ARGH!!!!

My first project when getting home was to start quilting on my Henna whole-cloth quilt.   I had finished marking it just before we left on our trip and I was ready to get started on it…..IMG_5541

I was planning to use two battings with this and was concerned about how to get it basted properly.   Many years ago I had used spray basting with great results so I pulled out the can and started basting.  In about an hour it was ready to hit the machine!!

When I first started, things were going great but as I worked further out from the center I started having trouble with my needle getting gummed up and skipping stitches!!   I kept persevering but when it got to the point that I was having to re-start about every 6 inches, I decided that I needed to chuck it and start over!!!…….ARGH!!!!!…….IMG_6397

In thinking about this, I believe that the problem was that I over-sprayed AND, with two battings, there were THREE layers of spray!!

This is really disappointing to me, but I know of some things that I wanted to do differently so now I have the chance to do it!!

For the first tracing, I had borrowed a wonderful light box from a quilting friend, and I have now used this disaster as an excuse to purchase one for myself….it arrives from Amazon today!!!

Also, I am rethinking using the blue wash-out markers as they were pretty expensive and I wasn’t particularly happy with the crispness of the lines.  I did some research and read that many people have used “Crayola Ultra Clean Washable markers” with great results.  A package of Fine Point markers arrived yesterday…..IMG_6404

Today I started doing a product test with them and the first test was perfect.   I marked the lines…..IMG_6405

…..ironed them heavily and then washed them out….completely clean.

BUT, in reading the instructions it suggests that you should wash them out as soon as possible, so I am a bit concerned if I don’t get to the quilting just after I mark it.  To that, end, I have run another test and will let it sit for a time before I use them to mark.

I am actually having Rotator-Cuff surgery next Thursday so wont be quilting for a while so that should give some time for the test piece to “ferment”!!

I also realized (about 3/4 of the way thru marking) that, if I ironed freezer paper to the back of the fabric, it made the marking SO much easier and SO much more accurate.   I am looking forward to using this technique to make sure that my circles are true!!

Finally, I was a bit concerned that, when I squared up the project, I would end up cutting off the corner peacock’s head so I am going to give it a bit more room this time.

I need to re-think the two battings a bit as both were from my stash and I am not sure exactly what one of them was made from  (I really should mark them)!!   I am  thinking that I will use a fusible batting for the bottom one and that way I can just iron it on.   I need to do some research about which “fluffy” batting to use this time!!   I am thinking that I will do safety pin basting to finish out the project although I really hate to add the bulk to the piece that I am trying to push thru my machine!!

Anyway….it will be a better project this time!!!BAB29976D4507623


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Here’s to the return of creative time…..

On Saturday, I officially declared an end to tax season.   It has been a good time and my clients were wonderful as usual, but it is truly wonderful to know that tomorrow I don’t have to sit at my desk all day long!!

Even better is the fact that my quilt guild is having a 4 day retreat starting on Tuesday and I am going!!!   It is a UFO retreat where everyone works on their own projects and I am looking forward to several days of quilting on the Aussie fabric quilt that I made back in December.

So, on Saturday, Michael helped me to move the furniture out of the way and I got organized to baste the quilt.  I use a Hobbes Heirloom Fusible Batting and love that I can baste a quilt in less than an hour, just using my iron.

The first step was to lay the batting out on the floor and iron the backing fabric to it……..

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The batting sticks a little to the carpet but doesn’t seem to make much difference.

I then turned it over so that the batting side was up and ironed the quilt top to the batting….

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So, in about 45 minutes, the quilt sandwich is ready to go.

 

Then I headed upstairs to get everything ready for the retreat.   As I said, I am going to be quilting on a large quilt, so this meant that I want to take the drop-in table for my sewing machine, the board that sits under it to bring it up to the correct height, another folding table in case I need an extra, my swivel chair (so that I can raise it to the right height),  my 16 inch square ruler and 24 inch rectangle ruler (in case I get it finished and want to square it up before I add binding),  oh yeah, I need to take the binding that I made to go with it.  I wonder if I will need an Ott light….better take one just in case.   Now, am I REALLY going to be happy just quilting for almost 3+ days….maybe I should take along a hand project, but that requires at least three more boxes of stuff…..

Anyway, after an hour of trying to figure out what I would need, my stack looked like this…..

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I guess that it is good that I am driving by myself!!!

Basting Saturday (Take 2)


The other quilt that I worked on Saturday was a “White on White” quilt that I have had for a number of years but simply haven’t gotten around to doing.

The top was given to me by Elsie, who was a member of our guild. She had started hand quilting it, but hadn’t gotten very far along. I took out her hand quilting, thinking that I would use the piece to practice my machine work. ……. This was maybe 5 or 6 years ago

Then I decided that I wanted to add some trapunto to the piece, so spent quite a bit of time getting the extra batting sewed on and ready to quilt.

The piece had a pillow-top that I was not interested in, so I cut it off, practiced my quilting and then tried washing out the blue lines. Well, they did not immediately come out!!!! I contacted the company that made the piece and they told me that it was only guaranteed to come out for about 2 years. She did suggest that I try washing it in Shout and Oxi-Clean, and that seemed to help remove the lines.

The bottom line here is that I have NO idea whether the lines will wash out once I finish the quilting, but have decided that it is a good practice piece regardless.

I had planned to pin-baste this quilt, but decided that I would just use a Basting Spray and get it over with. Who knows if that will further hinder the line’s disappearing act.

I had thought I would use a variegated King Tut thread, but didn’t like the way it looked in the final analysis, so have decided to just use a beige thread and let the texture do the talking….hopefully with no interruptions from the nasty blue lines!!!!

Basting Saturday

Yesterday, I spent the day making backs and basting a couple of quilts that I have in progress.

The first one was the top that I showed a couple of weeks ago…..I am really pleased with how it turned out.

However, the back is probably the ugliest one in all of history. I decided to try Bonnie Hunter’s (http://www.quiltville.com/) idea of cutting scrap fabrics into 10-1/2 inch squares and piecing them together to form the back.

Well, the first thing that I learned is that not all fabrics will allow you to get four 10.5 inch squares out of one width. I think that I will use 9.5 or 10 inch squares next time.

The second thing that I learned is that you need to be a bit more careful in selecting colors for these squares……I think that I had too much variety in color and print design.

As I pieced these squares into strips, I realized that I had not done a wonderful job of cutting the squares and some of the sides didn’t line up properly. SO, after I had pieced each strip, I put it on the cutting board and evened the edges up….making the square not EXACTLY square.

I knew that I didn’t want to match seams, so I sewed the ends of the strips together into a circle and then randomly cut in the middle of one of the squares. I took them out to my garage (the only place that gives me enough open floor space) and decided on a decent pattern.

My NEXT mistake came in sewing these rows together……I apparently put one (or maybe two) of the rows together backwards and ended up with a whole series of squares of the same color together. Oh well…..it is only the back!!!!

I used Hobbs Fusible Batting to put this quilt together. Now I have to leave it for a few weeks until I get a brilliant idea for how to quilt it……I would welcome any ideas.