropped their leaves.

Finally, my favorite picture of the month.

Linked to:
Wandering Camera - October Stories

Monday, October 22, 2018

Weekly Recap

I've been stitching like mad this week so I can meet some self-imposed deadlines.

First up were two fleece blankets, both blue. I bought them more than a decade ago. They were supposed to be no sew blankets. Just trim the edges, cut some fringes and tie them to each other to make a two sided blanket.  Easy right?  No, not really, since one is about half an inch shorter than the other one. I could have trimmed one but I didn't want to mess up the design, and decided to just finish each one separately with a zigzag stitch. It might be better to have two blankets instead of one anyway - it won't get too hot and you can always use two if it is really cold. It is stitching even though it isn't quilting.

The second was the housewarming present I showed you yesterday.

The cute cat blanket in the picture is not mine.

15 Minutes to Stitch

My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  6 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  246 out of 294 sessions
Success rate: 84%

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Housewarming Present

I made a belated housewarming present this week. I made a self-imposed deadline so I could get it done.

First I stuck a piece of muslin on a sheet of fusible applique without pressing it, and was able to print out the 8x10 photo of the house. I fused it to a background fabric for more stability.  I really like that the car is there so it dates the picture to a particular time period - when she owned both the house and the car. I should probably embroider the purchase date somewhere in there to be even more specific.

I chose brown fabrics to match the house. Then I bordered it the printed picture with the dark brown. The light brown is a flange that has been basted to the piece. I think it adds a nice lightness to the dark browns.

I wanted use this border fabric, but I had only bought a quarter yards worth, because I had bought it for use on a different quilt, and it must not have been on sale. I didn't think I would be able to line up the pieces properly so the join wouldn't show and decided to add a skinny sashing to separate the joins.

Look at me, mitering the corners! Nothing like a deadline to force me to skip the nervous procrastinating and worrying steps.  It actually worked out pretty easily.

I appliqued her name on the oval and attached it to the quilt.

Then sandwiched and birthed the quilt.  Then I quilted it.  I didn't want to overdo it on the house so I just straight stitched out some of the outlines of the house.  There was a big open space on the yard and I didn't think I could quilt grass very well so I added a couple of kittens.

I added charms on the little sashing strips in the outer border and that worked out so wonderfully. They add a real elegance to the quilt.

I didn't poke out the corners all the way because I like the rounded corners look.

Did you notice that the finished quilt lays nice and flat without the puckers shown in my previous fun quilts?

Our house is a very fine house, with two cats in the yard . . .

I enjoyed making this quilt too.  I had to be more careful with quality since it was a gift, but I enjoyed making all the decisions in designing this quilt, and am really happy with how it turned out.

Linked to:
Let's Bee Social #247 Be sure to check out her new hammer quilt!

Monday, October 15, 2018

My Stitching Week

My stitching week included some minor dabbling on the Sweet Land of Liberty, Colonial Bricks and Quilty Circle 365, but it was waylaid by a llama and an elephant, or should I say a squirrel project.

15 Minutes to Stitch

My progress as of Sunday was:

15 Minute sessions of stitching this week:  7 out of 7
15 Minute sessions of stitching this year:  240 out of 287 sessions
Success rate: 84%

If I didn't get waylaid by other projects so often, I would have bigger and more quilt finishes by this late in the year, but maybe it wouldn't be as much fun. It is hard to measure progress by the fun factor and easier to measure it by finishes and quilt progress, but looking at the quilts I made this week, let me tell you, I did have a lot of fun quilting this week.

Linked to:
15 Minutes to Stitch
BOMs away